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Yamaha HS5 Powered Monitor Review

thewas

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Thanks Amir! this seems to be very much in line with Yamaha's typical sound. My guess is they're trying to keep that NS10 heritage.
Yes and no, the HS5 has kept on purpose the mid accentuation of the NS10 to be bought by fans or people used to it but the other models of the series are voiced more neutrally:
https://www.soundandrecording.de/equipment/yamaha-hs7-nahfeldmonitor-im-test/
https://www.soundandrecording.de/equipment/yamaha-hs-8/

The story of the NS-10 is written in detail in the current (3rd) edition of Toole's book, it's problem was it voiced by its engineer (who admitted it later to Toole) back then to a neutral sound power and thus linear frequency response at the listeners position and thus not linear direct sound. Interestingly he voiced also the great NS-1000(M) back then, but because of the 3 ways and thus smoother directivity it wasn't such a problem when tuned to constant sound power and with its mid and treble knobs it was easy to tune it also to linear direct sound.

More about it here https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-s...eaker-what-science-shows-50.html#post57581084
 

napilopez

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Yes and no, the HS5 has kept on purpose the mid accentuation of the NS10 to be bought by fans or people used to it but the other models of the series are voiced more neutrally:
https://www.soundandrecording.de/equipment/yamaha-hs7-nahfeldmonitor-im-test/
https://www.soundandrecording.de/equipment/yamaha-hs-8/

The story of the NS-10 is written in detail in the current (3rd) edition of Toole's book, it's problem was it voiced by its engineer (who admitted it later to Toole) back then to a neutral sound power and thus linear frequency response at the listeners position and thus not linear direct sound. Interestingly he voiced also the great NS-1000(M) back then, but because of the 3 ways and thus smoother directivity it wasn't such a problem when tuned to constant sound power and with its mid and treble knobs it was easy to tune it also to linear direct sound.

More about it here https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-s...eaker-what-science-shows-50.html#post57581084

Yep, I'm familiar with that bit of history - just reread that chapter a few weeks ago. Glad to see some of the other models have more neautral voicing though, thanks for sharing. The HS8 in particular shows none of that mids emphasis
 

Juhazi

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Thank you Amir for the excellent review! I'm so glad to see step and distortion with high spl too! Standardizing distortion measurements by spl/distance eg. 95dB/1m 1kHz would help comparisons. Voltage is not good, it misses the efficiency of passives and is impossible for actives. Step response should show only 20ms post t=0, to reveal xo type and timing match problems.

Regarding HS5 I think that the 1kHz peak is easy to eq with dps in source/preamp or with a simple passive circuit. Distortion is pretty good for such a small speaker, and bass is obviously intentionally lean and highpassed below port tuning, to prevent users from breaking the little desktop speaker too easily. No wonder why it's so popular!
 
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thewas

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Yes, due to its small woofer, small waveguide and sensible crossover frequency its directivity is smooth so it can be easily equalised to a good, neutral sound.
For people who can use EQ the directivity indices (early refections and sound power - green ellipse below), distortion (also IMD) and time decay measurements are the most imporant, as smooth irregularities (sharp ones are have also usually problems in distortion and time domain) can be easily equalised but the rest not.

Unbenannt.png
 

vitalii427

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@amirm, just wow! That was lightning fast. Yesterday you were just about to order it. How is it possible?
 

restorer-john

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The story of the NS-10 is written in detail in the current (3rd) edition of Toole's book, it's problem was it voiced by its engineer (who admitted it later to Toole) back then to a neutral sound power and thus linear frequency response at the listeners position and thus not linear direct sound. Interestingly he voiced also the great NS-1000(M) back then, but because of the 3 ways and thus smoother directivity it wasn't such a problem when tuned to constant sound power and with its mid and treble knobs it was easy to tune it also to linear direct sound.

Perhaps when you guys listen to, or own a pair of NS-1000Ms, you'll understand. Until then, it's best you keep quiet. The entire Yamaha lineup form the early 70s onwards adhered to a flat response and even into the 1990s, that was their design priority. I sold them all. I own a bunch of them. They are glorious through the mid-band, an area where silly designers with their 8" or 6.5" 'woofers" and pissant domes thought they could change the world. Sadly, they never even came remotely close.

We never, ever, put a NS-1000M, letalone an NS-1000X (or a 700X) in the same room as anything else. Why? Because people would walk out without buying a speaker or system because they realized they couldn't afford what they really wanted.

Sony came close, and even exceeded Yamaha with a few key speakers, the SS-G7es and 9, but other than that, Yamaha was king in the resolution department. Then Yamaha produced the FX-3 in the late 80s and all bets were off. Even the NS-10000 wasn't as good.

Ask people who own them. People who are extreme audiophiles with multiple pairs of speakers. Guess which ones stay in their collection? The top Yamahas are extraordinary and the toy speakers people poke around with these days make us all smile.
 

thewas

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I think you should re-read my reply carefully again, both Toole and I comment that in contrary to the NS-10 the NS-1000 was GREAT and its one of the best vintage loudspeakers of all times! (I had the joy to have it in my listening room for quite some time and its in my collection buying list).

Here is again the comment of Toole directly:

The beryllium transducers were superb, exhibiting the lowest non-linear distortion I had seen up to that point meaning that they not only had excellent diaphragms, but excellent motors. A little bass boost and treble cut transformed them into something that would likely be competitive today.

By the way I have in my vintage collection currently a loudspeaker which is even more linear on axis than the NS-1000 ;)

technics-sb-10-vs-yamaha-ns-1000-messungen_618552.jpg
 
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q3cpma

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Thanks for this, it was a bit expected, since the HS5 is the worst of the serie. Still good value for the money, especially since the hiss should be completely absent; and our taste match, that speaker looks very classy.
One important question, though: does the surround usually count in the advertised cone size? Because I measured my HS7 and its cone is 120mm without surround and 145mm with; very far from the 6.5" (165mm) quoted size.
This may also be a good idea to quickly measure the woofer size yourself, if this is also shocking to you to sell a 5" speaker as a 6.5" one.

@amirm, just wow! That was lightning fast. Yesterday you were just about to order it. How is it possible?
Probably getting used to it, to the point of automation.
 

napilopez

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Thanks for this, it was a bit expected, since the HS5 is the worse of the serie. One important question, though: does the surround usually count in the advertised cone size? Because I measured my HS7 and its cone is 120mm without surround and 145mm with; very far from the 6.5" (165mm) quoted size.

This may also be a good idea to quickly measure the woofer size yourself, if this is also shocking to you to sell a 5" speaker as a 6.5" one.


Probably getting used to it, to the point of automation.

Nah that's normal. Basically every "6.5-inch" woofer has an effective piston diameter around 5 inches.

(When I was first measuring speakers and trying to sum woofer and port outputs, I kept wondering why my results were always off. Then I took out the measuring tape and realized that 5-inch woofer was not, in fact, 5 inches.)
 

restorer-john

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I think you should re-read my reply carefully again, both Toole and I comment it as great and its one of the best vintage loudspeakers of all times (I have had it in my listening room!

My post is merely to remind and inform people who read and believe too much from the internet, and have absolutely zero experience with Yamaha's range, to keep an open mind. That is clearly not you. :)

And Toole, he is an absolute legend, for sure, but just one of many before him. Not the be-all and end-all of audiophile deities to be held up as utterly beyond reproach. Not all of us blindly follow with with the Book of Toole held high, chanting each and every chapter and verse as gospel. There were, vested interests after all.

We only have maybe half a dozen pairs of Yamahas in my (and my father's ) collection now. I offloaded most of them apart from the NS-xxxX series and of course his 10th year Anniverary NS-1000Ms (from Japan home market). I sold the entire NS-xxxxX range and it was incredible. Imagine what is was like having speakers up to $5000 pair in 1991 that completely obliterated everything you could compare them to? It was fun.

The NS-1000X and NS-2000 are still state of the art, nearly 30 years on. Even now, companies are desperately trying to achieve the low levels of THD in the crucial mid-band that was achievable 45+ years ago with the 1000M.
 
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thewas

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Yes, but as said I didn't write anything negative about the NS-1000, their bigger brothers were of course incredible too, similar to much top of the end Japanese hifi of that times. :)
 

napilopez

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I got 145mm by encompassing the entire surround (touching the frame).
Yeah, that's a bit too much - the outer part of the cone doesn't really contribute to the sound. If you take from the highest part of the surround, it'll probably be about 130ishmm, which is what I see on just about every 6.5-inch speaker.
 

q3cpma

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Yeah, that's a bit too much - the outer part of the cone doesn't really contribute to the sound. If you take from the highest part of the surround, it'll probably be about 130ishmm, which is what I see on just about every 6.5-inch speaker.
Well, the entire industry is bullshitting us then. Thanks for indulging my curiosity.
 

restorer-john

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Yes, but as said I didn't write anything negative about the NS-1000, their bigger brothers were of course incredible too, similar to much top of the end Japanese hifi of that times.

I know that. Personally, I don't love the NS-1000Ms. They aren't an easy speaker to love.

They don't excite me at all. But what they do is absolutely incredible, they shine a consistent and fair spotlight on the recording, the music and the reproduction like no other speaker I have ever heard or owned. I own maybe 50+ pairs of speakers and have sent another 20 or 30 to my Dad's place. He has perhaps 20 pairs himself. Everything from small 4" two ways to 15" three and four ways. Towers to cubes. Studio monitors to bang for buck audiophile darlings. Flat panels to labyrinth and transmission lines have been through my/our hands. Speakers take up a ton of room, so sadly, I can't keep them all. :(

The Yamahas however stay. The NS-1000, even the NS-100X and the NS-670/690s. I don't like their partially 'missing' bass, but their midrange and treble is just glorious. That is where the music lies.
 

Fluffy

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Finally! I was waiting for you to address the Yamaha HS series. I have an HS8 at home, do you think you will measure it in the future?

These measurements actually give me great confidence in my monitors, because they agree almost perfectly with the ones published by Yamaha themselves:

https://usa.yamaha.com/files/download/other_assets/4/793644/hs8i_en_om_c0.pdf

Here are their measurements:
hs5.png

And Amir's:
11.png


So, if we believe their measurements for the HS8, it should be pretty damn flat:

hs8.png


I would be very curious to see if that's true.
 

Matias

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Indeed HS8 looks promising.
 
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