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Studio Monitors for now until the end

pr0de

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Hey everyone,

I'm quite struggling to choose monitors for my mixing and mastering parts.

My studio is not yet really build in our house, because we're waiting to have big work and they will destroy and rebuilt almost 50% of our house with some arrangement we've made.

In few months (3 to 4 I hope), my studio will be in a square room of 3meters but right now I'm composing with my headphones Audio-Technica ATH-M50x and my audio interface on my daw directly.

I really struggle to mix and master my songs right now and even when the building will be finish I'll need monitors, so I wanted to anticipate on buying my monitors now and start to mix/master my songs even if it's not yet the optimum.

I'm struggling to choose between these monitors : Neumann KH120 ; Genelec 8040BPM ; Focal Shape 65 ; Adam A7V, I didn't see any reviews on the Genelec 8040B and the Focal Shape 65 so I really don't know which one will be the best for now and future studio...

The cons on the Neumann is that we have to buy another stuff at 300 more to benefit of all the best of those monitors (MA1 I think) is that correct ?
The cons on the Genelec is that I didn't see any review here and the reflex is behind so maybe it have to bee quite far from the wall which it won't be the case.
The cons on Focal Shape 65 is that I didn't see any review here and they are non-ported monitors which I'm not very a fan of...
The cons on Adam A7V is that I didn't see any review here and I saw some posts that they were disappointed about it so I don't really know...

I could afford a 2k budget but if I can find something very good to less, my wife and I will be happy as well and I hope that whatever I'll choose it will be good enough for a long time.

Thanks for taking your time to advise ;)
 
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Matias

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Welcome to ASR. In your place I would focus on Neumann and Genelec and their mic for room EQ is important. Probably KH 120 II would be my choice for that space.

Also save some money for acoustic panels. See attached.

In the meanwhile, even IEMs would be an interesting option to mix/master. Try a 7Hz Salnotes Zero for starters, 20 usd.
 

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pr0de

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Welcome to ASR. In your place I would focus on Neumann and Genelec and their mic for room EQ is important. Probably KH 120 II would be my choice for that space.

Also save some money for acoustic panels. See attached.

In the meanwhile, even IEMs would be an interesting option to mix/master. Try a 7Hz Salnotes Zero for starters, 20 usd.
Thanks for your reply, in fact I had in mind to arrange my room with stuff to make it the most accurate possible and thanks for your links and for the IEM option I'll have a look on it.
About the KH120, It makes me a bit disappointed about to buy something else (MA1) to make them sound correct, for around 1700 I expect to have something decent out of the box...do you see what I mean ?

unfortunately square room is a very bad starting point for any listening space (height would be probably similar as well...), isn't it possible to change the ratio since you're building it, or just swap it with some other room?
Yes I could also move my studio into a room of 4.3m L on 2.8m W so more rectangular, is it better ?
 

TylerR

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Thanks for your reply, in fact I had in mind to arrange my room with stuff to make it the most accurate possible and thanks for your links and for the IEM option I'll have a look on it.
About the KH120, It makes me a bit disappointed about to buy something else (MA1) to make them sound correct, for around 1700 I expect to have something decent out of the box...do you see what I mean ?


Yes I could also move my studio into a room of 4.3m L on 2.8m W so more rectangular, is it better ?
They'd already sound fantastic out of the box, the calibration via MA1 just makes them sound that much better. They're probably the best measuring speaker under $3000, especially in the pro market. Their only limitation is in SPL output and bass extension, but are very respectable for their size.
 

holdingpants01

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Yes I could also move my studio into a room of 4.3m L on 2.8m W so more rectangular, is it better ?

A month ago someone asked me about 3x3 room, I wept when I saw the simulation of the response. 4,3m x 2,8m is WAY better, I just hope the height isn't also 2,8m, but that would be an even bigger problem in a 3x3 room anyway.
 
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I've used KH120 for some time and now I listen on KH150. They play scarily good without calibration, but it's to good to have possibility to eq the room. My friend bought KH120 II after we've compared KH150 against few monitors and 120 II are really close to 150's. It's a matter of more low end extension and obviously more power.

8040 for me was always the worst balanced Genelec from this series - I've tried them two times and both times had the same feeling. 8340 is better and you can eq them more to your liking.

Focal Shapes has passive membranes on sides so it's not exactly closed construction. It's faster than most ported constructions when you think about bass, mids are fine, I don't like Shape tweeter. I've used CMS65 (series before Shape) and Solo6be and Shape 65 highs sound weird against those two. Still very god speaker in it's own right.

I've only listen A7V two brief times and it's not enough to have any real information about them.

But I think that on any of mentioned speaker you could make marvelous things and acoustics with placement could make or break it.
 

Steve Dallas

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The cons on the Genelec is that I didn't see any review here and the reflex is behind so maybe it have to bee quite far from the wall which it won't be the case.

This is a myth. As long as the distance from the rear of the speaker is at least 2x the port diameter, the response will be identical to front reflex. Do not dismiss the Genelecs on this basis.
 
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pr0de

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A month ago someone asked me about 3x3 room, I wept when I saw the simulation of the response. 4,3m x 2,8m is WAY better, I just hope the height isn't also 2,8m, but that would be an even bigger problem in a 3x3 room anyway.
Ok, I'll go in the 4.3x2.8m then... it's an 2.4m height due to the low energy house, is it worse or better?

You can find a review with comprehensive, anechoic measurements of the Shape 65 here (written in German, unfortunately):
I didn't find it, thanks :) Hopefully numbers and schemes has the same language ;)

I've used KH120 for some time and now I listen on KH150. They play scarily good without calibration, but it's to good to have possibility to eq the room. My friend bought KH120 II after we've compared KH150 against few monitors and 120 II are really close to 150's. It's a matter of more low end extension and obviously more power.

8040 for me was always the worst balanced Genelec from this series - I've tried them two times and both times had the same feeling. 8340 is better and you can eq them more to your liking.

Focal Shapes has passive membranes on sides so it's not exactly closed construction. It's faster than most ported constructions when you think about bass, mids are fine, I don't like Shape tweeter. I've used CMS65 (series before Shape) and Solo6be and Shape 65 highs sound weird against those two. Still very god speaker in it's own right.

I've only listen A7V two brief times and it's not enough to have any real information about them.

But I think that on any of mentioned speaker you could make marvelous things and acoustics with placement could make or break it.
Ok, thanks for that, I didn't mentioned it but I can't listen the monitors in a shop (the nearest shop is 1h30' away from where I live) as I'm disabled right now due to a temporary (but maybe long) problem so that's why also I'm struggling, I think it would have been much easier if I could have listen with my ears...
 

jeffhenning

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IMG_0022.jpeg

Adam A7V
Hey everyone,

I'm quite struggling to choose monitors for my mixing and mastering parts.

My studio is not yet really build in our house, because we're waiting to have big work and they will destroy and rebuilt almost 50% of our house with some arrangement we've made.

In few months (3 to 4 I hope), my studio will be in a square room of 3meters but right now I'm composing with my headphones Audio-Technica ATH-M50x and my audio interface on my daw directly.

I really struggle to mix and master my songs right now and even when the building will be finish I'll need monitors, so I wanted to anticipate on buying my monitors now and start to mix/master my songs even if it's not yet the optimum.

I'm struggling to choose between these monitors : Neumann KH120 ; Genelec 8040BPM ; Focal Shape 65 ; Adam A7V, I didn't see any reviews on the Genelec 8040B and the Focal Shape 65 so I really don't know which one will be the best for now and future studio...

The cons on the Neumann is that we have to buy another stuff at 300 more to benefit of all the best of those monitors (MA1 I think) is that correct ?
The cons on the Genelec is that I didn't see any review here and the reflex is behind so maybe it have to bee quite far from the wall which it won't be the case.
The cons on Focal Shape 65 is that I didn't see any review here and they are non-ported monitors which I'm not very a fan of...
The cons on Adam A7V is that I didn't see any review here and I saw some posts that they were disappointed about it so I don't really know...

I could afford a 2k budget but if I can find something very good to less, my wife and I will be happy as well and I hope that whatever I'll choose it will be good enough for a long time.

Thanks for taking your time to advise ;)
OK, let’s just start out with the fact that you’re missing a whole lotta stuff and just concentrating on the main speakers.

First off, none of those speakers have any low end. Oh, sure, they say they have low end and their specs will make you think they have low end, put them in a room and play them loud and you will find that they have no low end. Drivers that small cannot cleanly reproduce low bass. It’s impossible because they do not move enough air.

So, you need a subwoofer to complement those small speakers (whichever one you buy). Being a bass player, in my opinion, you are not going to get anything better than Rythmik Audio. They make servo subs and their most inexpensive one, the L12 is a little over $600. Believe me, it’s worth it.

You haven’t gotten into what your system is for getting the sound out of the computer and into the loudspeakers. You also haven’t mentioned what you’re going to be doing for acoustic treatment in the room.

At this point, you are really just scratching the surface. there is a lot more to consider than just the speakers.

Good luck.
 

Ivanovich

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Hey everyone,

I'm quite struggling to choose monitors for my mixing and mastering parts.

My studio is not yet really build in our house, because we're waiting to have big work and they will destroy and rebuilt almost 50% of our house with some arrangement we've made.

In few months (3 to 4 I hope), my studio will be in a square room of 3meters but right now I'm composing with my headphones Audio-Technica ATH-M50x and my audio interface on my daw directly.

I really struggle to mix and master my songs right now and even when the building will be finish I'll need monitors, so I wanted to anticipate on buying my monitors now and start to mix/master my songs even if it's not yet the optimum.

I'm struggling to choose between these monitors : Neumann KH120 ; Genelec 8040BPM ; Focal Shape 65 ; Adam A7V, I didn't see any reviews on the Genelec 8040B and the Focal Shape 65 so I really don't know which one will be the best for now and future studio...

The cons on the Neumann is that we have to buy another stuff at 300 more to benefit of all the best of those monitors (MA1 I think) is that correct ?
The cons on the Genelec is that I didn't see any review here and the reflex is behind so maybe it have to bee quite far from the wall which it won't be the case.
The cons on Focal Shape 65 is that I didn't see any review here and they are non-ported monitors which I'm not very a fan of...
The cons on Adam A7V is that I didn't see any review here and I saw some posts that they were disappointed about it so I don't really know...

I could afford a 2k budget but if I can find something very good to less, my wife and I will be happy as well and I hope that whatever I'll choose it will be good enough for a long time.

Thanks for taking your time to advise ;)
I wouldn’t discount sealed box speakers, they may actually work better in your small space and they will have better transient response. With such a small space you are going to get plenty of room lift (support for low frequencies), making it ideal for non-ported speakers. A 3m^2 room, with two equal distances in length and width, and an almost same ceiling height (assuming just under 3m), is a worst case scenario for a studio space. It’s going to produce strong resonance modes at 57 Hz and 114 Hz, and 70 Hz and 140 Hz for floor-ceiling bounce. Monitor placement, room treatments, and EQ are going to be very important to get decent FR.
 

dfuller

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Yes I could also move my studio into a room of 4.3m L on 2.8m W so more rectangular, is it better ?
Yes, this is preferable.

As for what speakers - I think around 2000/pr I would get KH120 IIs. Please do keep in mind you will (in spite of what this forum says) need to invest in broadband absorption at your first reflection points, especially the rear, sides, and ceiling.

Skip the Focals - they're pretty bad. Little headroom, no low end to speak of, super bright.
 

jjaskuna

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Hey everyone,

I'm quite struggling to choose monitors for my mixing and mastering parts.

My studio is not yet really build in our house, because we're waiting to have big work and they will destroy and rebuilt almost 50% of our house with some arrangement we've made.

In few months (3 to 4 I hope), my studio will be in a square room of 3meters but right now I'm composing with my headphones Audio-Technica ATH-M50x and my audio interface on my daw directly.

I really struggle to mix and master my songs right now and even when the building will be finish I'll need monitors, so I wanted to anticipate on buying my monitors now and start to mix/master my songs even if it's not yet the optimum.

I'm struggling to choose between these monitors : Neumann KH120 ; Genelec 8040BPM ; Focal Shape 65 ; Adam A7V, I didn't see any reviews on the Genelec 8040B and the Focal Shape 65 so I really don't know which one will be the best for now and future studio...

The cons on the Neumann is that we have to buy another stuff at 300 more to benefit of all the best of those monitors (MA1 I think) is that correct ?
The cons on the Genelec is that I didn't see any review here and the reflex is behind so maybe it have to bee quite far from the wall which it won't be the case.
The cons on Focal Shape 65 is that I didn't see any review here and they are non-ported monitors which I'm not very a fan of...
The cons on Adam A7V is that I didn't see any review here and I saw some posts that they were disappointed about it so I don't really know...

I could afford a 2k budget but if I can find something very good to less, my wife and I will be happy as well and I hope that whatever I'll choose it will be good enough for a long time.

Thanks for taking your time to advise ;)
I have run Adam A7Xs for the past 15 years. Same pair. And their A8 sub. Though I actually use their sub as a crossover in my system.

If you like ribbons, I can't recommend Adam enough.
 

Blumlein 88

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Welcome to ASR. I agree most speakers on your list will need a sub. You could always make your best choice and add a sub later. The L12's are pretty good, have a pair myself.

In the interim, I find using a little crossfeed when mixing with headphones makes it much better when listened to over speakers. You don't end up with a mix good on phones and bad on speakers that way. Don't need terribly much crossfeed, but some helps. Say about 15% from one channel into the other channel.
 
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pr0de

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Hello everyone and thank you for your reply and honesty,

As I understand, I'll need a sub whichever the speakers I'll choose in that size and also need to treat my room which I'd like to do also.

As I think and scratches and go deeper, it seems that my budget is quite low for all that stuff.

Should I maybe reconsider all of these and buy a very good headphone for the mixing/mastering part? Waiting to have a more consequent budget to buy 2 good speaker ; 1 sub and to be able to treat my room right after....or maybe buy 2 cheaper speakers to be able to buy a sub also (around 1000 for the set and waiting for better)?
 

Matias

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You can start with a cheaper Kali LP-6 v2 and upgrade later.

Kali's subwoofer looks fine too.

But then I would spend a bit more on a great set of IEMs in the meanwhile.

More recommendations compiled by @sweetchaos below:
 

zonk

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Thanks for your reply, in fact I had in mind to arrange my room with stuff to make it the most accurate possible and thanks for your links and for the IEM option I'll have a look on it.
About the KH120, It makes me a bit disappointed about to buy something else (MA1) to make them sound correct, for around 1700 I expect to have something decent out of the box...do you see what I mean ?


Yes I could also move my studio into a room of 4.3m L on 2.8m W so more rectangular, is it better ?

Seems you don't understand the function of MA 1. It helps you to adjust the speakers to the acoustic of your room.
https://www.neumann.com/en-en/products/monitor-accessories/ma-1/

Don't know where you are located. In Europe you can get a pair of Neumann KH120 II with MA-1 for 1700€.
https://geizhals.eu/neumann-kh-120-ii-schwarz-a2928476.html
  • Neumann KH120 II: 1434€ a pair
  • Neumann MA 1: 258€
Amir has tested this speaker here too. Another review in Sound&Recording (unfortunetely in German)
https://www.soundandrecording.de/equipment/neumann-kh-120-ii-2-wege-nahfeldmonitor-im-test/
 

HiMu

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The cons on the Genelec is that I didn't see any review here and the reflex is behind so maybe it have to bee quite far from the wall which it won't be the case.
Minimum of 5cm/2" clearance from the wall.

If possible, invest in a bit better speakers right from the start from any manufacturer that you like and add a sub later if needed. For example, divide the cost difference of 6" vs. 8" models by 10+ years that you're probably/hopefully going to use them.

There are limitations of what the room eq/DSP can do, best to use those in conjunction with acoustic treatment.
 

JayGilb

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You can learn to mix on any set of speakers, it just takes time and a lot of reference mix listening time.
There are many good monitors that are a lot less expensive than the ones you listed.

Room treatment is much more important than the brand of monitors, so you might want to use a fair percentage of your budget getting your room ready for accurate mixing.
 
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