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ANSWERED question: Best value studio monitors for around £1000 - £1500? See first post.

marcouad

Active Member
Today I came across a pair of LB1’s in excellent condition for £570 so I jumped on them.
I also discovered that my son still had the Bryston power amp that I had leant him years ago

So that particular search is done.
Thanks for the masses of information people generously shared

It’s time to focus on room treatment and, possibly, correction

@LouisC - that happy ending you spoke of.
 
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Deif

Venerated Member
If my Adams A7Xs died today and I only had 1k I would buy a used pair of Adams A7X or a pair of KRK V6.
 

jnorman

Member
Monitors are perhaps the single most important investment for any studio, and it will behoove you to buy the most accurate ones you can afford. Most of the monitors in that price range are not going to be very trustworthy in terms of translation, unfortunately, and you invariably find yourself needing to check your mixes on a variety of other listening systems (car, home stereo, Alexa, etc), and going back to tweak your mixes accordingly - a process that eats valuable time and can be confoundingly frustrating. Your best bet is probably a used pair of upscale monitors, if you can find some in your price range. Whatever you end up with, spend LOTS of time learning them - listen to many many reference tracks so you get an idea of how they exaggerate or diminish bass and/or treble frequencies, whether they are mid-heavy, etc.
Best of luck in your search - reverb.com is a good source for used gear.
 

bigshinyT

Established Member
With a budget of £1k I’d suggest looking at dedicated headphone mixing systems like VSX and Realphones. You’re more likely to get better translation and mix faster than using budget monitors, especially so if your room isn’t ideal and requires treatment.
 

kcatthedog2

Active Member
Well, you could get the Avantone cla ns 10 clones passive for sure and forca little more the active.

Guess, you’d be weighing accuracy vs utility: monitors are tools to help you dial in your mix, not to sound pretty.

See, if you can demo some?
 

marcouad

Active Member
With a budget of £1k I’d suggest looking at dedicated headphone mixing systems like VSX and Realphones. You’re more likely to get better translation and mix faster than using budget monitors, especially so if your room isn’t ideal and requires treatment.
Thanks. That’s an interesting take and I can see where you’re coming from. A drawback, specifically for me, is I don’t enjoy wearing headphones for extended periods. It’s probably some spoony physiological thing to do with pressure
 

marcouad

Active Member
Well, you could get the Avantone cla ns 10 clones passive for sure and forca little more the active.

Guess, you’d be weighing accuracy vs utility: monitors are tools to help you dial in your mix, not to sound pretty.

See, if you can demo some?
Yes, I could do that, an hours drive away (’next door’ to our US contingent) I have never enjoyed doing any playing or listening in Music Shops, looking is great fun. It’s so easy to order on-line get, 2-4 weeks in your own environment, and so much more comfortable. Return postage is a cost I’m happy to pay, I see it as a rent.
 

marcouad

Active Member
Monitors are perhaps the single most important investment for any studio, and it will behoove you to buy the most accurate ones you can afford. Most of the monitors in that price range are not going to be very trustworthy in terms of translation, unfortunately, and you invariably find yourself needing to check your mixes on a variety of other listening systems (car, home stereo, Alexa, etc), and going back to tweak your mixes accordingly - a process that eats valuable time and can be confoundingly frustrating. Your best bet is probably a used pair of upscale monitors, if you can find some in your price range. Whatever you end up with, spend LOTS of time learning them - listen to many many reference tracks so you get an idea of how they exaggerate or diminish bass and/or treble frequencies, whether they are mid-heavy, etc.
Best of luck in your search - reverb.com is a good source for used gear.
Yes, it‘s just like that with astrophotography; beginners focus on the scope and camera and everyone who’s been doing it for a few years says spend the majority of your budget on the mount. This is so unglamorous to beginners as you think of the mounr as just enabling the important stuff, but actually it affects outcomes far more than anything else in the chain
 

eaygee

Established Member
Focal Shape 65's
 

eaygee

Established Member
And if your room isn't that tuned the greatest use sonarworks.
 
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jnorman

Member
for any prosumer level monitor systems, it is almost essential to either calibrate them via tone generator sine wave sweeps (we checked that daily at Deep South studios), or using a commercial product such as sonarworks soundID reference - https://www.sonarworks.com/soundid-...MIn5ecus67gwMVBgitBh3R4wFQEAAYASAAEgKTV_D_BwE
This can assist with both flattening monitor response and compensating for room issues.
Flat response is critical to translatable mixes.
 

marcouad

Active Member
for any prosumer level monitor systems, it is almost essential to either calibrate them via tone generator sine wave sweeps (we checked that daily at Deep South studios), or using a commercial product such as sonarworks soundID reference - https://www.sonarworks.com/soundid-...MIn5ecus67gwMVBgitBh3R4wFQEAAYASAAEgKTV_D_BwE
This can assist with both flattening monitor response and compensating for room issues.
Flat response is critical to translatable mixes.
Thanks jnorman, that‘s the second mention of Sonarworks
I actually picked up a copy of IKMultimedia ARC 3 as a freebie with another purchase. I found a used IKM measuring mic as well, but I hadn’t thought it worth devoting any time to until I get some decent monitors
 
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slamthecrank

Hall of Fame Member
The truth of the matter is that you will get about 1,000 different responses for this question. There is no best answer, unfortunately.

I can only offer some advice -- after being in this industry for over 25 years, this is what I have learned (sometimes the hard way) ...

1 - Speaker technology has come A LONG WAY in the past 30 years. What was once "industry standard advice" can basically be thrown out the window. Near-field technology is extremely advanced now. The difference between $700 monitors and $3000 monitors is not as much as you'd think. Generally speaking, the more expensive ones are engineered to handle more SPLs for longer periods of time. As far as frequency response goes: if you're using them as true near-fields, at reasonable levels, there will be little differences at all. (if any).

2 - Alongside speaker technology has been the advent "room correction" software. Some people really swear by this technology. Others avoid it like the plague. My personal view is that it should be avoided at all costs; however, if you find it helpful FOR YOU, then cool. The much better solution is to learn how your monitors sound and to stay away from anything that will alter how they sound. If you have some sort of boomy room, then treat the room, not the monitors.

3 - No matter what monitors you choose, someone will shrivel their nose at them. Case in point: people mentioning the old Yamaha NS10's in this discussion. Personally, I think those are probably the worst monitors you could purchase in 2024. There are so many better balanced and clear monitors, but if NS10s are what you're used to? Then those are the monitors you should use!

My best advice is that whatever you choose, listen to them for many, many, many hours and really get used to them. Listen to your favorite songs, songs that you think are mixed well, songs that you don't normally listen to, in lots of genres. Make note of how the highs, mids, lows sound. And even if you bought the most expensive monitors out there, you'd still have to do this step. (y)
 

marcouad

Active Member
What was once "industry standard advice" can basically be thrown out the window. Near-field technology is extremely advanced now. The difference between $700 monitors and $3000 monitors is not as much as you'd think. Alongside speaker technology has been the advent "room correction" software. Some people really swear by this technology. Others avoid it like the plague. The much better solution is to learn how your monitors sound and to stay away from anything that will alter how they sound. If you have some sort of boomy room, then treat the room, not the monitors.

My best advice is that whatever you choose, listen to them for many, many, many hours and really get used to them. Listen to your favorite songs. Make note of how the highs, mids, lows sound.
Thank you so much - this instinctively rings true. Fortunately, the RC software and mic cost very little so no biggie either way. It sounds like I need to focus on room treatment next. I can cope with some DIY to save money. Although there is no ‘best’ could you recommend 2 or 3 monitors in my price range that I should take a look at?
 

jnorman

Member
Slam - I have to disagree on a couple of your points:
1. While, indeed, monitor technology has vastly improved, there is a HUGE difference between $700 and $3000 monitors. I grew up on JBL 4011s at Deep South in the 70s, and I have used focals, neumanns, Adam’s, genelecs, Tannoy, Gethain, and many others over the past 40-odd years, and currently use questeds. Seriously, the questeds are the first monitors I have ever used that truly translate across the board. There is a serious difference between monitors such as quested, amphion, psi, and other high-end systems and prosumer offerings from krk, Yamaha, etc. That is not to say that people cannot mix on those systems, but it requires an enormous investment of time “learning“ the way they respond.

2. Speaker correction curves are absolutely effective in helping prosumer grade monitors to reach a flat frequency response output. So many young engineers drive themselves insane checking and rechecking their mixes on various playback systems with endless frustration because of poorly calibrated monitors.

3. Can’t argue with that…

Best advice remarks - I could not agree more.
 

klasaine

Hall of Fame Member
I am not a mixing or mastering engineer but I have been a recording musician for 40 years and have always been involved in the total process. Here are my thoughts …

- If you have a boomy room and/or some flutter echo in the high end - no correction software is gonna fix that. You have to do some room treatment.
- You can get a lot of decent monitors for under $1000.00 but you can’t get something spectacular.
- You can absolutely ‘learn‘ to get good results on a pair of $500.00 monitors. You have to practice. It takes work and a lot of listening, tweaking, listening, tweaking, rinse, repeat.
- Nothing wrong with using multiple monitoring sources. I’ll listen on headphones, monitors, and two different Bluetooth spkrs before I commit ... and I usually still go back and tweak something.
- I’m scared to get new monitors because I feel that I “know” how mine sound (Fluid Audio FL something). I know their deficiencies and can adjust.

During Covid I decided that I would learn how to be more of a complete recordist, not just a guitar player. That was more than 3 years ago and I put in a ton of work. I literally practice everyday. I learned to hear music differently. Compared to folks that are professional mixing and mastering engineers, I’m just a babe in the woods. I am getting better though all the time and I don’t think that my finished products completely suck.

Anyway, carry on.
 
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