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Misterioso

Active studio monitors

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Anyone else using active studio monitors at home to listen to jazz?

While these were developed for studio work, I find them tremendously useful at home as well. They have all the advantages of active speakers (dedicated amp for each driver, simple active crossovers) and are relatively affordable compared to common hifi brand speakers. Also, because the power amps are integrated, active studio monitors allow for very compact systems (add a source with volume control and you are done). You already get very good results from some of the cheap monitors like JBL LSR305. You can get stunning results from some of the higher end studio monitor brands like Adam Audio, ATC, Genelec, Neumann, Quested and ME Geithain. 

I sold a well-regarded amp/speaker combination (Accuphase/Dynaudio) when I heard my Neumann KH120 monitors for the first time. The Neumann speakers are much cheaper and sound better to my ears. I then added a pair of Quested V2108 monitors when I moved to a larger room and could not be happier with them. 

Just some food for thought if you are considering new speakers.    

 

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Nice! Many folks don't tend to like studio monitors due to the almost perfectly flat response. The average listener prefers a little boost and coloration in their loudspeakers. Similar to the preference of tube amps and vinyl because of the second order harmonic distortion they add. 

I will say that a musician buddy of mine has an old pair of JBL monitors, three-way with 12" bass drivers, and to this day they are arguably the cleanest speakers I've ever heard. 

So I can definitely see their usefulness, especially when it comes to Jazz. 

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Which Dynaudios did you sell?

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2 hours ago, sidewinder said:

Which Dynaudios did you sell?

Contour 1.3

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1 hour ago, Misterioso said:

Contour 1.3

I run Contour 1.8s

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1 hour ago, sidewinder said:

I run Contour 1.8s

Beautifully crafted speakers. Much nicer than current Dynaudio speakers in a similar price range.

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My Excite X12’s in piano gloss black are certainly well built, and sound quite good. Probably not up to the standards of the speakers you two are talking about. 

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Was just talking about the woodworking craftsmanship of the old Contour series, very impressive. But these are long gone (bought my pair of 1.3 in April 1994).

Studio monitors may not look as nice as these speakers but sound comes first.

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Posted (edited)

Been very happy with the sound of my 1.8s. It’s probably the weakest link on my system now but replacing with something better using current Dynaudio or Focal would be a £10k hit so I’m happy as is. The finish is in birds-eye maple, which looks lovely in the room setting.

The one quirk they have is that being rear-ported, they need lots of space behind. So you have to site them well out in the room. Once siting is optimised (slight toe-in), they can really perform.

Edited by sidewinder

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5 hours ago, sidewinder said:

Been very happy with the sound of my 1.8s. It’s probably the weakest link on my system now but replacing with something better using current Dynaudio or Focal would be a £10k hit so I’m happy as is. The finish is in birds-eye maple, which looks lovely in the room setting.

The one quirk they have is that being rear-ported, they need lots of space behind. So you have to site them well out in the room. Once siting is optimised (slight toe-in), they can really perform.

If you have to move them closer to the wall, can't you put a foam plug into the port to improve the sound? B&W offers the option on their rear ported speakers. I think they help. You lose some bass compared to the speaker out away from the wall but you lose the muddy bass that results from being too close.

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Rear-ported speakers only need to be 18" from the wall. Not "well out in the room". 

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Scott Dolan said:

Rear-ported speakers only need to be 18" from the wall. Not "well out in the room". 

Absolute nonsense - you can't make such a general statement for all rear-ported speakers. Depends on the model/type and - critically - the room.

3 hours ago, Kevin Bresnahan said:

If you have to move them closer to the wall, can't you put a foam plug into the port to improve the sound? B&W offers the option on their rear ported speakers. I think they help. You lose some bass compared to the speaker out away from the wall but you lose the muddy bass that results from being too close.

Yes, I do have plugs but there is a cost in terms of sound quality when these are used. Speakers well away from the wall gives the best sound (after lots of trial and error).

Edited by sidewinder

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32 minutes ago, sidewinder said:

Absolute nonsense - you can't make such a general statement for all rear-ported speakers. Depends on the model/type and - critically - the room.

Look, I realize you believe you can hear the transient of a gnat farting into a cotton ball, but it's time to bring it down a notch or two. Reflections from rear ports are nearly imperceptible even a couple of inched from the wall. 

And like me, you no longer possess the hearing of a pre-teen. So let's try to keep things in perspective here. 

 

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Posted (edited)

50 minutes ago, Scott Dolan said:

Look, I realize you believe you can hear the transient of a gnat farting into a cotton ball, but it's time to bring it down a notch or two. Reflections from rear ports are nearly imperceptible even a couple of inched from the wall. 

And like me, you no longer possess the hearing of a pre-teen. So let's try to keep things in perspective here. 

 

Scott - you seem to enjoy picking arguments with me on numerous threads when it comes to hi fi and making  very bold assertions when you have absolutely idea of my system or how it is set up. I won’t waste any more of my time responding to your platitudes.

Edited by sidewinder

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I’d play along and get all feisty and tell you how obnoxious and offensive you are, blah, blah, blah...

But, brother the general rule of thumb is 1.5”x the diameter of your port. So if you have a 3” port, then 5” inches away from the wall is just fine. The further you move them away, the less you’ll benefit from it. Especially if you’re using a toe-in set up. Assuming you don’t have them in corners. 

Now, if you simply don’t believe that, fine. Set them up to deliver the exact sound you want to hear. But don’t dismiss it as “absolute nonsense”. 

The other day you claimed that transients are more pronounced on vinyl. While the truth is...not really, unless it’s a different master than the digital master (which is highly unlikely unless it’s a really old LP), you’ll note that I did not dismiss that as “absolute nonesense”. 

Now, I could have moderated my two responses above, but didn’t. For that, I apologize. Neither one of us are favorites of the other, so I shouldn’t have replied at all since I let that cloud my judgement. 

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Posted (edited)

It was a joke. 

Though he has shown in the past the ability to give as good as he gets. ;) 

Edited by Scott Dolan

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Hmm, I must have done something wrong in my initial post. This was meant to be about studio monitors... anyway, carry on folks ;)

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I still have my Dahlquists (dq-20i), but I have been enamored with open baffle speakers.

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34 minutes ago, Stefan Wood said:

I still have my Dahlquists (dq-20i), but I have been enamored with open baffle speakers.

Can you expand on the reasons why? I have never heard a pair. 

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1 hour ago, Scott Dolan said:

Can you expand on the reasons why? I have never heard a pair. 

Quite a different sound stage -- more "open," for lack of a better term.   There's a live feeling to it, less direction specific, like you are surrounded by it.  Tremendous detail.  It takes full advantage of low wattage systems - tube or chip amp -- because the drivers usually are sensitive - 90db+, as well as having high QT, which allows for good sound from a flat baffle.  This is not a closed boxed speaker - the backs and sides are exposed.

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Oh, yeah. I know what they are, just haven't heard them. 

Your description makes them seem to have a similar soundstage to Maggies and stats. Is that an accurate take? 

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In the sense that both may lack some bass, but it depends on the drivers used as well as the baffle design.  The ones that provide more bass are baffle designs that have the full range driver low to the floor, using it as a low end enhancement.  I think the full range drivers offer better highs and mids than the stats. 

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Very interesting. I hope to audition some one of these days, even though I'm not in the market for new speakers. 

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