#1
Firstly, sorry if this is in the wrong forum, but this seemed like the place to post.

So looking to splash out on some monitors, it has been a long time coming, and is now a requirement since my ipod speakers, which I was very familiar with, broke. Price range is anything up to £300 ($470), and the KRK's and Alesis are recommended on many sites, I'm learning towards the Alesis, as I've heard they're more detailed than the KRK's? Was wondering if anyone could confirm this, or even recommend another set of monitors?

Cheers!
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#2
Both are utter crap when you can get these for £318.58 a pair, shipped to your door:

http://www.thomann.de/gb/yamaha_hs_7.htm

If that's too much, the HS5s are £272.08, but the 7s would be much better in the lowend, because of the larger woofer.

http://www.thomann.de/gb/yamaha_hs_5.htm

Andertons has them, too, but they're a little more expensive (£330 for a pair of HS7s and £278 for the HS5s).
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#3
The Alesis are not exactly well-reputed, as far as I'm concerned... I definitely wouldn't go with any monitors made by them unless they suddenly started changing the sort of products they make, and reviews/industry opinion reflected that

Matrix hates KRK Gen 2's, for some reason (it's true, Derek ) but I would recommend them albeit start with the RP6's. If you can find some second hand, RP8's would be better.

I don't personally like the Yamaha's too much, but Matrix has a good set of ears on him too, so try and demo a few sets of monitors at a nearby audio store (preferably with a few tracks you know the mix of really well, so you can hear the pro's and con's of the speakers).
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#4
To be honest man, you probably picked the two worst pairs of monitors in the sub-£300 price range.


Any of these would do the job very nicely:

http://www.thomann.de/gb/adam_a3x_bstock.htm
http://www.thomann.de/gb/yamaha_hs_5.htmhttp://www.thomann.de/gb/behringer_b3030a_truth.htm
http://www.thomann.de/gb/esi_unik_05.htm
http://www.thomann.de/gb/samson_rubicon_r6a.htm


The Adams are exceptionally clear and accurate, 'glassy' even. With a 4.5" carbon-fiber woofer the bass extension isn't amazing, but what is there is very tight. Adam are king of tweeters, you'll never have a problem with your high frequencies. If you need very deep bass (eg mixing dance music) they might not be ideal. In terms of overall quality I'd say these are a step up from anything else in the price range.

The Yamahas are probably the 'worst-sounding' out of the box - but that's kinda the point. They emphasise the midrange, helping you focus on the critical areas of the mix. The idea is 'if they sound good on these, they'll sound good on anything' and that's really effective. Excellent speakers but they might be a little fatiguing for a beginner.

The Behringer have a little more bass punch than most of the others (thanks to the larger 6¾" woofer) but there's some useful room compensation to finetune the sound. I use a pair of these at home and on the whole I like em, the ribbon tweeters are nice and crisp and they're pretty neutral overall. Way better than you'd expect from the name...

The ESIs are a bit of an unknown quantity, I've never used em. However their old nEAR series were some of the first cheap monitors that didn't suck, and I trust em to make a decent product. Ribbon tweeters and 5" kevlar woofers should give you a fairly open sound.

The Rubicons are the most...er, mediocre of the bunch, nothing remarkable about em, but they're nice and crisp and translate well. At £180 a pair you could afford to spend the change on a nice pair of speaker stands and maybe a little bit of acoustic treatment...meaning your overall sound quality may well end up higher.


You don't want to start playing with big woofers (7"+) unless you've got an acoustically treated room, the bass frequencies become exponentially harder to keep under control.
Last edited by kyle62 at Aug 10, 2013,
#5


I like my Rokit 8s for listening to music/movies or gaming and that's about it. They're not revealing at all for mixing, at least to the level of my Yamahas, let alone my Adams.

Honestly, I find it odd that people find the Yamaha HS series fatiguing. They are far easier on the ears than my S2As are, for long periods of time. Maybe its just how I've learned to work on my Adams, but I also don't find the HS80Ms to sound "bad" at all. In fact, I did my first full mix on them Tuesday and it was the easiest I've ever had mixing. The mix translated exactly how I thought it would, the very first time. Usually I go through 10-15 revisions on a mix with my Adams before I get it right, but the Yamahas were so easy to mix on in my room that I feel like I progressed ten times faster than I ever have on another system. The nix I did Tuesday is the first time I've ever listened to one of my mixes and couldn't stop grinning from ear to ear. SUPER excited to get working with them more
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#6
Quote by MatrixClaw


I like my Rokit 8s for listening to music/movies or gaming and that's about it. They're not revealing at all for mixing, at least to the level of my Yamahas, let alone my Adams.

Honestly, I find it odd that people find the Yamaha HS series fatiguing. They are far easier on the ears than my S2As are, for long periods of time. Maybe its just how I've learned to work on my Adams, but I also don't find the HS80Ms to sound "bad" at all. In fact, I did my first full mix on them Tuesday and it was the easiest I've ever had mixing. The mix translated exactly how I thought it would, the very first time. Usually I go through 10-15 revisions on a mix with my Adams before I get it right, but the Yamahas were so easy to mix on in my room that I feel like I progressed ten times faster than I ever have on another system. The nix I did Tuesday is the first time I've ever listened to one of my mixes and couldn't stop grinning from ear to ear. SUPER excited to get working with them more

I really like the HS50, though I haven't tried the updated ones yet. I just figure the things that make the Yamahas so good for us to mix on would make em harder for a newcomer.
#7
As already mentioned: there ARE better monitors in the price range.

Personally, my vote would go for HS7's. If not them - than I'd seriously recommend the behringers; they are beautiful for the price.

I purchased my behringers earlier this year, liking them much more than the krk, mackie, maudio, alesis, yamaha (hs50's - the hs80's I liked a little more than the behringers, but I ended up getting a great deal on the behringers), event, fostex and tannoy I also tried :P

The hs7's weren't available when I was looking for monitors, and I've never tried them. But knowing the hs50's and hs80's makes me think that they will be great. The hs50's I found much too light on the bass, but with a good set of cans to cover that, I could definitely mix on them. The hs80's were the best I tried that were affordable, followed by the truths (~6" with the ribbon tweeter).

If you look used; you might be able to score a real deal on something better than what I've mentioned (I don't know Europe prices though).
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Last edited by mulefish at Aug 10, 2013,
#8
As much as I keep reminding you guys every time you nay-say the gen 2 Rokits, take a look at a frequency response graph for them - the RP8's are probably the most accurate I've seen in the price range, have to spend a lot more to beat 'em. Sure, if you don't like the sound that's fair enough, and for ages I felt that my RP6's over-emphasised the low end too, but that's partly down to other budget speaker's having weak low end, and partly down to the response of your room

Sure, they're not something you'd see a seasoned mix engineer choosing for their own studio, but I'd take them over the other budget models given the value for money. To remind you, the response of the RP8's is 47Hz-20kHz +/-0.5dB.

As for the Yamaha HS series 'focusing on the midrange' and the argument kyle used, that's a marketing ploy of Yamaha's to suggest an evolution of the fabled NS-10... in reality they sound nothing alike, and the NS-10 is a sealed box/'infinite baffle' design anyway so has a completely different (and much faster) transient response to the ported design of the HS series (and indeed most monitors these days, other than some expensive options).

Food for thought
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#9
Quote by DisarmGoliath
As for the Yamaha HS series 'focusing on the midrange' and the argument kyle used, that's a marketing ploy of Yamaha's to suggest an evolution of the fabled NS-10... in reality they sound nothing alike, and the NS-10 is a sealed box/'infinite baffle' design anyway so has a completely different (and much faster) transient response to the ported design of the HS series (and indeed most monitors these days, other than some expensive options).

Food for thought

They're sure as hell nothing like the 'reverse smiley face' of the NS10s, but they're pretty midrangey (or should I say 'less bass-and-trebly'?) than most active nearfields I've come across. The biggest tweeter in the new ones might have toned that down further, i dunno.

I wish there were more unported monitors on the market, I really do.
#10
Quote by kyle62
They're sure as hell nothing like the 'reverse smiley face' of the NS10s, but they're pretty midrangey (or should I say 'less bass-and-trebly'?) than most active nearfields I've come across. The biggest tweeter in the new ones might have toned that down further, i dunno.

I wish there were more unported monitors on the market, I really do.

Yeah, I think probably the technology is as much the sound of the NS-10's as their intentions... sealed box enclosures have a great, punchy midrange and are really tight, but their low end extension is nothing like the monitors most of us are used to, so NS-10's sound incredibly 'bass-light' to most people. The EQ shape is a result of the enclosure making low end roll off at like 80-100Hz or something high, by 6dB per octave.. ish.

Most modern, ported types are 50Hz or lower, and a steep roll-off of 12+dB per octave, which means it's much more noticeable where the low end extends to, so that also tricks you into hearing how much lower they go than non-ported types.

As for the lack of treble, not sure but I think it's probably that speakers at the time weren't great at reproducing the upper registers of human hearing, and obviously it wasn't a main focal point in the design because vinyl rolls off well before 20kHz, and tape compresses and rolls-off below 20kHz too I believe.


Anyway, there are pro's and con's to both... I think ported monitors are much better for people who haven't been training their ears for mixing for years, and also suit genres like dance/hip hop and others that really emphasise the thumping bass - there are ways to make sealed box designs produce stronger low end, but it means a huge driver and lots of power in the amp, neither of which are cheap or efficient relative to just fitting a tuned port. But it's all swings and roundabouts I guess, as where you gain in one area (extended low end) with ports, you lose out in others (smeared transient response, and phase discrepancies between the low end of the woofer output, and what comes back through the port (which is delayed from the front, as it is the reflection of the low end, bouncing off the back of the enclosure then travelling out of the port).

I talk too much whenever people mention monitors, I've decided Ah well, I'm sure you know a lot of, if not all of, that Kyle but I guess that was as much for anybody who bothers to read my posts to get interested in the technology and science behind the gear as it was an answer to what you wrote!
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#11
Ok thanks guys, I'm leaning towards the Yamaha's and Behringers's, but I will make sure to check them out. I've just recieved a call off a friend of mine, and turns out a store is trying to shift lots of gear, such as monitors and microphones, for over 50% discount, so i'll see whats up for grabs
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#12
Don't forget to take a CD/phone/mp3 player with you to listen back to some mixes you know on - I can't stress how important it is to check mixes you know on a new set of monitors, to hear the strengths and weaknesses of them, relative to what you're used to... see what detail they reveal etc.
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#13
Gotcha, I already have an album that i know inside out, plus obviously some mixes I've done before. I've got a set of ATH-M50's which i used to fine-EQ so they are mixed relatively well, thanks for you're help guys! when i know what monitors are up for grabs, I'll ask you for opinions etc. since i might be able to get something that would normally be out of my price range
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#14
Quote by vivalaheerey
Gotcha, I already have an album that i know inside out, plus obviously some mixes I've done before. I've got a set of ATH-M50's which i used to fine-EQ so they are mixed relatively well, thanks for you're help guys! when i know what monitors are up for grabs, I'll ask you for opinions etc. since i might be able to get something that would normally be out of my price range

Sweet. You won't go wrong with anything I've sen here (including your first two suggestions)...it's just a case of finding what works best for you.
#15
Right I've just found used Yamaha NS-10M pair up for grabs, I've heard so much about these speakers, and it's well within my price range, would you guys suggest I pick these up?
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#16
Quote by vivalaheerey
Right I've just found used Yamaha NS-10M pair up for grabs, I've heard so much about these speakers, and it's well within my price range, would you guys suggest I pick these up?

Tricky. You'd need a good quality power amp to drive them (which is an added fuss as well as expense).

They're not great as a first set of monitors either to be honest, the limited response means your bass and and top end can end up all over the place. Though you see em on the meter bridge of every pro studio imaginable, they tend to have other monitors in case more surgical work is required.

There's also the fact that depending on age and condition you may end up needing to replace the cone surrounds, and the tweeters or voice coils could eventually fail.

On balance I don't think it's worth it.
#17
I would NOT suggest NS-10s as your only set of monitors. They can be indispensable to check mixes on and fine tune the mid range, but I would hate to only have them. Very few pros who use them actually use them as their mains. The lowend roll off especially makes them totally worthless to me in that right, at least.
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#18
Not to mention that replacement parts fetch a fortune on eBay so if they broke... well, you'd be screwed!
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#19
Ok cool, just been into my local store, compared the krk's to the HS7's and RCF (forgotten the exact model but the guy in the shop recommended them) and I think I'm going for the HS7's, they were the most balanced to my ears, the other speakers seemed to focus on low end too much, so thanks guys!
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