#1
I live in a small room so space is a constraint (as is all places in Hong Kong unless you're a billionaire) so I'm deciding on 5" speakers for learning post-production audio. Right now I've got the following in mind which are all affordable:

- M-Audio BX5a
- JBL LSR305
- Yahama HS5's...

One of my friends recommended that I get the Focal CMS 40 by saving up instead of one of the three above but they're quite pricey and stretching my budget.

Do you think the CMS40 is worth saving up for and would it be something I would be able to use in the long term? If not, which would be the better option?

FYI, I live in an apartment if that means anything...
#2
Depends.

How much money do you wanna spend?
Does your room have any kind of acoustic treatment?
What kinda "post-production" are you talking about (movies, scores, general mixing, mestering...)?
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#3
- Those 3 listed above are do-able, the CMS40 is possible but I'll probably need a few month's salary to get that covered. I'll just say roughly $500 USD for a pair...
- No to acoustic treatment; not really do-able here
- Oops, tried to sound technical. I meant general mixing/mastering!
#4
Best small monitors I've worked with are the genelec 8040.
Best stereo image, good bass response, silk treble, punchy to the right amount.

I've never tried a pair of focal's I liked, but I didn't try anything over $500 a pair.

Among the cheaper ones you listed I'd take the HS5 any day, but I'd rather get 8040's over them.
Or some acoustic treatment (look around for glass wool panels and similar maybe) and HS8's.
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#5
HS5 or save for the Focals. If you can wait, they'll be worth it for sure.
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#7
I like the Yamaha, but they're not the best sounding ones, kinda similar to their older revered NS10s, if you can make it sound good on those most likely it'll sound good on anything else

I like the bigger ones though, the HS8.
Those will be my pick.
#8
My jaw dropped looking at the price of the Genelec 8040; just wow...and I thought Adams was pricey...
In that case, I'll save up and go for the CMS40 since space is an issue.

Furthermore, is it really necessary to purchase those Auralex Mo Pads?
Last edited by ThatGuy_17 at Feb 11, 2015,
#9
Quote by ThatGuy_17
My jaw dropped looking at the price of the Genelec 8040; just wow...and I thought Adams was pricey...
In that case, I'll save up and go for the CMS40 since space is an issue.

Welcome to the world of audio engineering

Furthermore, is it really necessary to purchase those Auralex Mo Pads?

It depends on where you're putting the speakers: resting on your desk? Probably a good idea. On dedicated speaker stands that decouple from the floor decently? You'll be fine without any pads below the speakers.


Quote by diabolical
I like the Yamaha, but they're not the best sounding ones, kinda similar to their older revered NS10s, if you can make it sound good on those most likely it'll sound good on anything else

Please don't buy into the crap Yamaha used to put in their adverts for the HS series (and subsequently dropped when people nit-picked at it) - they don't sound like the NS-10s and they don't respond anything like them either. They're entirely different in design and ethos, though the HS are definitely better than NS-10s as far as 'modern speakers' go (e.g. extend far lower). Fact of the matter is: NS-10s were sealed box design, so they had a very slow and smooth low end roll-off with a higher corner frequency, but a tighter midrange due to the increased pressure on the drivers in the box. HS series are ported, which means flabbier speaker movement, and extend far lower but with a more sudden and exaggerated roll-off at the corner frequency
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#10
Quote by ThatGuy_17
Furthermore, is it really necessary to purchase those Auralex Mo Pads?
No, but something of the sorts will be helpful.
Say even only a pair of foam rubber squares.
Quote by diabolical
I like the Yamaha, but they're not the best sounding ones, kinda similar to their older revered NS10s, if you can make it sound good on those most likely it'll sound good on anything else
Man HS8's are nothing like ns10's.
Nothing.

Also having rear ported 8" monitors in a small, non treated space is gonna give you problems.
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#12
In the ways I described

Find frequency response graphs for both, and take note of them - particularly the low end roll-off (db/Oct and the actual -3dB corner frequency) - as well as the general shape of the curves. Also, look up time domain performance of sealed box vs ported monitors, typically shown as waterfall/cascade frequency vs time response graphs.

Seriously, the whole 'designed after the NS-10' spiel Yamaha played when they first announced/marketed the HS series was nothing more than an advertising tactic with very little foundation in fact.
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#13
Quote by diabolical
They're not the same in what way?
First off they have a hell of a different frequency response.

NS10's have a 7dB upward spike between 500Hz and 1,5kHz (also the highs https://www.gearslutz.com/board/attachments/so-much-gear-so-little-time/105105d1230603093-post-your-ns10-frequencies-response-ns10.jpg)
While HS8's have something like +-3dB between 50Hz and 11kHz.

HS8's are punchy, they have a bit of a pronounced and veeery clear mid range.
The NS10's are a bit dull in copmarison.

At high volumes, NS10's are much harder on the ears than HS8's.

NS10's are bookshelf reference speakers, HS8's are FRFR monitor speakers.

The "modern day NS10" by yamy would be the MSP7.
Name's Luca.

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Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
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#14
I am not saying they are NS10s, but behave similarly, I found them to be similar in their forward sound and kinda boxy like the NS10s, which I didn't like on sound if I am listening for pleasure, but I found that I can mix really well on.
#15
Update: Finally went to the shop to try things out and the shop owner also recommended the Adam A3x and the Eve Audio SC204 for the 4" speakers.

Adam A3x sounded muddy but the Eve Audio SC204 sounded pretty much the same as the Focal CMS 40 so right now it's a toss up. The SC204 is wayyy cheaper than the CMS and there doesn't seem too much of a difference except the CMS40 may be a bit brighter in the mid-range but lacking a bit of bass, what do you guys think?
Last edited by ThatGuy_17 at May 24, 2015,
#16
4" speakers are tiny. Unless you're using a sub with them, I wouldn't bother with anything smaller than 6" otherwise the lowend on all your mixes is going to come out wonky sounding, or you're going to have to constantly reference mixes on a bunch of sources until you get it even remotely close. Yes, small speakers will produce less bass buildup in your room, but I'd rather have too much bass than none at all. Bass buildup can be treated, lack of it cannot.
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#18
I get what you guys mean and ideally I would love to go for 6"-8", but lemme show you why it's not feasible:



If I put the midi-keyboard on the table, that realistically only gives me about 6" of space which may not even fit a 5" pair of monitors at the moment so I'm really trying to work with what I got until I move out, then I can go get something larger; which based on current Hong Kong property prices may be a long while

Also, what do you think about the possible acoustic foam treatment in the corner? Would it be a better option to forego the acoustic foam and move it from the corner to the middle of the room as a cheaper alternative?
Last edited by ThatGuy_17 at May 25, 2015,
#19
If you can move away from the wall a bit it'd be nice. Looks like those speakers might also come in quite low relative to your face.
In this situation I'd suggest to get the Yamaha and call it a day.
Put acoustic foam if you can on your left and right side of the face but you might be a lot better in general with expensive mix headphones and cheaper monitors to cross reference with.
#20
Quote by diabolical
If you can move away from the wall a bit it'd be nice. Looks like those speakers might also come in quite low relative to your face.
In this situation I'd suggest to get the Yamaha and call it a day.
Put acoustic foam if you can on your left and right side of the face but you might be a lot better in general with expensive mix headphones and cheaper monitors to cross reference with.

Definitely pull back from the wall 6-12" if possible.

You have MORE than enough room for 5-6" monitors on that desk. Get some Auralex MoPads and use them to angle to speakers at your ears.

Here's my desk, which is only a little bit larger than yours:


My speakers are Yamaha MSP7, which have 6.5" woofers. I added a Spinal Tap DVD for scale, but the Mac is 15" if that helps. I'm about 18" away from the wall, maybe a little bit less.
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#21
Sid, I sorta feel better now that you have a similar table size to mine. Yea I'll take your guys recommendations into suggestions on the Yamaha HS5's since I will be new to mixing so I guess it doesn't make sense to get something super expensive yet but that means I will have to put my midi-keyboard elsewhere, like on the bed or something lol. Will definitely get them MOpads to angle them accordingly though.

What about the mic in the corner? You think sticking foam there will help or is it better to just move it to the middle of them room when recording vocals?
Last edited by ThatGuy_17 at May 26, 2015,
#22
Quote by ThatGuy_17
Sid, I sorta feel better now that you have a similar table size to mine. Yea I'll take your guys recommendations into suggestions on the Yamaha HS5's since I will be new to mixing so I guess it doesn't make sense to get something super expensive yet but that means I will have to put my midi-keyboard elsewhere, like on the bed or something lol. Will definitely get them MOpads to angle them accordingly though.

What about the mic in the corner? You think sticking foam there will help or is it better to just move it to the middle of them room when recording vocals?

No problem, glad that helped! The HS5s are a good choice. Definitely get the mo-pads, they make a WORLD of difference.

I say take your mic in the center of the room and record and see how it sounds. If it doesn't work for you, then start looking into treatments.
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#23
Pushing this up cuz I just saw a link which explains that the IsoAcoustics are better than the Auralex MoPads. Does it really make that much of a difference and is it worth the extra $ or is it a waste of $?

Curious to know your responses!
Last edited by ThatGuy_17 at Jul 26, 2015,
#24
What are your monitors currently placed on? Stands, or a desk? If they're on a desk or shelf or something, then yes - it'll probably make a difference. If they're already on monitor stands, then you'd be wasting your money getting any iso foam pads at all. I had some foam under my monitors before, then took them away one day and there was no difference whatsoever.
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#25
Currently it's on the desk. Haven't bought it yet but auralex foam will be my main choice since it's cheap but it seems IsoAcoustic stands are supposedly better; just dunno whether it's worth shelling out for...