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Which Compact Active Monitors (Edirol, M-Audio, Event, KRK..

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May 24, 2005 6:03:11 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I am looking for some advice in buying small powered speakers. I'll
be listening to music with them, not making it, but so far it seems
like I'd be better off with professional speakers rather than
consumer. I'll have them hooked up to my PC, and will do about half
of my listening there. The other half will be from about 10 feet away
or so, a bit off-axis. The room is small (100 sq. feet or so).

I currently have a Marantz surround receiver and 2 nice Paradigm
speakers that I am very happy with, but due to limited space, I won't
be able to use these in the apartment I am moving to. They won't fit
in my bedroom, and I don't trust my future roommates enough to have
them in the living room. I was originally going to look at computer
speakers, like the Klipsch ProMedia, but then I heard my friend's
speakers: Edirol MA-15D's, and they impressed me considering their
size and price. So, now I've been researching compact active
monitors. From what I've seen, most professionals don't talk about
Edirol. The ones I do see mentioned seem to go for about $300 (1.5
times the price of the best Edirols), and don't have as many features
(digital inputs, multiple inputs at once, etc.), so it seems like they
might be quite a bit better. What do you guys think? My criteria are:

Compact (less than 7" wide would be good)
Powered (to save space)
Inexpensive ($300 or less)
Magnetically Shielded

I'll take as much bass as I can get, but I care more about detailed,
even sound. If acoustic guitar and solo vocals sound good, I'll be
happy. A digital optical input would be nice, and a sub-out would also
be a bonus, although I do not plan on getting a sub at this time.

So far, the models I'm considering are:

Edirol MA-15D ($180)
Edirol MA-20D ($200)
Event TR5 ($300, $230 ebay)
KRK RP5 ($300)
M-Audio Studiophile BX5 ($300)
Behringer TRUTH B2030A ($280)

How much would I gain from moving up from the $200 to the $300 range?
Which in the $300 range would you recommend? Are there any others
around $200? I might decide to stay at this level since they'll only
be my primary speakers for less than a year, and I don't need the
best speakers like you pros do. I do listen to music a lot though, and
appreciate high quality.

I thank you for any advice you would be willing to give.

-Greg
Anonymous
May 24, 2005 1:07:12 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <1116925391.312768.218340@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com> kneeache@hotmail.com writes:

> I am looking for some advice in buying small powered speakers. I'll
> be listening to music with them, not making it, but so far it seems
> like I'd be better off with professional speakers rather than
> consumer.

In the price range that you're looking in, "professional" speakers are
"consumer" speakers in a different box.

> From what I've seen, most professionals don't talk about
> Edirol. The ones I do see mentioned seem to go for about $300 (1.5
> times the price of the best Edirols), and don't have as many features
> (digital inputs, multiple inputs at once, etc.)

I needed some easily transportable respectable speakers (ones capable
of telling the difference between microphones) for a demonstration I
gave a couple of weeks ago. I have a pair of recently re-woofered
Boston Acoustics A40s that would do, but they were a bit larger than
what I wanted to pack, plus they'd need an external power amplifier.
Because it was convenient, I went to the neighborhood Guitar Center
and listened to all of the small powered monitors they had that were
under $300 per pair. I figured that if I could find something
satisfactory, I woudln't mind investing that small sum in them just to
have them around. I listened to several, all sounded different, none
were pleasant to listen to. I didn't buy, and ended up borrowing a
pair of Genelec 8030s (which cost much more than you want to spend).

Frankly, for your application - listening to music for enjoyment, in
your bedroom - I'd go for the consumer speakers designed for computer
applications. For non-critical monitoring, these do a better job than
cheap "professional" monitors that aren't, really. Get a set with a
subwoofer, either as a matched 3 box set, or a pair of decent speakers
and a separate subwoofer. You can make your $300-or-less go further
that way, and you'll enjoy the music more.

If you were recording and mixing, my recommendation would be
different, but it doesn't sound like this is a consideration, at least
not now.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
May 24, 2005 6:24:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I understand your point about "professional" speakers at this price not
really being professional, but at least from what I've heard (the
Edirols), even the cheapest in this category sound better to me than
all of the "computer" speakers I've heard, including some pretty nice
2.1/4.1 setups. I'm not entirely sure in what way they sound better,
but my guess would be that they have a flatter response (no smiley
curve), and better clarity.

What about consumer speakers would make them better-suited for my
application? I'd actually prefer not to have a subwoofer, since it
would probably end up under the desk (a space I like to reserve for my
feet :-). And if, as you say, the speakers I'm looking for are just
consumer speakers in a different box, I must admit that I prefer that
box to the UFO/iMac/Sony "bling-bling" style too common with consumer
offerings at this price point.

I think it's likely that not many people are familiar with the Edirol
speakers I've listened too, since they seem to be marketed toward hobby
and student musicians, and it seems like people on this group are
generally quite a bit above that. Unless someone suggests some computer
speakers that they think are decent (so far I've heard none that I'd
consider decent), I will at least get the Edirols. I was just hoping
someone could tell me how speakers costing an extra $100 might differ
from these.

Would you mind describing in what way the speakers you listened to were
not pleasant to listen to?

Thank you for your time.

-Greg
May 25, 2005 12:17:44 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

So does anyone have any recommendations for consumer speakers that
would match my criteria (powered, shielded, fairly compact, <= $300),
since everyone seems to think I should stay away from the professional
stuff?

I just checked Amazon under "computer speakers", and found the M-Audio
Studiophile DX4 and the Edirol MA-10D. So, at least these two companies
are targeting both pros and consumers at the same time. If these would
work well as computer speakers, why wouldn't their bigger brothers?

-Greg
Anonymous
May 25, 2005 2:26:01 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I was looking for small speakers to play itunes files and the cheap
Edirols and Roland powered monitors did not sound too good to me. I
ended up with a pair of yard sale Radio Shack Minumus 7s and one of
these amplifiers for $19:

http://www.allelectronics.com/cgi-bin/category.cgi?cate...

The combination cost under $100 and sounds much better than anything
else I had tried.

Greg wrote:
> So does anyone have any recommendations for consumer speakers that
> would match my criteria (powered, shielded, fairly compact, <= $300),
> since everyone seems to think I should stay away from the professional
> stuff?
>
> I just checked Amazon under "computer speakers", and found the M-Audio
> Studiophile DX4 and the Edirol MA-10D. So, at least these two companies
> are targeting both pros and consumers at the same time. If these would
> work well as computer speakers, why wouldn't their bigger brothers?
>
> -Greg
Anonymous
May 25, 2005 10:45:34 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <1116969880.883367.189320@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com> kneeache@hotmail.com writes:

> I understand your point about "professional" speakers at this price not
> really being professional, but at least from what I've heard (the
> Edirols), even the cheapest in this category sound better to me than
> all of the "computer" speakers I've heard, including some pretty nice
> 2.1/4.1 setups.

In that case, don't worry about Edirol or professional, get what
sounds good to you.

> What about consumer speakers would make them better-suited for my
> application? I'd actually prefer not to have a subwoofer, since it
> would probably end up under the desk (a space I like to reserve for my
> feet :-).

Well, because computer speakers beyond the really cheap junkers,
usually have subwoofers, so you can hear something down on the low
end. Most of those pretty much just reproduce a thump, but for many
types of music, it gets the point across. Of course if you don't
listen to the kind of music where the bass is important, then a
subwoofer isn't important.

> I think it's likely that not many people are familiar with the Edirol
> speakers I've listened too, since they seem to be marketed toward hobby
> and student musicians

Tell you a secret - that's who buys a great deal of this gear. When
you graduate and are still interested in music production, that's the
time to buy the $1,000 speakers.

> Would you mind describing in what way the speakers you listened to were
> not pleasant to listen to?

Yes, I would mind. I'm not good at those kind of words, but I know
when I don't like something.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
May 25, 2005 1:46:55 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Greg <kneeache@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>I just checked Amazon under "computer speakers", and found the M-Audio
>Studiophile DX4 and the Edirol MA-10D. So, at least these two companies
>are targeting both pros and consumers at the same time. If these would
>work well as computer speakers, why wouldn't their bigger brothers?

These people are not targeting pros. These people are targeting the
burgeoning home studio market.

Stay away from ANYTHING marked "computer" or "multimedia" for God's sake.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
May 25, 2005 5:11:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> > I think it's likely that not many people are familiar with the Edirol
> > speakers I've listened too, since they seem to be marketed toward hobby
> > and student musicians
>
> Tell you a secret - that's who buys a great deal of this gear. When
> you graduate and are still interested in music production, that's the
> time to buy the $1,000 speakers.

I've pretty much decided to get some small active "monitors". It would
be nice to hear a bit about alternatives to the Edirols, but it sounds
like since these are meant for hobby musicians, and not professionals,
nobody on this group seems to know much about them. I therefore
apologize for a somewhat off-topic post. Is there a group frequented by
hobby musicians who might know more about these budget speakers? Should
I try rec.audio.opinion?

-Greg
Anonymous
May 25, 2005 6:54:14 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <d71vkf$51h$1@panix2.panix.com> kludge@panix.com writes:

> >I just checked Amazon under "computer speakers", and found the M-Audio
> >Studiophile DX4 and the Edirol MA-10D. So, at least these two companies
> >are targeting both pros and consumers at the same time.

> These people are not targeting pros. These people are targeting the
> burgeoning home studio market.
>
> Stay away from ANYTHING marked "computer" or "multimedia" for God's sake.

Also, stay away from anything marked "PROFESSIONAL." Pros know what
isn't.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
May 26, 2005 1:10:17 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <1117051889.377463.90420@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com> kneeache@hotmail.com writes:

> I've pretty much decided to get some small active "monitors". It would
> be nice to hear a bit about alternatives to the Edirols, but it sounds
> like since these are meant for hobby musicians, and not professionals,
> nobody on this group seems to know much about them.

Well, it's a different market, and there are hundreds and hundreds of
speakers out there. We can't all try all of them. Edirol is heavily
involved in the desktop video production business, which can be just
as professional as people who get paid good money for producing music
in a spare bedroom. It's a good company (a part of Roland) and they've
been pretty innovative over the years. They were the first to come out
with a speaker (designed for the desktop audio production market) that
had a USB interface, and the first to use USB 2.0 for multi-channel
audio interfaces. Edirol has some nice portable recorders, too.

But we just don't think of them as a loudspeaker company like we think
of JBL or NHT or KRK or Event or even Mackie. They make speakers,
sure, but mostly they make them for the market that likes one-stop
shopping. Soundcraft, a major console manufacturer made (and maybe
still sells) a small monitor that nobody ever talked much about. Same
for M-Audio (who seems to be selling everything that can possibly
connected with desktop music production today, including a line of
microphones). One reason for this is because of the channels through
which this level of equipment is distributed and sold. A music store
where they know nothing about pro audio can buy a full line from one
distributor and reliably (so that everything will work together) equip
a customer who knows nothing about pro audio.

> Is there a group frequented by
> hobby musicians who might know more about these budget speakers? Should
> I try rec.audio.opinion?

Heaven forbid, don't go there. You might try alt.music.4-track. But
you really won't find many shootouts of sub-$300 speaker systems among
audio production circles. Call us snobs, but we just don't even bother
with those products. You're more likely to find comparative reviews in
a magazine devoted to computers in their "audio" issue, or one devoted
to desktop video production. But then, what do those people know about
"pro audio?"

Have you gone to a Circuit City, Tweeter, Best Buy, or some other
store that sells audio gear to the common folk? That's where you'll
find things on the shelf that's in your price range and that you can
listen to. Bring some of your own CDs. Don't worry about whether it's
professional or not, just get something that you like.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
May 26, 2005 1:34:12 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

mrivers@d-and-d.com (Mike Rivers) writes:

> In article <1117051889.377463.90420@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com> kneeache@hotmail.com writes:
>
> > I've pretty much decided to get some small active "monitors". It would
> > be nice to hear a bit about alternatives to the Edirols, but it sounds
> > like since these are meant for hobby musicians, and not professionals,
> > nobody on this group seems to know much about them.
>
> Well, it's a different market, and there are hundreds and hundreds of
> speakers out there. We can't all try all of them. Edirol is heavily
> involved in the desktop video production business, which can be just
> as professional as people who get paid good money for producing music
> in a spare bedroom. It's a good company (a part of Roland) and they've
> been pretty innovative over the years. They were the first to come out
> with a speaker (designed for the desktop audio production market) that
> had a USB interface, and the first to use USB 2.0 for multi-channel
> audio interfaces. Edirol has some nice portable recorders, too.
>
> But we just don't think of them as a loudspeaker company like we think
> of JBL or NHT or KRK or Event or even Mackie. They make speakers,
> sure, but mostly they make them for the market that likes one-stop
> shopping. Soundcraft, a major console manufacturer made (and maybe
> still sells) a small monitor that nobody ever talked much about. Same
> for M-Audio (who seems to be selling everything that can possibly
> connected with desktop music production today, including a line of
> microphones). One reason for this is because of the channels through
> which this level of equipment is distributed and sold. A music store
> where they know nothing about pro audio can buy a full line from one
> distributor and reliably (so that everything will work together) equip
> a customer who knows nothing about pro audio.
>
> > Is there a group frequented by
> > hobby musicians who might know more about these budget speakers? Should
> > I try rec.audio.opinion?
>
> Heaven forbid, don't go there. You might try alt.music.4-track. But
> you really won't find many shootouts of sub-$300 speaker systems among
> audio production circles. Call us snobs, but we just don't even bother
> with those products. You're more likely to find comparative reviews in
> a magazine devoted to computers in their "audio" issue, or one devoted
> to desktop video production. But then, what do those people know about
> "pro audio?"
>
> Have you gone to a Circuit City, Tweeter, Best Buy, or some other
> store that sells audio gear to the common folk? That's where you'll
> find things on the shelf that's in your price range and that you can
> listen to. Bring some of your own CDs. Don't worry about whether it's
> professional or not, just get something that you like.
>
>
> --
> I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
> However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
> lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
> you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
> and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo

I'll just put a word in for the Edirols. I like them as a basic workstation
speaker. They sound reasonable. Not great, but OK. But the main reason I
like them is because they have both digital and analog inputs. I run a USB
audio card and put the digital output directly into the monitor. This way I
can use an inexpensive audio card because I don't need good analog quality. I
put a CD or DVD player into the analog input. They also provide a good
headphone output. So, if you want to replace a laptop or desktop audio
system, give them a try...

Richard
Anonymous
May 26, 2005 12:49:53 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <87ll62ydm3.fsf@uwaterloo.ca> Mannr@uwaterloo.ca writes:

> I'll just put a word in for the Edirols. I like them as a basic workstation
> speaker. They sound reasonable. Not great, but OK. But the main reason I
> like them is because they have both digital and analog inputs. I run a USB
> audio card and put the digital output directly into the monitor. This way I
> can use an inexpensive audio card because I don't need good analog quality.

You ALWAYS need good analog quality. The thing is that you're putting
the D/A converter choice in the hands of the people who build your
loudspeaker rather than the people who build your sound card. Do you
really know that it's a better converter than the sound card you use?
Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. What you do know, and this is a good
thing if the designers did their homework, is that the D/A converter,
power amplifier, drivers, and cabinet are all designed to match up
well, leaving certain system design decisions out of your hands, and
in the hands of a presumed expert.

You sound like the right kind of customer for these speakers, and I
mean that in a good way. You've saved a lot of time and agony worrying
whether you chose the right sound card, amplifier, and speaker, and
just bought a rig that sounded decent and does what you need it to do.



--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
May 27, 2005 4:09:49 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

To anyone who might have found this thread looking for advice:

Since asking my question on this group, I have found
studio-central.com. They have searchable forums frequented by hobby
musicians, and one of them is dedicated to studio monitors. The search
page is at:

http://studio-central.com/phpbb/search.php

This seems to be a great place for information on equipment that isn't
quite up to the "pro" level.

-Greg
Anonymous
May 27, 2005 12:25:13 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Greg wrote:

> I've pretty much decided to get some small active "monitors". It would
> be nice to hear a bit about alternatives to the Edirols, but it sounds
> like since these are meant for hobby musicians, and not professionals,
> nobody on this group seems to know much about them. I therefore
> apologize for a somewhat off-topic post. Is there a group frequented by
> hobby musicians who might know more about these budget speakers? Should
> I try rec.audio.opinion?




Greg, no, I think you've come to the right place, although it wouldn't
hurt to post in all of those places (don't cross post, though) just to
increase the odds. A lot of those places are populated by big opinions
and not much help. I've found much more useful and wise information
and opinions about such borderline consumer audio issues here, and it's
not off topic IMO, because many of the small speakers you listed (KRK,
M-Audio, Event etc) are among those auditioned by people sticking amall
powered speakers somewhere in a pro studio, and in fact in less
critical situations they all show up somewhere.

When I personally compared the $300 KRKs, Events and M-audio, I felt
the KRKs my preference in the price range, with the M-Audios out of
consideration. I actually had a pair of the Edirol MA10Ds (the
smaller ones of the model you're refering to) and felt for $130 they
were very good and served their purpose well (DAW front end). The many
ins and outs came in very handy. Haven't heard how the $300 ones
compare, though.


Best,

V
!