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Monitor question: used Neumann KH310 vs used Adam S3XV vs Dynaudio LYD48 vs KRK V8

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Monitor question: used Neumann KH310 vs used Adam S3XV vs Dynaudio LYD48 vs KRK V8

Postby ozonepaul » Fri Jul 05, 2019 3:29 pm

Hi,
I would like to upgrade my speakers. What I'm looking for is the best possible Near/Midfield monitor at the £1500-£2200 price range.

A bit of background info:
I'm working in a reasonably well treated room writing/producing/recording/mixing 70% my own projects and 30% for customers. The size of my room is 22m2 = 4m wide x 5.5m long x 3.3m high. This room size is not going to define my choice though as I'm going to move soon (all my sound treatment panels and bass traps will be reinstalled at the new place). I don't know yet the exact size of my new room but I'm aiming for something roughly similar, it's not going to be smaller than 20m2.
For the last 6 years I'm on KRK VXT6 speakers. They're set at a listening distance of 1.2meter. I'm using Sonarworks 4 for room EQ correction. I'm reasonably happy with the results I get with my VXT6's but obviously they lack below 50Hz - to cover the bass region I'm using Sennheiser HD800 headphones -. During mixing I hardly ever go above 78db SPL, usually I'm between 60-68 db SPL.

Sadly I made a big mistake recently: I've listened to some higher end monitor speakers in some studio gear shop. It feels like there is no return to my VXT's, the love is over, I need to upgrade :headbang: .

I tried to listen to as many speakers as I could + also I read as many reviews and opinions as possible so I think I've done my homework properly :geek: . After my listening sessions I narrowed down my choices, and at the moment there are 4 options. These are all around the £2000-£2200 upper limit of my budget:

1. Used Neumann KH310. I've heard these speakers in a shop and I think they're phenomenal.

2. Used Adam S3X-V. I've only heard the horizontal version (S3X-H) of these in a studio and for me they were very impressive at the time, though a bit too much "in your face" kind of way. I'm a bit hesitant about these though as probably it would need a bit bigger room.

3. New Dynaudio LYD48 + used Avantone Mixcubes. Sadly I've never heard these Dynaudios but all the positive reviews, they made me very curious. I've heard and already worked on Mixcubes, I loved them and the LYD48 with the mixcubes would cost me the same as the used neumann 310s.

4. New KRK V8 series 4 (or perhaps V6 series 4) with used KRK 12s 2nd gen. subwoofer + used Avantone Mixcubes.
I know that these are only 2 way speakers but I've heard these new KRK's in a shop and even though they sound very different than the Neumann's I liked them a lot. They also sounded very different to my VXT's, in my opinion they're a huge step up from my recent VXT's. + As a bonus this would be the cheapest option.

I also listened to some Focal Twin 6 Be in an untreated room (so it's not necessarily a valid opinion) but considering the price I wasn't impressed + I prefer speakers that take less space horizontally. I know this is a silly statement but still...

I would appreciate any advise, especially I would like to hear from someone who already mixed on both the Neumann KH310 and the Dynaudio LYD48.

Thanks for your help :angel: .
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Re: Monitor question: used Neumann KH310 vs used Adam S3XV vs Dynaudio LYD48 vs KRK V8

Postby Arpangel » Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:19 am

You're probably going to get lots of opinions about this subject, and lots of conflicting "opinions"
But don't get too wound up in this, you can easily end up over thinking things. And listening to speakers in shops is the worst thing you can do. The most highly respected monitors could sound terrible in "your room"
I'd say all of the monitors you've mentioned so far are all a much of a muchness. You may as well choose any of them if you like the colour of the cones/size shape etc.
The KH310's are OK, I had a a pair for awhile, but they never really made a big impression on me, they are very fussy about positioning and the room you put them in. They weren't so good that I had to keep them forever. And I think if you're paying "thousands" for something there has to be some kind of love going on!
Bottom line is that unless you're going to spend big bucks, £5,000 upwards, I'd try and pick up a secondhand pair of ATC's, IMO one of the best.
Something like an SCM20, or SCM20 Pro.
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Re: Monitor question: used Neumann KH310 vs used Adam S3XV vs Dynaudio LYD48 vs KRK V8

Postby blinddrew » Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:19 pm

Aaaaand just to prove Arpangel's first sentence completely correct...
I had the opportunity to listen to some KH310s the other day (in a properly set up post-prod room) and was seriously impressed. They don't grab you in the way that some HiFi speakers do, but (to me at least), they add nothing to the sound. It's almost like they're not even there (if that makes sense? Probably not).
I have the babies of the family (KH80) at home and I really like the fact that they are very un-hyped. So they don't blow you away but just allow you to listen further and further into a mix as you concentrate.
Depending where you are, if you go new, you might find somewhere that will allow you to do a proper home demo (clearly the best way), but obviously you're balancing that with the chance of picking up a bargain second hand.
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Re: Monitor question: used Neumann KH310 vs used Adam S3XV vs Dynaudio LYD48 vs KRK V8

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:42 pm

blinddrew wrote:They don't grab you in the way that some HiFi speakers do, but (to me at least), they add nothing to the sound. It's almost like they're not even there (if that makes sense? Probably not).

I think it makes perfect sense. A monitor speaker shouldn't sound 'impressive', and a lot of material really should sound pretty terrible through them, because a lot of commercial tracks really are mixed pretty badly! A monitor should reveal those flaws, whereas a 'hi-fi' speaker is generally designed to hide or diminish them. Equally, though, a genuinely good mix heard on good monitors should make a big impression on you as being really well done...

Most importantly, though, a decent monitor should make you work harder -- not because it's harder to hear what you're doing, but because it's easier to hear the flaws and thus encourage you to improve your mixes to remove them. If everything you play sounds 'impressive' you won't feel the need to improve the mix... If mixing is easy, you're working with poor monitors! :-)

It's self-evident that the physical room and the installed acoustic treatment make a huge difference to the performance of the speaker. You can put the best monitor in the world into a poor room and it will sound pretty rough, whereas a modest monitor in a well-sorted room can deliver fantastic results.

I've heard the Lyd48s but not reviewed them -- although there is an SOS review here: https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/dynaudio-lyd-48

Dynaudio's monitors are generally very good -- I've owned a few over the years -- and the physical format of the Lyd48 is very similar to the KH310 -- although the Lyd is ported whereas the 310 is a sealed cabinet design -- which gives a different character to the low end.

Another significant difference is the DSP and class-D electronics of the Lyd, contrasted to the KH's more traditional analogue and class A-B... The DSP approach gives much more scope for room-matching tweakery in the Lyd, which may be relevant to your installation. On the other hand, not everyone likes the 'sound' of some DSP-based implementations...

So, given the large amounts of money being invested here, your only sensible option is to try both models in your own room and see what actually works -- rather than sounds impressive -- to your ears. I'm not sure where you live, but seek out a good professional retailer that will help you with this... they do exist! Buying from a good retailer will cost a few sheckles more than an internet box-shifter, but the service and aftercare will be well worth it!

And for the record, I'm a very happy owner of KH310s with no plans to change them anytime soon!

H
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Re: Monitor question: used Neumann KH310 vs used Adam S3XV vs Dynaudio LYD48 vs KRK V8

Postby Arpangel » Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:23 am

blinddrew wrote:Aaaaand just to prove Arpangel's first sentence completely correct...
I had the opportunity to listen to some KH310s the other day (in a properly set up post-prod room) and was seriously impressed. They don't grab you in the way that some HiFi speakers do, but (to me at least), they add nothing to the sound. It's almost like they're not even there (if that makes sense? Probably not).

A friend and I bought them on this basis, we were also very impressed. But in our rooms they had problems, my friends room was treated, mine wasn't. Contrary to others opinions, there was hyped bass, and a slightly unpleasant ragged top end, they definitely were not, un-coloured or neautral. We sold them, and I'm still considering ATC when my current monitors need replacing. ATC are great, truly as neutral as a speaker can be, if that's possible, lots of detail, and most importantly for me, a very natural top end.
But all this doesn't really help the OP, I think I'd get a short list, then buy on sale or return, as you can only really get a true idea in your own place.
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Re: Monitor question: used Neumann KH310 vs used Adam S3XV vs Dynaudio LYD48 vs KRK V8

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:47 am

Arpangel wrote:ATC are great, truly as neutral as a speaker can be, if that's possible, lots of detail, and most importantly for me, a very natural top end.

They are great and I've worked with many over the years... but they can still be seriously compromised by poor room acoustics or bad placement. And I have to say I've also had 'issues' with the low end performance of one model before now... there is no such thing as the perfect speaker... yet.

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Re: Monitor question: used Neumann KH310 vs used Adam S3XV vs Dynaudio LYD48 vs KRK V8

Postby SolNine » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:54 pm

First post here, however I have been running the KRK v6, latest model for around the past year or so.

I can tell you a few good qualities about them as well as issues.

Great mix height, width and depth. You really have a sense for where things are placed in a mix. I love being able to point in a direction and be able to notice, oh the high hats sitting above the vocal etc, or oh wow those keys are sitting far away in th mix!

They are not fatiguing to me, I actually enjoy listening to music on them.

While the low end isn't massive, it's passable and translates fairly well, I much prefer their front ported design to rear porting in my particular room.

The issues I've encountered.

Even when set correctly for pro level gear +4db, they have some hiss, if you are right up on them this may be an issue. Mine are far enough away it doesn't irritate me to much. Also be aware I think they are shipped @-10db for store demo purposes, and will exhibit significantly more hiss in that mode.

Due to the 6.5" woofer I feel they aren't as mid forward as they should be. This leads to a tendency of having vocals and snares a bit to loud sometime. I highly recommend pairing them with a very mid-forward type monitor to facilitate your mixing decisions in that regard. I'm using some Yahama HS5s in leu or NS10m's, because I don't want to deal with the power amp, and honestly they take up a fair bit more space. I imagine mixcubes are some what similar in that area.

Hope this helps!
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Re: Monitor question: used Neumann KH310 vs used Adam S3XV vs Dynaudio LYD48 vs KRK V8

Postby Arpangel » Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:48 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Arpangel wrote:ATC are great, truly as neutral as a speaker can be, if that's possible, lots of detail, and most importantly for me, a very natural top end.

They are great and I've worked with many over the years... but they can still be seriously compromised by poor room acoustics or bad placement. And I have to say I've also had 'issues' with the low end performance of one model before now... there is no such thing as the perfect speaker... yet.

H

I know some ATC's can come across as a bit bass light, but compared to others, they still seem to have a very nuanced sound overall, so many other monitors seem to have this awful bass hype, go completely in the other direction.
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Re: Monitor question: used Neumann KH310 vs used Adam S3XV vs Dynaudio LYD48 vs KRK V8

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:48 pm

Arpangel wrote:...so many other monitors seem to have this awful bass hype

If a speaker has 'bass hype' it ain't a monitor!

I'm not diss'ing ATC at all -- they make a range of excellent drivers and wonderfully accurate monitor speakers that are a joy to work with, and they are undoubtedly in the top tier of high-end professional monitor manufacturers.

All I'm saying is that 1. They are not alone on that tier -- there are several others who produce monitors with neutrality, natural top end, and detail! 2. Not all of their products are entirely flaw-less. And 3. Stick any ATC in a poorly treated room and you'll definitely struggle to appreciate its 'nuanced sound' just as much as with any other company's monitor!

;)
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Re: Monitor question: used Neumann KH310 vs used Adam S3XV vs Dynaudio LYD48 vs KRK V8

Postby Arpangel » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:07 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Arpangel wrote:...so many other monitors seem to have this awful bass hype

If a speaker has 'bass hype' it ain't a monitor!

I'm not diss'ing ATC at all -- they make a range of excellent drivers and wonderfully accurate monitor speakers that are a joy to work with, and they are undoubtedly in the top tier of high-end professional monitor manufacturers.

All I'm saying is that 1. They are not alone on that tier -- there are several others who produce monitors with neutrality, natural top end, and detail! 2. Not all of their products are entirely flaw-less. And 3. Stick any ATC in a poorly treated room and you'll definitely struggle to appreciate its 'nuanced sound' just as much as with any other company's monitor! ;)

Guess we're back to what we prefer, there are a lot of good monitors, as you say, but it's a bit like choosing between a Steinway and a Bosendorfer etc, all are great, it's just a matter of preference.
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Re: Monitor question: used Neumann KH310 vs used Adam S3XV vs Dynaudio LYD48 vs KRK V8

Postby Hrodulf » Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:32 pm

My money's on the KH310, because well.. I own them. I'm a sucker for dome mids and all analog electronics, but am too poor for ATC. And I have heard of people preferring the KH310 to an SCM25.
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Re: Monitor question: used Neumann KH310 vs used Adam S3XV vs Dynaudio LYD48 vs KRK V8

Postby Arpangel » Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:59 am

Hrodulf wrote:My money's on the KH310, because well.. I own them. I'm a sucker for dome mids and all analog electronics, but am too poor for ATC. And I have heard of people preferring the KH310 to an SCM25.

Who are these people? I want names, and addresses! :)
Put those two speakers in the same room (I have) and listen, I'd take the SCM25, it just sounds more natural, more er.......I don't know, less attention grabbing.
But as I said, I have heard the 310 sound wonderful, in some rooms, but my room is all I care about, and it's not perfect, you just have to get the speaker that works best in your room.
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Re: Monitor question: used Neumann KH310 vs used Adam S3XV vs Dynaudio LYD48 vs KRK V8

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:33 am

Arpangel wrote:Who are these people? I want names, and addresses! :)

Hugh Robjohns, SOS Towers, Cambridge... :D

Put those two speakers in the same room (I have) and listen, I'd take the SCM25

I have, I did, and I took the KH310 -- based purely on the fidelity of sound. The ATC had a lot of positives, obviously, but the bottom end wasn't right to my ears.

...you just have to get the speaker that works best in your room.

On that we can certainly agree!
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Re: Monitor question: used Neumann KH310 vs used Adam S3XV vs Dynaudio LYD48 vs KRK V8

Postby ozonepaul » Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:01 pm

Thanks for all the informative responses. It is surprising how different opinions are on the subject of monitor speaker quality. I understand the importance of room acoustics etc but I thought that there is an agreement that speakers like the KH310, LYD48 or the Adam S3... monitors are great and we're only talking about slight preference differences. But it seems there are some very strong opinions out there on this subject :round1: :)
Anyway, at the end I bought a pair of used Neumann KH310. I'm doing all the measurements of my room at the moment, I'm playing around with the positioning of the speakers and room treatment panels etc.
I'll work on this new setup for a while and than I'm going to sum up my experiences in a mini review.
Thanks again for your help! :beamup:
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Re: Monitor question: used Neumann KH310 vs used Adam S3XV vs Dynaudio LYD48 vs KRK V8

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Jul 21, 2019 4:00 pm

ozonepaul wrote:But it seems there are some very strong opinions out there on this subject

The more money you plan to spend, the stronger the opinions will become! :lol:

Anyway, at the end I bought a pair of used Neumann KH310.

Good plan. With the possible exception of Arpangel, none of the (now quite) large number of KH310 users I know have regretted their decision.

I'll work on this new setup for a while and than I'm going to sum up my experiences in a mini review.

I look forward to reading it.

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