• 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!

Help me choose a pair of monitors (budget max €3500)

fmessier6

Active Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2021
Messages
126
Likes
44
Dear all,

After returning my Adam a77x hoping to never deal with Adam as a company ever again, I'm back in the market for a pair of studio monitors and I was wondering if you could help me narrow down my choices and provide some advice.

My budget is (max) €3500 for the pair. Ideally, they should be able to provide enough bass even without the use of a subwoofer.

I am currently using a pair of HS8 since 2015 but I'm dissatisfied with the amount of bass they provide, which I find underwhelming.

I'm a contemporary classical and film music composer, but I also listen to lots of bass heavy music for pleasure. I've been working for seven years with Yahama's HS8 and a pair of AKG K240 MKII, which is a pretty basic setup, and now I think it's finally time for an upgrade. I would also change headphones but I'm using a Komplete Audio 2 and I'm not sure how it will handle some Sennheiser HD 660, for example (volume-wise).

These are some of the available monitors in my price range on Thomann.com.

KRK Rokit RP10-3 G4€ 444
EVE audio SC307€ 959
Focal Solo 6 Be red burr ash€ 959
Quested S7R Mk3 Active€ 1.111
Focal Twin 6 Be red burr ash€ 1.590
Neumann KH 310€ 1.848
Quested V2108 B-Stock (over budget)€ 2.333 (over budget)

I'm oriented towards the KH310, especially because they are held in high praise by my colleagues. They are slightly over budget, but it's fine.

Thank you!
 
Last edited:

caught gesture

Active Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2021
Messages
227
Likes
427
Location
Italia
Neumann KH 310 from that list and almost respecting your budget. You are still going to have to listen yourself in your own space to be certain.
 

thewas

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 15, 2020
Messages
4,141
Likes
9,062

Somafunk

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2021
Messages
400
Likes
752
Not on your shortlist but very worthy of a listen are the Dynaudio LYD48’s, if you find them bass light (unlikely compared to the Adam a77) then an addition of the Dynaudio 18s sub would give you all the bass you need, complete system under your budget as well.
 

3125b

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
922
Likes
1,425
Location
Northern Germany
The KH 310 have my vote. Couple real upsides there:
- high real SPL capability with low distortion
- sealed enclosure
- can be paired with the KH 750 DSP sub (review with KH 310: https://www.soundandrecording.de/equipment/neumann-kh-750-dsp-subwoofer-mit-dsp-system-im-test/)
- probably very long lasting (wich can not be said for some cheaper brands)

I'm using a Komplete Audio 2 and I'm not sure how it will handle some Sennheiser HD 660, for example (volume-wise).
Your interface can deliver 8.9mW @300Ohm and 16.5mW @150Ohm.
That would mean just short of 108dBSPL with the HD 660. Not great, but good enough in most cases guessing you won't need to EQ them too much. The HD 600 would reach just short of 109dBSPL.
 
OP
F

fmessier6

Active Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2021
Messages
126
Likes
44
Neumann KH 310 from that list and almost respecting your budget. You are still going to have to listen yourself in your own space to be certain.

Thanks. I'm afraid no dealer here will allow me to try them at home, but the large number of positive reviews I've read make me feel confident I'm purchasing a solid product.

My room is still untreated, but I'm going to take some steps later this year. Not too much I can do though, an unfinished room with concrete walls with a high ceiling. Drilling the walls results in them shattering to pieces.

This is an old picture but it should give the idea.

Room.jpg


Not on your shortlist but very worthy of a listen are the Dynaudio LYD48

Thanks. The price is very attractive too. I wish I could try them in store.

Not great, but good enough in most cases guessing you won't need to EQ them too much.

Thank you. You mentioned the need of EQ them, what do you mean exactly? EQ as some sort of correction?
 

3125b

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
922
Likes
1,425
Location
Northern Germany
This is an old picture but it should give the idea.
Your raggedy orient carpet game is on point, looks very professional.
If you get the loose paint off the walls you can just glue foam to them, even stuff that actually works like 10cm Basotect will hold.
I've used just bath sealant silicone before and that works perfectly well for foam.

You mentioned the need of EQ them, what do you mean exactly?
No, you probably won't need to EQ them. Well, the 660s maybe a bit, but they're more neutral than most.
 
OP
F

fmessier6

Active Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2021
Messages
126
Likes
44
Your raggedy orient carpet game is on point, looks very professional.

Thanks! The studio looks miles better now, with guitars, (fake) plants, a tall industrial-style shelf, and more importantly, heating!

A recent photos with the Adams. I absolutely loved the way they looked, returning them broke my heart a little.

Immagine 2021-12-20 192428.png


If you get the loose paint off the walls you can just glue foam to them, even stuff that actually works like 10cm Basotect will hold.

Thanks. No loose paint, what you see is concrete/cement.
But with some patience you can drill holes, you just need to be careful because it breaks easily.

I'll probably ask someone local for a professional consultation and get started with some basics (bass traps and panels).
 
  • Like
Reactions: JRS

test1223

Active Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2020
Messages
192
Likes
158
Hello,

since you are not satisfied with the bass of the Yamaha HS 8, I would strongly recommend to have a look at one or two subwoofer with proper integration software like gml or dirac or other (manual) room correction. Bass heavy music with higher dynamic like in movies need big speaker or subwoofer with bigger bass chassis. Standard 8" near field monitors can deliver good deep bass at lower volume at best.

Best
Thomas
 
OP
F

fmessier6

Active Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2021
Messages
126
Likes
44
I think this is an easy and solvable problem.

My writing room is where I compose music (as previously mentioned, contemporary classical and orchestral - I'm a composer and conductor) but it's the room where I also listen to music for pleasure and occasionally watch movies.

And when I watch movies, I won't deny that I'd love to experience an amount of bass that I would describe as "brutal".

So, on one side I'm at the stage in my career where I can afford to spend up to €3500 on a pair of monitors, on the other I would also like to purchase something that will have my bass needs completely satisfied (= playing the opening sequence of Blade Runner 2049 and have my neighbours call the police on me).

So, first fork in the road: can I achieve this without a sub?

Can the KH310 or the Quested V2108 (the two expensive options in my list, and the ones with the biggest woofers at 8'') provide a decent (and superior to my HS8) amount of bass output?

Also, I never realistically considered the option, but Yamaha has a sub for the HS8, the HS8S.

The reason - maybe silly - on why I specified that I didn't want a sub is because I thought I would be able to perceive where the bass was coming from, and also I didn't want to set up another piece of equipment if my needs would have been solved with monitors capable of providing a satisfying amount of bass.

Thanks to everyone for your replies :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: JRS

JRS

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Sep 22, 2021
Messages
821
Likes
710
Location
Albuquerque, NM USA
I think this is an easy and solvable problem.

My writing room is where I compose music (as previously mentioned, contemporary classical and orchestral - I'm a composer and conductor) but it's the room where I also listen to music for pleasure and occasionally watch movies.

And when I watch movies, I won't deny that I'd love to experience an amount of bass that I would describe as "brutal".

So, on one side I'm at the stage in my career where I can afford to spend up to €3500 on a pair of monitors, on the other I would also like to purchase something that will have my bass needs completely satisfied (= playing the opening sequence of Blade Runner 2049 and have my neighbours call the police on me).

So, first fork in the road: can I achieve this without a sub?

Can the KH310 or the Quested V2108 (the two expensive options in my list, and the ones with the biggest woofers at 8'') provide a decent (and superior to my HS8) amount of bass output?

Also, I never realistically considered the option, but Yamaha has a sub for the HS8, the HS8S.

The reason - maybe silly - on why I specified that I didn't want a sub is because I thought I would be able to perceive where the bass was coming from, and also I didn't want to set up another piece of equipment if my needs would have been solved with monitors capable of providing a satisfying amount of bass.

Thanks to everyone for your replies :)
Hmmmm, a man after my own heart. I believe most here would agree that getting that kind of bass from a pair of 3500 Euro/pair is not going to happen, and would be difficult with nearly any pair of speakers. What you need is a set of 3 or better yet 4 SW's arranged to give you deep, extended grunt that is clean and much, much closer to flat than would be otherwise possible, esp given the nonflexing walls and floor. . Granted that's a lot of $$ but relieves the budget on the monitors as you only need to worry about 80 and above.
PS: I love the vaulted ceiling, getting rid of those reflections is a good thing IME. Edit: If the mains do get down to say 30Hz with authority, one or two subs would do. It has fewer degrees of freedom but imagine can be made to work. I am sure others can say with certainty.
 

Somafunk

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2021
Messages
400
Likes
752
So, first fork in the road: can I achieve this without a sub?

Yeah, but very doubtful for €3500 if you also value accuracy
Can the KH310 or the Quested V2108 provide a decent (and superior to my HS8) amount of bass output?

I never realistically considered the option, but Yamaha has a sub for the HS8, the HS8S.

The reason - maybe silly - on why I specified that I didn't want a sub is because I thought I would be able to perceive where the bass was coming from, and also I didn't want to set up another piece of equipment if my needs would have been solved with monitors capable of providing a satisfying amount of bass.

Thanks to everyone for your replies

Only heard the kh310 briefly but I doubt you’d be dissatisfied with the bass response, when adding a sub it should be unnoticeable in use, I feel the bass from my 18s and it is impossible to pinpoint where it originates in the room, admittedly sub integration is easy with the LYD’s as there are presets.

Perhaps your best option is try the matching sub for the HS8’s as it may be enough for your room/needs, unless you ”really” want new monitors ;)

I see it here at Thomann and it seems decent
,
 

test1223

Active Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2020
Messages
192
Likes
158
I think this is an easy and solvable problem.

My writing room is where I compose music (as previously mentioned, contemporary classical and orchestral - I'm a composer and conductor) but it's the room where I also listen to music for pleasure and occasionally watch movies.

And when I watch movies, I won't deny that I'd love to experience an amount of bass that I would describe as "brutal".

So, on one side I'm at the stage in my career where I can afford to spend up to €3500 on a pair of monitors, on the other I would also like to purchase something that will have my bass needs completely satisfied (= playing the opening sequence of Blade Runner 2049 and have my neighbours call the police on me).

So, first fork in the road: can I achieve this without a sub?

Can the KH310 or the Quested V2108 (the two expensive options in my list, and the ones with the biggest woofers at 8'') provide a decent (and superior to my HS8) amount of bass output?

Also, I never realistically considered the option, but Yamaha has a sub for the HS8, the HS8S.

The reason - maybe silly - on why I specified that I didn't want a sub is because I thought I would be able to perceive where the bass was coming from, and also I didn't want to set up another piece of equipment if my needs would have been solved with monitors capable of providing a satisfying amount of bass.

Thanks to everyone for your replies :)
The most important part is equalisation of the bass response according to the room and placement. The target curve is very important. If you aren't satisfied with the HS 8 after that I highly doubt that another 8" monitor is the solution.

I would start with some kind of auto equalisation like Dirac or do it by yourself with a measurement microphone and a software equalizer. This should be a big improvement. This might solve a lot of your problems.
 
OP
F

fmessier6

Active Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2021
Messages
126
Likes
44
Yeah, but very doubtful for €3500 if you also value accuracy

Thank you for your reply. Could you clarify this point, maybe with some examples of monitors that aren't quite as perfect but provide a good bass response? Unless you think it's irrelevant for me to waste time on this.
Unless you ”really” want new monitors ;)

You can thank the Adam a77x for this. After setting them up and listening to a few tracks, I was shocked, especially because I had spent seven years with my HS8. The bass impressed me so much as well.

Suddenly a whole new world of expensive audio gear materialized in front of my eyes. After returning them, I hid my credit card somewhere as a form of protection but it's a matter of days before I finally find it.

Perhaps your best option is try the matching sub for the HS8’s as it may be enough for your room/needs

Surprisingly enough, it's on Amazon, so I could take advantage of their more than generous return policy and give the sub a try for a month.
 

test1223

Active Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2020
Messages
192
Likes
158
Thank you for your reply. Could you clarify this point, maybe with some examples of monitors that aren't quite as perfect but provide a good bass response? Unless you think it's irrelevant for me to waste time on this.


You can thank the Adam a77x for this. After setting them up and listening to a few tracks, I was shocked, especially because I had spent seven years with my HS8. The bass impressed me so much as well.

Suddenly a whole new world of expensive audio gear materialized in front of my eyes. After returning them, I hid my credit card somewhere as a form of protection but it's a matter of days before I finally find it.



Surprisingly enough, it's on Amazon, so I could take advantage of their more than generous return policy and give the sub a try for a month.
If you buy the matching subwoofer you have best chances for good integration but with any subwoofer equalisation is even more important. Out of the box you will not get good bass.
 

dfuller

Major Contributor
Joined
Apr 26, 2020
Messages
1,920
Likes
2,604
IMO, the KH310s wreck almost everything else on this list.

I'd dismiss the Twin6 Be's out of hand; see @hardisj 's review at https://www.erinsaudiocorner.com/loudspeakers/focal_twin6be/

The Solo 6s on the other hand are quite competent, and they leave budget for a good sub or 2 (or some room treatment).

I would disregard the SC307; instead, if you want the AMT tweeter thing, I'd look at the Hedd Type 20s, if they're in budget. They're a very competently designed set of speakers.
 

Webninja

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 8, 2018
Messages
365
Likes
379
Location
Los Angeles
What about the KH120 plus one or two KH750 with the monitor alignment kit? I think the equivalent Genelec might be more, and although expensive for a 10” sub, I had a very easy time setting it up with my KH80s.

I haven’t heard many huge towers, but I don’t you can get brutal bass without a sub or two.
 
Top Bottom