Studio Monitors for under/around $1000?

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by Jzbass25, Sep 3, 2018.

  1. Jzbass25

    Jzbass25 SS.org Regular

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    I was wondering what monitors you guys recommend in this price range? I’m honestly just wanting to use them to jam at home. So I would be both listening to music and using them as speakers for vsts or an axe fx.

    I was looking at HS8s since I’ve always been a fan of Yamaha in general but I’d love to hear feedback.
     
  2. noise in my mind

    noise in my mind SS.org Regular

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    I'd recommend going to guitar center and listening to some of your favorite tracks through a bunch of monitors in your price range. It's all preference.
     
  3. axxessdenied

    axxessdenied :: 2077 ::

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    THE HS8 are great speakers for the money.
     
  4. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    This.

    Also, if you're looking for something to listen to music through and jam on your AxeFX, I'm not so sure studio monitors are the best option. For that budget, I'd consider a really transparent poweramp and a used 2x12 or 4x12, and then a pair of commercial speakers rather than monitors.

    Studio monitors, on one hand, just don't move air like a guitar cab and the AxeFX will sound kind of lifeless and flat through them, compared to the real thing - it will sound like a good recording of an amp, rather than a good amp, and the most I've ever been impressed by an AxeFX was plugging into it through a poweramp and cab, where it was VERY amp-like. And, on the other, studio monitors are designed to be flat, not to sound good. They're really not as "nice" for casual listening as speakers designed for casual listening are, where they're designed to make music sound better, rather than reproduce it as accurately as possible - typically, a bit of a loudness curve, etc.

    A set of monitors seem like, to me, kind of a compromise that doesn't really work well for either thing you're looking to do, jam on your guitar and listen to music. They're designed to reproduce music as accurately as possible, to evaluate mixing decisions, and it sounds like that's not what you're looking to do. Especially if your budget is a grand, that's a LOT of money that could be better spent on something a little more tailored to each of those applications.
     
  5. sakeido

    sakeido Contributor

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    for your usage I'd recommend Adam A5Xs

    Not the best studio monitor because they are pretty flattering to the source material. Still on the honest side, transparent and open compared to even very expensive consumer bookshelf speakers, the phantom center is outstanding and best in its price range but the ribbon tweeter is kind to whatever passes through it so a mix that seems great on the Adams can be shrill or icepicky on other speakers but you should be referencing with multiple systems and headphones anyways.

    Been very happily listening to music on the original version A5s for almost 10 years now and used them as my monitor speakers along with an Axe FX for at least half of that. It doesn't sound like an amp, true, but with a good set of IRs loaded into the Axe it was still great for jamming.
     
  6. will_shred

    will_shred Wannabe audio engineer

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    Focal Alpha 65, Adam A7X, Yamaha HS8.
     
  7. KingAenarion

    KingAenarion Resident Studio Nerd

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    Also check out the Presonus Eris series. Serious bang for your buck
     
  8. Rev2010

    Rev2010 Contributor

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    I have the Focal Alpha 65's currently. Prior to my divorce and move I had Dynaudio BM5A's and Adam A7's. The Dyn's were my favorite but when I moved I wanted to try the Alpha 65's (I didn't like the Alpha 80's as they were too bass muddy). I'm actually extremely happy with them. For a while I was tempted to go back to my old favorites but I realized that stuff I'm mixing on the Alpha 65's for the past year is really coming out excellent first time around and I haven't really needed to go back and re-tweak things - that means they are doing exactly what they're supposed to be doing. So, I can highly recommend them. They're about $800 a pair new but I used a sale coupon and got them for something around $680 for the pair.


    Rev.
     
  9. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Though, again, for a guy who isn't actually planning to mix anything, are a pair of $700-1,000 monitors really the answer here?
     
  10. Rev2010

    Rev2010 Contributor

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    He asked for studio monitors for under $1000 so I answered based on that. Sure he can go cheaper but then if he starts writing and recording he'll want good studio monitors. With a pair of Alpha 65's under $700 total (as plenty of stores have sales) he's got all bases covered. I don't know his financial situation so if it's tight that's for him to figure out.


    Rev.
     
  11. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    But I think a fair question here is, "are studio monitors even really the best answer for the problem the OP is trying to solve." We could all recommend him speakers, and god knows I have my preferences, but unless down the road he IS planning on getting seriously into recording, monitors don't seem like a good solution for either of the two things he's looking to do.
     
  12. will_shred

    will_shred Wannabe audio engineer

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    Yeah i tried out every pair of monitors at my local GC and none of them really impressed me, my reference being Dynaudio Bm15A's at my school. I think the Alpha 65's are the best monitor choice for under $1k. And to Drew's point, he might be right, but even if OP doesn't really get into the mixing side of things, these speakers are a joy to listen to any music on and any music lover can appreciate having a really nice set of speakers.
     
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  13. Rev2010

    Rev2010 Contributor

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    Yeah I don't see anything unsatisfying playing through my Focal's. I have a Bugera TriRec with a Randall Diavlo 2x12 cab (V30's) and I love it tremendously but find myself 95% of the time playing through my Focal's using either my POD HD or amp sims. Main reason is it's so quick and convenient. I can write and record on the fly without having to switch from the amp to the computer or hookup a mic and place it, I don't have to worry about amp volume, or I can simply jam along to Superior grooves. I don't find the sound lacking at all. :shrug:


    Rev.
     
  14. Jzbass25

    Jzbass25 SS.org Regular

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    Sorry I’m late to reply, busy week. Thanks for your answers.

    You may be correct that there are better options for me. My initial idea was monitors since they’ll easily interface with my pc for music and my DAW if I play a vst instead of an axe fx and it would be easy and compact to run a stereo rig compared to 2 frfrs or 2 cabinets. If you guys think there’s a better route then let me know.

    As for the cab for an axe, I actually have a 2x12 cab but no dedicated power amp. I never use it very loud with my tube amp because of where I live and I have really sensitive ears, partially from my disability giving me sound sensitivity =/ . Will an axe fx into a poweramp and cab be worth it if I’m not playing it very loudly?

    Also, I don’t really plan on getting too serious with music again since I have a career now and not that much spare time so I don’t necessarily need the most expensive/flat speakers and they don’t necessarily need to be studio monitors either.

    I will try to listen to some speakers and setups if I can before I make a final decision. The closest music stores aren’t great so I’ll probably make a trip to Miami and/or Orlando at some point.
     
  15. InCasinoOut

    InCasinoOut syncopAZN

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    No matter what you go with, I do recommend looking for them on Ebay. I got my Yamaha HS5s as a package deal with stands, Auralex mopads for under the monitors, and Mogami cables, all for the price of the 2 monitors themselves. I think I paid $400 for them.

    edit: if you're curious, this is what I got:
    http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5...0001&campid=5338014327&icep_item=401596603059

    looks like you can get them same deal with HS8s for $700
     
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  16. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    I think so. A clean, solid state power amp doesn't need to be pushed to add "color" since the AxeFX is already doing that, and a real cab just breathes differently than an IR/cab&mic sim. If you already have a cab, doing this should be pretty cheap, too.
     
  17. Jzbass25

    Jzbass25 SS.org Regular

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    Okay, I'll look into that option. Any recommendations for the power amps? I recall people liked matrix amps.
     
  18. Jzbass25

    Jzbass25 SS.org Regular

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    That's actually not bad since I would need some stands, thanks!
     
  19. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Not my area of expertise at all, but I recall Carvin poweramps being popular with AxeFX users back in the day, and I think they're back in production now...?
     

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