Speaker System for noob 3k-4k budget

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by kirayamato, Mar 29, 2016.

  1. Colgin

    Colgin Friend

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    This is good to hear. I have been thinking about speaker upgrades, but based on some of the posts I read about room treatments, I have been wondering if I would be throwing away money on better speakers in a non-treated room. My past working assumption is that if you make a good choice, then you will benefit from an upgrade even if you might not squeeze the absolute last bit of performance without treatments. But some things I have read made me think that I would be wasting money without treatments. While my space is not ideal, it is a living room with furniture and rugs in it. I would like to think that I can upgrade my speakers and still see improvement without adding bass traps and whatnot, which is never going to fly in my home.
     
  2. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Yeah, I thought I should say something and should have probably said something sooner. Some discussions from Changstar and now here make people want to believe that you absolutely need room treatments or build an anechoic chamber for your speakers, which is complete utter 100% bullshit from people who read the Internet too much rather than figure out / build shit of their own. Don't get me wrong, room treatments are effective and may be necessary in certain situations. But if you get the right speakers for your room with the right placement, you are 90% there. Bass traps which are not the size a refrigerator (or larger) are bullshit and won't work. I've haven't seen a basstrap in any of the studio production room's I've visited in the past six months. You know why? Because they are either bullshit or too unwieldy. The room problem (bass modes) is more easily solved with multiple subs. Finally, a lively sounding room is absolutely fine or even preferable. You don't need your room sounding dead like a studio production room. Just use your furniture to absorb first reflections on the side wall. Behind the speakers, find something to refract (a bookshelf and/or component rack high enough will do the job) if you have enough distance, otherwise absorb (curtains, tapestries, etc.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2016
  3. Priidik

    Priidik Friend

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    In my experience a lot has changed with the source I feed my speakers. While I'm not (hopeful, that I can stay clear) using vinyl, even dac as a source matters massively with speakers.
    I would take Yggdrasil in a complete dump of a room with my Genelecs in a heartbeat instead of a purposely built room and use some random cheesy S-D dac.
    Years back when there were not a whole lot to chose among sources, I went nuts myself with room acoustics, because this was all I knew how to improve sound.
    I should probably eat my hat for the claims I have spewed out in the past.
     
  4. TwoEars

    TwoEars Friend

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    If you don't need a lot of bass but listen to a lot of acoustic, jazz, classical etc for me this is about as good as it gets:

    * Magnepan speaker. You should be able to afford the 3.7 second hand but the 1.7 is good too. http://www.magnepan.com/
    * Some kind of beefy second hand NAD Amp. Lots of watts.
    * Basic thick copper cables.

    (if the room is really small maybe go for the 1.7 anyway)

    That's it. Set it up in a good room and enjoy.
     
  5. zonto

    zonto Friend

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    The fact remains that in small, Boston apartments, you're often sitting on a couch pushed up against the rear wall or window, which is horrible for acoustics. Not only that, but the walls are often brick instead of drywall, so even more reflective.
     
  6. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf MOT - Sonarworks

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    Some time ago we measured 5 semi-popular studio monitors in an anechoic chamber and then in a pretty ho-hum bedroom studio type of room.

    KRK VXT6
    ADAM A7X
    ADAM A77X
    Genelec 8040
    Equator D5

    In-chamber:

    [​IMG]

    In a typical home studio:

    [​IMG]

    So basically if you can get rid of the room-boom and early reflections, then there's not much need for padding your whole room.
     
  7. Priidik

    Priidik Friend

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    @Hrodulf^^ . This is quite a bizarre broad bass hump in that bedroom, probably 1/12dB octave smoothed too?
    I've measured my 8050-s in variety of rooms, but usually there are nulls and peaks side-by-side in bass, being on average only slightly south of neutral.

    Below both channels in listening positions, nearfield, in my old apartment (1/48 dB octave). Notice the ragged response. It's because all walls but one were brick covered with hard parget. In this location I preferred HD800 to speakers most of the time. Now I'm in a wooden house made entirely of logs, no such raggedness. Easily prefer speakers to headphones now.
    Sadly I sold off my recording equipment, can't measure my current room, in which I'm quite happy.

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Priidik

    Priidik Friend

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    Regarding room treatment. In my experience most crucial is to dampen room corners. I used to put whole rockwool spools on top of each other to achieve this, very effective but also very ugly to look at. No significant other will tolerate this, sadly.

    Speaker design is big part of this as well, Genelecs need little early reflections suppression, but quite a bit bass treatment, especially if one is forced to locate speakers at the back wall. Placement on 1/4 of room length positioning sort of mitigates bass problems, if that option is available.
     
  9. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    1. How were the monitors measured in the anechoic chamber? On stands to simulate radiation into full space? This would explain the flatter bass.
    2. For the home studio environment, did you set the switches in the back set correctly to account for the half / quarter space radiation (on top on a table, somewhat close to the back wall). These switches set the baffle step on the speakers and would have corrected the bass. It's less "room-boom" but rather radiation patterns from nearby boundaries that account for the increased overall bass.
    3. First reflection off the table might account for the 800Hz dip (just a guess, I see still this a lot). If so, no amount of room treatment will fix this, only better placement will. Best to have monitors higher up. Most of the production studios I've seen lift monitors well off the tables and consoles and mount them on the wall for this reason.
    The main thing is you've got the set the baffle step switches correctly on the back of the monitors first for your second measurement, otherwise you are misrepresenting how bad they are in the bass in a home studio environment.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2016
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  10. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Adjustments for monitors depending upon how they are placed in the room (on a table, near wall, etc.) Actually, in this situation the KRK LF adjust sort of sucks and is inappropriately designed for less than professional studios.

    adjust.png

    Here are the Genelec adjustments. They have much more adjustability for home studios. A true baffle step and desktop bounce adjustment.

    genelec.png
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2016
  11. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf MOT - Sonarworks

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    1. Yup, we're measuring on a net floating almost in the middle of the chamber. No room gain should occur.
    2. All switches left on flat, otherwise not much of a comparison between the two graphs. The purpose of the graphs was to show how many speakers interact with the room. I think you're right about the table reflections, but I'm not sure if the back knobs will be able to correct for a peak that wide.
    3. You're right about the 800Hz dip and it won't be easy to compensate for that. As for hanging the monitors higher up and then pointing them down - I've seen some local studios and usually they either use some kind of stands or a special shelf at the back of the mixing desk. I used stands to stretch the triangle larger and thus got this -

    [​IMG]

    The 150Hz peak is mostly due to back wall being close to the back wall proximity.
     
  12. bobmysterious

    bobmysterious Rando

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    When I was working in the Nashville studios we always just had them on top of the SSL meters.
     
  13. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    That too. Below the meters will be a sloped console with knobs dials and buttons. Won't see dip in the mids from this.
     
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  14. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Haha. The Genelec "Desktop LF" switch on the back of the speaker looks it will take care of that peak.
     
  15. Priidik

    Priidik Friend

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    It's too gentle for that ;), but it helps.
     
  16. Priidik

    Priidik Friend

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    Actually for advising OP, and not further derailing the thread I should have suggested DSP speakers first. These will probably never reach that last 5% of perfection due to compromises in size, amping and form factor, but It's easy and foolproof solution to almost any acoustic environment.

    One of my good friends asked the same sort of question from me few months ago. I said: '' get DSP Genelecs '', because he didn't want to mess with stuff.
    I listened to my friends 8330 some time ago with my own R-2R dac.

    The brilliant part about these is that the inner dac is bypassed and source of user's choice can shine through with corrections added to acoustics. These sounded really good. What matters is that my friend is happy too.
    I'm a Genelec fanboy, so is he and YMMV...

    Will these out resolve HD800? Yes.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2016
  17. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    The OP said he wanted something to sound like the HD800S. None of these monitors have anywhere near the resolution, decay, and articulation of the HD800S. The Fritz speakers I pointed out have similar technicalities as well as the right voicing. Another option would be the equivalent from Salk using the same Sea magnesium mid/woofer. Other than that, it's the Accuton driver or ATC stuff, but that stuff will be above his $3500 price range. DSP monitors will make his Yggdrasil useless (may as well throw his Yggdrasil away.)
     
  18. sphinxvc

    sphinxvc Gear Master (retired)

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    Could you expand on this a bit more, Purrin? For example, when you say refraction behind speakers, do you mean directly behind them, or centered between the set up where you'd normally find a component rack? And when you say furniture at the first reflection points, do you mean something like more bookshelves (defraction, right?)? Or something absorbing?

    GIK acoustics definitely upsold me when I first consulted them a few years back. Of all the traps they sent me, the wide-banders at the first reflection points made the biggest difference.
     
  19. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Diffusor in the center-behind the speakers. A bookshelf center-behind or component rack in-between the speakers will do the job just as well in a home environment. Having a flat surface like the TV is the worst.

    Directly behind or just slight outside-behind the speakers: absorbers, but diffusors work too.

    At first reflection points (side walls), absorb. I do not like diffusors here at all.
     
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  20. Priidik

    Priidik Friend

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    Resolution in terms of dynamics graduations, maybe not, depending on his amp.
    Transients are less sharp as well, so the perceived slam and quickness will be a bit less, but that is not all there is to resolution.
    Tone on the newer Genelecs is closer to HD800S for better or for worse than other speakers I have heard.

    What you suggested might easily be better fit as I have not heard these myself nor I'm totally sure what OP is looking for.

    The mid-range clarity is hard to beat on the HD800(S), I've only heard a pair of full-ranges do that, but at the cost of so many sins.
     
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