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Deciding on 5.1 monitors?
Old 6th April 2020
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Deciding on 5.1 monitors?

Hi Everyone,

Hope everyone is staying safe during these difficult times. Being that many businesses have been put on hold, I'm taking the opportunity to work on my mixing room.

I had (2) JBL 306p mkii speakers to start with. I recently had the opportunity to buy (2) used JBL 708p speakers at an incredible price and couldn't pass it up. So now I'm left with the decision what to do to upgrade to surround.
Oh, and I do have a 12" Blue Sky Sub.

My room is about 16'6" x 15'6"x ceiling varies but let's say 9'.

I have an Avid HD Omni audio interface which can do 5.1 and 7.1.

And just purchased a Martin Sounds MultiMax EX to control my speakers.

I had a friend that was going to hook me up with a great price on Adam T7V monitors. Therefore I had decided to get (5) of those as my 5.1 mixing monitors, Use the JBL 708p as my main stereo monitors and the JBL 306p mkii to check on cheaper monitors. Unfortunately with the pandemic my friend can no longer help with the lower price on the monitors.

Moving forward, I'm trying to decide if I should just buy another (3) JBL 306p mkii or still get the Adam T7V (which I really liked when I listened to them). I thought the idea of having two different brands would help in that you can hear certain thins with one set of speakers and a different thing with the other. As opposed to having the JBL 708 for stereo and JBL 306 for surround? Is it worth it to get (5) Adam monitors or just buy (3) more JBL 306s?

And finally, do any of you recommend going up to 7.1 or staying with 5.1? I mainly use my room for my own projects as I produce independent films and there is never enough money for proper post. I end up doing most if not all the audio myself. But in the future, I was planning on renting the space to other filmmakers who do not have a surround setup but need (or want) to deliver in surround. Just not sure how strong the demand for 7.1 over 5.1 is?

Thank you much for any replies in advance. Again, hope everyone staying safe and their loved ones are as well.

Luis

Last edited by siniarch; 6th April 2020 at 10:30 PM..
Old 6th April 2020
  #2
Lives for gear
 

i strongly recommend using (at least) three identical front monitors, 5.1 imo should do and i'd use a speaker processor to compensate (to some degree) for room amomalies, issues from placement and/or from using different speakers.
Old 6th April 2020
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

Thanks for your reply Deedeeyeah.

Yeah, I'm only contemplating using identical monitors. Most likely all (5) identical but certainly the main 3. I even contemplated getting (1) more JBL 708p and (2) JBL 705p but that is the most expensive route.

I can get either one of the following:
OPTION A --- (5) Adam T7V for $250 each =............................................................ $1250
OPTION B --- (1) used JBL 708p for $1700 + (2) used JBL 705p for $1500 for both =.... $3200
OPTION C --- (3) JBL 306p mkii for $150 each =......................................................... $450
or jump to 7.1 and get
OPTION D --- (5) JBL 306p mkii for $150 each =......................................................... $750
Old 6th April 2020
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
Farhoof's Avatar
 

1 more 708 as center, use the 306 as surrounds. Expand surrounds with even more 306 if you like.
Old 7th April 2020
  #5
Lives for gear
 
TVPostSound's Avatar
Im at home in a similar size.
LSR 705P across the fronts, and LSR 305s in the rears.
Old 7th April 2020
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

Thank you Farhoof,

That is a terrific idea. I'd only have to spend the $1700 for a used JBL 708 and I'd have my 5.1 setup. Later down the line, I could get some cheaper speakers to check the mixes. Similar to what the NS10 are used for.
Old 7th April 2020
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

Thank you TVPostSound,

Nice to know that the 705s work on this size room. I think I'm taking Farhoof's suggestion as adding just one 708p would get me to 5.1 setup while only having to spend about $1700. Using the 306s as surrounds is a great idea. Same pedigree and if I wanted to do 7.1 it would only be another $300-400 depending on current price of those.

Thank you.
Old 7th April 2020
  #8
Lives for gear
 

cannot comment on any of these speakers: i've been using tannoy's, genelec's and quested's for ages - i seem to favour coax designs for surround but again, to me more importantly than what speakers i'm using is the dsp to correct frequency response...
Old 7th April 2020
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Could I ask why you don't make the whole system 306s (5 or 7) +sub? What is it about the the 306s you don't like for your purposes?
Old 7th April 2020
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Hi Philper,
I like the 306s just fine, but I was planning on getting a high end pair as well as the 5.1 setup. I was looking at Neumann KH 310a but while researching it the JBL 708p also came up and being that I do film and JBL having such a good reputation for that I had those in mind as well. Then the opportunity to get two 708 came up at an incredible cost. And I've been in this situation before where I didn't pull the trigger thinking I could get a great deal again only never to be found. So I just went ahead and got the 708s. When I bought the 306 I had gone to the store and checked out the Adam T7Vs and I liked them better than the 306s, but the Adams were $250 and the 306s at the time were $120. So I couldn't justify that. Now with the 708s as my stereo high end speakers, I was thinking if my friend could get me that great deal on the Adams, then I thought it would be good idea to be able to mix on Adams and check in stereo with JBLs. But my friend's deal on Adams dried up due to the pandemic so they were back up to $250 each.
In any case, Farhoof's suggestion to just get a third 708 and use my current 306s as surrounds made me think. I won't have a second set of monitors to check mixes on, but I will have a fantastic Left/Right/Center lineup. In the future I could get a cheap pair of speakers to check mixes on something that doesn't sound as great that could show how the mix sounds when not played on great monitors. Sort of the idea of why the Yamaha NS10 became so predominant. If it sounds good on these speakers, it will most likely sound good on almost anything.
Old 7th April 2020
  #11
Lives for gear
 

If you can afford the 3rd 708 then it sounds like a good plan. I think I agree with what you said about having one moni system and using it in both stereo and 5.1 etc. For many years I had a different system for stereo (music) than for 5.1 (film jobs), and transitioning between the two took me too long and left too many questions in my mind about what I was hearing. Will you use the Martinsound box for bass management, or are you doing that?
Old 7th April 2020
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

Thanks Philper.
I was able to get a b-stock 708 for $1500 + tax and shipping. More than what I wanted to spend. But I'm building my own monitor stands to save some money.
As for mixing on two different sets of speakers, yes I can see how switching might be an issue. I guess part of it for me was the thought of having these great monitors 708s and only using them at the end to check the film 5.1 mixes in stereo. I spent more money, but at least I'll be using the gear all the time.

Regarding the bass management, yes, I am going to have the MultiMax EX handle it. Un less you think it's a bad idea and there are better ways? Been reading the manual and going through the menus and it seems pretty straight forward.
Old 7th April 2020
  #13
Lives for gear
 

There is not a lot of choice anymore for bass management, and the Martinsound box seems like a great way to go.
Old 7th April 2020
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

I was looking at other monitor controllers and some do have bass management but not all. It all go a little confusing. I be the MartinSound MultiMax is not the best sounding, but boy do they have a lot of potions there. I don't quite understand the entire thing because it's mean to be hooked up to a console and there are lots of inputs. Direct/Playback/Premix1/Premix2/Premix3 (If I'm correct, it's almost as if I can route a different computer to each one of those and have 2-5 different systems. As long as I don't select two inputs at the same time.
Also, the outputs has a ton. You can do two 7.1 set of monitors, or 7.1 mains, and 5.1 and stereo and mono. Which is crazy good. And add to that that I got a used unit for $500 and it's a steal. (would be nice to have digital ins/outs but that is a lot to ask)
I wasn't aware that bass management was difficult to find. I guess people are using plugins now?
Old 7th April 2020
  #15
Lives for gear
 
dr.sound's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by siniarch View Post
I was looking at other monitor controllers and some do have bass management but not all. It all go a little confusing. I be the MartinSound MultiMax is not the best sounding, but boy do they have a lot of potions there. I don't quite understand the entire thing because it's mean to be hooked up to a console and there are lots of inputs. Direct/Playback/Premix1/Premix2/Premix3 (If I'm correct, it's almost as if I can route a different computer to each one of those and have 2-5 different systems. As long as I don't select two inputs at the same time.
Also, the outputs has a ton. You can do two 7.1 set of monitors, or 7.1 mains, and 5.1 and stereo and mono. Which is crazy good. And add to that that I got a used unit for $500 and it's a steal. (would be nice to have digital ins/outs but that is a lot to ask)
I wasn't aware that bass management was difficult to find. I guess people are using plugins now?
I had a Martinsound Multimax EX for 9 years . They sound great!
When I created the first Immersive Dub Stage in Hollywood there wasn't any type of Immersive monitor controller. I had to use a BSS.
When I A/B the Multimax to the BSS I found out quickly that BSS stands for
BAD SOUNDING **** !
The Multimax to work best needs a bump box from -10 to +4. They are an inline DB25 connector that Martinsound made. Look for it on EBay.

I have A/B Bass managed 5.1 to non Bass managed many times. It isn't night and day. Don't worry if you don't have the capability. Just calibrate your room and happy Mixing. The Multimax is a steal at $500.
If Martinsound was still making them an immersive one would be killer!
Old 7th April 2020
  #16
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by siniarch View Post
I was looking at other monitor controllers and some do have bass management but not all. It all go a little confusing. I be the MartinSound MultiMax is not the best sounding, but boy do they have a lot of potions there. I don't quite understand the entire thing because it's mean to be hooked up to a console and there are lots of inputs. Direct/Playback/Premix1/Premix2/Premix3 (If I'm correct, it's almost as if I can route a different computer to each one of those and have 2-5 different systems. As long as I don't select two inputs at the same time.
Also, the outputs has a ton. You can do two 7.1 set of monitors, or 7.1 mains, and 5.1 and stereo and mono. Which is crazy good. And add to that that I got a used unit for $500 and it's a steal. (would be nice to have digital ins/outs but that is a lot to ask)
I wasn't aware that bass management was difficult to find. I guess people are using plugins now?
Were you going to go full-range on the 708s, and just use the sub for LFE?
Old 8th April 2020
  #17
Gear Maniac
 

Hi Dr. Sound,
Thank you for your comments and any information you provide and have provided through the years. I've read many of your posts. Yes, the MultiMax is great and not sure whey they wouldn't get in the game of Immersive Sound as they have a winning unit that they could expand on and do great business with. I am aware of the SB-16 unit which bumps the outputs to +4. I had discovered that a long time ago and somehow had forgotten it when I purchased this used unit. But as soon as I set it up, I realized it. I'm currently looking for a used unit. Apparently they still have some new ones, but they are somewhere in the range of +/-$275. Not sure I want to pay that much for just that, plus I'd still need 2 DB25 cables on top of that. I immediately noticed when I had the 708s plugged directly to my interface and the volume knob on the back was set to 1/2 way. Then when I plugged the MultiMax, I had to bring the volume almost all the way up. Funny, when I contacted Martin Sound they said, most of their customers do not need it. I guess most of their customers do not want to have their hardware performing at optimal levels. :/

Philper,
I'm not going full range on the 708s. I did some quick REW measurements and if I remember correctly the 708s performed better when the lower frequencies were transferred to the Subwoofer. I can't remember if I did those measurements when the Left & Right were routed to the the Sub and then from there to the Left/Right speaker or after I had installed the MultiMax and the MultiMax was handling the bass management to the Sub. But I do recall thinking "Oh, it is true that when the speakers don't have to deal with ALL of the frequency, they do better". Which is why many say that a 3 way speaker will sound better than a 2 way speaker given similar quality components.

For now, I'm really enjoying the sound of these 708s. (Pretty spoiled if you ask me as these speakers sound FANTASTIC) I can't wait for the Center one to come in. I'm building my own speaker stands to save some money, so I have to get that done. Tomorrow I'm staining the wood. (maybe I'll stay up and do it tonight)

I'm also switching my interface as I cannot deal with the Noise from the Avid HD Omni. The fan is just too loud. And I already switched the fan to a super quiet one. The problem is when you switch fans, the way that Avid decided to control their fan speed is with a work around using only 2 wires. (most fans have a 3rd wire to control speed) So, when you put a fan that is not theirs (I'm guessing theirs has some sort of electronics somewhere), the HD Omni cannot control the fan speed and gives you an FANERR warning. The only way to avoid this is by keeping the fan FULL ON at all times. Even with the quiet fan it's still too noisy for me.

Anyway, thanks guys for the interest and comments. Stay safe and healthy.
Old 8th April 2020
  #18
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by siniarch View Post
...

I'm also switching my interface as I cannot deal with the Noise from the Avid HD Omni. The fan is just too loud. And I already switched the fan to a super quiet one. The problem is when you switch fans, the way that Avid decided to control their fan speed is with a work around using only 2 wires. (most fans have a 3rd wire to control speed) So, when you put a fan that is not theirs (I'm guessing theirs has some sort of electronics somewhere), the HD Omni cannot control the fan speed and gives you an FANERR warning. The only way to avoid this is by keeping the fan FULL ON at all times. Even with the quiet fan it's still too noisy for me.
...
Hi there

Not to derail your thread about monitoring but..... a note about your OMNI fan, I've switched out several of these over the years btw. The OMNI interface is fussy about replacing the noisy Cofan original supplied with the unit.

You need this Silenx one.... Silenx IXP-11-14 - 40x10mm 14dBA 5CFMhttp://www.silenx.com/quiet.fans.asp?sku=ixp-11-14

I tried Noctua and a couple of others but got the warning message. Silenx one is great. Quiet as.

Thanks to Meads from DUC for his research.

Best
Ray
Old 8th April 2020
  #19
Gear Maniac
Sorry to derail the thread further, but I replaced the fan in my 192 with a Noctua, as directed in this PT Expert article: https://www.pro-tools-expert.com/hom...-or-hd-io.html (which for some reason doesn't want to load right now)

It's still fairly noisy, as it's in a rack right next to me. Do you happen to know any reason why it would still be loud?

My Omni is pretty much dead quiet in my home rig. I'll be using your link to replace the noisy one at work once I can get back there.
Old 8th April 2020
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

Thank you Ray JB.
I think I had tried the Noctua but I just ordered the Silenx one two days ago. I actually decided to switch interfaces. Even if I get the fan issue resolved, I'm still having issues with the interface on Windows. In Pro Tools it works just fine, but I use Reaper most of the time and there I have to use a workaround. VB-Audio ASIO Bridge software to emulate an ASIO interface. Then the VB-Audio Bridge can call up the AVID ASIO Driver. The problem is that frequently the sound drops completely. I then have to switch to the VB-Audio software, Turn Off ASIO and then Turn On ASIO. This resolves the issue most of the time, but from time to time, I have to switch the windows sound device to something else, then go back to VB-Audio. It happens 5-10 times a day. Not sure if it's my computer or the software but it happens. Something I can deal with, but if I ever wanted to rent my space, not something a client would be happy with.

So, I've order the fan, and some sound dampening foam. I'll switch to the SilenX and add the foam to the unit to make sure it's as quiet as can be before I sell it. Hopefully it will fix the fanerr so when I list it, I don't have to mention that. I'm sure people would not want to buy it if it has an error.

Thanks so much for your reply.
Old 8th April 2020
  #21
Gear Maniac
 

originalscottyg,

I also replaced mine with the one listed on the Pro-Tools-Expert and as you stated, it's noisy. Also, as I stated above, I had to keep the fan setting to ON. If I placed it on AUTO, it would give me a FANERR code. I'm hoping the SilenX one doesn't give that error.
Old 18th July 2020
  #22
Gear Maniac
 

Hey guys,
Hope everyone is staying safe and still working during these difficult times.

I come to you again for advice. Thanks to some great suggestions above, as I stated before, I did end up getting the third JBL 708p speaker to have all LCR speakers be this wonderful device by JBL. They sound fantastic!!! The surrounds for my 5.1 setup are the 306mkii I had previously. And I have to tell you that I am super pleased with the sound. This past week, the city inspector finally came to check some things and I'm finally able to move on with some of the work I had planned. I had the studio working but not in a presentable state, isolation is also an issue I want to take care of as well as a new split system AC to deal with temperature in the space. Which is why I'm back here asking for advice. I had to take my room down for the inspection and now I'm presented with a dilema.

Rather than Setup my room back as it was, working but not presentable for the next 2-3 weeks until my builder is ready to come in and add drywall, AC, etc... At which point, I'll have to take everything down again and set up a home office in my second bedroom to be able to continue to do work. I think it's best to tackle setting up my home office first and get it to a point where I can do work there as far as mixing. This would be a much smaller room 10'x12'. But it will serve me well when I rent my studio to a client and still need a place to work. And while the builder is working on my studio which might take 1-2 months, I would always have a place to get some work done.

Here's where I need advice. The room is too small for my current 708p speakers and when the studio is back up, I still need to get something for my home office. Do you suggest I bite the bullet and buy (3) 705p for that room. Even used, I'd be looking at $2200-2500. or $3000 new? and get (2) 305mkii for surrounds? or is there a benefit in just getting a different brand of speakers like the Adams T5v which would cost $1000 for all 5 new? I get the idea of sticking with the same speaker brand so you learn it well, but I also think there is merit to having a second room with different speakers to check out my mixes on, and certainly would love the cost savings as who knows how business will be with this pandemic and such?

What are your thoughts? Thank you in advance and sorry for the long post.

SiniArch.
Old 19th July 2020
  #23
Lives for gear
 

If you have the $, then sure. Then you also have backup for your main studio speakers--not a bad thing if you lose a driver when on a deadline tear.....

Last edited by philper; 19th July 2020 at 02:46 AM..
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