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Studio monitors or a good 2.1 setup?

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  • High-End Audio
  • Audio
Last response: in Home Audio
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October 13, 2009 3:35:50 AM

I am currently in the market for a good pair of speakers and am willing to spend up to $200. I am on a custom built computer that is using a Creative X-Fi Titanium that I originally bought for gaming purposes, but I have since turned my attention to audio creation (through a friend). I realize its probably not the best sound card for it as its geared towards gaming, but it does have a dedicated audio creation mode and I have been satisfied with the sound quality thus far and I figure it should work fine for a newby mixer. Anyway I am currently running my computer through a aiwa stereo that I bought some 7-8 years ago, they are not designed to be computer speakers but with a headphone extension cable I managed to get them working without too much trouble. I don't know much about them honestly, but they are not very powerful and have started to crackle slightly at the high end and so I am looking to replace them.

I have a friend that has been mixing tech house stuff for years and I have been looking into starting in myself. Would a good pair of 2.0 studio monitors be the way to go? I have been looking at the M-Audio Studiophile AV 40, it has received good reviews and seems affordable, would this be a good buy? I care about accuracy of sound more than anything else, but I do want decent bass and good power, would I be better off going with a 2.1 system from Klipsch or Logitech for slightly less? Music creation wont be their primary use, listening to my music will be, along with some movies and a bit of gaming, but I would be OK with losing some gaming quality if it was better for music.

As I said I am new to audio creation, so I don't need something top of the line, but I am definitely an audiophile and want the best sound I can get within my budget restraints. I am open to any suggestions within the stereo realm, I have no interest in a surround sound setup or headphones, oh and size is not an issue, I am willing to inconvenience myself with less desk space if that is the best option.

$200 is not set in stone, if another few bucks will make a big difference than I might be persuaded, but I would prefer not to spend any more than that.

More about : studio monitors good setup

Anonymous
October 13, 2009 7:11:54 AM

You're right to go for a pair of decent speakers rather than a surround system. I don't know the M-Audio model you mention but presumably these have built in amplification -- which is a neater solution.

However, you might look at an alternative which is a used hifi amp and a pair of decent bookshelf speakers. These seem to turn up so cheap at garage sales/flea markets that it's a shame to let them go. Any 1970's or 80's Japanese amp or receiver will probably still be working well. I use very battered Mission Cyrus amp which cost about $5 and a pair of KEF speakers, around $25 (both respected British hifi brands).

Makes a big difference being able to trust what I hear when transcribing vinyl to CD-R or ripping to MP3.
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October 13, 2009 7:54:26 PM

Look at the Eden EM5's. They are discontinued but some websites still have a little stock left. They are under $200 and I mix most of my audio projects with them. They don't color the sound and are powered monitors, so no need for a separate amplifier.

Another option is to look at used monitors on ebay. Just a note I'm assuming you want good monitors for audio creation purposes. Other brands to consider are Event, JBL, and Mackie. Most near field monitors have around a 5" woofer. Anything larger than that begins to color the sound.

The Edens I mention before have a very flat response. I imagine you'd like them. I also play a few games through them, Halo 2 sound phenominal through them.
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October 14, 2009 4:46:23 AM

Yes the M-Audio monitors are amplified, here is a link: http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/StudiophileAV40.h....

The Eden EM5's look like they have a better frequency range and a bit more power, are they cheaper because they are discontinued, or were they always that price? Also, are there any available that have optic input?
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October 14, 2009 1:40:24 PM

The Edens were discontinued which i think was a total mistake. They sold out so fast i couldn't fathom discontinuing them. I bought mine new for just under $200. Then they price dropped them to $99 for a while. Now you can get a few last pairs out there for about $129. The Edens have 1/4" balanced inputs, RCA inputs, XLR inputs, no optical.

Finding some powered speakers that take an optic input will be tricky, I'm sure they are out there, but not sure where. I still suggest the Edens, small footprint, big, uncolored sound.
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November 12, 2009 7:42:35 AM

if ur mainly listenin to music on em id say avoid studio speakers for the moment. to most people they sound worse as they lack the artificial colour ordinary speakers add to audio. you wont need accurate monitors untill you know what your doin neway
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November 15, 2009 6:02:13 PM

Amazon.com has the Alesis M1A 520's. They list for $499.00, but they just discontinued them, and are offering them for something like 2/3rds off ($189.00).

I hope that helps.
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