Which monitors to upgrade to

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Been using the Mackie CR4's for about 4 years now and they're good for playback and stuff, however recently been doing more Kemper monitor playing and the small speaker size isn't really enough to give the low end some of the profiles on the Kemper needs plus being a passive monitor the sound suffers a bit.

A mate has lent me his Presonus Eris E8's which are double the size of mine and although very good I think they may be a bit too loud for home playing. The dial on the interface I use is around 9 o'clock and even there its pretty loud.

I like the Yamaha HS range, but not sure if I should get the HS5's or HS7's. HS8's are really expensive plus too loud I would think.

Will HS5 lack low end? HS7's seem to be the happy medium but if the 5's are enough I can save a few quid.
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  • duotoneduotone Frets: 596
    I have the HS7s and they could do with a Subwoofer if I’m honest, especially when listening to stuff like Timbaland/Aaliyah/Missy Elliot & Darkchild/Brandy. HS8 for a pair are around £500ish, so you are in a slighter higher price bracket with that model & may well be better looking at another brand. @octatonic ;
    knows much better than me!
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 30352
    edited August 2020
    Also check out Dynaudio, Adam, Eve, Focal, Genelec, Neumann and ideally hear them in your room (so, returns policy).

    Yamaha's are fine- I'm not a huge fan but they aren't terrible.
    HS5's are good if you aren't mixing records and/or have an acoustically challenged room- ie just using for guitar modelling.

    Rule of thumb here is the lower they go the more they will trigger any room modes (massive over-simplification but let's go with it) unless you're prepared to spend BIG bucks on things like Dutch & Dutch 8c's or Kii Three's.
    Subwoofers always complicate things- a 2:1 with no acoustic treatment is... er... sub optimal.
    I'd spend £500 on some bass traps before I'd recommend a sub in an untreated room.

    I have Neumann KH80's here in Geneva- because I wanted something flatish that I could use at low volume.
    My use case is a bit unusual though- I'm building an Atmos setup over the next year and wanted to use these are the surround speakers.
    They are £400 a piece versus £200 though, so, as always, you get what you pay for.
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  • I have some Focal Alpha 65's. They're pretty decent, but I have noticed with very dynamic playing of piano, I get low level distortion that I didn't notice when I first bought them. Don't know if my pair are screwed or not, but this has been something I've heard for a year now and so I'm keen to replace them in the future.

    If low end is something you want from a small speaker, then I reckon Genelec's should be the first port of call. They are some of the most "pleasing" monitors to listen to music through, so if you're just worried about playing guitar through them then they could be just what you want. I'm not sure I would recommend them for mixing through - although a lot of people do.

    I'm gonna look into the Adam A7X's but right now I'm renovating my studio room, so spending money on monitors within the next few months isn't on the cards.
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  • I'm not a producer who will mix full tracks, but I am venturing into this whole guitar playthrough video thing so that will involve mixing the guitar and backing track levels. Also if I'm going to be moving to monitor use to play my Kempers through I want a pretty good pair. They don't sound terrible through the CR4's by any means, I just feel they could sound better with something like the Yamaha's or something.

    I'm also a guitar tutor and for lessons 2 of us are playing along to audio and sometimes its not quite loud enough. I want us both to hear every detail in songs so they can play accurately, in time and in tune.

    Maybe HS5 would be enough? They're going for about £255 which is ok. HS7's £335.

    Room is sound treated(ish) with panels around the room and in corners. Its a fairly large converted garage space (25 sq m).
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  • I'd go HS7's personally. HS5's might lack a little on the low-end side. Yammy's are go-to stock speakers for a lot of people. But monitor choice is a very personal thing tbh. A lot of people put all their money into monitors and still have shit ears and can't tell when things are unbalanced, and plenty of people have mixed award winning albums on NS10's.
    My band: TACOMA NARROWS BRIDGE DISASTER
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  • HS7 was my first thought for the same reasons you've stated. Obviously in the meantime I can enjoy my "borrowed" E8's as I don't expect him to be using those for a while so it gives me a bit of time to sit on it and think about what is right.
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 30352

    I want us both to hear every detail in songs so they can play accurately, in time and in tune.

    Seriously, look at your room acoustics.
    Time and time again I see people spending/wasting money on gear that can be better addressed with a few hundred quid's worth of bass trapping.

    Room design is a spendy game- you can easily sink thousands upon thousands of quid.
    I'm not advocating that- just a few well placed bass traps will help a lot.

    FWIW here are the frequency response charts for the HS5 and HS7:




    Unless you are doing a lot of downtuned guitar stuff then I really don't think you'd notice a huge difference between the two if it is mostly standard tuned Kemper playing.
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  • I have 3 corner panels, I can't treat the other corner as that's where the door is but its on the other side of the room. There are 13 in total I think on the walls.

    I do play a lot of downtuned guitar stuff, just not much in lessons with another player. Most will want to play in standard and softer styles.


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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 30352
    I have 3 corner panels, I can't treat the other corner as that's where the door is but its on the other side of the room. There are 13 in total I think on the walls.

    I do play a lot of downtuned guitar stuff, just not much in lessons with another player. Most will want to play in standard and softer styles.


    OK, understood.
    Personally I'd go with something else- KH80's, KH120's, Dynaudio Lyd5/7, but they are all more money.
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  • octatonic said:
    I have 3 corner panels, I can't treat the other corner as that's where the door is but its on the other side of the room. There are 13 in total I think on the walls.

    I do play a lot of downtuned guitar stuff, just not much in lessons with another player. Most will want to play in standard and softer styles.


    OK, understood.
    Personally I'd go with something else- KH80's, KH120's, Dynaudio Lyd5/7, but they are all more money.
    Hmm well like I said I can see myself getting an extended run borrowing these E8's - if any of those above are right I can save up but I don't know much about them, I think the brand begins with N for the KH stuff?

    Then again some Yammie's might do the trick..
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 30352
    Yes, Neumann acquired Klein und Hummel a few years ago- no the Neumann models are named after the original KH designs.

    I can only tell you what I did- I could get the HS7's fairly cheap but I paid for the Neumann.
    YMMV.
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  • CirrusCirrus Frets: 6421
    A lot of people put all their money into monitors and still have shit ears and can't tell when things are unbalanced.
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  • octatonic said:
    Yes, Neumann acquired Klein und Hummel a few years ago- no the Neumann models are named after the original KH designs.

    I can only tell you what I did- I could get the HS7's fairly cheap but I paid for the Neumann.
    YMMV.
    Ok cool, will sit on this for a bit and do some more research on those Neumann's. First proper test later on in a guitar lesson with 2 people playing in the room to backing tracks and my guitar through the E8's. Week full of lessons with people in here too so a good chance to adjust things and see how it sounds.
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  • FarleyUKFarleyUK Frets: 1927
    I purchased a couple of used HS5 speakers for my man-cave / studio. I've been using them for direct playback from my Kemper, and also for mixing some recordings I've done, and I find them to be excellent (especially as I paid about £260 for the pair....).

    I'd highly recommend them!
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  • FarleyUK said:
    I purchased a couple of used HS5 speakers for my man-cave / studio. I've been using them for direct playback from my Kemper, and also for mixing some recordings I've done, and I find them to be excellent (especially as I paid about £260 for the pair....).

    I'd highly recommend them!
    Yeah I can get the HS5's brand new for not a lot more, but just not sure if they'll be loud enough for 2 guitarists playing in a room with audio.

    Last night was my first lesson using the E8's and I had to turn it up a bit to match the guitars, mind you the learner was sat further back and is a bit shy turning his amp up (a 5watt Marshall combo). Maybe with other learners they will turn up the amp a bit.

    The dial on the interface was around 10 o'clock with the two of us. If its just me jamming its around 9am.
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 24301
    I'd go HS7's personally. HS5's might lack a little on the low-end side. Yammy's are go-to stock speakers for a lot of people. But monitor choice is a very personal thing tbh. A lot of people put all their money into monitors and still have shit ears and can't tell when things are unbalanced, and plenty of people have mixed award winning albums on NS10's.

    ^^

    This.

    I have HS7's - placement is key. When set up correctly with some room treatment they sound great - more than enough bass.

    Start with your room before you buy anything ...




    Remember, it's easier to criticise than create!
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  • Room has been treated the best I can with acoustic foam panels on the wall. It's a purpose built room for guitar lessons.

    Monitor position is by the far end facing the length of the room which was recommended by pretty much everyone when I first had the room done.
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  • LestratcasterLestratcaster Frets: 778
    *UPDATE*

    A couple of months ago said matey asked for his monitors back (The Presonus E8's) as he was recording and producing again during the recent lockdown. As I was doing my online guitar lessons using earphones I didn't need any speakers for a good few months.

    I have just got myself some Yamaha HS8's and been trying them out for the last hour or so. They're very good! Clear and transparent with no boomy bass or shrilly treble. They're f**king loud as well but I wanted something that would give me a good bass response with my Kemper. It sounds really good with it.

    I expect I will have to break these cones in a bit to fully get the character of the monitor, but I'm quite pleased with these.
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  • paulmapp8306paulmapp8306 Frets: 717
    octatonic said:
    Yes, Neumann acquired Klein und Hummel a few years ago- no the Neumann models are named after the original KH designs.

    I can only tell you what I did- I could get the HS7's fairly cheap but I paid for the Neumann.
    YMMV.
    Agree here.

    I had adam a5xs over hs5s which I'm also not keen on.   Moved into the kh120s and there substantially better.

    I play my afx through them no problem.... synths are a little more lacking low end which is why I added the kh750 sub.

    Must note that's for playback/practice only as the room isn't treated bar a very small bit (as it's a multi function room and stuffed full or racks, shelves, cabinates on all wall space).  When I mix the the sub is off.

    It's fine for me, but I'm an enthusiastic amateur at the recording stuff not the professional producer octatonic is.


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  • paulmapp8306paulmapp8306 Frets: 717
    Ok.... really should have read down to that last post lol.

    As long as your happy it's the right choice.
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