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Swapping Avantone Mixcubes for Yamaha NS10's

Would like some information from people who've owned both mixcubes and ns10's.

I'm looking to swap out my mixcubes for some ns10's, the mixcubes are useful, however I'm thinking I could get everything I get out of the mixcubes out of some NS10's plus the low-mids (where my Adam A77x's are too forgiving) and mid-highs.
Anybody using both NS10's and mixcubes?
Good swap or bad idea?

Comments

anonymous Sun, 06/15/2014 - 02:33

Most pro studios had both back in the day, and most pro studios still do. Having a bigger set of mains allows you to reference your low end better, but, the room is going to be a factor in this as well.

Personally, I never liked the NS10's for extended period mixing, because they could be so fatiguing, but, then again, they aren't meant to sound pleasing, they are meant to help your mixes translate to a variety of different playback systems, and they do this very well. The old Auratones, and today's Avantones, are meant to do much the same. I still have an old pair of Aura cubes that I use, along with a pair of NS10's that I use for occasional reference, although I don't go for long periods with the Yamaha's. For long tracking or mix sessions I use Alesis Monitor Ones (passives) but I'm constantly checking through the other monitors.

ChrisH Sun, 06/15/2014 - 09:59

I use the Avantones for check to make sure the mids are working, that's it.
Once in a while they show me something I missed on my mains.

Recently I added a pair of old vintage inclosed cabinet bookshelf speakers that have 4' drivers, if you can get the kick and bass to sound right on those, it'll sound good on everything, iphone, imac, laptop, earbuds, ect..
They're also revealing in the mid-highs.
Honestly, It would be a surprise to me if NS10's represented the low-mids as well as those other bookshelf speakers, givin their size.

kmetal Sun, 06/15/2014 - 22:23

If you can get your hands on an old hafler amp, it'd work pretty well w the ns 10s, w/out getting esoteric, or super expensive. One monitor controller I can personally say to avoid is the Mackie big knob. It's got great features and messes w the sound in a thinning/smearing manner. A B ing w and w/out it from motu, and apogee interfaces made an audible difference, in the subjective fullness, to a bunch of us at the studio.

Monitor controllers is a place a would think long and hard about, and really it's a boring peice of equipment to buy, but it's I between your music and your ears, and it should be good, really good. I dunno what your using for an interface, but if you had enough outputs on it, I would skip the montior controller, unless it was a really good one, like a Coleman, or dangerous.

That said I haven tried the ones Chris mentioned, but my experience w the big knob is big waste of money.

audiokid Mon, 06/16/2014 - 00:35

Well said Kyle.

To clarify, I don't have any experience with the PreSonus but I've hear its good for the price.
My Monitor controller was the best investment I made because it taught me how to use a hybrid system correctly. The SPL MTC is very well thought out but lacks in comparison the the next step up.
The Dangerous Monitor ST is an incredible work of art. When I got that one, everything came together, but, you need DA's with it. Not cheap, but you will never regret it once your join the party. (y)

kmetal Tue, 06/17/2014 - 23:27

Hmmm, that looks really cool. I m very happy w the radial passive re amp box I got. I ab ed it against the little labs offering my boss has, which was three times the price, and there was very little difference, tho there was a slight reduction in top end, nothing that couldn't be compensated for painlessly on the amp.

That might make a nice addition the the studio upgrade. Good call Kurt!

paulears Wed, 06/18/2014 - 02:36

The really scary thing is how dreadful some of the current home cinema systems really are. While I too have some NS10s, I'd gotten out of the habit of using them, and hearing one of my DVDs being played on one of these things, I went back, turned the NS10s back on and listened to the DVD mix - the bass was really horrible - and no wonder why the over pushed bass on the home cinema sounded so bad. Remixed on the NS10s, as I always used to do, the home cinema behaved. Luckily most of what I record doesn't have much going on down below - but I had a worrying period revisiting everything. NS10s do sound quite bland and boring - but that's what they're for really. If everyone is listening on these systems which have frequency responses that look like a mountain range no wonder it needs a bit more control when you're mixing.

I'm not sure that trying to improve the sound of your show the warts monitoring is sensible - surely what you want is something that doesn't enhance, and is more typical of whatever 'average' really is?

kmetal Mon, 06/23/2014 - 11:23

What if you did it in the DAW basically having a few stereo pairs created, then just selected them on the master faders output selector. Just brainstorming.

Proco isn't exactly the highest fidelity stuff of earth, but it's a passive box and probably pretty straight wire under the hood, so I'd say it's worth a shot, as long as the return policy is good. I'd def ab it, but it looks to me like just a splitter w some on off switches.

I think the real trouble w the lesser monitor control units is when they have active electronics, the signal starts to degrade. Remy or Boswell or Kurt would probably know the more technical reasons, but I think it has to do w amps introducing distortions, and nonlinealities.

ChrisH Wed, 06/25/2014 - 13:41

kmetal, post: 416188, member: 37533 wrote: What if you did it in the DAW basically having a few stereo pairs created, then just selected them on the master faders output selector.

I believe that is a grand idea, but there would need to be a separate software to do so with fluidity and for when the daw isn't running.
Maybe there's a way to do it in Apogees Maestro software... You'd think it would for the leg I gave em.

ChrisH Thu, 06/26/2014 - 09:44

So... NS10's.. :D

Got my pair (NS10M), great condition, first impression before pluggin them in was "Damn, these are actually built solid", I forget that back 25 years ago (before i was born) most things were built to last more than a 2 years.

In a one sentence nutshell: they are going to become my "main" monitors.

They show how over-the-top forgiving my adams are and exactly how well a song was engineered, I love that, priceless.
It's actually funny how blatantly they reveal a bad mix, even the difference between a good mix and a great mix is blatantly obvious.
They're also a dream for mixing low-mids, overall balance, and big rock guitar placement.
Their frequency response range I feel is great for a subpar control room.
I know I'm preaching to the choir/You guys already know this but I'm ecstatic about this purchase.
I'm keeping the adams for the sub frequency checking, different reference, but 98% of my mixing will most likely happen on the NS10's.
The avantone mixcubes I'll keep as well but for me right now they're just a really expensive reference, once is a while they do show something I missed in the upper mids.
You guys doing any mixing on the cubes or are you just using them for a reference? Also, what placement do you use them in?

kmetal Fri, 06/27/2014 - 10:05

I've never mixed a whole session on them yet, so far just references back and forth, but I love the Meyer hd1s I use, and well the big soffit mount 813c's are just too much fun to not use. But I to consistently use them for sanity checks.

Chris H- what are you using for an amp on them, just curious?

ChrisH Fri, 06/27/2014 - 10:09

DonnyThompson, post: 416423, member: 46114 wrote: Good Luck. I use NS10's as well...but only as incidental reference.

I just can't take how harsh they are for those long sessions. They burn me out faster than any other monitor I've ever used... But, they serve their purpose.

IMHO of course

d/

Thank you, Donny.
Do you have the orginal ns10's or the ns10m's?
I'm definitely the rookie here but I found if you sit far into "the triangle", having the tweaters shoot past your head a good amount, you get out of the beam.
Honestly, you'd probably hate my Adams then, to me they are much more aggressive in the top, damn ribbon tweeters make me too conservative with highs.

kmetal, post: 416444, member: 37533 wrote:
Chris H- what are you using for an amp on them, just curious?

Crown CE1000. Kurt warned me about the fan noise, not too big of a deal but it does distract once in a while.
Oh, and I figured out a way to not so conveniently switch analog outs with Apogee's Maestro, although when you use anything besides output 1-2 you have no level control besides your daw stereo bus. You'd think apogee would cash in on making a "monitor controller" that controls maestro.

kmetal Fri, 06/27/2014 - 14:39

"You'd think [[url=http://[/URL]="http://www.apogeedi…"]Apogee[/]="http://www.apogeedi…"]Apogee[/] would cash in on making a "monitor controller" that controls maestro."

Yeah or a Firmware update. For something targeted at the pro market, that's rediculous

I installed some of those at a bar once, the ce series, and I thought they were broken, and didn't realize the fan only turns on when it reaches a certain internal temp.

ChrisH Fri, 06/27/2014 - 15:04

kmetal, post: 416460, member: 37533 wrote: "You'd think [[url=http://[/URL]="http://www.apogeedi…"]Apogee[/]="http://www.apogeedi…"]Apogee[/] would cash in on making a "monitor controller" that controls maestro."

Yeah or a Firmware update. For something targeted at the pro market, that's rediculous

I installed some of those at a bar once, the ce series, and I thought they were broken, and didn't realize the fan only turns on when it reaches a certain internal temp.

I talked to them today and suggested that, they're like "Wow, thats a great idea", haha. The fan is annoying cause I monitor at super low levels 85% of the time.

I'm sure this is a huge debate but... to place the NS10's VERTICALLY or HORIZONTALLY?? o_O

ChrisH Fri, 06/27/2014 - 16:43

I A/B'd the monitors in mono, both in the center of my room, same distance to make it as accurate as possible.
I switched from left to right back and forth.

Two things I discovered:
1. One tweeter is louder/harsher than the other, why would that be?

2. When they're placed Vertically they sound fuller, hence better.
When they're placed horizontally some frequencies arrive later than others.
Am I crazy??

audiokid Fri, 06/27/2014 - 22:47

I fear for you. Doesn't sound good.
if you switch them LR >RL do they still sound different? Or, could it be the amp or a cable is faulty?

Never the less, they could still be good reference even if they are slightly off. But, I bet you are going to be irritated as I would too.

I hope you get it sorted and it is a simple fix.

ChrisH Sat, 06/28/2014 - 07:10

audiokid, post: 416471, member: 1 wrote:
if you switch them LR >RL do they still sound different? Or, could it be the amp or a cable is faulty?
I hope you get it sorted and it is a simple fix.

Yeah I did some trouble shooting it and it all comes down to the tweeter itself.
One of the previous owners must have replaced one of the tweeters with a more efficient/different spec tweeter, i guess?

kmetal Sat, 06/28/2014 - 23:13

Good thing it's the tweeters, the speakers are made of some special tree that apparently they don't use anymore so the originals are expensive. I think they used trees that were on the property of the factory or something, at least that's the story i heard.

We have them horizontally on the desk, haven't tried vertical, but I use them more for sanity checks than as mains. So if I used them as mains, I think I'd be more concerned about how they sounded better. Your probably hearing phase cancellation and lack there of in the different orientations, that's why coaxial speakers are very phase accurate, cuz the frequencies arrive at the same time (within reason).

You might be able to replace the fans w/ lower rpm fans, or just unplugg them, and take the top off the amp, depending on how much you care about the amps well being, or maybe there is a way to put like a potentiometer Inline of the wire providing power to the little fans, just brainstorming, electronics mods aren't really my area.

What about a small ISO box for the fan.? Or maybe running longer speaker wires and having it off to the side? One of the studios I'm at has a fairly noisy dehumidifier and in wall ac, and honestly I just kinda tune it out, and I listing pretty softly most of the time as well.

There's an old hafler we use for drum phones, and it's quite quiet. I'd have to check if it even uses fans, it's pretty heavy and has this sharfin style things in the back, which I'm pretty sure is part of the heat sinks.

Kurt Foster Sun, 06/29/2014 - 03:37

sure, that's it .... no paper ...... except for those new kick drum mics they make .... lots of paper for those ... :rolleyes:
you really need to stop with the audio myths .....:LOL: there's plenty of paper to go around and lots of spare parts for NS10's. the reason they stopped making them was no one was buying any of their new stuff.

just do a search for NS 10 [[url=http://[/URL]="https://www.google…"]replacement parts [/]="https://www.google…"]replacement parts [/]....

kmetal Sun, 06/29/2014 - 20:58

you really need to stop with the audio myths .....:LOL:

Are there myths that I have posted recently, or ever? I've definitely posted incorrect stuff, and been glad to be corrected. If your referring to a couple of my recent posts, regarding George Martin, and Skynard, they aren't myths. Sir George said what I said he did (not verbatim) in print, which I believe was from his interview in Howard Massey's, " behind the glass" ed 1. As far as Skynard's first album goes, that came directly from Phil Greene, a platinum and gold selling mix engineer that I work with. Don't believe me, google "Phil Greene engineer" you'll see his credits. One album he mixed was voted in the top 500 albums of all time in rolling stone, peter wolfs "sleepless" from the early 2000's, which has a song featuring Keith Richards on vocals. This isn't a guy who got lucky, once, and he has no reason to lie. So I think he has the cred enough, that if an engineer at the same studio at the same time told him that about skynard, it's more than likely true. They probably wouldn't/couldn't admit it, and there is probably some sort on no disclosure clause in the contract. Phil has a memory for technical/musical things unlike anyone I've ever met, remy being the closest. Wanna know what mods they did to the original ssl s before they got "good" and famous, he'll tell you the model number of the if chips. Brand of TP Bob Clearmountain used at the power station on his yammys for Byran Adams early hit album? He'll tell ya, even if bob doesn't remember, he was there for one of the mixes, and got it right from mr Clearmountain himself. So while I don't take everything he does as gospel, and he is quite eccentric to put it mildly, when it comes to technical details, and musical knowledge, he's usually right.

Oh right the speaker cones obviously I wasn't saying they ran out of paper. Maybe this press release for Yamaha is enough to validate this as true.

YAMAHA NS10 PRESS RELEASE
Buena Park, CA, Feb. 21, 2001 -- Yamaha Corporation has announced that effective April 2001, production of the NS10M studio monitor speaker products will be discontinued, citing that the source of the wood pulp used in the woofer cone is no longer available. Despite an intensive worldwide search for a replacement material, none was found that provided an acceptable sonic substitute. Along with the NS10M studio model, production of the NS10MC and NS40M will also be discontinued.

Introduced in 1987, the NS10MS and NS10MC were hailed for their consistent sound quality and “reality-based monitoring,” evolving into a reference standard for professional engineers, producers, recording studios and post production facilities worldwide. “Yamaha felt the respected sound of these products could simply not be compromised by using lesser materials,” stated Wayne Hrabak, marketing manager, Professional Audio, Yamaha Corporation of America. “We recognize that the NS10s have become the industry standard for recording professionals worldwide, but are hopeful that the recently-introduced successor, the MSP/SW10 series powered monitor speakers, will more than meet the needs of the most discerning engineer,
and become the new standard.”

Customers will be able to obtain spare part replacement drivers for the foreseeable future. Yamaha also intends to allocate all remaining production for 2001 according to dealer purchase levels of last year. Production of the NS10 variants from Yamaha AV/IT for domestic Japanese use will continue.

“This was a very difficult decision for Yamaha Corporation in Japan,” stated Larry Italia, national sales & marketing manager, Commercial Audio, Yamaha Corporation of America. “We are proud of the tradition and quality of the NS10, and will make every effort to ensure that our customers’ product needs will be met with other quality Yamaha models.”

I'm sure I could get you the whole thing, but that's what I got in my email.

Stories and myths and legends are fun conversation one in a while man, as long as they aren't presented as fact, which mine Initally wasn't. It's not like I told someone to 'soundproof' their room w studio foam so they can record all night. We both know their is no such thing as "soundproof" and foam does nothing for isolation.

I obviously don't know everything nor am I amazing at what I do, but I do try my best to offer intelligent points of view, and say things that are true, or regarded as true by the general consensus. And if I'm unsure, or it's not my area, I say that too, I'd rather be wrong and corrected, than continue spewing incorrect things.

I respect you Kurt, your sense of humor, and your knowledge. But please, before you tell me what or what not to say, or worse (all but) call me a lair, or storyteller, or crazy, make sure I am, so I can agree w you, and laugh at my own stupidity.

-Kyle

Kurt Foster Sun, 06/29/2014 - 23:24

remember this?

"it was musicians from Detroit (the wrecking crew?) if ii remember correctly."

LOL.. K... yer killin' me. Let's not butcher musical history any more than we have to. LOL

Detroit was The Funk Brothers - the Motown session cats. James Jamerson, Joe Messina, Earl Van Dyke, etc.

The Wrecking Crew was Los Angeles, with cats like Hal Blaine, Carol Kaye, Glen Campbell... they did the Beach Boys tracks, along with Sonny and Cher, The Turtles, The Byrds, etc.

If Skynyrd did in fact use a session player group, it was probably The Swampers from Muscle Shoals.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muscle_Shoals_Rhythm_Section

that was what i was referring to Kyle
and what i said was in good humor. don't take it so personally. i put a big smiley face at the end of the sentence. we all love you here. you're like a little brother. and i believe you heard that from Phil Green and it may be true. a lot of acts use studio players.on the other hand there's a lot of signature guitar playing on that record that i hear on subsequent releases the band made so i do have a hard time with it. perhaps some of the tracks were ARS?

BUT! ... i never believed Yamaha's explanation on why they discontinued the NS10's i know what they said but at the same time they were releasing the HM series speakers. it's a general consensus they stopped making NS10's so they could introduce a new line. no one would buy anything else they made. again, i site there's lots of spares availabel at extreemly inflated prices ... it's been almost ten years ??? what's with that?

anonymous Mon, 06/30/2014 - 03:36

"we all love you here, you're like a little brother."

Ditto. :)

As far as the Skynyrd thing goes, and their early work having ARS as session players, logistically, it's entirely possible. The first Skynrd album (Pronounced) was recorded at StudioOne in Doraville, Georgia, where the original ARS was the house/session band. It's also possible that they didn't play on everything - perhaps they used ARS's drummer on a track, or their bass player on another. But as far as ARS handling all the tracks, I'm not entirely convinced.

I say this based on what I hear differentially between those two bands. I was - and still am - a big ARS fan. They had great songs, and the playing was all ultra groove.
If you listen to songs like So Into You, Imaginary Lover, Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight, you'll hear how "smooth" the playing on those tracks is, whereas Skynyrd's style was edgier, more raucous, more that of a live band. And, there's a sort of signature sound to the playing on their early stuff that continued on through their last album, Street Survivors, which was released a few weeks after the tragic loss of many of the members in the plane crash.

So, I'm not saying definitively that ARS didn't play on those albums. The mark of a great session cat is the ability to play anything that you want them to play, so maybe the guys in ARS did play on the album(s).

Although personally, I'm not hearing it. :)

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kmetal Tue, 07/01/2014 - 02:06

Thanks fellas! I Didn't mean to get all hot and bothered Kurt. And I do find it a little fishy about the timing now that you pointed out. And honestly I was kinda questioning their statement becuase of the sonically acceptable part, being the reason, just becuase they aren't really known for being clinically accurate, or particularly good, I mean if it was an augspurger, I could kinda understand. Bbt the yammys aren't active, so the amp is gonna play a role too. Maybe that was the easiest thing to blame it on so the purists could rest assured, and they could look like they were staying true, while introducing a new product?

As far as ARS, if it was them on it, I'd kinda guess towards what d was saying that it was probably on the drums or bass, maybe some rythms, but Phil also said that skynard was basically kids at the time, and they toured quite a bit and tightened up and did end up playing a lot or all of the records after. I think any of the signature guitar stuff was probably them, just cuz they sounded like themselves guitar lick wise, after that too, like ya said Kurt. So if anything, it would make sense that some whiskey drinking kid drummer might not make the final cut, here and there, first time around, but probably the only people to say for absolute sure, were the people who were there during the actual process. I guess the only thing that is likely true beyond reasonable doubt is that someone around the studio said that to Phil, as to the extent of it, or if that person was lying, well I guess that's just part of the legend. And from some of the stories I've heard from the guys of the era, it's amazing that they can say and remember their own name, so ya know, I'm sure some things can get skewed, or taken out of context, or blown out of proportion. Lol, one time Phil tried to swap out a mic when lemy from Motörhead was singing takes for something and lemy said something like, "get back in the room and hit record or I'll shove this microphone down your throat and pull it out your... I stories from different eras! They always make my experiences seem so mundane in comparison. It's like recording started off so suit and tie and formal, and went completely in the other direction, and now it's kinda full circle again, or somewhere I. The middle leaning towards square. But if it could prevent things like amy whinehouse from going out the way she did, maybe it's a good thing that things seem more tame. But man, it'd be incredible to go back and experience that stuff for a week. That's why I always try and remember and pass on peoples stories, can you imagine if there was Facebook in the 70s and 80s? Status : up on xyz been mixing for 3 days, no sleep.

And, there's a sort of signature sound to the playing on their early stuff that continued on through their last album, Street Survivors,

i happen to be watching the muscle shoals documentary, the other day and it stated that the cuts from street survivors was actually recorded well before that. I forget the engineers name, but I guess they worked for 2 years or so, and recorded freebird, and a bunch of their hits initially, along w the songs that made up the album street survivors. And they wanted freebird as a single, and the record company wanted them to cut it to 3min or so, and the band and engineer/producer wouldn't budge, so they scratched the recordings from that project, until the tragedy. And apparently just re recorded the inital hits w whoever did the ones that made the final cut. Lol the stones engineer who did the muscle shoals session also said they didn't drink or do drugs during the recording, and then it immediately cuts to a shot of jagger singing into a bottle of JB, and then them saying they did, so maybe he knew his mother was gonna see it? Or maybe he was just kidding. The swampers, and fame studios got a lot of cred in the documentary, it's on netflix, and probably anywhere on the internet. ItS amazing what happens when great groups play together, and how the producers have the intuition to know "that's a hit" and believe it, and it happens. Anyway 'Nuff rambling for tonight. I def got off topic a bit.

anonymous Tue, 07/01/2014 - 02:37

kmetal, post: 416591, member: 37533 wrote:

i happen to be watching the muscle shoals documentary, the other day and it stated that the cuts from street survivors was actually recorded well before that. I forget the engineers name, but I guess they worked for 2 years or so, and recorded freebird, and a bunch of their hits initially, along w the songs that made up the album street survivors. And they wanted freebird as a single, and the record company wanted them to cut it to 3min or so, and the band and engineer/producer wouldn't budge, so they scratched the recordings from that project, until the tragedy.

You're correct that the tracks for Street Survivors were recorded quite sometime before the crash, and some of the tracks were actually recorded twice - once with Tom Dowd at Ctiteria in Florida, and again at StudioOne in Doraville, Georgia. However....

Freebird wasn't on Street Survivors. It was on their first album release, "Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd" in 1973. It was the song that pretty much jettisoned them into the limelight and started the ball rolling on their career.

Street Survivors, which was released in 1977 - about a week before the crash - included songs like Ooh That Smell, What's Your Name, and You Got That Right.

The album cover sparked some controversy, as it showed the band on the cover, with some members surrounded by flames. Even though this was just coincidence, because the album was released before the tragedy, many thought it was in bad taste to continue to manufacture and sell the LP with that particular picture, because of the plane crash. As a result, and out of respect for the surviving members, MCA Records withdrew the original cover and replaced it with a similar image of the band against a simple black background, which was on the back cover of the original sleeve.

FWIW