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Got my Yamaha NS-200Ma's!

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by millionvalve, Mar 3, 2003.

  1. millionvalve

    millionvalve Guest

    And Lord, what a package to get. The guy packed them really well. They were big, and lucky that because (surprise) FedEx treated them like they contained blank newsprint or Saddams' new Waterford crystal, or something.

    They've seen some use, but they work. They are unmatchd, and I'm going to get a break-in CD. (Suggestions on which one, and where to get it, anyone?)

    I thought that the right speaker was quieter, but then I remembered my sinus cold, and there's a big air bubble in my right ear. Duh.

    The thing that needs the most help are the "mid" and "high" potentiomenters (all 4.) They kind of cut in and out when I touch them. They seem all right when set and left alone (even when the volume's up a bit.) What should I do for this?

    They sound great though. The bass is SO much more than I'm used to from my 10-M's and Reveals. I can't wait to get them home and into my studio. (I'm at work, now, and usung a Yamaha hi-fi reciever.)

    I hear the lo-mid bump. I'll work around it, or, if I know it's there (and where it is) would it be ok for me to EQ it down a coupla dB's there?

    Bill mentioned that they benefit from side-placement with the tweeters inside. Why do I not worry about phase cancellation in this position as I would with a horizontal 2-way nearfield? Where should I sit? I've never used 3-ways like this before. Do I line my ears up with the mids, or what?

  2. millionvalve

    millionvalve Guest

    One more thing: They also have the weirdest hookups in the back; I've never seen any quite like this.

    They're these plastic "bolts" that unsrew all the way. They're drilled out in the center. When I unscrewed them all the way, a little washer-shaped thing popped out. The very bak os a cirular piece of metal, which is the contact.

    I just toook my speaker wire and threaded it throught "bolt" and washer, and sort of pigtailed it, corkscrew-style to make a large surface area to mash against the contact. I screwed it back in, and it squashes the wire up against the contact nice and snug.

    Is this anywhere near correct? The drilled out centers are WAY too big to be for banana plugs.

  3. Prolab

    Prolab Guest


    Now my set is missing one set of those nuts in the back, what a pain they are if they are gone. I ordered a new set from Yamaha, 6 weeks, 2 bucks each, good to have spares.

    The crossovers are designed so that they can be used on their side, no problem. Mids and tweets above and at ear level when seated. Tweets on the inside.

    To eliminate the warm sound, try cranking the mids up a shade and the tweets, about 0.5 to 1dB up. They may do well flat in your room.

    The pots have dust in them, at moderate volume, work them back and forth until they track solid...start all the way down and then raise the mid up until it blends with the woofer, let it stick out a shade but blend in your seat..you will find that flat is very close. Then do the other mid. Hit "mono" and balance the L/R when centered and though the upper mids are coming from a knife blade in the center, then run the tweeters up to blend and do the same thing as before , mono to get the center image as though both speakers dissapear and it sounds like a really clean full range driver in the center.

    One thing I just messed up on. The blending woof/ to mid/ mid to tweet each channel should be in stereo but then switch to mono for right/ left blend.

    Blending in mono on one channel will result in too much highs in stereo..so do each speaker in stereo, balance the pair with each other mono. Got it?

    Now let the tweeter point as though it is aimed about 2 feet past your shoulder or at your wrist with your arm extended. About a 15 degree toe in. do the other one the same way, pointing at your wrist (tweeter) with the other arm extended. The off axis reponse is phase correct in this configuration.

    You may find when you set them up properly, the warm sound may dissapear.

    The glue that holds the voice coil neck to the woofer cone on mine is brittle. I took a toothpick and ever so gently with the woofer out (where the spider meets the voice coil) I applied clear silicone rubber all the way around, just a small amount to contact the back of the cone to the voice coil bobbin where they meet the spider. This will reinforce the assmbly, adds so little mass as to be inaudible and will allow you to push them because this hard glue they used will crack. Not a big deal but since the woofers are about 140 each (and totally unavailable) best to do this right away. You can play them 3 hrs after applying the adhesive.

    Congradulations on a set of world class monitors!

    The tweeters are identical to the NS1000's.

    Bill from the office

    [ March 06, 2003, 09:14 PM: Message edited by: Bill Roberts ]
  4. millionvalve

    millionvalve Guest


    Those damn mid/high knobs have no markings. They don't even have even increments.

    Whats' what?

    I have them all turned full clockwise and it sounds good that way.

    Your thoughts?

    How about break-in CD opinons.
  5. Prolab

    Prolab Guest

    Mine do, all the way up is +3dB on each driver.

    When I get back to the studio, I will look at the pads and tell you the zero positions. Better yet, I will just take a picture and post it.

    I use pink noise, one unit 180 out with speakers facing each other is the prescribed method.

    Actually, just playing music should be just fine.

    Hitting them with some tracks should be plenty fine.

    Better quality speaker cable is highly recommended.
  6. millionvalve

    millionvalve Guest

    I got the 200Ma's home last night, and...holy shite.

    They are about the first speaker I've ever heard that struck me as being not too much or too little of anything. That has *never* happened before.

    I have a feeling that the left speaker is 3% louder (just a # guess) than the right, though I'd swear that it's going away. Can a pair of speakers correct themselves like that? I haven't done any calibration except for playing them all night at various volumes.

    Anyhow, the bass is very tight. It's no sub, but it's so solid. I turned up my RA-100 (75w/side @ 8 ohms), and I've never had it clip before without the speakers getting all mushy first. I only knew it was clipping because of clip lights. These are 6 ohm speakers, so...

    I'm going to get an RA-300 and sell the RA-100. Basic averaging tells me that the 300's 150 @4 ohms and 90W @ 8 ohms will get me 120W @6 ohms.

    I talked with the guy who sold them to me, and he told me that the mid/hi controls are rheostats, or L-pads. He suggested disconnecting them altogether as they are a sort of obsolete technology. I tend to buy what he says because even to me, it sounds hinky to put a rheostat on an amp-level signal and expect anything much out of it. Can i disconnect them? If yes, do I need to introduce any resistors to make up for them, or anything?

    The silicone that you mentioned, do you mean just plain, from-the-tube silicone from Home Depot? Since you're using a toothpick to apply it, are we talking a bead about 1/16 of an inch or so? How much does it actually take to re-inforce it? I don't want to a) go globbing it up, and b) go messing up my nice speakers since I'm no speaker techie.

    Nex to the Reveals, the impression I got of the 200's was of solidity and clarity. The stereo image and overall field is like nothing I've ever owned.

    I still really like the Reveals, but until last night I had no idea of the color that they imparted to the sound. (It's practically impossible to comapre them with my NS-10's since the 10's are *so* weird ;) .) The Reveals are good for listening to stuff because they sound cool, but there are no two ways in my mind any more that they have a slightly hyped and flabby lo-mid/bass response. They are going to become the "listen to speakers" while the 200's are going to take their place as my main mix and reference speakers. I still dig the Reveals though, and I'm going to appreciate having all of this reference.

    As for cables, I buy the heaviest grade speaker cable I can get (I forget the gauge), and cut it in half so I can use the 1/4 TS plug sides at the amp, and the bare wires at the speakers' terminals.

    What a great tip on these 200's, Bill--thanks.
    They are so obviously natural sounding that my wife was listening to them with me (a woman who has great aesthetics, mind you) and said they sounded great, and that she thought they were my best gear investment to date.

  7. millionvalve

    millionvalve Guest

    It's been interesting. I've been looking around for parts and manuals for the 200Ma's, and I've gone to some high-end audiophile stores, and it's amazing how most of these guys are just salesmen and are unhelpful/know dick.

    You'd think that these guys would know a little about speakers in general, and maybe a little more than what's on their current inventory list. I mean, I tought that these places were run by audio geeks *for* audio geeks. They actually seem to be just run by sales geeks for people-with-too-much-money geeks.

    I told this one guy that I got the 200Ma's and I'm mixing on them, and he looked at me like I was from Mars. "Why don't you get some HR824's? Those are good speakers," is what one guy says to me. I explain to him that even if he can't get me parts or docs, I'll take phone #'s of any of his high-end connections to help me out. He kind of dragged his feet a bit and gave me a number, then tried to start selling me some B&W's. This is the same guy that said he's never heard of anyone mixing on NS-10's. What a moron.

    I've told a couple of other people, and they want to know why I'm using 15-year old "hi-fi" speakers to mix on. I tell them that they need to hear them first. Our sound guy at work here, who's a smart guy with good ears, could appreciate them!

    I was reading that huge monitors thread that started last July with that guy who wanted Yorkvilles becasue of his budget. Well, my 3-way, 10" woofer, mostly flat, kick-ass 200's cost LESS than what he wanted to spend. It's unbelievable what you can find when you stop listening to the marketing hype, and spend a little time sleuthing (slutting?! ;) ) around.


  8. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    Let me tell you about the audiophiles and the audiophile stores, mostly.

    I will admit, I have been in 3 really nice, well informed high end shops out of the 60+ high end shops I have visited.

    Audiophiles seem to be the most arrogant bunch out there.

    We are not talking about Best Buy, Good guys, or Circuit city.

    We are talking about Boutique stores, catering to "audiophiles".

    The 3 stores that were very favorable were due to attitude.

    This said, if they don't sell it, it is not respected.

    I had a set of NS10's and I wanted a speaker that had simalar listener traits as in rise time, impact and clarity, but with extended bottom. In Little Rock Arkansas, I found a store that has systems from $2,500.00 to $300,000.00 This is one of the good ones. I spoke to the salesman, very nice guy, told him of my background and what I wanted these speakers for. He said, their is no way of knowing unless you bring the NS10's in. So this I did.

    Immediately, he was shocked. He said, this will be tough. He listened to the NS10's for at least 1 hr with me, all kinds of music, and a few tunes I had on CD as well.

    After we finished, he said..I think we can get close. He put the Klipsch RB5's on...we listened...we both looked at each other and we both said, nope..(800.00)

    Then the Boston Acoustics CR8. We listened very carefully and we both said, yep..very good.(380.00)

    Then he had some small definitive technology speakers (750.00), These had more definition but NO bottom, less than the NS10's and he turned on the sub, I explained, I have to have stereo bass and he concurred. He agreed that mono summed bass leaves out a lot of info.

    The Bostons Won!

    (They were for another reference in another room..still have them)

    This fellow took the time for me and even though, he makes huge sales, this sale was as important to him as it was to me.

    Now, high end shops and employees do not seem to understand the recording arts and they should. I have heard 30,000 dollar speakers sound like ass.

    Memorable great speakers:

    Acoustat 2+2 Electrostatic 7 feet tall. Small sweet spot, great presentation.

    Celestion SL6 Small and potent, slight tizz on the top, very nice presentation.

    Ohm F. Very large sound, 360 degree dispersion.

    JBL L300. Nail driving power, tame, dynamics galore, a shade exaggerated.

    Klipschorns. Granddaddy of all speakers, very fun, colored, sounds like a live band, horrible to mix on. Very powerful chest moving bottom, goes right through you. Hard hitting, they can go to 35hZ. Had a pair for 20 years. Bass horn, mid horn, tweet horn per side.

    Avantgarge Duo. Neohorns, great presentation, taut, fast, smooth, limitied image and sweet spot. Narrow dispersion.

    Yamaha NS1000. Most accurate reproducer so far. Dynamically, frequency response, and phase.

    Quad ESL57. God like mids, scary good. Eric Clapton on "lay down sally" sounds like he is in the room, vocal and guitars, clumpy bottom, super clear highs, full range electrostatic.

    Rogers LS5/3 BBC reference broadcast monitor. The british "auratone" 80 to 20K, it is all there folks. Slight rise at 180.

    Of course, the NS200M, MA, 590, 670. These all are very accurate, great speakers.

    NS10. Mix balance reference.

    JBL 4310, 4311, 4312 70's 80's reference for monitoring.

    B&W 104.2 Close to NS1000.

    Stax lambda pro headphones. The real deal here. Full range electrostatic.

    Note, I love electrostaic speakers for their presentation, all of them are not good for professional use, only for final listening.

    I am sure I left out a bunch of fine speakers but these all are very fun to listen to.

    MV, how did the calibration settings work out for you?? See the pictures??
  9. cjenrick

    cjenrick Active Member

    Nov 15, 2002
    Bill, have you ever heard some Macintosh Mac 2's from the seventies?

    They also used to make this speaker system that came in a package that looked kind like the old TV/Stereo console piece of furniture, you know, about 26 feet wide and 5000 lbs! Both struck me as being fantastic.
  10. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    I remember the MCIntoshes. Took a MACK truck to drive them. Peerless tweeters, a 8" CTS mid (sometimes multiple) and acoustic suspention 12".

    They were robust, a tad slow, dark..not very exciting but a good speaker nevertheless.

    You must be thinking about the JBL Paragon. I heard the Paragons many times, a huge single stereo speaker. Image below. Big old powerful woody box that could hit 133dB. The "375" drivers for the mids weighed 30 pounds each.

    Don't remember a MC that big..
  11. cjenrick

    cjenrick Active Member

    Nov 15, 2002
    Thats It! The Paragon! I remember that name. It think it listed for $1500, without forklift. It's been so long...Man , that was the start of the bottom end era, and that thing had some bottom! Thanks a ton for that memory, must have been late sixties!

  12. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    Paragon speaker now is going for 5000 to 10000 used on ebay..

    I like the klipschorns better :)

    you are right, Paragon came out in 59, they got pretty popular in 66-72..they were a rich mans speaker. You could buy a brand new Chevy Belair for what it cost..no joke.
  13. millionvalve

    millionvalve Guest


    Yes, I got the pix, Thanks very much. I've got the mids starting out at 8 o'clock, and they're good. The right (due to my ears) I've bumped up a notch on the highs.

    I'll tell you what, though. I test EQ'ed the speakers with a -3dB drop at 125Hz and a -3dB drop at 250 (that's all my graphic EQ would do besides 62 and 500) and it sounds a little tighter. Is this a total no-no?

    I'll tell you what though: I've been listening to all of my mixes (done on the the passive Reveals, mostly) and that "flabby" (!) bass that sounds pretty cool has led me to mix things very bass light. It's that porting.

    Last night I stuffed a 2 pairs of boxers in the backs of the Reveals' ports last night (same brand/cotton content) and noticed how they tightened up but lost their lows. The Reveal-mixed kicks and basslines aren't showing up very well on the 200's. It's recently occurred to me that every hyped frequency you can dig in a "listening" speaker is a frequency you're going to end up mixing out of your mix. It just take some of us longer to figure this out. ;)

    My next trick is to bore out a hole in the back of my 200's for that great fake bass.

    Just kidding.

    As for the audiophiles--what a bunch of snobs. They can go grease up and sit on their Nautiluses for all I'm concerned. For forty grand or whatever.

    BTW the 200M's have JA0540 tweeters, and the 200Ma's have JA0573's.

  14. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    Tweeter difference (same actually) is the frame on the NS200Ma is slightly larger so they will not "bolt right in" other than that, the motor, the gauss flux density of the magnet, the beryellum dome, the phase plug, the grill, the gasket, voice coil, dampening pad, terminal strip, top magnet assembly, pole piece and finally the screws and adhesive, are the same, made on the same line, tested with same test bed.

    Well, I actually left some parts out on that tweeter!

    Same acoustically and electrically, the outer flange casting is just slightly larger for the routing of the mount.

    Same tweeter!...sound wise.

    As per your adjustments, that is what the pads are for! Get them accururate in your room to your ears. You may be hearing something in the room that is not symetrical as well...and the ears situation. When you deal with a high accuracy speaker, 1dB differences are in your face.

    Yep, I noticed during mastering your work, I had to do some slight eq to the bottom. I am looking forward to hearing a remix of Million Valve using the 200's. Remember, sit in pretty close!

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