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Re: Best kind of speaker for piano
Jitin #2807526 01/27/19 09:13 PM
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HS8s are great and offer an excellent response in the low end. But they are expensive, and may not sound nice in a small untreated room. They really need a larger room; say a large living room, to sound as good as they can be.



Yamaha P-125, Pianoteq 6, Ravenscroft 275 VST, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4
Re: Best kind of speaker for piano
Jitin #2807561 01/28/19 12:01 AM
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I have a pair of Adam A7T in the middle of my living room (50sqm) and they are great.

Re: Best kind of speaker for piano
Jitin #2807567 01/28/19 12:33 AM
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I hope this information helps you.

My first venture into speakers was when I was playing my Casio Privia PX-760. I was fairly happy with the sound, but, decided to search for a little more. I liked the idea of studio monitors as they are meant to have a "flat" response curve. As I understand it, this means that the amplification is even across the entire frequency spectrum. In other words, the units are NOT designed to emphasize or enhance the bass like a lot of non-monitor speakers are in their effort to be attractive to persons who like a lot of bass. The studio monitors evenly amplify every part of the spectrum, thus making the listening experience resemble listening to the music live. In the case of a piano, no part of the piano's range would be emphasized over any other part of its range. It would sound like the piano.

After studying, I decided to get bi-amped, active/powered monitors. This means that they have their amplifiers built into the speaker case. So, there was no need for a separate amplifier. The signal to the monitors can come from the headphone output of the digital piano.

I ended up purchasing a pair of Samson M50s. They have a 5" "woofer" and a "1" tweeter/high range speaker. I was attracted to them mainly because of the power output (approx 80 watts) and low price ($120/pair). When connected to my Casio Privia, they sounded markedly better than the built in speakers. I was happy with the sound of this setup.

A short while later, one of the monitors developed a defect. I sent it back for warranty repair. This left me without monitors while awaiting their return. So, I found and purchased a low priced pair of Alesis Elevate 4 monitors to use in the interim. These monitors were unsatisfying in that the bass was very echo-y or boomy. The bass notes were not nearly as distinct as they would be listening to a piano live. These woofers were only "4", and, I think the smaller size played a substantial role in the reduced enjoyment these monitors provided. These monitors provided sound that was only slightly better than the Casio Privia's built in speakers, and substantially less satisfying than the "5" Samsons.

In the last month, I decided to rig up my recently purchased Kawai VPC1. I have opted for Pianoteq 6 Stage (has minimal methods to modify the sound). And, my Samson "5" monitors are back and in proper working order. It has taken me a while to tweak all the things necessary to get VPC1/Pianoteq optimized (I am not certain that I have fully optimized it yet). This project has required me to optimize the following:

ASIO4ALL settings;
Optimizing all of my computer's power usage settings and sound settings to devote full computer power to Pianoteq;
Since my VPC1 was used, I needed to download the VPV1 Editor software and restore the default settings, including Kawai's velocity curve customized for Pianoteq;
Install the VPC1 driver package onto my computer;
Per suggestion of the VPC1 Editor manual, I restored my Pianoteq velocity curve to its straight line, default curve.

After all of this, the package sounds much, much better, and is no longer a distraction while playing. The Samson "5" monitors deliver a sound I can live with, not be distracted by, and even enjoy.

I agree with some of the advice above to the effect that "5" woofers may be inadequate to truly replicate the bass sounds that Pianoteq's concert pianos would emit in real life. The bass on my setup is a little weak, and has a slight amount of that booming or muddy sound that you often hear from a shorter piano and from cheaper speakers. The concert pianos modeled in Pianoteq are concert size (7 or 9"), but, through my "5" monitors they sound more like a 6' piano. At some point, I will likely venture into larger monitors with 8" or larger woofers.

I hope this information helps you. Good luck with your project!


Ralph

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Garritan CFX Lite
Pianist since April, 2015
Re: Best kind of speaker for piano
Jitin #2807612 01/28/19 06:35 AM
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In view of the above discussion another bit of advice from own experience: In smallish rooms, say around 20 square meters, the inclination to go for a large woofer and "realistic bass" (7 inch or above) may easily lead into rather boomy room resonances at the low end, so be careful here. Less may be more in such settings... but it all needs testing (and, often, proper EQ of your output, if at all possible).


Shigeru Kawai SK-2, etc.
Re: Best kind of speaker for piano
Jitin #2807620 01/28/19 07:14 AM
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maurus: I agree that there is such a thing as too much sound system for a small room.
But I'd hardly refer to a woofer at 7" or above as large. I'd call that small. Not really even a woofer. Woofers nominally start at 10".
(But it's not the size of the driver. It's the quality of the driver that counts.)

Boomy resonances are not the fault of too-big drivers. It's the design of the speaker system, the room geometry, and the room contents that can cause boominess.

Side note: I just yesterday found on Craigs List a pair of nearly new Adam Audio 7" monitors to consider.
They would replace a pair of three-way towers (with 10" woofers) and a pair of two-way bookshelf speakers (with 6" drivers).

After comparing 5", 6", and 8" monitors side-by-side I would not consider the 5" or 6".
So, will the 7" Adams be enough for this 220 sq. ft. (20 sq. meter) room? Possibly since this is for piano only.
I'm not worried, especially since I'm the only audience and I sit two feet from the speakers. So I don't need bigguns.
BTW, until now I didn't know there was a 7" size. I thought the choice was 6" or 8", and until now I'd have chosen 8". smile

And now I'm guilty of creating (or augmenting) thread drift. And all of this tangential talk is leaving poor jitin with no answer to his question.

Re: Best kind of speaker for piano
MacMacMac #2807665 01/28/19 09:22 AM
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Thanks MacMacMac for the input - of course it all depends on your particular setting, and on your preferences - I agree a pair of good 7'' monitors may be fine in many situations, for many people.

In one of the rooms I was experimenting, I had to be very careful with the bass since there was a marked resonance around 125 Hz, and there was no need for a big bass at all. (I should perhaps add that I prefer a clean, well defined bass to a strong thundering one even on an acoustic piano.)

Re: Best kind of speaker for piano
maurus #2807672 01/28/19 09:35 AM
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Yes, indeed. Boomy bass is nasty. My car stereo suffers from that. Fortunately this is not a problem with most classical music. But on pop stuff it's really bad.
Originally Posted by maurus
Thanks MacMacMac for the input - of course it all depends on your particular setting, and on your preferences - I agree a pair of good 7'' monitors may be fine in many situations, for many people.

There's lots of information available on how to fix or improve the bass acoustics of a room. I've never tried any of it because I've not suffered from it.
Originally Posted by maurus
In one of the rooms I was experimenting, I had to be very careful with the bass since there was a marked resonance around 125 Hz, and there was no need for a big bass at all. (I should perhaps add that I prefer a clean, well defined bass to a strong thundering one even on an acoustic piano.)

Re: Best kind of speaker for piano
Jitin #2807717 01/28/19 11:14 AM
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I would stay away from the Yamaha HS series for piano playing. I had a pair of HS7 with my Kawai MP11SE and sold them again. After listening at a piano shop i bought a pair of Genelec 8020. They sound so much better than the HS7. But i guess they'r over your budget. I heard a pair of KRK Rokit at the shop as well. They are less expensive than the Genelec and sound great for piano. But go to a shop where you can play a piano on a monitor.

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