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Small monitors

Postby deejayen » Wed Feb 03, 2021 6:06 pm

I'm looking for a first pair of monitors for a small room with limited space around my desk. I've been using headphones until now, but feel the need for speakers! I''ll be mainly mixing country-style electric guitar based stuff. I won't be cranking them up to high volume, and will probably have them spaced around 80cm. The room doesn't have any acoustic treatment, and I won't be able to treat it.

I'd ruled out some of the main contenders (Neumann KH80, Amphion One12 etc etc) on account of them being too big, and was thinking along the lines of Genelec 8010A, 8020, 8320 or the Eve SC203.

However, the Quested V2104 appear to be within the range of what will fit. They obviously don't have much bass response, but I have a feeling they might be a good option. Has anyone heard them, and if so, do they get a 'yay' or 'nay'?
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Re: Small monitors

Postby Luke W » Wed Feb 03, 2021 6:21 pm

I've not heard them personally, but they got a good review in the magazine last year. Here's the link if you've not already read it:

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/quested-v2104
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Re: Small monitors

Postby deejayen » Wed Feb 03, 2021 6:41 pm

Thanks very much, Luke. Yes, I had read that review, and from what i can tell, it seems generally positive, making me think these monitors could be a decent option for me.

I've been going back and forth between other options, and being unable to decide without hearing them. I'd completely missed the launch of these speakers until the other day, so it was a pleasant suprise to have what appears to be a high quality small monitor to consider.

I'll speak to a dealer and see about arranging a demo, but it would be good to get some other feedback on them.
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Re: Small monitors

Postby blinddrew » Wed Feb 03, 2021 7:09 pm

Worth looking at the iLoud as well. Good reviews and a few people here have spoken highly of them.
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Re: Small monitors

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Feb 03, 2021 8:59 pm

I'm very taken by ATCs SCM7 miniature two-way speakers. They're passive, so you'll need to budget for a decent amp, but they should still end up comparable to your short listed options. Fabulous midrange and a lovely, well defined low end which makes up its limited power with great extension and timing.
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Re: Small monitors

Postby Guido3 » Wed Feb 03, 2021 9:22 pm

I have a pair of Genelec 8010’s which are great. Really small and portable if that’s important!!

Highly recommended.
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Re: Small monitors

Postby deejayen » Wed Feb 03, 2021 9:55 pm

Thanks. Yes, the iLouds were on the shortlist at one point, but I think I'd read mixed comments about them, and I wasn't sure about them. With them having DSP and a lower cut-off, they're obviously a different beast from the Questeds.

Although I may be completely wrong about this, I have a feeling I might be happier with the Questeds, even though it appears they don't do bass.
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Re: Small monitors

Postby deejayen » Wed Feb 03, 2021 10:02 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:I'm very taken by ATCs SCM7 miniature two-way speakers. They're passive, so you'll need to budget for a decent amp, but they should still end up comparable to your short listed options. Fabulous midrange and a lovely, well defined low end which makes up its limited power with great extension and timing.

That's spooky. When I was originally looking for monitors about a year ago, just before Lockdown, I went to a HiFi shop and demo'd a few small speakers including variants of LS3/5A. The last one I tried was the SCM7, and I came away thinking that was the one. I can't quite remember it now, but I think it was revealing, but not harsh or tiring. I thought it was quite classy. Apparently, they need a good amp to drive them. The main problem, is that although they're small, and curved towards the rear, they're still larger than the Questeds, and I think they might be cramped in the space I have available.

Have you heard the Questeds in comparison, Hugh? I was hoping they'd be in the same league as the SCM7.
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Re: Small monitors

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Feb 03, 2021 10:16 pm

I've not heard those little Questeds, but I've heard lots of others and Roger Q certainly knows his stuff. So I'm sure they're good.

But they aren't directly comparable to the scm7 or ls3/5a because these are sealed cabinet speakers, rather than ported.
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Re: Small monitors

Postby Murray B » Wed Feb 03, 2021 10:50 pm

blinddrew wrote:Worth looking at the iLoud as well. Good reviews and a few people here have spoken highly of them.

I've got some and I'm really impressed with them. Very good for a small desk especially if you mount them on some small mic stands to get them to ear level.
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Re: Small monitors

Postby JRC1 » Thu Feb 04, 2021 3:51 pm

I just went through this and decided to go with personus e5 as I got several recommendations, I haven't received them yet as thomann shipping etc, but I have high hopes.
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Re: Small monitors

Postby deejayen » Thu Feb 04, 2021 4:25 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions and info.

I think the review mentioned the Questeds' ports as being relatively uncoloured, so I thought they might not be a negative. However, I was originally looking for sealed boxes.

I'll have to measure up the ATCs, as they may be too big. I do remember being impressed with them, though, and quite liked the idea of them having ATC's own drivers. The specs suggest they're quite hefty (7.5kg each). The Questeds are 'only' 3.5Kg each, and that includes the amp.

Both are expensive options. I'll look again at the alternatives, but in the long run it might be wiser to spend more now rather than upgrading later.
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Re: Small monitors

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Feb 04, 2021 5:11 pm

deejayen wrote:The specs suggest they're quite hefty (7.5kg each).

Goes hand in hand with being 'good'. Solid cabinets are heavy. Strong, rigid driver chassis are heavy. And big, powerful magnets are heavy. They they are all crucial to ensuring the driver diaphragms do exactly what they're supposed to and nothing else!
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Re: Small monitors

Postby Martin Walker » Thu Feb 04, 2021 5:47 pm

Just a +1 for small ATC monitors. I've now had my SCM10 Pro's for 24 years, and as my acoustic treatment has improved, their sound has gone from very good to even better.

Unless I manage to damage them I've got no plans to change them.


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Re: Small monitors

Postby Ben Wilmot » Sat Feb 13, 2021 5:46 pm

I made my shortlist according to size constraints too :-)

The Genelecs and Neumanns are nicely packaged in that the power and XLR cables fit upwards into recessed sockets so they don't protrude and interfere with placement. The Neumanns are deeper, but being front-ported they don't need the same space behind as the Genelecs.

I ended up with the KH 80s, which I preferred to the others in my demo, particularly for their mid-range clarity, and I'm extremely happy with them. I should mention the somewhat temperamental standby circuit, as reported by others, but at least it can be disabled if it's annoying. That aside, they're a great package and excellent value. I very much agree with Hugh Robjohn's review. It helps to have an iPad, however, as without one (or their MA 1 measurement mic) you can't make use of the DSP features.

The SCM7 is the one I wish I'd tried. It would be a strong choice, and they'd still be with you in 20+ years (like Martin Walkers's SCM10s and my old PMC TB2s which are now brightening up my living room). Passives can always be re-amped, and I tbh I'd be surprised if my active+DSP KH80s lasted as long.

On the other hand, for not much more than the price of the SCM7s and a decent amp, I now have a full-range system in the form of a pair of KH80 and the KH750 sub I added a few months later. It's a complete and fantastically well-integrated system - a joy.
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