Poll - Which Monitors are Best

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Saint, Aug 1, 2003.

  1. Event

    6 vote(s)
  2. Alesis

    3 vote(s)
  3. Mackie

    7 vote(s)
  4. KRK

    3 vote(s)
  5. Fostex

    0 vote(s)
  6. Yamaha

    7 vote(s)
  7. Carvin

    0 vote(s)
  8. Other

    11 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Saint


    Mar 2, 2000
    DC - USA
    I need to get a new set of budget monitors for my home studio so I'm looking to find out what people like. Which Monitors --under $1500.00 per pair-- do you like best for a home studio and why? Are there any brands or models that you think are particularly awful?

    Thanks in advance for the help.
  2. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I'm not voting.... just thinking I need to know this too.

    I've got some 4 year old Yamaha 2.1 speakers that sound great for playback and just listening... but using the during mixdown makes stuff sound like ass elsewhere (not having a clue is hurting my efforts too).

    I hope you get some good answers. :cool:
  3. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    I'm not voting either, at least not yet.
    As usual "what's best" is too broad to answer.
    You need to specify some more info.
    How about starting with your budget?
  4. Saint


    Mar 2, 2000
    DC - USA
    I know I shouldn't be, but I'm suprised that noone has responded to the poll. C'mon, you've got to have SOME views on the matter...
  5. Which ones are closest to the $1500 budget? Those are probably the "best" since you get what you pay for with monitors.

    I've got Event 20/20s, but I know there are better. Still, I wouldn't upgrade to any of he ones listed because they will probably have different limitations.

    It's usually recommended to listen to a variety of speakers and buy the ones that you like best, as the decision is purely personal. And I agree with that advice.

    Hence, no vote.
  6. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    For under 1500 I would say the Mackie HR824 are the deal. They also have the 624 which are smaller but combined with a sub are great. The 20/20 with a good amp sound good as well. You might check out the Blue Sky 2.1 set up I think its in that range, they are a bit Mid rangey to my ear. Listen first whatever you buy.
  7. dpaton


    Jan 21, 2002
    Schaumburg, IL
    As a recording guy, I'm gonna jump in for a minute.

    The thing that matters IS NOT the monitors themselves.

    Read that again.

    The thing that matters is learning how things translate from your monitors to other systems. Right now I mix on a really s*itty set of 2-way monitors. They're awful. My mixes turn out great. They sound good on my stereo, in the car, at my parent's house, on my iPod, through a PA, etc, bacause I know how things will translate.

    There's something else too. Good recording monitors will let bad mixes sound bad. That's their job. Studio monitors are supposed to let you hear every error until you get the mix right, then it's positively wonderful.

    Notice I said 'let' instead of 'make'. Monitors shouldn't add ANYTHING to the sound of your music. They should only allow you to hear everything that you're playing back. If they don't, bad things will sneak by and get into your recording, and it's hard to fix once it's comitted to mylar and plastic.

    Finally, of the list given, I'd go for the Mackie 824s. I've used almost all of the units mentioned ('cept the Carvins), and the Mackie's translate the easiest, unless you count some very expensive Genelecs in the 'Other' category. If I could afford to drop $1500 on speakers right now, I'd get them, but my car needs work and I don't have aday job, so they'll have to wait.

    ebozzz likes this.
  8. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Buy anything decent and get used to them. Practice. Listen. That is best. Some of the best mixes were/are made on cheap monitors, some of the worst crap I've ever heard has come from big $$ $peakers. The person is the key. All you really need is to be sure your hearing as much as possible. Just my .02$
  9. D.A.R.K.


    Aug 20, 2003
    lots of great points in this thread!
    my suggestion is to consider either a system with a subwoofer or one with ports for an extended frquency range. most of my mixing problems were due to an inability to hear what was going on below 60 hz. this is really important if you are mixing sub-oriented music like dub or drum'n bass or hip-hop.
    also, for an extra 35.00 an auratone mono speaker is a great worst-case scenario reference.
  10. dpaton


    Jan 21, 2002
    Schaumburg, IL
    Hence my recommendation for the Mackie HDR-824s.

  11. I dont think there the "best" but they are a standard for just about every studio
    yamaha NS-10
    But they have discountinued them
    Something to do with the tree that makes the sap for the glue that hold together the cones on the woofer has become extint
    But find some used
    again not the best but the standard
  12. Scott D

    Scott D

    Apr 21, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    when my band was doing some recording, the engineer had the alesis RA-150 set (the 150W poweramp, and two monitors) and man, that stuff sounded huge! it sounded amazing, and those a pretty damn cheap.
  13. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    NS-10s sound like ass. The fact that they are ubiquitous is a tragedy. At least, if you get some, then you need to get some flat speakers for final mix-down. The NS-10s have no bass and a big upper-mid / treble emphasis.
  14. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    This is what I'm talking about. Countless great albums have been mixed on these things, and they are not very good speakers.
  15. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    That doesn't mean the people who used them didn't waste a lot of time getting to know their "features", so that they could learn how to mix something on them so that it would sound good on decent speakers.

    You'll never get perfect monitors - but why waste time on a pair that are known to have pretty severe flaws?
  16. NS10's are the best and used in the recording field by all pro-studios.

    Yamaha has released a new version called the Yamaha MSP5 Powered Studio Monitors and there is a review written by my husband here at http://www.recording.org/e-mag/article_102.shtml

    TIPS: listen to your mixes in your car, and other places that you listen to other music on.

    Play cd's of material comparable to the style of music you are working on and A/B between the reference cd's and your music.

    Monitor at reasonable levels; around 85db and less...if you don't know how loud that is get a cheap db meter from radio shack.

    Get your monitors in an equilateral triangle at about the same height as your ears, with the speakers roughly 3-feet or so apart, and your head as the third point.

    Try and get the best near-field monitors you can afford. Price to performance sways towards self powered monitors imo at the cheaper price ranges.

    Try not to use consumer gear. The theory that since this is the final playing field and therefore why not just go there is flawed.

    ;) Treena
  17. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Why are they the best?

    I'm sure most pro studios have many other speakers, and at least one set of very high-fidelity monitors (NS10s are hardly even "high-fidelity"). In light of that, counciling someone building a home studio to buy them as their main monitor speakers, is maybe not such a good thing?

    There's some interesting stuff in the article you linked. And a plot of the new speakers' frequency response. It's not horrible. But it's not so hot, either.

    The article says "the lows thump with authority". OK, sure - everything above 60 Hz. Anything below that is nonexistent coming out of those speakers. Which means you might have serious mix problems in the lowest octave and a half, and not even know it.

    A 5db shelf between the midbass and the mids, not so great. I'm sure it makes them sound "detailed" though. (fyi this is an illusion).

    If you want your recordings to sound good through little TV speakers and clock radios, go for the NS10s (or the new equivalent, though they are indeed better than the 10s were).
  18. japhy4529

    japhy4529 this is only a test... Supporting Member

    Go with the HR-824's. I own a pair at my studio, and they rock! I have mixed on NS-10's and while I can understand why many veteran engineers have use them (i.e. get used to crappy speakers, since that is what most people own), there is no reason to subject newbie engineers to the same punishment.

    girlbassplayer brought up a good point regarding the equilateral triangle (the two speakers and yer head) as well as mixing at low volume. Don't forget to pump it up from time to time to check the low end.

    Just my $.02. YMMV

    - Tom
  19. Geshel, if you can make a mix sound great on a set of NS10's then I garantee that mix will travel WELL to any other set of speakers you play that mix on.

    I use auratones to do my mono, (clock radio) listening on when mixing. Then I also have a set of Tannoys for overall! I switch my speakers between these three setups to make sure my mixes travel.

    Here's my studio. Believe me, I'm no ROOKIE!

    ;) Treena