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What are your favorite speakers for checking mixes and masters? I use big three ways for most of my mastering work, but always fine tune on tiny speakers. I have some utility speakers from a company called Wohler that I have been using. I will also sometimes route audio to the speakers in my computer monitor.

Last edited by Ronan C Murphy; 07/29/20 11:12 PM.

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This is a great question and I look forward to reading a variety of answers.

I need to get a set of crappy earbuds that actually fit my ears. I've been tempted to play stuff back on my $30 Android phone dropped into an empty 24 ounce paper cup - I've been to a few deck parties where that happened. Besides laptop speakers, I've got a Music Bullet with an 1 1/8" weefer/twooter, an unbranded stereo fold out widget with a massive pair of 1 5/8" squeakers and 3 sets of headphones, all of them pretty OK (Sennheiser HD 280 Pro, Extreme Isolation EX-25 and AKG K-240 (made in Austria, $2.50 at Goodwill)).

So I have cheap little speakers just about covered.

Recently a friend gave me a TEAC CD Receiver System EX M1, which sports about 4 watts per channel and no tone controls. I hooked it up to a pair of JBL P-40 9" 3-way speakers made in Denmark ($30 at Starvation Army) and they sounded so good that I bought a CD burner so I can listen to mixes on them too. My monitor speakers are Mackie HR824 2 way so having a midrange cone to listen to is illuminating and I look forward to running some mixes on them. Plus they are set up to play in the kitchen, with no sound treatment of any kind.

I guess the idea is that a final mix should sound pretty OK on all of this crap? Of course, we need references too. I like Emmylou Harris Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town - the remastered version and Prince's Greatest Hits, also the Best of the Cars. Those are great sounding records with a good variety of styles and sounds on them.


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I used to love my Minimus 7s for many years - Among the best crappy speakers ever made!

I have to admit that standard Apple earbuds are my reality check of choice these days.

dB

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Originally Posted by Dave Bryce
I used to love my Minimus 7s for many years - Among the best crappy speakers ever made!

I have to admit that standard Apple earbuds are my reality check of choice these days.

dB

I had a pair of the Minimus 7s, I concur. They sound better than they should.


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Yeah, along with the Concertmate MG-1 synth, Minimus 7s made Radio Shack an unlikely place to find useful gear.

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Originally Posted by Dave Bryce
Yeah, along with the Concertmate MG-1 synth, Minimus 7s made Radio Shack an unlikely place to find useful gear.

dB

And lifetime guaranteed vacuum tubes with gold plated pins. I ran quite a few of those in guitar amps.


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I probably listen to music most (but not to check mixes, so not trying to go off topic here) on Minimus 7s because that's what I have set up with my "office" computer. I turn on the FM radio, the Internet radio (really cool - too bad the concept never took off), and on-line streams of music or podcasts. If I have some editing to do, I'll often do it in the "office" rather than the studio because it's just more convenient. I nearly always have some sound going here, even if I'm not paying attention. And what feeds those speakers is piped into the living room to my chest-high Bozak speakers.

I mix and, I suppose, check mixes, on the KEF 105.3 speakers in the studio/control room. I've had those since the early 1980s before we had small bookshelf size real monitors, and they still serve me well for the music that I work with. I also have a pair of small powered JBL speakers in the electronics shop, but they're just to be able to hear what it is that I'm measuring or fixing.

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The car speakers in my Saturn Ion. That's my acid test.

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A pair of Avantone's. They work great, and it is very convenient that they have built in amps. Keeps it super simple.

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I will always check my mix on my cell phone, with and without earbuds. That is where the majority of people listen to music now. (55% the last I read.) It nearly always makes me adjust the low end to balance between my high-end headphones and the phone speakers.

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yeahthat

I try not to use earbuds any more though. My ears don't like 'em. I prefer a nice set of Ultrasones.

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(edited: potentially offensive to Andy Wallace content not intended)

"TCL television speakers".

Last edited by Chip McDonald; 09/29/20 03:45 PM.

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As of just now, I have a new toy.
I was at our local Habitats for Humanity donation and thrift center looking for some lumber to support guitar and cord hangers.
Didn't find what I wanted this time so I checked the electronics since I was there.

One Mackie MR5 active studio monitor in nice condition - price $8. They have a week return for store credit policy and I live close by so it occurred to me that I could hook this up as smaller, mono monitor.
Mixing in mono feels reassuring to me for eliminating phasing issues so I took it up to the counter and the cashier gave me 35% off.

Just hooked it up as the left side, panned everything over on a track I'm working on and it works perfectly. Sounds better than I would have thought too.

I need to figure out an output from the Quantum, the software interface has a mono switch on it. Running two speakers in mono sounds weird to me and I wanted a smaller speaker for reference anyway. 5" woofer is much smaller than a pair of 8" plus active radiator that the Mackie HR824 monitors I have are running. I might set it sideways in the center and put my monitor on top of it.


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As always, one thing leads to another.
When I compared the Mackie MR5 to the Mackie HR824 I heard things differently.
A 5" cone in general will be lighter, faster and have wider dispersion than an 8" cone.
The mids translate better, the transients are faster and getting nearer to the crossover point the music sounds more defined, clearer.

I found another MR5 on eBay, made an offer and bought it for $108 including tax and shipping. I'll have $114 in the pair, very reasonable.
And they will be my new favorite smaller speaker for checking mixes.

Gotta come up with a simple way to change from one set to the other, probably a passive breakout box with a couple of stout DT/TP switches will be the easiest way. I have the box and the jacks already and I might have a switch or two if I poke around.

Might want some stands too, for the smaller ones. Will keep an eye out, I've seen all sorts of those at thrift stores but never needed them.


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The speaker arrived today and does not work. Lights up but silent. I've contacted the seller to let them know, they have great feedback so this should go well.

The Quantum has a mono button and it's really easy to hook up the cables from the other speaker on the left side of the desk.
I'll keep mine and use it as a mono reference speaker, $6 is pretty easy to absorb. Still my new favorite!!!!


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I do most of my work on a pair of MkI ATC SCM20ASL, but I almost always check and tweak on Kanto YU2's which sound surprisingly good for a $200 pair of speakers.

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I do a quick "blend" on headphones on the Tascam 2488, but I take the Wavs for real mixing to my Win 10 machine and listen on the Genelec 8010As.

Then I try it on the home stereo (Samson mid-fields are the mains)
Then I pop on my Oppo headphones (which have a dramatic "Hi-Fi" curve compared to my linear AKG tracking cans.)

For fun I will keep a copy of a rough mix on my Iphone and listen a bit there.

Somewhere along the way, the mix starts "accommodating" most devices in some form, not perfectly, but...

C.

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Don't have a "favourite" per se, but check on as many sources possible. My final mixes use the Behringer Truth's (Active) for the most part, but I am always checking on the twenty yr old NS10M Studio monitors (driven by a Bryston 2B) and what I call the "shi**y" speakers - a pair of Creative speakers, including AKG 240D headphones. I also put the track on a USB stick and listen in my Jeep. At the end of the day, your monitors are only as good as the room they are in and how they are positioned.
Still practised by a few, is using a FM transmitter (common in studios in the 80's 90's) and listening in car. Many top engineers and artists still check mixes in the car!



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This thread in Craig's SSS forum is interesting regarding reference monitors and why so many choose car stereos

http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbth...-songs-become-unrecognizable#Post3087031

I was in a retail outlet the other day and "Do You Love Me" by the Contours came on the crappy ceiling speakers in a busy, noisy place. Everything that made it the song and performance that it is was easily heard.
Probably not a feasible choice for reference monitoring but it would be pretty effective. Another one that caught my ear was "I Want To Know What Love Is" by Mariah Carey, even the creepy intro was all there in terms of identifying the song and the artist.


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