Small monitors

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Small monitors

Post by deejayen »

I'm looking for a first pair of monitors for a small room with limited space around my desk. I've been using headphones until now, but feel the need for speakers! I''ll be mainly mixing country-style electric guitar based stuff. I won't be cranking them up to high volume, and will probably have them spaced around 80cm. The room doesn't have any acoustic treatment, and I won't be able to treat it.

I'd ruled out some of the main contenders (Neumann KH80, Amphion One12 etc etc) on account of them being too big, and was thinking along the lines of Genelec 8010A, 8020, 8320 or the Eve SC203.

However, the Quested V2104 appear to be within the range of what will fit. They obviously don't have much bass response, but I have a feeling they might be a good option. Has anyone heard them, and if so, do they get a 'yay' or 'nay'?
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Re: Small monitors

Post by Luke W »

I've not heard them personally, but they got a good review in the magazine last year. Here's the link if you've not already read it:

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/quested-v2104
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Re: Small monitors

Post by deejayen »

Thanks very much, Luke. Yes, I had read that review, and from what i can tell, it seems generally positive, making me think these monitors could be a decent option for me.

I've been going back and forth between other options, and being unable to decide without hearing them. I'd completely missed the launch of these speakers until the other day, so it was a pleasant suprise to have what appears to be a high quality small monitor to consider.

I'll speak to a dealer and see about arranging a demo, but it would be good to get some other feedback on them.
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Re: Small monitors

Post by Drew Stephenson »

Worth looking at the iLoud as well. Good reviews and a few people here have spoken highly of them.
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Re: Small monitors

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

I'm very taken by ATCs SCM7 miniature two-way speakers. They're passive, so you'll need to budget for a decent amp, but they should still end up comparable to your short listed options. Fabulous midrange and a lovely, well defined low end which makes up its limited power with great extension and timing.
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Re: Small monitors

Post by Guido3 »

I have a pair of Genelec 8010’s which are great. Really small and portable if that’s important!!

Highly recommended.
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Re: Small monitors

Post by deejayen »

Thanks. Yes, the iLouds were on the shortlist at one point, but I think I'd read mixed comments about them, and I wasn't sure about them. With them having DSP and a lower cut-off, they're obviously a different beast from the Questeds.

Although I may be completely wrong about this, I have a feeling I might be happier with the Questeds, even though it appears they don't do bass.
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Re: Small monitors

Post by deejayen »

Hugh Robjohns wrote:I'm very taken by ATCs SCM7 miniature two-way speakers. They're passive, so you'll need to budget for a decent amp, but they should still end up comparable to your short listed options. Fabulous midrange and a lovely, well defined low end which makes up its limited power with great extension and timing.

That's spooky. When I was originally looking for monitors about a year ago, just before Lockdown, I went to a HiFi shop and demo'd a few small speakers including variants of LS3/5A. The last one I tried was the SCM7, and I came away thinking that was the one. I can't quite remember it now, but I think it was revealing, but not harsh or tiring. I thought it was quite classy. Apparently, they need a good amp to drive them. The main problem, is that although they're small, and curved towards the rear, they're still larger than the Questeds, and I think they might be cramped in the space I have available.

Have you heard the Questeds in comparison, Hugh? I was hoping they'd be in the same league as the SCM7.
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Re: Small monitors

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

I've not heard those little Questeds, but I've heard lots of others and Roger Q certainly knows his stuff. So I'm sure they're good.

But they aren't directly comparable to the scm7 or ls3/5a because these are sealed cabinet speakers, rather than ported.
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Re: Small monitors

Post by Murray B »

blinddrew wrote:Worth looking at the iLoud as well. Good reviews and a few people here have spoken highly of them.

I've got some and I'm really impressed with them. Very good for a small desk especially if you mount them on some small mic stands to get them to ear level.
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Re: Small monitors

Post by JRC1 »

I just went through this and decided to go with personus e5 as I got several recommendations, I haven't received them yet as thomann shipping etc, but I have high hopes.
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Re: Small monitors

Post by deejayen »

Thanks for all the suggestions and info.

I think the review mentioned the Questeds' ports as being relatively uncoloured, so I thought they might not be a negative. However, I was originally looking for sealed boxes.

I'll have to measure up the ATCs, as they may be too big. I do remember being impressed with them, though, and quite liked the idea of them having ATC's own drivers. The specs suggest they're quite hefty (7.5kg each). The Questeds are 'only' 3.5Kg each, and that includes the amp.

Both are expensive options. I'll look again at the alternatives, but in the long run it might be wiser to spend more now rather than upgrading later.
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Re: Small monitors

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

deejayen wrote:The specs suggest they're quite hefty (7.5kg each).

Goes hand in hand with being 'good'. Solid cabinets are heavy. Strong, rigid driver chassis are heavy. And big, powerful magnets are heavy. They they are all crucial to ensuring the driver diaphragms do exactly what they're supposed to and nothing else!
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Re: Small monitors

Post by Martin Walker »

Just a +1 for small ATC monitors. I've now had my SCM10 Pro's for 24 years, and as my acoustic treatment has improved, their sound has gone from very good to even better.

Unless I manage to damage them I've got no plans to change them.

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Re: Small monitors

Post by Ben Wilmot »

I made my shortlist according to size constraints too :-)

The Genelecs and Neumanns are nicely packaged in that the power and XLR cables fit upwards into recessed sockets so they don't protrude and interfere with placement. The Neumanns are deeper, but being front-ported they don't need the same space behind as the Genelecs.

I ended up with the KH 80s, which I preferred to the others in my demo, particularly for their mid-range clarity, and I'm extremely happy with them. I should mention the somewhat temperamental standby circuit, as reported by others, but at least it can be disabled if it's annoying. That aside, they're a great package and excellent value. I very much agree with Hugh Robjohn's review. It helps to have an iPad, however, as without one (or their MA 1 measurement mic) you can't make use of the DSP features.

The SCM7 is the one I wish I'd tried. It would be a strong choice, and they'd still be with you in 20+ years (like Martin Walkers's SCM10s and my old PMC TB2s which are now brightening up my living room). Passives can always be re-amped, and I tbh I'd be surprised if my active+DSP KH80s lasted as long.

On the other hand, for not much more than the price of the SCM7s and a decent amp, I now have a full-range system in the form of a pair of KH80 and the KH750 sub I added a few months later. It's a complete and fantastically well-integrated system - a joy.
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Re: Small monitors

Post by deejayen »

Thanks, Ben.

The KH80 get great reviews, and the dealer I use always recommends them.

I'm still trying to decide. After measuring up again, many of the good monitors are probably too big. However, I'm going to have a look around for monitor stands to see if I could position one of them to give a bit more clearance around my work area for larger monitors.

Keeping with small monitors, I was thinking the small Questeds would be the way to go, but a dealer said they sounded a bit boxy.

I'm sure the ATC's would be good, but, unfortunately, I think they're too big. Also, I spoke to a HiFi dealer about them, and he confirmed they need a quality amp. I had thought about getting some lower wattage monoblocks, but he said they just wouldn't work, so I suspect something like the £2500 3U ATC P1 is probably needed to drive the ATC monitors.
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Re: Small monitors

Post by James Perrett »

You can buy a reasonably powerful Hypex based amp for around £600 (or a bit cheaper if you are open to some DIY). I'd be surprised if that wasn't powerful enough to drive any small monitors. In my experience they sound good. However, given Hugh and Mike Senior's glowing reports about the KH80, it should probably be on your list.
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Re: Small monitors

Post by John Willett »

I'm surprised anyone says teh KH80 are "too large" as they are tiny.

I used to use the K+H O110-D (the forerunner of the KH 120) and those are pretty small and excellent as well (now up for sale as I have upgraded to the ME-Geithain RL906).
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Re: Small monitors

Post by Ben Wilmot »

Yeah, you could certainly take the cost of SCM7+amp to well in excess of my Neumann 2.1 system. I'd go second hand were I buying some passive ATCs, and I used to drive my TB2s using an old Crown PA amp (I'm sure I could've done better, but it had great specs and so much power it was barely strolling with my PMCs. It was huge though).

I use K&M 26772 Table Monitor Stands for my KH80s, specifically because the space under the speakers remains usable. They don't isolate well, however, and I plan to improve that soon.

There were several more monitors I wish I could've tried, and Amphions were one. Not heard those Quested either. I demoed the ones I had access to and chose the best of those.
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Re: Small monitors

Post by deejayen »

I decided the ATCs were too big, plus I don't think I'd ever be able to decide on an amp!

I came to the conclusion that a pair of Genelec 8010A would probably be the most sensible choice for now.

I'd originally tried a couple of times to contact Quested to see if they thought the V2104's would work for me. They didn't reply to their contact form, and they didn't answer the phone when I tried a couple of times on different days. I'd almost given up, but tried once again, and got speaking to a very helpful chap who got in contact with the equally helpful distributor, and they've arranged to send me a pair to try at home.
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