Main Forums >> Production - Mixing, Mastering, Gear & Techniques
        Print Thread

Pages: 1
Vyv



Joined: 23/11/04
Posts: 75
Loc: Bristol, UK
Upgrading Nearfield monitors
      #1067895 - 27/09/13 10:41 AM
Hi everyone,

Faced with trying to get a good orchestral sound from samples, I think my current monitoring setup is not helping. I use Dynaudio BM5 (mk1 version) driven by a Malcolm Hill Chameleon Class A amp; the sound is OK but there's not enough detail or stereo imaging. I've just ordered some Studiospares acoustic panels to put between the speakers, and the room is quite large (5m x6m x 4m high), carpeted and dead sounding, perhaps too much so.

I also have a pair of PMC FB1+ driven by a monster boutique HiFi amp called LSA which sounds more accurate though it's a HiFi system rather than studio monitoring.

What I'm really asking is, how much do I need to spend on nearfields to hear a worthwhile difference? I notice that nowadays most monitors you read about are active, but I'm not convinced that the amp, which cost way more than the speakers in its day, is a problem - are there still good passive designs about? Otherwise the KH310As look ideal, but rather beyond my budget. I'd prefer to be looking at around the £1K level. Would something like Adam F7 be a worthwhile improvement?

By the way, before you tell me to audition lots of speakers, bear in mind that in this internet age there aren't any shops you can go and listen to this kind of stuff any more, they've all closed!

Thanks in advance for any suggestions

--------------------
Vyv
Cubase 7.5 Win7 64bit ASUS Z97 Intel Core i7 16Gb


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


Joined: 25/07/03
Posts: 22294
Loc: Worcestershire
Re: Upgrading Nearfield monitors new [Re: Vyv]
      #1067896 - 27/09/13 10:47 AM
The PMC FB1s are basically just a floor-standing version of the TB2 (with a slightly longer ATL), and there is negligible difference tonally between the two models. So although they are wood veneered and sold into the hi-fi market, they are perfectly appropriate to use as monitors if that is practical in your situation.

I'm not familiar with the Chameleon amp, but if you want to hang on to that and you like what the PMCs do, then the obvious solution would be to pick up a second-hand pair of passive TB2s. There are some on ebay now for £600 -- although I can't vouch for their condition or the seller's veracity -- and similar items come up quite often.

H

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Vyv



Joined: 23/11/04
Posts: 75
Loc: Bristol, UK
Re: Upgrading Nearfield monitors new [Re: Vyv]
      #1067911 - 27/09/13 01:35 PM
Thanks for this, I hadn't realised the equivalence between the two PMC models, it also helps show what territory I'm in budget wise (1-1.5K for equivalent quality to the FB1s). But perhaps I didn't make clear these two systems are at opposite ends of the same room, so I don't really want to double up. I actually quite like the warmth of the Dynaudios but I think they tend to "invent" bass that isn't really there; I need something a bit more analytical.

--------------------
Vyv
Cubase 7.5 Win7 64bit ASUS Z97 Intel Core i7 16Gb


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
James PerrettModerator



Joined: 10/09/01
Posts: 10875
Loc: The wilds of Hampshire
Re: Upgrading Nearfield monitors new [Re: Vyv]
      #1067917 - 27/09/13 02:03 PM
Do you really need two systems? Why not use your PMC's for monitoring? In days gone by hifi speakers often found their way into studios while small studio monitors found their way into hifi systems.

--------------------
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration.
http://www.jrpmusic.net


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Vyv



Joined: 23/11/04
Posts: 75
Loc: Bristol, UK
Re: Upgrading Nearfield monitors new [Re: James Perrett]
      #1067960 - 27/09/13 08:53 PM
Definitely need one system aimed at a sofa for - er - leisure listening to CDs etc and a work system for staring at a computer screen and tearing my hair out. The PMCs are effectively my full range monitors.

Just looked at the SOS review for ATC SCM25 A's. 7 grand. Ouch. But there's a pair of passive SCM10's on ebay ...

--------------------
Vyv
Cubase 7.5 Win7 64bit ASUS Z97 Intel Core i7 16Gb


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
G-Doubleyou



Joined: 10/02/06
Posts: 1467
Re: Upgrading Nearfield monitors new [Re: Vyv]
      #1067982 - 27/09/13 11:18 PM
Are you listening in a treated room?

Controlling reflections, and the low end can improve clarity.



--------------------
G-Dub
Studio G-fx 15inch quad-core i7 Macbook Pro Logic9.1.8, LPX 10.0.3


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Vyv



Joined: 23/11/04
Posts: 75
Loc: Bristol, UK
Re: Upgrading Nearfield monitors new [Re: G-Doubleyou]
      #1068006 - 28/09/13 09:52 AM
No, the room isn't treated, as I said in the OP I'm getting some acoustic panels to go between the speakers and may get some more if this improves things. It's a large carpeted and curtained room with lots of shelves and stuff to break up reflections, If anything I find it a bit too dead sounding.

--------------------
Vyv
Cubase 7.5 Win7 64bit ASUS Z97 Intel Core i7 16Gb


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
Posts: 5921
Re: Upgrading Nearfield monitors new [Re: Vyv]
      #1068013 - 28/09/13 11:40 AM
There are good-sounding rooms, nasty-sounded rooms ... and there are "treated" rooms. They sometimes can be very strange to work in :-)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
John Willett
Sound-Link ProAudio


Joined: 07/03/00
Posts: 12504
Loc: Oxfordshire UK
Re: Upgrading Nearfield monitors new [Re: Vyv]
      #1068021 - 28/09/13 12:38 PM
Quote Vyv:


By the way, before you tell me to audition lots of speakers, bear in mind that in this internet age there aren't any shops you can go and listen to this kind of stuff any more, they've all closed!






There are still a few good shops in the UK (eg: KMR, Funky-Junk, studioXchange, etc...) and the good manufacturers will have demonstration units to loan out.

I am taking a pair of the Geithain RL901K up north for a home demo shortly and the RL906 are going somewhere else.

I know PMC certainly have loan/demo units to do this as I borrowed a pair several years back.

ATC I think do the same and I am pretty sure Sennheiser UK have demo sets of the Neumann KH120A and KH310A.

PS - it's good if you can add your location to the left-hand panel - it helps us all help you better knowing in which Country and Region you are.

--------------------
John - Sound-Link ProAudio
President - Federation Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Vyv



Joined: 23/11/04
Posts: 75
Loc: Bristol, UK
Re: Upgrading Nearfield monitors new [Re: John Willett]
      #1068129 - 29/09/13 06:22 PM
Location supplied, cheers.

--------------------
Vyv
Cubase 7.5 Win7 64bit ASUS Z97 Intel Core i7 16Gb


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
John Willett
Sound-Link ProAudio


Joined: 07/03/00
Posts: 12504
Loc: Oxfordshire UK
Re: Upgrading Nearfield monitors new [Re: Vyv]
      #1068148 - 29/09/13 09:29 PM
Quote Vyv:

Location supplied, cheers.




OK - so you are UK based.

As Hugh said - your existing PMCs should be fine and I would say probably better than the Adams.

But if you want to buy active monitors then the best around the £1k mark are probably the Neumann KH120A. The RL906 I mentioned before are around the £2k mark.

If you want PMC actives and keep your existing units for the living room, they are also worth considering.

But, as I said, KMR have a good monitor range on demo and so do Funky Junk and many of the top manufacturers/distributors may be able to arrange a home demo.

--------------------
John - Sound-Link ProAudio
President - Federation Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons

Edited by Hugh Robjohns (30/09/13 09:42 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Vyv



Joined: 23/11/04
Posts: 75
Loc: Bristol, UK
Re: Upgrading Nearfield monitors new [Re: John Willett]
      #1068195 - 30/09/13 09:32 AM
Thanks for the info, John. I will get in touch with these dealers.

--------------------
Vyv
Cubase 7.5 Win7 64bit ASUS Z97 Intel Core i7 16Gb


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Martin WalkerModerator
Watcher Of The Skies


Joined: 28/02/01
Posts: 17729
Loc: Cornwall, UK
Re: Upgrading Nearfield monitors new [Re: Vyv]
      #1068649 - 02/10/13 08:28 PM
Quote Vyv:

Just looked at the SOS review for ATC SCM25 A's. 7 grand. Ouch. But there's a pair of passive SCM10's on ebay ...




I'm still using my SCM10's bought in 1997 and am very pleased with them

They are built to last


Martin

--------------------
YewTreeMagic


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Vyv



Joined: 23/11/04
Posts: 75
Loc: Bristol, UK
Re: Upgrading Nearfield monitors (SOLVED) new [Re: Vyv]
      #1074469 - 14/11/13 10:09 AM
Just in case this is of interest to anyone, I ended up blowing my budget entirely and getting a pair of Focal SM9's. Thanks to Stefan and the team at KMR for letting me borrow a pair after I'd checked out a few alternatives at their showroom. I also spent a few quid on acoustic foam tiles from http://www.acoustic-foam.co.uk/ which were a lot cheaper than the Auralex equivalent.

Result: amazing increase in detail resolution, stereo image solidity etc. The bass goes all the way down, and the treble is sweet and unfatiguing thanks (I'm told) to the Beryllium tweeter. Some people have criticized the SM9 for being a bit flattering, I suppose it depends on your ears. I've always found hihats and brass tiring to listen to, even live, so the SM9 sweetness is a definite advantage to me.

Sound is not unlike the much cheaper Focal Solo 6 but with a lot more welly. I also tried the Neumann KH310 and KH120: the 310 had a slight bloom to the lower mid which I found distracting, but very open bass. I almost prefered the much smaller KH120, but found it hard to justify spending all that money on boxes slightly smaller than my existing setup.

--------------------
Vyv
Cubase 7.5 Win7 64bit ASUS Z97 Intel Core i7 16Gb


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
maskedwarrior



Joined: 19/02/06
Posts: 246
Re: Upgrading Nearfield monitors (SOLVED) new [Re: Vyv]
      #1074493 - 14/11/13 12:32 PM
I can vouch for making acoustic screens at a fraction of the cost of the foam equivalent. If you need more treatment I'd check out some of the demos on here. Made a heap of difference to my humble setup and my crappy-sounding room! Enjoy your new speakers.

--------------------
[Type your personal signature here]


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
John Willett
Sound-Link ProAudio


Joined: 07/03/00
Posts: 12504
Loc: Oxfordshire UK
Re: Upgrading Nearfield monitors new [Re: Vyv]
      #1074525 - 14/11/13 03:59 PM
Quote Vyv:

Thanks for the info, John. I will get in touch with these dealers.




There is now a new dealer opening in London - with an excellent pedigree and highly recommended:-

The Studio Shop

Certainly the equal of KMR and Funky-Junk and should also be seriously considered.



--------------------
John - Sound-Link ProAudio
President - Federation Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Pages: 1

Rate this thread

Jump to

Extra Information
1 registered and 13 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  David Etheridge, James Perrett, zenguitar, Martin Walker, Hugh Robjohns, Zukan, Frank Eleveld, SOS News Editor 
Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is enabled
      UBBCode is enabled
Rating:
Thread views: 2720

December 2014
On sale now at main newsagents and bookstores (or buy direct from the
SOS Web Shop)
SOS current Print Magazine: click here for FULL Contents list
Click image for December 2014
DAW Tips from SOS

 

Home | Search | News | Current Issue | Tablet Mag | Articles | Forum | Blog | Subscribe | Shop | Readers Ads

Advertise | Information | Privacy Policy | Support | Login Help

 

Email: Contact SOS

Telephone: +44 (0)1954 789888

Fax: +44 (0)1954 789895

Registered Office: Media House, Trafalgar Way, Bar Hill, Cambridge, CB23 8SQ, United Kingdom.

Sound On Sound Ltd is registered in England and Wales.

Company number: 3015516 VAT number: GB 638 5307 26

         

All contents copyright © SOS Publications Group and/or its licensors, 1985-2014. All rights reserved.
The contents of this article are subject to worldwide copyright protection and reproduction in whole or part, whether mechanical or electronic, is expressly forbidden without the prior written consent of the Publishers. Great care has been taken to ensure accuracy in the preparation of this article but neither Sound On Sound Limited nor the publishers can be held responsible for its contents. The views expressed are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the publishers.

Web site designed & maintained by PB Associates | SOS | Relative Media