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Best nearfield monitors for remastering/restoration
Old 6th May 2021
  #1
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Best nearfield monitors for remastering/restoration

Wondering what your preferred ACTIVE nearfield monitors might be. I'm thinking of replacing some Genelec 8050A's (at least 8 years old).

I never cared for Genelecs generally as I always found them harsh, sterile, and even fatiguing after a long session (these weren't my choice). I prefer Dynaudios generally. But interested in other options. Looking to keep it under $5k. Accuracy is more important than anything else. Even if it's not the most welcoming sound.

TIA
Old 18th May 2021
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioRestorer ➡️
Wondering what your preferred ACTIVE nearfield monitors might be. I'm thinking of replacing some Genelec 8050A's (at least 8 years old).

I never cared for Genelecs generally as I always found them harsh, sterile, and even fatiguing after a long session (these weren't my choice). I prefer Dynaudios generally. But interested in other options. Looking to keep it under $5k. Accuracy is more important than anything else. Even if it's not the most welcoming sound.

TIA
If they're accurate, what goes in is what comes out. Harsh material will sound harsh, warm material will sound warm, fatiguing material will sound fatiguing, well produced material will sound well produced etc.

Genelecs ARE accurate, and well regarded as high end nearfield monitor speakers, yet you trash their performance. I dont know what else to say.
Old 19th May 2021 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by timtape ➡️
If they're accurate, what goes in is what comes out. Harsh material will sound harsh, warm material will sound warm, fatiguing material will sound fatiguing, well produced material will sound well produced etc.

Genelecs ARE accurate, and well regarded as high end nearfield monitor speakers, yet you trash their performance. I dont know what else to say.
Are Genelecs really the ONLY accurate monitors out there?
Old 19th May 2021
  #4
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioRestorer ➡️
Wondering what your preferred ACTIVE nearfield monitors might be. I'm thinking of replacing some Genelec 8050A's (at least 8 years old).

I never cared for Genelecs generally as I always found them harsh, sterile, and even fatiguing after a long session (these weren't my choice). I prefer Dynaudios generally. But interested in other options. Looking to keep it under $5k. Accuracy is more important than anything else. Even if it's not the most welcoming sound.

TIA
When I was at The Mastering Lab Doug Sax was using ATC monitors and I was really impressed. Since then I've found a lot of high end mix engineers use them too. I finally bought a pair of the SCM12 pro speakers because I have a high quality stereo amp and am very pleased. They sound the same at lower volumes and are very neutral/accurate. They translate well to other systems for me as well. Most of their speakers are powered, mine are not. But I think you will find some in your price range. ATCs are not harsh or fatiguing, unless the program material is.
Old 24th May 2021 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioRestorer ➡️
Are Genelecs really the ONLY accurate monitors out there?
Of course no speaker is totally accurate. Compared to say microphones, speakers have poorer spectral fidelity. But when you get to a certain level of performance in competing speakers there's not a lot of difference. We can see that in the specs of reputable products, and listening should bear that out. But the placement of the speakers and the room itself can have a greater effect on the sound we hear. Maybe the Genelecs you have are faulty. Why not seek the opinion of an expert listening to your speakers compared to a good reference? It's important though to match levels carefully. The louder one is usually judged "better".
Old 24th May 2021 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
TVPostSound's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by timtape ➡️
Why not seek the opinion of an expert listening to your speakers compared to a good reference? It's important though to match levels carefully. The louder one is usually judged "better".
Expert here!!!

Genelecs ARE fatiguing and do not translate well.
Got burned by them 20 years ago, I tested another set
last year, they haven't changed.
Old 24th May 2021 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by TVPostSound ➡️
Expert here!!!

Genelecs ARE fatiguing and do not translate well.
Got burned by them 20 years ago, I tested another set
last year, they haven't changed.
How do we confirm your expertise in this area apart from the fact that you claim to be an expert? Do you have particular expertise in evaluating speaker accuracy? How would you go about evaluating a speaker's accuracy? What would be your reference?
Old 24th May 2021 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
TVPostSound's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by timtape ➡️
How do we confirm your expertise in this area apart from the fact that you claim to be an expert?

30 years in the business might make me know a little something.
My credits are on the IMDB link below!!

Do you have particular expertise in evaluating speaker accuracy? How would you go about evaluating a speaker's accuracy? What would be your reference?

My ears!!
What makes you the expert??

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0334793/


....
Old 24th May 2021 | Show parent
  #9
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by TVPostSound ➡️
What makes you the expert??....
He didn’t claim to be the expert, you did.
Old 25th May 2021
  #10
Gear Guru
 
Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioRestorer ➡️
Wondering what your preferred ACTIVE nearfield monitors might be. I'm thinking of replacing some Genelec 8050A's (at least 8 years old).

I never cared for Genelecs generally as I always found them harsh, sterile, and even fatiguing after a long session (these weren't my choice). I prefer Dynaudios generally. But interested in other options. Looking to keep it under $5k. Accuracy is more important than anything else. Even if it's not the most welcoming sound.

TIA
I had a pair of Genelecs that I used for a while. They were very accurate and were suggested to me by my mentor. I used them both in the studio and on remote recording gigs. Never had a problem with them.

I finally sold them when I downsized my remote recording work.

Right now my speakers of choice for restoration work are the ALON IVs which are very musical and very accurate. I use them with a Bryston 4BST amplifier and a Avocet 1 controller. FWIW
Old 31st May 2021 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by timtape ➡️
Of course no speaker is totally accurate. Compared to say microphones, speakers have poorer spectral fidelity. But when you get to a certain level of performance in competing speakers there's not a lot of difference. We can see that in the specs of reputable products, and listening should bear that out. But the placement of the speakers and the room itself can have a greater effect on the sound we hear. Maybe the Genelecs you have are faulty. Why not seek the opinion of an expert listening to your speakers compared to a good reference? It's important though to match levels carefully. The louder one is usually judged "better".
I don't claim to be an expert in anything. But I've worked on many different pairs of Genelecs for almost 25 years as a catalog remastering engineer and restoration engineer. So I'm about as familiar with their basic sound profile as I can be. And invariably after long sessions on Genelecs, I'm usually physically fatigued from them. I cannot believe these are the only choices out there for transparency. I had some old B&W 802's which were great, but exceedingly worn.

I'm testing out some Dynaudio Core Series monitors now against the 8050A's with all things being as equal as possible. We'll see who survives the shootout.
Old 31st May 2021
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
crescentmoon's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioRestorer ➡️
Wondering what your preferred ACTIVE nearfield monitors might be. I'm thinking of replacing some Genelec 8050A's (at least 8 years old).

I never cared for Genelecs generally as I always found them harsh, sterile, and even fatiguing after a long session (these weren't my choice). I prefer Dynaudios generally. But interested in other options. Looking to keep it under $5k. Accuracy is more important than anything else. Even if it's not the most welcoming sound.

TIA
I have the Focal Solo 6 be and sub 11 but I would recommend against them because of the problems with the beryllium tweeter.... one of tweeters blew several weeks ago and their service support is terrible and they are taking forever to send a replacement tweeter. Back in 2019 I sent my sub 11 in for warranty repairs and never got them repaired right.
Barefoots Footprint01 would be a good choice however if I had the money I would spend it on ATC monitors. More importantly if you are able to hear these speakers at a local dealership that would be the best thing.
Old 7th June 2021 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by crescentmoon ➡️
I have the Focal Solo 6 be and sub 11 but I would recommend against them because of the problems with the beryllium tweeter.... one of tweeters blew several weeks ago and their service support is terrible and they are taking forever to send a replacement tweeter. Back in 2019 I sent my sub 11 in for warranty repairs and never got them repaired right.
Barefoots Footprint01 would be a good choice however if I had the money I would spend it on ATC monitors. More importantly if you are able to hear these speakers at a local dealership that would be the best thing.
Thanks very much. I had an eye on those Focals, but opted against them for that reason -- lack of service. The Barefoots did look like a really good option but I couldn't get a pair to test.
Old 7th June 2021 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioRestorer ➡️
I don't claim to be an expert in anything. But I've worked on many different pairs of Genelecs for almost 25 years as a catalog remastering engineer and restoration engineer. So I'm about as familiar with their basic sound profile as I can be. And invariably after long sessions on Genelecs, I'm usually physically fatigued from them.
After long sessions on any monitors, hearing fatigue and even permanent damage is a risk, especially if working at high SPL's. Multiplied by 25 years is potentially quite a noise dose.

Your hearing is obviously your livelihood in that work, but also very important to everyday life and relationships. I would be careful about monitoring my long term exposure dosage to sound in that workplace situation. I'd be taking regular breaks to give my ears a much needed rest, and also have my hearing thresholds checked regularly.

(For some years I worked in assisting the hearing impaired.)
Old 14th June 2021 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by timtape ➡️
After long sessions on any monitors, hearing fatigue and even permanent damage is a risk, especially if working at high SPL's. Multiplied by 25 years is potentially quite a noise dose.

Your hearing is obviously your livelihood in that work, but also very important to everyday life and relationships. I would be careful about monitoring my long term exposure dosage to sound in that workplace situation. I'd be taking regular breaks to give my ears a much needed rest, and also have my hearing thresholds checked regularly.

(For some years I worked in assisting the hearing impaired.)
Appreciate the concern. I usually don't listen at high SPLs for that very reason. I monitor rather low in fact. However, the material itself can be very fatiguing in and of itself. If I'm doing work on cylinders or worn 78s, I only spend half a work day on it at most. The noise that comes off of those formats is extremely tiring even on the best of monitors. Your ears can become "lost" after more than a few hours, and it's very easy to lose your reference points. This is a common phenomenon with other pro engineers who do this work regularly.

I ended up going with the Dynaudio Core 7's. I'll see over time how this measures up, but these are quite smooth and natural, and already I've heard things I haven't heard before on my past projects.

Last edited by AudioRestorer; 16th June 2021 at 01:43 AM..
Old 14th June 2021 | Show parent
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
OMG, working with noisy, lofi material is a tough one. I've done my share of 78 transfers (thankfully all electric era). Yes it can be very tiring. All the best with it.
Old 5th July 2021 | Show parent
  #17
Mastering Moderator
 
Riccardo's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioRestorer ➡️
Appreciate the concern. I usually don't listen at high SPLs for that very reason. I monitor rather low in fact. However, the material itself can be very fatiguing in and of itself. If I'm doing work on cylinders or worn 78s, I only spend half a work day on it at most. The noise that comes off of those formats is extremely tiring even on the best of monitors. Your ears can become "lost" after more than a few hours, and it's very easy to lose your reference points. This is a common phenomenon with other pro engineers who do this work regularly.

I ended up going with the Dynaudio Core 7's. I'll see over time how this measures up, but these are quite smooth and natural, and already I've heard things I haven't heard before on my past projects.
How is the self noise (amp idle noise) on these in real world scenario involving near-field use and restoration tasks?
Cheers!
Old 12th July 2021 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Riccardo ➡️
How is the self noise (amp idle noise) on these in real world scenario involving near-field use and restoration tasks?
Cheers!
Honestly, after breaking them in for several days, and tweaking them out, these Core 7's are DEAD QUIET. Like, a good -20dB lower noise floor than the old Genelecs. Those may have just been too old and/or I got too used to them. But the lack of "self noise" is remarkable.
Old 12th July 2021 | Show parent
  #19
Mastering Moderator
 
Riccardo's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioRestorer ➡️
Honestly, after breaking them in for several days, and tweaking them out, these Core 7's are DEAD QUIET. Like, a good -20dB lower noise floor than the old Genelecs. Those may have just been too old and/or I got too used to them. But the lack of "self noise" is remarkable.
Thanks!
Old 12th July 2021 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioRestorer ➡️
I don't claim to be an expert in anything. But I've worked on many different pairs of Genelecs for almost 25 years as a catalog remastering engineer and restoration engineer. So I'm about as familiar with their basic sound profile as I can be. And invariably after long sessions on Genelecs, I'm usually physically fatigued from them. I cannot believe these are the only choices out there for transparency. I had some old B&W 802's which were great, but exceedingly worn.
The old Genelecs all sounded totally different as you went up and down the line. The 1030 sounded nothing like the 1031, the 1032 didn't sound like the 1030 or the 1031, and the S30 didn't sound like anything else out there at all.

With the new 8000 series they are at least trying to get a unified sound character across the whole line. They all have more or less the same basic approach to sound. If you like it, that's great. If you don't like it, try something else.

ATC, Dynaudio, Neumann, Focal and... dare I mention it... JBL... all make speakers that sound different but are going to be more mellow on top than the current Genelec 8000 line. Folks like Adam and anyone using horn-loading are likely not to be to your tastes. If I were selling things I'd probably point you at the Neumann (formerly K&H) line but you need to go out and listen because these are so much a matter of personal taste too.

Then you get outfits like Alcons and Geithain that make great stuff that might have a sound close to what you're looking for but who have hardly any representation or sales in the US.

I bet you'd like the old Genelec S30 too. I think it's the best-sounding speaker they ever made and it seems like they went out of their way to hide it from potential customers.

Some people who are looking for a smooth sound also like the old B&W 801. I never liked them myself, but they turn up used at reasonable prices and you should listen to some and try to EQ something on them.
--scott
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