Which studio monitors to buy?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Tauren04, Aug 9, 2018 at 8:17 PM.

  1. Tauren04

    Tauren04 Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Florida
    I'm looking to buy some non-vintage studio monitors that will reproduce the sound of acoustic piano’s, symphonies, and voices that are flat (or as accurate as possible with today's technology), and also whether or not I should sell my $9,000 integrated amplifier for active studio monitors with built-in amplifiers versus passive ones? What are the advantages and disadvantages with active versus passive besides having VU meters using separate amplifier with passive? I would probably require a subwoofer that could be used with studio monitors, but I'm just not sure where to go. I'd like to know what the "pro's" of studio's recommend (no B.S). I'm not interested in speakers that will resonate and cause vibrations on certain frequencies or give me some kind of "warm" feeling described with some vintage speakers. I'm only looking for the most life-like.

    My budget is anywhere from $1,000 - $12,000 (although I'd prefer to stay within $3,000-$5,000 because I don't think there is anything much better unless it's snake oil).
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018 at 8:37 PM
  2. allied333

    allied333 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fenton, MI
    Revel has one of the most accurate mid/bass drivers under $10K. Far superior to vintage speakers. Tweeter is also very good. A pair of Revel F208s are $5K a pair. I would not trust a built-in amp with any $9K separate amplifier. What amp are you using?
    From the Revel site.........

    Revel F208's low-frequency and midrange transducers feature distortion reduction mechanisms that stabilize the flux field during operation, assuring low distortion even at high listening volumes. These precision transducers utilize ribbed aluminum cones for ideal piston-like behavior that eliminates a major source of resonances that are clearly audible in most other loudspeakers. Their cast aluminum frames eliminate another source of resonances that is common in many lesser-quality loudspeakers.
    These loudspeakers employ a sophisticated fluid-model designed low-frequency port with identical flares on both ends. This greatly minimizes dynamic compression and port-generated noise, assuring low-distortion low-frequency performance. The front-firing port location expands the speakers’ installation options.
    The F208 tweeter has been created around a newly-designed motor and dome assembly that sets a new standard of transparency for speakers anywhere near the Performa3’s class. The tweeter’s integrated acoustic lens waveguide is based on a breakthrough mathematical approach that accurately matches the tweeter’s dispersion to that of the midrange transducer in the crossover region. This gives the loudspeaker very smooth sound far off-axis – an important contributor to overall sound quality, providing consistent sound over an exceptionally wide listening area. In fact, this new waveguide actually increases the tweeter’s dispersion at higher frequencies.
    The F208 is housed in enclosures that are similar to our flagship Ultima2 Series. These fully-curved enclosures are inherently stiffer than conventional box shapes and are formed with contiguous wood layers that prevent splitting. They feature strategically-oriented bracing that eliminates the possibility of enclosure-induced coloration. These beautiful, modern enclosures are finished in high-gloss piano black or genuine American walnut in a process (developed and overseen by Italian luxury cabinet makers) that exceeds automotive finish quality.
    The loudspeaker grilles are designed to minimize sonic diffraction or veiling and provide a clean, subtle appearance. The magnetic grille attachment method completely eliminates ugly hardware on the loudspeaker baffle, so if you decide to use the loudspeakers without grilles they will look like they were designed to be used without grilles.
    To learn more about the F208 floorstanding loudspeakers, please read the Owner's Manual located in the downloads section.

    Highlights

    Transducers feature motor-system distortion-reduction mechanisms that stabilize the flux field during operation

    Ribbed aluminum cones achieve piston like behavior eliminating major sources of resonance

    New waveguides provide consistent sound over a wide listening area

    Enclosures created by Italian luxury cabinetmakers

    Fluid-model port designs keep distortion low

    Advanced crossovers optimize timbre accuracy both on axis and throughout the room
     
  3. noladaoh

    noladaoh Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
  4. BIGGER Dave

    BIGGER Dave Forum Resident

    The ATC SCM25A is a popular choice in the studio. Each speaker comes with a built-in 235 watt Class A/B 3-way amp. They list for $10K/pair, however a 20% discount is common. ATC monitors have been used by Doug Sax and and are standard equipment at Abbey Road Studios, Sony Studios New York, Blackbird Studios in Nashville, etc.

    SCM25A Pro | ATC Loudspeakers

    They’re available at the usual Pro Audio dealers like Sweetwater and Vintage King.

    ATC SCM25A Pro 7" 3-way Powered Studio Monitors

    ATC Loudspeakers SCM25A Pro - Pair - Vintage King Pro Audio Outfitter
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018 at 9:00 PM
  5. rtrt

    rtrt Well-Known Member

    Location:
    UK
    Some really good info here - Reviews: Monitors the most recent reviews you have to buy, but go back a few months and they're foc.

    Off top of my head -some highly regarded and probably at the mid to more expensive end are Neumann, Genelec, Focal, Gethain, ATC, Barefoot
     
  6. jupiterboy

    jupiterboy Forum Residue

    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    You might consider Lipinski as a possibility. The L-707A might be the first option to look at from their line.

    Lipinski Sound L-707 loudspeaker

    (I'm no studio pro, but I do use a set of speakers designed as monitors in my home, FWIW.)
     
  7. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    You appear to be asking the right questions, but...why? That is, what are you trying to do, and, where are you trying to do it?

    Are we talking about a studio situation? A place where a purely-revealing speaker can make or break a finished master (and again, depending on who's going to be listening to that finished master, on what?) Or, are we talking about a big room full of too many books nobody's ever read, where you can sip cognac with friends who don't know anything about cognac, to show them how good your system is, on music they can't even buy for the Blaupunkt in their sports car? I mean, there's no good reason you should not be able to get the best you are able to enjoy, but different equipment is for different functions, and there's no reason to buy an android, when a robot will do.

    What's your listening environment? Business or pleasure? Finished product or work in progress? What sort of acoustics? Monitors for studio, or control room? Are you not satisfied with your current setup, or do you need to find a charactaristic you can't get with what you have?

    There are plenty of people thinking, if they just listen to a pro's advice, they can afford to just buy "that", for their summer home in the Adirondacks, so their brother-in-law will know what they're talking about. But this is not to disparage. If you can swing it, you would be glad to know what you need. But, perhaps wasting a bit of coin, if you don't know what you need it for.

    This is why many people ask what you might feel are too many questions.
     
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  8. Diamond Dog

    Diamond Dog Cautionary Example

  9. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident

    Location:
    U.S.
    Stirling Broadcast LS3/6
     
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  10. augustwest

    augustwest Forum Resident

    Location:
    los angeles, ca
    For classical music, B&W 801's
     
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  11. Blair G.

    Blair G. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Amphion’s studio line
     
  12. Tauren04

    Tauren04 Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Florida
    This is for a regular 14’ x 14’ room with acoustic panels on the walls inside a house. It will be for listening pleasure, not for business.

    I’m surprised just about everyone has suggested a different speaker than the other. It’s hard to choose!
     
  13. Tauren04

    Tauren04 Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Florida
    I heard about these! How are they with classical, jazz, voices, etc.? Does the company show their parameters on a graph? They look nice. How good are they and do they have a complimentary subwoofer? Do a lot of studios use or recommend them?

    Thank you.
     
  14. Tauren04

    Tauren04 Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Florida
    How do these compare to the ATC SCM25A comes with a subwoofer, I think? It’s a 3-set. It looks promising, too.
     
  15. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Are you kiddin'? You've just "given" a number of audiophile dreamers an opportunity to "spend your" money! I remember the first time I heard Magneplanars in a home setting, with the room to move them from the walls, into the room. I know that feeling. Nowdays, I'm older, with a lot of my budgetary imperitaves behind me, and a confidence that I may not be able to appreaciate most revealing of components at my age. But I know I'm going to be plenty satisfied with what I'm working with anyway. I don't have the curiosity (or, the choices of great nearby auditioning rooms and selections for every budget), but I'm pretty happy my searches have given me good equipment; not stellar, but pretty darned adequate!

    Let those who've imagined what they would do if they had your means, steer you towards some great options...and, don't be afraid to take some back, and try some more!
     
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  16. Tauren04

    Tauren04 Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Florida
    I bought a McIntosh MA9000 last year.
     
  17. Fedot L

    Fedot L Forum Resident

    With the sound quality standard you wish, a pair of active studio monitors like “Genelec 1236A”:
    https://www.genelec.com/sites/default/files/media/Studio monitors/SAM Studio Monitors/1236A/1236a_operating_manual_0.pdf
    (real flat “20…20000 Hz” and 125 dB SPL, with excellent other parameters)

    Not smaller or less powered.
    High class studio monitors do not resonate or cause vibrations. Your room can!
    With monitors of the class cited above, absolutely NO need of subs.
    This could only be achieved with monitors like the cited ones, in a very well acoustically treated room and from sound material of very high quality “delivered” onto their inputs.
     
    Christophe999s likes this.
  18. Tauren04

    Tauren04 Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Florida
    Had anyone heard of these? "HARBETH 40TH ANNIVERSARY MONITOR 30.2 SPEAKERS"? Harbeth 40th Anniversary Monitor 30.2 Speakers – Planet of Sound

    The Genelec 1236A look nice!! I wonder how much they cost for a pair.
     
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  19. Fedot L

    Fedot L Forum Resident

    The motivation of citing them for me was anything but their look!
     
  20. Tauren04

    Tauren04 Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Florida
    These might be the speakers I've been looking for. But this means I'd have to sell my McIntosh MA9000. I can't find a price for the ones you cited (“Genelec 1236A”).
     
  21. Tauren04

    Tauren04 Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Florida
    But the Genelec 1236A seem kind of... HUGE ... maybe a little too big?
     
  22. BIGGER Dave

    BIGGER Dave Forum Resident

    I actually own the Harbeth Monitor 30.1. I love them! Amazing sound from a (relatively) compact enclosure. But with your budget, I would look at the ATC I recommended above, or a pair of used Harbeth Monitor 40.1.

    Here is a review of the Monitor 30.1. Harbeth Monitor 30.1 Loudspeaker
     
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  23. Tauren04

    Tauren04 Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Florida
    I was going to get the Harbeth 40.2. but both of them seem ridiculously overpriced and I wouldn't have enough money for a subwoofer. Also, I think the Genelec 1236A are just too massive and heavy for a room like mine, despite having handles. But the ATC I look promising. It's tough to say ...
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018 at 12:27 AM
  24. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Ouch.
     
  25. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Interesting - you don't have an issue with a $9k integrated (well, neither would I) but you want to mate them with a pair of speakers that are half the price.
     

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