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#663045 - 04/25/07 08:28 PM Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
AE_Charlie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/07
Posts: 48
Well I finally got my MP8 for the second time after UPS messed up the first one in shipping - I then ordered through another company that used a small carrier. I now have a couple questions. Though I've looked around on the forums quite a bit, I'm still a bit confused.

The first question I have is that of monitors. I've read all the threads about them but I'm still not sure. I think I don't want to spend more than $500 max. The Behringers are really well priced but they seem to be quite polarizing (from the reviews on here) so I'll probably avoid them. I'd also prefer to get them locally if possible. This makes my choices the KRK RP-5 and RP-6 (and possibly the RP-8) and the Yamaha HS50m. Are there any other good choices out there? I already have a pair of HD580s but after a while all headphones start to bother my ears.

My other issue is regarding a soundcard for recording and using external sounds like Ivory/Pianoteq in the future. My current plan is to get a laptop (with plenty of memory and storage). Obviously the onboard soundcards of most laptops are pretty bad. I need a low-latency external soundcard (for recording and external sound samples; some sort of interface to plug the monitors and headphones into with volume control would be nice. I'm not looking for anything super high-end, just something that would play external samples nicely and have the ability to record. The Tascam US-122 seems to fit the bill if I'm not mistaken. If it gets the job done, the cheaper the better.

Thanks for taking the time to help me out.

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#663046 - 04/25/07 09:32 PM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
Climber Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/16/06
Posts: 224
Loc: Colorado
I can't help you on the speakers side of things (I too have the HD580's and love them) however, on the laptop side:
You need to look again at Ivory's website for "recommended system". I think you'll find that a tower desktop PC may be better suited to your needs than the drawbacks of a laptop. For your PC you'll probably need 2-4 Gig of ram and a fast duel core processor. You'll also want a system with two or three (300 gig or larger) fast 10,000 rpm hard disks (sata) arrayed in a raid configuration. Also pay attention to bus speed of your potential PC of choice. Read the recent forum article in PW "Akoustik Piano vs Ivory". This article will give you a good idea as to needed configuration for your PC regarding Ivory.
The internal sound midi interface cards for desktop tower models cost less than external midi soundcard interfaces and are generally faster with lower latency.
I have a Toshiba laptop with two processors which cumulatively add to a combined cpu speed of 3.4 gig. It's an Intel P system with 1.5 gig ram and 500 meg bus speed. I use an external E-MU 1616 midi interface sound card which I'm happy with. I would not even think of trying to run my laptop with Ivory. Garritan Personal Orchestra yes, but not Ivory.
By the way, Pianoteq and True Pianos (modeled systems) run fine on my system but the shallowness in sound of both these piano packages relegates me back to "sampled" software such as Garritan. Judging by the cpu usage of both Pianoteq and True Pianos, I'd guess that we're still five years away from where a "modeled" piano package can compare favorably in sound quality (not however to dynamics) to today's sampled piano packages such as Garritan and Ivory and be run on a $2,500 PC. Hope this helps.

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#663047 - 04/25/07 10:29 PM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
packa Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1397
Loc: Dallas, TX
I think one of the most important things to look for in small powered monitors is woofer size. You just can't get the balanced bass you need for a good acoustic piano sound with really small woofers and I hate trying to balance an external sub with studio monitors if you're trying to create that singular "sweet spot" on the bench.

My informal rule of thumb for small monitors is: nothing smaller than 6". On that basis alone, I would suggest you consider the larger KRK models you mention.

My first external audio interface was a Tascam US122 and I had nothing but driver headaches with it. And terrible tech support. I currently use the EMU 0404 USB, a USB2.0 interface with 2 channels of analog input, S/PDIF I/O, and balanced line outs as well (a requirement for me). It has been just great.
_________________________
Paul Buchanan
Estonia L168 #1718

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#663048 - 04/25/07 10:59 PM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
franzooey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/03
Posts: 95
My KRK 6s will arrive late this week or, more likely, early next week. I'll write back with a report.

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#663049 - 04/26/07 12:09 AM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
bachmaniac Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/06
Posts: 410
Loc: Montreal, CAN
Hey Charlie,

glad to hear you've finally got your DP. Can't tell you much about software pianos, but I've tried/heard different monitors. The biggest bang for the buck is still the Truths B2031A, and I can testify that these sound very, very good with a Kawai. For little more money (under $400 these days), you can also consider the M-Audio BX8a Studiophiles, the ones I'm presently using. They sound very sweet, perhaps a bit boomier in the bass, not objectionately so, and the highs are very definite, giving you all the harmonics. Lots of headroom, no distortion or noise. Then add maybe another hundred bucks and you have the KRKs in 6" version. Comments on these are positive, but I can't say anything more as I haven't heard them. They enjoy a solid reputation, but I wonder why the Rokits are only about half the price of the corresponding V5s, V6s, V8s. Personally I'd tend to be a little weary of the first octave of bass from a piano for, as you know, lower A's fundamental is 27.5 Hz, so don't expect your DP to sound like a 9 foot grand if your monitors don't deliver that first octave of fundamentals.

If price were no object, I'd immediately go for a pair of Event ASP8s, no need to even test them, just grab 'em and love 'em. They show up on the used market once in a while. So do the Mackie HR824s, whose reputation is rock solid.

Tough choice, eh?

Take care,

Claude
_________________________
K. Kawai KG-2D grand, Kawai MP8 digital, Kawai CA7

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#663050 - 04/28/07 01:33 PM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
AE_Charlie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/07
Posts: 48
Here's a question. KRK has two lines (well, actually three, but the third is too expensive) - the RP and V lines. The V is higher quality.

What would be better - the V6 for $300 (6", higher quality) or the RP-8 (8", lower quality) for $250? What's the advantage to one or the other?

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#663051 - 04/29/07 06:58 AM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
bachmaniac Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/06
Posts: 410
Loc: Montreal, CAN
Charlie,

I haven't heard either of them, but I often read that with DPs, people are very satisfied with the RPs, which cost about half (size for size) the price of the Vs. What I can more clearly see is that the 8" is very, very desirable if you want some fundamental tone remaining from that first octave on the piano (lower A is 27.5 Hz, you know...).

So, without hesitation, I'd go for the RP-8

Best,
Claude
_________________________
K. Kawai KG-2D grand, Kawai MP8 digital, Kawai CA7

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#663052 - 04/29/07 07:25 AM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
Suryaman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/05
Posts: 131
Loc: Italy&Orange County, CA
Don't be fooled by the difference in inch of the woofer, the V6 are a better project overall, I heard V6 and RP8 together and V6s blows out RP8s, they have beautiful medium range, highs that are not tyring, and in the bass range are clearer than RP8s.
Go gor quality speakers, you won't regret it.

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#663053 - 04/29/07 10:47 AM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
bachmaniac Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/06
Posts: 410
Loc: Montreal, CAN
Still, I strongly doubt that KRK manufactures any low-quality stuff at all. Many members here own RPs and would dispute that the Vs are worth double the money. It's a very comparable product at a very different price. Some people will pay five grand to get two horsepowers more...

There's a similar issue between Mackie HR824s and Truth B2031As, the latter being an incredibly successful imitation of the former at less than ¼[/b] the price. Everything is not day and night...

All KRK speakers are quality products, ask the owners on this forum.

Cheers,
Claude
_________________________
K. Kawai KG-2D grand, Kawai MP8 digital, Kawai CA7

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#663054 - 04/29/07 11:47 AM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
franzooey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/03
Posts: 95
I am really impressed with the KRK RP 6s. I had been playing my DP through my stereo speakers until the studio monitors arrived, and the piano sound disappointed me. Now, however, the piano sound is terrific, since the RP 6s can handle the delicate sounds of a DP. I can't comment on the V line. I'm sure they are fantastic, but the RP line, from what I've read, is perhaps the greatest combination of quality plus price. I paid $400 for my RP 6s, but if you haunt Ebay, you might get lucky and get them for cheaper. A pair of used RP 8s, in good condition, sold for $330.

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#663055 - 04/29/07 01:31 PM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
Suryaman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/05
Posts: 131
Loc: Italy&Orange County, CA
AE_Charlie is undecided between V6s and RP8s, so where the V6s cost double respect the RP8s?
From zzsounds.com the single RP8 costs 250 dollars while the V6 series 2 costs 300 dollars.
If math is not an opinion it's not the double.

The 100 dollars of difference between V6 and RP8 are justified by the use of better materials for woofer and tweeter(kewlar is way better than glass aramid composite...) and a choice of a better ampli section at the cost of little output power less.
For me this means a better quality project RESPECT the RP8, but I'm absolutely not saying that KRK makes low quality speakers at all.

By the way, I've heard V6s and RP8s side by side and for my ears there's no doubt that V6s sound better in all the audio range.
This is the little (but based on a real experience) contribution I can give to AE_Charlie.
I'm not interested in useless debates.

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#663056 - 04/29/07 01:53 PM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
AE_Charlie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/07
Posts: 48
I'm interested in the RP6s too... I was just wondering about the tradeoff between the V6 and RP8 since I'm having trouble finding the RP6s locally.

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#663057 - 04/29/07 08:17 PM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
bachmaniac Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/06
Posts: 410
Loc: Montreal, CAN
Suryaman

when I was comparing simple to double, I of course referred to RP6s vs V6s, RP8s vs V8s, etc. So don't quote me for saying things I never said. Plus that was a rough comparison based on advertised prices, not on here and there bargains.

I'm not interested in useless debates either.

Regards,

Claude
_________________________
K. Kawai KG-2D grand, Kawai MP8 digital, Kawai CA7

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#663058 - 04/30/07 11:09 AM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
Suryaman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/05
Posts: 131
Loc: Italy&Orange County, CA
Charlie asked about V6s compared to RP8s and I gave my precise opinion based on a comparison made side by side.

There's nothing else to say but if you want to speak about the issue between Mackie HR824s and Truth B2031As(??) or totally misunderstand my words in order to contrast my opinion, you can freely do it, you can waste your time as you prefer.

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#663059 - 04/30/07 10:44 PM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
AE_Charlie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/07
Posts: 48
Would the V6 be better for a smaller apartment? If the RP8 somehow produces a more boomy/filling sound, that wouldn't be good since I don't want to bother the neighbors.

It's disappointing I live in such a big city (Seattle) and the only KRK monitors I can find are the RP5, RP8, and V6. I can find the lower end Yamahas and M-Audios and higher end Mackies, but that's pretty much it. There are a few big online stores based in Seattle but their physical stores don't carry most of the products they sell. I'm really sick of ordering stuff for a while (after the MP8 ordeal) so I'd really prefer to buy locally... but the lack of selection and the fact that I have to pay sales tax is annoying.

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#663060 - 04/30/07 11:26 PM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
franzooey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/03
Posts: 95
AE_Charlie,

The KRK 6s pack a lot of punch. Sound booms out of the speaker, though the sounds are clean and distinct (no muddling of keys). I'm sure the RP8 is even more powerful, but keep in mind that all the KRKs are pretty solid and strong. I cannot believe that there are no RP6s near you. Remember, you can always order--as I did--online.

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#663061 - 04/30/07 11:55 PM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
bachmaniac Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/06
Posts: 410
Loc: Montreal, CAN
Hey again Charlie,

things have changed a lot on my side lately and I shouldn't miss the opportunity to tell you about it, as both you and I own the same DP.

Just a few days ago I was telling you about my own experience with the M-Audio BX8a Studiophiles. Well, two days ago I got my hands on a pair of new, in-the-box Behringer Truth B2031As that I couldn't resist, this guy was giving them away at $300 (CDN$, and no tax!). The moment I hit the keys after plugging them in, an irresistible grin appeared on my face. They simply make my MP8 come to life, the thing suddenly crosses the line between canned and acoustic sound. They just shine. Leave all the controls at "0" or "typical" except the tweeters which can be at +2 in my case, and there you are.

There are two possible problems with the Truths, however: first of all in cases of close proximity with radio station transmitters, they are liable to pick up FM residual sound. I don't have that problem where I live but my son does downtown. It's not too objectionable because the sound is perhaps 85db below that of the piano, but you do sometimes hear FM between pieces. Second, the moment you connect to your computer via USB (at least with MY computer), you get ground loop hum (it wasn't there with the M-Audios). I also had that hum with the Truths that I used with my former CA-X. That is instantly cured by using a Morley EBTech Hum Eliminator, but that costs some 50 bucks. Not a big problem in my case as I had one of these little black boxes at hand.

The Truths are a huge bang for the buck. I'm not saying every Behringer product is at that level, but these B2031As are truly impressive. They have a feel of weight and quality about them, awesome power, no distortion and seemingly infinite headroom so they never overload. I don't know how they fare with other pianos, but with both the Kawais I've connected them to, they are simply superb sounding. Try them if you have a chance. No point in spending a fortune on other monitors if these please you as much as they please me. I'm back to leaving my beautiful acoustic grand unattended \:\)

Best of luck!

Claude
_________________________
K. Kawai KG-2D grand, Kawai MP8 digital, Kawai CA7

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#663062 - 05/01/07 03:00 AM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
Suryaman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/05
Posts: 131
Loc: Italy&Orange County, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by AE_Charlie:
Would the V6 be better for a smaller apartment?
[/b]
Absolutely yes. 8" speakers need a big room to listen to the sound correctly.

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#663063 - 05/01/07 10:25 AM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
packa Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1397
Loc: Dallas, TX
 Quote:
Originally posted by Suryaman:
 Quote:
Originally posted by AE_Charlie:
Would the V6 be better for a smaller apartment?
[/b]
Absolutely yes. 8" speakers need a big room to listen to the sound correctly. [/b]
Not exactly. We're not talking about stereo room speakers here. We're talking about near-field studio monitors that are made for a particular and very intimate listening setup. If you want room speakers, you should probably go to a home hifi dealer.

Here's another thread with a bit of discussion on setting up studio monitors:

PW Mounting Monitors Thread
_________________________
Paul Buchanan
Estonia L168 #1718

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#663064 - 05/01/07 02:33 PM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
Suryaman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/05
Posts: 131
Loc: Italy&Orange County, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by packa:
Not exactly. We're not talking about stereo room speakers here. We're talking about near-field studio monitors that are made for a particular and very intimate listening setup. If you want room speakers, you should probably go to a home hifi dealer.
I know very well that we are talking about studio monitors and adapting one's own studio monitors to room dimensions is a very important thing to do.

If you place studio monitors with a relatively big woofer like 8" in a small room you run the risk to have a big rumble on the bass frequencies.

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#663065 - 05/01/07 03:11 PM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
OnTheWeb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/11/07
Posts: 123
Its funny how many different opinons there are out there. In my experience, a 10" woofer is barely adequate and a compromise without a subwoofer at producing lows. Then consider the modern approach, 2-way speakers which require the woofer (which really isn't a woofer) to accurately produce the lows and the mids...

Geez. We had 10" 3-ways in the days of LP music with incredible amounts of power gobbling subsonic rumble that made the woofers flutter. Now we have crystal clear, low noise digital source and its suddenly ok to use 6" and 8" woofers, not to mention no mid range speaker?

I think these smart, marketing-adept speaker vendors have people confusing extra clear loudness in place of accurate sound reproduction. The 35Hz to 85Hz critical bass range is just simply missing or lacking from many of these near field monitors, which make up for it by providing high power built-in amps to compensate for the missing low end. Yes, they are incredibly clear and sound good, but they aren't playing all the signal being sent to them from a digital instrument, especially a digital piano.

I don't want to bad mouth anyone's monitors which are fine sounding in many situations (and to most people), but if you are really trying to reproduce the sound of what your digital instrument is sending to the amplifier you need to have better understanding of sound reproduction, and know that you can't squeeze out lows from a 6" to 8" woofer that's also busy being a mid-range speaker no matter how much power you put beind it.
_________________________
I came into this world with nothing, and I still have most of it left.

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#663066 - 05/01/07 06:09 PM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
bachmaniac Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/06
Posts: 410
Loc: Montreal, CAN
Hi OnTheWeb,

your post is extremely interesting. It stirs up the whole debate between large vs small diameter woofers. In the days of 15" triaxial speakers, I remember one of my tech-oriented friends who used to say, "Smaller speakers and cabinets are B.S. Who the hell is gonna invent a miniature thirty-two foot wave, tell me?"

But suddenly, woofer diameters started to shrink dramatically, along with their cabinet's cubic feet. I have two pairs of canadian-engineered speaker systems at home, Energy22 Reference. They date from the 80's and are awesome. They give you a 200-watt handling capacity in a two-way system whose woofer is seven[/b] inches in diameter, and their measured response ±2db at 30° off-axis is 28Hz - 20 KHz!! I don't even dare keep their fabric grilles off because the movement of their cones is fricking scary when they're busy reproducing sub-bass...

So this is a most interesting debate!

Hoping to hear some more from you engineers, this is cool!

Claude
_________________________
K. Kawai KG-2D grand, Kawai MP8 digital, Kawai CA7

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#663067 - 05/01/07 08:57 PM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
westland Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/02/06
Posts: 42
Loc: Hong Kong
I have played around with a number of sound cards, and the absolute best (at least for a reasonable price ... ~$200) for music is m-audio's Delta 1010LT. It works pretty well out of the box, and is quiet (noise seems to be the biggest problem with cards).
_________________________
_ _ _ _________________________ _ _ _
August Förster (Loebau) 145 c.1953 | Yamaha P120 | Hammond XM-2 | Rob Allen Deep 4 | Ritter Roya 4

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#663068 - 05/02/07 04:45 PM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3480
Loc: Pennsylvania
I'm beginning to wonder about subwoofers in general. I have a pair of KRK RP8's and they sound pretty great. Definitely more even and less boomy than the computer speakers I used to run my piano sounds through, and that's exactly what I wanted. I like how the lows are not unnaturally brought out, but I wonder if I am missing some very low frequency goodness.

KRK makes a subwoofer to go with the speakers (the RP-10), but it's only two inches larger in diameter than the woofers on my current speakers, so I wonder if it would really do anything for me. Does anyone know if the addition of the RP-10 would add much to my current setup (for example).

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#663069 - 05/02/07 05:57 PM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
OnTheWeb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/11/07
Posts: 123
"but it's only two inches larger" in diameter means 28 more square inches of cone, which is more than a 50% increase in size compared to an 8" cone. That's not trival in terms of sound producing area.

The subwoofer box is also designed, tuned, and probably ported to dramatically enhance frequencies soley in the 30Hz to 150Hz range, letting the monitors handle the less dramatic stuff . It can make a big difference to the low end of your system.

The RP10S was specifically designed for the KRK monitors, and does't appear to be a generic sub. You'll have to let your ears decide for you and consider room size and things like are you on cement or a wood floor that will vibrate, too.
_________________________
I came into this world with nothing, and I still have most of it left.

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#663070 - 05/02/07 09:39 PM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
AE_Charlie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/07
Posts: 48
I'm not too concerned about the sound quality difference between 8" and 10", but I am concerned about how "boomy" it'll sound and how much it'll disturb neighbors. However, it looks like which one would be better hasn't been agreed upon here.

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#663071 - 05/02/07 10:58 PM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
franzooey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/03
Posts: 95
Hey, I thought I'd mention that someone is offering a pair of the KRK RP 8s for $400 (or best offer) on Ebay. Shipping is free. This sounds like quite a deal. I paid $400 (also with free shipping) with my KRK 6s from zzsounds. Here's the Ebay link:

http://cgi.ebay.com/KRK-RP-8-Rokit-Power...1QQcmdZViewItem

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#663072 - 05/02/07 11:47 PM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
packa Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1397
Loc: Dallas, TX
I haven't auditioned any KRK monitors so I really can't offer the most useful advice. But I can tell you how I would think about such a decision, regardless of the manufacturer.

First, comparing today's monitors to speakers from 20 or 30 years ago is pointless. Current materials and engineering allows manufacturers to do a lot more with smaller speakers than could be done in the past.

And it is equally useless to worry about 3-way designs. If you want a small near-field monitor today, 2-way designs are the state-of-the-art in the market. If you want 3-way designs, move up to some big mid-field or main room monitors (and get ready to cash in your trust fund) or look for some consumer hifi speakers.

ALL OTHER THINGS BEING EQUAL, I find it hard not to prefer the larger woofer. Just as an example, the Mackie HR824 (8.7" woofer) quotes a +/- 1.5db frequency response of 39-20kHz. The HR624 (6.7" woofer) drops that down to 52-20kHz. That lower 15-20Hz may not be significant to everyone's ears, but I think it is important. Since you are not comparing KRK speakers where everything else is equal, you've got a little harder decision. But my bias would still be to the larger woofer until I heard something different.

Finally, the standard answer for more bass in small monitors is the subwoofer. I don't like them. Near-field monitors are designed to be heard in a single optimum listening position with your ears fairly close to the speakers. They are deliberately designed to take some of the room's acoustic characteristics out of play (although that can't succeed 100% of course, which is why most of these monitors offer some EQ adjustments). I just find that balancing a sub with near-fields is hard to do and the resulting sound field doesn't sound "integrated" to my ears.

But all of this depends on what you are looking for sound-wise. The big bass that seems so important in home theater is a positive detriment in my opinion to critical monitoring of most music.

Just MHO. As far as I can tell, most of the other posters here have equally valid opinions based on their ears and their experiences.
_________________________
Paul Buchanan
Estonia L168 #1718

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#663073 - 05/03/07 06:11 PM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
franzooey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/03
Posts: 95
Not surprisingly, the KRK 8s that I recommended above through Ebay have already been sold.

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#663074 - 05/03/07 07:16 PM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
OnTheWeb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/11/07
Posts: 123
Short of getting out a high quality microphone, white noise generator and spectrum analyzer with EQ to adjust the sound room, it boils down to preference.

Some monitors come with a microphone and eQ setup to help adjust them to the environment, which is a good idea.
_________________________
I came into this world with nothing, and I still have most of it left.

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#663075 - 05/04/07 12:04 AM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
AE_Charlie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/07
Posts: 48
Okay, thanks for the help with monitors - I think I have a good enough feel to get something. I'll probably go with either the 6" or 8" KRKs.

I still am a bit confused about audio interfaces though. So if I get something like the Tascam US122 or EMU 0404 USB, I don't need a soundcard, right? Would either of these models be sufficient for use with external sounds (Ivory/Pianoteq/Akoustik)? I'd like to connect it to my computer so I can both record and play music on my computer. Would the latency on such a USB interface be too much for external sounds?

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#663076 - 05/04/07 01:17 AM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
Nomadness Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/05/07
Posts: 145
Loc: Friday Harbor, WA
I've just been through the interface issue, and can wholeheartedly recommend firewire over USB (at least at the low-cost end of the spectrum). The Echo AudioFire2 is about $200 and absolutely quiet. I almost got the very geeky Mackie Satellite (to go with my Mackie mixer), but after reading lots of forums (including those over at Mackie) it seems there are LOTS of issues with that product. The little Echo is simple and does exactly one thing perfectly.

Also, I'm upgrading my KRK 5s to 8s... the 5s are just too thin and even a little scratchy on hearty notes. For a while I was afraid there was something afoot with the RD-700SX, but it was clean through the headphones. I agree with packa about avoiding the subwoofer; those seem to be best suited to dance mixes and other bass-heavy sound, but they don't contribute to clarity in the near-field environment.

Cheers,
Steve
_________________________
Nomadic Research Labs
PX-5S aboard sailboat

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#663077 - 05/04/07 10:09 AM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
packa Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1397
Loc: Dallas, TX
 Quote:
Originally posted by AE_Charlie:
I still am a bit confused about audio interfaces though. So if I get something like the Tascam US122 or EMU 0404 USB, I don't need a soundcard, right? Would either of these models be sufficient for use with external sounds (Ivory/Pianoteq/Akoustik)? I'd like to connect it to my computer so I can both record and play music on my computer. Would the latency on such a USB interface be too much for external sounds? [/b]
Yes, these external interfaces completely replace your internal soundcard. To use a software piano, you need midi on your interface; to record your piano itself, you need stereo mic/line inputs. All of the devices we are talking about have both of these capabilities.

For software pianos (and for overdubbing analog recordings) the latency of the interface is a major issue. The first generation of USB interfaces often had latency issues because USB itself is so slow. Now, with USB2.0 you have real high-speed options over USB. Or you can just go firewire which is also a very fast connection. Part of the decision may hinge on what connections you have available on your PC; if you don't have firewire, for instance, you would also need to add a firewire adapter to connect a firewire external audio interface. And some older computers don't have USB2.0, of course. Also note that latency is sometimes related to the quality of the software driver supplied by the device manufacturer although USB drivers seem more prone to problems than firewire (at least that's my sense from reading a number of forum discussions).

Firewire interfaces often support a lot more channels of I/O which, for me, is overkill as I just want stereo (I have other options for dealing with multitrack stuff). I haven't tried the Echo interface Steve mentions but it looks like it would be fine for your purposes if you have firewire capability (or want to add it) and it doesn't have a lot of extra I/O that you might not use. The price is comparable to the EMU USB2.0 interface I use.
_________________________
Paul Buchanan
Estonia L168 #1718

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#663078 - 05/04/07 12:44 PM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
Nomadness Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/05/07
Posts: 145
Loc: Friday Harbor, WA
I should mention that the AudioFire2 does have other I/O - balanced line in and out (1/4" jacks for each channel), separately addressable headphones, S/PDIF, and MIDI. It also has a nice little software console with level controls and bar graph meters. The product website is over yonder at:

http://www.echoaudio.com/Products/FireWire/AudioFire2/index.php

Some other interfaces on the market have mic preamps with phantom power as well as a collection of other add-ons, but I like my hardware the way I like my software: clear, well-defined and optimized modules that don't require mode-changes or the twiddling of "knobs on the back of the set." I was very tempted for price reasons to go for a mixer with built-in audio interface, an FX section, and the bread-slicing add-on, but word on the street was that the downside of all this is a reduction in product quality unless you go for one of the high-end units that cost as much as the a la carte approach (and besides, if one thing breaks or is rendered obsolete by new tech, you're toast... so to speak).

Cheers,
Steve
_________________________
Nomadic Research Labs
PX-5S aboard sailboat

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#663079 - 05/05/07 10:06 PM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
AE_Charlie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/07
Posts: 48
So I finally found a place locally that has RP6s! Now I'm trying to decide between the RP6 and the RP8. I guess I'm still stuck on the size issue. If I'm really worried about the low end bass bothering my neighbors, should I go with the RP6, or would the RP8 be only marginally worse? For the life of me I can't find any good information about this... ideally I'd get both and try them and return what I like, but I can't do that.

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#663080 - 05/06/07 09:06 PM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
AE_Charlie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/07
Posts: 48
Update: I finally bought monitors! I picked up a pair of KRK RP-8s... and they only charged me $400 new! (Usually they're $500, I'm not sure why it was only $400, but they said that was the price). They sound pretty good, but a bit muddy - I need to work on setting them up.

I also bought this mixer . I was hoping it would let me independently control the main and headphone outputs so I could easily turn one or the other off. Unfortunately the main output volume also controls the headphone volume. Is there some way around this? Maybe I could just put the monitors on a separate power strip and turn them when I'm using headphones. Are there cheap, small mixers that allow independent control?

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#663081 - 06/23/07 12:10 AM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
dk0r Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/15/07
Posts: 34
Loc: Las Vegas, NV.
It's a shame this thread died.
Ontheweb, please do continue.

Bachmaniac, Did you end up going back to the M-Audio's, or are you still on your B2031a's?
I'm pretty green to reference monitors, but 50hz:21Khz sounds pretty good @ $300 (less if on the bay)

Is there any word of spec's for the B3031A/B3030A's? I googled model numbers + "frequency response" and came up with jack.
_________________________
"The true end of satire is the amendment of vice by correction.
And he who writes honestly is no more an enemy to the offender, than the physician to the patient, when he prescribes harsh remedies to an inveterate disease..."
-John Dryden, 1681

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#663082 - 06/23/07 02:00 AM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
AE_Charlie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/07
Posts: 48
So I haven't bought a soundcard yet. Does anyone think the M-Audio Audiophile 2496 will eventually get Vista drivers?

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#663083 - 06/23/07 10:50 AM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
dk0r Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/15/07
Posts: 34
Loc: Las Vegas, NV.
I think the better question is, why you have decided to make practicing your newly acquired MP8 dependent upon, yet alone invest in, Millennium Edition II, I mean Vista.

What's wrong with xpsp2?
Does it not hog enough resources?
No universal driver support?
Is it not bloated with enough digital rights management for you?
(see http://theinquirer.net/default.aspx?page=2 search keyword "vista")

Regardless, you may find some solutions over here.
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=m-audio+2496+%22vista%22&btnG=Search

Good luck with it.
_________________________
"The true end of satire is the amendment of vice by correction.
And he who writes honestly is no more an enemy to the offender, than the physician to the patient, when he prescribes harsh remedies to an inveterate disease..."
-John Dryden, 1681

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#663084 - 06/23/07 11:02 AM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
dk0r Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/15/07
Posts: 34
Loc: Las Vegas, NV.
*please delete me* (since this forum does not allow deletion of recent accidental posts intended as edits.)
_________________________
"The true end of satire is the amendment of vice by correction.
And he who writes honestly is no more an enemy to the offender, than the physician to the patient, when he prescribes harsh remedies to an inveterate disease..."
-John Dryden, 1681

Top
#663085 - 06/23/07 11:03 AM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
dk0r Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/15/07
Posts: 34
Loc: Las Vegas, NV.
and me.
_________________________
"The true end of satire is the amendment of vice by correction.
And he who writes honestly is no more an enemy to the offender, than the physician to the patient, when he prescribes harsh remedies to an inveterate disease..."
-John Dryden, 1681

Top
#663086 - 06/23/07 12:07 PM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
dk0r Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/15/07
Posts: 34
Loc: Las Vegas, NV.
myself as well.
_________________________
"The true end of satire is the amendment of vice by correction.
And he who writes honestly is no more an enemy to the offender, than the physician to the patient, when he prescribes harsh remedies to an inveterate disease..."
-John Dryden, 1681

Top
#663087 - 06/23/07 01:11 PM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
AE_Charlie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/07
Posts: 48
 Quote:
Originally posted by dk0r:
I think the better question is, why you have decided to make practicing your newly acquired MP8 dependent upon, yet alone invest in, Millennium Edition II, I mean Vista.

What's wrong with xpsp2?
Does it not hog enough resources?
No universal driver support?
Is it not bloated with enough digital rights management for you?
(see http://theinquirer.net/default.aspx?page=2 search keyword "vista")

Regardless, you may find some solutions over here.
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=m-audio+2496+%22vista%22&btnG=Search

Good luck with it. [/b]
Wow, thanks for your brilliant insight. I had already put XP on it. I was just wondering if anyone had a clue about this card's support in the future.

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#663088 - 06/24/07 09:43 AM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
dk0r Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/15/07
Posts: 34
Loc: Las Vegas, NV.
 Quote:
Originally posted by AE_Charlie:
Wow, thanks for your brilliant insight.[/b]
Anytime ;\)
_________________________
"The true end of satire is the amendment of vice by correction.
And he who writes honestly is no more an enemy to the offender, than the physician to the patient, when he prescribes harsh remedies to an inveterate disease..."
-John Dryden, 1681

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#663089 - 08/09/07 06:50 PM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
speedlever Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 136
Loc: NC
Resurrecting this old thread... and sort of getting back to powered speakers, I was told by a GC today that the KRK RP-6 is being replaced by VXT-6.

Is that true? I find that hard to believe as the VXT-6 is much more expensive than the RP6... and KRK shows both as current products on their web page.
_________________________
-speedy

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