Studio monitors with computer for guitar and bass practice?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by philthygeezer, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. philthygeezer

    philthygeezer Supporting Member

    May 22, 2002
    Thinking about a pair of powered 5 or 8 inch near-field studio monitors to replace my computer speakers.

    Would they work well as do-it-all i.e.
    • bass/guitar practice speakers (with amp models),
    • home stereo,
    • movie watching,
    • gaming?
  2. beans-on-toast


    Aug 7, 2008
    They are designed for what you describe. In recording, full bandwidth playback is through the monitors. If you want more low end, add a sub.

    Now, there are studio monitors and there are studio monitors. Good ones can get pretty expensive.

    Check out Kali Audio, Eve Audio, Adam Audio, and Focal, all offer good sounding products.

    Vintage King Audio | Call 888.653.1184 Pro Audio Sales, Studio Design, Integration
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
  3. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    Northern KY
    Cab fan, hobbyist
    I use some M-Audio sorta cheapo active monitors on occasion. They do alright. I'm never using them louder than you can talk over though. Decent for noodling through covers.
    Bodeanly and kodiakblair like this.
  4. Redbrangus

    Redbrangus Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    Under The X In Texas
    Decent active monitors will do all those jobs pretty well, with the exception of the first one. That part is pretty iffy... the basic answer is, 'it depends'. Yes, you can play your bass through them and hear it well enough by itself, but I like to practice/play at a reasonable (not loud) level, and I think it would take some pretty serious monitors to keep up to even that modest level. And I respect my own (very good) studio monitors enough to not even try it out. A bass amplification system is designed to produce (make) music; a studio monitor is designed to reproduce music. It's kind of two different things, so you can't really expect a reasonably priced device to serve both jobs well. Still, it might work well enough for your purposes... it depends. :D
  5. philthygeezer

    philthygeezer Supporting Member

    May 22, 2002
    Thanks. Thinking about the Yamaha HS8 monitors.
    One Way, Remoman and Bugeyed Earl like this.
  6. Redbrangus

    Redbrangus Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    Under The X In Texas
    One of the advantages of modern active monitors--at least in this potential application--is that they have pretty aggressive limiting circuits which serve to protect the drivers from over-excursion. That would definitely work in your favor. Applying a compressor-limiter and a HPF to the bass signal would also be advisable, IMO.
  7. philthygeezer

    philthygeezer Supporting Member

    May 22, 2002
    Perfect. I’ll probably run the D800+ with the HPF into the monitors. To do this properly I’ll need some sort of IO hub or mixer, right?
  8. bass40hz

    bass40hz Cigar smoker, scotch drinker, American Patriot Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Richlands, NC
    Highly recommend the Presonus R65 monitors and Temblor T10 sub.
    Rock on.
  9. These are great :thumbsup:
    I use a Steinberg USB stereo I/O recording interface. You can get them cheap, mine was about $100
  10. Redbrangus

    Redbrangus Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    Under The X In Texas
    Uhmm...if you have a good amp, why would you want to use a compromised speaker system to listen to it? Get a comparable bass speaker and play through that. Listen to music, watch movies, play games on the monitors. Just because you can play through the monitors is not an indication of how appropriate or musically pleasing the effect will be.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
    dralionux likes this.
  11. SaxBass

    SaxBass Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2003
    San Diego
    For the past several years I've used a pair of first generation EON 10 powered PA speakers on my desk. I have an old Mackie 1402 for mixing, an Alesis Wedge for effects when needed (look that one up!), and an old M-Audio Oxygen 8 midi keyboard and Yamaha MU50 module for helping with transcribing. BENQ 27" photo editing monitor. Practice, music stereo, watching movies, editing, everything.
  12. skyline_01

    skyline_01 Endorsing artist: Nordstrand Audio, Tsunami Cables

    Nov 14, 2006
    Lebanon, OH
    My cheap recording setup consists of a pair of active Rockville 8" monitors and a Presonus Studio 6/8 running through a PC. I don't do a lot of playing at home but when I do it suits my needs just fine. I'd eventually like to get a small combo to bang around on but it's a pretty low priority right now.
  13. I use a pair of M-Audio monitors and a USB mixer at home,have done for years. DI a preamp into mixer and the job's done.

    Monitors are positioned about chest height (when seated at desk) so I can practise at low volumes. Playing along with tunes and recording through Audacity is a breeze.
    SaxBass and basscooker like this.
  14. I have an old set of powered Fostex monitors (with sub) that I use with a USB interface into the PC. I use that rig through guitarix and into Ardour to track bass parts. It works great at the levels that I might normally listen to audio on my PC, but in this setup it's not as simple as plugging into an amp.
  15. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    There are ( surprisingly ) 3-inch and 4-inch active monitors that would likely do the job for bass practice.

    I have the tiny Kanto YU-2 which are amazing ( see Products | Kanto Audio )

    And much louder are my slightly larger (but still-tiny!) Vanatoo Transparent Zero. These have a passive radiator and are literally wall shaking when cranked. ( see Transparent Zero | Vanatoo )


    I was planning on buying another (next-size-up) set of KANTO monitors, but when I heard these Vanatoo monitors, I knew I had to have them.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
  16. Of all the monitors (mostly budget stuff) I've used the Yamaha's are my favorites followed by JBL. I haven't had a chance to test KRK or Adam Audio but have heard good things. I currently have a set of JBL 8 inch monitors. They are good for everything you describe but are lacking a little bit of clarity in the high end. I found the yamahas to be better in that respect.
  17. MVE


    Aug 8, 2010
    Im going to disagree with this response, respectfully of course.
    I used two Mackie HR824 mk1s as my recording monitors, bass practice and small room PA, and as my home theatre system all rolled into one in my “studio” apartment for years. Front end was just a 1202vlz mixer.
    They did all of that and did it with awesomeness.
    As home theater speakers they were Godly.
    As bass amp, they were tight, punchy and fast.
    The only reason they reside in my basement today is because they do not mesh with my wife’s decor. :( But even though I now have a Demeter/Berg bass rig, I still plug the bass into them from time to time as I love the sound.
  18. philthygeezer

    philthygeezer Supporting Member

    May 22, 2002
    I think the main thing is that they are near-field and meant for low volume, so I could practice to music with good sound at conversational levels that won’t disturb others too much. I was thinking that amps and cabs are designed to project sound out much farther than monitors. Also have Rocksmith 2014 in mind. :).
    Redbrangus likes this.
  19. And I

    And I

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    studio monitors with 8" woofers are good for larger rooms. for medium / small rooms, a 6" or 5" will do, and with most speakers you won't be missing much in terms of meaningful low-end. i use focal alpha 5s, and have NO problem hearing all the bass i want to. they are detailed AF. i use them for mixing, and also for gaming and watching movies. when i want to play bass, i usually just use my bass amp / speaker cab. but if i'm recording bass i plug it into my recording interface and i can hear myself through the monitors no problem.

    aso for running the Mesa amp into the studio monitors? you could use the line out on the amp into a mixer... but... be careful!! make sure you have the LPF on. and if you see huge amounts of cone excursion, turn it down. don't think you're going to jam with a drummer using your studio monitors...
  20. Tommy V

    Tommy V

    Feb 19, 2019
    the line-out on my music pc runs to an old kenwood home theater amp, feeding 4 old electro-voice s-40's, and a kenwood 15" sub box.. the ev's reproduce decent bass on their own, without having to crank up the sub... but the sub comes in handy :bassist: