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-   -   Full range vs. quality studio monitors (http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/full-range/127805-full-range-vs-quality-studio-monitors.html)

schn0354 8th August 2008 11:44 PM

Full range vs. quality studio monitors
 
Hello,

I am trying to put together a simple 2 channel audiophile setup for a small listening room environment.

As such, the A126 back loaded horn design appears a good choice and materials would cost about $150 - 170 and it would be easy for me to build them. On the other hand, I could also buy a pair of used Bowers & Wilkins DM 302, 303 bookshelf speakers for about the same price or decent used pro studio monitors (non powered) for $200-300. Going this route would require less space and have a pretty flat response.

I do not have an amplifier yet, but perhaps an older 2 channel dynamic solid state amp with about 50 watts X 2 would work, i.e. NAD, Marantz, Yamaha, or Denon for about $100. I do not want to use tube amps at this point.

I enjoy building, but also understand it is difficult to improve upon a well engineered design (Tannoy, B & W, JBL Pro, Dynaudio, etc.) given that the cost of buying discounted used gear can be the same as material cost for DIY designs, unless the situation calls for something radical! For a reference guide, I went to a local Guitar center and listened to some of their monitors and also went to a posh audiophile store for some listening test of bookshelf designs. It is hard to compare without being in the same room with the same source signal. Can anyone who has listened to various setups make a comment here?

CLS 9th August 2008 02:51 AM

Under a certain volume, a well-built full range speaker can be very good at coherence, tone correctness, detail, spacial info... etc. If you can live with this limit, then it's a very good choice. (so I recommend to friends) Just don't expect the that kind of senses of full-size, live level, physical events.

Studio monitors are usually more consistent over a wider volume range -- behaving better then most fullrangers in higher level. However you'd lose some coherence and the feeling of "as one" comparing to good fullrangers.

flshzug 9th August 2008 04:21 AM

uhm , excuse me, whats that wide ringe with these 105 dB SPL max bookshelf "so called monitors" ? :P

Look for Bag-end company , besides subwoofers they have some point source monitors, with Radian coaxial drivers.

rjbond3rd 9th August 2008 01:50 PM

I listened to smallish nearfield studio monitors for years (in studios no less) and they are a tool for geting work done. A good monitor is neither pleasing nor annoying -- definitely not designed with hours of listening pleasure as their primary purpose.

However, you might find some which sound incredibly pleasing. I had a pair of the very first Mackie monitors way back (early 1990's) and got rid of them because they had a gorgeous plump bass (great for listening, bad for monitoring).

A flat response is not the be-all, end-all. If you're looking for a shortcut, or quick results, I don't think a BLH is the way. If you like a challenge, and want to hear a sound that's not available in a typical store, and you listen to music that is a suitable match, do the BLH.

CLS, you are spot-on, my friend. With the right music, at the right volume, within their limitations, they are magical. I have seen people be blown away, and I've seen people be unimpressed. It all depends on what you like!

edit: changed Alesis to Mackie - they were Mackie, sorry!

GM 9th August 2008 03:53 PM

Re: Full range vs. quality studio monitors
 
Quote:

Originally posted by schn0354

On the other hand, I could also buy a pair of used Bowers & Wilkins DM 302, 303 bookshelf speakers.........Going this route would require less space and have a pretty flat response.

There's much to be said for this approach and if you choose well a consumer two way will match/beat all but the most $esoteric$ 'FR' drivers in huge cabs. The DM303 is one of the better ones IMO (with 'better' being relative), though like most of the 'breed' I've found them to need some BSC to sound tonally balanced, especially if no sub system is used: http://www.soundstage.com/revequip/bw_dm303.htm http://www.soundstagemagazine.com/me...ents/bw_dm303/

The downside of course is much reduced efficiency/dynamic headroom, so at best they are relegated to being near-field monitors (< 1 m listening distance) if you have enough 'squeaky clean' power available and at worst limited to Muzak duty if not. Then again, with rare exception this applies to all 'FR' drivers, so 'pick your poison'. :(

Bottom line, at your budget level, true 'audiophile' SQ over a wide BW is going to be hard to come by.

GM

Nordic 9th August 2008 04:53 PM

Out of experience I would nit diss all monitors...

My dad once came home from an auction with a set of QLN model one monitors, these babies have a patented crossover and were displayed at CES in Chicago in 1981. These still to me remain almost a reference loudspeaker, provided you had the amp to drive the totaly sealed boxes.

These babies were big ticket items....

http://www.qln.se/index2.php3?page=s...bmenu=speakers

here is the modern day descendant....

Sadly the KEF drivers have not handled a decade's storage too well and it is now relegated as a future restoration project.

You people inn Sweden should be proud of this one.

GM 9th August 2008 05:09 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Nordic
Out of experience I would nit diss all monitors...
True, for decades much of the world's music was mixed using the various Altec 604 series duplex driver and still available new as the GPA 604-8H-II. Unfortunately its pricing is well beyond many a DIYer's budget.

GM

Nordic 9th August 2008 05:26 PM

Yep those GPA's runs for $750, at least it includes a crossover.

rjbond3rd 9th August 2008 06:08 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Nordic
Out of experience I would nit diss all monitors...
Nor would I. My only thought is that you aren't likely to find great-sounding speakers (or BLH's!) used as nearfield monitors in a recording studio, except maybe to impress artists and managers (but not producers and engineers, who generally listen to something mediocre but trustworthy).

Quote:

Originally posted by GM
True, for decades much of the world's music was mixed using the various Altec 604 series duplex driver and still available new as the GPA 604-8H-II...
Hi GM, for me at least, by the late 1980's, the record companies had pushed most recording into smaller, cheaper studios for laying down tracks, and then the final mix would be done in 4, at most 8 hours per song at a larger, fancier studio with an automated mixing console (and bigger monitoring options). In the smaller studios, nearfield was the only serious monitoring available. Not surprising that the dynamic range eventually got squashed out of records.

Anyway, schn0354, I didn't mean to say don't buy monitors -- buy whatever sounds good to you!

DaveCan 9th August 2008 07:34 PM

Re: Full range vs. quality studio monitors
 
Quote:

Originally posted by schn0354
[B]Hello,

I am trying to put together a simple 2 channel audiophile setup for a small listening room environment.

As such, the A126 back loaded horn design appears a good choice and materials would cost about $150 - 170 and it would be easy for me to build them. On the other hand, I could also buy a pair of used Bowers & Wilkins DM 302, 303 bookshelf speakers for about the same price or decent used pro studio monitors (non powered) for $200-300. Going this route would require less space and have a pretty flat response.
B]

For a small listening room if you can use the corners, the fe108ez in a Bib is pretty nice, or the 126 if wanted... The Fonken 127 enclosure will work well also... I guess it all depends if you'd rather have the fun and pride of making something yourself or buying something already made etc.. Dave:)


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