Advice on monitors?

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Advice on monitors?

Postby syntheticsolutions » Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:10 pm

I really need to buy some monitors in the next month or so. I am just about to set up a home studio / recording space in my house and need to stop putting the OB-8 through hi-fi speakers :lol:

I have been looking at the Yamaha HS range, they are fairly cheap and seem to have moderately good reviews.

I do not want to spend over £500 on a pair as I also need to buy the fireface soon.

I have been using a pair of Adam A7x's for a while and I like them. The low frequency definition seems to be lacking with them somewhat but that is potentially down to the space they are in?

If anyone has any advice, fire it my way :)
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Re: Advice on monitors?

Postby silikon » Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:53 pm

I'd worry less about getting new monitors, especially since you already have the A7x's; they're brilliant monitors. Sounds like you'd be better served by getting a subwoofer instead, complimenting your current A7x's. If all you're concerned about is the LF extension (which is what I'm getting from your post), then get a complimentary sub... :)
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Re: Advice on monitors?

Postby syntheticsolutions » Tue Aug 13, 2013 5:00 pm

My apologies, I completely forgot to mention that the A7x's are not mine and will be leaving the house over the next few weeks.

I would like to get a pair of the a7's and the sub however they are somewhat over budget
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Re: Advice on monitors?

Postby madtheory » Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:25 pm

As you guess, the LF definition issue is a function of the room they are in. Your average domestic room will have big problems from about 300Hz down. Adding a sub will only make that worse, because the problem is all of that bass standing around in the room- literally! It's because of the room dimensions. The hope is that your room is not a perfect cube...

This is easily improved by installing bass traps and panel absorbers. Trap the corners first, that's where the biggest build up is. Simply putting in two rolls of Owens- Corning 703 in each corner will do floor to ceiling in a typically sized room. Position your monitors on two corners of an equilateral triangle where your head is the third corner, and using the 33% rule to position them in the room. Then do the four mirror points with panels. This is important- everyone does the side walls, but forgets about the floor and the ceiling! A nice rug is a good idea, if you don't have carpet.

That's the simple way to get a better sounding room. There is more you can do if you want to get into the details. This is a good beginning source of info:
http://www.ethanwiner.com/acoustics.html

One can get far deeper than that if you wish!

The great thing about acoustic treatment is that, compared to buying more gear, it's very very cheap to get a big improvement in sound quality.

As for monitors, in the £500 bracket it's tough to choose, they're all pretty much the same. I think the Mackie's are a more thoughtful and better value design than the Yamaha's, which are trading on the good name of the classic NS10 and NS20- even though they have none of the advantages of those designs. The KRK's are good sounding but the amps have a tendency to blow, whereas the Mackie's are relatively reliable. If you could double your budget and stretch a little, you could get RCF Mytho 8 which perform well above their price bracket.
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Re: Advice on monitors?

Postby silikon » Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:42 pm

madtheory wrote:As you guess, the LF definition issue is a function of the room they are in. Your average domestic room will have big problems from about 300Hz down. Adding a sub will only make that worse, because the problem is all of that bass standing around in the room- literally! It's because of the room dimensions. The hope is that your room is not a perfect cube...

This is easily improved by installing bass traps and panel absorbers. Trap the corners first, that's where the biggest build up is. Simply putting in two rolls of Owens- Corning 703 in each corner will do floor to ceiling in a typically sized room. Position your monitors on two corners of an equilateral triangle where your head is the third corner, and using the 33% rule to position them in the room. Then do the four mirror points with panels. This is important- everyone does the side walls, but forgets about the floor and the ceiling! A nice rug is a good idea, if you don't have carpet.

That's the simple way to get a better sounding room. There is more you can do if you want to get into the details. This is a good beginning source of info:
http://www.ethanwiner.com/acoustics.html

One can get far deeper than that if you wish!

The great thing about acoustic treatment is that, compared to buying more gear, it's very very cheap to get a big improvement in sound quality.

As for monitors, in the £500 bracket it's tough to choose, they're all pretty much the same. I think the Mackie's are a more thoughtful and better value design than the Yamaha's, which are trading on the good name of the classic NS10 and NS20- even though they have none of the advantages of those designs. The KRK's are good sounding but the amps have a tendency to blow, whereas the Mackie's are relatively reliable. If you could double your budget and stretch a little, you could get RCF Mytho 8 which perform well above their price bracket.


Solid advice. :clap:
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Re: Advice on monitors?

Postby madtheory » Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:06 pm

Thanks silikon...

O wait, I see now that you'r in the UK. Forget the Owens Corning, you need Rockwool RW3, the density should be 50 to 60 kg/cubic metre. The dust sheets that are sold in hardware shops make nice covers for the panels, a neutral beige type colour. And measure out how much 2x1 timber you need for at least 3 panels.
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Re: Advice on monitors?

Postby Stab Frenzy » Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:31 pm

I'd second what everyone said about acoustic treatment, it's the only way you can get monitors to work properly in a space.

Regarding which monitors to get, I'd be looking at the Yamaha MSP5 Studios rather than the HS series. Having used both extensively I much prefer the MSPs, although they are a little forward in the high mids. This makes them great to mix on however. They've got enough bottom end for any small room. The Adam A5x is just over your price range and would be worth a look as well.

If you have a bigger room (say at least 4m x 5m) then consider monitors with bigger LF drivers, but for smaller rooms than that bigger drivers will give you a less accurate idea of what's going on in the bottom end.

It's worth skewing your budget towards monitors as monitors are literally the most important thing in your studio and are going to be the thing that you keep for the longest time. I've had my MSP5As for over ten years and in that time upgraded my soundcard four times. Changing monitors means that you need to get used to the sound of the new ones before you can do any mixes that sound how you want them to sound, which can take weeks.
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Re: Advice on monitors?

Postby muhammed » Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:42 am

I also have same truoble with low frequncies too. it is fact that whatever you do to your room ,you need subwoofer to check what's going on between 20hz -30hz. You should listen above mentioned monitors by yourself before buying. because each person has different hearing sensivities, some people like Genius Stab frenzy and Madtheory can hear Frequencies better than other people can.
in my opinioun adam a5x ,yamaha hs 80 and the other monitors at same price range are good listening monitors rather than referance monitors.
you should spend more than Gbp500,00.
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Re: Advice on monitors?

Postby Stab Frenzy » Wed Aug 14, 2013 10:10 am

There shouldn't be anything going on between 20-30Hz if you're making music. Even the venues I work at with quad 18" subs are highpassed at 30Hz.
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Re: Advice on monitors?

Postby bhrama » Wed Aug 14, 2013 6:36 pm

I can concur with the foam/acoustic treatment within your space. I own a pair of A7, and noticed a sizable gap in the low end, so I purchased a sub thinking this would be a simple fix...all that did was muddy up to room. Sounded like I was underwater if too loud.

I spoke so a few audio engineers, and they suggested treating the room (which is practically a cube) with what other have described above as foam treatments (see Madtheory), as well as a wall treatments. I made my own out of 2"x2" wood peices randomly cut to break up the sound. I had my little ones paint them in different colors, so they are sort of like functional art. 8-)

All of this made a huge difference.
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Re: Advice on monitors?

Postby madtheory » Wed Aug 14, 2013 10:20 pm

How is your cube sounding now? Mine is a cube too, but I've it broken up with an upright piano and a big desk. Plus it's a wood framed house so the walls are almost VLF bass traps. So I've got the bass problems pretty much fixed, but have an awkwardly positioned window that causes imaging, upper mid and HF problems.

But one point- No, not foam. Rockwool RW3. Foam is a bit of a myth really.
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Re: Advice on monitors?

Postby ninja6485 » Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:12 am

Something that might be helpful to someone else setting up a room: My room is too small to get the suggested distance between the monitors and the walls, but also maintain an equilateral triangle. Am I correct in assuming that the triangle has priority over distance between the monitor and the walls?
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Re: Advice on monitors?

Postby Stab Frenzy » Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:12 am

ninja6485 wrote:Something that might be helpful to someone else setting up a room: My room is too small to get the suggested distance between the monitors and the walls, but also maintain an equilateral triangle. Am I correct in assuming that the triangle has priority over distance between the monitor and the walls?

No I'd say the opposite. The whole equilateral triangle thing is a myth as far as I'm concerned, you should move your monitors closer and wider while listening to them until the image is good and solid, not just put them in an equilateral triangle and assume that's the best spot. Obviously you still want them on a horizontal plane with your ears and you want them equidistant from your head, and an equilateral triangle is often the spot that sounds the best, but you need to use your ears.
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Re: Advice on monitors?

Postby madtheory » Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:26 am

Equilateral is not a myth. But it only works when you've dealt with the reflections in the room. It is somewhat possible to position the monitors so as to reduce the effects of the major reflections, but it's like trying to fix bubbles on wallpaper. You will end up having to live with some flaw. Nothing will beat absorption.
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