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Speaker recommendations

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Speaker recommendations

Postby dcaton » Sun Jan 29, 2017 10:58 pm

In the next few months I'm going to converting my church's pipe organ console to a VPO (we're getting a new console built). In the meantime I'm keeping an eye out for good deals on speakers, etc. I've read the conversations here and elsewhere about consumer speakers vs. studio monitors, and I'm somewhat torn between purchasing several pairs of monitors vs more traditional high end home speakers.

One of the drawbacks of monitors is that they're not particularly attractive. The console will probably end up in my living room, and I'd prefer nicely finished speaker cabinets with grilles rather than the techy look of a stack of monitors. Sound quality is more important to me than appearance though.

An article about speakers on the contrebombarde site mentioned Definitive Technology systems, and there happens to be a pair of BP-20's available in my area for $475 (original list around $1600). These are rated to 20hz.

Musician's Friend also has M-Audio BX8 Carbon Black studio monitors on sale for $149 (originally $249). These are only rated to 38Hz.

I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with either of these, and any general recommendations regarding consumer speakers vs monitors. Of course with the BP-20s I'll have to purchase an amp, which means I'll also have to have an audio rack somewhere as well.

The room the organ will be in is about 10x20'. I will eventually want a pair of speakers in the rear for the antiphonal division and probably a sub no matter which way I go. Perhaps surround as well eventually.

Thanks in advance for any advice/recommendations.
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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby csw900 » Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:26 am

You could consider the huge black speakers used by pop groups. You will
of course need a beefy amplifier to go with them.

I have heard these at open air sessions and I suspect you could get a kilowatt of
power at low cost with quality perfectly adequate for an organ in a church.

They are often available secondhand in as new condition at very reasonable
prices.

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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby dcaton » Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:54 am

Huh? Why would I want a kilowatt's worth of power or huge black pop group speakers in a 10x20 living room? Did you post this in the wrong thread?
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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby Eric Sagmuller » Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:11 am

It confused me for a second too, you mentioned converting the church's console to a VPO. Upon ready further I noticed that the console would be in your home, not stay in the church. I think that's why csw900 gave the answer he did.

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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby ppytprs » Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:17 am

The BX8s are a good speaker. Think how many you could buy for one pair of the others.
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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby dcaton » Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:19 am

There's a pretty active "Large church installation" thread, maybe he meant to reply there. The console I'm converting is large enough; if I used huge pop speakers I'd probably have to get rid of all my furniture.
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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby sonar11 » Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:26 am

If you can wait for a bit, Emotiva is releasing their updated "Airmotiv" studio monitors, with an AMT tweeter, and these new versions come with grills. Their current airmotivs sound very nice, and they have tons of favourable reviews. The AMT tweeter is perfect for organ music (especially the very bright and high pitches) since it is a non-fatiguing sound. But really you're best bet is to listen to the speakers and make a choice after that, don't make a purchase based solely on which speaker is cheaper.

I'd also recommend going with smaller bookshelfs (6 inch woofer), but more of them; versus just 2 large powerful speakers; I have 6 channels spread out evenly on a shelf in front of my organ. Having more speakers more closely follows an organ in real life. As you add stops, the sound becomes "fuller", whereas with 2 powerful speakers it just becomes "louder".
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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby dcaton » Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:15 am

sonar11 wrote:If you can wait for a bit, Emotiva is releasing their updated "Airmotiv" studio monitors, with an AMT tweeter, and these new versions come with grills.

Where did you find this info? I won't have a need for the speakers for 2-3 months, but as I said, keeping an eye out for good deals in the meantime.

sonar11 wrote:But really you're best bet is to listen to the speakers and make a choice after that, don't make a purchase based solely on which speaker is cheaper.

As a practical matter, how would you go about doing this? With traditional home audio, sure, but listening to a multi-speaker VPO setup at a store or showroom would be a real challenge.

Price is not my primary concern (within reason, of course), but the BX8's seem to have pretty good reviews and at $100 off plus free shipping, that's a decent savings esp. if I get 8 or 10 of them.
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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby sonar11 » Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:32 am

That info came from some youtube clips (posted on the emotivalounge / forum); they were demoing some upcoming products at CES, and these new airmotiv monitors were part of that.

They also have (already released) an airmotiv "home theatre" line; basically same as their active speakers only these are passive. You can buy these now already, and they come with grills.
http://emotiva.com/products/speakers/airmotiv-b1

Emotiva offers a 30 day return policy, so you can try them in your home and return them if you don't like them.

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

I went through the speaker buying process years ago; started with cheap polk audio speakers, then moved to paradigm, tested some active monitors from Behringer, Rokit, Maudio and a few others. They all had issues, either with color in the tone, or a skinny "sweet spot" (move your head slightly and the imaging changes), or harsh and fatiguing sound. Then I heard the Adam aX series and knew that's what I wanted, but couldn't afford multiple channels. I settled for the Adam F5 and F7 and they were the best (to me) all around compromise of price and sound. Again, they have an AMT and that is something that works very well for organ music and my ears.
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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby jkinkennon » Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:43 pm

I would expect the Adam F5 and F7 monitors to have the non-fatiguing sound and would look at them if I were in the market for something new. I was sorry to see Behringer drop their pricier models with kevlar woofer cones and ribbon tweeters. Perhaps they weren't selling well, or more likely it was becoming increasingly difficult to maintain the price point with the ribbons.

In any case I'd consider ribbons such as Adam's AMT especially for home installations where the wider sweet spot can be important.
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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby dcaton » Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:08 pm

jkinkennon wrote:I would expect the Adam F5 and F7 monitors to have the non-fatiguing sound and would look at them if I were in the market for something new. I was sorry to see Behringer drop their pricier models with kevlar woofer cones and ribbon tweeters. Perhaps they weren't selling well, or more likely it was becoming increasingly difficult to maintain the price point with the ribbons.

In any case I'd consider ribbons such as Adam's AMT especially for home installations where the wider sweet spot can be important.

Doesn't seem to be too many studio monitors with ribbon tweeters. Any experience with the Samson Resolv RXA-6's? There's a vendor that has those on sale for $113, which seems like a really good deal.
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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby dcaton » Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:14 pm

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... ?
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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby sonar11 » Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:52 pm

I'm not a fan of vertical pillers or stacking. My 6 are spread out on a shelf, horizontally, and the woofer is just above the top of my music rack. AMT's in general have excellent horizontal dispersion, but not as good vertical dispersion. Which means ideally the tweeter should be aimed at your ear.

In addition, you shouldn't really be stacking speakers directly on top of eachother, even if they have good vertical dispersion. All bookshelf speakers should rest on some sort of isolation, like strong foam padding or special stands, which decouple the speaker from what it is sitting on top of. The sound from the speaker cabinet is then prevented from traveling and resonating to what it is sitting on top of.

In the case of the monoprice speakers, I would just put a shelf over top of the bottom layer, add padding to the top of the shelf again, then place the second layer on top of that padding.
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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby deftech » Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:02 pm

I have a Hauptwerk system containing 35 Definitive Technology speakers. They were demonstrators at retail stores I got at 30 to 50 percent retail. I have been very pleased with them. If you can get a good deal on deftechs, they are that much sweeter. I have a MacBook Pro and a Focusrite Thunderbolt interface with 28 channels out. There is no noticeable latency. I use Crown power amplifiers which are way overkill but cost only $150/channel and have many neat features like built in crossovers. I use a very small percent of the available power so the amps or speakers are never stressed. My system is in my basement which is 2500 square feet. It sounds like the basement is full of organ pipes. I love it! :D
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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby magnaton » Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:37 pm

As you can see, you'll get lots of participation from the forum on this subject. :)

Like Sonar11, I too would recommend a multi-channel option. IMHO, when planning or implementing a multi-channel setup, you can get by with the less the expensive studio monitors. If given the choice of a pair of Def Tech Biploars at $2K or 8 Adam F5 active studio monitors, I'd pick the latter. Or better yet, 6 Adam F5s and add on decent subwoofer.

I have a good friend whose HW set up uses 12 channels the 8" Monoprice studio monitors. Sounds wonderful! Another audio forum strongly suggested these Monoprice monitors are made by M-Audio as the specs and even the dimensions were very close to their production version. They are only sold in pairs ($165), so $2K would give you 12 pairs (24 channels)!

Finally, if you feel that studio monitors are "not particularly attractive", check out this cool thread:
http://forum.hauptwerk.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=10333&p=76037


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Last edited by magnaton on Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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