buying new monitors - all opinions welcome!

Discussion in 'Monitoring' started by lastounce, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. lastounce

    lastounce Guest

    i'm on a 002, and I am upgrading its converters (both Ad and Da) to an apogee rosetta 800 (96). I shall hook up the monitors from there...

    I'm interested in the ns10ms because of their popularity...but how useful will it really be as my only set of monitors? Would i be better to spring for Dynaudio/Genelec what about Tannoy? so many options...just curious if anyone's got anything to say about the ns10 against some of the more expensive, active stuff coming out. I want to keep the price around $2-3k max, but hopefully less...
  2. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    Mar 24, 2005
    Wow, it's about time someone finally brought up the subject of monitors. It's never been discussed here. Ever.
  3. lastounce

    lastounce Guest

    or you could make my life easier by simply responding to what the deal is with the NS10 and the ups and downs against expensive stuff like genelec/dyanaudio is. Specific questions here. I've looked around, didnt see an answer, so I'm asking.

    anyone? specific differences from NS10 to more expensive things - I know very little about them.
  4. iznogood

    iznogood Member

    Feb 9, 2004
    a bit OT..... but listen to an RME converter instead of the rosetta...

    sounds better to me...

    but if you're going for ns10's you won't be able to tell the difference!!

    go for a nice pair of hifi speakers and a seperate amp instead..... much more value for money
  5. lastounce

    lastounce Guest

    okay that sounds interesting. so the NS10 deal is that they arent really monitors in teh sense of JBL, Gegnelec or Dynaudio, they are just hifi stereo speakers?

    So what is the popularity of NS10 then, anyway? is it a dying breed?

    Also good tip about RME - I'll research it a bit, I'm not familiar with them at all! Any particualr models you suggesT?
  6. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

    Apr 21, 2005
    I've heard many stories of how these monitors became popular. The most recent was that a famous producers in the late 70's early 80's needed some reference monitors and blindly bought the ns10's and word of mouth spread from there. I'm not sure I really believe this story but you never know. I've heard the ns10's are the worst popular studio monitor ever. Just do a search on as many recording forums as you can and you'll see lots of negative talk about them. I've even seen pictures of guys using tissue paper over the tweets. Save your money and buy some real monitors.
  7. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    Mar 24, 2005
    Alright, now that I got my 'being a jerk' out of my system, here's the "Legend of the NS-10's" as I was told by a seasoned engineer (several platinum albums under his belt): Take it with a grain of salt, it could be BS.

    Now how much of that is BS I don't know, but it seems feasible. In reality, NS-10s aren't going to compare sonically to Dynaudio's or Genelecs, but people do great mixes on them every single day. I would highly recommend listening to a pair first, because some people love them, and some people can't stand them. This applys to any monitor really. Another downfall of NS-10's is that they're out of production, and replacement components are getting more and more expensive, as well as harder to find.

    Like I said, sonically speaking, a pair of Genelecs or Dynaudio's is a better monitor. Both are of great build quality, so it really comes down to what you like the sound of most. I personally prefer Dynaudio's over Genelec's any day, but that's just me.

    EDIT: Tannoy also makes a good monitor. I mixed a few songs on some older system 8's (not sure what amp was powering them) and was very pleased. I've also heard the Tannoy Reveals (budget models) and thought they were crap.
  8. RAIN0707

    RAIN0707 Guest

    Couldn't agree more with jonnyc. Be much better off with something from Dynaudio or Genelec.
  9. bigtree1969

    bigtree1969 Guest


    I run a pair of Tannoy system 600 monitors oin conjunctio with a Mass Technology 250 amp. Those of you who are seasoned veterans will probably say this is low-end rubbish but I find they work as a nice set-up if you only have 1 set available to you.

    I normally test the mix on a number of friends hi-fi systems & car stereos (not very orthodox I know...) - this is because most ppl will be in that environment when they listen to the product. It was sufficient to get me 2 indy metal deals (stop laughing... :D ), not that this counts for much but at least it proves it can work without a £00000.00 system.

    cheers, audiokid1969
  10. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    It IS a good idea to use higher end converters when mixing from the digital environment. WHAT you mix on will be totally up to you and your ears in your environment with your style or preference of material at hand. Another round of whats better-than-this-is-better-than-that-is better-than...................etc simply an exercise in bandwidth usage. That being said, the use of NS-10's without a large number of prior-usage hours on them can be a frustrating time and may seem like a bad idea...until you 'learn' them...And realize that without a doubt, your mixing environment will be the MOST important aspect to your monitor choices. Certainly much more than name-brand labels and others opinions.
    NS-10's are a very good reference monitor. A second set if you will.I owned NS-10's....for a while... used them as reference monitors.....Had both JBL 4311's and a set of Urie 803's...I liked the fact that when the NS-10's actually sounded good, that I was usually on the right track towards a decent mix. I got the same results from my 'Horror-tones' and a set of AR's with an 8" woofer. I still get that same result with a set of Celestion Model 3 bookshelfs. In the end its a learning process and any selection you make in any direction is going to have a learning curve.....some longer than others but not necessarily less productive.
  11. NS10's are not a great monitor and hard to find these days..

    Excellent post. I can't believe this subject is not brought up more often. It is my humble opinion that the NS10's are very mid-range heavy. If you listen to 80's music, most of it was mixed on these and it shows. The other issue is that most of these are now old and trashed. It is just plain hard to get a decent pair. If you are on a budget and want a flat pair, I suggest the powered Behringer's. I originally bought a pair of these as a second reference to my Gens and partly because I wanted to know if they were any good. After getting them in, I've found I love them. A lot of people knock the Behringer name, but I have to admit I am turning out some of my best and most accurate mixes on them. At $300 and some change a pair, they are a steal. Keep in mind that a monitor is only as good as the person interpreting them. Plenty of people own high-end monitors and turn out bad mixes. The secret is in finding a monitor that you can easily work with.

    As for the gentleman that suggested passive monitors and a separate power amp, I have to disagree. You will always have the best signal when the power is integrated. There are fewer factors that come into play, ie noise amp outputs, pots and bad cable.

  12. lastounce

    lastounce Guest

    would you say the difference in the quality between passive and active is worth the additional $1000 or so? (if yo ugo with a used amp, that is).

    As far as the NS10s, they really need to be demistified. are the major studios around the world still using them?
  13. I've seen them less and less but they're still a fixture and in the studios you refer to, always used in conjunction with a pair(s) of a very different flavor. Not to sound pedantic but certainly the listening environment will greatly influence any monitors' performance and having other references (read:eek:ther monitors, speakers, etc) is preferred.

    As for the passive vs. active debate: An engineer once told me he hooked his NS10s up to a very high end power amp and was floored by how much 'better' they sounded. This isn't news of course but I feel like actives are probably the easier route unless you have some cash to drop on a great power amp. With that said, one advantage passives afford is space saving. Obviously you LOSE space in your rack for the power amp, but if you don't have a lot of space for the monitors themselves you gain it. The Bm6's are a lot less bulky than their active counterparts since they lack the onboard amp...
  14. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    The debate between passive vs. active could be a whole thread in itself and has been hashed out at one time or another here as well as many locales of the net and bar-stools throughout the world....

    So which is better? I like the take on the space-saving, though if you are strapped for bridge-space then your rack is probably in a similar configuration. Or not.

    Sonically, I have been to both places and while I love the component matched and well engineered soundscape provided for me by Genelec, theres something about the headroom that comes with a nice big pair of passive monitors being driven by a true voltage in-voltage out amplifier. For those of you who have not experienced a great set of tri-amped well designed speakers with some seriously transformer'd critical power behind em....well its worth hearing at least once. For me, it was soffitt mounted Westlakes tri-amped with Crowns....yeah...old skool...but they NEVER least not before your ears did.....

    Dont know if this is better....My Genelecs sound great and are accurate(to my ear) and have width,depth, and detail. Just about all you could ask for in a monitor, and they translate well. A lot of talk about engineer with that good ear can make any speaker translate given the time and environment to do so.

    A while back we discussed the placement of monitors in peoples studios, and when most responded with their locations, many werent really using what they had in an optimum way. It really didnt matter what they were listening on as their placement in the environment was hampering their ability to get the most from the speakers they had. Perhaps a new round of this discussion is in order.

    Your thoughts on this.
  15. Digger

    Digger Guest

    I think with Dave's quote below, he has hit upon a key point;
    'My Genelecs sound great and are accurate(to my ear)'

    I believe that once you are in the upper echelon of near field monitor brands it is largely an issue of what you are used to mixing on. The real key for any near field monitor is learning to mix on those speakers. Learning how to avoid over/under compensating for various frequencies that may be lacking or hyped in your monitors.

    I own a pair of BM6A's and I love them, but I know that there are guys who prefer mixing on NS-10M's who can mix circles around me - sonically speaking, I arguably have a 'better' set of monitors - but their experience and understanding of what works with their monitors will win out everytime.

    My suggestion is; Find a strong retail partner, bring home two or three well known brands that are discussed frequently in this forum and find out what you like best from initial listening. Listen to mixes on each of the monitors. Once you have commited mentally to something you like, you will learn to compensate for weaknesses that are part of any monitor.

    I will say that if you are planning a career in engineering it might be a good idea to learn how to mix on Genelecs as they seem to be in a lot of studios. It can't hurt to have some experience with mixing on them.

    On another note I have a friend of mine who swears by his pair of Meyer HD-1's. I mention it not because I agree with him but becuase they are not frequently mentioned or talked about - food for thought, cheers!
  16. lastounce

    lastounce Guest

    I definitely am finding that the space thing is crucial. I know I dont have the right space...or I shall start by figuring out how to make it the acoustics forum with that ..unless someone has a few words of wisdom or tips for a small, almost squared room (10ftx13ft).
  17. TeddyG

    TeddyG Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    1. NS10's are still used(Heard myself through a pair at a fine studio in Philadelphia, just yesterday, as I've been hearing myself for alot of years.), though no longer available new from Yamaha. What are still around are old enough that they are pretty much out of the "new monitor" picture, no matter what you think of them.

    2. If I had no proven listening environment(Not "tuned" by someone who knows.), I would stick with smaller speakers, placed close to me, so the environment would not be as much of a factor. The Yamaha MSP5a's would be my choice.

    3. Though there has always been controversy on it's implementation(Which I can certainly neither prove nor disprove.), I have always liked the "idea" of concentric drivers. So, if I wanted to spend more money on speakers the Emes "Blacks", would be my first choice. The "Amber" "sub" would not be needed, by me(And as these are quite "full range" speakers, maybe not by most?), but would be fun to have if I wanted to spend even more money.

  18. bounce

    bounce Guest

    Just another plug for my Truth Audio (not behringer) TA-1P's. Best thing that ever happend to my mixes. They don't sound "hi-fi" at all, just flat (maybe a small bump at 125) and translate better than anything I've used. The passive ones are $699 a pair direct and the actives are about $1300, I believe. No, I don't work for or near them. They are not well known and not sold in big stores (or any stores for that matter, that's why they are low priced- no middle person). They just rock. Don't sound pretty like many of the other Guitar Center collection- just plain and enormously useful. They'll let you try 'em for 2 weeks IN YOUR ROOM and give you your money back if you no likey. There ya go.

  19. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    Mar 24, 2005
    I've actually heard those Truth's before. I didn't really know what they were (looked at the pic on the website and it clicked), and thought they were a lot more expensive. Definitely a good set of monitors.

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