Monitor speaker recommendations
January 31, 2014 4:31 AM   Subscribe

In an effort to simplify my system, I'm looking for some straightforward monitor speakers to use with an Alesis MultiMix. Specific details?

I have an Alesis MultiMix 8 USB 2.0, used as a computer sound card and as a thing to play other instruments through. At the moment, the sound is outputted from the Alesis into a conventional hi-fi Receiver and out through two ageing Goodmans loudspeakers. It's not ideal.

I'd like to upgrade to some all-rounder monitor speakers that can plug straight in the MultiMix. I would then ditch the hi-fi equipment and existing speakers. The new speakers would be used from everything from listening to mp3 audio and playing games on the computer to listening to and recording guitar, coming straight out of an amp simulator. Ultra high fidelity is not required, just something tough enough to cope with a broad range of signals at relatively high volume (e.g. distorted guitar). I'm in the UK and would be willing to go to £150-200 max, maybe more if a killer solution exists.

I'm also not sure if I'm looking for active speakers or not (and what this actually means...). Thank you in advance for any suggestions!
posted by srednivashtar to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The MultiMix is not a powered mixer, so you will need active speakers: speakers with a built-in amplifier that need to be plugged into the electricity. If you used passive speakers, you would need a separate amplifier to go between them and the MultiMix.

I have the M-Audio Studiophile AV40s, which are well within your budget, and I've been pretty happy with them.
posted by cincinnatus c at 5:05 AM on January 31, 2014

My next audio purchase will be a pair of JBL LSR305 active studio monitors, supposed game-changing speakers that just hit the market and are getting a ton of praise. They're apparently a huge bang-for-your-buck and sound way more expensive than they cost. They're essentially mini versions of JBL's flagship monitors which cost $20,000 per pair but these, thankfully, can be bought for just $300 (or less) a pair. However, many professionals say they sound like they're worth between $1000-$1500.

Wired wrote about them a couple weeks ago and, a few weeks prior to that, CNET did.
posted by GlassHeart at 5:19 AM on January 31, 2014

When looking at prices, bear in mind that a lot of monitor speakers are sold individually rather than as pairs. Also note that UK prices will be much higher than in the US (as with most things). So the cheapest UK price I can see for the (reportedly excellent) speakers that GlassHeart mentions is £123.99 each.
posted by cincinnatus c at 5:35 AM on January 31, 2014

I use Audio Engine A5s. They aren't "real" studio monitors like Genelecs but they are good for the multipurpose situation you describe.
posted by BabeTheBlueOX at 5:36 AM on January 31, 2014

"When looking at prices, bear in mind that a lot of monitor speakers are sold individually rather than as pairs."

Yeah, I should've mentioned that. The LSR305s are sold individually.

Also bear in mind that you'll need to get the appropriate cables to hook 'em up as they aren't supplied with any. MonoPrice is my go-to site for cables.
posted by GlassHeart at 5:54 AM on January 31, 2014

I just recently made the switch that you're looking to do and ended up with a pair of the M-Audio AV40s. They're sized pretty well for the small room that I use them in (about 10'x11'). You'll need a pair of 1/4" patch cables to hook them up to the mixer.
posted by backseatpilot at 6:05 AM on January 31, 2014

I was going to suggest Yamaha MSP5s, I really enjoy my pair, but you said distorted guitar - won't a proper guitar amp be better for that?
posted by TrinsicWS at 6:53 AM on January 31, 2014

The guitar is running through an amp emulator (Pod HD500) which is then running into the mixer, so in theory a proper amp isn't needed. But regular hi-fi speakers don't seem to cut it.

Thanks for all the answers and advice so far. The AV-40s look good (and are priced appealingly), so will investigate further.
posted by srednivashtar at 7:04 AM on January 31, 2014

I've been happy with my Behringer Truth B2031As. They're not top of the line, Behringer has a reputation for making knockoff stuff. But my research showed they were considered a great value for the money. If you can find local used/ebay, you might get a steal.
posted by 4midori at 10:59 AM on January 31, 2014

I've got m-audio studiophile bx5 monitors, which I happily play distorted guitar through using a Zoom G3 through a mixer.

Also use them to listen to CDs/computer/tv sound, great all round speakers.
posted by chrispy108 at 6:10 PM on January 31, 2014

In the end I bought the M-Audio Studiophile AV40s, and am very happy with them. Thanks all.
posted by srednivashtar at 5:23 AM on March 3, 2014

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