1. Register NOW and become part of this fantastic knowledge base forum! This message will go away once you have registered.

NS-10's - Vertical vs. Horizontal?

Discussion in 'Monitoring / Headphones' started by rmccam, May 25, 2004.

  1. rmccam

    rmccam Guest

    I was just wondering if anyone knew if there was a difference between the NS-10's that are "designed to be" vertically oriented versus the ones that are horizontally oriented? (you can tell by looking at the "Yamaha" label and the woofers)

    I remember seeing a post about this somewhere but I can't seem to find it now that I need it!!


  2. mattssons

    mattssons Guest

    Ns !0

    Well, horisontal monitors is very bad if you want a wide soundstage that you can listen correctly within.

    Simply because humans are very good at the horisontal level(Stereo soundstage) but very bad in vertical level. (We do not have any historical enemies in that direction..)

    So the hf/Lf driver in a 2 way monitor laying down horisontal gives a varying hf/lf as you move around the mix spot.

    BAD, BAD, BAD and you see it so often in pro studios, i think the main reason is that they shouldn't hide the big soffit mounted monitors.Or perhaps they think it look cool.

    Yours / Toby
  3. Bhennies

    Bhennies Guest

    Hi...the older NS-10's are vertical- they were sort of adopted by studios so Yamaha released the NS-10m (which I have) which is designed to lay flat on the meter bridge and has a much better tweeter and HF response, even though in my opinions the speakers still are pretty harsh (remember all those people who used to tape tissue paper over the tweeter).

    The wonderful thing about NS10's is that they sound so bad that any mix you can get to sound good on them is killer. Good luck.
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I am happy to see that someone "gets" this. No, NS 10s and NS10m's are not the best sounding speakers in the world. I would never use them for casual listening. But they do produce very good mixes..

    The NS10s have a tweeter with a squared edge grill and came under criticism as being too harsh sounding, hence the "Bob Clearmountian remedy" of placing tissue over the tweets to soften the highs up ... Yamaha responded by re designing the tweets on the NS10M's. These have a more rounded grill. It is very easy to see the difference ...

    I have seen some very humorous threads on RO, where the type of tissue used to do this was debated. This extended to the silliness of asking whether vintage Charmin or MD was superior to more modern types ... search the thread archives. It is so funny it is well worth the searching.

    Kurt Foster
  5. ChrisH

    ChrisH Active Member

    I own a pair of NS10M's, they sound very different laying vertically than they do horizontally.
    Vertically they sound worse to me.
    They give you a completely different representation of sound when you lay them down horizontally, this of course is compared with both positioning's tweeters at ear level.
    I like the way they sound better horizontally, it brings the low mids right up front.
    However, I've yet to figure out the most tactical way to use them, regarding how you position them and whether or not to actually mix on them or just check mix's on them.
  6. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    I noticed this with a new pair of HS7's I have...initially I positioned them horizontally and the first thing I noticed was that the low mids were very prominent and up front.

    The owners' manual states to use the speakers vertically as they were designed, so I flipped them into the vertical position and I did notice a difference.

    When the HS7's were horizontal, my B monitors which are a set of KRK Rokit 5's sounded like they had more low end than the HS7's but when I flipped the HS7's to the vertical position the low mids were less prominent and the lows more balanced and up front IMO.

    Its worth noting variations caused by the physical / time offsets between the drivers when positioning horizontally as the diagram below illustrates

    Speaker Horizontal.PNG
    Speaker Vertical.PNG

    When it comes to sitting your monitors horizontal as opposed to vertical (if they are designed to be used in a vertical position) the general concensus is you run the risk of a mix position with a narrower sweet spot and increased comb filtering between the tweeters and the drivers.

    Having them in the vertical position if they are designed as such makes sense as there is more horizontal movement from left to right when mixing as opposed to vertical movement (ie standing up / sitting down).

    One would think this was taken into account by Yamaha when they redesigned the NS10 for studio use to sit horizontally across a metering bridge, but who knows?

    When it comes to my HS7's I'll just follow the manufacturers' instructions and mount them vertically to operate how they were designed by the brains trust at Yamaha for optimum performance...after all, I'm no acoustician or design expert when it comes to sound...I just make the stuff :D
    ChrisH and kmetal like this.
  7. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

    Surely there are two issues her Eyes? The manufacturers recommendation, as in 'mount them vertically', and the other thing the distance from the middle - for each driver. Wasn't the entire point of dual concentric speakers that having a point source was best for stereo image? Vertical alignment does this quite well, but horizontal wrecks image, especially around the crossover frequency. If you look at the angles in a near field placement, the mid or far field speaker equivalent would be having the LF and HF speaker components crazy distances apart, maybe even feet, which few would consider as a good move. Running a frequency sweep through your near fields with your eyes closed should produce no shift in location. If it appears to move, they're going to mess the mix up.
    ChrisH likes this.
  8. ChrisH

    ChrisH Active Member

    90% of the time if a studio has a set of NS10's, they are laying down horizontal.
    I think it might be possible that this is just the result of seen tradition from large pro studios laying them down to stay out of the way of sight to the tracking room window and sound from the mains.
    NS10's are not great sounding speakers either way but they are more exciting to listen to why laying horizontally and only when they are placed vertically do I understand people saying they "sound terrible" and "they're fatiguing".
  9. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    I am sure that I have read somewhere that the drivers were turned 90 degrees either at the factory during manufacture or as an afterthought post point-of-sale which helped minimise variations caused by the physical / time offsets to a degree with the horizontal application...but I'm unsure of the source and therefore cannot guarantee this as fact so don't quote me on this...

    I hope I am not purpetuating some audio myth by saying so as the internet is already full of enough mis-informtion as it is. ;)

    But it was one of those things that stuck in my mind when reading about vertical / horizontal applications with the NS-10 and subsequent HS-7.
  10. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    If somebody knows how a speaker system can be designed not to do this when the drivers are in a horizontal arrangement please explain.


    Attached Files:

  11. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    either way you flip ns10's, the woofer and tweeter are not in line. i believe there were at least two variants, one meant to be vertical the other horizontal. the silk screening on the front indicates the intended placement.
    ChrisH and kmetal like this.
  12. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    Is this because the tweeter is offset from the centre of the front face?
  13. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

    Wouldn't a vertical placement couple bass wise more with whatever surface it is touching?.. A bit anyway..
  14. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    I'm sure a good set of isolation pads would help
  15. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    It's not too difficult to add an approximation to a time delay into the crossover network. It's easier to do with an active crossover ahead of the power amps for the HF and LF drivers.

    The speakers would then have to be used horizontally with the tweeters innermost or outermost, depending on the design of the network.
    Sean G likes this.
  16. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    That won't put the drivers in phase at both ears, and any movement in the horizontal plane would change the phase relationship, as would small differences in the angle of the speaker on its vertical axis. The sweet spot will be millimeters wide and deep, and that only if you align the cabinets very precisely. These problem are inherent in a horizontal arrangement when the crossover frequency is high enough relative to the distances.
  17. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    If I'm doing the numbers right (always questionable) it takes less than a centimeter change in the relative distances from ear to drivers to shift the phase (between woofer and tweeter) 180° at the crossover frequency.

    [Edit] Nope, it would be about 8.6cm.

    So, given that, and that the drivers appear to be over 10" (25.4cm, using the 10" driver as a reference), it could take substantially less than 90° change in angle to produce 180° change in phase.
  18. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Yes, there would be all sorts of difficulties if you were to try implementing a practical system based on this principle. My reply was simply in repsonse to your post effectively asking how time alignment could be achieved.

    On the occasions that I've been mixing in studios that have NS10s, the speakers have been positioned horizontally, but angled inwards so that the plane of the speaker fronts was normal to the line to the mix engineer. Doing this removes the problem of flight time differences from the two drivers, but means that only one person can receive a correctly-phased image.
    Brien Holcombe and ChrisH like this.
  19. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    At least with vertical alignment you can lean forward, sit back and reach a sidecar with much less change in the sound of the speakers, and clients behind you will also hear something less altered. Plus, I can hear the difference in imaging between woofers and tweeters when they're horizontal.
  20. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I do believe there were two versions of NS10's. The studio versions with the tweets offset and mirrored and the home versions (different model number same components) which were arrayed in-line.

Share This Page