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What qualities make certain home hi-fi speakers suitable for mastering?
Old 5 days ago
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
Verified Member
What qualities make certain home hi-fi speakers suitable for mastering?

Hi,

I know many mastering engineers use full-range speakers from audiophile / home hi-fi manufacturers in their studio rather than pro-audio world monitors. Also, after a certain quality and price point, those boundaries become a touch meaningless anyway - they're just good speakers.

But where is the line drawn within boutique speaker manufacturers, particularly with certain speaker designs?

For instance - electrostatic speakers from manufacturers like Magnepan sound fantastic. Some of the very large horn speakers from Klipsch or modern horn makers have very dynamic, articulate responses. Take this Klipsch Chorus II, for instance - same frequency response as a Barefoot MicroMain 45, can get studio mains loud with a clean amp.

http://assets.klipsch.com/product-sp...I-brochure.pdf

What makes a Bowers & Wilkins 802 usable in its place? Or a Dunlavy?
Old 4 days ago
  #2
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mirochandler's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
A lot of „pro audio speakers” are not better in any way then a professional built speaker for home HiFi use. I would say nearly all studio speakers are built to have a linear frequency response, low THD, and clean specs which is not automatic a HiFi manufacturer doing.
But both have to work with the natural physics and more or less the same drivers. Some people think that studio speakers are much better or have different drivers but that is mostly not the case.

The biggest difference is that a pro audio speakers are mostly active so it is a system of drivers, crossover (DAC´s) and amps. Some people like that, some not. I like to have the chance to try another amp or DAC to my taste.
Old 4 days ago
  #3
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Surbitone's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
This is a pretty personal decision, but generally mastering speakers are:

- very linear across the frequency spectrum
- have excellent transient response
- have low distortion
- cover full audible bandwidth
- great stereo imaging

Whether or not these are hi-fi speakers or studio speakers is really up to you, your tastes and your room. If you gel with a speaker in your room and that speaker covers the bases above and you can get reliable translation... you're pretty much good to go. Unfortunately, speakers with these attributes are generally pretty expensive, but there are some great sounding speakers that don't cost the Earth.
Old 3 days ago
  #4
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
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1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I use a pair of ALON IVs and they are GREAT. Here is a review of them. https://www.stereophile.com/floorlou...ian/index.html

Lots of mastering studios use the B&W 800 series speakers or some variant of them. I wish I could afford them but with the new price over $15,000 for the pair they are somewhat out of my reach.

Nothing wrong with using "HI-FI" speakers as long as they are accurate and non fatiguing...
Old 3 days ago
  #5
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Trakworx's Avatar
 
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3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
What qualities make certain home hi-fi speakers suitable for mastering?

The same qualities that make certain studio monitors suitable. Surbitone summarized them above. It makes no difference if a speaker is sold as consumer or pro - that's just marketing. MEs have adopted certain models because they work. Simple as that.

B&W Matrix 802 S2s here, with the B&W Bass Alignment Filter. You can find a used pair in good condition for under $2k.

https://www.hifishark.com/search?q=B%26W+Matrix+802

They are old though. I'm picking up a second set for spare parts.
Old 3 days ago | Show parent
  #6
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Surbitone's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx ➡️
B&W Matrix 802 S2s here, with the B&W Bass Alignment Filter. You can find a used pair in good condition for under $2k.
It's madness you can get a pair of those speakers for $2k now. You can get some really good deals on PMCs on the second hand market here. I've seen OB1s go for around £1500!

Even new now, some of the lower end of the hi-end hifi market have amazing speakers for the money. I heard some of the larger KEF Q floor-standers not long ago and was pretty amazed that a little over £1k can buy speakers that good.

I'm slllllooooooowly getting the bits and pieces together for a custom build speaker which will (hopefully) replace my Sopra 3s.
Old 3 days ago
  #7
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Alécio Costa's Avatar
 
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🎧 15 years
I was considering picking a pair of B & W 602 or the new 700 series.
THey seem to be pretty good. I would like to test them in my mastering/mixing environment.
Old 3 days ago
  #8
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polybonk's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Lots of studio monitors are a compromise of needing to fit on a desk (small size) and having the amps built into the box.
Big HiFi full range can give you a big picture view that is missing from near/mid fields.

So for HiFi:
Depends on the system. Some HiFi setups are all about making things sound good. Not so good for mastering.

Other systems like say the Focal Grand Utopia for example tend to make 90% of the music played on them sound like they have issues.
These types of speakers tend to let you hear why the top 95th percentile AAA tracks are considered best in class and give you more of an objective goal for mastering.
Old 1 day ago | Show parent
  #9
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Jerry Tubb's Avatar
 
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surbitone ➡️
This is a pretty personal decision, but generally mastering speakers are:

- very linear across the frequency spectrum
- have excellent transient response
- have low distortion
- cover full audible bandwidth
- great stereo imaging
Yes, and brutally honest in a good way, like the Big Duns!

JT
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Old 19 hours ago
  #10
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Analogue Mastering's Avatar
 
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🎧 10 years
Pioneer/TAD S-1EX (beryllium driver) as mains
HEDD Type 30 mk2 as B
the Pio’s are finesse, the HEDDs have no mercy.
If the track holds up on both, you’re in the zone.
So yes “hifi” speakers work in my case.
But translation is even more about the room.
Acoustics are the far bigger part of the equation.

Try REW, SounDID, or Trinnov > That’s your target sound
If you can land there without DSP you’re golden, most can’t.
Having no attention to acoustics is like sculpting in a dark room.
Bottom line is you need a room that translates well. THE ROOM DEFINING WHAT SPEAKERS YOU NEED. The further the speakers deviate from your target response (sum of room and speaker) the more correction (physically or DSP) you will need to apply. Your result will be sum of the parts needed to get that target response.
The speaker that gets you closest to a lineair response in YOUR room, is the best speaker for u. (And this is not always the most lineair measured speaker)
Old 4 hours ago
  #11
Gear Addict
 
Verified Member
🎧 15 years
I switched after many years on other speakers to a pair of Acora SRC-2 powered by Pass Labs XA-200.8 amps. And my mastering studio is now in my living room. Great sounding to begin with and even better after a fair amount of treatment. It’s so great for mastering that we bought another house to live in!
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