Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

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Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by RobinC »

My project studio measure approx 3m x 5.5m. It has some amount of room treatment on all walls and the ceiling from GIK.

I’m currently using Adam A7Xs for my monitors which I’ve always liked but never loved

I’ve got a budget of up to 3.5k to change my monitors.

I’d initially been drawn to HEDD Type 20 and Neumann KH310. I did manage to audition both though not in my room. I preferred the Neumanns. It’s no easy for me to get to places to audition monitors (rural location) so I have to do some pruning of choices before taking a trip out.

Whilst googling came across a thread on here from Mike Senior extolling the virtues of the Neumann KH80s paired with KH750 sub and Neumanns dsp software

This got me thinking whether in reality this is a better route for me to pursue rather than the KH310s. All things being equal would I notice an upgrade vs my Adams?

Whilst I do have treatment in my room i am aware it’s a room of compromises (lots of glass along one wall, different construction methods on 2 of the 3 other walls, a door in the corner etc.), so my thinking was maybe in such a place the KH80s/KH750 may perform as well as the KH310s
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Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by Drew Stephenson »

Hugh Robjohns has 310s and also wrote the review of the KH80s in SOS (but without the 750 sub) so I'd wait until he sees this thread and provides a bit of hands on experience.
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Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by Mike Stranks »

RobinC wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 8:34 pm
I’m currently using Adam A7Xs for my monitors which I’ve always liked but never loved...

Leaving aside the pros and cons of these, or any other, monitors I'm a bit uneasy about terms like 'love' wrt to monitors.

To me, that implies something about liking (or more) the sound they produce. IMO it's accuracy that's paramount with any decent monitor, not whether/not they produce a pleasing sound.

But then, maybe that's what you meant.... :)
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Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by RobinC »

Mike Stranks wrote: To me, that implies something about liking (or more) the sound they produce. IMO it's accuracy that's paramount with any decent monitor, not whether/not they produce a pleasing sound.

My interest in the KH310s really stemmed from seeing them described on various forums as boring but then noticing that a number of people who worked with audio actually owned them.

My studio is also my principle place to listen to music, I'm more than happy to listen to music hopefully as close a reproduction as possible to the sound that the artist signed off on. So I think it probably is possible to love a monitor for being as neutral as possible.

WRT to the Adams, I find there are times that I can pick up on a little bit of harshness in the highs. They certainly aren't harsh speakers and I'm not detecting this on the majority of tracks (mine or other artists) but occasionally I'm hearing something subtle that I don't like and its enough to dampen my enthusiasm for them
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Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by ef37a »

Mike Stranks wrote: Sun Jan 29, 2023 8:37 am
RobinC wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 8:34 pm
I’m currently using Adam A7Xs for my monitors which I’ve always liked but never loved...

Leaving aside the pros and cons of these, or any other, monitors I'm a bit uneasy about terms like 'love' wrt to monitors.

To me, that implies something about liking (or more) the sound they produce. IMO it's accuracy that's paramount with any decent monitor, not whether/not they produce a pleasing sound.

But then, maybe that's what you meant.... :)

Haha! Yes, that pushed my buttons as well Mike. I think a monitor should be like a very good friend but one that always tells you the unvarnished truth about yourself and your doings, whether you want them to or not!

You will never 'love' them but you will always respect them.

Dave.
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Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by jaminem »

...As an owner and user (and yesh i'm very happy to shay a lover) of the KH310's over the past 7 odd years, i have to say that if I was buying now i'd probably be looking at the KH150/KH750 combo.

Why?

No complaints regarding the sound and/or accuracy of the 310's at all, its just that I use Sonarworks which causes an insignificant but rather annoying workflow quirk when switching between my other sets of monitors in that you have to change the SW profile for each set of speakers.

Now, there is a workround in Cubase where you can use the control room and setup an instance of SW with a profile for each speaker, but that renders the speaker switching on my monitor controller redundant...which is annoying as its a rather nice Dangerous D-Box+, the workround for this is to use a stream deck to switch between the control room outputs...

And that's the (albeit minor) annoyance - if the 310's had DSP, i'd use the Neumann correction which would live in the monitors, and change my smaller Dynaudio LYD 5's for the new Adam's which can host a SW profile...then my D-Box is now utilised again.

First world problem I know...but just something to consider.
What it does highlight is that if SW created a 3 stereo in, 3 stereo out box that could host the profiles on a DSP then you could easily use any monitor controller with any monitor and still get the benefit of SW on each speaker set...
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Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by Wonks »

Just remember what Hugh mentioned in another thread about monitor correction DSP vs DAW correction software that the monitor correction software is a lot more broad-brush in its approach, with smaller Q values and probably far fewer correction bands. So you probably won't get quite as flat a response with monitor-based correction software than DAW-based.

As ever, the more room treatment you have, the easier the correction software's job is, wherever it is based.
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Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by jaminem »

Wonks wrote: Mon Jan 30, 2023 10:24 am Just remember what Hugh mentioned in another thread about monitor correction DSP vs DAW correction software that the monitor correction software is a lot more broad-brush in its approach, with smaller Q values and probably far fewer correction bands. So you probably won't get quite as flat a response with monitor-based correction software than DAW-based.

I know this, which is why the HW based SW DSP host would be a really good product if someone could come up with it....
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Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Trinnov already did...

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/tr ... -la-remote

...but there are also plenty of monitor speakers now with built-in room-correction dsp if that's what you want.

And I agree that it's frustrating so few DAWs have decent monitoring options. Cubase/Nuendo have set the standard there.

...but, if you take the view that your monitors are well designed and don't need further correction, you could compromise with the room correction software and come up with a generic response to just deal with the room mode issues which broadly affect all speakers.
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Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by jaminem »

...A snip at a mere £7-10K :(
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Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by Wonks »

Though worthwhile if you've got three sets of £10k+ monitors. :D
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Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

jaminem wrote: Mon Jan 30, 2023 4:01 pm ...A snip at a mere £7-10K :(

... and that's why no one else has gone down the same route. It's a very small market with low demand. But it's also extremely complex to do (Trinnov's speaker correction software is still a cut above most others), and it needs relatively expensive hardware (a full fast computer, plus a full set of very high quality A-Ds and D-As for as many I/O channels as you need, and a four-channel alignment mic!)
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Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by RobinC »

jaminem wrote: i have to say that if I was buying now i'd probably be looking at the KH150/KH750 combo.

After more pondering that's the conclusion I've come to. I do use Sonarworks and having spent some time moving my speakers around, measuring then moving them again I think some level of DSP processing is needed in addition to the treatment that I have in the room.

I've ordered today the KH150 and the MA1. No sub yet as I think it makes sense for me to get these new monitors installed and sounding as good as I can make them in my room before adding another variable. They've got a deeper bass extension than my existing Adams so all being well I will be able to hear a benefit in the low end - and if I can't then it probably makes sense to look at the room again before introducing a sub anyway.

Hopefully these new monitors will hit the spot and I will develop an affection for them over time.
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Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by jimjazzdad »

I think Hugh Robjohns will be starting an advice column, counseling engineers on their relationship problems with their studio monitors... :lol:
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Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Established 1997... :lol:
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Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by Zukan »

jimjazzdad wrote: Mon Jan 30, 2023 10:31 pm I think Hugh Robjohns will be starting an advice column, counseling engineers on their relationship problems with their studio monitors... :lol:

He helped me through a particularly difficult time when my PMCs crackled. They cut me deep...real deep.
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Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by Arpangel »

I remember a time when engineers used "proper" speakers, no messing about.
Monitors are like a window onto your sound, the bigger the window, the more you can see.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSDVnO5gFYk

I’d love a pair of these, especially in my basement.

:D
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Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by jimjazzdad »

Arpangel wrote: Tue Jan 31, 2023 9:17 am I remember a time when engineers used "proper" speakers, no messing about.
Monitors are like a window onto your sound, the bigger the window, the more you can see.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSDVnO5gFYk

I’d love a pair of these, especially in my basement.

:D

Yes, they would sound so good when your fed them your latest mix as an MP3 via Bluetooth from your iPhone...
:headbang:
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Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by James Perrett »

Arpangel wrote: Tue Jan 31, 2023 9:17 am I remember a time when engineers used "proper" speakers, no messing about.
Monitors are like a window onto your sound, the bigger the window, the more you can see.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSDVnO5gFYk

I’d love a pair of these, especially in my basement.

:D

Those drivers look so randomly positioned that I wonder whether they give you any kind of stereo image. I'd be much happier with these

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2Y3VDUhKmw

because I know I'll get pin sharp imaging and the ability to hear tiny eq changes.
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Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by Sam Spoons »

They are cheap though, under £30k :D
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Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by tea for two »

James Perrett wrote: Tue Jan 31, 2023 12:15 pm I'd be much happier with these

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2Y3VDUhKmw

because I know I'll get pin sharp imaging and the ability to hear tiny eq changes.

I wouldn't mind hearing some of my pieces through this.
I recall when I checked out £3K headphones Hifiman He1000se it was a revelation in that I was shocked some of my pieces sounded rather alright : tbh I was a bit blown away.
So to hear through these Tannoy Arden with proper setup amp room so forth.
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Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by James Perrett »

Tannoy speakers of that vintage are great at pulling mixes apart and letting you hear everything that is going on. They are also very efficient so don't need a huge amp to play loud - which they can happily do all day.

I use the slightly smaller Berkeleys in the studio. I've compared them with the Neumann KH120 and there isn't a massive difference in balance. The Tannoy bass sounds a little more effortless and deeper while its imaging is more precise but if I was using the Neumann monitors my mix decisions would be very similar. I've not heard the Neumann DSP monitors but I would expect them to be approaching closer to the Tannoys for imaging - and probably give a flatter response than the Tannoys.
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Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by Nazard »

My brother had Tannoy 'Little Reds', driven from what was then, a monster Tandberg 100W, per channel, into 8ohms receiver. We used them as monitors following recording via the Otari multi-track mentioned in another thread. They were very good indeed.
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Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by Arpangel »

jimjazzdad wrote: Tue Jan 31, 2023 11:46 am
Arpangel wrote: Tue Jan 31, 2023 9:17 am I remember a time when engineers used "proper" speakers, no messing about.
Monitors are like a window onto your sound, the bigger the window, the more you can see.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSDVnO5gFYk

I’d love a pair of these, especially in my basement.

:D

Yes, they would sound so good when your fed them your latest mix as an MP3 via Bluetooth from your iPhone...
:headbang:

I wouldn’t sully them with anything remotely digital, it would have to be tape, wouldn’t it.

:D
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Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by tea for two »

James Perrett wrote: Tue Jan 31, 2023 1:49 pm Tannoy speakers of that vintage are great at pulling mixes apart and letting you hear everything that is going on. They are also very efficient so don't need a huge amp to play loud - which they can happily do all day.

I use the slightly smaller Berkeleys in the studio. I've compared them with the Neumann KH120 and there isn't a massive difference in balance. The Tannoy bass sounds a little more effortless and deeper while its imaging is more precise but if I was using the Neumann monitors my mix decisions would be very similar. I've not heard the Neumann DSP monitors but I would expect them to be approaching closer to the Tannoys for imaging - and probably give a flatter response than the Tannoys.

Are these Tannoy vintage more forgiving of room than modern monitors as I don't have any room treatment : my studio I don't have a studio lol.

Are there any Tannoy or other of that vintage from 1970s around the £200 that you would recommend.

Much as I would like the Berkeley £3K is quite beyond what I could currently afford let alone the £5K Arden.
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Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by Arpangel »

James Perrett wrote: Tue Jan 31, 2023 1:49 pm Tannoy speakers of that vintage are great at pulling mixes apart and letting you hear everything that is going on. They are also very efficient so don't need a huge amp to play loud - which they can happily do all day.

I use the slightly smaller Berkeleys in the studio. I've compared them with the Neumann KH120 and there isn't a massive difference in balance. The Tannoy bass sounds a little more effortless and deeper while its imaging is more precise but if I was using the Neumann monitors my mix decisions would be very similar. I've not heard the Neumann DSP monitors but I would expect them to be approaching closer to the Tannoys for imaging - and probably give a flatter response than the Tannoys.

James, are you using the 120’s with a sub?

tea for two wrote: Thu Feb 02, 2023 9:52 am
Are there any Tannoy or other of that vintage from 1970s around the £200 that you would recommend.

Not around £200, plus they are being picked up by hi-fi and vintage nuts, which is driving up prices, you’re looking at thousands now, rather than hundreds.
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Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by Wonks »

tea for two wrote: Thu Feb 02, 2023 9:52 am Are these Tannoy vintage more forgiving of room than modern monitors as I don't have any room treatment : my studio I don't have a studio lol.

Physics is physics, so as the speakers cover the same frequency range as current speakers, the answer is no. You'll get the same problems with older as with newer speakers.
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Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by James Perrett »

Arpangel wrote: Thu Feb 02, 2023 10:53 am James, are you using the 120’s with a sub?

I don't have a pair of my own - someone brought a pair to the studio to compare with the monitors I have here and I have also used them to mix on at another place. I've never used them with a sub - they have a good amount of bass on their own for most purposes although, if you really want to know what is happening below 50Hz, you would need a sub.

Arpangel wrote: Thu Feb 02, 2023 10:53 am
tea for two wrote: Thu Feb 02, 2023 9:52 am
Are there any Tannoy or other of that vintage from 1970s around the £200 that you would recommend.

Not around £200, plus they are being picked up by hi-fi and vintage nuts, which is driving up prices, you’re looking at thousands now, rather than hundreds.

The vintage Tannoys are pretty much all over £1000 these days although you can pick up the smaller slightly more modern dual concentric designs for less. I'm afraid that I'm not so familiar with these so I don't know how much of the sound is retained. Behringer also make modern versions of the smaller dual concentric designs but they seem reluctant to send them out for review so I've no idea if they are any good or not.
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Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by Drew Stephenson »

Wonks wrote: Thu Feb 02, 2023 11:48 am
tea for two wrote: Thu Feb 02, 2023 9:52 am Are these Tannoy vintage more forgiving of room than modern monitors as I don't have any room treatment : my studio I don't have a studio lol.

Physics is physics, so as the speakers cover the same frequency range as current speakers, the answer is no. You'll get the same problems with older as with newer speakers.

I think the only things that start to play into this kind of space are speakers that are designed to have a cardiod pattern right down to the lower frequencies. I think Gethain and Kii have models that do this but they're making the Tannoys look cheap. ;)
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Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by James Perrett »

Wonks wrote: Thu Feb 02, 2023 11:48 am
tea for two wrote: Thu Feb 02, 2023 9:52 am Are these Tannoy vintage more forgiving of room than modern monitors as I don't have any room treatment : my studio I don't have a studio lol.

Physics is physics, so as the speakers cover the same frequency range as current speakers, the answer is no. You'll get the same problems with older as with newer speakers.

I'd mainly agree with Wonks BUT the big difference with the dual concentric design is that you can work with them much closer than you can with a traditional multi-speaker design. In one temporary setup I had the Berkeleys less than a metre away from me which meant that the proportion of direct to reflected sound was far higher than usual. Many people would find a pair of huge monitors directly in front of them too oppressive but it worked for me.
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