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Old January 5th, 2004, 09:10 PM   #1
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Low Cost 5.1 Audio Monitors?

I'm looking at purchasing some decent audio monitors. I've decided to go with a 5.1 setup, because I currently have a 5.1 card on the motherboard of the machine I just built. In a couple months I'll upgrade to a decent M-Audio or similar card for surround.

If I was made of money, I think I'd just get 5 Event Studio Precision 6 monitors and a sub. Unforunately I'm not seeing $3000 in the budget.

What are my best options for under $700 for a 5.1 speaker setup for mixing 5.1 and stereo projects (and listening to DVDs, of course...) I've only seen the M-Audio LX-4 2.1 + 5.1 Pack, in this price range. Are these decent monitors? Are there better options in side or slightly above my price if I build my own setup with 5 monitors and a sub?
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Old January 5th, 2004, 10:37 PM   #2
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The Alesis ProActive 5.1 may be a good choice for the price. Read the Mix Magazine review.
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Old January 6th, 2004, 07:16 PM   #3
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M-Audio has their lx4 series, that starts out at 2.1 and has a 5.1 upgrade kit. Many online retailers have the full 5.1 setup for under 600 dollars US.
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Old January 6th, 2004, 07:59 PM   #4
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Yeah Marty or you could buy the same "Alesis" system under the manufacturers name...the Logitec Z680 system and save $125 bucks. I guess they figure it's worth 45% more because it's labled "Alesis".

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...l/-/B00007AKDP
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Old January 6th, 2004, 08:02 PM   #5
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For that price it is definitely worth a shot since you may always find a use for it.
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Old January 7th, 2004, 10:09 AM   #6
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I wonder how flat the frequency response is of that setup. For $275, I doubt they are very accurate monitors. My main goal is not for a good sounding 5.1 system, but an accurate sounding 5.1 system. I don't want to spend $275, when spending $300 more would have given me a much better system.

The technical sheet (http://www.logitech.com/lang/pdf/z680.pdf) for these gives the frequency response (35Hz - 20 kHz) , but not the deviation (+/- dB) Has anyone seen that information anywhere?

The M-Audio LX-4 setup give specs of 40Hz–20kHz; +1dB, -3dB. I doubt that the Logitecs are that good, but I wonder how close they are.
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Old January 10th, 2004, 10:50 AM   #7
 
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Alesis sucks!!

The Logitech/Alesis system is nothing worth listening too unless you understand from the start that it's just a sexy looking consumer DVD monitoring system. For pro, semi-pro, or concerned hobbyist it has no value.
Look at the LX series from M-Audio. It's quite good, and I've used it in a room of 50 people before. Granted, it pushed it to the extreme there, but they sound great, are small, and work wonderfully.
Two places you can't skimp:
Production monitor/video
Speaker Monitors

These are your last lines of defense and awareness of what's leaving on the tape or DVD when you're done.
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Old January 12th, 2004, 11:57 AM   #8
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Thanks, DSE. Just ordered the LX-4 set. I think a decent set of monitors for 5.1 will be much better than an incredible set of stereo monitors. 5.1 is just too much fun in Vegas. :)
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Old January 14th, 2004, 12:27 PM   #9
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Joe, I hope you got a good deal. I've been running the same basic thread over at the Vegas forum and this was my last post:

-------------
Best price on M-Audio LX4:

Most places give you $440.

www.JacksMusicStore.com gives you the same "public" quote.
You then click on a "best quote" button and send them an email.
They return an email immediately to you with a special "associate" login.
That price is $381 plus shipping.
The shipping estimate is $13, however, that will be overriden due toi the size of the shipment.
For me, shipping from California to Kansas City was $27, with an automatic express upgrade to 3-day.

So I got it for $405 with 3-day shipping.
---------------


Quick update though. Its now 6 business days since I placed the order and it has not yet arrived. The salesman assured me 4 days ago that it had been shipped. It was actually shipped yesterday :-( The salesman said they got backed up over the holidays. Ah well.

Rich MacDonald
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Old January 14th, 2004, 12:46 PM   #10
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I spent a little more and got them from a shop I've dealt with and trust. (I've learned that going through returns and problems can quickly make that $15 savings on a $400+ purchase not worth it.) Looks like UPS will be dropping them off today.

EDIT: Looks like UPS just dropped them off. Heavy boxes (about 40 lbs (2.1) and about 20 lbs (expansion), seems like) This is real torture, to have cool new toys to play with but have to work late tonight to get other things done. Argh. :)
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Old January 15th, 2004, 01:17 AM   #11
 
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Joe, didja hook em' up yet? I wanna hear all about it. You've been talking about them for a while now.
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Old January 15th, 2004, 09:19 AM   #12
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Yeah, I hooked them up last night. Holy cow, that is sweet. Short answer, kid in a candy store, baby. :)

I downloaded a Dolby Digital Surround VOB demo (the train one from here: http://www.cinenow.com/us/vobtrailer.php3) and was blown away.

Then I downloaded the garage1.mp3 under Hi-Fi from here:
http://das.iocon.com/sounds_o.shtml

That is really cool. I tried it with my old speakers and with the new LX-4s. Warning, don't turn it up too loud at first, there is more to come in that clip. If you have it too loud and your speakers are good, it will scare you pretty bad. (At least it did me.) it is really amazing how muddy my old speakers are compared to these. I didn't realize how much you lose when the speakers can't reproduce the higher harmonics.

Then of course, I put in a few cool DVDs, like Equilibrium and listened for a while. Then I just put on stereo music and loved the sound all around me. Downloaded some music samples mixed for 5.1, from a buyout site. It was all good.

The best part of the evening, however, was when I opened up the Vegas project for a trailer I needed to get to the producer by this weekend to start getting attached to all the DVDs and VHS tapes they are shipping. The speakers showed me where I got oh so close getting the sound mix right. It is pretty simple, with a predominantly music based trailer and some moments when the music fades and character dialog comes in. The speakers helped me line up the equilization I was automating to pull out the voice frequencies from the background music and get everything meshing just right. Then I burned it to DVD with before and after and took it to my junky little one speaker TV. Amazing difference.

I would say that I could get used to this, but I think I already am. :)
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Old January 16th, 2004, 12:18 AM   #13
 
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Very glad to hear you like these LX4's, Joe. I'm at the NAMM show now, and playing with some of the other new stuff M-Audio has to show. But after all the worrying and concern you had about getting into this part of the audio, it's cool to see you happy about what you got. I think they are the best sub 1K overall system there is out there, IMO.
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