Monitor Suggestions Sought

Building that studio step-by-step

Like most people here I imagine I’m putting together my home studio one step at a time. I need to start looking at monitors since my headphones - nice as they are - aren’t suited for accurate mixdowns. I’d like to spend $400 or less, preferably less. My music is rock, pop, alternative-based so we’re looking at the usual guitar, bass, drum, fx setup. I’m a guitar player who can fake a bass so I’ll also be looking to purchase a decent bass guitar down the road at around the same price level. Any suggestions there would be welcome too.

Then… one day when I’m even older and grayer I’ll have the perfect studio, except all the upgrades I’ll want. Then I’ll die.

Hugh

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I’m a guitar player who can fake a bass so I’ll also be looking to purchase a decent bass guitar down the road at around the same price level


I have an OLP Musicman bass. OLP is an abreviation of “Officially Licenced Product”. In essence, the OLP stuff is made with the “approval” of Ernie Ball. I have the 5 string MM3. My buddy who has the real thing (Musicman 5 string) says that mine is pretty close (and a lot cheaper).

OLP MM3

I’m sure you’ll get lots of recomendations, so that’s my $0.02.


Mark

I got a pair of M-Audio BX8 this week. I’m very happy with them so far. I read a lot of reviews and comments before making my choice. I have to say that most reviews and comments are right on the money. They are powered (130 watts bi-amped each) so your $400 includes the pair and amp.

http://www.americanmusical.com/item–i-MII-BX8.html

I was alerted to these when Musician’s Friend had them on closeout a few weeks ago. By the time my tax refund got here MF had discontinued them. They aren’t discontinued though and American Musical has them, thought not at as good of price as MF’s close out. I still think they are great for the price, based on the short time I’ve had them.

My main monitors have been JBL L-40 for 20 years or so. I’ve aways used them and am very familiar with them yet I’ve always struggled mixing on them, always needing a LOT of alternate listens on other speakers in other rooms to make sure the mix is OK. That’s still a great idea when mixing, I hear things with the M-Audio that just aren’t there with the JBLs. Deep bass and ultra highs being the first two that stick out. I’ve VERY surprised about the highs because I have a known high end hearing loss, yet I am hearing things up there. These things aren’t out of my hearing range, so that points to the JBLs rolling off below my own upper range.

The JBLs do respond to the deep bass, but I have to go stand in other parts of the room – my deep bass sweet spot – to hear it. That’s no longer the case. The sweet spot is still there in the room, and I still use it, but overall the lows are quite obviously smoother and flatter all over the room. They have much more bass at the optimum listening position.

The JBLs still sound really good, but for mixing I think the M-Audio might solve a lot of issues that I’ve been aware of for a long time, and one that I didn’t know existed…

Hi Mark,

I did some more research after you posted on the OLP MM3. I saw a lot of nice comments with some concerns. But the concerns were more about how to get around things like fret problems, some easy-to-do upgrades. Then I went to ebay and found an OLP MM3 up for bidding. So what the ####. I put in a bid. The price does seem right and the info looks good.

Phoo I’m seriously looking at the M-Audio BX8. Thanks for the informative post. You know I think I’ve got some hearing loss too, though I haven’t been tested. I was in a band once that rehearsed LOUD. I notice that certain noise conditions make it difficult for me to hear words well enough to know what someone just said. It don’t think I have a general hearing loss. I just can’t pick through complex noise conditions as well as I used to. I should probably get that tested. I wonder how many others have this problem…

Thanks, guys, for the info.

Hugh

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I did some more research after you posted on the OLP MM3. I saw a lot of nice comments with some concerns. But the concerns were more about how to get around things like fret problems, some easy-to-do upgrades. Then I went to ebay and found an OLP MM3 up for bidding. So what the ####. I put in a bid. The price does seem right and the info looks good.


I don’t think you’ll be dissapointed. Mine has a slight fret buzz on the top string at the fifth fret. Nothing too concerning. Interestingly, my buddies real Musicman has a similar buzz at the same place… so I consider mine to be even more authentic!

Tell you what… the switch to 5 string is fun! As a guitarist myself (of 30 years), the whole of my guitar playing (and bass playing) is referenced to a bottom string of E. It’s taken a little while to think “5 string”, but once you get there the bottom B works just right ('cos as guitar players we are used to the relationship between the top two strings - B & E. On a 5 string the relationship is the same, just the strings are low notes).

HTH


Mark

i picked up a ibanez sr400 fretless a few years ago, I’ve been real happy with it. Lots of good reviews, and lots of people use them with good results.

I went with Tannoy Reveal studio monitors. They are passive, and I got them for 340$ new. The powered models were ~850 a pair, so I figured I’d get the good speakers, but power them myself. I’m very happy with them.

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Then… one day when I’m even older and grayer I’ll have the perfect studio, except all the upgrades I’ll want. Then I’ll die.


Hugh, you’ve answered your own question.

Buy the cheapest pair of speakers you can get. (Woolies do a pair for £2.99).

Then just sit back and wait 50 years. Your depth perception goes, your discrimination goes, your HF limit drops to a few kHz, and you can’t hear the bass for the creaking of your joints.

So save your money, just be patient! :D

Ali

lol…

(what did you say?)

If you don’t mind eBay…

Tannoy Passive Reveals and an Adcom GFA535 amp. You should be able to do it under $400 and you aren’t going to outgrow it any time soon.

Speaking of basses… I just bought one of these a few weeks ago:

Schecter C-4

for $500 (new) at the local Guitar Center. When I walked into the store, I was only looking for a set of strings. But after playing this thing for about five minutes, I couldn’t leave without it. It’s miles above the P-Bass that I used to have and I haven’t touched either of my Hamer’s since. No fret buzz, near perfect intonation, and great action. The thing nearly plays itself, all I have to do is put my hands near it. :;): I’ve been playing bass for 17 years… This is my favorite.

It seems to be slightly shorter than a standard bass, which might be better fo you guitarists looking to pull double-duty on bass…

Also… normally I think that gold hardware is tacky, but the gold hardware on this guitar has a satin finish to it, and looks pretty classy to my class-less eyes.

Quote (John @ May 12 2005,14:40)
Speaking of basses… I just bought one of these a few weeks ago:

Schecter C-4

for $500 (new) at the local Guitar Center. When I walked into the store, I was only looking for a set of strings. But after playing this thing for about five minutes, I couldn’t leave without it. It’s miles above the P-Bass that I used to have and I haven’t touched either of my Hamer’s since. No fret buzz, near perfect intonation, and great action. The thing nearly plays itself, all I have to do is put my hands near it. :;): I’ve been playing bass for 17 years… This is my favorite.

It seems to be slightly shorter than a standard bass, which might be better fo you guitarists looking to pull double-duty on bass…

Also… normally I think that gold hardware is tacky, but the gold hardware on this guitar has a satin finish to it, and looks pretty classy to my class-less eyes.



Beautiful bass John… but that’s a heck of an expensive shopping trip for strings!! (I guess that’s why I buy mine online!)


Mark
Quote (Mark A @ May 12 2005,10:50)
Beautiful bass John.... but that's a heck of an expensive shopping trip for strings!! (I guess that's why I buy mine online!)

Yep... My joke at the gig that night was that the strings that I really wanted just happend to be attached to that particular bass.

:D

Don’t you just love ebay? I won the bid for the bass. I’m looking forward to playing it.

Hugh

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Don’t you just love ebay? I won the bid for the bass. I’m looking forward to playing it.


Excellent. Let us know what you think.


Mark