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Hi end professional studio monitors vs hi end "hi-fi" speakers

aac

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Pro is simply better on all "practical" aspects.
DACs, amplifiers, speakers.
After using "pro" audio connectivity and then going to consumer ones is so underwhelming.
Multiple drivers vs 2-3 max of studio monitors , much bigger than the average monitor, and obviously much more expensive.
Don't worry, anything for the money
genelec_1236a_2.jpg
 

chelgrian

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I guess what I meant was
Can a studio monitor compete with such a beast with:
Multiple drivers vs 2-3 max of studio monitors , much bigger than the average monitor, and obviously much more expensive.
View attachment 154045

Yes because companies such as Genelec also make main monitors designed for far field listening the top of their range being

https://www.genelec.com/1236a

The much smaller models generally discussed on ASR are design for near, or for the bigger 2 way models, mid field.
 
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Pearljam5000

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I guess my brain is saying, it's got a million drivers, it must sound better than anything else :)
McINTOSH_020118_gnzphoto-1690-edit (1).jpg
 

LTig

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I guess what I meant was
Can a studio monitor compete with such a beast with:
Multiple drivers vs 2-3 max of studio monitors , much bigger than the average monitor, and obviously much more expensive.
View attachment 154045
Definitely yes. Before Corona I listened to a half million € system at my local dealer: the biggest Focals (€180k) driven by Naim Statement pre/power amps (€220k). Few people were convinced of its SQ and I preferred the sound of my system (K&H O300D with Genelec 7060B) in my room over this system in the dealer's room - imaging was not very good and bass FR was uneven due to missing room EQ.
 

LTig

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A bit off topic, but definitely relevant to OPs statement. In general and historically, electronic equipment that was geared towards professionals, has been overpriced compared to consumer goods of similar products.

Say you wanted to buy a medical LCD monitor, it can cost thousands, while it is no better or in many cases worse than cheaper consumer monitors. Industry is there to make money, if they make specialty gear for a niche business that makes tons of money, it will sell lots of products at higher prices.

professional audio equipment and studio monitors are not too different. They are still overpriced. The elephant in the room are the audiophiles, who would not buy anything unless it is 10 times more expensive than competition.
You are wrong on all aspects. High precision LCD/LED monitors are expensive because they deliver precise color and gradients and can be calibrated - features not required for office work and hence not bought by the average customer. The comparatively high development costs spread over low numbers of units sold makes them expensive.

Also pro equipment is designed to last long despites 24/7 use which means higher priced components and drives price up.

Despites both points listed above professional Studio monitors deliver a better SQ/price relation than most hifi speakers and certainly almost all expensive highend speakers. I remember the review of the Neumann KH420 by Sound & Recording where the conclusion said that the KH420 could declassify many highly valued high end speakers.
 
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Pearljam5000

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You are wrong on all aspects. High precision LCD/LED monitors are expensive because they deliver precise color and gradients and can be calibrated - features not required for office work and hence not bought by the average customer. The comparatively high development costs spread over low numbers of units sold makes them expensive.

Also pro equipment is designed to last long despites 24/7 use which means higher priced components and drives price up.

Despites both points listed above professional Studio monitors deliver a better SQ/price relation than most hifi speakers and certainly almost all expensive highend speakers. I remember the review of the Neumann KH420 by Sound & Recording where the conclusion said that the KH420 could declassify many highly valued high end speakers.
https://www.soundandrecording.de/eq...-mit-voll-koaxialer-treiberanordnung-im-test/
They recently reviewed the 8361A also
Read both reviews but still not sure which is better
 

Koeitje

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IME studio monitors play loud and clear, but are a chore to listen to for a long time due to listening fatigue. That's just not a great attribute for a home listening room where you listen to relax and enjoy, versus performing a chore.
You must be listening to bad monitors then. In my experience the most tiring speakers I've listened to were all hifi speakers, especially B&W and Klipsch are terrible in terms of fatigue due to their extremely bright treble and recessed midrange.

The majority of brands - hifi and pro- make speakers to reproduce sound with as little color as possible depending on the cost of development VS the sell price.
Audionote is an exception beyond other exception
This is true for pro-audio, but in consumer audio there are some very big brands that don't aim to reproduce sound with as little color as possible. The two brands I mentioned above are great example of that. Across their line-up they make no effort to try it and all of their speakers follow the same house sound: recessed midrange with a shitload of treble.

I guess what I meant was
Can a studio monitor compete with such a beast with:
Multiple drivers vs 2-3 max of studio monitors , much bigger than the average monitor, and obviously much more expensive.
View attachment 154045
Well they all make main monitors that can take these on. JBL M2 does 118 SPL continuous and they have some 18" subs to give you that extra low end output if you need it. There are offerings that go beyond that such as the Genelec listed above.
 
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FeddyLost

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Can a studio monitor compete with such a beast with:
Multiple drivers vs 2-3 max of studio monitors , much bigger than the average monitor, and obviously much more expensive
Studio monitor is a purpose.
Most of the time they are made as a tool "just good enough" to pass design group objectives, and usually "high-end" is a result of some lead designer's preferences with final listening control even if measurable parameters are compromised.
Really big main monitors like Adam S6 and S7 will kick a lot of high-end asses if properly installed and adjusted.
Some studios use hi-fi equipment as control (for example, Le Lab studio in Montreal uses Focal Utopia and Naim Statement amps) and i see no reasons not to do this if required qualities of control chain are achieved.
 
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dfuller

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I guess what I meant was
Can a studio monitor compete with such a beast with:
Multiple drivers vs 2-3 max of studio monitors , much bigger than the average monitor, and obviously much more expensive.
View attachment 154045
Sure, though those Focal floorstanders are monsters.

But... big mid/farfield mains like the big ATCs, Genelecs, etc outcompete them, usually for considerably less money. Those big Focals are $130,000 each and neeed an amp - even Genelec's "we won't tell you how much they cost" 1236As (which I believe are in the $50,000/pair area) are sure to be a screaming deal by comparison as they're triamped actives with amps included. ATC's most expensive speakers (SCM300ASL Pro, etc) are in the same ballpark - around $55,000 a pair. So... you could have a beyond capable 5.1 setup for the same price as a stereo pair of those Focals.
 
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jhaider

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Actually my viewpoint that Studio Monitors are good in the studio, but not in personal listening rooms.

I wish that were true, sonically. There are scores of better looking speakers than JBL 708 (or Neumann KH310, Adam S3V, etc) in a similar price range. However, I’ve not yet found any with the same mix of resolution, refinement, and power. I would love to find one, as the wife isn’t crazy about the look of the three 708i’s in our family room right now…
 

jhaider

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Many people assimilate flat FR to boring and tend to increase level to get some excitement.
And It's not by accident if some speakers don't have a flat FR as many customer choose them during a quick comparaison...

That’s an electronics problem, not a speaker problem. As you imply, flat* sounds boring because people tend to listen at levels lower than the level at which the program was mastered. Perception of spectral balance is level dependent, so the resulting perceived spectral balance is off. Fortunately there is this wonderful invention called a loudness compensation circuit that can widen the window of levels at which the spectral balance sounds correct. Unfortunately, dumb legacy 2-channel electronics ignore loudness compensation almost completely. Monoprice has probably the best approach for the knowledgable listener on their HTP-1 processor: selectable compensation curves and level offset, though it's a little complicated for a newbie to optimize. Audyssey has a system, DynamicEQ, that one may argue does a little too much in the effects channels and treble, but overall IMO is preferable at low levels than nothing. Generally, at normal domestic listening levels this equipment will sound better than lesser-featured equipment.

So why not buy speakers with a low-level listening curve baked in? Because they sound off when do you crank them. IMO better to have a neutral speaker and allow variable manipulation of known variables.

*Flat here means as measured anechoically/Klippel, NOT a flat line in an in-room response. A "flat" speaker in a room will have some room gain and treble losses.

I guess what I meant was
Can a studio monitor compete with such a beast with:
Multiple drivers vs 2-3 max of studio monitors , much bigger than the average monitor, and obviously much more expensive.
View attachment 154045

One area where a home tower speaker may differ from a typical studio monitor is how the bass interacts with the room, though that would depend on how many woofers there are and how the midbass-woofer crossover is executed - frequency, overlap, etc.
 
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MediumRare

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How many times do I have to state the loudness and clarity of studio monitors is great in a studio when performing a task in a studio, but tiring to listen to in a personal listening room, so they're not for me for personal listening? Where are your precise objective measurements? How much did you have to "tweak" your various studio monitors to reduce listening fatigue? Do you have a before/after graph showing your "tweak"? Where is your ABX testing result of the change the tweak accomplished?

Finally, why can't I simply say, as I have been saying, that I see their value for performing studio work, but they hurt my ears so I would not personally own them for personal listening?
Since you give no objective reasons, your statement(s) is merely a subjective opinion. Since this site is Audio Science Review, your posts have no value. Given your apparent (claimed) studio experience please provide some actual information beyond your opinions. As for @echopraxia ’s objective measurements, you can find them in ASR’s extensive index of studio monitor reviews.
 

FrantzM

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Hi

I will post later on this. Safe to say that a lowly Pro speaker such as the JBL 308 driven by a Denon X-3700 will wipe the floor with a good number of so-called High End speakers/system.
At one point High End audio had a point of view. They went out of the way to optimize certain parameters. It was a very subjective endeavor. They would change this and that and evaluate how it sounded. The Science lagged and by far. So came those amps with incredible filtering capacity (1,000,000 microfarads) or the ability to double their power wihen the load is halved (100 watts at 8 ohms , 200 watts at 4 ohms .. and for some model it would go doubling its power down to .5 ohms, impressive by any metric.. . Krell is the poster child of that trend but it must also be said that some of the early Krell amplifiers, shone on the bench, by most metrics.. Then came the High End "look" , then came a press with power... and the High End Audio of High cost and mediocre objective performance was born.. Granted some brands can still sway superb objective performance. In the world of speakers, Magico and its much less expensive competitor Revel but for each of these you would find dozens (hundreds ?) in the same or above price range), but poorly performing things like the Zu and other abominations .. Triodes that do 45 watts at 3% THD and that cost >$150,000 per pair do exist people.. There are even some Triode amplifers that perhaps, charitably could , on a good day barely hit 100 watts of max power that cost $300,000 .. WAVAC is the brand and Stereophile measured one and had to find its distortion too much .. likely a first for stereophile . Or speakers with directivity so bad you need to put your head in a vise to listen to them. There is a variety of bass-shy and SPL limited speakers that High End Audio calls at "stand-mounted monitors" . that can't play louder than 90 dB at 1 meter ... And they happily cost over $30,000 .. Magico had one called the Mini... and I would dare anyone to compare this model to a JBL 708p at less than $4000 .. The pair. The mini needs a powerful amplifier BTW the 708p.. a front end.. a DAC with a volume control or even better , a way to control the volume of a digital source, since the 708P has a built-in DAC and can receive digital directly...

my own conclusions: For a fraction of the price, the better Pro Monitors are objectively better than anything High End Audio has to offer.. On the account of those monitors being linear, i-e most of the signal that goes in, comes out with fewer distortions (yes, that word). Their audiophile owner can spice the sound to her/his liking... at a better price and in a more repeatable fashion than anything High End audio has to offer... and we are not talking about stupidities such as Power AC cord, speaker cables, femto-clock for digital transports (These exist people!!! Yes they do!!) or equipment r stands that cost $50,000...

For perspective. My current dream system would be a pair of Genelec W 371A woofer + 8351... I have no doubt there exist no equivalent in the High End side of the equation....
My current highly satisfying system : Denon AVX-X3400H + 3 JBL LSR 308 + 2 LSR 305 + some other JBL 104 (? IIRC) fo Atmos. + 2 Dayton Audio SUB-1500 subwoofer. I bought and Infinity R12 I think sub because of you guys , and will integrate it in the system... I listen to music in 2-Channel : Denon AVRX-X-3400H + 2 JBL 308 + 2 Dayton SUB-1500. Subwoofers and main are integrated thanks to the miniDSP 2 x 4 HD, Umik-1, REW and Audyssey XT-32 + the Audyssey MultiEQ app...

Peace.
 
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gags11

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You are wrong on all aspects. High precision LCD/LED monitors are expensive because they deliver precise color and gradients and can be calibrated - features not required for office work and hence not bought by the average customer. The comparatively high development costs spread over low numbers of units sold makes them expensive.

Also pro equipment is designed to last long despites 24/7 use which means higher priced components and drives price up.

Despites both points listed above professional Studio monitors deliver a better SQ/price relation than most hifi speakers and certainly almost all expensive highend speakers. I remember the review of the Neumann KH420 by Sound & Recording where the conclusion said that the KH420 could declassify many highly valued high end speakers.

Not the monitors in my medical office. The have horrible resolution and color, yet cost 5-10 times more than compatible consumer monitor with higher resolution.

I have a glorified vacuum, called smoke evacuator that costs 3k. A surgical chair that is nothing more than a hydro pump, foam and plastic, costs 14k. My microscope digital camera cost 7k, but was horrible with 5k resolution and a small sensors. I replaced it with a Sony consumer digital SLR, and now can take photos of tissue samples in way higher resolution at a fraction of the cost.

My clinic buys medical razors for shaving patients prior to surgery. These things are so so bad disposable units, yet cost 3 times more than the best Gillette razors.

So at least in my profession, all professional equipment is way overpriced.
 

richard12511

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There's also generally a price difference. Pro monitors tend to offer better value in terms of price/performance if all you care about is sound quality.

As an example, I haven't found any hifi speaker under $1,000 that I really prefer over the $300 JBL 308p. Relative to the sound of pro gear, I find that hifi gear tends to be overpriced. On the flip side, hifi gear tends to look a bit better.
 

Frgirard

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The better value is due to the margin required by the audiophile market, the size of the companies and the rosewood.
 

bo_knows

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I already said that studio monitors aren't for everyone in post #10. I stated listening fatigue as the explanation in that post. I also already said I find them an accurate tool for use in a studio, to perform work in a studio in post #4.

Given the freedom of choice that I can listen to whatever I want to in my own personal listening rooms, and spend my money on purchasing, I have no desire for personally owning studio monitors - regardless of the parametric band-aids that may be applied to them to make them more comfortable to listen to.

WRT your analogy accusation of my not being able to get a car out of first gear, I would say that I personally own two track cars and put down enviable times on race tracks, and raced for five years on the competitive circuit. I know how to upshift, and rpm match heel and toe downshift, as my track cars have straight manual transmissions.
But how many clutches did you burn up before you learned heel and toe downshift? Just kidding :D
 

Count Arthur

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Not the monitors in my medical office. The have horrible resolution and color, yet cost 5-10 times more than compatible consumer monitor with higher resolution.

I have a glorified vacuum, called smoke evacuator that costs 3k. A surgical chair that is nothing more than a hydro pump, foam and plastic, costs 14k. My microscope digital camera cost 7k, but was horrible with 5k resolution and a small sensors. I replaced it with a Sony consumer digital SLR, and now can take photos of tissue samples in way higher resolution at a fraction of the cost.

My clinic buys medical razors for shaving patients prior to surgery. These things are so so bad disposable units, yet cost 3 times more than the best Gillette razors.

So at least in my profession, all professional equipment is way overpriced.

Are you in the US?

If so, that's probably nothing to do with "real" costs and values, but the fact that your health care system is insurance backed and for profit, so at every step in the supply chain, there's a mark up and people take a cut.

Compare what you pay for insulin to the rest of the world: https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/cost-of-insulin-by-country
 

bo_knows

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How many times do I have to state the loudness and clarity of studio monitors is great in a studio when performing a task in a studio, but tiring to listen to in a personal listening room, so they're not for me for personal listening? Where are your precise objective measurements? How much did you have to "tweak" your various studio monitors to reduce listening fatigue? Do you have a before/after graph showing your "tweak"? Where is your ABX testing result of the change the tweak accomplished?

Finally, why can't I simply say, as I have been saying, that I see their value for performing studio work, but they hurt my ears so I would not personally own them for personal listening?

Check out the video at 1:10 mark ;)

 
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