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PA and Studio Monitor speakers vs HiFi modified sound

kemmler3D

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HiFi speakers often lack powerful , direct projection and sensitivity of the PAs.
Yes, but home Hi-Fi speakers typically need to have better distortion and dispersion than PA speakers at the same price point. PA speakers need to have higher max. SPL, power handling, ability to withstand heat, durability, etc - things that take budget away from perfect frequency response and dispersion.

Studio monitors tend to favor extremely flat frequency response and low distortion above all, which takes money away from power handling / max. SPL - which is why at the same price point you will typically find home Hi-Fi speakers that can go louder and maybe even lower than a good studio monitor at the same price.

In speaker building, everything is a trade-off. The main fundamental difference between your definition of "hi-fi" and everything else, is that sometimes designers of Hi-Fi speakers make them inaccurate (colored) on purpose because they think it sounds good.
 

AdamG

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Dunno why, but this made me guffaw out loud! (Even though I've seen the gif a million times, it's quick appearance in this thread by a mod is somehow perfect).
I chose it because there is something funny about a giraffe eating popcorn. Bonus points he looks like he has his antenna up and is tuned in for the rumble! Glad you laughed it brought you some laughter. :cool:
 

rdenney

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I’m agreeing that PA speakers are not designed for studio or home use, and cannot be equated with them. They are designed to do different things. What they are designed to do varies with use case.

But the very features people say a studio monitor should have are features I want in home playback systems.

Rick “for the record” Denney
 
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StereoDav

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I don't. Did you know the most popular studio monitor for 25 years used for mixing was a consumer Yamaha NS-10. First don't put studio monitors and PA monitors in the same group. Totally different usage. Second, most major studios have at least 2 or 3 types of monitors (including terrible little
3' drivers ) to hear a mix on different systems, large medium small. The 2 major differences between home and what studios want are high SPL to impress musicians that are used to standing in front of a live drum kits and reliability (no speakers no income) and service, at high spl.
Sorry, I think you did not catch up here. I meant in this case studio monitor speakers (not PA) used mostly by sound engineers ( and not HiFi) and indeed, Yamaha NS-10 are the best example of a passive monitor that has been used for years. So again a case in point.
 
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StereoDav

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I’m agreeing that PA speakers are not designed for studio or home use, and cannot be equated with them. They are designed to do different things. What they are designed to do varies with use case.

But the very features people say a studio monitor should have are features I want in home playback systems.

Rick “for the record” Denney
Yes generally they are not. But that also changes. Take a look at Mackie, Behringer, Alto from 500$ up with DSP. I disagree with you in this case that they are less suitable for home use. They just look different also due to the fact that they should be placed in different positions, that is why they are wife repellents. And moreover they cost 1/100 of a good HiFi.

(example) Back side of new DSP on JBL IRX 112 BT.

1714717570986.png

 
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rdenney

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Yes generally they are not. But that also changes. Take a look at Mackie, Behringer, Alto from 500$ up with DSP. I disagree with you in this case that they are less suitable for home use. They just look different also due to the fact that they should be placed in different positions, that is why they are wife repellents. And moreover they cost 1/100 of a good HiFi.

(example) Back side of new DSP on JBL IRX 112 BT.

View attachment 367301


For PA speakers, as with all speakers, show me the spinorama. And I would also like to see distortion vs frequency (or linearity) at several loud sound pressure levels.

That will weed out speakers with directivity unsuitable for home use. I can save my ears for evaluating what’s left. :)

By the way, I paid $700 for my Revel tower speakers. For me, buying speakers is like buying cars—I let some else pay the initial depreciation. I don’t think I’d have any hesitation to use them for mixing.

(One function of mixing, now that I think about it, is checking the blend of instruments to attain the desired levels of each. But what would hinder that wouldn’t be speakers, but rather reverb. But I don’t want speakers that add a reverb effect at home, either. Usually, the mixing-desk guy has already added too much, but at least he could balance the instruments before doing so. But reverb in the studio becomes part of the circle of confusion, and I would probably set ensemble balance at least initially using headphones.)

Rick “what were we talking about?” Denney
 
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StereoDav

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Studio Monitors Presonus Eris E5 frequency chart:
PA Alto speaker:
And PA Behringer (already posted by someone on Audio Science):
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?attachments/1605465823224-png.93734/

All in all, I have noticed that your Revel Tower have treble DB adjustment - a great thing. Something what is missing in many HiFi speakers. Generally, we can clearly say that HiFi and Pro Audio are 2 different worlds and I am positive that we can never ever combine these two together. In other words, when I want to hear one of my favorite album on a HiFi, then I admire the icing on the cake and the warmth of the colored modified sound but when I want to hear the details and flat reproduction in it, there is no HiFi that can substitute the active monitor speakers. Once again, almost all great studio engineers used Yamahas NS-10 for a reason. (Hence some high end stuff have tweeter treble / acoustics adjustment what is really rare in low end , that always surprised me why there is a lack of it - that would save milion HiFi passive speakers reflection troubles )
 
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Dinesh Menon

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Another consideration is the listening conditions. Small studio monitors for mixing are normally used nearfield in exceptionally well-treated rooms, with the listener in exactly the correct location. Home audio speakers are typically listened to at greater distances in rooms which have little if any acoustic treatment, and listeners may well be in less-the-optimum locations. So the direct sound is normally prioritized for small studio monitors, whereas the in-room response within a larger listening window is often given greater consideration, if not outright prioritization, in a home audio application.

Also, a mixing monitor is a tool whose job includes exposing faults so that the engineer can correct them. A different philosophy often prevails in home audio - the idea is more likely to be "good sound even if the recording is iffy", rather than "ruthlessly expose the flaws in the recording".

And of course appearance matters a lot more for home audio than for recording studios.
You have highlighted the main difference between the studio monitors and home audio speakers.
Categories of speakers designed for different purposes.
Nowadays we have powerful Party speakers also.
 

Dinesh Menon

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I don't. Did you know the most popular studio monitor for 25 years used for mixing was a consumer Yamaha NS-10. First don't put studio monitors and PA monitors in the same group. Totally different usage. Second, most major studios have at least 2 or 3 types of monitors (including terrible little
3' drivers ) to hear a mix on different systems, large medium small. The 2 major differences between home and what studios want are high SPL to impress musicians that are used to standing in front of a live drum kits and reliability (no speakers no income) and service, at high spl.
So true :
1) PA - Public Address system :
Collection of equipments, used to amplify and distribute sound to a larger audience.
in a concert, speeches, announcements or corporate events.
Suitable for large bands, spoken word or recitals.
2) Studios Monitors :
Active speakers designed to have a flat, precise sound reproduction for nearfield use.
Used for critical listening in recording, mastering or mixing in studios as it gives the most accurate impression of your mix so that you can easily pick out imperfections.
3) Home Audio :
Designed to provide room-filling sound, enhance sound's quality while enriching it with mid frequency, high frequency and rich bass.
Mainly intended to playback in a pleasing way for living room or home theatre.
Advanced audio formats are now redefining the home audio systems.
4) Party Speakers :
Large and heavy powered speakers reproduce loud, deeper and punchier low-basses.
Best suited for outdoor parties.
 
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StereoDav

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Party speakers are mostly terrible including Sony that has lowered its quality in audio extremely recently. PA on the other side are the only type here that is trying to cross the line towards more friendly HiFi sound ( new PA technology ) PA can sound really good. Last time I was also impressed by Polk Audio MagniFi AX bluetooth soundbar for home use. Good sound for movies and music.
 
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StereoDav

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In speaker building, everything is a trade-off. The main fundamental difference between your definition of "hi-fi" and everything else, is that sometimes designers of Hi-Fi speakers make them inaccurate (colored) on purpose because they think it sounds good.
I love your answer. This is exactly what I am about in my audio life.
 

Dinesh Menon

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Party speakers are mostly terrible including Sony that has lowered its quality in audio extremely recently. PA on the other side are the only type here that is trying to cross the line towards more friendly HiFi sound ( new PA technology ) PA can sound really good. Last time I was also impressed by Polk Audio MagniFi AX bluetooth soundbar for home use. Good sound for movies and music.
I agree with you on Sony.
JBL is going great in PA Systems,
Studio Monitors, Home Audio Systems and Party Speakers.
While Yamaha excels in PA Systems, Studio Monitors and Home Audio Systems.
Polk is a VFM brand.
 
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StereoDav

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I agree with you on Sony.
It's s pity. I had much respect for Sony for their design and sound. Something went wrong with the company , I don't know , lack of good staff of audio designing and engineers ? They seem really to make basic mistakes in most of their audio products. There is always substantial flaw in sound on the whole spectrum of their product palette.
 

rdenney

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Studio Monitors Presonus Eris E5 frequency chart:
PA Alto speaker:
And PA Behringer (already posted by someone on Audio Science):
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?attachments/1605465823224-png.93734/

All in all, I have noticed that your Revel Tower have treble DB adjustment - a great thing. Something what is missing in many HiFi speakers. Generally, we can clearly say that HiFi and Pro Audio are 2 different worlds and I am positive that we can never ever combine these two together. In other words, when I want to hear one of my favorite album on a HiFi, then I admire the icing on the cake and the warmth of the colored modified sound but when I want to hear the details and flat reproduction in it, there is no HiFi that can substitute the active monitor speakers. Once again, almost all great studio engineers used Yamahas NS-10 for a reason. (Hence some high end stuff have tweeter treble / acoustics adjustment what is really rare in low end , that always surprised me why there is a lack of it - that would save milion HiFi passive speakers reflection troubles )
My Revel towers are Concerta F12's, and they don't have any adjustability built into the speaker. But that's okay, because my system has a (pro-audio) Yamaha YDP2006 digital parametric equalizer for making spectral adjustments. That said, the speakers didn't require any adjustment above a few hundred Hz.

Lessee...my system has a Buckeye amp (26 dB gain and balanced inputs, so whether it's pro or home is up to you), an unbalanced to balanced amplified converter that I built using a circuit board that implemented THAT 16xx chips (pro? home? who cares?), a B&K MC-101 preamp (home audio), the Yamaha YDP-2006 (pro audio), a dbx 400 switching system (pro audio), a Carver TX-11b tuner (home audio), a Marantz PMD331 CD player (pro audio), a Benchmark ADC-1 USB digital converter (pro audio), a Musical Fidelity DAC (home audio), and I'm not going into the old tape equipment. I'm sorta thinking mixing pro audio and home audio is a matter of doing things correctly, like setting gain structures, not categorizing stuff that was probably miscategorized in the first place.

Rick "plenty of crap and plenty of good stuff in both pro and home categories" Denney
 
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rdenney

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I don't know where you guys are getting the idea that studio monitors are ipso facto powered. I have a pair of Alesis Monitor One mixing-desk monitors that are certainly not powered, but I usually use an old Carver PM-300 amp (pro audio) driving them. Not that they would care, and not that a better amp would make them any better. Making them better would require making them better. But they work acceptably for listening to the occasional video on my photo-editing computer.

I bought them to use as monitor speakers on a keyboard workstation back about 25 years ago when I had pretensions of being able to play two-handed instruments :)

Rick "struggles enough with the two left-hand valves on his six-valve F tuba" Denney
 
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StereoDav

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I don't know where you guys are getting the idea that studio monitors are ipso facto powered. I have a pair of Alesis Monitor One mixing-desk monitors that are certainly not powered, but I usually use an old Carver PM-300 amp (pro audio) driving them. Not that they would care, and not that a better amp would make them any better. Making them better would require making them better. But they work acceptably for listening to the occasional video on my photo-editing computer.

I bought them to use as monitor speakers on a keyboard workstation back about 25 years ago when I had pretensions of being able to play two-handed instruments :)

Rick "struggles enough with the two left-hand valves on his six-valve F tuba" Denney
Because 80% are active monitors 20% passive. Nonetheless, actually great Yamaha NS-10 were passive but passive monitors are nowadays rarely used I presume. Avantone CLA - 10A or 10 are the copies of discontinued Yamahas NS-10. Come in passive as well as active form. I heard Yamahas NS-10 many times. I always thought how great the treble reproduction they had , amazing. I wonder why people say they are not suitable for music listening ;) I heard them in studio while mxing but the sounded wonderful.
 

rdenney

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Because 80% are active monitors 20% passive. Nonetheless, actually great Yamaha NS-10 were passive but passive monitors are nowadays rarely used I presume. Avantone CLA - 10A or 10 are the copies of discontinued Yamahas NS-10. Come in passive as well as active form. I heard Yamahas NS-10 many times. I always thought how great the treble reproduction they had , amazing. I wonder why people say they are not suitable for music listening ;) I heard them in studio while mxing but the sounded wonderful.

Apparently, easy enough to EQ and lacking bass commensurate with its size. But no spin, so it's difficult to evaluate the directivity.

In that thread, there is much about the famous NS-1000, which apparently Floyd Toole his-own-self though was pretty good even by modern standards.

A peak at 1.5 KHz would be something I'd want to tame, but that's what equalization is for.

People who say they are not suitable for music listening may think white driver cones can't make a high-end sound :)

Rick "stating again: What makes studio speakers good is the same thing that makes home speakers good--flat response on axis and good directivity" Denney
 

Morpheus

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Also, studio monitors are a certain shape (no or very few floorstanders), and usually optimized according to their size for a certain listening distance and playback level ( smallish for near-field, already largish for mid field and mains huge beasts , capable of very high spl) However, in hi fi, many people, especially in Europe, want to listen 2 or 3 meters away in their living rooms, and still want to use a very small bookshelf speaker (wich in active monitors usually means it has been optimized for nearfield duty), or prefer a slim floorstander, because space is very much limited..
 
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StereoDav

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I have no problems with listening to them from a distance. But I fully understand that usual customers are not really demanding in critical listening. They pay attention to sth. else. I value detail the most ( even frequency response ) and no refelctions from tweeter as much as this is possible. Bad reflections happen much less with PAs and studio monitors.
 
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