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Remote moderately full range monitors for acoustic recording
Old 4th June 2019
  #1
Remote moderately full range monitors for acoustic recording

Looking to upgrade from Mackie HR824 (originals) used for location monitoring to something higher res, portable, and moderately full range. Primary recording application is choral music.

The list is fairly long already but I'd like to narrow it down. Ideally, the monitors could be used for mixing/mastering in the studio space. I'm not much interested in 2.1 combinations, both for lack of portability and also challenges in sonic integration.

Recommended so far are Focal Shape 65, Neuman KH120A, and KEF LS50 actives.
Old 4th June 2019
  #2
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Tommy-boy's Avatar
 

Question - did you like the sound of the Mackies? I think people either liked or hated those. I was in the "hated them" camp as I thought they were really tubby sounding. Looking for something similar or something more more air?

Tom
Old 4th June 2019
  #3
I've been happy with the KEF LS50 (although, mine are passive). I've yet to hear the Neumanns
Old 4th June 2019
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

How is the Genelec 8351/8341/8331 as a location speaker?
Old 4th June 2019
  #5
Golden Ear Aeon 2's float my boat here, very small and great response.
www.goldenear.com
Old 5th June 2019
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy-boy View Post
Question - did you like the sound of the Mackies? I think people either liked or hated those. I was in the "hated them" camp as I thought they were really tubby sounding. Looking for something similar or something more more air?
Yeah, they’re not good on the low end. I’ve adjusted to them over the years but definitely wanting more transparency through the whole range. I’ve tended to make tonal changes on cans and balance on the monitors.
Old 5th June 2019
  #7
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Remoteness's Avatar
I never leave home without my Neumann KH120As.

Super compact with a lot of punch!

Perfect for on location recording projects.
Old 5th June 2019
  #8
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jnorman's Avatar
KH80s. Perfect.
Old 5th June 2019
  #9
Gear Head
I really like my Geithain RL906. Small, no tubbiness, good bass considering OA size and driver diameter, truthful but not fatiguing. Expensive, however.

Without these I would be looking at KH80... since I'm infrequently interested in deep bass while tracking classical.
Old 9th June 2019
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Klimermonk View Post
I really like my Geithain RL906. Small, no tubbiness, good bass considering OA size and driver diameter, truthful but not fatiguing. Expensive, however.

Without these I would be looking at KH80... since I'm infrequently interested in deep bass while tracking classical.
@ $3500+ a pair they are super expensive. Too rich for me.
Old 9th June 2019
  #11
The Golden Ear Aeon 2's are only $800 per pair, worthy of an audition. If you don't like them, return them for a refund.
Old 11th June 2019
  #12
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I've got the Neumann KH120's and like them a lot. I do all my mixing on them. Jim Norman likes the smaller KH80's. They'd be even better as portable. Jim's got a critical ear so he would not buy just anything.
Old 11th June 2019
  #13
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Remoteness's Avatar
For me, the KH80s don't have enough low end for an actuate assessment of what I am capturing. KH120s do the trick quite nicely for me. I don't leave home without them.

That being said, the KH80s work well in a small surround environment.


Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
I've got the Neumann KH120's and like them a lot. I do all my mixing on them. Jim Norman likes the smaller KH80's. They'd be even better as portable. Jim's got a critical ear so he would not buy just anything.
Old 11th June 2019
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
I've got the Neumann KH120's and like them a lot. I do all my mixing on them. Jim Norman likes the smaller KH80's. They'd be even better as portable. Jim's got a critical ear so he would not buy just anything.
As Steve says, the determinant between KH120's and KH80's would be the material being recorded down at the low end. Given the variable acoustics of most makeshift remote-location control rooms, and need-for-speed of adjustment to same, you wouldn't want to be toting a sub around to compensate for any perceived rolloffs down there. Choose your tools accordingly.
Old 16th June 2019
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljudatervinning View Post
How is the Genelec 8351/8341/8331 as a location speaker?
I've only used a pair Genelec 1031As once, for two or three day's recording, and at the end of it I felt as if someone had sandpapered my ear drums. That was after using Spendor monitors, and occasionally Tannoys.

I didn't like the Genelecs at all.
Old 16th June 2019
  #16
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They cut through talkback and production chatter in control rooms....
Old 16th June 2019
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 View Post
They cut through talkback and production chatter in control rooms....


They'd probably do well on railway stations, for similar reasons.
Old 17th June 2019
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Poulton View Post
I've only used a pair Genelec 1031As once, for two or three day's recording, and at the end of it I felt as if someone had sandpapered my ear drums. That was after using Spendor monitors, and occasionally Tannoys.

I didn't like the Genelecs at all.
Hmm, that's not the answer to the original question, right...?

("How is the Genelec 8351/8341/8331 as a location speaker? ")

1031A's design is now several decades old and has always been considered to be a bit "special"... Hasn't much to do with the current lineup of Genelec speakers.
Old 17th June 2019
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
The Golden Ear Aeon 2's are only $800 per pair, worthy of an audition. If you don't like them, return them for a refund.
The reviews are indeed very positive, with some reservations about rock bass....but that's judged on commercial CD playback, so take that for what it's worth ? However, they're unpowered, so for location use you need to factor in the need to tote around an amp too.
Old 17th June 2019
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulrich View Post
Hmm, that's not the answer to the original question, right...?

("How is the Genelec 8351/8341/8331 as a location speaker? ")

1031A's design is now several decades old and has always been considered to be a bit "special"... Hasn't much to do with the current lineup of Genelec speakers.
this - and i know plenty of engineers who have no problem mixing on older genelecs, me included - i admit however that i'm using dsp to tweak ALL my speaker's response, even on location recording.

i have a dozen of 1029a's, many of which have been travelling with me for years and sometimes even get used as front fills, shout boxes, become part of installations or form a tiny 7.1.4 setup in one of my studios - besides being robust, they can get mounted on mic stands.

if not using the 1029a's, a single fostex 6301nd serves me well (definitely not as a fullrange speaker though!)

and if i cannot use speakers on location, i'm using an spl phonitor mini to drive my headphones...
Old 17th June 2019
  #21
You could look at Spendor and Harbeth monitors, particularly for classical music and choral recording I think. Certainly worth considering. Harbeth are more expensive I think, but the two companies stem from the same origin, and their designs are basically the same too for many of their models.

I use Spendor SP1's, (now designated SP1/2) they are passive and ported (passive & ported is not everyone's cup of tea), I have them in flightcases which makes them handleable but I wouldn't say they were light.

Spendor have a Classic Series, and the SP1's were part of that group of speakers. Now named SP1/2 (the tweeter became unavailable and they used a different tweeter on subsequent models and changed the model name to SP1/2, instead). Some of the original monitors in the Classic Series appear to have been superceded by later similar designs, and are worth a look. Scroll to the Classic section further down the page https://www.spendoraudio.com/
https://www.hifix.co.uk/spendor-s3e-speakers
https://www.hifix.co.uk/spendor-clas...-speakers-pair

You could look at the Spendor S3E speakers, which are smaller and enclosed. Although I've heard quite a number of Spendor models, I haven't experienced those, but I believe Plush recommended them somewhere here on Gearslutz.

The Spendor SP1's (now called SP1/2) I'm using have a well organised mid range, and seem ideal for classical music recording. Their origins are a BBC design. The designers had the opportunity to develop the monitors and try their design changes against regular orchestral recordings, and speech recordings.

Last edited by Geoff Poulton; 17th June 2019 at 12:19 PM..
Old 17th June 2019
  #22
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I think the Spendors probably have the same family sound as the venerable Chartwell LS3/5a, which was originally commissioned by the BBC and subsequently built, by a successive string of manufacturers, always in the UK

I used a pair on location around 1998, powered by an Audio Innovations valve amp: the speaker was quite inefficient and power hungry (85dB/watt)

It had a polite recessed midrange, and no deep bass of course, but a nice thrower of very accurate images, I recall. The Spendor S100 was a formidable speaker, gave the Quad ESL63 a run for the money.....amazing, for a conventional box speaker!
Old 16th July 2019
  #23
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
this - and i know plenty of engineers who have no problem mixing on older genelecs, me included - i admit however that i'm using dsp to tweak ALL my speaker's response, even on location recording.

i have a dozen of 1029a's, many of which have been travelling with me for years and sometimes even get used as front fills, shout boxes, become part of installations or form a tiny 7.1.4 setup in one of my studios - besides being robust, it's very useful that they can get mounted on mic stands.

if not using the 1029a's, a single fostex 6301nd serves me well (definitely not as a fullrange speaker though!)

and if i cannot use speakers on location, i'm using an spl phonitor mini to drive my headphones...
Form factor and features/portability of Genelecs are great, but I never liked the sound of the older Genelec line. I was having hopes for the ”Ones” as location speakers.
Old 16th July 2019
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljudatervinning View Post
Form factor and features/portability of Genelecs are great, but I never liked the sound of the older Genelec line. I was having hopes for the ”Ones” as location speakers.
can't relate (much) to 'speakers having a sound': they reproduce sound! and for sound being too far apart from what's getting fed into them, i'm using dsp - on ALL speakers i'm using (and there are quite a few of them in my studios).

it's mostly the room and positioning which leads to the believe that a specific set of speakers have a 'sound': they don't, almost all of them measure pretty much the same (in an anechoic chamber) - once correctly positioned, fr corrected and aligned to measure the same (assuming acoustic treatment got exhausted), it becomes much harder to tell a difference between different manufacturers/models - unless they are using a much different design (which is what i'm using; not to get different sound in terms of fr but to get different behaviour)!

i'm taking my speaker processor everywhere i go...
Old 16th July 2019
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljudatervinning View Post
How is the Genelec 8351/8341/8331 as a location speaker?
As a sound reproducing device the 8351a's are superlative. I use them in my studio as mid-field monitors. Having set them up with a measurement microphone and fully tweaked out the room, I can tell you than in comparison to the Mackies, which is what I upgraded from, they are wonderful. Better imaging, deeper bass, clarity for days. They are a wonderful music production platform. Coming from the Mackie's you would not be dissapointed.
Old 16th July 2019
  #26
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tourtelot's Avatar
I so want a pair of Harbeth 40.2s for my home hi-fi. At $18k they are still a bit out of my range but reviews have all been outstanding. Would never consider carting them to locations. $600 Kalis perhaps. Or my old Haflers. No one is "mixing" on location. Good mics, good preamps and good mic placement and really good phones. I don't need "Audiophile" speakers. At least not in my little world.

D.

Speaking of home hi-fi, I am selling an ARC D-200 amp if anyone is looking to upgrade. PM me. It is very awesome.
Old 17th July 2019
  #27
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I occasionally am called to "mix on location"... whether for an "onstage" band send to FoH (church gig... it's the best present solution for a sonically messy situation) or for creating a decent "green room" broadcast mix for livestream of "big" choir/orchestra projects. I move between UltraSone Pro 750HD cans for details and low-end check... and (now discontinued) Equator D5 coaxial for "TV stereo mix" positioning/panning/levels... which sound close enough to my Tannoys to be useful onsite at half the size and 1/3 the weight. Neither is particularly "nosebleed" high-end, but both are, indeed, useful.

HB
Old 19th July 2019
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
i'm taking my speaker processor everywhere i go...
Out of interest, which processor is that?
Old 19th July 2019
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by potscrubber View Post
Out of interest, which processor is that?
lake lm44...

...and i'm currently evaluating outline's newton (although it seems a bit much for monitoring on location) :-)
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