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  • suggestions for good powered speakers / monitors

    Hello,



    I need some help finding a good pair of powered speakers / monitors for a music room. They would be used for various things:



    * general music listening



    * using Native Instruments Guitar Rig 5 for guitar & bass with an Apogee Duet 2 as interface

    http://www.native-instruments.com/#/...tar-rig-5-pro/

    http://www.apogeedigital.com/products/duet2.php



    * using Fxpansion BFD2 with an Apogee Duet 2 as interface, using my electronic drums (Roland TD11-KV)

    http://www.fxpansion.com/index.php?page=53&tab=148

    http://www.rolandus.com/products/details/1227/483



    * possibly plugging into a mixer to be used as monitors for jamming, usually plugging various instruments like electronic drums, Line 6 pods, ....



    * recording & mixing in Logic 9



    I'm looking for something nice and clean, that can handle the low end of drums & bass and lots of guitars.



    Thanks!

  • #2
    How much money have you got? I assume you're looking for powered speakers. You can probably find something in the $300 to $1500 range that will work. As you might expect, $1500 will get you a better speaker than $300, though the difference between $500 and $600 might not be enough to worry about.



    The one ringer in there is using it for jamming. This puts it in the PA speaker category and the characteristics, power handling capacity, and radiation pattern for a PA speaker is, or at least should be, different from that of a studio monitor. So what works well for composing, recording, and production might not give you enough oomph for jamming live with other instruments. This is in theory, and in my experience based on speakers from 20 years or so back. But while speaker technology has changed quiet a bit in the past 20 years, it's mostly changed in ways that makes speakers sound better, have better dispersion, fewer odd peaks and dips in frequency response, and with good clean built-in amplification.



    Perhaps those with newer speakers have found that they're better as "jamming" speakers, so let's hear from the kids, and the old farts like me with more money to spend than me. Ken, do you use your Equators for jamming, and do you still like them for mixing?
    --
    "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
    Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then

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    • #3
      Mike, I don't have Equators, although I've heard good things about 'em. I have ADAM A7s and Yorkville YSM-1 passives, the same Yorkvilles I've been using for eons.



      If everyone is jamming and are going through virtual instruments, etc., then regular studio monitors should be okay. If it's more of a live band situation (drums, bass, whatever), then obviously, P.A. speakers would be better suited for this. But from his description, I would think decent studio monitors would be fine.



      Cheap but good monitors: if on a budget, Equators or M-Audios might be good to check out.
      Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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      • #4
        The Equators are excellent and reasonably-priced monitors, but they're not designed for "loud." If you're going to be jamming with instruments, it's probably not the best choice.



        You can push the JBL 2328P pretty hard and they sound good...$700/pair is a pretty reasonable price.
        N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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        • #5






          Quote Originally Posted by CB3874
          View Post

          Hello,



          I need some help finding a good pair of powered speakers / monitors for a music room. They would be used for various things:



          * general music listening



          * using Native Instruments Guitar Rig 5 for guitar & bass with an Apogee Duet 2 as interface

          http://www.native-instruments.com/#/...tar-rig-5-pro/

          http://www.apogeedigital.com/products/duet2.php



          * using Fxpansion BFD2 with an Apogee Duet 2 as interface, using my electronic drums (Roland TD11-KV)

          http://www.fxpansion.com/index.php?page=53&tab=148

          http://www.rolandus.com/products/details/1227/483



          * possibly plugging into a mixer to be used as monitors for jamming, usually plugging various instruments like electronic drums, Line 6 pods, ....



          * recording & mixing in Logic 9



          I'm looking for something nice and clean, that can handle the low end of drums & bass and lots of guitars.



          Thanks!




          For the price, the Equator D5s are tough to beat. I purchased them back in December of last year and they are now my primary monitors.



          If you`re looking for an 8" monitor, I would encourage you to look at the Event 20/20s. Overall, a nice open sounding monitor.



          Then another step up from there, you`ve got DynAudio BM 6As (MKII). I wrote a review of the Equator 5s, and found similar characteristics with the BM 6As which is amazing when you compare the price of both. Obviously, these are a bit more fuller sounding, especially in the low end but you`d be pleasantly surprised how well the D5s keep up.



          Of course, there are dozens of more expensive monitors from this price point and if you`re inclined, you may want to consider the Genelec 1032s.



          I`m mentioning these 4 specific monitors because they all sounded similar to me in that they were open and full sounding monitors. For my current needs, the D5s suit me quite well and last year when I was purchasing monitors, I had a budget for $1500 so I saved $1200. The D5s are that good and I would strongly encourage you to try them out. There is a 60-day money back guarantee so if you`re not completely satisfied, just return them. The D5s do need to be "broken in" for a few days so refrain from judging them for at least two weeks. Same goes for the other monitors. Good luck!

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          • #6
            As others have said, it depends on how much you're willing to spend. Take a look at Adam monitors.
            .

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            • #7
              Thanks for all the suggestion! I will do some extensive research. Does anyone have any experience with the Yamaha HS80M? There's an ad in craigslist listing them for $400. Would I need a sub woofer?

              Comment


              • #8






                Quote Originally Posted by UstadKhanAli
                View Post

                Mike, I don't have Equators, although I've heard good things about 'em.




                Oops, sorry. I remember after I asked about the Equator D5 a while back someone here bought a set and I thought it was you. Must have been Earnest since he's added to this thread that he has a set. He still has 'em so I guess he still likes 'em.



                Good thought about jamming with all virtual instruments (maybe a non-virtual acoustic guitar). It would be like mixing tracks and you have full control over all the levels. But trying to play over a full drum kit with a little desktop control room monitor isn't likely to work well, or for very long.
                --
                "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
                Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then

                Comment


                • #9






                  Quote Originally Posted by CB3874
                  View Post

                  Does anyone have any experience with the Yamaha HS80M? There's an ad in craigslist listing them for $400. Would I need a sub woofer?




                  Yamaha monitors are pretty decent, though you'll get people who say they can't possible mix on NS10s and as many who say they can't mix without them. As to whether or not you need a subwoofer, it depends on what you're playing through them. If you want the bass drum to blow you out of your chair, or you're using synth or organ sounds that go down below 50 Hz or so, a subwoofer might do you some good, but unless you're doing critical mixing or mastering - which I'd suggest you NOT be doing with $400/pair monitors and not enough experience to pick them out yourself - you probably don't need a subwoofer, at least not initially.



                  I'll tell you that there are basically two kinds of subwoofers. One kind is actually designed to reproduce music at low frequencies. The other is designed to give you the perception that there are low frequencies there. It plays in a very narrow range - everything that goes into it comes out at essentially the same frequency, low enough to give you a thump but without the ability to resolve individual notes very well. A good example of that kind of subwoofer is what you hear from a passing car that has the radio turned way up.



                  You probably won't be surprised to hear that a decent musical subwoofer will cost you probably $400 and up, while a "thumper" can be had for under $100 and it'll be loud - on one note.
                  --
                  "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
                  Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then

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                  • #10
                    Even electronic drums being used as a midi controller for BFD2?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Is there anyone out there have any experience with the emotiva airmotiv 4, 5, or 6?



                      http://emotivapro.com/products/power.../airmotiv6.php

                      Comment


                      • #12






                        Quote Originally Posted by CB3874
                        View Post

                        Even electronic drums being used as a midi controller for BFD2?




                        It's not drum sounds itself, it's the volume of a real drum kit. If you have pads that are fairly quiet and keep the volume of the mix within the performance range of the speakers, you'll be OK. I just want to make it clear that you're not going to get "gig" or "stage" volume from small monitors. If you or some of your jamming friends have a PA system, just hook those speakers up when you want to jam at stage volume.
                        --
                        "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
                        Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then

                        Comment


                        • #13






                          Quote Originally Posted by MikeRivers
                          View Post

                          Oops, sorry. I remember after I asked about the Equator D5 a while back someone here bought a set and I thought it was you. Must have been Earnest since he's added to this thread that he has a set. He still has 'em so I guess he still likes 'em.



                          Good thought about jamming with all virtual instruments (maybe a non-virtual acoustic guitar). It would be like mixing tracks and you have full control over all the levels. But trying to play over a full drum kit with a little desktop control room monitor isn't likely to work well, or for very long.




                          Exactly. That'd get old in a hurry.



                          I did gig once with an ADAM monitor, believe it or not, although I wasn't "competing" with an acoustic drum kit. I had a Javanese gamelan instrument (a gender, which is a brass metallophone with bamboo resonators), placed a microphone on it, sent it through a Mackie mini-mixer, and amplified that with the ADAM monitor, which worked brilliantly for that purpose. I was doing an improvisational gig, playing with Nels Cline and several other people in Los Angeles some years back, and didn't need something to be absurdly loud, and the ADAM was more than up to the task.
                          Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Let's here it for sound reinforcement - just making one instrument loud enough to blend with other instruments in an ensemble. Makes for good listening, too.
                            --
                            "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
                            Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It's not just the size of studio monitors that's an issue for playing with live instruments (mostly, drum kit, or guitar amp). It's the efficiency. PA speakers are generally at least twice as loud, and as much as four times as loud (10 to 15 dB) as studio monitors. To compensate for that with power, you need LOTS more power. So, it depends on what kind of jamming you're talking about.



                              I've done "studio jamming" with friends who know how to keep it down, and used speakers of loudness in the range of studio monitors, even with drums and guitar -- but the guys are exceptional, like a guitarist who uses an 8 watt or 5 watt vintage amp (still pretty loud, but way short of ear bleeding), and a seriously talented drummer who can rock out without hitting the drums hard. I sometimes wonder how I'm lucky enough to play with guys like that. For a normal drum kit or guitar amp, well, you want to be in a bigger room than most studios, and studio monitors just won't cut it.



                              But if you're just jamming with a friend or two (rather than a whole band worth), and especially if the drums are electronic (or very well controlled), studio monitors can be loud enough, and if they're loud enough, they sound fantastic (considerably better than PA speakers).



                              To get a clue, you do the math. For live stage keyboard monitors in a typically loud rock or blues band on the local circuit, I like to have at least 125 dB SPL (at 1M from speakers). I get about 128, as follows:

                              99 dB SPL speaker efficiency, at 1W (at 1M)

                              Add 10 dB every time you increase power by a factor of 10. So, 100W would add 20 dB to get 119.

                              Add 3dB every time you double the power. So, 200W would add another 3 dB to get 122. for 400W, add another 3dB to get 125.

                              I run two, in stereo, which adds at most another 3dB, to get almost 128.



                              That sounds terribly loud; in reality, it's enough to handle stage levels up to about 110dB. Higher than that for anything but occasional crescendos, count me out. Bands I play with don't do it, and at blues jams if it gets (and stays) that loud I leave the stage. That's WAY louder than you'd ever tolerate in a typical home studio. Also, there's a big difference between rated SPL and actual SPL and a lot of other factors, so the SPL from doing the math is only for a ballpark. Differences of 3dB or less aren't terribly significant. Furthemore, studio monitors will (ideally) be more conservatively rated because they're more tightly specified (e.g., for flatness of frequency response, distortion, etc.) We don't expect studio monitor accuracy in our PA speakers.



                              A home studio with a drum kit played reasonably will easily get over 90dB, so for studio jamming you'll probably want calculated SPL of say at least 105. So, with a speaker that's rated at 85dB SPL @1W, that handles 100W, that puts you in the ballpark, but at the bottom end of the range.



                              But I totally agree with Mike that it's best when people play just loud enough and no louder. Sometimes at a blues jam one of the guitars will have a technical issue, and while they're sorting it out, I'll start a groove going really quiet. Often, the rest of the players join in at a comparable level (after all, we haven't really started yet!) Those will often be the best tunes of the night, until the tech issue is (unfortunately) solved, and everyone cranks up (dammit).



                              At practice, I like it when vocalists don't need a mic. Unfortunately, that's a challenge for drummers, and depending on their gear and style, guitarist. (And egos ... but that's another million threads.)
                              learjeff.net

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