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I am looking into buying studio monitors

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Road Bull, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. Road Bull

    Road Bull

    Jul 24, 2011
    Seattle, WA.
    So I have been looking at purchasing some studio monitors. up until now, the only speakers that I have had, have ben computer three-way speaker systems. Admittedly, I would not new doing too much serious recording, but would like to be able to learn as I am new to the field. I would also be using the monitors to listen to music and other computer related activities. I would like to be able to listen and play along with songs and whatnot.

    Budget: ~$400 give or take, but not too much over.

    Things I have been looking at: (all active monitors)

    //sorry, I font have the specific middle numbers atm. I sm on my phone//

    KRK Rokit line 8" size. I could get a pair of these for about $350.

    Mackie 5" powered for ~$129 each.


    Yamaha 5" for about ~$199 each.

    So, I have had a chance to listen to most of these, albeit not all side by side. To my ears the mackie 5s sounded pretty good, and a but louder than the KRKs. The sales guy said that typically the Mackies run louder than the KRKs at the same input. The Yamahas were listened to on their own and this made it difficult to gauge them in relation to the others.

    As far as getting a lot for my money, it would seem that the KRKs are the most discounted. But I keep hearing get the best you can afford.

    Would anyone have some advice that they would want to lend?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    Mackie makes some good products for project studios. However, I add this dislaimer: after working as a pro level recording engineer for over 30 years, it is my firm belief that you get what you pay for. Look around for some better monitors on the used market and you'll get a lot more bang for your buck.
  3. Road Bull

    Road Bull

    Jul 24, 2011
    Seattle, WA.
    Thanks for the response. Do you recommend any particular brand or model I should keep my eyes open for? I guess I was trying to figure out if I should jump on the KRK deal before it went away, but I don't want to just throw my money away on a lesser speaker, even if it is a great deal.
  4. Used market, Events, Mackies, Genelecs et rest. I'm no big fan of KRK*) but if you like their sound. Or save money and get Event 20/30s that will last a lifetime.

    *) The cheap KRKs sound awful and takes down the image of the rest of the KRK line. And don't get me started with the low-end plywood boxes M-Audio sells.
  5. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    I use a set of Mackie HR824s and a set of Genelec 8030s in my project studio. They are quite a bit higher in price than you're wanting but they are both very good reference monitors. In our main studio downtown we have an old set of Hafler TRM8s that are really nice. Hafler shut down a couple of years ago but their monitors are still out there on the used market. If I could find a good pair of them at a decent price I'd love to have another set of the Haflers.
  6. Raymeous


    Jul 2, 2010
    San Diego
    I looked into those Yamahas as well, the H50's and H80's.

    The H50's did sound pretty good and the best of the other models I was able to demo at my local GC. The reason I spent the extra funds on the H80's is that the H50's felt like they "needed" the sub while the H80's didn't.

    Even though they have the white speaker and do remind me of NS10Ms, they are NOT NS10Ms. What it does do for me though is that little subconcious trigger that when I sit behind my desk those little white speakers remind me of being in a pro studio. It just feels good, makes you feel like you're not playing with toys anymore.

    I've used Alesis M1's and KRK4s and without a doubt the H80's clobbers those speaker systems. I have no regrets buying the H80's at all.

    In your case the H50's are a decent buy and later on you can add the sub and have a great home studio set up.
  7. This. I would actually rather mix on good phones than on cheaper monitors. I have Mackie 824s. Work fine, nice and flat, but I would happily mix on Events, Genelecs, etc...
  8. Tripp528


    Dec 31, 2012
    I would highly recommend M-Audio Studiophile AV 40s. They are incredibly good and accurate, and will save you tons of money! You can find them for 150 if you look hard enough.
    Link: http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/StudiophileAV40.html

    Also maybe consider a 2.1 system. I added a sub to my Studiophiles and it made them even better :)
  9. sacobass


    May 16, 2012
    Will you have these on your computer desk or on studio monitor stands?
    How far away will the speakers be away from you?

    If you have these on your desk 20" away from your body you'll want smaller speakers or near field monitors.

    If they will be on stands a few feet away you will want larger speakers.

    I also have a pair of M-Audio AV40s and I paid $149 on Musicians Friend and they are spectacular. I use them with my home PC and they were a definite improvement over my old Altec Lansing 2.1 Computer Speakers. WHAT A DIFFERENCE! I have also compared them with my AKG K240 studio headphones and they are pretty flat and accurate IMHO.
  10. Road Bull

    Road Bull

    Jul 24, 2011
    Seattle, WA.
    Great information TB! That groves me a good starting point. Ideally, I would like to be able to listen to them before I buy them, but we font always have that as an option. At the moment, I live in a smaller apartment, so I might opt to just keep them on my desk. But I am open to other options as well. I understand that many monitors are intended got the user to be centered between the two monitors, but will they still function good enough to when not centered? In other words, would they still sound good when I am just playing iTunes or something?
  11. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I've got Yamaha HS50's that I really like. The HS80's have a better bass response and I would have went with them, but the 50's were the right price (free).
  12. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    I have them, too. I like them, but I had hoped for better bass response. Still, for the frequencies they cover, they're pretty flat. I use them with input from my TV, as wireless speakers via the Apple TV unit, and also from iPod via the auxiliary jack.
  13. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    Something to keep in mind...Louder does not necessarily mean better. What you might have heard at GC might just be a difference in the amp gain settings on the monitors themselves. Also, GC sales guys often don't know that they're talking about.

    At your price point, don't count out the used market. You might be able to find a good deal on KRK VXTs (a step up from the Rockit series). I've also seen Dynaudio BM5As sell for ~$400/pr. The Dyns are fantiastic.

    If you insist on buying new, it's pretty much going to be a toss-up between the monitors you've listed (or anything at that price). The important thing will be learning how the monitors react in your room and knowing how to make your mixes translate to the rest of the world.

    I haven't personally heard any of the ones you've listed, but feedback I've seen on other forums seems to favor the Yams for their midrange brutality. Basically, if you can make your mix sound good on them, it will sound good anywhere (same theory that made the NS10s popular). If you aren't getting the low end response you want, sometimes checking your low end balances with headphones can be helpful.
  14. I'm pretty happy with my Behringer Truth monitors. Behringer gets a bad rep for a lot of their stuff, but their studio monitors are pretty good. Just because they make other products that are so so, does not mean that all of product lines are like that.


    check them out, and the other alternatives at a local bricks and mortar store. Bring a known to you CD that you can listen with to compare each speaker system.
  15. Road Bull

    Road Bull

    Jul 24, 2011
    Seattle, WA.
    So I found a decent deal on some Yamaha HS80M monitors. If I can swallow the price, it seems like a better monitor that would not require a sub to sounds good.
  16. Bufalo

    Bufalo Funk in the Trunk Supporting Member

    Jan 6, 2005
    Harrisburg, PA
    I have a pair of HS80M's at one location and a pair of EMU PM5's at another, and I would recommend either as a good solution in the price range. The 8" driver in the Yamaha certainly adds more low end, but the PM5's I think are just slightly better overall. I keep the HS80's at the place where I do tracking and where the rest of the band hears them, while the PM5's are at home with me so I can use them more often to work on mixes.
  17. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    There are a lot of people who mix successfully on the HS80Ms. They should serve you well for a while.

    The next step: Proper acoustic treatment of your room...
  18. DERB


    Jan 14, 2013
    AV40s are cool, got me a pair.
    personally i think its better to mix with monitors that arent so stellar.
    Ive listen to mixes thru some GREAT monitors sounds wonderful, listen to the same mix in your car not so wonderful.
  19. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    That's a pretty decent point. I find them pretty flat, which is great, just not very wide-spectrum, if you get me. I don't think they do a whole lot in the real highs or the real lows. But the stuff in between is relatively uncolored.

    The other thing I like to do is turn the volume down so that you can barely hear it..and listen to what's still there. Snare and vocals, usually.
  20. KrisHayes


    Sep 30, 2012
    Would highly recommend the Mackie MR5 MKII's (NOT Mk I's!!) at you're price point. The 8's didn't really do it for me, but these little 5's kick ass!