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#2962432 - 12/11/18 09:02 PM Re: Good Active Studio Reference Monitors? [Re: zephonic]
Dave Bryce Administrator Offline
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Originally Posted By: zephonic
Do you know if Equator Audio has definitively gone out of business or are they trying to keep it going?

Not a clue. Haven't seen or spoken with Ted for a while.

dB
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#2962444 - 12/12/18 02:53 AM Re: Good Active Studio Reference Monitors? [Re: Dave Bryce]
sosho Offline
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Registered: 05/02/08
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Having read this http://ethanwiner.com/speaker_isolation.htm
I am not really sure about speaker decouplers/ isolation . I made my own of rubber intended to be put under washing machines and softer foam . Maybe I get some professional and do my own test . After I worked on room acoustics.
I went to a store last year to listen to the JBL LSR . The speakers I preferred were much more expensive but I also preferred the Fluid Audio FX8 which were not much more expensive at that time .I bought the fluid audio fx8

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#2962555 - 12/12/18 12:43 PM Re: Good Active Studio Reference Monitors? [Re: Dave Bryce]
Dreamchilde Offline
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Originally Posted By: Dave Bryce


Studio monitors are one of my passions. Under $1k, I would recommend JBL LSR305 - they're about the same size as the Monitor One Mk II, IIRC. They perform way better than they should.



Dave, do you think there would be a huge difference between the 306s and the 305s?
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#2962630 - 12/12/18 09:24 PM Re: Good Active Studio Reference Monitors? [Re: Dreamchilde]
Nathanael_I Offline
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Huge differences come from doubling your budget, sadly. Every change in speaker is audible. "you get what you pay for" is very true in monitor speakers. And, the law of diminishing returns is also omnipresent. The easiest comparisons are between very cheap and very expensive monitors. Very expensive monitors and the class right below them in a properly treated room? Audible, but subtle. If you take monitors in your budget and treat the room properly, you will get excellent results.

Honestly, the room treatment is far more important than the monitors. I spent on full room treatment before buying expensive monitors. Especially below 200Hz, you hear the room more than the speakers, regardless of whether you are near field or far field. It's physics.

If you don't have speakers, get some. Then treat the room. If you are unhappy with the sound, then buy better speakers.

I worked on Mackie HR824's for 10+ years. They were excellent for the money, and in a treated space, flat to 38Hz. My Genelec 8351a's are better in every way (and should be for the premium in price), but they don't measure any better in the same treated room (except they go lower to 27Hz). They do image far better, have a lower noise floor, lower distortion, more headroom, better tweeters, built in DSP for room correction, digital inputs, etc.

Things in any given price band will tend to be fairly close. There's no $500 speaker that performs like a $5000 one, sadly. But what is out there for $500-$700 per speaker today is just amazingly good compared to ten or fifteen years ago, and perfectly adequate for professional work if installed correctly and run within their limits.

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#2962635 - 12/12/18 09:44 PM Re: Good Active Studio Reference Monitors? [Re: Dreamchilde]
Dave Bryce Administrator Offline
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Originally Posted By: Dreamchilde
Dave, do you think there would be a huge difference between the 306s and the 305s?

Haven't heard them. I did check out the 305 and 308 at the same time though, and found that the sonic signture was pretty close - not really surprising.

That kind of decision would probably come down to your taste and how they sound your room.

dB
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#2962638 - 12/12/18 09:57 PM Re: Good Active Studio Reference Monitors? [Re: Dave Bryce]
J. Dan Offline
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Some of these guys are fairly hardcore aficionados. I'm a guy who's mostly a live player but does some project stuff at home and has pretty good ears.

I'll put it this way, and the experts can correct me....well....because they're the experts and I'm not. I fully believe that the JBL LSR305's are the best you can get in that price range. I think to get a negligible increase in quality, at a bare minimum you have to double the price. So yes, in you $600 budget you can do better. Twice the price better? Up to you. To get really better, price increases exponentially way outside your budget.

So I'll defer to the true experts like Mark and DB. But think about if you really need what the standard is for these guys or if you can get good enough for half the price.
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#2962644 - 12/13/18 12:34 AM Re: Good Active Studio Reference Monitors? [Re: J. Dan]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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That's why I kind of butted out, because I don't feel there's much point in doing something incremental in the $600 price range vs. something like Neumanns, Dynaudio, etc. in the $1200 range. Otherwise, might as well stick with the excellent bang-for-buck choices in the $400 range (way less when on sale or used) and use the savings for other stuff. But some people are very specific about how much they want to spend. :-)

I no longer remember whether I had the 5" or 6" JBL LSR 300 series monitors, but probably the 6" as I bought them at the time I had a larger studio room than the one I use now (not terribly large; just less tiny).

I do recall a shared sonic signature, when listening at appropriately different distances from the different sized monitors (remember the triangle rule). Much closer than some other manufacturers, but the newer Yamaha line has similar characteristics in that regard.

I am glad to see this trend develop, because it will help train people that bigger isn't better, and that speaker size is dictated more by the room than by budget or incremental upgrade concepts.
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#2962649 - 12/13/18 01:14 AM Re: Good Active Studio Reference Monitors? [Re: Mark Schmieder]
zephonic Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark Schmieder
That's why I kind of butted out, because I don't feel there's much point in doing something incremental in the $600 price range vs. something like Neumanns, Dynaudio, etc. in the $1200 range. Otherwise, might as well stick with the excellent bang-for-buck choices in the $400 range (way less when on sale or used) and use the savings for other stuff.

...........................

I am glad to see this trend develop, because it will help train people that bigger isn't better, and that speaker size is dictated more by the room than by budget or incremental upgrade concepts.


That's how it was for me. I used to work in an untreated room with a tile floors and wall-to-wall mirrors, there was no point in buying expensive speakers as the room was so reverberant that any increased accuracy was immediately lost in the acoustics.

Once we moved and I was able to control the acoustics in the new work space, the sound of my old KRK's no longer sufficed so I bought the HEDD's. I have quite a bit of treatment in here now, and in the sweet spot it really sounds pretty great already.

But I know I'm gonna want a bigger room and bigger speakers at some point...need more bass extension...

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#2962662 - 12/13/18 05:14 AM Re: Good Active Studio Reference Monitors? [Re: zephonic]
B3Squeeze Offline
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Just bought the JBL LSR 305s to replace some old Samsons that died. Good for the money and work fine in my tiny home studio.

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#2962703 - 12/13/18 10:20 AM Re: Good Active Studio Reference Monitors? [Re: B3Squeeze]
DenCV Offline
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I am currently using a pair of HS8's and love them. I have a passive set of monitor 1 mk 2's over on the other organ for when I do something over there, and whenever I'm on them I miss the yamaha's. But to be honest the 8's are a little big, should have went with 7's if I had it to do over again
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#2962769 - 12/13/18 05:32 PM Re: Good Active Studio Reference Monitors? [Re: DenCV]
Dreamchilde Offline
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This is all really great stuff, guys. Thanks for the insights. Hopefully I'll grab a new pair before Christmas.

Leaning more toward the JBL 306s now.
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#2962775 - 12/13/18 05:57 PM Re: Good Active Studio Reference Monitors? [Re: Dreamchilde]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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You won't regret it.

I only have extensive experience with the JBL's, KRK Rokits (I no longer recommend them; too coloured), Alesis, M-Audio (not sure if they got re-branded after the company shuffle with Alesis etc.), and Yamaha, when it comes to the $400 to $600 price range, but I consider the JBL's to be the most neutral of that set and the least sensitive to room modes in terms of how you position them, with Yamaha a close second.

The reason other brands aren't on that list is because they so severely failed the first few criteria on my list during various review sessions. But some newer brands have popped up over the last few years, and I don't yet have experience with them.

For those who want a second pair to compare mixes, or need even smaller speakers, the 4" Blues are great bang-for-buck. A few caveats are in order but they are no longer strong in my memory.


Edited by Mark Schmieder (12/13/18 05:59 PM)
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#2962804 - 12/13/18 11:16 PM Re: Good Active Studio Reference Monitors? [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Barryjam Offline
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I’ve been away from recording for decades. I have a Event 20/20 bas (1996 first version). Just got them out of the boxes they lived in for years. May return to a final fling of recording next year. I’m not gonna do a huge room treatment. Any opinions of them?
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#2962806 - 12/13/18 11:36 PM Re: Good Active Studio Reference Monitors? [Re: Barryjam]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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I seem to be in the minority in not finding the Events neutral. I was convinced I SHOULD like them many years ago, as just about everyone I knew had switched to them at that point. But if you know their sonic signature, like it, and are comfortable working with it, then there's no need to change just because there are some new kids on the block -- especially if your room acoustics were a perfect match for those speakers.
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#2962899 - 12/14/18 10:37 AM Re: Good Active Studio Reference Monitors? [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Dave Bryce Administrator Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark Schmieder
I seem to be in the minority in not finding the Events neutral. I was convinced I SHOULD like them many years ago, as just about everyone I knew had switched to them at that point. But if you know their sonic signature, like it, and are comfortable working with it, then there's no need to change just because there are some new kids on the block -- especially if your room acoustics were a perfect match for those speakers.

I agree with Mark.

To my ear, there is a high end bump on the 20/20 that made them difficult for me to work on them....but what he says about your room (and effectively your ear/taste) is spot on.

I believe that none of them are "right". Find me a pair of speakers that can reproduce what my grand piano does in my living room, then talk to me about "right"; until then, they're all subject to the laws of physics - not just their design/materials used making them, but also the space they're in, where/how they're placed, etc.

Also (as far as I can tell) there really no audio standard as to things like, say, what it means that there's "too much bass" (in what way? Volume? Frequency? Sure it's not that the part sucks/is too busy?)....so, at the end of the day, it really is about the speakers you think sound best if you spend more time listening, and/or the ones that give you results that translate the most reliably to other systems if you spend more time working on them.

As always, YMMV.

dB
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#2962905 - 12/14/18 10:52 AM Re: Good Active Studio Reference Monitors? [Re: Dave Bryce]
Barryjam Offline
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Thanks Dave and Mark.

Maybe their high end bump is perfect for me because my ears definitely have a high end dip laugh

I can take my mix out to the car, listen on apple buds, play on computer speakers, whatever, but I cannot get away from the pause for concern that is the final set of transducers located on each side of my head. But then my audience might be equally impaired.


Edited by Barryjam (12/14/18 10:53 AM)
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#2962913 - 12/14/18 11:30 AM Re: Good Active Studio Reference Monitors? [Re: Barryjam]
Dave Bryce Administrator Offline
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Originally Posted By: Barryjam
I can take my mix out to the car, listen on apple buds, play on computer speakers, whatever, but I cannot get away from the pause for concern that is the final set of transducers located on each side of my head. But then my audience might be equally impaired.

"...might be..."? grin

One of the things that fascinates me about audio is that as a rule, most folks aren't given any sort of training about listening "correctly"...if any training at all, other than what they like/experience and what others around them say.

At the end of the day, is there really such a thing as listening correctly...? idk

dB
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#2962918 - 12/14/18 11:58 AM Re: Good Active Studio Reference Monitors? [Re: Dave Bryce]
Markyboard Offline
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Originally Posted By: Dave Bryce

One of the things that fascinates me about audio is that as a rule, most folks aren't given any sort of training about listening "correctly"...if any training at all, other than what they like/experience and what others around them say.

At the end of the day, is there really such a thing as listening correctly...? idkdB


That's an excellent point. I think ultra "foodies" and wine connoisseurs say the same thing about tasting. For those that don't fall under these categories how much do you really care about the finer points? Or listening to someone talk about them? blah




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#2963002 - 12/14/18 08:25 PM Re: Good Active Studio Reference Monitors? [Re: Markyboard]
WheelHead Offline
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KRK XVTs here …. 6" Had them for a few years. Still sound great. Like 'em
Thought about adding a couple of 4" XVTs.

WH

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#2963094 - 12/15/18 11:48 AM Re: Good Active Studio Reference Monitors? [Re: WheelHead]
Dreamchilde Offline
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Found this super informative, but I know the entire map will change with a 6.5" woofer. That said, I like that the JBLs hold true on the low end, but the Yamaha's seem more honest in the mids.

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#2963098 - 12/15/18 12:15 PM Re: Good Active Studio Reference Monitors? [Re: Dreamchilde]
Randelph Offline
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So.... studio monitors are supposed to be flat, no big bumps or dips in the frequency chart. Even some live performance speakers attempt to to that, like some from Presonus, which would in theory make them usable as studio monitors.

What I’ve never gotten, is how some speakers that are relatively flat, sound dull or unexciting, and others with that relatively flat frequency chart, sound inspiring and help to bring the music alive.

Probably uninformed, simplistic thinking on my part. With home speaker systems, many manufacturers emphasized smiley curves, the equivalent of loudness controls that boost the bass and treble for a more dynamic sound. Without it, it seems like its more difficult to create a pleasing sounding speaker, esp at lower volumes.

I briefly tried some M-Audio BX8’s ? My room is not large enough to support 8’s, but they seemed way over emphasized in the bass.
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#2963109 - 12/15/18 12:48 PM Re: Good Active Studio Reference Monitors? [Re: Randelph]
J. Dan Offline
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You can't always trust specs. How was the frequency response measured? At what level? How does it interact with the room? What about power compression and its effect in response? What about group delay? Phase relationship? Harmonic adistortion? May as well say 2 different houses both are 3 BR 2 BA so they're the same.
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#2963121 - 12/15/18 02:20 PM Re: Good Active Studio Reference Monitors? [Re: Randelph]
Dave Bryce Administrator Offline
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Originally Posted By: Randelph
So.... studio monitors are supposed to be flat, no big bumps or dips in the frequency chart.

Supposed to be, sure.
See my previous post on the subject of "flat" I really don't think there's such a thing, practically speaking. idea


Quote:
Even some live performance speakers attempt to to that, like some from Presonus, which would in theory make them usable as studio monitors.


In theory, yes. As a matter of fact, a lot of the big main monitors you'll see/hear in pro studios have a lot more in common with live speakers than reference monitors.


Quote:
What I’ve never gotten, is how some speakers that are relatively flat, sound dull or unexciting and others with that relatively flat frequency chart, sound inspiring and help to bring the music alive.


They were probably measured in some sort of anechoic chamber. Of course, no one listens to music in an anechoic chamber. idk

Dan said it well:

Originally Posted By: J. Dan
You can't always trust specs. How was the frequency response measured? At what level? How does it interact with the room? What about power compression and its effect in response? What about group delay? Phase relationship? Harmonic adistortion? May as well say 2 different houses both are 3 BR 2 BA so they're the same.


thu


Quote:
Probably uninformed, simplistic thinking on my part. With home speaker systems, many manufacturers emphasized smiley curves, the equivalent of loudness controls that boost the bass and treble for a more dynamic sound. Without it, it seems like its more difficult to create a pleasing sounding speaker, esp at lower volumes.

Pleasing is entirely relative.

Seriously. One person's big warm fat bass response is another person's muddy low end. Depends on the room, the placement...and the taste of the individual.

I cannot overemphasize how important this is. Pursing the idea that there's some sort of perfect standard that can be achieved may not result in the most productive use of time and energy.

dB
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#2963136 - 12/15/18 04:12 PM Re: Good Active Studio Reference Monitors? [Re: Dave Bryce]
Marzzz Offline
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About 15 years ago, dB talked me into buying (wasn't his fault- I was easily influenced!) a really good set of monitors; at that time he was working for ADAM and I ended up with a pair of S2As and slightly later a Sub8. Very soon afterward, my wife (a journalist) began working from home, and all this time I think I barely put 20 hrs on the system. Fast-forward to a couple of months ago, I had them sitting in a hallway as I was trying to re-do my studio. She then sold them to the salesman from the company that was remodeling our master bathroom- they guy recognized what they were and pretty much stole them! HeadPop
So, I am also looking into getting a new set of monitors- my studio is pretty small, but dammit she can wear earplugs for now on...! rawk rockit rawk rockit rimshot

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#2963197 - 12/16/18 07:49 AM Re: Good Active Studio Reference Monitors? [Re: Marzzz]
Al Coda Offline
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Originally Posted By: Marzzz


... my wife (a journalist)...
... She then sold them to ... HeadPop


Woah ! cry

And you΄re still married now ? confused

B.t.w.,- what about a pair of Focal Shape Twin ?

Or the smaller and cheaper Focal Shape 65 / Alpha 65,- depending on room and budget ?

A.C.

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#2963200 - 12/16/18 08:43 AM Re: Good Active Studio Reference Monitors? [Re: Al Coda]
Markyboard Offline
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Originally Posted By: Al Coda
Originally Posted By: Marzzz


... my wife (a journalist)...
... She then sold them to ... HeadPop


Woah ! cry

And you΄re still married now ? confused


You obviously haven't met her.


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#2963206 - 12/16/18 09:52 AM Re: Good Active Studio Reference Monitors? [Re: Al Coda]
Dave Bryce Administrator Offline
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Originally Posted By: Al Coda
B.t.w.,- what about a pair of Focal Shape Twin ?

Or the smaller and cheaper Focal Shape 65 / Alpha 65,- depending on room and budget ?

I don't get along so well with Focal's idea of top end, as a rule. Typically a touch too sizzly for my taste.
Obviously varies by model/where they are. idea

Outside of trade shows, my main points of reference would be a project I did on Solos some years ago, and a set of CMS50 that was here for a few months for eval. The CMS spent most of their time here living in my son's room for him to use with his laptop. He liked them a lot.

dB
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#2963212 - 12/16/18 10:30 AM Re: Good Active Studio Reference Monitors? [Re: Dave Bryce]
Theo Verelst Offline
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Working on mix post processing, I can create so many different feels for the A grade mixes that my monitors and headphones can come alive in a variety of ways commonly felt as speaker effects. It's hard to understand but the last decades specific speaker preparations have been made that offset the experience on most 'monitors'. For "monitoring" it's still a good idea to put an analog amplified mike signal on, preferably the neutral mics in another room with a speaking person at a good distance from them, and see whether that sounds natural on the monitors. Analog amplified and the mic(s) not too close to a voice or instrument the result should be recognisable and sound relatively dull.

T.

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#2963217 - 12/16/18 11:09 AM Re: Good Active Studio Reference Monitors? [Re: Theo Verelst]
Dave Bryce Administrator Offline
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Originally Posted By: Theo Verelst
For "monitoring" it's still a good idea to put an analog amplified mike signal on, preferably the neutral mics in another room with a speaking person at a good distance from them, and see whether that sounds natural on the monitors. Analog amplified and the mic(s) not too close to a voice or instrument the result should be recognisable and sound relatively dull.

Surely you jest, my brother. freak

A mic? With a voice as source? Where the source can be all over the place in terms of physical presence and volume/dynamics? Spoken word or singing? What sort of material? Or if instrument - which one? Guitar with limited bandwidth/dynamics, or maybe an acoustic piano? I would guess not - so many techniques and mics from which to choose, and so challenging to do it well...

....which brings us to:

What kind of mic - dynamic, condenser, tube, ribbon? And what chain would you use? What pre? Solid state or tube? With at least some compression, if it's vocals, I imagine? EQ?

...and what do you mean by "see whether that sounds natural on the monitors"....? confused

I'm thinking there may be more reliable ways to go about evaluating a set of monitors....but hey, if that works for you... idk

dB
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#2963251 - 12/16/18 04:26 PM Re: Good Active Studio Reference Monitors? [Re: Markyboard]
Marzzz Offline
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Registered: 11/24/00
Posts: 2624
Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Originally Posted By: Markyboard
Originally Posted By: Al Coda
Originally Posted By: Marzzz
... my wife (a journalist)...
... She then sold them to ... HeadPop
Woah ! cry And you΄re still married now ? confused
You obviously haven't met [Kate].
laugh laugh laugh

I will be allowed to get new ones in the near future...!

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