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luddite

Studio Monitors for Near Field Listening?

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This may be a revival of a previous thread discussing near field systems.  

The speakers in my home office system are placed sideways on bookshelves at ear height when I'm sitting, flanking my computer.  

So they are 3-6 feet away from me depending on what I'm doing.  

I'm usually streaming music through a 2 channel system, mostly for background; sometimes I'll crank up something I like.  

I have tried Heresy's on their sides, and most recently McIntosh ML1C's on their sides.  Both sounded OK, no complaints.  

Now I wonder if a dedicated studio monitor would sound better.  I'm looking at JBL 4311 or 4411.  

Each has the mids and tweeters oriented in the vertical plane when the speakers are on their sides.  My others were not.  

Any opinions if I will notice a difference in quality of sound with studio monitors vs "bookshelve" speakers for near field?  

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5 minutes ago, luddite said:

Any opinions if I will notice a difference in quality of sound with studio monitors vs "bookshelve" speakers for near field?  

Really depends on what you are comparing. I wouldn't make a blanket statement saying one is better than the other.  I can tell you from personal experience that I have a strong draw towards dynaudio, focal and Adam monitors in general.  For a "studio monitor" you get the benefit of internal biamping.   This take the guess work out of speaker and amp synergy.  Dynaudio BM15A are some of my favorites as are KRK Expose.   On the plus side, you can often find studio monitors for an e, ceptional deal used if you are patient.  Jbl lsr series with calibration Mic (auto eq at your listening position) used to be a popular choice as well.  For near field with great sound and bang for the buck, I think you can see which would be my choice.  

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I used to use my 4311s on my desk, but I always used them in the vertical orientation. Those are pretty large for a desk. I had a rather deep desk that also had a mixer sitting in front of me.

 

To me, the bigger problem when sitting close to the 4311s is they didn't make a mirrored pair, i.e., you get two left or two rights, depending on how you look at it. Those were often used mounted a bit further from the desk in soffets or on stands.

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Never have heard the LS50 but always rave reviews. I believe Mike2a3 owns a pair and has positive comments. I’ve considered the powered version for a very simple set up —

— And I should add the Klipsch RB75 make a formidable monitor - 

 

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I have some JBL Control 25s on one of my desktop PCs, They sound great, but they need to be cranked a bit before the bass really shows up.

 

 

JBL_Control_25.jpg

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I would like to see Klipsch enter that market. Roy made some for a studio before, and Klipsch already has a Pro line of products.

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I would skip the JBL 4311 and 4312.  I want a pair, more for show to put on the wall in an exercise room (those white woofers look so cool) than sound quality.  I have several antiques in on the walls in this room (skis, tennis rackets, old fashion scale, antique mirror) so the 'old fashion' speakers seem like the way to go. 

 

The 4311 and 12s are big and the drivers will not integrate in a short distance.  There are much better speakers for the money.  But, the JBLs will hold their value.

 

If you want to stick with JBL, their L20s are a good choice.  The JBL Studio 530s were on sale for $300 a pair during the holidays.  I did read (no personal experience) that they sound good but feel cheaply made. 

 

I used a pair of ERA D5's for about a decade.  Great little speakers.  If you can find a pair, they are usually cheap because nobody had heard of them.  Peachtree took over on the brand.   I now use B&W N805s and they are also great nearfield (and non-nearfield) monitors.  But they are kind of big for a desk.  I have a big desk so they are about 7 or 8 feet apart, but they still look big.  The ERA D5's looked more appropriate on the desk. 

 

 

The Klipsch RP 600M are also getting a lot of praise.  This might be the way to go. 

 

https://www.cnet.com/news/the-klipsch-reference-premiere-600m-is-the-audiophiliac-speaker-of-the-year/

 

There are also a lot of small monitors out now by Sonus Farber, Revel, KEF and others.  The single driver KEFs above are getting great reviews.

 

 

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25 minutes ago, tigerwoodKhorns said:

The 4311 and 12s are big and the drivers will not integrate in a short distance

Was waiting for someone to say that 

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I own the KEF LS50 W and pair those with an HSU Sub - They sound AMAZING!!!!!!!!! Mind BLOWING!!!!!

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59 minutes ago, Fido said:

I own the KEF LS50 W and pair those with an HSU Sub - They sound AMAZING!!!!!!!!! Mind BLOWING!!!!!

With the single (I assume coaxial) driver, they seem like they would be a great near field monitor. 

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14 minutes ago, tigerwoodKhorns said:

With the single (I assume coaxial) driver, they seem like they would be a great near field monitor. 

Ive heard them. Sound really great as Fido said! And yes they are a coaxial.

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3 minutes ago, mr clean said:

Ive heard them. Sound really great as Fido said! And yes they are a coaxial.

I had a pair of Pioneer S-1EX speakers, (Andrew Jones design) with Coaxial drivers.  They really integrated well. 

 

B&W 800, 801 and 802 also do well with the tweeter so close to the midrange. 

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What I was really asking was:  

Is there much difference in the sound quality if mids and tweeters are oriented on the vertical VS horizontal axis, and

Is the quality of sound reproduction that much better from a "studio monitor" speaker VS a typical bookshelf type speaker. 

I understand that each speaker will color the sound to a certain degree, in the same way that preamps and amps will do so.  

As to the specific speaker, I'm sure one can be better for near field listening and another for a "wall of sound".  One picks what he or she wants.  

I was just wondering what advantage a studio monitor type speaker would give.  

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43 minutes ago, luddite said:

What I was really asking was:  

Is there much difference in the sound quality if mids and tweeters are oriented on the vertical VS horizontal axis, and

Is the quality of sound reproduction that much better from a "studio monitor" speaker VS a typical bookshelf type speaker. 

I understand that each speaker will color the sound to a certain degree, in the same way that preamps and amps will do so.  

As to the specific speaker, I'm sure one can be better for near field listening and another for a "wall of sound".  One picks what he or she wants.  

I was just wondering what advantage a studio monitor type speaker would give.  

Near field is a totally different animal than conventional room filling speaker setups. I am a professional photographer and spend hours working in Photoshop and my KEF monitors are very accurate and sound amazing in the near field. Staging is excellent and it feels like you are in a studio setting sitting between the KEF LS 50 Ws. - Downstairs I have my Fortes and a larger sub and my Primaluna Amp and that setup can fill the downstairs with music. Much BIGGER sound and great sound but not as accurate as the KEF Monitors surrounding me in my computer space. I still prefer the sound downstairs Primaluna and Klipsch Fortes but the near field setup rocks my world in different ways.

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On 2/20/2020 at 8:28 PM, luddite said:

I understand that each speaker will color the sound to a certain degree, in the same way that preamps and amps will do so.  

 

Electronics?  Sure, they can/do to a certain extent, but nowhere near even approaching the level of speakers!

 

On 2/20/2020 at 8:28 PM, luddite said:

As to the specific speaker, I'm sure one can be better for near field listening and another for a "wall of sound".  One picks what he or she wants.  

I was just wondering what advantage a studio monitor type speaker would give.  

 

Really a couple interrelated concepts there.  A better question would be "what makes a 'studio monitor' different, and why?"

 

On 2/20/2020 at 8:28 PM, luddite said:

Is there much difference in the sound quality if mids and tweeters are oriented on the vertical VS horizontal axis...

 

The difference is primarily in how the drivers integrate with each other, or how the overall sonic "pattern" is presented.  There are two main factors in that any two adjacent drivers will produce their own differing versions of signal material they share in common and the resultant summation of the two as projected onto space.  Coaxial drivers stand the best chance of covering the common ground well but the effects of the crossover mechanism are also a major factor.

 

Low-passing filters and high-passing filters alter the relative timing in opposite directions from each other, so even when the drivers are coaxial there will be side-effects to contend with.

 

In a near-field situation things are more critical in terms of the developed patterns since even minor movement by the listener is the equivalent of major movement relative to "standard" speaker / listener placement.

 

In answer to your question about horizontal vs. vertical orientation it comes down to how tightly one's head is locked into position while listening, and the directions of motion that will lead to acceptable "sweet spot" integration.  If your ears will be at primarily the same height regardless other motion, then vertical driver orientation would be best.  Conversely, if you expect to primarily move your head up and down rather than side-to-side, then horizontal driver orientation would be best.

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On 2/20/2020 at 5:28 PM, luddite said:

What I was really asking was:  

Is there much difference in the sound quality if mids and tweeters are oriented on the vertical VS horizontal axis, and

 

If you use a big speaker like a JBL 4311 up close it probably will not matter. 

 

 

On 2/20/2020 at 5:28 PM, luddite said:

I was just wondering what advantage a studio monitor type speaker would give.  

 

A 'studio monitor' usually means a more accurate speaker where you can really hear the details and flaws.  Nowadays usually an active speaker. 

 

JBLs were the studio monitor when I was a kid.  If you look at any pictures, they were farther away, may times above the engineer. 

 

Anyway, a true 'studio monitor' (not the old JBLs) will give a very accurate presentation of what is on the recording.  AN extreme example is a Wilson speaker vs Sonus Farber.  In the end the Sonus Farber is probably much more enjoyable. 

 

Anyway, go get the Klipsch RP 600M.  They look like they are a good choice and size.

 

 

 

 

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"Studio Monitor" is a dimensionless attribute, which means "whatever the studio was (is) using at the time."

 

I believe there were some pretty crappy Yamaha speakers that were in vogue for some time, too.  Then there's what the mix / mastering engineer uses to produce the end result.  Rumor had it back in the day that 6x9 car speakers were used by some, since that was considered the target audience.

 

So back to what I posted earlier, "what makes a studio monitor a 'studio monitor,' and why?"

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