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Neumann KH120 II Monitor Review

Rate this monitor speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 1 0.3%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 3 0.8%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 34 8.6%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 357 90.4%

  • Total voters
    395

teashea

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Im ok with the speakers not being at their implied best after 6ft or so, I know this still sound very good at longer distances. When I move to bigger room I will take it even further into account. Too bad the KH150 are so much more expensive than the KH120ii ñ, but that extra spl and bass extension looks sweet. The narrower radiation not so much.
Like the KH 120 II's, the KH 150's are designed as nearfield monitors. The narrow radiation pattern is an advantage. They should not be misused as farfield speakers.
 

Trell

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Like the KH 120 II's, the KH 150's are designed as nearfield monitors. The narrow radiation pattern is an advantage. They should not be misused as farfield speakers.

Misused? Radiation pattern is a preference and there are many owners of active monitors that use them at mid/far-field and are happy with that. Genelec has HiFi versions of several of their near-field active monitors that just have some input differences and some other small changes.

Besides, isn’t a narrow radiation pattern preferable in a multichannel setup?
 

DearSX

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Misused? Radiation pattern is a preference and there are many owners of active monitors that use them at mid/far-field and are happy with that. Genelec has HiFi versions of several of their near-field active monitors that just have some input differences and some other small changes.

Besides, isn’t a narrow radiation pattern preferable in a multichannel setup?
Im used to associating narrow radiation with a negative, but I agree that it's like a trade off some prefer and works better in some situations. I'm gonna plan to have both with speakers like the Linton and speakers with KH like waveguides.
 

IamJF

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UNEVEN radiation is negative! Sadly most traditional HiFi speakers have this behaviour.

When your room is good (and you sit close) you can use wide dispersion speakers with great results. In a not well treated room and far distance a narrow (but even!) radiation helps to get more "music" and less "room" to your ear. That's good mostly! ;-)
 

dweeeeb2

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Maybe. I'm not entirely convinced of neither this or that. But I'm more on the side of e.g. Dirac that claims it's of importance.
I just wonder why it's included here in this review and not in others. It's a great response but we don't know if other reviewed speakers inhibit the same characteristic or not so we have no reference points other than Amir that rightly says it's great.

"**The impulse response is the inverse Fourier transform of the frequency response. It shows how a system is able to reproduce transients such as drumbeats, claps, and strokes on the guitar, etc."

"Impulse response, which is the output produced by a brief input signal, such as a single note of music. Poor impulse response can result in a muddy sound, where notes linger too long and blend together."
I’m way behind most on here, so forgive me if Im wrong, but I was looking into this “drum beat” sound recently. In summary I figured out the following (pls correct me if I’m wrong). I’ve found the following details from various online sites.
Fundamental drum note: 150Hz(snare chosen)
Beat “attack” duration: 0.1sec
That means that for each drum note “attack” the speaker has moved in and out: 0.1 x 150 = 15 times. To my thinking a speakers FR best demonstrates its ability to play a drum beat. Not its ability to play one “thud”
 

unpluggged

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That means that for each drum note “attack” the speaker has moved in and out: 0.1 x 150 = 15 times. To my thinking a speakers FR best demonstrates its ability to play a drum beat. Not its ability to play one “thud”
What physical sense do you put into these calculations? Do you realize that 1) step pulse is broadband, and the shorter it is, the wider is the spectrum; 2) drum sounds are also broadband, not sine waves?
 

dweeeeb2

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What physical sense do you put into these calculations? Do you realize that 1) step pulse is broadband, and the shorter it is, the wider is the spectrum; 2) drum sounds are also broadband, not sine waves?
Sorry, There’s still a couple of graphs I do not understand and step response is one of them, the second is group delay. So I don’t understand the implication of point 1. As for point 2, I understand that all “sounds” have multiple frequencies, I simplified to a single frequency just to visualize the simplest possible action of the speaker when playing a short, pulse like sound. To me the realization that the speaker is moving in and out atleast 15 times for a simple drum beat steered me towards FR as opposed to the idea of a speaker doing one loud push. Or have I got this wrong lol
 

boxerfan88

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I was just checking out the KH120II specs today, and I recall the debate over listening distances, the spec sheet says the following:

Recommended Listening Distance1.0 … 2.0 m; (3'… 6')
Feasible Listening Distance0.75 … 4.0 m; (2'6"… 12')

Therefore, it's still feasible to use KH120II up to 4.0m. FYI.
 
Last edited:

Holdt

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I’m way behind most on here, so forgive me if Im wrong, but I was looking into this “drum beat” sound recently. In summary I figured out the following (pls correct me if I’m wrong). I’ve found the following details from various online sites.
Fundamental drum note: 150Hz(snare chosen)
Beat “attack” duration: 0.1sec
That means that for each drum note “attack” the speaker has moved in and out: 0.1 x 150 = 15 times. To my thinking a speakers FR best demonstrates its ability to play a drum beat. Not its ability to play one “thud”
Well. It's not black or white. As I see it, Diracs way of describing it is logical. If the speaker is capable of a great response to an impulse, means no (or little) alteration has occurred from the source of the signal. No speakers or systems have a perfect response. To assess whether the response is better or worse before and after measurements must be compared and the similarity between the measurement and the actual impulse must be considered.

Impulse responses can look nothing like an impulse but you would still think the sound is great. After Dirac Live correction "magic" though, it's much better and lo and behold, the IR also looks better.

But it's a topic for another thread, I think.
 

Nuyes

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Due to its smaller size, I decided to go down to 80 dBSPL and measure distortion:
View attachment 298559
There is a resonance at 334 Hz or so. This is seen as a tiny blip in on-axis response as well. It is well below my threshold though so not an issue. And at any rate, is overwhelmed at higher SPLs I normally show:

View attachment 298560

This is amazing level of performance. Look ag the gap between measured distortion and our 50 dB target. It is massive. At 96 dBSPL we do get more distortion but it is where the speaker response drops rapidly anyway:
View attachment 298561
As noted, the warning light came on in red although I didn't detect any sudden rise in distortion. Still, this is probably a good limit for the performance of this speaker.

I happened to have a sample of the KH120 A in my studio, so I put it to the test.

This is the THD graph starting at 70dB and increasing by 3dB.



KH120 A.png


I haven't found any similar issues.

Of course, the KH120 A and ii are different loudspeakers.


-----


The KH120 ii will be available in Korea soon.

As soon as I can get my hands on a sample, I'll do the same tests and report back.
 

IamJF

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What physical sense do you put into these calculations? Do you realize that 1) step pulse is broadband, and the shorter it is, the wider is the spectrum; 2) drum sounds are also broadband, not sine waves?
Of course have drumsounds strong sinus components!
You know you tune drums? Whenever you hear a tone there are repeating sine waves - and a lot of them cause we need some time to recognise tone height. During recording you often need to dampen the drum skins cause they ring way to long -> sine signals.

Without these your drums will just give a "klick" sound.

(Cymbals are more chaotic and normally don't have a tone. But they also have a loooong sound - a big and chaotic mixture of sine signals).
 

witwald

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What physical sense do you put into these calculations? Do you realize that 1) step pulse is broadband, and the shorter it is, the wider is the spectrum; 2) drum sounds are also broadband, not sine waves?
Below is a waveform of an example sampled kick-drum sound. Even looking at it in the time domain, it seems to be largely dominated by the presence of a single frequency of high amplitude.
1690281055366.png


Below is the FFT spectrum of the above waveform. This looks to be far from what would be expected had the kick drum pulse been broadband in nature. There is a dominant peak at 61 Hz, with a smaller peak at 90 Hz or so.
1690281144554.png
 

IamJF

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I'm missing the attack range 2-7kHz. Is this an electronic kick sample? And there is DC in the signal ... put high passes in your signal chain ;)
But everyone ever who close miced a kick drum knows - these always ring to long. There's a lot of tone -> sine frequncies.
 

goat76

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I'm missing the attack range 2-7kHz. Is this an electronic kick sample? And there is DC in the signal ... put high passes in your signal chain ;)
But everyone ever who close miced a kick drum knows - these always ring to long. There's a lot of tone -> sine frequncies.

This is what the frequency response of a sampled acoustic kick drum in BFD3 looks like. The fundament frequencies are at around 80 Hz and the attack is about 2-7 kHz as you say, but other than that the kick has a full-range sound.

1690290236789.png
 

Holdt

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Hey @goat76 & @IamJF

This is quite interesting to me. You should start a thread and tag me as I think it's a bit off-topic for this one. I would love to follow and learn more about certain sounds and their profiles. I didn't know a kick drum had so high frequencies..
 

Ron Texas

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I was just checking out the KH120II specs today, and I recall the debate over listening distances, the spec sheet says the following:

Recommended Listening Distance1.0 … 2.0 m; (3'… 6')
Feasible Listening Distance0.75 … 4.0 m; (2'6"… 12')

Therefore, it's still feasible to use KH120II up to 4.0m. FYI.
Feasible doesn't mean the same thing as optimal.
 

IamJF

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Hey @goat76 & @IamJF

This is quite interesting to me. You should start a thread and tag me as I think it's a bit off-topic for this one. I would love to follow and learn more about certain sounds and their profiles. I didn't know a kick drum had so high frequencies..
That's a can of worms ... there's A LOT to tell in this regard. It helps to do a sound engineering study ;)
But you are right, many music "users" have no idea about what happens in the background. How do we get these sounds we love and are used to.

I will start a homepage by end of this year to write some stuff together so we don't have to repeat it over and over - this would probably be a good toppic.

Kickdrum: The low resonance is in the area of 45-55Hz for 24-22" kick drums and that's the reason I prefer 20" for recording - cause we are used to bassdrums in the 60Hz area. You have overtones to that fundamental, but these often don't sound as we like it and muddy the bass guitar - so they are filtered. Then there is the "boxy region" - 300-1000Hz. Bass drum microphones have already a big notch built in there and we often drive that even further with EQ. We need a clean sound and room in this frequency area for other instruments. There are two frequency areas for the "clack" - the attack of the kickdrum. Without it you would not recognise it properly in a mix, sometimes (with very fast BD music) it is even louder as the fundamental low end. There is the 2-3khz area and the 5-8kHz area - you chose one and go for it. Different kick beater materials and drum skins pronaunce the attack different. And also different microphones have their attack at different places - that's one of the reasons I don't like the Shure bass drum microphones (2-3kHz) and prefer mics like the D6 (higher frequency attack). Frequencies >10kHz don't belong to a bassdrum in a mix, with a real drumset these are often cymbals and other sounds you don't want mixed up. If they get to much you filter them.

And now you would write about how to position the mics to get these sounds (very often 2 mics, for recordings even more) and how to EQ and mix them. How to compress the kick. Position in the mix, drum masster compression, "dirt room mic" addition to get more "real". And a few things more.

And then went on with the snare. Toms small, toms big. HighHat. Ride. Overhead. Room mics.
One instrument done. :cool:
 

SlothRock

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Neumann still absolutely rocking it. I love my KH120A's. Got a 750 to pair with them and about to buy a 2nd 750 to even out the bass and take it to another level. If you're buying your first high end studio monitors the KH120 II's have to be near the top of the list, if not at the top, in this price range
 

HQY

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Neumann still absolutely rocking it. I love my KH120A's. Got a 750 to pair with them and about to buy a 2nd 750 to even out the bass and take it to another level. If you're buying your first high end studio monitors the KH120 II's have to be near the top of the list, if not at the top, in this price range
using two 750s with ma1, you need to find a Y adaptor which should be long enough to connect both 750s. it's hard to find unless you diy by yourself.
 

SlothRock

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using two 750s with ma1, you need to find a Y adaptor which should be long enough to connect both 750s. it's hard to find unless you diy by yourself.
I think you could just get a splitter then another XLR to bridge the gap distance, right? That's what I was planning at least.
 
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