#1
Hi, i want to buy a pair of active monitor speakers. My budget is about 200 euros, but if i can spend less money i have no problem at all...:P
I already have a Line 6 Pod Studio UX2 interface. The use of the speakers will be for some hobby guitar and vocals recordings and for lot of music. I hear music about 2-3 hours per day, so i want to have good warm sound. Also, there is no need for the speakers to have so many watts. I live in a small apartment right now, so i can't turn the volume very high. Could you please suggest me some speakers for these use?
Last edited by zarzonis at Feb 4, 2014,
#2
Best bang for the buck monitor speakers that I have seen is the Behringer B2030A, a clone of old Genelec 1030A. Behringer makes a lot of crap but this particular model is excellent, almost perfectly flat frequency respone and neutral, detailed sound. (you dont want warm coloration from monitors, thats Hifi speaker attribute)

Only thing they lack is bass, the bass rolls of fast after 60hz-70hz. There is only so much 6" speaker that also needs to output a lot of midrange can do, and there is no artificial midbass bump to cover those missing sub-bass frequencies. A mild support from subwoofer is recommended. Its big brother B2031A is bit better in bass extension thanks to the 8.5" speaker but they are not as neutral as B2030A is.

Downside, this model is old discontinued one but they are still around here and there and you can get them on used market. Volume knob is also behind the speaker so its bit hard to reach unless you connect them to preamp or anything you can control volume with. (l have them connected to my headphone amplifiers preamp out)

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Last edited by MaaZeus at Feb 4, 2014,
#3
I found them on a few music stores here in Greece but the pair costs about 320 euros which is more than my budget. Right now i don't have all that money. I found on the internet the Alesis Elevate 5. They are 5" speakers and here in Greece costs about 120 euros the pair. What are your thought on them? I found a review of Elevate 3 and they said that they are pretty good. So maybe 5 are good also. Here is a video. What do you think?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E57h9Q40rSw
#4
Quote by zarzonis
I found them on a few music stores here in Greece but the pair costs about 320 euros which is more than my budget. Right now i don't have all that money. I found on the internet the Alesis Elevate 5. They are 5" speakers and here in Greece costs about 120 euros the pair. What are your thought on them? I found a review of Elevate 3 and they said that they are pretty good. So maybe 5 are good also. Here is a video. What do you think?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E57h9Q40rSw



Got mine used below 200€ couple of years back. I think they used to be cheaper when new too.

Cant say a thing about Alesis though. I have not heard them.

ESP LTD F-50 + Tonezone
Cort EVL-Z4 + X2N
Cort EVL-K47B

Marshall Valvestate 8100
Randall RG1503
Bugera 333
Peavey Rockmaster preamp

Line6 Pod X3
#7
Not those exact ones but Yamaha is always safe. Everything Yamaha make is good, not always the best but always good. I've seen a Yamaha powered desk bounce down the road at 60 mph and we were using it the next week at a gig.
Behringer shit, Yamaha good.
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#8
Look used. That's a pretty low budget, not much out there worth buying that cheap.
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#9
Maybe i'll wait a little more to save more money. If i increase my budget to 300 euros, i can buy a pair of yamaha hs5. Anyone having an experience with them?
#10
The HS5s are good speakers. They will be pretty stingy on the low-end, but in a smaller room, it will be less of an issue, just make sure you're checking your mixes on headphones to adjust the low end, otherwise you're going to over-compensate and your mixes will come out super bassy.

FWIW, I sold my top of the line Adams and "downgraded" to Yamaha HS80Ms, and they kill the expensive Adams in almost every way possible.
Quote by Dave_Mc
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maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





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#11
Quote by MatrixClaw
The HS5s are good speakers. They will be pretty stingy on the low-end, but in a smaller room, it will be less of an issue, just make sure you're checking your mixes on headphones to adjust the low end, otherwise you're going to over-compensate and your mixes will come out super bassy.

FWIW, I sold my top of the line Adams and "downgraded" to Yamaha HS80Ms, and they kill the expensive Adams in almost every way possible.

I use headphones for mixes anyway. As i am a college student, my apartment is pretty small, about 20 square meters, so i don't think that the bass will be such a problem. Do you have any other suggestion for a 300 euros budget? I prefer 5" speakers. Not smaller or bigger, due to space limitations.
#12
I have a set of KRK Rokit 8's. When the Gen3 version came out before Christmas, the Gen2s were closed out at about $149 apiece ($300 a pair). You should be able to find a used pair for something within your budget. There are also the Rokit 5s...
Last edited by dspellman at Feb 4, 2014,
#13
The Gen3 rokit krk right now costs about 320 euros the pair here in Greece. I know krk are very good for recordings. Are they also good when you hear music? So do you think is better to save some more money and buy a better pair, than buying a cheap one, right? In Greece i can't find many used speakers to buy.
#14
I think everyone has preferences for recording monitors, and those can vary widely.

I'm using the Rokits mostly for keyboard and modeled guitar in a relatively small room. I picked the 8s so that I wouldn't necessarily have to use a subwoofer, though I'll likely add a switchable one at some point for recording playback. In a small apartment, a sub would do nothing for you other than rattle your neighbors' walls. As is, they're very good for music in general (or TV viewing) as well.
#15
Rokits are very hyped speakers that are much closer in frequency response to consumer grade stereos than studio monitors. They WILL make the music sound good, but that's not the purpose of monitors. Monitors are supposed to be clear and accurate, so your mixes will translate well to multiple devices. I really don't know why Rokits are so popular, cause they're really nothing more than glorified desktop speakers.
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
Quote by jj1565
maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





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#16
damn too bad you arent from america. sweetwater is doing buy one get one half off of jbls. :/ just order some JBL LSR305s myself. ill let you know how they sound. i got them for $224 before tax. amazing price. the reviews have fun very good.
Ibanez Rg 321mh
Squier Classic Vibe 1970s Precision Bass
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Last edited by romeozdistress at Feb 5, 2014,
#17
I am also very interested in this.

Any opinions on the Alesis M1Active 520 USB?

I love that they have a clipping LED on the front.
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Last edited by Offworld92 at Feb 5, 2014,
#18
Quote by MatrixClaw
Rokits are very hyped speakers that are much closer in frequency response to consumer grade stereos than studio monitors. They WILL make the music sound good, but that's not the purpose of monitors. Monitors are supposed to be clear and accurate, so your mixes will translate well to multiple devices. I really don't know why Rokits are so popular, cause they're really nothing more than glorified desktop speakers.
ive read the rokits are garbage compared to jbl, mackie, and even presonus.
Ibanez Rg 321mh
Squier Classic Vibe 1970s Precision Bass
Guitar Rig 5
Presonus Audiobox
Behringer Truth B2030A
#19
I agree with MaaZues about the Behringer speakers. I have the Behringer Truth B2031 active speakers. Lots of power and very nice and punchy. I agee that they have a slightly lower bass bottom but it is better than my old JBL Studio Series monitors that had too much bass and my mixes always sounded like they had too little bass on other systems. There are EQ adjustments on the rear of the Behringer's that do a decent job of compensating for the bass. It also may have to do with my room acoustics which are in need of some tweaking. I also have a pair of Hafler M-5 monitors (passive) that I love but I don't think they make them anymore. For great power and sound check out bthe Behringer Truth B2031.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Feb 5, 2014,
#20
One additional thought about the Behringer monitors. If it matters, they are fairly heavy weighing about 35 lbs. each.
#21
Quote by Rickholly74
One additional thought about the Behringer monitors. If it matters, they are fairly heavy weighing about 35 lbs. each.


Yeah thats the reason i wanted to stay away from an 8" driver and go with 5. heh. way too large for my current setup. I can always buy a sub later if so desired.
Ibanez Rg 321mh
Squier Classic Vibe 1970s Precision Bass
Guitar Rig 5
Presonus Audiobox
Behringer Truth B2030A
#22
Quote by romeozdistress
Yeah thats the reason i wanted to stay away from an 8" driver and go with 5. heh. way too large for my current setup. I can always buy a sub later if so desired.

The HS50s (or HS5s) work great with a sub, if that's what you intend to do later. Many people prefer this setup over just a pair of HS80Ms. Me - I've never really found much of a use for a sub, and they're more trouble, acoustically, than would really give me much benefit. Unless you're mixing hip hop, I don't see much point, most modern rock has the sub-frequencies rolled off pretty high. You can just stick a HPF at ~40Hz on everything that needs bass and you'll retain enough subs without it getting boomy.
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#23
Quote by MatrixClaw
The HS50s (or HS5s) work great with a sub, if that's what you intend to do later. Many people prefer this setup over just a pair of HS80Ms. Me - I've never really found much of a use for a sub, and they're more trouble, acoustically, than would really give me much benefit. Unless you're mixing hip hop, I don't see much point, most modern rock has the sub-frequencies rolled off pretty high. You can just stick a HPF at ~40Hz on everything that needs bass and you'll retain enough subs without it getting boomy.


I went with the jbl lsr305s actually. got them from sweetwater for $224 before tax, free overnight shipping since its only a couple hours away. i mostly will be using them for playback music at first. i did get a presonus audiobox usb a couple weeks ago for $99 so I can start messing around recording guitar stuff. but sweetwater having that buy one get one half off deal was too much for me to pass up.
Ibanez Rg 321mh
Squier Classic Vibe 1970s Precision Bass
Guitar Rig 5
Presonus Audiobox
Behringer Truth B2030A
#24
Quote by romeozdistress
I went with the jbl lsr305s actually. got them from sweetwater for $224 before tax, free overnight shipping since its only a couple hours away. i mostly will be using them for playback music at first. i did get a presonus audiobox usb a couple weeks ago for $99 so I can start messing around recording guitar stuff. but sweetwater having that buy one get one half off deal was too much for me to pass up.

Ah, my bad, I thought you were the TS, who was looking at the HS5s

I've only tried the 8" version of those speakers, and I quite liked them... Was tempted to buy a pair the last time I saw them, they were half off the usual price, but I had to contain myself
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
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maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





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#25
Quote by MatrixClaw
Rokits are very hyped speakers that are much closer in frequency response to consumer grade stereos than studio monitors. They WILL make the music sound good, but that's not the purpose of monitors. Monitors are supposed to be clear and accurate, so your mixes will translate well to multiple devices. I really don't know why Rokits are so popular, cause they're really nothing more than glorified desktop speakers.


But the OP isn't looking for studio monitors.

As the original poster noted, "The use of the speakers will be for some hobby guitar and vocals recordings and for lot of music."

I have more than one set of monitors and a few sets of good cans to handle "studio monitor" duty. I even have a set of the old Altec Lansing 604e coax 15" monitors.

But it's the Rokits that will do what the OP is looking for. The reason they're so popular is that they're versatile enough and inexpensive enough and just accurate enough that they hit a sweet spot for a lot of uses.
Last edited by dspellman at Feb 5, 2014,
#26
Quote by dspellman
But the OP isn't looking for studio monitors.

As the original poster noted, "The use of the speakers will be for some hobby guitar and vocals recordings and for lot of music."

I have more than one set of monitors and a few sets of good cans to handle "studio monitor" duty. I even have a set of the old Altec Lansing 604e coax 15" monitors.

But it's the Rokits that will do what the OP is looking for. The reason they're so popular is that they're versatile enough and inexpensive enough and just accurate enough that they hit a sweet spot for a lot of uses.


the rokits freaking suck man. they are muddy as hell. i read that about them and tested them same response. for his budget, a pair of active studio monitors is his best choice. unless he wants some low budget mini amp and a pair of passives. but for budget speakers active monitors seems to be the way to go.
Ibanez Rg 321mh
Squier Classic Vibe 1970s Precision Bass
Guitar Rig 5
Presonus Audiobox
Behringer Truth B2030A
#27
I don't want to buy an external amp and passive monitors. I want only active monitors for some guitar, bass and vocals recordings using my Pod Studio UX2, and more for listening music. I don't want to add a subwoofer later, due to the size of my apartment and also i don't want to disturb my neighbors. So i want 2 monitors that will combine both these worlds. There is a music store in my city which sells and have in stock, krk, alesis and Yamaha monitors. So i'll go there today or tomorrow to hear them all. If i see that the alexis elevate 5 meets my needs, i'll prefer them due to the very low cost. It's 129 euros, just like a good set of computer speakers and they are actives. Otherwise maybe i decide between krk and yamaha. I have also a friend that has krk rokit 5 G2 and maybe i'll test them more. Generally i prefer to buy new items. 2 times in the past i bought used items and they broke in a short period of time.
#28
neither of those should even compare to the yamahas, im confident you will come home with the yamahas if sound quality is what you're after.
Ibanez Rg 321mh
Squier Classic Vibe 1970s Precision Bass
Guitar Rig 5
Presonus Audiobox
Behringer Truth B2030A
#29
Well, i just returned from the music center. I tried krk, yamaha and alexis using the pod studio UX2 that i have. First of all i decided to give some more money and go to the more premium sound of krk or yamaha, so i turned down alesis right after i listened to them all. The music shop had both krk G2 and G3, so i was able to also listen the difference between these 2 models. Krk G2's sound didn't impress me very much and i was more close to buy the yamaha HS5. Then the seller, which is also a friend of mine, connected the KRK G3. That's it. I made my decision at the same moment. Way better sound than G2 and more completed sound than yamaha. KRK G3 was closer to the sound i was looking for. I also bought a good pair of cables and the final price was 335 euros including cables. I'm very happy with my decision. Thank you all for your advice!
#30
Quote by zarzonis
Well, i just returned from the music center. I tried krk, yamaha and alexis using the pod studio UX2 that i have. First of all i decided to give some more money and go to the more premium sound of krk or yamaha, so i turned down alesis right after i listened to them all. The music shop had both krk G2 and G3, so i was able to also listen the difference between these 2 models. Krk G2's sound didn't impress me very much and i was more close to buy the yamaha HS5. Then the seller, which is also a friend of mine, connected the KRK G3. That's it. I made my decision at the same moment. Way better sound than G2 and more completed sound than yamaha. KRK G3 was closer to the sound i was looking for. I also bought a good pair of cables and the final price was 335 euros including cables. I'm very happy with my decision. Thank you all for your advice!


congrats pal. im waiting for mine to be delivered hehe
Ibanez Rg 321mh
Squier Classic Vibe 1970s Precision Bass
Guitar Rig 5
Presonus Audiobox
Behringer Truth B2030A
#31
Quote by romeozdistress
congrats pal. im waiting for mine to be delivered hehe

Thank you very much. Which one did you buy?
#32
Quote by zarzonis
KRK G3 was closer to the sound i was looking for. I also bought a good pair of cables and the final price was 335 euros including cables. I'm very happy with my decision. Thank you all for your advice!


So I'm unclear -- you got the Rokit 5's or the 8's? I know you were looking for 5's, for the most part, when this started.
Last edited by dspellman at Feb 6, 2014,
#33
Quote by dspellman
But the OP isn't looking for studio monitors.

As the original poster noted, "The use of the speakers will be for some hobby guitar and vocals recordings and for lot of music."

I have more than one set of monitors and a few sets of good cans to handle "studio monitor" duty. I even have a set of the old Altec Lansing 604e coax 15" monitors.

But it's the Rokits that will do what the OP is looking for. The reason they're so popular is that they're versatile enough and inexpensive enough and just accurate enough that they hit a sweet spot for a lot of uses.

If you're just looking to listen to music, then buying monitors all together is a terrible idea. There are some great desktop systems available for far less than Rokits and are WAY better for listening, if that's you're only goal.

Quote by zarzonis
Well, i just returned from the music center. I tried krk, yamaha and alexis using the pod studio UX2 that i have. First of all i decided to give some more money and go to the more premium sound of krk or yamaha, so i turned down alesis right after i listened to them all. The music shop had both krk G2 and G3, so i was able to also listen the difference between these 2 models. Krk G2's sound didn't impress me very much and i was more close to buy the yamaha HS5. Then the seller, which is also a friend of mine, connected the KRK G3. That's it. I made my decision at the same moment. Way better sound than G2 and more completed sound than yamaha. KRK G3 was closer to the sound i was looking for. I also bought a good pair of cables and the final price was 335 euros including cables. I'm very happy with my decision. Thank you all for your advice!

No offense, but this is exactly why I never suggest someone who's new to recording to go listen to a bunch of them and make your decision. You based your judgement off of which one sounded best. Studio monitors are NOT supposed to sound good. The best monitors will not flatter music in any way and often times sound bad to the inexperienced user.

If you're mainly looking to listen to music, I'd suggest you not even waste your money. Spend it on a nice Kilpsch system that'll cost you $100, and keep using your headphones for mixing.
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#34
Quote by MatrixClaw


No offense, but this is exactly why I never suggest someone who's new to recording to go listen to a bunch of them and make your decision. You based your judgement off of which one sounded best. Studio monitors are NOT supposed to sound good. The best monitors will not flatter music in any way and often times sound bad to the inexperienced user.


Most every modern recording studio I've been in lately has more than one set of monitors and some of those sets usually have a switchable sub to go with them. Most have more than one kind of headphone available as well. And even if you're working with the best monitor you have (your personal favorite), you're probably listening with an ear that says, "If I've got the flute right *here* in the mix, it may sound a little bit shrill through through these monitors, but it'll be just right when you hear it after processing through a consumer system...."
#35
As i said before, i'll use the monitors for some hobby recordings and for music listening. I'll use them for both. So buying just computer speakers is not what i needed. I should find some monitors that meets my goals best. Yamaha monitors were great but you must learn them very well to use it right. They had less bass, so maybe you put more than enough bass in your mixes than you need. You'll understand that when you hear your mixes in a consumer sound system. For my perspective when i recorded some riffs and mixed them quickly at the music shop, had the sound that helped me better understand when the sound i wanted to achieve was right. And also had better sound during music playback.
#36
Quote by romeozdistress
the rokits freaking suck man. they are muddy as hell. i read that about them and tested them same response. for his budget, a pair of active studio monitors is his best choice. unless he wants some low budget mini amp and a pair of passives. but for budget speakers active monitors seems to be the way to go.


I picked my Rokit 8 G2s for two main reasons.

One, they were cheap, on clearance, making room for the G3s.

Two, they came fairly close to matching the PA systems I usually run into and to the full-range flat response speakers I use for bass, keyboards and modeled guitar.

Beyond that: I didn't have to use a sub to get reasonable lows in a small room. They sounded good on playback.

I've read the reviews and listened to most of the speakers involved in the comparisons. In my room, and for my purposes, they're not muddy at all.
#37
Quote by dspellman
Most every modern recording studio I've been in lately has more than one set of monitors and some of those sets usually have a switchable sub to go with them. Most have more than one kind of headphone available as well. And even if you're working with the best monitor you have (your personal favorite), you're probably listening with an ear that says, "If I've got the flute right *here* in the mix, it may sound a little bit shrill through through these monitors, but it'll be just right when you hear it after processing through a consumer system...."

I'm not really sure what you're getting at here - I agree, checking mixes on different sources is always a good idea, but I would not mix soley on a pair of Rokits, because they have very little definition, a hyped low end, a scooped midrange and a slightly excited high end (ie: the same characteristics of most consumer-grade listening systems). I have owned a lot of studio monitors, ranging from $5000 Adams down to the $300 Rokit 5s and the Rokits are not a system I'd want to use for mixing. I just recently got rid of a pair of Rokit 8s - I was using them as a reference pair to my Yamaha HS80Ms and they worked well for that purpose, as I could switch to them and easily hear how the mix was going to sound on a consumer stereo. I sold them because my HS80Ms worked so well for me that I didn't need to reference on the Rokits anymore, mixes translated exactly how I thought they would, the first time.

Listening to monitors at a store, knowing you are inexperienced with them is just silly. More often than not, these stores have them in rooms that are treated to reduce sound reflections and bass buildup - whatever you hear through these monitors at the store have a very high chance of sounding completely different once you bring them into your small, untreated bedroom. In theory, a pair of monitors should be as flat as possible, with no bumps or dips anywhere in the spectrum. In practice, this isn't possible unless you're working in an anechoic chamber, and even then, there are factors that can cause the playback system to be less than ideal.

Most mix engineers actually prefer to have a slightly hyped midrange, as it helps them hear the vocals and guitar much better - making small adjustments is much easier and dialing out any muddy frequencies is quick. This is the downfall to the Rokits - they have a huge bass boost (the least of them being with the Rokit 8s, because the driver is actually large enough to reproduce the frequencies, without them boosting it in the circuit) and a rolled off midrange. This is okay if you're mixing hip-hop, because most of your instruments will be at the top and low end of the frequency range, while the vocals will have more room to breath in the center. This is not okay with rock, as your most important things in your mix will quickly become congested in the center, as this is where the guitar and vocals both live, not to mention the bass is so great that everything's sub frequencies will easily compile and overtake everything else.

As with anything, you can mix on them for so long and eventually learn them so well in your room, that your mixes will sound great, but you'll still be missing the clarity with Rokits. That's where the fall short the most for me - they are completely useless for any critical editing as the sound is so smeared. FWIW, I recently bought a Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 system that I mainly only use to listen to things on my computer when I don't want to turn on my monitors and I'd feel just as confident mixing on those than any size or version of the Rokits. If I were going for a cheap pair of speakers that I wanted to mainly listen to music on and do the occasional recording with, the experience is much more gratifying on the Klipsch speakers than the KRKs. They are smaller and save more space, sound huge with the sub, have more power (which also means more headroom), kill the Rokits in clarity and are less than half the price.

Quote by zarzonis
As i said before, i'll use the monitors for some hobby recordings and for music listening. I'll use them for both. So buying just computer speakers is not what i needed. I should find some monitors that meets my goals best. Yamaha monitors were great but you must learn them very well to use it right. They had less bass, so maybe you put more than enough bass in your mixes than you need. You'll understand that when you hear your mixes in a consumer sound system. For my perspective when i recorded some riffs and mixed them quickly at the music shop, had the sound that helped me better understand when the sound i wanted to achieve was right. And also had better sound during music playback.

Honestly, I think buying a good set of computer speakers is exactly what you need. It sounds to me like you just want a pair of monitors, because you've been told that's what you need. If you're going to be using these to listen to music more than to mix it, then you don't want studio monitors. You are not going to find monitors in that range that will meet your goals best, without compromising severely at one side or the other.

Yes, the Yamahas have less bass - that is because they are accurate for the size of speaker they are using. On the contrary, the Rokit having more bass will do exactly the opposite to your mix - you'll be taking out lots of bass in your mixes to make up for the super hyped low end of the Rokits. This is why I suggested buying the Yamahas for their accuracy and using headphones to check the low end.

Yes, the sound you heard coming out of the Rokits sounded better - because that's what they were designed to do. They are designed to trick inexperienced "producers" into thinking that things sound better than they actually do, thus thinking that they are the better speaker. If you're just wanting to listen to music, then this is great - they incur less fatigue and will allow you to listen to music that sounds great, for long periods of time. They will not, however, help show you if the sound you recorded was actually good, because they are designed to make everything sound good.

If you really want to be objective, you need to take some professionally mixed songs in their that you're very familiar with and have heard on several listening systems, play them through the different speakers and try to listen for certain frequency ranges. Mixing new music with them right now is a mistake, as you're mixing to the speakers, you're not referencing anything known to you already, you can't tell where problem frequencies should be. You're relying solely on the new speakers to tell you where they are, which may not be the case.
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
Quote by jj1565
maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





www.SanctityStudios.com
#38
Thank you for your objective comments. Maybe if you wrote all that comments earlier, i would change my decision. I don't know if you tried out the G3 krk but they have 2 amplifiers. One for the mid high and one for the bass. So you can adjust the amount of bass you want. It's one of the differences between G2. Right now it's a done deal. I already paid them and tomorrow i'll receive them. Right now i'm at my parents house and on Sunday i'll come back to my home where i'll have the monitors. I'll try them out, see how they work for me for some time and if they are not what i expected, i'll sell them. I know by selling them, i'll lose about 60-70 euros, but it's better than having something that costs 335 euros. without working as good as you wanted.
But first i must receive them and test them for some time. By the way the place i test them out was inside the shop. No isolation or anything. Just a mid size shop with all instruments and equipment around.
#39
Quote by zarzonis
Thank you for your objective comments. Maybe if you wrote all that comments earlier, i would change my decision. I don't know if you tried out the G3 krk but they have 2 amplifiers. One for the mid high and one for the bass. So you can adjust the amount of bass you want. It's one of the differences between G2.


The old Gen2s are also biamped.

I think the main difference between the Gen 2 and Gen3s is the power. On the 8's, they've bumped from 70/20W on the G2 to 75/25W -- on the 5's, I think they're running 30/20 on the G3 as opposed to 30/15 on the G2). On the 8's , there's an HF level control and the G3 has added an LF level control as well. Honestly, neither is particularly useful if you've got anything with EQ in front of it.

The 8's produce a bit more accurate bottom end than the 5's, and I think I would have had to have gone for a sub earlier with those than I will with the 8's.