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gasolin's picture
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Active hifi speakers or active studio monitors?
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I am now using the new active Yamaha hs8 as my main hifi speaker (toghether with my pc) although they are studio monitor speakers, where i feel that they are playing the music,sounds  the way they are recorded, without adding anything to the sound, if i have a room with a bass bost or tweeter problems at high levels i don't know, but to me the Yamaha hs8 feels very neutral.

I never have this bright sound with not enough bass (Dali zensor 1), if sometimes the sound  is bright, not enough bass or to much, it's not to blame the speakers, because i feel they are very neutral which many hifi speakers aren't.  I am using a Presounus 22vsl usb souncard, i am not recording music so i don't need the mic inputs, most hifi soundcards have alot of inputs and outputs for surround sound which i also don't need, until now i can't say anything bad about the presounus 22vsl souncard, it is doing it's job at 24bit 96000hz and should also have this i only play,record what's comming in without adding anything to the sound, characteristic.

 

I have thought about a discussion about active hifi speakers vs active monitor, theres the on whathifi very popular avi adm9rs (think it's the newest model but i am not shure or the t model avi adm9t)  the almost equally priced Dynaudio XEO 3 or some slightly cheaper but very popular adam a7x, with a god dac the price is in the same price range as the avi and Dynaudio's and the size of the adams a7x is also close to the avi adam9's, with 100 watt for the tweeter and 150 watt for the bas/midrange the adam a7x is also very powerfull so theres no excuse for lots of loud and dynamic music without any distortion.

 

It could also be the cheaper audiengine a5 vs some studio monitors like the very popular krk rookit 5 g2 (have owned them) or the Yamaha HS5/50        

Studio monitors is surpose to play the sound(s), music as they are recorded,mixed without adding anything to the sound, almost like high end  hifi speakers, although most high end hifi speakers do have a tendency to have an enhanced bas(even though it almost never would be neutral in the bass becuase many have recorded the bass a bit louder the anything else) and often a slightly bright sound which studio monitors dosn't have (atleast they shouldn't have this kind of hifi sound)

 

Speakers are surpose to play the music as it is recorded without adding anything to the sound, so aren't active studio monitors in general better then active hifi speakers? (more accurate)

 

Active hifi speakers or active studio monitors, what would you choose and why?

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RE: Active hifi speakers or active studio monitors?

Well, I wouldn't choose the Yamahas for a start. Heard the newer ones recently and found the top end hard, if not to say grating. The Adams I also heard were a lot better if you wanted active speakers, but also forward -I think it's because these type of actives are meant to be ruthlessly analytical.

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RE: Active hifi speakers or active studio monitors?

altruistic.lemon wrote:

Well, I wouldn't choose the Yamahas for a start. Heard the newer ones recently and found the top end hard, if not to say grating. The Adams I also heard were a lot better if you wanted active speakers, but also forward -I think it's because these type of actives are meant to be ruthlessly analytical.

I thought this kind of nonsense had been consigned to the refuse bins of history, shame to see it being brought up again.

Modern studio monitors can and are made to sound like whatever the manufacturer likes, some are clearly more (tonally) accurate than others and at the budget end of the market particularly compromises are made.

The latest Yamaha HS series are pretty smooth and well balanced by the standards of any comparable speaker, active or passive and could not be remotely described as "grating".

Either your prejudices are showing or you were listening at levels far in excess of what would be considered the norm for a comparable hi-fi setup. The lack of midrange distortion and bass boom often leads to speakers of this type being played rather loudly and this can sound pretty harsh in a poor or untreated room. Wind them back to a more sensible level and they are excellent.

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RE: Active hifi speakers or active studio monitors?

Frankly, I found them unlistenable. If music is meant to sound like that then time to sell up.. Seriously, a speaker that makes the acoustic guitar such as the one used by Neil Young on his live album sound like a cheap Chinese one that hadn't been played for years has problems, and I hate to say what it did to female vocals.

If that is how you like your music to sound, rather than real and natural, then that's your decision, and you shouldn't go round bad mouthing people who happen to disagree. 

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RE: Active hifi speakers or active studio monitors?

When I briefly heard some Yamaha actives I thought they sounded surprisingly natural and very insightful.  However, whether they would measure up in my room and over the lengthy listening sessions I tend to have is another question, the answer to which I would only find out by trying them properly.

I can understand gasolin's point of view, but I can also understand AL's concerns and for me the jury is still out until I gain more experience of them.

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RE: Active hifi speakers or active studio monitors?

altruistic.lemon wrote:

Frankly, I found them unlistenable. If music is meant to sound like that then time to sell up.. Seriously, a speaker that makes the acoustic guitar such as the one used by Neil Young on his live album sound like a cheap Chinese one that hadn't been played for years has problems, and I hate to say what it did to female vocals.

If that is how you like your music to sound, rather than real and natural, then that's your decision, and you shouldn't go round bad mouthing people who happen to disagree. 

 

some that could actually be because that's how it does sound when it's "untreated".

 

I think there's a lot of people here who would have a heart attack if they ever found themselves in a recording studio listening to a dry mix, especially if they compare that to a mastered version played through a hi-fi.  It's very rare to find something that sounds natural, even if you think it does, it will have had quite a few effects put on to it to make it sound as people want it to sound, not actually how it sounds. 

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RE: Active hifi speakers or active studio monitors?

I can't agree. A musical instrument has a certain tone. Yamaha guitars, for example, have a warm or  sweeter tone than others, which is why people pick them. To have that removed in the studio by analytical speakers in the studio isn't lending realism, just the reverse.

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RE: Active hifi speakers or active studio monitors?

altruistic.lemon wrote:

Yamaha guitars, for example, have a warm or  sweeter tone than others, which is why people pick them.

 

sorry, that's just tosh.  Yamaha makes guitars from 100 to over 1000.  They do sound radically different depending on the woods used, the age, the strings, the playing style, and also how it's recorded and where.  That statement alone shows your complete lack of understanding about the recording process I'm afraid. 

 

 

altruistic.lemon wrote:
To have that removed in the studio by analytical speakers in the studio isn't lending realism, just the reverse.

 

Eh, nothing gets removed - the studio speakers will try and produce the sound as it's recorded without any additional "voicing" which you get from end user hifi systems.  A dry recorded guitar will probably sound awful to a hifi enthusiast.  Chances are it's at least going to have a small amount of compression and some form of eq applied, maybe a bit of reverb, sometimes a small amount of delay, and then maybe doubled up before it even hits the master.  This then gets playes in your hi fi systems and people call it "natural".

 

Here's a good article that explains some of the differences when recording an acoustic guitar and how all the different factors need to be taken in to account.  http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/apr10/articles/acguitar.htm

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RE: Active hifi speakers or active studio monitors?

altruistic.lemon wrote:

Frankly, I found them unlistenable. If music is meant to sound like that then time to sell up.. Seriously, a speaker that makes the acoustic guitar such as the one used by Neil Young on his live album sound like a cheap Chinese one that hadn't been played for years has problems, and I hate to say what it did to female vocals.

If that is how you like your music to sound, rather than real and natural, then that's your decision, and you shouldn't go round bad mouthing people who happen to disagree. 

If that is what you heard then I would have to question the demonstration/system you were listening too. Do you really think musicians would buy these speakers if this was the case?

It is a pretty long time since studio speakers sounded the way you describe, you would have to go back to the old NS 10s to get such a sound.

Had you said that the HS series lacked detail resolution leading to a somewhat vague and two dimensional soundstage I would have agreed with you, after all no speakers are perfect especially at the price level of the new Yamahas.

in reality they are a budget product, probably the cheapest range of active monitors from a major manufacturer, the HS5 is just £270, barely enough to by a budget amp and a pair of Diamonds from a normal hi-fi dealer.

These are budget products and should be treated as such, properly set up, equalised and played at levels consistent with a home environment they offer a very different set of virtues from the usual hi-fi fare, clear, fast and very dynamic, a very real alternative to the boom and tizz of most conventional budget hi-fi.

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RE: Active hifi speakers or active studio monitors?

davedotco wrote:

a very real alternative to the boom and tizz of most conventional budget hi-fi

(sigh)

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RE: Active hifi speakers or active studio monitors?

Cheeseboy,

The ignorance shown by the hi-fi community for the realities of the recording process is well known but the intolerance shown towards the end user by audio professional can be equally stupefying.

There is a general consensus among them that all hi-fi systems are boomy, wooly and completely unusable at anything above background levels. They find hi-fi chat about 'musical' and 'natural' sound hilarious, they know that the 'sense of air and space around the instruments' comes from the f/x rack or the big old plate reverb in the basement.

Just as some hi-fi speakers are used for monitoring, pro speakers can be used for hi-fi, but they require the same attention to system matching and setup that is considered normal practice for hi-fi. The standard of what passes for speaker demonstrations in most music/pro-audio shops is woeful, particularly for the hi-fi listener.

Getting a decent pair of monitors into a hi-fi system and getting them properly set up (in hi-fi terms) can be a revelation, but it can be a difficult experience.

Firstly the bass control is such that they sound bass light, they are not but the lack of 'bloom' built into many hi-fi speakers is missing and combined with the generally greater clarity across the midrange leads to these speakers being played a higher levels than their hi-fi competitors. This can lead to a perceived harshness or hardness but this is usually the result of an untreated and reflective room. 

As mentioned above, getting the volume setting right is difficult at first, the audible clues that you get from each type of system are very different, hi-fi listeners coming to active monitors for the first time invariably set the levels far too high and this can cause problems.

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RE: Active hifi speakers or active studio monitors?

davedotoco - totally agree with all you've just said actually Biggrin

 

 

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RE: Active hifi speakers or active studio monitors?

cheeseboy wrote:

altruistic.lemon wrote:

Yamaha guitars, for example, have a warm or  sweeter tone than others, which is why people pick them.

 

sorry, that's just tosh.  Yamaha makes guitars from 100 to over 1000.  They do sound radically different depending on the woods used, the age, the strings, the playing style, and also how it's recorded and where.  That statement alone shows your complete lack of understanding about the recording process I'm afraid. 

 

 

altruistic.lemon wrote:
To have that removed in the studio by analytical speakers in the studio isn't lending realism, just the reverse.

 

Eh, nothing gets removed - the studio speakers will try and produce the sound as it's recorded without any additional "voicing" which you get from end user hifi systems.  A dry recorded guitar will probably sound awful to a hifi enthusiast.  Chances are it's at least going to have a small amount of compression and some form of eq applied, maybe a bit of reverb, sometimes a small amount of delay, and then maybe doubled up before it even hits the master.  This then gets playes in your hi fi systems and people call it "natural".

 

Here's a good article that explains some of the differences when recording an acoustic guitar and how all the different factors need to be taken in to account.  http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/apr10/articles/acguitar.htm

Nope, your first point, is, well, tosh, and your second doesn't bear scrutiny. Ah well.

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RE: Active hifi speakers or active studio monitors?

John Duncan wrote:

davedotco wrote:

a very real alternative to the boom and tizz of most conventional budget hi-fi

(sigh)

Since such hackneyed old stereotypes were already being thrown around with such abandon I thought it appropriate to 'get that one in'.

Like many such sayings it has  a strand of truth too it, many budget loudspeakers are still made that emphasise the mid bass to make up for a lack of real depth and lift the presence/treble region to give them balance. Nothing really wrong with this, it is simply making a budget speaker easier to live with, I was just making the point that there are other ways to make inexpensive speakers sound good without doing that.

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RE: Active hifi speakers or active studio monitors?

davedotco wrote:

altruistic.lemon wrote:

Frankly, I found them unlistenable. If music is meant to sound like that then time to sell up.. Seriously, a speaker that makes the acoustic guitar such as the one used by Neil Young on his live album sound like a cheap Chinese one that hadn't been played for years has problems, and I hate to say what it did to female vocals.

If that is how you like your music to sound, rather than real and natural, then that's your decision, and you shouldn't go round bad mouthing people who happen to disagree. 

If that is what you heard then I would have to question the demonstration/system you were listening too. Do you really think musicians would buy these speakers if this was the case?

It is a pretty long time since studio speakers sounded the way you describe, you would have to go back to the old NS 10s to get such a sound.

Had you said that the HS series lacked detail resolution leading to a somewhat vague and two dimensional soundstage I would have agreed with you, after all no speakers are perfect especially at the price level of the new Yamahas.

in reality they are a budget product, probably the cheapest range of active monitors from a major manufacturer, the HS5 is just £270, barely enough to by a budget amp and a pair of Diamonds from a normal hi-fi dealer.

These are budget products and should be treated as such, properly set up, equalised and played at levels consistent with a home environment they offer a very different set of virtues from the usual hi-fi fare, clear, fast and very dynamic, a very real alternative to the boom and tizz of most conventional budget hi-fi.

Ah, now I understand, a disciple! All active speakers sound better than passive, repeat three times an hour until convinced, huh?

A long time - there has been a revolution in a fortnight?? Come on! I repeat, the Yamahas are hard and forward in the treble, making listening a chore not a pleasure. They sounded much better when the sound was turned right down, as in off. The Adam audios and the Dynaudios were also a bit forward, but at least their treble was easy to listen to, and I thought the Adams not bad, in fact.

You need to get down to your local hi fi store and your local professional shop and do some serious listening. Also take a Martin or similar along, and do some strumming so you know what a real musical instrument sounds like  Smile . That way lies enlightenment.

 

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RE: Active hifi speakers or active studio monitors?

cheeseboy wrote:

davedotoco - totally agree with all you've just said actually Biggrin

 

 

Don't worry it will pass. 

Perhaps I need to be a little more confrontational?

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