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Frequency Response Required In Studio Monitors


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#1 RIblues

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 07:26 AM

Frequency response required for studio monitors to accurately reproduce all available HD500 tones.

 

Hello everyone, I am interested in setting up an environment in my home to utilize the HD500 as my primary source to enjoy my guitars. I no longer play in a band environment nor do I participate in any gig's, and I must take into consideration my family and their right not to be infringed or audibly tortured by my hours of noodling with country twang, blues emotion and moments of metal doom.

 

I have been researching the purchase of studio monitors for about a month now and have read numerous articles with respect to size selection, accuracy and connections. I have read many "suggestion" threads in regards to pairing studio monitors to the HD500 also, but I have not been able to obtain particular information with regards to the range that the HD500 covers in possible frequency and how that would translate to the correct monitor selection. A recent trip to my local Guitar Center introduced more questions as I received several conflicting opinions from their staff.

 

1. Would it be incorrect to state that that a studio monitor with a 5 inch driver and a frequency range of approximately 50-20 would be limiting the range of tones and frequency's that the HD500 can create?

 

2. Would it not be wiser to try to determine the frequency range that the HD500 can cover and then try to match the monitors to that range.

 

3. Does the size of the monitor driver have any correlation to the authenticity of the tone. Example: Would a preset created using a Marshall matched to a 4x12 cabinet sound more faithful with a set of studio monitor's housing an 8 inch driver with a lower frequency range vs. a 5 inch driver equipped monitor with a much higher low frequency spec?

 

4. Are dynamics and overal depth of sound and tone better with a larger cabinet and driver?

 

5. Should I take into consideration "dropped tunings" or the possible inclusion of a bass amp model?

 

The numerous articles that I have read have not touched on any of these issues and mostly followed a guide with respect to the size of the room and the particular music in which the monitors would be used for. But, what about a situation where the HD500 is the primary source and is being used specifically to output it's audio?

 

I have tried a small tube amp and an active speaker, but I much prefer a pair of studio monitors for their stereo ability and overall sound quality. I like the fact that I can get great sound and tone at low volumes with studio monitors. I am currently using Audyssey Lower East Side Media Speakers which of course are not studio monitors.

 

I have viewed several Youtube videos of various setups and they were using monitors with 5 inch drivers. They appeared quite happy with that setup but I wonder if they had given any consideration to frequency ranges.

 

My concern is that I could limit the HD500 by making an uninformed purchase and thereby limit my enjoyment and/or equipment . I do not have a budget in mind, but I do feel that $500 to $1000 for a pair would be a reasonable investment for my purpose.

 

Thank you in advance too all that offer an opinion.


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#2 guitarno

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 08:04 AM

I am using a pair of Presonus Eris 8's that I recently bought for monitoring my HD500X. I really like these speakers. They seem to have very good bass response and were reasonably priced. They retail for $248, but I paid $199 apiece for them from RMC Audio Direct (I had to email for their "Best Price"). I am not an expert on speaker response curves, but I reasoned that going to an 8" speaker would help with the low frequencies, and I am pretty happy with the sound of these. I didn't want to go to really large speakers, but I was a little concerned about getting good bass response from 5" drivers.


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#3 still_fiddlin

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 08:24 AM

If you want to spare the rest of the folks around you, get a really good set of studio headphones (~250 ohm).  You can probably fit those and a pair of entry monitors in your budget.

 

If you want bass, 5" is not going to do much for you, unless you get a subwoofer, but then you're going to be bothering somebody, I'm pretty sure.  8" might be a better compromise for a fuller sound, since a guitar is, at its low end, a bass instrument.

 

Most studio monitors are not designed to produce what you might equate with a full guitar amp sound - they're for reproducing a mix with accuracy and detail, which in lower price ranges usually means they sound pretty bright.  I'd simply ask to have whatever the store has plugged in to your POD and see how they sound.  They'll sound different in your own room, of course, but it's probably the best option.

 

I have a pair JBL 5" monitors, plus an old set of JBLs with 10" drivers that have been reconed once.  And, a few sets of headphones, including Beyerdynamic DT-770s (250 ohm).  I do almost all my listening of just me playing with the headphones.  The speakers are for recordings.


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#4 RIblues

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 09:18 AM

Thank you, I was leaning toward 8 inch as the safest option. The stumbling block was my visit to Guitar Center where one rep recommended 5 or 6 inch stating that would capture the midrange of the guitar better and the second rep stating that the 8 inch would better capture the bigger sound of an actual amp cabinet. 

 

We did try some Rokit 5's and 8's (recommended by them for my application) that they had in stock and the 8's low end seamed to over power the tones that we were creating with the pod. I understand of course that the presets would need to be tweaked. This is what led me to research the overall frequency range of guitar tones and the capability of the pod, and then try to match those results. That seamed logical to me but I accept that I may be over thinking this.

 

Headphones will be purchased afterwards and thank you for the suggestion. Right now I would like to capture a nice "live" sound that does not inhibit the Pod and at the same time, be faithful in sound reproduction.

 

What frequency's should we target that capture the Pod's capabilities through a wide range of music genre's?

 

Thank you to all.


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#5 still_fiddlin

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 12:11 PM

Any bass you hear from inexpensive monitors is likely not "real" but something that's been done to make you think you're hearing bass.  This can be good or bad, depending on how well it's done, and how well it maps to the bass that's in the recording, and will be heard on speakers actually capable of producing those frequencies.

 

Chances are you will be listening to the speakers in a smaller room and lower volume than how you were trying them out, in which case, a bit more bass might sound good.  But, if they don't sound like what you want to hear, don't get them!

 

I still recommend getting a good set of headphones.  You can do a lot of listening and tweaking that way.  No matter what you start with, the sound that comes out of a different output device is going to be different, so pick something that sounds good to your ears in the situation where you'll be using the POD most.


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#6 dspellman

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 04:20 PM

A recent trip to my local Guitar Center introduced more questions as I received several conflicting opinions from their staff.

 

1. Would it be incorrect to state that that a studio monitor with a 5 inch driver and a frequency range of approximately 50-20 would be limiting the range of tones and frequency's that the HD500 can create?

 

2. Would it not be wiser to try to determine the frequency range that the HD500 can cover and then try to match the monitors to that range.

 

3. Does the size of the monitor driver have any correlation to the authenticity of the tone. Example: Would a preset created using a Marshall matched to a 4x12 cabinet sound more faithful with a set of studio monitor's housing an 8 inch driver with a lower frequency range vs. a 5 inch driver equipped monitor with a much higher low frequency spec?

 

4. Are dynamics and overal depth of sound and tone better with a larger cabinet and driver?

 

5. Should I take into consideration "dropped tunings" or the possible inclusion of a bass amp model?

 

I have tried a small tube amp and an active speaker, but I much prefer a pair of studio monitors for their stereo ability and overall sound quality. I like the fact that I can get great sound and tone at low volumes with studio monitors.  I do feel that $500 to $1000 for a pair would be a reasonable investment for my purpose.

 

 

1. I've tested (among others) the Rokit 5 and Rokit 8 speakers. The main difference (besides size and weight) is that the 5 has a 5" woofer and the 8 has an 8" woofer (and more power). The Rokit 8 will go a bit lower, but that means little if you don't need those frequencies.

 

2. The HD500 is capable of using a 50Hz-20Khz range, I believe, but you're not losing a whole lot by not accommodating all of that.

 

3. You won't lose your Marshall cabinet with a 5" woofer; that 5" woofer has more bottom end than most Marshall guitar cabinets, which roll off rapidly below 110Hz. The main difference is going to be the volume (which you don't particularly need in a small practice area).

 

4. Surprisingly, no -- depth and dynamics aren't dependent on the cabinet size, but on the match of the cabinet to the speaker's characteristics.

 

5. Yes, you should take into consideration drop tunings and the occasional bass usage. If it's likely that you'll go there. See below.

 

I've gone with the Rokit 8's (which are twice the size and weight of the Rokit 5's). In addition to guitar, I run bass and a Korg Kronos through them. There are two reasons to consider the 8's at this point -- they DO have a bit more bass available should you want it. And the Generation 2 versions (KRK has recently introduced the Generation 3's) are available at places like Pro Audio Star for about $149.95 each rather than the $249.95 they usually cost. That makes a pair of the Gen2's just about 20% more than a single Gen3 and not much more than a pair of the Rokit 5's.

 

Bear this in mind; should you decide that you need more bass from the 5's, you can always pick up the 10" subwoofer and toss that on the floor if you really need the thump. Part of the reason I picked the 8's is that I don't anticipate needing that much bottom.

 

Both are very balanced and the Rokit 8's will not add bass to your presets unless you do. If you set a balanced preset, it will reproduce just that without coloring the output. Guitar Center reps notwithstanding.

 

Headphones are a wise investment; Sony 7506, AKG 240, Sennheiser 280, BeyerDynamic 770s are among those I'd definitely suggest trying. All are $99 and up and all are among the standards of the industry in mixing and recording.


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#7 RIblues

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 03:48 AM

Thank you, this all makes sense. I just ordered the BeyerDynamic 770's from Amazon and I am going back to Guitar Center this week to spend more time with the 8 inch Rokit's and I will also try to test any other 8 inch monitors that I can.

 

The info about the Marshall cabinet rolling off around 110 was very helpful because that was the information that I was trying to find. I think that it would be accurate to state that most good quality monitors in the 5 or 6 inch size that go down to 50 Hz or so, will cover almost everything that the HD500 can create, but you will need to go lower if you want to get all you can out of it. Especially if you want to use a bass or keys.

 

From reading and watching reviews, it seams that the Rokit's are favored by DJ's as it has been stated many times by others that they may exaggerate the lower frequency's. But as still_fiddlin mentioned above, a little more bass may not be a bad thing for what I am doing. I'll inquire about return policies and maybe I can bring a few pairs home to compare them side by side. They do have quite a few brands at 8 inch in stock.


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