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Studio Monitors self powered? Please help on decision.

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for self powered studio monitors.
I want great sound quality, and I wouldn't mind it being small.
I was looking at Samson Studiodock 4i, but don't know how they sound.
Samson Audio - StudioDock 3i
I like how they connect via USB, but thats not so important, and I like the fact they have a Ipod connection, because everyone has an ipod, but that's not important, because as long as they are self powered, I can connect a dock.
post #2 of 26
YAMAHA HS80M - U.K. International Cyberstore
post #3 of 26
I personally use Mackie HR824's.

I also like the sound of these and they are smaller:

Amazon.com: Mackie MR5 MR5 Reference Monitor (Single Speaker): Musical Instruments
post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thank you for replying. What do you guys think about the Samson's though?
Money's tight due to music business opportunities, and need some loud, high quality self powered speakers. So any more suggestions.
Thanks in advance. I appreciate it.
post #5 of 26
I have some HS80's at home and love them. I would also check out the HS50s.
post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 
post #7 of 26
WOW! Those things are really cheap. I visited Amazon to get an idea. Unfortunately I cannot comment on the SQ as I haven't seen any Samson's here in SG. =(

But I also saw in amazon M-audio which should have a fair bit of reviews. Also the Mackie MR5s have a special price. Those I have tried and I can say worth the investment. =)
post #8 of 26
The Samson's aren't exactly what's thought of as an active studio monitor. The Samson's only have a single stereo amp that's in one of the speakers then you run a speaker cable to the other speaker (which is completely passive). The Samson's are more like regular passive speakers where one speaker happens to have an amp inside.

I'm not saying that's bad. AudioEngine does things the same way. It's more cost effective and convenient to do it that way than have separate mono amps (or in some cases multiple mono amps, one for each driver) in each speaker. One advantage to that setup is that you can have a single volume control built in that controls both speakers. But what you've got with the Samson is more similar to an amp and passive speaker combo than a true active studio monitor.

A true active studio monitor will have mono amps in each speaker with one amp per driver. Rather than having a passive crossover they'll have an active crossover. You'll need an external volume control of some sort to manage the volume (a mixer, pre-amp, monitor control unit, passive volume control, etc.). So generally less convenient to set up for a desktop setup and require extra equipment to manage the volume.

I haven't heard the Samson so can't comment on them. Based on their size though I don't think the "loud" part is going to happen. Getting them loud would likely cause the sound to become compressed (losing dynamics as they get louder). One feature of active studio monitors is that they generally can get loud without suffering compression.

If you can live with an amp taking up space you can go for a vintage stereo amp and used passive bookshelf speakers while staying in the low budget while getting potentially better sound.
post #9 of 26
They're pretty lousy IMO. 3" woofers just don't work.
post #10 of 26
look at any decent power amp.

now imagine just how many compromises have to be made to fit an amp inside of a speaker enclosure.

actives are never as good as passives. too many compromises.
post #11 of 26
^^ LOL, you clearly havent heard a decent active monitor, active monitors of high quality will IMO always beat an amp and passive speaker design (within the same budget), due to having a separate amp per driver that is specifically tuned to get the best out of that particular driver. Adam, Dynaudio and the venerable and totally amazing ATC monitors will IMO crush a passive design of the same size/budget. the ATC are simply the best and most accurate monitor I have ever heard; period
post #12 of 26
I won't comment on your assumptions other than to say i've worked in some of the best recording studios in Germany and the US, and have worked with and/or owned several of the most well-revered active models.
My comment is based on many years of experience, and isn't based on emotion
post #13 of 26
Active monitors also generally have active crossovers, which is a huge advantage over passive crossovers. Passive monitors can also be bi-amped with active crossovers, but off the shelf they generally aren't.

Having an argument over "which is better" is rather dumb. It depends on the particular model of each, how they are implemented, how they are placed in the room, and the room acoustics. Which is better, tacos or burritos?
post #14 of 26
Mackie MR5 = amazing.
post #15 of 26
Sampson monitors are generally not very good. The Mackies mentioned are decent options.

Are these for mixing or just casual music listening? What is your source? Is it +4 or -10? What is your budget? Do you have any size restrictions?

Answering these questions will help us make a better recommendation.
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