I’m using headphones (AKG 240S) at the moment…but I’m looking at getting some monitors. I have a old cheap pair of labtec computer speakers that actually give a decent representation of your sound. For “mastering” I’ve used my ancient hi-fi speakers.
I’m leaning towards HR-824’s or BM6A’s…not sure about a sub. I’d guess my budget is in the $1500-3000 range. But, I’m flexible.
I personally use Alesis M1 Active MkII’s which are pretty great considering their cheap price, but when I have the cash - and when I move back to a place where I know I’m gonna be living for a few years - I definitely want to pick up some HR-824’s. They are absolutely wicked and to be honest I doubt you would need a sub with them (none of the people I know with 824’s have a sub, and their setups all sound superb). The sound is very full and more than enough when working with electronic music - you certainly won’t be thinking to yourself “hmm, this is lacking in the bass department”. In fact if you are working in a small room as most people are with this type of monitor, the sub will probably be total overkill unless your room is properly treated with bass traps, reflection dampening materials, etc.
Good luck with your purchase! $1500-3000 is definitely a price range you can make yourself very happy with
I use Ultrasone HFI-2200 ULE headphones, which are not that great for mixing. Very enjoyable for music listening though. My speakers are even worse, but I always check the mix with them too. I suck at mixing anyway, so it doesn’t matter that much.
Event TR-8 powered monitors. Very slightly weak in the < 50hz range but otherwise excellent.
The most important thing is that you get some half-decent monitors, no matter what they are, and get to know their little quirks intimately. Once you’re used to how lots of different mastering styles sound on your monitors you’ll have a clear idea of how far you can push certain frequencies.
I’d definitely go with the BM 6A Mk II, probably even over the BM 6A. I have the BM 5A myself, and they’re quite decent, but lacking in bass reponse and power. But at low levels the imaging is very sweet, with a deep soundstage, and they’re very detailed in the mids, great for working with vocals, ambient or classical music, while the top-end is smooth, giving them a warm and rounded sound.
But for ‘heavier’ music I’d probably look elsewhere, since the bass response just isn’t low enough for dance music, and the top-end, being so extended, does get fatiguing at high levels where the treble is very present. Especially listening to MP3s the loss of extreme treble really shows up as a harsh, edgy sound. But where the treble response is smooth, so will these monitors hold true with great clarity.
I can imagine the BM 6A Mk II will be similar, only with more power and more bass response.
And I noticed Mackie has come out with the HR824mk2 now, which probably would be the way to go over the HR824, but I’m really not sure Mackie matches the popular high-end names: Dynaudio Acoustics, Genelec, and ADAM Audio. I just have a feeling the Mackies might fall short on imaging. But try them out in a store if you can and get the ones you like best.