I agree with Richard about the 824's. I don't believe that a woofer smaller than 8" can put out
sufficient bass to pick up things like rumble and boominess during professional audio work. I've
tried speakers with smaller woofers and, because I generally don't like using a satellite/sub system
for mission-critical work, I've never used them for long. The 824 MKII's rounded out all the cabinet
edges and I think also did a few mods in front of the drivers in order to kill off whatever cabinet
reflections there were. I think the main net result is that the tweeters fire wider, giving a more
solid center when the speakers are spaced across a console.
I'm also a big fan of the Recoil Stabilizer base for near-field speakers, but I got cut a new one
for saying so on the Ampex list so I'm not about to get into a technical argument about it. All I'm
saying is that I hear a difference in my studio.
My opinion of Mackie vs. Genelec is that Mackie seemed more "honest" in that it was very detailed at
reasonable to low SPLs. Both speakers, based on my listening to them in other facilities and on
trade-show floors, present an "un-sweetened" sound, which is what studio monitors are supposed to
do. If something is recorded badly, it sounds bad on these speakers. If it's recorded well, it
sounds good in that it sound "natural" or "well-mixed," not "warm" or "organic" like some hi-fi
speakers of that size claim. In a studio, you need the truth, not a nice listening experince all the
time. I would say that the amplified Genelecs have better amplifiers, they get louder and stay clear
at really high SPL. But, for non-damaging listening, the Mackies get plenty loud. My bet would be
that the Genelecs have a more solid build and more expensive components inside, based on their
price. If not, they are a bad value.
Someone mentioned room treatments. My experience is, you don't need to go to a whole lot of expense
on that if you're using something like the Mackie close-in, but you will probably find you want
either diffusing tiles above your workstation or a heavy carpet on the floor. I have fabric-covered
fiberglass panels from office partitions nailed to my wall behind the speakers, which kills off
anything that doesn't properly front-fire. I don't recomment rear-ported monitors at all, it
complicates placement and other room issues.
One man's opinions. Keep in mind I'm not talking about a pro-grade mastering room here, I think
we're talking about a university archive's transfer room.
The other main point I'd make is, get yourself a good pair of headphones, too. I highly recommend
the Audio Technica ATH-M50s
these headphones are very honest and have a heavy bass, which allows reality-checking what might not
come through 8" woofers, especially rumble and other low-frequency stuff. They are also very good
about telling you the effects of high-passing with DSP (which often produces problems in other
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, June 06, 2012 7:14 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Seeking studio monitor comments
>I have five of the original Mackie HR-824s with an Energy subwoofer. I really like the system.
> I don't know how Mackie changed the HR-824s when they became MK IIs.
> If you're not using a sub, I think you really should go for the 824s, not the 624s.
> I know many people love the Genelecs, too. My impression (and I have not listened to Genelecs much
> recently) was that the Mackies sounded smoother...but that is always subjective.
> On 2012-06-06 2:57 PM, Grant, Tyra wrote:
>> We're evaluating studio monitors for our small (14'x14') audio room---with workstation close-to
>> being against a wall. We prefer to spend $1,500, more or less.
>> We're focusing on 1) Mackie HR624 MkIIs and 2) Genelec 8030As
>> Unfortunately, we have no way to test-run either of these---or any others for that matter.
> Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
> Aurora, Ontario, Canada (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX
> Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.