Nearfields Monitors: Kali vs Adam vs Focal

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Moderator: Moderators

Post Reply

Nearfields Monitors: Kali vs Adam vs Focal

Post by philb »

Hi around,
I'm planning to buy new monitors, and already read(watched several reviews, so now it's time for the mosten golden ones, your personal advices :clap: My preselection:

1. Kali LP-8 (bundle option with Sonarworks, which in any case I consider to purchase apart)
2. Kali IN-8
3. Adam T8V
4. Adam A7V (these are slightly exceeding budget, but willing to increase, if it’s really recommended)
5. Focal Alpha 65 EVO / 80 EVO

My room is some 4,5 x 7m, 3,50m height. Not treated, but well furnished (considering some treatment in future). I’m producing and mixing different styles from classical, cinematic to pop and guitar-heavy rock. No EDM usually. Monitors are planned to be located on my desk or optionally at my windows wall, some 1,50 to 2 meters distance from seating position. For desk use, some IsoAcoustics Stands for decoupling from my wooden desk are planned, too.

Also planning to buy sonicworks reference and possibly a sub.

Looking forward to your experiences
Cheers and thanks
Phil
philb
Poster
Posts: 10 Joined: Mon May 29, 2023 1:44 pm

Re: Nearfields Monitors: Kali vs Adam vs Focal

Post by Drew Stephenson »

You've got quite a budget range there from the T8Vs to the A7Vs, and if the latter are worth considering then personally I'd add the Neumann KH80s to your list as well.
If you are thinking of a sub further down the line then it generally makes sense to get one from the same brand, staying in Neumann land would bring you all the advantages of their integrated DSP correction. I'm not sure how much the others head down this route as well.
But long before that I'd be looking at room treatment. Furnishing is ok for taking the top edges of but it's not the same as proper room treatment.
User avatar
Drew Stephenson
Jedi Poster
Posts: 24264 Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am Location: York
(The forumuser formerly known as Blinddrew)
Ignore the post count, I still have no idea what I'm doing...
https://drewstephenson.bandcamp.com/

Re: Nearfields Monitors: Kali vs Adam vs Focal

Post by philb »

Drew Stephenson wrote: Mon May 29, 2023 3:13 pm You've got quite a budget range there from the T8Vs to the A7Vs, and if the latter are worth considering then personally I'd add the Neumann KH80s to your list as well.
If you are thinking of a sub further down the line then it generally makes sense to get one from the same brand, staying in Neumann land would bring you all the advantages of their integrated DSP correction. I'm not sure how much the others head down this route as well.
But long before that I'd be looking at room treatment. Furnishing is ok for taking the top edges of but it's not the same as proper room treatment.

Hi Drew, thanks for your input. Yes, I know, it's a wide range, acutally I started with the Kali LP-6 in the very beginning and then it went step by step up, as usual. I also like to have some headroom, helps both in Mixing as well as budgeting ;-)

Looked up the Neumann, who always have a great reputation, but especially when adding the sub it seems to exceed even my extended budget (as I need a new interface and other stuff, too). But true, exactly the DSP's were the point that made me finally add the Adam A7V to my list, because I loved the concept to "easily" feed their DSP's in combination with Sonarworks, and maybe later ad a Adam sub.

Regarding treatment, I will do some research, to start with it at least a bit, even if step by step. Any first-step ideas welcome.

Thanks for reply and time :clap::thumbup:
philb
Poster
Posts: 10 Joined: Mon May 29, 2023 1:44 pm

Re: Nearfields Monitors: Kali vs Adam vs Focal

Post by Sam Spoons »

philb wrote: Mon May 29, 2023 3:46 pm
Drew Stephenson wrote: Mon May 29, 2023 3:13 pm...
But long before that I'd be looking at room treatment. Furnishing is ok for taking the top edges of but it's not the same as proper room treatment.

Regarding treatment, I will do some research, to start with it at least a bit, even if step by step. Any first-step ideas welcome.

+1 for room treatment sooner rather than later :thumbup:

WRT acoustic panels, is this a living room or a dedicated studio space? And would you DIY or would you need ready made? If the latter Gik Acoustics make panels that will look good and work well for very reasonable prices and, IIRC, offer a FOC design service if you buy their products.
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 19445 Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 12:00 am Location: Manchester UK
Your karma has run over my dogma

Re: Nearfields Monitors: Kali vs Adam vs Focal

Post by philb »

Wow, thanks, a lot, just entered the GIK website, and I think I'll take a big cup off coffee and get ready for reading and learning (and soon ordering, I guess hehe). Btw, It's actually my living room, but I'm totally fine with every change and ready to live in my studio after it :bouncy::lol:
philb
Poster
Posts: 10 Joined: Mon May 29, 2023 1:44 pm

Re: Nearfields Monitors: Kali vs Adam vs Focal

Post by Sam Spoons »

Have a look at Gik Art Panels then :)
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 19445 Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 12:00 am Location: Manchester UK
Your karma has run over my dogma

Re: Nearfields Monitors: Kali vs Adam vs Focal

Post by Drew Stephenson »

philb wrote: Mon May 29, 2023 3:46 pm Looked up the Neumann, who always have a great reputation, but especially when adding the sub it seems to exceed even my extended budget (as I need a new interface and other stuff, too). But true, exactly the DSP's were the point that made me finally add the Adam A7V to my list, because I loved the concept to "easily" feed their DSP's in combination with Sonarworks, and maybe later ad a Adam sub.

Yep, adding the sub will exceed your budget, but it doesn't have to be done as the first step|* - in fact I'd argue it shouldn't be done as a first step. Sort yourself some nice monitors (I'm biased, I have the KH80s), get some nice open-back headphones for assessing the low end, and some room treatment and learn to work like that.
If future funds allow, and you've identified a genuine need, then invest in a sub later.

*that obviously applies to everything else as well.
User avatar
Drew Stephenson
Jedi Poster
Posts: 24264 Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am Location: York
(The forumuser formerly known as Blinddrew)
Ignore the post count, I still have no idea what I'm doing...
https://drewstephenson.bandcamp.com/

Re: Nearfields Monitors: Kali vs Adam vs Fo

Post by RichardT »

Re room treatment, the basics are reasonably simple, but it can get very complicated very quickly if you delve into the details.

The basic points you need to think about are

- positioning the speakers and listening position
- treating room reflections
- treating room resonances (low frequencies, roughly speaking)

I’m sure the GIK learning material will really help. In my experience, it’s possible to get great results without getting into the minutiae of room measurement with REW.

My advice is to get the best monitors you can afford! Although expensive audio interfaces do make a difference, I think it’s best in your situation to prioritise the quality of your monitors.

I agree with Drew that it might be better to consider a sub later on when you’ve made good progress on the basic set up, and got used to how it sounds.

Bear in mind that you can add more room treatment at a later date as funds become available.
RichardT
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3992 Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 12:00 am Location: Ireland

Re: Nearfields Monitors: Kali vs Adam vs Fo

Post by Arpangel »

RichardT wrote: Mon May 29, 2023 7:53 pm My advice is to get the best monitors you can afford! Although expensive audio interfaces do make a difference, I think it’s best in your situation to prioritise the quality of your monitors.

.

Room first, and then as Richard says, the best monitors you can afford, or more likely can’t afford!
OK, I use Behringer monitors simply because I don’t want to treat my room, and my music doesn’t demand it.
But, I have used many speakers in my room, for long periods , K+H 0300, ATC SCM10/20 and Geithain, I didn’t buy any of them, simply because of no room treatment they all basically sounded not much better than my Behringers, so be warned .
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16045 Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Nearfields Monitors: Kali vs Adam vs Fo

Post by ef37a »

Arpangel wrote: Mon May 29, 2023 8:13 pm
RichardT wrote: Mon May 29, 2023 7:53 pm My advice is to get the best monitors you can afford! Although expensive audio interfaces do make a difference, I think it’s best in your situation to prioritise the quality of your monitors.

.

Room first, and then as Richard says, the best monitors you can afford, or more likely can’t afford!
OK, I use Behringer monitors simply because I don’t want to treat my room, and my music doesn’t demand it.
But, I have used many speakers in my room, for long periods , K+H 0300, ATC SCM10/20 and Geithain, I didn’t buy any of them, simply because of no room treatment they all basically sounded not much better than my Behringers, so be warned .

Is anyone going to challenge that ^ ? I am hardly qualified to do so but instinctively feel it is wrong (or the Behringers are the best monitors every made!)

Do note! BEFORE the madness starts. I am NOT arguing against room treatment!

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16377 Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am Location: northampton uk

Re: Nearfields Monitors: Kali vs Adam vs Focal

Post by Mike Stranks »

I think Arpangel is using his customary - intentional or not - hyperbole, but there is much more than a grain of truth in what he says.

As someone who for many years concentrated on buying increasingly 'better' monitors for use in acoustically untreated rooms, it was a huge revelation to me to hear the huge leap in the quality of the sound once I started to install even relatively modest amounts of acoustic treatment.

These days, I'm still surprised at how many people are using really expensive (to me!) monitors in untreated environments. Sure, it's 'boring', 'unsexy' and there's not the excitement of setting up the new shiny kit, but it really does make a huge difference.

We keep on saying it, but somehow the adverts for monitors always seem to have more sway that the adverts for acoustic panels! :lol:
Mike Stranks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10464 Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Nearfields Monitors: Kali vs Adam vs Focal

Post by philb »

Okay, pretty sure we all do agree that treatment is really important. But let's reset and focus again what has been asked at the very top of the thread, aka "Topic". Or should I just invest in treatment, and not buying any monitor? I think in this case I'll keep on mixing on my DT990 Pro, or wait, I'll better trash them too and I'll just imagine how beautiful everything will sound in future in this well treated room, when I will have some day some money for some monitors. Find my releases on the usual channels :clap::headbang::D

So question again: I have a budget around 2 - 2.5 k€ now. I deffo need monitors, I know some amount will be spend on treatment AND I need a new interface. This is for two reasons: Running the new monitors beside the old ones as a second check (some mickey mouse Mackies CR5BT). While this double output is not that relevant, the recording in better quality deffo is (having a Yamaha AG03, which is not bad, but I won't neither say it's brilliant)

Interface question is in another thread (did't want two mix it up here), but if I won't invest in it, my recordings will still be below what they could be, but I have a lovely treated room (with monitors in future :D ). Won't see this as the best option (bad input will rarely lead to better output). If you have any ideas about the interface, please comment here:
https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/view ... hp?t=86800

Long story short: Nearfields Monitors: Kali vs Adam vs Focal? :round1:

(Edit: P.S: and of course the Neumanns, have them on my list now, too, although I think it's not that good mixing on the without any sub, which would again exceed budget)
philb
Poster
Posts: 10 Joined: Mon May 29, 2023 1:44 pm
Post Reply