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Flush-mount Main/Midfield monitors for Artist Home studio

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Flush-mount Main/Midfield monitors for Artist Home studio

Postby fibcouple » Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:09 pm

Dear all

My first post here but I am a longtime lurker. And I would like to sincerely thank the crew at SOS for the great reviews they put out to helps folks like me.

We are making a room around 30 sq. metres after treatments. Being designed professionally & and plan is to flush mount the monitors. Designer is happy to work the room around my choice (has sort of suggested ATC50s as a choice but they are beyond my budget). No sub-bass etc in our music, mainly acoustic. The budget is around 6-7K (GBP) but can try going higher but lower will be better. I know I will have to listen to them in my room finally to make decision.

What am I looking for: 'vibe' is most important, play them silly loud if needed, with good bass extension but clear bass with no muddiness creeping into rest of the frequency range & of course with good mix translation when all is said & done. Asking for too much I guess huh :).

I have been thinking:

KH420 - considered excellent by Hugh, they have amazing specs and great pedigree too. Big brothers of KH310 but of course a ported design. They do tick all the boxes but I need to hear them of course.

Boulders: Sealed design as the KH310, great specs, coax HF & MF drivers. Unity audio seem to have quite a following amongst professional crowd here in UK so that says a lot. The new ones go down to 30 HZ but will they be tracking monitors? They seem to excellent at mixing but as I said vibe is my first priority when composing etc. Will the spl be enough?

Eve audio SC3010 or 3012 - the bigger ones runs at higher range of budget but are whopping 138 ltrs (KHs 96 ltrs , Boulders 64) in volume so will definitely move some air. But will they be accurate enough.

ADAM S3H

PSI25M - Seem to be very balanced but will they have the spl.

Questeds 3110 or 3208s - they seem to be well regarded with vibe but looking at some tests, seem to have that descending frequency response at the extremes - guess that makes them pleasant to listen to but are they accurate....

Or maybe I am contradicting myself - I first want vibe, and then I want accuracy - but as someone said 'I want it all' :-)

Please help - thanking you kindly.

FibCouple
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Re: Flush-mount Main/Midfield monitors for Artist Home studio

Postby hobbyist » Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:56 pm

Perfection is not possible.

Go listen to some speakers and pick what you like best.
The most expensive are not always the one that deserve picking.
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Re: Flush-mount Main/Midfield monitors for Artist Home studio

Postby ef37a » Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:52 am

I am sure the Top Brass (Phil W etc) will be along post Wheaty Bangs but, I would have thought soffit mounting an existing cabinet design is going to totally screw the response? AFAIK such monitors are custom made for the venue and that means expensive!

Why the resistance to subs? Done properly I would have thought they (two better than one) would be a very valid solution to your SPL problem?

And, (# 1 coffee has kicked in) what do you listen to at the moment? Can you get some idea of numbers i.e. the actual SPLs you want in the room? You could beg, borrow or hire a decent active PA rig for "vibe" tests. In any case a decent SPL meter should be THE first aquisition!

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Re: Flush-mount Main/Midfield monitors for Artist Home studio

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:46 am

You're going to have to listen to your shortlist and arrive at your own decision I think because one person's 'vibe' is another's coloured or uncontrolled! Your shortlist of monitors are all worthy designs, though I'm less enamoured of the Adams and Eves than the others on your list.

Apologies if you've already thought of these points, but there are some practical issues when soffit mounting speakers.

For starters, you get a substantial boost in the LF response of the speaker, so you'll need a means of correcting the response. This also means you'll gain a healthy headroom margin at the low end which may well result in an increased overall SPL capability (if the LF driver is the limiting factor in its standard form).

Then there's the cooling and control access issue to consider. Placing active speakers in soffit mounts means you have to engineer in an appropriate cooling air flow to keep their electronics at a safe temperature -- and that often means forced air cooling and fan noise to deal with. You also have the challenges of accessing the controls (at least during setup).

In my (limited) experience of soffit mounting the biggest problem in most installations is actually providing a solid enough platform. I've seen several which were just simple wooden structures added to a stud wall, with the inevitable result that the entire front wall vibrated like a drum...

Some active speakers can have their electronics removed and mounted elsewhere (typically a rack built in to the base o the front wall), but not all.

Quested are well used to building and installing soffit mount speakers, and would be able to do a custom job to meet your specific needs quite easily, so I'd definitely have a conversation with them about your expectations and requirements.

Hope that helps.

H
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Re: Flush-mount Main/Midfield monitors for Artist Home studio

Postby Wonks » Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:47 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Your shortlist of monitors are all worthy designs, though I'm less enamoured of the Adams and Eves than the others on your list.

And they really don't work well with Apple products. ;)
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Re: Flush-mount Main/Midfield monitors for Artist Home studio

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:49 am

:clap: :bouncy:
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Re: Flush-mount Main/Midfield monitors for Artist Home studio

Postby Wonks » Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:51 am

...though it's very tempting to do so. ;)
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Re: Flush-mount Main/Midfield monitors for Artist Home studio

Postby ef37a » Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:17 am

Wonks wrote:
Hugh Robjohns wrote:Your shortlist of monitors are all worthy designs, though I'm less enamoured of the Adams and Eves than the others on your list.

And they really don't work well with Apple products. ;)

I don't know? Add a little snake oil.

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Re: Flush-mount Main/Midfield monitors for Artist Home studio

Postby Mike Stranks » Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:27 am

.... it wasn't the apple in the tree that caused the problem it was the pair on the ground...

... and it wasn't an apple anyway! :)

Coincidentally, I was speaking in church about this very topic last Sunday... based around a recent sculpture exhibition we had in the churchyard:

Image

Do I believe this literally happened? No.

Meanwhile... back at the topic... :lol:
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Re: Flush-mount Main/Midfield monitors for Artist Home studio

Postby fibcouple » Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:30 am

hobbyist wrote:Perfection is not possible.

Go listen to some speakers and pick what you like best.
The most expensive are not always the one that deserve picking.

Thanks Hobbyist...wise words indeed

ef37a wrote:
Why the resistance to subs?

I haven't ruled them out but I thought with so many of these the bass extension may just be enough for my needs.

ef37a wrote:
.. what do you listen to at the moment? Can you get some idea of numbers i.e. the actual SPLs you want in the room? You could beg, borrow or hire a decent active PA rig for "vibe" tests. In any case a decent SPL meter should be THE first aquisition!

Dave.

Thanks Dave....that was my thought as well to get some some speakers & my Audionotes and other stuff in there and measure with my SPL meter to see that is a rock-out volume for me. The room is being built (installing massive 8 metre long roof steel beams as speak) so won't have that opportunity for another few weeks.
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Re: Flush-mount Main/Midfield monitors for Artist Home studio

Postby fibcouple » Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:42 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:You're going to have to listen to your shortlist and arrive at your own decision I think because one person's 'vibe' is another's coloured or uncontrolled! Your shortlist of monitors are all worthy designs, though I'm less enamoured of the Adams and Eves than the others on your list.

Thank you so much for your reply Hugh - Owe you a lot for giving it all nice & clear in your reviews.

My idea is to listen to the final contenders in the room after it has been acoustically treated except the soffit angles etc.

I haven't heard Adams or Eves but wanted to put that in there as they meet the 'specs' - but obviously how things sound is a different ball game.

Hugh Robjohns wrote:For starters, you get a substantial boost in the LF response of the speaker, so you'll need a means of correcting the response. This also means you'll gain a healthy headroom margin at the low end which may well result in an increased overall SPL capability (if the LF driver is the limiting factor in its standard form).

Then there's the cooling and control access issue to consider. Placing active speakers in soffit mounts means you have to engineer in an appropriate cooling air flow to keep their electronics at a safe temperature -- and that often means forced air cooling and fan noise to deal with. You also have the challenges of accessing the controls (at least during setup).

No need for the apology & thanks for the pointers.

For the LF boost, I am only looking at speakers which can do the -6db etc roll-off for half space projection.

I will likely separate the electronics and mount them underneath the monitors with heatsinks out , & hence the controls accessible as well. But the option of forced air cooling is there as well. Even with passives like 3208s, there still will be a ventilation channel for heat loss right behind them

Cheers

Fib
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Re: Flush-mount Main/Midfield monitors for Artist Home studio

Postby fibcouple » Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:45 am

Mike Stranks wrote:.... it wasn't the apple in the tree that caused the problem it was the pair on the ground...

Oh was it not?? :lol: :lol:

Mike Stranks wrote:
Image

Do I believe this literally happened? No.

Meanwhile... back at the topic... :lol:
Very intriguing sculptures indeed.
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Re: Flush-mount Main/Midfield monitors for Artist Home studio

Postby fibcouple » Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:49 am

So I hear Boulders are great for mixing & very true to the bass & the other frequencies - but can they be used as tracking monitors as well? Or play them loud and move the air if you want to listen to something you just recorded - obviously whilst recording the cans give so much enveloping feel, & then listening to monitors which don't let you rock out may be off-putting a bit.

Cheers
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Re: Flush-mount Main/Midfield monitors for Artist Home studio

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:08 am

Unity have all the numbers so you can compare with other monitors. And if you want even more oompf than the Boulders can do alone, there's always the BABE add on...

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/unity-audio-babe

It really all depends on what you require by way of 'rock out' listening level -- bearing in mind that you'll need more in a properly acoustically-treated room than in an untreated room because of the much lower contribution from reflected sound.

And getting serious big room sound with accuracy and high quality is inherently going to require a big budget. To bend that popular saying a bit, you can pick any two from this list: Good, Cheap, Loud... :D
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Re: Flush-mount Main/Midfield monitors for Artist Home studio

Postby ef37a » Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:08 am

Well, even if the room isn't ready Fib' you could go and listen to some bands armed with your trusty meter? (or calibrate your phone. The venue peeps might think you are from the council!)

That way you could get an idea of how loud is nice for you? Been a few years since I went but pub bands were ALWAYS too friggin' loud for me and the quality usually atrocious! Rarely heard what the singer was on about.

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Re: Flush-mount Main/Midfield monitors for Artist Home studio

Postby ef37a » Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:17 am

I would bet that you could buy a seriously loud PA rig and a pair of really accurate nearfields (I am personally saving for the Result 6's but have to get an MOT under belt and buy a W10 laptop first) For less money than a really accurate AND really loud monitor setup?

There are plenty of "line source" PA rigs around now that give better mid range quality than the old 12&15" boxes.

OTTOMH from SOS reviews recalled, a pair of columns and subs of decent quality would run £2000 to £2500 and that leaves a decent chunk for really good nearfields?

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Re: Flush-mount Main/Midfield monitors for Artist Home studio

Postby James Perrett » Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:19 pm

I had a couple of thoughts...

There don't seem to be any PMC monitors on the list - I would have thought that they would have something in your price range that would be worth considering.

Have you thought about buying secondhand? Monitors don't really deteriorate much with age (unless they use foam surrounds) so are a safe buy in my opinion.
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Re: Flush-mount Main/Midfield monitors for Artist Home studio

Postby John Willett » Fri Aug 09, 2019 4:44 pm

I agree with what has been said about listening in your own space - and most of the batter manufacturers have demo sets available for this.

What is your listening distance?

Monitors are voiced for the distance you will mainly listen at - the longer the distance, the more power you need in the treble to overcome the high frequency loss in air.

The big ME-Geithain monitors have been sucessfully flush mounted - but the larger ones are beyond your budget.

If your listening distance is under 3m, then there are a few that come to your budget.

But, as I said, listen in your own space first.
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Re: Flush-mount Main/Midfield monitors for Artist Home studio

Postby fibcouple » Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:13 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:To bend that popular saying a bit, you can pick any two from this list: Good, Cheap, Loud... :D

Yes - thats the conundrum indeed.

I have added ATC SCM45 to my list - seems like they respond well to flush mounting, are 'artist friendly' as far as fun in concerned and don't cost an arm & a leg.

Cheers
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Re: Flush-mount Main/Midfield monitors for Artist Home studio

Postby fibcouple » Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:24 am

ef37a wrote:......you could go and listen to some bands armed with your trusty meter? (or calibrate your phone. The venue peeps might think you are from the council!) ....
Dave.

Or might get arrested for pointing things onto the stage, from a distance of 4 metres, 3 metres, 2..... :D

James Perrett wrote:I had a couple of thoughts...

There don't seem to be any PMC monitors on the list - I would have thought that they would have something in your price range that would be worth considering.

Have you thought about buying secondhand? Monitors don't really deteriorate much with age (unless they use foam surrounds) so are a safe buy in my opinion.


Thanks James.....havent thought about PMCs - which ones do you think may fit the bill?

I love buying secondhand indeed! A wise choice often & have been lucky enough not to get burnt yet.

John Willett wrote:What is your listening distance?

Around 2.5 metres, with an equilateral triangle. But I do want them to still fill the room if I turn the level up & sit on the sofa at the back of the room at 6 metres - so headroom is important.

Cheers
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