You are here

Sensible monitor upgrade from Mackie Hr824??

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Moderator: Moderators

Re: Sensible monitor upgrade from Mackie Hr824??

Postby RichardT » Sun Nov 01, 2020 2:04 pm

garethmetcalf wrote:Hi
I tend to work with EDM, and then after that it's rock and acoustic. The low end 'should' be fine with the KH310, looking at the specs.

I do have an Adam T10s, that whilst is in a different class could be put into use if necessary (although on paper it only goes a few Hz lower). That could then be upgraded in the future.

I guess my thinking is that the KH120s plus KH750 sub come in around £2K whilst the KH310 come in at £3K.

If Hugh is about I know he reviewed the KH120s with the larger sub - given the choice between KH120s and sub or the KH310s he owns, I wonder what he would buy??


I suspect there are more differences between the 120s and the 310s than bass extension - I would expect the more expensive speakers to have more clarity, better dynamics, better imaging and clearer / more realistic tone colours. I haven’t heard the 310s, but that what more expensive speakers tend to have.
Frequent Poster
Posts: 537
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 12:00 am
Location: London UK

Re: Sensible monitor upgrade from Mackie Hr824??

Postby James Perrett » Sun Nov 01, 2020 3:22 pm

Given Hugh's glowing review of the KH80 and Mike Senior's glowing praise of the KH80 with the matching sub, I'm not sure that I'd dismiss the KH80 and sub combination so quickly. In some respects the KH80 seems to be a step up from the KH120 (which I know from personal experience is a fine monitor).
User avatar
James Perrett
Posts: 10164
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am
Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Sensible monitor upgrade from Mackie Hr824??

Postby Vox Gnus » Sun Nov 01, 2020 8:15 pm

If you're considering the KH310, you might also want to look at the Genelec 8341 (The Ones), which got a glowing review from KH310 owner Hugh. Similar price here in Canada. They're seriously good, especially for long sessions.

8331 w/sub is also a nice option, if you're monitoring at close proximity, but it sounds like you have a reasonable amount of space.
Vox Gnus
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:21 pm

Re: Sensible monitor upgrade from Mackie Hr824??

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Nov 01, 2020 9:15 pm

Soffit mounting can work well. In theory it removes the front wall reflection and therefore the typical resultimg lower-mid notch in the in-room frequency response. The boundary effect also gives a substantial first order bass boost, so when the response is properly correctively equalised the speakers ends up with useful extra headroom in the bass driver and potentially greater LF extension.

On the downside, if the soffit wall is not built well there's a strong risk of unwanted resonances, buzzes and vibrations, as well as potentially degraded stereo imaging. There's also the issue of ensuring adequate ventilation for the amp pack on the rear of the speakers.

I've seen soffit mounts that have worked brilliantly, and others that were very disappointing... The devil really is all in the detail!

As for the 310 or 120 and sub question, for me it would be the 310 without doubt... But I don't need or expect trouser-flapping bass. I find there's great bass -- in both level and extension -- from the 310, but I also monitor at relatively modest levels.

However... If you swap the 120 for KH80s with a sub, that's a much harder question to a answer. The DSP alignment in the KH80 has a remarkable effect, particularly through the midrange. The only thing that puts me off with the 80 is the control app running only on an iPad. But if you already have one, it's not a problem, obviously.

I'd also second the suggestion of trying out the medium and smaller The One monitors from Genelec.
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Posts: 29638
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Sensible monitor upgrade from Mackie Hr824??

Postby garethmetcalf » Mon Nov 02, 2020 6:39 pm

Thanks for your responses, particularly from Hugh who has tried (and owned) the monitors in question.

I've been put off Genelecs due to their shape and the difficulties that would bring to the soffit mounting, which for me is a given now I've experienced it. I will look at the Genelecs mentioned, though, and give them some thought.

I am very interested by Hugh's support of the smaller KH80s plus sub, it seems surprising that such a small monitor can provide so much.

There's definitely a lot to consider, so it's maybe time to speak to a retailer about demoing more than two at once, from home of course now we can't leave!

Posts: 12
Joined: Tue May 14, 2002 12:00 am

Re: Sensible monitor upgrade from Mackie Hr824??

Postby garethmetcalf » Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:36 pm

I thought I'd provide an update as my search is over.

I have eventually whittled my choices down to the KH310 and the Focal Twin 6 BE. I figured that a sub could always be added to either down the line.

So I managed to get a demo pair of each from SX Pro - and very helpful they were too - and have just spent a day comparing both. Unfortunately I had to do this in my untreated living room as my studio is mid construction.

Anyway, the two pairs are quite different to each other, and both are excellent monitors that reveal a lot in a mix and provide fantastic sound staging.

My observations are that the Focal has excellent top end. I head things from those tweeters I haven't heard before, but I also found myself listening to some things and thinking that stuff was too bright. I concluded therefore that if I was mixing with them I'd be likely producing duller mixes than I should do. My conclusion is the top end on the Focal is a bit too forward or too loud, not sure which.

The sound staging and imaging was fantastic on both, but I found the KH310 sounded less like two speakers playing in a room. They were also more forgiving of me moving my head around on and off axis than the Focal.

What swung it in the end for me, though, was the bottom end. I was mixing a track on the Focal and when I switched to the KH310 I heard some unwanted low frequency noise on a track that I'd not picked up on the Focals. This is critically important to me and was enough to make the decision.

So, they're going back and a brand new pair of KH310s will be winging its way back to me, assuming SX Pro have a pair.

I hope this is helpful for someone.

Posts: 12
Joined: Tue May 14, 2002 12:00 am

Re: Sensible monitor upgrade from Mackie Hr824??

Postby MegaBacher » Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:46 pm

I had the Mackie HR624mk2 previously, I did really like them as well. Good mid-level monitors. I ended upgrading to the Genelec The One 8331 pair of monitors. I know they're above your stated budget, but I just wanted to point out just how impossibly good they sound. So much so that you should consider them at some point.
User avatar
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:00 am
Location: Omaha, Nebraska