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I use some bookshelf speakers on stands and a subwoofer in a smallish room. Setting up the room made all the difference. The speakers are about 1m from the back wall and from the digital piano. The subwoofer was integrated into the room with EQWizard software and is about the same distance away. There is enough carpeting and furniture too. Sounds great.

Someone here tried Focal monitors and bookshelf speakers and like the bookshelf speakers a lot. The KEF R3 is worth a look but maybe not their smaller bookshelf speakers. There are plenty of great bookshelf speakers on the used market for cheap.

The subwoofer is awesome for organ, jazz music, action movies, etc. For piano sounds it does very little, maybe ever so slightly on ambience for VIs. Sometimes I forget to turn on the sub and don't notice it is missing. You can connect your DP just to your sub to see how little it does. This assumes decent monitors that can somewhat reach down to say 45hz.

My headphones are ultra-light and ultra-open-backed so I usually forget they are on; I use these virtually 100% of the time to not bother people and they sound just about as good as the speaker system. Unfortunately, Sony discontinued that headphone. There are lighter and more open headphones than the 660s, like the Sennheiser HD800 series. But it is expensive and takes time to match with an (expensive) amp.

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Originally Posted by Vikendios
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
I have a rig that I am very happy with.

Our pianos require great reproduction to deliver the wonderful sounds in them. (Professional PA for gigs is a whole different animal.)

I appreciate your comments.

I believe that until recently the signal quality of digital pianos was frankly not refined enough for ultra high fidelity amplification to matter that much. Roland's and Yamaha's have a long history of portable and cheap. You can even argue that the whole history of amplified guitar and keyboard music embraced low fidelity and made a virtue of distorsion. Organs, who pionneered electronic sound earlier than pianos, and even historical pipe organs all the way back to Bach were never refined high fidelity instruments, as say, a flute or a violin. They were and are often difficult to tune, many stops in fact designed to be out of tune or dissonant. Filling a church or an arena with sound from a big Allen is not an audiophile project, and the evident scorn of classic concert or opera lovers for amplification is telling.

Accepting that the sound engine technology has progressed to the point where the signal is worthy of the best treatment, it is nevertheless difficult to express exactly what I do not like in the amplification of my digital piano. Of course I have played around with equalisation, but in the end I think that tampering with the signal is never the ultimate solutrion. It is better to focus on the simplest sound and its "quality" which is of course extremely subjective. It is like choosing speakers in a good hifi listening room : I always request Gould's Goldbergs and everything neutral where the system cannot cheat.

By the way my main hifi system uses the same B+W 805 as you do : I regard them as the best, with an added REL subwoofer. I do a lot of classical listening over IDAGIO streaming with the Bluesound Node 2i. But these speakers require heavy power amps. The system is installed in a large music room and cannot be easily moved to the little study where I practice on the digital, so I am currently not exploring the hi-fi route you have successfully implemented.

The alternative of "professional PA for gigs", I have briefly explored. I hooked a loaned Behringer K900 to the line out : awful. Admittedly it is a built to low cost box, and the Roland gear may be better. But my impression was that the affair was projecting (mediocre) sound away from me and I was completely dispossessed of my playing.

I am now looking at studio monitors, particularly the respected Adam's at Thomann.

Originally Posted by Sweelinck
You can spend a ton of dough chasing something that I don't think a discerning pianist with good ears... will ever be really content with. IMO of course. smile

Thank you for the words of wisdom. I think you are right, and there is also a big psychological dimension to it. Headphones deliver right into your brain with an intimacy that speakers will never achieve. This sensual sensation compensates for the lack (in digitals) of the physical resonance that our body experiences in dealing with an acoustic.

Still thinking...
I don't recall writing those words attributed to me, but I agree in the sense that you will never recreate the sound of an acoustic piano using the signals generated by today's digital pianos, and once you get to a certain quality point, the differences in sound from speaker to speaker are minimal compared to the gap relative to an acoustic piano.


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I have heard that a prominent speaker designer once said that the difference in cost of engineering and building a pair of stereo speakers to fill a residential room with the same accuracy and quality as exhibited by a pair of headphones is 10x the cost of the headphones.


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Sorry, Sweelinck, the quote was from Dave Ferris and I fumbled the editing. And I agree with both of you. Cheers !


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2 cents. I would think that the angle on most speakers built into a DP is not right to deliver high frequencies to the right place (high frequencies being more directional)... Thus the need for outboard speakers. Also most cabinets are not big enough to house a nice sub (lower frequencies need a bigger box.) Although even a small sub is a huge improvement (my sub is 6 inches...)


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I tend to agree with the saying that hifi, monitors and PA are three separate things for three different applications.

I was using my Yamaha P-80 which has no built-in speakers. I tried gigging with my MSP5 studio monitors, and it worked on the smaller gigs, albeit with a feeble bass. Then I tried using one MSP5 and a keyboard amp for the left side. That gave better results, but I think I was hammering the studio monitor. It needed repairing eventually, and sometimes I still got some distortion. I suspect that Yamaha piano outputs give an overloaded signal for my studio monitors, even though they are Yamaha too.

Now the monitors are in my studio, and at first I used them with a small mixer to assist my Yamaha P-255 piano. It has built-in speakers, but I wanted a bigger sound. I had no more distortion issues. Then I swapped the mixer for a UMC-404 audio interface, since I had recording to do on the computer anyway. The distortion came back a bit. Then I pressed the pad buttons on the interface. I lost a lot of volume, but when I wound up the volume on the interface, to compensate, the distortion had gone. I had only been using the P-255 at 50-60% volume, since its own speakers are pretty loud. There is no separate output slider, though I might be able to programme a lower output volume. But was the problem a simple output volume issue, or are there other factors like impedance or hertz at play?

My conclusion is that studio monitors give great definition, and I doubt that any hifi could match it without adding unwanted effects. But I think that studio monitors are best in studios, and they might need buffering from excessive direct line signals.

For the person who was unable to test any monitors, I sympathise. I was lucky to find (just) one shop which let me test them, albeit on another piano. I suspect that most monitors would give excellent definition in a studio with any piano. I'll talk/ask about sub woofers in another message


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SUBWOOFERS

Does anyone have any experience with using subwoofers on a digital piano? Does it help to remove that boxy quality that inbuilt speakers often give? Or does it just complicate things? I'm mainly interested in enriching the bass or catching anything which is missing. Yamaha offers a special subwoofer, which connects directly. There is no option to output to studio monitors, with crossover and so on.

I suspect it is a bit gimmicky (just a rehash of the Yamaha hifi version) so I'm considering the Presonus Eris Sub8. Presumably I can connect it to my audio interface, or to my piano when I'm not using the studio monitors. I have heard that subwoofers add no bass but do add sub bass and can free up the mids on the other monitors. A subwoofer might help me in monitoring my recordings too. Your opinions welcomed.


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There is very little acoustic piano sound that a good subwoofer will capture. My subwoofer might make the experience slightly more visceral. A subwoofer, properly setup, is awesome for organs, movies, and some recorded music.

Good sized, quality studio monitors are enough for digital pianos, so I would not consider a subwoofer unless you have one in the house to try out for fun (like I did).

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Quote
. . . But was the problem a simple output volume issue, or are there other factors like impedance or hertz at play?

FWIW --

Unless there's evidence to the contrary, I'd bet on "a simple output volume issue".

There's good evidence supporting that:

. . . You were able to fix it, by re-adjusting the stage gains, in a
. . . multi-stage audio chain.


. Charles
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https://dcpianos.com/products/roland-lx706-digital-piano/

"Three-way, six-speaker system for room-filling sound"

shocked confused

...meaning, contentment is such a bitch. I own a Korg C1 Air with comparatively [censored] poor speakers and I've been envying of these "better" models. Again, contentment is such a bitch.


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Originally Posted by meghdad
...meaning, contentment is such a bitch. I own a Korg C1 Air with comparatively [censored] poor speakers and I've been envying of these "better" models. Again, contentment is such a bitch.

Contentment..... hmm.... let me flip this around. Awareness. Awareness is the source of dissatisfaction. Once you hear, or experience, something better, you can head down a path of improvement. Unfortunately, when dealing with improvement... it is a bit of a receding horizon.... ya kinda never get there.

But don't let the treadmill of improvement keep you from perusing more enjoyment. Improving sound, or your keybed, or your samples, whatever, really does improve the emotional experience. It just does. Clarity and truth are worthy pursuits in just about anything.

Peace
Bruce in Philly


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You can be aware of something "better" and still be content with you got "if" you can't reach "the better state" at the moment, thus saving you futile longing and yearning that can make you restless.

For instance, I can't buy a DP that's real improvement over my current one. Real improvement means that it should be totally worth the upgrade, all things considered. So instead of yearning and wishing for something that's not achievable, or that might be achieved with working overtime e.g, I'll settle down with my current state and "enjoy the moment".


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Regarding unsatisfactory amplification. I find that the human ear is very accommodating. I doubt that our speaker sound is really bad per se - rather there are things missing. If we can add them (more definition?) we should get a big firm sound which is nice in its totality. My piano speakers aren't bad, but portable pianos don't come with great speakers because of space and weight. I use them, but I connect 5 inch Yamaha nearfield monitors. The definition is wonderful - particularly the mids, which matter so much to me. I'd like to add a subwoofer, since the piano goes down to 27.5 hertz, and I presume I'm missing something. Does anybody agree/disagree abojt the subwoofer idea?


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Hello,

Originally Posted by meghdad
"enjoy the moment"

You are talking highly advanced life-, state-, and self-management at levels that may be well beyond us easily-seduced and easily-stirred restless mortal souls 😀.

But no kidding, those are true and wise words--and present a hugely worthwhile challenge.

Cheers and happy grounding,

HZ

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Hello,

Originally Posted by anotherpianoplayer
Does anybody agree/disagree about the subwoofer idea?

I've been pondering this a lot. Because of that 27.5 Hz. And because I'm a perfectionist of sorts 🙄.

But in reality, the gains with a subwoofer may be marginal. I tested adding my subwoofer to the piano, and although it added a bit more fundamental in those lowest notes, I disliked the resulting quality of the tone--among other reasons because this subwoofer rolls off too slowly, introducing muddiness in the lowest mids. A third or even fourth order low pass filter, preventing the subwoofer to sound where it shouldn't, is one critical factor in having it be a successful addition.

It depends a lot on what you try to emulate. A really beautiful long concert grand has bass strings that may actually produce beautiful clean fundamentals. And that is so utterly lovely to experience. But many other pianos just can't really get there; what we're listening to is more the harmonics than the fundamentals. The first harmonic of A0 is at 55 Hz, which is where decent hifi or monitor speakers with a well balanced bass extension/rolloff already (should) perform quite nicely.

Also, consider how much your music depends on the lowest 'strings' of your piano. However satisfactory monkeying with da bass is from time to time, many pieces hardly use the lowest octave at all.

Hope this helps you a bit to evaluate whether a subwoofer is for you, or is an unnecessary burden.

Cheers and happy A0's,

HZ

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Haha tell you what, I may sound like a good preacher but I ain't walking the talk quite as I should... but I'm trying. :-)

P.S I like you ending line... "happy and ..." :-)

Last edited by meghdad; 05/05/21 04:20 AM.

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Hello,

Originally Posted by meghdad
Haha tell you what, I may sound like a good preacher but I ain't walking the talk quite as I should... but I'm trying. :-)

😀

I'm afraid none of us are "walking the talk quite as we should" but hopefully we're all trying 😌.

Originally Posted by meghdad
P.S I like you ending line... "happy and ..." :-)

Fun that you noticed. Presents a nice challenge every time to somehow summarize the atmosphere/essence of a post/conversation and/or hint at a next step to take 🤔.

Cheers and happy walking,

HZ

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Originally Posted by meghdad
P.S I like you ending line... "happy and ..." :-)

Me 2. smile


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Originally Posted by EVC2017
Originally Posted by meghdad
P.S I like you ending line... "happy and ..." :-)

Me 2. smile

😌

HZ

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Originally Posted by HZPiano
Hello,

Originally Posted by anotherpianoplayer
Does anybody agree/disagree about the subwoofer idea?

I've been pondering this a lot. Because of that 27.5 Hz. And because I'm a perfectionist of sorts 🙄.

But in reality, the gains with a subwoofer may be marginal. I tested adding my subwoofer to the piano, and although it added a bit more fundamental in those lowest notes, I disliked the resulting quality of the tone--among other reasons because this subwoofer rolls off too slowly, introducing muddiness in the lowest mids. A third or even fourth order low pass filter, preventing the subwoofer to sound where it shouldn't, is one critical factor in having it be a successful addition.

It depends a lot on what you try to emulate. A really beautiful long concert grand has bass strings that may actually produce beautiful clean fundamentals. And that is so utterly lovely to experience. But many other pianos just can't really get there; what we're listening to is more the harmonics than the fundamentals. The first harmonic of A0 is at 55 Hz, which is where decent hifi or monitor speakers with a well balanced bass extension/rolloff already (should) perform quite nicely.

Also, consider how much your music depends on the lowest 'strings' of your piano. However satisfactory monkeying with da bass is from time to time, many pieces hardly use the lowest octave at all.

Hope this helps you a bit to evaluate whether a subwoofer is for you, or is an unnecessary burden.

Cheers and happy A0's,

HZ

Interesting. The bass string will reproduce the fundamental as well as some harmonics, but the soundboard isn't an infinite baffle. You get harmonic opposites from the back and front of the cabinet, so where you sit is crucial to what you hear.
I could hear the fundamental on a Bluthner Concert Grand I once played (backing a Countrey and Western singer) and it was lovely.
But could the audience? I doubt it!
But a digital can reproduce this better imo. from closed back speakers.


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