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Yet another, "What speakers should I buy?" thread.., Lots of options, maybe you guys can help choose what's best for me
almostmitch
post Jan 23 2013, 15:30
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I'm in the market for some new speakers, but I'm having a hard time deciding. My room is about 17' x 25' and I want the speakers to pack a punch and have plenty of bass. I was going to buy a pair of bookshelf speakers like these until I was told they may not be ideal unless they are at ear level and positioned correctly. I want the speakers to fill the room and sound good in various positions, and I'm not sure if different types of speakers/woofer arrangements would be better suited for this. I also saw a pair of studio monitors mentioned in another thread. I like the large woofers of the studio monitors, however, I just purchased this reciever to use with the speakers I have and for new ones but I know studio monitors are powered. So I'm wondering how, if at all, these monitors work with a receiver (not too familiar w/ these). I was also considering some floor standing speakers, but nothing specific. Any thoughts, tips, suggestions, or clarification would be appreciated.
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copperblue
post Jan 23 2013, 15:47
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QUOTE (almostmitch @ Jan 23 2013, 14:30) *
I also saw a pair of studio monitors mentioned in another thread. I like the large woofers of the studio monitors, however, I just purchased this reciever to use with the speakers I have and for new ones but I know studio monitors are powered. So I'm wondering how, if at all, these monitors work with a receiver (not too familiar w/ these).

FYI, Behringer make a passive version of the monitors you referenced: http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/B2031P.aspx
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almostmitch
post Jan 23 2013, 16:23
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QUOTE (copperblue @ Jan 23 2013, 09:47) *
FYI, Behringer make a passive version of the monitors you referenced: http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/B2031P.aspx


Oh wow, good to know and thanks for the tip. These will be a strong consideration.
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DVDdoug
post Jan 23 2013, 20:33
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I always recommend that people go to an audio/video store and LISTEN to some speakers before buying. Even if you end-up buying online, it's good to get an idea of what different speakers sound like and what kind of speakers you prefer.

I've never heard the Behringer Truths, but they have a reputation for being better than most other monitors in their price range.

QUOTE
My room is about 17' x 25' and I want the speakers to pack a punch and have plenty of bass.
I'd say you probably want at least 8-inch woofers. Bigger, if you want bass you can feel or if you want to "rattle the walls". (Speaker design isn't quite that simple and a bigger woofer doesn't always give you more bass, but there are limits to what you can get from a small speaker.) I've got a pair of 15-inch subwoofers in my living room, which is total overkill for my home-listening habits but perfect for my occasional DJ gigs.
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almostmitch
post Jan 24 2013, 03:45
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QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Jan 23 2013, 14:33) *
I always recommend that people go to an audio/video store and LISTEN to some speakers before buying. Even if you end-up buying online, it's good to get an idea of what different speakers sound like and what kind of speakers you prefer.


I think all there is around here is a guitar center. What other types of places might have hi-fi speakers?

QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Jan 23 2013, 14:33) *
I'd say you probably want at least 8-inch woofers. Bigger, if you want bass you can feel or if you want to "rattle the walls". (Speaker design isn't quite that simple and a bigger woofer doesn't always give you more bass, but there are limits to what you can get from a small speaker.) I've got a pair of 15-inch subwoofers in my living room, which is total overkill for my home-listening habits but perfect for my occasional DJ gigs.


This is why I think the Behringer's would be a good choice. I know the ~6 inch woofers in many bookshelf speakers can only do so much bass wise. Also, I haven't seen many bookshelf or even floor standing speakers for that matter with larger than 6 inch woofers. However, when I was doing some reading on studio monitors I read that they are designed for near field and concentrated listening, and might not be so great if you're outside the field. I'm wondering if this would be a problem for medium to large sized rooms and at various positions in the room.
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Jan 25 2013, 13:37
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QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Jan 23 2013, 14:33) *
I always recommend that people go to an audio/video store and LISTEN to some speakers before buying. Even if you end-up buying online, it's good to get an idea of what different speakers sound like and what kind of speakers you prefer.


If wishes were fishes...

IME in-store demos of speakers are generally worthless because the retail environment rarely if ever comes close to duplicating the home environment. The SNR in sales environments is often negative.

I think that an in-store demo can spare you the purchase of something that is truly horrible, but once the alternatives have reasonable SQ, you're listening to the demo environment at least as much as you are listening to the speakers.

I had this impressed on me when I purchased a pair of NHT 2.5i speakers over a decade ago. The in-store demo was horrible. It was clear that the salesman's goal was for me to double down on a pair of 3.3s. When I took the speakers home and integrated them into my home system, they performed very well. Since then I've been purchasing speakers based on tech specs and the consolidated opinions of a large number of other listeners, but mostly the tech specs.

Today I may gratify the sales guy by letting him waste our time with a demo, but the purchase was certain when I walked into the store. I routinely buy speakers completely unheard over the web.

In the realm of home audio virtually every serious modern AVR has a built-in automated system tuning facility such as the 28 flavors of Aydyssey, MCACC (several flavors) or YPAO. These facilities tend to level the playing field as far as balance and timbre go. MCACC in its maximum strength claims to adjust the time-alignment of the speakers within their operating range, not just adjust their overall operation.

This all said, there is a stunning sameness to most mainstream speakers on the market today. You can bet on the presence of one or more 5.25 to 6.5 inch woofer/midranges and a dome tweeter in the 0.6 - 1.0" range. The woofers may vary quite a bit in terms of Xmax, but almost nobody will tell you what it is for their speaker. One exception and only one exception comes to mind. The crossovers vary all over the place, but its hard to beat a well-tuned electrical/acoustical Linkwitz-Riley and many people find tuning them easy enough.
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RonaldDumsfeld
post Jan 25 2013, 17:04
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I'll second what Arnie says on this occasion.

It's better to get something that is accepted as a standard and adjust your ears and, if possible, your room to fit.

I also have a fairly large room (21ft x 15ft x 11ft ceiling). I used to use a large pair of 9Ts vintage floorstanding TDL RTL 3s with a hefty Kenwood receiver. Then I got some desktop monitors and was, after some initial skepticism, a total convert. So I bought the matching sub, put the ADAMs on high stands and relegated the TDLs to the summer house.

At first I missed the 'smiley face' effect of the hi-fi grade speakers but it didn't take long to realise flatter was, if not flattering, more appropriate.

Sounds better with TV, radio, films and speech applications too.

I personally avoid Berhinger because I have had bad luck with their kit from a reliability and longevity perspective in the past.

The subs good because you can have it on when you want a big sound but can easily switch it out (via footswitch) late at night or as circumstances and neighbours dictate.

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almostmitch
post Jan 25 2013, 18:59
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QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Jan 25 2013, 07:37) *
IME in-store demos of speakers are generally worthless because the retail environment rarely if ever comes close to duplicating the home environment. The SNR in sales environments is often negative.


This is something I thought about. I don't even have a hi-fi store near by to demo speakers but even if I did I would still rely heavily on the rep, reviews, and specs of the speakers. Thanks for the input.


QUOTE (RonaldDumsfeld @ Jan 25 2013, 11:04) *
I'll second what Arnie says on this occasion.

It's better to get something that is accepted as a standard and adjust your ears and, if possible, your room to fit.

I also have a fairly large room (21ft x 15ft x 11ft ceiling). I used to use a large pair of 9Ts vintage floorstanding TDL RTL 3s with a hefty Kenwood receiver. Then I got some desktop monitors and was, after some initial skepticism, a total convert. So I bought the matching sub, put the ADAMs on high stands and relegated the TDLs to the summer house.

At first I missed the 'smiley face' effect of the hi-fi grade speakers but it didn't take long to realise flatter was, if not flattering, more appropriate.

Sounds better with TV, radio, films and speech applications too.

I personally avoid Berhinger because I have had bad luck with their kit from a reliability and longevity perspective in the past.

The subs good because you can have it on when you want a big sound but can easily switch it out (via footswitch) late at night or as circumstances and neighbours dictate.


Can you tell me what specific set of desktop monitors you got and how well they perform in your larger sized room? Also, some specifics of the Berhinger's problems would be nice. They were among the ones I was considering. I'm very used to the smiley face EQ as I use it for all my music. Might I be disappointed in the flatter sound of monitors?
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RonaldDumsfeld
post Jan 25 2013, 23:59
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QUOTE
specifics of the Berhinger's problems


I first tried a Xenyx mixer. Lasted 6 months before it started crackling and spitting. Fair enough. It was cheap and I didn't realise at the time you need to spend $1,000 to get a proper mixer because it has moving parts as well as electronics.

So when I wanted a distribution amp but didn't want to spend a lot of money I got a Berhinger Ultralink Pro. The first one was doa. Berhinger and Studiospares are good for their word re: guarantees. I'll give them that. Replacement wasn't a problem. That lasted 12 months before at least 3 of the pots started to go again. I was probably unlucky. Could happen to any company I quess? Anyway, didn't feel inclined to give them any more of my cash. I mean. Why keep pumping good money after bad? There are plenty of alternatives and that's how competition works. Right? Like I said. I might have been unlucky and they were good about the RMA. ymmv.

QUOTE
Might I be disappointed in the flatter sound of monitors?


Yes. At first. I was anyway.

I had M-Audio AV40 before the ADAMs. Heard them at a mates and was so impressed I went straight home and ordered a pair for myself. Was delighted. So delighted I almost immediately relegated them to the summer house and invested in the ADAMs. They cost 4x the price so they had to be shed loads better? Right?. Well actually. No. It wasn't as simple as that. They didn't seem to have as much bass. Even though the AV40 stop at 100Hz and the ADAMs quote 60Hz. ?. Also they made listening to some of my older favourite recording (live tapes, old vinyl records, bedroom production techno) sound terrible. All the imperfections sounded magnified. The midrange/treble sounded what I imagine audiophiles label 'fatiguing'. Seemed to emphasize all the imperfections, especially at the frequencies the human ear is most sensitive too.

Then the penny dropped. I discovered if I used sophisticated EQ software I could make the ADAMs sound similar(ish) to the AV40 but not vice versa. Roll off the low frequencies early, drop in a lovely 'bumping' sound with a little 2dB lift centered around 200Hz, compensate with a wide but shallow cut between 900hz and 1.9kHz. Quick up and out. It's more of a wry grimace than a smiley face.

I was hearing what was there. Instead of thinking 'those speakers sound crap. I want a new pair.' I started trusting the speakers and instead started thinking 'that recording is rubbish. I'll have to try and do something about it'. Also. Sound on the BBC is brilliant. Even streamed. Do you ever get that - background music too loud, speech too quiet - feeling with TV or video? Not so much any more. Piano especially and acoustic sounds in general are astounding. I sort of know where the bass is rather than feel a boomy clumping.

That said I've read reviews from purists that claim ADAM AX monitors, and other very popular models, have too much bass and not enough 'detail' to be regarded as professional tools. The old story re: the Yamaha NS10 is probably true. The Japanese wanted to make genuine hi-fi speakers. Flat and accurate. Not realising most of the rest of the world preferred a sort of impromptu smiley face 'loudness control' built into their 'speakers. So pro audio engineers started using them to test their final mixes. It encouraged them to boost the mid bass and cut the strident high midrange. Sounded good on the end users kit. Non fatiguing and warm.

QUOTE
how well they perform in your larger sized room?


I don't personally have a problem with it. I replaced 2 old dome dome tweeters and 4 five inch cones in a big boxes run off a 120W/ch receiver with 2 diaphragm tweeters , 2 4" midrange cones and a 7" woofer all powered by a total of 250W. Pretty even really. I dare say if an engineer with silliscope came round and did some measuring he might find some off axis response errors. Point is. If you are listening at that volume level you are either dancing or drunk. So it doesn't really matter that much.

Anyway. I long since discovered that if I wanted to listen to really loud music I had to go out to a club. Or buy a farm.
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krabapple
post Jan 26 2013, 17:56
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QUOTE (RonaldDumsfeld @ Jan 25 2013, 18:59) *
QUOTE
specifics of the Berhinger's problems


I first tried a Xenyx mixer. Lasted 6 months before it started crackling and spitting. Fair enough. It was cheap and I didn't realise at the time you need to spend $1,000 to get a proper mixer because it has moving parts as well as electronics.


I had a 'Xenyx' mixer (though I think it had a different Behringer name earlier on) that was gifted to me, and it worked quite well with light use for some years...then recently I attempted to unplug the AC cable from the back (as I routinely did when I was finished using the mixer) and the AC jack broke into two parts, one attached to the plug, the other attached to the mixer. laugh.gif
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krabapple
post Jan 26 2013, 18:01
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QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Jan 23 2013, 15:33) *
I always recommend that people go to an audio/video store and LISTEN to some speakers before buying. Even if you end-up buying online, it's good to get an idea of what different speakers sound like and what kind of speakers you prefer.



That will tell you as much or more about the acoustics of the room, than it will about the relative quality of the loudspeakers. I consider it a waste of time. Speakers that sound 'muffled' or 'laid back' or 'over bright' in one room might sound perfectly fine in another.



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pawelq
post Jan 26 2013, 23:12
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QUOTE (RonaldDumsfeld @ Jan 25 2013, 17:59) *
Piano especially and acoustic sounds in general are astounding.


I concur. Adam A7 user. I bought them based on user opinions. I did audition them a bit at a Guitar Center prior to buying, and they did shine comapred to other studio monitors there even in these terrible conditions (someone was trying out a percussion set next door...).


And about about in-store demos. So in that GC there was a wall of studio monitors, I brought my demo CD and put it into the computer which was hooked up and started listening. I immediately noticed that monitors had huge bass. Too huge. I looked around, and found out that they had a subwoofer in the room hooked up to the same computer. So, when listening in store, always make sure that what you are listening to and what you think you are listening to is the same thing.


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markanini
post Jan 27 2013, 14:44
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Just to throw out some option: Event 2020 and Alesis M1. Both avaliable in active and passive. Since seems you wont be sitting directly in front of the speakers you might actually be well served by the it's tone controls on the reciever to compensate for high frequency loss due to air absorption.

This post has been edited by markanini: Jan 27 2013, 14:45
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almostmitch
post Jan 28 2013, 14:48
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QUOTE (RonaldDumsfeld @ Jan 25 2013, 17:59) *
QUOTE
Might I be disappointed in the flatter sound of monitors?


Yes. At first. I was anyway.

QUOTE
how well they perform in your larger sized room?


I don't personally have a problem with it. I replaced 2 old dome dome tweeters and 4 five inch cones in a big boxes run off a 120W/ch receiver with 2 diaphragm tweeters , 2 4" midrange cones and a 7" woofer all powered by a total of 250W. Pretty even really. I dare say if an engineer with silliscope came round and did some measuring he might find some off axis response errors. Point is. If you are listening at that volume level you are either dancing or drunk. So it doesn't really matter that much.


So even though they maybe flat, you can bring the so called "coloration" of bookshelf speakers to them using an EQ, correct? And despite your unfortunate experience with Behringer, their passive monitors are still at the top of my list. I'm just not seeing many that can match their price, woofer size, and reviews.

QUOTE (markanini @ Jan 27 2013, 08:44) *
Just to throw out some option: Event 2020 and Alesis M1. Both avaliable in active and passive. Since seems you wont be sitting directly in front of the speakers you might actually be well served by the it's tone controls on the reciever to compensate for high frequency loss due to air absorption.


I think I'd rather have a larger woofer than what's on the Alesis's, which leaves it up to the Event's or the Behringer's. I didn't find the passive Event's for sale online, though they did look like a good possibility.
Anyone know of a crutchfield-esque website for studio monitors and other hi-fi gear?

At this point it's looking like the Behringer TRUTH B2031P's unless anyone has any further suggestions at that price point.
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