Best active studio monitors under $400

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by thexmadxtopxhatter, May 12, 2012.

  1. thexmadxtopxhatter

    thexmadxtopxhatter Senior Member

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    Hey guys I just need some opinions on studio monitors because there's tons of options out there. I'm looking for a pair of active studio monitors, new or used, with a budget of 400 tops (for both) thanks :thumb:
     
  2. RobinOC

    RobinOC Senior Member

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    I'd recommend the Yamaha HS50M - $199.99 each. (Hope that's close enough to your budget cap. :eek:) Highly regarded monitors.

    I hear good things about Mackies too.

    Don't believe the hype about KRK and M-Audio (but do listen to them in your quest)
     
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  3. thexmadxtopxhatter

    thexmadxtopxhatter Senior Member

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    Thanks man :thumb: I've listened to Krk's before and didn't like them too much... the low end was way too much for me, and i feel that it'd be hard to mix with a pair. As for the yamaha's, i may be able to go over 400, so what would you say about the hs80's compared to the hs50's? Would it be a difference worth paying the extra dough for?
     
  4. BuzzHaze

    BuzzHaze V.I.P. Member

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  5. Electric Funeral

    Electric Funeral Senior Member

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    I like the Yamaha HS50M's as well, amazing clarity.

    The KRK's have way too much bass and are muddier in my opinion. They're great for people that listen to music through them or produce hip-hop. I think they actually sound awesome for phat synth bass lines, but if you want a monitor to mix and record with the Yamaha's are much better.
     
  6. 3rdstone

    3rdstone Senior Member

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    Don't mean to butt-in on a question you asked of someone else, I'm only doing so because I demoed all of the monitors you and others have mentioned here.

    The Yamahas were the best of the bunch to my ears. Very accurate. If you feed them garbage, they will reproduce it; same for excellence, they will faithfully reproduce that as well.

    The reason I opted for the 80s over the 50s was pretty simple too. I wanted my monitors to reproduce more of the lower octave, without losing imaging, and without having to incorporate a sub. They deliver on both counts.

    One of the best audio decisions I ever made. Hope this helps. :)
     
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  7. Red2112

    Red2112 Senior Member

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    I say go for Yamaha MSP-5´s. Yamaha´s MSP series is more oriented as a studio monitor.

    They were recomended to me by someone who use to work at Front End Audio and very happy with them!

    Yamaha HS50 vs. MSP5 - Gearslutz.com

    Good luck!

    Care,

    Mike
     
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  8. thexmadxtopxhatter

    thexmadxtopxhatter Senior Member

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    Thanks everyone so far for the advice! :thumb:
     
  9. RobinOC

    RobinOC Senior Member

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    Depends on the size of the room whether to go for the Yamaha 5" or 8". In a smaller room I don't think you'd hear much difference. In a big room the lower frequencies have more room to propagate and then you might appreciate the 8" more. I don't think they're worth the big jump in price for most people though. I think I'd look for a good subwoofer for the 5" first.
     
  10. thexmadxtopxhatter

    thexmadxtopxhatter Senior Member

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    Okay thanks man :thumb: I'm g0onna convert my attic (pretty much a big recreational room) into a studio/mancave sports and music room. So its roughly 25 by 25 foot. Would the 8 inches make a difference here?
     
  11. Red2112

    Red2112 Senior Member

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    Regarding subwoofer´s... Apart from being expensive, they are NOT easy to set-up. You need a pro to set-up you´r system or that woofer is gonna give you more problems then anything. Apart from the fact that your room needs to be very well conditioned in order for you to appreciate that sub!

    I don´t mean to bash anything/anyone, but think about this... Do you really think Yamaha is gonna give you a 8" with 80w (HS80m) for the same price of a 5" 40w (MSP-5)? They practically cost the same thing, do you really think they do the same thing? That would be a dumb move on behalf of Yamaha´s side. 8", 80w and a white cone (NS10s) is a good marketing catch for consumers, but to each it´s own! IMHO.

    Remember we are talking "nearfields" here, they are not meant for big rooms! They are meant to be in the aquarium (mix/listening room)...:D

    If your just getting into this, I say get the MSP-5´s (un trick pony), learn them, and once you learn the trade a bit, move on to the big league! MSP-7, Adam A7x, Dynaudio or what ever... and so on.

    Good luck and have fun!

    Care,

    Mike
     
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  12. RobinOC

    RobinOC Senior Member

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    Subs aren't that hard to set up. The trick (from THX no less) is to put the sub where you will normally sit then walk around the room playing some music you're familiar with until you find some sweet spots. (there should be more than one but some spots won't be convenient, like in the middle of where people walk. Many current receivers have built-in tools in the way of mic/sound generators to help in speaker placement.

    However now we're talking about setting up more of a home entertainment system rather than a recording studio. Sounds like you might want your set up to do double duty. If that's the case then I'd forget the studio monitors for now. If not I'd still stick with the 5" Yamaha's and buy a separate surround sound system that's THX certified.

    Its a good idea to let the speakers break in for several days or more of playback before you perform any critical recording.

    I do think that setting up an acoustically good room is expensive and a lot of work.
     
  13. 3rdstone

    3rdstone Senior Member

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    Just to clarify: The reason I opted for the 80s is that I am more susceptible to lower octave comb filtering annoyances, as apposed to the interaction between the mid/bass and the tweeter, and the comb filtering that could occur there. YMMV (subjectivity anyone? :laugh2:)
    Article: Why We Believe (this guy is a little out there, but he makes some good points in it)

    Whatever you decide, have fun and good luck. :)
     
  14. still_fiddlin

    still_fiddlin Junior Member

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    If you can, give the JBL LSR2325P a listen. I'm very happy with the pair I have. Small room, though, and I'm using them strictly as nearfields (though they can pump out a bunch of sound if needed).
     
  15. decoy205

    decoy205 Senior Member

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    yamahas I think are your best bet,
    Then KRK's
    Then the Mackies.
     
  16. babatube

    babatube Senior Member

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    stay away from the KRK.
    they used to make the best nearfield monitors.
    i have the good old KRK krok and they are great.
    now they use cheap components.
    i heard their new top of the line monitors.
    i was really disappointed.
    it was like listening to a good hifi system.
    not even close to a studio reference..
    you got my vote also for the yamaha msp5 in that price range.
    the closest thing to a studio monitor in that price.
    the other options in this price range are all just cheap active speakers with big investment on marketing hype.
    just my 2 rubals:slash:
     
  17. decoy205

    decoy205 Senior Member

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    In that price range you're not going to get much. The older cheap KRK's were decent. I haven't tried the newer versions.

    The real KRV V6's were nice monitors. All the active ported monitors these days lie anyways.

    In that budget a good pair of headphones might even be a better investment.
     
  18. decoy205

    decoy205 Senior Member

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    A great thing you should do with lower end monitors is use songs and mixes you are very familiar with to hear what they sound like on your speakers. That will give you a baseline for what you should be able to achieve with your mixes.

    Another rule of thumb is you should almost always spend the same amount on acoustics as you do on monitors. The room is part of your sound.
     
  19. ACELUEK

    ACELUEK ACE FREHLEY'S BASTARD SON

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    I got these M-Audio AV-40 monitors for $129..

    Sounds pretty good for the price..

    [​IMG]
     
  20. chumpchange

    chumpchange Senior Member

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    tossing tannoy 501a into the frey. got my pair at GC for around $350.
     

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