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Topic: OT: Monitor size vs Room size

  1. #1

    OT: Monitor size vs Room size

    Sitting here thinking some about upgrading my speakers, need to ventilate a thought.

    I’ve just heard Dynaudio BM6 and … I mean, what the F have I been doing here all this time with these crappy speakers. The thing I’m thinking about is whether to get larger speakers, or to save my money and go with the relatively small speakers that BM6 are.

    In town there is a pretty good studio, where I’ve been doing some stuff. They’re using Westlake BBSM-10 monitors. The thing with those is they go low, really low. I brought a mockup there once and stood a bit back and listened, and I was surprised: a concert bass drum stroke pretty much blew my hair back out of those monitors. But at my place it sounded pretty fine – through my B&W 603s. What was so loud was freqs well below 100 hz, like 40-50 or something there. Above 100 Hz the drum’s freqs was quite alright.

    Ever since, I’ve been very keen on the idea of large speakers, to be able to hear if something is really out of balance deep down there; something I obviously have trouble hearing without big boomers. However, I’m no sound engineer and since I need direct access to my stuff this will never be a recording studio; this is a demo/mockup/scoring workplace.

    Another ugly fact is that the wall is about 3,5 m (10,7 ft) behind my sitting position - a fact that cannot (will not) be easily changed. That means no slower cycles than about 100 Hz will develop fully in that space anyway and I won't be able to hear all the way down in full amplitude.

    So, question is, is there a point for a man – who is working in such a presumptuously stupid place - to get bigger speakers? Will I be able to use them to hear those thumbs low down there in this small space, or am I just wasting my money and will do fine with a couple of BM6, or the likes?

    What would you say?
    Kid: When I become an adult I wanna be a musician.
    Parent: Son, you cannot become both.

  2. #2

    Re: OT: Monitor size vs Room size

    This is just my hunch, but if you are certain that full-range speakers won't work in your space, have you considered getting one or two good headsets? You probably have at least one already. There are some sets that use sound reflection to simulate a more spacious field than those pointed directly at your ears, and, if you find one with a good low end it might work for you, though, for some, it's an inconvenient transition from monitors to a headset.

  3. #3

    Re: OT: Monitor size vs Room size

    Do you want deeper bass or greater accuracy?

    Unfortunately, small rooms suffer from nasty resonances in the bass frequency range. This can be improved quite a bit by adding bass traps to the corners of your room, but even the best bass traps cannot absorb clear down to 20 Hz, leaving the very low frequencies to be smeared and colored by your room's close-together walls. The unfortunate fact is, if you want to work accurately with deep bass, there is no substitute for having a large room.

    So yes, you COULD use bigger speakers. But then any bass they put out below 100 Hz would likely be too colored by the room to be useful anyway. Also, bear in mind that while larger-diameter woofers can go deeper, they also are more lacking in the low-mids.

    I think, if orchestral music is your style, you would be happier with the BM6's (or even the BM5's, given the distance to your back wall). Sure, they won't go all the way down to 20 Hz but they will be quite accurate as long as you're not recording earthquakes, steam locomotives, and the like. And besides, their lack of deep bass could be a blessing in a room that unnaturally emphasizes deep bass.

  4. #4

    Re: OT: Monitor size vs Room size

    hi, consider, for a moment what large speaker do for your body.
    yes, that's right, they give you "body thump", ie, your whole body become involved with the sound, not just your ears.
    small two ways, and i like dyns, btw., can't do this, none can.
    it does depend on the music being produced to a degree, but body involvment is a must for the full experience.
    cheers, David R.

  5. #5

    Re: OT: Monitor size vs Room size

    lontas is right. You can treat your room and it will help a great deal, but still won't match a bigger room.

    David has a point about the "thump" making a difference.

    Also, consider that in a small room you will find that some frequencies cancel, while others sum. And the peaks and valleys will depend upon your speaker placement and seating position.

    So, yeah, go for bass traps in the corners. Maybe a Hemholtz resonator directly behind you. For poor man's traps, use bookshelves. Pull the books out from the back (bass trap) and stagger the position of the books (diffusion). Then fine tune the speaker and seating position, until you're happy with how your favorite CDs sound.

    In fact, the treatments will help even if you don't replace your monitors.

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