We haven't had a monitor thread in a while.

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by Rich_S, Sep 21, 2019.

  1. Rich_S

    Rich_S Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    The last one I could find is all the way back on page 8.

    I want to move into some "real" powered studio monitors to replace the 6-inch 2-way Infinity bookshelf speakers and Yamaha receiver I've been using. My "studio" does triple duty as home office, family room, and practice/recording space. It's 26' x 22', minus a 9' x 6' bathroom in one rear corner, with no treatment save area rugs on the floor, a sofa and arm chair, and quite a bit of miscellaneous junk. My music is mostly jangley guitar rock. No heavy downtuned guitars, no hip-hop subwoofer needed.

    Despite the room's decent size, I'm thinking I want to stay in the 5" or 6" range. The room would probably work with 8" monitors, but they tend to be a big price jump. The JBL 305P MkII seems to be everyone's first value-for-your-dollars recommendation, and I have no problem with their $300/pair price.

    However, if I want to spend a little more, there seem to be several choices. I can stay with a 5" driver and move up to the pricier Adam T5V, which hasn't been around long but gets 5-star reviews, and go for $400 a pair. At that same price point, Yamaha offers the HS5, or I can move up to the slightly larger JBL 306P MkII.

    What are your experience, thoughts, and suggestions? Save the hundred bucks and stick with the tried-and-true 305, or will one of the others give me seriously better results?
     
  2. chulaivet1966

    chulaivet1966 Tele-Afflicted

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    Guess I can chime in....

    After 20+ years of faithful, workhorse reliability I replaced my 3way/JBL4410's with KRK Rockit 8's about 4-5 years ago.
    I was down sizing and ready for powered monitors.
    They were 250$ each.

    If you don't want to spring for the 8's?.....if I were in your shoes I'd go with these 6" ones.....nothing smaller.
    If you want to crank it up a bit they'll move a bit more air (although not a lot) for the size room you are in.
    NOTE: I always mix at very low volume then when mix is finished I'll treat my self to some playback volume. :)

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FXAUWW8/?tag=tdpri-20

    I'm very pleased with my 8's but I'm sure there are others who will offer their personal endorsements too.
    I played my CD of originals and it translated fine from the JBL mixes.
    I do not think the KRK's require a sub either...of course, it's subjective in this context.

    Happy hunting and let us know what you get.

    Carry on....hope that helps.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
  3. GuitarPix

    GuitarPix Tele-Meister

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    I’m a fan of my Yamaha HS-8s which I got on sale, otherwise I would have been very happy with the HS-7s (which are 6.5 inches).

    I spent several listening sessions at the store comparing different models and brands (thank you L&M for setting up a room with about 20 pairs of monitors and a switching system) and didn’t find anything else that were as clear and detailed for less than twice the cost of the HS-7s.

    The HS-5s however really didn’t have deep enough bass and would have needed a sub.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  4. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

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    IMO.... pound for pound nothing beats the Yamaha HS8's.... while the HS7's are a close second. I would not choose anything smaller than a 6.5" monitor which is what the HS7 is. I always feel there is too much low end uncertainty with anything smaller.
     
  5. Rich_S

    Rich_S Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Ah, the Internet, where the answer is always, E) None of the above. LOL

    OK, you 8" minimum guys have at least talked me out of the 5" and into the 6.5".

    Thoughts on how the JBL 306 compares to the Yamaha HS-7?
     
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  6. chulaivet1966

    chulaivet1966 Tele-Afflicted

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  7. Boblets

    Boblets Friend of Leo's

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    I have the Yamaha HS 5 monitors. There is a bit lacking with bass but I can get a reasonable mix by listening and watching the metres. Most of my DAW use is to turn midi files into audio for backing tracks.
     
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  8. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

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    So you have a guy on here that told you about his 20+ years of JBL heaven.

    No doubt Woodman is the flagship recordist on this forum and he uses JBLs.

    I use JBL's but in a different manner than most. I have live sound rigs that
    respectively use JBL and EV. So my ears want to hear that JBL sound.
    you'll know it once you get accustomed to it's air highs and with
    proper wattage, it's decent low end excursion.

    I have a set of JBLs with 15" woofers and I have an 18" sub hooked
    up to round out the very bottom end. Don't let specs fool you into
    believing a smaller sized woofer is going to take you to the low end.

     
  9. woodman

    woodman Grand Wazoo @ The Woodshed Gold Supporter

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    Truth be told, there's no "ideal" monitor on the market anywhere. They all have their individual peculiarities. The thing is, once you get used to their sound in your room, any reputable brand is gonna work. I didn't like my JBLs at first — the mids seemed strident, and they didn't seem to have much warmth in the low end like Rokits. I didn't realize at the time that the problem was in my mixes, not in the speakers! Effective monitors are, let's face it, cruel and unforgiving. That's what you want! It took me a while to understand that. After about 6 months of playing comp CDs in my car, on the house rig, on the laptop, on other people's rigs, I learned how a good mix sounded on my rig, one that would translate to most any speaker system.

    *Your mixing environment,* i.e. the room you work in, is equally important. If you want true low end, make sure your speakers are decoupled from shelves or stands. Bass-trap corners if your domestic situation allows it. Identify the sound signature of your "room reverb" and work around it. Try to deaden strategic reflection spots along your walls. Lots of junk in the room is not a bad thing. Mix at low volumes while you're learning your room, volume can be deceiving. The JBL 305s look like good bang for the buck as a starter model. Good luck!
     
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  10. Bartholomew3

    Bartholomew3 Friend of Leo's

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    Have JBL 305 - also found them very bright and hard at first - not really pleasing to the ear. After working with them for a while in my basement am also able to mix-down so that the final sounds pretty good on everything...which was my goal.
     
  11. InstituteOfNoise

    InstituteOfNoise Tele-Holic

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    It's all a matter of you learning how what you have translates well with what you have. My 2 cents... If I were going to buy speakers in the price range you mentioned, I'd probably get the KRK Rockit 5 (latest generation 4). A an old buddy was the product manager for these and they sound great! A lot of big name mixers uses these as aux speakers for listening on as well. If you want to spend a bit more the KRK V6 (newest generation) is really great for the money. I have a few really top level mixer friends that also use this as secondary speakers. For cheaper the JBL 305 does sound good, much better than the 8". Another buddy who is Neil Young's producer/engineer got a set of the 305s when he is travels for remote work. We listened to some of his 192k Masters testing these out and we were really quite surprised how great the detail was.

    FWIW my main monitors are Dynaudio BM6a Classic series. Mosfet power amps, crossover at 2.2k, which for Rock works great.
    https://www.dynaudio.com/professional-audio/classic-bm-range/bm6a
    Not to be confused with the BM6a Mk iii, which are a lower price point option in the BM6 line.

    So far nothing else in the 7" arena like these, have impressed me as much. I've been using these for a good 8-9 years now. And I like you do a mostly Rock and have a fair amount of jangly pop/rock as well which these work great for. Focal or Adam don't do much for me (except the Adam S3H... don't look up the price on them though)
     
  12. Rich_S

    Rich_S Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I think typing “Adam” into Sweetwater’s search box is funny. You get prices ranging from $199 to $19,999. Each.
     
  13. ahiddentableau

    ahiddentableau Tele-Meister

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    I like what @woodman said, especially the second bit about your room.

    I don't think the kind of speakers you mix on has much of an impact on the quality of your mixes. Lots of pros do most of their mixing at low volumes on auratones or like speakers, which are deliberately limited. Some of them (deliberately) use crappy CD player or radio speakers. A good mix is largely about translation. Getting something to sound good on everything, and especially on the kind of commerical devices that people now use.

    So room treatment would probably be higher on my list of priorities than speaker choice. Without it's really hard to know what you're hearing. Comb filtering and room buildup can absolutely kill your ability to hear what you need to hear.

    Unless, of course, you just want a pair of badass speakers to listen to your mixes and other stuff on. In which case, you should absolutely buy the speakers that gets your blood pumping. Just don't expect it to really improve your mixes unless you're somehow going to be more committed to learning the new speakers in your room than the old ones in your room.
     
  14. fendrguitplayr

    fendrguitplayr Poster Extraordinaire

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    I use a pair of Boston Mini's (made by Boston Acoustics). They work well for my applications.
     
  15. WireLine

    WireLine Tele-Afflicted

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    When it mattered, I used JBL 6328s...RadioShack Minimus 7s...Tannoy Reveals...Genelec 8030s, and for a while Kinoshita mains withTAD components...

    Now that it’s just for personal entertainment, Event 20/20s

    Note nothing works well unless properly calibrated to the room, and somewhat physically isolated to minimize transmissions
     
  16. Chud

    Chud Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've used HS-50's (precursor to the HS-5's) for the last 8 years or so with good results. As Boblets noted, they're a bit light on the bass which can lead to some underestimations until you get used to them, but that's a pretty easy thing to learn on them.

    I've been toying with picking up a pair of Kali Audio LP8's for the main studio and moving the HS-50's to my partial upstairs studio for a while now. Check out both the LP6 and LP8's before you make a move.
     
  17. chulaivet1966

    chulaivet1966 Tele-Afflicted

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    IMO....the above comment applies to any pair of monitors one chooses to get.

    It's crucial, over time, to actually get to know one's monitors within their monitoring/mixing environment.
    One learns by their critical listening discipline should they have a perceived bass deficiency, mid muddyness or too much high end brightness.
    Then EQ during final mixing to mitigate those perceptions to achieve the result one is aiming for.

    Back to it....
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
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  18. Chud

    Chud Poster Extraordinaire

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    Absolutely, there is a learning curve on any set of monitors. I think the potential for overmixing the bass is a bit more pronounced with smaller studio monitors in general, with a good intervening step to use a spectral analyzer on the mix buss to see where things are a bit heavy and a bit light.
     
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  19. Euphonica

    Euphonica Tele-Meister

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    What about a pair of old NS-10s? Aren’t those the perfect mix of “less than stellar but mixes that sound good on them also sound good everywhere else?”
     
  20. chulaivet1966

    chulaivet1966 Tele-Afflicted

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    IIRC....years ago I'd read some mixed reviews of the NS10's even though they were highly touted.
    They can be a bit on the brittle side if one doesn't "know them".
    Not disparaging them at at all.

    So....with respect to all previous comments I'd throw out this question:
    As long as one is aware of any perceived sonic deficiencies and can EQ properly prior to final mix does it really matter how expensive/cost effective their purchase is?
    Is just using our ears and understanding how to arrive at a mix that will translate to other systems actually most important?

    I really don't know, but I'd prefer to pay a bit more for more balanced/well defined bass/flatter response monitors than have to EQ too much with more "cost effective" ones.
    Plus, ear fatigue is also criteria to consider.

    OP....let us know what you decide upon.

    Carry on....
     
    Chud likes this.
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