5" powered monitors. Which one.

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by dogbone, Jul 19, 2006.

  1. dogbone macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #1
    I thought my choice was limited in Australia due to overpricing for example a pair of Tannoy Reveal5a's (USD$500) can be up to $1100 in Australia. But after 3 days of relentless searching I've usually been able to locate one supplier of each item I'm after who is not a robber baron. For example the Reveal's can be bought for a more reasonable $780.

    So the monitors I'm considering are...I've listed the best US price and the best Australian price. However it's the Australian price i'm interested in I've just put the US price for comparison.


    Event ALP5 USD$329 AUD$480

    KRK RP5 USD$300 AUD$575

    TASCAM VLX5 USD$280 AUD$500

    M audio BX5a USD$300 AUD$570

    However I might be able to get a pair of demo KRK V4's for AUD$580 and if I can I guess that would sort of kill all the others. Or would I be better off paying another $200 for a new pair of Reveals which are the same US Base price. The 5a and the V4 are both $500 in the US but the cheapest V4 I've found in Australia is $1200!

    Anyway any thought on the best of the cheapies above or on the Reveal 5a against the Tannoy would be muchly appreciated. I've been all over the web looking at forums but I've not gathered any useful infomation.

    At the moment unless someone give me some better ideas, if I don't get the demo KRK v4's then I'm leaning towards the Event ALP5
     
  2. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

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    #2
    What kind of music do you make?

    KRKs are better for rock, but they don't have amazing dynamics and they are really unsubtle at times. A friend of mine had them for a week and didn't like them at all, so he got some Adams. I'd just simply have a listen to them all, see which ones you like the most. Take music you know very well to a place which has all of them and ask if you can try them out. Don't forget to test out the volume output too!!! I always try a mix at very low, medium and very high volume levels.
     
  3. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #3
    how does that work!?!
     
  4. chasemac macrumors 6502a

    chasemac

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    #4
    I own a pair of Event Tuned Reference 8 ($249.00 US) monitors and I am very pleased with them. You will have to test drive any monitors in order to determine what is best for your taste.:)
     
  5. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

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    #5

    It works like this:

    All speakers have their strengths and weaknesses. Some have huge dynamics, while others 'squash' all the music, others have slower response times, so are more suited to slower, less complex music. Others have poor imaging, and are suited to very simply mixed music.

    Rock, for example requires that a speaker is fast, has good seperation and moderately restrained high end, in order to make listening over long periods easy.

    Speakers are BY FAR the most complex and difficult part of ANY sound system to design, build and produce effectively. Of all the components, they also have the most difficult job - turning electrical signals from many different levels of input into sound waves. It really is a very complex science...
     
  6. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #6
    and no other style of music requires such properties? classical? jazz? sorry, i don't think that's right at all. afaic, speakers are on a continuum between more and less accurate. i don't know of a style of music that benefits from being mixed with inaccurate monitoring.
     
  7. dogbone thread starter macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #7
    I'm not going to be able to demo all these, let alone under ideal conditions, due to where I live, . I'm not spending thousands so I'm going to rely on opinions. I've just found out that the demo V4's are series one which don't have as good amplifier components. I've also go my eye on a pair of used V6's.

    However It's most likely I'll end up with one of the 5" models at the top of the post. At the moment I'm leaning heavily towards the new ALP5's, but unfortunately I haven't found anyone yet who has heard them apart from a couple of good online reviews.
     
  8. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

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    #8

    Well what do you consider accurate monitoring? A speaker which is technically 'perfect' would be very difficult to listen to for more than 10 minutes. That's why most sub £8000 studio monitoring systems have restrained high end.

    And you can't be serious in thinking you're going to get remotely accurate sound out of speakers which have a distance of less than a metre between the drive cones and little 5" bass drivers?
     
  9. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #9
    the whole point of people spending oodles of cash on their room and nearfields is to mix to a reproduction that is as close to the source as possible. your tangent about "unlistenable accuracy" aside, you claim krk's are made for rock. i've looked over their site, i saw no such reference. from where did you get it?

    further, i don't know of any engineer who wants to "dampen" their high-frequency reproduction (aside from correcting peaks and nulls, of course). which monitors are these? which frequencies do they allegedly dampen?
     
  10. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

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    #10
    dude, look at the frequency response polygons of any monitor under £8000. They all have pretty subdued hi end. For example, PMC's top of the line speakers don't have at all restrained high end, and listening to them for more than 10 minutes (which I did at a hifi show) became incredibly fatiguing...

    Look, whatever you do, you are never going to get remotely accurate sound out of a pair of speakers which have 5" drive cones. About the lowest you can reach with a 5" cone is around 50 Hz, which means missing of the bottom 3 octaves of the audbile frequency range.

    Sure you aren't going to see any references to rock music on KRKs website. I don't see any references to jazz and classical on B&W's website, but that's what my B&W speakers are best with. They are not your usual hifi speakers, they were used in abbey road studios for more than 10 years.
     
  11. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #11
    i can't argue with a subjective term like "subdued". how about you link to a representative freq graph and i'll have a look at it?
     
  12. dogbone thread starter macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    My eyes are bleeding badly now and the VLX5's have moved up the ranking, I can get them delivered free so that means they are the same price for me as the ALP5's, so it's down to these two.

    The VLX5's look pretty good for the price, some people actually sell them for $900 over here which shows you how fracked Australia is in this regard

    OK, so no one can tell me about the ALP5's except for a couple of online reviews that are OK. But surely someone has heard the Tascams, I'm starting to lean towards them. Mainly because the ALP5's are a bit of an unkown quantity and also the Tascams have extra frequency cut off switches on them that I know nothing about, but I'm impressed. The tascams are also bigger and heavier with a larger woofer amp and and a lower frequency response of 45Hz as opposed to 53 for the Event. Does that mean better bass?

    Anyway, there's still time for someone to convince me to get the ALP5's maybe because they are made in China and therefore have better components at the same price, who knows. But the white woofer might be irritating after a while.

    If only someone could just tell me which one is the better monitor...
     
  13. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

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    #13
    Well, at the moment, I can't find any response graphs anywhere, but I have seen some. If I can't get hold of any, I'll just take a picture of the response graphs on my Samson monitors or my DM7s (both of which have response polygons available).

    Instead, I've uploaded a shot from a review in Electronic musician of the KRK ST8 monitor (mid price range monitors).

    [​IMG]

    You can see how KRK have even highlighted the part which says the hi-end smooth. Any audiophile would be able to tell you that a speaker which has flat response would be impossible to listen to over a long period of time, the high end would be incredibly fatiguing over time...
     

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  14. dogbone thread starter macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #14
    Here's a response graph from the VLX5's can you tell me if it looks good or not? I'm not going to be able to demo these speakers.

    I thought that 'flat is good'?

    Also what is all this talk about monitors being 'tiring' to listen to. How does a flat high become tiring, how does it work exactly?

    Oh btw, don't mind me, I'm just the Thread Owner, (see my little badge)? <holds up badge>, you two carry on arguing. But I'd appreciate it if someone could spare a few moments to look at the Tascam graph. :)
     

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  15. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #15
    here's where we're talking past each other: smooth is a subjective term, whereas flat has a pretty well-defined meaning.

    i'm well aware that the freq graphs are going to show a high-freq rolloff at some point, because of the physical limits of design. it's where that point is that will further the discussion. if it's around 20k -- well, i can't hear that high, so it doesn't matter. if the rolloff is around, say, 16k, where i can still hear some, then i'll start to wonder if that was a choice.

    i do not, however, interpret "smooth" to mean "non-flat".
     
  16. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #16
    i can't read it. is there a more hi-res version?
     
  17. dogbone thread starter macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #17
    Nah, they are so annoying, it's in a vector pdf but they must have stuck a jpg in, I know it's bad but I was hoping you'd sort of recognise where the particular frequencies would be marked...is that a bit too much to expect?
     
  18. dogbone thread starter macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #18
    Maybe this is better, it's the same res but I've blown it up and sharpened it.
     

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  19. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

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    #19
    I'm not saying flat is bad, it's just it's really difficult to listen to for more than ten minutes or so.

    That response curve looks fairly flat, but if anything there's a bit too much hi end.

    If you do get them, then I'd also look at investing in a pair of hifi speakers and an amp. Use that while you're actually recording, and then when it comes to doing the 'final mix', switch over to the VLX5s.
     
  20. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #20
    yeah, kind of. i will say that that curve doesn't look particularly promising.
     
  21. dogbone thread starter macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #21
    Gee, maybe I should take a chance on the ALP5's, I can't get to listen to them anywhere near where I am. All I know is that they are fairly new, and they've replaced the Event TR5, and are made in China. The Tascams can be had for $240 USD and the ALP5's are around $330 but that could just be because they are new and the price will drop.

    Do you think it is significant that the lower frequency on the ALP is only 53 as opposed to 45 for the tascam? And would 10W less power on the woofer am mean anything?
     
  22. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

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    #22
    okay, I did write out a big reply, about how 10 watts isn't that much, but then Firefox unexpectedly quit, so I'm just gonna cut to the chase...

    10 watts less isn't that much difference, unless you only had 11 watts in the first place...

    Also, we have no real way of knowing what that response means, to be honest with you, that's only the really extreme frequencies (from what I can see). We also have no way of knowing what scale that graph's on. It could well be that it's only showing +/- 10 dB, in which case they are very accurate speakers.

    Don't judge speakers with your eyes, use your ears. Listen to them. If we all went by specs, we would all be owning these speaker systems from Tescos which say "2000 watts 20 Hz - 20 KHz power system".
     
  23. dogbone thread starter macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #23
    OK I'll make a journey to Sydney tomorrow to check out the Tascams and with some luck I may be able to find some ALP5's. But then again, they of course won't be heard in my own environment and I don't have any monitor listening experience. I won't be able to do a side by side A/B test either. Though so I don't know how useful it will be even if I get to hear some ALP's.

    Maybe you can give me a couple of pointers on what to listen out for when auditioning 5" monitors? Particularly the bass.
     
  24. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

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    #24
    Pick some recordings you know well.

    If you have these:

    A good one for testing low frequency ability is Nitin Sawhney's Noches en Vila (pts 1 and 2) off the album Philtre. It's fast and powerful, with some good sub-bass that will eliminate the weak speakers immidiately. It's also good for testing imaging and depth-awareness...

    Another good one is I Want A Little Girl performed by Eric Clapton on One More Car, One More Rider.

    You could also try Tracy Chapman's Fast Car on Collection, as that has beautifully mixed low frequencies.

    My all time favourite has to be LFO's LFO off the album Frequencies. All time classic, with simply rediculous low frequency. However, not the most entertaining thing to play on speakers with edgy hi end, so I think this is really good for testing out how easy a system is to listen to...
     
  25. dogbone thread starter macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    OK I've found someone not too far away who had the ALP5's and some other stuff like the Rokits, but they also have a demo pair of Yamaha MSP5A's that they have offered at a pretty good price.

    Any opinion on the Yammy's? They are usually a fair bit dearer in the states than all the other 5 inchers, even though they only have a 40W woofer.

    Here's a freq graph, would they be better speakers than the VLX5's or rokit RP5's, as I might be able to get them at the same price.
     

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