Why don't we use Pro Monitors in our Homes? - Page 16 - AVS Forum
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post #451 of 513 Old 07-17-2009, 11:19 AM
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Great thread... I'm learning a lot

I'm curious, since one of the issues with buying pro-monitors for the home is lack of dealers and/or places to audition them, how do the pro's choose their monitors? I mean, there must be dozens or even hundreds to choose from for any particular application.

The only 'useful' specs to me are max continuous and peak SPL for single/pair, FR range and +/- dB measurement. What else do the pro's look for? Besides listening to the speaker, what does one look at when it comes to active pro monitors?

The general advice on this forum is to audition as many speakers as you can and ultimately audition them in your home. I'm willing to bet many of the pro's don't actually do this, instead they probably rely on word-of-mouth, previous experience in various studios, etc. Would the professionals on this forum agree with my assumptions, or am I completely wrong? I have follow-up questions, depending on the answers to this.

Thanks

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post #452 of 513 Old 07-17-2009, 12:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///3oris View Post

Great thread... I'm learning a lot
I'm curious, since one of the issues with buying pro-monitors for the home is lack of dealers and/or places to audition them, how do the pro's choose their monitors? I mean, there must be dozens or even hundreds to choose from for any particular application.

The only 'useful' specs to me are max continuous and peak SPL for single/pair, FR range and +/- dB measurement. What else do the pro's look for? Besides listening to the speaker, what does one look at when it comes to active pro monitors?

The general advice on this forum is to audition as many speakers as you can and ultimately audition them in your home. I'm willing to bet many of the pro's don't actually do this, instead they probably rely on word-of-mouth, previous experience in various studios, etc. Would the professionals on this forum agree with my assumptions, or am I completely wrong? I have follow-up questions, depending on the answers to this.

Thanks

"Pro" means hardly anything as a lot of musicians are at least partially deaf from abusing their ears. Their releases show just how bad things are. (Not that things have every been better - for example look at how Phil Spector destroyed the music of many groups).

Everyone has a difficult time auditioning because of the few retailers left - pro or consumer.
There are few "professional" reviews of studio monitors.
I choose the best sound quality and price regardless of market segment. In other words ignore the marketing and concentrate on the product.
I use a professional Furman Power Factor Pro. I saved money over the consumer market version, and its built like a tank.
I use a Denon DNA-7100 pro HDMI pre-amp with balanced outputs. I saved a over any equivalent consumer version.

I'm buying this pro speakers because the pc speakers are so crappy, in spite of what most consumers state.

As an revealing experiment I want to drive these balanced (cables included in the kit) from my Denon A/V controller without using any big power amplifier. Otherwise I'll drive them from my PC with a 1/8" jack to TS:

http://www.amazon.com/HOSA-CMP159-St.../dp/B000068O3C

Lastly the importance of bi-amping cannot be understated. Huge performance gains can be achieved here. Bi-amping should be one of the first upgrades, yet this forum is overall clueless.
In the KRK we have active crossovers and amplifiers tweaked to drive their individual speaker. Add a powered sub-woofer for effect and you have a quality, space-saving, tri-amped system for peanuts.
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post #453 of 513 Old 07-17-2009, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiFun View Post

Everyone has a difficult time auditioning because of the few retailers left - pro or consumer.

An unfortunate sign of the times. Except for many high-end gear.



Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiFun View Post

In the KRK we have active crossovers and amplifiers tweaked to drive their individual speaker. Add a powered sub-woofer for effect and you have a quality, space-saving, tri-amped system for peanuts.

One problem with using active speakers in a 5~7 channel system is the need to have outlets at every speaker location, unless starting from scratch, means tearing out sheetrock to run the romex in the walls.
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post #454 of 513 Old 07-17-2009, 02:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4DHD View Post

One problem with using active speakers in a 5~7 channel system is the need to have outlets at every speaker location, unless starting from scratch, means tearing out sheetrock to run the romex in the walls.

Well you are thinking ahead to a complete surround sound system! I've got evaluate the speakers extensively before taking any such steps. If I were a cheapskate, I'd run an extension cord along-side (but not too close) to the balanced cables as one circuit/outlet does sound better.

One of the reviewers complained of the KRK 6 bass at very high volumes. The solution lies in the A/V controller. Set its high quality internal crossover to 80 or 100Hz. This high-pass filtering will enable the KRK to play much louder as it conserves the built-in amplifiers power reserve and suppresses clipping. The bass/mid-range driver is freed-up from handling high excursion bass signals. The net result should be another noticeable increase in clarity for high-level musical peaks.
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post #455 of 513 Old 07-17-2009, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiFun View Post

Well you are thinking ahead to a complete surround sound system! I've got evaluate the speakers extensively before taking any such steps. If I were a cheapskate, I'd run an extension cord along-side (but not too close) to the balanced cables as one circuit/outlet does sound better.

I'm not saying buy 5~7 active speakers w/o auditioning them first.
But, yes, one does need to think ahead as much as possible on those types of things, when it comes to the final setup.
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post #456 of 513 Old 07-17-2009, 09:37 PM
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A bit late to the party:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundood View Post

...PMC BB5/XBD Actives run $175,000 for an LCR setup, and they are simply STAGGERING, but they still cost what a Ferrari does. ...

I agree, having heard them in a surround setup during AES. So, I've gone for the 'starter pack' I've gone all PMC, with their DB1s the smallest they make, and earlier this year upgraded to the GB1+s for main LR speakers. Now PMC does some stuff differently for it's 'consumer' line such as wood laminate finishes, and does more tower speakers, but, otherwise I figure I'm getting close to what was heard in the mixing room. I've also got a pair of DB1Ss, their pro--matte-black-finish--monitors for my computer/DAV setup.

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post #457 of 513 Old 07-17-2009, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Teller View Post

LTD02 - do you mind if I ask your opinion of the Focal SM6 Series? Specifically, the Solo6 Be and Twin6 Be monitors?

I ask, simply because these are the only Pro Monitors that I have heard in-person in a professional recording studio and I was very impressed with the sound quality. From various reviews and talk over at gearslutz, they seem to be well respected, but one can find positive reviews for just about anything online!

From the recommended setup descriptions I have found, Focal suggests using the SM6 Series speakers with a listening distance between 1m and 3m. In my home, I would be at the longer end of that with a listening distance of about 9 feet.

When talking with the Focal guys at AES, he noted that their pro line were the same drivers, but, at a much better price point then their consumer stuff.
Barefoot was demoing their monitors at that one, AES 2006, but I stopped by because they were playing music I really liked, Pink Martini, fun.

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post #458 of 513 Old 07-18-2009, 07:34 AM
 
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Here is a new and most extensive measurement review yet of the KRK 6 speaker.
With three independent reviewers heaping on the praise, these speakers are without a doubt numero-uno!


http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/s...and-conclusion

Please note: my sole motivation here is to advance sound quality and value for the consumer. While I have 30 years of experience, its still just a hobby.
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post #459 of 513 Old 07-26-2009, 12:36 PM
 
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I've purchased a pair of the KRK 6 and have reach a tentative conclusion. But first lets explore the reasoning behind my purchasing self-powered studio monitors.

Are Bigger Boxes Better?
The first question is a large floor-standing speaker necessary for the best, ultimate sound quality? For the bass maybe yes, but for just the mid-range and treble the answer is most certainly no!

By studying the vast majority of full speakers one realizes that the volume for the tweeter is near zero and the mid-range is no more than what the KRK 6 Rokit G2 provides. For the bass, there is a trade-off between acoustical efficiency and low frequency extension vs. enclosure size (assume a sealed enclosure).

All speakers should be mounted so the tweeter is either at, or slightly above ear level.
Therefore large volume speaker enclosures are primarily to gain mid-range and tweeter mounting height and to improve the the bass response.
Most importantly, larger speaker enclosures allow manufactures to charge inflated prices.
Lastly MDF is hardly the ideal material for building larger enclosures. The weight and cost increase rapidly while the resonance performance degrades (unless extreme costly measures are taken).

The issue is can one purchase smaller sized yet top quality speakers (with a separate sub-woofer) for a fraction of the full range size? Yes!

Just a HDTV and computer monitors, or professional and consumer amplifiers have finally converged, so too now are audiophile and studio monitors. Both types are designed to let listeners accurately hear the mix at high levels and with low distortion. Because of the built-in amplification, studio monitors do seem to offer the better value.


Computer Audio Limitations
Backing up even further, my initial goal was to use studio monitors as PC speakers. How well suited
are they? Well the weakest link is not with the speakers but with our electrically noisy PCs and their polluted analog outputs.
Specifically the analog outputs of almost any mainboard audio chipset is unacceptable for high-fidelity purposes. Separate sound cards are no-doubt an improvement, but probably still not very clean.
The best way is to use the optical SP/DIF output and convert the stereo signal in your A/V controller or receiver. But this makes using the PC sound inconvenient.

Otherwise (for stereo sources) the best way I've found is to use this device as it keeps all the noise in the PC:
http://www.gefen.com/kvm/dproduct.jsp?prod_id=5279

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post #460 of 513 Old 07-26-2009, 01:08 PM
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Why buy that little D/A converter when you can get a great sound card that is not limited to S/Pdif resolutions?
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post #461 of 513 Old 07-26-2009, 04:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob7145 View Post

Why buy that little D/A converter when you can get a great sound card that is not limited to S/Pdif resolutions?

If your sound card has an excellent S/N ratio and does NOT Dynamically Filter/pump (have a noise gate) then that is fine.
I initially installed the KRK 6 into my large desktop to use a PC speakers using the standard analog outputs of the PC.
All I heard was CPU whining noise.

So I've switch gears and built-up a second, more serious system in a day-room upstairs.
Here I have the room to use a Denon DNA-7100 A/V controller with the KRK's installed as widely spaced, out from their back wall, home theater speakers.

This configuration is performance optimized and is very convenient. Typical inexpensive receiver amplifiers are no longer needed. I use the Denon's balanced outputs and remote control.
A word of warning: the $20 kit included by some merchants (Musicians Friend) is not that good of a deal after-all, as the included 20ft XLR speaker cable sounded atrocious.

Instead I recommend Monoprice cable:
XLR to TRS:
http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

RCA/unbalanced to XLR: (Receiver with rca pre-outs)
http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

3.5mm analog: (for quiet analog output soundcards)
use this adapter with the above RCA/unbalanced to XLR cable
http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2
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post #462 of 513 Old 07-26-2009, 06:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob7145 View Post

Why buy that little D/A converter when you can get a great sound card that is not limited to S/Pdif resolutions?

One question with a lot of answers. So I'll answer it again. For high rez audio and video, HDMI is the preferred solution. For Blu-ray and HDMI, I recommend avoiding the PC and purchase a stand-alone $200 player such as the Panasonic BD-60.

The PC and its SP/DIF (and DVI to HDMI cable) provide playback for my ripped CD collection, Internet audio and videos, most of which are stored on a network shared 1TB hard disk.

The goal is to use components which cause the least head-aches and offer greatest vertical integration capability based upon technological trends. Sadly receiver based systems are prehistoric with the huge waste of unused legacy analog, video, s-video inputs and poor integration.

Professional studio monitors such as the KRK speakers offer three inputs from both the consumer and professional world (TRS/RCA/XLR). Then add-in built-in amplifiers driving each speaker. These particular speakers even include a 49Hz high pass filter to optimize performance. What a nice finishing touch! As a result they will never become obsolete. If the amplifier ever fails its inexpensive enough to recycle.

Contrast this to expensive "audiophile" speakers which have no amplifiers or filters and only a single high-level input. Even if they include separate inputs for bi-amping, this means the filtering can only occur with large, passive components. The non-polar capacitors (which have always been accepted) are really a very poor solution as they actually absorb (in a non-linear fashion) a portion of the signal being input. Their tolerances vary over time as the liquid inside dries-up. Hardly high fidelity.

Further its more logical and cost effective to integrate smaller amplifiers to the mid-range and tweeter, than to the bass. Large high performance woofers can be difficult to drive and require a more optimized high-quality solution than the cheap plate amplifiers built into common expensive consumer models. Here consumer speaker designers have led the industry down a mid-fi path. So its best to underemphasis them and check out the active studio speaker market.
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post #463 of 513 Old 07-26-2009, 06:57 PM
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I think the same advice applies to all speakers - get them home and try them...guitar and pro shops as well as BB carry some mid end studio monitors - take them home and try them...if you mix them with a receiver you will want one with pre-outs.

I have M audio BX5As on my computer a foot from my face and a big ole sub hidden away - it sounds great. I will probably buy a much higher end speaker soon and sell them because I have the equipment to get more details than these have...making my study a dedicated listening room.

REW...most expensive freeware ever...

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post #464 of 513 Old 07-26-2009, 11:23 PM
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Great thread (and timely)! I really appreciate the posts from Sean regarding the high correlation of accuracy to listener preference (0.86 isn't statistically significant, but it's still amazing considering the subjective nature).

I'm looking into getting a stereo setup for my living room (hard to call it a Home Theater because of the small room size), and I was thinking about this very issue that the OP raised. I already have a pair of Mackie HR824s for my home studio, and the thought of getting more studio monitors to serve both as the entertainment setup and serve as additional reference for mixing is appealing.

I'm unsure what would be the best bet to route the multiple signals from source to speaker though. Is there a solution that anyone knows of that can take inputs from multiple sources and send balanced 1/4 inch or XLR? Even better if you have an idea that could be operated by remote!
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post #465 of 513 Old 07-27-2009, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bazooie View Post

I'm unsure what would be the best bet to route the multiple signals from source to speaker though. Is there a solution that anyone knows of that can take inputs from multiple sources and send balanced 1/4 inch or XLR? Even better if you have an idea that could be operated by remote!

Just about any of the most awesome prepros available today. The Onkyo gives the most bang for buck on the list.
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post #466 of 513 Old 07-27-2009, 02:20 PM
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I think studio monitors work great in the home but the ones I would need for my listening needs(huge sound) would cost much too much.

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post #467 of 513 Old 07-27-2009, 02:25 PM
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Quote:


Everyone has a difficult time auditioning because of the few retailers left - pro or consumer.

Audition outside of our homes is very overrated and a complete waste of time IMO

It is not "open-minded" to reject knowledge - Bob Lee
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post #468 of 513 Old 07-27-2009, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmichaelf View Post

Just about any of the most awesome prepros available today. The Onkyo gives the most bang for buck on the list.

I only know of the Onkyos under $2K that have Balanced Outputs.

RCA to XLR isnt bad though, I have done that for several years now.

Quote:


I'm unsure what would be the best bet to route the multiple signals from source to speaker though. Is there a solution that anyone knows of that can take inputs from multiple sources and send balanced 1/4 inch or XLR? Even better if you have an idea that could be operated by remote!

Any AVR that has pre outs can do this too......Cheapest being the Yahama V663!

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post #469 of 513 Old 07-27-2009, 02:29 PM
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I also use rca to xlr from monoprice, excellent cables.

AVR-Yamaha A830
amps-5 Adcom 555 in 850 watt monoblock mode
sub amp-Sanway FP14K
LCR-Dual stacked BFM DR-250's
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post #470 of 513 Old 08-02-2009, 01:25 PM
 
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Shootout Between the KRK Rootkit 6 and Dynaudio BM5a

I withheld my review of the KRK 6 because I wanted to compare it to the Dynaudio BM5a, as direct face-offs are the best way to hear audible differences.
This is a limited test using a high quality mono source feeding just one speaker. I own a pair of the KRK 6 with a second BM5a on the way.

I've been listening to the KRK for several weeks so I am quite familiar with their capabilities.
The differences were immediately apparent when listening to one of my favorite sounds: McCartney singing "And I Love Her". Here it was the mono mix from a few years ago.
The bottom line is the KRK is a mid-fi product and the BM5a has many remarkable attributes. It is without a doubt of high-end audiophile quality.
As the AV Guide reviewer noted, The KRK sins are mainly of omission. I will take it further: a lack of personality, tonality, micodynamics and inner detail. It lacks realism. I speculate the Class D amplifiers in the KRK just aren't that good. In fact class D amplifiers used to be only used for the bass.
The BM5a used two amplifiers too. However the tweeter is powered by a class A/B amplifier, just as with the comparable $1000/pr Mackie's studio speakers.
The KRR can play loud without much strain with good soundstaging but mediocre focus. It did have the resolving power to make me check every stage of my computer , A/V controller and cabling/setup to remove less than perfect settings (or cables). I even fine tuned the power conditioning.

The BM5a superior resolving ability and refinement kept me paying attention to every note. It is so satisfying it makes me smile. I can't wait to get a pair and break them in.
As a background I've used bi-amped, high-end Monitor Audio RS20 and modified Infinity Intermezzo speakers for years. Just from my short evaluation, the Bm5a offer great resolving power (at least over most of their range, and certainly in the midrange), at normal levels than either of these fine speakers.

For those on more of a budget, the $350 AudioEngine may be the best. However I have not listened to them.
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post #471 of 513 Old 08-02-2009, 01:35 PM
 
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Here is an excellent Dynaudio BM5a review:
"The high-performance Dynaudio BM5A Powered Studio Monitor's are the best bang for the buck I have come across while I was doing my research.

I have over 25 years in the music business, as music director for several major market radio stations, I have over 34 gold and platinum album awards for hearing hits. I'm used to hearing hit music five days a week four hours a day. My ears are tuned to the best quality radio studio monitors, usually JBL, powered by some industrial strength Crown amps. I'm not giving you this run down for my ego, it's so you'll know I have an opinion and it's a strong one...so you need to know where it's coming from.

These BM5A's are the best monitors in this price range period. Of course you will go out and do your own research and listening...and when you do, perhaps this review will cross your mind. After listening to thirty different pairs I started to get confused. I have owned these monitors for over three years and I love them now as much as I did when I first bought them, so they wear well and I have absolutely no regrets about buying them. Frankly nothing has come down the road in their class that's any better. If you really want to blow your mind get the sub that is available with this pair of Bad Boys. This is quality stuff...Happy tracking to you.

They are built like a tank, they sound just how they should sound for mixing, tracking, recording, critical listening whatever.

comes in a very compact design and it is extremely well-suited for production environments where space is a concern. The BM5A is well-suited for music monitoring and mixing, broadcasting, OB vans, edit suites, playback suites, project studios, and smaller post-production facilities."
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Attached is a picture of the two 50w class AB amplifiers in the BM5a.
It uses the Texas instruments TL084C op-amp which has a high slew rate of 13v/usec and a high CMRR of 86 db typical. Each channel has 4000uf @35v capacitor supply. Everything made in Denmark.
Foam lined Thick 1" mdf enclosure with cast speakers. Quality!
LL
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post #473 of 513 Old 08-03-2009, 03:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiFun View Post

I speculate the Class D amplifiers in the KRK just aren't that good. In fact class D amplifiers used to be only used for the bass.

They should have sounded decent if they had used ICE modules. Alas...
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post #474 of 513 Old 08-03-2009, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiFun View Post

Shootout Between the KRK Rootkit 6 and Dynaudio BM5a

Great review. Coincidentally, I have a pair of BM5A that I've been auditioning in my home theater that have taken the place of a pair Dynaudio Audience 52's, which uses the same drivers found in the BM5A. Their overall tonal balance are similar. However, BM5A surpasses the 52 in dynamics, transparency and detail. The differences are quite apparent. Pretty amazing considering the total cost of a pair of BM5A's is less than half the cost of the Audience 52 + amp, which was an Anthem MCA 50.
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post #475 of 513 Old 08-03-2009, 07:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veda View Post

They should have sounded decent if they had used ICE modules. Alas...

From what I have read, tHey do not measure that well at the highest frequencies.

Also those ICE amp companies are always about specmanship to me.....none of their ratings are continuous power ratings.

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post #476 of 513 Old 08-03-2009, 05:11 PM
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FYI guys, there is a group test of some small pro 2.1 systems here:
http://www.proaudioreview.com/article/23148
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post #477 of 513 Old 08-16-2009, 05:52 AM
 
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Bi-Amp BM5a Review
--------------------
It 's rather ironic that the lowly (for Dynaudio pricing that is!) BM5a loud speaker offer some of the best theoretical and in-practical performance available from 100Hz up.

It is bi-amped, a feature which has numerous benefits:
1) no back EMF modulation interference between drivers
2) no power amplifier watts wasted on crossover losses
3) direct coupling to the driver resulting in superior electrical damping

It is quite apparent that after owner many speakers over several decades, that the massive physical supporting structure interferes with creating a wide and deep sound-stage. Bigger is not better. The fact is smaller speaker image better also because there are no phase aberrations introduced between multiple drivers which must be physically separated.

Another compromise is ported speakers which invariably increase output yet always introduce out of phase sound. This compromise also degrades the sound quality, sound-staging and imaging.

So what does it take to optimize the BM5a, a speaker which has fabulously sound quality?
Here is the list:
1) Use stands of 25" plus/minus one inch just as Dynaudio sells. I use steel 24" type with adhesive pads between the speaker and the stand. Note: I experimented with other heights ( around 30" )and the upper bass suffered greatly
2) keep the speakers a couple of feet away from the walls then tweak
3) ground all speakers to the same high current power conditioned output. Use extension cords.
4) toe the speakers in for correct spectral balance
5) use quality balanced XLR audio cables ( i use Monoprice) with a balanced A/V controller
6) Speaker settings: use 0db input only (do not use -10db as the internal op-amps have to work a lot harder)
7) Use with a top quality non-ported subwoofer. The 9s is probably an excellent fit, but i us a JL audio W7 13" driver with a Mackie FRS 1000w amplifier (direct coupled of course)
8) Plug the ports to reduce coloration. I use a sock

The woofer sounds best with its voice coil in the same physical plane as the BM5a driver. Further the quality is so high that I can hear the phasing relationship change when "moving" the woofer (electrically with the speaker distance setting in the A/V controller) and adjusting for maximum bass output. I set the high-pass on the speaker to 60Hz and the woofer to 80Hz in the controller

Dynaudio is correct in stating their speakers do sound better after substantial break-in period. As they improved I was able to better discern quality difference and make my own optimizations. So "we" worked hand-in-hand!

I've learned that the rear surround speakers are not nearly as important as the front three. So my system uses the KRK G2 6 speakers for the back. The KRKs offer more bass so they are a bit higher than 24".

The stereo sounds excellent but why not go to the next stage for listening pleasure? Note however the system has to have both theoretical pin-point sound-staging capability with no (including speaker!!) walls nearby and be optimized electrically. If you succeed then prepare to be amazed with the magical processing of Circle Surround II (CSII). With a European speaker it's no wonder that Opus 3 recording sound best as notes float around you as if they were laser etched with complete naturalness.

A certain Guitar Center has them on sale only in their stores. Don't tell anyone, especially the store personnel as they are clueless to sound quality!
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post #478 of 513 Old 08-19-2009, 11:19 AM
 
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After the speakers have been broken in the last important tweak is to try lifting the ground of the extension cords are plugged-in to the power conditioners high-current amplifier output socket. Use cheater plugs from the H/W store.

If anyone uses several nearby A/C outlet because they are (too smart and because its) convenient, then all bets are off for sound quality.

For my system lifting the chassis/green ground allows the sound to become more lucid and open. The realism factor increases greatly. Probably the major sonic signature of Dynaudio speaker lines is the open clear, delectable treble.
If your sound quality still sounds too bright and harsh then your system is not optimized. It's only as good as the weakest link.

For some reason one never hears this sound advice in any of the high-end rags.
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post #479 of 513 Old 09-01-2009, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiFun View Post

I speculate the Class D amplifiers in the KRK just aren't that good.

Just FYI, the amps used in the KRK Rokit 6 G2's are actually class A/B. I own a pair and have opened them up and had a good look around inside. While I cant remember the exact model used, they are TDA amps. And for the curious, the filters use 4580D opamp's.

I do agree though with your opinion of thier performance. But still, I'm very happy with them. I think the're a bargain. I use them to mix on at least 3 days a week and also use them for general listening and movies. I'm also thinking of getting the RP10S sub to go with them soon. Should be more than enough for my small studio/entertainment room.
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post #480 of 513 Old 09-01-2009, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiFun View Post

After the speakers have been broken in the last important tweak is to try lifting the ground of the extension cords are plugged-in to the power conditioners high-current amplifier output socket. Use cheater plugs from the H/W store.

If anyone uses several nearby A/C outlet because they are (too smart and because its) convenient, then all bets are off for sound quality.

For my system lifting the chassis/green ground allows the sound to become more lucid and open. The realism factor increases greatly. Probably the major sonic signature of Dynaudio speaker lines is the open clear, delectable treble.
If your sound quality still sounds too bright and harsh then your system is not optimized. It's only as good as the weakest link.

For some reason one never hears this sound advice in any of the high-end rags.

I WOULD STRONGLY RECOMMEND AGAINST THIS.

It is extremely dangerous to disconnect the AC ground on electronic equipment that has a metal chassis (or any other equipment for that matter). If there is an electrical fault you could be killed.

The ground is there for a reason. A big part of that reason is to protect against electrocution.

The only time equipment can be run safely without a ground is when it is double insualted. Such equipment is marked with a symbol that looks like a square with a smaller square inside it. Examples of this are things such as laptop power packs, phone chargers, etc.

Not to mention, it's also illegal to remove the ground from mains powered equipment.

/end rant

EDIT: If you find that having the earth connected causes problems (as is the case with many systems, including mine) then the safe way to solve the problem is to use balanced audio and disconnect the earth on the audio cable, not on the AC mains.
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