Author Topic: Flat Response Studio Monitors?  (Read 2060 times)

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Offline Bikinitest

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Flat Response Studio Monitors?
« on: August 13, 2010, 01:57:50 PM »
Hello all!

What are the flattest response small monitors anyone has come across?

For instance, what are the self powered jobbies in the Cube? Genelecs of some description?

Reason for asking - I'm currently mixing my second album, with much frustration and trial and error - using Yamaha NS10ms which are lovely and harsh and flat as a pancake until you get down to 100Hz, below which they jump off a cliff!

In practice this means mixing bass and bass drum  down till you can barely hear it - just "knowing" it'll be there when you play it on the hifi or in the car! Hardly an efficient way to work hmm?

So! Who has got a flat response across the spectrum - holy grail or blindingly obvious?

All the best
bikinitest

Offline MarkOneMusic

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Re: Flat Response Studio Monitors?
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2010, 02:37:10 PM »
Hi there, and welcome!

I'm sure some real forum luminaries will be along shortly, but in their absence...

Sound is all a question of physics.  It is moving air, and when you get to bass, you have to move a lot. And doing so accurately can be very expensive

The first thing I'f say is that your NS10s don't jump off a cliff in the LF, they are a closed box design (or more correctly called 'infinite baffle) and their LF attenuation is a gentle 6dB/octave. Albeit at around 100Hz

Ported designs, which are more common in the nearfield monitor market, (or bass reflex cabinets as they are more properly called) use a tuned port to extend the low frequency cutoff point, but there is a cost, and that is that the LF roll off is much steeper. Which in of itself is not a major problem, but there is a major shift in phase at the turnover point which can lead to inaccuracies in timing between relatively close bass components (e.g. kick drum and bass guitar)

So you have a sort of trade off - hear what's going on clearly, or accurately. With a small box, you can't really have both.  The only way then, is bigger.  Larger cabinet volumes and bass driver sizes allow the pass band of the enclosure to be naturally lower, so the gentle roll off of the infinite baffle or the phase smear of the bass reflex port are below the interesting part of the signal.

One last point I'd make.  If your room doesn't have some decent acoustic treatment, and it's an average domestic space, your bass is likely to be wildly inaccurate anyway - by wildly, I mean +/- 30dB or more within a few hz.  I was gobsmacked how much more accurate my monitoring became with the introduction of a few cubic feet of acoustic treatment.  It was like I'd bought new monitors - And I know my 4 2ft by 4ft by 4 inch"  broad spectrum absorbers aren't really enough, and a couple of corner traps could really improve things further.

Offline MarkOneMusic

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Re: Flat Response Studio Monitors?
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2010, 02:49:38 PM »
For what it's worth, a lot of people seem to rate Acoustic Energy AE22s very highly as accurate and flat monotors:


http://www.dv247.com/studio-equipment/a ... air--57632

Offline Tricky

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Re: Flat Response Studio Monitors?
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2010, 04:37:09 PM »
Welcome, Bikinitest!
You could always go the headphones route...
Bayer DT100s are reckoned to be very flat for 'critical' monitoring (and therefore unpleasant for extended real-world listening)  :(
When the future\'s looking dark, we\'re the ones who have to shine...

Offline Bikinitest

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Re: Flat Response Studio Monitors?
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2010, 01:00:52 PM »
Hello! What a great welcome for my first witterings in Frost Land. Thanks a lot for that.

I've looked at the AE22s (very nice) and I do quite a bit of late night work on DT100s (they're good, but they can fool you as much as any other) but mostly I've been reading up after MarkOne's info on small monitors - it seems whilst they're far from perfect, these NS10s are what many people have already turned to, at least as a reference against something else and in the realm of small boxes they are as "flat" as anyone has come up with.

I read a very illuminating bit in SoundonSound following NS10s' 20th anniversary in '08, http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/sep08/a ... hans10.htm

particularly mentioning some reflex-loading experiment designed to lift the bottom end response, but at the expense of the tripling the Group Delay. Naturally I'd never heard of such a thing, but basically, "here's all the 60Hz response you want, sadly, it arrives 11ms after the rest of the band..."

At this point I gave up, routed the studio output through to all the hifis in the house via the Sonos wifi system and am currently running back and forth, cross referencing on domestic systems large and small. Works a treat!

Back to it - song 6 of 11...