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Studio Monitor Recommendation for Setup w/ Existing Subs, DSP, Treatment, etc.

BeaconStZoo44

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May 3, 2024
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Dear Folks,

I find myself in a bit of a turning point for my set up. I have done quite a lot of treatment and tweaking over the past couple of years, and I’m finally getting to the point where I’m pretty happy with how my room and my set up are working together. That being said, I’m finding myself feeling a little bit wanting of an upgrade (or at least to try something new) in the monitor department, and I think I’ve put in the time and effort to deserve a bit of an upgrade at this point. My current monitoring set up is basically this:



Kali IN-8v2s
2x JBL LSR310s in stereo below my monitors

MiniDSP flex w/ Dirac for bass management/crossover (Dirac windowed to only treat ~400hz and below)

2x NS-10M Studio via Bryston 4B

This is a home studio set up for mixing/mastering with a hefty amount of treatment, so I’m not worried about that (the answer isn’t save your money for more treatment.) My Budget is around 2k, potentially 3k (used prices) if absolutely necessary. That being said, more money saved can be spent elsewhere. I have been looking at the Neumann KH-120A, KH-150, KH-310, Genelec 8340A, but I am also open to suggestions I suppose. I’m not so worried about having the Neumann mic and their DSP system or the Genelec system as I’ve spent countless hours working on learning the ins and outs of REW, acoustics, and tuning my own room and if I can save a couple of dollars by skipping out on their DSP and measurement mic. My ability to be able to listen to all of these side by side in the near future is probably non-existent, so I come to you guys for help.

My question lies here:



Almost all of the recommendations I see one way or the other for KH-120 vs 150 or 150 vs 310 seem to be subwoofer dependent. I can’t seem to find anything about a set up that already has subwoofers ready to go with someone looking to slot these monitors in. Is it worth it to go for the 310’s over the 150s if I already have the 2x subwoofers? Would it be worth it to go for the 150s over the 120s if I already have the subwoofers? It sure would be nice if the answer was “go with the cheapest ones,” but I know the solution won’t be quite that simple. That being said, what I have seen on paper is that these monitors all seem to be quite incredibly impressive through the midrange and high end, and their size ends up being their limiting factor.

Any help is very greatly appreciated, and don’t hesitate to ask for any information that I may have left out.
 

kemmler3D

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Dear Folks,

I find myself in a bit of a turning point for my set up. I have done quite a lot of treatment and tweaking over the past couple of years, and I’m finally getting to the point where I’m pretty happy with how my room and my set up are working together. That being said, I’m finding myself feeling a little bit wanting of an upgrade (or at least to try something new) in the monitor department, and I think I’ve put in the time and effort to deserve a bit of an upgrade at this point. My current monitoring set up is basically this:



Kali IN-8v2s
2x JBL LSR310s in stereo below my monitors

MiniDSP flex w/ Dirac for bass management/crossover (Dirac windowed to only treat ~400hz and below)

2x NS-10M Studio via Bryston 4B

This is a home studio set up for mixing/mastering with a hefty amount of treatment, so I’m not worried about that (the answer isn’t save your money for more treatment.) My Budget is around 2k, potentially 3k (used prices) if absolutely necessary. That being said, more money saved can be spent elsewhere. I have been looking at the Neumann KH-120A, KH-150, KH-310, Genelec 8340A, but I am also open to suggestions I suppose. I’m not so worried about having the Neumann mic and their DSP system or the Genelec system as I’ve spent countless hours working on learning the ins and outs of REW, acoustics, and tuning my own room and if I can save a couple of dollars by skipping out on their DSP and measurement mic. My ability to be able to listen to all of these side by side in the near future is probably non-existent, so I come to you guys for help.

My question lies here:



Almost all of the recommendations I see one way or the other for KH-120 vs 150 or 150 vs 310 seem to be subwoofer dependent. I can’t seem to find anything about a set up that already has subwoofers ready to go with someone looking to slot these monitors in. Is it worth it to go for the 310’s over the 150s if I already have the 2x subwoofers? Would it be worth it to go for the 150s over the 120s if I already have the subwoofers? It sure would be nice if the answer was “go with the cheapest ones,” but I know the solution won’t be quite that simple. That being said, what I have seen on paper is that these monitors all seem to be quite incredibly impressive through the midrange and high end, and their size ends up being their limiting factor.

Any help is very greatly appreciated, and don’t hesitate to ask for any information that I may have left out.
Since this is a home studio I assume this is a nearfield setup, so I see why this is a challenging question. A lot of the benefit up going upmarket with the Neumann / Genelec stuff is getting more SPL and bass, which may not be all that beneficial in a home studio with 2 proper subs already in place.

The Kalis are not bad speakers as far as I know, so I guess the question back to you is where you're hoping for the most improvement?

Better mids and treble is a good goal and I think you'll achieve it with any of these options. But maybe there's something more specific lacking with the Kalis that could help guide the recommendation?

FWIW I finally got some Genelecs in my nearfield setup and I am actually pleasantly surprised with them, compared to how some people describe them as overly bright or whatever.
 

Ron Texas

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There's probably nothing wrong with what you have.
 
OP
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BeaconStZoo44

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Yeah, I have enjoyed the Kali's for what they are 100%. I don't think there is anything "wrong" with them. Surely they aren't broken, or I would fix them ;) I think the biggest thing for me is improvement in the mid/upper mid range, and especially top end for mastering, which I really do feel like the clarity in the Kali's is lacking to the point where I don't feel like I could trust them 100%. Since I know the "There's nothing wrong with what you have" will probably come with a "it's probably your acoustics/reflections," it's not. My desk is tiny, just small enough to fit an avid artist mix on it, with two 3" thick panels of OC703 on either side, and the whole thing is tilted to deflect reflections away from the listening position. Literally countless hours have been spent with my measurement microphone and REW in this room. I also want to avoid using Dirac, or any DSP processing above around 400Hz, so it would be nice to be able to have a pretty flat and true response beyond that.
 

dachermann

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Owning KH120, KH420 and had O198, there is a difference when you upgrade from a 2 to a 3-way system. Neumann‘s mid chassis makes a difference. Bass increases but this can be enhanced with subs - the mids remain….
 
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