You are here

Small monitors

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

Moderator: Moderators

Re: Small monitors

Postby deejayen » Sat Feb 13, 2021 7:21 pm

Thanks, Ben.

The KH80 get great reviews, and the dealer I use always recommends them.

I'm still trying to decide. After measuring up again, many of the good monitors are probably too big. However, I'm going to have a look around for monitor stands to see if I could position one of them to give a bit more clearance around my work area for larger monitors.

Keeping with small monitors, I was thinking the small Questeds would be the way to go, but a dealer said they sounded a bit boxy.

I'm sure the ATC's would be good, but, unfortunately, I think they're too big. Also, I spoke to a HiFi dealer about them, and he confirmed they need a quality amp. I had thought about getting some lower wattage monoblocks, but he said they just wouldn't work, so I suspect something like the £2500 3U ATC P1 is probably needed to drive the ATC monitors.
deejayen
Poster
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:56 pm

Re: Small monitors

Postby James Perrett » Sat Feb 13, 2021 11:01 pm

You can buy a reasonably powerful Hypex based amp for around £600 (or a bit cheaper if you are open to some DIY). I'd be surprised if that wasn't powerful enough to drive any small monitors. In my experience they sound good. However, given Hugh and Mike Senior's glowing reports about the KH80, it should probably be on your list.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 10563
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am
Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Small monitors

Postby John Willett » Sun Feb 14, 2021 11:06 am

I'm surprised anyone says teh KH80 are "too large" as they are tiny.

I used to use the K+H O110-D (the forerunner of the KH 120) and those are pretty small and excellent as well (now up for sale as I have upgraded to the ME-Geithain RL906).
User avatar
John Willett
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7249
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2000 1:00 am
Location: Oxfordshire UK
John
Sound-Link ProAudio
Circle Sound Services
Sound-Link are UK Distributors for: Microtech Gefell, ME-Geithain, AETA, HUM, Håkan, Meyer Turtle

Re: Small monitors

Postby Ben Wilmot » Sun Feb 14, 2021 5:44 pm

Yeah, you could certainly take the cost of SCM7+amp to well in excess of my Neumann 2.1 system. I'd go second hand were I buying some passive ATCs, and I used to drive my TB2s using an old Crown PA amp (I'm sure I could've done better, but it had great specs and so much power it was barely strolling with my PMCs. It was huge though).

I use K&M 26772 Table Monitor Stands for my KH80s, specifically because the space under the speakers remains usable. They don't isolate well, however, and I plan to improve that soon.

There were several more monitors I wish I could've tried, and Amphions were one. Not heard those Quested either. I demoed the ones I had access to and chose the best of those.
Ben Wilmot
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:40 pm

Re: Small monitors

Postby deejayen » Tue Feb 23, 2021 4:48 pm

I decided the ATCs were too big, plus I don't think I'd ever be able to decide on an amp!

I came to the conclusion that a pair of Genelec 8010A would probably be the most sensible choice for now.

I'd originally tried a couple of times to contact Quested to see if they thought the V2104's would work for me. They didn't reply to their contact form, and they didn't answer the phone when I tried a couple of times on different days. I'd almost given up, but tried once again, and got speaking to a very helpful chap who got in contact with the equally helpful distributor, and they've arranged to send me a pair to try at home.
deejayen
Poster
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:56 pm

Re: Small monitors

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Feb 24, 2021 2:03 am

deejayen wrote:...got speaking to a very helpful chap who got in contact with the equally helpful distributor, and they've arranged to send me a pair to try at home.

Well that's a result to be sure - hope it helps solve your monitor decision.

Do keep us informed of your findings!


Martin
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 17395
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:44 am
Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: Small monitors

Postby forumuser840717 » Fri Feb 26, 2021 6:28 pm

I've used ATC SCM20As (the die-cast aluminium ones) as my preferred 'small' monitor for over 20 years for both stereo and 5.1 work (I have a pair of SCM100As as larger main monitoring but rarely take them out any more as they're so heavy!). Over that time I've tried lots of others but none that offered anything special enough to persuade me to shell out money for them.

Until last year, when I had time properly to check out some of the Genelec "Ones". Funny looking things but quite astonishing. Especially for the size. I ended up buying pairs of the larger 8351Bs and much smaller 8331As. I still have the SCM20As but only because I know them really well, I have projects to finish which have used them all the way through, they're already paid for, and to replace the whole 5.1 set with Ones is prohibitively expensive with the current work climate! And I can do 4.0 with the Ones I have (or 4.1 if I use the ATC sub).
forumuser840717
Regular
Posts: 246
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:20 pm

Re: Small monitors

Postby deejayen » Sat Feb 27, 2021 7:41 pm

Thanks very much. I have thought about the 8331, but again I think they're too big, plus they'd be an even bigger financial hit!

I've got the Questeds plugged in now, sitting on ISO-Pucks on my wooden shelf, so they're just about at the right height. They're about 60cm (2ft), so pretty close.

Bearing in mind I've never used monitors before, I think they sound fabulous. I've been struggling with headphones, and the monitors seem to have a clarity my headphones don't have. Everything seems to sound natural and balanced. I thought maybe my room would skew things, and it probably is, but I can't hear anything which sounds off. The centre image and stereo spread are also really good. In fact, ignoring the bass limits of a small box, I can't really imagine how they could be improved.

I've been mainly listening to well recorded Nashville stuff, which sounds great. With some older tracks I've heard things like noise, and also strange effects such as the lead vocals being set back in the mix. I also tried monitoring my guitar through them, and could hear fret buzz which has always plagued me, but not been as noticeable when tracking through headphones.

Life is never straightforward, though! My dilemma now is wondering if all monitors would sound similarly good. Could I could get as good a sound for less money, or better if I spent more? My room limits the monitors I can get, so there's probably not a lot of choice beyond these, but some of the others mentioned in this thread are much cheaper.

Is it worth trying to demo some more, or should I simply decide that these will probably do a good job, and splash out on them?
deejayen
Poster
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:56 pm

Re: Small monitors

Postby James Perrett » Sat Feb 27, 2021 11:57 pm

Given your size constraints I doubt you'll find anything much better any cheaper. I've not heard the Questeds but reading Phil's review makes me think that they have created a very accurate speaker provided you can live with the lack of anything under 100Hz. I have used both the NS10 and LS3/5a that Phil mentions and it seems that Quested have produced something that works as well, if not better, but without the foibles of either.

I thought I'd just check the prices of LS3/5a's and it appears that Rogers have just started making BBC licenced versions again but the price is nearly £3k! And that's without an amplifier.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 10563
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am
Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Small monitors

Postby blinddrew » Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:03 am

I think the thing to remember here is that your monitors are a tool. So the question to ask yourself is, "Are these monitors going to help me make better mixes?"
If the answer is yes, and you're happy with the price / benefit equation after listening to them, then I'd stick with them and not get sucked into any 'what if?' rabbit-holes.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 14243
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Small monitors

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:13 am

Pretty much what I was thinking, unless you are experienced enough to confidently assess the monitors, and have a well treated room, you may as well go with the flow if you like them. They are quality monitors capable of producing release quality mixes so, while you may find something that sounds different it seems unlikely you'll find something that results in better mixes. Keep them and learn to use them effectively.
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 15639
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Still taking this recording lark seriously (and trying to record my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: Small monitors

Postby deejayen » Mon Mar 01, 2021 12:28 pm

Thanks for confirming what I've been thinking. I'll speak to my normal dealer, but I suspect I'll just go for these, as I don't think I'll find anything else which will be a better fit for my requirements. As you suggest, I've got loads to learn, and it'll take me ages before I'm making decent recordings, but I think these will help steer me in the right direction.
deejayen
Poster
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:56 pm

Previous