Speaker brands with the flattest frequency measurements - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 40 Old 06-29-2020, 08:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Speaker brands with the flattest frequency measurements

I am looking for a pair of speakers (preferably mid towers or bookshelf) to use as production monitors. I owned many speakers already and know most of the more famous brands but I sort of settled with a JBL LS40. It's pretty flat from what I gathered, considering it's not a proper monitor. But it's not feeling my room properly...

I have owned Dynaudio BM12A, B&W CDM1, Totel Model 1, Dynaudio LR120, Boston Acoustics, even Pioneer, and I also have a Monitor Audio Silver pair here as a second monitor.

I might keep the JBLs and get a B&W 684 as a third reference, but besides these brands, is there a budget (same price as Emit M20 and 684 used) brand of high end speakers I might be overlooking? I want a as flat as possible frequency and some SPL power as the JBLs are lacking...
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post #2 of 40 Old 06-29-2020, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by projectaspen View Post
I am looking for a pair of speakers (preferably mid towers or bookshelf) to use as production monitors. I owned many speakers already and know most of the more famous brands but I sort of settled with a JBL LS40. It's pretty flat from what I gathered, considering it's not a proper monitor. But it's not feeling my room properly...

I have owned Dynaudio BM12A, B&W CDM1, Totel Model 1, Dynaudio LR120, Boston Acoustics, even Pioneer, and I also have a Monitor Audio Silver pair here as a second monitor.

I might keep the JBLs and get a B&W 684 as a third reference, but besides these brands, is there a budget (same price as Emit M20 and 684 used) brand of high end speakers I might be overlooking? I want a as flat as possible frequency and some SPL power as the JBLs are lacking...
You're about to get a steady onslaught of people brandishing Revels, I'll bet.
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post #3 of 40 Old 06-29-2020, 08:54 PM
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The absolute best studio monitors money can buy seem to be from the Genelec the One series.

Runner up would be Neumann monitors, both seem to be in their own league compared to anything else out there. You could make passives work but none that I know of are in the same league as Genelec and Neumann, no not even Revel/JBL.
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post #4 of 40 Old 06-29-2020, 08:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
You're about to get a steady onslaught of people brandishing Revels, I'll bet.
I looked at some charts and I liked what I saw... Ideally I'd like a mid tower design like the Bryston Mini T or Middle Ts... those are beyond my budget atm since I'd need to import them etc..I'll look up Revel, my local retailer carries the brand...
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post #5 of 40 Old 06-29-2020, 08:59 PM - Thread Starter
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The absolute best studio monitors money can buy seem to be from the Genelec the One series.

Runner up would be Neumann monitors, both seem to be in their own league compared to anything else out there. You could make passives work but none that I know of are in the same league as Genelec and Neumann, no not even Revel/JBL.
forgot to multiquote here, anyway, my friend had a pretty big Genelec and I didn't like. They scream a bit too much for my taste, I felt the highs were too metallic too, and the speakers focused on that range.

Neumann is exactly what this friend uses today, unfortunately they are a bit hard to find here. I also would prefer the separates solution. Active speakers are way overpriced here... Heard good things about Pioneer new monitors RM-05 and RM-07 too but they disappeared from the local shops.
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post #6 of 40 Old 06-29-2020, 09:12 PM
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Just a moment while I replenish the popcorn...






Okay. Here's a few questions:



Where is "here"?
Budget?
Placement options?
Nearfield/midfield/farfield/desktop/professional recording studio?

Active or passive?
SPL requirements?
Interface?
Sources?
AVR/AVP/amp?
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post #7 of 40 Old 06-29-2020, 09:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sigpig View Post
Just a moment while I replenish the popcorn...






Okay. Here's a few questions:



Where is "here"?
Budget?
Placement options?
Nearfield/midfield/farfield/desktop/professional recording studio?

Active or passive?
SPL requirements?
Interface?
Sources?
AVR/AVP/amp?
here: Brazil
budget: varies, speaker prices vary a lot here, like Dynaudio passive is not so expensive, B&Ws there are tons of used for sale... Revel would be expensive, for instance. I'd say that when it gets to $750 per speaker or $1500 per pair in the US it's expensive for me here
spl: I try to produce at 85 db but I just feel like the JBL is a bit quiet lately, like, I'm missing stuff when I produce with it then later check on my headphones. the room is treated and about 6m per 4m. the JBL quietness got worse after I put some shelves which might be absorbing more freqs
sources: Lynx and Motu audio interfaces, which are pretty good
Amp: Marsh 200w, forgot the model but I think they only did one
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Quote:
Originally Posted by projectaspen View Post
forgot to multiquote here, anyway, my friend had a pretty big Genelec and I didn't like. They scream a bit too much for my taste, I felt the highs were too metallic too, and the speakers focused on that range.

Neumann is exactly what this friend uses today, unfortunately they are a bit hard to find here. I also would prefer the separates solution. Active speakers are way overpriced here... Heard good things about Pioneer new monitors RM-05 and RM-07 too but they disappeared from the local shops.
I didn't realize your situation in Brazil, remember Genelec the ones are much different than their other monitors, they're also very expensive so you can scratch those off your list. If you can get Neumann KH120 for a reasonable price I'd say they are going to be your best bet.
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post #9 of 40 Old 06-30-2020, 02:26 AM
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The very flattest sounding speakers, in your room, will still produce a companion set of curves that will sound as a whole, if that makes sense.

Meaning, it will only sound flat in an anechoic chamber. In normal living spaces, the dimensions, fittings etc. will all contribute to how it sounds.

If you can borrow the pair you like (with a good reputation, like some of the suggestions here), and try them out at home, it might help you decide.

Better, locate a friend who knows how to use REW (Room EQ Wizard) software and ask him/her to help you measure them. This will give you an idea how flat they are in your room.

But I think how it sounds will be the most telling.

Good luck!
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post #10 of 40 Old 06-30-2020, 02:57 AM
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Room Correction is your friend. Optimizing Room Correction via in-room measurements with something like REW is your best friend.

Are you using subwoofers?

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post #11 of 40 Old 06-30-2020, 08:08 AM
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by projectaspen View Post
forgot to multiquote here, anyway, my friend had a pretty big Genelec and I didn't like. They scream a bit too much for my taste, I felt the highs were too metallic too, and the speakers focused on that range.
I don't do production, and listen to music purely for enjoyment or background. I find neutral speakers are too bright for me. Wish I knew this earlier before spending the $$$. Anyway, I wanted to comment just becuase your "a pretty big Genelec and I didn't like. They scream a bit too much for my taste, I felt the highs were too metallic too, and the speakers focused on that range" comment is exactly how I feel Peace
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post #12 of 40 Old 06-30-2020, 03:38 PM - Thread Starter
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I could use a Sonarworks system or this REW you're talking about, thing is I'm not willing to put much more work in the room and I'd like the flattest sounding out of the box...

Will see if I can find a Neumann. I know from time to time there are some Adams around, but only the smallish ones.

Yea, some speakers are simply more metallic sounding than others. The best I've had so far were B&W Matrix 804 but those died on me. CDM7 was really pleasant too, although I just read in another thread ppl saying bad things about B&W.

so far in the action side I inquired the local retailer about the Revels and also the amplified Pioneers, which got a vibrant review from SoundOnSound. Holding on that 684.

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post #13 of 40 Old 06-30-2020, 04:25 PM
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I would look into Salk speakers.. Of course shipping might be rough...
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post #14 of 40 Old 06-30-2020, 08:40 PM
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Take a look at the NHT C-3 3-way bookshelf.
This review says they are +/- 1.5 db from 300Hz to 22kHz

https://hometheaterhifi.com/reviews/...peaker-review/

They are $500 ea on Amazon.
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I have the Vanatoo T1Es that measure flat in anechoic from 48-12k Hz. However, I find them too bright for me when they are placed on their 9 in ISO-155 stands. When I place them on desk, the brightness goes away and midbass and bass improves. Would anyone know why? Is this boundary reinforcement by the desk? Could the desk be smearing the sound too apart from adding midbass?
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post #16 of 40 Old 07-01-2020, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dswierenga View Post
Take a look at the NHT C-3 3-way bookshelf.
This review says they are +/- 1.5 db from 300Hz to 22kHz

https://hometheaterhifi.com/reviews/...peaker-review/



They are $500 ea on Amazon.
seems nice, it would be about U$1200 for me if I import them though. if I stumble on them locally I might grab

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vikram Iyengar View Post
I have the Vanatoo T1Es that measure flat in anechoic from 48-12k Hz. However, I find them too bright for me when they are placed on their 9 in ISO-155 stands. When I place them on desk, the brightness goes away and midbass and bass improves. Would anyone know why? Is this boundary reinforcement by the desk? Could the desk be smearing the sound too apart from adding midbass?
distance from walls and other things near is the only thing that comes to mind. or your desk is absorbing a lot of freqs?
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post #17 of 40 Old 07-01-2020, 01:07 PM
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post #18 of 40 Old 07-01-2020, 08:58 PM
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You're about to get a steady onslaught of people brandishing Revels, I'll bet.
Actually, if absolute neutrality or perfect measurements are what you're after, there are better brands than Revel out there. Given that Revel is "forced" to design passive loudspeakers(audiophiles love wasting money on expensive electronics) for the home market, they unfortunately can't really hope to compete with the cost no object active loudspeakers out there from companies like Genelec and Neumann. Pro market is much more concerned with "actual" sound quality, hence why you see mostly active loudspeakers. Home market is more concerned with "perceived" sound quality, which is where most expensive electronics really work their magic.
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post #19 of 40 Old 07-02-2020, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Actually, if absolute neutrality or perfect measurements are what you're after, there are better brands than Revel out there. Given that Revel is "forced" to design passive loudspeakers(audiophiles love wasting money on expensive electronics) for the home market, they unfortunately can't really hope to compete with the cost no object active loudspeakers out there from companies like Genelec and Neumann. Pro market is much more concerned with "actual" sound quality, hence why you see mostly active loudspeakers. Home market is more concerned with "perceived" sound quality, which is where most expensive electronics really work their magic.
Neumann seems to use AB, but some Genelec models used Class-D amplifiers. That's what Dynaudio uses for most of its amplified speakers too. As much as I like my class-D amp (A Crown XLS1500), that doesn't resonate too well with cost is no object to me. Also a reason why I prefer to use my amplifier... I like 200w solid state amplifiers, it's just a thing...
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post #20 of 40 Old 07-02-2020, 06:03 PM
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As much as I like my class-D amp (A Crown XLS1500), that doesn't resonate too well with cost is no object to me. Also a reason why I prefer to use my amplifier... I like 200w solid state amplifiers, it's just a thing...
I've always been curious about those Crown amps...do you feel like Class AB still sounds significantly better to your ears?

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post #21 of 40 Old 07-02-2020, 06:45 PM - Thread Starter
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I've always been curious about those Crown amps...do you feel like Class AB still sounds significantly better to your ears?
Class A is better but I could live with Class D... it is more prone to hiss and ground loops though.

Class D delivers everything, but it feels a bit of a hollow sound. The edges are there, but something doesn't feel right, there's less body to the sound, less "volume".

But yes, I use the Crown with a workstation keyboard and it delivers. I tested it with passive Dynaudios and it was good too... It's a good amplifier if you can find one. I think the XLS and XTI series were acceptable for living room or desk use, but there might be newer models now.
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post #22 of 40 Old 07-02-2020, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by projectaspen View Post
Neumann seems to use AB, but some Genelec models used Class-D amplifiers. That's what Dynaudio uses for most of its amplified speakers too. As much as I like my class-D amp (A Crown XLS1500), that doesn't resonate too well with cost is no object to me. Also a reason why I prefer to use my amplifier... I like 200w solid state amplifiers, it's just a thing...
Actually, class D has come a long way. It's to the point where I'd even say they're better than A or AB now. The top Ds are sonically indistinguishable from the top As now, and they deliver better dynamics. Biggest problem now is probably hiss, but Genelecs are quiet enough that even in a super quiet room you can't hear it unless you ear is a cm away from the tweeter(unlike my JBLs ). It wasn't always this way, though, so I recognize the concern. Class Ds really did sound worse.

Unfortunately, if you want the absolute best performance, you're gonna have to go active. However, if you're absolutely set on using your own amp, and you don't mind a little compromise in sound quality, then Revel or KEF can probably get you 90% of the way there. I would also look at Philharmonic BMR. It's a super neutral super wide dispersion design. Also, look at Salk. I haven't seen off axis measurements from them yet, but we will soon, and I have no doubt they'll be very neutral as well.
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post #23 of 40 Old 07-03-2020, 07:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Not sure if you're an engineer or work with audio equipment, but it's been like 5 years since the Crowns got really hyped, and the whole chinese Class-D amps became a thing...

I don't see class-D evolving so much from there. I'd compare it like class A to valve amps, the latter are simply more refined and gentle, can't deny, not my thing though.

Also I don't get the Genelec hype, I know many universities and some studios use them (they actually prefer exotic gear) but it feels a bit taken for granted, like Apple. It's a cool design but the sound is almost unnaceptable to me, too strident.

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Actually, class D has come a long way. It's to the point where I'd even say they're better than A or AB now. The top Ds are sonically indistinguishable from the top As now, and they deliver better dynamics. Biggest problem now is probably hiss, but Genelecs are quiet enough that even in a super quiet room you can't hear it unless you ear is a cm away from the tweeter(unlike my JBLs ). It wasn't always this way, though, so I recognize the concern. Class Ds really did sound worse.

Unfortunately, if you want the absolute best performance, you're gonna have to go active. However, if you're absolutely set on using your own amp, and you don't mind a little compromise in sound quality, then Revel or KEF can probably get you 90% of the way there. I would also look at Philharmonic BMR. It's a super neutral super wide dispersion design. Also, look at Salk. I haven't seen off axis measurements from them yet, but we will soon, and I have no doubt they'll be very neutral as well.
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post #24 of 40 Old 07-03-2020, 10:30 PM
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If you don't like Genelec then I'd suggest you're not actually looking for the flattest freq response. They invariably measure very flat and for many people it's not enjoyable, as you've found. I seriously considered the 8260a for my theatre. It took me ages to find somewhere to demo them, and it ended up being at the distributors office in Singapore. I really enjoyed them and it wasn't the sound that ended up leading me elsewhere.

It's interesting that you're considering B&W, which is a brand I've owned and recommended to many others, but they are not what I would call flat.

Cheers,
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post #25 of 40 Old 07-03-2020, 10:50 PM
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If you don't like Genelec then I'd suggest you're not actually looking for the flattest freq response. They invariably measure very flat and for many people it's not enjoyable, as you've found. I seriously considered the 8260a for my theatre. It took me ages to find somewhere to demo them, and it ended up being at the distributors office in Singapore. I really enjoyed them and it wasn't the sound that ended up leading me elsewhere.

It's interesting that you're considering B&W, which is a brand I've owned and recommended to many others, but they are not what I would call flat.

Cheers,

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post #26 of 40 Old 07-03-2020, 11:22 PM
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+1 on Genelec
I bought several pairs of active monitors to test in the range of 1000-2000 a pair and the Genelec were the clear winners. They were the flattest (most neutral) and extended the lowest. Classic music sounded like it does in person and all other music sounds fantastic on them as well. The Neumann KH120 were close, but couldn't match them in the bass departement. The Adam and the KRK monitors I had were not flat, which confused me. I thought they were broken!

I've been using the 8040BPM in my studio ever since and I wouldn't want to settle for anything else. Keep in mind that you will need roomEQ with any kind of audio system. I also bought the Genelec subwoofer, which I deeply regret.
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post #27 of 40 Old 07-04-2020, 12:04 AM - Thread Starter
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If you don't like Genelec then I'd suggest you're not actually looking for the flattest freq response. They invariably measure very flat and for many people it's not enjoyable, as you've found. I seriously considered the 8260a for my theatre. It took me ages to find somewhere to demo them, and it ended up being at the distributors office in Singapore. I really enjoyed them and it wasn't the sound that ended up leading me elsewhere.

It's interesting that you're considering B&W, which is a brand I've owned and recommended to many others, but they are not what I would call flat.

Cheers,
I got it now, you didn't say Genelec had a flat characteristic in the first posts. I didn't pay so much attention to measurements before, I just thought it was somewhat of a given on high end and monitor speakers and since I do some sound design, I was more focused on detail and clarity from the speakers. That's why I immediately fell in love with Dynaudio, but then got impressed with B&W... B&W offered a more round package, many studios use the 800 series as speakers...

Found a picture with Genelec's latest speakers measurements and it might explain what I hear, though. Most speakers won't have emphasis on the higher frequencies but from the charts it seems Genelec goes above 85 db from 10k up, also some emphasis on 1k. Not sure how it evolved, I heard Genelecs like in 2011-2012 but it was one of the higher end models. I understand that +1 or 2db @ 10k and up might not be so noticeable, but who knows...


Last edited by projectaspen; 07-04-2020 at 12:07 AM.
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post #28 of 40 Old 07-04-2020, 07:33 AM
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You're talking about MAYBE a 2dB rise. Those are the flattest graphs I have seen.
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post #29 of 40 Old 07-04-2020, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by projectaspen View Post
Not sure if you're an engineer or work with audio equipment, but it's been like 5 years since the Crowns got really hyped, and the whole chinese Class-D amps became a thing...

I don't see class-D evolving so much from there. I'd compare it like class A to valve amps, the latter are simply more refined and gentle, can't deny, not my thing though.

Also I don't get the Genelec hype, I know many universities and some studios use them (they actually prefer exotic gear) but it feels a bit taken for granted, like Apple. It's a cool design but the sound is almost unnaceptable to me, too strident.
Genelec came up because you said you wanted the "Speaker brands with the flattest frequency measurements". Genelec is probably the brand with the flattest frequency response measurements. If you find the sound of Genelec's to be unacceptable, then it's clear you don't actually like the sound of flat FR. Everyone is different, and has different preferences. I would suggest a home demo of many different speaker types to figure out what it is you actually prefer(since it's not a flat frequency response).
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post #30 of 40 Old 07-04-2020, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudslide View Post
You want flat?! Here! .. http://salksound.com/gallery/Song3/fr.jpg ... the Salk Song 3 or any Salk speaker. Check out the rest of the offerings. And check out their superlative reviews and feedback. http://salksound.com/home.php
Unfortunately, that's just an on axis measurement. Much more detailed measurements are actually needed to characterize a speaker. Salk and Philharmonic are two ID brands I would recommend for those who want the flat sound.

It seems OP doesn't actually like the flat sound, though, so he may do best to avoid brands like Salk.
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