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Good speakers for MP11SE?
#3027705 09/22/20 04:25 AM
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Hi everyone.

I know this cat has been skinned a zillion times in different ways in this forum. And elsewhere. But those threads usually have as many different viewpoints as there are posts in them. Which leaves me more than a little confused. So - I read them all (more or less), talked to a LOT of people and tried to narrow my options to a shortlist of my own. But I'm new at this so please excuse if I'm totally off track here.

My requirements and prerequisites are as follows:

1. The instruments: Primarily Kawai MP11SE. But occasionally my Hammond XK-3c
2. Used at home. Room roughly 12 x 24 ft with a 8 ft ceiling. No big audiences, primarily harassing family members. And the dog.
3. I want two speakers for stereo sound. No subwoofer
4. I don't need high volumes, but "high quality" sound in both bass, middle and high tone registers
5. I'm also looking for decent representation of the XK-3c integrated Leslie simulator
6. I believe active studio monitors will do the job
7. My budget is $ 500 - 700 (total)

Now here's my shortlist:
- 2 x Yamaha HS8
- 2 x Adam Audio T8V
- 2 x Adam Audio A8X (twice my budget, but I might stretch this far if these are clearly superior)

Would really appreciate your feedback on this.

Stay safe, everyone!


Peter
--------------------------------
Yamaha U1 / Kawai CS11 / Kawai MP11SE / Hammond XK-3c
Re: Good speakers for MP11SE?
Ajax69 #3027718 09/22/20 04:55 AM
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I have tried 10s of speakers before settling on Genelec 8330 which are outside your budget. Within your budget the IK Multimedia iLoud MTM were the ones I liked the most.

Re: Good speakers for MP11SE?
Ajax69 #3027789 09/22/20 09:42 AM
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I'd go with HS8. You can sell them easily. They retain good resale value and you can easily sell them to buy better monitors later when you have deeper pockets.

HS series is industry standard and there is a good market for used ones. You can find used HS series in great conditions too.

Last edited by Abdol; 09/22/20 09:44 AM.

Kawai MP7SE, Yamaha MOTF XF6, Yamaha WX5, Yamaha Pacifica 112v
Re: Good speakers for MP11SE?
Ajax69 #3027940 09/22/20 04:18 PM
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You don't need monitor speakers for use in a home environment. Get a pair of Roland CM30 cube's, right within your budget. Very nice sound quality, and they sound more like an actual piano would, as opposed to the 'clean' sound you get from 'studio' monitors... No need to 'calibrate' them either, or positioning them to find the sweet spot.

Last edited by ChrisGoesPiano; 09/22/20 04:21 PM.

A long time ago, in a musical galaxy far, far away...
Eminent-Solina B412, Yamaha DX21, Yamaha V50, Yamaha U1

21st century...
Kawai MP11SE, Kawai CA58
Re: Good speakers for MP11SE?
Ajax69 #3027969 09/22/20 06:17 PM
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Good points everyone. Thank's. I thought I needed a minimum of 8" to get the bass tones out in a proper sounding way. Since I don't want an extra subwoofer. Is that wrong?


Peter
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Yamaha U1 / Kawai CS11 / Kawai MP11SE / Hammond XK-3c
Re: Good speakers for MP11SE?
ChrisGoesPiano #3027976 09/22/20 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisGoesPiano
You don't need monitor speakers for use in a home environment. Get a pair of Roland CM30 cube's, right within your budget. Very nice sound quality, and they sound more like an actual piano would, as opposed to the 'clean' sound you get from 'studio' monitors... No need to 'calibrate' them either, or positioning them to find the sweet spot.

It's an interesting idea. It has some problems:

a) A pair of CM-30's costs $500. That's $100 more than (for example) a pair of JBL 308P mk2 8"powered monitors. I was going to write:

Quote
The JBL's will out-perform the CM-30's on every measurable parameter (frequency response, SPL, maybe dispersion).

But Roland doesn't publish any specs for SPL, frequency response, or distortion for the CM-30. So there's no telling how good (or bad) it is. I'd make a bet, though:

. . . the 30 watts of the CM-30 will _not_ be louder than the 130 watts of the JBL 308P.

b) The assumption that "clean" sound is somehow closer to an "actual piano" is unsupported.
It's hard to support logically:

. . . Wouldn't you want the sound you hear, to be as close as possible to the sound
. . . . that the DP maker recorded, from an acoustic piano ?

(c) The tweeter in the CM-30 is a 2" tweeter, coaxial with the woofer.

. . . Why do you think that would be _less_ directional than the 1" dome tweeter (with a little horn for increased dispersion) of the JBL 308P ?

I'm not saying that, if you have a pair of CM-30's lying around, they'd sound bad. But I wonder if they'd sound _better_ than a pair of 8" JBL powered monitors. And I wonder if they'd do justice
(especially in the low bass) to the very nice sampled sound in an MP11.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Good speakers for MP11SE?
Ajax69 #3027982 09/22/20 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Ajax69
Good points everyone. Thank's. I thought I needed a minimum of 8" to get the bass tones out in a proper sounding way. Since I don't want an extra subwoofer. Is that wrong?

Quote
. . . But occasionally my Hammond XK-3c . . .

Check the fundamental frequency of the lowest note on the XK-3c:

. . . That's a guide to what you should look for, as the low end of the frequency-response curve
. . . of whatever you get, with or without subwoofer.

Unlike a piano, which has most of its power in harmonics of the lowest notes, organs can have substantial power in their fundamental frequency. That's 27 Hz for the lowest "A" on a piano; I don't know the range of the XK-3c.

Experience, here and on the Pianoteq forum, is that 5" woofers satisfy some people, 5" woofers plus a subwoofer satisfies just about everyone. I think my EV ZXA1 (8" woofer, horn-loaded tweeter) would be adequate (and overpowered) for your situation, but a pair is outside your budget.

There is one organ-playing member who runs (I think) 12" woofers, but he's an outlier.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Good speakers for MP11SE?
Ajax69 #3028025 09/22/20 08:20 PM
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I had a pair of Yamaha HS8 in my studio for about a year before moving on to something else. The HS8 was ok for mixing but, to my ears, sounded very sterile when hooked up to my digital piano. I have tried 2 other pairs of active studio monitors that were great for mixing in my recording studio but not with my livingroom keyboard setup, which currently consists of a Kawai MP11se, a Yamahe Tyros 5 and a Roland D-50.

After much research, I realized that studio monitors are made for mixing in the studio, which is almost the opposite of what I'd want for my keyboards. When you're playing, let's say a MP11se, you're playing back recorded samples, much like listening to a good CD and even the best CD sounds terrible on even the best studio monitors. As quite a surprise to me, my keyboards sound much better on my PA speakers and my high-end stereo speakers.

I know many forum members love their active nearfield monitors; I'm just sharing my personal experience with them in case you find yourself not completely satisfied and don't know why.

Re: Good speakers for MP11SE?
Ajax69 #3028029 09/22/20 08:36 PM
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Probably more linear the better.

From the design process, if they can't guarantee end to end sound, they'd opt to EQ for something simple and linear.

I wonder if Kawai James could find out what speakers they use in the studio for referencing, that'd make this a whole lot easier.

Re: Good speakers for MP11SE?
djvu10 #3028050 09/22/20 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by djvu10
I had a pair of Yamaha HS8 in my studio for about a year before moving on to something else. The HS8 was ok for mixing but, to my ears, sounded very sterile when hooked up to my digital piano. I have tried 2 other pairs of active studio monitors that were great for mixing in my recording studio but not with my livingroom keyboard setup, which currently consists of a Kawai MP11se, a Yamahe Tyros 5 and a Roland D-50.

After much research, I realized that studio monitors are made for mixing in the studio, which is almost the opposite of what I'd want for my keyboards. When you're playing, let's say a MP11se, you're playing back recorded samples, much like listening to a good CD and even the best CD sounds terrible on even the best studio monitors. As quite a surprise to me, my keyboards sound much better on my PA speakers and my high-end stereo speakers.

I know many forum members love their active nearfield monitors; I'm just sharing my personal experience with them in case you find yourself not completely satisfied and don't know why.

I think this varies from speaker to speaker. For me, my experiences with the KRK Rokit 5 G4's has been very good, I love listening to music, playing my Ivory II American Concert D, VSL Steinway and other libraries, and just have a lot of fun with it. They are my speakers day in and day out and I don't have any fatigue listening to everything from Beethoven symphonies to Zoom meetings! smile

Re: Good speakers for MP11SE?
Ajax69 #3028062 09/22/20 11:59 PM
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For an organ, low C with a 16' stop has a 32Hz fundamental. I use a pair of JBL LSR305 monitors with an LSR2310sp subwoofer. This has a 10" long excursion woofer, enabling it to go deep enough. The subwoofer is not needed for pianos.


Login name is a tribute to Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck.
Re: Good speakers for MP11SE?
Ajax69 #3028094 09/23/20 04:23 AM
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For what it's worth (and I know this is highly subjective) : I had a pair of iLoud Micro Monitors before the CM30's and although the iLoud's sounded nice, the CM30's are much much better for my use case, which is playing piano and electric piano on my MP11SE in a living room, which is not acoustically optimised (whereas a studio is).

I also have a CA58, which has built-in speakers. Sounds like a piano should sound when sitting in front of one, and that's also what I like about the CM30's.
Again, this is my own opinion.

Last edited by ChrisGoesPiano; 09/23/20 04:24 AM.

A long time ago, in a musical galaxy far, far away...
Eminent-Solina B412, Yamaha DX21, Yamaha V50, Yamaha U1

21st century...
Kawai MP11SE, Kawai CA58
Re: Good speakers for MP11SE?
Ajax69 #3028103 09/23/20 05:52 AM
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Would a pair of JBL LSR 308P MKII work? There's a bit of a delivery problem here in Sweden, but these seem to be available.


Peter
--------------------------------
Yamaha U1 / Kawai CS11 / Kawai MP11SE / Hammond XK-3c
Re: Good speakers for MP11SE?
Ajax69 #3028229 09/23/20 01:01 PM
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size matters, go for 12". Is not about volume, but about getting a sound as close as possible to an acoustic piano "banged" hard. Range doesn't matter, a violin from a 5 or 10" speaker will sound worse than a violin coming from a 12" speaker. Any vst instrument (violin, flute, guitar, piano) will sound better from 2x12" drivers than any smaller drivers. Tweeters are also useless for vst. You are not trying to enjoy your favourite cd, but trying to mimic an acoustic intrument.

Re: Good speakers for MP11SE?
Ajax69 #3028319 09/23/20 05:47 PM
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Piano soundboards do not resonate below about 55Hz. You don't need a large woofer for that. Organs are a different matter. A smaller but longer excursion woofer can move as much air as a larger, but shorter excursion woofer.

For PA's size matters for how much space the speaker can fill. This matters for a performance, not for studio usage.

The best spec for a woofer in a bass reflex enclosure is the frequency to which the port is tuned. Bass response will roll off sharply below that frequency. If you want bass down to 32Hz, a port tuned to say 34Hz or lower would be indicative of a speaker that will meet the requirement.


Login name is a tribute to Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck.
Re: Good speakers for MP11SE?
djvu10 #3028342 09/23/20 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by djvu10
I had a pair of Yamaha HS8 in my studio for about a year before moving on to something else. The HS8 was ok for mixing but, to my ears, sounded very sterile when hooked up to my digital piano. I have tried 2 other pairs of active studio monitors that were great for mixing in my recording studio but not with my livingroom keyboard setup, which currently consists of a Kawai MP11se, a Yamahe Tyros 5 and a Roland D-50.

After much research, I realized that studio monitors are made for mixing in the studio, which is almost the opposite of what I'd want for my keyboards. When you're playing, let's say a MP11se, you're playing back recorded samples, much like listening to a good CD and even the best CD sounds terrible on even the best studio monitors. As quite a surprise to me, my keyboards sound much better on my PA speakers and my high-end stereo speakers.

I know many forum members love their active nearfield monitors; I'm just sharing my personal experience with them in case you find yourself not completely satisfied and don't know why.

That's doesn't mean your monitor speakers sounded bad! You liked the audio to have louder treble and boomer low rage! It's your taste of audio. Monitors are desinged for monitoring use. To reproduce the recoded audio as true as it can. All monitor speakers sound flat.

I believe considering the room geometry and EQing in the mixer will solve many of the points you said. But in the end you're talking about a hi-fi setup.

Anyway, if you don't like something or you don't know how to use it, it doesn't mean it's terrible! Especially if you don't know how to use it.

Last edited by Abdol; 09/23/20 07:01 PM.

Kawai MP7SE, Yamaha MOTF XF6, Yamaha WX5, Yamaha Pacifica 112v
Re: Good speakers for MP11SE?
Ajax69 #3028355 09/23/20 08:10 PM
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Man this thread is so dangerous. Just went down the rabbit hole reading about DSP-powered Genelec's with digital AES/EBU inputs.... Anybody have the 8330's or other monitors with DSP's that want to add their experience? Amy issues with latency, supposedly the generic's have low lag

Re: Good speakers for MP11SE?
Ajax69 #3028360 09/23/20 08:17 PM
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I've a professional musician for 40 years, owned a high-end audio store for 12 years, and have had a home studio with several pairs of monitors for more years than I can remember. I know how to use my equipment. As i said in my post, plenty of forum members love their monitors and that's awesome; I and a few other members happen to not like ours. I shared my experience just in case it helps the OP, period.

Re: Good speakers for MP11SE?
djvu10 #3028367 09/23/20 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by djvu10
I've a professional musician for 40 years, owned a high-end audio store for 12 years, and have had a home studio with several pairs of monitors for more years than I can remember. I know how to use my equipment. As i said in my post, plenty of forum members love their monitors and that's awesome; I and a few other members happen to not like ours. I shared my experience just in case it helps the OP, period.
That's a pretty wide paintbrush you are using. Not all studio monitors are designed for mixing. Those that are best for mixing typically are not the best for piano monitors.


Login name is a tribute to Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck.
Re: Good speakers for MP11SE?
Ajax69 #3028393 09/23/20 11:00 PM
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Good nearfield studio monitors are made for mixing and you're absolutely right about the best monitors being the worst for pianos.

To be honest, between PA speakers, high-end audio speakers and studio monitors, I'm least knowledgeable in the studio department. Luckily, I had a chance to spend a lot of time learning from the recording engineers (not the sales engineers) at Sweetwater. I'm originally from Fort Wayne, IN and took care of all of Chuck S's home audio equipment and he and his recording engineers helped me with live and studio equipment.

Good sound engineers probably don't have a clue about the best digital pianos but they know their studio stuff and we can certainly learn a lot from them.

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