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Recommendations/Advice needed for affordable (new home studio) monitors

Syrxn

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Hiya all, 100% new here so PLEASE bear with me...

Long story short, I'm a singer setting up a home studio but here's a bit of backstory. It's been 10 years since I studied music (specialising in vocal performance) and put all music related work on hold for the past 7 years so essentially majority of what I once knew about audio engineering has gone out the window. So treat me like I know nothing.

I use Logic Pro X and am about to buy the latest MacBook Pro MX1 Max (many of you will have strong feelings regarding Apple, but Logic is my preferred DAW). My interface is currently Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen and I plan to upgrade to either the Scarlett 18i8 or Scarlett 18i20 (currently looking at reviews for suitability).

The only things I'm now stuck on are monitors and an amp (if needed)... I'm looking for affordability without compromising quality. Budget is max $1k USD for now and will upgrade to better monitors etc again in 12-16months time.

Biggest hang-ups so far is the age old argument passive or active monitors (or studio monitors etc)... I currently have no preference so feel free to give me pro's and con's of either based on your product recommendations. I've read SO MANY threads regarding this topic that it's made everything 100000x more difficult to decide let alone differentiate between...steep learning curves regarding technical language/graphs to be had.

Lastly, the monitors are for a high-ceiling medium-sized carpeted room that will be further sound proofed to improve acoustics (dampen the echo/reverb as the high ceiling is not doing me any favours).

Thanks for any and all advice in advance and I will try to answer any questions.

:) Cheers!
 
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twsecrest

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Studio monitors (self-powered speakers) offer better audio detail, than a speaker amplifier and un-powered speakers setup.
Me, I would go for JBL LSR306 studio monitors, with a Monoprice sub-woofer.
 

FeddyLost

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You'd better quantify you requirements regarding genres, SPL and bass extension.
If you need only medium SPL nearfields without deep bass (vocal range is 80 hz and up?), I'd try to hear something like Dynaudio LYD5 where woofer is in fact widebander up to 5k.
Pair will fit into your budget nicely.
Later you can change them or add a sub.
 

Peluvius

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I would suggest looking for a good set of second hand powered monitors. There is a significant price drop as soon as most speakers come out of the wrapping and if you chose a good brand the chances are they will be the same as new for all intents and purposes.


You may not even need to upgrade them in a few years :) Just add a sub down the line.....
 

rollmottle

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Hiya all, 100% new here so PLEASE bear with me...

Long story short, I'm a singer setting up a home studio but here's a bit of backstory. It's been 10 years since I studied music (specialising in vocal performance) and put all music related work on hold for the past 7 years so essentially majority of what I once knew about audio engineering has gone out the window. So treat me like I know nothing.

I use Logic Pro X and am about to buy the latest MacBook Pro MX1 Max (many of you will have strong feelings regarding Apple, but Logic is my preferred DAW). My interface is currently Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen and I plan to upgrade to either the Scarlett 18i8 or Scarlett 18i20 (currently looking at reviews for suitability).

The only things I'm now stuck on are monitors and an amp (if needed)... I'm looking for affordability without compromising quality. Budget is max $1k USD for now and will upgrade to better monitors etc again in 12-16months time.

Biggest hang-ups so far is the age old argument passive or active monitors (or studio monitors etc)... I currently have no preference so feel free to give me pro's and con's of either based on your product recommendations. I've read SO MANY threads regarding this topic that it's made everything 100000x more difficult to decide let alone differentiate between...steep learning curves regarding technical language/graphs to be had.

Lastly, the monitors are for a high-ceiling medium-sized carpeted room that will be further sound proofed to improve acoustics (dampen the echo/reverb as the high ceiling is not doing me any favours).

Thanks for any and all advice in advance and I will try to answer any questions.

:) Cheers!
Active monitors all the way. No reason to go passive in 2022. At a $1K price point, I'd be looking at the used market. I can't make a specific recommendation other than stick with brands that make reputable, purpose-built professional products -- Neumann, Focal, Genelec. Generally, I'd stay away from pro-sumer stuff like Yamaha, KRK, Mackie, etc.
 

Timcognito

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Somafunk

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Lastly, the monitors are for a high-ceiling medium-sized carpeted room that will be further sound proofed to improve acoustics (dampen the echo/reverb as the high ceiling is not doing me any favours).

Dont rule out KRK’s, there’s a bit of snobbery regarding them but the new Rokit’s measure very well and sound very good for the money, previously to my current setup in a treated room (see sig belo) I had KRK G4 Rokit 7 and KRK 10s subwoofer and it was immensely enjoyable with the bonus of the G4 monitors having EQ and room setup from the panel in the back so you can tailor them as you see fit, A pair of KRK 7’s with the new KRK s10 subwoofer would come in around $1000. When you want to upgrade you’ll have no problem selling such a complete system.

KRK Rokit 7 G4 here @ Vintage King $250

KRK s10 Subwoofer here @ Vintage King $479

Are they going on a studio desk?, if so then I can recommend a pair of Isoacoustic ISO-155 stands and matching Isoacoustic ISO-200 sub stand , another $50 on decent xlr balanced cables with Neutrik connections and you’ll have a very decent setup.

Isoacoustic ISO-155 speaker stands @ Vintage King $120

Isoacoustic ISO-200 Subwoofer Stand @ Vintage King $70

Im sure they’d knock a few $ off if you bought them all together so you may be very close to your $1000 max.
 

HarmonicTHD

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Could you elaborate on this? Wouldnt it be completely different on a case by case basis?
The statement from twsecrest in its generality is simply not correct. But let’s see what the poster has to offer in terms of evidence to back up his claim.
 

HarmonicTHD

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My two cents.
Studio monitors come with 2 separate amplifiers in each unit (box), one for the tweeter and one for the woofer.
So the signals has been separated before amplification, before the separate signals are sent to each amp.
Studio monitors are more about detail in the audio, for one person or small group of people.
With unpowered speakers, the signal is first amplified, then split between lets say a tweeter a mid-range woofer and a lower end woofer.
Normally not as good for detail, but most are looking at filling up a big room with music.
But willing to guess if you spend enough for unpowered speakers, with really nice electronics inside the speaker box, you going to get detail, but your paying for it.
I guess we were looking for evidence not anecdote or an opinion. (Btw. Not all studio monitors come with separate woofer, speaker amps, most don’t . eg Neumann KH80 and the SAM Genelcs do indeed)

How do you determine more detail?

Maybe you could give an example of a monitor and a passive speaker respectively?
 
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My two cents.
Studio monitors come with 2 separate amplifiers in each unit (box), one for the tweeter and one for the woofer.
So the signals has been separated before amplification, before the separate signals are sent to each amp.
Studio monitors are more about detail in the audio, for one person or small group of people.
With unpowered speakers, the signal is first amplified, then split between lets say a tweeter a mid-range woofer and a lower end woofer.
Normally not as good for detail, but most are looking at filling up a big room with music.
But willing to guess if you spend enough for unpowered speakers, with really nice electronics inside the speaker box, you going to get detail, but your paying for it.
Define detail, because I would argue that is different for everyone especially between mixing engineers. Is it a specific target, neutral...what even is true neutral? In what environment?

Also back to my previously stated comment, powered vs passive results completely vary based on the specific gear. Are you saying that if we took the highest end gear possible powered speakers would deliver more detail? Not sure I get how your description of where the signal is going results in higher fidelity of detail in the sound. I would certainly need evidence of that claim. Appreciate the conversation however!
 
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NiagaraPete

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If one amplifier can drive a tweeter and a woofer with as much detail as a two amplifier studio monitor.
Why would studio monitor makers add the extra expense of an extra amplifier.
When they could make a studio monitor with just one amplifier and sell it at a lower price?
With two amplifiers, each amplifier only has to produce the frequencies needed for driving one tweeter (or one woofer).
With an amplifier only having to produce a smaller frequency range, for the tweeter, would not it make it easier to bring out the details in the audio.
To add. The next step is DSP at each driver with room correction. That is next level.
 

rollmottle

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If one amplifier can drive a tweeter and a woofer with as much detail as a two amplifier studio monitor.
Why would studio monitor makers add the extra expense of an extra amplifier.
When they could make a studio monitor with just one amplifier and sell it at a lower price?
With two amplifiers, each amplifier only has to produce the frequencies needed for driving one tweeter (or one woofer).
With an amplifier only having to produce a smaller frequency range, for the tweeter, would not it make it easier to bring out the details in the audio.
You're talking about the difference between single amped vs. bi-amped, not active vs. passive.
 

NiagaraPete

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You're talking about the difference between single amped vs. bi-amped, not active vs. passive.
Active bi amped is how most do it.
 

rollmottle

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With bi-amped, you can still have an amplifier driving more than lets say one diaphragm (like two woofers in the same speaker cabinet).
Studio monitors usually have one amplifier only driving one diaphragm (like one woofer).
So I'm not talking about bi-amped.
You are though.

An active monitor can be bi-amped or single-amped (or more)...so can a passive monitor. You described a preference for a bi-amped active 2 way studio monitor over a single-amped 2 way passive speaker. That is fine and your prerogative, but it is incorrect to conclude "active studio monitors are more detailed than passive speakers." You compared apples to oranges. A bi-amped active 2 way speaker vs. a bi-amped passive 2 way speaker would be no more or less detailed than the other simply because of the location of the amp.
 

Peluvius

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So if one amplifier is enough for good detail, why do they make studio monitors with more than one amplifier?
Adding another amplifier raises cost and raises selling price.
So why do studio monitor makers put more than one amplifier in their units?

Amplification takes place after the crossover in an active design. Each driver receiving a separate frequency allocation will need a separate amplifier by design.


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