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  1. #1

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    Please pardon my ignorance. What's the difference?
    -- Isn't it crazy that "archtop" and "luthier" are spelling errors on this forum?

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I could type an explanation but the link below
    provides a good explanation of the differences.



    What’s the Difference Between Home Stereo Speakers and Studio Monitors?

  4. #3

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    If you’re mixing music, you want studio monitors.

    Home speakers are very colored, the decisions you make listening through that “lens” may not translate to another speaker.

  5. #4
    Thanks. Sort of like the difference between playing through an FRFR speaker and a guitar cab (?)

    Is there a downside to using studio monitors in a room to listen to regular commercial CDs? (Jazz, classical, pop, etc)
    -- Isn't it crazy that "archtop" and "luthier" are spelling errors on this forum?

  6. #5

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  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound View Post
    Thanks. Sort of like the difference between playing through an FRFR speaker and a guitar cab (?)

    Is there a downside to using studio monitors in a room to listen to regular commercial CDs? (Jazz, classical, pop, etc)
    Not to my ears with my monitors in my room i.e. depends on the size of your room, shape and size of your monitors. I play music through through a set of JBL LSR 6328P monitors located in my music room/office. Sound great.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by TedBPhx View Post
    I saw that. 3" woofers???
    -- Isn't it crazy that "archtop" and "luthier" are spelling errors on this forum?

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound View Post
    I saw that. 3" woofers???
    I saw that also and was thinking those would work as a second set of monitors to check a mix on smaller speakers. The pros have two (or more) sets of monitors.
    Last edited by fep; 09-21-2018 at 02:00 PM.
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  10. #9

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    The main difference is operational; monitors are used for "near field" listening (e.g., critical listening at the engineering console); home speakers are used "far field" for larger spaces.

    The near/far field distinction has to do with the listening distance beyond which the sound becomes coherent (so it sounds "right"). The monitors need to be designed a bit differently in order that they sound right in the near field, whereas the home speakers are designed to cohere and sound right in the far field out at a further listening distance into the room.

    The majority of the technical/acoustical design and engineering differences are with respect to the influence of the listening space (room effects)... monitors in near field listening do not take into account the room effects because of the close proximity of the listener; home speakers are designed to take advantage of room effects (reflective bass gain, dispersion, diffusion, diffraction, etc...) that are going to be in effect with listener being in the far field.
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  11. #10

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    Monitors are much flatter sounding than hifi speakers. They are not meant to enhance any frequencies in the audio spectrum, so to the average listener they usually sound like they are "lacking"...because they are designed to be lacking.

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound View Post
    Thanks. Sort of like the difference between playing through an FRFR speaker and a guitar cab (?)

    Is there a downside to using studio monitors in a room to listen to regular commercial CDs? (Jazz, classical, pop, etc)
    Not necessarily. They're mostly for recording/mixing.

    Its creator hardware. You purposefully use the most flat response sound so that you can produce a sound in your own recordings which will sound best on all other types. If you mix thing to sound good on a specific set of stereo speakers , it will sound crap in the car or through different system etc.

    If you're not going to be recording for others to listen to as a consumable product , you may be paying for something you don't need or want. If you're just listening to CDs etc., speakers are probably going to be fine for you. The word "studio" is somewhat ambiguously used by many people . We largely use it as a term for "playing space" or " music listening space" etc. This product is probably better understood as being "RECORDING/MIXING STUDIO" monitor.

    Are you recording and mixing your own music?

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound View Post
    Thanks. Sort of like the difference between playing through an FRFR speaker and a guitar cab (?)

    Is there a downside to using studio monitors in a room to listen to regular commercial CDs? (Jazz, classical, pop, etc)
    i do it everyday unless i want to go to the other room where my audio system is. so much is on the internet you know...

  14. #13

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    Today's studio (near field) monitors are so advanced technically, that they are head and shoulders over most any 'stereo speakers' on the market. Even some of the less expensive brands are fantastic. No need to break the bank unless you are serious about recording, mixing or other high end intention.

  15. #14

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    Another name for the most frequently used studio monitors is near field monitors. So, you sit close to them, put them on the desk and create an equilateral triangle with your ears and the monitors. Also, stay away from the middle of the room. With near field monitors you hear more of the speakers and less of the room reflections. This is better for home studios with untreated rooms.
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  16. #15
    Those near-field types have a well-defined sweet-spot. Move away 50cm from that and they stop "working" as they are supposed to. I guess the common home stereo speakers are meant to blast the the room full of every kinds of waves shamelessly. Different selling points.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu View Post
    Those near-field types have a well-defined sweet-spot. Move away 50cm from that and they stop "working" as they are supposed to. I guess the common home stereo speakers are meant to blast the the room full of every kinds of waves shamelessly. Different selling points.
    This is what I found when trying to use studio monitors as my main home practice setup. When I was sitting a few inches off center or back a bit further than usual the sound really changed. I took them back and bought something else since I'm not interested in recording and mixing.

  18. #17
    If we are talking same price range, for most people stereo speakers will be more enjoyable than studio monitors for music listening, cause they color the music the way you hear everywhere. They are also less directional, they sound good everywhere in the room.

    Studio monitors are very directional, they sound optimal in a particular spot. Their sound is kind of an acquired taste, very clear. What i enjoy the most is this clarity, the ability to hear every instrument clearly in the mix. Kind of what you try to do playing in a band..

  19. #18

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    In all my audiophile years I've owned 2 sets of "studio monitors." The first set were self powered Dynaudio BM15A's I owned some 20 years ago. An audio friend who owned mega $ audio gear took them in trade. I was floored how good they sounded. I owned electrostats at the time, but bought them anyway...like guitarists, audiophiles can always justify owning more gear.

    The great thing about the monitors being self powered, and this was before Class D amplification became the rave (for some), my CD player had XLR outputs, and the BM15's have XLR inputs. So to save money one could forgo purchasing an amplifier ($5k used for a quality space heater, aka, Class A amp), and a preamplifier (another $5k for a used preamp), and voila you've got great sound on the cheap. The sound produced from these BM15A's really made me rethink some things about audio.

    Also Dynaudio has been making home speakers for decades.

    Dynaudio BM15A 10" Powered Studio Monitor (Left Side) | Sweetwater

    8 years ago I purchased a high dollar electric piano, but a pair of Rocket 8 monitors work just fine - But never in my life would I use them for home audio listening, UNLESS I was looking to do off axis listening in say a garage.

    And yes, in case you were wondering, LP's do produce far superior sound than any CD.
    When I got pretty good I went on the road with a group - We starved - Wes Montgomery

  20. #19

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    Man I love my BM15's too !!

  21. #20
    OP here, thanks for all the very informative info. Especially about the narrowly defined listening space ("sweet spot").
    -- Isn't it crazy that "archtop" and "luthier" are spelling errors on this forum?

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound View Post
    Is there a downside to using studio monitors in a room to listen to regular commercial CDs? (Jazz, classical, pop, etc)
    Yes. In the event we are talking about active, (powered) monitors, there is the hassle of having to have them plugged in to ac, and having to turn each one on and off with every use along with the sound sources. Also, with the amps onboard, it can be difficult to implement any eq options. This can be a serious limitation for pleasure listening, depending on your perspective. I have been doing this for years, and like anything it has it's pros and cons.

  23. #22

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    I'm amazed by this statement in that article:

    "It doesn’t really matter if the sound they hear is an accurate reproduction of what the artist intended."
    I'm as much into "hi-fi" as I am into guitar and music in general. (I try to avoid being an audiophool, who spends $1000 on an AC power cord.) But I've never met a fellow audio enthusiast who would agree with that statement. The function of any speaker, be it monitor or home speaker, is to accurately reproduce the signal sent to it without coloring the signal. Now I'm not so naive to think that most home speakers accomplish that. But, at least, that should be the goal.

    IMHO.

    Artie

  24. #23

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    We got a couple pairs of smallish "bookshelf" speakers when we bought out another photo studio years back. Set them up in our conference/sales room for music for clients during slideshows of their portraits.

    Noted that wow, they had to be pointed just right, and weren't as "warm" as most bookshelf speakers are. So I asked the former owner where he'd got them.

    He got them cheap from a guy he knew who'd had a recording studio setup in his garage with these four surrounding his mix station. Some kind of "monitors" or something. He'd never liked them much. Thought the problem was they're sealed boxes, no ports.

    So I brought them home, hooked up to good receiver and ran a test CD with a sound meter.

    Pretty decently flat within about 4dB from around 80hz to 17k.

    On center, that is. By 30* out, at one metre, they're showing problems with the woofer clearly overpowering the tweeter. Muddy.

    Now I spend most of my time working video post software at the studio I've built a 5.1 setup with a pair of them at the front corners and a spendy Klipsch center and pair of surrounds that are decent and small/light enough to mount where they need to be.

    At 38" from my nose, level with and pointing at it, they are very fine, a full and even match with a very good center speaker. I built the sub, so the crossover in sub and sub-out circuit in receiver work perfectly together.

    But ... in a 13x18 foot room, trying to do "normal" speaker job, meh.

    Definitely designed as studio monitors.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artied2 View Post
    I'm amazed by this statement in that article:



    I'm as much into "hi-fi" as I am into guitar and music in general. (I try to avoid being an audiophool, who spends $1000 on an AC power cord.) But I've never met a fellow audio enthusiast who would agree with that statement. The function of any speaker, be it monitor or home speaker, is to accurately reproduce the signal sent to it without coloring the signal. Now I'm not so naive to think that most home speakers accomplish that. But, at least, that should be the goal.

    IMHO.

    Artie
    $1k on an AC power cord? Some would say yes, "to justify checking all the boxes in a $40k system." Personally I much preferred paying an electrician $400 to install a pair of dedicated 20 amp circuits in my listening room, so I'm not competing with the fridge, washer, etc, etc. We're each still dependent upon our power only being as good as from the source and into our homes. $1k or more for speaker cables and interconnects? Absolutely!
    When I got pretty good I went on the road with a group - We starved - Wes Montgomery

  26. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Alter View Post
    Their sound is kind of an acquired taste, very clear.
    Clear of course but what always hits me is how dry the good ones sound. Kinda "I can hear everything! ! ! but it isn't much?!?"

    (the monitors)

  27. #26

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    So, excuse my ignorance, but what would be a good compromise for say, a 2.1 system for my desktop setup that would be mostly used for listening and play along practice, with occasional stabs at amateur recording, assuming that I would be sitting close to the sweet spot a majority of the time?

    I have my main stereo situated 15 feet behind me, but connected to my computer via WiFi, so that’s only for listening, not for practice. My desktop speakers are a set of inexpensive Klipsch powered speakers with a small sub attached. OK for desktop work for practice, but I always wonder about getting an inexpensive set of powered monitors instead, and whether that would still make for pleasurable listening, but then what to do about a separate sub? I’m not recording, but would like to start to learn.
    It all works out in the end; if it's not working out, it's not the end.

  28. #27

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    I'll bet the Klipsch are better than most inexpensive monitors, and are also more real-world. Unless you're actually mixing or mastering complex recordings, you already have good speakers. But, you can certainly get a 30-day trial of powered subs with o risk. I switch between my M-Audio powered monitors and my KEF bookshelf speakers when mixing: the monitors are accurate but cold, the KEFs are warm and full.

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by yebdox View Post
    So, excuse my ignorance, but what would be a good compromise for say, a 2.1 system for my desktop setup that would be mostly used for listening and play along practice, with occasional stabs at amateur recording, assuming that I would be sitting close to the sweet spot a majority of the time?

    I have my main stereo situated 15 feet behind me, but connected to my computer via WiFi, so that’s only for listening, not for practice. My desktop speakers are a set of inexpensive Klipsch powered speakers with a small sub attached. OK for desktop work for practice, but I always wonder about getting an inexpensive set of powered monitors instead, and whether that would still make for pleasurable listening, but then what to do about a separate sub? I’m not recording, but would like to start to learn.
    I use Rokit 8's for a digital piano. They'd work well for any desktop setup. Inexpensive as powered monitors go. I've owned this set 4 years and nary a glitch.

    KRK RP8G3 Rokit 8" Powered Studio Monitors with JS-MS70 Monitor Stands & Cables 709257607672 | eBay
    When I got pretty good I went on the road with a group - We starved - Wes Montgomery

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound View Post
    Thanks. Sort of like the difference between playing through an FRFR speaker and a guitar cab (?)

    Is there a downside to using studio monitors in a room to listen to regular commercial CDs? (Jazz, classical, pop, etc)
    No downside I don't think.

    It might even help in some ways.

    Studio Monitors are flatter than most stereo speakers [ Paradigm is an exception ] so you hear the Recordings as they did in the control room or closer to that anyway.

    Good Monitors reveal a lot of details too.

    Then you can play back Wes or George Benson or Metheny , Moreno etc. to make sure your Guitar is not too loud in the mix and you have the drums and bass at acceptable levels ( period and Genrè specific of course ).

  31. #30

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    A quote from post #6 of a Reaper Forum thread Why do your recordings sound like ass? - Cockos Incorporated Forums

    The purpose of a studio reference monitor is to accurately render the playback material. The purpose of a good home stereo is to sound good. These goals are often at odds with one another, and a simple frequency chart does not answer the question.

    A common trick among hifi speakers is a ported design that delivers what I call ONB, short for "one note bass." The speaker designer creates an enclosure designed to deliver a dramatic "thump" right around the frequency cutoff of the speaker. This gives an extended sense of low-end, and it gives a dramatic, focused, powerful-sounding bass that can be very enjoyable to listen to, but it is the kiss of death for reference monitoring. Every bass note is rendered like a kick drum, and the recordist cannot get an accurate sense of the level or tonality of the low-end. If you play back something mixed on a ONB system on a different stereo, the bass is all over the place, reappearing and disappearing, with no apparent consistency or logic to the level. This is especially acute when you play a record mixed on one ONB system back on a different ONB system. Notes and tones that were higher or lower than the cutoff of the other system either vanish or seem grossly out-of-proportion.

    Another serious consideration is handing of the crossover frequency. On any enclosure with more than one driver (e.g. a tweeter and woofer), there is a particular frequency at which the two speakers "cross over," i.e. where one cuts off and the other picks up. The inherent distortion around this frequency range is arguably the most sensitive and delicate area of speaker design. Hifi speakers are very often designed to simply downplay the crossover frequency, or to smooth over it with deliberate distortions, and often manage to sound just fine for everyday listening. But glossing over what's really going on there is not good for reference monitoring. The fact that this often occurs in the most sensitive range of human hearing does not help matters.

    Other common issues with home hifi systems are compromises made to expand the "sweet spot" by, for instance, broadening the overall dispersion of higher frequencies at the expense of creating localized distortions in certain directions, a general disregard for phase-dependent distortions that occur as a result of simultaneously producing multiple frequencies from a single driver, nonlinear response at different volume levels, as well as the more obvious and intuitive kinds of "hype" and "sizzle" that are built in to make speakers sound dramatic on the sales floor.

    The important thing to understand is that none of the above necessarily produces a "bad sounding" speaker, and that the above kinds of distortions are common even among expensive, brand-name home theater systems. It's not that they sound cheap or muffled or tinny, it's just that they're not reliable enough to serve as reference-caliber studio monitors. In other words, the fact that everyone raves about how great your stereo sounds might actually be a clue that it is *not* a good monitor system.

    In fact, high-end reference monitors often sound a little boring compared to razzle-dazzle hifi systems. What sets them apart is the forensic accuracy with which they reproduce sound at all playback levels, across all frequencies, and without compressing the dynamic range to "hype" the sound. On the contrary, the most important characteristic is not soaring highs and massive lows, but a broad, detailed, clinical midrange.

    The two most common speakers used in the history of studio recording are certainly Yamaha NS10s and little single-driver Auratones. Neither one was especially good at lows or highs, and neither was a particularly expensive speaker in its day (both are now out of production and now command ridiculous prices on eBay). What they were good at was consistent, reproducible midrange and accurate dynamics
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)