• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Audio monitors advice for (cramped) home studio (KH120/8030...B2030A?)

Ciavatta

New Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2022
Messages
3
Likes
2
Hello there!
that's my first post here, and first of all I just want to thank all the community... I learnt lots just randomly reading the forum in the last couple days!

Now back to the subject.

I'm setting up an home studio within my living room, to play/record some ambient/EDM music with a bunch of hardware synthesizers and various stuff.
I started with a pair of Adam Audio A3X, as my first ever active monitors (I always been in the passive/hifi world, tho) but sold them a week ago, willing to upgrade to something with a bit more bass extension, as I couldn't hear much under 60/70hz, and given the music I'm playing that's a big limitation.

I was set to look for a pair of secondhand Adam A5X, but then I stumbled across this wonderful place and so my eyes opened up.

Due to space limitations, depth especially (26cm/10" max), I started to put down a short list of usual suspects to valuate pros and cons before pulling the trigger, but before diving into the list I wish to share a couple of pictures of the studio, just to let the pros and cons in the monitors descriprion make more sense.

This is the global view of the studio/living room backwall

And this two are the "opposite view". Room is roughly 3,5x5 meters





This is the studio space. It's a desk 2 meters wide and 50 cm deep, monitors are going on that small wood stands that are 25 cm deep. Distance between center-cones will be 140/150cm and listening distance 100/120, so a wider triangle than usual. That paper sheet on top of left stand is a 21cm square, just to have a physical reference.

And then right and left side







That's a suboptimal positiong, to say the least, I guess, but I need to work with what I have.... So here we go with the list!

Adam Audio A5X (500 Euro s/hand)
These will fit in the spot, front ported, but as per forum consensus they're not worth the money, given this is also a very old design (new Adam A-Series recently announced indeed) and not much more bass extension compared to the smaller A3X I had.
I kind of like the Adam sound, and I also saw a set of used A5X+Sub7 for 800€, but maybe it's better spend a bit more for a proper grown up monitor setup or a tad less for something more entry level, but with specs more suited to my needs... And this brought me to

Behringer B2030A (269 Euro new from Thomann)
I have a -totally umotivated- feeling that's the right speaker for me. I never saw or heard one in person, but I find it just "right" in every aspect.
it fits my tight space by a hair, downpointing back connections, very wide horizontal dispersion, upper/front ports, 6,5" woofer, decent bass extension and punchiness (from what I read)... And they're cheap, leaving me with more to invest on an eventual sub and a DRC of some sort (Sonarworks? MiniDSP?) because given the positiong mess, a room correction should almost mandatory in my scenario.
Cons- poor reselling appeal, Behringer stuff reliability not the best in the world and pretty poor infos about them around the web,

Neumann KH120 (KH80)
The holy grail, the choosen one, the one active monitor to rule them all...
Never heard, but the vendor where I picked up my used A3X had a couple of KH420, and I was totally blown away with their sound. Best speaker auditioning of my life (including some large Hi-Fi exibitions with plenty of esotic stuff).
Back to the KH120, they fit in the space, downpointing back connections, front ports, toptier sound quality and bass extension (given the size), DRC upgradbility with Neumann sub, endgame purchase.
Cons... Money! :) But there's a secondhand set for sell locally with an Adam Audio Sub10 (1300€ for the lot)

And speaking of secondhand 1300€ 2.1 setup I stumbled across a pair of Genelec 8030B+7050B, but the seller is really far, so I have to buy without auditioning. These will be an interesting setup too, but without GLC expandibility, it seems sort of capped.

Now, I really really appreciate any kind of suggestion, so please don't be shy and talk to me... I know you can't decide what is better for me, but....

Make sense to invest 1300 on Neumann/Adam hybrid setup and (eventually) upgrade later to a full Neumann with integrated DRC?
Or... Better buy the Behringer, marry them with a small hifi subwoofer I already have, and invest in some decent stand alone DRC (which one?) and learn my room response, speakers, DRC (I used to play with REW years ago tho) and then make an eventual, reasoned, focused step up towards a more endgame solution?

Let me know your thoughs!
cheers
Andrea (from Rome)
 
Last edited:

ernestcarl

Major Contributor
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
2,147
Likes
1,538
Location
Canada
The holy grail, the choosen one, the one active monitor to rule them all...

I have the KH120, and while these are excellent monitors, some (professionals and lay) people simply do not like them. So there is definitely wiggle room for subjective impressions and personal preferences in the audio monitoring world.

Regardless of which studio monitors you pick, the room is going to be a huge limiting factor / recurring enemy that you have to tackle throughout.

For a start, maybe try positioning your couch so that both it and your smaller studio desk space face towards the same wall where the speakers are going to be situated.

Some companies like Genelec and Neumann have their own semi-automated DRC system to pair with their monitors -- a lot of people prefer this over the more very slow and "manual" learning process of some DIY DRC methods. It may make more sense to automate this part of the equation if you want to save time and hassle of the manual DRC route.
 
Top Bottom