best synth studio monitors for around $1000

Pulling out your hair? Don't know what to do or where to go? Ask in here.
Forum rules
READ: VSE Board-Wide Rules and Guidelines

If your Help request has been solved, please edit your first post in order to select the Image Topic Icon to let others know your topic has been solved.
Post Reply
User avatar
megawatt
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 281
Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2006 5:28 am
Location: LA

best synth studio monitors for around $1000

Post by megawatt » Sun May 06, 2007 11:39 pm

I need new monitors for a small room 8X13 home studio playing bass & drum heavey dancehall club music and Dub to be listened to at low/moderate volumes during mixing and production but intended to bang on sound systems. Budget of $1200 top. I'm done with my Tannoy Reveals.

I have nice synths and drum computers and want to hear them. Some vocals but mostly hip hop and dancehall flavoured stuff. I know that this is subjective but what are you using in this price range?

Looking at

Mackie HR824
Adam A7
Dynaudio BM5a
Genelec 8030A

Blue Sky Pro Desk (mabe - not sure if I want a sub - convince me)
Krk 6 with sub?
Events?

I mix in a tight space in a small apartment which is why i'm leaning not to get a sub. I'm working on adding more treatment. The speakers will most likely be closer to the back wall then I'd preffer should I get something with bass ports in the front?

I want something I can enjoy without fatigue for many years. Any suggestions that price range - nothing above $1200 please - active or passive plus amp combo suggestions welcome.
OP-1, RYTM, A4, CS-50, PUSH

User avatar
wiss
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 2141
Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2006 10:03 pm
Gear: .com, mpc, and a studio full of behringer clones.
Location: Chicago

Post by wiss » Sun May 06, 2007 11:43 pm

to mix correctly you must know your speakers inside and out....I use a pair of Polk Audio moniter-10's....old stereo spreakers I used to have....I know music should sound like on those....I know this doesnt help but know the speakers inside and out....
"All we used was the explosion and the orchestra hit. The Fairlight was a $100,000 waste of space."

User avatar
tallowwaters
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4998
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 4:11 am
Gear: LC-MS/MS
Location: snake's belly in a wagon rut

Post by tallowwaters » Sun May 06, 2007 11:51 pm

how about the 6" genelec lsr4600 that tune themselves to the room? i have never used them, but am considering replacing my s**t brick samson monitors with 'em.

course, a sub would put you over budget.
Brains can be used like a "stress ball," but only once.

User avatar
Tidda
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 164
Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2006 5:30 pm

Post by Tidda » Sun May 06, 2007 11:58 pm

wiss wrote:to mix correctly you must know your speakers inside and out....I use a pair of Polk Audio moniter-10's....old stereo spreakers I used to have....I know music should sound like on those....I know this doesnt help but know the speakers inside and out....
+1

Just get a decent pair and stick with it. I'm still using the same old Spirit II's I bought some 15 years ago and I have the feeling they are decaying as fast as my hearing is.

With your budget and today's technology it shouldn't be a problem to get a nice pair.
Just get the ones you're most comfortable with.
Don't forget to defend them to the tooth in future posts and suggest them in case anyone asks for it. :lol:
And, most of all get to know them really well of course.

Tidda

User avatar
megawatt
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 281
Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2006 5:28 am
Location: LA

Post by megawatt » Mon May 07, 2007 12:52 am

Thanks for the tips. Every good monitor has it's own sound that you have to learn to mix on. from c**p boomboxes to clubs. I'm just over the tannoy Reveal broken driver monitor experience personally - they were great for years and provided lots of service for the price. I'm just ready to step up to the next tier $800 to $1200. I'm worried about the price of replacing a blown ribbon tweater so the A7 have that against them but they are enticing

I need to hear them and all of them in my space ultimately but of course don't have that luxury.

The voyager mek and elektron need some wood and woofers to let them breath.
OP-1, RYTM, A4, CS-50, PUSH

User avatar
Stab Frenzy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9723
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:41 pm
Gear: Eurorack, RYTM, Ultranova, many FX
Location: monster island*
Contact:

Post by Stab Frenzy » Mon May 07, 2007 8:13 am

Man that's a pretty small room, anything with decent bottom end is going to set up masive standing waves unless you've got a crapload of bass trapping.

I wouldn't go bigger than the 8030s or the BM5As, and then spend the rest of your $1200 on bass traps and accoustic treatment. You might not end up with the massive bass sound you want but it'll be nicely contained and you'll actually be able to hear what's going on and mix your stuff well.

We've got a room about that size at work with 8 Genelec 1032As set up in a skewed cubic array and even with just two going as stereo the bass response changes whenever you move your head slighty. This room is acoustically designed and treat all over except some small windows, but it just doesn't have enough air in it to handle those monitors.

KBD_TRACKER
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 222
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 11:10 am

I did get a pair of Genelec 8030s a month ago

Post by KBD_TRACKER » Mon May 07, 2007 8:58 am

and i am really pleased with them. clear clear sound, not cosmetically pampered: you realize that immediately and of course this prompts you to chisel and pay attention to your sound right away. just what a monitor should be.

given the size of the boomer, bass response is very good, particularly if the speakers are not too far from the wall (2" -7"), ( bass vent is in the rear). in fact i just do not see the need for subwoofers, even when playing vinyl records (house, IDM, garage, etc ..).

good, sturdy and quite beautiful metallic enclosure, in the rear, XLR connections, and a bunch of microswitches to customize the response of the monitors to the space. last but not least, minimal foot print, which was essential since i got very little space.

a contender for me was the alp 5 and other monitors from event (when i was in a bigger space, 7 years ago, i loved my 20/20 biamps), but now they are way too big for my studio, and the sound quality of the alp 5, well, ...is different.

good luck !

User avatar
Yoozer
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1390
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2005 1:31 pm

Post by Yoozer » Mon May 07, 2007 10:46 am

megawatt wrote:I'm worried about the price of replacing a blown ribbon tweater so the A7 have that against them but they are enticing
What exactly do you do that you think of blowing them? :shock: I mean, why would it be less sturdy than a dome tweeter?

Love my A7s by the way. Replaced the Reveal 6D actives I had (where one woofer was broken - still needs to be fixed, grr.)
"Part of an instrument is what it can do, and part of it is what you do to it" - Suzanne Ciani, 197x.

User avatar
spookyman
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 371
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 7:13 am
Gear: cheezy machines and some cheap analog stuff
Location: Jura, Switzerland

Post by spookyman » Mon May 07, 2007 11:01 am

You could buy some Prodipe Pro 8 with 8' woofers, for more or less 350$ (for a pair), but they are allmost to big for your room...

I also have a small home studio, and i bought the Dynaudio BM5A. These are small monitors too, but they have enough power and bass response for this room...But you know, the choice of monitors is allways a choice of personal taste.

So i would encourage you to go in some stores, or studios, where you can listen to the different brands (Genelec 8030 or 8040, KRK V6 or V8, Dynaudio BM5A or BM6A, Adam A7 or P11, etc...) and make the decision after listening to the different models. The opinions of people from an internet forum can be interesting, but should not influence YOUR decision...You will have to work with your future monitors...not the other users of this forum. :wink:
It is much easier to be a good equipment purchaser than to be a great musician.

User avatar
kk994
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 166
Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2006 10:06 pm
Location: Wicklow, Ireland

Post by kk994 » Mon May 07, 2007 12:39 pm

I had the Genie 8030's for about a week. I was in a small room. They are lovely but they just don't have the bass extension. I exchanged them and got the 8040's. They are much better.

I agree with Stab Frenzy about setting up standing waves so you're going to have to get a lot of bass traps. But at least you'll have the bass to trap...

I demo'd the ADAM P11's against the 8040's and the P11's sound more Hi-Fi. They got rave reviews but the sound was not for me. They sounded very scooped in the Hi-Mid and had a lot less bass extension... also the stereo image was much smaller than the genie's. Haven't heard the A7's maybe they're different.

All these monitors are more $1200 but I thought I'd pass on what I thought...

Small monitors don't really give the bass needed for dub music. The best small monitor I've come across are the Ego-Sys Near 5's. There cheap, active, have a punchy bass, bass ports, XLR & 1/4" inputs. If you turn them up near as loud as the go they sound boxy but up until they sound good. For a little more money you could get a set of MAckie HR824's or 624's for even less.

User avatar
MrSoundStrange
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2006 8:34 pm

Post by MrSoundStrange » Mon May 07, 2007 9:39 pm

kk994 wrote:I had the Genie 8030's for about a week. I was in a small room. They are lovely but they just don't have the bass extension. I exchanged them and got the 8040's. They are much better.

I agree with Stab Frenzy about setting up standing waves so you're going to have to get a lot of bass traps. But at least you'll have the bass to trap...

I demo'd the ADAM P11's against the 8040's and the P11's sound more Hi-Fi. They got rave reviews but the sound was not for me. They sounded very scooped in the Hi-Mid and had a lot less bass extension... also the stereo image was much smaller than the genie's. Haven't heard the A7's maybe they're different.

All these monitors are more $1200 but I thought I'd pass on what I thought...

Small monitors don't really give the bass needed for dub music. The best small monitor I've come across are the Ego-Sys Near 5's. There cheap, active, have a punchy bass, bass ports, XLR & 1/4" inputs. If you turn them up near as loud as the go they sound boxy but up until they sound good. For a little more money you could get a set of MAckie HR824's or 624's for even less.

I had a lot of Hifi stuff in the past (quad electrostats, tandberg, spendor, and now tannoy with a MacIntosh), and i must say that my Mackie 624 are very pleasing, very neutral, not tyring, and even go reasonably low without too much coloration.
Never considered to really change them for my home studio use.

Tim

User avatar
megawatt
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 281
Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2006 5:28 am
Location: LA

Post by megawatt » Mon May 07, 2007 10:05 pm

great suggestions folks. Thanks for the replies. I'm heading over to check out all of these monitors this week and once i've chosen the right pair for my studio I'll let you all know what worked in my space and how I sett them up.

Due to my small room size it doesn't look like I'll need to go up too big and I'll def be doing some audio treatment.

Monitors are SUCH a subjective thing which totally depend on the space. It's nice to hear about peoples experiences though. I don't plan on pumping them or damaging them at all ever but I like to know that If I needed support it wouldn't cost me a fortune (A7 I'm looking at you. REALLY looking closly too!). One of my Tannnoys is busted and It will cost me half of what I paid for them to get them fixed.
OP-1, RYTM, A4, CS-50, PUSH

User avatar
megawatt
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 281
Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2006 5:28 am
Location: LA

Post by megawatt » Wed May 16, 2007 4:59 pm

Ended up getting a crazy price on a pair of Mackie 824s that I couldn't pass up. They sound aweome but will take some time to learn. The mids are agressive while the bass is very present - not bad in any way just what it is. It's very pleasant to make music on them as well as to mix. I hear bass that I never knew exsisted but will need to learn how to tailor that to other systems.

I have to say though that while not as fun as a new synth, upgrading my monitors made all of my gear sound so much better!
OP-1, RYTM, A4, CS-50, PUSH

User avatar
Motavis
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 6:35 am
Location: Jackson Township, Ohio
Contact:

M!~

Post by Motavis » Wed May 16, 2007 6:06 pm

I like my A7's but as they say in there the tweeter sound is set a little forward
but you can change that on the back.


Image
ImageImage

Shanesaw
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 324
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2005 9:44 pm
Gear: Ultranova, Minibrute, Microbrute, Spark, microKORG, microX,
Location: Long Beach, California

Post by Shanesaw » Wed May 16, 2007 8:04 pm

I upgraded from Fostex PM0.5's to KRK V6 series 2's and the Rokit 10s and IMHO it's like the difference between night and day. I payed under $1000 from guitar center for the whole set up plus those expensive-a*s Mogami cables. I was demo'ing the A7's @ Analogue Haven and I thought they sounded great but when the bass freq. pushes the woofer and you get those puffs of air out of the bass port, it just sounded bizzare. I think the A7's can be tailored to your room though with the settings on the back. Now, KRK claims that the slotted bass port eliminates that and so far that is what I have experienced.
I'm in a house so I get to turn 'em up and the bass just shakes the place! That's bass from the PEK and the Nord Lead2x. The highs and mids are represented nicely too. If you have access to Future Music's Nov. 06 issue (181), they did "The great monitor round-up" demo'ing like 24 different monitors at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studio. It's at least a good guide line to possibly help you choose. Good luck!
"There was never a notion that a synthesizer would be used by itself for anything" - Robert Moog (1934-2005)

Post Reply