new yamaha hs80m studio reference monitors

Discussion in 'Monitoring' started by aphid, Nov 20, 2005.

  1. aphid

    aphid Guest

    so i went into guitar center looking for monitors. i was about to resign myself to ordering the Wharfedale 8.2's or buying the KRK Rokit 8's or the M-Audio BX8a monitors they had up there. Then i got a listen to the Yamaha hs80m speakers they had just gotten in.

    Is it just me or are these things really friggin' good?

    I listened them to the before mentioned speakers and also all the top end Event, Dynaudio and Mackie 8" monitors and it really blew them all away in my opinion. from what i could hear everything was real even, listenable and with no pronounced dips like the other speakers, particularily the Mackie's upper midrange fall out. I couldn't hear any peaks either and the HS80m's had a really tight and low reaching bottom end too. I was horribley impressed. I liked these things even more than the most expensive Dynaudio's they had.

    Somebody correct me if i'm wrong or knows something i don't about them. I went ahead and decided not to buy anything until i got some feedback from some people on this board. They are a little more than i wanted to spend at $350 a channel but i figure these speakers would do me right and I'd never have to upgrade when I got tired of them.
  2. guitar012001

    guitar012001 Guest

    Loving my Yamaha HS80M's!

    I just purchased the HS80M's about four days ago after purchasing and returning the HS50M's. The HS50's sounded great but I wanted a more power at my programming station so I returned them and got the HS80M's. I tune all my monitors to my control room with my DBX Driverack, a must have for anyone serious about mixing in their own studio. It made a world of difference in my monitoring, mixes, and masters. So, as far as the HS80M's are concerned, I have them set completely flat and tuned to the room and they have nice tight low-end and smooth high's. I bought mine and Guiter Center and I don't regret the purchase at all. My main mixing monitors that I've used for about 3 years are my KRK V8's for near-field and a pair of KRK V88's for mid-field and they both sound great! However, I'm going to mix my next television commercial with the HS80M's.
    Must my 2cents! :D
  3. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA
    Hmmm...I've heard the Yamahas (also in a Guitar Center) and while they did sound nice, I don't see how one could describe them as blowing away the Mackies, (which I don't like, but found more robust and realistic nonetheless), Dynaudios and Events. First off, I've actually used all of those competing monitors in a real studio situation and discovered the strengths and weeknesses. Second, I would never base a decision about a loudspeaker on what I heard in Guitar Center. The placement of a monitor and the ambient surroundings (noise, etc.) are crucial to properly evaluating a monitor.

    Also, the Drive Rack is a PA product - intended for live use, not for use on your studio monitors. A studio monitor, on its own, in a well-treated control room is the only solution. Placing a standard (read - non-linear-phase) EQ in front of it, only serves to smear the imaging and create distortion.

    Just some thoughts - not meaning to be a poopie-pants.

    J. :cool:
  4. aphid

    aphid Guest

    thanks for the reponses!

    cucco, thanks for your input.

    i agree with you for the most part. especially tuning a room with an eq. however, for some people that is their only option if they can't treat the room they are in or don't have the cash too. i think a lot of career people forget that most of the other folks in the world are dealing with limited resources and that sometimes an equalizer will atleast get somebody part way there for the time being. i see alot of gear heads and succesfull types generally getting an "all or nothing" attitude that other people can't, unfortunately, afford to adopt right now. i'm all for having somebody using a PA type eq if it gets them any closer at all to a better mix :)

    but i think your general point, however, is that people should avoid doing things like that cause they might be fooling themselves about their mixes....? correct me if i'm wrong.

    i'm also sorry because i don't think i made it clear that i was listening to all of these in a closed off control room setup they have for monitors and high end rack gear. guess its suppose to simulate a control room of sorts. it might not be an actuall studio but i think its the best that any newbie or hobbiest could hope for in terms of comparing monitors side by side in an in-store environment i guess that might point is that if you can't bass your opinion at guitar center, then where can you? i know i don't have access to multi-million dollar studios :D

    you said that you have actually used all of those competeing monitors in a reals studio situationand discovered their strengths and weeknesses. i would then be very interested to know the specifics. for example, i like the smoothness of this monitor but find that presence peak in this monitor helps to keep me from mixing too much vocals, yada yada yada. i am seriously interested to know.

    sorry if i seem impolite, but i get weary from reading people's genuine questions on these boards only to be replied with the whole "you've got it all wrong, this is what you should be asking" and them not even answering their own repurposed question. seems like a lot of people here just want to show off their knowledge and/or gear and not actually contribute the education of people.

    i know that's probably not your intention, sorry. forgive me. it would help that when somebody says something like "can't believe what you hear at guitar center" to atleast let me know where to go afterwards. its just a pet peave of mine i guess. hehehe.

    didn't mean to be rude ;)
  5. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA
    I don't take it as being rude, no worries.

    My concerns are:

    1. For the cost of a crappy EQ, you could easily afford a $100 package of Auralex. This won't be the BEST solution, but it's sure better than even the best EQ for loudspeaker correction.

    2. I know that choosing loudspeakers is a personal endeavor and that everyone has their varying opinions, but what you're comparing here are apples and oranges. The Dynaudios and the higher-end Events are serious, pro ranges of equipment. The Yamahas, while decent sounding, are budget speakers. You may find them to sound better, but you're very right, they are quite peaky. The definition of a good monitor is one that is devoid of these peaks (and subsequently the valleys too.)

    If you can't afford the Dynaudios or the Events but find the Yamahas to be a great sound for the value, that's great (and I would whole-heartedly agree with you). However, to say that the Yamahas bested the Dyn's or the Events seems a little sensationalistic.

    I didn't listen to these in multi-million dollar studios. I listened in my studio. My studio is meager at best and I spent a grand total of $500 on acoustic treatments (a little O/C 703, some fabric and some wood) but I dare say it's far better of a judge of good sounding monitors than any similarly priced EQ.

    So, I too apologize if I sound rude, but that's not my intent. Instead, I simply mean to make sure that people do it right when possible.

    Don't think that I own a multi-million dollar set-up. I started small and still am pretty small. It's just that, everything I have, I built from the ground up. After gig 1, I bought a better mic, after gig 2, I bought better pres, and so on and so on...

    I just don't like to see people waste money on DriveRacks when they're not even using them correctly. Or trick themselves into thinking cheap monitors are a substitute for the real thing.

    Sure, they'll work a heck of a lot better than even the best computer speaker, but they aren't Dynaudios or Events... Sorry...

    J. :D
  6. aphid

    aphid Guest

    heheh, gotcha thanks :)

    so the yamaha's are peaky then? do you feel that they are more hyped to sound good and that the dyn's will translate better?

  7. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA
    In general, I truly do feel that the "flatter" the monitor, the better the sound will translate. If you have a monitor with an exaggerated bass, you will mix the bass lean to compensate.

    I've found the Dynaudios to be some of the cleanest, clearest speakers out there. (Only a few others that I've played with come close or best them:

    The Event ASP 8s are darn near as good too, and at a far cheaper price than the BM15A, they're a real bargain.

    In general though, just about any monitor can be used as long as the room sounds good and you know what issues you have with the speakers at hand.

    So, I guess the short answer to your question is -- yup - I think the Dynaudios will translate better on other systems.

  8. remon

    remon Guest

    hello evereybody,

    the yamahas had a frequency response of 42Hz-20kHz (-10dB)!!!!

    -10db, that´s a wide range.

    i think the rubicon r6a are much better for the price.

  9. aphid

    aphid Guest

    how come you prefer the rubicon's? any hard nose comparisons you couuld give us?
  10. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA
    Hey Remon! Welcome to RO.

    Just a point though - specs mean very little. (To me, they mean just a tad more than nothing, but no more...)

    I'm sure the reason they're quoting -10dB as their reference is that the -10dB point is 42Hz, which is quite reasonable for a monitor. Many manufacturers quote using a +/- 3dB as their reference, which, in my opinion, is still useless. They take the response at 1kHz and see how much it varies and if it doesn't vary more than 3 dB from that 1kHz reference, they quote the frequency range as xHz - xkHz +/- 3dB. The problem is, there's still the potential for 6 dB of variance there. That's a lot!

    Some manufacturers (Paradigm is an example) will quote you +/- 1.5 dB! That's a lot better. That means that there would only be a potential variance of 3 dB over the entire range.

    BUTTTTTTTTT..... Here's the real kicker...
    None (or I should say, very few) of these manufacturers tell you how they came up with this measurement. Some state that they test in an anechoic room. Most of those that claim this are lying since there are only a couple in the world. (Once again, my hat is off to Paradigm as they do in fact test in an anechoic chamber.) But then, others simply close mic all of their drivers and then overlay each driver's response on a chart and remove/compensate for the overlaps and then show that as their plot.

    More specifically, they don't even disclose their testing equipment. Were they using a spectrascope (HP or the like), were they using a cracked version of Cool Edit Pro v1.2, were they using calibrated/certified test microphones like B&K or Gefell, or were they using a Behringer...You get the point.

    My point, though a long winded one, is - Specs are more or less worthless. They get you in the right direction, but little more than that. By no means should they be the determining factor behind a purchase.

    For example - would this speaker appeal to you:
    Drivers - (1) 4.5" (doped paper), (1)1" Soft-dome tweeter
    Freq Resp - 85-20,000 Hz (+/- 3dB)
    Imp - 8 Ohm
    Sensitivity - 86dB/WM

    Most people would reject this based on the specs alone, but in reality, these are the specs to one of the most critically acclaimed loudspeakers of all time, and in my opinion, some of the finest at any price.

    Care to guess what they are??? Anyone???

    j :cool:
  11. remon

    remon Guest


    maybe you´re right, i´m not a pro.

    when somebody understand german please read the article on this site: --- klick the archive button, then go to lautsprecher(monitore) and choose the rubicon.

    there is a picture from the frequency response.

    it´s a very positive test.

    the shops in frankfurt/germany all recommend them.

    you speak about the ns10m ??

    r e m o n
  12. Eriksmusicproduction

    Eriksmusicproduction Active Member

    Oct 17, 2005
    The suspense is killing me :!: :!:
  13. remon

    remon Guest

    the frequency response test is made far away from any wall.
  14. aphid

    aphid Guest

    cucco, is it an NS10?
  15. elektro80

    elektro80 Guest

    I first thought it was the LS3/5a, but the specs aren´t quite the same 8)
  16. Antho

    Antho Guest

    re:" they sounded better than the others"

    So? There is absolutely NO WAY of telling if a monitor will perform its intended duty accurately by noticing it 'sounds better'

    If anything, the 'better' they sound, the more likely they are flattering the mix. This depends of course entirely on what mixes you are listening to.

    When I auditioned the Dynaudio's, they sounded mighty un-impressive on some of the mixes I played on them. Downright unmusical in some cases. I bought them.

    Given the recommendations I'd had for them previously, and given their ability to tell the truth, and not necessarily to 'sound good' , they perform their task with as close to perfection I've come to. I've been mixing on them for three years and I never have to second guess anything now. Most mastering engineers say "I haven't much room to move on this mix, it sounds fine, there's not a lot to do to it. " ASAIC the biggest compliment for engineer, room and monitoring system!

    I'm sure the Yam's are good, just be wary of using 'they sound good' as a basis for comparison.
  17. aphid

    aphid Guest

    okay then, which of these do you think is the most truthfull set of active monitors in the $300 to $700 range?

    Yamaha HS80m
    Wharfedale diamond 8.2a
    Samson Rubicon 6a
    MAudio BX5A
    Behringer B2031A Truth
    KRK RP8 Rokit
    Alesis M1

    please feel free to state your feelings on each monitors set. the more hard nose facts you could give in comparison the better. or please give reasons why you went with your monitors.

    If i've missed any jems, please let me know....

    I might post this as a poll in another thread, even though i think somebody already had done a similar one...
  18. Antho

    Antho Guest

    It's a tough question, as it assumes we / I have A/B'ed all those monitors together or at least done some mixes on each and checked the translation.

    I can say, KRK make some good speakers like the 6000b's but I'm not a fan of their K-Roks, Rokits, or V series. Why? too harsh on the mids for my liking. I was alwaysa ending up with mid shy mixes. Bottom end was sometimes hard to guess too.

    BUT I know OF a few peops that like them, no love them.

    the Wharfedales aren;t specifically monitor speakers, but they seem to perfrom the task well. I have one friend who has them but only 'listens' on them, not mixes. I've read so far two glowing reviews on them....and they seem very favourable.

    The thing about the Wharfedales for me, is that they represent something important. Sometimes, you are better of getting a good quality pair of bookshelf speakers like the dales rather than a 'supposed' quality set of cheap ass monitors. Companies like wharfedale have been around for a long time, and know for instance a lot more about quality control and accuracy than a company like Samson for instance.

    That said, The best mixes I've heard so far on my BM15a's from people I know are from a friend who mixes on behringer Truths. He does lots of dance, ambient etc.... they seem to gel with that kind of music well. His mixes just sound top notch,

    BUT this guy seems to be able to adapt to a new monitoring systems very well. He recenelty moved to Shanghai, and now has to use Mulitmedia speakers, and Hphones. His mixes went through a $*^t phase of adjustment, and now they seem to be as good as always!

    He uses reference CD's to get his sound right. It goes to show how much more imprtant a good refererence CD can be to a good set of mons. ref CD being one with mixes that allow you to assess the deficiencies in a monitoring system you are unused to.

    My recommendation? out of the list you offered? Rokits, Truths,perhaps the new Yammies you speak of (I'd definately give them a chance! :)

    I feel, the truths will allow scope for better moden mixes than the Alesis mon's, but this is based only on the mixes that i've heard come from each (knowing two people with the truths and three with the Alesis's) . but there are soooo many variables like ears, room, room treatment or lack thereof, experience etc that it's really hard to say exactly whats doing what.

    I basically can;t give you a simple answer :) And if someone does... BEWARE!
  19. soundeq

    soundeq Guest

    I'm a big NS-10 fan, so when I saw these I bought a pair to see how they work.
    My normal mixing setup is NS-10 and JBL LSR28's with a sub. (just to give you an idea that I'm not some kid in a basement, I have mixed grammy winning records, and a few billboard #1's)

    the HS80M's sound VERY close to the NS-10's ESPECIALLY WITH VOCALS!
    The top is brighter, and the bottom is extended further (as is to be expected), but the midrange, presence and vocal level is very similar!

    HERES the settings I liked, for an ns-10 esque match.
    Otherwise they kinda sound like the other generic event/mackie stuff...
    hi freq -2
    mid boost +2
    room control -2
    low cut FLAT
    and I put 1ply of a kleenex over the tweeters.
    (even with hi freq at -2 I still thought they were a bit hyped above 10k but not too much, tissues solved that)
    I used them tonight for a mix for the 1st time, and they are working out quite well, I'd say they could easily become more used than my expensive LSR28 setup.
    HERE's the kicker!
    will they be right for you?? MAYBE!
    I'm used to the way NS-10's work for vocals, mids, and the overall level in the mix. I like the way NS-10's work, and you may mix well on NS-10s, or you may not. Just depends on your ears. If your an NS-10 fan check these puppies out. They get about as loud as a pair of NS-10s powered by a bryston 4B. Not really loud, but I probly shouldn't be listening that loud anyhow :)

    So far i'm pretty impressed with the HS80M's
    epsecially for $700 for the pair (when new, my LSR's were over $1000 each!)

    NS-10 purists check these out, you might be suprised. I wouldn't put a mackie/event/m-audio ANYTHING on my meter bridge, but these HS80M's might stay there a while.
  20. Antho

    Antho Guest

    There you go Aphid. If you like NS10's you may like the 80's.

    I hate NS10's with a passion, no offense to any NS10 fans, they have hosted some insanely popular mixes of history and still do!!! they are legends really, can't be denied. But they are innacurate and harsh. Go figure.

    This comes back to my argument for a good quality set of bookshelf speakers, if you have a good reference mix CD and / or learn the crap out of just about ANY speaker, then it can perform great mixes. That doesn't make it any more valid spending $500 for a low end set of monitors, than spending a mere $200 or less for a decent set of bookshelf speakers and then another chunk on a decent amp like a NAD or whatever else cheap but reaosnable quality.

    Basically, you are going to have to do quite a bit of learning with NS10's or anything like them. You are going to have to learn the bookshelf speakers too.

    So it's a matter of choosing a good set of speakers that as far as you can tell are reasonably flat, pretty much most of the ones on your list will do the trick. Then listen to them all with a variety of quality mixes that you'd aim for in the styles of music you are going to be mixing.

    which ones sound the most like you would want them to sound? There's no point buying a set of boxes which you have to mix up a mix you don't like the sound of (example: if the speakers sound harsh and shrill when you play a variety of mixes from the style you are working in, then you may find you will be mixing your mixes to sound similarly harsh and shrill in order to get your stuff to that level. Make sense? if not pelase ask and i'll clarify).

    So it's down to either an expensive quality set of monitors and a treated room for complete and utter accuracy and NO second guessing of mixes, or it's a matter of something cheaper and less accurate and a decent amount of learning the anomolies. and the only way to do that is buy, try and check your mixes out and about, notice the bits that weren't meant to 'sound that way' and correct them and rememebr that for next time and compensate. that and have a MIX REFERENCE CD. As valuable as a good set of monitors you know, and FAR MORE VALUABLE FOR THE TRAVELLING ENGINEER, who needs to use a veriety of different systems in a variety of different rooms.

    Cheers mate. best of luck.
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