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Old 25th November 2012, 09:58 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by C37 View Post
. . .A subwoofer with high pass to your monitors will even out their frequency response and help, ok, just be realistic and don't expect headbanging sound levels with 25watts on tap, even active ones!
If the 25 watt monitors are equipped with right-sized input caps and output caps to block some bass, then those amplifiers haven't been requested to play subharmonic and they are blind to subharmonic load. In this case, you'd need an inconveniently large subwoofer with approximately 400 watts to keep up with the monitors. Depending on the room size, the system can play at or beyond concert levels. That may be loud enough. How big is the room?
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Old 26th November 2012, 07:45 AM   #32
Colin is offline Colin  United Kingdom
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Some interesting opinions here but also a bit of misinformation:

- 100w isn't necessarily too high an amplifier for a 4" driver; it's about headroom and clipping. Instantaneous peaks can require 20 - 26dB above what you normally listen to to avoid clipping. If your average is a quarter of a watt, then 100w is fine. Some drivers will take it quite happily.

- To say all most small monitors are crap is itself crap. A sweeping statement which demonstrates the poster's lack of experience with them or besottedness with bigger speakers.

If you're looking at desktop monitors, I know some recording engineers who regularly use Genelecs. Worth looking at those. Their amplifiers seem a little on the low side but as Daniel says, it depends on the level you're going to listen to. Room size and distance from them is important - the output level will need to go up 3dB (double the power) for every doubling of distance from the speakers. For example, I play at 84dB for LOUD music at the sitting position, which is 89dB at the speakers (measured).

If you want a considered opinion on active monitors, I would suggest looking at the Sound on Sound website (Sound On Sound | Recording Techniques | Audio Technology | Music Production | Computer Music | Video Media for the Googlephobic) which has better and more sensible reviews than the hi-fi press. It is addressing your market for speakers and has probably covered the models you are considering.

Bear in mind many monitors are not too domestic in appearance (the AVIs are the exception rather than the rule) but may have greater adjustment facilities.

FWIW, I have a pair of subs with my active monitors. I use them on occasion but they're not necessary all the time, depending on the type of music I listen to.
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Old 26th November 2012, 08:48 AM   #33
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Old 27th November 2012, 06:34 PM   #34
Colin is offline Colin  United Kingdom
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Old 16th December 2012, 08:32 PM   #35
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Allow me to weigh in. I am an audio professional (I get paid to produce and edit media) and I am a tweaker. (I don't get paid to mod but I enjoy it.) Let's start with the basics, good studio monitors range from about $8,000 each ATC SCM25A | and reference grade starts at $20,000 each X-10 : High Resolution Linear Control Room Monitor
If you are spending lots less, you are accepting compromises of some sort.

I have personally modded two easily purchased systems, the Mackie HR824 (original made in USA) and the Alesis Monitor One Mk2 Active. Both sound decent on their own and in my opinion represent the most monitor you can buy for the dollar at used prices. The Alesis sounds "small" and "flat" the Mackie is powerful but "sloppy" and bright and dull at the same time, hard to describe unless you hear it next to a good monitor.

The Alsesis was very easy to mod and my last pair replaced a stock set of Genelec 8031's in a friends studio. (Not a project studio... he has produced content for artists you've heard of.) All that was required was to upgrade the power supply (better caps, diodes, etc.) upgrade the input opamp, (to LME4562) bypass the input volume control and caps, and extensively brace and damp the cabinet. The response is the same (decent) but now the vocals are not boomy in the lower mids, image is HUGE, sound is natural and non-fatiguing and vocals float in 3d space in front of the image. (As they are supposed to.)

The Mackies were a ton of work and required replacing lots of parts on the amp and crossover and power supply, replacing both drivers, (which required taking some measurements and recalibrating the woofer/tweeter drive levels) damping the cabinet and gluing some felt to the front to reduce baffle diffraction. They are currently NOT as accurate response wise (via measurement) but sound similar to $20,000 monitors and are VERY easy to mix on and listen to. Everyone that hears them nearly sh**s themselves.

Material wise, very little separates ok monitors from great ones. Using a conservative 10 to 1 cost ratio, the $300 woofers I installed would add $3000 to the list price if they were oem. Suddenly a $1500 pair of monitors is $4500, and so it goes. Bypassing the two DC blocking capacitors around the volume control works a small miracle in clarity, but Mackie includes them so the volume pot does not crackle if the input signal has DC offset. A DC servo would be better but costs a few dollars more so junky caps are used instead. An ocean of jrc opamps guarantees no texture or detail will ever make its way to the drivers...

Powered monitors are a fun platform to experiment with, especially considering how cheaply they can be purchased used. Buy a set, get the service manual, spend $50 on parts and have fun!!

***The above assumes you can read a schematic, own a scope, have a measuring platform like SMAART and understand how speakers and amplifiers work***

Last edited by psemeraro; 16th December 2012 at 08:36 PM.
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Old 17th December 2012, 12:19 AM   #36
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!Correction! $8000 for the PAIR of the ATC monitors. I blame it on sleep deprivation...

Also the K & H monitors are worth noting as well if they are still available?
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Old 17th December 2012, 12:22 AM   #37
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The best way to check the parts of a speaker is to open it up...
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Old 18th January 2013, 04:23 PM   #38
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Hey guys, i ordered Adam A7x, now i need some help about their amps. I cant find anywhere, what kind of D class amp they use, some say its Ice Power, but how can i tell if it is, finally is it a good thing they use Ice Power? are this good quality amps? thanks guys!

P.S. Thanks for all the answers, btw!

Last edited by dazed1; 18th January 2013 at 04:28 PM.
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