Powered monitors

Get that song on tape! Errr... disk?
Post Reply
User avatar
burpgun
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 389
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:15 am
Location: Brooklyn, NYC

Powered monitors

Post by burpgun » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:39 am

Hey all. I've been using a set of Tannoy monitors for years, and quite honestly, they've been a pain in the ass. I have to hook them to a power monitor with wires that you screw onto little posts, and these points of contacts have been a chronic issue. The monitors also seem to have issues under representing the high end, which messes up my mixes.

I'd like to go with powered monitors. Anyone have any particular luck with anything in the $1K range, for both speakers? I wish I could go higher price wise, but that's where I'm at. I've looked at Yamahas but I have no real inclinations toward any company.

User avatar
øøøøøøø
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 12030
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 8:26 pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Contact:

Re: Powered monitors

Post by øøøøøøø » Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:23 am

That's an interesting and tricky price range for powered monitors. You can do OK, but there is a lot of variety, with few really separating themselves from the pack. In many cases it ends up being about just getting something that performs pretty well, making sure you have a decent environment to put them in, and then getting accustomed to them.

If the price range was much higher, direct comparisons between models would be easier-- The field gets considerably less crowded as you move up the scale! And most of the stuff, as you move up, is the type of stuff that ends up in professional environments, and therefore it's easier for one individual to have exposure to enough competing products to have an informed opinion. In the <$1000 nearfield market, most users have ONE thing in THEIR place that they spend ALL their time on.

That being said-- The old KRK V8 is OK by me, partly because I know them very well. Used, you could get a pair for well within your budget. They're not the most neutral thing in the world, and not the most gorgeous-sounding, but they tend to be quite workable for me.

The ADAM A7x is popular, and brand new is just a touch out of your price range. Maybe on the used market you could slide in under the wire, but be careful that they're in good condition. A bit more fragile than something like the KRK. A bit skinnier in the bottom end, too, and the top is pleasant and detailed enough but perhaps more forgiving than I wish it were.

Something like the Focal Alpha 80 will be quite different, and within your budget. I have scant experience. A used pair of Solo 6Be might be stretchable in your budget, but perhaps not really worth the squeeze. I know their larger monitors in this series well, and they're not my personal preference-- but they ARE preferred by many people I respect.

I've become quite fond of ATC monitors in general, particularly the larger ones, but there's not really a serious contender from them in your price range.

It's really tricky. Most of the replies you get will be "I recommend this, it's great" but the subtext there is "this is the thing I use, it was recommended to me, and I've never really spent any serious time on anything else." Getting a few things to demo is really best (but again, even that is MUCH easier in higher price brackets).

User avatar
burpgun
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 389
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:15 am
Location: Brooklyn, NYC

Re: Powered monitors

Post by burpgun » Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:42 am

Thanks for the thoughts. Yeah, I realize this is a high subjective subject. And it is overwhelming how many choices are out there, so you'll always be able to find a fan of some particular offerings. My belief was my Tannoys were good but I've struggled to get good mixes. Now, it may be operator error, but even day to day I've spent more time than I like trying to figure out if one of those cables is coming loose, crap like that.

I'll definitely look around the used market and will check out what you've suggested. I was interested in the Yamahas in part because of the NS10 heritage. Not great gear but if you can get a good mix on them, it'll work anywhere. Or at least so I've read!

User avatar
øøøøøøø
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 12030
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 8:26 pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Contact:

Re: Powered monitors

Post by øøøøøøø » Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:08 pm

I love NS10s. Yamaha's powered contemporary offerings are a bit different to me; not terrible, but not really the same kind of "good" an NS10m.

And NS10s do have very real advantages, btw-- they're often billed as "crappy monitors that make you work hard" but I don't agree. Their time domain performance is excellent and they're very revealing of issues in the critical midrange. A colleague describes them as "work lights for audio," and I could not think of a better description. They're supremely unflattering but revealing of certain types of details.

The modern powered Yamahas are not quite the same-- they're less unflattering and also less "challenging" (in a good way) to me.

User avatar
burpgun
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 389
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:15 am
Location: Brooklyn, NYC

Re: Powered monitors

Post by burpgun » Tue Nov 13, 2018 6:08 pm

Damn, now you are making me want to run down a set of NS10s! Of course, then I've got get a power amp, 'cause I'm no fan of this Samson thing I've got now.

User avatar
øøøøøøø
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 12030
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 8:26 pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Contact:

Re: Powered monitors

Post by øøøøøøø » Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:56 pm

NS10s are VERY sensitive to what you amp them with.

With a cheap amp they're garbage.

With a Bryston 4B (or even 2B) they're doing what you want them to do. But that's not always a cheap proposition.

I think your idea to run down a mid-priced set of powered monitors is probably a good one.

The tricky thing is, everything I think of to recommend that I think is a really GOOD idea is way out of your price range, except for the old KRKs. And I'm fully aware that the KRK thing is probably just "my deal" especially nowadays (their heyday was a solid 15-20 years ago by this point).

Post Reply