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Passive Studio Monitors vs. Speakers


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#1 of 38 Dingiswayo

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Posted April 27 2007 - 10:37 AM

Hey all, thanks for looking at my post. I'm putting together my first HT system and I'm just to the speakers now. I'm wondering if anyone has thoughts on passive studio monitors vs. regular speakers. My roommate mixes albums so he swears by studio monitors, but they're built to produce accurate sound so I'm not sure if this translates to pleasurable sound for HT applications. Anyway I'm considering the following:

Passive Monitors:
*Tannoy Reveal 6 Passive Studio Monitors & related center channel (this is the outer edge of my money expenditure)
*Behringer TRUTH B2031P
*Alesis Monitor 1 MKII

vs.

Speakers:
*SVS SB-01 5.1 system
*Aperion Intimus 532 Cinema HD (again this is pushing it money-wise)

and probably no matter what I'm going with an SVS subwoofer

I'd love any insights anyone has on the benefits of either. For instance, do near-field monitors fail to fill a room with good strong sound? No other forum seems to deal with this. Thanks again!

#2 of 38 bobbyg2

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Posted April 27 2007 - 11:37 AM

I'd say audition some Studio monitors, and some speakers and decide which fits your tastes better.

Good choice on an SVS subwoofer, from what 99.9% of the people on this forum, they all like it. This forum has thousands of people, so thousands of people can't be wrong 'eh? Well, I'll probably be getting an SVS subwoofer for myself! Posted Image

Good luck!
Bob
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#3 of 38 Dingiswayo

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Posted April 27 2007 - 04:37 PM

That would be wondrous plan except that I don't really have the money to pay for shipping for items back and forth, nor to buy multiple systems at once. Aperion is the only manufacturer I know that pays for shipping to and fro. And actually I have spent money on shipping already (in case anyone is wondering the JBL Balboa 30 speakers on sale at Frys.com have a terrible high end).

But I do plan to go to Guitar Center to hear whatever monitors they have in stock. I'm thinking I'll go with the SVS SB-01 or the Aperion simply for ease of setup, however, and because within my budget they've gotten the best reviews. So if anyone has any reason why I shouldn't by them sound unheard please let me know!

Thanks

-matt

#4 of 38 bobbyg2

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Posted April 28 2007 - 08:05 AM

Is there a high-end speaker shop near you? You can go there and listen to them, and even ask them if you can take them home and listen to them. Another option is auditioning speakers at a freinds/relative/someone on this forum's house.

Have fun!
Bob
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#5 of 38 MaxL

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Posted April 28 2007 - 10:02 AM

i can't say how the speakers themselves will stand up, but it seems a pretty safe bet that the svs sub will win hands down.
HT: Marantz SR8000, PSB Alpha B fronts, Alpha C center, CSW Newton S200 surrounds, Martin Logan Dynamo Sub, Marantz DVD, Sony CRT TV

Stereos include vintage Sony receivers/amps into vintage AR and KEF speakers.

#6 of 38 ChrisWiggles

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Posted April 28 2007 - 12:10 PM

Quote:
So if anyone has any reason why I shouldn't by them sound unheard please let me know!

Simply on the fact that it's never ideal to buy a speaker sound unheard. Speaker preference is subjective. There are many people who spend exorbitant amounts of money that I couldn't stand to listen to, and vice versa.

Speakers are, IMO, simply too important to forego an audition.

#7 of 38 Dingiswayo

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Posted April 29 2007 - 01:07 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbyg2
Is there a high-end speaker shop near you? You can go there and listen to them, and even ask them if you can take them home and listen to them. Another option is auditioning speakers at a freinds/relative/someone on this forum's house.

Have fun!
Bob

I live in Berkeley. Anybody want to have me over for dinner? Just kidding. But I will take your advice and find a high-end speaker shop. I know of 2 nearby. SVS doesn't have any refund on shipping, unfortunately, and they just have such a darned nice deal on a silver 5.1 system!! But I'll go audition some systems. Thanks for the advice.

#8 of 38 Philip Hamm

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Posted April 30 2007 - 01:01 AM

You can probably find some of those studio monitors at your local Guitar Center. By name reputation alone, of the three you have listed, I'd recommend the Tannoys and run away from sub-par Behringer and Alesis.

The problem with small speakers designed to be studio monitors is that they are usually specifically designed to be "near-field", meaning the speakers are less than 6 feet from your head. How they will work in a home theater room is a bit of a gamble, but chances are it will be excellent.

There is a great deal of overlap between high quality studio monitors and hi-fi speakers. Companies like Genelec who specialize in top quality studio equipment also sell home systems with the same speakers. I have a friend who does a lot of major label work, and he has told me that B&W home stereo speakers are used as studio monitors in some of the most formidable studios in the business.

Get what sounds good. The thing I love about my B&W 602s is that they sound like studio monitors - completely neutral. My friend has commented that my system is the best sounding home audio system he's ever heard.
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#9 of 38 Dingiswayo

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Posted May 01 2007 - 04:03 AM

I just googled your speakers. No wonder your system sounds like the best ever! When I build my non-entry-level setup I'll look into B&W.

The near-field aspect was my worry as well. The room I have isn't very large now but eventually this same setup will be in a larger room and I don't want all the satellites hovering next to my head because I bought near-field monitors. But I'm sure the sound quality is excellent.

#10 of 38 triple7allstar

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Posted May 01 2007 - 09:23 AM

How much money are you planning on spending? I record / produce music. I have a set of KRK V8 Series 2's - for use in my home studio. Swear by em. Love home audio as well, however. I would have absolutely NO reservation using my speakers in a home audio setting. I looked up the Tannoy's, and I'm not sure they would do the trick, however. I would have to hear them in person to make that decision. At only 100 watts however, I second guess them.


My V8's would have NO problem filling a room with sound - to such a point in fact that you wouldn't be able to yell (hardly) to your neighbor to hold a conversation. They get very loud - and do not distort - all while holding a very flat frequency response. I was able to get them for $350 each - even though they were advertised for $500 each. (find a hook up at GC and you'll be able to get a good discount I'm sure)

I love em. Have you taken a look at Klipsch? or is that over your price range? They have a couple of lines out (Synergy and Reference) Great speakers.

Hope some of this helped

#11 of 38 Philip Hamm

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Posted May 02 2007 - 12:43 AM

Two things to remember:

(1) Usually the reason that these speakers are "near-field" is because the bass response drops off at low volumes. I've been told by sources I trust that the ubiquitous and often derided Yamaha NS-10 speakers sound outstanding at very low volumes. However, they are often derided for their poor high volume performance. Anyway... In a home theater situation, you're going to have a subwoofer handling the bass, so the bass roll-off will not be an issue. A speaker designed for a certain power rating may do significantly better without having to reproduce bass.

(2) Three identical speakers across your front soundfield is the ideal configuration for multichannel audio. Identical rears is nice, also, but not nearly as important as identical front speakers.
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#12 of 38 JeremyErwin

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Posted May 02 2007 - 03:20 AM

MONITORS versus HI-FI SPEAKERS

and part 2



Of course, here the emphasis is on "can I use hifi speakers in a recording environment," rather than the other way around.

As for Abbey Road, they use B&W 800Ds with a few 802 and 805s thrown in the mix. The 800D is, however, £13000.

(fronts, b&w 601s3. centre lcr3 (should really replace that), surround 303, subwoofer dayton 10)

#13 of 38 triple7allstar

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Posted May 02 2007 - 03:53 AM

I guess there are a couple principles that you could keep in mind.

1. When shopping for "Home Audio / Theater speakers" - you are looking for a sound you LIKE
2. When shopping for "Recording Studio Monitors" you are looking for a sound that is "TRUE" (flat frequency response)

Personally, I love listening to a TRUE(er) speaker to listen to my Music collection. I have a set of KRK V8 series 2's (did I already mention that in this thread - anyway). I've never used them to watch movies, but I"m sure I would enjoy the result.

The bottom line is that if you prefer the colored sound of a home theater speaker - you are probably not going to want to purchase a studio monitor, but, if you like knowing that what you are hearing is much closer to what the original artist intended (which is always intriguing to me), then get em.

Hope this helps you make the right decision.

Either way - go listen to your top picks if you can.

#14 of 38 Dingiswayo

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Posted May 02 2007 - 09:01 AM

Wow, thanks, that was actually really helpful. I was hoping to get some input from someone who has experience with monitors. My roommate uses Mackie HR824's and steered me initially towards KRK. I looked into them and they have excellent reviews but I want passive monitors so that I can more easily hook them up to a receiver in a 5.1 (and eventually 7.1) configuration with my HDTV and all. So far I don't see that KRK makes passive monitors.

But thanks for the nearfield description. With an SVS sub this wouldn't actually be a problem at all. In fact it might actually be better if the bass dropped off. I'll post the results when I do a listening this weekend.

Thanks again, everybody has given some great advice.

#15 of 38 triple7allstar

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Posted May 02 2007 - 09:08 AM

Actually, I know that you can find some passive KRK's online. I'm not sure, however, if they are current products. But do some digging.

By the way - and no offense to your friend - the HR824's can't stand up to the V8's Posted Image

#16 of 38 Dingiswayo

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Posted May 02 2007 - 09:37 AM

Actually I found some passive KRK ST6 monitors, but I don't know anything about them.

And you mentioned that 100 watts is untrustworthy; do good ones go much higher? My receiver only puts out 90 watts per channel anyway (Onkyo TX-SR604). I'm prepared to spend up to $1500 on my 5.1 but cheaper is always nicer!

#17 of 38 Dingiswayo

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Posted May 02 2007 - 09:42 AM

Sorry, I lied, it puts out 110 watts per channel, much better. Posted Image

#18 of 38 triple7allstar

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Posted May 02 2007 - 09:43 AM

You know, I saw that after I looked a little harder myself. The V8's are 180 watts with 8 inch woofers, so I would wonder about the ST's ability to fill a living room with sound.

But, for $1500 you could probably get into Klipsch synergy - check them out -I LOVE Klipsh sound. They have a higher db rating, meaning they will get louder with less power to them. However, when you choose to upgrade your reciever to a higher power amplifier - they'll really sing.

#19 of 38 Dingiswayo

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Posted May 03 2007 - 05:52 AM

I googled Klipsch Synergy but I only got results about either the Quintet II (which has been replaced by the Quintet III) or the Synergy 6 series which nobody sells (but which got great reviews on cnet.com). Were you talking about another series? Maybe the Quintet III?

#20 of 38 triple7allstar

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Posted May 03 2007 - 06:07 AM

Here is a link to the Klipsch F-3 floorstanding loudspeakers:
http://www.bestbuy.c....=1091101346130

They're only $368 each with dual 8 inch woofers and a horn. They sound great and get nice and loud. I think you could probably find the other complementing speakers for your surround package for under $1500 total.

But go out to the klipsch website and look up the f3 surround package. http://www.klipsch.c....er-system.aspx

Best buy should sell the surrounds and both a 10 or 12 inch Synergy series sub.

I've personally heard the system and would be very happy with it myself.





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