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Avantone CLA-10 (Yamaha NS-10M Clone) Review

Rate this studio monitor

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 153 90.0%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 7 4.1%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 4 2.4%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 6 3.5%

  • Total voters
    170
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amirm

amirm

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Again, your argument seemed to be about perfect neutrality, not good enough.
As a first step, I will take good enough over nothing every day of the week and twice on Sunday. We can do better but if the will of the industry is not there for even modest steps, I will take an approximation and then work on a higher end branding/certification.
 
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amirm

amirm

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I would say that the theoretical problem you bring up is a non-issue nowadays when monitors, in general, are better than before, measurements are easy to do, and the ease of use of reference tracks, thanks to the digital technique of today.
That and $5 will get you a cup of coffee. We operate on what we can prove, not what we can guess. It is not like you have at least show the response of half a dozen famous rooms to make such a claim. No. You just want to declare and have it be taken at face value. But yes, measurements are easy to do but they are not done and published. Buying proper speakers is easy to do. But that is not done either. As I said at the outset, the solution to this quite trivial compared to many other problems we deal with in technology. Yet even these simple steps are not taken. Genelec study showed that eve using their speakers didn't do the job as little was done to take into account room modal response.

None of this is academic for me as I sit there day in and day out evaluate the sound of headphones and speakers. I can only have so much confidence in what I am hearing. If there was a standard that is replicated, then I would have an amazing reference to not only say a speaker/headphone deviates form it, but prove it as well. If a company claimed their speaker was more musical, I could perform listener studies against a reference. Without it, I can somewhat get close but never achieve what I can do in other fields where we have standards.

As mentioned before, I find it way more problematic that the dynamics are killed in the mastering stage for many records, records that otherwise would have sounded much better with the dynamics intact that they had after the mixing stage of the production.
The industry failed to deal with that problem on their own so such is life. What is not life is getting music from a ton of other sources that don't have loudness compression yet present unknown tonality. Having one problem doesn't mean we ignore others.
 

goat76

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That and $5 will get you a cup of coffee. We operate on what we can prove, not what we can guess. It is not like you have at least show the response of half a dozen famous rooms to make such a claim. No. You just want to declare and have it be taken at face value. But yes, measurements are easy to do but they are not done and published. Buying proper speakers is easy to do. But that is not done either. As I said at the outset, the solution to this quite trivial compared to many other problems we deal with in technology. Yet even these simple steps are not taken. Genelec study showed that eve using their speakers didn't do the job as little was done to take into account room modal response.

None of this is academic for me as I sit there day in and day out evaluate the sound of headphones and speakers. I can only have so much confidence in what I am hearing. If there was a standard that is replicated, then I would have an amazing reference to not only say a speaker/headphone deviates form it, but prove it as well. If a company claimed their speaker was more musical, I could perform listener studies against a reference. Without it, I can somewhat get close but never achieve what I can do in other fields where we have standards.


The industry failed to deal with that problem on their own so such is life. What is not life is getting music from a ton of other sources that don't have loudness compression yet present unknown tonality. Having one problem doesn't mean we ignore others.

As I said at the beginning of the post you quoted which you conveniently left out of the reply, was that very few records nowadays have problems with the overall nationality. If you think that's not the case it's up to you to prove it, otherwise, we can assume that the monitors in use and how they measure in those rooms are a non-issue.

You see, it's not me who has anything to prove as I hardly ever stumble across modern records with severe tonality issues. It's you who's running "the case" that those famous rooms are no good, so you should start by giving some examples of music productions that have those tonality faults you think are caused by the monitors and those rooms. After you have given some examples, then we can start to search for measurements of those rooms and see if they have issues that may have caused the tonality issues on those records.

It's kind of a reversed approach to search for problems in the frequency response of those studio rooms if most of the records they release don't have tonality problems. Just a thought.
 

lowkeyoperations

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As I said at the beginning of the post you quoted which you conveniently left out of the reply, was that very few records nowadays have problems with the overall nationality. If you think that's not the case it's up to you to prove it, otherwise, we can assume that the monitors in use and how they measure in those rooms are a non-issue.

You see, it's not me who has anything to prove as I hardly ever stumble across modern records with severe tonality issues. It's you who's running "the case" that those famous rooms are no good, so you should start by giving some examples of music productions that have those tonality faults you think are caused by the monitors and those rooms. After you have given some examples, then we can start to search for measurements of those rooms and see if they have issues that may have caused the tonality issues on those records.

It's kind of a reversed approach to search for problems in the frequency response of those studio rooms if most of the records they release don't have tonality problems. Just a thought.
In my opinion the songs that amir pointed towards and the elements such as grungy low fidelity drums sit well and truly in the area of aesthetics not technical deficiencies. I think he will contend that the sound he prefers to hear, which is the highest fidelity, is the sound that every every song should strive to be.

I pointed out an Aphex twin song that I thought had technical defects. I can hear the bass overload the cassette recording. But really there hasn’t been any examples of technical deficiencies as opposed to elements that weren’t to someone’s preference.

I don’t think many songs have those technical defects either. But yes we can argue about aesthetics all day long, because everyone likes different things.

In my opinion, The Weeknd songs show that the “high fidelity sound” that might be preferred by some audiophiles may not be the aesthetic that everyone wants to hear. People like elements of lofi. They like contrast. Often they just like what they hear and don’t analyse because it sounds right to them.

Music is cultural. Many musical genres are made specifically to sound not like the other music. Think lofi, grunge, drone, atonal etc etc etc. Kids love music that their parents hate! If a standard requires “high fidelity sound” then loads of artists will deliberately deviate from that for cultural and aesthetic reasons to definitively not sound high fidelity.
 
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amirm

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As I said at the beginning of the post you quoted which you conveniently left out of the reply, was that very few records nowadays have problems with the overall nationality. If you think that's not the case it's up to you to prove it, otherwise, we can assume that the monitors in use and how they measure in those rooms are a non-issue.
You have no data to assert what you did. Further, you have no authority in the matter. If an industry doesn't have a standard, that is that. Variability is guaranteed. If it is not there, then they should be all in favor of standards you say they already have in place.

And I already showed how there is definitely an issue with that ATC monitor. I suggest you don't rehash these tired and addressed posts every few pages. You have no case.
 
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amirm

amirm

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You see, it's not me who has anything to prove as I hardly ever stumble across modern records with severe tonality issues.
This is absurd. How do you know this? You have no reference whatsoever. Yet you know there is no "tonality issue?" Why don't you declare world peace while you are at it if all it takes is an empty claim like this. I evaluate a ton of speaker tonality, and never ever land at the position you are. There is always doubt when I play tracks across many albums and productions.

Take this track I post earlier:


It has different amount of bass on different speakers/headphones. How do you know what is right and what is not? You look into some kind of magic globe???

Research into transducers routinely shows "program specific" factors. These need to be taken out of the equation but we can't since we can't disentangle music tonality from speaker.
 
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amirm

amirm

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In my opinion the songs that amir pointed towards and the elements such as grungy low fidelity drums sit well and truly in the area of aesthetics not technical deficiencies.
Your opinion is not based on data and research. What you claim is just that, a claim. You don't even know the intentions behind any of this music let alone been there in the room where the music was created to know what you are hearing is the same or not. Nor have you performed any type of formal study or research.

In reality you repeatedly state the same talking points as I warned you not to as if that makes them factual. It has added so much noise to the thread as has same tactic from the few others.
I don’t think many songs have those technical defects either.
Another you "think" this and that as if anecdotes that are not even based on any kind of person research has value.

In my opinion, The Weeknd songs show that the “high fidelity sound” that might be preferred by some audiophiles may not be the aesthetic that everyone wants to hear.
More "thinking" posts and demonstrating inability to hear impairments to boot. I showed you examples of the very same band having far higher fidelity. Why didn't he make that grungy as well?
Music is cultural. Many musical genres are made specifically to sound not like the other music. Think lofi, grunge, drone, atonal etc etc etc.
Vast amount of music is lo-fi without being part of any such class. I have repeatedly mentioned Adele and how the soundtrack of the video release is far better than the CD. You think her music deserves to be lo-fi?
 

dasdoing

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It has different amount of bass on different speakers/headphones. How do you know what is right and what is not? You look into some kind of magic globe???

people have allready responded how the "right amount of bass" is defined in the industry. it has to fit in the genre, so the balance is referenced to other tracks.
how would you else define the right amount of bass? there is no reference in nature for modern music.

now if everybody somehow had a totally neutral system (which we still don't know how to achieve, not even close), they still would have to fit the balance to reference tracks....else every producer would define his own "right amount of bass" and playlists would be very hard to listen to.
 

PeteL

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I can't critique what I don't have: the frequency response of that room. Does it exist? If not, it proves how valuable standards are because we can create compliance/branding programs on them. Without it, folks just show pretty pictures of rooms as to impress folks like you that listen with their eyes instead of ears.

I don't know what to answer that. It's a website, and it's a business. They sell their service based on their reputation and achievements. That's what the labels care about. I know you don't like it, but you're not their target customer. I would think that if a paying customers want to see the measurements of the room, but since I know you'll ask, no. I don't have data on that. You neither. Yes they are marketing to a different audience than you, they go there to have a master that will be commercially succesful.
That room could have a superb frequency response or one from hell. Or something in the middle. The problem is not necessarily that it is any one of those but that we don't know. And that it varies from one room to another.

And to the extent the response and hence the tonality varies from where the mix was made, it creates yet another problem.
Sure, tonality varies from a production to an other. It'd be very boring if everything sounded the same. I don't want that, you want that, we don't agree.

The fact that he has two sets of speakers once again shows the issues with lack of standardization. He is taking two random shots at the sound being good. One on his monitor and another with the smaller one. He has picked those two samples whereas his other peers have picked others. It it a total gamble, relying on luck than sound science and engineering.

I certainly hope that he heard its master on more than two sets of speaker, and in many more. Comes to think of it. You really want to know the response on which the final mix and master where approved? Actually I take my statement back. It is very likely that at the very end it was at Mister Tesfaye's house that he knew he was finally happy. A system that he knows inside and out, where he listens to music everyday, to all of his favorites albums, where he is used to crank it loud and knows how it reacts, to have the system running in the background on a romantic dinner with a hot date, where he has a collection of multiple styles of music, where he simply know the sound.
Reading between the lines, it seems you are saying, "it is the mastering guy that is responsible so go after him." That is a technicality that is orthogonal to the discussion. We look at mix and mastering as a package that produces a piece of music for us to listen to. Decisions are made in both phases that are monitor dependent and new problems created due to two chefs in the kitchen which at times have disdain for each other. A standard in production (both phases) and consumption would massively simplify this problem. But they won't go there and we have apologists like you throwing rock at what should be a dunk shot as far as desirability.
The general spectral balance, yes. It's mainly the mastering job, but sure. If a mix is too out of whack They won't save it. Yes there are more aesthetics and Artistic decisions at mix down, more technicalities at mastering, but I agree with you, they both have to have an attention to fidelity. Recording too by the way, even more so. They use at all stage high fidelity monitoring, at least for some part. And yes, some mixing Engineers may have preferences in their monitoring and I am happy to give you that probably some don't work with a "standard" response, but what you failed to demonstrate and is only based on some measurment fantasy is that their mix or master would turn out better if everybody was mixing in the same exact conditions, and no. You have no data that demonstrate that, no research that can possibly demonstrate that, and certainly have no first hand Insight that it's happening. The audiences are not listening all in the same conditions, how hard is it to understand. Your Dunk shot miss the ring, over and over.
 
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amirm

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now if everybody somehow had a totally neutral system (which we still don't know how to achieve, not even close), they still would have to fit the balance to reference tracks....else every producer would define his own "right amount of bass" and playlists would be very hard to listen to.
That's right. So there is no way a priori to know that a track has the right tonality as claimed. To be clear, it is not the goal of any standardization to mandate certain tonality in the music. It is to get more unification of performance around our systems and that used during production. And with it, reduce the amount of uncertainty. We certainly didn't create standards in video as to force anyone to have certain amount of red vs blue in the image...
 
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amirm

amirm

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Sure, tonality varies from a production to an other. It'd be very boring if everything sounded the same. I don't want that, you want that, we don't agree.
How can the few of you be this confused after repeatedly addressing the same points over and over again? Who the hell is saying what tonality the *content* can have? It can have whatever. Somehow you thought have a frequency response target for a monitoring system, that forces certainly tonality to the content itself??? How absurd can you get?

What I want, and so does any audiophile who wants a transparent system, is to get to hear what was created with the intended tonality. Whatever the heck that is. If I hear too much bass and it was the same way when the content was produced, then we are good. If I don't like that, I can either modify it, or not listen to that track. What I won't do is go and chase another speaker to see if I can fix a problem that by definition does not exist.
 
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amirm

amirm

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I certainly hope that he heard its master on more than two sets of speaker, and in many more.
Where the heck did he get the "many more?" There are only two speakers there. Did he produce the content, go and test it on those "many more" speakers, then come back to his studio without those speakers and tweak? No, he didn't.
 
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amirm

amirm

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And yes, some mixing Engineers may have preferences in their monitoring and I am happy to give you that probably some don't work with a "standard" response, but what you failed to demonstrate and is only based on some measurment fantasy is that their mix or master would turn out better if everybody was mixing in the same exact conditions, and no.
I haven't because that is orthogonal to the need for standards. They could have standards and still produce crap. But at least I will know it is crap when I hear it similarly to what they did. I don't go chasing fixes for my system thinking I am the problem.

What we have also said is that if you use totally screwed up speakers like the subject of this review and NS-10m, you will by definition do things differently than you would with a neutral speaker. I don't need to prove this because the proponents have claimed it already! It reasons then that it is fixing problems we, the people with neutral speakers, don't have. They claim they are doing this to have their "mix" translate to other broken systems. Yet they have not shown this in any kind of study. The burden of proof is on them for taking specific steps to do something unorthodox. If they don't have such data, then all they have is folklore that they are copying from each other.

Look, what you have failed to show is that having a standard is a bad thing. Not one proof point of this is shown. A standard would encourage other production houses to have more similar response and entice consumers to adopt it as well. We would all go to the shore together toward a more unified and performant end to end system. There is no question in my mind that if we had a branded standard in production, consumer technology companies would move to adopt it as well.

What you have also failed to do is show what is in it for you to keep things the same. What is your motivation to continue to post against having a standard? In what way will you be harmed?
 

Travis

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Finally found a YouTube video that shows mixing with raw tracks, with effects (wet), no effects (dry), vocal only, guitar only, all guitars, bass only, guitars with drums, all together.

This particular album the mixer says was the easiest album he ever mixed because this band “mixed themselves” because they recorded a lot of it together.

It shows the sound of individual tracks and what a mix engineer does to make that track sound it’s best WHEN PLAYED with all the other tracks.

If you listen/watch close there is a brief discussion how one guitar is panned full left, the other full right. How a mono track is split so that the track has a much wider stereo image.

Notice how the hosts are picking up on/guessing as to effects. Asking if he high-passed the bass. Which means it probably arrived high-passed before he got it.

There is also a segment where he shows one part of applying eq to a track using the EQ of the board, and what it does to that instrument, and other eq using outboard equipment on piano.


The track is played back mostly through near field monitors (MSP7) but is switched to his Dynaudios but also goes to an old tv with stereo side speakers.

There is a lot of technical terms being tossed about but this video has sort of pop-up’s that explain them. They rattle off equipment model numbers like “57 on a snare” which people around recording instantly know is a Shure SM57 microphone to record a snare drum (which is a defacto industry standard/technique for well over 40 years) but don’t get bogged down in that, the main thing is the before, and after, on a track, and whole thing together.

There is a great segment where the engineer talks about the song, what it’s about, the techniques he used to help convey the meaning of the song.

If you want to have some general idea about what this step in the process is about (mixing) this will give you some idea what is involved in turning a raw set of tracks into something [more polished, pleasant, emotional, pick your adjectives]. You might decide it’s worse. This artist has 100% control/approval over mix. There is one part where the mix engineer talks about the artist being next to him in the mix and would ask if he could dirty it up a little.

Hope you enjoy.

 

PeteL

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How can the few of you be this confused after repeatedly addressing the same points over and over again? Who the hell is saying what tonality the *content* can have? It can have whatever. Somehow you thought have a frequency response target for a monitoring system, that forces certainly tonality to the content itself??? How absurd can you get?

What I want, and so does any audiophile who wants a transparent system, is to get to hear what was created with the intended tonality. Whatever the heck that is. If I hear too much bass and it was the same way when the content was produced, then we are good. If I don't like that, I can either modify it, or not listen to that track. What I won't do is go and chase another speaker to see if I can fix a problem that by definition does not exist.
Well you are the one that went on a tangent to proceed to enumerate productions that according to you are bad mixes, and tried to force down your readership throat that it's about monitoring condition. If it's not the tonality of the end result that you aim to fix what is it?
 
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amirm

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Here you Go. After Hours was Mastered at The Mastering palace By Dave Kutch. And Kevin Peterson. Here is their Monitor list, You can criticize that, that's where the final release was approved.:
Let's go back to this and Kutch's beliefs on the topic we are discussing: https://sonicscoop.com/regal-hearing-qa-dave-kutch-mastering-palace/

What advice would you give to a young mastering engineer who’s trying to determine if a speaker that they’re auditioning is right for them?

Nothing should hurt. You’ve got to trust the musician inside you. If you make an ugly face, then there’s probably something wrong and don’t think that it’s you — no, it’s the speaker. You should have an excited face when you listen to it. It’s the same with a song: If it doesn’t make me move, then I’m not there yet.


Pure subjectivism at work. Not even a hint of a recommendation to measure anything or buy a neutral speaker. And forget about the room. It gets no mention. What does get mention is this:

For me, the most important gear is the speakers, and the converters too — the Dangerous Monitor ST and Focal speakers. Also VOVOX cabling. I hate talking about cable – I’m not a big gear guy, as you noticed – but it actually does make a difference. Bob Mueller from Dangerous Music told me what a difference he thinks it makes, and it does.

When I tell you that I read stuff from Pro world that make me cringe, I am serious. Hopefully it will make you feel that way as well seeing how one of the A-list mastering engineers believes in voodoo and has no use for measurements.

On his focal speakers, there is this promotional video he did for them:


Notice that the only way he could get portability of his work was to ship the same speaker to the new location. This is what happens when there are no standards. Also note that he thinks it is only the speaker that is responsible for what he hears. Speaker in two different rooms is said to be the same, never mind that the low frequency is very different now.

Folks, just don't have any use for science and proper engineering....
 

PeteL

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Look, what you have failed to show is that having a standard is a bad thing. Not one proof point of this is shown. A standard would encourage other production houses to have more similar response and entice consumers to adopt it as well. We would all go to the shore together toward a more unified and performant end to end system. There is no question in my mind that if we had a branded standard in production, consumer technology companies would move to adopt it as well.

What you have also failed to do is show what is in it for you to keep things the same. What is your motivation to continue to post against having a standard? In what way will you be harmed?
I don't post against having a standard. What I post against is presenting as a fact, without any proof or research, that standardized monitoring response in professionnal environment will get us productions with better fidelity. I said it many times there are many standards in audio. You either dismissed them or ignore them At least debate with the argument presented and stop moving the goal posts and put words in my mouth. Your only rough draft of a standard, are a set of considerations that most Mastering suites adhere to and may only benefit end customers with reference systems, crumbs, point of percents. but the real problem again is that mixes have to work with every cheap reproduction systems. You haven't adress that. You don't care about that. They do. Yes the recording industry need to evolve, but will not evolve just for you. Yes they need to maybe faster recognise that headphones is the new norm and maybe even a set of standard or a different mix for headphones would help since the room have no impact and I admit that still today, its mainly mixed for speakers, with headphone checks but not as the main goal. There is room for evolution, I'm not anti standard The industry is proud of what they release and would hope that more end customers don't miss half of it because of their tiny BT speakers but it is the reality. What you present is not.
 
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amirm

amirm

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but the real problem again is that mixes have to work with every cheap reproduction systems.
That is a real problem. What is their solution? Let's use this crap speaker to figure out how those myriad of "cheap" systems do:

index.php


The paper asks "why" but never answers it. You don't answer it. Nor has anyone else.

The solution it to help weed out the "cheap" reproduction system if by that you mean responses that are poor. Because if you mean cost, you have no idea what you are talking about as a $50 IEM can run circles around many high performance systems. There is zero barrier to having a superb and unified response between us and production.

We need defined goalposts. That IEM came about because Harman created a such a target and us collectively here, amplified it. So company responded and produced a superb product with hardly any cost.

If such a target is defined by the Pro industry, as I have repeatedly said, the consumer industry will come along assuming it is well done/founded in proper science and research.

This concept has been hugely successful to give us very high fidelity video products. I speak from expertise having spend 25+ years in video world. Audio folks need to step up to the plate.

Yes the recording industry need to evolve, but will not evolve just for you.
What nonsense to say. This has nothing to do with me alone. I have quoted Dr. Olive/Toole as saying this is the number one problem facing us from achieving high fidelity. You are going to claim this is just for them too? No, standards are for everyone. Standards create large markets and simplify interoperability. The business of mixing and mastering would become hugely simpler if the world of playback was narrowed to standardized specification much like we have in video. This will reduce labor costs, and improve fidelity as they don't have to target many and master none. Listener enjoyment may very well be increased as well seeing how even average joe prefers neutral speakers and is bothered by colorations.
 
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