Skip to main content
Connecting the recording world together...

Neumann KH 120 vs Dynaudio BM6A

Wow, quick skinny on the [[url=http://[/URL]="http://www.Neumann-kh-line.com/Neumann-kh/home_en.nsf/root/prof-monitor…"] KH 120 A[/]="http://www.Neumann-kh-line.com/Neumann-kh/home_en.nsf/root/prof-monitor…"] KH 120 A[/]
What excellent near fields active studio monitors, including stellar for my mobile recording rig. These are very well built and only 13.7 lbs.

I just received mine yesterday so they are breaking in but I'm really impressed. My first impression, the mids are where they shine.

There are three settings to adjust Low, Mid and High freqs.
Obviously too early to hear what I'm able to nail down for pro's & cons but it sounds like they will be a big asset helping me tighten up everything around 200 to 2.5. Comparing them to new Dynaudio BM6A (Mosfets) , The KH120 have a definite shine in the mids that appears to be missing in the BM6A's.
Matching levels was a snap.

They don't have the same power handling as the BM6A but its plenty loud enough.

The logo's on the monitors are really cool. When powered up, they light up and when they clip, they turn red. How bright they go is also adjustable.
I'll report back after a few weeks with more. As it is right now, these sound really good and they are built solid.

Comments

Profile picture for user thatjeffguy

thatjeffguy Fri, 06/24/2011 - 09:25

I've been curious to hear these as well, glad you'll be reporting here. I've loved my Mackie HR824 monitors for nearly 15 years, but I need to provide some playback monitors in my live room. I'm thinking of moving the Mackies to the live room and getting the Neumanns for the mixing. Looking forward to your experience with them!
Jeff

Profile picture for user Davedog

Davedog Tue, 06/28/2011 - 12:32

I know that a lot of people have liked those HR824's but I was never able to get around the bass response. I had large Polk Audios in my living room for years and always liked the passive radiator set-up in a listening environment.....just not a critical environment.

So Jeff, my question is, do you tend to use EQ in the lower registers at mix? Cutting I would think in order to translate? Its what a friend of mine did for years with those monitors.....I'm just wondering.

Those Neumann's are like anything else that Neumann puts their stamp on......they probably work really well. Its like the True Systems mic pres....A lot of semi-distrustfull thinking on them at first....then as they became more common in usage, they are found to be serious clean and huge soundfield pres. Go figure.

Profile picture for user thatjeffguy

thatjeffguy Tue, 06/28/2011 - 12:46

Hi Dave... To tell the truth I have come to know these monitors so well that I automatically compensate when mixing. I do tell my clients, if they're in the room, that the speakers make the bass louder than it really is, and not to make a judgement on it until they've lived with the mix on their own for a few days. But no, I don't cut it with EQ. In the early years I was mostly mixing my own material and, being a bass lover, I would even be boosting the low end, but noticing it was not as heavy when played on other speakers. That was my learning period with these monitors.

This is one of the reasons I'm hesitant to replace them with the KH 120s, It will mean learning a whole new listening and mixing routine. But this is also one of the reasons that I WANT to replace them! I would prefer to have a more accurate sonic picture of my mixes. The bass-heaviness of the Mackies won't matter so much for playback in my live room.

Jeff

bigtree Mon, 07/25/2011 - 15:43

Hi Jeff,

4 people coming into my studio all blind tested to like the KH120 over the BM6A.

Their mid range detail is better. My only complaint is I wish they were a bit louder for the times you just want to crank them. I think they are more accurate than the BM6A's but its what you get used to. Both monitors are so nice. If that isn't an issue, and for the size and what they are really optimized for, I highly recommend them.

So far, I think I will produce more accurate mixes with them over the dynaudio. I'm not sure if I want a sub yet. If I do, I think I would just get a bigger third main monitor and have it close to all covered. The Neumann big boys must be awesome.

PS:

I should add, I love the BM6A and I won't be selling those. I can't say for certain which I would buy if they were my first set of near fields but sit on this:
I think the KH120's would come out on top but not certain at this moment (need more time). KH120's have more control settings and they are built to take some road rash. They have a nice optional stand that I definitely want to buy. You can adjust them perfectly with those.
The BM6A have less control ( they are what they are) and are a nicer looking, slightly louder and quite a bit larger in size. When you A/B them to the BM6A's, the BM6A's seem like they are missing mids. That's what really stands out to me.

Also, the KH120's are less bright than the BM6A's. Not sure if this is a good thing or bad.

Sorry I can't have more than this at this point.

You got to hear them, they are amazing for sure.

BassLiK Tue, 11/08/2011 - 14:19

audiokid, post: 374443 wrote: Hi Jeff,

4 people coming into my studio all blind tested to like the KH120 over the BM6A.

Their mid range detail is better. My only complaint is I wish they were a bit louder for the times you just want to crank them. I think they are more accurate than the BM6A's but its what you get used to. Both monitors are so nice. If that isn't an issue, and for the size and what they are really optimized for, I highly recommend them.

So far, I think I will produce more accurate mixes with them over the dynaudio. I'm not sure if I want a sub yet. If I do, I think I would just get a bigger third main monitor and have it close to all covered. The Neumann big boys must be awesome.

PS:

I should add, I love the BM6A and I won't be selling those. I can't say for certain which I would buy if they were my first set of near fields but sit on this:
I think the KH120's would come out on top but not certain at this moment (need more time). KH120's have more control settings and they are built to take some road rash. They have a nice optional stand that I definitely want to buy. You can adjust them perfectly with those.
The BM6A have less control ( they are what they are) and are a nicer looking, slightly louder and quite a bit larger in size. When you A/B them to the BM6A's, the BM6A's seem like they are missing mids. That's what really stands out to me.

Also, the KH120's are less bright than the BM6A's. Not sure if this is a good thing or bad.

Sorry I can't have more than this at this point.

You got to hear them, they are amazing for sure.

How about a follow up audiokid?, I'm so close to buying one of the two. Of I'll be happy either way considering what I had before. BIG THANKS

bigtree Tue, 11/08/2011 - 14:29

Lets put it this way. My control room is treated very well. My monitoring system is excellent. For the room I'm in, to my ears, Neumann KH120's thumb are totally right on. I hardly use the Dynaudio's now. I highly recommend them.

(y)

IIRs Tue, 11/08/2011 - 14:57

thatjeffguy, post: 373267 wrote: I've loved my Mackie HR824 monitors for nearly 15 years

I've been running the HR626 versions for about 10 years, and I love them! They're basically the same spec as the 824s but with dual 6" drivers in a d'appolito configuration, which helps to keep the low end a bit tighter I think:

 

I don't think they sold very well, which is surprising cos they sound great. But I got a decent discount when I bought them so I'm not complaining! (Not as good a deal as the HRS150 sub I now run with them however: that was a gift from Liam Howlett of the Prodigy!)

Attached files

bigtree Wed, 11/16/2011 - 10:24

This has just been posted by Thor:
***************

FWIW, I auditioned both these just last week, at B&H (horrible untreated room) and Dale Pro Audio (designed and treated listening room). My impression of both was the same in both places. The Dynaudio's have some sort of weird bass boost, somewhat scooped mids and extremely harsh treble, while the Neumanns (neé Klein & Hummel) sounded muffled and lifeless (set flat, we did try different setting to see if that would help the balance). Oh, they (Neumanns) also had some peak resonance that had the bass/kick on a few tracks jumping way out in front of everything. Truly unsettling...

I was hoping to audition the Focal Solo 6 Be as well as the ATC SCM20SL and brand new Pelonis 4288, but none of these were available, unfortunately. The Pelonis 42's sounded amazing, considering it's basically a tweeter in a box (i.e. within the limited range of frequencies it covered, it did so really well), but with no sub it was impossible to say how the system would sound in real world use. A pair of ADAM's was the closest to neutral I was able to find (and as much as I liked ADAMs when they first arrived on the scene, I like a lot of other monitors better).

This was with several CD sources of good recordings, not some harsh low bitrate MP3s :-)

Just my 2 cents, YMMV, etc.

Cheers,
Thor

bigtree Wed, 11/16/2011 - 10:26

Its always good to hear other opinions. I disagree on your findings though but thanks just the same.

Monitors this great couldn't be that bad, no way:) I'm thinking the songs you listened to were revealing how poor they were actually mixed and how good those babies are! What did you listen too?
Hearing monitors in your studio at the right sitting position is one thing I recommend because you are using them in there. You choose monitors for your room not how they sound is a retail shop.
Q: Were all the monitors you listened to, near fields? Did the pro audio room have other sizes in their room or were all the monitors basically near fields like these?

The [[url=http://[/URL]="http://www.kh120.Neumann.com/"]KH120[/]="http://www.kh120.Neumann.com/"]KH120[/] sound amazing to me and are not coloured. I'm thinking they are revealing a lifeless production.

I think your heard the facts but are interpreting this as a negative when in fact, you actually heard what a bad mix sounds like in a bad room, serious!

I'll have to research those Pelonis 42.

Cheers!

bigtree Wed, 11/16/2011 - 10:26

NOTE: We had a database error during this thread and lost some posts so I'm reposting what we could from a backup cache. This has just been posted by thor:

I didn't mean to be extreme. All of the monitors were fine. None were great. Some sounded flawed (in different degrees - from slightly to very).

The differences were obvious, but everybody's ears are different. Our assistant engineer was with me, and heard things pretty much the same as I did. We listened to a variety of excellent sounding commercially released CDs as well as some stuff we've done and know very well. I.e. stuff with detail, dynamics, wide frequency range and excellent players. Not your typical hypercompressed pop/rock stuff (although we listened to that, too!)

While I took what I heard at B&H with a hugh handful of salt, the listening room at Dale is basically a treated control room. It sounds fine. Unfortunately, since I don't have my studio in NYC, I'm not able to audition speakers in my own room. The shipping alone to bring over a few for audition would be as much as one of these pairs...

We listened to near fields since we're in the market for nearfields. Studio A has full range panels and sub, 700W monoblocks all in a purpose built room. I'm not expecting something of that caliber in the B room, but would like something fairly neutral and well balanced, and that doesn't subtract or add anything. I had high hopes for several monitors we tried, based on what I'd read, and was ultimately disappointed. Seeing the review here was timely, as the memory was fresh (I was there last week).

Again, tastes, especially as far as monitors go, is extremely subjective. I'm only saying what I heard. YMMV, and one should always check out for themselves before buying - ideally in your own room, as you point out.

Definitely do check out the 42s. You might find them a bit forward and bright, which I think is mostly a result of no bass or low-mids being reproduced (we were able to pick out bass lines on a few recordings, on others the entire bottom end was missing, depending on the mix). Unfortunately the sub wasn't available when we were there to listen, but it should be interesting to hear it and how it integrates with the speakers.

Best regards,
Thor

bigtree Sun, 01/29/2012 - 17:07

Any of you guys have a chance to listen to these? Despite Thor's much appreciated review, I still love them after months. very detailed mids IMO. I'm adding some subs in the next week which should really finish these off.
Using the Dangerous Music, Monitor ST lets me use one sub for 3 sets of speakers, now does that ROCK! I'm choosing Dynaudio [[url=http://[/URL]="http://www.dynaudioacoustics.com/Default.asp?Id=5137"]BM9[/]="http://www.dynaudioacoustics.com/Default.asp?Id=5137"]BM9[/].

Profile picture for user thatjeffguy

thatjeffguy Sun, 01/29/2012 - 17:42

Hi audiokid...

I just got my KH 120's last week to replace my Mackie HR824's. BIG improvement in several areas. By comparison, the Mackies, as we know, have an exaggerated low end. The KH 120's have a much tighter, better defined low end. The Mackie low end is mushy by comparison.

The best way to describe the significant characteristic of the KH 120's is to say they are DETAILED and 3-DIMENSIONAL compared to the Mackies. Everything has more depth and clarity. The low end is balanced not exaggerated.

They have great dynamics, translating to punch and thump that the Mackies lacked. All in all this is a substantial improvement over an acknowledged winning set of monitors (the Mackies).

I don't think I've been happier with a purchase decision (well, maybe until my LA2A arrives!). I can now install the Mackies for playback in my live room. They were a little large for my control room anyway, which is only about 9' w X 10' d & properly treated. My listening position is only 3.5 ft. from each speaker, so these Neumanns are better suited to my use.

I can't imagine what Thor was experiencing hearing these as "flat". Perhaps someone had hit the 'mono' button on the desk by accident? Anyway, very happy with the KH 120s here!

Jeff

bigtree Sun, 01/29/2012 - 17:50

right on!

oo la la, and I can't WAIT for your comments when you plug that LA-2A in... OMG! It will change a man forever. I do not need a woman anymore lol. Well, in the control room anyway :) smoke

bigtree Wed, 02/15/2012 - 21:39

BM9 arrived and so far I love it. Its a beautiful match for the KH120's and the Dynaudio BM6A's.

I bought the Dangerous Monitor ST last year for various reasons. Namely, its incredible sounding (I mean transparent) and packed full of every feature you need.
One excellent feature worth mentioning here: The Monitor ST has the ability to use one SUB for 3 sets of monitors and does it ever work great! I can switch between 3 nearfields and one sub with perfect phase and matching levels. Everything is programmable with this. I highly recommend this too. thumb

Cheers!

dreamtuned Wed, 05/25/2016 - 15:41

Hi there,

I am a new owner of Dynaudio BM 6A and it is a big improvement for my previous Adam F7.
In the studio where I work part time, we mix on Adam p11A and as a B monitor we use a pair of KH 120.

As you said, the mids are accentuated on the Neumans. When we are done mixing on the Adams, and we reference the track on the Neumans the vocal is always too much (which was not the case on the Adams). The Adams have accentuated highs (as probably most of the Adams do).

A guy who recommended the Neumans KH 120 on the owner of the studio said to him that Neumans KH 120 are great reference speaker because you will hear on them what will go on the radio, that is, will translate well (which is probably the case with the accentuated mids).

I would prefer the Dynaudios over the Neumans for the several points you made, one of them the volume/loudness.

I am in love with the Dynaudios. I will follow up with the new insights as time goes by with these pairs of speakers.

P.S. a friend of mine is an owner of Neuman KH 310 and I can say that it is probably the best speaker I was able to hear in my life. It is so precise that you could find things you don't like in the mixes of the best mixing engineers in the world. The example of not a detailed speaker is the Adam F7 (which the guy who owns Neuman KH 31o also owns and compares with it). You hear a nice sounding song but nothing more (on the F7's), and everything sounds good on them. You are done with the mix in no time, which is not the case with the Dynaudios for example, you need to work harder because you here details which needs to be taken care of.

Profile picture for user DonnyThompson

DonnyThompson Fri, 05/27/2016 - 02:35

thatjeffguy, post: 373454, member: 38103 wrote: To tell the truth I have come to know these monitors so well that I automatically compensate when mixing.

I think that most any cooker would admit that this is an important part of the mix process. "Knowing" your NF's - along with being familiar with your room's response - is a common part of the process.
It can take a little time to get accustomed to those things, but I think it's an important step regardless of what you use; to get used to monitors and an environment, so that you can figure out those things and compensate accordingly so that mixes translate well to other PB systems.

Lots of great sounding records have been mixed through monitors that were far from "flat". Over the years, I've mixed some pretty good-sounding albums on speakers that were a lot less "boutique" than either of these models mentioned.

And, some fairly flat speakers aren't always pleasant to mix through over extended periods of time, either. I recall a mix session once where I became pretty well toasted after about an hour of mixing at 75 db through a pair of very expensive Genelecs...

But....that doesn't mean I still wouldn't enjoy having a pair of top caliber NF's like these Neumann's or Dynaudio's to cook through. ;)

I would think that either pair would suffice very nicely in providing an accurate response.... as long as the space was also fairly well balanced, too.

Like everyone else here, I am on the same never-ending quest for the various tools that provide the best/most accurate sound possible.

;)

Profile picture for user Davedog

Davedog Fri, 05/27/2016 - 16:04

I still have my KH-120's. I like them. A good reference to the mids. They are not nearly loud enough and for a larger room they wouldn't be a number one certainly nowhere close to a mid-field. I have gone back to a passive set-up. Killer crossovers and components and a great amp specially prepared by Sundholm Engineering. Later this year I will step up with a "better" pair of the same monitor I'm using now with much better parts and some design tweaks. I still like the powered sets . There's a lot to be said about systems that are designed to be part of the whole. What I really find with an excellent passive system is the clarity is better and they become 'more listenable' for longer periods of time. Since I'm not in the business of cooking someone elses tracking, I don't have a lot of need for surgery. That doesn't mean that these passives I have aren't surgical. They are, and being able to bounce from the Neumanns and back makes for a pretty good fact checker. I moved my little Genelcs with the sub into the living room and I'm really surprised how good these sound as home stereo speakers. I have a pair of Dahlquists in the rear position for my 5.1 in the living room, but these will be changed out to another pair of the Genelecs sometime in the future. Checking a mix is very telling in the living room.