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Help with monitor selections for a casual listener.
Old 2nd March 2014
Lives for gear
🎧 5 years
Help with monitor selections for a casual listener.

Hello everyone,

First post on this forum. I've stalked this forum for quite a few years but finally decided to make an account and ask for some suggestion. I'm not sure if I'm posting in the right forum or not. The abundance of categories left me a bit confused.

Anyways, I'm looking to set up a home studio like sound quality, but for casual listening. I won't be mixing or mastering at all at the moment. This will purely be for personal listening purposes. I've decided to go for powered studio speakers as I prefer the sound of studio gear more than the over coloured hi-fi stuff. So far, I've been doing a lot of listening on headphones like KRK KNS 8400, Denon AH-D2000, Hifiman HE-500, Audeze LCD-2 and Audeze LCD-3. I'm moving away from headphones for most of my listening and want to go into speakers. However, I still want to retain decent sound. My room has 8 foot ceilings. The wall behind the speakers will be 118" or roughly 3 meters. The length of the room is about 4.5 meters. Although depending on speakers flexibility, I could also consider using it in another room, but the main mode of use will be in near field. Roughly 1-1.5 meter, give or take, of depth coming straight from the speakers.

I listen to primarily electronic music, all lossless. A little bit of jazz, hip hop and rap.

I have pretty much decided to get a Dangerous Music Source as it's price seems reasonable and have heard it has decent headphone amplifier as well as makes a good monitor controller. Will be hooking up everything with Mogami XLR balanced cables.

My budget is around $2000-$3000 depending on the flexibility of the speakers but would of course prefer a lower price option.

My sonic preference:

Bass - Looking for something that can hit reasonably hard and not bloom like crazy. Also maintain decent extension. I liked the planar magnetics bass a lot for this reason. Good quantity and quality, fast paced. Deep extension. I am not expecting LCD-3's 20 Hz extension on the speakers, so not a big deal.

Mids: Something neutral yet transparent. I can't handle vocals that are in your face too much or too smoothed out. It can't take away from the overall listening or be distracting. For example, my friend's Audioengine A2 has decent vocals but I find the vocals and mids really accentuated and would get tiring in the long run.

Treble: Decent imaging yet not bright. Should have good depth to it. Should sound as realistic as possible. If it can give a good sense of air, I'd be happy but definitely nothing bright or too energetic. I definitely don't want to feel tired from excessive energy yet at the same time don't want to get tired from concentrating on imaging due to rolled off highs in order to mask poor treble response.

I know the best option would be to have all the speakers in my own room at the same time for audition, but that would be quite expensive. So I will demo some speakers, but there will still be some brands that are not going to be available. Also, the speakers most likely won't be in a small room during the audition.

A few options I was considering: Genelec 8020+7050, 8040, 8050. Have heard mixed things about Adam's. Wouldn't want to anything lower than an A7X. I've heard that the high end Focals can get too aggressive and/or too mid centric. Not sure about CMS stuff though. Would like to hear opinions on other brands or model that would fit my music and preference.

I was considering the sub initially with the smaller 8020 but decided against it for future use. I would rather get speaker that can either play without subs at all or maybe be complemented with subs down the road, but still giving decent sound for the time being. BTW I'm located near Toronto, Canada, if that influences cost.

Genelec 8040s sound like a decent option, but the extra extension of 8050 seems rewarding although the price is insane on that and so would definitely have to find them used. 8040s I could pull off new, but used would be better.

Also, thoughts on HR624/824, either Mk1 or Mk2. I see them popping up from time to time for decent price….although I'm guessing that there's a distinct reason why they are almost always available used locally, whereas Genelecs are harder to find.

The room is currently untreated, but will consider doing some treatment for reflections and bass management.

I would love to get a take on this. Thanks.
Old 2nd March 2014
Lives for gear
MusicJesus's Avatar
🎧 5 years
Go to a high end environment and listen to speakers. Then decide and buy.

You are going to get 50 suggestions here, 48 of them will be bull****, but how will you know which are the two good ones?
$3000 and you are going to spend it based on GS advice? Seriously?
Old 2nd March 2014 | Show parent
Lives for gear
skira's Avatar
🎧 10 years
Originally Posted by MusicJesus ➡️
Go to a high end environment and listen to speakers. Then decide and buy.

You are going to get 50 suggestions here, 48 of them will be bull****, but how will you know which are the two good ones?
$3000 and you are going to spend it based on GS advice? Seriously?

This is not the place to expect to get the information you need to make this decision.
Old 2nd March 2014
Lives for gear
🎧 5 years
LOL I wasn't going to buy any speakers just off GS advice. This was meant more as a scouting report. Here in Toronto, I don't a know a single place that stocks high end studio monitors in proper acoustic environment. A few places have decent monitors but are usually in a large environment. If anyone knows a proper high end place here, please do share. I am obviously going to go listen to a few monitors myself, but still would have liked to hear some thoughts and how it geared in smaller rooms or what not. Anyways, thanks for the tips.
Old 2nd March 2014
Lives for gear
S21's Avatar
🎧 5 years
Monitors are designed to sound revealing, not good. Hifi speakers are designed to sound good, but may hide sonic flaws that could be corrected.

Make sure there is a good eq (either physical eq or a digital one built into your pc/ipad/source.)

Get out of the habit of listening critically to the sound and listen to the music instead. If you listen critically to the sound, you will never be satisfied. Spend all the money you like and inside a week you will have found the flaws. There are no perfect sound systems. Period.
Old 2nd March 2014
Gear Addict
Sgalb's Avatar
🎧 5 years
With a $2000-$3000 budget I'd get Yamaha HS8's and get out of town for a few days or buy the Mrs. something nice.
Old 2nd March 2014
Here for the gear
🎧 5 years
Hmmm....monitors for casual listening in a budget of $3000.......just doesn't sound right does it?
Old 6th February 2016
Lives for gear
🎧 5 years
Ended up getting HR 824 Mk1 first. Now got the Focal Twin6. Both of them work fine for casual or serious listening.
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