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Monitors/Speakers for Production, Home DJing, and Dorm Room use

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

I've been looking around the internet trying to find an all around monitor that fits my every need and need some opinions from others on what I should look for and get. I'm getting into music production, but mainly I'm a DJ and mainly do my sets and mix at home, which is what I'd be doing with these monitors. I also want these to be able to bump in my college dorm room. I do like my music relatively loud so these monitors would have to be able to handle loud (mainly electro and progressive house and trap so bass matters) music for extended periods of time.

 

I'm wondering if there's a monitor that caters to having a sound needed for production use, but at the same time can be used for more pleasure and personal use for my loud music which i play for a while. I've been looking at the KRK Rokit 5's and the JBL LSR305's, but what I'm reading is that they can't handle as much as what I'm looking for.

 

Does anyone know if I'm wrong and that these monitors can handle this much use? If not, anyone have any suggestions of monitors or speakers that are perfect for what I'm looking for? Thanks everyone!

post #2 of 24
Those are studio monitors. If you want speakers with high dynamics for DJing, you should probably look at pro audio speakers with bigger drivers and separate amps designed for that. Driver size, excursion, and power handling have the biggest impact on a drivers ability to play loud, and then the enclosure design will affect that as well. And then you have to learn about sensitivity (efficiency of drivers). But if you'll notice, pro audio speakers designed for DJing typically have big drivers. A bigger driver has more cone area, making it easier for it to get loud than a smaller driver (all other things being equal).

If you want studio monitors that can put out a good bit of SPL, the Rokit RP10-3 are pretty powerful (but pricey). For something in between, I'd probably look at the JBL LSR308s. They should undoubtedly get louder than the LSR305s (and good bet than the Rokkit 5s, too), and they are a good price right now at Sweetwater: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/LSR308/. They might even approach the SPL output of the RP10-3s. Hard to say because manufacturers exaggerate specifications and/or measure them differently, often making it impossible to compare between different manufacturers.

Also, a larger driver can also typically play lower than smaller ones. But no substitute for a subwoofer. I'd probably say go for the LSR308s given your music interests and other needs, and then add a subwoofer in a year or two if you feel like you need one when you can afford it.
post #3 of 24
Budget?
The KRK Rokit 5 (G3) should be around the US$400 - 450 mark, if I'm not mistaken. Not sure about the JBLs.

In that price range, you could check out Adam Audio; http://www.adam-audio.com/en
The F7 seems to offer most of what you're looking for. Fairly accurate yet warm and punchy (unlike the smaller F5 which is a bit lean on bass). You can also check out the higher priced A7X or A8X, though I don't have any experience with those particular units. Positioning and room acoustics are critical with Adam speakers, though. Get it wrong and the highs can be a bit fatiguing, in my experience.

If you're capable of spending more, you could check out Event Audio. The 2030's are one of the best under-$1000 monitors I've experienced;
http://www.residentadvisor.net/review-view.aspx?id=12530

There are other brands, obviously, but Adam and Event are the two companies that get the monitor/musicality balance right, in my experience at least.
Edited by kurochin - 6/24/14 at 8:57pm
post #4 of 24

OK you are trying to achieve a couple of different uses here, there is a HUGE difference between playing music in a large room and mixing tracks.  Active monitors are usually very directional, they are designed for sitting in front of you pointing directly at your head at a range of 2-6 feet where they create a small sweet spot for you to accurately balance and mix tracks.  In a dorm room scenario they will be far from ideal as outside that sweetspot they will sound a little weird.  This is why you have speakers designed for studio monitoring and PA designs.

 

Back on to your topic, you will probably be ok working with monitors for everything, and you need to balance a few things into your decision.  Smaller monitors will generally be less powerful but more portable, in terms of size and weight.  Large montiors will give you a more full range solution in a 2.0 set-up but will still possibly lack some lower end thump but will generally be loud enough for small to medium sized rooms.  A good safe solution if budget allows would be a mid size driver (5-6") and possibly a sub.  This makes your purchase decision far more complicated than recommending X Y or Z speaker, especially when we havent even talked about budget.

 

I am working with some KRK RP6 G3's right now without a sub and they are pretty useful from working at the PC but the mix's dont always translate accurately onto bigger PA systems or indeed when playing though my ADAM's with a sub.  Things sound flabby on the sub due to my KRK's struggling with the lower frequencies in terms of accuracy.  I am actually a huge fan of the KRK's however as they are non-fatiguing and are a more relaxed listen than some active monitors.

 

Something worth saying is asking advice is good but you really do need to listen before you buy, or get somewhere with a good returns policy, and consider sending heavy speakers costs a lot of money.  Do your research on local suppliers, or even use online forums to find people local to you who  may let you see their systems.  In just a few years I found literally dozens of people local to me that I often call for a chat, and discuss hardware and software, a good circle of friends will be very helpful in the long run.

 

I would look at brands such as KRK ADAM PreSonus EVE EVENT Focal and Mackie and make a shortlist of whats in your budget.  When you have that short list you can start eliminating options, maybe you have restrictions such as front ported only, or you want to leave some budget for a sub.  This is the most important tool you have when mixing and making music beyond you talent and your own ears so its worth spending as much as you can without going into debt.

 

I am sure DonaldRumsfled will offer some more sound advice and CEL will give you a list of top class sub's should you ask for more help.  There is no right answer to this dilemma as everyone's situation is different, I use  number of other sites for tech information such as gearslutz.com and homerecording.com where you can ask for opinions from people who may be a but more specialized in the mixing/recording scene.

HTH


Edited by Tablix - 6/25/14 at 1:59am
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the help guys! And as for budget, I'm really not looking to spend over $400 quite yet, but I do understand if what I'm looking for cannot be found at that price. 

post #6 of 24

Well if you are in USA look up sweetwater as they have tke KRK RP6's within your budget (front ported) and the JBL LSR308 (rear ported) within your price range, adding cables will possibly put you over budget.  If you plan to use on a desk near a wall you will want to avoid the rear ported speakers unless you have a good 8" of air between the speakers and the wall, both designs have their benefits but the choice should be made according to how you will be positioning your speakers.  Only thing missing on that site that I can see is ADAM F7 monitors but not sure how much they cost in the states.

post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 

So if I go with the RP6's and LSR308's would be fine with excessive use? And I'll probably have my speakers on my desk or on stands if I go with the RP6's because the bundle I'm looking at with them comes with them. 

post #8 of 24

This is a really good question. Like all good questions it sounds simple but is in fact tricky to answer.

 

The tl:dr simple answer. The KRK Rokit range have become the bedroom studio standard pretty much worldwide. They are not particularly accurate but they do sound nice. Particularly with heavily clippressed music like house and pop. Decent SPL. They also sell at the right price. If everyone else can do it on those then so can you.

 

The speakers your erstwhile crowd are going to be listening to, Front of House (FoH) or Program, need to be loud. Otherwise they won't dance. They don't need to go very deep. 40hz is low enough. In fact better not go much lower. But they do need to go loud. Nothing gets the hips moving like the thump of the bass or the crack of the drums. So that means the biggest drivers and/or subs you can afford (and not annoy any neighbours too much).

 

The speakers you want to mix on need to be clean, flat and detailed. Particularly at the high end. Most professional DJs I know mix on the hi hats. Not the bass. You need to be precise and accurate and that booming bottom end is far too slow. So your Booth or Monitor doesn't want to go low. It needs to cut through and be sharp. So your hear the direct sound. Not the delayed thumping mixed with ambient noise echoing round the room.

 

But in reality you mainly mix on headphones anyway. Although for the sake of this discussion we'll assume you might want to practice in the wild. (I hope you have indulgent neighbours).

 

I think that's why the KRKs are so popular despite not, strictly speaking, being accurate monitors. They are a good compromise between listenability and clarity.

 

otoh If you think you might get serious about this pastime and allow it to become a hobby (or more?) the better solution would be to get the best set of 4" or 5" monitors you can a afford and add a pair of subwoofers as soon as you can. That would give you an awesome club or gig sound and with a bit of shopping around it might not cost you more than ~$600-$700.

 

Incidentally, a number of real life techno producers use ADAM monitors in their home studios. At first sight this seems perverse. To the uninitiated audiophile good monitors will initially sound bass light and forensically detailed. It works because it helps you make good decisions. 

post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonaldDumsfeld View Post

The tl:dr simple answer. The KRK Rokit range have become the bedroom studio standard pretty much worldwide. They are not particularly accurate but they do sound nice. Particularly with heavily clippressed music like house and pop. Decent SPL. They also sell at the right price. If everyone else can do it on those then so can you.

The KRK Rokit's have been around for quite a while. The JBL LSR 305/308s are new as of last fall. If you read around, you'll find that many people find them better than the Rokits and the Adam F series. They are just newer, so not quite as popular yet.
post #10 of 24

With all due respect I suspect you have missed the point entirely.

 

 


 
post #11 of 24
Room acoustics/treatment plays a huge part.
Guy A with a budget set of Yamahas in a decently treated room will still get a more accurate sound compared to Guy B with Event Opals in a room full of reflective surfaces.
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonaldDumsfeld View Post

With all due respect I suspect you have missed the point entirely

Then communicate your point better wink.gif
post #13 of 24

Let's wait and see what the OP has to say. That's what's important.

post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 

I am now looking into the Audioengine A5+ speakers since I've heard they're a great versatile speaker. Thoughts?

post #15 of 24
The A5+ are not studio monitors, and thus are
Quote:
Originally Posted by kburger91 View Post

I am now looking into the Audioengine A5+ speakers since I've heard they're a great versatile speaker. Thoughts?

Those are not studio monitors meant for music production. They are consumer grade multimedia speakers. Definitely not DJ speakers either.
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