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Barefoot MM27 VS ATC scm25 VS Focal SM9 Studio Monitors
View Poll Results: Which ones would you say is the best for mastering?
Barefoot MM27
72 Votes - 33.64%
ATC scm25
79 Votes - 36.92%
Focal SM9
63 Votes - 29.44%
Voters: 214. You may not vote on this poll

Old 17th September 2011
  #1
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Richard Akira's Avatar
 

Barefoot MM27 VS ATC scm25 VS Focal SM9

I know i just posted question about which one is the most "mastering" between focal twins and K&H O300, but now i'm really curious to know answers to the same question with a different and higher range monitors.

If anyone experienced these 3 pairs of beasts, just write it down.

I'm seriously thinking to make a big step forward without passing for lower quality monitors, and as always i don't have possibility to try these speakers. Not a you choose for me, but just a technical question on how this speakers repruce what and which are the most complete ones.

Every post is welcome
Old 17th September 2011
  #2
Hi Richard, you are running into same problem:
Barefoots dont have separate midrange.
The box design is extremely amazing and super heavy, seems like it has metal plating inside.
Barefoots have Soft dome tweeter, so therefore it sounds softer than Focal SM9. But im not sure it seems
Bareftoots had a boost of 1-2 at 5khz region.

Now question arises why mastering engineers prefer speakers with separate midrange? its up to you do decide 2-way , 3-way or even 4-way.

To my impression it seems like you v never heard B&W, Dunlavy, KEF monitors in professional environment and struggling to make a decision.

I v heard ATC myself at NYU showcase. they sound extremely flat and high quality. Quality reminds me of Meyer HD, and has similar tonal balance. Midrange is open, highs & lows are very soothing.

Focal SM9 by far is the most high quality speaker and with very strong sound. I really loved the sound on Focal SM9. Drums sound very realistic and they have definition at bass, mids and highs due to metal tweeter.

ATC has separate midrange driver which might be an advantage.

Barefoots have smiley face subjective response with clean bass, but you need super big room for them. They sound similar to Duntech, but Duntech provide extreme resolution at any frequency.

You should get a listen to KEF monitors they stand next to B&W in every aspect.

http://www.stereophile.com/floorloudspeakers/208kef
Old 17th September 2011
  #3
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Piedpiper's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by manman View Post
Barefoots dont have separate midrange.
The Barefoot MM27 is a three way design: one tweeter and two midranges on the front, and two woofers, one on each side.

and why do "you need super big room for them"?
Old 17th September 2011
  #4
Quote:
The Barefoot MM27 is a three way design: one tweeter and two midranges on the front.
correct me if im wrong: they are not pure midrange drivers, read Crossover Frequencies: 110/2500 Hz.

thats regular nearfiled setup, it acts as mid-bass driver.

By midrange driver i mean something around 350 and 4000 Hz, like B&W have

http://barefootsound.com/products_mm27.html
Old 17th September 2011
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manman View Post
To my impression it seems like you v never heard B&W, Dunlavy, KEF monitors in professional environment and struggling to make a decision.KEF Reference 207/2 loudspeaker | Stereophile.com
Well, i have a pair of B&W DM603. Not in professional environment, but i know they are still one of the top after years and years. I remember when the nautilus came out.. i was a baby and was totally amazed by those things.. i promised to myself a day i'll have had them lol
I just don't take those in consideration even if i know them, as i know some other good brands like duntech or revel.. Just don't consider them cause I'd like an idea about some active speakers.. I've never entered the world of passive ones.. May sound like a stupid thing, but i saw there are a lot of brands producing almost only active and a lot almost only passive.. And i stay on the side of active for now
Old 17th September 2011
  #6
Quote:
B&W DM603
Sorry but thats a toy comparing to 802D or KEF. Basically go for

Barefoots: huge bass, smiley response, clean highs
Focals: pure bass, mids & highs, strong sound, flat response.
ATC: slightly softer sound than focals, open midrange.

These are all subjective qualities even for mastering speakers. Some people may do good job on Focals, some on ATC.
I know ATC are used in Masterdisk NYC i think. These are all high-quality speakers and choosing any is just personal preference.

Its not always about mastering speakers, but also mastering chain or how you process sound.
Old 17th September 2011
  #7
ORC
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Again, Manley ML-10's, with a great amplifier and a pair of excellent subs.

This setup made me sell my Duntech Sovereigns, and my focal solo6's!
Old 17th September 2011
  #8
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Piedpiper's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by manman View Post
correct me if im wrong: they are not pure midrange drivers, read Crossover Frequencies: 110/2500 Hz.

thats regular nearfiled setup, it acts as mid-bass driver.

By midrange driver i mean something around 350 and 4000 Hz, like B&W have

Barefoot Sound :: The MicroMain27
ah, I understand you now, but you're really better off keeping the crossover out of the midrange anyway... perhaps that's what you have in mind with wanting a higher crossover up top...
Old 17th September 2011
  #9
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Richard Akira's Avatar
 

Indecision between ATC & Focal
Old 17th September 2011
  #10
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MarcB's Avatar
[Disclaimer: I haven't heard either of the speakers and also I'm also not a mastering engineer.. just a music enthusiast who likes, has listened to and has owned quite a lot of high end music kit]

the thing is , speakers of a similar size and of similar quality will be in the same ballpark bar some slight differences in balance due to your room, their placement and your listening position. Most of these differences can be counteracted with a change of positioning and the differences which can't are down to personal taste preferences which you won't know about until you've played with the speakers for a day or 2 in your room anyway.

Both the ATC and Focal speakers are upper market 3 way nearfield/midfields, both are quite small boxes with 8" cones (although the focal has a passive 10" radiator). I seriously doubt one will sound head and shoulders over the other, and given the broad range of tastes on this forum I also doubt one will win overall in a poll.

I was in a similar position at the start of the year, I had the money to buy a decent set of midfield monitors but I had no way of demoing before hand without doing some serious traveling. I had to blow £5k+ blind (though I could send them back at my own expense if I hated them)
I googled about, emailed studios which used them and asked a few questions (thank you google translator) along with listening to their demo mixes mixed on them on their site. After a while a pattern emerges and you know what to go for, I'm a sucker for trusting my gut feeling and I think I made the right choice. (I went for PSI A25Ms if you're interested)

Just remember, when you start going into larger speakers you need good stands and space around them and not just plonk them on the desk

Good luck with it
Old 17th September 2011
  #11
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Richard Akira's Avatar
 

You understood perfectly the situation..
I'm thinking about the big step for entering the pro monitors and i got no way to try the ones i'd like.
So I'm asking some technical info and not some personal opinion, trying to understand which could fit my ears and with which i can work in the best way..
I'm focusing on ATC and Focal.. I could have a good price on ATC, but Focal inspires me more.. I don't know.. They look more strong-sounding maybe
Old 17th September 2011
  #12
Mastering Moderator
 
Riccardo's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Akira View Post
Indecision between ATC & Focal
You can easily demo the ATC in Milan. Not sure about the Focals. The ATC 25 are very nice in a mixing environment. A bit small for my taste. I know may love the 50s for mastering. Ilike the 150s very much. Only briefly heard the Barefoot surely a quality speaker. Unfortunately there is no substitute to lstening for yourself, especially with the mentioned choice in mind. All very good and at the same time very different presentations.
Old 17th September 2011
  #13
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I was looking few days ago and perhaps funky junk has atc scm25.. i'll give them a listen if they have
Old 17th September 2011
  #14
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Piedpiper's Avatar
I have a lot of experience with lots of speakers, although not these three models side by side, and I strongly disagree with MarcB. There are vast differences in every possible parameter between speakers, even ones that look to be similar. And I would not discount the Barefoots for some superficial reason, whether it be specs or looks. Their reputation didn't happen by accident. You'd be doing yourself a gross disservice to shoot from the hip on this. Monitors may be the single most important investment you make. If you can't hear them yourself, and even if you can, I would do your best to at least get the opinions of some very experienced folks who know all three models. Vintage King is a dealer of all three lines. Wouldn't hurt to hear what they have to say.
Old 17th September 2011
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piedpiper View Post
I have a lot of experience with lots of speakers, although not these three models side by side, and I strongly disagree with MarcB. There are vast differences in every possible parameter between speakers, even ones that look to be similar. And I would not discount the Barefoots for some superficial reason, whether it be specs or looks. Their reputation didn't happen by accident.
I'm not arguing with you here, I'm just curious to what it is that you're hearing.

From my experience with having about 10 different pairs of top end speakers in this room over the last couple of years, I found that they all take on a similar sound which is dictated by the room (this room is treated somewhat and I can get a decent flat response)

My point is that once you have the speakers set up where they are quite flat and giving a proper holographic 3d image then the differences between the speakers due to their distortions are just a small percentage compared the distortions of the effect of the room. You'll get slight shifts in overall balance or "character" but once you reach a decent level of speakers it's nothing too drastic, it's more down to personal preference.

I'm not saying that two different speakers sound identical , I'm saying that two similar sized, similar frequency response and similar quality speakers, unless one is a complete dud, will sound close enough that once your hearing adjusts to slight differences , won't really matter.

Like I've said , I'm not a pro doing this for a living, I'm, just going off my own experiences of having had quite a few high end speakers. I've never done a real direct shootout between speakers because it's pretty much pointless due to obvious placement problems.

If I'm wrong then fair enough, but I'd like to hear why my ears are lying to me.
Old 18th September 2011
  #16
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Verified Member
I love my MM27's for mastering. They do sound different from the Focals. Not better or worse but different no doubt. You really do need to listen to all your options and pick for yourself.
Old 18th September 2011
  #17
perhaps this video can be inspiring


Sebastian Ingrosso & Dirty South making MIIKE SNOW - "SILVIA" REMIX

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_5eZ_VwMPY


Notice they use Focals sorry not trying to point you towards those, just a video
Old 18th September 2011
  #18
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Piedpiper's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcB View Post
I'm not arguing with you here, I'm just curious to what it is that you're hearing.

From my experience with having about 10 different pairs of top end speakers in this room over the last couple of years, I found that they all take on a similar sound which is dictated by the room (this room is treated somewhat and I can get a decent flat response)

My point is that once you have the speakers set up where they are quite flat and giving a proper holographic 3d image then the differences between the speakers due to their distortions are just a small percentage compared the distortions of the effect of the room. You'll get slight shifts in overall balance or "character" but once you reach a decent level of speakers it's nothing too drastic, it's more down to personal preference.

I'm not saying that two different speakers sound identical , I'm saying that two similar sized, similar frequency response and similar quality speakers, unless one is a complete dud, will sound close enough that once your hearing adjusts to slight differences , won't really matter.

Like I've said , I'm not a pro doing this for a living, I'm, just going off my own experiences of having had quite a few high end speakers. I've never done a real direct shootout between speakers because it's pretty much pointless due to obvious placement problems.

If I'm wrong then fair enough, but I'd like to hear why my ears are lying to me.
Nothing wrong with describing your honest experience. All I can say is that for me the differences are anything but small. But one person's small is another's huge... It's all relative... Of course, we must all get used to our references and learn how to work within their limitations, regardless. And you're absolutely right that the effects of the room can swamp everything else. But even upgrading capacitors in the crossover in an existing design can make a significant difference in the system's ability to resolve detail, so to say that there is no significant difference between vaguely similar designs is very sweeping and misleading, IMO.

I have spent a lot of time tweaking my reference system, through many component changes, as well as modifications of my current components, including gutting and redesigning my amp, mods to the speakers, cables, etc... and I value all the changes I've made as significant. But that's me...
Old 18th September 2011
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manman View Post

Barefoots: huge bass, smiley response, clean highs
False
MM27's are incredibly flat.
Email thomas for the high res charts.
Old 18th September 2011
  #20
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I just ordered some genelec 8050's, haven't even heard those yet, but I dwelled over the decision of do I wait for the SM9's to come out, and just spring an extra few grand or do I just go for the 8050's. So before it's too late, I thought I'd ask you guys.

I want monitors for mixing, more than mastering, I have an open design home studio, so it's a very big room, with some treatment. What do you think?
Old 18th September 2011
  #21
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feck's Avatar
I love my MM27's for mastering as well - just great all around speakers.
Old 19th September 2011
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Akira View Post
I know i just posted question about which one is the most "mastering" between focal twins and K&H O300, but now i'm really curious to know answers to the same question with a different and higher range monitors.

If anyone experienced these 3 pairs of beasts, just write it down.

I'm seriously thinking to make a big step forward without passing for lower quality monitors, and as always i don't have possibility to try these speakers. Not a you choose for me, but just a technical question on how this speakers repruce what and which are the most complete ones.

Every post is welcome
It's a bit unfair on Focal to include the SM9 in this as they aren't released yet. The Barefoots have been out for a while and there are many owners who can give a genuine opinion, also I believe the ATCs are also available via Funky Junk but I don't think they've been out for long at all so you don't have that number of owners.

What I'm trying to say is until the Focal is out (it's been delayed apparently) and you have long term users opinions it's not a valid choice in your poll. They could get unfairly dissed (looks like it from the current results) or praised on a too brief a listen. That applies to any speaker by any manufacturer that isn't actually released, how can it be a valid choice in a poll?

For the record I had a demo of the "demo pair of SM9s" and they were very, very good, but no one on here owns a pair, so no one on here can say after 4 weeks of use its the best pair of speakers ever ......or I prefer Barefoots. From my audition, I'm definitely hanging around until they are out though before I make my final choice as I was very impressed, but it's not a valid inclusion in this poll.

Speakers are very personal and definitely audition you preferred choices before buying whatever this poll says.

Last edited by Neil Pickles; 19th September 2011 at 08:33 AM.. Reason: Punctuation, appaling spelling etc.
Old 20th September 2011
  #23
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I own the MM27s. Extremely happy about how they transfer to all the listening environments. I had a shoot-out between the Barefoots & 4 others. The last contender was the Focal Twin 6 system w/subs.
Old 21st September 2011
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manman View Post
Barefoots have smiley face subjective response with clean bass
Quote:
Originally Posted by edham View Post
False
MM27's are incredibly flat.
Email thomas for the high res charts.
Yeah, 'smiley face response' and 'barefoot' is not what I would consider in the same sentence.

Though manman did qualify it with the 'subjective' part.

As for 'incredibly flat'; a high res freq response chart doesn't mean they are incredibly flat, it just means under those specific measurement conditions, they measured that way.

They sound mid-forward to me (relative to some other speakers). That isn't good or bad, it's a taste thing IMO. Either way, the freq response chart didn't tell me that before I heard them.
Old 21st September 2011
  #25
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Another happy Barefoot MM27 user over here.
Old 21st September 2011
  #26
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I've had the chance to listen to the SM9 and they are wonderful speakers. All the good things that I like in Focal plus being a really full-range speaker (it goes really down and no sub is needed).

My opinion is that you should wait for them to come out and listen to them before buying anything. If you can afford to wait.
Old 21st September 2011
  #27
Oop
Gear Addict
 

And, I'm torn between these 3 speakers as well. heh

Having used the Focals all this while, I absolutely love the sound. But, I've also heard so much about the Barefoots, but can't try them out anywhere. Do you really need to have a perfectly treated room for the Barefoots?

I've arranged for an SM9 demo soon and can't wait to hear the re-designed tweeters and the improved Focal experience.

Since I'm acquainted with the Focal sound and find it extremely pleasing, I might end up with it, but surely would love to give the Barefoots a chance, if I could.

Haven't heard anything negative about the SM9's yet.
Old 21st September 2011
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenderMastering View Post
I've had the chance to listen to the SM9 and they are wonderful speakers. All the good things that I like in Focal plus being a really full-range speaker (it goes really down and no sub is needed).

My opinion is that you should wait for them to come out and listen to them before buying anything. If you can afford to wait.
Ordered SM9 yesterday cause my dealer made me a great price. I'm sure I'll love them
Old 22nd September 2011
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Akira View Post
Ordered SM9 yesterday cause my dealer made me a great price. I'm sure I'll love them
You will love them!

I've heard both.
Old 8th October 2011
  #30
Oop
Gear Addict
 

Anyone who has heard both the ATC SCM25 and Focal SM9, care to give their opinion?

It seems like the SM9's have been delayed until the 1st quarter of 2012 according to my dealer.

There is no way I can demo the MM27's.

Not sure how long I would have to wait for the SM9's to surface.
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