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Mastering monitors 5K Studio Monitors
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
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Mastering monitors 5K

Hi everyone,

Just landed here trying to find a good option for speakers
I just finished my room it's about 300sqf designed by a pro acoustician and it sounds great with no mean dips / boosts.
Now my problem is I don't have a lot of money left to invest in super expensive monitors I got just around $5,000
I have a pair of Dynaudio Bm15a and was thinking to maybe add their 18S sub to grab the very low end that's out of their range. But at the same time I was wondering if anyone serious in mastering would master on Bm15a as they're only 2 ways.
That being said I've heard Bob Clearmountain mixes on them and some great mastering engineers say they barely touch his mixes as they're so good :D

Confusing ?

I don;t like flattering / hifi monitors I like when it's blunt and plain.
So back to my question :
Bm15a + a good sub (Dynaudio 18S)

Or something else and why + what in the 5k range ?

Thanks !!!

Jimmy
Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
Monitoring is very personal.
Most all the usual suspects are going to be contenders.

If there was a general consideration given towards monitoring during your room build, that would be a good place to start (and maybe remain). Ask your consultant.

Adding a sub to your current set up would be a good starting point, since that's what you have. You can always try other options later. Good luck!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #3
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Thanks Jeremy btw on your website dialogue is misspelled a few times
Old 2 weeks ago
  #4
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Justin P.'s Avatar
 

It will depend on your room size but in this price range, I highly recommend the PSI Audio A215-M:
A215-M - Compact Mastering monitor - PSI Audio

Review:
YouTube
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
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Room size is 300 sqf
Old 2 weeks ago
  #6
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My setup comes in a few hundred below 5k: B+W 805's plus a pair of HSU VTF-1 subs, amps are Hypex Ncore monoblocks.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
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Sargon's Avatar
 

$5000 is an unfavorable price range, even new PSI A215M are clearly more expensive, and these are one of the cheapest mastering grade monitors (difficult to find at the used market). So if I´m on your place, I would look out for a pair of used B&W 802 plus Hypex monoblocks. I think it´s possible to find them for less than 5k. The 802 are widely used in professional mastering studios.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
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Yes the 802 seems like a very nice option but won;t you still need a sub ? according to the specs they cut off at 39hz
Old 1 week ago
  #9
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Sargon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyBoyZ View Post
Yes the 802 seems like a very nice option but won;t you still need a sub ? according to the specs they cut off at 39hz
I have seen several studios who work on the 802 without sub, so it seems to be possible. But yes, for a real full range system you probably need two subs for the 802.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
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What about Focal SM9 they go down to 30hz so in a well treated room with proper imaging they might work on their own without requiring a sub ?
Old 1 week ago
  #11
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MichaelStAmour's Avatar
I would recommand Tyler Acoustics
Old 1 week ago
  #12
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I haven't heard yet but want to hear the Tyler MM5X. I believe they are in your range and have seen them recommended here by others.
Old 1 week ago
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ira_the_mick View Post
I haven't heard yet but want to hear the Tyler MM5X. I believe they are in your range and have seen them recommended here by others.
This!
Old 1 week ago
  #14
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Verified Member
2-way speakers ain't necessarily bad 'cause they mess up less at x-over frequencies than 3 or 4-way speakers (unless you use ophisticated dsp to correct things) and knowing a pair imo is more importantant that getting the latest pair with über-specs... - get the sub and external dsp.
Old 1 week ago
  #15
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JP__'s Avatar
 

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A famous local ME has worked with the BM15 for many years. If it works for him, maybe for you too...?IMHO monitoring is a quite persdonal thing, whatever works.
I would ask myself what quality your speakers are lacking and what you like, and then look further. Buying just because of..., is silly.
Its mostly a taste baseddecision. And taste comes from experiences. And experiences comes from working. So I just would start working and the rest will follow naturaly then.
And when you are really ready to buy something new, go out and listen to as many speakers as possible out there and build up your own opinion on what a certain design is able to deliver and what not.
Old 1 week ago
  #16
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I mix on the Hedd type 20. I am sure you can master on those.
Old 1 week ago
  #17
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Sargon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyBoyZ View Post
What about Focal SM9 they go down to 30hz so in a well treated room with proper imaging they might work on their own without requiring a sub ?
I tested the SM9 a few years ago but don´t liked them. The top end is nice, super clear and detailed without fatigue. But they lacking mids (at least to my ears) and the low end seems to be a bit hyped and undefined. I felt the overall picture somehow incoherent. They sounded more in the hifi direction to me, and I expected that they don´t translate very well.. but that´s just me, others seems to be happy with the SM9 for mastering, so maybe they can better comment on this..

Yes, no sub needed with the SM9. They go very deep, but for me at the expense of clarity and punch.
Old 1 week ago
  #18
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JP__'s Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sargon View Post
I tested the SM9 a few years ago but don´t liked them. The top end is nice, super clear and detailed without fatigue. But they lacking mids (at least to my ears) and the low end seems to be a bit hyped and undefined. I felt the overall picture somehow incoherent. They sounded more in the hifi direction to me, and I expected that they don´t translate very well.. but that´s just me, others seems to be happy with the SM9 for mastering, so maybe they can better comment on this..

Yes, no sub needed with the SM9. They go very deep, but for me at the expense of clarity and punch.
Interesting. I tested the older SM11 and really found the opposit. Highs a bit exagerated, but quite precise mids. So, maybe the SM9, which I never tried, are rather different or it just shows how different we all hear (beside many other more objective factors within a test scenario).
For example I tested the PSI215 on three different oportunities and never felt home (similar feel to what you described the SM9). Same with most other well known studio speakers (from the small KH120 over big Geithain system to very modern DSP-based speakers). The once I mostly immiadtley feel confident with while also feels very true to the source were always "outdated" passive systems.
Maybe a specific personal "problem" from myself. But in the end it is what is it and I hear what I hear, and that hasnt changed over the years. I think a very important point that is mostly missing in those discussion is socialisation. A speaker needs to be a sound to brain connector, and thats the main point. A device that exempt from second guessing and abstraction as much as possible. Everything else comes second.
And this can lead to rather exotic market choices sometimes and needs time, often a lot of.
Old 1 week ago
  #19
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Sargon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
Interesting. I tested the older SM11 and really found the opposit. Highs a bit exagerated, but quite precise mids. So, maybe the SM9, which I never tried, are rather different or it just shows how different we all hear (beside many other more objective factors within a test scenario).
For example I tested the PSI215 on three different oportunities and never felt home (similar feel to what you described the SM9). Same with most other well known studio speakers (from the small KH120 over big Geithain system to very modern DSP-based speakers). The once I mostly immiadtley feel confident with while also feels very true to the source were always "outdated" passive systems.
Maybe a specific personal "problem" from myself. But in the end it is what is it and I hear what I hear, and that hasnt changed over the years. I think a very important point that is mostly missing in those discussion is socialisation. A speaker needs to be a sound to brain connector, and thats the main point. A device that exempt from second guessing and abstraction as much as possible. Everything else comes second.
And this can lead to rather exotic market choices sometimes and needs time, often a lot of.
Yes sure, we all hear things differently, so it always doesn`t make much sense to make recommendations. Never heard the SM11 and it´s already about three years ago when I heard the SM9, so I only can speak from my memory. Later I heard the Focal Trio6 which gave me a slightly more coherent picture, but the bass on these seemed even more hyped. It´s not my intention to bash Focal speakers, they´re probably very good. If they work well for somebody, then they should be good.

I agree with you on the PSI, these are also not for me. I don´t like the tweeters on these.
Very difficult to find a mastering grade speaker between the usual (active) studio monitors.

The newer designs of DSP speakers could maybe change your opinion, some of them are very good "sound to brain connectors" for audio work. And it is a great advantage to load your own frequency curves directly into the speakers. Otherwise I have to agree, the good old passive designs sound more natural, for pure music listening I clearly prefer them.

Back to topic, a used pair of Lipinski 707 or Amphion Two18 could also be an option. These are possibly more precise than the Focals, but defenitely need a sub, or better two.. Amphions can be later upgraded with the base system, sounds amazing if set up properly!

Good luck!
Old 1 week ago
  #20
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JP__'s Avatar
 

Verified Member
Lipinskis feels always great to me when I have the oppurnity to listen to them.
Amphions sounds really solid too (but got massivly overhyped here lately) and definitly a good idea to take into account. I know two succesfull MEs who exchanged their big PMC/ATC with the Two18 + Base.
Havent heard a DSP based speaker that I really like yet, but thats just me.

But still, the main point in this thread to me is that the thread opener looks for "mastering grade" speakers, but has no real idea what that means to him it seems (beside the fact that "serious" speakers cant be 2-way, which obviously is bull****, see Lipinski, Strauss etc). Without having a vision its a bad idea to shop stuff, imho. Especially when its something that important like speakers.
Old 1 week ago
  #21
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thermos's Avatar
Tyler MM5X here. Those and a good power amp, hard to go wrong.
Old 1 week ago
  #22
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Hey JP

thanks for the great input I appreciate your comments they're very to the point
I don't think 2 way can't be good I'm just trying to assess what is "lacking" in my opinion in my situation.
I've spent months to build my room down to a 16/inch based on a pro acoustician plans
So I do take all this very seriously
Bm15a are used by Bob Clearmountain to mix and many great ME have said they barely touch his mixes or have a very hard time fine tuning them
So right there it means those are great speakers if you learn them and know them. You also mention a great ME used them and I'm not surprised.

Now in my case I feel that when I play material and try to do very precise EQ changes they're not revealing them all the time at all frequencies
Also they do have a great bottom but obviously won't tell you anything or much between 20-40hz

That's why I was thinking to either go for the 18S sub which seems a very good sub (1 sub is not ideal though)
Or simply switch to another stereo system. That's how I stumbled upon the SM9 because they seem to be very honest and offer a fuller range than most other options

Overall I don't like flattering speakers I think of it as a tool it has to tell me the truth I don't want to enjoy what I hear I want them to help me hear every details
like a good friend you can count on no matter what happens !
Old 1 week ago
  #23
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JP__'s Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyBoyZ View Post
Hey JP

thanks for the great input I appreciate your comments they're very to the point
I don't think 2 way can't be good I'm just trying to assess what is "lacking" in my opinion in my situation.
I've spent months to build my room down to a 16/inch based on a pro acoustician plans
So I do take all this very seriously
Bm15a are used by Bob Clearmountain to mix and many great ME have said they barely touch his mixes or have a very hard time fine tuning them
So right there it means those are great speakers if you learn them and know them. You also mention a great ME used them and I'm not surprised.

Now in my case I feel that when I play material and try to do very precise EQ changes they're not revealing them all the time at all frequencies
Also they do have a great bottom but obviously won't tell you anything or much between 20-40hz

That's why I was thinking to either go for the 18S sub which seems a very good sub (1 sub is not ideal though)
Or simply switch to another stereo system. That's how I stumbled upon the SM9 because they seem to be very honest and offer a fuller range than most other options

Overall I don't like flattering speakers I think of it as a tool it has to tell me the truth I don't want to enjoy what I hear I want them to help me hear every details
like a good friend you can count on no matter what happens !
I think a honest speaker is a goal for most/ a lot engineers, but still most speakers are sounding very different to others. So, what does it really mean being "honest" and not "flattering"...?What parameters make a speaker honest and which one makes them flattering? Im still not sure about it personally.
Good measurement specs might be a hint, but to me they do not really tell much.
Has a speaker with "room correction" mreally more ability sounding honest, because of its ability of flattening its response in a room?
Itsfor sure a very complex topic and in the end we will end with a very personal description of that perfect "sound to brain"- device. This means trying things out, the more the better. And at some point it hopefullymakes "click" and you have find something that works great for you.
One very important aspect to understand is: theres no perfect speaker out there. Every design consists of a lot of comprimises, technical and acoustical. So, aiming at your best personal compromise is very important. So, choose your poison wisely...
Old 1 week ago
  #24
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The BM15 are not accurate enough in the low mids for mastering. They are a good mixing speaker but you need more refinement for mastering, and a higher degree of accuracy than other mix engineers that are sending you work.
Old 1 week ago
  #25
You will not go wrong with the Tyler MM5x or the DX2's are awesome.
Old 1 week ago
  #26
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Ben F, Yes I hear the lack of precision in the low mids. They are pleasing in the low mids but hard to work with / not revealing all the info and I copied some tweaks from another engineer using the same files and couldn't hear some moves.
I think they go pretty low for their size but not enough to check sub content
Do you think the SM9 would cover both issues ?
Old 1 week ago
  #27
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Ben F's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyBoyZ View Post
Ben F, Yes I hear the lack of precision in the low mids. They are pleasing in the low mids but hard to work with / not revealing all the info and I copied some tweaks from another engineer using the same files and couldn't hear some moves.
I think they go pretty low for their size but not enough to check sub content
Do you think the SM9 would cover both issues ?
I’m the the biggest fan of the focal tweeter, so I’m probably the wrong person to ask! Speakers are very personal you need to try before you buy.
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