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Anyone out there using studio monitors as desktop speakers?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

I recently put up some of my monitors for sale and couldn't help but notice, while going through some posts here, that studio monitor names usually don't come up as suggestions for people seeking desktop speakers for their homes.

 

It's actually pretty surprising since most 3" - 5" or 6" studio monitors have become very cheap lately --KRK, Event, Alesis, and and Yamaha, to name a few brands. Most are in the 150-400 dollar price range, with most 8" going towards $500. The price to quality ratio is pretty amazing now that there is a lot of competition in that specific market.

 

 

Anyone out there prefer or use studio monitors for their home set-ups?

post #2 of 18

I do like studio monitors but for the price and flexibility, I ended up getting a pair of passive speakers powered with a receiver. You are right though, the price to sound ratio is pretty good. I prefer the receiver route with passives as well because I can add a sub while having good crossover settings and not to mention being able to power a 5.1 setup if I choose to.
 

post #3 of 18
I love the active studio monitor as a desktop solution, they save space and are well suited to near field listening. I'm using the Genelec 6020/5050 2.1 system.
Genelecs are pricey but I found a great deal on eBay.
post #4 of 18

I have a pair of M-audio BX5 D2's with a KRK 10S sub that I use for my desk and absolutely love it.

 

@Redrider469, If you use a studio sub, you get crossover control. Your left and right channel audio goes into the sub, the sub takes out whatever is below where you set the crossover, and then sends the remaining to your monitors.

post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by NAWilson9 View Post

 

@Redrider469, If you use a studio sub, you get crossover control. Your left and right channel audio goes into the sub, the sub takes out whatever is below where you set the crossover, and then sends the remaining to your monitors.

True. I just didn't feel like spending the money on such a sub. I love my Velodyne though and it does very well biggrin.gif

post #6 of 18

Actives are better with high volume listening and handle heat better in a sense than passives. They tend to be also more dynamic in a sense due to their sensitivities. Passives require huge ass amps for the big(and expensive) ones.

post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by firev1 View Post

Actives are better with high volume listening and handle heat better in a sense than passives. They tend to be also more dynamic in a sense due to their sensitivities. Passives require huge ass amps for the big(and expensive) ones.

Not trying to come across as rude here but, I'm going to have to politely disagree....

What do you mean that actives are better with high volume listening, handle heat better and are more dynamic? All of these qualities are dependent upon the way the speaker is built, whether passive or active. There are countless numbers of different speakers out there and each one of them is designed in a different way than the next. They all have different drivers, different components in the driver, different housings, etc. You can't make a generalization that actives are better in passives in these ways. Yes, actives and passives do have advantages over one another but not necessarily in these ways. Whether a passive needs a huge amp doesn't depend on how big the speaker is or how expensive it is. It depends on the impedance and the sensitivity of the speaker.

post #8 of 18

Yes, using Focal CMS 50s at the moment. May (may!) upgrade to Event Opals after I've treated my room properly.

post #9 of 18
Yes, I much prefer using active studio monitors over a conventional passive audio set up for near field listening. I use 5" monitors (see my signature for details) on isoacoustic stands. They are very adjustable via active controls and are controlled by my DAC headphone amp leaving a simple desktop. They are neutral and detailed in their presentation. They image quite well and have very good bass performance >50 Hz.
post #10 of 18

I love both active and passive studio monitors especially for nearfield listening. I just picked up my first active monitors this summer a pair of Cerwin Vega XD3 at Best Buy and was blown away by their crystal clear clarity. When playing games with them the detail level is the same as using headphones and they get plenty loud without even going past what would be the number 2 on the volume button. So yes actives are amazing and a space saver but i still enjoy my passive JBL Control Ones out of my Onkyo reciever for variety cause am such a soundaholic :D

post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redrider469 View Post

I do like studio monitors but for the price and flexibility, I ended up getting a pair of passive speakers powered with a receiver. You are right though, the price to sound ratio is pretty good. I prefer the receiver route with passives as well because I can add a sub while having good crossover settings and not to mention being able to power a 5.1 setup if I choose to.
 

 

I definitely agree. I also have a thing for passive monitors, even if matching them with a good power amp is necessary; it is well worth it. I own actives too, but I feel more secure (for some odd reason) when I can decide the guage of cables I will use and have the power amp separated from both speakers in case of a power failure or accident.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by attilahun View Post

I love the active studio monitor as a desktop solution, they save space and are well suited to near field listening. I'm using the Genelec 6020/5050 2.1 system.
Genelecs are pricey but I found a great deal on eBay.

 

That's the way to go about it. There are always good deals to be had on ebay, especially now-a-days that most people that bought studio gear probably realized their dream of building a recording studio was just a fad, or are just trying to recover some, not most, of the money they originally spent on their equipment.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NAWilson9 View Post

I have a pair of M-audio BX5 D2's with a KRK 10S sub that I use for my desk and absolutely love it.

 

@Redrider469, If you use a studio sub, you get crossover control. Your left and right channel audio goes into the sub, the sub takes out whatever is below where you set the crossover, and then sends the remaining to your monitors.

 

I was skeptical about studio subs for a long time (due to the difficult when it comes to treating your room properly and the difference that positioning can make in a small room, but after purchasing a B&W ASW-1000 to handle anything below 40hz that my PMC monitors can't reach, I am just enjoying music on a new level. I never thought the 20-40hz region was going to hold all that low bass goodness!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Somnambulist View Post

Yes, using Focal CMS 50s at the moment. May (may!) upgrade to Event Opals after I've treated my room properly.

 

I am currently selling my Event ASP8's (the event line that came before the opals), just because they're way too big for my needs, but I hear only great things about the Opals. I like the event sound signature for some reason. They make mixing a lot easier as they translate easily, and their bass extension is always a plus.

 

For a two-way system, the Opals beat most, if not all 3 way monitors, and they are so damn powerful! I think a new pair runs 3k+ but I have seen lightly used pairs go for as low as 2.2k on ebay. I think that they were also featured on a sound magazine, claiming the top spot as the new favorite monitors for recording engineers. The opals are def. mid-field monitors though, so having a small room for those beasts would not be a good thing.

 

Good luck with treating your room though. Acoustic treatment is a head-ache!

post #12 of 18

Yeah. I'm actually moving from a nearfield desktop set up to a slightly more midfield one anyway - to save space I'm getting rid of my desk and chair, and sticking my computer on a wheeled coffee table I had made - I can then just use my one sofa (well, it's a memory foam bean bag) to watch TV from as well as be my 'desk' with a lapdesk (have a Bullettrain Express keyboard platform for the mac keyboard/trackpad, control the music via iPeng app as it's SBT-based into my DAC) - the monitors will be a little further away that way. Also it means I can have both my 2 channel set up and 5.1 set up all in the same rack/area... although they're almost entirely separate systems, including speakers, only one listening position to deal with and that kind of stuff. Probably going to go the GIK route with their 244 panels and a couple of their Monster ones too. Once I've redecorated the room and moved everything around I'll grab a mic and REW to help the GIK guys spec me a better solution, although most of it will be obvious stuff (corner traps, first reflection points etc).

 

The Opals (used or b-stock I imagine!) are probably as far as I'd go - something like the Focal SM9's or ATC actives are just too much for me to realistically afford any time soon - same with most of the fancy 3 ways, and they'd fit the bill (accurate, go lower than the Focals and I'd rather not buy the enormous CMS sub) for what I want. The room is 13x11 feet so not too small.

post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redrider469 View Post

Not trying to come across as rude here but, I'm going to have to politely disagree....

What do you mean that actives are better with high volume listening, handle heat better and are more dynamic? All of these qualities are dependent upon the way the speaker is built, whether passive or active. There are countless numbers of different speakers out there and each one of them is designed in a different way than the next. They all have different drivers, different components in the driver, different housings, etc. You can't make a generalization that actives are better in passives in these ways. Yes, actives and passives do have advantages over one another but not necessarily in these ways. Whether a passive needs a huge amp doesn't depend on how big the speaker is or how expensive it is. It depends on the impedance and the sensitivity of the speaker.

Soundonsound has tested it, active studios are somewhat different in their tweeter construct compared to passive hi-fi speakers. Of course it does not apply to all speakers. Hi-fi speakers for one tend to be less sensitive(overall impressions) and the more expensive ones need more power in order to deliver the same amount of volume as compared to studio monitors which tend towards the sensitive side. This affects the heating of voice coils in a sense as more power means more heat in the voice coil, this in turn affects distortion characteristics(or crossover) of each speaker of which speakers for monitor use tend to be more sensitive and are less susceptible to the effects stated. For those who want to read up, its called power handling and loudspeaker compression.

 

Yes I do know what I'm talking some of the speakers on the higher side tend to I feel are less sensitive. I'm not saying specifically in a sense that actives really are better(though I really think they are for most times are) 

 

Besides ESLs, I would tend to go for a fully active rig on grounds of advance speaker technologies that a passive speaker cannot hope to match. The only reason that anyone would use a passive to me is easy surround setup without extra power lines or ESL. 

 

On another note, maybe those selling on ebay are just upgrading :P

post #14 of 18

Yeah actives have active crossovers which dont mud up the sound like passive crossovers do, thats why they have a more detailed sound in most cases and of course they are more compact which make them more convinient. Ive accumulated 5 pairs of active monitors  myself after I discovered how much better they were than my passive system Im keeping two sets my Dynaudio BM5As and set of genelecs with a subwoofer., will be selling the other sets,  I have one set for sale right now.

post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by firev1 View Post

Soundonsound has tested it, active studios are somewhat different in their tweeter construct compared to passive hi-fi speakers. Of course it does not apply to all speakers. Hi-fi speakers for one tend to be less sensitive(overall impressions) and the more expensive ones need more power in order to deliver the same amount of volume as compared to studio monitors which tend towards the sensitive side. This affects the heating of voice coils in a sense as more power means more heat in the voice coil, this in turn affects distortion characteristics(or crossover) of each speaker of which speakers for monitor use tend to be more sensitive and are less susceptible to the effects stated. For those who want to read up, its called power handling and loudspeaker compression.

 

Yes I do know what I'm talking some of the speakers on the higher side tend to I feel are less sensitive. I'm not saying specifically in a sense that actives really are better(though I really think they are for most times are) 

 

Besides ESLs, I would tend to go for a fully active rig on grounds of advance speaker technologies that a passive speaker cannot hope to match. The only reason that anyone would use a passive to me is easy surround setup without extra power lines or ESL. 

 

On another note, maybe those selling on ebay are just upgrading :P


I read that article on Soundonsound. Very interesting!

I can see what you mean now. I was just comfused by your first post because from my understanding, sound characteristics are solely dependent upon the way the speaker is built and I can see now that actives are obviously built different than passives. Not sure why that didn't come to me earlier :P

BTW, what actives do you use?

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