Do I need studio monitors?

Posted by: MVshabeer2

Do I need studio monitors? - 05/06/12 10:04 AM

Studio monitors are made for mixing.
I usually only just play the piano. Do I need studio monitors?

Is the hifi speakers or stereo speakers enough?
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Do I need studio monitors? - 05/06/12 11:51 AM

I've used several sets of studio monitors with my piano. It's a fairly common practice. However, I think you are right that they are really there for mixing. They don't particularly try to sound nice.

If what you want is a nice sounding piano, you will do better with HiFi, and likely save money too. The only problem is that the low end on "HiFi" can be very low end (the target demographic is not always well-informed) and so it's pretty easy to buy something that looks and is advertized as HiFi that's not all that good. But good HiFi sounds great and works well for digital piano use.
Posted by: Lefty Chev

Re: Do I need studio monitors? - 05/06/12 12:06 PM

Don't get hung up on "monitors" vs. "HiFi" speakers. There's nothing really magical about either. Monitors aim to reproduce sound without adding their own color. Some "HiFi" speakers try to do this, while others color the sound quite a bit. Monitors also generally have built in amplification whereas HiFi speakers generally require a separate amp.

A lot of HiFi speakers are also extremely over priced because some people are willing to pay a premium for a name and prestige of owning those speakers. Since monitors are really targeted at someone doing their job, they're going to go with what gets the job done, so I think the "you get what you pay for" mantra applies much more than with HiFi speakers. Not to say that there aren't good values out there in stereo speakers, but you there's more of a chance that you'll run into inflated prices.

Either will really work.
Posted by: tinknocker

Re: Do I need studio monitors? - 05/06/12 10:19 PM

What are you playing through now? Built-in speakers on a DP? What volume do you want to play at? You might want to check out some 2.1 computer speaker systems. I'm very happy with a very inexpensive 35 watt per channel system. Flat blew away the speakers on the Korg Sp-170 I used to have. I can't abide playing through headphones, and these speakers work very well at low volume. They also sound just fine cranked up. No, they won't put out the volume of a 9' Bosendorfer, but they do exactly what I need.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Do I need studio monitors? - 05/07/12 01:48 AM

My intention is to get some nice floorstanding HiFi speakers, but in the mean time I have some logitech z-2300 speakers attached. They sound pretty good. In some ways more pleasing than the monitors I have owned in the past...more similar to the way my headphones sound, which to me is the gold standard. Granted, those z-2300's are some of the best speakers logitech has made (not exactly a high end speaker company) but basically they show that computer speakers can do ok. I think they are better than onboard speakers. For one thing, you can place them optimally, which most onboard speakers are not.
Posted by: pv88

Re: Do I need studio monitors? - 05/07/12 01:50 AM

I agree with both of you (above) for using computer speakers.

I am using the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 computer speakers with subwoofer as they put out some pretty decent sound for only $150:

http://www.klipsch.com/promedia-2-1-computer-speakers

Best listening is done at lower to moderate levels.

And, you plug in via the headphone jack.
Posted by: MacMacMac

Re: Do I need studio monitors? - 05/07/12 08:30 AM

I find it hard to recommend computer speakers at $150 or $250. For that much money there are multitudes of options. I bought used equipment: a pair of 3-way JBL tower speakers, a pair of 2-way Polk bookshelf speakers, and a 5.1 x 75W receiver to drive them ... all for $175.
Posted by: tinknocker

Re: Do I need studio monitors? - 05/07/12 10:15 AM

Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
I find it hard to recommend computer speakers at $150 or $250. For that much money there are multitudes of options. I bought used equipment: a pair of 3-way JBL tower speakers, a pair of 2-way Polk bookshelf speakers, and a 5.1 x 75W receiver to drive them ... all for $175.


Nice! Nothing beats smart shopping ...and patience.
Posted by: pv88

Re: Do I need studio monitors? - 05/07/12 09:03 PM

Short review:

And, until you hear these speakers for yourself (i.e., Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 with subwoofer) you will realize just how good they really are!

Both satellite speakers have a midrange and tweeter, so the mid-to-high end is quite crisp and clean with no buzzing/distortion. The subwoofer is impressive, as it adds real presence (and, vibration) to the entire setup, even to the key bed itself.

Each satellite has been placed on the top of the piano at each end, close to ear level, and, they can be turned in any direction.

And, the sub sits directly under the V just to the left of the triple pedals, under the bass keys, adding real feel.

It's not a bad setup, for only $150.
Posted by: rnaple

Re: Do I need studio monitors? - 05/07/12 10:26 PM

Although the Klipsch 2.1 setup sounds smart for the money. Good suggestion.

I'm from a background of an audiophile years ago. Good audio will cost you. No way around it.
Most monitors are not nice to listen to. They are edgy and hard.
For my use now including my piano. I have settled on an exception in monitors. A company called "Event". They have a reputation for being easy to listen to. I have a pair that aren't made anymore called ASP8. I am very happy with them. I could spend more and have better. I think these are good enough. If you can find any left...they list for something like $1400 a pair. The BAS 20/20 look much like mine except for the heat sink on the back of the 20/20's. I wonder if the 20/20's have overdriven bass because that is what makes they buyers happy in that price range. If I were to buy a new pair of monitors...I would be looking at the Event's that are in the $1500 range.
I do personally pre judge that in the $1500 range. You would get better, clearer, more accurate reproduction with Event monitors than to go with an amp and speakers. I haven't been keeping up on audio recently. So take me with a grain of salt.

EDIT: For good accuracy. I would get a sub woofer with my monitors. They have an 8 inch woofer. I don't get a sub because I live in an apartment. I'm happy with what I have. ... Keep in mind. There is a big difference between overdriven bass and proper bass. You can obtain proper bass with a sub woofer.
Posted by: JoeSho

Re: Do I need studio monitors? - 05/09/12 12:38 PM

No, you don't need studio monitors.

But you do need good quality speakers.

I've got an MP10 going to a new Yahama RXV373 receiver driving some vintage ADS L810s and L710s bookshelf speakers. JL Audio 12W6v1 Sub connected to a plate amp for the bass. Its sounds awesome. But those are some nice speakers.

I wouldn't want to listen to my piano on some cheap big box store speakers. But nice audiophile speakers cost just as much as nice studio monitors. I would start looking for some nice used speakers, garage sales - craiglist, give them some good power and you will be all set.

Don't settle for cheap crap. Be patient. Get nice headphones in the meantime.
Posted by: mabry

Re: Do I need studio monitors? - 05/18/12 10:28 AM

I'm currently using Bose Companion 5 2.1-CH computer speakers along with Ivory, PianoTeq and a couple of other virtual pianos. They sound OK but I'm wondering if I can do better on a budget of $700 or so. Anyone got an opinion?
Posted by: MacMacMac

Re: Do I need studio monitors? - 05/18/12 03:53 PM

For $700 you can get a very good sound system. Joesho and I both recommend buying used equipment. Equipment that cost $1000 new can be had used for $200 or $300. And the choices abound. Have a look on Craig's List and on Ebay.

Any hi-fi or home theater receiver/amplifier will do nicely, for under $100.

Speakers are available everywhere. I've bought pairs of speakers twice from Craig's List ads.
Posted by: mabry

Re: Do I need studio monitors? - 05/18/12 05:33 PM

Money is not an object, this will be a father's day present for me from my wife. I'm looking for a set up that I can use for listening (CDs mostly for a wide range of music, classical, rock, folk, country, piano, etc), playing my virtual pianos on and also for a bit of mixing here and there. I'm thinking of this set up:

2 of these: KRK RP8G2 Pair Rokit G2 Powered 2-way Active Monitors
And the companion subwoofer: KRK K10S Powered Subwoofer

I know these will have the mixing part down pat, but what about listening and playing? I'm new to the monitor game so I'm just not sure if they'll work as well for me as a speaker setup.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Do I need studio monitors? - 05/19/12 12:14 AM

If you go with the KRR's and use a sub I would suggest getting the 6 inchers. They are cheaper and sound better...the 8 inchers are better in the low range (the stuff your sub will be doing) but not as good in the mids.

I owned the RP8's and the sub you indicate. They were nice in some ways. Very directional, though, like almost all studio monitors. You kind of have to point them at your head for them to sound right. The sub is a beast. Not that is overpowers or is muddy, but is is very capable. If it hits the resonance frequency of your room, you will feel it in your bones. I was quite pleased with it overall. Just be sure to get some bass traps if you start getting bass buildup.

Personally I'm currently of the opinion that HiFi is better than studio monitors for this purpose. They color the sound more, but in a good way.
Posted by: alekkh

Re: Do I need studio monitors? - 05/19/12 01:28 PM

Originally Posted By: tinknocker


Nice! Nothing beats smart shopping ...and patience.



Money do.

(whenever I hear "nothing", I can't resist thinking of counterexamples, sorry)