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Old February 12th, 2009, 04:06 PM   #1
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Edirol MA15D Monitors

OK, please be gentle....

I've come to the point where I want to upgrade my sound monitoring from a puny Dell PC Speaker system with sub-woofer that came bundled with a Dell Pentium 4 Dimension 4.5 years ago (yes, please don't laugh so loud....) to something a bit better "to get me by" for a year or two.

I've spent some time reading reviews on DVinfo and elsewhere and I'm very taken with the idea of the Edirol MA15D as they are about 150 a pair in the UK which fits my current budget just fine. I also use Sony MDR 7506 Monitoring headphones for some of my audio work (thanks to good recommendations on here in the past) and they are excellent for hearing what's really going on when videoing and at times when editing (mostly corporate video stuff and when I have time stuff for fun) but I really need some better speakers for mixing. I'm hoping this combination will be good enough to get me to "the next level of audio editing" and accept that this will not be a long term solution since I know these MA15D's aren't going to be serious monitors - as Ty and others will no doubt tell me!!!! ;-)

However, back to reality. Space on my desk and and money in my bank is at a premium. The MA15D seem to fit the bill for me at the stage I'm currently at with working/mixing sound and my current desire to get on that long road to doing it better.

I like the fact they will accept digital audio from either my MBP and soon to be purchase Mac Pro (awaiting the next update...that's where I'll be spending some very serious money shortly - end March/April time - hence the frugal approach on these monitors right now).

So, am I kidding myself? Obviously, I'm keen to get an audition before I buy but any other options I should open my mind to? The Behringer MS40 look similar, are slightly cheaper but are perhaps inferior judging from some comments I've read. I did wonder about the smaller Behringer MS20 or the smaller Edirols MA 7A but I'm not convinced they would be enough of a step up from the Dell PC sound system anyway. Anyone using any of these care to comment? Please don't suggest 1000 monitors 'cause it ain't going to happen until the new Mac Pro is in here and earning it's keep!
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Old February 12th, 2009, 05:06 PM   #2
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Andy, after plenty of your reasons, soul and pocket searching, auditioning, I bought the Adam A7s and love 'em. Don't know the UK price so maybe not in your sights just now.

But I'd look at the newer Adam A5s, I've heard those, better for desktops and IMO you'd only have to buy once. Very accurate and you can mix all day without ear fatigue on Adams.

Cheers.
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Old February 12th, 2009, 05:26 PM   #3
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We have a couple of edit stations using these, and find them very good...we are not music producers, so have never measured them for critical near-field 100% accurate reproduction, although afaik they may be capable of this. We're looking for decent playback from our videos to edit content, and they are excellent for their quality and features, which fit our needs by: having two different analog inputs so we can feed the audio out from the computer and also use them a direct monitors from our Sony tape decks; they provide sp/dif digital input (coax and cable), subwoofer out, etc, which we don't need but may be helpful; bass boost, adjustable bass/treble, all that good stuff.

I understand people who are mixing music need a precise, rather than subjectively-good-sounding monitor and I don't know if they do or do not qualify for that, but for the price we think they are good monitors.

They have enough volume that we have used them as audio output in training sessions for a room of eight people, and they worked admirably there as well...hope this is some help...fwiw I like them so much I bought a set for myself for my home audio recording/editing system (MOTU 896mk3 and laptop) and love 'em..../Battle Vaughan/miamiherald.com video team
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Old February 12th, 2009, 08:14 PM   #4
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My edit bay has EDIROL MA15D's in it and I'm thrilled at the performance at the price. Again, I don't mix music (except my own when I unpack the old G3 with Digidesign Digi001 and ProTools5). I mix voice over, wild sound and music beds for long and short form video work and I find them quite adequate for the work I do. Keep in mind I do ZERO cinema scoring and avoid deep or sub bass in my mixes so the somewhat limited frequency response doesn't adversely affect me or my clients. Just remember to keep in mind that bi-amped bookshelf speakers will be cleaner than tv speakers so be sure to A/B test your content on cheaper speakers before delivery.

Will I buy actual reference monitors when I build my next edit computer and edit bay? Yes. Will the EDIROLs still live in the edit bay as lower cost nearfields? Yep.
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Old February 12th, 2009, 09:47 PM   #5
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Andy,

having more space on my desk than money in the bank,
I went for the MA-15D, and I'm pretty happy.
They're serious enough for what I do (short & long docs.)
and my main client (Swiss Public Broadcasting) never complained.
Are they good enough for the really serious audio guys? No.
Am I a really serious audio guy? No, I'm just a one-man-band
documentary filmmaker, cutting corners here and there,
making all sort of compromises to come up with a decent-to-good product
working on a shoe-string budget.

My two cents

All the best

Vasco
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Old February 13th, 2009, 04:53 AM   #6
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Thanks everybody for the excellent inputs. Lots for me to think about.

Glowing review of the Adam A5's below....very tempting even though it would be more than twice the cost of the Edirol MA15Ds spoken so highly of above.

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazin...io_monitor.htm
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Old February 13th, 2009, 09:07 AM   #7
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Hi Andy, I use the MA-7 speakers as my B set when checking for TV mix compatibility and they are fine. The larger MA-15 should be OK for most generic use but make sure that the sound is balanced by playing some CD's that you are familiar with. The 7's and 15's have a low freq bass enhancer and it can be a bit deceptive as it make things too boomy just be careful with it.

My main monitor are dynaudios with a sub but the edirols are a good average check speaker and are self powered so easy to set-up.

Just to show that not all pro set-ups are mega all the edit suites down at The Bill have Denon mini hifi systems installed.
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Old February 13th, 2009, 10:29 AM   #8
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BTW, in order to get what I believe to be a less processed/more neutral sound, the Bass control is at 12 o'clock and I've rolled the Treble up to about 2 o'clock. Avoid boosting with these speakers. The only reason I've got the Treble up is because of my permanent partial hearing loss. If I don't, everything sounds just a hair muffled and it's hard to pay attention during long edit sessions.
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Old February 19th, 2009, 11:26 AM   #9
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Just to close the loop on this I bought the Edirol MA15D after hearing them on the Roland/Edirol trade stand (i.e., in a non-ideal acoustic environment!) at BVE Earls Courts, London on Tuesday. I actually purchased them on-line from a UK store (last night) that's associated with computers that, like a fruit, keep the doctor away. They have the wood finish ones that I wanted, not the slightly cheaper all black ones, for 135 delivered. They came before noon today!

Very pleased with them. Yes, no way will I use the 2-position bass boost switch at the back (it's staying OFF!) as this really discolours the sound when activated, but I'm hearing things I never knew existed in my current project's soundtrack (both good and bad, which is of course why I bought them) and as a result I've spent the afternoon doing Sound Track Pro2 on the audio and it really does sound much better (some spectacular hiss reduction on one lady's interview.)

I can see why these speakers are not top end studio monitors (real low level bass is absent, top volume level is limiting - but way high enough for me at half way up anyway - and no doubt many other reasons) but considering their small size and amazing price I think they do really very well when listening to sounds and music I know inside out. Build quality and looks are very good too. There is always the sub-woofer connection socket for the near future and I'm now after a digital cable for connection to the MBP.

At 135 they were definitely a really good buy, for me, right now for my needs. When I get some really serious monitors these may no doubt get nicked by my 10 year old for her iPod.....imagine the horror! :-)

Thanks everyone for helping on this!
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Last edited by Andy Wilkinson; February 19th, 2009 at 01:43 PM. Reason: typos/adding info
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Old February 20th, 2009, 05:15 AM   #10
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Good to hear you got sorted and that they are improving your monitoring needs.
The sub is a good addition but dont get an expensive one, I added a 99 powered sub from germany to my dynaudios and it does the job and makes them a lot more punchy.
This is the one I got but they have gone up a bit now:http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/PinkBull-AN10-...1%7C240%3A1318
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Old February 20th, 2009, 06:38 AM   #11
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Subwoofer for Edirol MA-15D

Thanks Gary. Looks good.

I assume I want an ACTIVE subwoofer such as your suggestion rather than a (cheaper) passive one which might be too much of a drain on the Edirol's amp? The MA15D manual just says one can "use any subwoofer you wish".
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Old February 20th, 2009, 10:09 AM   #12
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Andy: the Sub Out on the MA15's is merely a line out signal for an active sub or to a power amplifier driving a passive sub.
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Old February 21st, 2009, 03:57 PM   #13
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Thanks for the clarification. Had a bit of time with these speakers now and I'm really happy with them and like their functionality and clarity a lot. I'm busy travelling in and out of the UK with corporate video work over the next 10 days or so but I'm probably going to buy a Kenwood Active Subwoofer (Model SW-40HT-B) which can be had for about 77 when I'm back. Anyone use one of these? I'm thinking 100W of bass output should do it! :-)

Edit: I've just seen that Jigsaw24 currently have the Edirols for an amazingly low price, much lower than I paid! Ah well, I'm still happy!
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Last edited by Andy Wilkinson; February 22nd, 2009 at 09:18 AM.
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 12:01 PM   #14
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Andy, we'll ALWAYS be faced with the reality that we could have bought WHATEVER we just bought cheaper. The ultimate question is "did I get value for my money?"

My Edirol's aren't the most amazing speakers I've ever heard but I paid $200 CDN for them 2 or 3 years ago and I still love the way they sound, given the fact that they didn't break the bank AND I can route my DV deck into one input and my computer (or I/O device) into another.

Do I want some SERIOUS reference speakers for my edit bay? Yes sir! Will the Edirols disappear when I part with the cash? Nope, they'll become mid-range nearfields for further evaluation of program material.
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Old February 28th, 2009, 10:42 AM   #15
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Returned home yesterday to find the 14 Belkin digital optical cable and it's bundled mini-TOSLINK adapter plug that I'd recently ordered had arrived. It gives a slight but noticeable improvement to the already very clear sound from these Edirol MA15Ds when driven from my MBP - direct comparison with a normal stereo lead. Also, they seem to play much louder with a digital audio input - I rarely need them more than 1/4 way up now. That was all well worth doing.

Today, I ordered that Kenwood Sub-Woofer I'd mentioned in an above post in the hope it will arrive about when I get home from my next trip - I'm off back to Dublin tomorrow for yet more corporate filming....and even more Guinness drinking! :-)
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Last edited by Andy Wilkinson; February 28th, 2009 at 03:58 PM. Reason: typos again
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