I think part of the problem is that HiFi mags rarely review pro gear. So many persons don't even know the options that are available.
I would love to see WHF do a shootout of studio monitors used in a HiFi setting. Round up the popular brands - Mackie, Genelec, Dynaudio, Focal, KRK, Event etc and compare their sound at more traditional HiFi listening distances.
M-Audio USB Transit->Benchmark DAC1->Beyerdynamic DT880 (600 ohm) / AKG K701
It would make an interesting article.
PC > AVI Neutron Five 2.1
Sony NWZ-A847 64GB Walkman > Westone UM3x
Yes I like electrostatics too for their soundstaging and midrange claritity and lack of inertia and their ability to make the speakers disappear and the music appear.
How would you say the bass of the 8.75" driver Mackie's compares to your old 15" JBL set-up, davedotco?
Not remotely comparable. The JBL's were seriously 'old school', 15 inch driver, 4 inch voice coil and massive 'potted' magnet. Nominally 150 watt, sensitivity was around 91 - 93 dB in a 9 cubic foot enclosure, overall dimensions roughly 3ft x 3ft x 2ft deep.
These crossed over actively at 800hz to a compression driven horn midrange and a ring radiator, horn loaded tweeter. They certainly had 'character', a fantastic dynamic sound that projected like little else, it made the current JBL horn loaded systems (studio 530/580) sound quite polite and refined.
The Mackies are quite different, much more neutral and uncoloured with a deep but slightly forced bass. Overall the system is very powerful and dynamic with a marked lack of compression, hi fi users coming to these speakers for the first time tend to play them far too loud, leading to accusations that they are upfront and 'in your face', they are not, just turn them down!
We do so many shows in a row,
And these towns all look the same,
We just pass the time in our hotel room
And wander 'round backstage,
Till the lights come up, and we hear that crowd,
And we remember why we came.
It's unlikely to happen - their advertisers wouldn't be too happy if punters discovered that professional gear was often better & cheaper much of, if not all the time! Not all pro speakers are near-field studio monitors. PA speakers are often used outside in free space where their bass won't sound too over-blown.
As for bass response in domestic situations, it's often down to both speaker positioning & seating. My room has both a suspended floor & alcoves that make the room difficultt to draw the balance between good bass weight & acceptable overhang . I also have neighbours below so fulsome bass for me would mean hell for them. Another major factor regarding bass is recording quality!
"The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds - the pessimist fears this is true."
James Branch Cabell
MAIN: Apple TV2, Mac Mini (controlled from various iThings using Remote), CA Azur 751BD & Panasonic P42V20B into audiolab M-DAC, feeding a Primare A34.2 class D power amp via XLRs, 2x 5m of Atlas Ascent 2 firing up Totem Arros. DALI Kubik Free in my kitchen
ON THE HOOF: iPhone 5S/Sennheiser MM450.
So which speaker do you prefer the sound of overall, davedotco, your old JBL's or the Mackies? And which speaker do you prefer the bass from?
The JBLs were as I said, pretty old school, they didn't 'do' accurate or neutral, they did do presence and dynamics and they went very loud.
Despite their size there was no deep bass, studios were not much interested in anything below about 50 - 60 hz in those days, so the bass was punchy and had a slightly 'slappy' quality to it. Loved them in the day, we are talking 1980's here, but I doubt they would come close to any modern monitor in terms of accuracy.
Mine looked rather like this..... http://www.productwiki.com/upload/images/jbl_4333a_in_gray_painted_finish.jpg
Yes it would but as Busb has said, it aint gonna happen. Particularly not with any traditional passive product up against them.
Apple Lossless - ATV3 - AVI ADM 40 also ATV3 into AVI ADM 9T [my wife's system]
and Grado SR80i
It would be a pointless article, if we're all being honest, and withouit saying anything too incriminating. I can already tell you what the outcome would be, and that outcome is, "you don't bite the hand that feeds you".
Main system: Mac Mini 2011 • HRT II+ DAC • Marantz CD 63 mkII KI & PM66 KI • MS 10i speakers [borrowed]
In storage: Thorens TD160 (no cart) • Cyrus 2 & PSX • Cyrus tuner • Technics SL-P777 • Nakamichi DR-1
Cannot agree more...
No rules. If it sounds good to you it sounds Right!!.Transpor:t . Oppo BDP-105EU Blue ray player. DAC:Musical Fidelity V90. AMP: Arcam AVR450. SPEAKER'S: Boston acoustics M340.
I bet more people buy WHF for the TV, phone and tablet recommendations than they do for "Hi-Fi" these days.
I agree, it would make a great article, and may even help edge more of the big boys along to making more wife-friendly actives.
“Out beyond ideas of wrong and right, there is a field.
I'll meet you there."
Honestly, I don't share the cynicism about HiFi mags that appears to be so prominent in some of these responses. I've seen the Major mags in the UK and US print reviews that bashed advertisers' products. So I don't buy the whole "don't bite the hand that feeds you" argument. Contrary to popular belief, the advertisers NEED HiFi mags as much (if not more) than the Mags need them. Where else are audiophiles going to find out about X brand's latest offering? So If WHF irritates an advertiser with a bad review, then some brand that got a really great review will be happy to take their advertising slot.
There are always going to be 5 star products and brands who want to show off that their products received 5 stars and/or awards. There is no need to be a slave to the advertisers.
As we're all after the "perfect" reproduction of sound, I think it would make sense to have a listen to the speakers that our music is mixed on.
Never know, might like what they hear?
Just my 2p
Main Floor - Sonos Connect - Genelec 8050A
Basement - Sony PS3 - Sony STR-DN1040 - LG 60PN6500 - Polk Audio RC-65i in-walls - CSI A6 centre
Full sized studio monitors are really not suited for use in the home, the are big, loud and very dynamic and will, quite literally, take your windows out.
Even at more sensible levels they will still put out enough energy to rattle every bit of furniture in the room, without treatment and proper bass trapping they could well be unlistenable.
Nearfield monitors are a rather odd breed, originally concieved to be a 'domestic reference' they were placed on or just above the bridge of the console and supposed to mimic the sound most people would hear at home.
The best known early example was the Auratone, a small cube with a full range driver (5 inch?) normally refered to as the 'grotbox' or 'horribletone', this was replaced by the original Yamaha NS10, a compact passive two way. It is pretty much the mother of all modern near field monitors which are now almost universally used in home and small studios and production facilities.
The latest HS5 active monitor still maintains the family look and will, undoubtably sell by the truckload, given it's extremely low cost, well under £300 it would be interesting to try it as an alternative to an entry level hifi amp/speaker combination.
Yes but when about 80% of reviews get 4 or 5 stars you have to wonder, how many get 1 or 2 stars?
I recall a fairly well known journalist who ran a subscription only hifi magazine being asked why all the products in his mag recieved good write ups.
He replied simply. "Life is too short to spend it writing about cr*p hifi equipment".
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