Looking a gift LSR305 in the mouth
December 7, 2019 2:42 PM   Subscribe

I was recently gifted a single LSR305 Mk.I studio monitor, courtesy of a friend who didn't read the fine print when ordering (they don't come in pairs, y'all), and then procrastinated returning it until it was too late. Now I'm trying to decide if I should buy a matching speaker, or sell/donate this one on.

I have a basic home recording studio setup. I do some real basic live DJ/mixing stuff, and occasionally home-studio acoustic/electric guitar and vocals recording. My audio interface is an NI Komplete 6. Right now I primarily use cans, since I live in an apartment and don't want to annoy the neighbors, but being able to (softly) monitor seems like it would be nice. Also, I'd like to imagine they could do double-duty as pretty nice room speakers -- right now I have a Swann M10 2.1 set connected to my other machine for that purpose. Musically, I'm into the sort of indie/folk/synthpop/alt-rock range of things, so not super bass-heavy, which is where I'm told the LSR305s fall down a bit.

So, I can buy a single LSR305 Mk.I on ebay for around $100, shipped. I COULD just get the second speaker, have a pair, and call that good. Or I could deal with trying to sell it on eBay, and put the proceeds towards something else (though I don't quite know what).

Thoughts, home recording people of askme?
posted by Alterscape to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
5" monitors are going to "fall down" on bass just by the fact that they can't push enough air. From what you've described I wouldn't say this is a dealbreaker for you at all. I don't know this model, but JBL is a great company that is still supplying parts and repairs for 40 year old speakers. Reviews indicate that they are better to quite-a-bit-better than average.

I still have my 20yo (unpowered) 6" Yorkville YSM-1s and they can kick like a MF, though I wouldn't power a party with them. They're on my TV now and they suit me as much as anything else would (I am also an apartment dweller). I moved from those to (powered) KRK V8s for my studio stuff, which is DJing and sequencer music, and which are even less subwoofer candidates. Luckily I have bad neighbors, so I've been able to push them enough to know all this for a fact.

Unfortunately, I burned out the tweeters and the KRK V8 Series 1 is famous for having weak tweeters, zero replacement parts, and used sales primarily of woofer-only enclosures. Until two minutes ago I was considering replacing them with 5-6" two-ways like what you have, but I see someone has stepped up and is selling a replacement tweeter now. This question benefits both of us, thanks!

Anyway, 5" monitors are going to be miles ahead of mixing in the buckets. 5" sounds small, but when they're just a couple feet away from your face you'll see that is not true. Imagine 5" headphones (and headphones don't typically have separate tweeters). Even apartment livers can mix in the air on weekend afternoons or other allowable times (I also know what it's like to have neighbors who never go on vacation, but still), and you will notice a difference even at 40W. For all of the tracking it sounds like you'll be doing, recording with headphones is fine, but mixdowns sound much, much better and are much, much simpler to do in the air. Ear fatigue is real.

YMMV, and every ear is different, but long story short these are good enough to pay $100 to complete the set, not to mention Guitar Center sells used MkIs for $80. They'll also be plenty fine as room speakers.
posted by rhizome at 4:02 PM on December 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

For the money, they're nice monitors. If I were you, I'd pick up a used second one. The mark IIs are nicer but not significantly so for your purposes to the point I think dealing with trying to sell the one you have is worth the headache.

Mixing with speakers will generally give you better results than with headphones unless your audience listens almost exclusively on headphones that are like yours, so a pair of reasonably good monitors will do you well.
posted by Candleman at 4:43 PM on December 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

Keep the one, and mix in mono. Seriously; good enough for Brian Wilson, should be fine for you. Sum the stereo output of your audio interface: use a y-cord.
posted by ergomatic at 5:43 PM on December 8, 2019

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