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Old 04-07-2013, 03:47 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by gpunk_w View Post
Actually some would say that VRM is not an equal alternative, not using your main interface is a huge no no for a lot of people, VRM does not use your current interface
But it's playback and VRM used an ASIO right in Reaper. The issue is what?

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Old 04-07-2013, 06:00 PM   #42
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I bought a pair of KRK VXT4 (not the Rokits!) monitors last week, and man, at the very moment I opened my mixes and listened on them, I realized how my mixes suck. It's a whole new world which got opened before my eyes and ears, my mixes started to sound way better.

Go for the best monitors you can buy, you won't regret.
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:11 PM   #43
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I just built a pair of these http://www.diyrecordingequipment.com...tone-speakers/

They are currently parked on top of a pair of these these http://bilder.hifi-forum.de/medium/1...a600_71246.jpg

So much fun to listen to and I think I'm going to get to like them a lot.
I don't know how well they'll translate for me yet but I'm looking forward to hearing the results.
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:17 PM   #44
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I bought a pair of Behringer Truth 82031A's cheap of Craigslist and was quite impressed for the money. Combined with IK ARC2, I think I've got a really good budget monitoring setup.
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:21 PM   #45
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I realise the OP didn't ask it outright, but I kept reading along to see if someone would tell him WHY exactly he shouldn't attempt recording and mixing with stereo speakers, especially ones costing no more than $400.

Oh, but first he ought to know that monitor speakers used to play back consumer end-product stuff can sometimes make things sound a little flat or dull, depending on what one is used to having for a home stereo. Monitor speakers are designed to accurately reproduce whatever frequencies are there, no pumped up bass or any other hype. For example, monitor speakers aren't designed to over-emphasise the bass and give that 'phat' thing that so many people like in listening to certain genres of music.

More important, though, the crossovers in consumer speakers vary somewhat from brand to brand as to at what frequency it will be located. In monitor speakers, this region is carefully adjusted to remain flat throughout this region, whereas not nearly as much on the cheaper stereo speakers, such as a $400 pair. Cheap stereo speakers sometimes have a slight dropout in the crossover area or just the opposite -- the makers err by overcompensation.

Adding a subwoofer is a fine way to fix any pair of monitors' lack for casual listening, but I'd warn against leaving any such unit plugged in when switching over to recording duties. A few will disagree with this assessment perhaps, but there it is.

I really have no one personal favourite at the OP's price point. I thought rather all brands I recall seeing here were good enough, but I won't tout any particular one.
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Old 04-08-2013, 04:03 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
For your needs and that price range, just about any decent monitor will do, you'll just need to become aquainted with them in the space you'll use them in by doing what you apparently plan to do anyway, playing good commercial music on them.
a friend of mine is in a very similar position and asked me what monitors to buy in the sub £300 range. after a lot of looking around (and trying not be biased towards the monitors i have) i came to a similar conclusion to the above poster. just buy something well known and generally well respected - given the fact that you have little experience with monitors pretty much anything you buy will probably sound great to your ears. it's only after using monitors for some considerable time you might find things you are unhappy with and want to improve - those first monitors you buy will become the reference point for this.
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:23 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by The Telenator View Post
I realise the OP didn't ask it outright, but I kept reading along to see if someone would tell him WHY exactly he shouldn't attempt recording and mixing with stereo speakers, especially ones costing no more than $400.

Oh, but first he ought to know that monitor speakers used to play back consumer end-product stuff can sometimes make things sound a little flat or dull, depending on what one is used to having for a home stereo. Monitor speakers are designed to accurately reproduce whatever frequencies are there, no pumped up bass or any other hype. For example, monitor speakers aren't designed to over-emphasise the bass and give that 'phat' thing that so many people like in listening to certain genres of music.

More important, though, the crossovers in consumer speakers vary somewhat from brand to brand as to at what frequency it will be located. In monitor speakers, this region is carefully adjusted to remain flat throughout this region, whereas not nearly as much on the cheaper stereo speakers, such as a $400 pair. Cheap stereo speakers sometimes have a slight dropout in the crossover area or just the opposite -- the makers err by overcompensation.

Adding a subwoofer is a fine way to fix any pair of monitors' lack for casual listening, but I'd warn against leaving any such unit plugged in when switching over to recording duties. A few will disagree with this assessment perhaps, but there it is.

I really have no one personal favourite at the OP's price point. I thought rather all brands I recall seeing here were good enough, but I won't tout any particular one.
Good post, Telenator.

"Cheap stereo speakers sometimes have a slight dropout in the crossover area or just the opposite -- the makers err by overcompensation."

Just to add a little personal experience to this statement...

I was experimenting with some new software yesterday and I rendered several versions of some drum tracks. On my monitors, there was a really clear indication that there was too much energy in the 200Hz region in some renders, but a nice, clear sound in this region in others. I played these different tracks on my stereo to listen for translation, and there was very little difference between the different tracks, and none of the mud that I was hearing on my studio monitors.

To me, it would be nothing short of impossible to mix on (most? some? all? why take a chance?) consumer stereo speakers. You can't make mix decisions when you don't hear the source accurately.

...and my monitors are low end.
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:41 AM   #48
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Default Behringer truths

I was using a pair of event 2020's that I liked a lot. I wanted to upgrade my 5.1 livingroom system so I bought 4 of the the Behringer 2031p's for surround sound cuz they were very inexpensive and I wanted "flat" for listening.. I couldn't believe how nice they sounded.. Took 2 of them down to my studio and I use them all the time now.. If you are on a low budget you cannot beat these.. Good flat bass and you can crank the crap out of them..

John
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:56 AM   #49
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I have the rocket 5s and they play music very well.
I, among others, have them as well. I like how they sound. I tested a variety of speakers both cheaper and more expensive and felt they were the most suitable combination of sound quality, size and price. I like them a lot for music too so you could say I'm a happy owner and would recommend them in the $300-400 range.

But, to be honest...both of mine have needed repair during the last 2 years. Same problem, separate occasions though. Upon powering up, they let out a high pitched squeal for about a second and then died.

Now after running a tone generator I realized the other has a dead tweeter and I'll need to send it back again for repairs. Good thing I bought them from Thomann as they have a 3-year warranty. I would've been SOL if it was the standard 12 months from a local dealer.
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:12 AM   #50
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What's your experience on active vs passive speakers?
If passive is better, do you have any experience on nuforce Icon amp?
I DO have little space.
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:34 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by The Telenator View Post
monitor speakers used to play back consumer end-product stuff can sometimes make things sound a little flat or dull, depending on what one is used to having for a home stereo. Monitor speakers are designed to accurately reproduce whatever frequencies are there, no pumped up bass or any other hype. For example, monitor speakers aren't designed to over-emphasise the bass and give that 'phat' thing that so many people like in listening to certain genres of music.
hi. thanks for the posts! this one brings me back to what i originally was trying to figure out. due to lack of budget and the fact that i'm not a pro music recorder/mixer anyway and my room is far from being acoustically treated - i was just looking to find a pair of monitors/speakers which might be at some sort of sweetspot (if there is one) between providing minimal accuracy for recording and a pleasurable listening experience to music, for enjoyment.

i am not one to get excited over pumped bass or other hype. if studio monitors deliver the music as the recording artist intended - that's perfectly fine with me. no need for manipulation. but if there is some sort of flatness that makes the music sound dull, possibly not how the artist intended - that would be something i might not be happy with.

on a side note, regarding the equator monitors - CS got back to me regarding their return policy. it seems that they still have the 60-day no questions asked for monitors. but it looks like they don't offer free return shipping anymore.

they wrote:
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Thank you for your interest in our products. Yes. Full 60 day money-back guaranteed in the US (no questions asked) less the shipping charges.
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:17 AM   #52
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hi guys. so i ended up ordering a pair of equator d-5 monitors. i also got those foam pads, so they are sitting on those on my desk.

when the speakers arrived and i hooked them up, there was a noticeable hiss and i was thinking oh crap, i probably got a bad pair with that hiss issue. but it turns out they came with the sensitivity knob (which i gather is basically a volume knob) to max. i turned it down to about 50% and then they were perfectly fine.

they've been in use now for about two weeks and i've pretty much only been listening to music i know on them - to get used to them.

i remember reading on this forum about some tests people were conducting when receiving new speakers. by performing these tests they would know if the speakers have issues at certain frequencies. can anyone please explain how to go about doing this? or maybe there's a place online where i can read on how to do this?
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Old 05-05-2013, 10:51 AM   #53
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I have pair of mackie mr8mk2 8" and I'm happy with them. Can hear bass

KRK are very good.
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Old 05-05-2013, 10:59 AM   #54
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thanks.
though, as i said, i've already decided on speakers and made my purchase.
in fact i'm listening to music through them as i type this.

i'm currently just interested in making sure they are in perfect working condition and without any issues before the 60-day trial period ends. thanks!
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Old 05-05-2013, 11:01 AM   #55
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thanks.
though, as i said, i've already decided on speakers and made my purchase.
in fact i'm listening to music through them as i type this.

i'm currently just interested in making sure they are in perfect working condition and without any issues before the 60-day trial period ends. thanks!
No worries, I din't read the thread. Will be good for future references for google explorers
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Old 05-05-2013, 11:12 AM   #56
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With a pair of Behringers 2030s going for $200 or less, I think it doesn't really matter until up around the $500 mark?

Equator did themselves a disservice IMO upping their price, they were on the way to cornering the bottom of the market but as this thread shows, they're now leaving the door open to KRK (which seem very erratic in QC and in the same sort of grey category as "Event 20/20/Tannoy Reveal/Yamaha HS50m etc.".

/ Ah, interesting. I have have just discovered Walmart is getting into the music retail business online... and there is a category for "Musical Instruments" - but it's grouped together with KARAOKE. Figures.
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Old 05-05-2013, 12:36 PM   #57
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With a pair of Behringers 2030s going for $200 or less, I think it doesn't really matter until up around the $500 mark?

Equator did themselves a disservice IMO upping their price, they were on the way to cornering the bottom of the market but as this thread shows, they're now leaving the door open to KRK (which seem very erratic in QC and in the same sort of grey category as "Event 20/20/Tannoy Reveal/Yamaha HS50m etc.".

/ Ah, interesting. I have have just discovered Walmart is getting into the music retail business online... and there is a category for "Musical Instruments" - but it's grouped together with KARAOKE. Figures.
As far As I'm concerned it's a deadly sin to buy Mehringer. Better to either invest more, or get smaller speakers form better manufacturer.
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Old 05-05-2013, 12:48 PM   #58
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As far As I'm concerned it's a deadly sin to buy Mehringer. Better to either invest more, or get smaller speakers form better manufacturer.
This.

If you can't afford speakers, the last thing you want to do is buy things that are made to look like enough like speakers to lure you to them because you can't afford actual speakers. You'll just have no money and still no speakers.

If you can't afford a little pair of KRK RP6 speakers, shop used. Stake out your local pawn shops or ebay.
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:02 AM   #59
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From what I've seen, read and understood about monitors, it's not like everyone says.
Even if you get the most expensive monitors and you have a poorly treated room, they'll be useless.
The thing is - even if you have a good pair of hifi speakers and you know how they sound and how your room responds to certain frequencies, you can do a good job. You will still have to do this with a pair of monitors.
I've been mixing on headphones and referencing on some hifi speakers (which sound pretty flat) and I can say that although my tracks don't sound professional, I've heard worse mixes made by friends on studio monitors.
I'm no expert, but I think you'll be better with a good pair of headphones (ATH M50s, KRKs). You can also make your own monitors if you're into DIY. You'll get twice the quality for the same price.
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Old 05-06-2013, 05:21 AM   #60
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I would go for the D5's, now, I haven't heard these, but they do seem like good value for money, and the reason I'm recommending them even though I haven't heard them, is because.......they are dual concentric, and there aren't that many DC monitors out there at this price. The benefits are stereo imaging that is way beyond a two or three way design, DC's have always scored in this respect, and are always very impressive to listen to, you wonder what happened to your stereo when you go back to a more conventional design. I think the others here that have recommended them to you seem like cool guys, they now what they are talking about, and if you have a 60 day cool-off then what have you got to loose ?

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Old 05-06-2013, 05:31 AM   #61
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hi. i appreciate your input on which monitors you recommend. of course, someone will probably find it useful when shopping for a pair. but i've already purchased mine. currently i'm interested in testing them out. does anyone possibly have any tips on this?

Quote:
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hi guys. so i ended up ordering a pair of equator d-5 monitors. i also got those foam pads, so they are sitting on those on my desk.

when the speakers arrived and i hooked them up, there was a noticeable hiss and i was thinking oh crap, i probably got a bad pair with that hiss issue. but it turns out they came with the sensitivity knob (which i gather is basically a volume knob) to max. i turned it down to about 50% and then they were perfectly fine.

they've been in use now for about two weeks and i've pretty much only been listening to music i know on them - to get used to them.

i remember reading on this forum about some tests people were conducting when receiving new speakers. by performing these tests they would know if the speakers have issues at certain frequencies. can anyone please explain how to go about doing this? or maybe there's a place online where i can read on how to do this?
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:51 AM   #62
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Sort of. I had a thread in the recording forum when I was looking for monitors. Decided on some different Equators. There's also a thread in there about d-5s. A guy suggested Mike Senior's Mixing Secrets book. It has some procedures and links to sound files. More for testing your room plus your speakers. It's kind of obvious after you read, but would be bad taste to repeat here I think. Nice book for $20 anyway. Not so sure about the full range of "testing" procedures that can be done on the speakers themselves. Too late for me. Have to deal with what I got I guess. Since they're the only monitors I ever owned I cant compare them to anything. I guess I hear things I never heard in reference tracks before, but that's to be expected? Headphones...Dont know if it's just that mine are weak/cheap, or if its the short wave length, or an acoustic phenomenon, but some sub-bass tones which are distinguishable on the monitors sound all the same on the headphones.
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:03 AM   #63
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Even if you get the most expensive monitors and you have a poorly treated room, they'll be useless.
The thing is - even if you have a good pair of hifi speakers and you know how they sound and how your room responds to certain frequencies, you can do a good job.
This.

For the past year I've been working on Kinoshitas ($92K)... actually preferred the mixes I got when I used the JBL nearfields.

Unless your room is right, everything else is kind of moot, and all the money in the world on monitors won't fix it. Not to suggest you have to spend a bazillion bux to mimic Oceanway #2, but fix problem areas first, then go from there - you might find those D5s are pretty decent after all.

FWIW - At the home place now I'm using Event 20/20 Ser III, in a modestly treated mix room, and they sound pretty dang good.
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:09 AM   #64
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I also picked up a pair of Behringer B2031's for cheap ($150 for the pair in good condition) and now that I listen back to mixes I've made before them, it makes me want to remix them to fix all the things I didn't hear before.

My advise is to get studio monitors.
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:02 AM   #65
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This.

If you can't afford speakers, the last thing you want to do is buy things that are made to look like enough like speakers to lure you to them because you can't afford actual speakers. You'll just have no money and still no speakers.

If you can't afford a little pair of KRK RP6 speakers, shop used. Stake out your local pawn shops or ebay.
Exactly. Or get alesis or mackie. I have both and they both sound fine. Not the best out there but good enough to get used to and make good mixes.
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:25 AM   #66
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From what I've seen, read and understood about monitors, it's not like everyone says.
Even if you get the most expensive monitors and you have a poorly treated room, they'll be useless.
The thing is - even if you have a good pair of hifi speakers and you know how they sound and how your room responds to certain frequencies, you can do a good job. You will still have to do this with a pair of monitors.
I've been mixing on headphones and referencing on some hifi speakers (which sound pretty flat) and I can say that although my tracks don't sound professional, I've heard worse mixes made by friends on studio monitors.
I'm no expert, but I think you'll be better with a good pair of headphones (ATH M50s, KRKs). You can also make your own monitors if you're into DIY. You'll get twice the quality for the same price.
Agree with the augmentation of the VRM Box
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:31 AM   #67
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big suggestion from one who has used more than a few monitors...

right now you can still get the Equator Audio 5" {D5] monitors for exactly 400 bucks... and they have a 60 day money back, no questions, guarantee...

sadly until just recently they were only 300 for the pair, but ... times change.

IMHO, for that money, you will not do better ....

ah here's a link:

http://www.equatoraudio.com/D5-Studi...nit-p/d5-s.htm

and yes... monitors not 'speakers'.... it's not really a question
My studio partner recently got in on this promo and you will not be disappointed. Not only do they completely kick ass for the price point, the service is really quite good. There was a problem with one of his speakers and they replaced it graciously and quickly. Love these things.
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Old 05-07-2013, 06:58 AM   #68
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Default I think I started the Equator D5 mad rush on these forums...

It's gratifying to see their acceptance. Since installing mine, I've not felt any inclinations to change. One thing I would be hesitant to do is make sweeping generalizations about "monitors" vs. "home speakers". There are many consumer products that are voiced for spectral accuracy, and many entry level "professional monitors" that are voiced to sell off the retail floor better by sounding more appealing at 1st blush. It is worth a reminder that Yamaha NS-10's were initially one of the smaller speakers in Yamaha's consumer speaker line-up. Legend has it that Bob Clearmountain picked them up to simply have a reference he could take from studio to home. His application of an existing product redefined their use, not their engineering. Comments elsewhere in this thread made mention of room acoustics as the more important issue in monitoring. I could not agree more! You would be significantly farther ahead with a pair of old Boston Acoustics A40's and a stereo receiver purchased at the thrift shop for $50, with the balance of your $400 invested in room treatment, than putting more sophisticated loudspeakers in an untreated room with poor or unsuitable acoustics.
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:24 AM   #69
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Headphones...Dont know if it's just that mine are weak/cheap, or if its the short wave length, or an acoustic phenomenon, but some sub-bass tones which are distinguishable on the monitors sound all the same on the headphones.
Very interesting, I find the same thing, and hate headphones generally for all purposes. Also things like slight pitch variations, and vibrato, are less obvious on phones, this is a fact, but I don't know the reason why. I guess you need to be a decent distance from a speaker for the waveform length to fully develop, that's pretty obvious, but as for the pitch thing, I can't work that one out, all I know is that when you take your phones off and listen to a vibrato through speakers it's more pronounced. Also, how about the phenomenon where some sounds seem to get faster and rise in pitch the quieter they get ???
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:30 AM   #70
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Very interesting, I find the same thing, and hate headphones generally for all purposes. Also things like slight pitch variations, and vibrato, are less obvious on phones, this is a fact, but I don't know the reason why. I guess you need to be a decent distance from a speaker for the waveform length to fully develop, that's pretty obvious, but as for the pitch thing, I can't work that one out, all I know is that when you take your phones off and listen to a vibrato through speakers it's more pronounced. Also, how about the phenomenon where some sounds seem to get faster and rise in pitch the quieter they get ???
The VRM Box might help with that?
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:29 AM   #71
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The VRM Box might help with that?
Arrrrrg. Let it go sir.
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:56 AM   #72
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Grats on your decision. Over time you'll find yourself picking up another pair or two from different makers to use for comparison.

I currently use Behringer B3031 Truth's (ribbon tweets) along side a pair of old Boston Acoustic wedges and some trusty Alesis M1's. Between those three I can eq/mix out pretty much any unflattering bits and make my stuff sound the way I want it.

Everyone's ear is different, so YMMV.

Good luck with your D5's bud. They're on my short list of new gear for future purchases.
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:07 AM   #73
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It's gratifying to see their acceptance. Since installing mine, I've not felt any inclinations to change. One thing I would be hesitant to do is make sweeping generalizations about "monitors" vs. "home speakers". There are many consumer products that are voiced for spectral accuracy, and many entry level "professional monitors" that are voiced to sell off the retail floor better by sounding more appealing at 1st blush. It is worth a reminder that Yamaha NS-10's were initially one of the smaller speakers in Yamaha's consumer speaker line-up. Legend has it that Bob Clearmountain picked them up to simply have a reference he could take from studio to home. His application of an existing product redefined their use, not their engineering. Comments elsewhere in this thread made mention of room acoustics as the more important issue in monitoring. I could not agree more! You would be significantly farther ahead with a pair of old Boston Acoustics A40's and a stereo receiver purchased at the thrift shop for $50, with the balance of your $400 invested in room treatment, than putting more sophisticated loudspeakers in an untreated room with poor or unsuitable acoustics.
I think you may be right about starting the rush here...and I will say "thank you"...mine have EASILY replaced my KRKs and those in turn were night and day above my Alesis M1s...each one leading to a not-subtle improvement in my mixes.

Now, however, I start wanting the Q8s...and even though they're selling them direct now, they're not exactly cheap. For THAT I don't think I'm going to thank you. :P

Scott
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Old 05-08-2013, 02:56 PM   #74
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Now, however, I start wanting the Q8s...
Tell me about it... talk about GAS. Got any Rolaids?


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Old 05-08-2013, 04:12 PM   #75
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I have a set of Yamaha HS-50M's in my office studio. They are self powered and I route audio thru a 8 channel Mackie board. I've been very happy with them. There is info on the web on how to configure them up to emulate a NS-10, if that's important to you.

They are made in China. It's difficult to avoid that.

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Old 05-08-2013, 05:28 PM   #76
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i remember reading on this forum about some tests people were conducting when receiving new speakers. by performing these tests they would know if the speakers have issues at certain frequencies. can anyone please explain how to go about doing this? or maybe there's a place online where i can read on how to do this?
The real key is a calibrated instrumentation microphone. This one ($50 USD) is the cheapest one I know of. With a calibrated microphone, you know the exact frequency response and sensitivity of the mic so you can can calibrate-out the microphone's curve from the measurements.

Once you know the frequency response of your room & monitors, you can use an equalizer to flatten-out the frequency response.

You can put-together your own test-system using test-tones or pink noise and a spectrum analyzer, or you can buy some pre-packaged software.

Of course, it doesn't make a lot of sense to save a couple-hundred dollars on monitors, and then spend a couple-hundred dollars to test them. Although, a few-hundred dollars is really cheap when it comes to test equiment.

Parts Express also sells this test system ($300), which includes a calibrated USB mic and software.

JBL makes a gizmo ($300) that automatically calibrates (flattens the frequency response) your room & monitors.

A few comments -
- The only way to test speakers without room effects is to test in an anechoic chamber. That's OK, because you are listening/monitoring in your room. But, it's important to understand that you are measuring the room together, and you can't isolate one from the other. You can do some testing outdoors, but noise (including wind noise) is usually a problem.

- Be careful with high-power high-frequency test-tones. You can fry tweeters!!! A tweeter rated for 100W, is rated for music with an average power of 100W, with most of those watts going to the woofer. And, the peak-to-average ratio of music is typically around 20dB (a ratio of 10). So, a 100W amp playing at full power (but not clipping/distorting) is putting-out around 10W average, with maybe 1 or 2 watts average into the tweeter. Some powered monitors may have tweeter protection, and some may not. (If you test with pink noise, you won't have this issue.)

- Testing may be helpful for finding a bump or dip in the frequency response, and that's good to know. But without comparing to other monitors in your room, it doesn't tell you a whole-lot about the quality of the monitors.

- You can make some corrections with equalization, but EQ doesn't fix everything. When soundwaves bounce-around in the room, at different places in the room you get nodes (where the waves add together) and nulls (where waves subtract or cancel) and you also get ringing/reverb. You can generally fix a node if there isn't too much ringing. Nulls are almost impossible to fix with EQ (especially at low frequencies) because it can take a ship-load of power, and the speaker and/or amp usually distorts before you get enough sound to overcome the null. And, if there is a node at the same frequency elsewhere in the room, and you boost that frequency... you can get a mess! (Bass traps and other acoustic treatment are the real solution to room-acoustic problems.)

- With small woofers and weak bass, you run into the same power-limitations if you try to extend the bass with EQ... You run-out of speaker movement and you run-out of amplifier power.

- If you are getting a null at the crossover frequency (the crossover between the woofer & tweeter), again you can run-out of power trying to EQ it out, if the null is too deep.

Last edited by DVDdoug; 05-08-2013 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:28 PM   #77
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The real key is a calibrated instrumentation microphone. This one ($50 USD) is the cheapest one I know of. With a calibrated microphone, you know the exact frequency response and sensitivity of the mic so you can can calibrate-out the microphone's curve from the measurements.

Once you know the frequency response of your room & monitors, you can use an equalizer to flatten-out the frequency response.

You can put-together your own test-system using test-tones or pink noise and a spectrum analyzer, or you can buy some pre-packaged software.

Of course, it doesn't make a lot of sense to save a couple-hundred dollars on monitors, and then spend a couple-hundred dollars to test them. Although, a few-hundred dollars is really cheap when it comes to test equiment.

Parts Express also sells this test system ($300), which includes a calibrated USB mic and software.

JBL makes a gizmo ($300) that automatically calibrates (flattens the frequency response) your room & monitors.

A few comments -
- The only way to test speakers without room effects is to test in an anechoic chamber. That's OK, because you are listening/monitoring in your room. But, it's important to understand that you are measuring the room together, and you can't isolate one from the other. You can do some testing outdoors, but noise (including wind noise) is usually a problem.

- Be careful with high-power high-frequency test-tones. You can fry tweeters!!! A tweeter rated for 100W, is rated for music with an average power of 100W, with most of those watts going to the woofer. And, the peak-to-average ratio of music is typically around 20dB (a ratio of 10). So, a 100W amp playing at full power (but not clipping/distorting) is putting-out around 10W average, with maybe 1 or 2 watts average into the tweeter. Some powered monitors may have tweeter protection, and some may not. (If you test with pink noise, you won't have this issue.)

- Testing may be helpful for finding a bump or dip in the frequency response, and that's good to know. But without comparing to other monitors in your room, it doesn't tell you a whole-lot about the quality of the monitors.

- You can make some corrections with equalization, but EQ doesn't fix everything. When soundwaves bounce-around in the room, at different places in the room you get nodes (where the waves add together) and nulls (where waves subtract or cancel) and you also get ringing/reverb. You can generally fix a node if there isn't too much ringing. Nulls are almost impossible to fix with EQ (especially at low frequencies) because it can take a ship-load of power, and the speaker and/or amp usually distorts before you get enough sound to overcome the null. And, if there is a node at the same frequency elsewhere in the room, and you boost that frequency... you can get a mess! (Bass traps and other acoustic treatment are the real solution to room-acoustic problems.)

- With small woofers and weak bass, you run into the same power-limitations if you try to extend the bass with EQ... You run-out of speaker movement and you run-out of amplifier power.

- If you are getting a null at the crossover frequency (the crossover between the woofer & tweeter), again you can run-out of power trying to EQ it out, if the null is too deep.
The only problem with using common 1/3-octave EQ or similar to "fix" things is that you unavoidably alter phase response right along with frequency response. Better to just get everything right to begin with. It's like using SMAART to measure a room...when you're learning SMAART, they'll tell you that they only way to "EQ" a room is with a sledgehammer, i.e., physically change the room. You're better off measuring, treating the room, re-measuring, etc.

I still want the Q8s, d*mn it.

Scott
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:58 PM   #78
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The only problem with using common 1/3-octave EQ or similar to "fix" things is that you unavoidably alter phase response right along with frequency response. Better to just get everything right to begin with. It's like using SMAART to measure a room...when you're learning SMAART, they'll tell you that they only way to "EQ" a room is with a sledgehammer, i.e., physically change the room. You're better off measuring, treating the room, re-measuring, etc.

I still want the Q8s, d*mn it.

Scott
Additionally, the problems created by room geometry tend to result in dips/peaks that no equalizer can correct anyway. Say a 40dB dip across a small frequency range. The only real solution is to physically tame the reflection. About the only thing an EQ is good for in regards to room treatment is usually very small overall adjustments that balance things out after the reflections have been treated.
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:08 AM   #79
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Alesis M1's .......?? OK, now this is personal, so don't get offended anyone. These "aren't" speakers, they are the product of what someone with impaired hearing thought was a good design after partaking in acid, mushrooms, and Absinth, all at the same time.
A friend had a pair of these, and I'm almost on the verge of buying "him" a new set of speakers "myself" They suck all the life out of anything you put through them, they actually "add" bass to things that don't have any ! there is absolutely "no" mid-range worth talking about, and the top end is sort of lurking somewhere under the overpowering and dominant bass end. Anything, by anyone is better than these, Behringer's would blow them out of the water, and that's not even trying.

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Old 05-09-2013, 06:02 AM   #80
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Alesis M1's .......?? OK, now this is personal, so don't get offended anyone.
If you can make a mix sound good on M1's, it's a good bet it'll sound good on better monitors. =)

I picked up a pair of the 320 USB's for a mobile rig I put together to record a local band in their rehearsal studio a few years ago. Are they "top shelf"? Absolutely not, but they worked in a pinch for mobile monitoring.

Since then I've put them in my home studio to use for comparisons between monitor setups. You're absolutely right, the Behringers blow them out of the water. As I said though, they worked in a pinch, and for someone on a budget they're a decent option for less than $100. If I recall correctly, I picked mine up at GC at the last minute (on the way to the gig) for $89.

Point is, they have their place, even for gear snobs. =)
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