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Author Topic: On monitoring: So, if you were some poor schmuck...  (Read 2972 times)

Consul

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On monitoring: So, if you were some poor schmuck...
« on: March 24, 2007, 09:43:54 pm »

... who had all of maybe $500 that he could spend on monitoring, what would you do?

Here are what seem to be my options:

1) Buy a decent used pair of monitors. Unfortunately, this depends on finding something in my local area, so I can go check them out and audition them first. It also brings up a question about what the bargains are out there that are getting overlooked by a lot of others.

2) DIY. Well, I certainly have some experience here, though not with speakers. So far, I'm favoring this design, from Zaph:

http://www.zaphaudio.com/BAMTM.html

It's a simple build with decent drivers that don't cost too much. Digging further, we find this variation:

http://www.zaphaudio.com/BAMTM-2.00-MTM-Sub.pdf

... which integrates a side-firing subwoofer into each speaker for an extra... Oh, $300 or so. I'm actually wondering how much work it would be to tri-amp the whole shebang. Of course, the entire DIY route brings up issues with measurement that might end up pushing costs through the roof, unless I can borrow a few pieces of gear from someone.

3) Settle for the shit that's on the market in this price range. I don't like the sound of any of the M-Audio monitors. The Event 20/20's are decent, and the KRK Rockit-8's I could use in a pinch. Otherwise, I don't really like anything at the local music store until I get to the Dynaudio BM5a, which run $1000 a pair.

I sometimes wonder if I'm overthinking this, since I've heard some good-sounding music made on very much less-than-ideal monitors (like the Alesis M1). I guess it comes down to learning your speakers and room.

Anyway, I just wanted to put this out there, to see what others think. Thanks for letting me ramble.
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Darren Landrum

"Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic." - Dave Barry

Tomas Danko

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Re: On monitoring: So, if you were some poor schmuck...
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2007, 06:12:14 am »

Regarding the KRK RoKit 8's, I'd recommend you to compare them to the RoKit 6's because they actually sound better. Somehow everything "holds together" a whole lot better. Among all them cheap alternatives out there lately, the Fostex PM-series are very useable.

DIY should really be seen as a hobby, because you'd spend an awful lot of time to do your speakers. And then maybe you'll want to tweak them all the time... I mean, as opposed to just getting a pair of speakers and get on with the music.
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Consul

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Re: On monitoring: So, if you were some poor schmuck...
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2007, 11:33:22 am »

I really wish I could hear a pair of the Wharfedale DP8.2A monitors. Nobody around here carries them, though. Nobody seems to carry the Fostex, either.

Of course, building a DIY set is a shot in the dark, too, innit?

Oh, the agony!
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Darren Landrum

"Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic." - Dave Barry

Sonovo

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Re: On monitoring: So, if you were some poor schmuck...
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2007, 06:36:36 pm »

Or..

4. Keep using (whatever it is you have now) and save more money. In the long run, you'll probably be happy that you got decent monitors to begin with, instead of only getting halfway there. While you're saving you can audition stuff other people have and make up a shortlist (and budget) so you'll be ready when the time comes to buy.

Just a thought.

Cheers,
Thor
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Consul

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Re: On monitoring: So, if you were some poor schmuck...
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2007, 07:13:53 pm »

Buying something now would be settling until I could afford something better. Unless you count these $10 computer speakers...

The main issue is that I have no income, per se. Just what I get from student grants and loans and the occasional odd computer job, which pays bills. So when I say I have a specific budget, that's basically it. There is no further saving to be done at this point.
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Darren Landrum

"Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic." - Dave Barry

Consul

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Re: On monitoring: So, if you were some poor schmuck...
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2007, 11:22:15 am »

To heck with it. Here's how it breaks down:

1) I hate all of the options in my price range at the local Guitarget.

2) Buying something else mail-order without first listening is a shot in the dark.

3) DIY is a hot in the dark, but at least I'll feel like I'm in control of something.

On that same Zaph Audio page, he describes a variation using a 2 ft^3 sealed cabinet enclosure to achieve a lower Qtc. Since the side-firing subs variation I mentioned above would push the price up by more than double, I think I'll go with the sealed floorstander.

The total cost for drivers and crossovers comes to about $185, including wiring and binding posts. MDF is cheap as heck, and I have more time than money anymore.

Even if I end up not liking them, I can at least say that I built them myself.

I'm just tired of spinning my wheels and not getting anywhere. It's time to actually do something for a change, so unless Frances comes on and says that this design will be so horrible that it's bad sound will kill small children in Sri Lanka, I think this is the path I'll take.
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Darren Landrum

"Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic." - Dave Barry
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