Monitor speakers

December 1, 2008 3:56 PM

What do you use for monitor speakers?

I'm a few months away from having my car payment done, and I want to reallocate that portion of my income to get some monitor speakers. I've read Tweakheadz advice about monitors and room acoustics, and I've seen that advice repeated in various forums and books. So I have a fairly good idea about how to shop for monitor speakers.

I'd like to know what folks here on Mefi Music use. I thought this gear thread would include mention of monitors, but after skimming through it, I didn't find many (or any) references to speakers.

Myself, I'm aiming to spend no more than $300-$500 for a pair, but I still would like to know what MeFi musicians use, regardless of how much you spent, and how you like them.
posted by NemesisVex (9 comments total)

Here's my acoustics setup:

- 1 pair Fostex PM-1 biamped monitors. IMO the best sounding monitors at their price point. I'd get a pair of expensive Tannoys if I could afford it.

- 1 pair auralex MoPads to isolate the monitors from the desk they're on. The difference isn't night and day, but it definitely helps minimize any acoustic coupling with the desk and floor. My monitors aren't on monitor stands but if they did, I'd still use these.

- Four 4'x2' Auralex 2-inch wedge foam, cut into 2x2 squares -- this helps tame the "ping pong" effect and make the room a bit more dead.

- Double set of curtains over the sliding door.

I eventually intend to also get bass traps in the corners and double curtain the window (right now it's just got a single curtain) but good bass traps aren't cheap. The arrangement of my room is far from ideal as I had to invade the dining room and adjoining closed-in balcony.
posted by chimaera at 4:18 PM on December 1, 2008

I've had Event 20/20bas monitors for years now. I like them a lot. I've noticed they can hide some bass frequencies on me (when I do checks on other systems sometimes the bass is louder than I thought it should be), but nothing that isn't easy to compensate for.
posted by frenetic at 8:54 PM on December 1, 2008

I have a pair of Behringer Truth B2031A actives. I think there are newer ones around I got these about 4 years ago for about $AUD600 ~ $400USD maybe?

I like them - they are fine. I'm generally mixing in non-ideal spaces with weird acoustics so i didn't see the point in spending more.. ie the room will fuck up the sound so much that spending $2000 on them is pointless.

- before that I was using HiFi speakers.

In the past I've just used rugs and mounted a blanket on a wall to minimise the room echo.
posted by mary8nne at 4:59 AM on December 2, 2008

KRK RP8G2 around $500 for the pair.


KRK RP5G2 around 300 for the pair.

I use the KRK RP5G2 currently and find them suitable for a home studio.
posted by chillmost at 5:11 AM on December 2, 2008

The old standby, Yorkville YSM-1's.
posted by chococat at 6:06 AM on December 2, 2008

edirol ma-20d's. Not great, but you can use them as a mixer so you don't need a separate mixer to blend in your playback while recording. I supplement them with rp-htx7 headphones to check the low end during mixing and 5 eb's for when I'm recording with a mic. No matter what you use, you're going to want to have a couple reference speakers that are shittier than your main monitors. I've found that checking a mix on a crappy boombox of your computer speakers to be about the most valuable step in my mixing process.
posted by mexican at 7:39 AM on December 2, 2008

I've been using a pair of active M-Audio BX-5 for about three years now and think they're just great for not a huge amount of coin. Not sure about the current "a" model, but likely more of a good thing.
posted by Paid In Full at 2:22 PM on December 2, 2008

Wharfdale 8.2's. They sell for cheap, you should pay less than two hundred a piece. I've only used them a couple of times as I don't own them. When I worked for a music instrument retailer I used to recommend them and there were never any negative responses.

I have the Event 20/20's and I like them a lot but I get the same problem as frenetic having to compensate for the bass response. I can attest to their quality over time though since I've been mixing on them for what must be a decade by now.
posted by dagosto at 4:15 PM on December 2, 2008

Well, my equipment is cheap; I use Sony MDR-V6 headphones and a basic 2.1 set of $45 Creative speakers.

However, I recommend picking up a copy of Future Music. I believe that's the magazine that has the "Top 5" section at the back, where they list the top five pieces of equipment in each category, including monitors. Also this Month's issue of Music Tech is a must buy. It has an article on buying monitors and related equipment (e.g. the isolation stand thingies, sounds traps, etc.) and how to set it up well.

Have fun! I'm jealous! :-)
posted by wastelands at 11:18 PM on December 6, 2008

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