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Opinions on Monitors $300-600 pair

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Best sounding Monitor system $300-600 per pair

iKey Audio M606
1
1%
Wharfedale DP8.2
5
5%
Fostex PM1MKII Powered Nearfield Monitor
2
2%
Fostex PM04 Powered Nearfield Monitor
0
No votes
KRK RP8/RP8G2 Rokit Powered
39
37%
Behringer B2031a
9
9%
Tapco S5
2
2%
Yamaha HS50M Active Studio Monitor
18
17%
Alesis M1 Active 620
1
1%
JBL LSR2325P Powered Studio Monitor
10
10%
Tapco by Mackie PS8
2
2%
Mackie MR5 Reference Monitor
9
9%
Yamaha MSP5S Active Studio Monitor
4
4%
Samson Resolv A5 Active Studio Monitors
3
3%
 
Total votes : 105

Opinions on Monitors $300-600 pair

Postby Tweak on Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:36 pm

This poll was created February 2009--in 10 months only half remain. The ones you see have stood the test of time.





Wharfedale DP8.2
http://www.zzounds.com/a--3745/item--WHADP82A

Image


KRK RP8/RP8G2 Rokit Powered
http://www.zzounds.com/a--3745/item--KRKRP8G2/sid--poll

Image The winning monitor!


Behringer B2031a
http://www.zzounds.com/a--3745/item--BEHB2031A

Image




Yamaha HS50M Active Studio Monitor
http://www.zzounds.com/a--3745/item--YAMHS50M/sid--poll

Image


Alesis M1 Active 620
http://www.zzounds.com/a--3745/item--ALEM1ACTIVE620

Image


JBL LSR2325P Powered Studio Monitor (85 Watts, 1x5 in.)
http://www.zzounds.com/a--3745/item--JB ... /sid--poll

Image




Mackie MR5 Reference Monitor
http://www.zzounds.com/item--MACMR5

Image


Yamaha MSP5S Active Studio Monitor
http://www.zzounds.com/a--3745/item--YAMMSP5S/sid--poll

Image
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Re: Opinions on Monitors $300-600 pair

Postby terry on Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:30 pm

I think Ill hold out for the KRK VXT8 Active Studio Monitor or VXT6 since they are just a tad more.
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Re: Opinions on Monitors $300-600 pair

Postby aww-de-oh on Sat Feb 21, 2009 1:22 am

Got the KRK RP8 g2's. Wish i woulda held out for the VXT's too. Don't get me wrong, the RP8's are pretty darn good at this price point, but i find myself wanting that next step up. I will definatly hold on to em for a while. +These are great to start with... the difference between these and the VXT isn't so great to the untrained ear, but when you start to 'hear', you gotta pay for that extra 'lil bit-o-clarity.

Dangit Tweak! Like i said in another thread... :shock: this home recording thing is like a drug pusher giving you that first hit for free... budget-smudget, you're gonna pay! :crazy:
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Re: Opinions on Monitors $300-600 pair

Postby Rick Levine on Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:28 am

The Yamaha HS80M monitors are currently $540 for a pair at GC (in store only). That was my choice. MAP is $700.
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Re: Opinions on Monitors $300-600 pair

Postby SubOWOT on Sun Apr 05, 2009 3:48 pm

Well whether you choose to believe it or not, I can make a professional sounding mix with my two Tapco monitors, Logic Pro, and a pair of Sennheiser 280 HDPRO headphones. And my mixes will sound great on close to any speaker set-up. That's like saying the only way to get a pro sound is to use pro material in a pro facility. But it's not. I have seen some "professional" mixing engineers in a "professional" workplace make mixes worse than mine. Not because I am the best, but because I know and understand my surrounding.
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Re: Opinions on Monitors $300-600 pair

Postby johncoad on Thu May 21, 2009 9:16 am

I have the RPG 6 pair which seems to be pretty good....although I haven't heard anything else but commercial speakers. When I first heard a song I've listened to in my car on these I was amazed how clear and good it sounded, never heard anything that good in my life. How do these compare to professional monitors like the Adams S2As you mentioned (blue bear)?
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Re: Opinions on Monitors $300-600 pair

Postby pacificresonance on Tue Jun 16, 2009 11:50 pm

the types of monitors that "professionals" use range from cheap to expensive, but it's really about getting something that is accurate to mix with. Cheaper, smaller, perhaps even consumer speakers should be used for REFERENCE. Adam S2A's are great, so are the Expose 8's. I have a buddy that swears by the Genelec 8050's and the Event Opal monitors. That could be what someone might call "professional monitors."

I don't really fall into the entire idea that you just have to "learn the speakers," because to me, it's too much wasted time to learn one set of speakers. You need to get a set of good nearfields---accurate nearfields---and then CHECK your mixes on other systems. Don't mix on a crappy system and check on a good one. It will take you twice as much time. It's like guys that try to cop out with using ONLY the NS10s--which is a total mistake. We're not going to get into opinions on the NS10s, I'm just saying, they were built as a REFERENCE monitor, like many people use Auratones or Lofi "computer speakers" as a "real world reference." Same with the Yamaha HS50M's. If you read the descriptions of the items on Sweetwater, they accurately say "REFERENCE MONITOR." That means you check your mix on it, don't waste time learning it and mixing on it.

I'm not saying you should get rid of your speakers, nor am I saying that lofi speakers are bad--trust me, I use them! I've got two sets of computer speakers, a Sony stereo, and an ipod dock that I check my mixes on! I've been there, really. I know firsthand what it's like to have a lot of mediocre systems and not ONE good monitor system. I made that mistake years and years ago. It's sort of like...having one good mic and one good preamp can take you WAY farther than having 5 crappy mics and 5 crappy preamps. Quality over quantity.

I don't know exactly what speakers you're mixing on now--I forgot after scrolling through this very strange argument--but regardless, you should probably just get yourself a good set of 5" or 8" speakers that you can learn, because you should learn what accurate monitors sound like so you can learn a lot more about the process of mixing. To be kind to my ears, I got a set of accurate monitors. I can mix longer (because I don't deal with the ear fatigue of crappy speakers) I can mix better (because I can hear everything that I am doing) and I can mix faster (because I have learned to listen for a good mix on good speakers, and learned what my crappy speakers are going to need in a mix).

Plus, a lot of consumer systems are getting better and better. If you mix on "lofi" speakers, it actually might sound bad in a really nice system. So many car stereos are getting better, as well as headphones, home stereos, HDTV systems, and all of that--people are starting to notice sound quality and are willing to spend money on a good system.

Good luck! It sounds like youre on the right track. And luckily, we've got people here to offer advice.
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Re: Opinions on Monitors $300-600 pair

Postby AFK on Mon Aug 03, 2009 12:04 am

The new Studiophile CX8 by M-Audio sounded great at GC today:
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Re: Opinions on Monitors $300-600 pair

Postby Tweak on Mon Aug 03, 2009 12:47 am

AFK wrote:The new Studiophile CX8 by M-Audio sounded great at GC today:

I have to remove links to the GC, please don't post them here. Thank you.
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Re: Opinions on Monitors $300-600 pair

Postby Nanashi on Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:20 am

the VXT4 belongs here. Its easily the winner in this category as well.
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Re: Opinions on Monitors $300-600 pair

Postby dday on Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:38 am

Event TR-8's FTW. I use with a 10" Yamaha sub. Love it!
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Re: Opinions on Monitors $300-600 pair

Postby chiefnobum on Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:55 am

As has been said many times, the monitors in this category are mainly to learn on. If you are looking for something to learn on, I would highly recommend the Wharfedale Diamond Pro 8.2A's. They're only $300/pair in the States and they are actually quite decent. They are well balanced, have solid stereo separation, and the 6.5" woofer seems to be perfect for this category as it adds more bass than a 5" but will keep you out of less bass trouble than an 8" woofer. Most people looking for this range of monitors don't have a ton of treatment in their room. I haven't heard all of these monitors, but the ones I have listened to in this category weren't shoulders above the Wharfedale's (some more expensive ones didn't translate nearly as well). Spend $300 on some monitors and put the rest toward acoustic treatment or saving up for "real" monitors. IMHO you'll do yourself a favor in the long run by putting the cash towards things that matter more. If you've got a $1000 to spend on monitors, then definitely do that, but if you have less than $600, you'r going to be upgrading sometime in the future anyway.
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Re: Opinions on Monitors $300-600 pair

Postby front-of-house on Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:29 pm

I'm about ready to get my first monitors and I'm down to three choices. Kind of leaning towards the Wharfdale Pro 8.2's after the reviews I've read, but the KRK Rokit 6's and the Mackie MR5's are also looming on the horizon. I don't plan on using a sub (for the time being). I also don't have a way to audition these choices.

Just wondering what you pros would suggest.

Thanks a bunch.
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Re: Opinions on Monitors $300-600 pair

Postby RocknPop on Thu Sep 24, 2009 6:46 pm

Enlightened Hand, Blue Bear, and Nanashiwanderer,

I am facing this dilemma right now - I am NOT a pro but want to have the best bang for the buck. I have a pair of Alesis M1s that I will probably move to use only with my synth and want to buy the best monitors in this price range. I read the old poll and some reviews online. I don't have much time to take off and try at GC but I will once I narrow this down here.

My options:
- Yamaha HS80M 8" ($800) (only if there is a SIGNIFICANT difference)
- JBL LSR 2328P 8 ($700)
- KRK Rockit 8 Gen 2 ($500)
- Yamaha HS50M 5" ($400)
- KRK Rockit 6 ($400)
- Behringer TRUTH B2031A ($360)
- KRK Rockit 5 ($300)
- Behringer TRUTH B2030A ($300)
- Mackie MR5 ($400)
- Mackie MR8 ($500)
- KRK VXT 6 Powered ($600)
- ADAM Audio A5 Active ($400)

** The ones on bold are the ones that I THINK are best...

I would like to hear your opinion on which one you would choose and why. My fear of going with the Yamaha 5" is there will not be enough low end on them. I don't know if the KRK R6 will have the clarity of the Yamaha. I don't know if the Mackie MR5 is good at all.... Please help me (this is my first post)
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Re: Opinions on Monitors $300-600 pair

Postby aww-de-oh on Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:27 am

I'm not one of the named, but i'll chime in anyway!

The KRK VXT line or the Adam's. Some people like the HS80M's, but i've never heard them personally.

If your going to buy a KRK speaker, and want to upgrade from your current set... get the VXT line (or above). The rp8 is a decent speaker (i have), but it's of the entry level quality. Going up to the VXT line will add alot more clarity and depth.

None of this matters if you don't have a decent listening space. If your working in a smallish room with bare walls, definately look into some broadband absorbers.
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Re: Opinions on Monitors $300-600 pair

Postby Rick Levine on Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:55 am

The Yamaha HS80M is $600 a pair in-store at GC. During some of their big sales they go lower. I got my pair for $540 (new, sealed box) at GC. At that price they're the best bang for the buck.
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Re: Opinions on Monitors $300-600 pair

Postby RocknPop on Fri Sep 25, 2009 12:26 pm

aww-de-oh wrote:I'm not one of the named, but i'll chime in anyway!
The KRK VXT line or the Adam's. Some people like the HS80M's, but i've never heard them personally.


Aww-de-oh, thank you for chiming in! I did some more research and I found out that the VXT4 are the only VXTs that I can afford... so that leaves me with the last choices: Mackie MR5 and MR8 vs Yamaha HS08 and HS05

Questions are -
1) Is the 8" significantly different from the 5" to pay the extra $ for them?
2) Which one Yamaha or Mackie would you recommend (quality, reliability, resale, accuracy being considered) given there is a $200 difference between them!?


Rick Levine wrote:The Yamaha HS80M is $600 a pair in-store at GC. During some of their big sales they go lower. I got my pair for $540 (new, sealed box) at GC. At that price they're the best bang for the buck.


Thanks Rick, unfortunately all I have is gift cards to use at Amazon for these... and I have a guy offering a pair locally for $450... like I said above I would like to know if the 122 in^2 make THAT much of a difference. I would assume they do bc it is 156% more than the 5" area... but I'm looking for a qualitative answer to the question.
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Re: Opinions on Monitors $300-600 pair

Postby aww-de-oh on Fri Sep 25, 2009 2:23 pm

Whether or not you are going to purchase them at the store:
I would advise you to listen and compare these in person if possible.
+Don't write off the VXT4 just because of it's size, it is a great little monitor.

ElightenedHand did a review of them. You can read that here:
http://studio-central.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=59561&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

(i can't tell ya what to buy, but i suggest listening to the VXT 4's before writing them off!)
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Re: Opinions on Monitors $300-600 pair

Postby chiefnobum on Fri Sep 25, 2009 2:48 pm

If you don't have treatment, the large woofer size is only going to cause more trouble. As had been mentioned, it's not just size that matters. Something like VXT4's can still make enough bass to make accurate decisions in monitoring and their level of detail is a big step up from most of these monitors.
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Re: Opinions on Monitors $300-600 pair

Postby RocknPop on Sun Sep 27, 2009 10:12 pm

Hey guys, thanks a lot for the advise. I went to test some Yamaha HS80s at Guitar Center and I liked the clarity on them better than any other speaker. I was waiting to get them and this is what happened....

I was randomly checking Craigslist and I found a pair of Yamaha NS-10Ms with a QSC GX3 amp and two extra tweeters for $1,000. No go... but I checked today and someone had just posted another pair of NS-10Ms for under market value so that's what I went with...

Thanks for your help! Now I need to open another thread for someone to help me rationalize what amp to buy.
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Re: Opinions on Monitors $300-600 pair

Postby _controlfreak on Sun Sep 27, 2009 10:42 pm

Image
THIS IS NOT GOING TO END WELL

:shock:*

*That's Spanish for: Tell me that you . . . LISTENED to those NS-10M's and made a comparison to the HS-80M's and THEN made a rational, informed decision based on your needs and preferences . . .
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Re: Opinions on Monitors $300-600 pair

Postby RocknPop on Sun Sep 27, 2009 11:12 pm

_controlfreak wrote:Image
THIS IS NOT GOING TO END WELL

:shock:*

*That's Spanish for: Tell me that you . . . LISTENED to those NS-10M's and made a comparison to the HS-80M's and THEN made a rational, informed decision based on your needs and preferences . . .


:) I will use them as a second monitoring set...
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Re: Opinions on Monitors $300-600 pair

Postby EnlightenedHand on Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:28 pm

Best bang for the buck?

That's a difficult question when you're talking about a limited budget and the product in question is loudspeakers. I'm going to generalize for the sake of elucidating a point. This is ONLY a generalization and not to be taken as fact.

ONLY A GENERALIZATION wrote:USUALLY, any loudspeaker pair that is priced under $1000 (USD) that is meant for critical listening is not nearly as useful as it needs to be for a mix engineer to have an easy go at translating mixes.
But there are exceptions to that point. The first being that some less expensive speakers really aren't all that bad. True, they will never be as accurate as a $25,000 set of B & W 800 series. But the point is that there are A FEW decent models of less-than-a-thousand-per-pair loudspeakers that you can make do quite well with (provided you have the experience and skill to hear well and get a good mix balance, and you have a room that doesn't screw everything up in the first place).

I haven't heard every speaker there is or even every popular speaker there is, so I can only comment on those that I've spent a bit of time with and in my experience the KRK vxt4 is exceptionally good for it's price and size. I can comfortably mix with a pair of those (preferably with a sub, in a properly calibrated 2.1 system, in a great room. But I can do it without that if I must. I'd just have to work harder and second guess a bit more). At $600 a pair they are a steal. For someone coming from $300 a pair monitors they will show you things that you never knew you weren't hearing. Are they the best you can get? Not at all. Are they flawless? Not at all. Can you get the job done relatively painlessly, even in an untreated room with them? Yes, and that's their virtue. If you want something affordable, that will work and that you won't outgrow next month, then I can reasonably recommend the vxt4 model.

Is it the best bang for your buck?

Only you can decide that. For all anyone knows you might actually not like the family sound of KRK and that might be the deal breaker. If that's the case then that's fine. But know that you have to jump in with somebody's sound at some point or you'll just be looking forever. If you haven't got the money to get into the $1000 per pair and up game then maybe you're best sticking with your current pair and saving up until you've gotten a little more financial breathing room.

Another thing to remember is that there are engineers (mostly from the old school) that still primarily mix on NS10s. But that's not common really, although the speaker itself is. It's really a case of either you like that sound or you don't. But as far as accuracy and translation is concerned, the NS10 isn't at the top of the charts at all. However, the bottom line is that you CAN mix with almost any loudspeaker. It's just a TON more easy with excellent (and unfortunately prohibitively expensive) loudspeakers.

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Re: Opinions on Monitors $300-600 pair

Postby Alexrkstr on Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:10 pm

Liz and controlfreak - Thank you (Yes, I am RocknPop but decided to eliminate that email address).

Liz - I read your VXT4 review and it made the KRKs very appealing, I also read more KRK reviews from you and from what you last wrote, it seems that you have become comfortable with them and you know how to mix with KRK.

What I have come to found out this far and by talking with a friend of mine that actually does this for a living (one grammy winning record) is almost the same - he owns and mixes with NS-10Ms with a KRK 10" sub, nothing wrong with that, he just couldn't mix hip-hop without the sub, now he can.

There are two premises that make me gravitate towards the Yamaha HS80s:
1) Reviews mention that the clarity is very comparable to the [legendary] NS-10Ms and that they actually do have the missing low frequencies that the NS-10Ms did not have.
2) I tried them at the store next to the M-Audio BX8s, the rockit 8s, and I was very pleased with exactly that - the clarity. Taking my own CD to the store I heard things that I had not heard in my own monitors. I believe this will be the same effect that I will have from moving from my Alesis M1s to the HS80s?

One thought that keeps me from transitioning to the HS80s is that you mention that all speakers under $1,000 will be the same. From this, I gather that it is pure marketing? That I can accomplish the same in the Yamahas that I can with the Alesis? And that the $600 - $130 = $430 investment will not be worth it. ---> Could you confirm that that conclusion is not flawed?
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Re: Opinions on Monitors $300-600 pair

Postby _controlfreak on Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:30 pm

Review of monitors (from anyone), shouldn't necessarily make a particular brand/model "more appealing." You can be more inclined to go try them out, but if you don't, it's still a blind-buy no matter what you read. My HS-80M's were a blind-buy, and really, that's the only time that's ever worked out for me.
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