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Why don’t ASR members laud Neumann speakers?

Vintage57

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#1
Everything I could find on these speakers especially the Neumann model KH 420 should make them one of the most accurate sound reproduction devices available. The KH 120 and the KH 310 are no slouches in their own right.

Granted they are low on the WAF scale however the top shelf specs are reproducible and that’s saying a lot. This can’t be said for all of the newer generation of active monitors.

I’ve offered as have many other to support Amir’s speaker testing venture. I hope we’re collectively going to move forward with the project. The interesting fact is the outcome we’re aspiring to find is already available, at least one company is putting their money into audio science.

I’m going to pick up a pair and will find out what if anything i’ve been missing.

Will share my findings.
 
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BillG

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#3
Why don’t ASR members laud Newmann speakers?

Because there are any number of verifiably great speakers/monitors out there, and not everyone is willing/able to spend $9,600USD for a pair of Neumann's. Also, with them being studio monitors, they're not marketed towards the average consumer audio/melophile. And, I'm not saying that they couldn't be used in a home environment, as many music lovers already use studio monitors for such purposes. I'm seriously considering doing so myself in the future.

As for other companies that are known to have extensive R&D budgets for consumer grade speakers, it's already widely known that the Harmon Group does this. As a matter of fact, Dr. Floyd Toole, who is/was the head of Harmon research, is a member of ASR... :cool:
 
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#5
It seems to me only a big studio could afford a pair of these. Purchased under company expense. So the likelihood of an individual member posting their listening impressions of their company's speaker in a commercial enviornment is small. Even more small would be the likelihood of someone using these monitors in a home use situation. It's a nice thought, I suppose. But I think when it comes to something you're putting in your house you want something furniture grade.
 
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#7
But weirdly people here get extremely excited about kii and Dutch & Dutch. I have nothing against those two but you would think k+h and genelec would get more love.
Both Kii and Dutch and Dutch have been marketing towards consumer. Why else would Dutch and Dutch provide Stereophile with a review unit if they weren't interested in selling some to the consumer market. And there are quite a fair number of dealers who specialize in esoteric hifi that are stocking Kii speakers.
 

amirm

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#8
But weirdly people here get extremely excited about kii and Dutch & Dutch. I have nothing against those two but you would think k+h and genelec would get more love.
There are champions of those brands here so they get more mentions. Threads like this help bring publicity to alternatives.
 
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#9
Both Kii and Dutch and Dutch have been marketing towards consumer. Why else would Dutch and Dutch provide Stereophile with a review unit if they weren't interested in selling some to the consumer market. And there are quite a fair number of dealers who specialize in esoteric hifi that are stocking Kii speakers.
How does that make it reasonable to boost kii and Dutch and Dutch while ignoring or dissing those? Especially given the tenor of this site, which is to a great degree about what a joke the “esoteric hifi” market is in general.
 
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#10
There are champions of those brands here so they get more mentions. Threads like this help bring publicity to alternatives.
Yes and at least one of those boosters sells them and is extremely active in threads boosting them and denigrating at least Genelec that I’ve seen. I’ve kind of wondered why you and Thomas allow that.
 

amirm

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#11
I own Genelec monitors and have a long history with them. There is no intention at all on my side to put a bad light on them if that is what you are implying.
 
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#12
I own Genelec monitors and have a long history with them. There is no intention at all on my side to put a bad light on them if that is what you are implying.
Sorry no I didn’t mean to imply that. I’ve never seen you be anything but even handed. But this behavior has occurred, and I think it’s a little unseemly that someone who sells a brand also boosts it here. And I actually have nothing against kii or Dutch and Dutch and own a UCD amp I made from a kit ( long in the tooth now, obviously).
 

jhaider

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#13
I’m going to pick up a pair and will find out what if anything i’ve been missing.

Will share my findings.
I ordered a pair of their mini-est minimonitor (KH 80 DSP) recently after rediscovering them through a thread here. They should arrive soon. I picked them over KH 120 because of the setup app.
 

Ilkless

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#14
Because despite their accuracy and the level of engineering, they've been around for a long time. Almost a decade without any revision and its understandable for discussion to have died down to a low-level steady state. The only real improvements over them are with the new generation of DSP speakers like the Kii and DD that control midbass dispersion, and even then improvements are marginal. I would still consider their designs (albeit just barely) state-of-the-art.

Another reason for the seeming lack of enthusiasm is the lack of adoption and skepticism about them (in both audiophile circles as well as even pro communities such as Gearslutz). This reflects the broader tendency towards anti-intellectualism in both communities. This anti-intellectualism promotes stagnation and hampers recognition of good engineering that coheres with empirical psychoacoustic evidence. This anti-intellectualism also means mediocre antiquated designs that are contemporaries of the Neumanns from the likes of ATC and PMC are romanticised. Neumanns have been discussed at length on this forum, but in absolute terms the amount of discussion on them is miniscule compared to the fluff on other audio forums that hype up or even try to compare numerous cottage industry designs (eg. ATC and PMC again) with it.

One of the most impressive audio-related graphs I've ever seen is this, from Neumann:


To quote Sound on Sound magazine, which published this graph:

KH monitors are sold individually, but guaranteed to be ‘pair-matched’ with any other KH monitor of the same type — an engineer adjusts six parameters on the amp chassis to align the drive units to Neumann’s very tight tolerances. The complete test process takes about five minutes and the reject rate is a remarkably low 0.3 percent, despite the required precision. Although development speaker models are soak-tested for 24 hours at high levels at the factory, to check reliability and long-term conformity to specification, the production units are not ‘run in’ as their performance does not appear to change during initial use.

One aspect of the KH production that particularly impressed me was the remarkable consistency between units, although no loudspeaker manufacturer currently reports its manufacturing consistency. I understand that there are some efforts underway to introduce this measure (or something similar) into the international standards to encourage reporting, and to that end Neumann have submitted a technical paper on the subject for presentation at the AES Convention in October. The graph below is drawn from that paper, and was created from the test measurements of 2500 KH monitors manufactured at Tullamore. It shows how the frequency response deviates away from the average, and in a perfect world all the lines should be on the 0dB axis. However, every process has tolerances so deviations are expected, with inconsistencies (a wider vertical spread in the lines) coming from things like inappropriate (cheap) parts, wider tolerance components, poor design techniques, inappropriately designed or adjusted production alignment, and uncontrolled production processes. Conversely, a tighter vertical spread is likely to be due to employing well designed parts and narrower tolerance components, sophisticated design and modelling techniques, and well-defined production processes controlled using statistical techniques.
The graph shows that, between 40Hz and 12kHz, 50 percent of the 2500 tested KH monitors are within ±0.2dB of the median (cyan), and 80 percent are between ±0.35dB (blue). These are astonishing results of precision and consistency. Even the remaining ‘wayward’ 10 percent of production units are still within ±0.9dB (magenta). From these results it seems easy to justify Neumann’s claim of every KH monitor being ‘pair-matched’ to every other monitor of the same type within very tight tolerances!
 

Vintage57

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#16
I ordered a pair of their mini-est minimonitor (KH 80 DSP) recently after rediscovering them through a thread here. They should arrive soon. I picked them over KH 120 because of the setup app.
Are using the KH 80 as nearfields or with a sub?
 

Ilkless

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#17
I ordered a pair of their mini-est minimonitor (KH 80 DSP) recently after rediscovering them through a thread here. They should arrive soon. I picked them over KH 120 because of the setup app.
I'm hoping the 120, 310 and 420 get a DSP revision to complement the KH80.

As it is, we are in the slightly strange situation of the KH80 being the most accurate Neumann within its bass limitations because of the DSP. +/- 0.6dB out of the box in independent measurements, flawless horizontal polars and with phase correction is extraordinary. There might actually be some DACs which have less accurate FR.
 
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#18
I'm hoping the 120, 310 and 420 get a DSP revision to complement the KH80.

As it is, we are in the slightly strange situation of the KH80 being the most accurate Neumann within its bass limitations because of the DSP. +/- 0.6dB out of the box in independent measurements, flawless horizontal polars and with phase correction is extraordinary. There might actually be some DACs which have less accurate FR.
I’ve been thinking the same thing, wondering whether a new k+h or the genelec s360 or the Dutch and Dutch would be a good way of upgrading. Or alternatively upgrade my ancient room correction and amplification but keep the rest for now.
 

Sal1950

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#20
How does that make it reasonable to boost kii and Dutch and Dutch while ignoring or dissing those? Especially given the tenor of this site, which is to a great degree about what a joke the “esoteric hifi” market is in general.
Amir accepts no advertisements or ad monies. There are a few dealers here, one in particular is a member that beats the drum for D&D and Kii to a excessive amount, IMHO. Something I've told him more that a few times. But the door is open to other dealers to do likewise soooooooooooooo.
Speakers like everything else tend to run in fad waves, everyone is always looking for the next big thing. I'm sure next year you'll be hearing all about the next big thing. All the while a bedrock of builders just keep rolling along building world class products for the high fidelity and pro markets.
 
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