Speaker Preferences


Like a few others here, have had positive experience with Focal CMS50s.

However, the new Barefoots in the 3k price range are extremely tempting as an upgrade. I keep telling myself I should buy preamps and other outboard kit first but…


this thread is cool :slight_smile:
cats are like -yeah, I’ll just use these old good ones!
or -yeah, I’m fixin to build some and here’s the plans!
I feel lucky to be here, thanks
(full disclosure)

when these came out, mackie just bought an Italian powered speaker company, and put their name on them
as you can see, they’re under wraps
at the moment…
I do think they sound amazing
any mix we made on them
makes me feel like I can really hear what’s on the track
from back in the day…



necroquote, but i have these with some serious hiss – apparently an issue that eventually pops up with this model. it’s fine, but it definitely fatigues after an hour or so. have you experienced this?


I haven’t experienced this issue.


Settled on a beautifully cheap set of JBL G40s - maybe semi-crappy little speakers like these are actually a good choice for tracking/composing. My thinking is that with really nice, clear speakers it can be easy to get caught up in the details of the sound, tweaking, mixing etc at every stage.

Guess the main thing with this kind of setup is keep a set of cans plugged in to hear the low end properly… And hopefully the lack of bass extension means I won’t disturb the neighbours too much. One day I’ll get those LS5/8s or Harbeths!


I Love that wimslow site. Always a sucker for a kit and do need to invest in some nice small bookshelf monitors. does anyone have any comments on if this kit is good value. probably make my own cabs and not go with any of their flatpack mdf veneer options …

All opinions appreciated.


That kit looks decently priced to me. Didn’t look into the specific drivers and don’t know about them at the moment.

You might compare with

Lots of DIY speaker builders are fond of Parts Express for drivers.



Thanks Jason…will have a scan of those sites. thought someone would say look into just getting all the parts seperately- but there is that secret combination and balance when it comes to speakers… and re your first post that knowledge that went into the all round design.


True! It’s a complete package. Just saying that if you do have a good idea of how the parts fit together, then you might have a look around at different parts distributors just to make sure of good prices.


at my main studio we have barefoot micromains and ns10s. i’m not a super huge fan of the barefoots, and would take ATC anyday. in fact i’m getting close to upgrading my home mixing system, which is a blue sky 2.1, to the atc 12s with an amphion power amp. please taxes, go easy on me so i can get toys!


These? --> http://atcloudspeakers.co.uk/professional/loudspeakers/scm12-pro/


Oh man, this thread has me wanting new speakers. I’m using a $180 pair of Monoprice 8" monitors right now. They are all I have. Not bad, actually. But I’m kinda operating under the “ignorance is bliss” principle right now which is ironic because there is nothing cheap about the rest of my setup.


Yeah, I’m in the same spot Brad. I ditched my NS10s (actually sold them to a member of the Beach Boys crew who were in town which was kind of cool to have him check them out on stage while they were all setting up for the concert that night!) and now I’m back to shitty bookshelf speakers that I used to use and A/B with the NS10s. I keep holding off on pulling the trigger for nicer monitors. The ADAM A7s seemed great to my ears. Dynaudios might be cool but I have nowhere to try them out and I’m a bit nervous. Focal CMSs are supposed to be quite good.

I suppose I need to hold off until at least the Christmas no interest for x months sales that pop up. I’m trying to pay my debt DOWN though ha and buying a house and paying for a trip out west with my girlfriend this summer…non-audio expenses that are important :slight_smile:

I’d check out the ADAMs if any of you haven’t.


i can confirm that the adams a7s are fantastic. also, for much less $, loving my focal alpha 65s (though i occasionally have to hunt down an offending buzz or vibrating wire).


The guys that originally started Adam have now created some new speakers here in Berlin at http://www.hedd.audio/en/ which are getting great reviews from what I’ve heard.


I spent a lot of time with NS-10s and learned to prefer that style of sound (little bass, clear highs) for mixing. Then I happened on a pair of Tannoy Little Golds, which still make me very happy. they are balanced not unlike the NS-10s, but with more bass and an even more sort of shiny high end. everything trebly is just really sort of present but not overly prickly. I know where they stand and I actually have fun listening to them, which was a hard balance for me to find in a speaker.

I’m not sure if it’s some particular magic of the dual-concentric drivers that gives them the clarity I like. I haven’t had the chance to listen to other dual-concentrics. I was shopping around for drivers for an imaginary project to test that, and it seems like pretty much only Tannoy is making them.

They’re not a dual-driver speaker but the little Fostex full-ranges seems philosophically similar and would be fun to try. Fostex makes these very simple speaker-building kits (and other gear) with a nicely minimal aesthetic.


I have not heard the Tannoys, but I have heard the Fostexes and they are very lovely. Full range drivers are one thing that pretty much didn’t exist in the 70s days we were getting so nostalgic about, and the beauty of full range drivers is that they allow for extremely simple cabinet design. It’s a very elegant approach.

Definitely light on the bass, and for that reason some people prefer to wrap these drivers in rather elaborate horns, but if you prefer clarity over drama, such sonic sculpture is unnecessary.

That being said, the horns can be extremely beautiful.

or more utilitarian (you can find kits for these styles):

and sometimes a bit ridiculous:


I had some of those horn kit speaker on my stereo for a little while. They were ok, but are very sensitive to room position. I found them too fiddly and never really got a full sound out of them.


That rings true. The room really matters for this stuff, and the full range sound is an acquired taste.


I have wondered, wouldn’t it be possible to use an acoustic metamaterial instead of a big horn? As described in http://www.nature.com/articles/srep00340 for example. It seems like varying the hole pattern or plate thickness could allow impedance matching over a wide range of frequencies.