using monitors as quality hifi speakers

josh

marathon solo-sessionahoy
I was wondering whether you can use monitors as a pair of really quality hifi speakers? Or is there something about a pair of floorstanding speakers from, say B&W that would give a better listening experience?


It seems to me that monitors are actually cheaper than a lot of hifi gear..
 

Fromem_Ory

Shantidisestablishment
as far as i know, hi-fi speakers actually change the sound a little, customising it. the best studio monitors add nothing to the sound, and show it as it really really is. as musicians we dont want anything pre-added to the sound in our studio, we want to hear it raw and make it sound good ourselves, so that the final product will sound good whatever system its played on.
good hi-fi speakers would be better for home listening than monitors, if you ask me. other opinions would be interesting.
 

josh

marathon solo-sessionahoy
looking at the blurb for the top end home speakers (2 grand +) - they make a fuss about how they design their systems for as little sound-colouration as possible. Is this as little as possible full stop then, or as little as possible within the given perameters for home listening speakers?
 

Continuum

Throb Farmer
Its all a big conspiracy.
 

Fromem_Ory

Shantidisestablishment
i think you know the man to speak to, he should be able to give you some fo.o.o.d for thought.
 

Faction

Proto-col
If you think about it there's nothing stopping you from using monitors as hifi speakers; a speaker's a speaker when it comes down to it. I have no idea which would give a better listening experience though. I do get the impression that many 'audiophile' hifi products are priced according to perceived value rather than actual sonic performance so it would make an interesting comparison.
 

ChrisCabbage

Forum Member
I did think about it myself at one point. I thought, well I could always stick a graphic EQ in there to adjust to taste.

In the end I splashed out on a sexy pair of Blue Room Minipods, which have the added advantage of their unique looks.

I managed to get a spare pair of exclusive speakers that were specially made to go to Jaguar showrooms, so they're (almost) one-of-a-kind racing green.

But apparently minipods are used as monitors too...

BTW, on the subject of HiFi. Someone once showed me an ad for speaker wire which had arrows on it. The idea being that *apparently* the electrons flowed better in that direction or something. They charged a small fortune for it too. A lot of top end HiFi seems to be a bit of a con really...
 

BeatNik

DJohn Mustard Project
Purusha said:
BTW, on the subject of HiFi. Someone once showed me an ad for speaker wire which had arrows on it. The idea being that *apparently* the electrons flowed better in that direction or something.


Hmm, although my knowledge of electronics isn't the greatest - i do know that electron flow is different depending on if it's AC (alternating current) or DC (direct current) - AC means the electrons move from positive to negative and back again etc. whereas DC is only in one direction - however DC is only from batteries (an solar cells but they don't really count eh).
Plus, whatever circuit is may be, there is always movement in the other direction within the wire. So how arrows make any feckin' difference (apart from the price) i'll be very interested in.


On topic, i think the difference between home setups and monitors is due to warmth of sound. A hifi system will colour the sound and make it sound nicer. Here's a question, if you were mastering a classical recording would you run the monitors through 2 (hugely expensive) valve amplifiers? no...
But if you listen to that same recording on the valve amplifiers (and tremendous speakers) it sounds absolutely incredible.

Also remember, psytrance isn't reallllly designed for home laid back listening (although probably most of us spend our days listening to it anyway :iwink:Smile3:, it's designed for dancing to... therefore it's the P.A. that counts for psy and how cleanly/powerfully it plays the vital contituent parts: the kick and bass.
With other music (including pop etc.) it is a different experience, where precision counts less, and warmth counts more - the bass can also be more muddied in these kinds of music for sense of atmosphere or room etc. and sound better.

Anyway, this is only my opinion.

Peace
 
O

Ott^

Guest
Entirely subjective etc etc matter of taste blah blah horses for courses.
 

ichabod

Member
I was thinking the same thing when I got my monitors ( thought I might have to flog my hi-fi to pay for them!). I ended up keeping my hi-fi and am VERY glad.

The monitors are great for synthetic electronic music - psytrance, warp type stuff etc. For recorded music it sounds loads better on the hi-fi. For Dub, Reggae, Funk etc it is fine to sacrifice I bit of the tightness and crispness in return for a richer fuller sound. I'm runnig old floorstanding speakers with an vintage Quad amp plus a sub. Maybe if my hi-fi used more modern bookshelf speakers and a new amp there would be less difference?

Check out the Sound on Sound website - there are some old articles which address exactly the question you have asked. They do in-depth comparisons of a few pairs of monitors and good quality bookshelf speakers...
 

psyfi

Pie Fly
I would imagine that if you were using your monitors for hi-fi use you would set them up differently. Parallel to each other facing out in to the room filling it up with noise for hi-fi use and angled in to each other for monitor use in. Am I right I don't know but that’s never stopped me before.
 

edwardbernadotte

Junior Members
Arent monitor speakers very good at giving the accurate sound when you are sitting in the perfect position??

When i move around my room the sound from my monitors changes, the bass gets deeper or lighter. I know some of it is down to the acoustics of the room but im sure that monitors have to be in the right position to sound good.

I think in general for listening to all types of music hi-fi speakers are nicer to listen to because it will sound good all over the room. But......if it is just you listening, then monitors are the way forward.
 

KungFuHamster

Fabmeister
I'm lucky enough to have a nice pair of Genelecs and I think they make fine hi-fi speakers. I've got them on stands (although not very good ones, attached to my keyboard "workstation" stand so they can't be filled with sand) and they sound great as hi-fi speakers. As well they should, given what they cost. Conversely, I also used to monitor with a pair of Bose speakers and they were pretty good as monitors.

My wife (who is the DJ in our relationship :Wink3: has a pair of Alesis Monitor 1 Mk IIs that we have positioned above her decks in a nearfield configuration. But we often pipe music from the PC or CD player through them as hi-fi speakers - they certainly sound a lot better than our Sony integrated DVD-surround amp & speakers setup. In fact I'd go so far as to say they rock!

The problem with any kind of speakers in rooms is that most rooms have an incredibly lumpy frequency response, especially in the lower midrange (say 100-500Hz) due to room mode effects and so unless your room is bass trapped or is incredibly wierd-shaped, what you hear will usually be not be that close in terms of frequency response to what's coming out of the speaker. Obviously for any kind of good listening experience you need decent-to-good speakers and an amp capable of pushing a reasonable amount of power without distorting. But beyond that I think it's pretty immaterial. If you have a need for active monitors then I think using them as hi-fi speakers is just fine. In fact often better than a hi-fi amp & speakers of equivalent cost. But do experiment with speaker placement, as this can really affect whether things seem boomy or not.

And as for expensive hi-fi cable with arrows on it - pure bullshit. There a lot of ridiculous voodoo in high end hi-fi designed to extract maximum cash out of credulous doctors, lawyers and other high lypaid but audio-technical-illetrate professionals...
 

The Phonographist

www.lucidoxford.com
psyfi said:
I would imagine that if you were using your monitors for hi-fi use you would set them up differently. Parallel to each other facing out in to the room filling it up with noise for hi-fi use and angled in to each other for monitor use in. Am I right I don't know but that’s never stopped me before.


It all depends on your use I guess and if you only need a single sweet spot and you're using monitors as hi-fi speakers then there no reason why you can't set them up in a similar equilateral triangle arrangement to nearfield monitoring. It really depends on what the intened use of hi-fi arrangement is. ie. how many people are in the room and their distribution.
 

(jack)

Member
If the monitors are cheap, they're probly shit anyway.

The question is: how much d'ya wanna spend?

And how good d'ya want them to look.

You can get some fucking cheap tannoy reveals from turnkey. They're not very good as monitors but they sound quite fine.
 
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