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Best Active Monitors under a $1000?


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I'm looking for a pair of decent active monitors to use along side and/or replace my beautiful sounding NS-10s [img]http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/biggrin.gif[/img]. I'd love to get the Mackie's, but my budget won't quite cut that at the moment. Prorec.com recently put up a review of 10 active monitors, but the models that I have been intrigued by weren't mentioned (the Alesis M1 and JBL LSR25P). Anyone hear have any experience with either of these models? Both are right around $500, which is very affordable. I'd prefer active monitors, but if someone were to point me to a killer passive monitor then I'd consider it as well. Any thoughts? -Dylan This message has been edited by Dylan Walters on 10-22-2001 at 11:09 AM
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I can highly recommend the Event 20/20 bas. Don't know if they were part of the shootout you read but I have owned them for a few years now and I love them dearly. I have heard the Mackies and they are indeed very good but I honestly think that the Event's are a pretty close call. I have a pair of NS-10's as well but I rarely ever see a need to put myself into that kind of misery anymore. I found that the Event mixes translate extremely well into the real world. Price should fit your wallet, too ($700-800 a pair). Hope this helps. MisterBlue.
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I auditioned just less than a dozen monitors side-by-side at the local pro audio salon, and I settled on the Tannoy Reveals with the smaller subwoofer. The only thing that sounded better to me (admittedly just an old live musician with a small home studio) were some JBLs (couldn't tell you the number) that were around $1,200 apiece. I'm very happy with them, Steely Dan CDs sound great on them!

Botch

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www.puddlestone.net

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...under a $1000, is that each or per pair. For about $1395.00 (retail) I got a system by a new company called Blue Sky. 2 Biamplified Sats, 1 200-Watt sub, THX pm3 approved and they sound f-ing great. I have quite a few monitors but I think these are the best value out there an well worth checking out. On the Blue Sky website they have smaller system listed, but there is no information on it, so I don't think it is out yet. That system could be cheaper, but I know nothing about it. Anyway, here is a link to some reviews. (Greg, are you still OK?) [url=http://www.abluesky.com/p/p2s4.html]www.abluesky.com/p/p2s4.html[/url]
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Thanks for all of the feedback so far guys! MisterBlue, I've heard good stuff about the Event speakers, but I've also heard that they sound "hyped" and that mixes don't translate well to other speakers? Has this been your experience? botch@netutah.net, thanks for the recommendation for the Tannoy Reveal set that you went with. I'll have to check them out! tomjonesmusic, thanks for the heads up on the Blue Sky monitors. I have seen you talk about them on other threads, but I was hoping to keep the total cost for the pair under $1000. Although, I am now having second thoughts on my price limit. I might need to kick it up to the $1400 range if I want something really nice from what it looks like. I would like to have decent low end response without requiring a subwoofer if at all possible, but if it takes a sub, then so be it. Thanks again for all of the feedback so far. Keep it coming [img]http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/biggrin.gif[/img]! -Dylan
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[quote]Originally posted by mats.olsson@rockfile.se: [b]In one of our rooms we've got active HHB Circle 3's as nearfields. I think they are very accurate and reliable, I recommend that you give them a listen. Also, with such limited budget, it might be a good idea to look at second-hand or demo models (Mackie's, Genelec's, Vergeance/NHT's, JBL lsr28p, ATC) /Mats[/b][/quote]

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I have no idea if they're going to be available here in the USA, or what they're going to cost, but I saw some new ADAM monitors that look like they're going to be priced lower than their other megabux models... and ADAM's are some impressive speakers, and well worth the price!!! Hey DAVE BRYCE, are the P11-A's and P22-A's going to be available for the "budget challenged"? Info please... [img]http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/smile.gif[/img] Oh, here's the links: http://www.adam-audio.de/studiomonitors_epc.htm and for McCave (ADAM's USA distributer): http://www.mccave.com/main.htm Phil O'Keefe Sound Sanctuary Recording Riverside CA http://members.aol.com/ssanctuary/index.html pokeefe777@msn.com This message has been edited by pokeefe777@msn.com on 10-23-2001 at 04:40 AM
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[quote]Originally posted by pokeefe777@msn.com: [b]Hey DAVE BRYCE, are the P11-A's and P22-A's going to be available for the "budget challenged"? Info please... [img]http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/smile.gif[/img] [/b][/quote] Yessir. Absolutely. We have both on order from ADAM Germany. The problem is that they are selling them faster than they can make them over there, and we haven't been able to get any over here yet. Plus, the German magazine Keyboards did a shootout of 25 active monitors in the 10/01 issue and the P11 came out on top, which elevated the demand for them even more. This is also starting to affect the S series monitors, which are also starting to back up. I imagine that when John Gatski's PAR review of the S3A hits US newsstands next month, it's going to increase even further, as the review is quite positive. I'm told that we can expect our first shipment in November. A pair of P11s will sell for just under $1500, and the P22 will sell for just over $2k. dB
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Wow, thanks for all of the great feedback so far! I'm seeing multiple recommendations for the Event's, so I'll have to give them a serious listen. I realize that preference for monitors is very subjective, but I really do appreciate the feedback. I would like to get the best low frequency response possible, so right now I'm leaning towards the 20/20's or PS8's since they claim to go down to 35 Hz. Wow! I would *love* to have A.D.A.M's, but I'd rather save for the S3-A's if I were to get a pair. Mats, the HHB Circle 3's sound intriguing, but I don't know of any local dealers where I could audition them first. So without actually hearing of these monitors yet, it looks like I'll either be going with the Event or JBL. Thanks for all of the feedback so far. You guys are the best! -Dylan
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Steve, Thanks, but I had already seen that Prorec review [img]http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/biggrin.gif[/img]. I just happened to be in the area of a Guitar Center last night, so I went in and checked out some of these monitors. Unfortunately, I did not come prepared with my own reference CD's, so I was forced to either listen to Rap or Santana's latest CD. I went with Santana since it was the lesser of two evils [img]http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/biggrin.gif[/img]. Now, keep in mind that since I had never heard this CD before that it was impossible to truly evaluate these speakers. My first impression with the 20/20's that they sound very nice overall, but tend to accentuate the low end while masking some of the highs unless I crank up the volume. This wouldn't be a problem for a true studio environment, but I don't want to get evicted from my apartment, so I might pass on these. The Event PS6's seemed to be more faithful in the mid-range than the 20/20's, but they also had a somewhat boxy quality to them. I also tried the Mackie's, which were my favorite by far. They just sound so damn natural and open. Who-ah! But I was also floored at how big and pleasing the little JBL's sounded since they are *very* small speakers. The low end response is not shabby either. I also liked having the volume control on the front of the speaker as well. But to give these monitors a more accurate test, I plan on going back with my reference CD's and giving them another whirl. This has been a lot of fun so far, and I truly appreciate all of the feedback received from everyone here so far. -Dylan This message has been edited by Dylan Walters on 10-24-2001 at 11:50 AM
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HHB Circle 3's Come on over and I'll play em for you !!!! I think I paid $675 for the pair. I Love em ...I Love em ...I Love em ...I Love em ...I Love em ...I Love em ...I Love em ...I Love em ...I Love em ...I Love em ...I Love em ...I Love em ...I Love em ...I Love em ...I Love em ...I Love em ...I Love em ...I Love em ...I Love em ...I Love em ...I Love em ...I Love em Rush's "Moving Pictures" played through them will about knock you otta youir chair. Call David Beesley in LA, maybe he can send you a pair or tell you where you can check em out. (310) 319-1111 david@hhbusa.com
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[quote]Originally posted by Wiggum: [b]I would stay away from the M1's. I had a pair and returned them. Way too "tubby" in the midrange.[/b][/quote] Were the M1's you used the original M1's or the new MKII version? I've heard great things about the new MKII's, which is why I ask. -Dylan,
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[quote]Originally posted by russrags: [b]HHB Circle 3's Come on over and I'll play em for you !!!! I think I paid $675 for the pair.[/b][/quote] Thanks for the offer, but unless your in the Portland, OR area, then I probably won't have the chance to listen to your pair [img]http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/biggrin.gif[/img]. That's the 2nd recommendation for the HHB's, so I'll have to find a local dealer who carries them and give them a listen. Thanks! -Dylan
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Dylan, Yes, I found the Event 20/20s to translate quite well into other (real world) systems (your question to me in an early post on this thread). I've had them for a pretty long time (6 years), maybe they changed over time (not unheard of ... mass fabrication leading to cutting a corner here and there ...). Dunno. But allow me just a general remark on equipment like this: Given that you will listen to these speakers about every single day that you are working with your music, just spoil yourself and give in to the urge to buy the ones that you really liked best. Play an extra gig, skip on one or two other fun things and just go for the speakers that you want. Having a great sound in your studio will make a real difference. The extra dough is quickly forgotten, the great sound will last. Bottomline, I rather drink cheap beer than settle for half-hearted solutions in the studio. Cheers, gotta get back to my can of Pabst (blue ribbon). MB.
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I auditioned some Event 20/20's and found them way too present in the high mid's, and not enough in the upper end of the bass frequencies. Therefore they didn't translate well to me. But ya know, everyone's ears are different, and it's a mistake to think that what works for someone else will work for you when it comes to monitors. Personally of the monitors in that general price range I like the KRK V-8's and the Tannoy Reveals. They are both much fuller in range to my ears than the Events and certainly beat the crap out of the Mackie, Alesis et al. I settled on a pair of V-8's myself, for $1100 which is a little over your stated top price, but you should check it out, you might find them worth the extra $$$. --Lee
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I own the Mackie HR-824's and they sound awesome, but it seems that I can't get a mix that sounds good on them to sound good on everything else. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but I 'm starting to think that they 'hype' the sound a bit too much.
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  • 2 weeks later...
First, let me say how much I appreciate everyone's participation in this thread! You guys rule! After lots of listening, I ended up going with the JBL LSR25P's. I auditioned several speakers, and what persuaded me to go with the JBL's were several factors. First, these suckers are built like tanks. Although it's a very small speaker, it weighs about 30 pounds due to the 2 very powerful amps built-in (50 and 100 watts). But more importantly, it was the sound of the speakers that turned me on. Very clean, detailed sound without any high-end hype. They sound very nature and don't fatigue your ears like my NS-10's. It's amazing to compare these side by side my NS-10's. All of a sudden it's like, "wow, this is how music is supposed to sound" when I use the JBL's. I think the argument that you *need* NS-10's to be able to hear how the music will sound on consumer systems is not very valid anymore since most people I know have very good sounding systems that don't compare to NS-10's in the slightest (i.e., lots o' midrange honk, no low-end). In fact, most of my non-musician friends have better sounding systems than what I use in both their home and car. What's ironic is that the NS-10's have better low end specs on paper (down to 60Hz), but in real world use, the JBL's have a much better low end despite their 80 Hz cut off. These JBL's would be perfect for surround applications for either studio or a very nice home setup. I watched the Shrek DVD last night from my PC using the balanced XLR output of my Mona, which fed the JBL's. It sounded fantastic! All I need is 3 more of em, a sub and then I'm set! My only complaint about them is that they are *very* loud. Loud enough where I need to use the volume control from my Mona's software console even when using a very low setting on the speaker. These babies could easily get you evicted without trying too hard :D . -Dylan
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As Lee Flier, TLD and sparksongs have said, the KRK V8 speakers are fine products. I have had them for 2 years now. They replaced Tannoys, Audix, Event 20/20bas and many other dismal purchases. I have no need for any other monitors. These are the best. There is something wrong with Rip Rowan. I can't believe that he trashed the V8's. I listened to them for 2 days A/B-ed to Mackies and 20/20bas. There is no comparison. The V8 has the most natural and neutral reproduction of any of them. I can listen to them for hours on end with no fatigue whatsoever. They have plenty of clean tight punchy bass. They produce the analog of what is put thru them. The reproduction is very realistic. I listened to the Beatles vocals on all three pair. The Mackie sounded muddy, the Event sounded tinny. The V8's sounded like the Beatles were right there in the room with me. They translate to other systems better than any speaker I have ever worked with. If you have a good mix on the V8's, you have a good mix on anything you hear it on. The imaging is sensational. This of course could be because I listen to them in an ASC Attack Wall. However the imaging was excellent even when I was auditioning them in the store. I could not say the same of the Mackies and Events. Rip Rowan does not impress me at all. I feel his evaluation was incompetant. Indeed, he may have swayed numerous people away from one of the best speakers in the group by his absurd opinion. Perhaps he had both pair that he tried wired out of phase. IOW, the cable on one speaker could have been wired wrong. Or maybe he had the polarity buttons on one or both channels on his desk depressed. I can't believe that he rated the Truth speakers as better than the V8's. What an idiot!!! Don't rule out the V8 because some nitwit panned it. You have four individuals on this thread who have rated it supreme. Listen for yourself. You will be pleasantly surprised. Spend as much time with them (or any speaker) as you can. Do not make a hasty decision. Listen to your favorite CD's that you know well. Also, listen to recordings of individual instruments. Pay close attention to a snare drum recording. The Events make it artificially bright. The Mackies make it artificially dull. The V8's reproduce the sound of a snare drum. Believe me, they are a pleasure to listen to and work with. Regards; Dr. Gadget Vision Recordings Middle Granville, NY

KB Gunn

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[quote]Originally posted by xterling: [b]I own the Mackie HR-824's and they sound awesome, but it seems that I can't get a mix that sounds good on them to sound good on everything else. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but I 'm starting to think that they 'hype' the sound a bit too much.[/b][/quote] It's probably the acoustics of your mix room.
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