monitor setup

can anyone recommend a decent monitor setup for ntrack (that wont break the bank)? I’ve been using an old hifi amp & speakers & am in a small room, neither of which help.


Personally I’d go for a pair of self-powered speakers (i.e. with built-in power amplifier - connects to any line out level signal source), and there’s a lot to choose from. You will be needing to get a set of “nearfield” monitors, for which a standard hifi setup doesn’t qualify.

Depending on what makes your bank break you could be worse off than with e.g. a pair of Yamaha MSP3 ($150 at Sweetwater) or a pair of Event 20/20bas v.2 ($450 same place), just to mention a few of the possibilities.

Even cheaper but still reasonable quality-wise could be a set of actice PC speakers from the Altec-Lansing range. (check your local PC supplier for price range and availability) I’ve been using such a setup with success for quite a while until my budget allowed for a set of ESI nEar 05’s (about $440 where I bought them) which I use today and love.

Bottom line is, use your ears, get a deal that allows to take them home for a test run in your home studio and return them if they don’t suit your needs or your room, consider altering the acoustics of your room (implying that you haven’t already done that, I know), look at reviews of different speaker systems on the 'net and on this forum (a lot of us have been shopping around a lot to get a decent sound - you are not alone) and prepare to upgrade more than once on your way to “that” sound…

regards, Nils

I was in the same boat as you Jetboy. I was trying to mix using headphones and a home stereo system. I could get them sounding good BUT, when played elsewhere, they SUCKED! :D I finally bought a set of Event TR8’s. I use those and a set of Sennheiser HD280Pro headphones for mixing now. The cans are for picking out very tiny details and the nearfields for the big picture. My mixes improved dramatically. They sound very consistent across a lot more systems now. Home stereo, car stereo, Walkman, etc…

Even if I never make a dime off this game, I still consider the money well spent because I can now hear my music the way I intended it to sound.


Everything TG said ^^^
FWIW, I’ve just bought a pair of KRK Rokit 5 monitors. £220 the pair, new.
So far, I’ve not looked back :wink:

M-Audio BX8 $299 a pair

That’s what I use these days.

Many thanks for the replies, I appreciate your opinions


Quote (pasher @ Sep. 27 2005,09:13)
Everything TG said ^^^
FWIW, I've just bought a pair of KRK Rokit 5 monitors. £220 the pair, new.
So far, I've not looked back ;-)

These are the first real monitors I've bought - I absolutely LOVE them. Plus they look stylin.

But, considering they're the only monitors I have (although I listened to a bunch before getting them), take that with a recommended grain of salt.

… yorkvilles.

I notice that there is a lot of emphasis on getting good monitors that are “neutral” but I’ve never really seen much discussion about what is the best amp to buy? Surely it can’t be that all modern hi-fi amps are pretty much the same (if that’s the case, what do they talk about in the hi-fi magazines?).

The differences is “good” amps should be negligible. That said, two different brand amps with virtually identical specs may sound different, and sometimes very different. The difference will more than likely be much smaller than monitor differences though, so it gets less discussion, and will make less difference. This is when talking “amplifier only”. These still get discussed as being better-worse-different as they should be. The specs might be the same but there a lot of stuff not included in most public specs that can really change the sound.

There will be much greater difference when the amps are home stereo amps that have EQ and multiple inputs. Those can be as different sounding a monitors. In many case the differences are so great that it falls back to personal preference, just as with speakers.

Yes, you do need to look at the combination of amp and monitors. That’s one reason powered monitors are a good (maybe better) bet.