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Please sell me on "ruler flat" near field monitors.

sigbergaudio

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The Yamaha NS10 is simply a horrible speaker. Here's a measurement I made of it. No bass, uneven response and recessed treble. And that's how it sounds too. You can perhaps somewhat improve it with EQ, but can't really fix it.

1708242279464.png



As others have said, you learn to work with what you have, so it's possible to make decent mixes on the NS10, and if you are very used to it, you can even find it's more difficult when you move to something else. But the NS10 also masks a lot of detail, and are uneven to the point where it may sound wrong on some systems unless you've learned to compensate for that.

My personal opinion and theory is that there's no need to torture yourself. In a job where you listen to music all day, why shouldn't it sound good? And one thing is mixing/mastering, another is the control room for a recording studio. Here you often showcase the recording for the artist (your customer). No one will be impressed if you play it back through the NS10, that's for damn sure.

You want something that is smooth / even, but (again in my opinion) not necessarily flat. Most consumer systems have a tilted in-room response (elevated bass), so it's perfectly fine for your monitoring system to have that to. It will be closer to a consumer system (and more pleasing to listen to) than a flat curve.

Cross checking your mixing against lower-end things like IEMs, bluetooth speakers or car stereos are of course a good idea to ensure what you are doing works across different playback devices.
 

ZolaIII

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@sigbergaudio interesting to see that you have same hole in mids. How you menage to get it there? Data shows similar but higher in case of refractions and right on the spot where they are boosted.
Cut that crap how NS10's are bad! They are but on their own and without EQ.
CLA 10 which is broken in highs scores 8.15 with perfect sub EQ-ed. Part that doesn't follow EQ are highs so NS10 scores more and NS10M even more let's say 8.5 to 8.8 and that's on pair with best Neumann's and Genelac's still keeping cuple advantages over them (impulse response, time domain, mid bass dynamics compared to small woffer monitors, less room dependance...).
This are NS10's:
ns10m-frequency-respons.jpg

Edit: after future examination of data I got answer about midrange hole, it's improper vertical placement.
They need very high crossover (150 Hz) to solve both problems of Fs bump and resonance from it (120 Hz and 1.5 KHz) naturally.
 
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sigbergaudio

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@sigbergaudio interesting to see that you have same hole in mids. How you menage to get it there? Data shows similar but higher in case of refractions and right on the spot where they are boosted.
Cut that crap how NS10's are bad! They are but on their own and without EQ.


CLA 10 which is broken in highs scores 8.15 with perfect sub EQ-ed. Part that doesn't follow EQ are highs so NS10 scores more and NS10M even more let's say 8.5 to 8.8 and that's on pair with best Neumann's and Genelac's still keeping cuple advantages over them (impulse response, time domain, mid bass dynamics compared to small woffer monitors, less room dependance...).
This are NS10's:
View attachment 350469

So you think they are good? You are referring to the CLA-10, they have a preference score of 1.33. That's among the lowest I've seen I think. A sub will at least help with the low end of course, but a sub and EQ unfortunately does not save this speaker. They sound like an 80s car radio (okay maybe a 90s car radio). Which is why people think they "translate well" I guess.


Edit: after future examination of data I got answer about midrange hole, it's improper vertical placement.
They need very high crossover (150 Hz) to solve both problems of Fs bump and resonance from it (120 Hz and 1.5 KHz) naturally.

The hole is a reflection, mixing console perhaps. In the room that was measure they are placed (as is typical) on the top of the console. To be clear this is not my room or my NS10s.

High crossover: Sure, but many use them without subs at all.
 

ZolaIII

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@sigbergaudio take a look at data and estimated results with EQ and sub's (it really explains everything). By the way I explained rest including 120 Hz and 1.5 KHz bumps.
 

DSJR

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The NS10's as originally intended were 'bright' but are subjectively clear and clean-as-a-whistle if put on a bookshelf as intended originally when I first heard them. They're really not *horrible* as suggested by tribal tendencies here and some of the plots posted above don't seem to have the peak and step over 1kHz. A great magnifying glass on critical parts of the mixing process if not 'accurate' in the Klippel sense of the word. Others here work in studios and can speak with far more authority than I dare to, but as said above, if you can work with them and your work translates well, then what's the problem? Weren't Auratones also used to finally check to see if a mix is playable on a cheap radio/portable player?

Wouldn't an 'in-room' response slope downwards over 1khz anyway? I learned that if it's flat in-room beyond say 1m distance, it may be too toppy?

Also, there are some amazing recordings/productions done in the 50's and 60's (I think I can say this as a fact) yet look at the stuff they monitored with! Relics from that era (in the UK at least) lived on as Tannoy and Urei and maybe the larger pre-waveguided huge JBL's I yet I have some great early 80's albums that mixed and balanced using these (not sure of NS10's were around then in studios) and the engineers and producers seemed able to work well with these to get a good production standard. Today, B&W N800 family speakers have the *opposite* balance to NS10's (a dip where the NS10's peak) yet the engineers working with these (gifted?) speakers seem able to muddle through OK as they've adapted to the sound balance on offer (I can't stand the bloody things, but then, I'm an ATC fanboy and they're not respected here either!!!).

For me as end listener, of course I'm keen to know what monitors the engineers of good sounding recordings use. maybe a larger Neumann (150?) or maybe a modern JBL might do it better for you? Genelecs I've seen here admittedly in pics only, tend to be smaller models (with subs?) in editing suites but maybe not so much in mixing studios (Steve Wilson uses Genelecs for his apparently great surround mixes and a swanky pair of Focals for other duties I believe).

Hopefully I'm not talking cr@p above. If you desire to go to a more neutral or 'honest' monitor, it may be a gradual thing in stages, maybe via more modern Yamaha HS7 or 8 (or similar) - just a thought..

Good luck and don't give up entirely on your journey :)
 
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sigbergaudio

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@sigbergaudio take a look at data and estimated results with EQ and sub's (it really explains everything). By the way I explained rest including 120 Hz and 1.5 KHz bumps.

I have heard them on several occasions, so I don't really need graphs to know how they sound. The graphs certainly look better with EQ, but as I said, EQ can't magically make a poor speaker sound great.
 

ZolaIII

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I can EQ those speakers to sound great (had them and worked with them). If you can't well that one ain't on me. Preferably paird with pair of Neumann KH 750 sub's.
 

sigbergaudio

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I can EQ those speakers to sound great (had them and worked with them). If you can't well that one ain't on me. Preferably paird with pair of Neumann KH 750 sub's.

Did you happen to read Amir's comments about them in the review which is the source of the measurements? I am of course happy that you are satisfied, but why not purchase something that sounds right to begin with? The difference between "correct EQ" and the original sound is like night and day. Why purchase something that sounds completely different from what you want?

1708258184557.png
 

Purité Audio

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Apropos nothing in particular when I visited Charlie the other week ( writer/composer/musician) one of his five pairs of monitors that he used to check translation was a pair of NS10, he used them solely checking the level of the vocal?
Would that make sense, I have always thought it was their very ubiquitousness that made them popular not any inherent quality.
Keith
 

ZolaIII

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Did you happen to read Amir's comments about them in the review which is the source of the measurements? I am of course happy that you are satisfied, but why not purchase something that sounds right to begin with? The difference between "correct EQ" and the original sound is like night and day. Why purchase something that sounds completely different from what you want?

View attachment 350500
Because perfect room doesn't exist and you will EQ if you have any sense anyway. If you already have NS10 or NS10's even better you will have them on target higher and more easily than that (better slope and - 2.5~4.4 dB peak). I told you how to get rid of resonance also. Think about it and do you want to have clean and great impulse response, decay times, good back to front refractions rate all across the board including lows and that they sum up good. I hate when people are eager to debate but don't even want to read what you actually said in the first place. Didn't told you to go out and buy CLAs that are broken (by too razor sharp top end and that they missed both actual Yamaha model in that regard and told you how much).
 
D

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Yep. Not to mention Samsung, one of the biggest tech companies in the world, owns Harman.



But that's the thing: even the small bluetooth and smart speakers are decent these days.

Sonos Roam at 60% volume:
index.php


Google Nest Audio:
index.php


Apple homepod (not great but far from terrible):
index.php


I'd argue that, increasingly, the issue is less about overall neutrality and tonal balance on mainstream speakers vs hifi speakers, but more about:

a) overall bass quantity
b) bass quality (basically room effects)
c) dynamic compression/volume capability (which is also also largely a bass issue)

Not to say bass isn't a huge component of sound quality, because it is. But it's a differnent issue than dealing with a speaker that have a 5 dB dip at 3khz, for example
DSP is a powerful tool if done right! :)
 

sigbergaudio

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Because perfect room doesn't exist and you will EQ if you have any sense anyway. If you already have NS10 or NS10's even better you will have them on target higher and more easily than that (better slope and - 2.5~4.4 dB peak). I told you how to get rid of resonance also. Think about it and do you want to have clean and great impulse response, decay times, good back to front refractions rate all across the board including lows and that they sum up good. I hate when people are eager to debate but don't even want to read what you actually said in the first place. Didn't told you to go out and buy CLAs that are broken (by too razor sharp top end and that they missed both actual Yamaha model in that regard and told you how much).

Personally I would not purchase the CLAs, I would not purchase the NS10s, and I would replace them if I already owned any of them, but you are free to disagree. I don't think starting out with a poor speaker and then trying to fix it with EQ is a good approach. I don't think "you have to EQ the room anyway" is a good argument.

Good impulse response and decay times is fine, but you don't have to choose, you can have that together with other good qualities.
 

sigbergaudio

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Apropos nothing in particular when I visited Charlie the other week ( writer/composer/musician) one of his five pairs of monitors that he used to check translation was a pair of NS10, he used them solely checking the level of the vocal?
Would that make sense, I have always thought it was their very ubiquitousness that made them popular not any inherent quality.
Keith

I have heard similar statements, that the NS10 have very clear mids that is helpful.
 

dasdoing

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knowing your monitor is probably more important than it's neutrality for MIXING at least. with that being said, it's better not to have the deficiencies than to be used to them
 

ZolaIII

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Personally I would not purchase the CLAs, I would not purchase the NS10s, and I would replace them if I already owned any of them, but you are free to disagree. I don't think starting out with a poor speaker and then trying to fix it with EQ is a good approach. I don't think "you have to EQ the room anyway" is a good argument.

Good impulse response and decay times is fine, but you don't have to choose, you can have that together with other good qualities.
Well show me more speakers with under 6 ms impulse response time across all frequency range especially modern or one of yours. This is very, very complex to solve with rephase and improve significant so why create the problem in the first place to get a bit more bass with a port cuff. Even a space port will have at least two side refractions and not to talk about treated room or not treated one. If you like to listen to bell's and whistles that's fine with me and you can always blame it on someone else (bad recording, bad luck, bad me...). And he already has NS10's so he should put the money where it counts. Pair of sealed 10" sub's and if you are good in EQ-ing they don't really need to be top notch either. My budget Wharfedales do the job quite good with some effort (to the energy PK (waterfall plots) and frequency PK with very good impulse response time (physics).
Have a nice time and enjoy your self.
1:32 to 1:40.
 

Multicore

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I would do test mixes with the Dynaudios vs the NS10's and the NS10 mixes sounded more like a finished record to me and the clients.
So you did test mixes using Dynaudio and NS10 and then you and the client compared these mixes. Using what equipment and listening contexts did you and the client evaluate the test mixes?
 

sigbergaudio

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Well show me more speakers with under 6 ms impulse response time across all frequency range especially modern or one of yours. This is very, very complex to solve with rephase and improve significant so why create the problem in the first place to get a bit more bass with a port cuff. Even a space port will have at least two side refractions and not to talk about treated room or not treated one. If you like to listen to bell's and whistles that's fine with me and you can always blame it on someone else (bad recording, bad luck, bad me...). And he already has NS10's so he should put the money where it counts. Pair of sealed 10" sub's and if you are good in EQ-ing they don't really need to be top notch either. My budget Wharfedales do the job quite good with some effort (to the energy PK (waterfall plots) and frequency PK with very good impulse response time (physics).
Have a nice time and enjoy your self.
1:32 to 1:40.

It doesn't really help that it has good impulse response when there are tons of other problems. And the alternative doesn't have to be a ported speaker if it's the impulse response you are worried about. Also, that the NS10 has good impulse response below 100hz isn't very relevant when they hardly have any output below 100hz. And I get that you are pairing them with subs, and that's great. But above 100hz it's not difficult to find speakers with satisfactory impulse response / group delay, so then that ceases to be an advantage the NS10 has over other speakers.

Again, if you are happy with them that is great, you are free to keep using them and ignore anyone's argument to the contrary. But the original poster of this thread explicitly asked for arguments for switching to something else. And it is objectively hard to find any compelling argument for keeping the NS10 except A) that if you are already used to mixing on them, it might take some time to get used to something else, and B) that it is of course cheaper to keep them than to purchase anything new.
 

DSJR

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No harm in linking to this article.



Also from the above article -

1708274694465.jpeg
 

ChrisG

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Well show me more speakers with under 6 ms impulse response time across all frequency range especially modern or one of yours. This is very, very complex to solve with rephase and improve significant so why create the problem in the first place to get a bit more bass with a port cuff.

Sure, here you go:
PA Speaker Impulse.png


One of my PA speakers. There's a bit of HF ringing (probably the large-format compression driver), but it's not the sort of problem that an audience would reliably identify. They're ported, of course. They still sound clean at 130dB, and I can lift each one with one hand. LF extension is limited to about 80Hz, though.


Chris
 
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