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Sensible monitor upgrade from Mackie Hr824??

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Sensible monitor upgrade from Mackie Hr824??

Postby garethmetcalf » Sat Oct 31, 2020 1:21 pm

Hi all

I am after some thoughts from any of you that have experience of some of the newer studio monitors. I am starting a new studio build very soon and I think now is the time to upgrade.

I have been using a pair of Mackie HR824's since 2002. I have nothing but good things to say about these to be honest, they've served me very well (and I don't get why there are a load of Mackie haters online!).

I built them into soffit walls in my last room and they worked really well, but I knew there was a problem with bass from the rear of the speaker venting through the 'chimney' of the soffit. For my new build I want it to be as good as it can be, and it seems that this might be the right time to replace and upgrade my monitors. Here's to hoping for 18 years from the replacement set.

My shortlist is:

Eve SC208 - looks good, and I like the price
Neumann KH120 - well reviewed, but I'm worried about the size of the woofer. I don't think I'll get the bass extension I want from it
Neumann KH310 - mostly well reviewed, and like the idea of the sealed cabinet. Less happy about the price
Focal Trio6 Be - very well reviewed, love the idea of being able to switch off the woofer. Really unhappy about the price

Question:
Have any of you got any experience with any of the above? Or any other recommendations for £1500+ pairs of monitors that would be a realistic upgrade from the Mackie's.

Thanks
Gareth
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Re: Sensible monitor upgrade from Mackie Hr824??

Postby The Red Bladder » Sat Oct 31, 2020 2:41 pm

Why not keep the Mackies?

For your budget, I would either get two small Genelecs such as a pair of good, used 1029As or a pair of good, used 8030s and add a sub, or go for the small Neumans and add a sub.

Or go really cheap and -

Plug the reflex hole in the Mackies and add a sub. Crossover frequency should be at about 100Hz. As you are used to them and the real weakness for those speakers is the bass, that last option strikes me as the most sensible.
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Re: Sensible monitor upgrade from Mackie Hr824??

Postby garethmetcalf » Sat Oct 31, 2020 3:02 pm

Hi
Thanks for the reply. I should have said that another factor in the thoughts about upgrade are the potential life span of the Mackie's - as they're 18 years in I wouldn't want to build them into a soffit wall design and then have to replace them in a year because one dies.

That said, keeping them is a possibility.

Regarding plugging the Mackie's, I don't think that's possible because they have a passive radiator across the back, almost the size of the back panel so it's not just a case of plugging port holes. I should have thought that plugging ports would have knock on effects that could be undesirable too.

I had considered the smaller Neumann's with a sub, although the sub from Neumann is £2K so would need to look for a cheaper sub alternative.

Hmmmm
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Re: Sensible monitor upgrade from Mackie Hr824??

Postby The Red Bladder » Sat Oct 31, 2020 3:56 pm

New, the Genelec 7050Cs go for just over £800 with VAT.

There's a pair of Genelec 8030s with a 7050 sub on eBay for £1,300 right now. The worse thing that can happen is you hate them and they go back onto eBay! The 1029As and the 8030s are pretty much the same speakers and sound the same as well. I use seven of those with twin subs for our film viewing room - bloody loud!

The Neumanns are regarded as being better - and of course, Genelecs and Neumanns are in a completely different league to the Mackies.
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Re: Sensible monitor upgrade from Mackie Hr824??

Postby blinddrew » Sat Oct 31, 2020 4:26 pm

garethmetcalf wrote:I had considered the smaller Neumann's with a sub, although the sub from Neumann is £2K so would need to look for a cheaper sub alternative.
KH750 is around a grand, not two. You can pick up the bundle of the KH750 plus a pair of KH80s for £2k total. Then use/borrow an ipad to sort the timing with the app.
Here's Mike Senior's review: https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/view ... 236&hilit=
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Re: Sensible monitor upgrade from Mackie Hr824??

Postby garethmetcalf » Sat Oct 31, 2020 6:23 pm

That's an interesting option. I had never thought about anything that small but it does review very well!

I wonder what the comparison between KH80s and KH750 sub compared with the KH310 would be? Wondering whether the extra £1000 on the KH310 would be worth it, as these would be the only monitors, soffit mounted in my room.

I need to hear a few of these I think. SX-Pro and DV247 both said I could have two pairs and return the ones I don't want, but I feel like trying at least three.

Thanks for the comments so far.
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Re: Sensible monitor upgrade from Mackie Hr824??

Postby RichardT » Sat Oct 31, 2020 7:22 pm

garethmetcalf wrote:That's an interesting option. I had never thought about anything that small but it does review very well!

I wonder what the comparison between KH80s and KH750 sub compared with the KH310 would be? Wondering whether the extra £1000 on the KH310 would be worth it, as these would be the only monitors, soffit mounted in my room.

I need to hear a few of these I think. SX-Pro and DV247 both said I could have two pairs and return the ones I don't want, but I feel like trying at least three.

Thanks for the comments so far.
Gareth

I’ve owned KH120s (without a sub) and now own KEF LS50Ws. The KEFs are vastly better in my opinion. The new version is just out. Well worth a listen I think.
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Re: Sensible monitor upgrade from Mackie Hr824??

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Oct 31, 2020 9:54 pm

RichardT wrote:I’ve owned KH120s (without a sub) and now own KEF LS50Ws. The KEFs are vastly better in my opinion.

At double the price I'd be very disappointed indeed if they weren't!

Although the lack of a balanced analogue input would put me off...
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Re: Sensible monitor upgrade from Mackie Hr824??

Postby RichardT » Sat Oct 31, 2020 10:42 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
RichardT wrote:I’ve owned KH120s (without a sub) and now own KEF LS50Ws. The KEFs are vastly better in my opinion.

At double the price I'd be very disappointed indeed if they weren't!

Although the lack of a balanced analogue input would put me off...

That’s my point really Hugh - I think there’s a choice to be made between £1k speakers + sub, and £2k speakers.
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Re: Sensible monitor upgrade from Mackie Hr824??

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Oct 31, 2020 10:52 pm

Ah yes... I agree!
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Re: Sensible monitor upgrade from Mackie Hr824??

Postby garethmetcalf » Sun Nov 01, 2020 12:15 pm

Thanks all.
I’m leaning towards the KH310s, and maybe the Focal Twin as an alternative. The KH80 look a bit too small and I think would look out of place.

Has anyone any experience of the KH120s with a sub compared to the KH310?

Thanks
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Re: Sensible monitor upgrade from Mackie Hr824??

Postby Ramirez » Sun Nov 01, 2020 12:44 pm

You mention soffit mounting - I’m not sure, but I think maybe a speaker needs to be designed specifically for this? I think most nearfields such as the ones you’re looking at are designed to sound their best when free standing. As I said, I’m not 100% on this so best that you check.
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Re: Sensible monitor upgrade from Mackie Hr824??

Postby garethmetcalf » Sun Nov 01, 2020 12:49 pm

Hi Ramirez

Thanks for the response. I have looked into soffit mounting quite extensively and in my last room my HR824s were soffit mounted. With the exception of some small issues caused by the bass from the rear passive radiator speaker/bass port coming through the heat vent chimney, soffit mounting was an absolute revelation. I strongly urge people to try it out!

That said, I would definitely contact the manufacturers of these monitors and check that soffit mounting is not prohibited for any reason.

Cheers
Gareth
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Re: Sensible monitor upgrade from Mackie Hr824??

Postby blinddrew » Sun Nov 01, 2020 12:54 pm

What kind of music do you tend to work with? Do you need the extension from the sub or, on paper, should the KH310s do the trick.
You could always add a sub later if you went with the 310s. Not many people are disappointed with them...
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Re: Sensible monitor upgrade from Mackie Hr824??

Postby garethmetcalf » Sun Nov 01, 2020 1:12 pm

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??

Cheers
Gareth
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