Can't Afford Monitors, But Found A Solution....

I don’t understand technical details here, 600 Ohms is better than 250, though 600-version is actually cheaper at

Please do let us know how this goes. I recently spent 200 € for AKG K701. I want to know if another 200 € make me better mix engineer? :)

Well, there is only one answer to such question ;)

It’s like saying a better camera will make you take better pictures. The answer is YES… and NO.
So now you have AKG 701, stick with them and understand, know them. That’s the best lesson to give to people: you have gears, you use them. Unless you’re a rich kid ;)

I got my DT880 pro after my old ones were broken, they were average but hey, it never obviously prevent me from making tracks… but I never got signed… COINCIDENCE? I THINK… yes :)

Do you actually have a good headphone amplifier which will happily drive 600 ohm headphones?

heeee… no :lol:
The Beyer A1 Headphone Amp looks the natural choice, but… $879… (!)
heeee do you have any other good but affordable amp in mind ?

Just get used to listening very quietly! ;) (You might actually be just about all right. I would personally have gone with 250 ohm to be on the safer side though.)

Afraid I’ve never personally owned a headphone amplifier. Thought it was the Headroom Max I had remembered from my reading as being a reasonably priced quality headphone amp but a quick Googling shows me to be quite mistaken with it both being discontinued as far out of what I imagine your budget would be when it was still in production.

This is where I’d start my research if it was me:

A very quick looks brings up the Matrix M-Stage and apparently OK at a reasonable price…

Looks good ! (and as good as simple to use). However maybe should I also consider a headphone amp that has a USB DAC, that I could easily plug into all my computers (i.e. my laptop that has a crappy onboard sound chipset), and that still support high impedancies and a large frequencies range.

Well I guess that for a few more bucks I could get the “Matrix M-stage USB 24bit 96khz Class A Headphone Amplifier” and voila.

Hey it’s a nice track. All your instruments are clearly perceived, no problem on this point, they are clearly pan positionned, a good balance between warmth and crispness… It’s properly done, from my point of view. The composition itself is also quite good, nothing to say.

If everything sounds “right”, well, I’d say : yes and no :lol:. If the sounds are good, the mixing strategy is strange. Because, the musical genre implies a “progression” with the level of some instruments. Theorically you should start the track with something less punchy, and then, reveal more and more power, while the global arrangement becomes more and more rich.

So the bass looks a little bit too boomy at the beginning / intro of the track (somehow a calm part, like a ballad). It should be softer, round, maybe deeper then. However, the bass becomes good at the end, when the beat is a bit faster. You see ? The same thing could be said regarding snare drums ; during the intro, a more specific sounding snare drum should be used ; something more subtle, and less punchy… why not using first sticks hits ?.. with some diffuse reverbs… and adding some sweet little hits on metalic cymbs, what adds some air, and make things breathing at first…you see ?

I’m about to add here some vocals, so that should add some progression. Single voice starts and harmony in the chorus. But you’re right, I could soften the start with bass and drums. Would you do “softening” bass with velocity or just by volume? The current bass instrument does not have much natural low velocity sounds, so it would mainly by volume. The bass drum has great velocities though (Addictive Drums). Tweaking EQ to change the bass levels in the middle of song is probably not a good idea?

Sorry if I messed up this thread with my song, it just popped up in the middle of this monitor discussion. (Admins, you may move this discussion.) But thanks a lot for helpful tips!!

The 103 hz is the magic warm area for bass instruments. Alter that freq for bass instruments if warmth is what you’re after. If that works for bass drums, i don’t know.

Well I couldn’t say exactly what’s the best within your mix setup, you’ve got several strategies, from EQing / Filtering to Direct Volume tweaking … (and I don’t know if you put a compressor on the bass, if you compressed it you should then simply adjust the threshold/knee). Just try all the solutions, and keep the one that preserve the most the DR and idea of “progression”.

I’m so glad someone finally says this… I always thought this somewhere in my head. Anyway, I’ll have to get used to compressors because I can’t mix vocals for shit yet. But thanks again vV :)

The point of compression is to keep tracks in control that have too many dynamics in them (this is what you have with vocal or certain lead tracks, some frequencies tend to come out louder at the same or even lower velocity than others whether or not because of the harmonization with the other tracks). But with samples, well samples simply have their basic velocity and you can rather tune the velocity level of an individual note than applying a compressor.
It is less easier for a drummer to perform each strike at the same velocity level as the other when you are recording a live session. But compression is pretty pointless on one-shot samples unless what our French baker referenced to, you hunt for a specific effect that you can gain with compression.

That’s quite a common price for a good set. Sennheiser HD ovation costed me around that range.
I had to pay 400 bucks to replace one of the sides that burned out due to a power spike.
I still have them and i have them over 20 years now.
Ewps, i notice you speak of an amp… now how about just for the eargoggles only?

I’m trying to find the right combo for my specific needs. My desktop has a good DAC card but, I need a DAC solution for my laptop, I also need a good preamp, and I’ve seen that the M-stage has an line output on the back panel so that it can be used like a preamp too. So, with a good headphone amp & preamp, I will be able to properly enjoy 600Ohms based headphones, instead of 32Ohms or even 250Ohms. (I believe that the precision and the quality will be higher with 600Ohms headphones).

After that comes the final choice, I’ve read that there’s a little debate between the Sennheiser HD 650 and the DT 880 Pro, the first one is known to be clearly more “satisfying” for final listeners-, but the second one is more “neutral” and usefull during the mixing & mastering phase… Logically I’d choose the “neutrality” option… And for my personal pleasure, Ill get something like :


Ok, this thread was about affordable monitors and now we are talking about 600Ohms headphones+preamp that cost 1000 € ->

You can get Behringer Truth active speakers with couple of hundreds. Does it really make sense to get those damn expensive headphones for monitoring? Before you answer Yes and No :) let’s make assumption that my room is pretty silent, neighbours not that big problem, I am not making professional commercial mixing and I have some savings to spent but would like to invest into something that really gives me joy or benefit in my hobby.

What do you think?

KRK perhaps? Everyone has them. I own a pair of RP5 and can’t say it didnt help me make some better mixes

That meets fine up with the phrase “I can’t hear you, i have banana’s in my ear!”

Initial thought for recommendation was Beresford as a trusted audiophile friend swears by their Caiman (Gator modded) DAC. Unfortunately this particular one has been discontinued and from their website I can’t see them actually having one available with a USB input now. The one they have listed only has TOSLink and coaxial SPDIF connections. They are meant to be good, affordable DAC and pre-amp and at least reasonable on the headphone amp side as well though.

Indeed, very interesting features, like the very low 5Hz rate, masking signal noise when no music is playing and power supply noise rejection ; but unfortunately this gear doesn’t seem easy to find in France where I’m living…Some foreign asian based shops could still provide it. The trip would be more expensive than the DAC itself.

Beresford are British, I can’t image getting units shipped to France would be too difficult…