As I have previously said I do not require speakers for monitoring just for listening to what I am playing on the Montage. Is there any real difference between active studio monitors or amplified PA speakers fixed to the wall that an amateur such as myself would notice in my 12' x 12' room. All I am looking for is a reasonable sound quality and improvement over my current mono keyboard amp. I didn't think that buying a pair of speakers would be so confusing
Is there any real difference between active studio monitors or amplified PA speakers fixed to the wall that an amateur such as myself would notice in my 12' x 12' room.
Since you asked the question, I hope you are willing to accept that there is an answer, that YES, there is a difference. If you don't have room for speakers - get yourself a good set of headphones- -audio systems are as good as the weakest link.
The audio quality of your Montage is top shelf, best in class, please do yourself a favor and get a system where you can enjoy it!
I have my Montage hooked up to a Blue Sky eXo2 system, and I'm happy with the sound. The speaker system is of high enough quality that the difference between my Motif XF and my Montage was immediately obvious to me.
It's as complicated as you want to make it. You asked for opinions, so you get a boatload of those. I still advocate just going and demoing a few different solutions "in person" and make a decision based off of the impression you get - trying to keep as many things the same (like the keyboard used; and room size - which is why I suggested taking the Montage to the monitor room which generally has a "room size" area - music stores vary).
To use an analogy: go to a dentist's message board and ask what toothpaste to use to brush a pet's teeth. You'll get lots of answers. When you google around - you'll find lots of focus on maybe whitening (like, in monitors, you find lots of information on transparency of the response "flat" - but you wouldn't care about whitening for pets in the analogy).
Then, in the dentist analogy, group members may point out things that matter like fluoride content or something and there may be tons of solutions that have different tradeoffs. At the end, the best idea may be for the toothpaste seeking OP in the analogy to take some of the suggestions and try them with his/her pets since all the suggestions don't help much if the pets reject it.
I've done fine running keyboards off of $20 boom boxes in hotel rooms when I didn't have an alternative. There's lots of choices you either have to take the time to sort through, or just buy something and deal with either liking it or not later. Or anything between. One thing I cannot do is reduce the amount of products which could possibly work for your application - that's dictated by a partially flooded market and more choices are available each year (maybe quarter).
Thanks all for your further replies.
BM - "The audio quality of your Montage is top shelf, best in class, please do yourself a favour and get a system where you can enjoy it! ". You have hit the nail on the head as that is exactly what I want to do but within my budget. Part of my problem is that I over research things and end up finding it very difficult to make a decision but then I do not want to regret the decision I make.
The Blue Sky eXo2 system used by Michael is very similar to the Tyros 5 setup which I have and looks good but can I get a better sound out of my Montage buy buying studio monitors for around £400 ?.
In my head I seem to think that studio monitors although they are amplified speakers will be lacking in depth compared to an amp and stereo passive speakers but probably I am completely wrong. I am a fan of 'bass' and would be disappointed if I purchased studio monitors and found them lacking in this area. Can an EQ be put between the Montage and studio monitors to change the sound if I was not happy with it ?. Again I will be listening to my music and not mixing.
Apologies for my questions.
Studio Monitors are optimized for the engineer's sitting position - an equilateral triangle where the speakers are no more than 3 to 4 feet apart and you are no more than 3 to 4 feet from them. In that situation you would be amazed at the sound you can get. If you are, as you say, a fan of bass... here is a good rule of thumb.
If you buy Studio Monitors with a 5" woofer, you will feel the need for the matching sub-woofer. Studio Monitors are typically sold separately so you can create a system for example, that is 2.1 (Which is a fancy way of saying Left-Right and a Sub). If you are mixing a movie score you can build a 12.1 system (but for home that would be overkill)
If you buy Studio Monitor with an 8" woofer, you will not feel the need (so much) for the matching sub-woofer. But if you are mixing or a big fan of dance music (electronic or otherwise) you can still opt for the Sub-Woofer, although when you are within 3 to 4 feet of your speakers - you will find you have plenty of bass, and people in the next room will be thoroughly impressed with your pumping bass.
I do recommend Studio Monitors - because they are high quality and high fidelity.
The worst is the Keyboard Amp, they are LOUD (designed to be LOUD for others), the home situation is designed and optimized for the person sitting in what is called the "sweet spot"... the ideal seat. It's like going to an open seating concert... When the open the doors it is automatic which seats fill up the first. Those interested in SEEING run to the front center. Those interested in LISTENING run for the seats about 15-30 rows back dead center... because they know that is where the sound is optimized. You don't have to teach anyone about this, it is intuitive!
LOUD every thing sounds good loud. But LOUD with high fidelity is what you want to spend your money on. If you can visit a local music store - go down and listen to some Studio Monitors. I'm not sure where you are but stores offer all kinds of financing to help spread out payments... It's your music.
The worst thing is to spend money on the wrong thing, but if you are happy with what you hear in the store, you can be sure you will be happy at home. And if not, you have recourse. Just let them know your situation. Funny thing about music stores, they are used to dealing with MUSICIANS.
Not sure if they fit your budget but HS8 are very, very solid... We setup Montage with a pair of HS speakers in stores all across the USA, some HS5 w/Sub, some with HS7 w/wo Sub and some with just HS8s... and the reaction was great across the board.
Even if these are out of price range, I still would recommend the best Studio Monitors you can afford... But makes sure you listen to them - bring music you know, listen, decide, and establish a relationship with your sales associate so they know what you are thinking and you'll be surprised how they will likely work with you - especially if you "change your mind"!
As to EQ, you have more EQ in the Montage than almost any keyboard I can remember... but you will not need it - especially if you buy the right speakers!!! and set them up for yourself (equilateral triangle)...
Many thanks for all of your replies and advice especially BM who as always has given me detailed informative replies helping me to become more educated regarding speakers and studio monitors.
To conclude this thread I eventually went for a pair of m-audio BX6 which I have today mounted on the wall above my keyboard and the sound quality is fantastic (to my ears anyway and that is all that matters). My concerns regarding lack of bass proved to be unfounded as the speakers deliver throughout the range.
I normally play through my PA which has Yamaha DSR112's over EV powered subs, but I just purchased an HK Audio Smart PA which I now use for a keyboard amp as such.... I can set it up and basically point the speakers at my head. The sound quality is stunning IMO.