monitors: reading user opinions - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 11th, 2008, 12:27 PM   #16
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 2,053
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Fass View Post
Any books or articles you'd recommend on room acoustics? Thanks.
Here's a good place to get started: Primacoustic - Acoustical Solutions

Lots of other good references available via a google search.
__________________
Dean Sensui
Exec Producer, Hawaii Goes Fishing
Dean Sensui is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 12th, 2008, 01:08 AM   #17
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 975
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Fass View Post
As I live a few hundred miles from any city that would have audio monitors, I have to rely on reviews and user opinions to a great extent-- at least to narrow down the choices.

When I read the message boards, you could almost copy and paste one brand name into someone's opinion of another. Comparing the Genelec 8030A and Adam A7...
Based on blind A-B testing, using sound samples that were unfamiliar to the listener? I just wonder...
Philip you are in a tricky situation not being able to listen to the speakers. I am familiar with all the speakers mentioned in this thread and really you wouldn't go wrong with any of them be it the Genelecs, the Adams or the Klein + Hummels. But first you should know the Klein and Hummels are WAY more expensive than the others and they are way more understated sonically than the Genelecs or the Adams (although fairly close to the Genelecs).

First thing I would suggest is, if you are a member of any audio gear forums like "Gearsultz" that you put out a call to people in your area that have these monitors and check them out with some CDs you are really familiar with and have a good range of material. Obviously you want to have some material with a good bit of vocal stuff stuff smack in the midrange to gauge speech.

The monitors/speakers are "Near Field Monitors" that are primarily designed to allow you to create a mix that will translate onto most systems regardless of size, acoustics and so on. They all do that but they all have strengths and weaknesses. Yes Adam product has been flavour of the past couple of years but so have the Genelecs in other quarters and the Klein + Hummels get pumped up in other (more higher end) trade magazines and sites.

If you are really predisposed to "warm" sound you will probably gravitate towards the Genelecs or the Klein + Hummels. If you like finely detailed imaging and sound then you will like the Adams.

I started off my search convinced (by marketing) that I NEEDED the Genelecs, then I was convinced I NEEDED the Adams after reading a bunch of reviews. I bought the Adams but after several visits to different audio stores doing blind tests with a variety of monitors including Genelecs and more higher priced speakers - the whole lot of what is generally available. And I settled on the Adam A7s in fact with the idea that I would upgrade to the S3A's within a year or so. But then I was convinced, absolutely convinced I need the Klein + Hummels. I blind tested them in 2 locations and thought the price differential to quality of sound was too great so I abandoned the idea. Now that I am out of the vortex of user hype and marketing hype I am glad I got the A7s because they suit the way I go at editing and sculpting sound.

I use them for video editing 20% of the time but the other part I am either playing synths or sampled instruments (grand pianos, percussion, etc) through them or recording stuff so the detailed high end of the sound with the ribbon tweeter allows me to hone in on stuff and deal with nuance. I will say one thing you probably haven't heard too much. A subwoofer is really key if you want to get the most out of these Near Field Monitors and unfortunately they are not cheap. The benefit of a sub seems trivial at first but once you live with it for a while you realize how important it is to the sound.

If you are using the speakers for video remember that 5.1 sound requires 5 speakers plus the sub. So if you are going the Klein + Hummel route you are looking a small fortune to do this.

Not sure if this will make your decision easier but at least you will see that you are not the only one who has gone through this process. Might be worth your while to take a field trip to a city where you can preview the Genelecs and the Adams but try to go to a city where you can go to more than one shop because acoustics play havoc on speakers (as I am sure you know) and sales reps can make it difficult to make a thoughtful decision. Remember take music with you that you know really well. Good luck.
Andrew Stone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 12th, 2008, 05:27 AM   #18
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Charlotte, VT
Posts: 397
Andy, thanks. That's all helpful advice.

Dare I say that the JBL 4326 has also entered the picture? Judging only by the number of superlatives people use for them vs the other brands, they seem to be another good choice.

Here's another question for you: Let's say that you used the A7's on a video project (my intended use, BTW). Then, for some reason, you had to take the same footage and redo the sound with Genelecs.

Now we have two DVDs of the same video. Only diff is the audio monitors you used. The effects of compression, quirks of the home theater system on which they're watched, etc....well, some things are predictable, others are random.

The question, hypothetical as it is: eliminating all other sources of variability, except the way those speakers affect your work, how different is the sound on those two DVDs? And how much of a trained ear does it take to hear the differences?

In the end, it really comes down to the work you produce, right? So, if you'll play along with me, I think this is an interesting thought to consider. Thanks.
Philip Fass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 12th, 2008, 08:47 AM   #19
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 2,069
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Fass View Post
Any books or articles you'd recommend on room acoustics? Thanks.
You could start here
Acoustics 101...Practical guidelines for acoustic construction: building a sound studio, listening room, home theater room, and any other sound control room project.

Dan
Dan Brockett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 12th, 2008, 09:18 AM   #20
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 975
You should also throw the Dynaudios in there as well. They sonically are similar to the Genelecs in that they have a warmer midrange and high end but are in the price range of the Adam A7s.

Your question about mixing a project on the Adams and then doing the same on the Genelecs. Complicated question to answer. Probably room acoustics are going to influence the the final sound of what comes to your ear from speaker more than the individual speaker, at least in terms of how they will affect the outcome of your mix. Also if a set of sounds appear enticing on one set of speakers you may decide to make that your focus in sculpting the sound and to know which speaker before hand is going to have a slight focus on a set of sounds is difficult to know.

There is a process that happens over time once you have the speakers in your setup and you start working with them. You eventually become really "used" to them to the point where you don't think about the sound per se. Your mixes will translate from your near field monitors to larger speakers and the mix will "just work".

The difficult issue when you are previewing the speakers before you buy them is you are listening for "musicality", accuracy, imaging, detail in the highs, bass that is smooth and not boomy which you hope is going to translate into getting an accurate mix in the end. You should go through this process. If you buy them without hearing them you are going continually wonder "did I make the right choice".

Looks like Montreal is the closest large city to where you live. Where I live in Canada I go to music instrument stores. They store chains we have here on the West Coast don't seem to exist in Montreal. Not sure of what is in Montreal but google can probably help you out or other musician related forums. I know there is a chain in Quebec called Archambault. I don't know the extent of their inventory and how far they go into "gear". They are musician focused so that would be a place to start. Also look at dealer listings on the speaker manufacturer websites.

It took me about 6 weeks of serious listening, going into stores a couple of times a week before I made my decision. I think if you went around to at least 2 places with different acoustical environments you would be able to make an informed decision. And don't forget to consider the sub. Adam makes an 8" sub for the A7's. Many of the manufacturers will recommend a 10" sub. If I were to do it again I would probably go for a 10" but I am quite happy with the 8".
Andrew Stone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 12th, 2008, 09:19 AM   #21
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Charlotte, VT
Posts: 397
Great resource, Dan. I've grabbed the PDF. Thanks.
Philip Fass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 12th, 2008, 09:26 AM   #22
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia (formerly Winnipeg, Manitoba) Canada
Posts: 4,087
One topic that HASN'T come up yet is make sure you have a set of "less than perfect" consumer style speakers in your editing space as well to make sure there isn't something BIZARRE happening when you play stuff on "normal" speakers. Mix on the reference, CONFIRM on the consumers.
__________________
Shaun C. Roemich Road Dog Media - Vancouver, BC - Videographer - Webcaster
www.roaddogmedia.ca Blog: http://roaddogmedia.wordpress.com/
Shaun Roemich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 12th, 2008, 09:48 AM   #23
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Charlotte, VT
Posts: 397
Shaun, I do have ordinary speakers. But that raises a good question. What would you do if you knew everyone in your audience was going hear your video on the speaker of a $100 TV? I mean, are we assuming high-end sound in a world that's mostly low-end?
Philip Fass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 12th, 2008, 09:51 AM   #24
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 975
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun Roemich View Post
make sure you have a set of "less than perfect" consumer style speakers in your editing space as well to make sure there isn't something BIZARRE happening...
Really good point. A buddy of mine who has been in the biz over 40 years doesn't want big speakers. He prefers to hear the sound out of lousy speakers like the ones you hear on older TVs. I think there is a degree of credence to this however, in the era of HD and home theater systems one shouldn't ignore "good sound".

Another point is having a good set of headphones. My preference is for the Sennheiser HD600. They are an open air designed headphone, not the sealed kind that many camera operators use like the Sony MDR-7506. The Sennheiser's have a VERY neutral sound stage and are considered to be among the best headphones available.
Andrew Stone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 12th, 2008, 10:15 AM   #25
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia (formerly Winnipeg, Manitoba) Canada
Posts: 4,087
My position, for what it's worth coming from a 20 year bass player in his late 30's who worked around construction and high pressure air for 10 years is:

-I mix for video using small not-quite-reference bookshelf speakers in my edit bay. I do mostly documentaries and training/promo videos so the majority of my content is human voice OVER wild sound or a music bed. I don't PROFESSIONALLY mix music.

-After my mix is done, I burn a copy to DVD and listen to it on my 27" Toshiba CRT TV to see what it sounds like to the "average" listener.

-I don't record or mix very much material that has excessive bass content (either musical, music effects OR heavy equipment-style noises) so I'm LESS concerned with unexpected bass issues than others here may be. I don't do dramatic pieces (think cinematic) so I believe this is less of an issue for me than it may be for you.

-I also "mono down" my audio via an RCA "combiner" on critical mixes to make sure there aren't strange things going on with phase that may only become apparent on end-user's systems that have been set up by Luddites.

-What I've found is that by the time my content has been through the AC3 compressor before going to DVD, a LOT of the minor mix niggles that I had have disappeared. I'm not saying there isn't a place for critical mixing for critical ears; I LOVE a good high fidelity musical recording as much as anyone. I'm just saying that not everyone will have the "luxury" of accurate monitors and we need to make sure we accommodate ALL or AS MANY end users as time, willingness and budget permit.

CAVEAT EMPTOR: If you are mixing for a client with higher end sound delivery than my clients PLEASE DISREGARD most of the above. Most of my material is either for broadcast OR viewing on TVs either in boardrooms/training rooms.
__________________
Shaun C. Roemich Road Dog Media - Vancouver, BC - Videographer - Webcaster
www.roaddogmedia.ca Blog: http://roaddogmedia.wordpress.com/
Shaun Roemich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 12th, 2008, 10:17 AM   #26
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia (formerly Winnipeg, Manitoba) Canada
Posts: 4,087
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun Roemich View Post
-I also "mono down" my audio via an RCA "combiner" on critical mixes to make sure there aren't strange things going on with phase that may only become apparent on end-user's systems that have been set up by Luddites.
By this I mean AT THE QUALITY CONTROL LISTENING STAGE, not at any sort of distribution stage. Sorry if that caused any confusion.
__________________
Shaun C. Roemich Road Dog Media - Vancouver, BC - Videographer - Webcaster
www.roaddogmedia.ca Blog: http://roaddogmedia.wordpress.com/
Shaun Roemich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 12th, 2008, 11:47 AM   #27
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Charlotte, VT
Posts: 397
Your approach makes sense to me, but I'd go beyond saying "not everyone" to say that almost no one will have accurate monitors, unless you're dealing with a very small and unusual segment of the general population.
Philip Fass is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:26 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network