monitors: flat vs ones that make it sound like crap

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by ashjamben, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. ashjamben macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 28, 2007
    Location:
    Shanghai, China
    #1
    i'm ready to buy some monitor speakers, and i've got around £200 to spend. i know its not a great deal, but i use my university studios aswell and just want some good, small monitor speakers for at home.

    i've had a look around some different ones, and came across the yamaha HS50m's. these are meant to be like the old ns10, in the sense that if it sounds good on these it'll sound good on anything. this is because instead of a flat frequency response it cuts and boosts certain frequencies.

    just after some opinions on this. would i be better with the HS50m's, or some with a flat frequency response?

    if its applicable the music i produce is a mixture of acoustic and electronica

    thanks
     
  2. pkoch1 macrumors 6502a

    pkoch1

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    Oct 3, 2007
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    This is the age-old dilemma. I have a pair of NS-10s (which were manufactured for home stereo use), but I don't think they are as necessary anymore because of the influx of home studios. Unless you are bringing other engineers into your studio, you don't need something that many people agree on, just something you can make a good mix on.

    You just need a good set of monitors that you like the sound of, and know the sound of. You just need to know yourself how it will translate to other systems. If this means getting a pair of NS-10s, some M-Audio BX5s, the HS50Ms, some KRKs, or whatever, it will be what you know.

    George Massenburg even checks his mixes in earbuds to make sure they translate to the medium on which many, many people listen to music nowadays.

    That said, I would try to mix on monitors that are more on the flat side so you can hear the frequency spectrum of your mix as accurately as possible. Also, make sure to treat your room blah blah blah. ;)

    Then just make sure to check your mix in your car, on a boom box, on other speakers, through earbuds, etc. Once you get to know your monitors, you will know how the response is and how to deal with it. Just trust your ears, and good luck!
     
  3. Luap macrumors 65816

    Luap

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    #3
    The HS50's are quite well regarded for the money, so if you can get those for £200 then im sure you'd be happy enough with them.
    But don't think of them as an NS10 replacement by any means. Simply because the old NS10's were non ported (sealed box) monitors, where as the later HS50's are pretty regular ported monitors. The sound characteristics are quite different between the 2 designs.
    NS10's were far from flat in frequency response. But what they lacked in frequency response, they made up for in other areas of benefit. Like transient/time domain response and phase characteristics.

    The HS50's are similar to NS10's in looks only.. Which is just as well because I always thought NS10's were somewhat over-rated myself.. But each to their own!

    Either way, see if you can audition some HS50's and see if they float your boat. Yamaha also make an HS10 matching subwoofer that you could use as an upgrade at a later date, if you wished.
     
  4. ashjamben thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    the frequency response of the hs50m's isn't too much different from the ns10's. this review shows a comparison about half way down:

    http://www.moozek.com/2008/01/09/super-review-yamaha-hs50m-the-new-ns-10m/

    pkock1, you mentioned the bx5's. any experience with them? i was gonna pick some up not too long ago, but decided against it. mite still be an option.

    thanks for the replies
     
  5. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #5
    nuts to graphs. unless your room is highly treated, what you hear won't resemble at all what those graphs say.

    the more you spend on treatment, like minitraps and 244's, the better. it really is the most bang for your buck.
     
  6. ashjamben thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    i see your point, but 1. i dont really have the cash for that and 2. i thought the whole point in nearfield monitors was that they were close enough so the room didn't make to much of a difference to the sound?
     
  7. Luap macrumors 65816

    Luap

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    #7
    Sound characteristics are determined by a lot more than frequency response alone though.. Hence why I was pointing out the ported/non-ported thing.
    Non ported monitors are relatively uncommon, which is part of the reason NS10's also had slightly uncommon sound characteristics.
    IE, even if the NS10s & HS50's had an identical freq response, they'd still sound quite different.

    As for Zims comment about room treatment. Yes its important. But its not really feasible if you only have £200 ($300'ish) to spend on monitors.
    Plus, as the HS50's are small nearfields, acoustics are slightly less of an issue compared to larger, higher powered monitors (especially in small spaces). This isn't to say there is no benefit from room treatment of course, because there most certainly are gains to be had.
     
  8. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #8
    do this experiment. turn your back on the monitors and face the rear wall. if you can still hear them, then the room is affecting the sound, because those are the reflections you're hearing.
     
  9. ashjamben thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 28, 2007
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    Shanghai, China
    #9
    ye, i agree completely. but i'm currently a student, living in halls for the next few months, then a house the year after, then a different house no doubt the year after that so don't want to be treating rooms to much.

    also, im gonna push the boat out a little, as ive seen some tannoy reveal 5a's (i think they were) for about £260. so thinkin of sayin thats now my top budget. i used the tannoy reveal 6's at my old college, and i liked them alot.

    i really ought to try and hear some of these but apart from rolands, my local music store seems more obsessed with guitar and drums than studio gear. thats kinda why im leaning towards the tannoys now, as i kinda know what they're like. might try and have a proper snoop around at uni and see what they have in the many studios, and maybe ask the technicians for his views.

    thanks for the replies
     
  10. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #10
    okay, you can do this: acquire 2 or 4 2'x4' sheets of Owen Corning 703 rockwool, 2" thick. double them up to create a 4" sheet, wrap it in burlap, and shove it in a corner.

    make one of these traps, and it will improve whatever monitors you get by a great deal. make another, put it in another corner, and you'll be in good shape.

    cheap and very effective.
     
  11. pkoch1 macrumors 6502a

    pkoch1

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    Location:
    Boston
    #11
    I do use them. They have a little more bass than the NS-10s but have a little buildup in the low mids. I personally like them, and have done lots of mixing on them, but I actually just built a set that blow them out of the water for $145 (from partsexpress.com)

    George Massenburg A-B'd them against these crazy $8000 football-shaped non-resonant monitors with built-in-stands that are supposed to be the new hip technology in monitors, and he said that our little $145 home-built monitors blew them away.

    Now to get a good (cheap) amp to power them...
     
  12. clownjuggles macrumors member

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    Mar 11, 2009
    #12
    Genelec 8000 series. I personally use the 8240s
     
  13. clownjuggles macrumors member

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    Mar 11, 2009
    #13

    If you are using passive monitors I would look at bryston.
     
  14. ashjamben thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 28, 2007
    Location:
    Shanghai, China
    #14
    just want to say thanks for all the replies.

    still not sure which ones to go for, i really want to try some out first but im not having much luck finding somewhere that has them, if any, in stock.
     

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