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Speakers for location recording

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Speakers for location recording

Postby Aled Hughes » Sat Sep 24, 2016 2:43 pm

Hi,
I'll shortly be looking for small speakers for monitoring on location and in less than ideal places.

In such scenarios (in fact, in almost all scenarios) I do most of my work on my AKG K712 headphones, but there is always the need for decent playback speakers for the clients, and sometimes I have to some editing/mixing where others wish to hear what's going on.

I did a project in a shipping container a couple of months ago. I didn't want to haul my main ae22 monitors from my studio, so borrowed a pair of Alesis M1 520 (my old pair, as it happens), and they were OK for playback etc, but I'm looking for something a bit better. I don't wan't anything too big, as pumping a lot of bass into such environments wouldn't be too wise.

I don't feel it would be worth (nor possible, really) stretching the budget to the Neumann KH120 (it would also give my current monitors a run for their money in my own studio, creating more headaches!) The perfect option, I think, would be a pair of Acoustic Energy ProSats, as they would be consistent with what I already use in my studio (ae22). They'e discontinued, however, and haven't seen any used ones. Next on my list are the Equator D5 - I owned a pair before and liked them, and the price is right.
That's about the top end of the budget - is there anything else I should keep an eye for? There is no real urgency here - perhaps I should just wait until I see an used pair of ProSats?

Other approach would be something really cheap like the M-Audio AV40, which may well do the job for playback.

EDIT: The small Eve SC203 recently reviewed look tempting, though I'd really like 5" drivers just so they look more serious (if I was working alone I couldn't care less!). The master/slave format seems ideal for these scenarios too, as the less mains sockets needed the better!

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Re: Speakers for location recording

Postby John Willett » Sun Sep 25, 2016 1:43 am

My own location monitors are the ME-Geithain RL906 and before them I used the K+H O110 (the forerunner to the KH120).

But - at the limited budget you say - then the Equator D5 would be top of my list. :thumbup:
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Re: Speakers for location recording

Postby James Perrett » Sun Sep 25, 2016 2:14 pm

Just noticed how cheap ATC SCM10's are going for at the moment. That's the sort of thing I'd be looking at.
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Re: Speakers for location recording

Postby Martin Walker » Sun Sep 25, 2016 6:07 pm

James Perrett wrote:Just noticed how cheap ATC SCM10's are going for at the moment. That's the sort of thing I'd be looking at.

I'm still loving my pair - bought in December 1997 and going strong. They were around £1000 retail when I bought them, so it's sad to hear that they are going for low prices,

Mind you, that's good news for anyone who wants to buy a pair ;)


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Re: Speakers for location recording

Postby James Perrett » Sun Sep 25, 2016 6:45 pm

I happened to be looking on a hi-fi site and I get the impression that they're too honest for many hi-fi listeners which means that they are good for monitoring. I wouldn't be surprised if they become more sought after in the future.
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Re: Speakers for location recording

Postby Aled Hughes » Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:47 pm

Thanks folks.

I can't find the ATCs anywhere - I assume you mean an used pair? Is there an active version?

I think I'll hold out for a while in case I find some AE ProSats, else it looks like the Equators would be a safe bet.
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Re: Speakers for location recording

Postby John Willett » Mon Sep 26, 2016 4:02 pm

You may find a pair of s/h K+H O110 within budget (the forerunner of the Neumann KH120).

They are certainly the equal of the KH120, and maybe a tad better for some things.

I used these before I upgraded to the RL906 and was very happy with them for several years and I had to pay a lot more to get better.
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Re: Speakers for location recording

Postby James Perrett » Tue Sep 27, 2016 12:44 pm

Ramirez wrote:Thanks folks.

I can't find the ATCs anywhere - I assume you mean an used pair? Is there an active version?

I saw a used passive pair in a Facebook group just before I posted - they'd been up for sale for a few weeks but I can't find the advert now so they may have gone.
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Re: Speakers for location recording

Postby Mike Senior » Tue Sep 27, 2016 1:51 pm

Check out the ABACUS C-Box 3. One of the best affordable mini-speakers I've yet encountered. The main problem is that they don't go loud -- whether that's a problem for you, I don't know.
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Re: Speakers for location recording

Postby Aled Hughes » Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:33 am

Mike Senior wrote:Check out the ABACUS C-Box 3

Now then, that's interesting! How have these been off the radar?! I take they're 5"?

There's much more info (in English anyway) on the C-Box 2 on the website. Are the 3 a later model, or a bigger model? Did you get them to the UK through ABACUS themselves?

Loud isn't particularly important - if I really wanted loud playback for sh!ts'n'giggles, I could rig up my Yamaha DXR10 PA boxes. Are they noticeably quieter than something like the Equators, for instance? I had a pair, and they were fine.

I really like the look of these. But what colour?!


Another cheap option that's crossed my mind is a pair of JPW Mini/Gold Monitors (small sealed hi-fi speakers that go for peanuts). I had a pair in my lounge for a while and quite liked them as a second reference. I'd have to get an amp, but that wouldn't be a problem. I like the idea of actives though as I might often only need to rig one up.
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Re: Speakers for location recording

Postby vale » Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:01 pm

I suggest PSI A14M. I own a pair, fantastic speakers, small, light, and great sound
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Re: Speakers for location recording

Postby Aled Hughes » Fri Sep 30, 2016 3:29 pm

vale wrote:I suggest PSI A14M. I own a pair, fantastic speakers, small, light, and great sound

Thanks Vale. They look great but too expensive! £400 will be plenty for what I need them for.
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Re: Speakers for location recording

Postby John Willett » Fri Sep 30, 2016 7:42 pm

Ramirez wrote:... too expensive! £400 will be plenty for what I need them for.

At that price, as I said earlier, the Equator D5 would be the top of my list.

I can't think of anything better at that price bracket. :thumbup:

Also - for location work you really need active monitors - having passives and separate amplifiers and bulky loudspeaker cables is too much hassle (and size and weight) for location work.
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Re: Speakers for location recording

Postby Mike Senior » Wed Oct 05, 2016 8:26 am

Now then, that's interesting! How have these been off the radar?! I take they're 5"?

5-inch? How about 3.5-inch! Seriously, they're incredibly small boxes.

[quoe]There's much more info (in English anyway) on the C-Box 2 on the website. Are the 3 a later model, or a bigger model? Did you get them to the UK through ABACUS themselves?[/quote]

I got a review pair direct from ABACUS in Germany -- they're easy to ship, given how small they are. The 3 is their latest model. I reviewed them for my Cambridge MT Patrons Podcast, both on their own and with the company's ten-inch subwoofer, and they worked ridiculously well in both situations given the price -- for mixing purposes at least. They're the kind of speaker that sounds a bit hard and uninviting subjectively, but really tells you the most important things about what's going on in a mix. I very nearly bought a pair myself for smaller location jobs (I have a pair of huge K+H O96s for bigger sessions).

Loud isn't particularly important - if I really wanted loud playback for sh!ts'n'giggles, I could rig up my Yamaha DXR10 PA boxes. Are they noticeably quieter than something like the Equators, for instance? I had a pair, and they were fine.

They're significantly quieter than any normal pair of budget nearfields with 5 or 6-inch woofers. If you can't easily have a normal conversation over them, then they're too loud. The problem is that the bass simply overloads the woofer if you push them at all hard, so some styles of music you could play louder than others, clearly.
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Re: Speakers for location recording

Postby rrose4 » Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:43 pm

Where can purchase a pair of Abacus C Box 3’s in the U.S? Or get shipped to the U. S?
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