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#3118467 05/17/21 06:54 AM
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Hi,

my stack is mp11, ravenscroft, the garritan cfx, and pianoteq.
I'm using schitt audio Jotunheim as a dac (its also for the hd700 amp headphones).
currently I have the adam a5x monitors which are fine but not awesome (on the hd700 sound is much more crisp and real) and I would like to have similar experience without the headphones.

so, I would like to upgrade my monitors and I'm debating between few models.

I was wondering, for piano, I'm not sure studio monitors are a must, maybe another bookshelf speakers can do the job.

option 1: focal solo
option 2: edifier a300 pro
option 3: adam s2v

or if you have another recommendation i would be happy to hear.

many thanks,

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I have recently upgraded to Adam A7X and can vouch for them


Yamaha U3H
Kawai VPC1
...plus some other DPs, synths, controllers and VSTs

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Originally Posted by euphoria
Hi,

my stack is mp11, ravenscroft, the garritan cfx, and pianoteq.
I'm using schitt audio Jotunheim as a dac (its also for the hd700 amp headphones).
currently I have the adam a5x monitors which are fine but not awesome (on the hd700 sound is much more crisp and real) and I would like to have similar experience without the headphones.

so, I would like to upgrade my monitors and I'm debating between few models.

I was wondering, for piano, I'm not sure studio monitors are a must, maybe another bookshelf speakers can do the job.

option 1: focal solo
option 2: edifier a300 pro
option 3: adam s2v

or if you have another recommendation i would be happy to hear.

many thanks,

The A7X are below the specs you're looking at, but some perceive that slightly better than the A7X and around the cost of the the A7X are the:

Neumann KH120A
Genelec 8030C



Some people buy extra Genelec 7040A's to go with the 8030C.

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/neumann-kh120a-or-genelec-8030c.11109/

RichieBill decided on the Neumanns during this post
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2810237/focal-shape-or-neumann-kh120.html for Piano, and was pleased with the results.

Last edited by Doug M.; 05/17/21 08:12 AM.

Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7SE; Past - Kawai MP7, Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
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i'm not sure this is a big improvement to my current setup (a5x).
i want a big jump, maybe to add a sub. not sure what will be the optimal setup

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Originally Posted by euphoria
i'm not sure this is a big improvement to my current setup (a5x).
i want a big jump, maybe to add a sub. not sure what will be the optimal setup

I would test them! There is a diminishing return the more you pay. If you can't test due to Covid, I would also PM RichieBill and ask him what the jump is like, as I think he tested a bunch of options.


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7SE; Past - Kawai MP7, Yamaha PSR7000
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The reason it sounds more detailed on headphones is because headphones are not subject to room cancellations which warps your frequency response curve..

I'd argue against your description that headphones sound more real, as there's severe positional inaccuracy in the sound, despite more neutral freq resp. Binaural piano samples would indeed be more real as they're fully adapted for headgear.

You're never going to achieve the clarity you get on headphones by simply buying new monitors as that is not the source of the problem.

Last edited by EinLudov; 05/17/21 09:22 AM.
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Originally Posted by euphoria
i want a big jump, maybe to add a sub. not sure what will be the optimal setup
Maybe you can test at a pro-audio dealer somewhat nearby to try several models side by side?

If you will just use the system for VI Pianos, a good subwoofer won't add much, maybe ever so little to the lowest registers and room ambience. Plus they are expensive and difficult to set up. Subwoofers are awesome for organs, action movies, and some music.

For VI pianos, monitors with bigger drivers might perform a bit better in your room. But you never know until you try.

Finally, by changing the room a bit you may find your current monitors sound better. Even small changes can have a big difference. Move the monitors a bit, move the digital piano a bit. Monitors closer to a wall or corner may boost bass. Try some furnishing changes (add or remove a rug, open or close a door, pull curtains over a window, move some furniture around...)

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Originally Posted by EinLudov
You're never going to achieve the clarity you get on headphones by simply buying new monitors as that is not the source of the problem.

Amen to that.

I have been trying for "headphone" clarity for years.

Jumping at each "recommendation" with high hopes.

Each time, disappointed.

I have come to the conclusion that playing digital pianos wearing headphones is a mistake which fosters that search for "perfection" which does not exist.

Maybe a better approach is to stop playing wearing headphones.

That might bring me back down to reality and let the piano sound the way it sounds and just deal with it.

Which, by the way .... is exactly the process when purchasing an acoustic piano.

Oh .... I guess you can have it "tuned" slightly to produce a variation in tone but you mostly just play it.


Don

Kawai MP7SE, Pianoteq, FocusRite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface, Yamaha MG06 Mixer
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Monitor size makes a crucial difference for piano realism. If you have enough budget I'd advise you to buy a pair of good 8 inches monitors like Mackie HR824 mk2, Adam A8X, Genelec 8040B, or similar. At the same time I would not recommend to buy something of top product series, these IMO will be an overkill for piano samples and therefore a waste of your money.

Buying a setup with a sub is risky, because sub is very sensitive to room acoustics, it can spoil the sound instead of improving it.

Last edited by Iaroslav Vasiliev; 05/17/21 11:29 AM.
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I find it also depends on the virtual piano being used.

My current setup works well with both the VSL Vienna Imperial and the VSL Bösendorfer Imperial. But is entirely lacking for the VSL Bösendorfer VC280 and right now the VC280 is my go to virtual piano. So I keep reaching for the headphones. It isn't a nightmare but via the headphones it is so much better.

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I also find that if I stick to classical music with very little (if any) chords involved, everything sound very good using external monitors.

However, it is when I begin playing some jazz music with various voicings and and tensions that sound through headphones is excellent but through monitors .... not so much.


Don

Kawai MP7SE, Pianoteq, FocusRite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface, Yamaha MG06 Mixer
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so what would you suggest?
larger and better quality monitors won't do the difference?

anyone can recommend about the edifier a300 pro?
i don't care about flat, or the exact sound, i just want it to sound as real as possible with good clarity

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Originally Posted by euphoria
i just want it to sound as real as possible with good clarity

Don't we all.


Don

Kawai MP7SE, Pianoteq, FocusRite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface, Yamaha MG06 Mixer
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now I'm not sure this is worth it, invest 2000$ for high end monitors to achieve almost the same result...

regarding @dmd, you're correct, jazzy chords sounds better on the headphones. +1 for that.

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Hello,

Originally Posted by euphoria
I was wondering, for piano, I'm not sure studio monitors are a must, maybe another bookshelf speakers can do the job.

I'm under the impression that the use of hifi (bookshelf-) speakers is often overlooked as it comes to piano playing.

For my setup, I tested and compared 5" JBL (active) monitors and several models and sizes of hifi speakers (in combination with decent stereo amplifiers).

I much preferred the hifi side of things over the active monitors. I settled on four Wharfedale 11.1 5" bookshelves (a now discontinued model) and am as happy as can be with my piano sound. My subwoofer now stands joblessly aside.

A near-field speaker setup is also important, for that literally gives more connection with your instrument, as well as eliminates/attenuates at least some of the inevitable room acoustics artifacts.

Cheers and happy listening,

HZ

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Originally Posted by euphoria
so what would you suggest?


Accoustic foam panels on the walls for room treatment.

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Originally Posted by HZPiano
I'm under the impression that the use of hifi (bookshelf-) speakers is often overlooked as it comes to piano playing.
I use some basic bookshelf speakers too. With DIY speaker stands built from scrap wood and a left-over, 2-channel Rotel amp.

Originally Posted by HZPiano
A near-field speaker setup is also important, for that literally gives more connection with your instrument, as well as eliminates/attenuates at least some of the inevitable room acoustics artifacts.
I don't know if many hifi speakers are designed for near-field listening. The crossovers on my hifi speakers were changed for nearer-field listening by an audio engineer.

Good modern monitors typically have dedicated amps optimised for each individual driver and the speakerbox. And monitors are typically designed for near-field listening (I suppose time-aligning drivers & designing bass for potential wall mounting). These can be big advantages but I don't think they sound significantly better than my bookshelf speakers.


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