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Speaker recommendations

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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby sonar11 » Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:01 pm

I own a motu mk3 hybrid; It sounds good, but the drivers are pretty bad for windows. I get all kinds of odd issues, like the output volume randomly being almost half the volume of what it should be (fixed with windows restart), not resuming 100% from a standby (so hw can't view the audio or midi interface), and worse: I once walked into my house to hear an odd screaching from my organ room, one of the speakers was playing almost a sine wav at high frequency. Had to power off the interface and then restart windows.

The guys in the audio store don't necessarily recommend them for windows users due to driver issues, though on mac they like them quite well.

This is all on a windows 7 machine, fully updated, plugged in via firewire (3 foot cable) to a firewire port with the TI chipset. I do use standby though, perhaps people who fully shutdown and restart both windows and the motu will not experience the same issues that I do :)
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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby magnaton » Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:55 pm

I too own The MOTU mk3 hybrid and using it with windows has been pretty solid. After about 4 years of use (first for studio work then a dedicated HW interface) it developed 'digital spasm'. The digital input indicator on the front LED panel would bounce up down ill radically after being on for over an hour. This behavior caused the reverb to get hit when the indicator would spike making it sound like thunder (akin to shaking an amplifier with spring reverb). The digital ports (S/PDIF) were empty. Dummy plugs didn't help nor upgrading to the latest firmware. MOTU support was very helpful and suggested as a last resort to perform a hard firmware reset on the unit. That resolved the issue and it's been fine ever since. Had that not worked, the final resolve would have been to send it back to MOTU for repair or replacement for $99.

Yes, I do a full shutdown and start up of my HW rig so that could attribute to my reliability. The only minor beef I have with this unit, as I've mentioned in past threads, is the soft on & off switch embedded in one of the control knobs. I have to manually turn it on each time when starting up. Kind of prevents me from having a "one button on" solution we've discussed in the past. But hey this a home studio install so not really a big deal.

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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby magnaton » Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:22 pm

dcaton wrote:The plot thickens...

The Behringer UMC1820 has 12 outs, paired with a ADA8200, would give me 20 for ~$500. Anyone have any experience with either of these, or Behringer interfaces in general?


Look again. This unit only has 10 TRS ouputs, The 2 that make the "12" in the spec sheet are from the S/PDIF coax connector. To utilize that port for your active monitors, you'll need an S/PDIF to analog converter like this one:
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/CDL313

If not, just adding the ADAT will give you 18 (balanced) outputs not 20. Forgive me, I'm not trying to be wise-off but just trying to help :)

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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby dcaton » Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:18 pm

magnaton wrote:If not, just adding the ADAT will give you 18 (balanced) outputs not 20. Forgive me, I'm not trying to be wise-off but just trying to help :)

Danny B.

Thank you! I saw the 12 output connectors on the rear panel and didn't look closely enough at the markings.

At $500 for the Behringer setup some part of that (probably at least 50%) is going towards 16 inputs that I'll never use. At $1100 for the MOTI 24ao, 100% of that is going towards usable functionality. Not sure that reasoning is logical, but I wonder if that translates in any way towards the MOTU being a better quality unit since it was designed specifically as an output-only device.
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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby magnaton » Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:58 pm

dcaton wrote:At $500 for the Behringer setup some part of that (probably at least 50%) is going towards 16 inputs that I'll never use.


That's just the nature of the beast. A home studio user would say the inverse regarding the extra outputs that would never get used. :lol:

IMHO, to compare an audio interface on the basis sound quality, you'd have to buy two or three of them at once, connect one of them to your HW rig, playback a MIDI file or two of select pieces on your choice organ sample. Repeat this process for the others to give a true A-B-C comparison. Return the ones you don't want.

Or continue the search here and on other forms. From my research and verbal discussions with others, MOTU would offer a better sounding interface compared to the Behringer. Their technical support after the sale is better hands down! Recent reviews for their 3 newest units introduced at this year's NAMM (8M, 16A, & 1248) say these are the best sounding interfaces to date from MOTU. And they have a price tag to help reinforce that statement!

As you see there is a Con for any of these models with regards to HW: Short on outputs, unbalanced ouputs only (Cymatic LP-16), too expensive (RME, Apollo, etc), no headphone jack (MOTU 24Ao), and so forth.

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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby scottherbert » Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:30 pm

O.K., did I see something here about being able to use a headphone jack as an output?

~S
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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby mnailor » Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:47 pm

The RME UFX two headphone outputs can be used as line level unbalanced outs to amps. Need a y cable adapter. I've used it with no problems.
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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby dcaton » Fri Feb 03, 2017 4:04 pm

scottherbert wrote:O.K., did I see something here about being able to use a headphone jack as an output?

~S

If you want to use the headphone output as two additional outputs, you have to make sure the two channels feeding it are independent from the other outputs. On a lot of interfaces I've looked at, the headphones just piggyback on channels 1/2 or 3/4.

If you do have independent channels for the headphones, you can use them to drive another pair of monitors. You'd need a Y cable of some sort and maybe an unbalanced to balanced converter.

The output from a headphone jack isn't likely to be high enough to cause any damage to a line level input, but once you get things hooked up start out with the headphone output at minimum volume just to be safe.
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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby scottherbert » Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:59 pm

Thanks for the replies! I was thinking about a subwoofer. My Steinberg only has 4 outputs, which is fine, but my sub doesn't have an output (to speakers) like many do. So I wondered if I could use the phones jack as an output for the powered sub.

Thanks,
~S
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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby deftech » Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:54 pm

Has anyone tried using a PA mixer to mix multiple line level output channels to feed subwoofers in a Hauptwerk audio system? Many studio monitors and power amplifiers have line level pass throughs that could be used to feed a stereo mixer to mix all of the outputs so if you had twelve stereo channels you could put them all in one speaker group to maximize them. This would save the two channels used for subwoofer mix down to use for routing main speakers.

I would like to get 24 speakers of one kind some day and maybe sell off my odd speakers, give them away, or use them elsewhere.

If I were starting new I would try the MOTU interface with 24 outputs.
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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby dcaton » Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:07 pm

magnaton wrote:Hello Dcaton:

I'm anxious to get your reactions and critique on the Monoprice studio monitors. Maybe update this thread as well.

Thanks,

Danny B.

Danny and anyone else that's interested:

I don't know that I have any valuable information to share at this point, but FWIW here goes...

The Monoprice 8" monitors have been compared to the M-Audio BX8 Carbon Black Monitor. If you imagine the center plastic trim of the BX8 removed, that's what the Monoprice units look like. The rear panels are similar but the Mono has a HF level control that the M-Audio lacks. Short of disassembling each to examine their innards, visually comparing the two probably has little real value though. A few reviews also claim they sound similar but I can't attest to that. I could compare them to the monster HC-14's on my ADC-3100, but that probably wouldn't be useful either. :?

I like the overall appearance of the Monoprice units, without any unnecessary frills or gaudy nameplates (the small Monoprice nameplate is barely noticeable), and they appear to be constructed well.

I'm several months away from having a functional VPO, but I've hooked up two to my HW computer's internal sound card in the meantime. They sound decent, but that's hardly a basis for a meaningful evaluation. I also decided to go with the MOTO 24ao interface. The required Phoenix connectors will be here later in the week and I plan on hooking up several monitors through that. But at the moment my HW setup has no console attached so all I can do is play the demo that comes with the St. Anne's sampleset.

Right now, my opinion is that at $65 each, the Monoprice monitors are a very good value for their intended purpose, which is an entry-level multiple monitor setup. In addition to monitors my budget needs to include an audio interface, midi conversion boards, HW software, etc. I'd love nothing more than to drop 10k on monitors, but that's not happening any time soon. At some point after I have a functioning VPO, I probably will try a pair of higher end monitors to see how they compare. I'd expect something like an Adam A7X to sound better, but at about 12x the cost, would it sound 12 times better? That's highly subjective.

I see another review has just been posted on these as well, from someone who has a lot more experience than I do.

Don
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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby Romanos » Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:01 pm

dcaton wrote:
sonar11 wrote:Monoprice has a simliar speaker, though a little more expensive, and I don't know what they sound like:
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=16221

Not sure I'd trust a no-name speaker. Also, these speakers only have one flat side so they couldn't be stacked.

Which brings up another question I suppose. I was assuming that if I had multiple sets of monitors, they would be stacked vertically on each side of the console, possibly on some sort of stand. Or when using multiple monitors, is it preferred to mount them horizontally in a row across the top of the console, or... ?



I know I am quite late to this discussion (I've been away from the forum for a while!) but I have tried both the horizontal above my head and the vertical stacks on stands away from the console. Here are my thoughts: studio monitors are too directional (since they are designed for close listening) to have them above you pointed straight into the room. Take a look at the "post pics of your consoles" section and look at "building a dream in Oklahoma". You will see my earlier setup (horizontal mounted above my head) and vertical at the end. I found things too directional when they were horizontally mounted. It was neat to hear pipes go back and forth (to trace a rank) when I had it in mono mode with two pitches per speaker (and yes I had it as 3 stereo pairs as well). That said, certain keys would cause the music to be weighted to one side or the other depending on the key. Also, I simply didn't like having speakers that close to my head. You need the tweeters pointed at your ears for maximum clarity too and you lose that when they are above you pointed straight (not at you). I VASTLY prefer having two speaker "towers" on either side away from the console. It's a clearer image and easier on the ears too. You get to have the added benefit of a few feet for the speakers to mix in the air before they hit you.

All of that said, if I had to do over again, I would have gone for two of the best def-tech speakers that I could afford that have built in subs to get an exceptional high-quality stereo image. I sometimes wonder if things would be clearer still with two higher-quality speakers over a 6 low-to-medium quality speakers.
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