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Gear / Technical Help => Playback Forum => Topic started by: Jonas Karlsson on July 16, 2013, 08:30:17 AM

Title: Desktop speakers for mastering recordings on computer
Post by: Jonas Karlsson on July 16, 2013, 08:30:17 AM
Hi there!

Considering getting new speakers/monitors that can be used with my iMac computer. Would really like some "top of the line" speakers that can provide me with the correct sound I'm getting recorded.

My current speakers are these:http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41bRGd4fS0L.jpg

Any tips in the pricerange of $100-$300 ?

/Jonas, Gothenburg, Sweden
Title: Re: Desktop speakers for mastering recordings on computer
Post by: OOK on July 16, 2013, 08:36:30 AM
a set of KRK rocket 5 are perfect for what you need.  They are at the 300$ mark but worth every penny.  probably the best bang for the buck speaker out there next to the rocket 6's which are 400.

Peace OOK
Title: Re: Desktop speakers for mastering recordings on computer
Post by: Craig T on July 16, 2013, 08:42:06 AM
I use KRK Rockit 5's and would recommend them.
Title: Re: Desktop speakers for mastering recordings on computer
Post by: voltronic on July 16, 2013, 09:06:07 AM
+1 on the Rokit 5s - been using them for the past couple years and love them. 

For whatever you wind up getting, I would recommend putting them on stands so they're off your desk with the tweeters up at ear level - this will really improve imaging and balance, and also minimize early reflections off of your desk.  Placement is probably just as important as what speakers you're running.  That, and the Rockit's are bigger than they seem in pictures, so you'd wind up with no desk space left. 

Mine are on Aluralex MoPads: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MoPAD (http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MoPAD)
which sit on these stands: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MonitorStd (http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MonitorStd)

I seem to remember getting the whole thing as a big sale package with the Rockit 5s for $350 total.  Not finding that deal at the moment, but you could put out the call in the Yard Sale for anyone selling monitor stands for cheap.

I would stay away from the cheaper monitors made by Alesis and M-Audio.  The ones I used had very noisy electronics.  Not so with the KRKs.  ;D
Title: Re: Desktop speakers for mastering recordings on computer
Post by: Jonas Karlsson on July 16, 2013, 10:10:25 AM
+1 on the Rokit 5s - been using them for the past couple years and love them. 

For whatever you wind up getting, I would recommend putting them on stands so they're off your desk with the tweeters up at ear level - this will really improve imaging and balance, and also minimize early reflections off of your desk.  Placement is probably just as important as what speakers you're running.  That, and the Rockit's are bigger than they seem in pictures, so you'd wind up with no desk space left. 

Mine are on Aluralex MoPads: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MoPAD (http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MoPAD)
which sit on these stands: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MonitorStd (http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MonitorStd)

I seem to remember getting the whole thing as a big sale package with the Rockit 5s for $350 total.  Not finding that deal at the moment, but you could put out the call in the Yard Sale for anyone selling monitor stands for cheap.

I would stay away from the cheaper monitors made by Alesis and M-Audio.  The ones I used had very noisy electronics.  Not so with the KRKs.  ;D

Are we talking about these: http://www.4sound.se/itm_img/big_216398.jpg

If so, they┬┤re about $400 for a pair over here.

Can they just be plugged into the iMac?

The only down is it's range: 53Hz-20.000Hz. My mics are 40Hz-20.000... Even lower with the omni's.

/Jonas
Title: Re: Desktop speakers for mastering recordings on computer
Post by: voltronic on July 16, 2013, 10:44:19 AM
^ Yeah, that's them.  That's unfortunate they're more expensive over there. 

They have XLR, 1/4", and RCA inputs so you can plug anything into them.  From your iMac you would use a Y-cable to go from 1/8" stereo mini to dual RCA plugs.  Keep in mind that these kind of speakers do not have a volume control (at least not an easily accessibly one) - you would control the volume through your iMac or with an external recording interface (for example, the Focusrite you see in my sig).
Title: Re: Desktop speakers for mastering recordings on computer
Post by: Jimna on July 16, 2013, 10:44:28 AM
also look at the Adam line too, excellent monitors.  I recommend these guys, owned by a taper and his wife.  http://www.sonicsense.com/shop-by/recording/studio-monitoring/active-monitors.html
Title: Re: Desktop speakers for mastering recordings on computer
Post by: spyder9 on July 17, 2013, 08:32:19 PM
KRK VXT 4's is what I have.  Luv them.
Title: Re: Desktop speakers for mastering recordings on computer
Post by: coloartist on July 18, 2013, 03:17:52 PM
also look at the Adam line too, excellent monitors.  I recommend these guys, owned by a taper and his wife.  http://www.sonicsense.com/shop-by/recording/studio-monitoring/active-monitors.html

I recommend the Adam's also, and Sonic Sense. They are over the $300 mark though. They are $250-$400 each. They are made in Germany, so maybe they are cheaper over there.
Title: Re: Desktop speakers for mastering recordings on computer
Post by: Jamos on July 19, 2013, 02:57:37 PM
I would highly recommend a Blue Sky 2.1 system.
Like this: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/655020-REG/Blue_Sky_International_EXO2_eXo2_Active_2_1_Desktop.html

Maybe a touch above your $300 budget at $499.  Many commercially released films and recordings are mastered on similar Blue Sky 2.1 & 5.1 systems.

I use the above paired with an Audioengine D1 USB DAC and get amazing sound for a compact desktop system.
Title: Re: Desktop speakers for mastering recordings on computer
Post by: BlindGuyEars on July 20, 2013, 11:33:07 AM
Here's another vote for Blue Sky! If you can't afford $1,000 monitors, Blue Sky are my choice. They aren't ported, and out-perform cheaper ported designs.

Running Adam A7X's here but they're way out of your price range.

Also echoing what others have said about correct placement and isolation. I'll add ... correct some of the larger acoustic problems in your room!
Title: Re: Desktop speakers for mastering recordings on computer
Post by: Datfly on January 13, 2015, 11:17:42 AM
KRK VXT 4's is what I have.  Luv them.

Has anyone compared the above with the A2+ Powered Desktop Speakers a lot of people recommend in another thread for desktop speakers?

Thanks.
Title: Re: Desktop speakers for mastering recordings on computer
Post by: Gutbucket on January 13, 2015, 12:16:33 PM
Check out the JBL LSR range too.  They have some recent models that fit that budget.

I've never heard the Blue Sky gear, but would like too.  I've heard good word on them from respected sources and like their design philosophy of non-ported satellites + sub.
Title: Re: Desktop speakers for mastering recordings on computer
Post by: chinariderstl on January 13, 2015, 05:39:39 PM
Marking thread. :)
Title: Re: Desktop speakers for mastering recordings on computer
Post by: Jimna on January 13, 2015, 05:42:14 PM
totally off budget but I have been mixing on a set of Focal Twin6Be's and wow am I happy.  Front end is a Avocet by Crane Song...mixes carry thats for sure.
Title: Re: Desktop speakers for mastering recordings on computer
Post by: Gutbucket on January 13, 2015, 06:43:44 PM
mixes carry thats for sure.

The measure which ultimately matters most.
Title: Re: Desktop speakers for mastering recordings on computer
Post by: Sloan Simpson on January 13, 2015, 07:22:59 PM
Check out the JBL LSR range too.  They have some recent models that fit that budget.


I have the LSR308's and have been very pleased with them.
Title: Re: Desktop speakers for mastering recordings on computer
Post by: Datfly on January 15, 2015, 07:45:22 PM
Anyone here have the JBL 305's?
Any thoughts on them strictly as near-field monitor for mixing at the desktop?

Thanks,
datfly
Title: Re: Desktop speakers for mastering recordings on computer
Post by: chinariderstl on January 15, 2015, 09:18:17 PM
Hi, this is semi-related as I, too, want to upgrade my desktop speakers.  I am looking at the KRK Rokit's, JBL LSR305's, or JBL LSR308's.  Any thoughts or advice on an internal soundcard versus an external DAC like the FiiO E10?  I am just looking for stereo output.

If I understand the technology correctly, the FiiO E10 would, essentially, act as my soundcard.  Audio data would be sent digitally to the FiiO, which would convert it to analog, then output it to my speakers, right?

Any input is greatly appreciated.

Sorry, if I hijacked the thread. :)
Title: Re: Desktop speakers for mastering recordings on computer
Post by: Fried Chicken Boy on January 16, 2015, 12:46:34 AM
^^  Correct, the E10 would work as an outboard soundcard for your computer: computer > USB > E10 (D/A  conversion) > analog out > headphones/speakers.  It would, in fact, make things a little easier for you as an internal soundcard for your computer would require you to open up your machine, plug in the soundcard, load drivers, etc, whereas the E10 is simply plug and play.  I've been using a FiiO E17 (essentially an E10 with internal battery and a few other bells & whistles so you can use it as a portable headphone amp) for a few years now in that capacity with my notebook computer and I've been very happy with its sound quality.  Great little piece of gear and I believe the E17 and E10 both use the same Wolfson DAC chip. 

Please keep us posted on what you wind up going with.
Title: Re: Desktop speakers for mastering recordings on computer
Post by: chinariderstl on January 16, 2015, 08:38:10 AM
Ok, that's killer.  Thanks for confirming and for the additional information.  I am leaning toward the FiiO E10 and the LRS 305's, but I'll let you know what I end up with.
Title: Re: Desktop speakers for mastering recordings on computer
Post by: Ultfris101 on January 16, 2015, 09:11:23 AM
I haven't gotten responses to my question, but it's basically this and one point to make is the LSR's only have balanced inputs. I've got the Audioengine DAC and when I ran RCA outfox that > XLR to my 305's I picked up some interference when I turned up the gain to midway. I need to spend some time more carefully routing my cables around mains power to see if that resolves it sufficiently but 8'm also looking for suitable USB interfaces with balanced outputs.

My USB pre2 works great of course but I like using it to record and don't like connecting and disconnecting it.

The options with balanced outputs take you into the worked of home recording and ADCs vs strictly DAC.

Anybody using something with balanced output?

I like the 305s a lot. I should have gotten the 308s Instead or a 310 sub as well probably to get more low end but I can add a sub now.
Title: Re: Desktop speakers for mastering recordings on computer
Post by: Sloan Simpson on January 16, 2015, 11:09:19 AM
I haven't gotten responses to my question, but it's basically this and one point to make is the LSR's only have balanced inputs. I've got the Audioengine DAC and when I ran RCA outfox that > XLR to my 305's I picked up some interference when I turned up the gain to midway. I need to spend some time more carefully routing my cables around mains power to see if that resolves it sufficiently but 8'm also looking for suitable USB interfaces with balanced outputs.

My USB pre2 works great of course but I like using it to record and don't like connecting and disconnecting it.

The options with balanced outputs take you into the worked of home recording and ADCs vs strictly DAC.

Anybody using something with balanced output?

I like the 305s a lot. I should have gotten the 308s Instead or a 310 sub as well probably to get more low end but I can add a sub now.

I'm using a M-Audio M-Track Plus to run my 308s, balanced 1/4" out
Title: Re: Desktop speakers for mastering recordings on computer
Post by: acidjack on January 16, 2015, 03:55:15 PM
Audioengine A5+ aren't bad. I have them in my office. I have never tried to really EQ with them because the audio output on my computer is pretty lousy, but...
Title: Re: Desktop speakers for mastering recordings on computer
Post by: chinariderstl on January 16, 2015, 05:15:29 PM
"... and one point to make is the LSR's only have balanced inputs


Hi, thanks for the info.  Given this information, I've re-thought my original approach (i.e.: FiiO E10) and was thinking of using a 'Tascam US-2x2 2-Channel USB Audio Interface' instead.  I think this interface would work quite well.  It has 2 1/4" balanced outputs.  Any thoughts?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1079897-REG/tascam_us_2x2_2_channel_usb_audio.html
Title: Re: Desktop speakers for mastering recordings on computer
Post by: bryonsos on January 16, 2015, 05:53:01 PM
These plus the Audioengine D1 DAC are what I use. Very pleased.

Audioengine A5+ aren't bad. I have them in my office. I have never tried to really EQ with them because the audio output on my computer is pretty lousy, but...
Title: Re: Desktop speakers for mastering recordings on computer
Post by: Fried Chicken Boy on January 17, 2015, 01:43:39 PM
"... and one point to make is the LSR's only have balanced inputs


Hi, thanks for the info.  Given this information, I've re-thought my original approach (i.e.: FiiO E10) and was thinking of using a 'Tascam US-2x2 2-Channel USB Audio Interface' instead.  I think this interface would work quite well.  It has 2 1/4" balanced outputs.  Any thoughts?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1079897-REG/tascam_us_2x2_2_channel_usb_audio.html

Ultfris101 has another thread going here of a similar nature > http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=171293.0 (http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=171293.0).  Tascam, Focusrite, Mackie, Roland, etc. all make outboard interface/soundcard boxes that work well.  As I posted there, I've been using an Edirol UA-101 (discontinued) for awhile with my desktop computer in that capacity and I'm pretty happy with it.
Title: Re: Desktop speakers for mastering recordings on computer
Post by: chinariderstl on January 17, 2015, 06:30:10 PM
Score!!  Thanks man, appreciate the info. :)