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Audiophiles v sound engineers

Discussion in 'audio' started by Knipester, Nov 10, 2019.

  1. Knipester

    Knipester pfm Member

    Having followed multiple threads over the last 12 months on both audiophile and professional sound engineers forums it interests me that their seems to be very different want & priorities.

    I appreciate that often audiophiles need something to fit into a residential home but beyond that surely good sound is good sound? What is interesting to me is hearing makes such as barefoot, Genelec, ATC, kii, d&d and others come up time and time again on the pro forums yet they don’t seem to get much space in the consumer world (atc excluded). As the professionals are helping make/create music that will then be reproduced on consumer orientated equipment why is there this difference?

    I ended up buying a brand that is developing good traction in the professional mixing world as it suited my ear and preference in musical delivery but I appreciate this is not a common route.
  2. Julf

    Julf Facts are our friends

    The pro world is somewhat less prone to falling for woo and marketing (OK, there is a lot of folklore and old wives tales in the pro world too), and pros are more focused on "does it actually work and get the job done". Look at stuff like balanced connections - they are the standard in the pro world, and would, and would offer real benefits in places like turntable pickup connections, but the domestic hifi scene is not willing to go there. Same goes for active monitors and DSP.
    Jonboi likes this.
  3. PBB

    PBB pfm Member

    Hmmm... in connection with subjective audio for the home market this comes to my mind: "Everything that is exaggerated becomes trivial".
    Fretting over minute or, more often than not, imagined differences is the domain of amateurs, pros in the music making business have little time for mind games of the type practiced by marketers of domestic equipment.
    Jonboi, Nytechy, Gaycha and 4 others like this.
  4. Purité Audio

    Purité Audio Trade: Purite Audio

    Much smaller dealer margins in the ‘pro’ world, monitors are predominantly active so little opportunity for amp or cable upgrades and pro designs are often aesthetically challenged.
    Jonboi likes this.
  5. flowjm

    flowjm pfm Member

    Hence ATC's success in crossing over. Mainly involves putting the same drivers in a nicer looking box and suddenly they're pushed by the hifi press for offering accuracy, clarity etc.
  6. matt j

    matt j pfm Member

    Not to mention the cost.

    I couldn't get anywhere near 1/4 the price of a pair of active ATC/kii/D&D etc.

    Then there's the faff of cabling and integrating analogue sources into it all. Stuff that.
  7. Darren L

    Darren L pfm Member

    Mostly in the pro audio world they're using active near field monitors and they're listening to the mix, indeed there's a bit of a crossover into the domestic audio world, but most domestic users either want something easily placed and convienent, midi system in the 90's, micro system in the noughties and now probably a sound bar , then a small percentage of end users want something a little more involving, indeed it becomes a hobby for many, for many it becomes an obsession all in pursuit of hearing what's in the 'mix' from all the studios.
    Millennium likes this.
  8. Purité Audio

    Purité Audio Trade: Purite Audio

    All three have analogue inputs, Kii and D&D also have digital ins.
  9. G T Audio

    G T Audio Trade: Manufacturer and Distributor

    Balanced cables are standard in the pro world because the cabling often has to connect between floors of a building and that means tremendously long cable runs compared to those in a domestic situation, and balanced cabling is the only way to reduce noise pick up within the cable. There are no benefits using balance cable between the turntable and phono stage. In fact, it would be more of a hindrance where a suspended TT is implemented, where you would need a nice flexible cable to allow the turntable to "bounce" correctly.

    FWIW, many of the top high-end solid-state amplifiers over the years have offered fully balanced operation, so many manufacturers have adopted it. But in a domestic situation, the difference between single-ended and balanced is negligible. In fact, I found it was a retrograde step going balanced in my Mark Levinson system back in the 1990s with a No26S powering a pair of ML2 monoblock amplifiers.

    In the Pro world, time is money so everything is based around downtime and ways to reduce it, which is why some of what is used would never make it into the domestic scene. Also as Keith said above, a lot of Pro kit is aesthetically challenged so would be very difficult to sell in the domestic arena. Having said that, active monitors have been with us for many years, and more recently DSP is making inroads into speaker designs.
  10. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Its only Barefoot I’ve not seen widely discussed here, there have been numerous owners of the rest and for many of the brands we actually have multiple dealers paying to advertise on the site!

    FWIW I’ve owned MEGs and currently use a pair of vintage Lockwoods that actually spent time in at least two very well known studios! No hostility to pro-audio here, though it is very hard to find much beyond small and fairly budget near-fields these days as there are so few proper pro studios left! There is far more actual choice in domestic audio at the high-end.

    PS I agree with Graham above in that there is zero advantage to balanced wiring in domestic audio! It just isn’t needed.
    seethroughyou likes this.
  11. flowjm

    flowjm pfm Member

    Balanced cables get rid of earth loops. I agree that their other noise rejecting qualities are typically not necessary in domestic situations.
  12. richardg

    richardg Admonishtrator

    I'll never understand why monitors etc are not what everyone has. I spent a lot of time in studios over the years. It always sounded better than anyone's hifi. Particularly mine, whatever I had.

    The most frustrating thing ever was we had worked in Fairview on a pair of Genelecs, can't remember what was driving them. I took the cd home and put it through a valve amp and SP2s and was totally underwhelmed.

    I don't think it is just the supposed professional acoustic space giving advantage either. Most studios I was in were far from abbey road. Fairview had the Genelecs on their side on a 1" piece of long ply running above the desk. Same piece for both speakers too! I just think the gear is better. Flat response gear, near field to avoid room complications. It was a winner every studio I went in.

    I only use Adam monitors now. Saving up for a pair with 12" cones.....some way to go before I get them though. They are mega expensive for me.

    Fairview did the Sisters first album, bummed by the Mondays, some Paul Heaton stuff. It was and still is Hull's finest.
    Jonboi and Julf like this.
  13. Riotvan

    Riotvan Active Member

    I'm using a pair of Quested S7R's in silver and i love them. Tried other pro stuff from Genelec and Focal and it wasn't for me, i blame the tweeters primarily. Pretty much a softdome guy though i have liked some ribbons. A speaker is a speaker and you either like it or not regardless of what the label says.
  14. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    I have a foot in both camps, in some respects. I run a small PA system, using high quality mics. ( Neumann, etc. ) and
    a good quality mixer.
    Yamaha, with compression, effects, etc.
    I also use a Soundcraft Powerpad for small venues, usually for mainly speech.
    PA amps can be a bit ‘grim’ unless you spend a fair bit.
    I use a Quad 405 and it works well.
    As for speakers, I use JBL Control 5s and Black Dwarf PA speakers with Volt drivers.
    The Dwarf speakers really ‘project’ and throw the sound. Just right for outside venues.
    The JBLs are more like domestic Hi Fi speakers, but do handle a fair bit of power.
    They’re protected by fuse bulbs, which on occasion I have blown !
    The occasion when the system can sound like domestic Hi Fi is in a large space ( barn, or the like )
    using the JBLs and my Rotel 965BX CD player.
    I am constantly surprised how good it sounds.
    I once used it for the backing for a girl singer, she using my best Neumann vocal mic.
    Some in the audience asked where the backing band was hiding...
  15. flowjm

    flowjm pfm Member

    Pro audio typically offers better value than domestic hifi. For example, the pro version of the ATC SCM20SL's vs the domestic version:


    The Kii 3's and D&D 8C appear to be aimed at the domestic market.
    Julf likes this.
  16. Purité Audio

    Purité Audio Trade: Purite Audio

    They are aimed at both, sales between the two spheres are more or less equal too.
  17. moo-fi

    moo-fi pfm Member

    Pro audio and home audio are very different beasts. The speakers used in monitoring and mastering don't have to sound nice, just consistent. But don't go thinking that the pro world is necessarily better, it is more of a case of different priorities and a key one of those is reliability. In some ways we have our hands tied by client expectations and demands.
    Where the Pro world seems to be far ahead of Hi F is the uptake of active speakers and DSP, although their are certainly a lot more crossover products than used to be the case.
    Jonboi likes this.
  18. flowjm

    flowjm pfm Member

    I'm sure that they can be used in both situations, but a quick scan of their websites shows a lot pictures of their speakers in domestic environments.
  19. Purité Audio

    Purité Audio Trade: Purite Audio

    If you look at their Facebook/Instagram .
  20. flowjm

    flowjm pfm Member

    What does it mean for a speaker to "sound nice"? I just want my system to sound accurate/true to source.
    Julf likes this.

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