Monitors as speakers? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 40 Old 06-29-2011, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Howdy guys, forgive this novice question. I was looking at speakers for a Home Theater I was gonna setup in the next 6-12 months. I've moved since my last project ideas where posted and my new found living constraints have pushed my former speaker project off into the distance.

At any rate my first question was pertains to monitors as speakers. Would something akin to this :

http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-Mon...9372883&sr=1-1

function as a good HT speaker? I've been looking around and seen plenty of articles on using speakers as monitors but non the other way. Is the heart of the issue connections? That would connect to a Denon AVR-1911?:

http://www.amazon.com/Denon-AVR-1911...9373254&sr=8-4

Or would I be better off with a regular floor standing unit?:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...=ATVPDKIKX0DER

If this is already covered in another thread please post a link. Thanks.
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post #2 of 40 Old 06-29-2011, 02:20 PM
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The Polk Monitor series is the predicessor to the Polk TSi series. Very little changed others than external enclosure esthetics, so the Polk Monitors are usually the lower price option for what are basically identical speakers. Polk Monitor70 = TSi500

The best internet source for Polk Monitor Series II speakers is www.newegg.com

Usually any particular week, one or more of the Polk Monitor series speakers are on sale with very reduced or free shipping included. Sign up for their daily email specials list so you will know when the speakers you want are on sale.

A setup of Monitor70 towers, a CS2 center, and Monitor30 surrounds is one of the best "bang for the buck" speaker bundles available today. Often, if you are going to have a decent powered subwoofer (or two), you can step down to the Polk Monitor60 towers.....but for the price differential I choose the Monitor70's. NOTE: The Monitor70 towers and CS2 center are large speakers, so check the dimensions carefully and make sure they fit your room layout.

What is the room size you want to use for HT, furniture arrangement, and your budget for the a/v receiver & speaker bundle, to include subwoofer (or two if a large room) ???

5.1 vs. 7.1 will depend more on room layout than anything....like will there be 3' to 5' behind the listening position for the 7.1 "rear" speakers added in a 7.1 layout.
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post #3 of 40 Old 06-29-2011, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, I didn't realize the monitor speakers is more a branding lable than a notation that they are legitimate studio monitors. At anyrate they look to be an amazing deal and I plan to pair denon reciever with polk speakers/monitors come this fall.

Thanks so much.
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post #4 of 40 Old 06-29-2011, 03:06 PM
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x2 on Newegg.com the deals they run on Polk Audio products surpass Amazon by a long shot Selling monitor 70's for 180 per speaker the CS2 for 99 and the Monitor 30's for $90

Besides the black face plate looks better
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-_-YTpolkaudio
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post #5 of 40 Old 06-29-2011, 08:13 PM
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I have Polk Monitors in a surround configuration and its an excellent set of speakers for those with a tight budget. Newegg.com is a good place to pick up these speakers on the cheap.
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post #6 of 40 Old 06-29-2011, 09:37 PM
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how do yall compare the monitor 40 vs rti a3? fronts
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post #7 of 40 Old 06-30-2011, 07:18 AM
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How are the Monitor 60s? I see there is an open box for a Monitor 60 and then I would pick up another one to match it at the sale price. Then I just need to match the center and rear...

Thoughts?
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post #8 of 40 Old 06-30-2011, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wesley8808 View Post

How are the Monitor 60s? I see there is an open box for a Monitor 60 and then I would pick up another one to match it at the sale price. Then I just need to match the center and rear...

Thoughts?

I have Monitor 60's paired with a CS2, 2-40's for surrounds and 4-30's for wides and heights. So far I have been very pleased, a very good sound for the money. I am looking at replacing them now, but just because my use is 90% HT and am looking for a more efficient horn driven speakers. Klipsch are way too bright and expensive IMO, so right now it is a toss up between BIC Acoustech line or the HSU bookshelfs.
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post #9 of 40 Old 06-30-2011, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
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yeah that black faceplate looks pretty wicked. Thanks so much I'm deffinately getting polk speakers for my HT setup this fall.
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post #10 of 40 Old 06-30-2011, 01:43 PM
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Your interest in the usage of Monitors as speakers is something that I investigated with the Behringer 2030p speakers, you can pick these up for around $150 a pair. A lot of people absolutely love these speakers, they have an exceptionally clean and flat frequency response that is as good as more expensive Genelec monitors.

Anyhows, I have mixed with studio monitors before and found them indispensible to getting a balanced mix. The detail from monitors can be unflatteringly up front, bad recordings, transients and other details that lesser speakers don't pick up, the monitors show in gritty detail. But using monitors in a surround setup? That got my attention.

So I picked up a 5 of the Behringers for a surround setup. While the detail was amazing, the presentational aspects of the speakers were pretty bland. They are meant to be neutral and for mixing purposes. I thought I could get use to them, but it just felt like they sounded really artificial and without any soul or character to them.

While I returned the Behringers, I do think that most audiophiles should try using monitors as speakers at least once to see what they think. It can be revealing and some people do enjoy them.
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post #11 of 40 Old 07-03-2011, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avspace View Post

So I picked up a 5 of the Behringers for a surround setup. While the detail was amazing, the presentational aspects of the speakers were pretty bland. They are meant to be neutral and for mixing purposes. I thought I could get use to them, but it just felt like they sounded really artificial and without any soul or character to them.

While I returned the Behringers, I do think that most audiophiles should try using monitors as speakers at least once to see what they think. It can be revealing and some people do enjoy them.

Your observations of monitors as speakers are pretty much spot on. I actually wouldn't recommend others spend too much time/effort/money trying it out, though, unless they just have nothing else to do. Monitors are great for their purpose, but if they're enjoyable in a listening environment, then there's probably something wrong with that monitor.
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post #12 of 40 Old 07-03-2011, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by BillBauman View Post

Your observations of monitors as speakers are pretty much spot on. I actually wouldn't recommend others spend too much time/effort/money trying it out, though, unless they just have nothing else to do. Monitors are great for their purpose, but if they're enjoyable in a listening environment, then there's probably something wrong with that monitor.

Yeah, its definitely not for some people, myself included. I will say that if your hardcore into the audiophile scene, monitors in a surround setup can show how a mix sounds, from the perspective of the mixing engineer.

I think that's where the hobbyist factor comes in and where some people actually enjoy the brutal honesty of monitors in a setup, its a bit to one's own tastes. There's apparently a small community of audiophiles whose systems feature all monitors! I don't know how they stand it though, but to each his own...

Since I don't mix in surround, I think I will stick to using my Event monitors with my music mixing exclusively and leave normal speakers to do their job with my surround setup.
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post #13 of 40 Old 07-04-2011, 10:30 AM
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Yeah, its definitely not for some people, myself included. I will say that if your hardcore into the audiophile scene, monitors in a surround setup can show how a mix sounds, from the perspective of the mixing engineer.

I think that's where the hobbyist factor comes in and where some people actually enjoy the brutal honesty of monitors in a setup, its a bit to one's own tastes. There's apparently a small community of audiophiles whose systems feature all monitors! I don't know how they stand it though, but to each his own...

Since I don't mix in surround, I think I will stick to using my Event monitors with my music mixing exclusively and leave normal speakers to do their job with my surround setup.

An excellent plan.

What kind of music do you mix?
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post #14 of 40 Old 07-04-2011, 10:39 AM
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As m_vanmeter said, newegg offers good sales. Today, the M60s are $110 each. Free shipping. Promo code: EMCYTZT574
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post #15 of 40 Old 07-04-2011, 12:13 PM
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An excellent plan.

What kind of music do you mix?

I've recorded and mixed rock, metal, ambient and electronic music. But that was awhile ago, nowadays I mostly focus on my own stuff. I actually haven't really touched my home audio rig in awhile, just last week I tried to turn it on and the PSU died on me! Arghhhh! I just ordered a new PSU from newegg.com last night. Will have to troubleshoot my rig.
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I've recorded and mixed rock, metal, ambient and electronic music. But that was awhile ago, nowadays I mostly focus on my own stuff. I actually haven't really touched my home audio rig in awhile, just last week I tried to turn it on and the PSU died on me! Arghhhh! I just ordered a new PSU from newegg.com last night. Will have to troubleshoot my rig.

Best of luck getting it back up and running. If you want to share, send me a link to some of your stuff. Or, just send it to me, I can PM you my e-mail addy if you want.
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post #17 of 40 Old 07-04-2011, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by BillBauman View Post

Best of luck getting it back up and running. If you want to share, send me a link to some of your stuff. Or, just send it to me, I can PM you my e-mail addy if you want.

Thanks for your offer, if I can get my rig up I'll see what I can find, do you mix music? I get the sense that you know a thing or two about monitors. I'm always surprised at who I bump into on avsforum.com, speaker engineers, mixers, enthusiasts, etc.
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post #18 of 40 Old 07-04-2011, 11:54 PM
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Thanks for your offer, if I can get my rig up I'll see what I can find, do you mix music? I get the sense that you know a thing or two about monitors. I'm always surprised at who I bump into on avsforum.com, speaker engineers, mixers, enthusiasts, etc.

I'm really into all aspects of audio. I also have musician friends, and at one point had set up an entire recording studio in one of the bedrooms in an old house of mine. I did the engineering for the recording. I don't mix or produce, that's beyond my talents. I'm just good on the technical side of things, and the listening side, of course.

Where are you located, BTW?
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post #19 of 40 Old 07-05-2011, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
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So just to check, the polk Monitor 2 speakers are not the same as studio monitors right? Why do they use the monitor in the name if they sound like quality HT speakers?
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post #20 of 40 Old 07-05-2011, 09:57 AM
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Studio monitors can be active (with built-in amp) or passive (w/o amp), but in the end they are speakers in an enclosure, just like speakers sold for home theater, or stereo listening, or ambient background music. Most of the confusion is "marketing", trying to pitch a product to a specific market.

In actual use, there would be little real difference between many passive studio monitors and bookshelf HT speakers - just a different ultimate use.

And Polk is not the only company using the generic term "monitor", Monitor Audio uses the term for their entire company.
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post #21 of 40 Old 07-05-2011, 11:50 AM
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...In actual use, there would be little real difference between many passive studio monitors and bookshelf HT speakers - just a different ultimate use...

This is a common misconception, there is a key difference. Monitors typically have a very flat frequency response so as not to exaggerate or accentuate frequencies. This is key for the mixing engineer as his goal is to create an accurate mix. If a mix sounds good on monitors, it will generally translate well to most speakers. In this sense, the goal of monitors is primarily accuracy of frequency response, monitors are not designed to make music or movies sound flattering.

Now, regular speakers, are generally tweaked to have certain bumps in key frequency ranges, particularly bass response and accentuated highs. These speakers are designed to make recordings sound good and in many cases mask bad recordings. Non-monitor speakers are said to have a "colored" sound as they exaggerate certain frequency ranges.

So while both speakers are just speakers, you can see how mixing on regular speakers would drive an engineer crazy, because mixes won't be accurate or translate to other speakers as well and on the flip side anticipate that listening to music for enjoyment's sake on monitors can feel a little boring. Though some people have an acquired taste for listening to music on monitors as you get to hear how it sounded to the engineer who mixed it.

I know way too much about this subject . I have pro audio training, but I don't claim to be an expert, out of respect for the insane level of skill that can be developed in this field.

So the Polk Monitor line? I have a set of them and they are enjoyable for music and movies. I believe the reason they called them monitors are for marketing purposes only. Could you mix on the Polk Monitors, not a chance, my Event Monitors would stomp the Polks easily for engineering purposes. But the Polks are more fun to listen to when it comes to casual listening.

Hope this helps.
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post #22 of 40 Old 07-05-2011, 12:56 PM
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I agree true studio monitors are supposed to have a flat response curve and little or no "coloration" to the sound, but you do have to get into the price range of your Event Electronics units to get near that ideal. Even speakers sold as studio monitors in the price range of the "Polk Monitor" series speakers would fall well short of the ideal. Speakers marketed and sold to the pro audio community are designed to meet their needs.....and priced accordingly !
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post #23 of 40 Old 07-05-2011, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillBauman View Post

I'm really into all aspects of audio. I also have musician friends, and at one point had set up an entire recording studio in one of the bedrooms in an old house of mine. I did the engineering for the recording. I don't mix or produce, that's beyond my talents. I'm just good on the technical side of things, and the listening side, of course.

Where are you located, BTW?

Glad to hear that you are into many aspects of audio, its a lot of fun, no doubt! I'm from California, I try to keep a low profile though, so its missing from my sig.
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post #24 of 40 Old 07-05-2011, 07:37 PM
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...Speakers marketed and sold to the pro audio community are designed to meet their needs.....and priced accordingly !

So true! Good monitors can sink your wallet ridiculously fast.
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So true! Good monitors can sink your wallet ridiculously fast.

Ok, so the monitor 2 speakers are intended for HT use. I was worried that if they where "true" monitors that My dollar could be better serviced when looking for HT speaker solutions. If you know any better priced HT speakers in the same range as the Monitor 2 series or even a little cheaper please feel free to recommend them. I'm not buying anything till this construction on my house raps up.

I love the look of the Monitors(I'm a designer by trade) so they kinda grabbed my eye, I also always like speakers with 3 or more drivers(amateur I know), always thought they had richer sound than other 1 or 2 driver models in the same price range so the Monitor 70 with its 5 drivers really jumped out at me.
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post #26 of 40 Old 07-06-2011, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaziechameleon View Post

Ok, so the monitor 2 speakers are intended for HT use. I was worried that if they where "true" monitors that My dollar could be better serviced when looking for HT speaker solutions. If you know any better priced HT speakers in the same range as the Monitor 2 series or even a little cheaper please feel free to recommend them. I'm not buying anything till this construction on my house raps up.

I love the look of the Monitors(I'm a designer by trade) so they kinda grabbed my eye, I also always like speakers with 3 or more drivers(amateur I know), always thought they had richer sound than other 1 or 2 driver models in the same price range so the Monitor 70 with its 5 drivers really jumped out at me.

More drivers typically gives you better coverage with lows and mids, which is a definite plus. I can't think of anything, off the top of my head, in the price range of the polk monitor 2 series that is comparable. Maybe some others can chime in. I like my Polks, but I'm looking into the HSU HB-1s as a possible upgrade.
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post #27 of 40 Old 07-11-2011, 06:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Polk speakers would be the most expensive speakers I've ever bought so I expect to be content with them for a long long long time. Prior to getting these my favorite speakers where some old off brand 3 ways from the 70s that my dad got for free from a friend. Maybe they where great or maybe my standards where really low. At any rate those speakers would still be my go to speakers if they hadn't gotten wet in a flood and lost most of their sound quality. In addition their receiver is starting to show its age as parts slowly stop working. god I love industrial design on the old receivers, this one was all wood and brushed metal and looked so amazing. But I digress, thanks for everything. I'll check on here intermittently for any other recommendations but it seems the consensus is go Polk.
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post #28 of 40 Old 07-11-2011, 06:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avspace View Post

Your interest in the usage of Monitors as speakers is something that I investigated with the Behringer 2030p speakers, you can pick these up for around $150 a pair. A lot of people absolutely love these speakers, they have an exceptionally clean and flat frequency response that is as good as more expensive Genelec monitors.

Anyhows, I have mixed with studio monitors before and found them indispensible to getting a balanced mix. The detail from monitors can be unflatteringly up front, bad recordings, transients and other details that lesser speakers don't pick up, the monitors show in gritty detail. But using monitors in a surround setup? That got my attention.

So I picked up a 5 of the Behringers for a surround setup. While the detail was amazing, the presentational aspects of the speakers were pretty bland. They are meant to be neutral and for mixing purposes. I thought I could get use to them, but it just felt like they sounded really artificial and without any soul or character to them.

While I returned the Behringers, I do think that most audiophiles should try using monitors as speakers at least once to see what they think. It can be revealing and some people do enjoy them.

What you are hearing is the source without any 'voicing' brought on by a particular speaker manufacturers tweaking.

I have directly A/B'd the Behringer 2031p vs Polk TSi's 100's and the 2031's walked all over the TSi 100's for both music and HT. The sound stage was simply wider and had more depth.

Monitors ARE speakers. If you want EQ then add an EQ. I'll take a speaker with a relatively flat response and good off axis performance (if you are not in the sweet spot)

An audiophile likes to talk about how much they spent and how good it sounds.

A DIY'er likes to talk about how little they spent and how good it sounds.

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post #29 of 40 Old 07-11-2011, 06:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaziechameleon View Post

Polk speakers would be the most expensive speakers I've ever bought so I expect to be content with them for a long long long time. Prior to getting these my favorite speakers where some old off brand 3 ways from the 70s that my dad got for free from a friend. Maybe they where great or maybe my standards where really low. At any rate those speakers would still be my go to speakers if they hadn't gotten wet in a flood and lost most of their sound quality. In addition their receiver is starting to show its age as parts slowly stop working. god I love industrial design on the old receivers, this one was all wood and brushed metal and looked so amazing. But I digress, thanks for everything. I'll check on here intermittently for any other recommendations but it seems the consensus is go Polk.

Look at the Infinity Primus 163 also.

An audiophile likes to talk about how much they spent and how good it sounds.

A DIY'er likes to talk about how little they spent and how good it sounds.

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post #30 of 40 Old 07-12-2011, 05:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Look at the Infinity Primus 163 also.

I do like this center channel speaker allot:

http://www.amazon.com/Infinity-Primu.../dp/B0044D1788

The are pretty much the same price. What is the difference in sound if any?

Oh, novice question... is mixing speaker brands for a home theater setup blasphemy? Does is mess with the audio cohesion or is it just aesthetic?
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