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plastic penguin's picture
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Near field speakers

I'm assuming that near field means 'short throw'. These are ideal for small rooms right?

Not interested in crossovers or other technicalities., just to define and maybe have some examples of near field and 'long throw' standmounters. And at what size of room do near field speakers come into their own? 

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RE: Near field speakers

It's not so much the speakers but the listening position. I can't remember if there are exact definitions but think less than six feet or so as "Near Field". Speakers that work in this domain are generally small so the drive units can integrate properly from the listening position - a large 3-way floorstander would sound as if the sound was coming from the separate drive units when that close. One big benefit of near field listening is that the room is less of a factor in the sound you hear - though room reflections still have considerable effect even this close.

Anonymous
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RE: Near field speakers

There's no such thing as a near field or long throw speaker. There are speakers that many use for near field use, but they don't have to be used that way.

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Near field monitors are

Near field monitors are optimised to voice correctly close up, unlike hifi speakers. This does not adversely affect listening at a greater range though.

The biggest factor for room filling seems to be driver size and power. I would say that my BM5s would start to get stretched in a room much larger than mine with high volume levels. They are 50W per driver. Room size is approx 11' x 22' give or take.

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RE: Near field speakers

Coincident driver arrays should outperform a conventional two planed speaker arrangement close up. Tannoy and KEF should work well.

DavidF @FrankHarveyHiFi, Coventry.

"Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light"

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RE: Near field speakers

The RS6s work really well, not too sure why. The listening position is only 9' from the speakers and it sounds wonderful. However, if you really crank it up it can err on the side of heavy handed. Normal listening levels not an issue. The flip-side of the slightly overbearing aspect is when playing films. Virtual surround sound. Fantastic.

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RE: Near field speakers

Reading this thread (still sensible thank Gawd....) and the one that has got out of control over the road ('KEF Studio Monitors...') and maybe it's just me.....but...

Has anyone contributing to these threads ever worked in a recording studio or had experience of designing speakers specifically for a studio for a specific (near field) purpose and application ? It's kind of different to that of designing speakers for the home.  

Anyone remember the Yamaha NS10M in the '80-90s....the best selling (passive) 'near field' monitor ever (apart from the classic Albas) - you'd recognise it if you saw it - black 'ash'-effect box with a doped white paper cone.  Also sold well as a hifi speaker as it matched a lot of the furniture coming out of Habitat at the time.  Generally held opinion on the audio quality of these - crapulous. But perfect for mixing in a home (or Pro) studio as what you were hearing was as close as possible to what was likely to be coming out of someone's hifi system at home / kitchen/car radio.

Don't want to dull you out completely, but I have a story. (I have lots by the way - some borderline interesting, some less so).

I remember recording and mixing with a very famous band at the Powerplant Studios in North London. So we mixed in the studio switching between some huge LOUD expensive looking things (may well have been Genelec) and some tatty Alba things that looked like they had come from my granny's garden shed.  Mostly through the nicotine-stained and slightly sticky Albas though.

We then spanked (technical term - might have aged a little and is a possible target for moderation) the track onto a cassette....legged it out to the car and played it back, car doors closed to see whether it would sound ok on the radio.  Note - this was with one of the most successful music producers of the last 30 years.....he knew what he was doing even if I didn't.  I still had hair and most of a personality though.

Kind of negates the need for all the arguing about the merits/qualities/distortion of 'near-field' versus 'home' (see other thread).

And if you read WHFS&V for HiFi education....read SOS for a Pro education:  http://www.soundonsound.com

There.....not ranty at all. 

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RE: Near field speakers RE: Near field speakers

   How close too a field do you need to be to listen ? Smile

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RE: Near field speakers

ROTH AV wrote:
Has anyone contributing to these threads ever worked in a recording studio or had experience of designing speakers specifically for a studio for a specific (near field) purpose and application ?

You mean has anyone actually got any direct experience or knowledge of what they're talking about? He he, you are funny!

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RE: Near field speakers

ROTH AV wrote:

Reading this thread (still sensible thank Gawd....) and the one that has got out of control over the road ('KEF Studio Monitors...') and maybe it's just me.....but...

Has anyone contributing to these threads ever worked in a recording studio or had experience of designing speakers specifically for a studio for a specific (near field) purpose and application ? It's kind of different to that of designing speakers for the home.  

Anyone remember the Yamaha NS10M in the '80-90s....the best selling (passive) 'near field' monitor ever (apart from the classic Albas) - you'd recognise it if you saw it - black 'ash'-effect box with a doped white paper cone.  Also sold well as a hifi speaker as it matched a lot of the furniture coming out of Habitat at the time.  Generally held opinion on the audio quality of these - crapulous. But perfect for mixing in a home (or Pro) studio as what you were hearing was as close as possible to what was likely to be coming out of someone's hifi system at home / kitchen/car radio.

Don't want to dull you out completely, but I have a story. (I have lots by the way - some borderline interesting, some less so).

I remember recording and mixing with a very famous band at the Powerplant Studios in North London. So we mixed in the studio switching between some huge LOUD expensive looking things (may well have been Genelec) and some tatty Alba things that looked like they had come from my granny's garden shed.  Mostly through the nicotine-stained and slightly sticky Albas though.

We then spanked (technical term - might have aged a little and is a possible target for moderation) the track onto a cassette....legged it out to the car and played it back, car doors closed to see whether it would sound ok on the radio.  Note - this was with one of the most successful music producers of the last 30 years.....he knew what he was doing even if I didn't.  I still had hair and most of a personality though.

Kind of negates the need for all the arguing about the merits/qualities/distortion of 'near-field' versus 'home' (see other thread).

And if you read WHFS&V for HiFi education....read SOS for a Pro education:  http://www.soundonsound.com

There.....not ranty at all. 

Do you mean that proper near field monitor isn't suited to the domestic arena?

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RE: Near field speakers

Nope I don't mean that at all.

I guess the point I was trying to make above, other than showing off a bit about my fun-filled and ludicrously dangerous past, was that there is no point (to debates of this nature).  There isn't a right or wrong.  There isn't a winner in passive versus active.  There isn't a winner in 'near-field' versus 'domestic'.  

There are just a random set of criteria that are then applied randomly when someone creates music, records music and mixes music.

What format in which we then choose to listen to it adds a little more 'random' to the pot (vinyl, cassette, MP3, CD, etc.).

And then finally which type of hardware we then use for playback then adds just that little bit more randomness too (near-field, 'domestic', etc.).

It's fun to exercise one's mind on this type of debate though.  

I find it interesting that if one subscribes to the view that music should be listened to on equipment that replicates the 'sound' that the artist/producer intended/created when it was recorded, in theory we'd all be using cheap passive speakers with single paper cones the size and consistency of a crisp packet (except those wonderful metal AE thingies) and the sensitivity of a slab of concrete.  

 

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RE: Near field speakers

ROTH AV wrote:

Nope I don't mean that at all.

I guess the point I was trying to make above, other than showing off a bit about my fun-filled and ludicrously dangerous past, was that there is no point (to debates of this nature).  There isn't a right or wrong.  There isn't a winner in passive versus active.  There isn't a winner in 'near-field' versus 'domestic'.  

There are just a random set of criteria that are then applied randomly when someone creates music, records music and mixes music.

What format in which we then choose to listen to it adds a little more 'random' to the pot (vinyl, cassette, MP3, CD, etc.).

And then finally which type of hardware we then use for playback then adds just that little bit more randomness too (near-field, 'domestic', etc.).

It's fun to exercise one's mind on this type of debate though.  

I find it interesting that if one subscribes to the view that music should be listened to on equipment that replicates the 'sound' that the artist/producer intended/created when it was recorded, in theory we'd all be using cheap passive speakers with single paper cones the size and consistency of a crisp packet (except those wonderful metal AE thingies) and the sensitivity of a slab of concrete.  

 

There is a point to this type of thread. I didn't know the answer. Nor have I mentioned (or planning a reference to active speakers).

I've always had the view that the spec sheet should stay in the box. If it sounds good then I'll buy, if it don't - regardless of reviews or recommendations - then I won't.

I suppose you could pose the question in a different way: Can floorstanders be near field?

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RE: Near field speakers

plastic penguin wrote:

I suppose you could pose the question in a different way: Can floorstanders be near field?

No reason they can't be, the more drive units and space between them the less likely they are to integrate well the closer you get to them as you can pinpoint those different sources. Correct phase alignment in the crossover helps a lot with this - which is another aspect which is far easier to get right on a 2-way rather than 3-way+.

So there's no inherent reason floorstanders are bad up close as such, just bear in mind the variables above.

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RE: Near field speakers

ROTH AV wrote:
I guess the point I was trying to make above, other than showing off a bit about my fun-filled and ludicrously dangerous past, was that there is no point (to debates of this nature).  There isn't a right or wrong.  There isn't a winner in passive versus active.  There isn't a winner in 'near-field' versus 'domestic'.

Amen.

"We are currently awaiting the loading of our complement of small lemon-soaked paper napkins for your comfort, refreshment and hygiene during the journey."

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RE: Near field speakers

On genelec.com there is a 'monitor setup guide' which covers a lot of aspects of 'monitring'. useful read.

Anonymous
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RE: Near field speakers RE: Near field speakers

ROTH AV wrote:

Has anyone contributing to these threads ever worked in a recording studio or had experience of designing speakers specifically for a studio for a specific (near field) purpose and application ?

Yup.  :wave:

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