Barefoot vs. ATC vs. Focal (high end near field monitor shootout)

Even if you don’t have $8000, its worth noting how Warren went about evaluating the different sets. His conclusions are quite interesting as well.


He did the same with some mics a couple of weeks ago (I actually preferred the Manley) between some out of my price range microphones, with some interesting results there as well.

Ok if u have 8k i suppose. Personally i think you would have to be mad.
Tax reasons maybe if your earning big money .Certainty never worth that,

it reconfirms the room makes a huge difference as VK says. Best monitors in a crappy room dont work so well, mediocre monitors in a great room can sound badass…

I think good headphones with a good amp works better in a “below mediocre” room. doh!

for monitors and room tests, wow that would be hard. the room!
i noticed Warren sitting on the floor…really? .hes also a pro with huge amounts of work hours under his belt so I would assume his ears are tuned to hearing certain things , especially on his own mix. recall JBL tried making that auto-room dsp to tune to your room with a little mic and tune the room. I liked that concept kind of.

interesting at the end he mentions the setup on a lot of well known records were mixed on NS10, a cheap MOSFET amp and a Yamaha consumer sub…$1000.
that the part I like about Warren he always adds that final bucket of cold water on the shootout of hiend gear.

Yup. I have it on the LSR 4000 series. It doesn’t work all that well.

The table was pretty low. I probably would have sat there too.

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LSR… so not too good. oh well, they tried.
Warren using Genelc’s but he said he sends out his record mixes to the real pros.
Hes too humble really but Im sure he has his favorites too.

A lot of the places he goes too the rooms don’t look that fancy. Maybe thats just where they track and not mix?

JK, Whats your array of monitors? any favorites? Are you going to go buy some ATC’s or Barefoots?

The LSR series themselves aren’t bad. They have several advantages. They’re digital, they’re cheap, they’re remote controllable, and they integrate into a surround setup nicely. I can’t knock them too much for sound, but I can’t brag on them either.

I picked the Focals, and there’s basically no more rungs upward on the ladder until you hit Augspurger territory. I liked just liked the way it feels like the Focals give you everything. Theres a feeling that they just kinda throw frequency information right infront of your face. It feels like they make everything really easy find in the mix. It felt like with other monitors you had to hunt for it. They’re just clear. Totally a preference thing against the barefoots. I to me the barefoots seemed more delicate. They balanced and evened everything out somehow. It was if the Focals shoveled everything in your face and the barefoots laid it out on a nice pristine orderly table. There was something about the sensation of how the details hits you that I liked about the Focals. Almost like an aggressiveness, but not having anything to do with frequency curves. Just the way they projected.

I am a JBL monitor fan… I started with the LSR2328P, which I thought were really great and translated pretty well. I currently have the LSR6328P, which I really love. I demo’d the 4300 series and I thought the 2300 series sounded a lot better, but I did not try their room correction software. I have a second pair of the Yamaha hs7 that I like to check the midrange with, and the comparison between the 2 is night and day.

I’m in the process of building some of my own passive speakers and have tried a couple different designs with good results. It is way easier to compare speakers that you know with something new to hear what the differences are and if they are worth it. one of the designs I was messing with was not really for the studio but ended up working really well was a dual 10 midrange in a vertical design with a horn in the middle. what I really like about this is that they sounded the same almost everywhere I went in the room. it was really cool to be able to move from the mix position and walk around my little room and have a very miniscule change (subwoofer was turned off). My room isn’t that big, but compared to my regular setup, even a 2-3 foot move is drastic. The mid was exactly what I was looking for; a smoothness like the jbl with the mid-forward feel of the yamaha. My only complaint with the build design was that the tweeter/horn combination was not smooth enough, but they are too loud and I noticed ear fatigue very quickly. so I’m working on trying some different horn combinations. These are biamped with an active crossover. this little experiment told me that you don’t need $10k monitors, but you need a known reference that your ears are calibrated too then find the missing ingredients to hopefully get everything you will want in a monitor. Starting out or even shopping for a monitor sounds like a nightmare to me at this point and I could never spend that kind of money on something I wasn’t comparing in my own studio space with a known reference.

The 6K series is a whole different animal than the 4K. One is designed to be a good traditional monitor, the other is designed to have a bunch of digital features. The 4K series can potentially eliminate the need for a monitor controller, has digital routing expandable to 7.1 surround and integrates with the room correction software as you know. The downside is they’re mediocre speakers and they over ride your D/A. It does not matter if you feed them spdif or analog XLR, the monitor converters analog to digital then coverts digital to analog again. It is NOT a direct single path. So you can push audio through the cleanest converter on planet earth, and you still hear what the D/A on the JBL’s give or don’t give you.

I also had a pair of 2K’s sitting around. They were included with the lease when I rented the building about 7 years ago. I certainly noticed to the smoothness you described. However, I had horrible problems with translation. I concluded that they were better monitors to listen to music on than attempt to mix with. I shoved them into an editing room and called it a day.