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Yamaha HS5 and Mp11se Need help with sound
#2912160 11/15/19 12:23 AM
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I finally bought an awesome digital piano, the Kawai Mp11se. I play mostly classical music and the piano sounds awesome through my Beyerdynamic DT990 headphones. I hooked up a pair of Yamaha HS5 monitors I own and bought a Yamaha HS8 sub. They just don’t sound as good as the headphones. The HS5s sound small and trebly. The sub sounds better but not like the natural bass keys of a piano. Maybe this speaker configuration is overkill for my 10 x 11 studio?

Advice would be greatly appreciated as I am thinking of returning the subwoofer and moving the HS5s back to my mixing desk. Then maybe just getting smaller speakers for the Mp11se? I don’t need loud speakers.

Last edited by RubyC; 11/15/19 12:25 AM.
Re: Yamaha HS5 and Mp11se Need help with sound
RubyC #2912174 11/15/19 01:43 AM
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One reason mixing monitors don't sound good is that their primary goal is to be revealing when mixing not sounding hifi-good. To get balances sound so they translate well to any media - as good as it gets.

Legendary Yamaha NS10 is an example of that.

Next is they are nearfield monitors to be positioned carefully to work well.

Funny thing when I looked at nearfield monitors Yamaha stand out in specifying frequency range at -10 dB - not as normally - 3 dB. So they don't have the range specs normally says.

One thing that sounds good in phones is reverb - not so in a room. I would try and turn off reverb to let room decide how room sounds. I heard concerts in churches where they put reverb in PA for performances and it sounds crap. Really strange with a room within such a room.

But never cared for getting it sound anything good but for recording. To create a full feel of an acoustic with amps and speakers is a difficult task. That's why some other things like soundboard for CA98 was created. I also saw acoustic soundboards for acoustic guitars to spread more naturally.

Just my $0.02


Kawai MP7SE - Hammond XK3c - Synthesizers
Re: Yamaha HS5 and Mp11se Need help with sound
RubyC #2912178 11/15/19 02:14 AM
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I'm sure you will get tons of advices regarding speakers for your MP11se and I hope you will find the advice that works for you.

I have tried a few different powered monitors with my MP11se (2 KRK ROKIT 5, 2 Yamaha DXR8, 2 JBL 308P, 2 Yamaha HS8...) and found that 5" monitors don't produce full mid and bass so the sound is too trebly and thin. A sub can help with the bass but the mid will still be very weak; raising the crossover point so the sub would put out more mid bass causes the sound to be unnatural and muddy. I thought the HS8 would be the perfect solution but to me they sounded sterile and unmusical. Right now I'm using a pair of Monoprice 8" powered monitors which provide pretty decent full-range frequencies and a ROKIT 10" powered sub to add some oomph to the very low notes so I can feel the vibration even at lower volume. Without the sub, I can only feel the low notes at higher volume; by then, the treble is a too loud.

I'm not saying this is the right set up for you; I'm not even saying it's the perfect set up for me but I'm pretty pleased with it for now. I might hook up a pair of JBL 306 and experiment with different placements of the 4 monitors. I guess I'm kinda trying to imitate the feeling I get when I'm pounding on my friend's 9' Steinway smile

Re: Yamaha HS5 and Mp11se Need help with sound
RubyC #2912183 11/15/19 02:37 AM
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I have often read that all you need is a pair of 5" monitors since pianos don't put out much bass but I just can't agree at all. The piano is a (very) full-range instrument and we don't just hear but feel the sound when we play. The guitar, which is much more limited in range, already requires a12" speaker.

If you live in the LA area, I'd invite you over to experiment with different monitors to help you narrow down your choice.

Re: Yamaha HS5 and Mp11se Need help with sound
RubyC #2912195 11/15/19 03:26 AM
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I've sometimes hooked my Audioengine A5+ monitors up to my piano and am not much impressed with the results (5" 50w RMS studio monitor/hifi type things). The best improvement to the sound was actually sitting my 100w 12" guitar amp on the floor next to me angled up and played through that as well as had the sound coming through the piano speakers. I sold it when I moved unfortunately. I imagine a nice powered PA speaker would do as good or even better. In a small bare room you will certainly have to consider acoustics. You could be well served spending $200 less on your sound system and use that to treat your room.

Re: Yamaha HS5 and Mp11se Need help with sound
RubyC #2912209 11/15/19 05:09 AM
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I have the JBL-305P and I am not happy with them.

They produce an audible hiss up to about a metre away with nothing plugged in. I think I could have lived with that.

The bass sound in my mind has plenty of oomph, the tweeters just sound rough to me. I got them because I was told they are less nearfield than the yammies HS5/7. But the roughness of the sound from the tweeters is just too much for my liking.

I will be replacing them sometime in the middle of next year when I have saved enough.

Re: Yamaha HS5 and Mp11se Need help with sound
RubyC #2912232 11/15/19 06:37 AM
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The frequency range of a grand piano is 27.5 Hz (A0) to 4186 Hz (C8), which is actually quite a bit lower than the lowest frequency of a bass guitar.

We try to buy the best digital pianos we can afford in order to experience realistic piano actions, 9’ grand piano samples... but for some reason we keep wanting to use speakers that just cannot produce the frequencies required to make our instruments sound more realistic. Deep, full, clean sound requires larger drivers and more power to produce. Most of us cannot really hear frequencies 27.5 Hz well but we can feel it, hence the need for a subwoofer to produce frequencies below 60 Hz - 80 Hz; we’d also need large drivers (8” -12”) to get rich, full mid-bass and midrange frequencies. I’m not saying everyone needs big speakers and a subwoofer but at the same time, we shouldn’t completely ignore the nature of the acoustic instrument we’re spending a lot of money to try to replicate. A really good pair of headphones can cover most of the frequencies we need, that’s why they sound so good! smile

Re: Yamaha HS5 and Mp11se Need help with sound
RubyC #2912284 11/15/19 08:02 AM
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The best sound out of my MP11 that I heard was on a pair of Mackie's MR8 mk3. (I heard now they've been replaced with Mackie MR824, didn't heard these.)

I agree with djvu10 that Yamaha HS8 don't sound exciting enough for DP.
JBL and Rockit sound bad imho.

Re: Yamaha HS5 and Mp11se Need help with sound
RubyC #2912296 11/15/19 08:37 AM
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I have been down the road you (OP) are on with regard to monitors/speakers.

Suffice to say I have settled on the Edifier R1850DB.

I also have a subwoofer but seldom bother with it.

The Edifier seems to present my MP11SE sound in a very "natural" manner.

I know it sounds too good to be true but I no longer am "searching" for something better.

I have tried all the big boys with fancy specs and it always sound too cold and clinical.

Good Luck


Don

Kawai MP11SE, Focal Professional CMS 40 near-field monitors, Yamaha HS8S Powered Subwoofer, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs (Seldom Used), Focus Rite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface, Mackie MIX 5 Compact Mixer.
Re: Yamaha HS5 and Mp11se Need help with sound
RubyC #2912301 11/15/19 08:56 AM
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I think I agree with what everyone I saying. When I was auditioning pianos I favored the ones that had bspeakers below the keys and facing out like some of the Clavinovas. The Mp11se just feels perfect for classical music. I have a pair of Yamaha DR 10 inch monitors in a closet. I’m going to try those this weekend and try and sort this all out. Normally I practice with headphones but occasionally other piano players come over or I have an audience. I will report back what I find.

Re: Yamaha HS5 and Mp11se Need help with sound
djvu10 #2912362 11/15/19 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by djvu10
The frequency range of a grand piano is 27.5 Hz (A0) to 4186 Hz (C8) [...]
The freq. range of a piano is much greater than that. You have to consider that each note is made of many frequencies, starting from the fundamental one and then going up with a decreasing amplitude. For example, a central C played on a Steinway Model D at ff velocity could contain frequencies up to about 13000 Hz (starting from a fundamental frequency of ~261.626 Hz).

Re: Yamaha HS5 and Mp11se Need help with sound
RubyC #2912378 11/15/19 12:33 PM
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I totally agree with you Magicpiano, just didn’t want to start talking about overtones and reflective sounds when the fundamental frequencies of the notes played aren’t reproduced.

I hope the 10” Yamahas sound great for you!

Re: Yamaha HS5 and Mp11se Need help with sound
RubyC #2912391 11/15/19 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by RubyC
I finally bought an awesome digital piano, the Kawai Mp11se. I play mostly classical music and the piano sounds awesome through my Beyerdynamic DT990 headphones. I hooked up a pair of Yamaha HS5 monitors I own and bought a Yamaha HS8 sub. They just don’t sound as good as the headphones. The HS5s sound small and trebly. The sub sounds better but not like the natural bass keys of a piano. Maybe this speaker configuration is overkill for my 10 x 11 studio?

Advice would be greatly appreciated as I am thinking of returning the subwoofer and moving the HS5s back to my mixing desk. Then maybe just getting smaller speakers for the Mp11se? I don’t need loud speakers.


The problem is HS5 is a mediocre monitor speaker. Also it is necessary to position your subwoofer properly to avoid phase cancellation (thin voices).

Get a premium set of monitor speakers like Adam a7x. Or adam a5x paired with its 7inch sub.


Kawai MP7SE, Yamaha MOTF XF6, Yamaha WX5, Yamaha Pacifica 112v
Re: Yamaha HS5 and Mp11se Need help with sound
RubyC #2912405 11/15/19 01:46 PM
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Well considering I play 80% of the time through my awesome headphones I am not sure I can justify $1500 for a pair of adam7s. But they sure look like quality speakers. I would be up to selling the Yamaha hs5s return the sub And that would net me about $650. Is there another speaker in the $400 price range where I don’t need a sub? BTW I hooked up just one of my Yamaha dbr10 monitors and my Yamaha mixer and there is an improvement in sound from the HS5. Have to do more testing tonight.

Re: Yamaha HS5 and Mp11se Need help with sound
RubyC #2912431 11/15/19 02:40 PM
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OP stated that he would use speakers "occasionally" so I wonder how he feels about spending $2200 smile
It does feel good to recommend what we perceive as being the best though...

Re: Yamaha HS5 and Mp11se Need help with sound
djvu10 #2912496 11/15/19 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by djvu10
OP stated that he would use speakers "occasionally" so I wonder how he feels about spending $2200 smile
It does feel good to recommend what we perceive as being the best though...


Is it a facto? If I buy a Ferrari I drive it occasionally too!

The major pour which the OP didn’t answered were positioning of the speakers and the sub.


If your sub is positioned wrong it will cause phase cancellation even if you have the best speakers.

Phase cancellation is because of the overlapping frequencies and distances between speakers.

Yamaha can produce a decent quality sound but you need to make sure what size of sub is the matching one (I guess 7inch) and also a proper positioning as I said.


Kawai MP7SE, Yamaha MOTF XF6, Yamaha WX5, Yamaha Pacifica 112v
Re: Yamaha HS5 and Mp11se Need help with sound
RubyC #2912562 11/15/19 08:27 PM
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Forgive a basic question:

. . . Are there tone controls -- some kind of EQ adjustment -- on the MP11se ?

. . . Have you adjusted the EQ curve to reduce the "trebly" character of the HS5's ?

Yes, room size and acoustic treatment, and speaker position, and whether or not the subwoofer is playing (and how loud), are all relevant:

. . . But it's worthwhile trying to improve things with the EQ capabilities you already have.


. Charles
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PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Yamaha HS5 and Mp11se Need help with sound
RubyC #2912569 11/15/19 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by RubyC
I finally bought an awesome digital piano, the Kawai Mp11se.


I’m just wondering why didn’t you get ca78 it’s has same action and has speakers , I think getting external speakers to sound good is a vary hard challenge , the onboard speakers are optimized in placement and with the tone generator without all the clutter


Yamaha P155, Yamaha P515
Re: Yamaha HS5 and Mp11se Need help with sound
RubyC #2912585 11/15/19 09:08 PM
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Is it a facto? If I buy a Ferrari I drive it occasionally too!

You're funny!!!

Re: Yamaha HS5 and Mp11se Need help with sound
djvu10 #2912604 11/15/19 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by djvu10
Is it a facto? If I buy a Ferrari I drive it occasionally too!

You're funny!!!


Well it’s okey to be funny and it is much better than being anything else!

If I spend 2k on a pair of speakers I will still use my 3 other headphones most of the time. Some appreciate a good quality output over an awful one through headphones and speakers.

I also appreciate the design and output of good speakers. If the OP listens to it occasionally it doesn’t mean that it should sound crappy! Unless he clearly specified that he doesn’t give a care my assumption is they do care about what goes in to their ear canals.

I must have clarified the reason why I’d buy a Ferrari upfront. Although it’s not necessarily the best car/engineering you can buy with your money.

Last edited by Abdol; 11/15/19 10:26 PM.

Kawai MP7SE, Yamaha MOTF XF6, Yamaha WX5, Yamaha Pacifica 112v
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