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#3138404 07/17/21 07:26 PM
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I would like to get a set of monitors for my stage 3 and for making full songs in Logic. I would also like to use them for other sounds such as movies, music, etc as they will be in a home office setup. What size would you suggest and would you pair it with a subwoofer? I'm planning on getting Yamaha HS5, HS7, or HS8. Any suggestions?

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I would not go below 6.5" woofer size. In my experience, woofers smaller than that do not reproduce bass sounds well enough.

I had an 8" Mackie monitor for my left channel when I used monitors, It was coupled with a 6.5" Alesis for the right channel. That was the best combination I achieved.

Bear in mind that these were monitors sold for about $300-400 each. Many here report nice piano sound from higher priced monitors.

Last edited by Ralphiano; 07/18/21 07:38 AM.

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the HS monitors are very good for mixing (tho of course not everyone agrees). they are not good for listening to movies, music etc tho (and most people do agree with that) because they are designed to give a very flat response for mixing.

do a few searches on YouTube for studio monitors and you'll find reviews and comparisons that talk about what to buy for mixing and what to buy for other purposes. if you want one set of speakers to do everything you're going to have to make compromises, which is fine if that's ok for you

i have the hs7s as studio monitors and like them a lot for that purpose but it's very much like asking about a piano or a vst - you're going to get a lot of different opinions

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FWIW I have a pair of HS7s with an HS8S and I like that setup for listening to music as well as playing, but I do think that's definitely not to everyone's tastes.

With respect to Raplhiano, I wouldn't rely on monitors of any size to really give good bass. Look at the HS series. The HS5s have a -3db response from 74Hz, so they're starting to tail off from D2 down in A440 ET. It's natural to think that's not enough, and the conclusion to that might be to want to step up to the HS8. But they only get down to 47Hz, so Gflat1 ish. Going from a 5 to an 8 inch cone got you only four tones lower (and that's at -3db): you're still four and a half tones from covering A0.

If you want full coverage (and you don't want to spend silly silly money on the monitors) you'll need a sub. If you don't care about full coverage, chances are that you can make do with a much smaller cone.

iLoud MTMs are 3.5" (admittedly there are two per speaker). I have the HS7s because I got a really good deal on a used pair and I then added the HS8S. Prior to that though I was planning on getting a pair of A3x (4.5") and a Sub 7.

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On bass response requirements:

There's not much _power_ at the fundamental frequency, in the lowest octave or so, of piano tones. Most of the power is in harmonics (starting at twice the fundamental frequency).

So lots of people are happy with 5" woofers. But this is a question of both personal taste, and budget.

If you want to fill a room with sound, larger woofers (and the higher amplifier power that comes with them) start to come into their own.


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Sebs #3138635 07/18/21 02:09 PM
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I use a pair of Adam A7X and I am happy with them. I activate the subwoofer (a JBL LSR310S) for organ playing. On piano sounds, just a tiny bit of subwoofer helps, but most of the time is fine enough without it.

YMMV!


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Sebs #3138637 07/18/21 02:14 PM
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I'm in between the 5" camp and the 8" camp.
My Adam monitors are 7".

Yes, there's not much bass in a piano, so the 10" or 12" speakers you need for a hi-fi system are not needed here.
But I think 5" is just not enough.
My wife completely agrees.

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Old Rodney Dangerfield joke…

My wife likes to talk dirty to me while having sex!

The other night she called me from a motel.

Sebs #3138733 07/18/21 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Sebs
I would like to get a set of monitors for my stage 3 and for making full songs in Logic. I would also like to use them for other sounds such as movies, music, etc as they will be in a home office setup. What size would you suggest and would you pair it with a subwoofer? I'm planning on getting Yamaha HS5, HS7, or HS8. Any suggestions?

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Originally Posted by Ralphiano
I would not go below 6.5" woofer size. In my experience, woofers smaller than that do not reproduce bass sounds well enough.

I had an 8" Mackie monitor for my left channel when I used monitors, It was coupled with a 6.5" Alesis for the right channel. That was the best combination I achieved.

Bear in mind that these were monitors sold for about $300-400 each. Many here report nice piano sound from higher priced monitors.

You cannot make a blanket statement about woofer size and bass response. A long excursion woofer will move as much air as a shorter excursion with a larger diameter. And size and type of enclosure matters. There are monitors with 5" woofers will enough bass response for pianos. Clavia even chose to rebadge 4" monitors for the Nord piano monitors. And there are 6.5" woofers that are iffy.

It also is a mistake to view the cost of studio monitors as being proportional to how well they will work for piano monitors. Some studio monitors are designed to orovide information to a mix engineer and may be designed deliberately to be out of balance. Some monitors have a very narrow listening sweet spot to cut reflections. For piano monitoring, you want monitors with reasonable balance, flat response, bass rolloff that hits -3dB around 50Hz, and good dispersion of highs. There are monitors at a variety of price points that meet these requirements, and monitors at most price points that do not. Selecting piano monitors is a different process than selecting home stereo speakers.

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But wait ... no blanket statement was made.
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Originally Posted by Ralphiano
I would not go below 6.5" woofer size. In my experience, woofers smaller than that do not reproduce bass sounds well enough.
I had an 8" Mackie monitor for my left channel when I used monitors, It was coupled with a 6.5" Alesis for the right channel. That was the best combination I achieved.
Bear in mind that these were monitors sold for about $300-400 each. Many here report nice piano sound from higher priced monitors.
You cannot make a blanket statement about woofer size and bass response. A long excursion woofer will move as much air as a shorter excursion with a larger diameter. And size and type of enclosure matters. There are monitors with 5" woofers will enough bass response for pianos. Clavia even chose to rebadge 4" monitors for the Nord piano monitors. And there are 6.5" woofers that are iffy.
If Ralph wants 6.5" or more, that's what he buys.
And if he has not heard smaller woofers that sound adequate, who can say that he has?

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He can buy whatever he wants, but saying that you need woofers at least 6.5" in diameter to have adequate bass for piano monitors is incorrect. He used Alesis 6.5" monitors as an example. Both the current Alesis Elevate 6 monitors (from the current period when Numark owns the company) are spec'd at -3dB at 55Hz. It is not hard to find monitors with 5" drivers that go a little lower than that.

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He didn't say that ...
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
... saying that you need woofers at least 6.5" in diameter to have adequate bass for piano monitors is incorrect.
He said that HE has not heard smaller woofers that sound adequate.
1. We don't know what speakers he HAS heard.
2. "Sounds adequate" is rather vague.

So there's nothing in his words to complain about.

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Thanks for all the replies, always impressed how much members here know about this! It sounds like most agree that 5" or 8" there's not much difference for bass and if you want more range a sub is needed. I was also leaning to towards Yamaha series as I can find a lot of used sets in my area. While I do plan to use them for music and movies the first use case and 90% of the time it will be for stage 3 piano sounds. Im leaning towards HS5 paired with a sub. As these will sit on my desk I think the HS8 might be pretty big sitting on my desk.

Sebs #3138912 07/19/21 11:41 AM
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I see no such agreement.
Originally Posted by Sebs
It sounds like most agree that 5" or 8" there's not much difference for bass and if you want more range a sub is needed.
The specs say otherwise. So do my ears.

But for piano ... it's not as important.

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Yeah, real estate for a desk placement pretty much eliminates the 8" woofer monitors as their enclosures take up a ton of real estate. I did enjoy the step up from a 5 1/4" to a 6 1/2" driver for general music listening, but the smaller footprint of the 5 1/4" woofer was aesthetically more pleasing for my computer desk. If I had twice the budget than the Presonus R65 pair I'm using now, I would be inclined to try the Focal Shape 50, which is back to a slightly smaller woofer and enclosure, but is a sealed box with two passive radiators built in the side to provide low frequency extension. (Have never used my monitors with a DP, so please don't misinterpret)

Last edited by terminaldegree; 07/19/21 01:37 PM.

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Sebs #3138952 07/19/21 02:09 PM
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For small on the desk and great with piano, but alas the price: Genelec 8010, 8020 (PW thread). Maybe small enough to sit right on the Stage 3?

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Sebs #3138956 07/19/21 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Sebs
Thanks for all the replies, always impressed how much members here know about this! It sounds like most agree that 5" or 8" there's not much difference for bass and if you want more range a sub is needed. I was also leaning to towards Yamaha series as I can find a lot of used sets in my area. While I do plan to use them for music and movies the first use case and 90% of the time it will be for stage 3 piano sounds. Im leaning towards HS5 paired with a sub. As these will sit on my desk I think the HS8 might be pretty big sitting on my desk.

Within a given monitor family, there will be a difference in bass extension between 5" and 8". I recommend tracking down the specs of what you will buy. Frequency range or response is not meaningful without a max rollof spec. You want piano monitors to be able to produce the partials of the lowest A without rolloff. A0 is 27.5Hz in an A440 tuning. The first partial in the harmonic series is an octave, so you want no rolloff down to 55Hz for digital pianos.

Bass rolloff is properly spec'd as the frequency where it hits -3dB. I prefer piano monitors that are -3dB at about 50Hz (or lower) so that there is a little breathing room to have less rolloff at 55Hz.

I do not recommend the Yamaha HS series for piano monitors. If you look at the specs, the HS8 is the only one with enough bass extension:

https://usa.yamaha.com/products/proaudio/speakers/hs_series/specs.html

The HS5 (-3dB at 74Hz) would be inadequate without a subwoofer. There is no reason to take on the inconvenience of large monitors with 8" drivers to get enough bass extension for piano monitors.

Some examples of monitors with 5" drivers that I think are good nearfield piano monitors:

Presonus Eris E5 XT see frequency response curve:
https://pae-web.presonusmusic.com/downloads/products/pdf/Eris_E5XT_Studio_Monitor_techsheet.pdf

JBL 305P
-3dB at 49Hz see general specs:
https://www.jbl.com/studio-monitors/305PMKII-.html

There are others of course.

The JBL's have a rear firing port that won't breathe warm air at you from the front port, but cannot be placed against or mounted on a wall. The Presonus have front facing ports with the complementary pro and con. The JBL's have class D amps and the Presonus have class AB amps.

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It's not clear which of these three monitors is suitable.
I suspect, though, that the one on the left (the Coca Cola brand monitor) is too small to sound good. smile

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Sebs #3138960 07/19/21 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Sebs
I would like to get a set of monitors for my stage 3 and for making full songs in Logic. I would also like to use them for other sounds such as movies, music, etc as they will be in a home office setup. What size would you suggest and would you pair it with a subwoofer? I'm planning on getting Yamaha HS5, HS7, or HS8. Any suggestions?

Around the cost of the HS8 are the Focal Alpha 50's, which are really good value for money.

Adam A7X are good but harder to set up correctly. Also in that price range are the Neumann KH120A and Genelec 8040 which both suit stage pianos very well.

Personally, I would avoid any monitor set (pair) that coat under £600, as the result will likely not near approach headphone quality, to the extent that you'll likely prefer headphone use mostly.


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