#1
My friend is selling his mint pair of KRK 5's for 300$ cash but I found an add on Craiglist for a pair of M-AUDIO BX5a which also comes with 2 speaker cables and a PreSonus Firebox, all for 250$...

First I want to ask what is the 'better' speaker for mixing rock and alternative music? I know KRK's have an enhanced sound, like the bass is more prominent and they just sound awesome... and the BX5a's are more balanced then the KRK's but still sound pretty good.

Second- I think I already know the answer to this but I just want to make sure, what is the better deal out of both?

My local music store sells both. They are both running at around 400$ new after tax.

I'm going to that local music store probably tomorrow to ask the guys there the same questions, what they would do and to hear them with my own ears in comparison. I just wanted more peoples thoughts on both!

Thanks!!
Last edited by GuitarzMyThing at Jul 17, 2013,
#2
Did the KRKs go up in price? Everywhere I look, the Rokit 5's are $300 new: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/krk-rokit-powered-5-generation-2-powered-studio-monitor-each

I honestly like the KRKs over the BX5a's but its up to you. The BX5a's are older monitors so your local music shop may not have them in stock. Also, the Firebox is an older product as well and, unless you're planning on sticking to only desktop, I recommend staying away from FireWire interfaces as most newer computers aren't using it.
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#3
I have a Macbook. I live in Canada so each KRK monitor is 180$, 360$ as a pair. After tax its reach 400$.
#4
It really doesn't matter. Buy the one that you think sounds better. The "better" one is not going to give you a better mix.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#6
Quote by Xiaoxi
It really doesn't matter. Buy the one that you think sounds better. The "better" one is not going to give you a better mix.

This is completely wrong, and the worst possible approach for buying monitors IMHO.

Better monitors will give you a better mix; it'll translate better and you'll be able to hear a balanced, accurate picture of what's going on with your music. Having a consistent, trustworthy point of reference is everything.


I don't think either of those are particularly nice monitors, you could do better in your budget, but they'd both do a perfectly good job once you've got used to em.

The Rokits hype the bass way too much....fun for watching movies and playing games but the last thing you want in reference monitors. Your mixes will end up sounding weak and lacking in bass on other systems. The BX5s are more balanced but get a bit funky in the crucial upper mids and highs, a touch too bright. No idea what the D2 versions sound like.

If it was my money I'd go with the BX5a/Firebox for sure. Less coloured sound, better value, and the interface is handy. You'll need a firewire card for it if you don't already have one.


It's important to remember you can mix on practically anything, if you take the time to learn the sound of the speakers as best you can. That doesn't mean you shouldn't always strive to get the most accurate monitoring you can afford.
Last edited by kyle62 at Jul 17, 2013,
#7
Quote by kyle62
This is completely wrong, and the worst possible approach for buying monitors IMHO.

Better monitors will give you a better mix; it'll translate better and you'll be able to hear a balanced, accurate picture of what's going on with your music. Having a consistent, trustworthy point of reference is everything.

Here's an excerpt from Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio that would disagree with you
Quote by Mike Senior
a lot of monitor choice is about personal preference, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Some people prefer bright aggressive-sounding monitors, others restrained and understated ones, and neither choice is wrong as such. The main thing to remember is that no monitors are truly “neutral,” and every professional engineer you ask will have his or her own personal taste in this department. Part of the job of learning to mix is getting accustomed to the way your particular speakers sound, so don’t get too uptight about minute differences in tone between speakers. Go for something that appeals to you, and then concentrate on tuning your ears to how your chosen model responds in your own control room.

So it is most definitely not completely wrong. You may like the most 'accurate', flattest speakers in the world but that doesn't make it any better than someone who uses something more hyped as long as they know what a good mix sounds like coming out of their speakers.
Hell I think I'd rather a pair of slightly hyped speakers to be honest, it's way more representative of what the mix will sound like to consumers without being so hyped you can't tell what's going on.
#8
Quote by chatterbox272
Here's an excerpt from Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio that would disagree with you
So it is most definitely not completely wrong. You may like the most 'accurate', flattest speakers in the world but that doesn't make it any better than someone who uses something more hyped as long as they know what a good mix sounds like coming out of their speakers.
Hell I think I'd rather a pair of slightly hyped speakers to be honest, it's way more representative of what the mix will sound like to consumers without being so hyped you can't tell what's going on.

I totally hear you but I have to respectfully disagree. For an experienced engineer Xiaoxi's would be pretty much 100% right....but when you're talking about a young, inexperienced guy with undeveloped critical listening skills it's better to trust the numbers.

I'll clarify what I mean. Obviously the science of speakers moving air makes 100% accuracy impossible to all intents and purposes. So rather than striving for impossible perfection, most studio guys develop a personal prefernce for a 'style' of monitoring. Some like the unported sound of NS10s so they can focus on the all-important midrange, some people like the crisp accuracy of Genelecs. Some people do 80% of their mixing on cheap grotboxes as a worst case secnario.

It's all good....once you've got the ears and knowledge to understand that what you're hearing is by nature nowhere near a perfect 1:1 representation of the waveforms on your screen.


However in the early stages of learning to mix, I think it's better to get the most neutral, balanced speakers you can.

the bass is more prominent and they just sound awesome

That's exactly the kind of thinking you need to gently steer would-be mixers away from.

Saying stuff like 'buy whichever sounds better' is a mistake because inevitably a less experienced engineer will go for the big, bassy sounding ones and then wonder why everyone says their mixes have no bass.

I completely understand Xiaoxi's reasoning (people don't use their ears as much as they should in many decisions) but until you've developed some critical listening skill you're going to be attracted to the hyped, flattering stuff and ultimately that's going to make the learning curve steeper.

Therefore it's probably better to do your research, trusting expert opinions and manufacturer specifications to find something that's bland, unflattering and generally middle-of-the-road.
Last edited by kyle62 at Jul 17, 2013,
#9
Also consider this: The KRKs are a known quantity and are coming from a trusted source. The BX5a may appear to be a better deal, but you're purchasing an unseen product from a stranger on craigslist.
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#10
Neither are particular great, probably about equal in clarity. The KRKs will probably sound better, but you don't necessarily what your mix to sound better through the listening source, you want it to sound accurate. KRKs are not accurate, but the M-Audios really aren't much better.

I'd go with the M-Audios, just cause it's a way better deal on your wallet. You're getting an interface and all the cables for $50 less than the KRKs, which are only a few bucks off of a pair of new ones

Quote by chatterbox272
So it is most definitely not completely wrong. You may like the most 'accurate', flattest speakers in the world but that doesn't make it any better than someone who uses something more hyped as long as they know what a good mix sounds like coming out of their speakers.
Hell I think I'd rather a pair of slightly hyped speakers to be honest, it's way more representative of what the mix will sound like to consumers without being so hyped you can't tell what's going on.

While I'd agree with this in most cases, the most important factor, that's not brought up in what you quoted, is clarity. If I can't hear specific frequency ranges well enough to equalize them accurately, then the monitors are junk to me. "Hyped" is a subjective term, really - Most people use it to characterize too much lowend in a monitor's frequency response, but people tend to love a "hyped" midrange and top end for hearing the subtleties of guitar, vocals and reverb trails, except we usually use the word "clarity" for this, instead. This is why KRKs are disliked by many - Because they are relaxed in the upper midrange (which allows the lowend to overbear it). Does that mean you can't make great mixes on them? No. Doesn't mean your mix couldn't be better using a system that has more midrange "clarity."

The job of monitors isn't to "sound awesome." Why do you think people are still using NS10s? They sound HORRIBLE, but the midrange and top end is so forward that it makes it easy to fine tune the range that the human ear hears the best. Not to mention, if you get your mix to sound good on NS10s, it will sound good on anything.
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#11
Let me be clear: in this case between these 2 monitors, it really does not matter since they are both about the same. There isn't a significant difference in clarity or balance. Neither is going to make or break this guy's intro to mixing.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#12
Quote by Xiaoxi
Let me be clear: in this case between these 2 monitors, it really does not matter since they are both about the same. There isn't a significant difference in clarity or balance. Neither is going to make or break this guy's intro to mixing.

Sure, if they were the same price... But the BX5As are $50 less and come with a recording interface and cables. Unless there's something screwed up on them, this is a no-brainer
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#13
Quote by MatrixClaw
Sure, if they were the same price... But the BX5As are $50 less and come with a recording interface and cables. Unless there's something screwed up on them, this is a no-brainer
Didn't really read into those details but yea essentially it still doesn't matter in terms of which one will have a better impact on the mix.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#14
So... Im'a just get NS10's then...


I've been mixing on a pair of Shure 440 headphones and have been for the last 2 years... So either set of monitors will be a huge upgrade for me... Thank you for all your comments, they have made me rethink my choices
Last edited by GuitarzMyThing at Jul 18, 2013,
#15
I disagree, they may not be amazing but I think both are pretty capable little monitors. I prefer the BX5 because they're a little les hyped, but the Rokits are used in a ton of project studios.

NS10s are not a good 'beginner' monitor at all, to be honest.