Small monitors

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Sesshi, Nov 7, 2006.

  1. macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #1
    I'm looking for a pair of smallish monitors to sit on a desk or via a clamp-on stand once I've got everything set up. Powered would be best, if passive then I can stick a power amp somewhere.

    Something around 12 x 12 x 8 (h x d x w) inches, single input (balanced) will be sufficient. If it looks good that'd be a bonus but I'm aiming more for the highest performance I can get in a small size. No set budget.
     
  2. macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #2
    i've ordered myself a pair of adam a7's. i'm waiting patiently for them to arrive.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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  4. macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #4
    adam's reputation. i wanted the next model up, but decided to try the a7's and also get a nice compressor.

    if they don't work for me, i'll send 'em back and get something else. i tend to mix at fairly low volumes (70-80 dB), and my new room is going to be well treated, so i think they'll be fine. they're supposed to have great midrange, which i'm really struggling with on my current monitors, mackie 624's. same thing with imaging.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #5
    Thanks. I'll see if I can grab a listen at the shop I sometimes go to. They seem to have a dearth of Adam gear though.

    I'm shifting my furniture around and a wall-mounted monitor isn't going to work anymore. The Genelec 8050A's are too dominating for use on/near-desk so I want to replace it with the aforementioned smaller articles, and given my use for them the choice of something smaller make sense.

    I was thinking about the smaller Genelec, the 8030A for example but I haven't heard that many monitors so wanted opinions. I'm definitely looking for a more 'hi-fi' flavour to the sound than a pure studio monitor sound. I will of course consider regular hi-fi / high-end PC speakers too, but not many of the former are made with nearfield use in mind.

    If you / anyone else has suggestions that'd be great.
     
  6. macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #6
    oh -- are you tracking and mixing through these, or just listening to program material? i'd just assumed the former.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #7
    Nothing of the kind I'm afraid. Just listening :D
     
  8. macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #8
    ahhhhhhhh. i'll be of little help, then. i like my monitors to make my music sound like crap, not good. that's the problem with my mackie's -- they didn't make me work hard enough.
     
  9. macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #9
    What price range? Adams and Genelecs are at the extreme high end of the dollar range for desktop listening, at least for me. I have a pair of nEar 05's that are small and sound great for listening, and are 1/3 the cost of the Adams, or less. The Adam 7's just got an excellent review from Sound on Sound I am flirting with the idea of getting the M-Audio EX66's which also reviewed well.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #10
    I'd say price is pretty flexible. If there is a realistic upper limit, I'd say the same as the 8050A's which were around £1,800 ($3,800) for the pair. I'm looking to get the best nearfield experience based on roughly the size requirements I set down.
     
  11. macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #11
    wow, that's quite a budget. are you familiar with the magnepans? i've not heard them, but have heard very good things about them.

    not exactly desktop or nearfield, but...
     
  12. thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #12
    It's going to have to be desktop and nearfield. Just down to the way the workspace will be arranged. As far as 'full-size' speakers are concerned I did consider moving a spare pair of Duevels I have into cutouts in the desk at the corners of the room, but I'm not convinced it'll work that well both in terms of practicality and other factors. With a desk mounted speaker I can put it on top of a set of drawers, a plinth, etc which I can put stuff underneath.
     
  13. macrumors regular

    jonutarr

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    #13
    then your not looking for monitors are you

    why not get a 2.1 from logitech or a 5.1? they sound quite good
    personally i would waste to much money on hifi stuff
     
  14. thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #14
    Quite good is relative. Not for me unfortunately. They're OK and this is pretty much for casual use but I'm not looking for that casual.

    I am looking for nearfields and this does put me in monitor territory. Not all monitors have a totally flat response (in fact few do) so I'm looking for something on the slightly entertaining side of board-flat.
     
  15. macrumors regular

    jonutarr

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    #15
    haha
    very true


    ok
    maybe Blue Sky media desk 2.1
    or any of the KRK range
     
  16. macrumors regular

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    #16
    Have to say anything in the KRK range as well. They provide a nice, casual listening environment, however, they don't disguise your mixes very much.

    I originally had the first model of the M-Audio BX5's for awhile - did a wonderful job and translated very well. Also sounded great as desktop speakers or connected to a TV. However, I recently switched to some KRKs - granted they're the Rokit5's, but they still have some punch. In fact, I like their response better than the M-Audio's. Better low end, cleaner stereo imaging, not too crisp in the high end (which I found on my previous mixes on the M-Audio's that my high end was a bit dull thanks to their really clean high end - would have to add an EQ after the fact to brighten up my mixes). I don't have to do this with the KRKs.

    Anyway, here's a few I'd recommend - regardless of price range:

    KRK Rokit5, Rokit8, V6, V8
    M-Audio BX5, BX8 (NOT BX5a or BX8a)
    Dynaudio BM5A

    That's all I can really think of at this point regarding speakers I've had personal experience with. Anything else would be strictly studio monitors or just physically too large for your needs.

    Hope that helps.
     
  17. macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #17
    I think you should seriously consider a pair of KRK V4's. they measure about 9x8x6. Tiny with a big sound. I got them for monitoring and I was expecting accuracy as opposed to listenability. But I was surprised to find out that they are indeed fantastic sounding nearfield montitors for just plain music listening.

    I bought a pair of series one secondhand and the newer series two are supposed to have better circuitry. For $500 US a pair they are fantastic value.

    Here's some reviews for the old series one V4's, (top right of page).
     
  18. macrumors newbie

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    Nov 13, 2006
    #18
    I spent a few hours listening to small active near-field monitors over at the local Guitar Center Pro. Small is crucial for me. They have about a dozen different high-ish end monitors set up at a couple of different workstations. Not ideal listening, of course, but not terrible, and certainly easier than toting a dozen monitors home.

    The top speakers (small size) in my opinion were the Dynaudio BM5A and the Genelec 8030a or 8040a. Both were better than anything from KRK (5 or 8), M-Audio, Event, and I forget who-all else. The Dynaudio BM5As were just exquisitely sweet sounding. Your whole body just relaxes. The Genelecs were also superb, flat, and accurate, if slightly less sweet. (Unfortunately, the Dyanaudios and the Genelecs were set up at different workstations, one of which was not fully operational, so I couldn't A/B them with the same music.) Among the Genelecs, I thought the 8030A sounded sweeter than the 8040, which surprised me; I did not test the 8050 that was there. The 8020A was disappointing compared to the 8030A, but at low SPLs was very impressive for such a tiny box - the 8020A is probably best for portable TV news studios crammed in the back of a van.

    I'd say the Dynaudio BM5As were most suitable for listening hi-fi-ishly. Go take a listen. Note however that the BM5As have a notoriously long break-in period of several days, so don't be disappointed at home until they have opened up.

    Now could someone please do a serious comparative review of the Dynaudio BM5A (6.9" driver) versus the new but confusingly named Dynaudio BM5A Compact (5.7" driver) versus the Genelec 8030A (5" driver but sounds bigger)?
     
  19. macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #19
    If you are prepared to drop between 1200 and two grand on a pair of genelecs, why do you compare them with a bottom range pair of krk rp5's at $300 a pair? If you are seriously looking at speakers and you think krk might be a viable option instead of the gens, why didn't you look at the KRK V series particularly the V6's?
     
  20. thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #20
    Thanks for all the suggestions so far.

    The V's look like a very good deal from what I've been able to glean. Unfortunately the shop I normally go to hasn't got any in for demo, not with the Adams either. Figures, doesn't it? I'm going to try and find a place which stocks / demos the V's. They do have the BM5A's though so I will be popping along to see them later in the week. I know they also have the 8030A so I can compare. Only problem is they have a really crappy eval environment.

    The 8030A was kind of my default choice (but as I said, I'm not glued to Genelecs) and I already know what that sounds like - the 20A just gives too small of a sound for me.
     
  21. macrumors regular

    theblotted

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    Los Angeles
    #21
    i second the KRK V4's for small monitors. punchy mid's and enough low's for a small size.

    Genelec's are great. i used to hate'em back when they are 1031-series. too bright and tinny. the new versions, esp 8040's are incredible. if you got the dough to spend, i'd jump on Genelec's.
     
  22. macrumors member

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    #22
    I would also go with the Blue Sky media desk 2.1
     
  23. macrumors 68040

    Killyp

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    Jun 14, 2006
    #23
    I wouldn't go with anything other than Genelecs at that price. Every pair I've heard sound incredibly neutral and BIG.

    Genelec 8040As are what I tend to see in other studios (I've been in about 5 studios that use them).
     
  24. macrumors regular

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    #24
    Actually got rid of my KRK Rokit 5's...after a long testing period, decided that I didn't like them. Took the "plunge" and got some Dynaudio BM5As.
     
  25. macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #25
    this afternoon, i finally got them. so far, so good, but i'm still learning them, obviously. as advertised, the high end is detailed. big improvement over my 624's.

    hearing stuff i've not heard before... nice.
     

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