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Thread: ordering studio monitors next week, have a few questions

  1. #1
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    ordering studio monitors next week, have a few questions

    So I ordered a Roland DJ 202 today for getting into DJing. Tonight I decided I should research and get some studio monitors, and after a bit of poking around I'm already having buyers remorse lol. I wish I had got the 505, but I'm not going to get it in tomorrow only to send it right back. I Googled this a bit and read a lot of different things. I think I'm going to get the PreSonus Eris M8s. Right now they come with a free JBL Active Speaker Starter Pack which looks pretty nice for controlling volume. The JBL device only has XLR & TRS. Anywho, so here's my stupid'ish question from what I read online tonight that has me confused. Since the JBL doesn't have RCA, and the Roland only has RCA. I'm looking at RCA to XLR adapters. Googling I've read everything from "they all suck!" "you need this uber $120 one!" "you probably won't notice a different" Now this is going to be a pretty basic middle of the road setup, so my assumption is if I get the adapters my SQ should be relatively close to if I ran balanced XLRs, yes or no? And if yes, what brand should I be going for? I'm not about to drop $240 on the Cardas ones the audiophile maniacs recommended. But if I could get some, I dunno, $20'ish each ones that would be great.

    thanks
    Last edited by j-bird; 05-09-2019 at 05:56 AM.

  2. #2
    When you convert from XLR to RCA you convert from balanced to unbalanced. That opens the door to reduced signal to noise ratio and ground loop noise. Real pro gear uses only XLR. So should you.
    Bill Fitzmaurice
    Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    www.billfitzmaurice.info/forum

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    All studio monitors under 500 each are pretty rubbish in comparison to pro. Even the 500 ones are only average. Port noise etc etc. I wouldn't worry though... it's for Dj'ing not Music Production. And, your room itself does more damage to the sound.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post
    When you convert from XLR to RCA you convert from balanced to unbalanced. That opens the door to reduced signal to noise ratio and ground loop noise. Real pro gear uses only XLR. So should you.
    Indeed, but if I was a real pro I wouldn't have ordered an entry level controller. I was thinking (hoping) if I used short, like 3 foot cables the noise level would be lower.


    Quote Originally Posted by mitchiemasha View Post
    All studio monitors under 500 each are pretty rubbish in comparison to pro. Even the 500 ones are only average. Port noise etc etc. I wouldn't worry though... it's for Dj'ing not Music Production. And, your room itself does more damage to the sound.
    Yes, on my to do list is to get some sound treatment foam stuff in my room. Originally I planned to buy a $300'ish DJ controller. Then I decided I needed headphones (DJ HDJX10) then decided I should get an adjustable table to use. So what originally was going to run me about $350'ish shipped has hit almost $900. And now I want monitors, and as you mentioned room acoustics. I'm 44 and have wanted to be a turntablist for as long as I could remember. Now I'm finally getting into it, and I see this hobby is going to bankrupt me.

    And last night I saw a Rane 12+72 package with 12 monthly payments that were almost to the penny what my car payment was. I need to find a cheaper hobby lol.
    Last edited by j-bird; 05-09-2019 at 12:39 PM.

  5. #5
    Deez Beats! KLH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post
    When you convert from XLR to RCA you convert from balanced to unbalanced. That opens the door to reduced signal to noise ratio and ground loop noise. Real pro gear uses only XLR. So should you.
    While this is true (all of it), balanced cables do not improve sound quality; they prevent losing sound quality. If you're not in a electromagnetically noisy environment and your cable lengths are short (meaning less than ~10 feet), then noise isn't likely to lower your sound quality.

    I'd bet you'd be fine with an adapter like this:



    Doing so isn't something recommended at a gig at all, but at home you do what you need to do. Now get back to practicing!
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    Visit DJF's Beginner's MEGA thread and drop by my Facebook Fan Page.

  6. #6
    Sure it's better to keep it balanced than unbalanced. On the other hand, people regularly plug CDJ's into mixers or controllers into mixers using RCA (unbalanced) connections.. even in multimillion dollar nightclubs.. for decades now.. and there's very rarely any noise problem. So you have to keep it all in perspective and not assume that just because there can be a problem there will be one, or that just because one thing is in theory better than another thing that you really must have the better one. In this case you are doing what?? Taking an unbalanced signal a few feet into a powered monitor.. so you wanna convert to balanced just to run another couple of inches? Not worth it. The only time this makes sense is if you have a ground noise issue with your laptop.. which yea that can happen.. but burn that bridge when and if you come to it. Meanwhile, just get yourself a simple dual RCA to 1/4 inch stereo cable and go unbalanced into the monitor controller. And see how it works out. If you have got a problem with digital noise then you'll want an audio isolation transformer, not an "adapter". Don't waste your money on some overpriced gold plated RCA to XLR adapter it will make zero difference

    Edit: like this will probably be fine.. anyway try the $8 solution before the $70 solution right???? https://www.zzounds.com/item--HOSCPR...SABEgLZ-fD_BwE
    Last edited by light-o-matic; 05-09-2019 at 05:43 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by j-bird View Post
    Yes, on my to do list is to get some sound treatment foam stuff in my room.
    I wouldn't worry about room acoustics. I referenced that as a point to make you not worry about your budget speakers. As a failed music producer, I wasted so much time building and researching panels, thinking it would improve my skills. When I should of spent that time being creative. Those foam pieces don't do much. It's the bass build up, lower frequencies that cause the main problems. The foam tiles do noting to control them, all they do is reduce the top end, which it doesn't take much thinking to realise that makes your BASS inbalance worse.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by KLH View Post
    If you're not in a electromagnetically noisy environment and your cable lengths are short (meaning less than ~10 feet), then noise isn't likely to lower your sound quality.
    Even with laboratory clean power ground loop noise can occur, with even the shortest of cables. It's become an insidious problem in home theaters, where unbalanced connections are the norm and ground loop hum is the result. With balanced connections it's hard to get ground loop hum no matter how bad the environment is or how long the cables are, so if you can buy gear that has balanced connections it's something you won't have to upgrade down the road.
    Bill Fitzmaurice
    Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    www.billfitzmaurice.info/forum

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