Best Mixing Monitors in the $200 range?

  • zak89
Posted: Sat, 07/25/2009 - 03:41
I am looking to purchase my first pair of studio monitors. I know that I am not going to get the best quality in my price range ($200; around 140 euros I guess?), and I am willing to buy used, so I may try to go the pre-owned route and get something that would be more in the $300-$500 range (when new). With that said, what are the best options for me (in your opinion)? I'm asking because all the models I've seriously looked at (from M-Audio and Behringer) have apparently gotten a bad rap from those more experienced than I. I don't have a store anywhere nearby that will let me try out monitors in a decent setting, so I am forced to go by recommendations of others. I should repeat that I know that I won't be getting the best quality, and I am forced to accept that because my budget can't handle a lot of spending on something that gives nothing (financially) in return. So, with $500 (or so...) as my absolute(?) max, what are my best bets? Thanks!

looking good de VXT's, but

  • capoeira
  • 05/01/09
  • Fri, 07/31/2009 - 13:37
looking good de VXT's, but even more expensive. lol did u listen to the behringer 2031a? i know behringer has a bad reputation, but not everything they produce is trash. guess i am a bedroom warrior, lol the problem here in brazil is that the hardware here is much expensive. the Krk Vxt6 u don't find for less than $900 here i our "ebay". and $900 here is manyyyyyy money.

Be careful with the rockets

  • Quentin Harley
  • 05/24/07
  • Fri, 07/31/2009 - 06:31
I am takling about the KRK Rockits. If you want KRK, rather get the VXT, or the expose models. Rockits are intended for the bedroom warrior, home studio - and compromises on clarity to achieve low price and a "nice" sound.

"I have heard them, and they

  • capoeira
  • 05/01/09
  • Wed, 07/29/2009 - 23:32
"I have heard them, and they sound nice" wich are you refering here?

Rokit

  • Quentin Harley
  • 05/24/07
  • Wed, 07/29/2009 - 19:51
"Be careful with the rockets." - written in small print on the fireworks. True for the monitors as well. I have heard them, and they sound nice, but they might lack the transparency you need to create a good mix. Always remember that if you like a warm mix, you need a dry monitor. (Think about it...) When you go to audition the monitors, take music you know very well. Listen if you can hear instruments separately, and if you can hear a dimension of the music you never heard before. I remember after getting my first set of monitors, just sitting, listening to some of my favourite music in amazed awe that I always missed the most incredible aspects of the mix... that the mixer always intended, but just could not be heard on common speakers.

i am looking at the same

  • capoeira
  • 05/01/09
  • Wed, 07/29/2009 - 15:45
i am looking at the same range. thinking of buying a KRK Rokit6 or a Behringer 2031A. Here those 2 are more or less the same price, Rokit is more quality and name, the 2031 has more power and has 8" woofer.....i need a good bass

"Hi-Fi" speakers as monitors

  • confusion_music
  • 06/18/09
  • Wed, 07/29/2009 - 13:01
Within your budget I wouldn't necessarily automatically go for a "monitor" speaker per se. The principle benefit of a dedicated monitor speaker over a hi-fi speaker should be the accuracy vs musicality argument. The reality however is that the two often go hand in hand and an accurate speaker will be musically excellent and vice versa (there are exceptions to every rule of course). The classic examples of this are companies like PMC, Dynaudio & ATC who appeal to both audiophiles and mastering engineers. A more specific example being PMC who's DB1's are used in the the BBC outside broadcast trailers and are a stock hi-fi speaker that end up in many set ups without ever getting a whiff of a mixing desk. The final piece of the jig-saw is appreciating exactly what it means to have an "active" speaker, not to be confused with a "powered" speaker. In a nutshell an active speaker not only has a power amplifier, usually but not always, within the cabinet, but crucially the crossover is active and therefore much less susceptible to the distortion that occurs in passive crossovers. Usually a "powered" speaker is essentially a passive speaker with a power amplifier bolted on and therefore offers no tangible benefit over a passive speaker with a separate power amplifier connected using good quality cable. So to make my point, within your budget its also worth considering a pair of "hi-fi" speakers bought with a separate amplifier. The benefit of going down this route is you are probably more likely to be able to sit down in a good listening environment to audition suitable speakers and amplifiers. I'm not sure what is available in your part of the world, but in the UK a good example would be something like a Rotel amplifier (good for second hand buys) and a pair of little B&W's (Bowers & Wilkins) or Monitor Audio. Bruce

I can only add my voice to

  • weng
  • 06/16/09
  • Wed, 07/29/2009 - 10:05
I can only add my voice to the "make the decision by hearing yourself" camp. I used to mix with genelec (not nearfield at all) and yamaha NS-10 back then. That's how I learned studio engineering. So no need to say I chose the NS50M... I'm very satisfied with'em, allthough like Quentin said it is a bit harsh on the upper-mid-range, but I got used to it very quickly and I wouldn't go back on my old Krk.

Woofer

  • Quentin Harley
  • 05/24/07
  • Sat, 07/25/2009 - 17:06
How not to overcompensate 101: 1. Get some real frequency domain specifications for your monitors. 2. Design an enclosure that has a bandpass response with a -6dB lowpass node at the vicinity of the -6dB node from the monitor specification. 3. use a room analyser like Fons's Aliki to check the frequency response at mix position, and slowly add low frequency to the room response. The way mine is set up, I can not hear any sound coming from it when I am working. The only way you can check if it is working, is by switching off the nearfields, or by turning it off to hear the void. Listen to a lot of reference material, and make sure that it sounds right after the adjustment, and adjust accordingly. Always remember that the sub is only an aid to your monitors. I agree - rather get the 8" monitors. They are a tad more expensive, but you will have a more predictable result form get go. I am currently mixing on my mastering system, and I am working toward a dedicated mastering room. Next monitors would be 8"

I understand and appreciate

  • zak89
  • 03/17/09
  • Sat, 07/25/2009 - 13:17
I understand and appreciate the value of listening first, but all the music gear shops around here have terrible listening environments; when you have three different drum beats coming from one direction and a handful of dissonant guitar solos, plus some screeching metal music from the ceiling, it's difficult to tell one pair of monitors apart from another. My reasoning is that almost anything would be better than what I have now (a pair of ALTEC consumer speakers), so I may just have to settle for someone else's preference. On the other hand, we're going to be moving to St Louis, MO soon, and I'm hoping to set up a sound-treated and better equipped studio (our current house is so small that I'm forced to use the crowded attic office for recording),; maybe there will be better places to look then. "but I build a very big sixth order twin woofer enclosure to specifically target the loss." That confuses me. How do you know if you're not overcompensating for the low-end loss? I keep hearing about people adding a woofer to their monitoring system, and I've always wondered how they know just when they have enough bass (i.e, if I have too much low end, I'll likely end up cutting the low end on my mix to compensate).

that's very true, anything

  • capoeira
  • 05/01/09
  • Sat, 07/25/2009 - 12:09
that's very true, anything you buy in audio you should here first

Monitors

  • Quentin Harley
  • 05/24/07
  • Sat, 07/25/2009 - 09:24
Monitors are very personal. When I started monitor shopping I did an extensive internet research to find the best set for me. Finally I decided that the Yamaha HS50M would be my best bet. Luckily I had the opportunity to go to the Thomann store in Treppendorf, Germany, where I went to the monitor audition room. They let me try out all the monitors in my price range (everything is set up) and surprisingly the Yammies did not resonate with me. They sure are very revealing (which is a good thing) but they were also a bit harsh to my ears. Even more surprising (to me) was my final choice. A set of nEar 05 eXperience powered nearfieds. There are very revealing, without the harshness of the Yammies. It does not have a very low response though (70Hz - and neither did the Yammies)) but I build a very big sixth order twin woofer enclosure to specifically target the loss. These guys are around $300, which should be within your budget... BUT seriously, do try to go to a store that stock monitors, because what I like might not work for you at all.