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Speaker recommendations

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Speaker recommendations

PostThu Nov 12, 2020 3:11 pm

Hi all,
I'm in the market for some new speakers for my home practice organ. It's not a very big room, maybe 20' x 20' with a 10' ceiling. I'm looking to spend about $500. Does anyone have any recommendations? Should I plan on getting a subwoofer?I'm using one right now, but it's pretty essential because my speakers are kind of dinky. I'm wondering if I would need one if I was using higher end speakers. What do you think? Thanks in advance!



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Re: Speaker recommendations

PostSat Nov 14, 2020 2:56 am

I would go for near-field monitors, especially at this price. Anything Genelec, JBL, Adam is probably excellent. There are many more options. For objective, independent reviews I recommend (many other review websites are sponsored and extremely subjective).

Optimal placement for the lowest frequencies is in or near a corner of the room. Optimal speaker placement for all higher frequencies is in front of you, 1m away or less, at or a little bit above ear height, in a symmetric triangle with your listening position.

So for optimal placement you can go for smaller speakers (e.g. Genelec 8010 or 8020) + subwoofer. I guess smaller speakers are also more wife-friendly ;).

Good speakers+good subwoofer is a bit more expensive. But even without subwoofer you can get very acceptable sound, because your ears can recognize the lowest frequencies by their harmonics even if they are not actually heard.



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Re: Speaker recommendations

PostSat Nov 14, 2020 10:39 am

I don’t have any personal experience, but many forum users also have gone with Behringer models in the past, for instance the 2030A would be in your price range. Some would be happy with just two monitors, as Josq says, but some prefer a subwoofer. I am pretty happy with my two monitors, but their woofers are a fair bit bigger than monitors in your price range, so the bass goes a bit farther down. If you get a small and inexpensive subwoofer, you may not get the bass response you’re looking for anyway, particularly in a small room, so I would try one out before committing.
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Re: Speaker recommendations

PostSun Nov 15, 2020 11:08 am

Active studio monitors seemed to be the preferred choice as they are designed to produce a flat response and accurate sound that doesn't 'color' it in any way. The Behringer 2031A is a popular choice for Hauptwerk community for its price/performance value. It's a very good copy of an older Genelec 1031A which cost 4 times as much. The specs show a low frequency of 50Hz. I own several of the 2031A models and I can say that number is conservative as it's more in the lower 40Hz range. Behringer hasn't changed these models in years which makes it nice if later on you decide to add another pair. Other brands like JBL and especially M-Audio update their designs frequently for marketing exposure.

I strongly suggest a subwoofer. You are reproducing the sounds of a pipe organ, think medium-large scale 16' Bourdon at low C. Room 20 x 20 room with high ceiling would definitely benefit from a decent subwoofer. Search the HW forum here for recommendations.

Keep us updated on your progress,

Danny B.



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Re: Speaker recommendations

PostSun Nov 15, 2020 9:54 pm

I agree with the general trend. For starters, a pair of decent quality, 8-inch (not 5-inch for primaries) self-powered Studio Monitors will serve you well. There are many decent choices: for mid-priced options, I chose M-Audio BX8s after doing a side-side comparison, but any similar quality unit will likely serve well. The Genelecs can be really good, but are generally a much pricier up-scale option when I've gone shopping for new (not used.)

The note about placement was spot-on - that is the positioning these types of monitors are optimized for. Though they can fill a mid-sized room (especially multiple pairs if/when you expand), they are specifically designed to be optimal up close - and can be stunning when used as intended. I also listen to music that way, and it is good. Very good.

A moderate subwoofer will make a big improvement. I repurposed a very old, mid-sized Klipsch that had been my first Home-Theater sub, back from the days of VHS tape. Pulled it out of storage and added it to the M-Audios, it made a wonderful improvement. These size monitors don't really have the extension to get that last half-octave @16 ft - a sub will. I would consider an inexpensive home-theater sub over the smallish units often sold as part of the product lines alongside the powered monitors. A really good sub down the line might make your wish-list, but probably is not needed when first getting started - other items may be higher priority when funds are limited. And room size matters - the wavelengths of low frequencies are surprisingly large - 32Hz ~=35ft wavelength, 16HZ is 70 feet long - so reflections and interference in a realistic sized room, from walls and ceiling, will likely make hash of many low notes and harmonics. Going for an ultimate sub experience in a typical room in a house, untreated, is likely going to have lots of interesting and noticeable sonic anomalies.
Cheers, Bob

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