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

LTig

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The KRK12 goes down to 26 Hz, the 10 to 30 Hz, assuming they are not lying about the specs.
The KRK specs for FR are incomplete, could be -3 dB, -10 dB or more. I have more trust into the specs of Kali.
 

dshreter

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Thank you, unfortunately it will be in stock in 2-5 days, plus a week of shipping, which is too much at the moment.

How significant is the difference between a 10'' woofer and a 12'' one?

I'm undecided between the KRK12 or the 10 variant, as well as the Presonus tremblor, which are €200 cheaper.

The KRK12 goes down to 26 Hz, the 10 to 30 Hz, assuming they are not lying about the specs.

Also, these things are heavy!



Let me buy a monitor controller in order to do some proper A/B test and report back! :)
What is driving the urgency? You buy a sub like once a decade - I would definitely get it right not fast.
 
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fmessier6

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What is driving the urgency? You buy a sub like once a decade - I would definitely get it right not fast.

I want to get back to work as soon as I can, to be honest.

But also, I would like to test the sub with my KH310 as well, before deciding to keep these or buy some different speakers. Since the return window closes in little more than a week, and Thomann delivers only on Tuesdays (assuming they will pack and ship my order today) buying a sub now seems like the only option if I want to test it with the KH310. No luck with Amazon, long delivery times from third party vendors.

It's not like more time is going to give me anything more than a headache. My budget is €400-600 (I was already over budget with the KH310) so the best bet according to the listed specs (which again, could mean anything) was the KRK12. I've read good reviews about the KRK10 as well.

The Presonus Tremblor has good specs but I'm reading mixed reviews on Amazon, YouTube etc.

The Kali is not in stock yet.
 

dshreter

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I want to get back to work as soon as I can, to be honest.

But also, I would like to test the sub with my KH310 as well, before deciding to keep these or buy some different speakers. Since the return window closes in little more than a week, and Thomann delivers only on Tuesdays (assuming they will pack and ship my order today) buying a sub now seems like the only option if I want to test it with the KH310. No luck with Amazon, long delivery times from third party vendors.

It's not like more time is going to give me anything more than a headache. My budget is €400-600 (I was already over budget with the KH310) so the best bet according to the listed specs (which again, could mean anything) was the KRK12. I've read good reviews about the KRK10 as well.

The Presonus Tremblor has good specs but I'm reading mixed reviews on Amazon, YouTube etc.

The Kali is not in stock yet.
Having read this entire thread, I think you should return the KH 310 pair. If the money didn’t matter then it would be very easy to recommend them as no compromise high quality monitors. But it sounds like they’ve blown your budget with little remaining for a subwoofer, room treatment, or more electronics if you need. And they also seem like overkill for your room which is pretty small and easy to activate.

Where this started your got good advice on the best monitors for 3500, which I feel you did buy. But I don’t feel good that you ended up with the best complete system for 4500 or whatever your budget is.

I know it seems like you’ve put a lot of work into this already, but I would take a step back and try to figure out the actual SPL requirements for your space and what you need for a complete system. As an example KH 120 is almost certainly sufficient sitting a meter from your head when paired with subs. And it seems like you have insatiable demand for bass. If you want that in such a live room you most likely need two subwoofers for evenness. And room treatment seems essential for that space.

You should be able to decide if you want to keep the KH 310 pair without buying a subwoofer. It’s a killer but I would get off the gear treadmill and go back to planning and get a more balanced system that will also aid you in calibration of the monitors with subs.
 

jim33

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Why not spend the £500 on room treatment to help get the best out of what you already have ? The room is causing your sound issues. I have focal CMS65 in my home studio. It's a treated space with various diffusers and bits of furniture. There is loads of bass from them at the back of the room and they are 6.5 inch drivers. I have them about 3.5 meters away from my listening position - I can both hear and feel the bass. However , the bass reduces as I move around the room as I don't have enugh bass traps. Not an issue - just something I'm aware of. The KH310's go much lower so, in the right space, they would sound great . By adding a subwoofer you are just adding more bass energy into a space that can't deal with it well. If you want to A/B your new and old speakers just set them up as a Mono setup - plug the old into the left and new into the right output -then switch from your DAW.. Sit them next to each other. Dont' just test with music - use voices too , news readers etc.. You should be able to hear the differences quite easily then. Single speaker - mono - is a very good way to compare a speaker.
 
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fmessier6

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Having read this entire thread, I think you should return the KH 310 pair. If the money didn’t matter then it would be very easy to recommend them as no compromise high quality monitors. But it sounds like they’ve blown your budget with little remaining for a subwoofer, room treatment, or more electronics if you need. And they also seem like overkill for your room which is pretty small and easy to activate.

I think by going with these speakers I simply encountered so many issues at the same time, and went into uncharted territory (high end monitors, room acoustics) and experienced panic-mode that froze my judgment skills.

I was pretty happy with my room, and even if I had a less than ideal setup (HS8 + AKG K240 MKII + an old computer) I was able to build my career with this gear, to the point where I prepared and conducted film music sessions in Abbey Road studios and many different orchestras in Europe. Plus mix and master my music that currently has millions of plays on Spotify.

So my setup worked. In Italy we have a variation of "if it is not broken, why fix it" which is squadra che vince non si cambia ("Do not change a winning team.") And that's what I did here.

My favourite car is the Dodge Challenger. But even if I could afford it used, it would be a very silly purchase because it would create a quite significative set of problems: heavy taxation for Italy (superbollo tax, introduced in 2012 for newly registered cars exceeding 185 kW) maintenance and gas, to name a few.

Also, with these type of cars you have a 100% a guarantee you'll get stopped by police at each checkpoint. 100%.

So, if I wanted to feast my eyes, I would fly to LA again, see or get to drive those cars, and be satisfied.

Same applies here, I think. There was too much waiting for me down the road and I got overwhelmed.

I'm still paralyzed, with a KRK 10 sub on its way (the 12 was simply too heavy to carry in my studio, and I thought it would overwelm my room).

If you want to A/B your new and old speakers just set them up as a Mono setup - plug the old into the left and new into the right output -then switch from your DAW.. Sit them next to each other. Dont' just test with music - use voices too , news readers etc.. You should be able to hear the differences quite easily then. Single speaker - mono - is a very good way to compare a speaker.

It's what I did today, and what I was doing for two weeks before the Left speaker arrived as well.

It's hard to tell, honestly. This is so subjective that I'm not sure there's a point in writing down my thoughts, but I promised I would report back.
I also feel a little ashamed because I don't see a substantial difference that puts the KH310 in a different league.

Volume being equal, the KH310 feels warmer, and that's the most significant difference.

The music that comes out of the speaker also feels it's coming from behind the speaker, not from the front. It's not aggressively presented in front of you, and despite not using the speakers at midrange, it feels like it's sitting further away than it actually is.

No idea why, but the presentation of the midrange from the HS8 is more at the front, very forward.
The Yamaha HS8 also feels slightly cheaper in terms of audio quality, there's no doubt about it, but it's not the drastic difference you might encounter for example with a $50 Walmart speaker and a pair of HS5.

The ideal test would be using them in a treated room with a monitor controller and ideal placement, but we know this is not possible at the moment.

If something else comes to mind I'll write an EDIT at the bottom of this post, for clarity.

Sorry if it took me a while but I spent half of today with this volume knob crackle issue, and I'll email Thomann later because I want to send this Komplete Kontrol unit back ASAP.
 

Digby

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You will encounter diminishing returns when spending more money. The imaging of the smaller speaker likely does occur closer to you.

If bass really is a big concern, you need as much cone area as possible. Not just in subs, but for the bass above the subwoofer range. Bigger subs are probably better than smaller.

You have high ceilings, so probably much of the sound is disappearing up there and not being returned in the same way in would in a room with lower ceilings.
 
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D

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it would be good to know your exact room dimensions, so we can actually look up what the room modes are and which spikes/tales come from distance to the backwall/floor (which we can tinker without treatment) for the actual roommodes you need treatment

if i have to guess...

dont sit in the exact middle of the room! its probably better to put the speakers closer to the wall then (and play with the room accoustics setting if the kh310 have one)
more bass doesnt help, it will just make modes worse, maybe your room benefits from very close wall placement with reduced low frequencys ( through a room accoustic setting ) tho i noticed way better stereo imagining if there is some room to the back wall, but its worth a try

the height of the speakers could also matter, how much distance is between floor/speakers (pretty certainly you dont want to have the same distance between backwall/speakers and floor/speakers, so you have more "little" modes and not one/two big ones)
 
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fmessier6

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it would be good to know your exact room dimensions, so we can actually look up what the room modes are and which spikes/tales come from distance to the backwall/floor (which we can tinker without treatment) for the actual roommodes you need treatment

Thanks. I posted the dimensions of my room a few posts before (photo attached), except height, which is currently a little hard to measure for me at the moment, but it is the highest value of the three. The photos should give a rough idea until I take a proper measurement.

Measurements.jpg

Obligatory photo of my studio assistant as well:

WhatsApp Image 2022-01-08 at 22.25.32.jpeg
 
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I think by going with these speakers I simply encountered so many issues at the same time, and went into uncharted territory (high end monitors, room acoustics) and experienced panic-mode that froze my judgment skills.

I was pretty happy with my room, and even if I had a less than ideal setup (HS8 + AKG K240 MKII + an old computer) I was able to build my career with this gear, to the point where I prepared and conducted film music sessions in Abbey Road studios and many different orchestras in Europe. Plus mix and master my music that currently has millions of plays on Spotify.

So my setup worked. In Italy we have a variation of "if it is not broken, why fix it" which is squadra che vince non si cambia ("Do not change a winning team.") And that's what I did here.

My favourite car is the Dodge Challenger. But even if I could afford it used, it would be a very silly purchase because it would create a quite significative set of problems: heavy taxation for Italy (superbollo tax, introduced in 2012 for newly registered cars exceeding 185 kW) maintenance and gas, to name a few.

Also, with these type of cars you have a 100% a guarantee you'll get stopped by police at each checkpoint. 100%.

So, if I wanted to feast my eyes, I would fly to LA again, see or get to drive those cars, and be satisfied.

Same applies here, I think. There was too much waiting for me down the road and I got overwhelmed.

I'm still paralyzed, with a KRK 10 sub on its way (the 12 was simply too heavy to carry in my studio, and I thought it would overwelm my room).



It's what I did today, and what I was doing for two weeks before the Left speaker arrived as well.

It's hard to tell, honestly. This is so subjective that I'm not sure there's a point in writing down my thoughts, but I promised I would report back.
I also feel a little ashamed because I don't see a substantial difference that puts the KH310 in a different league.

Volume being equal, the KH310 feels warmer, and that's the most significant difference.

The music that comes out of the speaker also feels it's coming from behind the speaker, not from the front. It's not aggressively presented in front of you, and despite not using the speakers at midrange, it feels like it's sitting further away than it actually is.

No idea why, but the presentation of the midrange from the HS8 is more at the front, very forward.
The Yamaha HS8 also feels slightly cheaper in terms of audio quality, there's no doubt about it, but it's not the drastic difference you might encounter for example with a $50 Walmart speaker and a pair of HS5.

The ideal test would be using them in a treated room with a monitor controller and ideal placement, but we know this is not possible at the moment.

If something else comes to mind I'll write an EDIT at the bottom of this post, for clarity.

Sorry if it took me a while but I spent half of today with this volume knob crackle issue, and I'll email Thomann later because I want to send this Komplete Kontrol unit back ASAP.

Since you still have the Yamahas, perhaps it’s worth going back to how you used to have your studio. As you say, it worked!

Remember that studio monitors are a tool that help you get your job done. “Enjoyment” is not really at the top of the list IMO.

Then try putting the KH310S outside the Yamahas, perhaps a little further back, as a second pair. Then you have your reference nearfields, that you know the sound of, and can compare to the Neumanns more directly.

Pick a cheap Mackie Big Knob Passive monitor controller so you can AB. Or otherwise just change cables after listening to each for a track each.

You may want to consider keeping the Yamahas as your reference speakers that you know well, then (if you don’t think the Neumanns blow them away) just buy a second pair of speakers purely for enjoyment.

I’ve done this in my “studio” that also has to act as my home office. I have Amphion One15s set up on my desk only 75cm from my ears. These are my reference speakers that I know well and they “get the job done” really well in a tiny little bubble. I also have a small Adam Sub7 to slightly fill in a bit of low end.

Then I have a second pair of speakers set up as mid/far fields purely for enjoyment. They are Dynaudio XD20 actives. They are a lot more full range, sound ‘fun’ and are enjoyable to listen to. I never use them for mixing decisions but do switch over to them to enjoy the songs I’m working on for a while, then I go back to the One15s (and my VSX Headphones) for decisions.

Anyways, sorry for the long post!!

But I think you are asking a lot for one pair of speakers. You want mixing/mastering AND enjoyable playback with earth shattering bass. Perhaps you are better off to keep your Yamahas for the first function. And another pair for the second function (whether they are Neumanns or something else might depend on your budget).
 
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fmessier6

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Thank you! And thanks for sharing your experience :)

The process can be frustrating but now I know many so different new things that I'm grateful I had the opportunity to work hard on my room. Frustrating process, of course. But at least now I'm wiser than before!

If I wanted the Quested V2018 I should have gone with those in the first place, and crossed them with a sub just for movies (with a footswitch maybe) cranked to 11.

Not ideal for my room maybe, but until I work on treatment, at least I have some speakers that I actually wanted so hard to try.

Plus as you mentioned, it would make sense to keep the Yamahas since I've been working with them since 2015 and they have been on my side in these important years for my career.

We'll see. I could return these but they do feel excessively warm for my taste, and I've read that the Questeds are even worse due to their tweeter, according to different forum users and reviews, the highs are warm and dull.

But probably it was the HS8 that were too bright? The Neumann should have a better and flatter response.

Pick a cheap Mackie Big Knob Passive monitor controller so you can AB. Or otherwise just change cables after listening to each for a track each.

After two weeks of changing cables, if I had to go back I would instantly purchase a monitor controller.
 
D

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since your room is nearly square (and apparently also nearly as big as my room beside photos looking way smaller)
i can suggest you to try this
Measurements.jpg

it makes your room sound bigger than it is and also helps in bass performance ( i also couldnt find a "really" satisfying setup prior to trying this )
(but my walls are pretty much full of furniture, so idk how it behaves in your room)
my room is like 4,60x4,80 and each speaker has around 30-40cm room to the wall and like 1,5m to the middle of the corner with a heavy bass trap in the corner
try to not sit exactly in the middle of the room, specially in a square room this is the one of the worst things you can do
(as a other said 38% of room length is "optimal" but it leaves room for experimentation)

also dont put them in a way that include all 4 walls ( so they are in the "middle" of everything ) but just correlate them to the two walls behind them, this gives you a little advantage since the corner behind you, isnt right in the middle (tho nearly...) and dont toe them in so they face directly in the corner BUT toe them in so they play against "beside" the corner (so most of the reflection need to bounce off two walls to come back to you) you can also see what i mean on the picture, tho i should have made it more obvious but paint just lets you rotate in 90° steps :(

unfortunaly this has two downsides, you cant see the door and cant use a projector ( unless you buy those projector "wall" things )
but i can really recommend this with (nearly) square rooms
 
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Pearljam5000

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Thanks. I posted the dimensions of my room a few posts before (photo attached), except height, which is currently a little hard to measure for me at the moment, but it is the highest value of the three. The photos should give a rough idea until I take a proper measurement.

View attachment 177651
Obligatory photo of my studio assistant as well:

View attachment 177653
Wow They are smaller than i thought
 

J-B

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I've also owned the KH310's but returned them because they didn't work that well in the room I had back then.

Since you like deep bass I'd try 2x KH80 with KH750 (you could even buy a second sub within the same budget of 2x KH310) with the MA1 calibration system. I'm getting excellent results from MA1.
That way you could put the sub(s) in the ideal position(s) of your room and let dsp help you.
So much better results than KH310's without any decent room treatment and correction.
 
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fmessier6

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UPDATE:

I returned the KH310 and got the Quested V2108 as I should have done in the first place.

I also bought a KRK 10'' sub for movies and at a quarter volume it shakes the walls, so I'm happy.

Do you want me to report back and give a feedback on the Quested V2018 when they arrive?

Also, one thing I noticed during the three weeks I used the KH310 for writing film music was the fact that they were really, really flat and "boring".
So excellent for mixing, but not very exciting for writing. This is personal, anecdotal and unscientific of course, but worth mentioning.

A quick question: what are these speakers that Thomas Newman is using instead of studio monitors? I suppose an expensive model of B&W? I'm surprised by the choice, I swear I saw the same at James Newton Howard's studio, but except for these two composers, all the others are using studio monitors.

mw272005.jpg
 

TurtlePaul

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A quick question: what are these speakers that Thomas Newman is using instead of studio monitors? I suppose an expensive model of B&W? I'm surprised by the choice, I swear I saw the same at James Newton Howard's studio, but except for these two composers, all the others are using studio monitors.
Those are an older generation of B&W Nautilus 802. Very much higher budget.
 

LTig

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UPDATE:

I returned the KH310 and got the Quested V2108 as I should have done in the first place.

I also bought a KRK 10'' sub for movies and at a quarter volume it shakes the walls, so I'm happy.

Do you want me to report back and give a feedback on the Quested V2018 when they arrive?
Yes please. Both with and without sub. I really want to know whether the Questeds can solve your bass problems without a sub.
Also, one thing I noticed during the three weeks I used the KH310 for writing film music was the fact that they were really, really flat and "boring".
So excellent for mixing, but not very exciting for writing. This is personal, anecdotal and unscientific of course, but worth mentioning
It just shows that your preference is not a neutral speaker. On the other handone gets used to neutral sound with time, and then non neutal speakers sound bad (boomy, bassy, bright, harsh ...).
A quick question: what are these speakers that Thomas Newman is using instead of studio monitors? I suppose an expensive model of B&W?
Yes.
 
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fmessier6

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I really want to know whether the Questeds can solve your bass problems without a sub.

I'm pretty sure they won't, at the end of the day it's just another 8'' studio monitor.

I just bought them because I wanted something in that price range, I've read great reviews (especially mentioning incredible bass and exceptional soundstage and fantastic midrange) and I absolutely love the way they look, but it will take me at least a complete room treatment to enjoy the benefits of having a €5000 set of speakers.

The KRK sub is fine, and it actually goes to the declared 30 Hz, which is something I was not expecting.

The bass response of my room is a little boomy though (not sure if it's the sub) but with this purchase I am willingly brute forcing the bass presence to enjoy movies, so it's fine. The best thing ever would be to be able to regulate the subwoofer volume with a knob on my desk, but I think it can be done with a monitor controller, correct?

But even if I did, at the moment the sub is below my desk on the carpet and I'll have to find its optimal placement because right now my desk (which weighs 50 kg / 110 lb) is vibrating, which is something I don't want.

A quick note: I perceive a little but significant delay in the bass output. Maybe I'm imagining things, but I can tell it's there.
So for example you have a four on the floor, you hear the kick drum first from the HS8, and a few milliseconds later, the subwoofer kicks in.

It just shows that your preference is not a neutral speaker. On the other handone gets used to neutral sound with time, and then non neutal speakers sound bad (boomy, bassy, bright, harsh ...).

Maybe, sure. If the KH310 is on paper a terrific speaker, then the issues I had - for example the mids not being forward enough - are because I was used to the presentation of the Yamaha HS8, but having worked with the KH310 eight hours a day for at least a couple of weeks, I was not impressed. I wish I had more time but the return window is a month.

But I've read about forum users taking a while to get used to them and then after some time absolutely loving working on the KH310, so you might be right. I just let personal preference win this round.
 

TurtlePaul

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They look so nice :eek: and I bet they sound amazing as well.
They have peaky highs (the B&W house sound isn't flat). Anything would sound good in that room. Use it an an example of sound treatment. See the heavy curtain wall behind the speakers? See those panels on the wall? Floor with wall-to-wall dense carpet. That room will sound excellent.
 
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