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What Speakers Would Be A Good Choice For A Small Recording Studio?


Established Member
Hey, I've just started a new job this week as IT Support in a secondary school. The school has a small recording studio, but one of the pair of tannoys in the booth is damaged (probably a capacitor)

I'd like to be able to suggest a new pair of speakers to replace the current set, so I would just like a few suggestions from forum users. My first thought were Tannoy Mercury V1s, but not too sure whether these would do the job?

Many Thanks.


Distinguished Member
Tannoy Mercury V1 are very good low cost speakers, but they are not Studio Monitors.

The difference?

Tannoy Mercury V1 are passive speakers they need an external amps to drive them. Like a common stereo integrated amp.

Studio Monitors are active speakers that have amps built into them.

Which do you really need?

Next, how much money do you have to spend?

Here is a review I did somewhat recently on the Mackie MR5 MKII. These are 5" active speakers that are pretty impressive.


In my review, I compare them to other popular Studio Monitors and compare the differences.

[ame=http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&tbm=shop&q=Mackie+MR5+Mkii&oq=Mackie+MR5+Mkii&gs_l=products-cc.3..0.719.7228.0.7495.]Mackie MR5 Mkii - Google Search[/ame]

The Mackie MR5 are on the expensive side, but a good balance speaker excellent for studio mixing. NOTE: the Price is EACH, unless otherwise specified.

Another extremely poplular Studio Monitor with a bit more bass, making the better for listening than precise mixing, is the KRK Rokit RP5 (RP6, RP8) -

[ame=http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&tbm=shop&q=KRK+Rokit+RP5&oq=KRK+Rokit+RP5&gs_l=products-cc.3..0l4.6423.14246.0.14478.]KRK Rokit RP5 - Google Search[/ame]

Still expensive, but slightly less than the Mackie.

But before you start putting down you money, we need some questions answered.

1.) Active or Passive - Which do you really need? With or without built-in amps?

2.) BUDGET - Budget dictates everything.

3.) Mixing - Exactly what type of mixing or recording do you do? Studio Monitors are meant to be flat and neutral, so what you hear on the monitor is precisely what was recorded or re-mixed. This is common for live recording and re-mixing of music sound tracks to meet the artist final goals. However, for more common recording where you are not re-mixing trying to get the final track precise, you probably don't need this level of precision. You just need to be able to hear the sound or music.

As an alternate example, it this is something of an in-house/in-school radio station, you don't need precision monitors, just something to hear the sound. Same for voice recording, if they are not going to be remixed, you just need a basic speaker to hear what is being recorded.

So, the exact nature of the type of recording you do, makes a difference in how much speaker you need, and whether the speaker is simply a speaker or whether it is a precise Studio Monitor.

Answer those questions and we can zero in on your precise needs.

There are several passive speakers beside the very good Tannoy Mercury that are available for a similar price. From SuperFi only, the Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 (£99/pr), also for a bit more, the Dali Zensor 1 (£175/pr).

But, we need the details to precisely tailor our recommendations to your needs.



Distinguished Member
If you can, I will second Steve's suggestion of going with active monitors; they're usually the norm in studios and tend provide the most neutral representation of what you're doing.


Prominent Member
Neuman KH120 if you can afford them, Studio Care have b-stock at £420 a pair and they get great reviews.

KRK VTX6 and VTX8 are also worth a look/ listen.


Established Member
I have a set of M-Audio AV40.

Good sound for £100.

As above, depends on your budget and how serious you want the quality to be!

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