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luddite

Studio Monitors for Near Field Listening?

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As the OP, I have enjoyed the conversation. My original questions were answered to my satisfaction (orientation of speakers and the necessity of “sterility” of studio monitors for accurate sound reproduction). As a Luddite, I have not dissected my music to its digital or analog essence. I spin my LP’s and CD’s on equipment older than many of our forum members, and stream music files however compressed they may be. I appreciate the experience and expertise of those who have posted. Opinions can be accepted or ridiculed, but should be acknowledged. If we listen to each other as closely as we do our music, we may actually be able to appreciate what that person has to say. 

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Spot on.... Being this forum , it is not a digression, just the spirit   of accommodation. Thanks and think you are impressed by the truth as known...which speaks to problem s...

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14 hours ago, Chris A said:
14 hours ago, danalog02 said:

Just for the record, every engineer I've ever met is a huge music fan, if not musician, and can readily rattle off his/her/its favorite records and how those albums got them into recording in the first place.

 

I've read a few of these self-testimonials.  Candidly, I'm usually not very impressed by the breath of musical tastes by these "engineers" ...

 

I'm pretty sure you'd meant breadth of tastes!  Now I'm going to have to go back through all of your posts and re-evaluate them.  Hahaha!

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Yes. I found that IM-style posting speeds are not without accompanying typos. 

 

Chris

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13 hours ago, luddite said:

 I spin my LP’s and CD’s on equipment older than many of our forum members, and stream music files however compressed they may be.

 

I think that you will appreciate a lower resolution speaker as they do better with less than ideal recordings.  I have an old set of JBL LX55s that work well for this. 

 

However, to make sure that I contradict myself, I use B&W N805s for nearfield listening and poor recordings do not sound that bad.  I listen at low levels.

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, tigerwoodKhorns said:

 

I think that you will appreciate a lower resolution speaker as they do better with less than ideal recordings.  I have an old set of JBL LX55s that work well for this. 

 

However, to make sure that I contradict myself, I use B&W N805s for nearfield listening and poor recordings do not sound that bad.  I listen at low levels.

Finding a balanced speaker that works reliably and clearly at lower volume levels is critical to studio work. You can always crank a speaker up to get a feel for it, but when you're in a studio listening for 8-10 hours a day or more, you need to be able to go the distance and no engineer is worth a damn if his/her ears are fried from listening too loud for too long. Those Genelecs I used were great because I could listen to them all day and not get fatigued. You can't edit, EQ, apply dynamics controls or effects if you can't hear the subtle changes occurring when applied, especially for spatial effects like reverb or delay. For many mixes I wanted to use reverb or delay but not really have it apparent. It was more just to give the mix some depth without screaming "I have a Lexicon and I'm not afraid to use it!" Can't do that if your ears are toast.

 

Ear fatigue is such an issue with engineers that I know of at least one very famous engineer I've worked with who refused to even step into the studio for 24 hours after taking a flight so his ears could "reset" from the pressure changes. Which was amusing bordering on annoying because this particular engineer was in his 60's or 70's and had lost much of his hearing anyway, but I digress...

Edited by danalog02

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The L19/4301b are really nice sounding. I've actually owned both and they are pretty much the same, but the 4301b looks way cooler than the L19

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19 minutes ago, danalog02 said:

Finding a balanced speaker that works reliably and clearly at lower volume levels is critical to studio work. You can always crank a speaker up to get a feel for it, but when you're in a studio listening for 8-10 hours a day or more, you need to be able to go the distance and no engineer is worth a damn if his/her ears are fried from listening too loud for too long. Those Genelecs I used were great because I could listen to them all day and not get fatigued. You can't edit, EQ, apply dynamics controls or effects if you can't hear the subtle changes occurring when applied, especially for spatial effects like reverb or delay. For many mixes I wanted to use reverb or delay but not really have it apparent. It was more just to give the mix some depth without screaming "I have a Lexicon and I'm not afraid to use it!" Can't do that if your ears are toast.

 

Ear fatigue is such an issue with engineers that I know of at least one very famous engineer I've worked with who refused to even step into the studio for 24 hours after taking a flight so his ears could "reset" from the pressure changes. Which was amusing bordering on annoying because this particular engineer was in his 60's or 70's and had lost much of his hearing anyway, but I digress...

 

Good insight.  I was actually referring to the OP who wants nearfield speakers for enjoyment. 

 

I had a pair of B&W DM3000s that I restored and they were great for poor recordings. They 'smoothed out the edges' giving up some resolution, but they always sounded nice.  They remind be of the old JBLs but with a much better midrange.

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Just now, tigerwoodKhorns said:

 

Good insight.  I was actually referring to the OP who wants nearfield speakers for enjoyment. 

 

I had a pair of B&W DM3000s that I restored and they were great for poor recordings. They 'smoothed out the edges' giving up some resolution, but they always sounded nice.  They remind be of the old JBLs but with a much better midrange.

Copy that. In that case, I'm not sure I'd use designated "nearfield monitors" for enjoyment. With extremely limited exception, I've never found studio monitors Fun to listen to. It's one of the reasons I love Klipsch so much and have become an unabashed fanboy. Klipsch are FUN speakers. They liven up most anything I want to listen to. Would they give me fatigue to listen to should I use them for 10 hours straight? Maybe, but that's not what I'm doing with them.

 

Good luck, OP. May the schwartz be with you.

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1 hour ago, wstrickland1 said:

The L19/4301b are really nice sounding. I've actually owned both and they are pretty much the same, but the 4301b looks way cooler than the L19

 

Funny you say that as I had bought a pair of L19s as my first commercially-produced speakers while in high school.  A couple years later I bought pair of 4301Bs and had both together for a while.  They indeed have the same drivers between them but the "pro" version had a full crossover whereas the "home" version had the woofer running full-range, with a several-decibel hump at ~2kHz before it petered out upwards.  They both sounded great singly, but side-by-side comparison clearly revealed the anomaly of the L version.

 

I relegated the Ls to back seat of the car duty for throwing Frisbee in the park, etc. and they were eventually stolen from there.  I faithfully and lovingly used the 4301s until the foam woofer surrounds disintegrated sometime in the late '80s.  Still have them in storage in the factory boxes for a rainy day...

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1 hour ago, danalog02 said:

Klipsch are FUN speakers. They liven up most anything I want to listen to.

 

10-4 on that.  I was, as a JBL snob, historically unimpressed with Klipsch.  A little more than a year ago now I found myself with an impossible room and got it in my craw that better-controlled directivity would be beneficial.  I haven't a clue just how it happened but ordered a pair of the Forte III without hearing Klipsch (to my knowledge) since the later '70s.  Best entertainment money I've ever spent is all I can say.

 

But there's a downside, and that is that crappy source material is nearly intolerable...

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26 minutes ago, glens said:

 

10-4 on that.  I was, as a JBL snob, historically unimpressed with Klipsch.  A little more than a year ago now I found myself with an impossible room and got it in my craw that better-controlled directivity would be beneficial.  I haven't a clue just how it happened but ordered a pair of the Forte III without hearing Klipsch (to my knowledge) since the later '70s.  Best entertainment money I've ever spent is all I can say.

 

But there's a downside, and that is that crappy source material is nearly intolerable...

don't blame the speakers just get a better front end and attach it to a better system!

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3 hours ago, danalog02 said:

Copy that. In that case, I'm not sure I'd use designated "nearfield monitors" for enjoyment. With extremely limited exception, I've never found studio monitors Fun to listen to. It's one of the reasons I love Klipsch so much and have become an unabashed fanboy. Klipsch are FUN speakers. They liven up most anything I want to listen to. Would they give me fatigue to listen to should I use them for 10 hours straight? Maybe, but that's not what I'm doing with them.

 

Good luck, OP. May the schwartz be with you.

If I'm at home all day, there's a good chance I'll be listening for many hours. I go back and forth between loud and moderate and tend not to get ear fatigue. I also change seating positions for variations of soundstage and imaging. The fact that you can sit outside of the sweet spot and still get great stereo is another of the countless reasons why Klipsch speakers float my boat.

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2 hours ago, glens said:

 

But there's a downside, and that is that crappy source material is nearly intolerable...


While it can’t help all recordings a well designed EQ appropriate for less than ideal recordings with Tonal balance issues can many times make the intolerable very enjoyable in my experience. 

 

miketn

 

B850E27C-372D-40F6-B507-A7584AE46ADD.thumb.png.3861deebc5d1f04b044d03e4a817ab78.png

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2 hours ago, glens said:

 

10-4 on that.  I was, as a JBL snob, historically unimpressed with Klipsch.  A little more than a year ago now I found myself with an impossible room and got it in my craw that better-controlled directivity would be beneficial.  I haven't a clue just how it happened but ordered a pair of the Forte III without hearing Klipsch (to my knowledge) since the later '70s.  Best entertainment money I've ever spent is all I can say.

 

But there's a downside, and that is that crappy source material is nearly intolerable...

There is a very fine line between a bright speaker that resolves well-recorded music well but shrills out bad recordings, and the same speaker with a bit of tuning and a component upgrade or two, that fills in the shrillness with warmth. It's taken me a while with the KLF-10's but I'm finally at the point where they are bright enough to fill the room with sparkle, and not too bright that bad recordings sound shrill. I seem to remember you saying that you were done with all the tweeking so maybe a nice warm tube amp...?

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4 minutes ago, mikebse2a3 said:


While it can’t help all recordings a well designed EQ appropriate for less than ideal recordings with Tonal balance issues can many times make the intolerable very enjoyable in my experience. 

 

miketn

 

B850E27C-372D-40F6-B507-A7584AE46ADD.thumb.png.3861deebc5d1f04b044d03e4a817ab78.png

THIS.

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50 minutes ago, MechEngVic said:

I seem to remember you saying that you were done with all the tweeking so maybe a nice warm tube amp...?

 

No, I just live with it.  I very rarely "critically" listen anyway.  It's usually just ambience.  This whole mangled-music-by-design isn't really all that new.  For me the first disappointment was Ted Nugent's new release "Cat Scratch Fever" on LP.   Perhaps the pinnacle for me so far is the recently acquired out of the $5 bin at Wal-Mart CD of the 40th anniversary issue of the Ramones.  It tops out at 0dB continually and never gets much lower than -7, if that!

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59 minutes ago, MechEngVic said:

There is a very fine line between a bright speaker that resolves well-recorded music well but shrills out bad recordings, and the same speaker with a bit of tuning and a component upgrade or two, that fills in the shrillness with warmth. It's taken me a while with the KLF-10's but I'm finally at the point where they are bright enough to fill the room with sparkle, and not too bright that bad recordings sound shrill. I seem to remember you saying that you were done with all the tweeking so maybe a nice warm tube amp...?


Right you are. And the problem with some, not all, tube amps being “warm” is that I’ve music is not generally that. 

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I have Audyssey, Klipschorns (AK4) with a Belle Klipsch center. 

 

GOOD recordings get Audyssey FLAT, which attempts to correct the room and the speakers to achieve flat response from 20 to 20K Hz.  It gets close, at +/- 2.3 dB 31 to 15K Hz, as measured by REW and a calibrated microphone from the main listening position.

 

HARSH recordings, or those with DISTORTION between IK and 4K , or above about 8K, get Audyssey Reference, which imposes a 2 dB dip at about 2K, and -2 dB at 10 K tapering to - 6 dB at 20K.  Although this setting is meant to compensate for rooms that are too live by imposing a slight treble roll-off, it helps cut the harshness of bad recordings  The 2dB dip in the 2K Hz Harshness Zone is particularly helpful, although subtle.

 

With EITHER of the above, if more bass is needed for the sake of balance, a boost of a few dB is applied, manually.

 

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