28 posts in this topic

Posted

Hey everyone. I'm currently using a set of Logitech Z5500's and I'm looking to upgrade before they crap out on me(Which I don't foresee happening). I've decided to go the powered studio monitor route but I have no experience there. Can someone help me put together  a good package that won't break the bank? I'm looking for 2 monitors, and an audio interface that will outperform my Z5500s.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

What is your budget?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I haven't really thought of that part, I was more or less just looking for something that can outperform my current setup without the need of a subwoofer. It gets in the way all the time, and having five speakers is a pain in the ass as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

If you provide the budget, we can help you find something based on your budget or under... without going over... unless you don't care about the cost for setups as the way you want.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I don't know about the Z5500 but I'd get two 24" monitors with 1920x1200 resolution. There is a pretty big benefit to having two monitors and a lot of them have audio interfaces but I'm not a big fan of speakers on my monitor.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I don't know about the Z5500 but I'd get two 24" monitors with 1920x1200 resolution. There is a pretty big benefit to having two monitors and a lot of them have audio interfaces but I'm not a big fan of speakers on my monitor.

Am I wrong in thinking he was looking for speakers?

Budget is def the key to starting to put something together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Am I wrong in thinking he was looking for speakers?

Budget is def the key to starting to put something together.

no, you're correct. I am looking for speakers. That's what studio monitors are. I think he was just trying to be cute.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Studio monitors are for exactly that, monitoring sound in a studio setting when recording/mixing music, for example. My questions on this subject are...

 

1) Do you just want a 2.0 (stereo) setup?

2) Do you want to add a subwoofer?

3) How do you plan on connecting studio monitors (depending on the type you want) to the source device e.g. a USB DAC or directly to the PC/sound card? 3.5" headphone cable? RCA white/red cables? Optical S/PDIF? Coaxial S/PDIF? HDMI? TRS? XLR?

4) Do you want a DAC built into the monitors + volume controls in the pair, or do you have a way to control these via a USB DAC or something like that?

 

Look, I'll get right to the point and say if you want something simple, easy and affordable to connect to a PC via on board audio or a sound card or a USB DAC then I have two suggestions for you that will blow any Logitech speakers out of the water (Google them or search Amazon for them).

 

M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 Active Studio Monitor Speakers

 

-or-

 

Behringer Speaker MS40 Digital 40-Watt Stereo Near Field Monitors

 

I personally and honestly would NOT recommend the M-Audio AV 40's. I had a pair that died on me within 6 months and I didn't bother replacing them or RMAing them. It's a common problem with those monitors sadly so they set broken in box in my storage. I bought the Behringer MS40's a year and a half ago as the replacement for the M-Audio AV 40's and I couldn't recommend them enough. I'm currently using them on a secondary PC but I'm HIGHLY considering bringing them back to my main PC as I personally love and prefer their "flatness". :p

 

What you could do is go into an electronics store like Best Buy and see if they have any monitors there to test and judge for yourself if you like them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

The Alesis and KRKs are worth a look too at that $200ish price point.  Looks like BBuy has the AV40s for $50, which is a steal even if the amp futz's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Basically when we're talking about studio monitors what we're looking for is a flat frequency response; they're not designed to sound "good" or pleasing to the ear, they're designed to be as transparent as possible and let you hear the source as it truly is. Bad recordings will sound bad, great recordings will take your breath away. This is essential for music composers and sound designers, as well as some types of audiophiles (such as myself :) )

 

The range of prices is immense; from the AV-40s as Boo Berry mentioned to several thousand dollars a piece monitors. Since you're going from a set of Logitech speakers I don't think you need to spend that much to meet your expectations, but it's important that you have an idea of what's available.

 

Popular lines of near-field reference monitors include the Yamaha HS and Adam AX, if you have 500-1000$ to spend. Keep in mind any grounded speaker that you connect to an internal sound card is likely to suffer from electrical interference, so an external DAC with electrical isolation is imperative. Luckily these aren't expensive.

 

I own a pair of Yamaha HS80M which sound simply incredible, and that particular model is selling at deep discounts these days as it's being replaced by a newer one (the HS8); you might find a pair at 600$ or below.

 

There are of course many good choices below 500$ as well, but I wouldn't recommend anything below, say, 150$, masquerading as a studio monitor. You get what you pay for. For 200$ (400$ a pair), the Behringer TRUTH B2031A has a good reputation as a very flat speaker. For 150$ (300$ a pair), the KRK Rokit 5 is a popular choice, albeit far from flat IMO.

 

Here are some videos that could be a good place to start:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I'm not looking for anything that's audiophile perfect. Just something that's got can handle everyday use without needing to be improved down the road. I've had this Logitech z5500 set for about 10 years now. Its just 5 speakers a sub and miles of wire drive me nuts. I just moved in with my girlfriend so I am sharing my office with her so rear speakers aren't an option and the sub totally gets in the way. Thanks for the in depth responses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

It sounds to me like studio monitors isn't really what you're looking for, you're looking for hi-fi speakers. A hi-fi speaker colors the sound to make it sound better than it is; the point is to have a consistently enjoyable listening experience regardless of the quality of the source. Hi-fi speakers sound good. Studio monitors don't. Or, more precisely, they sound exactly like the source is, mercilessly exposing any flaws in it. They're mainly used for sound and music design, the idea being that if you manage to make it sound good on studio monitors, it'll sound good anywhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Thanks 8tImER! I knew there had to be someone out there that knew the answer! I down loaded X-Setup and see the setting(although it is VERY WELL hidden). I'm sure it just translates into a registery setting...but try and find it!

if that's the case, do you have any suggestions?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

It sounds to me like studio monitors isn't really what you're looking for, you're looking for hi-fi speakers. A hi-fi speaker colors the sound to make it sound better than it is; the point is to have a consistently enjoyable listening experience regardless of the quality of the source. Hi-fi speakers sound good. Studio monitors don't. Or, more precisely, they sound exactly like the source is, mercilessly exposing any flaws in it. They're mainly used for sound and music design, the idea being that if you manage to make it sound good on studio monitors, it'll sound good anywhere.

That's completely wrong. Studio monitors are inherently better than hi-fi speakers because they have an accurate frequency range - they are able to accurately reproduce all frequencies and don't have to exaggerate the bass, which is something consumer hi-fi speakers usually do to mask their shortcomings. The enclosures are designed specifically with acoustics in mind and that's why they take up a lot more space than consumer speakers, which prioritise size over sound quality / accuracy.

 

I have a pair of Samson Resolv 65a monitors (100W RMS each) hooked up to a Focusrite Saffire Pro40 external soundcard and they sound much better than any consumer sound system I've come across, especially the type aimed at computer users - you'd get even better results with Mackie monitors, like the HRmk2 series. For headphones I use AKG K702s and again, the sound through them is better than you get on any consumer headphones.

 

When choosing decent studio monitors you want to look at the RMS power rating and for reviews in reputable publications, like Sound On Sound. Really you want something in the region of 100W RMS (75W woofer, 25W tweeter) and you should be wary of some of the Alesis and M-Audio monitors, as the cheaper ones are only 10W RMS and simply don't have the same sound quality. If you're after quality on a budget then something like the Mackie MR5mk3 might be just what you're looking for. You'll also need a decent audio interface to connect them to and I'd recommend something like the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. In addition you'll want some balanced TRS cables to connect them.

 

I highly recommend that anyone who cares about sound quality invest in decent studio monitors and studio headphones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

no, you're correct. I am looking for speakers. That's what studio monitors are. I think he was just trying to be cute.

 

or, you know, not everybody knows that studio monitors are not, in fact, monitors in the common usage of that word. I'm surprised only one person made that mistake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

or, you know, not everybody knows that studio monitors are not, in fact, monitors in the common usage of that word. I'm surprised only one person made that mistake.

He listed the speakers he was currently using, so there really was no confusion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

That's completely wrong. Studio monitors are inherently better than hi-fi speakers because they have an accurate frequency range - they are able to accurately reproduce all frequencies and don't have to exaggerate the bass, which is something consumer hi-fi speakers usually do to mask their shortcomings. .

Note that I didn't say which are better; they just serve different purposes. Studio monitors are also usually near-field which means they're not designed to fill a room, say, in a home theater setup; they're designed to be on your desk pointed at your ears.

 

Studio monitors make great recordings truly shine, but they also let bad recordings sound as bad as they are, so they're not necessarily ideal, especially for the price, for someone looking for a consistently pleasant listening experience using mediocre sources - i.e. youtube, video games, etc.

 

I personally own studio monitors and wouldn't use anything else - but that's personal preference, and I fully understand not everyone wants to pay several hundreds for something that'll make their bad mp3s sound as terrible as they truly are.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

He listed the speakers he was currently using, so there really was no confusion.

 

You expect someone who doesn't know what studio monitors are to recognize what a model number refers to? The only obvious sign is the mention of Logitech, that's hardly an unmistakable indicator for someone who's skimming (and especially since companies branch out into new markets all the time).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I'm thinking what I said might be best in this case, if you can go to an electronics (or speciality) store like Best Buy and see if they have any displays setup where you can try different speakers and find a pair within your price range and liking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

You expect someone who doesn't know what studio monitors are to recognize what a model number refers to? The only obvious sign is the mention of Logitech, that's hardly an unmistakable indicator for someone who's skimming (and especially since companies branch out into new markets all the time).

Logitech don't make display monitors and he clearly stated he was looking for a better audio interface to power them. If you choose not to read the post then you can't complain when you misinterpret things.

 

Note that I didn't say which are better; they just serve different purposes. Studio monitors are also usually near-field which means they're not designed to fill a room, say, in a home theater setup; they're designed to be on your desk pointed at your ears.

 

Studio monitors make great recordings truly shine, but they also let bad recordings sound as bad as they are, so they're not necessarily ideal, especially for the price, for someone looking for a consistently pleasant listening experience using mediocre sources - i.e. youtube, video games, etc.

Actually, that's exactly what you said:

Hi-fi speakers sound good. Studio monitors don't.

You're just saying the same thing, which is that home theatre setups sound better. All those sources you listed sound better on studio monitors. Home theatre setups and computer speakers hugely exaggerate the bass and produce muddy mids, which serves to cover up their weaker frequency reproduction but don't improve the sound quality. It's like saying that dirty windows are better as that way people outside can't see how messy your room is - that doesn't make your room any less messy, it just obscures it with another problem. The reason that studio monitors aren't so common is not that their sound quality is too good that they makes things sound bad but because the enclosures needed to produce decent sound quality aren't convenient for most homes and that they're more expensive.

 

I just don't agree with your statement, especially given what the OP asked for. They already have a home theatre setup and are looking for something that offers better sound quality - they specified studio monitors. Having a studio monitor setup myself, and having used numerous home theatre setups (I currently have a Panasonic SC-BT230 setup for the front room), I can say confidently that even for lower quality sound sources studio monitors sound better. Of course you can notice when the sound quality isn't as good because that's an inherent feature of having better sound quality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Actually, that's exactly what you said:

 

You're just saying the same thing, which is that home theatre setups sound better. 

Yes, better as in more consistently "pleasant" regardless of the source, and better as in more fit to replace a Z-5500 for the purpose of filling a living room with sound. Not better as in more transparent or higher quality. You don't want near-field monitors at the other end of the room.

 

I read the OP's needs as:

 - Not much money to spend

 - Speakers should "outperform" the Z-5500, i.e. move at least as much air

 - Will be used for home theater purposes

 - Do not need to be audiophile grade

 - Should just be stereo speakers so there's less encumbrance

 - OP has no experience with studio monitors

 

From that I conclude that when the OP says "studio monitors" he's just referring to the form factor, i.e. bookshelf speakers. Hence I don't think studio monitors are what he's really looking for. In other words, something like this rather than something like this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I guess what I am looking for is some bookshelf speakers. I saw some nice Bose speakers but I'd need an amp. Not exactly something I'd want taking up space on my desk. Are there small amps?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I guess what I am looking for is some bookshelf speakers. I saw some nice Bose speakers but I'd need an amp. Not exactly something I'd want taking up space on my desk. Are there small amps?

By the way, am I right when I say you're using this for home theater purposes, or I'm making myself look stupid?

 

If you're gonna put those speakers on your desk right in front of your face, then near-field monitors are actually worth looking into. Check out that video I originally posted for some good suggestions at various price ranges. They're all powered so no need for amps.

 

Whatever you do, DON'T GO BOSE. Often referred to in audiophile circles as Buy Other Sound Equipment... 'nuff said :p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

By the way, am I right when I say you're using this for home theater purposes, or I'm making myself look stupid?

If you're gonna put those speakers on your desk right in front of your face, then near-field monitors are actually worth looking into. Check out that video I originally posted for some good suggestions at various price ranges. They're all powered so no need for amps.

Whatever you do, DON'T GO BOSE. Often referred to in audiophile circles as Buy Other Sound Equipment... 'nuff said :p

you're correct. I plan on using them for my PC needs. Music, movies, and games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

you're correct. I plan on using them for my PC needs. Music, movies, and games.

Ok so they're sitting on your desk right in front of you. So definitely check out powered near-field monitors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.