Speaker Preferences


my 1029 have gotten some amount of noise getting older, but it’s still less noisy than birds or laptop fan, and it’s very consistent and white so i don’t mind. Coming from radio i always think of my productions as being heard in environments/contexts with extraneous sounds and varying attention so there is that.
Thinking of radio that reminded me of a model of speakers i heard multiple times in gallery/installation situations and that i thought were very interesting to reveal textures in voices: the Yamaha S15 (the “studio monitor” ones, not their old PA model with the same ref…). It’s a rather inexpensive passive speaker but the medium was very interesting imho. Of course for musical material it may be underperforming (i’ve never been a fan of other yamaha speakers i used (namely NS10,HS80,MSP5)).


Just bought a pair of Genelec 8320a with the GLM kit… but I can’t use it because I’ve forgotten to buy the XLR cables :expressionless:


I’ve personally found the 8030s a little to nice sounding. When sitting in a control room and those are the only speakers, I’ve heard things sound WAY better then when brought to other rooms/speakers. They work very well with ns10s or something that isn’t so pretty sounding.

That being said, they were my go to for a solid 10 years.


So, reviving this thread a bit for your collective input (I hope!). I got a phone call from Sweetwater ‘checking in’ as they are wont to do. For the last two or three years I have been basically monitor-less (at least remotely professional monitors). I had some NS10s that I never particular enjoyed (though I acclimated to them over time) and would AB them with some shitty Sony bookshelf speakers that I’ve had so long that I know them pretty well and rely on for bass response. Anyway, I sold the NS10s (to a member of the Beach Boys’ crew actually, who happened to be in town :slight_smile: ) and ever since I’ve just relied on the shitty Sony speakers.

I’ve mixed a bit on Adam A7xs and they were delightful. However, the room I mixed with them in is significantly different from my own room and those are at the top of my price range of being vaguely responsible. Ever since, every December as the holiday sales roll in of 24-36 months without interest, I’m tempted to pull the trigger but decided I could hold off a bit longer. That time is approaching though and I was curious for people’s input.

I’ve just moved into a house which has me in this new room. It’s small (probably 150’ square), carpeted, and only one small window (sadly). There are a lot of things breaking up the reflections surprisingly with my record shelves, open closets full of clothes, and other stuff in there, and will really never fully treat a room to be truly ‘professional’ aside from maybe some bass traps in the corners.

My struggle is balancing price with frequency response. I don’t need the volume that Adams offer or other speakers in that range for such a small room, but I like the broad bass response that can get down to 42 or 40 hz if I’m doing serious kick drum action. However, if I dip a bit in price, the volume is more in a reasonable range where I’d still have more than enough, but the speaker sizes don’t offer that low-end. To be clear, I have no interest in the sub solution either. I’m not sure why, it just doesn’t feel right mixing with a sub when many listeners won’t have them.

I’m curious for any thoughts and insight. Am I over-concerned with the bass response that probably won’t even be clear in such a small room? Or is it better to be safe than sorry, go ahead and plunk down more like $1500 for a pair and have that range rather than dip into the $1000-1200 zone and be left with 48-50 hz of bass response at the lower? The Neumann KH120s, Focal Shape50s, and Dynaudio BM5s/6s or LYD5s or 6s are sort of on my radar aside from the Adams, but again, the Adams have that response that that cheaper tier doesn’t have.



just throwing this out there - stumbled across a pretty good deal on some focal 65s, great volume & bass response. https://reverb.com/item/5344936-focal-alpha-65-monitor-pair


I looked into buying some Adams from a U.K. dealer but decided I didn’t want to risk the customs nightmare that could ensue. I did notice that the Adams were voltage switchable - are the Focals as well?


Just set up my new Focal Shape 50s. So far they’re sounding great :slight_smile:

I’m going to spend the night blasting Van Halen and Rush to familiarize myself with how they handle in my room. Maybe a bit of Public Enemy for good measure.



I always reach for Signals and Power Windows when I want to test out speakers.


Power Windows is the last one I can jam without feeling weird. Even a few songs on that are super goofy, but the good ones are great :slight_smile:

I went with Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures. “Natural Science” and “Vital Signs” never sounded so good!


millennial reporting in: Jon Hopkins is my go to speaker tester


Totally agree. The only albums I find myself going back to with any regularity these days are Moving Pictures, Signals, and Permanent Waves. I could listen to Subdivisions on repeat for a whole day…


That was the pocket of synth goodness, pop, and just a touch of old math-rock/prog :slight_smile:


When my dad was trying too hard to impress me with his speaker builds in the 70s, his go-to was Iron Butterfly’s In A Gadda Da Vida. But ELP would have worked better on me at the time. Some ELP still works pretty well for me now.


What do you use to output your modular?

I currently just plug in to my guitar amp. Some times I plug things through an old Mackie mixer and then to the amp. I keep thinking there may be a better alternative. I’d like to hear some suggestions, especially if they are reasonable cost.


just found some foam speaker isolation pads in the shed…thought I’d try chucking them under the tacky JBLs currently doing service in my studio midi room. Huge difference to the wooly, ill-defined bass response of that setup!

So I guess moral of this story is acoustics matter as much as speakers. What surprised me is how much difference the pads made to a ‘mid-fi’ setup. Pretty sure the effect was a lot more subtle with the larger, heavier, unported monitors that used to live on those pads!


So… you’ve had them a while… comments? I’ve been thinking about getting some so… would be good to hear what you are hearing…


Totally agree! to add a bit, i see in modern designs not only acoustics were kind of set aside in favor of drive improvements, amplification is really important. Hearing the ATCs in the studio i work with a Crown Amp, and later switch to a Bryston 4B was night and day.

For that matter i say again that i love Unity Audio best of today’s and yesterday philosophy. Without too many technologically fancy things (dsp’s, in house eq’s…) well designed closed enclosure, top notch amplification and good quality drivers. The Rocks are amazing, and speaking of amplification, just a small change on the amp design from MKI to MKII extended the bass response another 15hz or so…


Very pleased :slight_smile: It seems like such a subjective experience coupled with the variables involved. BUT, for what it’s worth, I think they’re great.


I realize ‘like’ is subjective but annoying issues that come up (poor build quality etc. ) are not…

Glad to hear it, they are my top-of-list for new speakers. Current ones are lame.


Truth be told I prefer to do proper mixing on headphones, but I love the feeling of improvising a track via speakers turned up pretty loud.

I work in a pretty small room, but I’m looking for some affordable options that can throw out a decent amount of bass and volume without needing to be the most incredible perfect monitors ever, since I’d be doing the bulk of the actual surgical sound work after the fact using headphones. Anyone have any suggestions?