Skip to main content

Complimentary monitors for NS10's

Hey everyone, it's been a minute.
Looking to get some suggestions from you guys for a pair of monitors that are known to be complimentary to Yamaha NS10's. Looking known monitors that that expose flaws in the mix that NS10's don't, hence "complimentary".
I already use Mixcubes in conjunction with the NS10's.
Budget limit of $3000.00

Comments

Reverend Lucas Fri, 01/09/2015 - 13:22
Others are more experienced, but I'll chime in my .02 until they do.

Both your pairs of monitors are mid-forward, which are great for pointing out imbalances in that critical frequency range. For something to complement them, I'd personally look for something with as flat a response as possible, to accentuate any imbalances in the rest of the spectrum. I don't have enough experience to recommend specific ones, but there are quite a few options in your budget.

kmetal Fri, 01/09/2015 - 23:41
My buddy Jim likes his dynaduios as a to check his lows. He also uses avantone, and Adams which are mid forward. Guessing the dynaduios give him a more hifi thing, and less fatigue. I love Meyer HD1s for general flatness and honest spectrum, which are at the top of your budget, also, quested has some speakers that bang in the highs and lows. I'd have to check the model I used, but I belve the were 8-9" drivers.

anonymous Sat, 01/10/2015 - 03:02
Not the easiest question to answer. Everyone knows that NS10s are studio standards, the idea being that if you can get a mix to sound good on them, that it will translate well to other mediums - but there's no doubt that they can be very fatiguing after you are cooking on them for any serious length of time. It's hard to recommend any one monitor in particular because it's such a listener-subjective thing. Off the cuff, I would say that any high quality monitor would suite your needs, but it's all about what you are looking for, in terms of sonic balance. Personally, I would be looking at models that were maybe less mid forward, in that you could use the Yammies for mid balance and then use another model that could give you a more even distribution of lows and highs.
Just a thought...

kmetal Sun, 01/11/2015 - 00:59
I don't like them much myself, but possibly a pair of JBls would probably be on par with something to fill out the lows and highs.

I dunno, mixing on mains ruined near fields for me. I'm starting to lean towards the idea of subwoofers and the accosiated acoutstic problems. There's just something more exciting when you can feel the mix, even if it is artificially, also nice is not having to blast the speakers to feel it. Obviously I'm on a tanga t and know subwoofers usually make things worse when talking about acoustic accuracy in a small room, but what about fun? I'm really even wondering how much accuracy even matters compared to picking something that just sounds good. I mean 3k for a pair, is just the price floor of 'high end' monitoring. Twice what my personal ones cost :) but none of these are gonna be ruler flat, neither are the rooms their in. unless the room and monitors are designed with each other in mind, and especially at this price range, I'm wondering if the correct answer to the OP is simply, "whichever sounds subjectively the best'. Lol probably not but, does flat necessarily have to mean sterile? Considering we don't hear flat, and rarely if ever does anyone hear anything in a flat room/system. I'm not argueing the merits of a flat room. I'm more questioning the realavence of flatness in typical residential sized rooms. Timbre is something that can be subjectivly judged, and I'm sure there are plenty of pairs of 'flat' speakers that don't soind the same.

It's funny after over a century of recorded music, and we still have not come across a universally accepted 'perfect' studio acoustically, or the perfect speaker.

I wonder if we are just subconsciously chasing our notion of "great" sound which often times with allot of people is from a past time, and often from there youth. This means also less technologically advanced as well. So are we using better more sophisticated equipment, but chasing a sound far less sophisticated. Just wondering what the role of technical prescient plays in speakers, when the room may or may not reflect a similar quality, and when what's the persons idea of great, was created in technically compromised, guerrilla style rooms. I'm not pulling the old upgrade your room crap, cuz we all know this, it's more a question about what is the most important thing to be looking for in this case.

Also, don't even know what they cost, afraid to check, but those barefoot micro mains look pretty cool.

anonymous Sun, 01/11/2015 - 01:20
kmetal, post: 423546, member: 37533 wrote: I'm wondering if the correct answer to the OP is simply, "whichever sounds subjectively the best'.

I'm leaning that way as well.

NS10's - if your room is well balanced - should allow you to translate mixes to other PB systems and environments without much hassle; this is pretty much what they've become to engineers everywhere; a standard, no-nonsense, translation-trustworthy monitor.
The downside is - and always as been - that they've never been described by anyone who has ever seriously used them as sounding "nice" or "smooth" or "pleasing". ;) Or, maybe I should say, I've never run into anyone that thinks that Yammies sound "great". They are what they are.

So, in as far as suggesting a companion pair, probably you're best bet is to choose a model that sound best to you, and if at all possible, basing this decision in your own mixing environment.

Because it's so subjective, it's difficult to make suggestions - because what I might like, or what Chris or Kyle or Tony might like, may not be what you like to hear. It's a bit like trying to suggest to someone a particular style of of pizza. ;)

I don't know what kind of relationship you may have with a local store, maybe there's one that knows you well enough - and if you gave them a CC number as a security depo - might allow you to take several different models home (one pair at a time) and try them out?

Or, is there a possibility that you could visit a few pro studios in your region - well designed/built pro rooms - where you could at least get a "sense" of what a particular model of interest sounds like in a well-balanced CR?
Perhaps check out what they are using...? Or colleagues/friends who have models that you might be interested in, that would allow you to borrow them for an afternoon, to check out in your room?

...Just kinda tossing some thoughts around. :)

d.

audiokid Mon, 01/12/2015 - 20:34
I looked at Focal Twin6 for a few years, came close. But like you, I couldn't demo either of them so all I can do is add opinion. I know people who have Focals and I'm not convinced they were the best choice for them either.
I trust Opals are a better choice to the CMS series. I don't think they will Rock like Opals.
You don't need subs with them either. I have subs, but they are very accurate down to 40. I'll turn subs off when I use them.

One thing I will say, If I really crank mine, I mean loud, they will fart through a baffle or seal. Not sure what it is, but it is there. There are some people unhappy about that. To me, when they do that, I have way too much bass going on. I would buy two sets of these. I've actually been trying to cut a deal with Event to get a second pair. Thats how much I like mine.

audiokid Tue, 01/13/2015 - 20:44
ChrisH, post: 423534, member: 43833 wrote: I had a pair of Adam A77X's, they weren't working out for me. Need something that doesn't flatter the sound.
I had a pair of Neumann KH120. They are unflattering in a good way. Wish I could have kept those too. I have wondered about the new version of the KH300's. I don't recall the name but I bet are awesome. I think they are about 35% more than your budget.

ChrisH Wed, 01/14/2015 - 08:53
Great information, thank you.
I wish I could just hear these monitors we are discussing, if I could hear them I'd know immediately if they would work for me or not.
The problems is I can't hear them, so I really appreciate everybody's contribution.
I know the Adam tweeter doesn't work for me, due to their brightness I mixed too little highs and overall they were too forgiving.
Going with a speaker that technically doesn't sound great unless the mix is absolutely great is what I need, that's why I dig the ns10's.

ChrisH Wed, 01/14/2015 - 10:41
audiokid, post: 423659, member: 1 wrote: Why change a good thing? Sounds like those are perfect for you, Chris?
Neumann's sound like something I would be checking out.

Looking at your avatar here, what's above you? Perhaps investing in more acoustic treatment would be better? I have a 6 clouds above me that I think help.

6 inch clouds :)

ChrisH Thu, 07/23/2015 - 08:58
Chris...
I've had the Opals for 3 months now and have mixed about a half a dozen songs on them, they are not translating in a good way for me.
To be clear, I think they are fantastic monitors, they sound amazing, they just don't work for me personally.

What I've learned through this process of owning and living with several sets of monitors (only wish I knew what I knew now) is you absolutely need to try before you buy, not just in the store, not just by demoing with a "reference cd" but take them home and MIX ON THEM, take that mix around and see how it translates.
I would go as far as saying that if you can't go through that process with them, don't buy them and try out the pair of monitors that you can try out otherwise you're going to be losing money buying and selling, and killing allot of time.
If you have to, take advantage of that 30 day return policy, purchase the "best" two or three pairs your local store has, take em home, treat them as your own, and discover what works for you.

I believe our hearing is as individual as our looks, so to go off/purchase without really trying out a set of monitors by going off what someone says on the internet doesn't make sense.
Same thing goes with instruments, I never buy an instruments that I haven't played in person and I buy that exact one cause they all feel, play, and look slightly different even given their the exact same model made on the exact same day, speakers are a little more forgiving though.

So I guess to sum up what I'm saying is don't worry about specs, price tags, or what someone else says, to each is own, find what works for you.

End rant..

Tony Carpenter Thu, 07/23/2015 - 09:07
ChrisH I think it's always fair to say we all hear things differently. I am finding my new house which I haven't really touched treatment wise translates as is OK. I didn't even use the setup software for my Opals. Sorry to hear they don't work for you. I personally just love mine more and more. Quick question, which may seem stupid, how do you position yours? Mine now are on their sides at ear height with tweeter facing closest to me.

Tony

audiokid Thu, 07/23/2015 - 09:18
Thats unfortunate. :(
A lot of people want them so I'm sure you will recoupe a good portion of your investment. I'm thinking you should look into why a bit more before you give up on them.
ChrisH, post: 431009, member: 43833 wrote: What I've learned through this process of owning and living with several sets of monitors (only wish I knew what I knew now) is you absolutely need to try before you buy, not just in the store, not just by demoing with a "reference cd" but take them home and MIX ON THEM, take that mix around the ropes and see how it translates.
I would go as far as saying that if you can't go through that process with them, don't buy them and try out the pair of monitors that you can try out otherwise you're going to be losing money buying and selling, and killing allot of time.

Absolutely agree. Monitors are like shoes directly related to your environment and hearing (deficiencies as well). . Curious... If you find you mixes aren't translating well, what is happening? I'd be interested to hear a few mixes. If you post some, I'd bet we could help you a bit.
You can use this as a gauge imho to help target what you at least need.
It sounded like the KH120's or a more mid forward monitor like those are was what you needed?
You should be finding out what freq and/or lack of sonic it is that you don't like so you can choose the right counteract to help this. Room treatment as well.

Opals in my opinion are stellar but they are also more full range sounding. Very accurate to me, but my room is also very accurate.
examples to my experiences... KH120 are dull to me. Aurotones are all mid range. Dynaudio Bm6 are mid weak.
If you are mixing too middy, then you could benefit from a mid forward monitor.
If you find your mixes are too bright, you would benefit from a more full range speaker, some Focals, Opals, Barefoot etc.

If you find your mixes are too weak, you could need a sub to exaggerate bass but all my suggestions are Band-Aids and/or additional methods to help balance your personal needs in the pursuit to find a better listening envirinment.

If you post a few mixed i will definately try to help.

kmetal Thu, 07/23/2015 - 10:13
It took me a while (almost a year) to learn to mix on 'monitors' vs the stereo speakers I was using prior. But i bought 3 pairs and brought 2 back to the store when I did pick a pair.

when I started at the studio it took another 6-8 months or so before I 'knew' what I was hearing from that set. In my case they were so clear that I wasn't hearing some mud, and the top end is crisp so I was mixing dull.

I'm slowly losing faith in the near field monitor as a cheif reference. I think that they excel at balances and frequency content, but spatial recognition and timbre not so much.

ChrisH Thu, 07/23/2015 - 11:10
audiokid, post: 431013, member: 1 wrote: I'm thinking you should look into why a bit more before you give up on them.
If you find you mixes aren't translating well, what is happening? I'd be interested to hear a few mixes. If you post some, I'd bet we could help you a bit.
If you post a few mixed i will definately try to help.

Definitely taking it slow with the idea of getting rid of them.
I ordered another pair of NS10's (which I had and shouldn't have sold), a Haffler 3000, and Radial Monitor Controller :) (never had the luxury of easily being able to switch back and forth between monitors). Off subject but I also have a Presonus Faderport on the way, no more mouse automation! yay!

What's happening is I'm sucking out too much low-mids around 100-250 and also around 500 so I end up with a very mid subdued mix.
Also where I'm letting elements "bite" in the top end is at a weird spot in the high frequency spectrum.

I believe I like to hear a sort of "smiley face" response in my studio on my final mixes and that's why when I mix on "flat" monitors I end up with an over scooped "subdued" mix vs when I mix on NS10's its just right.

So I'm thinking having the NS10's along side of them is going to hopefully do the trick by keep my mids in check.
Also, I'm moving into a permanent spot for mixing here in a couple months, so when I do I will tune the room more so with resonators and such vs my current mixing room (just floor to ceiling bass traps in every corner and treated RFZ.)

Yes, I'll try and get some files posted.

kmetal Thu, 07/23/2015 - 13:18
100hz is a fairly common problem frequency spare room size listening rooms. Especially if the add mid/high absorption, and little or no low trapping. I think it's an acoustics based thing, and perhaps your not hearing the extended range of the opals. Doesn't mean you'll like them any better if/when you do, but you'll at least have a more honest veiw of what they do.

Congrats on your NS-10s!!!!!!

ChrisH Fri, 07/24/2015 - 11:08
kmetal, post: 431024, member: 37533 wrote: 100hz is a fairly common problem frequency spare room size listening rooms. Especially if the add mid/high absorption, and little or no low trapping. I think it's an acoustics based thing, and perhaps your not hearing the extended range of the opals. Doesn't mean you'll like them any better if/when you do, but you'll at least have a more honest veiw of what they do.

Congrats on your NS-10s!!!!!!

That's true.
I'm kind of a snob when it comes to absorption and I don't really believe in using anything less than 6 inches of dense fiberglass board unless absolutely necessary.
I'll keep you posted, I'm most excited for the Radial Monitor controller.

ChrisH Sat, 07/25/2015 - 11:39
Makzimia, post: 431010, member: 48344 wrote: ChrisH I think it's always fair to say we all hear things differently. I am finding my new house which I haven't really touched treatment wise translates as is OK. I didn't even use the setup software for my Opals. Sorry to hear they don't work for you. I personally just love mine more and more. Quick question, which may seem stupid, how do you position yours? Mine now are on their sides at ear height with tweeter facing closest to me.

Tony

I apologize Tony, I completely missed your post.
So I flipped the Opals on their sides (tweeters on the inside) and wow, they are so much different on their sides and to my ears they sound much better on their sides, it seems as though the woofer and tweeter blend together when they are side firing and when they are upright you get a tweeter and woofer separation.

Tony Carpenter Sat, 07/25/2015 - 14:17
ChrisH, post: 431052, member: 43833 wrote: I apologize Tony, I completely missed your post.
So I flipped the Opals on their sides (tweeters on the inside) and wow, they are so much different on their sides and to my ears they sound much better on their sides, it seems as though the woofer and tweeter blend together when they are side firing and when they are upright you get a tweeter and woofer separation.

Glad you tried, I figured you might find that the way to do it. On top of that, you will see I use Isoacoustic stands which just really work.

Oh and ChrisH you did remember to actually pull the tweeters out and turn them, and put them back right? (just checking, don't shoot me :D )

Cheers, Tony

kmetal Sat, 07/25/2015 - 16:22
ChrisH, post: 431040, member: 43833 wrote: That's true.
I'm kind of a snob when it comes to absorption and I don't really believe in using anything less than 6 inches of dense fiberglass board unless absolutely necessary.
I'll keep you posted, I'm most excited for the Radial Monitor controller.

Jealous of the monitor controller bro good call. I'm not sure exactly what you meant by "dense" rigid fiberglass, but I think you'll find in general,if you look at a chart, you'll find 3 pcf fiberglass to outperform the denser 6 pcf pretty much across the board, and particularly of interest, the low end. Just FYI. Out perform meaning you want the 'most absorbsion' or 'efficient' material. Each studio is unique.

ChrisH Sat, 07/25/2015 - 18:07
@Makzimia
I'm using the ultimate stands myself :]
I did not know to rotate the tweeters.
I rotated them, can't honestly hear a difference? But i'm sure there would be a difference in imaging if you were to a/b them.
The opals on their sides remind me of ATC 25's sonically, which is an awesome thing.
I mixed and track a record on some ATC 25's and that set a new bar for me.

kmetal
2 inch 703 board layered three X to make it 6 inches

audiokid Sat, 07/25/2015 - 18:45
ChrisH, post: 431040, member: 43833 wrote:
I'll keep you posted, I'm most excited for the Radial Monitor controller.
You may have bought yourself a problem. I've not heard good about it.
fwiw, a monitor controller is the single most important piece in my studio. That is the hub to the entire listening perspective. I'm no tech whiz so it could all be rumors.Passive should be awesome.
Generally speaking... If it's dropping level, effecting the DA, adding colour or noise, changing anything I do, it can really mess you up. I hope I am very wrong.

audiokid Sat, 07/25/2015 - 18:56
I love Radial, have some of their stuff but never this one. Its the Elephant in the room. Do searches on it.Noise, level issues, pots are inaccurate at certain volumes. Wall wart can be really noisy. Its all hearsay so don't trust my opinion but where there's smoke, there's usually fire.

For the average dude, its probably just fine. I put so much value on a monitor controller, I'm really spoiled or wise there. When I upgraded my monitor controller a few years back, my life changed.
Seems Chris has upgraded to a pretty decent system, then tossed this in where I might have done more research.
Hope I'm wrong.

I could use a new controller for my lake studio. I've been looking for something. Looking forward to your opinions on it.

Here is the media on it. It looks cool, is priced well, and makes sense.
://www.youtube.com/wat…

DonnyThompson Sun, 07/26/2015 - 04:31
I've not used this piece, but I have used Radial gear over the years; and I've always been impressed by the quality of their product... Most recently, a few years ago, I used a friend's Radial 500 Series Rack for about a month or so, which included a couple Radial Pre/EQ modules, ( along with other 500 Series mods from API, Purple and Neve), and I found it to be very well-designed and built to a high caliber of quality.

There are a few online sources that I trust when it comes to reviews; SOS is certainly one of these sources, but so is RO , because I like to hear from people right here on this forum, whom I consider to be my colleagues, and I'm more secure hearing what they have to say...

With something like this piece, you have to figure that most - if not all - users are going to be pretty experienced in the craft; I mean, it's not as if you are reading a shining review for a $99 Tascam i/o, from someone who has little to no experience with pro level gear ( or any gear for that matter), and writes a glowing review simply because they are impressed that they can successfully get signal from a mic to a computer, LOL..

With something like this Radial controller, you have to figure that you're probably not hearing from an entry-level user, so you can put far more stock into what you are told - as long as you trust those who are telling you to be intelligent, reliable and knowledgeable.

It's not really a losing situation for you anyway, Chris - as long as you are able to return it. Use it for a few weeks, put it through its paces, ( and if it were me, I'd be paying close attention to what Chris (audiokid) has mentioned, regarding noise and level issues) and then decide whether or not it's going to do what you need it to do, if it does this well, and, if it's worth what you paid for it. ;)

Only IMHO of course.

d.

Kurt Foster Sun, 07/26/2015 - 08:04
i only found one negative comment when i did a search on the Radial MC3 and that was only that the sound stage collapsed at very low volume, which is to be expected in a passive system. the wall wart only drives the headphone amp so i don't see noise as a real issue. in the end, what can one expect for $250? at this point of the game i welcome a quality piece like the MP3 as an alternative to much more expensive (like 10 times the cost) options. i am sooooo done spending wads of cash on this sh*t. when kids like Tame Impala make hit records on a BOSS 8 tracker, why should i? i don't need expensive gear to get "the modern sound" ...... lol.

audiokid Sun, 07/26/2015 - 08:19
No disrespect Kurt but your reference to a modern sound is obviously directed at me, which was related to a past thread. I take this as a slap in the face..

A monitor controller has little to do with a modern sound., lol
To add, i doubt you've spent wads a cash on anything in 3 decades. Have you even used one outside a console?

You should do a bit more research on good monitor controllers, they are as important as converters, speakers and even, acoustics, especially once you are this serious . At least that's how i hear it. Id much rather have no gear and a great signal path to anything in my studio.
regardless , lets hope my source its wrong.

Fwiw, Had this been you, or the less into pro audio.. i wouldn't have even mentioned it, nor would i even be in the conversation.

Kurt Foster Sun, 07/26/2015 - 08:56
lol. it's not directed at you Chris ... i am hearing this phrase a lot lately and not just here and it bugs the crud out of me. imo "modern sound" equates to poop. the last people on earth i would be willing to pay attention to as far as opinion regarding audio, would be the modern generation .... they don't just know what they are talking about. they haven't heard great recordings and if someone tried to play them something great, they wouldn't be able to sit still long enough to hear it .....

for any DAW system, a monitor controller is a must. for the longest time i used a Nakamichi 610. currently, i'm lusting after a SPL Crimson.

audiokid, post: 431069, member: 1 wrote: regardless , lets hope my source its wrong.

without knowing who your source is, i couldn't comment. as i said, i could only find that one i sited and
the complaint is to be expected with a passive device.

and i have bought some very expensive pieces in the past 3 decades. lol again.

kmetal Sun, 07/26/2015 - 11:06
I dunno here's my take. Modern means current. The current sound is what it is a blend of the cheap and expensive reduced to the easiest way to get it into people's ears.

With bands like Alabama shakes, Gary Clark junior doing what they're doing, it's no doubt they've heard and experience 'greatness' in recordings.

Recordings sound dated the second they get made. It's pretentious to 'think' sound. Sound has nothing to do with thought. It's the absence of the thought I argue, allows the channeling of 'greatness' or experience in general.
x

Register

Your recently read content