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Best kind of speaker for piano
#2807204 01/26/19 11:18 PM
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I have always read a lot about speakers on this site and how getting studio monitors is the way to go for playing vst/ keyboard sounds, and is much better than internal Digital piano speakers of even on a high end digital piano. Many recommended for under 300 usd, the jbl lsr305

With that said wouldn’t studio monitors be a bad idea since they make everything sound flat, where as a hifi speaker makes everything sound better ?

Which would be best to play piano , be it for internal keyboard sounds going directly to speakers or vst triggering by audio interface and my keyboard as midi to the speaker ?
I wouldn’t want to spend more than theee hundred usd

Last edited by Jitin; 01/26/19 11:19 PM.

Yamaha P155, Yamaha P515
Re: Best kind of speaker for piano
Jitin #2807207 01/26/19 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Jitin
I have always read a lot about speakers on this site and how getting studio monitors is the way to go for playing vst/ keyboard sounds, and is much better than internal Digital piano speakers of even on a high end digital piano. Many recommended for under 300 usd, the jbl lsr305

With that said wouldn’t studio monitors be a bad idea since they make everything sound flat, where as a hifi speaker makes everything sound better ?

Which would be best to play piano , be it for internal keyboard sounds going directly to speakers or vst triggering by audio interface and my keyboard as midi to the speaker ?
I wouldn’t want to spend more than theee hundred usd


In my opinion, and I have been working on better sound for years ….

With your budget ($300) you will have to be lucky to get something that you think sounds "good".


This thread ….

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2805475/1.html


Will give you some idea of what you are up against.


Don

Casio PX-S2000, Focal Professional CMS 40 near-field monitors, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs (Seldom Used), Focus Rite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface, Mackie MIX 5 Compact Mixer.
Re: Best kind of speaker for piano
Jitin #2807209 01/26/19 11:48 PM
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When people talk about a "flat" speaker response, that just means that the speaker doesn't favor a certain frequency. No speaker is perfectly flat, but this flatness is usually considered a good thing.

Re: Best kind of speaker for piano
Jitin #2807210 01/26/19 11:49 PM
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It's really a matter of personal taste more than fidelity. Accurate doesn't equate to enjoyable, often enough the more detail the more flaws you hear that detract from enjoying the sound.

I enjoy listening to my JBL Loft 30's more than I do more expensive speakers I've tried simply because it takes out some of the frequencies that cause listener fatigue, so I can enjoy listening to music through them for hours.

When I hooked those speakers up to an expensive amp that increased the detail I found that detail harsh, and returned the amp, satisfied with my receiver instead for them.

When I need to hear things "accurately" I have some HD600's, when I need some more bass I have some tower speakers. My goal someday is to try some Magnepans to experience the spatial imaging they're famous for, but who knows if I'll like the detail in the end?

Each person has a different taste for the sound, monitor speakers might suit you, or consumer oriented speakers might suit you, best way to know is to test them out. smile


Roland FP-90 - Touchkeys - TEC BC - MIDI Expression
Kontakt - Arturia Piano V - Sonivox Eighty-Eight - Spitfire Symphony Orchestra

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Re: Best kind of speaker for piano
Jitin #2807213 01/27/19 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Jitin
With that said wouldn’t studio monitors be a bad idea since they make everything sound flat

To better understand the terminology of flat/neutral (response), warm, cool, etc., watch this short 5min video:



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"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
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"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Best kind of speaker for piano
Jitin #2807214 01/27/19 12:10 AM
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Quote
. . . With that said wouldn’t studio monitors be a bad idea since they make everything sound flat, where as a hifi speaker makes everything sound better ?


I think you misunderstand the word "flat":

. . . It means that the monitor is designed to have a "flat" frequency response -- that it shouldn't have "peaks" in the bass, or treble,
. . . or anywhere else.

The music played through it, should sound as it did to the mastering engineer (who was working with _very_ expensive, _very_ flat-response monitor speakers).

There are two other meanings of "flat":

. . . Dull, uninteresting.

. . . (in music) lower than the proper pitch.

IMHO, neither of those fits music played through monitors.

I think that "music sounds better through hi-fi speakers, than through monitors" is a wild over-simplification. There are bad monitors, and there are bad hi-fi speakers, and good ones of each.

At least, the monitor speakers usually give you frequency-response curves. For hi-fi speakers (except at high prices), they're hard to find.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Best kind of speaker for piano
Jitin #2807252 01/27/19 07:09 AM
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Let's stop worrying about flatness and instead focus on sounding good. If it sounds good then it is good.

Also note that the published "flat" response curve of a speaker comes from smoothing of the curve. (In other fields of endeavor this is called cheating.)

Do you really think there are no resonance peaks? Remember your high-school physics?

Re: Best kind of speaker for piano
Jitin #2807256 01/27/19 07:23 AM
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And, to add to that, the overall frequency response of an audio system (from the sound source to your ear) does not alone depend on the speaker, but on the room, speaker placement, hearing position, etc., even the particular features of your own hearing. Thus there is no easy way of finding out what sounds natural to YOU, which is obviously what matters. Go compare and test extensively, in conditions close to your own setting, and then choose based on your own preference.

By the way, if you buy a piano and have to place it in your music room, rather similar considerations come into play. Rooms and placement make a huge difference,


Shigeru Kawai SK-2, etc.
Re: Best kind of speaker for piano
Jitin #2807279 01/27/19 08:46 AM
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Thank you all for your responses. But I’m still trying to see someone just simply comment what is the best type of speaker to buy for piano playing?

Studio monitors on paper or in theory don’t sound like a good idea as they are meant to sound neutral as possible , and piano playing is not neutral

I know some people commented about acoustic of room , but that is not what I’m asking, nor about accessories


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Re: Best kind of speaker for piano
Jitin #2807283 01/27/19 08:58 AM
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OK here it comes:

Assuming it is for YOU, listening alone to your digital piano in a near field situation (speakers above/behind the keyboard), get the studio monitors that YOU find most natural (and YOU can afford).

If it should be for another listening setting (many people listening, wide field) - now that is an entirely different question.

Re: Best kind of speaker for piano
Jitin #2807285 01/27/19 09:01 AM
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It’s for me and in my home


Yamaha P155, Yamaha P515
Re: Best kind of speaker for piano
Jitin #2807287 01/27/19 09:07 AM
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Threads that take the form best <fill-in-the-blank> often devolve into nothingness, IMO.
Maurus has the only right answer, methinks.
That is ... what YOU like best is the best for YOU. Simple.

Re: Best kind of speaker for piano
Jitin #2807298 01/27/19 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Jitin
Studio monitors on paper or in theory don’t sound like a good idea as they are meant to sound neutral as possible, and piano playing is not neutral

You didn't watch the 5min video I sent I suppose. You aren't understanding neutrality or flatness in speakers. It doesn't mean that everything sounds neutral. The only neutral sound across the frequency spectrum is white noise. A neutral speaker does not add any coloration of its own. No warmth no coolness. It reproduce each frequency at exactly the amplitude it was at the time of the recording. It doesn't "boost" certain frequencies, etc. Here is one simple example. Almost all earphones do not reproduce lower frequencies well. That's because the speakers in the earphone have a small diameter. Therefore, if at the time of the recording, there was a substantial bass component, when reproduced in the headphones, the bass is less. This shows that headphones are not neutral. They have added something (in this case, taken away something). Clear?

When you say you don't want neutral, it means you would prefer to hear the sound altered from the true sound of the live performance when it was recorded. There is nothing wrong with this desire, by the way, I personally like warmth to be added, but understand that is what it means.


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across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Best kind of speaker for piano
Jitin #2807313 01/27/19 10:24 AM
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My approach to speakers for a DP would also be to get "studio monitors" which are as neutral as possible, i.e. they do not add any "color" to the sound on their own. Because I want to hear the sound as imagined and created by the DP creator and not by the speaker creator.

Then, if I did not fully like the the sound, I would use the settings of the DP to change the sound. Or switch from the DP sounds to a virtual piano (VST) running on my laptop/PC and using the DP as a MIDI keyboard.

In the 300 USD per pair range, the studio monitors are not fully neutral across the frequency range they cover, so individual preferences are still important.

Of course there is the question if good speakers are really required or if it would not be better to just buy really good headphones? If you do not play for others, investing in headphones is probably the better idea, no?


Kawai CN35. Daughter wanted a piano, so we got one. Now who'll learn faster? ;-)
Re: Best kind of speaker for piano
Jitin #2807325 01/27/19 10:58 AM
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Since these keyboards have sampled and modeled sounds, the "piano sound" is no different that a studio recording of a piano in music you listen to for enjoyment. In otherwords, home stereo speakers should be fine. I use B&W 805S bookshelf home stereo speakers with a home stereo amplifier and am very satisfied. I did not buy studio monitor speakers (the powered kind) simply because the Sam Ash and Guitar Center near me had incredibly poor set ups and policies to let me listen in the way I wanted. Further, they didn't have some of brands I was interested in (I happen to like Focal home stereo speakers and wanted to hear their monitors). So I gave up on the monitor approach.... didn't want to take the chance. I also found these powered monitors to sound too bright and hard to me... not real natural... but that is just me.

Another item, even though these powered monitors attempt to be flat in response, there is something about small drivers and the ability to produce convincing bass. Note I used the word convincing.... almost any driver will "respond" to a low frequency signal, but it also must present the low notes in a palpable way. Feeling them is just as important as hearing them. Small speaker makers can trick the laws of physics but using ports in their models to get at lower frequencies.... my B&Ws do this..... but in general, you need bigger speakers to make convincing sound.... IMO.

So, just for to gain knowledge, have you tried hooking your home stereo up to your keyboard? Put the speakers to the left and right of you? If you like the sound, you win.... you don't have to use a "keyboard monitor". If you do consider using home audio equipment for playing, then it opens up a whole expanded world of product to consider... and used equipment .... and your old equipement.

Something to consider...

Peace
Bruce in Philly


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Re: Best kind of speaker for piano
Jitin #2807348 01/27/19 11:52 AM
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I'd ideally choose an audio amplification systen with biamping i.e each woofer and each tweeter have their own amplifier, and with an active crossover with steep roll off to reduce frequency bleeding between the woofers and tweeters. Really well built studio monitors should have both of these features. They should be good for piano/keyboard as well as other uses.



Yamaha P-125, Pianoteq 6, Ravenscroft 275 VST, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4
Re: Best kind of speaker for piano
halherta #2807370 01/27/19 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by halherta
I'd ideally choose an audio amplification systen with biamping i.e each woofer and each tweeter have their own amplifier, and with an active crossover with steep roll off to reduce frequency bleeding between the woofers and tweeters. Really well built studio monitors should have both of these features. They should be good for piano/keyboard as well as other uses.


And, of course, this falls easily within the $300 budget the OP has suggested as his limit.


Don

Casio PX-S2000, Focal Professional CMS 40 near-field monitors, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs (Seldom Used), Focus Rite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface, Mackie MIX 5 Compact Mixer.
Re: Best kind of speaker for piano
Jitin #2807373 01/27/19 12:58 PM
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bookshelf home audio setups with two passive bookshelve speakers and an amplifier /receiver unit, usually use a single amplifier per bookshelve speaker i.e. one amp per tweeter/woofer combination and utilize passive crossovers that are not as selective as active ones. Because both speakers have to be attached to the receiver/amp unit, there's also less flexibility in placement.

Studio monitors (due to biamping and active crossovers as explained in my previous comment) are the way to go.

For $300, i'd recommend having a look at the jbl 305p mkII, Kali LP-6s and the just released FluidAudio FX50. they should all cost $300 for a pair. For a bit more money have a look at the Yamahas HS5s & HS7s as well as the Adam Audio T5Vs & T7Vs. I highly recommend at least listening to them before buying them if possible.

For $300 you can get fairly decent studio monitors. But they won't blow your socks off.

Last edited by halherta; 01/27/19 01:01 PM.


Yamaha P-125, Pianoteq 6, Ravenscroft 275 VST, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4
Re: Best kind of speaker for piano
Jitin #2807518 01/27/19 08:31 PM
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Any opinions on a pair of Yamaha HS8 powered speakers?


The heavens declare the glory of God;
and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
Re: Best kind of speaker for piano
brooster #2807524 01/27/19 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by brooster
Any opinions on a pair of Yamaha HS8 powered speakers?


They must be OK provided you have room (opinion based on personal experience with HS7). If your space is constrained, especially if they are going to be close to a wall, you may be disapointed. YMMV though.

Last edited by EVC2017; 01/27/19 09:13 PM.

Kawai ES8, Roland RD2000, Yamaha AG06 mixer, Presonus Eris E5 monitors, Sennheiser HD598SR phones.
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