Torn between Active & Passive Monitors. I have a Power amp. Any advice?

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Member Since: Sep 04, 2011

I have a home studio in progress. I was a helluva entertainer but dumber than snot about recording! I want to lay down some music in my old age for posterity's sake!

What I have right now:
Gateway NV76R 17.3" Laptop. 1TB HDD/8GB DDR3 RAM/2.2GHZ Intel Processor
Line6 POD UX2 w/POD Farm 2.5
Ableton Live Lite 7 Line6 Edition
Audacity (most recent version)

I am currently monitoring through headphones but want/need a good pair of studio monitors.
I once had a pair of Behringer 2031A active monitors and those sucker could rattle the windows if you cranked them! They are going to be a hard act to follow so I am considering getting another pair. (I sold my first pair long ago)

I also have a Behringer EPQ1200 power amp which I could use to power a pair of passive monitors. The amp is a bit on the loud side which is what is making me wonder which way to go.
It would be a no-brainer if I had the funds to afford the active monitors without a guilty conscience. But I will do it if need be.

Any advice? Opinions?

Thanks you all!

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Since: Apr 03, 2002

Feb 28, 2013 05:16 pm

Personally, I like actives, it's just handy, no other reason than that. I have no technical spec reasons to prefer it, just convenient.

I have some little Samson's and they are pretty decent, but, at low volumes, the extension speaker (amp in one speaker, feeds both) gets quieter than the other, which is somewhat annoying.

Since: Dec 04, 2007

Feb 28, 2013 05:32 pm

Well, you could go Either way I suppose. I know active monitors are kinda the "in" thing now a day.

But since you already have a power amp, I'd say go passive. You'll be able to get slightly better speakers since they'll be cheaper than their active counterparts.

Also, remember, it's not the volume, but the clarity/accuracy you're shooting for with monitors. Monitors, along with the room, are basically your eyeglasses for the mix.

I've got an ART SLA-1 which is 100W into 8 ohms that I use with the older Tannoy Reveals, which are 60W, 8 ohms speakers. I just don't drive the amp at super loud levels.

IMO, it's better to have a little bit stronger amp than the speakers need so that you don't fry the amp from the amp trying to supply more current to the speakers than it's capable of putting out.

But just about any passive nearfield monitor should work with that amp as long as you're not totally blasting it. Just get the best one that your budget allows. Tannoy, Dynaudio, Event, Wharfdale, KRK, Yamaha, Adam, and Focal, all make decent monitors. Yamaha HS80Ms are reportedly very good as are the HS50Ms, but I think they are both active monitors. Some of the brands just don't make passives. The KRK rokits were supposed to be pretty decent.

Although, I think a lot of the guys in their own brick & mortar studios would probably say a crap amp with good speakers will get you a crap sound. *shrug* if the amp supplies good clean current, you're probably good to get passive speakers.

If you need decent bass reproduction (not bass heavy, just decent extension into the lower frequencies) you'll probably want something with an 8" cone. 5 or 6" cones, and you might want for a sub.

Whatever you end up getting, do NOT buy blind. Gotta listen to em in the store, or ask the music shop if you can demo a pair in your room to see, sorry, hear how they respond, and how truthful they are.

edit: And dB ninjas the post as I'm typing, lolz.

Since: Sep 04, 2011

Mar 04, 2013 03:20 pm

Thank you guys for your help. I think I will go wit a pair of Behringer 3031A monitors.

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