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View Full Version : Connections for studio monitors!




coolwine
Jul 19, 2009, 12:04 AM
I already posted this in the advice before you buy section and no one commented so i am hoping i will have better luck in this thread:confused:
Ok I currently have the Klipsch promedia 2.1 speaker setup connected to my 2.8 ghz 15" MBP. I love music and I am looking at upgrading to some nice monitors because they sound pretty of course and i would like to ditch the subwoofer (limited space). The two questions i have are which monitors and how should i connect them? Amazon has a pair of M-Audio bx5a's for $220 that are really enticing. Is there anything better for the price? They seem to get perfect reviews everywhere i look. The next issue is connection; I found a HOSA STEREO 3.5mm (M) - TWO XLR(M), 3m on amazon, would that work or would i be better off purchasing one of the m-audio usb sound processors? Keep in mind for the time being i don't record any music of my own so inputs are not a necessity but beautiful sounding music is.
Thanks!



Luap
Jul 19, 2009, 05:05 AM
I think you may be barking up the wrong tree if you want studio monitors just for listening to music on. Studio monitors are designed to let you hear material, warts n all. They don't (or shouldn't) flatter the sound to be 'nice'
If you put a great mix through them, sure, they should sound great. Put a rough mix through them, and it should still sound rough. And, also let you know whats rough about it. Like a sonic magnifying glass if you like. These qualities won't always make for the pleasing sound you seem to want.
Having said all that. Some monitors are a little more 'hifi' like than others. And seeing as you also want to ditch the sub, then you might want to check out the Mackie range.
As for connections.. It seems you want to connect your powered speakers/monitors directly to your Mac's 3.5mm output. The headphone outputs on Macs are really not all that. They certainly don't do justice to a nice pair of studio monitors anyway.

So to get this 'pretty sound' you want, I think you are either better off with what you have already, or holding out until your budget can stretch to rather more than you are currently looking to spend.

VirtualRain
Jul 19, 2009, 05:07 AM
I already posted this in the advice before you buy section and no one commented so i am hoping i will have better luck in this thread:confused:
Ok I currently have the Klipsch promedia 2.1 speaker setup connected to my 2.8 ghz 15" MBP. I love music and I am looking at upgrading to some nice monitors because they sound pretty of course and i would like to ditch the subwoofer (limited space). The two questions i have are which monitors and how should i connect them? Amazon has a pair of M-Audio bx5a's for $220 that are really enticing. Is there anything better for the price? They seem to get perfect reviews everywhere i look. The next issue is connection; I found a HOSA STEREO 3.5mm (M) - TWO XLR(M), 3m on amazon, would that work or would i be better off purchasing one of the m-audio usb sound processors? Keep in mind for the time being i don't record any music of my own so inputs are not a necessity but beautiful sounding music is.
Thanks!

How much do you want to spend? I'm guessing not that much if you are looking at $200 monitors?

Regardless of your budget, you really need to get out and listen to some stuff. Go to your local Guitar Center and audition a range of monitors. Only then will you know what sounds good to you. Having just done this recently, I can tell you that every price point has a spectrum of different sounding monitors. You should not buy speakers sight unseen. Period!

Depending on your budget you may want to consider an external DAC (USB Audio Interface). There are tons out there at prices ranging from $100 to $300. An audiophile DAC will set you back $3K. Your cheap and cheerful solution of a cable adapter is fine if that's all your budget allows.

VirtualRain
Jul 19, 2009, 05:14 AM
I think you may be barking up the wrong tree if you want studio monitors just for listening to music on. Studio monitors are designed to let you hear material, warts n all. They don't (or shouldn't) flatter the sound to be 'nice'


I'm not sure this is true anymore. It may have been the case one day, but now studio monitors, particularly on the low-end are decent sounding bookshelf speakers and for the most part, will crush comparably priced computer speakers.

If all studio monitors were designed to let you hear the material as it was intended, they would all sound the same... and that, I can guarantee you, is not the case. Yamaha's sound completely different from Adam's which sound completely different from Mackie.

Any good mixer will tell you that it's knowing the characteristics of your monitors and how they will translate to other systems that's important... not having a perfectly "accurate" or "transparent" speaker.

In my opinion, the only advice one should provide regarding speakers on the internet, is to get out and listen to a bunch. I could go on all day long about how my speaker sound, but that's absolutely meaningless to another set of ears.