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monitors - are HR824s for me?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by mr breaker, Jan 5, 2008.

  1. mr breaker

    mr breaker Member

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    I'm ready to bite the bullet and get myself some studio monitors. Right now I live in a small apartment and mostly work and play music on my computer (which is right now hooked up to subpar home theater speakers).

    I have two questions though:

    1. I have my computer setup in a relatively small untreated room, about 10' x 15'. Would mackie HR824s be too big? Should I go for HR624s instead?

    2. If I listen to regular mp3s through monitors like the HR824, will it sound completely awful?

    I would love to ditch what I have now and just use some studio monitors for movies and listening to music if it's feasible to conserve space.


    Thanks!
     
  2. electron transl

    electron transl Member

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    My neighbor/bandmate has the HR624's and I have the JBL 4328P's. Mine have the 8" driver and his the 6". Movies, CD's and mixing will sound amazing through the Mackies. I can hear the difference in standard MP3's vs. CD but I'm a studio guy, so the average ear might not.

    You'll be stoked, either way. The size really depends on how good your relationship with your neighbors is. :)
     
  3. elambo

    elambo Member

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    1 - I had 824s in a smaller room than that and never felt like they were too big. I preferred them over the 624 for several reasons, not just deeper bass extension. You should be fine with them.

    2 - You'd probably notice that the Mackies are more detailed and revealing than the speakers you're using now, which means that crap MP3s will sound crappier, but good and great MP3s will be wonderful.

    I'd say that a much better speaker for mixing would be the ADAM A7s. They're a couple steps up from the Mackies in terms of clarity and definition, so if you're already on the borderline of feeling like MP3s might sound bad, the A7s will reveal those weaknesses even more. That aside, they're great studio monitors and far and away the best bang-for-the-buck.

    There's not (necessarily) anything wrong with MP3s per se. MP3s at 320 can sound pretty good. Even well-recorded songs at 256 can good.
     
  4. 52ftbuddha

    52ftbuddha Member

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    Buy them from a retailer you can return them to and try them, If you can manage it try them with some other monitors such as Genelec. I think the 824 sounds terrible but when I say that it is a very room dependent choice and an ear choice. They do not work for me to mix or sound design on. They are overly bass biased and do not represent what I am trying to hear. I prefer a smaller driver 6" is my fave, I do not like ported enclosures as they are a engineering cheat and cause more problems than solve. It really depends what you want to do, they can be very flattering and rock and roll. They remind me of the big speakers that you used to find in custom control rooms that you would use to impress the client. You would not try to mix on them though. What elambo says about clarity and definition is keen. I want surgical precision in my speakers foremost. As an aside I have a friend that has a studio with a set of 824's and he never uses them, he chooses to use a cheap set of 2 ways instead because he cant hear what he needs to out of the 824's. I will add that even in the near field your room is worth >30%, without treatment your money can be wasted.

    rob
     
  5. drfrankencopter

    drfrankencopter Member

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    I'd say that in a small room, the number is much greater than 30%...you need to pay attention to bass trapping to tame/damp modal resonances, and absorbtion to combat early reflections and imaging problems.

    Also, if you dislike 8" speakers, it may be a function of the crossover and 2-way design. You might like 8" drivers in a 3 way design (with a 3" mid dome). That's what I've got in my main speakers (ATC SCM50As) and they are very accurate. They're a ported enclosure, but not 'boom' boxes by any stretch, instead it's controlled and tight bass.

    Definitely buy local, and from someone with a good return policy....get something that works for your room and sounds good to your ears.

    Cheers

    Kris
     
  6. AndyZ

    AndyZ Member

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    I recently did some extensive monitor research. I ended up with the Dynaudio BM6a (not the Mk II). Depending on the type of music you work with and what you like to hear, the crossover frequency is an important one to consider. I think Mackie is more of a prosumer level monitor. You won't find many, pro mix guys using them. Check the Dynaudio, Genelec, Adam, Focal brands for your price level if you really want to step up to a pro level monitor.
     
  7. Ulysses

    Ulysses Member

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    I have HR824's and when I use them, I mix like a fool. I have several friends that engineer at major label/national recording artist level and all said the same thing when they first encountered the Mackies. It is well worth the effort to look into something like the Dynaudio BM6 that the poster above suggested. Like he said, very few pro engineers use the Mackies. There are bandwidths in the Mackies that I can sweep EQ with not much apparent change... very dangerous to your mixes. My Dynaudios reveal every slight nuance of change in these same areas. I can't tell you how many guys I've talked to who found their mixes fell apart once they got them away from the Mackies. Also if you've noticed, depereciation on the Mackies has near doubled in the last couple of years. Getting very cheap used.
     
  8. mr breaker

    mr breaker Member

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    Cool, thanks for all the info. I don't need anything super crazy...this is just for my home studio. I'm looking to buy something used for around $500 a pair.
     
  9. the_Chris

    the_Chris It's All Been Done Before Gold Supporting Member

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    Good luck!

    I, too, have been researching monitors and there aren't too many brands/models that are well respected across the board (atleast for decent prices). I'm saving up the money for a pair of Focal Twin 6's, but ouch, it's going to hurt to see that money go.

    The cheapest, somewhat respected monitors I've seen around are Adam A7s (at 1k a pair), but I have read about some issues with them so that's why I ended up looking at Focals.
     
  10. elambo

    elambo Member

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    ??? The brand ADAM sits at or very near the top of the entire pile of studio monitor manufacturers. That's quite a bit better off than "somewhat respected." Don't let the $1k price tag of their entry level monitors fool you.

    I've said it many times before - my studio traded in $3600 Genelecs for these $1k monitors because our engineers mix better on them and quite simply prefer the A7s w/sub over the Genelecs.

    Out of curiosity - what are the issues with the A7s that you've read about?
     
  11. the_Chris

    the_Chris It's All Been Done Before Gold Supporting Member

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    I don't know if it was a bad batch or not, but I've read about crackling issues, audible hissing when idle, tweeter QC issues (some folks have experienced their tweeters blowing up on them), volume level issues (one monitor is a lot louder than the other) and I haven't read a lot of positive things about how accurate the lowend is on them (by themselves anyhow). Seems as if people are adding subs to theirs to cover the lowend extension a bit more (which is what it looks like you're doing elambo). I've read the highs can get fatiguing really quickly as well. I'm betting the highs are just accurate and people don't like the fact that the monitors are showcasing it.

    I'm a complete newbie when it comes down to anything recording related though, so these are just things I've read about that scared me off from them (I have absolutely no experience with them - I've never even heard them in person). I can't confirm nor deny some of these things I've read because I just don't have the experience myself.

    I've read a lot of fantastic things about them as well - such as the upper mid extension and separation and they're supposedly very 3d sounding speakers, very good at being able to tell how far back or upfront things are in the mix. I've heard they're good for mixing for those very reasons.

    I said "somewhat respected" because after reading about them, I'm getting mixed results from folks. I guess as with anything, some people will like 'em and some people won't because tastes vary. I haven't read positive things all across the board with them, but I think just about every person who has ever tried them has said they're the finest monitors you can get for the money.
     
  12. 52ftbuddha

    52ftbuddha Member

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    Man I wish I could have a sub.............and the treatment it would require. I think it comes down to a very personal pref. I use a set of NHT a20's that they dont make anymore and will probably go hunting for if they ever go kaput.
     
  13. elambo

    elambo Member

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    the Chris - where are you finding these reviews showing problems?

    I used to follow the Adam story very closely especially around the time I was shopping and the feedback from studio owners was amazing. Very few people had sonic issues and not once have I heard of any physical problems. But maybe the less expensive A7s aren't made as carefully as its bigger brothers.

    I'll say this about the low end - true, it's a smaller woofer that can only do so much with its limited surface area, but there's a surprisingly good bass response even without a sub.


    They're definitely not fatiguing. With such low distortion they're not prone to it.

    I think they might be getting slack from some people who aren't used to accurate monitors but are instead expecting hyped frequencies. To them these might sound dull, but believe me, they are revealing more truth about the sound than most other speakers.

    The quality control issue isn't I know too much about with the A7s in particular.
     
  14. the_Chris

    the_Chris It's All Been Done Before Gold Supporting Member

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    I've found these issues posted over at the Gearslutz forum. For every few threads about some of the various issues though, there are plenty of threads in praise of them - so I have no reason to believe these issues are widespread. I just kinda sit back and take note of the pros and cons of everything people are posting about :munch
     
  15. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    They may have had a bad run - there were some w/noisy pots and some noisy amp stuff. It seems Adam promptly replaced any units with issues.

    http://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-much-gear-so-little-time/117043-whos-having-a7-issues.html

    Doesn't sound like anything more than most stuff nowadays.

    I think they're probably the best buy in $1K monitors out there. There's a few products that get almost universally good reviews, and theses monitors seem to.

    Loudboy
     
  16. Zero Point

    Zero Point Member

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    Please make note that the Mackie monitors sell individually and not as a pair...

    If you have found 2 for 500 PLEASE let me know where :) Would not mind a 5.1 setup :D I already have a pair of them.

    -Z
     
  17. elambo

    elambo Member

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    That's always been my impression too.
     
  18. Ulysses

    Ulysses Member

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    You may not get quite as low as $500 but they are readily available on Ebay at $600 and under.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Pair-of-Mackie-...ryZ47093QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Mackie-HR824-pa...ryZ47093QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
     
  19. mr breaker

    mr breaker Member

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    I've seen a few come and go on NYC craigslist in the past few weeks (between $475 - $500). I didn't pick any up though, because I wasn't sure if those were the ones I wanted yet.
     
  20. mr breaker

    mr breaker Member

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