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Author Topic: Cheap & accurate speakers  (Read 6595 times)

Viitalahde

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Cheap & accurate speakers
« on: April 05, 2011, 05:07:42 am »

OK, sounds like GS topic, but it's not.

I'm thinking of getting a pair of small (active)speakers for various tasks like occasional fooling around with synths and similar. While I'm at it, why not get something that could be useful for catastrophic situations, such as finishing an urgent single master and the main amps just let the smoke out.

Are there any options that might be suitable? Extended bass response is out of the question, I'm looking for a good midrange.

Small Genelecs are out of the question, although I'm thinking of getting a pair, remove the drivers and tie them up into the tree for a bird house.
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Jaakko Viitalähde
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Hermetech Mastering

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Re: Cheap & accurate speakers
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2011, 06:02:50 am »

I'm still in love with my Yamaha MSP5s. Been using them for about 11 years. Use them with my modular synth almost daily. They are small, built like a tank, active, sound good, and have nice mid-range for the extremely low price. I am sure the MSP7s would be even nicer, but then you're getting into larger and heavier territory pretty quickly.

Please note I am not saying these are great/amazing speakers, but they really do fit all the requirements you stated. Go and check a pair out!

Am sure if you are tech savvy you could probably swap out a load of the amp components for a better sound too.

bblackwood

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Re: Cheap & accurate speakers
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2011, 07:33:03 am »

Interesting topic, Jaakko - I've thought about something similar for a while now. Have found nothing suitable, though I've admittedly not looked very hard...
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Brad Blackwood
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Hermetech Mastering

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Re: Cheap & accurate speakers
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2011, 07:51:25 am »

Or what about the little active Avantone/Auratone clone/copies? I'm thinking of getting one for mono "kitchen radio" checking in the near future, but haven't heard them yet.

Thomas W. Bethel

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Re: Cheap & accurate speakers
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2011, 08:31:50 am »

How cheap and how small.

Dynaudio and Genelec  come to mind at the high end and KRKs at the lower end.
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Thomas W. Bethel
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ggidluck

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Re: Cheap & accurate speakers
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2011, 10:02:34 am »

I bought these really for surround channels and for checking mixes, but I use the Yamaha HS50M's. They are active and a replacement for the NS10's but they don't have the bump at 2K like the NS10's.

Actually you can tune them at 2k up or down 2db using switches on the back. If you want to you can add the HS10W subwoofer to fill out the bottom end. The HS50M's go down to about 59hz.

Relatively cheap, good sound and build quality.
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Viitalahde

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Re: Cheap & accurate speakers
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2011, 10:29:50 am »

I heard the Yamaha HS50's once, and remember they sounded pretty good.

As a rough generalization, I'd think a 5½" woofer would be better for midrange reproduction, because most of the problems associated with 2-ways come from the woofer-tweeter transition with larger cones needed for more bass output.

Dynaudios I had years ago, BM6A's. I thought they were OK.

Maybe active isn't the final word here. A kit might be OK, such as this:

http://www.aos-lautsprecher.de/deutsch/lautsprecher/revelator/s12.html

In the passive land.. Smaller Proac's? A mixing engineer I know bought a pair of Tablette series Proacs and seems to like them.
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Jaakko Viitalähde
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bblackwood

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Re: Cheap & accurate speakers
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2011, 10:52:44 am »

I've actually considered getting a pair of cheap-ish bookshelf B&Ws as, from the little I've heard, the overall 'tone' of their speakers are all similar. I already have a couple of backup amplifiers, so passive will work here, assuming something drastic takes out the entire monitoring chain...

Hrm...
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Brad Blackwood
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jamesp

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Re: Cheap & accurate speakers
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2011, 08:35:40 am »

Acoustic Energy AE22's seem to be gaining a good reputation for small reasonably priced monitors.

James.
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SafeandSoundMastering

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Re: Cheap & accurate speakers
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2011, 09:47:41 am »

It depends what cheap is, I think Dynaudio is as cheap as I would go, even for an emergency.

I have mixed BBC radio programmes in the past in an emergency with fairly well recorded / critical music recordings within on Fostex PM0.5's, did the job. You are not only going to get innacuracy in mids it will be to a degree in the bass too.

I think whatever you get will be disatisfactory on some level. 
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Barry Gardner
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Waltz Mastering

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Re: Cheap & accurate speakers
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2011, 11:54:14 am »

I don't know if I could take adjusting to or using an additional set of speakers.. even for occasional tracking or mixing.  I probably haven't listened to anything I've done in the studio on an outside system for almost over a year... I'd like to keep it that way.

bblackwood

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Re: Cheap & accurate speakers
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2011, 12:08:12 pm »

I don't know if I could take adjusting to or using an additional set of speakers.. even for occasional tracking or mixing.  I probably haven't listened to anything I've done in the studio on an outside system for almost over a year... I'd like to keep it that way.
Sure, but if you have a driver die, it'd be nice to have something to work on you were familiar with...
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Brad Blackwood
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Waltz Mastering

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Re: Cheap & accurate speakers
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2011, 12:25:11 pm »

Sure, but if you have a driver die, it'd be nice to have something to work on you were familiar with...

You're right.  I think the notion comes from, after years of using multiple sets of speakers and never being quite satisfied to then finding something to trust.   I do have a full extra set of drivers (except woofers) and spare amps. Sometimes I think I'm a little stupidly superstitious, almost like a baseball player in regards to some things audio.

Viitalahde

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Re: Cheap & accurate speakers
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2011, 02:14:25 pm »

I'm most definately going to stock up on drivers + amps, myself.

And there's not going to be a 2nd set of speakers in the room, ever. I find it much too confusing.

Right now I'm thinking I should get something British and in the same sonic family I'm used to. Perhaps I'll find a 2nd hand pair of small Questeds from somewhere.
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Jaakko Viitalähde
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PBM

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Re: Cheap & accurate speakers
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2011, 03:05:23 pm »

I'm most definately going to stock up on drivers + amps, myself.

And there's not going to be a 2nd set of speakers in the room, ever. I find it much too confusing.

Right now I'm thinking I should get something British and in the same sonic family I'm used to. Perhaps I'll find a 2nd hand pair of small Questeds from somewhere.

You mentioned small ProAc before - I had the Tablette Ref 8 and thought they were right on the money for mids. Not a ususal choice I know, but the smaller speakers made by ATC for the hi-fi market are also very good in that area and (2nd hand) a bit of a bargain. I use the smallest 7 (an older model) for my home chamber listening which is probably too small for more pro work, but the slightly bigger models might be worth looking at.

Cheers,

Eric
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SafeandSoundMastering

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Re: Cheap & accurate speakers
« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2011, 11:38:11 am »

Quote
I find it much too confusing.

I find it important, but then you do not have IB1's
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Barry Gardner
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DOMC

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Re: Cheap & accurate speakers
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2011, 02:33:08 am »

I got a set of the Neumann kh120a they are fairly amazing for their size and price.
http://www.kh120.neumann.com/index.htm
They stood up fairly well to a set of dynaudio bm12a - they just don't go super loud...but who listens loud anyway.
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George Friedman-Jimenez

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Re: Cheap & accurate speakers
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2012, 03:39:12 am »

OK, it's 9 months later. What is your long term impression of the Neumann KH 120 nearfield monitors? I am considering replacing my Dynaudio BM6 passive monitors with actives, and these are on my short list. My application is mixing not mastering, my studio is a small single room 13' x 15', reasonably well treated acoustically. I do mostly live recording of vocals and Afrocuban percussion. My BM6s work pretty well, although I would like to get rid of the amp rack in my small studio and upgrade to active monitors, as long as they are more accurate as well. Loudness is not a priority.
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djwaudio

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Re: Cheap & accurate speakers
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2012, 03:50:32 am »

I had the Nuemann rep in recently and was mighty impressed with how clean they were. Musical, relaxed and revealing. You could do a lot worse!

I have extra monitors handy, for the occasion that I get stuck on a track. It's nice to be able to hear another speaker recreate my work, it's led to some ah-ha moments.
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DOMC

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Re: Cheap & accurate speakers
« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2012, 04:56:28 pm »

I do find them very directional - just a thing to be aware of
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Domc
 
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Thomas W. Bethel

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Re: Cheap & accurate speakers
« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2012, 09:40:40 pm »

If you can find a pair of  System 10 DMT IIs Coaxial Tannoys you might want to consider them. Good sound and not over hyped. Too bad they are not making them anymore. 100 watts per channel should drive them nicely. I used them for mastering for about three years when I started into business in the 90's. I am sorry I ever got rid of them. The came in four sizes 8", 10, 12" and 15" and I think the 10 " sounded the best. FWIW and YMMV
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Thomas W. Bethel
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Greg Reierson

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Re: Cheap & accurate speakers
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2012, 12:40:12 pm »

If you can find a pair of  System 10 DMT IIs Coaxial Tannoys you might want to consider them.

I used them for many years. Very under appreciated IMO. I have them in the "home theater" now.

The little PMCs and B&Ws are nice and match their bigger brothers well.


GR
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Greg Reierson
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lowland

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Re: Cheap & accurate speakers
« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2012, 03:47:42 am »

The little PMCs and B&Ws are nice and match their bigger brothers well.

I know the PMC DB1s well, we used them at a place where I freelanced - people were often surprised by the size of sound coming from such small boxes, and I thought they were great little speakers. BTW, they're apparently even better now as they use a soft-dome tweeter instead of the metal one I knew, and they're upgradeable to current spec. if you should buy an older set second-hand.
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Nigel Palmer
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bradsarno

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Re: Cheap & accurate speakers
« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2012, 01:09:03 pm »

How about the discontinued Dunlavy SM-1 or the smaller SC-1. These are very accurate and basically represent the Dunlavy/Duntech kind of accuracy and imaging, but without the low end. So they definitely like to be augmented with a sub or 2. I mastered with the SM-1 + subwoofer for a few years until I found the SC-III's, with which I still use a sub, although crossed over lower and run more softly.

B

Joe_caithness

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Re: Cheap & accurate speakers
« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2012, 04:02:38 am »

Check out the Focal CMS range, sounds very similar to the Solos, just well less extended freq response
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