Best Monitors Under $500 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 October 5th, 2005, 12:27 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 51
Best Monitors Under $500

What is everybody using, who uses relatively inexpensive monitors? I'd really like to keep the totally cost under 400, but if there is going to be something better at a little bit higher level, I'd go for it.
Thanks
~Matt~
__________________
Matt Ludwig
MSL Productions - www.freewebs.com/mslpro
Matt Ludwig is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 5th, 2005, 02:02 PM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Ludwig
What is everybody using, who uses relatively inexpensive monitors? I'd really like to keep the totally cost under 400, but if there is going to be something better at a little bit higher level, I'd go for it.
Thanks
~Matt~
I'm shopping myself at the moment so this is from a prospective user rather than a user, but a lesser known economical speaker that has garnered a lot of favourable comments from people who have tried them and one that I'm giving serious consideration is the Yorkville Sounds YSM-1p powered monitor. Sold in pairs at < $400 US per pair. www.yorkville.com Worth a listen if you can find a pair

....

Stopped by Long & McQuade on the way home this afternoon and A/B compared Genlec 1029A ($1150 ea), Mackie 824 ($992 ea), KRK RP8 ($350 ea), and the Yorkville YSM1p ($250 ea) (Canadian $). Compared using the title track from Sarah Brightman's Harem Tour CD and the title track from Kraftwerk "Tour de France." Surprisingly the Yorks compared very favourable to the Mackies, the Mackie's having stronger base but they were equal in terms of clarity. For high frequency clarity and definition my ears actually give the edge to the Yorks. Midrange was equally good on both as was definition and imaging. The KRK weren't even in the running, sounding very course and rough. The Genlecs were definitely the best of the lot of course but what else would you expect with the price difference. Surprisingly, I found on the balance the Yorks were a close second to the Genlec, neck and neck with the Mackie, and on some passages the York and Genlec sounded nealy identical with both superior to the Mackie. Frankly I was surprised, expecting to find the Mackies clearly better but that wasn't the case at all. And there was a vocal group there at the same time also auditioning monitors for their studio and it appears they were coming to the same conclusions I did. And then to give a high end comparison and to set the bar, so to speak, a listen to a pair of Dyn-Audio's at $2500 ea showed just where you have to go the see a truly quantum leap up in quality. York also has a sub that is purpose built to work with the YSM1p's that sounds very clean in the <100Hz range and I think the combination is really worth serious consideration. Frankly, I'm really liking the idea of being able to put together a full 5.1 surround array of matched speakers for less than the price of a single stereo pair of the first speakers up the line that were clearly better.

Your ear-mileage may vary.

Last edited by Steve House; October 5th, 2005 at 06:27 PM. Reason: To add listening results
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 5th, 2005, 07:15 PM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 107
I'm using the M-Audio BX-5A monitors. B&H has them for $269 a pair. These are my first real monitors and believe me they make a big difference. I went from Soundblaster Audigy (gasp) and cheap PC speakers to the M-Audio Firewire 410 and the BX-5A and holy cow what a difference. These monitors are working out great for me right now.
Sheila Ward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 5th, 2005, 08:46 PM   #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Stockton, UT
Posts: 5,648
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheila Ward
I'm using the M-Audio BX-5A monitors. B&H has them for $269 a pair. These are my first real monitors and believe me they make a big difference. I went from Soundblaster Audigy (gasp) and cheap PC speakers to the M-Audio Firewire 410 and the BX-5A and holy cow what a difference. These monitors are working out great for me right now.
Kinda feels like someone took Windex to your ears, doesn't it? :-)

On the low cost side, the M-Audio speaks are hard to beat.
__________________
Douglas Spotted Eagle/Spot
Author, producer, composer
Certified Sony Vegas Trainer
http://www.vasst.com
Douglas Spotted Eagle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 5th, 2005, 10:11 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: arlington, texas
Posts: 420
you can find some decent bookshelf style speaker/monitors on ebay for really cheap that have some good qualities. usually 75-20khz, 80watts rms or higher, etc. i've been seeing some nice MTX monitors on ebay for about 50$ a pair, but the shipping will hurt (around 40$). power that with a home reciever, input/output that in your computer and you can have a decent 5.1 system in your room for around 200-300$ i would say.
Cody Dulock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 5th, 2005, 10:29 PM   #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Stockton, UT
Posts: 5,648
You might want to listen to the MTX prior to suggesting them...they're basically glorified car stereo speaks, and sound horrible. Of course, for even $90.00 a pair (including shipping) I'd expect them to.
The best low-cost I've heard yet, are the small speaks that M-Audio makes for a package called the LX4, but I don't know what the separates are labeled as. They're acceptable for small rooms or for very quiet near field monitoring, but only just.
__________________
Douglas Spotted Eagle/Spot
Author, producer, composer
Certified Sony Vegas Trainer
http://www.vasst.com
Douglas Spotted Eagle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 7th, 2005, 12:39 AM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Revised listening results

Went back to the store today with my ears rested and re-auditioned the speakers I mentioned yesterday with fresh music - "Dunbar's Theme" from Dances With Wolves, Diana Krall "The Girl In The Other Room", and the soundtrack from "Moulin Rouge." Yesterday's trials were when tired after very long workday but today I was better rested and it made a definite difference in what I could discern.

Made a mistake in yesterdays post regardling a couple of model numbers. The Genelecs auditioned were the 1030APM model, not "1029" as stated (Old Timer's Disease - the mind plays strange tricks on ye, me hearties). The KRK's auditioned were both the RP8 and the V8 models.

Have to say neither of the KRKs couldn't hold a candle to the rest and to my ear even the more expensive V8 sounded harsh and abrasive in the upper range with the mids and base strong but very poorly defined.

The Yorkville YSM1p still sounded good, almost as good as the Mackie 824 but today I heard a high emphasis and hissy sibilance that mared an otherwise good sound.

The Mackies were strong and more even but I found the low mids and bass were muddy and I had difficulty separating the various elements.

The Genelecs were well balanced and clean, good separation and excellent imaging with crisp and clean highs, very well defined without sounding hyped.

Spent a bit more time listening to Dynaudio BM6A's and found them absolutely incredible. Unbelievable imaging and clarity - I could have sworn there was a centre speaker and sub active but no, it was just the two stereo monitors. And almost as good as the Genelecs and the BM6 but at half the price was the Dynaudio BM5A.

Of both Dynaudios and the Genelecs my impression could be summed up with the words "clean" and "transparent" leaving me feeling I was hearing what was going on with the music and not what was going on with the speakers. The individual sounds and instruments going into the mix were discernable and didn't get lost in the overall melange, just what you need for studio monitors. Transients were crisp, cymbal hits and piano attacks were sharp, brushes on a ride cymbal and snare were musical rather than ill-defined swishy somethings.

Alas, the ones I rate the best are well over the budget for the speakers the thread starter was asking about. In fact, the only ones that fall in the under $500 US category are the KRK RP8 and the York YSM1p. In Canadian $$, L&M's price on the Genelecs are $2350 the pair while the Dynaudio BM6A is $2425. I'd rate the Dynaudio BM5A's very close to the Genelecs though, at $1295 the pair. Mackie 824's are $2000 the pair and I didn't find them as clean as the $1300 Dynaudio. The KRK's at about $700 and $1300 the pair for the two models respectively just aren't in the running to my ears. And the Yorks at $500 CDN a pair still sound quite usable for general monitoring use.

My ratings, for what it's worth...

Dynaudio BM6 - A+
Genelec 1030 - A
Dynaudio BM5 - B+
Mackie 824 - B
Yorkville YSM1p - C+
KRK RP8 and V8 - F

Know this is perhaps off topic a bit but still thought I'd share my experiences. Comments welcome
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 7th, 2005, 09:52 AM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 235
Steve, your review is much appreeciated by this reader.

As a side note, I was at Guitar Center late yesterday looking at the 4-5" class monitors, and the "audio pro" guy was pushing the KRK's really hard, saying they were much better than the M-Audio BX5a's I couldn't tell much because it is sooo loud in there, but the little KRK's sounded terrible to me too.
__________________
dB
Dan Brown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 7th, 2005, 10:00 AM   #9
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Stockton, UT
Posts: 5,648
I don't know if KRK still does this, but years ago when I worked in a pro-audio retail store, KRK (among a few other companies) paid spiffs to sales people that sold their products. It was always nice to have those little spiff mails come in for 40.00-100.00 on a 500.00-1000.00 sale.

The bigger KRK's are great, but now that they've started building small, and arguably a substantial lesser quality monitor, it makes me wonder if they're pursuing excellence or pursuing only the $$.

I'm a big fan of the Gennies, but also have 824 and 626's in our rooms. Our A room has a 5.1 626 system, with Hothouse and AMR for our soffit mounts. B room has 824's and Gennie 1029's, and C room has 624's and Gennie 1029's. Then we have a few M-Audio systems that we travel with, plus a few others around from previous room configs. Overall, I really like the Mackie, but the DynAudio's that I've heard are also quite good. However, I also felt that they were almost too transparent (if that's possible) as dialog seemed less "there" than it should be. I haven't heard these in a treated room, but musically they sounded very nice.
__________________
Douglas Spotted Eagle/Spot
Author, producer, composer
Certified Sony Vegas Trainer
http://www.vasst.com
Douglas Spotted Eagle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 7th, 2005, 03:13 PM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 235
I just noticed that Guitar Center's on-line store is selling pairs of M-Audio BX8's for $299.99 with free shipping. That seems to be an outstanding value.
__________________
dB
Dan Brown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 7th, 2005, 04:25 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Woods Cross, Utah
Posts: 310
I'm talking from an audio engineers perspective (not much experience with video yet).... I love my Yamaha MSP 5's in my home studio. they are small but sturdy (loud when you need them to be), biamped and sound great. I think MSP is around $250 each, but Ebay prices for new ones are around $400 a pair.
We've got new Genelec's for the 5.1 surround studio and Yamaha MSP 10's for the tracking studio.
That's my $.02.
Chris Luker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 8th, 2005, 01:20 AM   #12
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,483
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Brown
I just noticed that Guitar Center's on-line store is selling pairs of M-Audio BX8's for $299.99 with free shipping. That seems to be an outstanding value.

Yeah, it seems to be a really good value. The customer
review ratings at GC are all mostly 9's and 10's.
The averages are better than what the newer
BX8a's are getting. Imagine building a reasonably
priced 5.1 system around the GC BX8's.
Dave Largent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 8th, 2005, 06:47 AM   #13
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,483
Matt,
If I were looking for a 2-monitor system right now
for under $400 I'd go with the BX8 from GC.
Dave Largent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 8th, 2005, 09:40 AM   #14
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Hilliard, Ohio
Posts: 1,193
Interesting that nobody mentioned the Behringers. I bought, as my first real audio monitors, the Behringer 2031As. They might be a bit higher than your thinking and honestly, I forget what I paid. I think I got them at Markertek.

Some folks have complaints about the older versions and troubles with the amp sections as I recall.

From reputation and experience, whatever Douglas says, I would listen to. I spent most of my 20+ years in broadcasting watching video quality (declining) and most of the audio listening was done on old tired EVs and Yamahas. Hey, that's television in the big leagues. It isn't right but that's a fact at the stations.

Genlecs, from my days at the post houses are tight. I love the sound. My Behringers, from my limited audio experience, are a huge leap over the Altec 3 piece system I had years back. Almost anything will be better than computer speakers. Compare the Behringers, if you can find a place to listen to them.

Sample pricing:
http://www.zzounds.com/item--BEHB2031A
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/...ase_pid/600601
http://www.markertek.com/Product.asp...&search=0&off=

Turns out they are in your price range. Let's see what Douglas says about these first. Douglas?

Sean McHenry
__________________
I dont know what Im doing, and Im shooting on D.V.
- my hero - David Lynch

http://www.DeepBlueEdit.com
Sean McHenry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 8th, 2005, 09:54 AM   #15
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Stockton, UT
Posts: 5,648
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean McHenry
Interesting that nobody mentioned the Behringers. I bought, as my first real audio monitors, the Behringer 2031As. They might be a bit higher than your thinking and honestly, I forget what I paid. I think I got them at Markertek.

Turns out they are in your price range. Let's see what Douglas says about these first. Douglas?

Sean McHenry
What I say about em'? First and foremost, I won't own anything Behringer, like most folks who have been in the biz a while. Not only are they constantly being sued for directly copying other products right down to color/design, but they do it with the cheapest possible components they can. So, while they might sound good, my attitude towards Behringer is like walking through the mall with your girlfriend. No matter how gorgeous and inviting some young thing might be, you can't look because if you do, you know you're gonna get slapped. This has come up with other forum members as well, and the *general* feeling among a lot of professionals, is that Behringer not only crosses ethical boundaries, but they also don't build high quality gear. In the few times I've used Behringer gear, that has been my personal experience.

Great that you like them, great that they're working for you, but wouldn't ever be on my list of choices. There's a certain irony in any product from Behringer named "Truth."
__________________
Douglas Spotted Eagle/Spot
Author, producer, composer
Certified Sony Vegas Trainer
http://www.vasst.com
Douglas Spotted Eagle 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 04:09 PM.


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