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Joined: May 2010
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You can see some tests with monitors's placement :


Average :
[Linked Image]


Good, but I feel that the sound is from speakers
[Linked Image]


Rather good (for me...)
The sound feels rather natural
[Linked Image]


More simple
I don't feel the sound is going from speakers
It's rather natural
It's my favorite placement (actually...)
In addition, the concrete wall makes an echo wich increases the depht of the sound
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]


Piano : Seiler 116 Accent
Studiologic SL 88 Grand with counterweights (lead) + Pianoteq + other VSTs
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A-88 mk2 ; VPC 1 ; CP 4 ; FP-7F ; SV 1 ; CP 50 ; HP-307 ; CLP 240
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I had the KRK Rokit 6's, and IMO, no matter how you place them, they aren't going to do justice to your Kawai.

I find this under piano placement intriguing. My 8" monitors are too big for this, but it wouldn't surprise me that this would sound more piano-like than up above. I think there's someone on the Pianoteq forum who has two speakers pointing towards him and larger monitors facing the ceiling. This person claims this is ideal.


Roland FP-90; Pianoteq 6 + many add-ons; 2 Yamaha HS8s; ATH-M50X and Samson SR850 headphones; Xenyx Q802USB interface. 2; I make a living playing a Yamaha PSR-S970 with FBT Maxx 2a's, Crowne Headset Mic. I also play guitar.
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Originally Posted by jef_citron
FROM SIGNATURE TAG: Keyboard Kawai VPC1 (I removed the let off system)


@jef_citron -

Do you mind if I ask why you removed the let-off system from your VPC1?

Just curious - OneWatt

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Interesting results Jef.

I mainly had my monitors angled up from the floor because I did not want them in a position where they could topple over and hurt someone (I have a 4yo who doesn't really care about mass/physics). But it's nice to see that it may not actually be a totally suboptimal placement smile


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I have an upright piano
I haven't double escapement
So the let-off system of the VPC1 is rather embarrassing for me
In addition I like to press the keys very pianissimo, without the let-off system, it's a joy
Actually I love so much my VPC1 because it has no let off system

Some pictures inside the VPC1


[Linked Image]


[Linked Image]


You can remove the pieces of rubber with a pair of pliers
It's very easy (I pulled them with the pair of pliers)
[Linked Image]

Last edited by jef_citron; 12/05/17 11:55 AM.

Piano : Seiler 116 Accent
Studiologic SL 88 Grand with counterweights (lead) + Pianoteq + other VSTs
What I had :
A-88 mk2 ; VPC 1 ; CP 4 ; FP-7F ; SV 1 ; CP 50 ; HP-307 ; CLP 240
Fantom 8 ; Jupiter 50 ; FA-06 ; Integra 7 ; V-Synth GT ; Virus TI; V-Synth XT ; Fantom X8 ; Fantom XR ; FA-76
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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Interesting results Jef.

I mainly had my monitors angled up from the floor because I did not want them in a position where they could topple over and hurt someone (I have a 4yo who doesn't really care about mass/physics). But it's nice to see that it may not actually be a totally suboptimal placement smile


Gombessa - I totally agree toddler safety overrules preferred audio placement every time! Until the little one takes required Physics, one might consider wall mounts. Regardless, a subwoofer at rest on the floor remains at rest. - OneWatt

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Originally Posted by jef_citron
I have an upright piano
I haven't double escapement
So the let-off system of the VPC1 is rather embarrassing for me
In addition I like to press the keys very pianissimo, without the let-off system, it's a joy
Actually I love so much my VPC1 because it has no let off system


Ah, oui - c'est logique!
Thanks - OneWatt

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Originally Posted by David B
The stands came out really nice and are very solid. Unfortunately, the monitors don't sound good in the lower position. The tone sounded muddy, like it was lacking clarity.


Beautiful woodwork, simple and elegant.

One of the shortcomings of most loudspeaker systems is that their on-axis sound is a lot different from their off-axis sound. As you discovered, the highs are more or less concentrated on-axis. So if you are want to hear the highs, you need to have the tweeters aimed at your ears, or at least approximately so.

You can think of loudspeakers as producing two different kinds of sound: Direct sound, and reverberant sound. The direct sound is the sound that goes straight from the speakers to your ears, and if the tweeters are aimed at your ears, then this includes the highs. The reverberant sound is all of the reflections that the room bounces back to your ears, and this also includes the highs, but the highs are usually weak relative to the rest of the spectrum in the reverberant field. So with most speakers we can't rely on the reverberant field to deliver the highs - we need to get them from the direct sound.

This spectral discrepancy between the direct and reverberant sound is not limited to the highs. There can be significant discrepancies in other regions as well, usually around the crossover frequency for speakers that use a cone woofer and a dome tweeter. The reason is, the cone woofer will have a much narrower radiation pattern than the dome tweeter in the crossover region, so just above the crossover region, where the tweeter has taken over, there will be an excess of energy in the reverberant field. Often this is in the 2-4 kHz region, where the ears are most sensitive, and this can sound harsh and/or cause ear fatigue over time. So a speaker can have a really nice-looking on-axis curve, and still not be tonally very accurate, because the reflections will skew the perceived tonal balance. This usually gets blamed on the room, but imo in most cases it's primarily a speaker problem.

An acoustic piano also reproduces both direct and reverberant sound, but spectrally the two are very similar, the latter being modified by the room's acoustics but that's about it. Imo this is one of the reasons why it's hard to convincingly reproduce piano through a speaker system.

So given these inherent limitations of most loudspeakers systems, sort of spending money on speakers with good radiation pattern control, what can we do? Well obviously we want to aim the tweeters at our ears. But also it might make sense to get the speakers as close to our ears as we reasonably can. This will maximize the loudness of the direct sound relative to the (less accurate) reverberant sound. There are tradeoffs - when we make the direct sound louder by moving the speakers closer, we lose some of the sense of acoustic space that the reverberant sound contributes.

Most small speakers are optimized for nearfield listening - that is, they are designed primarily for good on-axis sound, on the assumption that any critical listening will be done from close range such that the direct sound effectively drowns out the reverberant sound (whose spectral balance is dominated by the speaker's less-accurate off-axis sound).


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Originally Posted by David B
The stands came out really nice and are very solid. Unfortunately, the monitors don't sound good in the lower position. The tone sounded muddy, like it was lacking clarity.


Beautiful woodwork, simple and elegant.

One of the shortcomings of most loudspeaker systems is that their on-axis sound is a lot different from their off-axis sound. As you discovered, the highs are more or less concentrated on-axis. So if you are want to hear the highs, you need to have the tweeters aimed at your ears, or at least approximately so.

You can think of loudspeakers as producing two different kinds of sound: Direct sound, and reverberant sound. The direct sound is the sound that goes straight from the speakers to your ears, and if the tweeters are aimed at your ears, then this includes the highs. The reverberant sound is all of the reflections that the room bounces back to your ears, and this also includes the highs, but the highs are usually weak relative to the rest of the spectrum in the reverberant field. So with most speakers we can't rely on the reverberant field to deliver the highs - we need to get them from the direct sound.

This spectral discrepancy between the direct and reverberant sound is not limited to the highs. There can be significant discrepancies in other regions as well, usually around the crossover frequency for speakers that use a cone woofer and a dome tweeter. The reason is, the cone woofer will have a much narrower radiation pattern than the dome tweeter in the crossover region, so just above the crossover region, where the tweeter has taken over, there will be an excess of energy in the reverberant field. Often this is in the 2-4 kHz region, where the ears are most sensitive, and this can sound harsh and/or cause ear fatigue over time. So a speaker can have a really nice-looking on-axis curve, and still not be tonally very accurate, because the reflections will skew the perceived tonal balance. This usually gets blamed on the room, but imo in most cases it's primarily a speaker problem.

An acoustic piano also reproduces both direct and reverberant sound, but spectrally the two are very similar, the latter being modified by the room's acoustics but that's about it. Imo this is one of the reasons why it's hard to convincingly reproduce piano through a speaker system.

So given these inherent limitations of most loudspeakers systems, short of spending money on speakers with good radiation pattern control, what can we do? Well obviously we want to aim the tweeters at our ears. But also it might make sense to get the speakers as close to our ears as we reasonably can. This will maximize the loudness of the direct sound relative to the (less accurate) reverberant sound. There are tradeoffs - when we make the direct sound louder by moving the speakers closer, we lose some of the sense of acoustic space that the reverberant sound contributes.

Most small speakers are optimized for nearfield listening - that is, they are designed primarily for good on-axis sound, on the assumption that any critical listening will be done from close range such that the direct sound effectively drowns out the reverberant sound (whose spectral balance is dominated by the speaker's less-accurate off-axis sound).


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Originally Posted by David B

I'm wondering if anyone has ever tried positioning monitors to more resemble internal speakers?


David, I can think of a few potential problems in trying to replicate cabinet piano speaker/amp setups e.g., the Avant Grand or Roland LX17 speaker systems.

1) If just using Stereo, the physics behind the acoustics of optimal stereo still remain if only two monitors are used.
2) Unless you're housing the slab inside a cabinet, the sound won't resonate the same.
3) The outputs on the VPC1 and the software controlling sound output may not allow us to connect many speakers/monitors of different sizes and balance the sound. Therefore, even if we had two bass speakers and 6 tweeters spaced within a home made cabinet, it's doubtful if we'd be able to split balance the sound easily across the various speakers. Perhaps there is a way to control this externally??
4) With no lid to reflect the sound, speakers positions facing the roof probably won't help matters.


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7SE; Past - Kawai MP7, Yamaha PSR7000
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Dough M, David, in an experiment to further improve the sound of my Kawai Novus 10 (more body, more roominess), I added a cabinet with amplifier and two speakers (eacht with woofer + dome tweeter) facing up to a piano lid, and two additional column speakers angled 45 degree next to the piano. The improvement is very nice, sitting behind the piano as well as in the room. Pictures of my efforts are in the forums photo gallery:

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/galleries/2747355.html.

Ralph

Last edited by RalphK; 07/12/18 02:00 PM.
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What kind of speakers are you using?

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Speakers are Mission M70 facing upwards in the cabinet behind the piano, Elipson Colonne Duson standing next to the piano, the amplifier is an Onkyo 9030 (the Novus has also Onkyo equipment on board). The Novus itself has 1 woofer in the foot, 4 midrange speakers on top and two dome tweeters. Together this is a really nice arrangement. By the way: the Kawai Novus 10, having the Milennium III Grand Action, is to my opinion the best digital grand available at this moment, only soundwise it could do with some upgrading to keep up with Yamaha's AvandGrand N3. I've done the job myself and am very happy with the result. As you may see from the pictures, it also looks more like an acoustic grand. The Shigeru Kawai samples are great and can compete with the best of the VST's like Yvory II collection, Garritan CFX, Bechstein Digital, Ravenscroft 275 (I have them all, together with many other nice samples, that is the great advantage of playing a premium quality digital piano). The Pianoteq 6 collecion (including the historical pianofortes and the new Steingraeber) is a separate chapter of course, and a perfect match to the Novus 10.

Last edited by RalphK; 07/12/18 05:24 PM.
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Originally Posted by RalphK
Speakers are Mission M70 facing upwards in the cabinet behind the piano, Elipson Colonne Duson standing next to the piano, the amplifier is an Onkyo 9030 (the Novus has also Onkyo equipment on board). The Novus itself has 1 woofer in the foot, 4 midrange speakers on top and two dome tweeters. Together this is a really nice arrangement. By the way: the Kawai Novus 10, having the Milennium III Grand Action, is to my opinion the best digital grand available at this moment, only soundwise it could do with some upgrading to keep up with Yamaha's AvandGrand N3. I've done the job myself and am very happy with the result. As you may see from the pictures, it also looks more like an acoustic grand. The Shigeru Kawai samples are great and can compete with the best of the VST's like Yvory II collection, Garritan CFX, Bechstein Digital, Ravenscroft 275 (I have them all, together with many other nice samples, that is the great advantage of playing a premium quality digital piano). The Pianoteq 6 collecion (including the historical pianofortes and the new Steingraeber) is a separate chapter of course, and a perfect match to the Novus 10.


Very nice job!

So what you've got there (apart from upward facing Mission M70's facing the ceiling at the back) is two forward facing towers. Presumably these Elipson's are more for mids/highs and the Missions just adding a bit of grunt? Do you set the balance lob-sided i.e., more power to the missions or to the Elipson? How about Eq settings?


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7SE; Past - Kawai MP7, Yamaha PSR7000
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High Dough M, the two extra sets of speakers can not be balanced (the amplifier has only left-right balance not front-rear or the like), but they can be switched on separately (either behind the piano or next to the piano) or jointly. The latter gives the best result. If tone settings are neutral/direct, so no equalizing, this gives the clearest sound. The real balancing job is between the Original Kawai Novus 1+2+4 speakers (which add more presence) and the 2x2 extra speakers (which add more depth and roominess, but to much makes you feel somewhat detached from the piano). It's all quite subtle, but overall I'm very satisfied with the sound as well as with the looks.

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Originally Posted by jef_citron
You can see some tests with monitors's placement :


Average :
[Linked Image]


Good, but I feel that the sound is from speakers
[Linked Image]


Rather good (for me...)
The sound feels rather natural
[Linked Image]


More simple
I don't feel the sound is going from speakers
It's rather natural
It's my favorite placement (actually...)
In addition, the concrete wall makes an echo wich increases the depht of the sound
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]




I must modify my post
The best placement I find :

A very wide sound, very natural
[Linked Image]

The disadvantage is that it takes a lot of space !


Piano : Seiler 116 Accent
Studiologic SL 88 Grand with counterweights (lead) + Pianoteq + other VSTs
What I had :
A-88 mk2 ; VPC 1 ; CP 4 ; FP-7F ; SV 1 ; CP 50 ; HP-307 ; CLP 240
Fantom 8 ; Jupiter 50 ; FA-06 ; Integra 7 ; V-Synth GT ; Virus TI; V-Synth XT ; Fantom X8 ; Fantom XR ; FA-76
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I'm a sound engineer, who knows a lot about speakers/acoustics (both studio and live).

Studio monitors are generally designed to have a wide horizontal dispersion and a narrow vertical dispersion. The reason for wide hor is to have a wide "sweet-spot" when moving across the console (or mix area); narrow ver is to avoid reflections off console/desk. Thus, if you incline etc. speakers in any way, there will be more variance if you move L/R or forward/back. The idea is always to minimise variations of frequency response across listening position.

There is rarely a good reason not to have monitors level and in an equilateral triangle with the acoustical axis pointing at or slightly behind your ears. The only room for manoeuvre is where in the center line of the triangle one should sit, different ear shapes and also monitor design, can move this position a couple of inches (which of course changes the size of the triangle).

It's worth getting out laser measures/levels and set squares to get all this as perfect as possible. The compass app on an iphone can also get you quite close (re angles of rotation), helpful if the front wall is too far away/not level. On that point always position speakers as close or as far away from the front wall as possible. Then, individually calibrate your speakers for same SPL at mix position using pink noise...even the iPhone SPL apps will get you close (relative SPL is all that's important here).

You'll know you've got it all right when you play a mono source (try pink noise) and it sounds like there's a centre speaker in front of you.

For piano "mix position" is just your default sitting position. The chances of some novel setup working are very unlikely, especially since we all move around when we play piano, and also, the audio engineers who record/build these samples/sound engines are going to engineer them for stereo.

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...well, just on my last point, one novel setup that could work is a 5.1 etc. setup, but only if the sample set/sound engine has been engineered to work with 5.1 etc.; and then, have they engineered it for pianist or audience, and have they done a good job...personally, I don't think 5.1 etc. is great for music, as, unless you've a stellar reproduction system and have done a lot with your acoustics, and it's been engineered well...so much more to go wrong...a quality stereo setup can sound very immersive when done correctly...though I'll admit I'm biased.

Also wanted to mention, unless your monitors go to 20Hz, having a decent sub that's set-up correctly (EQed, phase aligned etc.) can also go a long way towards helping a digital piano sound (and feel!) more real. I'm fortunate to have excellent response to 12Hz, it's a huge difference with the sub off.

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Spno,

that's one of the most informative posts I've read in a long time - thanks

Jack


Kawai MP11SE | K&M 18950 | Pianoteq Pro (Bleuthner, Steingraeber, Petrof, Bechstein, Steinway B & D, Electric Pianos, K) | Sennheiser HD600 | Sony WH-1000XM3 (using wired) for noise isolation
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Originally Posted by David B
I guess I'm a pioneer in this area. cool Unfortunately, it was a bust. Bottom line is my monitors sound the best when the ear-line splits the woofer and tweeter, which is how I had them setup originally.

[Linked Image]

Here is the longer story. I went to Lowes and spent $20 on wood and screws. Then I built some nice monitor stands to position the monitors exactly where I wanted to try them.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

The stands came out really nice and are very solid. Unfortunately, the monitors don't sound good in the lower position. The tone sounded muddy, like it was lacking clarity. So I tried flipping the monitors upside down and moving them away from the piano.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

It was a slight improvement, but still kind of muddy sounding. So, back to where they were originally. Up by my ears, clear with a full range of tones heard.

[Linked Image]

I'm out 20 bucks and several hours of work. Bummer.

God Bless,
David


Wow.. ! Quite a DIY person! I really like the custom-made stands. The basement does not look fabulous but it is clean and dry. All that matters is whether you feel comfortable sitting there and playing your music. Cosmetics fix-up can wait.


"Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue."
-- Plato

"When you play, never mind who listens to you."
-- Robert Schumann
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