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EU „little market research“ – topic: smaller studio monitors

pavuol

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As I am in a long time process of choosing a nice pair of monitors for me, I have selected and compared some of the models that are available in my area (central Europe). In no case is this an exhaustive survey of all available models, I have checked only several common e-shops. I intentionally omited some generic „no-name/rebranded“ chinese models or products I felt are offered more from a merch companies than pro companies. I tried to stick mostly to low to mid price category but I checked also some pricier models, just to learn what specialties they got :)

Here's the spec comparison:
2020-04-11 19_19_07-mydoc_studiove monitory.ods - LibreOffice Calc.jpg


Lessons I’ve learned:
- quite a competition :)
- enclosure material – haven’t studied much, mostly MDF, higher models polycarbonate composite (Neumann), die cast aluminum (Genelec)…
- max. SPL / power comparison – not my main interest either, I’m a low volume listener :)
- amps typically A/B, D “less common”
- woofers materials – kevlar (typical starting from lower prices), polypropylene, fiberglass composite, some proprietary composites [I have found also paper pulp in some cheaper model…]
- tweeters – silk / soft dome (typical), going higher – ribbon / AMT, alum. (focal/genelec)
- bass ports – both front and rear designs common (some makers even provide “plugs”)
- EQ shelving – various approach, cheapest without, going up - up to 4 trimmers or adjustable via SW…
- volume/gain – all rear (except Eve audio SC204)
- power – rear mechanical switch being standard
- auto standby function - not common among cheaper models
- connectors – XLR + ¼”TRS mostly standard (combo XLR/TRS connectors used in many models), dedicated RCA only some
- unbalanced input possibility usually mentioned in product pages/manuals
- DSP – models equipped with this feature starting at around 140 €…
- crossover frequency – typical around 2,5-3k
- some manufacturers list also “dispersion angles” (Tascam, Presonus, Proel)
- country of origin – typical developed EU/US, manufactured in China, more expensive models both developed and manufactured in EU or US
- nice feature among some models - feet with height adjustment
- going higher with price can also get you extended warranty (5 years)

- measurements!:
- no cheaper models have them listed in product pages, nor datasheets, nor user guides
- some product pages provide just a picture of frequency response (Prodipe, Yamaha Hsx. Presonus Eris)
- going with higher price gets you to pieces with more comprehensive list of measurements (RCF Ayra Pro X, Adam audio T5V, Eve Audio..) or even to full set (Neumann)
- new player - Kali Audio - provides for their relative accesible model - LP-6, downloadable file with 3rd party measurement, which you can view with free software "Common Loudspeaker Format Viewer", I applaud!


Some more or less interesting extra findings, personal thoughts, “superlatives”:
- for me, the “cheapest” model with a product page of a more “serious” impression – JBL 305
- typical colour - “conservative studio black”, white options available among many models (pricier :()
- if you want fancy colors, look at Monkey Banana portfolio
- unusual features in a low-to-mid price range – KRK Rokit 5 G4 – LCD display on the back to help visualize EQ tuning and some other settings, at the same time “cheapest” model featuring tuning via smartphone app
- interesting aproach against conservative user settings options on the back – EVE Audio SC204 – front multi function LED knob
- cheapest “big woofer” option – M-audio BX8 D3 (8”)
- nicest blend of data & design within web page and pdf materials – Dynaudio
- most comprehensive data provided (in general, not only measurements) – Neumann :) (it looks almost like an obsession, which I appreciate much)
- DYN audio LYD 5 – unusual high crossover frequency - 5,2k
- unusual bass enhancement – instead of a typical port, dual passive radiators – Focal Shape 40
- digital input+output – Monkey Banana Turbo 4

Some more interesting links:
- example of beatiful company presentation / Dynaudio 2012
- example of purist scandinavian b&w spec sheet with measurements (Dynaudio LYD 5)
- example of german spec sheet with measurements (Eve audio SC204)
- Mounting Hardware Matrix (Neumann) – this is what I call a proper tech document , simple yet exhaustive!
- most comprehensive specs & measurements provided on a product page – Neumann KH 80 “Data & diagrams” - in colour/non-scandinavian ;)
- some design specialty – Genelec 8020A – available in RAW aluminium “colour” (would nicely fit with some raw concrete interiors)

EDIT - 2020-04-12:
- I've added some more data & models to the list, from the "higher price" brands category - Avantone (only full range in list), KS Digital, PSI Audio and Quested. I've added also Kali Audio LP-6, check note above. Also added KRK RP10-3 G4, for a price/perf. reference, being the only triple driver/tri amped monitor (also quite powerful specwise).
Image is not updated, here you have Libre Office Calc file for download. Feel free to use it, misuse it, or if you are masochist, take it as a basis for further work for public good :)
 
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Mhm maybe if it's still of interest look up the older Presonus Eris E5 Non XT. Got them about two weeks ago and i really like them. And for 200ish € pretty good price point.

Gratz for a list, may help later on, on checking out stuff without having chrome eat my RAM with 100 productpages opened in different tabs.
 
Interesting list, but I'm personally only interested in manufacturers providing enough data about on and off-axis frequency response. Primary reason why I recommend Neumann or Genelec when any question pops up: they deserve my (and your) money first by being amongst the most honest about what they sell, second by following the engineer's way of form being slave to function.
 
Thx for the info compilation and work you put in.

What ever happened to the idea that speakers for home use should look nice in a home?

Grills and wood grain - like most furniture
 
Thx for the info compilation and work you put in.

What ever happened to the idea that speakers for home use should look nice in a home?

Grills and wood grain - like most furniture
Not all homes are american colonial style. Even then, I'm sure Dynaudio or Focal's classic stuff wouldn't look strange in it.
These days, industrial and minimalism à la Apple is quite in fashion, so I don't think monitors are mismatched. Personally, I find most of the low diffraction ones gorgeous, in a kind of retro sci-fi way; I still can't stand colourful stuff like KRK or Monkey Banana nor ribbon tweeters, on the other hand.
 
gorgeous, in a kind of retro sci-fi way...

what was that movie by Jean Luc Goddard with the horrible modern apt. buildings (outer ring of Paris) going up in the background of one of the shots?

that's how I feel...
 
As I am in a long time process of choosing a nice pair of monitors for me, I have selected and compared some of the models that are available in my area (central Europe)...
The Genelec's home series could qualify for your list as well. Most likely the home series has the same internals as the studio 8000 series. The differences are on the back switches and the RCA vs XLR connectors.
 
The Genelec's home series could qualify for your list as well. Most likely the home series has the same internals as the studio 8000 series. The differences are on the back switches and the RCA vs XLR connectors.
Thanks for tip, I'll take a look. At first glance, I appreciate the same price for black or white version..
 
That's a great little selection @pavuol. However, I am missing one excellent candidate in the 995,00 €/pair price range from the Polish company "APS - Audio Pro Solutions": The original 'APS Klasik'!

[Please note, there is a new 2020 model, which I have no information about. Hence, all my reference is regarding the original 'Klasik'; which still is available.]

The 'Klasik' has been tested in an anechoic chamber [EN translation] and some measurements can be found in the manual. However, the German magazine "Sound & Recording" did their own measurements [EN translation], which can be considered anechoic from 100 Hz upwards (see note in their review).

Attached, some more measurements, provided by the manufacturer:

- basic on axis characteristics from the distance of 1m
Klasik Sign-10dBu.png
Klasik Amp Fhase Sign-10dBu.png
Klasik Sign 0 -10 -20dBu.png
- off axis characteristics
Klasik Horizontal 15 30.png
Klasik Vertical Up 15 30.png
Klasik Vertical Down 15 30.png
- characteristics with switch used
Klasik Tweet Sign-10dBu.png
Klasik Bass Sign-10dBu.png
Klasik Tweet Bass Sign-10dBu.png
Klasik Sens Sign-10dBu.png

Klasik Amp Fhase Sign-10dBu.pngKlasik Bass Sign-10dBu.pngKlasik Horizontal 15 30.pngKlasik Sens Sign-10dBu.pngKlasik Sign 0 -10 -20dBu.pngKlasik Sign-10dBu.pngKlasik Tweet Bass Sign-10dBu.pngKlasik Tweet Sign-10dBu.pngKlasik Vertical Down 15 30.pngKlasik Vertical Up 15 30.png
 
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Not painting it seems to work too, currently the ones are not on the list but possibly in the future?

That's close but you need to paint the woofer's grill, and possibly the woofer itself. (The props department demands sacrifices!)

Then it's ready to be a combination headlight/death ray on a moon rover or something.

It would look awesome on my desk. Better than the JBL 305's Batman aesthetic.
 
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That's a great little selection @pavuol. However, I am missing one excellent candidate in the 995,00 €/pair price range from the Polish company "APS - Audio Pro Solutions": The original 'APS Klasik'!
I tried to stay more in lower price range and I've checked only some common e-shops. Seems like this company sells their product via selected pro distributors/integrators, rather than common shops. Higher priced models which I've looked up were more for my curiosity, as to what is offered in these waters (and trying to stick to "basic model" from each company at the same time).
 
I tried to stay more in lower price range and I've checked only some common e-shops. Seems like this company sells their product via selected pro distributors/integrators, rather than common shops. Higher priced models which I've looked up were more for my curiosity, as to what is offered in these waters (and trying to stick to "basic model" from each company at the same time).
Got it! Thanks.

Well, to me, www.musicstore.com is a quite common e-shop with delivery to all over Europe; even www.da-x.de or www.klangfarbe.com do EU deliveries. Just to name a few options near my home.

But certainly, "APS" products are not as widely available as those of more known manufacturers. :)
 
That's a great little selection @pavuol. However, I am missing one excellent candidate in the 995,00 €/pair price range from the Polish company "APS - Audio Pro Solutions": The original 'APS Klasik'!

[Please note, there is a new 2020 model, which I have no information about. Hence, all my reference is regarding the original 'Klasik'; which still is available.]

The 'Klasik' has been tested in an anechoic chamber [EN translation] and some measurements can be found in the manual. However, the German magazine "Sound & Recording" did their own measurements [EN translation], which can be considered anechoic from 100 Hz upwards (see note in their review).

Attached, some more measurements, provided by the manufacturer:

- basic on axis characteristics from the distance of 1m
Klasik Sign-10dBu.png
Klasik Amp Fhase Sign-10dBu.png
Klasik Sign 0 -10 -20dBu.png
- off axis characteristics
Klasik Horizontal 15 30.png
Klasik Vertical Up 15 30.png
Klasik Vertical Down 15 30.png
- characteristics with switch used
Klasik Tweet Sign-10dBu.png
Klasik Bass Sign-10dBu.png
Klasik Tweet Bass Sign-10dBu.png
Klasik Sens Sign-10dBu.png

View attachment 58447View attachment 58448View attachment 58449View attachment 58450View attachment 58451View attachment 58452View attachment 58453View attachment 58454View attachment 58455View attachment 58456
It's a quite bad and unexceptional MDF square box with no meaningful waveguide nor enough attention to diffraction (even more important without the waveguide); nowhere near linear on-axis and ballooning horizontal directivity. And that for 100€ less than a pair of Genelec 8030? Really?
The only interesting thing is the extremely low port tuning, I guess.

PS: I'm using soundandrecording here, since they're quite known in the business.
 
It's a quite bad and unexceptional MDF square box with no meaningful waveguide nor enough attention to diffraction (even more important without the waveguide); nowhere near linear on-axis and ballooning horizontal directivity. And that for 100€ less than a pair of Genelec 8030? Really?
The only interesting thing is the extremely low port tuning, I guess.

PS: I'm using soundandrecording here, since they're quite known in the business.
Be a little forgiving, they are made in Poland, no China child labor.. :)
 
Got it! Thanks.

Well, to me, www.musicstore.com is a quite common e-shop with delivery to all over Europe; even www.da-x.de or www.klangfarbe.com do EU deliveries. Just to name a few options near my home.

But certainly, "APS" products are not as widely available as those of more known manufacturers. :)
I found this nice little box speaker OD-11 listed among studio monitors in one of the shops you mentioned, by a company called Teeneage engineering.
Enough of Internet for today... :)
 
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