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Neumann KH420 Review (Studio Monitor)

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 2 0.5%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 2 0.5%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 25 6.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 390 93.1%

  • Total voters
    419

Aafnp

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Here’s mine with a bass shelf, using 3, KH805 subs for room correction FWIW.
Oh wow, nice! You clearly have less of a bass null in your mlp than I do. I have a serious null between 20-40 hz that requires bass shelves and cranking the subs to potentially mitigate. Problem is that doing that makes the bass too loud for my neighbors, so it kind of helps that I have a bit less bottom octave energy.
 

al2002

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I just did a bit more REW tuning and measuring, and this is the best frequency response I could manage in my room. I do like the bass being a bit boosted, and subjectively this tuning sounds good. Any feedback on how to improve? View attachment 207041
Fine tuning a FR curve is subjective and can come down to personal preference. On pink noise I personally find a lift in the 2-4 kHz range very obtrusive.

With that proviso, your speakers look too bright to me in the 1.3 to 4kHz region by 3-5 dB. If they were mine, I would reduce output over that range. Play some pink noise, first on L & R channels separately then in double mono, cutting output in 1-2 dB steps and see what you prefer. You might even end up preferring a dip rather than a flat response.
 
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james57

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Thanks all for your kind advices and have narrowed it down to a 2.1 syst, yes sometimes we listen mostly to what we want anyway, overall I am more comfortable with this kind of setup. No, I am not afflicted by the analysis paralysis illness, I usually measure twice and cut once. That being said I am now in the kh 420 vs 8351b debate, sounds familiar ? Since there is no way on earth that I will be departing from my rythmik e15 a full integration with glm is not possible, I have been exchanging a few emails directly with Genelec and quite frankly I don't understand why they are making it so difficult to use a non-proprietary sub, in the end they should make it easier and gain sales upfront with the monitors rather than hope you a get a full system from them and lose everything. Since the e15 lives in the analogue world, I can go full analogue or analogue+digital which then greatly limits my choices of upgrades for preamps or media player. I am using a oppo 105 as a media- dac-preamp-active xover. So.. Anyone ran a glm integration with non-generic sub successfully and is the added dsp at let’s say 80 Hz and up worth it, I have used basic functions with REW already that I could use for the sub. Or do I go with a pair of kh 420, no dsp and stay full analogue
 
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dfuller

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Thanks all for your kind advices and have narrowed it down to a 2.1 syst, yes sometimes we listen mostly to what we want anyway, overall I am more comfortable with this kind of setup. No, I am not afflicted by the analysis paralysis illness, I usually measure twice and cut once. That being said I am now in the kh 420 vs 8351b debate, sounds familiar ? Since there is no way on earth that I will be departing from my rythmik e15 a full integration with glm is not possible, I have been exchanging a few emails directly with Genelec and quite frankly I don't understand why they are making it so difficult to use a non-proprietary sub, in the end they should make it easier and gain sales upfront with the monitors rather than hope you a get a full system from them and lose everything. Since the e15 lives in the analogue world, I can go full analogue or analogue+digital which then greatly limits my choices of upgrades for preamps or media player. I am using a oppo 105 as a media- dac-preamp-active xover. So.. Anyone ran a glm integration with non-generic sub successfully and is the added dsp at let’s say 80 Hz and up worth it, I have used basic functions with REW already that I could use for the sub. Or do I go with a pair of kh 420, no dsp and stay full analogue
Kh420 and get a MiniDSP Flex or similar for your crossover and correction.
 

james57

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Kh420 and get a MiniDSP Flex or similar for your crossover and correction.
sounds like my preferred endgame with the shd instead, but will most likely try the oppo first. will try to get the purchase done at the end of summer, stocks appear to be very low everywehre
 

Aafnp

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EQ is magic with these speakers. They respond so freaking well. I’ve managed to eq 20-100hz to be pretty even, which means without peaks, I can turn the overall volume/bass higher without disturbing my neighbors. I slightly boosted 100-200hz and dipped 200-300hz to bring out bass guitars a bit more too.

So now, even at low volumes, bass is super textured and present and full. Since I mostly listen at low volumes, this makes like 80% of my listening significantly more enjoyable. And at high volumes it’s just amazing.

Also I cannot stop talking about how amazing the imaging and soundstage of these are. The sweet spot is huge and extends vertically so I get a very coherent image whether sitting or standing. The speakers simply disappear, all the sounds seem to come from between them. It’s really the most amazing audio experience I’ve had in my life, even compared to all the expensive speakers I’ve demoed in treated speaker store rooms.
 

Vintage57

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EQ is magic with these speakers. They respond so freaking well. I’ve managed to eq 20-100hz to be pretty even, which means without peaks, I can turn the overall volume/bass higher without disturbing my neighbors. I slightly boosted 100-200hz and dipped 200-300hz to bring out bass guitars a bit more too.

So now, even at low volumes, bass is super textured and present and full. Since I mostly listen at low volumes, this makes like 80% of my listening significantly more enjoyable. And at high volumes it’s just amazing.

Also I cannot stop talking about how amazing the imaging and soundstage of these are. The sweet spot is huge and extends vertically so I get a very coherent image whether sitting or standing. The speakers simply disappear, all the sounds seem to come from between them. It’s really the most amazing audio experience I’ve had in my life, even compared to all the expensive speakers I’ve demoed in treated speaker store rooms.
What he ^ said 100%
 

ethanhallbeyer

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Just some questions: which speakers either are designed to allow for external amplification and active crossover (so you can choose, modify or fix more easily whichever part you need) or can be most easily converted to allow such? Would it be easier to do on a passive set of speakers?

And let's say one day your active speakers built in amplifier and/or active crossover fails, and the manufacturer and parts availability are no more... is it easier to convert actives to passives or passives to actives, without impacting the sound as it was intended?
 

Vintage57

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Just some questions: which speakers either are designed to allow for external amplification and active crossover (so you can choose, modify or fix more easily whichever part you need) or can be most easily converted to allow such? Would it be easier to do on a passive set of speakers?

And let's say one day your active speakers built in amplifier and/or active crossover fails, and the manufacturer and parts availability are no more... is it easier to convert actives to passives or passives to actives, without impacting the sound as it was intended?
The Bryston actives can be changed back to passive
 

dfuller

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Just some questions: which speakers either are designed to allow for external amplification and active crossover (so you can choose, modify or fix more easily whichever part you need) or can be most easily converted to allow such? Would it be easier to do on a passive set of speakers?

And let's say one day your active speakers built in amplifier and/or active crossover fails, and the manufacturer and parts availability are no more... is it easier to convert actives to passives or passives to actives, without impacting the sound as it was intended?
It involves designing an entirely new crossover for both options.
 

richard12511

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So, that's subwoofers are more compatible with speakers from the same company vs subwoofers like Rythmik, JTR, and another?
I ask, because someone on this forum was writing that pro subwoofers are too expensive for the performance offered - or something like this.

Price being equal, the JTR/Rhythmics are better. I don't have any Neumann subs, but they look comparable to Genelec subs, and I do own Genelec subs, as well as JTR and Rythmik subs.

*Edit: this is a great tool for comparing objective performance of many different subwoofers at similar price points.
 
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Vintage57

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Price being equal, the JTR/Rhythmics are better. I don't have any Neumann subs, but they look comparable to Genelec subs, and I do own Genelec subs, as well as JTR and Rythmik subs.
Better how?
 

richard12511

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Better how?
Sorry, better can indeed mean different things to different people.

For me:
JTR/Rythmik subs are better in terms of sound quality(more distortion limited output and extension).
Genelec subs are better in terms of ease of use with Genelec loudspeakers(GLM is super user friendly and basically does the integration for you).

I don't own any Neumann subs, but I'm kinda assuming they're similar to the Genelecs subs, and that MA-1 is similar to GLM.
 

richard12511

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I doubt a speaker with built in amplification is more reliable than a similar speaker without it.
Probably depends on use. For my use, I tend to think actives are more reliable, simply because they often protect themselves from damage. I've never had an active speaker fail, but I have had 2 pairs of passive speakers fail. Both failed due to me pushing them too hard while under the influence of alcohol :D. The worst that happens with my actives is that I get a little red light.

For someone who never listens super loud, I think you're probably right that passives will last longer.

*Edit: just realized I actually have had 1 active fail, but it was a subwoofer, not a speaker. It was a Dayton Audio 10". Don't remember the model.
 
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HooStat

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Probably depends on use. For my use, I tend to think actives are more reliable, simply because they often protect themselves from damage. I've never had an active speaker fail, but I have had 2 pairs of passive speakers fail. Both failed due to me pushing them too hard while under the influence of alcohol :D. The worst that happens with my actives is that I get a little red light.

For someone who never listens super loud, I think you're probably right that passives will last longer.

*Edit: just realized I actually have had 1 active fail, but it was a subwoofer, not a speaker. It was a Dayton Audio 10". Don't remember the model.
I agree about the importance of the protection system -- that really helps protect the speaker from damage.

People use active speakers all the time (i.e., subwoofers). If anything, those get pushed really hard, with very high pressures. And they are very difficult to ship. So I don't worry about active speakers if I don't worry about active subs. And I have had my sub require repair.

One other thing to consider is that digital active speakers like the Genelec SAM speakers have a DSP based crossover so there is no crossover network to fail, which is a reduction in possible points of failure compared to passive speakers. Of course this is offset with the amplification and DSP system.

I am not suggesting that actives have better service records than passives. Just that, to me, it isn't that big of an issue to warrant excluding active speakers from my search. Particularly active speakers from well-established manufacturers who have had time to address subtle/engineering limitations of active designs.
 

james57

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I agree about the importance of the protection system -- that really helps protect the speaker from damage.

People use active speakers all the time (i.e., subwoofers). If anything, those get pushed really hard, with very high pressures. And they are very difficult to ship. So I don't worry about active speakers if I don't worry about active subs. And I have had my sub require repair.

One other thing to consider is that digital active speakers like the Genelec SAM speakers have a DSP based crossover so there is no crossover network to fail, which is a reduction in possible points of failure compared to passive speakers. Of course this is offset with the amplification and DSP system.

I am not suggesting that actives have better service records than passives. Just that, to me, it isn't that big of an issue to warrant excluding active speakers from my search. Particularly active speakers from well-established manufacturers who have had time to address subtle/engineering limitations of active designs.
I am also guessing that in the case of the kh420 if ever you would have a plate amp failure you would probably remove a few screws, disconncect the plate and ship it, which come down to the same thing as shipping the entire amp
 

Vintage57

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I have had 2 pairs of passive speakers fail. Both failed due to me pushing them too hard while under the influence of alcohol :D. The worst that happens with my actives is that I get a little red light.
I had a similar experience trying to achieve concert levels in my listening room.
I lost both tweeters in my Salon 1's, and one tweeter in my Dunlavy SC-IV.
Since then I've gone active, Paradigm, Myer Sound, ATC, Neumann, and not a loss yet, (knock on wood) in almost 20 years.
Concert levels with my present system, no problem.
 

Vintage57

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Hi, just wondering how do you rate the KH420 vs. the ATC SCM 50ASL?
I hear a cleaner midrange and much deeper bass with the Neumann. That’s not to say the ATC are not a quality product , it’s just the Neumann’s are so good.
 
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