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#2703807 - 01/10/18 08:36 PM Sound Shaping Devices  
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When I play my Kawai ES8 and listen with my headphones, the sound is absolutely perfect (in my view) for jazz music.

However, it is not at that level when it goes out through my piano speakers or through my external speakers (see below) via the lineouts.

I am looking for recommendations for how I might begin to try to improve on that sound coming through my external speakers.

My choices are probably better speakers ... for which I am skeptical if that would give me the result I wish for .... or a device placed in the line from my piano to my speakers.

A mixer ? An equalizer ? Any other ideas ?

Please .... speak from experience only.

Thanks




Last edited by dmd; 01/10/18 08:37 PM.

Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
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#2703809 - 01/10/18 08:51 PM Re: Sound Shaping Devices [Re: dmd]  
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Test your assumption:

Rent a pair of good PA speakers, or powered monitor speakers, for a week. Experiment to get the best placement.

At the end of the week, turn them off and go back to the ES8 speakers. See if you think they help, or not.

Report back, please.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
#2703813 - 01/10/18 09:09 PM Re: Sound Shaping Devices [Re: Charles Cohen]  
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So .... you are suggesting that the powered monitors I have may not be of sufficient quality to produce the sound I am looking for ?


Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
#2703829 - 01/10/18 10:27 PM Re: Sound Shaping Devices [Re: dmd]  
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You can do a ton of "sound shaping" and "EQ" with positioning...

How are your monitors positioned relative to the keyboard? Maybe they should be on stands around ear height, angled towards your head. How far are they from the keyboard and back wall? What is the distance between the speakers? You don't need to answer these questions but use them to move stuff around.

Why not try moving your system around the room. Closer to the wall, further from the wall, closer to a corner, further from a corner.

Try a rug in a few places. Try moving furniture to a few different places. Try window drapes open, half closed, fully closed.

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#2703830 - 01/10/18 10:38 PM Re: Sound Shaping Devices [Re: newer player]  
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Originally Posted by newer player
You can do a ton of "sound shaping" and "EQ" with positioning...

How are your monitors positioned relative to the keyboard? Maybe they should be on stands around ear height, angled towards your head. How far are they from the keyboard and back wall? What is the distance between the speakers? You don't need to answer these questions but use them to move stuff around.

Why not try moving your system around the room. Closer to the wall, further from the wall, closer to a corner, further from a corner.

Try a rug in a few places. Try moving furniture to a few different places. Try window drapes open, half closed, fully closed.




Certainly options ....

Truthfully .... I am not a fan of moving things (furniture, rugs, piano, etc ...) .... as there seems to be no end to that sort of thing.

I am hoping for a more direct solution .... better speakers, equalizer, etc ...


Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
#2703860 - 01/11/18 01:35 AM Re: Sound Shaping Devices [Re: newer player]  
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Originally Posted by newer player
You can do a ton of "sound shaping" and "EQ" with positioning...

How are your monitors positioned relative to the keyboard? Maybe they should be on stands around ear height, angled towards your head. How far are they from the keyboard and back wall? What is the distance between the speakers? You don't need to answer these questions but use them to move stuff around.

Why not try moving your system around the room. Closer to the wall, further from the wall, closer to a corner, further from a corner.

Try a rug in a few places. Try moving furniture to a few different places. Try window drapes open, half closed, fully closed.



I'm curious in what kind of living conditions y'all live, that this kind of moving around is an option? Dorm room student lair? Dedicated music studio room? Man cave cellar? grin

Personally, I have my piano in our living room and there's exactly one spot (maybe with a minor variation) where it can be placed. If it doesn't sound good in that spot, then tough luck!


Kawai CA 97 | previously: Yamaha P-115 | years ago: Roland HP-800
My piano recordings on YouTube
#2703878 - 01/11/18 03:25 AM Re: Sound Shaping Devices [Re: dmd]  
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How close are you from the speakers? Experiment with placing them more than 5ft from your ears.


Kawai ES8, Roland RD2000, Yamaha AG06 mixer, Yamaha HS7 monitors, AKG K99 phones.
#2703891 - 01/11/18 06:04 AM Re: Sound Shaping Devices [Re: dmd]  
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Originally Posted by dmd
So .... you are suggesting that the powered monitors I have may not be of sufficient quality to produce the sound I am looking for ?


Aha -- I didn't see the "Focal CMS40" note in your signature . . . They are expensive, but not perfect.

The beauty of headphones is that they only have to move the air inside the earcups. They can easily give louder sound, and better (deeper and louder) bass, than small-woofer speakers.

Renting a pair of speakers -- larger and louder than the CMS 40's -- is an inexpensive experiment.

CMS40 Specs (from Focal):

Quote

System
• Frequency response (+/- 3dB) 60Hz - 28kHz
• Maximum SPL 97dB SPL (peak @ 1m)


Assuming that you have the speakers about 1m from your ears, pointing toward your head, that's just about loud enough for "live piano" sound levels. And the bass response is deep enough.

If they're much further than 1m away, or you're one of the people sensitive to the lowest octave of sound from the piano (the fundamental frequency of the lowest A is around 27 Hz), you might benefit from higher-powered, larger-woofer loudspeakers.

Or, you might consider adding the Focal "CMS Sub" subwoofer, with an 11" woofer and 300 watts. There's a review here:

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/focal-cms40-cms-sub

Or you could use a smaller subwoofer -- you shouldn't _need_ an 11" woofer to handle piano music. There are lots, designed for "home theatre" systems, that should be OK, without breaking your back or bank account. Yamaha makes the HS8S subwoofer -- 8" speaker, 150 watts -- that might be a good match to the CMS 40's.

The specs of a Yamaha HS8 monitor ( 8" woofer):

Quote

Frequency response:47 Hz - 24 kHz, +/- 3 dB

Power: 75 watts woofer, 45 watts tweeter

SPL: not specified (!!!)


If you want to play with "sound shaping", the easiest way to do it is to get a "stereo graphic equalizer" like this one (a DBX 231s):

https://www.amazon.com/231s-Channel-31-Band-Graphic-Equalizer/dp/B004NDHZTY

There are lots of alternatives from DBX, Behringer, and others -- check the Guitar Center and Sweetwater catalogs. An equalizer goes in-line, between the DP's "Line Out" jacks and the speakers "Line In" jacks. (Some stage pianos have built-in multi-band EQ; I don't know about the ES8.)

An equalizer will let you change the "sonic signature" of the CMS 40's, to match the headphone sound that you like. It _won't_ make them into 8"-woofer speakers with 150 watts per channel.

I can't see any use for any other outboard "pro audio" gear. If you like the ES8 over headphones, you don't need a mixer, a compressor, or anything else in the signal chain.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
#2703908 - 01/11/18 08:14 AM Re: Sound Shaping Devices [Re: Charles Cohen]  
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Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
I didn't see the "Focal CMS40" note in your signature

also JBL LSR305

#2703912 - 01/11/18 08:46 AM Re: Sound Shaping Devices [Re: dmd]  
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Thanks for the replies ....

My first effort is going to go in the direction of a graphic equalizer.

The DBX option suggested by Charles seems to be a good place to start.

Perhaps a single channel will be enough.

I see some mention of "noise" within some of these equalizers so I will want to minimize that element.

Cost is not a significant factor (within reason) in my decision for a product but "noise" is.

I will be working with an on-line store representative to help with this.

Any suggestions from first-hand personal experience is always helpful.

Thanks again for your help.


Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
#2704122 - 01/11/18 09:02 PM Re: Sound Shaping Devices [Re: dmd]  
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Quote
. . .
Perhaps a single channel will be enough.


Probably a mistake.

The ES8, almost certainly, uses _stereo_ (2-channel) samples, and expects stereo (2 channels, left and right) speakers.

. . . So you'll lose something -- a sense of "physical presence", probably -- if you only have one channel going through the EQ, into one speaker, or both speakers.

I suggest either (1) a 2-channel EQ (31 independent frequency bands per channel) (I think that's what I pointed to, above),

. . . or (2) an EQ that has two channels, and one set of 31 sliders that controls the EQ of both channels.

I don't know if (2) exists. Talk with the guys in the store.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
#2704123 - 01/11/18 09:07 PM Re: Sound Shaping Devices [Re: dmd]  
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I agree with Charles... you'll almost certainly feel the loss going down to mono.

#2704136 - 01/11/18 10:22 PM Re: Sound Shaping Devices [Re: dmd]  
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I did order the 2-Channel equalizer.


Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
#2704157 - 01/12/18 02:28 AM Re: Sound Shaping Devices [Re: dmd]  
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Good ! Let us know how it works out.

Thanks in advance --

One more thing:

Depending on how your room is set up, one problem could be that your speakers are exciting "room resonances", and the sound you hear has "coloration" - some frequencies come through louder than others.

You can ameliorate that situation with an equalizer, cutting the frequencies that resonate. I went through that process to eliminate feedback with a headworn mic, and the sound system in my synagogue. Some of the EQ corrections were -8 dB, which is _a lot_ of correction, and I didn't want to believe them. But the feedback problem is gone.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
#2704276 - 01/12/18 12:37 PM Re: Sound Shaping Devices [Re: dmd]  
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I think you have underestimated the equipment necessary to produce the equivalent of your headphones.

This is especially important when considering the acoustic power necessary for reproducing low frequency notes with low harmonic distortion, e.g. less than the 1% level of perceivable distortion even if the volume is raised.

Forget equalizers, visit a shop that sells used audio equipment and buy used speakers with larger diameters and either a separate used amplifier with double the individual speaker r.m.s wattage, or a used active speaker designed for keyboard reproduction.

You will be amazed at the performance of such a system, e.g. 100W r.m.s stereo amp with e.g.

https://www.keyboardmag.com/gear/powered-speakers-that-make-great-keyboard-amps

Ian


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#2704292 - 01/12/18 01:23 PM Re: Sound Shaping Devices [Re: dmd]  
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That's a good point... you generally have to spend a whole lot of money to get speakers that sound as good as high quality much more reasonably priced headphones. For reference, it would be interesting to listen to some high quality CDs (perhaps with some piano performances) through your headphones and through your best speakers and take note of that difference. The issue here is likely to not be specific to your DP reproduction at all.

#2704314 - 01/12/18 02:41 PM Re: Sound Shaping Devices [Re: anotherscott]  
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Originally Posted by anotherscott
it would be interesting to listen to some high quality CDs (perhaps with some piano performances) through your headphones and through your best speakers and take note of that difference. The issue here is likely to not be specific to your DP reproduction at all.


Agreed

Originally Posted by anotherscott
you generally have to spend a whole lot of money to get speakers that sound as good as high quality much more reasonably priced headphones.


Headphones can provide excellent performance for low price. Much less room acoustics to worry about, low driver excursion, no messy crossover networks, low power amp needs, nifty stereo separation lowest latency playback, etc. Plug-and-play.

But for audio reproduction via speakers, I still think physical positioning and room acoustics still "trump" everything by a "huge" margin. Measuring and expermenting takes a good bit of time and effort. EQ maybe able to help a little but I think it is more useful as a tool for measuring and expermenting.

As long as your audio gear is "decent" I don't think more money improves audio performance. To "step-up" your nice JBL & Focal monitors will cost a lot of money and I don't think you will see much, if any, improvement.

As mentioned above, one or two inexpensive subwoofers might help but they do take time and effort to place optimally.

#2704335 - 01/12/18 03:56 PM Re: Sound Shaping Devices [Re: Beemer]  
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Originally Posted by Beemer
Forget equalizers, visit a shop that sells used audio equipment and buy used speakers with larger diameters and either a separate used amplifier with double the individual speaker r.m.s wattage, or a used active speaker designed for keyboard reproduction.


Well, that may be good advice for someone fluent in the electronics genre. That is not me.



Is this website presented as confirmation of your postion or as a suggestion of products one might consider ? (or Both)

Last edited by dmd; 01/12/18 03:56 PM.

Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
#2704351 - 01/12/18 04:52 PM Re: Sound Shaping Devices [Re: dmd]  
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The speakers shown at that web site are quite good. They're also quite expensive.
Those are for larger venues.
They're gross overkill for a piano in the home.

dmd: Advice for using an equalizer is valid. They're available for cheap on Ebay.

#2704366 - 01/12/18 05:26 PM Re: Sound Shaping Devices [Re: MacMacMac]  
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
The speakers shown at that web site are quite good. They're also quite expensive.
Those are for larger venues.
They're gross overkill for a piano in the home.

dmd: Advice for using an equalizer is valid. They're available for cheap on Ebay.



Well, I will find out if the equalizer is the solution .... soon enough.

If that fails .... it appears I need a serious upgrade with my speakers/monitors.

I will hope for the best.


Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
#2704395 - 01/12/18 06:56 PM Re: Sound Shaping Devices [Re: MacMacMac]  
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
The speakers shown at that web site are quite good. They're also quite expensive.
Those are for larger venues.
They're gross overkill for a piano in the home.


+1.

I own an EV ZXA1 (one of the speakers in that "Keyboard Magazine" report):

. . . It sounds very good;
. . . It's expensive (and rather large and ugly, for home use)
. . . It's overkill for home use.

OTOH, with a pair of those, nobody is likely to tell you:

. . . "You should consider a loudspeaker upgrade."

See how the EQ works. If it gives you what you want, consider yourself lucky (or blessed).


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
#2704433 - 01/12/18 08:39 PM Re: Sound Shaping Devices [Re: dmd]  
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Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
The speakers shown at that web site are quite good. They're also quite expensive.
Those are for larger venues.
They're gross overkill for a piano in the home.

dmd: Advice for using an equalizer is valid. They're available for cheap on Ebay.



Well, I will find out if the equalizer is the solution .... soon enough.

If that fails .... it appears I need a serious upgrade with my speakers/monitors.

I will hope for the best.



At some point ‘get out your umbrella’, eq’s start sounding better when bypassed.

#2704440 - 01/12/18 09:26 PM Re: Sound Shaping Devices [Re: emenelton]  
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Originally Posted by emenelton

At some point ‘get out your umbrella’, eq’s start sounding better when bypassed.


I do not understand the .... "get out your umbrella" ... phrase.


Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
#2704444 - 01/12/18 10:02 PM Re: Sound Shaping Devices [Re: dmd]  
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It means ‘sorry to rain on your parade’.
Improving your speakers, especially because both of your monitor sets have small woofers, makes more sense.

#2704446 - 01/12/18 10:23 PM Re: Sound Shaping Devices [Re: emenelton]  
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Originally Posted by emenelton
It means ‘sorry to rain on your parade’.
Improving your speakers, especially because both of your monitor sets have small woofers, makes more sense.


Do you have a suggestion for "Improved" speakers/monitors ?

Or .... just get more expensive ones.


Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
#2704451 - 01/12/18 10:34 PM Re: Sound Shaping Device [Re: dmd]  
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I was foretelling a possible future of eq use.
I have been playing through a radial jiso direct box into t40 gigaworks computer speakers.

Sounds real natural. The direct box cost a lot more than the speakers.

#2704461 - 01/12/18 11:08 PM Re: Sound Shaping Device [Re: emenelton]  
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Originally Posted by emenelton
I was foretelling a possible future of eq use.
I have been playing through a radial jiso direct box into t40 gigaworks computer speakers.

Sounds real natural. The direct box cost a lot more than the speakers.



Doesn't sound (no pun) like a road I wish to travel down.


Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
#2704472 - 01/13/18 12:28 AM Re: Sound Shaping Device [Re: dmd]  
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Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by emenelton
I was foretelling a possible future of eq use.
I have been playing through a radial jiso direct box into t40 gigaworks computer speakers.

Sounds real natural. The direct box cost a lot more than the speakers.



Doesn't sound (no pun) like a road I wish to travel down.





It’s just what I use, they’re not in a much different class than the 305’s, but really nice, balanced mid-range. Great for piano.

It’s low cost, you asked if all alternatives were more expensive, not really, but it’s easy to think from your complaint that you could get into a nice set of 6.5” 2-ways or add a sub , just have gone down that eq road before.

#2704482 - 01/13/18 01:38 AM Re: Sound Shaping Device [Re: dmd]  
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Even though the CMS40 are really nice, they definitely lack low-end and no amount of eq-ing will compensate for that. The LSR 305, while in a significantly lower class, have decent low frequencies for piano, but they get a little boxy for the lower octaves.
Up until recently, I had the 305 and I don't think something significantly better can be had close to their price.
I tried upgrading to presonus eris e8 and they gave me a slight upgrade in frequency response and a more natural sound, but they wouldn't go significantly lower than the 305. Also, they were a slight downgrade concerning imaging, sweet spot, phantom center. I haven't tried the 308, so don't know how much of an improvement they are.
However, meanwhile I have sold the erises at no loss, and got a pair of Focal Alpha 65 and can honestly say they're in another league. They have a very wide sweetspot, great imaging (significantly above the LSRs) and a very linear response which goes lower than the Erises. I would've went for the 80 if I had the space to place them, but I keep them on top of the piano on auralex pads and these are already large enough. I know this hurts acoustics a little, but it's impossible for me to place them any other way. At least the tweeter' s at ear level and the sound is fantastic.
I recommend you consider upgrading the speakers rather than sound shaping devices, because your speakers are the limiting factor and no sound shaping will cross that limit. The alpha 65 already sound much better and give me a natural, full piano sound, not the thin (radio-like) sound that I got from monitors with poorer frequency response, or the boxy sound I got from monitors that were over-trying in the low-range.
Let us know which way you go and your impressions smile

#2704485 - 01/13/18 02:40 AM Re: Sound Shaping Device [Re: dmd]  
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6.5” 2-ways have better dynamic character than smaller woofers too

#2704518 - 01/13/18 07:59 AM Re: Sound Shaping Device [Re: dmd]  
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Well ..... Here page full of Focal monitors ....

Which 6.5 monitor are you speaking of ?

https://www.sweetwater.com/c404--Focal--Studio_Monitors


Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
#2704537 - 01/13/18 09:36 AM Re: Sound Shaping Device [Re: dmd]  
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Originally Posted by dmd
Well ..... Here page full of Focal monitors ....

Which 6.5 monitor are you speaking of ?

https://www.sweetwater.com/c404--Focal--Studio_Monitors




Well, I got impatient (my nature) .....

I ordered 2 of these ....

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Alpha80


Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
#2704581 - 01/13/18 11:45 AM Re: Sound Shaping Device [Re: dmd]  
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Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by dmd
Well ..... Here page full of Focal monitors ....

Which 6.5 monitor are you speaking of ?

https://www.sweetwater.com/c404--Focal--Studio_Monitors




Well, I got impatient (my nature) .....

I ordered 2 of these ....

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Alpha80




congrats, your stands might not be big enough

#2704613 - 01/13/18 01:48 PM Re: Sound Shaping Device [Re: dmd]  
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I just received my equalizer ....

My settings ....

20-40 set to -6

40 - 630 gradually increasing to 0

630 - End gradually decreasing down to the lowest setting (-12)

It definitely makes a difference.

Do I like it ?

Of course, it always sounds good immediately. LOL ....

I will probably keep even if I keep my new monitors .... just for periodic changes to the sound.

Even a good sound can get old ... I think.

Thanks to all for the help.


Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
#2704685 - 01/13/18 07:42 PM Re: Sound Shaping Device [Re: dmd]  
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Are those settings for the old speakers, or the new (8") speakers?

Quote
Do I like it?


That's all that really matters.

I think the new speakers will give you all the sound the ES8 is able to produce. What Kawai would have built in, if cost/ size/ weight weren't considerations.

Let us know ...


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
#2704688 - 01/13/18 08:01 PM Re: Sound Shaping Device [Re: Charles Cohen]  
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Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
Are those settings for the old speakers, or the new (8") speakers?


That is for the Focal CMS 40 powered monitors.

I won't have the new ones until next week.


Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
#2704837 - 01/14/18 01:23 PM Re: Sound Shaping Device [Re: dmd]  
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Yes, if the space allows it, the Alpha 80 will do the trick. I was talking about the alpha 65, but that's only because I didn't have enough room for the bigger ones.
These should cover the entire range of most instruments quite well. They extend very very low. I started a thread on the subject a while back, and Falsch, who has the Alpha 80 said that they even worked for organs without a problem, which takes significant low frequency capability.

#2704963 - 01/14/18 09:21 PM Re: Sound Shaping Device [Re: dmd]  
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Well ... I am busy equalizing and here is what I have come up with so far ....

I am looking for a solo jazz sound.


All of the equalizer levers from 0 thru 400 are pushed to the lowest setting (down)

All the levers from 500 thru 5k are at the middle mark.

All the levers from 5k thru 29k are pushed to the lowest setting (down).

That seems to give me a nice sharp mid range allowing the melody to stand out.

All other sounds are softer, of course, but they do not seem muddy.

So .... that is at least a start.

That is with my JBL 305s.

The same settings with my Focal CMS 40s sounds similar but less distinct.

I intend to put those same settings on my new monitors (ALPHA 80) and see if they are worth keeping.

I actually could live with what I have but will give the ALPHAs a chance to shine.

I am sure I have not reached the pinnacle of sound (lol) so if others have suggests for equalizing I am listening.



Last edited by dmd; 01/14/18 09:22 PM.

Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
#2705034 - 01/15/18 05:37 AM Re: Sound Shaping Device [Re: dmd]  
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Originally Posted by dmd
Well ... I am busy equalizing and here is what I have come up with so far ....

I am looking for a solo jazz sound.


All of the equalizer levers from 0 thru 400 are pushed to the lowest setting (down)

All the levers from 500 thru 5k are at the middle mark.

All the levers from 5k thru 29k are pushed to the lowest setting (down).

That seems to give me a nice sharp mid range allowing the melody to stand out


Sounds like a very bold approach to equalising. The reason a graphic eq is divided into so many bands (the more the better, but) is that very subtle inconsistencies can be filtered out or compensated for - sometimes tiny alterations of one band.

If it works for you, that's fine, but I'd have thought that the frequency zone truncating you're doing there would give you something like a 'telephone sound'. It is the opposite of what most people do on a graphic, which is called 'smiley face' as the lowest frequencies are boosted, sweeping down to cutting the mids to an extent, and then sweeping up at the high frequencies. The gives an exaggerated (and rather unrealistic) 'hi-fi' effect.


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#2705055 - 01/15/18 09:14 AM Re: Sound Shaping Device [Re: dmd]  
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Yes, those seemed quite odd to me, too. I'm left wondering what the room and the speakers are like that allow such settings to produce "good" results. I'd expect quite the opposite.

#2705070 - 01/15/18 10:06 AM Re: Sound Shaping Device [Re: dmd]  
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The room is a basement area (open and fairly large) with drywall, acoustic drop ceiling, carpeting.

Speakers are ones in my signature, against wall.

Maybe the issue comes because I try to reduce the bass in my sound.

When I use Pianoteq, I reduce the volume of the low end of the sound and also eq it down.

I wish to have a distinct melody (not muffled).


Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
#2705071 - 01/15/18 10:06 AM Re: Sound Shaping Device [Re: dmd]  
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Or what tastes. Maybe he is after a radio-like sound or one similar to a phonograph.
For a realistic piano sound output I'd want a linear response from 30hz (maybe 35, since the A0, B0 rarely get used) to 20kHz. Then it would sound reasonably "real". But maybe that's not what dmd is after.
Dmd, if a forward midrange with no bass and recessed trebles is what you're after, the Alpha 80 won't get you there. It's quite the opposite. It's almost full range, linear from 35Hz to 22kHz (+/-3db). Few monitors in this price range or lower give such linear frequency response that extends down to 35Hz.
And because of this, they will sound a bit dark, they will give lots of power in the bass range that you never had with your monitors and that you neutered further more with that equipment configuration.
My personal opinion is that if that's the sound you're after, you may just as well keep the cms40, since they're great monitors, but have virtually no bass, due to their low size.

PS. You'll have a hard time trying to eq all the bass out of the alphas. Also, you can do eqing out of Pianoteq as well, no need for ward hardware I believe.
And lastly, I don't see your signature, so only know what your speakers are because you mentioned it.

Last edited by mcoll; 01/15/18 10:19 AM.
#2705078 - 01/15/18 10:22 AM Re: Sound Shaping Device [Re: dmd]  
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If you don't like the sound, maybe try another instrument, like the bluethner, the YC5 or the model b. They are brighter than the steinway d. Also try to adjust the velocity curve for a realistic response, and that may give you a brighter sound. But I don't think eqing out the bass will give you a natural piano sound in any scenario.

#2705086 - 01/15/18 10:44 AM Re: Sound Shaping Device [Re: dmd]  
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It's ironic that a number of early posts suggested subs, assuming loss of bottom end was much of what he OP was noticing in the apparent degradation in switching from headphones to small monitors... but it turns out he's after LESS bass, not more! But what's confusing about this is, the original goal was to try to make speakers sound more like the "absolutely perfect" headphones. Is this extreme EQ really accomplishing anything close to that?

#2705087 - 01/15/18 10:50 AM Re: Sound Shaping Device [Re: dmd]  
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Maybe the headphones are some old Nokia 3310 headphones? *shrug *
I also found it ironic how we all thought a fuller range was what was needed, considering the small monitors, but the chosen eq "curve" does the exact opposite, cutting even more bass and highs.

#2705095 - 01/15/18 11:18 AM Re: Sound Shaping Device [Re: anotherscott]  
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The bass area, particularly in the sort of 100 to 300 Hz can have huge fluctuations and is often the biggest problem spot, 10 dB spikes and troughs are quite normal in an untreated room with rear ported against the wall setups, and will reduce as you move them away from the wall, but that in turn will also move the points of constructive/destructive interference, thus shifting those peaks. IMO, easiest to have some soft furnishing behind, even a curtain or one of those acoustic treatment panels, I find that rather ugly so I worked with a curtain, this helped in my case instead of a hard wall to alleviate such issues quite a bit.

IMO it does not have to be perfect, but something to get rid of the major problem spots I found helps a lot, even my KRKs, not exactly lauded here I found to improve a lot that way to sound more controlled an quite pleasing in the end.

If you want a more linear response, you'd want to end up mostly likely with some staggered settings on the equaliser in that area in the bass to low mids especially.

Just as an example, here are the LSR305s measured in a real room,

[Linked Image]


As you can see, untreated rooms will never give anything close to the intended linear response you see in graphs (where the manufacturer publish them), which will have been done in an anechoic chamber, real rooms are all over the place. I use my monitors as close as possible, within a meter, this helps to get most of the direct sound, and less of the reflected sound. I see quite a few setups with them far behind the piano, personally I find them less effective that way.

Have fun equalising and experiment smile

Originally Posted by anotherscott
Is this extreme EQ really accomplishing anything close to that?


The way I see it, all he is doing is he will have something like the graph above, but will have moved everything down and up in various regions across the bands he mentioned except at the cross over point of those bands, but most of all those wiggles will still be there and most likely sound nothing like his headphones.

Last edited by Alexander Borro; 01/15/18 11:19 AM.

Selftaught since June 2014.
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#2705112 - 01/15/18 11:46 AM Re: Sound Shaping Device [Re: dmd]  
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I find experminting with subtle EQ changes are the most successful. Just a few db up or down in a few channels. Else distortion and unnatural problems arise. That said, I don't really use EQ boxes anymore (well I use mostly placement and furnishings).

If you are interested in replicating the sound of your headphones, you can compare the frequency response tables and adjust EQ on your 305s. Your headphones seem to fall off below 100Hz and above 1000Hz. Then there is a big spike and dip after 10KHz:

https://www.innerfidelity.com/images/SennheiserHD598.pdf
http://noaudiophile.com/JBL_LSR305/

This is a good place to start but, a simple 2 dimensional snapshot is of limited use. The headphones have some characterisitcs which will be difficult for your speakers to replicate. For example, headphones "fully" isolate L&R channels. They don't have the same crossover issues. Headphones isolate some room acoustics which prevents lots of problems. Headphones might not provide natural decay of sound over time or visceral feeling throughout the room of low frequencies. Etc...

Measuring your room in a bunch of places around your pianobench with a cheap mic and a free program like RoomEQ Wizard would help you change this from the typical haphazard process to a more "scientific" process...

#2705170 - 01/15/18 02:35 PM Re: Sound Shaping Device [Re: dmd]  
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As has been pointed out, having the speakers against the wall emphasizes the bass. One way to mitigate this: Put the speakers somewhere else in the room and get some music playing thru them - you can even do it using just one speaker. Then move your head around in the general area where you want to locate, let's say, your right speaker. Move your head closer to the wall, farther from the wall, closer to the floor, farther from the floor. You should hear LESS bass and MORE bass as you move your head around. Locate the speaker where you hear less bass.

You can do the same for the other channel, or just arbitrarily do a mirror-image - since you also want to maintain solid imaging.

#2705530 - 01/16/18 06:11 PM Re: Sound Shaping Device [Re: dmd]  
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My sound shaping effort has expired.

I did my best but have found that I am not getting the result I had hoped for.

A more knowledgeable sound man probably could do better but I do not wish to spend my time doing that.

What I noticed during this process is that the sound the audience hears is not the sound I hear as I play.

That is good news because the sound the audience hears sounds good to me (I was the audience for a recorded piece).

The other good news is that I cancelled my order of the ALPHA 80s and that will save me a bundle.

So .... now to spend some time practicing and playing instead of adjusting and re-adjusting and re-adjusting ..... ad infinitum ...

Thanks to all for your help on this but it was just not to be and I am fine with it.

Now ... LOL .... What I have sounds much better .... and so it goes ....


Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
#2705551 - 01/16/18 08:34 PM Re: Sound Shaping Device [Re: dmd]  
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All's well that ends well -- even if it takes some twists and turns along the way!


. Charles
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PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
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