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Neumann KH80 dsp - very impressed Studio Monitors
Old 1 week ago
  #1
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Neumann KH80 dsp - very impressed

Ok, so we all know monitors are a very personal thing and no one size fits all. So these are my highly subjective thougths about the Neumann KH80 dsp monitors after doing a couple of mixes on them. Take it for what it's worth

But I do mix hundreds of songs every year and I've grown quite conscious about what I hear. I've spent time on ATC, PMC, Focals, most any Genelec ever made, Pelonis, Tannoy coaxials... lots of different speakers over the years.

My PMC two two 5's blew up and I needed a substitute fast so without overthinking I went and grabbed a pair of KH80's after reading up on them.

What intriqued me about them was Neumann's own sales text about their design philosophy and the fact that not only do they publish the measurement graphs (not many do) - they look really good too.

I wanted to wait a couple of weeks before writing about them here so I could get some hours down working on them first. And to make sure that my very positive first impression rhymes with more long-term experience.

And it does. These little boxes perform so well.

The only word I can really think of to describe them is FOCUS. Such a focused sound. The accuracy is outstanding. The dynamic detail is outstanding. The way you hear into the mix is outstanding.

Every frequency seems so cleanly reproduced over the entire dynamic range that mixing becomes both easy and scary hard at the same time.

The upper bass and low mids are some of the most clean and articulate I've ever heard. The way you can hear the interaction between bass drums, bass and other LF stuff is just great.

The dynamic detail too. Setting and hearing compression on these is a joy.

The speed and transient response seems very, very fast and clean.

As a monitoring tool - for me - they tick all the boxes. I'm really quite amazed.

Finishing a mix on the KH80's.... well... they sure make you work hard. I just kept hearing flaws and problems in the mix, almost to the point of frustration. Almost thinking that I did not nail these tunes. When sending out mixes to the artist and clients the feedback was the opposite - "we're crying here, the mix sounds so good!"

My conclusion if a have one... these might just be the best value in monitors today. The performance is simply outstanding for the price.

They might not wow you instantly in the store as they do not have a "sound". They are designed to be clean and accurate. But once you set them up properly in a treated room and "learn" them, which will take a while, you just might be a very happy mixer.

Oh, one more thing. What's even more mind-boggling is the fact that this is a 4" monitor. Tiny!


Last edited by gainreduction; 1 week ago at 08:19 AM..
Old 1 week ago
  #2
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Here you can see how small it is next to the 8030 and mixcube...
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Old 1 week ago
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One more....
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Neumann KH80 dsp - very impressed-img_8154.jpg  
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Gear Maniac
I've been really happy with mine for the past year. I'm finally moving into a bigger space though, and have been looking at the possibility of getting something bigger or possibly just getting a sub to pair with these. Are you keeping them over the TwoTwo5? Also I'm wondering if you've heard The Ones from Genelec and how they might compare.
Old 1 week ago
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Yup, the two two 5's are going out and the Neumann's are staying!

I have not worked on The Ones from Genelec yet, but am very interested in trying them out. I have only heard good things about them.

Congrats on your new space
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Gear Maniac
Yeah, that's definitely quite an endorsement for the KH80s. I was reading a bit about the PMCs and considering trying them out. I'm also definitely interested in the Genelec One series, but it might just be Gear Acquisition Syndrome. It seems like a lot of the things that people like about the Ones (clarity, point-source sound, virtually perfect phase response) also apply to the KH80s. The KH80s sound as if they're essentially point-source for me when listened to from a few feet back, maybe because they're so small and the woofer/tweeter are very close together.

Anyway, if you ever do get a chance to compare them, let me know! In the meantime I may just try picking up the KH805 Sub once the new space is finished and seeing what I get from that pairing.
Old 1 week ago
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Originally Posted by Gammon2004 View Post
... In the meantime I may just try picking up the KH805 Sub once the new space is finished and seeing what I get from that pairing.
congrats on that! i have the kh810 (along with my tad stereo and tannoy dmt10 surround setup) and i think it's one of the best subs available, even when compared to much more expensive subs from other manufacturers.
Old 1 week ago
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Very interesting read. I currently have the KH120’s and have considered upgrading to something like the PMC twotwo 5’s, PSIa17 or Unity Audio Rock mkII but am now tempted to hold on and see if Neumann release DSP versions of the KH120’s!
Old 1 week ago
  #9
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Sorry for being off-topic, but what are the 8030s for? I wouldn't mix anything on those because of the muddy low mids. Good for listening though. Cheers!
Old 1 week ago
  #10
SRS
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Long time KH120 and now KH420 with KH870 sub flush mounted. I'm a believer. They just perform at the highest level. True and accurate.
Old 6 days ago
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Originally Posted by SRS View Post
Long time KH120 and now KH420 with KH870 sub flush mounted. I'm a believer. They just perform at the highest level. True and accurate.
May I ask what is the sub for? The 420s already go pretty low. Thanks!
Old 6 days ago
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreiPiatra View Post
Sorry for being off-topic, but what are the 8030s for? I wouldn't mix anything on those because of the muddy low mids. Good for listening though. Cheers!
Lots of clients (producers, artists and labels) have them so it's a point of reference. One of many. I don't mix on them, just the occasional check.
Old 6 days ago
  #13
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Originally Posted by gainreduction View Post
Lots of clients (producers, artists and labels) have them so it's a point of reference. One of many. I don't mix on them, just the occasional check.
Yeah, yeah, that makes sense, didn't know they were so popular, cheers!
Old 6 days ago
  #14
SRS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreiPiatra View Post
May I ask what is the sub for? The 420s already go pretty low. Thanks!
Fair question. Yes, the KH420 does go "pretty low" at 26Hz. However, the KH870 goes to 18Hz. While this might seem somewhat unnecessary, it is great for checking the very low, almost unheard, low end. In addition to that, another great benefit is that the KH870 has a Max SPL of 116.7db, which, when in use, allows the KH420s to run with higher SPL as the low end is being taken care of by the sub. This effectively gains more volume in the room in a noticeably cleaner fashion, which was important in my CR as it is relatively large. My planning and research paid off, and the system performs seamlessly both with and without the sub activated, provided the acoustical adjustments are dialed in properly, which in my case required very little adjustment thanks to the overall room design.

Last edited by SRS; 6 days ago at 06:57 PM.. Reason: Changed "subsonic" to "unheard"-better word
Old 6 days ago
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SRS View Post
Fair question. Yes, the KH420 does go "pretty low" at 26Hz. However, the KH870 goes to 18Hz. While this might seem somewhat unnecessary, it is great for checking the very low, almost subsonic, low end. In addition to that, another great benefit is that the KH870 has a Max SPL of 116.7db, which, when in use, allows the KH420s to run with higher SPL as the low end is being taken care of by the sub. This effectively gains more volume in the room in a noticeably cleaner fashion, which was important in my CR as it is relatively large. My planning and research paid off, and the system performs seamlessly both with and without the sub activated, provided the acoustical adjustments are dialed in properly, which in my case required very little adjustment thanks to the overall room design.
Kindly, kindly thank you, dear sir. Very smart technology, always thought that through this technique the amount of acoustic energy is going to stay the same, only differently transmitted and hitting lower frequencies. Wow! Thank you so much for educating me!
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