Active studio monitors for Home audio

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Vinny123, Jun 8, 2018.

  1. Vinny123

    Vinny123 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Florida
    I don’t hear of them being used all that much. I’ve been using Mackie 824 active monitors for years w a couple of 12 inch subs. Yes they are revealing but I find that they also have a nice smoothness and image like crazy. 150 watts to the woofer and 100 to the tweeter. Built in electronic crossover and silent. They can be deafening before distorting. I really like the authoritative sound, but can also be quite delicate w acoustic music. If one of them died I’d probably buy active monitors again. I was just wondering what you guys thought of powered monitors for home use. I paid about $1000 for them about ten years ago and have always thought they were a bargain. Thanks for your thoughts.
     
  2. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    I've never used 'em at home, and a lot of engineers describe them as "too hifi," but I bet I could live very happily with the Genelec system I heard at the last tracking session I did at the old, lamented MSR (once Right Track) in NYC (closed in '16), I think it was the 1032b monitors and a Genelec sub. There are advantages for sure to an active crossover system.
     
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  3. recstar24

    recstar24 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    I use emotiva stealth 8’s for my home hifi. Listed 30 hz -1.5db spec, active crossover with some nice EQ options if needed with dual amplification 200 watts to woofer and 200 to tweeter. Super happy with them in my medium smallish living room.
     
  4. The Pinhead

    The Pinhead SLEAZY SOUTHAMERICAN CAVEMAN

    :cheers:
     
    Manimal likes this.
  5. Splungeworthy

    Splungeworthy Forum Rezidentura

    Location:
    In Transitu
    I hear so much talk about the JBL LSR305's. Does anybody here use these, and how do they sound? They seem very affordable for the great reviews they get.
     
    displayname likes this.
  6. Hermetech Mastering

    Hermetech Mastering Vortextual Waveform Projection

    Location:
    Paris, France
    I use my ATCs for all my listening, home and studio, love 'em!
     
  7. G B Kuipers

    G B Kuipers Forum Resident

    Location:
    Netherlands
    I like to mix on active monitors. But when I want to enjoy music, I prefer passive hifi speakers by a long shot.

    For me the difference is a bit like technically inspecting a painting under fluorescent lighting, vs enjoying a painting in an atmospheric exhibition space.
     
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  8. Fregly

    Fregly Well-Known Member

    Location:
    London
    Is it because they are voiced with a technically flat frequency response that people bock at them? I have never had studio monitors. What are the differences between these and say the audiophile oriented Kef LS50 wireless or the Dynaudio Actives.
     
  9. G B Kuipers

    G B Kuipers Forum Resident

    Location:
    Netherlands
    For one thing, the sound dispersion of near field monitors is very focused. That means a small sweet spot. Fine for a dedicated listening position, but they won't fill the room with music like 'regular' speakers.
     
  10. harby

    harby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    Although the degree depends widely on the particular model of each, speaker systems called monitors are more likely near-field monitors, made for listening in closer proximity, and are more directional and need you to be more centered to have a good image, vs standard speakers which can play to a room of guests and bounce their smiley-eq sound off the walls.
     
  11. harby

    harby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    Hey, are you listening to my thoughts as I type??
     
    displayname likes this.
  12. G B Kuipers

    G B Kuipers Forum Resident

    Location:
    Netherlands
    Wow, good trans-atlantic connection going on here.
     
  13. ChrisR2060

    ChrisR2060 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    I have had the Dynaudio BM5A for a while in mid-field; not bad but I thought they were limited in dynamics and boxy sounding. Since this experience, I prefer external amplification because it does offer more flexibility, and no resonance on the electronics.
     
  14. jbmcb

    jbmcb Forum Resident

    Location:
    Troy, MI, USA
    At a former employer, we had a critical listening setup with small Genelec nearfield monitors and dual subs, in a proper semi-anechoic chamber. They sounded pretty darn good - unbelievably smooth and natural. I could see them not performing well off-axis, but Genelec makes larger speakers with wider dispersion patterns for larger monitoring rooms. They cost a LOT if I recall correctly.
     
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  15. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    There's not necessarily a difference between a studio monitor and a home speaker in terms of "how they're voiced." One of the most widely used studio monitors of all time, the Yamaha NS1000 was designed for the home market and taken up by the pro market. One of the most famous audiophile speakers of all time, the LS3/5a was designed as a remote recording monitor and taken up by the home market.

    Studio monitors today -- vs. the two mentioned above -- typically are active, with dedicated amplification and active crossover circuitry for each driver, which can lower distortion levels and improve phase response. They also commonly a way of padding down or boosting tweeter output for matching with a particular location. And as noted above a lot of speakers for the home market, especially in the post-home theater era, are designed for wider HF dispersion (though a lot of small mini-monitor like home hifi speakers really aren't too different in terms of dispersion vs. typical small studio monitors).

    But really, it's more about any specific speaker -- there are more expensive and less expensive active studio monitors that might sound better or worse to you -- than it is about something inherently true about every speaker designed and marketed for studio use vs. every speaker designed and marketed for home use.

    I will say, most studio monitors are small and have limited bass extension -- like most home "bookshelf" speakers -- and really, if you want realistic fully spectrum sound, will need to be augmented with a sub.
     
  16. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    I believe this. I used to be a bit of an amateur musician -- it wasn't my career but I'd occasionally be called by friends and colleagues to do recording sessions and such, and after a tracking session listening back on something like the NS1000 or some of these small/project studio Mackies that are popular now, I would feel like I never wanted to listen to music again. But after 6 or 10 hours with Genelecs and Genelec subs, I though, "Wow, I'd like that set up in my house!"
     
    PhilBiker likes this.
  17. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Location:
    UK
    Absolutely! In an ideal world, no way would we want a passive crossover.
     
    Brother_Rael likes this.
  18. Carrman

    Carrman Active Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    As a former recording engineer I think this is interesting.
    On recording forums, people ask for recommendations on hifi speakers for a “fun” listening experience as opposed to “critical” listening. Why wouldn’t you want to use the speakers that the music was made and mixed on?
    Studio monitors are for monitoring and home speakers are for listening?
    You can get very nice monitors for less than $2k but they may come off as sterile sounding to some. Others might find them more detailed. Depends on your personal listening history.

    I myself find that hifi speakers typically work better in home environments where as monitors operate better in treated studio environments due to the difference in frequency response comparatively.
     
  19. bhazen

    bhazen Binaural-Curious

    Location:
    Newcastle, WA
    A friend of mines' studio has active monitors made by Neumann (yes, the famous microphone maker.) They sound ravishing; I'd use them in a home stereo in a heartbeat if they were affordable.
     
    Atmospheric likes this.
  20. Bathory

    Bathory 30 yr Single Malt, not just for breakfast anymore

    Location:
    usa
    My Roland M-8’s just bit the dust last year, used them for well over 15 years , almost daily.
    Liked them very much. Rip
     
  21. Carrman

    Carrman Active Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    I must comment as well that being in many studios over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to listen to many studio monitors. Genelecs, Urei, Dynaudio, etc.
    I chose a set of Mackie HR824’s I spent some time with for my home studio due to their extended frequency response and “honesty” during playback. Some people complain about this as they show the issues in your room if it has acoustic issues. I’ve heard complaints of them being too bright or too bassy.
    I do find them a bit fatiguing during long listen periods though.
     
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  22. Fregly

    Fregly Well-Known Member

    Location:
    London
    So who makes studio monitors with wider dispersion. Or can you only get accurate monitoring in a focused field.
     
  23. Carrman

    Carrman Active Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    There are basically near field, mid field and far field monitors. Mid field are not as common and far field tend to be soffit mounted big boys. Most that you see are near field as that position helps to give direct sound and takes a bit of your room sound out of the equation.
    If your room sounds good and you have a dedicated listening position, no issues with near fields even at a bit of a distance.
     
  24. TeleCaster

    TeleCaster Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Québec, Canada
    I just bought some Focal Alpha 50s Studio monitors. They are really great. Amazing separation, excellent highs and decent low end for 5" woofer. These are quality monitors. I upgraded from M-Audio. Did lots of research and auditioned Adams monitors as well. The Focal sounded the best. Highly recommend.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  25. Fregly

    Fregly Well-Known Member

    Location:
    London
    TeleCaster, how do you like them for general music listening?
     

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