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Author Topic: Suggestions for Near Field Monitors?  (Read 6238 times)

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Offline ArchivalAudio

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Suggestions for Near Field Monitors?
« on: February 11, 2012, 03:18:39 AM »
Hey
sorry if this has been discussed before.
I'm looking for some smaller desk near field monitors (reasonably affordable) likely a 2.0 setup , perhaps expandable to 2.1 ~ currently not in need of 5.1 or 7.1

would prefer passive with power handling up to 130 watts

to be used for mastering  live recordings with my DAW - powered by external integrated amp.

I am somewhat being vague on purpose.

I know there are a ton of opinions out there and would like to see some healthy suggestions!   ;D

Please
and
Thank you

--Ian

let the discussion begin!
« Last Edit: February 12, 2012, 01:17:43 PM by ArchivalAudio »
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Offline 108Ω

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Re: ISO Near Field Monitors?
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2012, 11:25:39 AM »
There have been a few threads on this, most recently:
http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=149804.0


Quick mentions:
Tannoy Reveals
Blue Sky Audio
Dynaudio
KRK

Depends much on how deep your pockets go, and your preferences for presence, warmth or bass-tight sound, high-end timbre, etc.
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Offline ArchivalAudio

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Re: ISO Near Field Monitors?
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2012, 01:17:03 PM »
Thank you for the reply ans the  link...
It appears that some of those are powered  monitors.
I have been considering the passive
KRK R6
but am wondering about others experience with passive options
I like both low end and high end, but would prefer a "flat" response, resembling to 20- 20k

There have been a few threads on this, most recently:
http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=149804.0


Quick mentions:
Tannoy Reveals
Blue Sky Audio
Dynaudio
KRK

Depends much on how deep your pockets go, and your preferences for presence, warmth or bass-tight sound, high-end timbre, etc.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2012, 01:19:07 PM by ArchivalAudio »
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Main Mics: Milab VM-44 Links • Milab DC-196's (Matched  Pair)  • Line Audio CM3's
PreAmps:  Naiant LittleBox • Naiant [Milab VM44] TinyBox • Naiant PIPsqueak
Recorders: MixPre 10T •  Tascam DR-100 mkIII • Sony M-10 

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Offline Jimna

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Re: Suggestions for Near Field Monitors?
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2012, 01:37:24 PM »
Why passive?   Its never a sure thing that your amp and said speaker will sound good together.   Generally I find when a speaker and power source are engineered together you get the best results over all.  just curious.....
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Re: Suggestions for Near Field Monitors?
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2012, 03:32:08 PM »
Why passive?   Its never a sure thing that your amp and said speaker will sound good together.   Generally I find when a speaker and power source are engineered together you get the best results over all.  just curious.....

This is certainly a good philosophy and solid advice.  With smaller monitors (powered or unpowered) you're not going to find a 2.0 pair that delivers a full "flat" 20 - 20K frequency response, without adding a subwoofer.

Of course your own monitoring room size, shape, proportions and sonic treatments will greatly affect the real world response of speakers spec'd using an anechoic chamber.  There are some networkable "room correction" speaker systems made by Genelec, JBL and others even KRK's stand alone ERGO which is advertised to work with any speaker system.  All these automated systems are supposed to help you achieve accurate speaker/room response for your mixing position using a calibration mic, filtering and DSP interface of some sort.  IMHO even these systems would be limited in what you can realistically achieve especially the lower cost options.   

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Re: Suggestions for Near Field Monitors?
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2012, 03:39:25 PM »
....btw, my good friend just got a set of Adam monitors and wow are they soundy!   I love ribbon tweeters and those speakers are proof as to why.   I give them a considerable jump above anything I have heard from KRK or Genelec.
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Re: Suggestions for Near Field Monitors?
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2012, 06:50:06 PM »
Reason for passive is that I have an amp that will work already, and I figure I can get more bang for my buck without going the powered route. Since they don't need to be powered why pay for that?
My (now don't laugh) Onkyo TX-NR709 has the theater set up for "Zone 1" and can also have a simple stereo set up for "Zone 2" http://www.us.onkyo.com/model.cfm?m=TX-NR709&class=Receiver&p=s
Currently I send my video and audio signal from my iMac to the onkyo via HDMI and could also route the audio through my MOTU UltraLite

I don't think I have a real need for powered monitors?  or do I?

thanks to all for the response thus far!
--Ian
« Last Edit: February 12, 2012, 07:03:14 PM by ArchivalAudio »
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Offline ArchivalAudio

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Re: Suggestions for Near Field Monitors?
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2012, 07:02:32 PM »
Why passive?   Its never a sure thing that your amp and said speaker will sound good together.   Generally I find when a speaker and power source are engineered together you get the best results over all.  just curious.....

This is certainly a good philosophy and solid advice.  With smaller monitors (powered or unpowered) you're not going to find a 2.0 pair that delivers a full "flat" 20 - 20K frequency response, without adding a subwoofer.

Of course your own monitoring room size, shape, proportions and sonic treatments will greatly affect the real world response of speakers spec'd using an anechoic chamber.  There are some networkable "room correction" speaker systems made by Genelec, JBL and others even KRK's stand alone ERGO which is advertised to work with any speaker system.  All these automated systems are supposed to help you achieve accurate speaker/room response for your mixing position using a calibration mic, filtering and DSP interface of some sort.  IMHO even these systems would be limited in what you can realistically achieve especially the lower cost options.

Yes I know it's difficult to find small speakers that are a true flat 20-20k.  I guess, I was perhaps starting with a 2.0 setup and at a later date add the .1  subwoofer to the system.

Maybe my thinking is all wrong?
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Recorders: MixPre 10T •  Tascam DR-100 mkIII • Sony M-10 

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Offline Əkoostikal

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Re: Suggestions for Near Field Monitors?
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2012, 09:03:38 PM »
Reason for passive is that I have an amp that will work already, and I figure I can get more bang for my buck without going the powered route. Since they don't need to be powered why pay for that?
My (now don't laugh) Onkyo TX-NR709 has the theater set up for "Zone 1" and can also have a simple stereo set up for "Zone 2" http://www.us.onkyo.com/model.cfm?m=TX-NR709&class=Receiver&p=s
Currently I send my video and audio signal from my iMac to the onkyo via HDMI and could also route the audio through my MOTU UltraLite

I don't think I have a real need for powered monitors?  or do I?

thanks to all for the response thus far!
--Ian

Unless things have changed very recently the Onkyo will only do zone 2 from Analog input sources. So if you have the audio from the imac going to it via HDMI to the PC input (or any other) you will also need to run a set of analog cables to the same corresponding analog input to have that available on Zone 2. This would most easily be done by using the MOTU analog out to the receiver. It should also be noted that no matter what the manufacturer specs say the rated output of "Zone 2" is it will most likely be much less. The do this on purpose so folks can't run 2 large systems and strain the receiver. Also depending on the # of channels in your surround sound you may have to sacrifice 2 of them for the zone 2 speaker outputs.
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Re: Suggestions for Near Field Monitors?
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2012, 10:08:13 PM »
..true flat 20-20k.

Very, very few large speakers can do this without a sub.  Or a couple of subs in reality.

Shooting for 30-40Hz is more reasonable and achievable with larger speakers or monitors + small sub.  Small monitors alone might get down to 50-60Hz with decent output. They may have output below that, but it will be limited and rolled off.
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Re: Suggestions for Near Field Monitors?
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2012, 02:34:40 AM »
..true flat 20-20k.

Very, very few large speakers can do this without a sub.  Or a couple of subs in reality.

Shooting for 30-40Hz is more reasonable and achievable with larger speakers or monitors + small sub.  Small monitors alone might get down to 50-60Hz with decent output. They may have output below that, but it will be limited and rolled off.

Yes ~ thank you  duly noted
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Re: Suggestions for Near Field Monitors?
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2012, 05:37:27 PM »
....btw, my good friend just got a set of Adam monitors and wow are they soundy!   I love ribbon tweeters and those speakers are proof as to why.   I give them a considerable jump above anything I have heard from KRK or Genelec.

Lurve themz.  IMHO, they trump the Genelec, especially for the price.  To be honest, I've never been very enamored with the Genelec and find them a little too expensive for what they bring to the table.

I'm agreed with what others have said about generally finding a better match and sound when the amp is engineered with the speakers (ie: powered monitors).  Having passive monitors and finding the right amplifier to compliment them can be a chore in itself.  That said, and if you're really stuck on passive monitors, take a look at Tannoy.  For some reason I didn't care for their powered monitors, but the times I've heard their passive ones I thought they had good sound.

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Re: Suggestions for Near Field Monitors?
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2012, 06:14:47 PM »
I'm sure the Adam powered monitors are very nice but have never tried them myself.  Adam also makes passive ribbon equipped stereo speakers that are reviewed favorably, they might pair up nicely to your Onkyo if you are looking for ribbons.

IDK though, could mastering with ribbon tweeters potentially introduce "mix translation" concerns since most other speakers don't use ribbon tweeters?
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Re: Suggestions for Near Field Monitors?
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2012, 06:54:26 PM »
as long as they measure flat, no.   if they are inflated in the highs however, maybe so...
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Re: Suggestions for Near Field Monitors?
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2012, 06:43:49 AM »
I'm sure the Adam powered monitors are very nice but have never tried them myself.  Adam also makes passive ribbon equipped stereo speakers that are reviewed favorably, they might pair up nicely to your Onkyo if you are looking for ribbons.

IDK though, could mastering with ribbon tweeters potentially introduce "mix translation" concerns since most other speakers don't use ribbon tweeters?
I have Adam A7's and the highs are not as hyped as many dome tweeters I've heard, especially the metal domes.
I replaced nearfields that had domes and the ribbons have a smoother high end; does sound like it goes well beyond 20K ;), but it's not in your face, just "there".
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Re: Suggestions for Near Field Monitors?
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2012, 01:22:51 PM »
You may want to look at the Focal cms series as well.  I think that they would serve your purposes and the reviews that I read were glowing.
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Re: Suggestions for Near Field Monitors?
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2012, 01:37:59 PM »
Focal doesnt make much that isnt great.
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Re: Suggestions for Near Field Monitors?
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2012, 05:32:41 PM »

... and the highs are not as hyped as many dome tweeters I've heard, especially the metal domes.


I have never heard a metal dome tweeter which I liked... ever.
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Re: Suggestions for Near Field Monitors?
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2012, 07:32:06 PM »
I used to hold the same bias, being an old Infinity EMIT guy for years. Yet my current speakers have metal dome tweets and they are more neutral  and balanced than the EMITs were if not ultimately as 'airy' (which may have been an artificial euphonic thing anyway).  I'd like to hear the Adams or other ribbon tweet designs.
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Offline 108Ω

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Re: Suggestions for Near Field Monitors?
« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2012, 08:23:05 PM »
I used to hold the same bias, being an old Infinity EMIT guy for years. Yet my current speakers have metal dome tweets and they are more neutral  and balanced than the EMITs were if not ultimately as 'airy' (which may have been an artificial euphonic thing anyway).  I'd like to hear the Adams or other ribbon tweet designs.

I grew up on silk domes and probably have become acclimated to the break-up that soft domes have.
my latest tweeters are probably some synthetic cloth, and then there are the planars at the office which are really easy on my aging ears.

What speakers are rocking the metal domes which you like, ... B&W's ?   
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Re: Suggestions for Near Field Monitors?
« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2012, 10:11:53 PM »
Yep, late 90's era 802 Matrix 3's.  Haven't heard much newer stuff, B&W or otherwise, but was turned off by many other metal dome designs of the 80's and 90's.  I usually prefered the smoothness of fabric domes back then, except for the the EMITS who's extention wow'd me with a clarity I'd never heard before, and also their old foam domes in some of the lesser models I directed a few friends to.  Those sounded pretty much like fabric domes.  If anything these 802-M3's tend towards a slightly rolled off top in comparison with my old Infinity RS4B's, but the midrange is much more clear and open and the overal integration better.
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Re: Suggestions for Near Field Monitors?
« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2012, 02:38:55 AM »
so...
I have liked all the conversations thus far.
Some suggestions point to "active aka powered monitors, which would be sweet.
I would say i am trying to do this on the cheap, and active monitors are just plain more expensive.
I figure even if it's not optimal I have an amp that can power the monitors. In the future I can add a powered sub to enhance the bass response.  ( maybe I am just being cheap?)

I am currently leaning toward the KRK R6 6" Two-Way Passive Nearfield Monitor
as they have had stellar reviews and seem like a nice monitor.
Specs form B & H :
Quote
Low Frequency Driver    6" (152mm) Glass Aramid Composite Cone Woofer
High Frequency Driver    1" (25mm) Neodymium Soft Dome Tweeter
Crossover    2.5kHz, 2nd Order
Frequency Range    49Hz - 20kHz ±2dB
Impedance    8 Ohms
Maximum Power Handling    100W
Sensitivity    87dB (1W @ 1 m)
Controls and Indicators    Not Specified by Manufacturer
Connectors    Gold-Plated 5-Way Binding Post Inputs
Shielded    Yes
Dimensions (HxWxD)    12.7 x 8.9 x 10.5" (311 x 225 x 266mm)
Weight    15.5 lbs (7kg)

or may be the Tannoy Reveal 601P 6.5" Passive 2-Way Studio Monitor

Specs from B & H
Quote
Type    Passive, Bass-Reflex
Low Frequency Driver    6.5" (165mm) Multi-Fiber Pulp Paper Cone
High Frequency Driver    1" (25mm) Soft Dome Tweeter with Neodymium Magnet System
Dispersion    90°
Crossover    2.3kHz
Frequency Range    63Hz - 30kHz
Maximum Amplifier Power    50-100W RMS Into 8 Ohms (50W Average, 100W Program Power Handling)
Impedance    8 Ohms
Sensitivity    89dB
Distortion    < 0.6%
Controls and Indicators    1 x HF Trim Control (±1.5dB @ 2.3kHz)
Connectors    2 x Wire Terminals (Positive/Negative)
Construction    MDF Cabinet with Injection Molded Front Baffle, Black Fine Texture Finish
Shielded    No
Dimensions (HxWxD)    13.4 x 8.3 x 10.7" (341 x 210 x 273mm)
Weight    13.7 lbs (6.2kg)
however

I'm wondering if any one has had experience with either or preferably both?
the KRK's seem to have some slightly better?

 but I'M STILL NOT CONVINCED YET.

any more input or ideas on some passive monitors?

thanks

_-Ian
~ Archival Audio ~
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Offline 108Ω

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Re: Suggestions for Near Field Monitors?
« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2012, 07:53:19 PM »
I have always liked the old Tannoy Reveals, which are available as passive or active.
Not much experience with the KRKs

I also have much love for the Dynaudio and the venerable Spendor, but both are usually found in commercial environments.
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Re: Suggestions for Near Field Monitors?
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2012, 12:20:27 AM »
I have always liked the old Tannoy Reveals, which are available as passive or active.
Not much experience with the KRKs

I also have much love for the Dynaudio and the venerable Spendor, but both are usually found in commercial environments.

^^^ thank you so much for your input!
~ Archival Audio ~
Archiving Worthy Music
since 1986 & digitally since 1995

https://www.facebook.com/ArchivalAudio/

Main Mics: Milab VM-44 Links • Milab DC-196's (Matched  Pair)  • Line Audio CM3's
PreAmps:  Naiant LittleBox • Naiant [Milab VM44] TinyBox • Naiant PIPsqueak
Recorders: MixPre 10T •  Tascam DR-100 mkIII • Sony M-10 

macMini 3Ghz i7 16GB Ram 500GB SSD • MOTU UltraLite
Naiant MSH-2's •   TOA K1's • Beyer TG 153c's •  AT 853 (4.7kmod darktrain) • Countryman B3's (1 k mod)  + other assorted mics

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Re: Suggestions for Near Field Monitors?
« Reply #24 on: February 24, 2012, 12:28:34 PM »
I have the KRK6 gen2......powered.  I love them.  They can be a little bright but you can adjust the tweeter via rotary switch on the back.  You have a choice of -2db, -1db, 0db, +1db  They can kick some bass too for a small speaker. Best bang for the buck in terms of monitors, but that is just my opinion.  peace  ook
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Re: Suggestions for Near Field Monitors?
« Reply #25 on: February 25, 2012, 08:08:48 AM »
We use the spendor with good success. Highly recommended for mixing acoustic based music such as classical. It is one of the flattest monitors I've heard, for better or worse.

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Re: Suggestions for Near Field Monitors?
« Reply #26 on: February 25, 2012, 06:03:32 PM »
We use the spendor with good success. Highly recommended for mixing acoustic based music such as classical. It is one of the flattest monitors I've heard, for better or worse.

Can you point me to a model number?
I'll try googling and see what I come up with...
thanx
~ Archival Audio ~
Archiving Worthy Music
since 1986 & digitally since 1995

https://www.facebook.com/ArchivalAudio/

Main Mics: Milab VM-44 Links • Milab DC-196's (Matched  Pair)  • Line Audio CM3's
PreAmps:  Naiant LittleBox • Naiant [Milab VM44] TinyBox • Naiant PIPsqueak
Recorders: MixPre 10T •  Tascam DR-100 mkIII • Sony M-10 

macMini 3Ghz i7 16GB Ram 500GB SSD • MOTU UltraLite
Naiant MSH-2's •   TOA K1's • Beyer TG 153c's •  AT 853 (4.7kmod darktrain) • Countryman B3's (1 k mod)  + other assorted mics

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Re: Suggestions for Near Field Monitors?
« Reply #27 on: February 25, 2012, 06:04:52 PM »
I have the KRK6 gen2......powered.  I love them.  They can be a little bright but you can adjust the tweeter via rotary switch on the back.  You have a choice of -2db, -1db, 0db, +1db  They can kick some bass too for a small speaker. Best bang for the buck in terms of monitors, but that is just my opinion.  peace  ook

Nice  Thanx for the feedback - That is on par with reviews I have read, and seen...
~ Archival Audio ~
Archiving Worthy Music
since 1986 & digitally since 1995

https://www.facebook.com/ArchivalAudio/

Main Mics: Milab VM-44 Links • Milab DC-196's (Matched  Pair)  • Line Audio CM3's
PreAmps:  Naiant LittleBox • Naiant [Milab VM44] TinyBox • Naiant PIPsqueak
Recorders: MixPre 10T •  Tascam DR-100 mkIII • Sony M-10 

macMini 3Ghz i7 16GB Ram 500GB SSD • MOTU UltraLite
Naiant MSH-2's •   TOA K1's • Beyer TG 153c's •  AT 853 (4.7kmod darktrain) • Countryman B3's (1 k mod)  + other assorted mics

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Re: Suggestions for Near Field Monitors?
« Reply #28 on: March 29, 2012, 04:24:00 AM »
Might want to watch for a pair of HHB circle 5 or circle 3s.

 

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