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bookshelf speakers vs studio monitors? - Page 2

post #16 of 286
Since you are considering the mini-X a-100, you might also look at the HK 3390 for only a little more. Then again, unless you need tons of volume, a good t-amp for under $100 would leave you more budget for speakers, which is where you'll get the best bang for your buck. I suggest looking into the Arx A1b and Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SEs.
post #17 of 286

Sound on Sound did a survey on this very subject. They came to the conclusion that there wasn't a clear cut difference between 'monitors' and 'hi-fi'.

 

Some speakers sold as monitors (think KRK and M-Audio)) actually have a stereotypical 'smiley face' hi-fi sound. i.e. bumped in the mid lows and scooped in the high mids and some speakers sold as hi-fi ( B&W did well) actually have a flat frequency response which a tweek might find lacking in bass weight and over-bright. Hence the dreaded fatiguing sound.

 

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/Jun02/articles/monitors.asp

 

I personally think under $400 is a difficult price point. You can get fairly decent near field monitoring using 4" or 5" cones for under $200 and you will be delighted with the results at first. Spending more will get you more weight and depth or better build quality but not both. Not until you reach about $500 or more.

 

Like the OP I started with a pair on AV40 and was very pleased. Until they broke down after less than a year. So I splashed out on a pair of ADAM A3X (5 year guarantee). It wasn't instantaneous love at first sight but I could never consider going back now. Popular speakers designed to sound good with pop and dance music do a job but are not very versatile. Whereas the ADAMs sound fantastic with all program material. Like video and games. They also excel with acoustic muisic. The human voice and piano in particular sound stupendously good.

 

So good in fact that Mrs Ron demanded a pair for herself and wouldn't be fobbed off with cheaper alternatives. So of course I did the decent thing and gave her mine. Which left me no alternative to getting a bigger pair for myself.

 

So my recommendation is to save up just a little bit longer and get a real, albiet small, pair of studio monitors from a reputable company.

post #18 of 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonaldDumsfeld View Post

Sound on Sound did a survey on this very subject. They came to the conclusion that there wasn't a clear cut difference between 'monitors' and 'hi-fi'.

The fact that Phil Ward in that article makes this claim at the beginning makes the whole article highly suspect:

"But through a technical analysis and investigation of four speakers — two that carry the 'hi-fi' label and two the 'pro' — I'm going to try and discover a little about the typical differences between them."

Certainly, he debunked the generalization that pro audio speakers always have a flatter frequency response than home audio speakers because of the measurements of the DM303s, but one cannot then make one's own generalizations about home audio speakers vs. pro audio speakers by only looking at two of each. That's not enough of a sample set.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonaldDumsfeld View Post

Some speakers sold as monitors (think KRK and M-Audio)) actually have a stereotypical 'smiley face' hi-fi sound. i.e. bumped in the mid lows and scooped in the high mids and some speakers sold as hi-fi ( B&W did well) actually have a flat frequency response which a tweek might find lacking in bass weight and over-bright. Hence the dreaded fatiguing sound.

I'm confused by that statement. Are you saying the DM303s would be more fatiguing? Generally fatigue is related to speakers having a bright sound, not a neutral sound.

Anyway, I own the Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SEs, and have owned a variety of pairs of passive speakers in that price range. I've also listened to many pro audio monitors in the $500 to $600 range. To my ears, the 170s sound better. They have a very neutral response and also incredible transient response making them very accurate. This is why I suggested them and the Arx A1bs. Both of those are Internet speaker vendors. Because they don't have to work a middleman's cut into their price (another reseller) and they don't spend a lot on advertising, the speakers are fantastic price/performance values and can compete in quality with home audio speakers that sell for $600 or $700 at your local hifi store.
Edited by cel4145 - 1/19/14 at 7:51am
post #19 of 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


The fact that Phil Ward in that article makes this claim at the beginning makes the whole article highly suspect:

"But through a technical analysis and investigation of four speakers — two that carry the 'hi-fi' label and two the 'pro' — I'm going to try and discover a little about the typical differences between them."

Certainly, he debunked the generalization that pro audio speakers always have a flatter frequency response than home audio speakers because of the measurements of the DM303s, but one cannot then make one's own generalizations about home audio speakers vs. pro audio speakers by only looking at two of each. That's not enough of a sample set.
I'm confused by that statement. Are you saying the DM303s would be more fatiguing? Generally fatigue is related to speakers having a bright sound, not a neutral sound.

Anyway, I own the Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SEs, and have owned a variety of pairs of passive speakers in that price range. I've also listened to many pro audio monitors in the $500 to $600 range. To my ears, the 170s sound better. They have a very neutral response and also incredible transient response making them very accurate. This is why I suggested them and the Arx A1bs. Both of those are Internet speaker vendors. Because they don't have to work a middleman's cut into their price (another reseller) and they don't spend a lot on advertising, the speakers are fantastic price/performance values and can compete in quality with home audio speakers that sell for $600 or $700 at your local hifi store.

 

The fact that he claims B&W is neutral is suspect in itself as B&W is the Poster Child for "British Sound" and tipped up bass and treble, in fact a cursory glance through Stereophile and Soundstage measurements shows this to be empirically true.

 

Also the reason why individuals might find one speaker fatiguing vary due to individual differences in hearing, and age. Younger people are more likely to cite higher frequency cone breakup modes as hearing fatigue due a wider hearing spectrum, older people are more likely to cite a tipped up midrange.

post #20 of 286
Thread Starter 

I can do $500 no problem.

post #21 of 286

Consider the Polk Monitor 30 or 40 from Newegg, a $100 sub (there are many), and an amp. The Polk 30's are like $85 a pair and sound great. You might also consider some monitor isolation pads, like the Auralex MoPADs. PSB and NHT also make great speakers. FInally, the Orb 2.1 system is really good.

 

Polk and Def Tech have active speakers. I heard them at CES a few weeks ago. I think they sounds great, but it was hard to tell in the huge hall. 

 

http://www.definitivetech.com/products/incline

http://www.polkaudio.com/products/hampden

 

So many options.

post #22 of 286
post #23 of 286

What some people seem to either forget or not know is that monitor speakers must by nature of their direct connection to the amplifier use a different driver than  a hi-fi system that has a crossover between the amp & driver in order to avoid overly lean sounding bass. Passive crossovers add a substantial impedance between the amp & driver, such that damping factor can be as low as one at some frequencies. Active speakers with active crossovers avoid this loss of damping & as such require a driver with lower magnetic flux or fewer turns of wire directly exposed to the magnetic field in order to have a balanced sound. This does not mean that it is a lower quality driver. Prices for drivers does not always correlate with quality as there is also the factor of demand for said driver & demand can be a fickle thing but once they have a following deserved or not, prices will go up.

post #24 of 286

The f5's are awesome, but aren't then $250 each? OP was hoping to spend $400.

post #25 of 286

romeozdistress quote 'I can do $500 no problem.'


Edited by RonaldDumsfeld - 1/20/14 at 8:54am
post #26 of 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonaldDumsfeld View Post
 

romeozdistress quote 'I can do $500 no problem.'

Awesome! If you get the Adam F5s, let us know. I've never heard them, but I really like the Heil tweeters. I had ESS speakers in the 70's and 80's. The Polk Hamptons sounds good at CES, but I'd wagr money the Adams (or the Amotivs) sound better.

post #27 of 286
Thread Starter 

my only thing with the ants is the wattage seems kinda low. its like the same wattage im using now. i def would like to improve on sound volume if i can.

post #28 of 286

I'd go with Equator D5. No questions.

post #29 of 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by adupree View Post
 

I'd go with Equator D5. No questions.

Umm, interesting. Would you need/want a sub with those? The graph at http://www.equatoraudio.com/D5-Coaxial-Studio-Monitors-p/d5.htm (larger photos) seems to indicate a drop off at 60-70 Hz. I'm not saying that's bad, but does that indicate the "need" for a sub?  I only ask because I too will be updating my system in the next year, and I'm learning what's available in this price range. 

post #30 of 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by Allanmarcus View Post
 

Umm, interesting. Would you need/want a sub with those? The graph at http://www.equatoraudio.com/D5-Coaxial-Studio-Monitors-p/d5.htm (larger photos) seems to indicate a drop off at 60-70 Hz. I'm not saying that's bad, but does that indicate the "need" for a sub?  I only ask because I too will be updating my system in the next year, and I'm learning what's available in this price range. 

I know people that run them with and without subs. I run mine without a sub, but I use them for music editing and mixing. I truly believe these are one of the best, if not the best values in audio. A lot of people like the KRK Rokits, but they are too muddy and boomy. 

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