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Neumann KH420 Review (Studio Monitor)

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 2 0.4%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 2 0.4%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 28 6.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 438 93.2%

  • Total voters
    470

dfuller

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Why neumann never launched these speaker with the shiny black ?
Gloss black is a royal pain to keep clean, and it also costs more than a satin graphite finish because it needs polishing.
 

lashto

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3 of these carefully positioned with 2 KH310 look ideal for my home theatre.
Do you have a specific reason/use-case for a kh420 center? A kh310 should be more than enough for center duties ... actually, even the kh80 should be just fine.
A 2xKH420 + 3xKH80 setup will be a lot cheaper than your planned 3xKH420 + 2xKH310 ... and it's not sure that anyone will hear a difference.

P.S.
judging by the newly announced kh150, there's a good probability that there will be a kh350 and kh450 too. With internal DSP, digital crossovers, digital/aes67 input and so on.
Besides better sound, that should make the whole setup a lot simpler: no extra DAC/AMP/DSP boxes, way fewer cables ... sounds quite appealing (to me).
 

Pio

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Do you have a specific reason/use-case for a kh420 center? A kh310 should be more than enough for center duties ... actually, even the kh80 should be just fine.
A 2xKH420 + 3xKH80 setup will be a lot cheaper than your planned 3xKH420 + 2xKH310 ... and it's not sure that anyone will hear a difference.

P.S.
judging by the newly announced kh150, there's a good probability that there will be a kh350 and kh450 too. With internal DSP, digital crossovers, digital/aes67 input and so on.
Besides better sound, that should make the whole setup a lot simpler: no extra DAC/AMP/DSP boxes, way fewer cables ... sounds quite appealing (to me).
Or.. 2 420's (L, R) a 120 (C) and 80's all around.. w/ 4 810 Subs.. woof!!!
 

Vintage57

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Or.. 2 420's (L, R) a 120 (C) and 80's all around.. w/ 4 810 Subs.. woof!!!
I can confirm that the Kh805/810 kick butt. I have 3 in my 2.3 system and they have major punch with no compression at volume. As well as flatten the bass response in my room. Just saying
 

Pio

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Looks like a concrete paver probably to add the extra height
or a little height, get the drivers lined up to ear level.
 

HuubFranssen

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Holland
A bit large but terrific sound: my new Neumann KH420’s. No DSP, no class D. Back to basics. Sounds like my old KH310’s but a lot ehhhh larger.
20220726_070731_resized.jpg
 

Ciobi69

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would you consider 3 neumann 420 as a LCR front for an HT system , and of course stereo system (high dynamics tracks) ? distance would be 350cm, do you think they can handle the high SPL capacity? they will be paired with a sub and later on 2 subs. thanks!
 

LTig

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would you consider 3 neumann 420 as a LCR front for an HT system , and of course stereo system (high dynamics tracks) ? distance would be 350cm, do you think they can handle the high SPL capacity? they will be paired with a sub and later on 2 subs. thanks!
Yes. That would be a dream system.
 

Ciobi69

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Yes. That would be a dream system.
the only thing that i don't like is the built in amplifier, but as i saw and read for the past time by chosing a very good if not definitive system those speakers are the way to go, audiophile speakers are too expensive and if you want equal / superior performance you have to spend a lot of money...i dont know i am writing down some ideal sistem and the neumann could be absolutely one of those
 

Pearljam5000

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Only monitors at $10K I would consider are:
1. Neumann KH420
2. Focal Trio 11
3. Genelec 8361
 
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sweetchaos

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According to Genelec:
correct-monitors-direct_sound_dominance-chart.jpg
This graph shows that 8361A has less output than S360 (see Amir's review).

As one user wrote:
None of the speakers in The Ones series are full range speakers. Even 8361 is *only*(despite its size) flat down to 36hz. The last octave (18-36hz) of information won't be as loud as 8361's midbass no matter what room gain you get in your room. (considering on how human hearing works, sub bass has to be even louder than the midbass to be equally audible!) 8361's require a very beefy subwoofer that can match their SPL in mids and upper treble too. Just like S360 does. In other words, both speakers are upper treble limited in max SPL output. And S360 is about 6-10db louder. (almost twice volume)
So S360 is a winner over 8361A for home theater use.

We don't have the full measurements of CEA-2034 (plus distortion tests) from either Amir or Erin for the Focal Trio 11.
Which means my recommendation for them is on hold until we do. Sorry Pearljam!

IMO, Neumann KH420 is the only competitor to S360 for home theater.

I wish Amir could perform the 'instantaneous compression test' like Erin (example of 8331A), so we can see the speakers ability to handle dynamics. So, without this, we need to rely on 106dBSPL distortion tests.

Here's 106db distortion test for S360 vs KH420:

both.gif


As you can see, both are excellent, but there's a few differences that I noticed:
1. S360 tweeter seems to have higher distortion beyond say 2khz, vs KH420. Will this distortion be audible at 106dbSPL? Hard to say definitively, since distortion is less audible than frequency response changes
2. KH420's frequency response starts to drop (limiter kicking in), somewhere beyond 5khz (seems like 3db) and then drops like a rock beyond 10khz (more than 6db). Since S360 doesn't have this behaviour, it means KH420's dynamics is worse than S360's, since S360 doesn't change frequency response at 106dbSPL, which means S360's tweeter is not hitting a limiter. This will be audible, since we can detect change in frequency response much more than changes in distortion (from my point #1).
3. S360's distortion below around 60hz is better than KH420's distortion handling below the same frequency. Which means, without a subwoofer, S360 has less distortion below ~60hz than KH420. With a sub, that's irrelevant since the crossover will be at around 80hz (default one).

Which one would I pick?
I think S360's ability to not compress frequency response at 106dBSPL is what wins me over.
Which means for home theater playback, I'd get S360, plus dual subs, for ultimate reference level experience.
But ideally, I'd buy both to test my theory. :cool::D

UPDATE:
Oh, for reference, here's directivity comparison:
Genelec S360.
- Horizontal directivity is (-60.0°, 50.0°) between 1kHz and 10kHz. Angle computed for +/-6dB.
- Vertical directivity is (-20.0°, 20.0°) between 1kHz and 10kHz. Angle computed for +/-6dB.

Neumann KH420:
- Horizontal directivity is (-60.0°, 50.0°) between 1kHz and 10kHz. Angle computed for +/-6dB.
- Vertical directivity is (-30.0°, 30.0°) between 1kHz and 10kHz. Angle computed for +/-6dB.

Same horizontal directivity.
KH420 is 10° better in vertical directivity, so if you have two rows (of different height) of home theater seating, KH420 will be better suited, assuming the seating needs to go beyond 20deg to within 30deg.

For comparison, here's 8361A:
- Horizontal directivity is (-50.0°, 60.0°) between 1kHz and 10kHz. Angle computed for +/-6dB.
- Vertical directivity is (-50.0°, 50.0°) between 1kHz and 10kHz. Angle computed for +/-6dB.
If you're sitting at ear height, like in a home theater type seating, that +-50 deg vertical directivity is not needed.
 
Last edited:

Pearljam5000

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According to Genelec:
correct-monitors-direct_sound_dominance-chart.jpg
This graph shows that 8361A has less output than S360 (see Amir's review).

As one user wrote:

So S360 is a winner over 8361A for home theater use.

We don't have the full measurements of CEA-2034 (plus distortion tests) from either Amir or Erin for the Focal Trio 11.
Which means my recommendation for them is on hold until we do. Sorry Pearljam!

IMO, Neumann KH420 is the only competitor to S360 for home theater.

I wish Amir could perform the 'instantaneous compression test' like Erin (example of 8331A), so we can see the speakers ability to handle dynamics. So, without this, we need to rely on 106dBSPL distortion tests.

Here's 106db distortion test for S360 vs KH420:

View attachment 224060

As you can see, both are excellent, but there's a few differences that I noticed:
1. S360 tweeter seems to have higher distortion beyond say 2khz, vs KH420. Will this distortion be audible at 106dbSPL? Hard to say definitively, since distortion is less audible than frequency response changes
2. KH420's frequency response starts to drop (limiter kicking in), somewhere beyond 5khz (seems like 3db) and then drops like a rock beyond 10khz (more than 6db). Since S360 doesn't have this behaviour, it means KH420's dynamics is worse than S360's, since S360 doesn't change frequency response at 106dbSPL, which means S360's tweeter is not hitting a limiter. This will be audible, since we can detect change in frequency response much more than changes in distortion (from my point #1).
3. S360's distortion below around 60hz is better than KH420's distortion handling below the same frequency. Which means, without a subwoofer, S360 has less distortion below ~60hz than KH420. With a sub, that's irrelevant since the crossover will be at around 80hz (default one).

Which one would I pick?
I think S360's ability to not compress frequency response at 106dBSPL is what wins me over.
But ideally, I'd buy both to test my theory. :cool::D

UPDATE:
Oh, for reference, here's directivity comparison:
Genelec S360.
- Horizontal directivity is (-60.0°, 50.0°) between 1kHz and 10kHz. Angle computed for +/-6dB.
- Vertical directivity is (-20.0°, 20.0°) between 1kHz and 10kHz. Angle computed for +/-6dB.

Neumann KH420:
- Horizontal directivity is (-60.0°, 50.0°) between 1kHz and 10kHz. Angle computed for +/-6dB.
- Vertical directivity is (-30.0°, 30.0°) between 1kHz and 10kHz. Angle computed for +/-6dB.

Same horizontal directivity.
KH420 is 10° better in vertical directivity, so if you have two rows (of different height) of home theater seating, KH420 will be better suited, assuming the seating needs to go beyond 20deg to within 30deg.

For comparison, here's 8361A:
- Horizontal directivity is (-50.0°, 60.0°) between 1kHz and 10kHz. Angle computed for +/-6dB.
- Vertical directivity is (-50.0°, 50.0°) between 1kHz and 10kHz. Angle computed for +/-6dB.
If you're sitting at ear height, like in a home theater type seating, that +-50 deg vertical directivity is not needed.
Thanks for detailed comment.
For stereo music playback only which would you choose?
 
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