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Speakers for piano and organ
#2947863 02/17/20 03:09 AM
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Hello there,

Until now I've only played with headphones (Sennheiser HD-600) on my Kawai MP11 + various software.

I want to play with speakers instead and I am looking at something like this:

https://www.thomann.de/dk/eve_audio_sc205_bundle_ts108.htm

It's either something with a sub or bigger speakers. Piano in itself but especially organ need bass.

Either way, what I am really wondering is if it is really the best to have near field monitors such as these or if I might as well buy something more PA-ish. I mean, I am not going to produce music in a studio and aiming for neutrality at all costs, I am just a guy who likes to hear nice and "realistic" piano and organ sounds out in the room when I play for myself.

If you would please share your experiences, thoughts and recommendations, I would be very grateful smile


Nordiska 120CA (Dongbei) upright from about 2004, Kawai MP11 digital piano, Sennheiser HD 600 headphones.
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Re: Speakers for piano and organ
pinkfloydhomer #2947879 02/17/20 04:10 AM
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The 5" monitors will likely need that sub for organ music.
But I'd skip the sub and buy a pair of 8" monitors instead. For less money, too.

Re: Speakers for piano and organ
MacMacMac #2947891 02/17/20 04:48 AM
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And less bass, I guess? Enough bass from two 8" speakers for organ, you think?

Also, does it have to be near field monitors? Or could it as well be a more generic type of speaker designed not as much for monitoring but to fill the room with sound?


Nordiska 120CA (Dongbei) upright from about 2004, Kawai MP11 digital piano, Sennheiser HD 600 headphones.
Re: Speakers for piano and organ
pinkfloydhomer #2947899 02/17/20 05:38 AM
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A typical 8” monitor (I have taken a Yamaha HS8) goes down to 38Hz (at -10dB).

A lower C of an organ (16’, 32Hz) would be rendered at -15dB

https://www.gearank.com/sites/default/files/Yamaha-HS8-fc.png

Then to render the Lowest C of the organ a sub would be useful.


The piano case is different : the first partials of a low notes are very weak since the soundboard acts as an high pass filter. Then we don’t miss a lot of thing if the speakers don’t go down so low.


Yamaha CLP150, Bechstein Digital Grand, Garritan CFX, Ivory II pianos, Galaxy pianos, EWQL Pianos, Native-Instrument The Definitive Piano Collection, Soniccouture Hammersmith, Truekeys, Pianoteq
Re: Speakers for piano and organ
pinkfloydhomer #2947906 02/17/20 06:06 AM
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It's not as if I am going to play the lowest C on the organ all the time, so I guess I could start with 8 inch speakers.

But are monitors really my best bet for casual playing, not for producing and monitoring?


Nordiska 120CA (Dongbei) upright from about 2004, Kawai MP11 digital piano, Sennheiser HD 600 headphones.
Re: Speakers for piano and organ
pinkfloydhomer #2947922 02/17/20 07:53 AM
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It depends. How big is your room? And do you play to an audience (even an audience of one or two in a living room)?

I ask because the experts in audio forums seem to think that 8" monitors are too much for a small room (without saying exactly how small).
But you won't get much bass from a 5" monitor, and adding a subwoofer is annoying and space-wasting. I don't like either.
That's why I prefer 8" ... though I allowed myself to go with 7" monitors a year ago because of a good deal.

Anyway ... why would 8" monitors be considered too big? If they're too loud ... there's this thing called a volume control, right? smile
I'll recommend 8". You can get quite a nice pair of such for about the price of that three-piece you called out. And you could do quite well for even less.

Not to change the subject too much ... but I wonder how good are the sounds of your MP11? And, when you say "various software", does that include virtual instruments?

Re: Speakers for piano and organ
pinkfloydhomer #2947931 02/17/20 08:15 AM
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The sound from the MP11 itself is okay, but yes, by software I am talking about virtual instruments. I want the speakers to be good enough to use with the best samples of pianos and organs (and Pianoteq for that matter).


Nordiska 120CA (Dongbei) upright from about 2004, Kawai MP11 digital piano, Sennheiser HD 600 headphones.
Re: Speakers for piano and organ
pinkfloydhomer #2948121 02/17/20 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by pinkfloydhomer
The sound from the MP11 itself is okay, but yes, by software I am talking about virtual instruments. I want the speakers to be good enough to use with the best samples of pianos and organs (and Pianoteq for that matter).


On a Pianoteq forum some years ago, a member gave his rules for picking monitor speakers:

. . . 5" woofer + subwoofer, or

. . . 8" woofer.

My EV ZXA1 (8" woofer, PA/stage monitor) does fine with a bass-guitar low E from my synth -- 40 Hz. Plenty of volume is available, IMHO. (According to EV, the amp is 800 watts -- I think that's an over-estimate.) IMHO, a pair of those (or their equivalents) would be deep enough, and loud enough, for _any_ home use.

I am biased toward:

. . . In every situation, flat frequency response is better than "tailored" frequency response.

So IMHO, either a good pair of powered monitor speakers, or a good pair of PA speakers, would be OK. The PA speakers tend to have wider sound dispersion at high frequencies. That matters if you have an audience, or if the speakers aren't positioned pointing toward your ears.

Ultimately, it's _your_ ears that will determine what is acceptable in _your_ room, for _your_ usage. There are lots of arguments, here, over "which is better?", even with speakers with similar specs for drivers and amps.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq
Re: Speakers for piano and organ
MacMacMac #2948135 02/17/20 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
It depends. How big is your room? And do you play to an audience (even an audience of one or two in a living room)?

I ask because the experts in audio forums seem to think that 8" monitors are too much for a small room (without saying exactly how small).
But you won't get much bass from a 5" monitor, and adding a subwoofer is annoying and space-wasting. I don't like either.
That's why I prefer 8" ... though I allowed myself to go with 7" monitors a year ago because of a good deal.

Anyway ... why would 8" monitors be considered too big? If they're too loud ... there's this thing called a volume control, right? smile
I'll recommend 8". You can get quite a nice pair of such for about the price of that three-piece you called out. And you could do quite well for even less.


One argument is about wave propagation as larger woofers typically can output lower frequencies. The lowest note on a piano is ~27.5Hz, which has a wavelength of ~11m. Many small/medium rooms simply don't have the space for such a wavelength to be perceived without interference from the next wavefront before it has finished it cycle by bouncing off the walls a few times. Discussions about monitors/room size are typically in the context of mixing/mastering music, where great clarity/flatness is essential. And if your room is too small to properly present certain frequencies it makes little sense to spend extra on bigger monitors just to get some additional unclear and muddy frequencies you can't rely on when making mixing/mastering decisions.

Re: Speakers for piano and organ
sleutelbos #2948138 02/17/20 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by sleutelbos
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
It depends. How big is your room? And do you play to an audience (even an audience of one or two in a living room)?

I ask because the experts in audio forums seem to think that 8" monitors are too much for a small room (without saying exactly how small).
But you won't get much bass from a 5" monitor, and adding a subwoofer is annoying and space-wasting. I don't like either.
That's why I prefer 8" ... though I allowed myself to go with 7" monitors a year ago because of a good deal.

Anyway ... why would 8" monitors be considered too big? If they're too loud ... there's this thing called a volume control, right? smile
I'll recommend 8". You can get quite a nice pair of such for about the price of that three-piece you called out. And you could do quite well for even less.


One argument is about wave propagation as larger woofers typically can output lower frequencies. The lowest note on a piano is ~27.5Hz, which has a wavelength of ~11m. Many small/medium rooms simply don't have the space for such a wavelength to be perceived without interference from the next wavefront before it has finished it cycle by bouncing off the walls a few times. Discussions about monitors/room size are typically in the context of mixing/mastering music, where great clarity/flatness is essential. And if your room is too small to properly present certain frequencies it makes little sense to spend extra on bigger monitors just to get some additional unclear and muddy frequencies you can't rely on when making mixing/mastering decisions.


Absolutely. My Gryphon Cantata speakers came with a Q controller bass unit that takes advantage of the phenomenon known as room gain, in which lower frequencies are boosted by 12dB per octave.

Putting big speakers in small rooms is a recipe for disaster, and will result in standing waves, or “boomy bass” as it is known in the industry.

Re: Speakers for piano and organ
sleutelbos #2948168 02/17/20 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by sleutelbos
[quote=MacMacMac]
One argument is about wave propagation as larger woofers typically can output lower frequencies. The lowest note on a piano is ~27.5Hz, which has a wavelength of ~11m. Many small/medium rooms simply don't have the space for such a wavelength to be perceived without interference from the next wavefront before it has finished it cycle by bouncing off the walls a few times.

There is a free software, Room EQ Wizard which measure the acoustic of a room. It could be interesting to test it... and prepare the room to limit reverberation : purposely materials, curtains...

On a piano, the lowest note is around 27Hz, but the first partials are weak. We don’t miss a lot if they are not rendered. However, a 16’ stop of an organ (32Hz) is strong... a sub is more interesting with it.


Yamaha CLP150, Bechstein Digital Grand, Garritan CFX, Ivory II pianos, Galaxy pianos, EWQL Pianos, Native-Instrument The Definitive Piano Collection, Soniccouture Hammersmith, Truekeys, Pianoteq
Re: Speakers for piano and organ
LarryK #2948181 02/17/20 05:08 PM
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You mean I can't put a church organ in a phone booth? smile
Originally Posted by LarryK
Putting big speakers in small rooms is a recipe for disaster, and will result in standing waves, or “boomy bass” as it is known in the industry.

[Linked Image] WON'T FIT ? --> [Linked Image]

Re: Speakers for piano and organ
MacMacMac #2948182 02/17/20 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac

You mean I can't put a church organ in a phone booth? smile
Originally Posted by LarryK
Putting big speakers in small rooms is a recipe for disaster, and will result in standing waves, or “boomy bass” as it is known in the industry.

[Linked Image] WON'T FIT ? --> [Linked Image]


But, if you’re a brilliant computer scientist, and you’re an organist, you can have a house designed in such a way that a 3 ton organ can be fitted into your home, and you can save your money and achieve your dream.





Last edited by LarryK; 02/17/20 05:16 PM.
Re: Speakers for piano and organ
pinkfloydhomer #2948186 02/17/20 05:24 PM
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Ha! Uli Behringer's father got a church organ from a Church's demolition and put it into his house. :P No clue what his neighbors thought of that...

Re: Speakers for piano and organ
pinkfloydhomer #2948193 02/17/20 06:04 PM
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@MacMacMac :

But this one fits :

[Linked Image]

It is a Tardis from Doctor Who... bigger inside than outside.


Yamaha CLP150, Bechstein Digital Grand, Garritan CFX, Ivory II pianos, Galaxy pianos, EWQL Pianos, Native-Instrument The Definitive Piano Collection, Soniccouture Hammersmith, Truekeys, Pianoteq
Re: Speakers for piano and organ
pinkfloydhomer #2948209 02/17/20 06:53 PM
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I have some mid-sized monitors and a large subwoofer.

The subwoofer adds just a bit of low end to the piano but it is very subtle, barely noticeable. It difficult to set-up in the room, difficult to integrate with the monitors, and is expensive.

However, the large subwoofer is awesome with organ sounds and action movies. Shakes the entire house. I can't speak for the small subwoofer with the EVE package.

2 bigger monitors will be easier to set up as there are fewer variables. Plus give you decent performance at low frequencies.

Go to a store with some piano and some organ music and decide if you prefer bigger monitors or smaller monitors + a subwoofer.

Re: Speakers for piano and organ
pinkfloydhomer #2948211 02/17/20 07:05 PM
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One consideration:

. . . It's easy to rent PA speakers for a trial.

They're physically tough, and (for the good ones) hard to damage electrically.

Powered monitors are more delicate, and harder to find at music-store rental departments.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq
Re: Speakers for piano and organ
Frédéric L #2948232 02/17/20 07:47 PM
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I was waiting for such a reply! smile
Originally Posted by Frédéric L
@MacMacMac : But this one fits:
[Linked Image]
It is a Tardis from Doctor Who... bigger inside than outside.


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