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Do you need to be further away from 3-way monitors than 2-way for mixing?

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Do you need to be further away from 3-way monitors than 2-way for mixing?

Postby dickiefunk » Tue Oct 27, 2020 12:55 pm

Hi,

I'm interested in trying out some 3-way monitors as I'm curious to hear what advantages they may offer. However, I'm mixing in quite a small room and have my monitors positioned around 1-1.2 meters away. I would ideally like to have them a little further away but have to mount them on my desk using IsoAcoustic ISO-155 stands and the desk is quite shallow. I don't want to use separate floor standing stands due to having two small children and don't want the risk on them knocking a speaker off and hurting themselves.

Would it be ok to use 3-way speakers this close?
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Re: Do you need to be further away from 3-way monitors than 2-way for mixing?

Postby The Korff » Tue Oct 27, 2020 1:04 pm

Depends how far apart the drivers are. If you were to go for three-way speakers where the mid and HF drivers are coincident/concentric (eg Genelec The Ones, Unity Mini-Boulders or Kali Audio IN series), it wouldn't make a difference (that's one of the advantages of concentric designs!). For bigger speakers where the drivers are quite far apart, the closer you are to the speaker, the greater the difference in distance between your ears and the different drivers, and the more off-kilter the frequency response will (appear to) be.

Cheers!

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Re: Do you need to be further away from 3-way monitors than 2-way for mixing?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Oct 27, 2020 1:28 pm

dickiefunk wrote:Would it be ok to use 3-way speakers this close?

It depends on the speaker -- and specifically its size and the spacing between the tweeter and woofer. I couldn't use my PMC IB1s that close, for example, but I do have my Neumann KH310s at almost exactly that distance.

Most decent manufacturers will list minimum listening distances in their manuals.

Speakers with coaxial or coincident mid and HF drivers can be used much closer than speaker that spread them out across the baffle -- as the Korff says.

The KH310 works close because the arrangement of drivers is similar to a compact nearfield with a bass driver glued on the side. If you consider the tweeter and midrange on their own, it's not dissimilar to a KH80 in its dimensions!

And lots of manufacturers are using the same driver layout now for compact nearfield three-ways. ATC, Barefoot, Dynaudio, Event, Neumann, Quested ... and many more
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Re: Do you need to be further away from 3-way monitors than 2-way for mixing?

Postby dickiefunk » Tue Oct 27, 2020 2:34 pm

Thanks Chris and Hugh. I'm using the Neumann KH120's with an Eve TS108 sub at the moment which is working really well. I really like this setup because of the flexibility of being able to easily switch between using just the KH120's or KH120's + sub. It's good to know that you can use the KH310's this close because I really like the sound of the KH120's but also like the sound of sealed boxes (Acoustic Energy AE22's). I'm particularly interested to demo the Neumann KH310, Hedd Type 20, Barefoot Footprint 02 and possibly the upcoming Eve SC3070's at some point to hear what advantages they may offer over my current KH120's in my room.
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Re: Do you need to be further away from 3-way monitors than 2-way for mixing?

Postby John Willett » Sun Nov 08, 2020 2:03 pm

dickiefunk wrote:Hi,

I'm interested in trying out some 3-way monitors as I'm curious to hear what advantages they may offer. However, I'm mixing in quite a small room and have my monitors positioned around 1-1.2 meters away. I would ideally like to have them a little further away but have to mount them on my desk using IsoAcoustic ISO-155 stands and the desk is quite shallow. I don't want to use separate floor standing stands due to having two small children and don't want the risk on them knocking a speaker off and hurting themselves.

Would it be ok to use 3-way speakers this close?

It depends on the loudspeaker and the design and what the manufacturer advises.

I have the small ME-Geithain 2-way RL 906 and the larger 3-way RL934K - both have a designed listening distance of 1m to 2.6m - exactly the same.

But both these are a co-axial design and don't have the drivers spread out over a baffle board.
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