Best "monitors" under 170eur

s0crates

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Apr 19, 2015
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Hello,

I recently go the Samson MediaOne 3a from Thomann, but the right speaker was louder than the left so had to send them back. They offered free shipping on a replacement so I'm now doing some research to get something better. To be honest I was not thrilled with what I was hearing, and coming from a very old 6.1 (which was later used as 2.1) set of Logitech x620 I expected a lot more.

Reading around it seems obvious that you get what you pay for, and at that budget you won't get wonders. Still I'm looking for something that can serve its purpose and be the best value for money for:

- Gaming/Music/Movies - 70%

- Music Production (Electronic Dance Music) - 30%

I'm also aware that the bigger the speaker, the better the bass, and a 2.0 system of less than 6" will on no way produce a bass as full as my old logitech 2.1 system, but that's ok. And I obviously made a very bad choice with the 3a. I want good bass (needed for my music genre), but it doesn't have to shake the room.

So far I've narrowed my choices down to:

- Samson MediaOne BT5: Never mind the BT feature, don't need it, simply going for this set because of the 5" woofer. What discourages me is my previous experience with Samson (obviously BT5 will be much better than the 3a) and the muddy sound I got. The reviews are positive but none really compares it to another good active nearfield monitor. What encourages me is that people say the bass sounds nice for 5", and it's more directed to people with my 70/30 usage.

- M-Audio AV40: Great reviews everywhere, but this is a very old set. I have a feeling that the bass will dissapoint me, and I will eventually have to look for a subwoofer to complement them.

- Behringer MS40: Great reviews as well, better bass than the AV40s, but inconclusive as to whether the mids/highs will be any better. Bass will also not be as good as the BT5s.

Here are some of my options, so if you would be kind enough to take a look and suggest, I would greatly appreciate it:

http://www.thomann.de/gb/search.html?filter=true&gk=stmoan&price-last=170&oa=prd

Keep in mind that most of those are single speakers, so any pair above 170eur is out of the question, and it has to be on Thomann's website :)
 

John721

[H]ard|Gawd
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The Alesis Elevate 5 and Swissonic ASM5 B stock look interesting for the money.
 

paret0

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You're going to be hard pressed to find 5" monitors that go below 50-55hz, or do well below about 70hz for twice your budget. This means you won't be able to monitor the bottom two octaves of your electronic music...

"Imagine Tadpoles"


Look at a sub to go with the 5s, or a pair of 8"+ monitors, if you want to accurately mix electronic music.
 
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s0crates

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Apr 19, 2015
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Thanks for the input.

John, the Alesis look nice but the reviews are again a bit inconclusive, are they better than the Samsons? Who knows... The Swissonic on the other hand have no reviews at all. Not even a website for. I guess this is where they say "the best one is the one that sounds better for you".

paret0 you're right, I know that at that budget it will be very hard to find something complete. Keep in mind that so far I've been composing with the logitechs though (yes I only do it as a hobby on my free time :) )

A pair of 8s would get me too much out of budget, I would only perhaps consider going up to 198eur for the pair of BX5 D2 with stand bundle, but as you say they are they even going to be worth it if the bass won't be there.

So overall out of the models mentioned here, Samson BT5, Alesis Elevate 5 and the Swissonics ASM5 which would you recommend? As for a subwoofer it would have to be a budget one and Thomann doesn't carry those, so I would have to look around (unless I mod my logitech sub until I find something good which for some reason sounds like a terrible idea :D )
 

paret0

Limp Gawd
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If you lived in the US, Monoprice would be the way to go..
But realistically, you need to up your budget to get full-range monitors with balanced connections, and a DAC/DI/mixer to send a balanced signal from your PC down the xlr or trs cables.

For an electronic music artist/producer, monitors are instruments. Much better to save up and get good instruments than short yourself.
 

s0crates

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Apr 19, 2015
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True, but as mentioned, I don't make music for money, I just do it sometimes as a hobby to ease my mind from everyday's stress. So I cannot justify such an expense at this moment for this hobby :)

I also like to get the best bang for my buck and I do that with all my devices. PC Hardware, headphones, monitors (screens) etc. I think BT5 will be the best option at the time, and if in the future I decide I want something more I will make another investment. Thanks for all the help.
 

s0crates

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Apr 19, 2015
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Ended up spending a bit more and getting these:
http://www.thomann.de/gb/samson_resolv_se5_bundle.htm

Excellent sound, only complaint is the hissing sound they produce when not playing anything (they still do it when no input is connected to them so it's not a ground loop issue). It's fairly audible and annoying, but I guess I have to get used to it.
 

s0crates

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Well, the balanced cables going straight to my U46 XL make no difference. It's weird because they hum with no input cables at all. Thomann and even Samson say that's normal because they are active and the noise is coming from the power source.

Really annoying since I can hear them even when they are 4 feet away from me (quiet room), I don't know if active monitors are supposed to be like that though.
 

M76

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Well, the balanced cables going straight to my U46 XL make no difference. It's weird because they hum with no input cables at all. Thomann and even Samson say that's normal because they are active and the noise is coming from the power source.

Really annoying since I can hear them even when they are 4 feet away from me (quiet room), I don't know if active monitors are supposed to be like that though.

My JBL LSR308s are hissing as well, so I guess it's 'normal'. But it's only audible if I put my ear two inches from the speaker.
 

B00nie

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Well, the balanced cables going straight to my U46 XL make no difference. It's weird because they hum with no input cables at all. Thomann and even Samson say that's normal because they are active and the noise is coming from the power source.

Really annoying since I can hear them even when they are 4 feet away from me (quiet room), I don't know if active monitors are supposed to be like that though.

If they hum audibly at 4 feet they're either broken or very bad quality. Severe hissing issues occur when the filtering caps in the amps dry out, humming is a sign of a bad power supply design or faulty circuitry.
 

Kueller

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My JBL LSR308s are hissing as well, so I guess it's 'normal'. But it's only audible if I put my ear two inches from the speaker.

2 inches is perfectly normal for powered monitors, 4 feet is abnormal.
Love my LSR 308's.
 

John721

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My JBL LSR308s are hissing as well, so I guess it's 'normal'. But it's only audible if I put my ear two inches from the speaker.

It was the same for me back with some old M-Audio LX4's. A little hissing if I had nothing playing and put my ear basically right to the driver. Not an issue for me.

As for 4 feet, yeah, a little unusual. Unless the gain knob has been cranked to the max perhaps and the room is absolutely dead silent.

Since moving to a denon receiver and bookshelf speakers, I haven't had any hissing.
 

TechLarry

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I just ordered a set of M-Audio M3-6's and a M-Audio BX Subwoofer.

Yeah. I'm nuts. LOL 560 watts on a computer system :)
 
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