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NS-10's??? Studio Monitors
Old 21st August 2007
  #1
Here for the gear
 

NS-10's???

Do I really need them (NS-10's) to get my mixes better, or can i stick with my KRK's?
Old 21st August 2007
  #2
Here's a subject that needs to be stickified. (Just kidding. I hate stickies.)


NS10m's are about a quarter century old design. They're very bass shy, dropping off fairly rapidly under 80-90 Hz. They're not nearly as flat as better affordable NFM's today, emphasizing upper mids. Mix on them only and, depending on the type of music you do, you're likely to end up with problems in the bass that you can't hear. (Or can't hear without a sub. Me, I don't like subs.) If you're not used to the tonal balance, you may also end up with less upper mid than you expected. That said, that's a range that burns out as your listener fatigue increases and that inadvertant compensation may be part of why NS10m's are favored by some. Me, I think they can tend to increase listener fatigue.

The are good as a kind of magnifying glass that emphasized often problematic frequencies (upper mids/low highs) that are crucial to a good mix.

But trying to use NS10m's as your only monitor may well be asking for trouble.


FWIW, I've owned a pair of NS10m's for over a decade now. When they were primaries, my mixes tended to have problems with bass. They had problems with the upper-mid. I found when I sidelined them as secondary references and bought some considerably more full range, flatter speakers (Event 2020bas) my mixes improved a lot.

Everyone works differently and there are those who use NS10m's to do most of their mixing -- but if they don't also have some fuller, flatter speakers, it's my thinking they're going to have to work hard to produce reliable results.

_________________


This brings up the issue of uninformed hype...

While there's no question that NS10m's can be a valuable tool, we have a situation where folks repeat other people's opinions, which themselves are sometimes just a repetition of someone else's opinion until two things have happened: the original information is degraded. ("I use NS10m's all the time but I also have to use some full-spectrum monitors to catch problems with the bass," becomes "I use NS10m's all the time," which seems to become "You have to use NS10m's..." AND the information is repeated so often that it begins to take the weight of fact.

Anyhow, the cure for this is informed skepticism.

And lots of it.
Old 21st August 2007
  #3
Gear Addict
 
ezrecords's Avatar
 

At my earlier ages I real hate the ns10, they sound very horrible, but after working with them I feel that they aren´t so bad as I imagine.
Well all the people know that they are terrible mid-frecuency booster, bass doesn´t sounds so nice, but after working with them about a month I could bet that you will be able to domain that handicaps and you will take some advantages from that issues.
I recently sold my ns10 due I need active monitors for some technical purposes ( not explicit for the bad sound issue ) know I´m thinking about genelec, dynaudio or adam.
Anyway the first impression of the ns10 is a rude monitor, but believe me if you learn how to mix with that monitors you will appreciate them so much.
Of course, don´t forget that ns10 are the half of the overall amp system, the power amp is also so important
Old 21st August 2007
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
Bosskitty's Avatar
 

The great thing about NS10's is that if you have something sounding good through em...yer a winner..cos everything usually sounds like ass through em!
They wont help your mixes sound better, cos then you'll have to post a pair of em out with every CD thats printed.
If you know your KRK's (which are a totally diff beast) then you are a winner anyways.
Old 21st August 2007
  #5
Lives for gear
 
TheRealRoach's Avatar
Agreed with what these people said. I use some fantastic old PSB (Canadian made consumer/audiophile) towers as my main monitors. I put new drivers into them after much testing and now i'd say they sound like KRK V8's but with a much lower and upper end freq range (i.e. I can hear subtle changes all the way down to 20-ish Hz) and beyond 20kHz. More importantly my mixes translate well onto other systems. Which is key.

Anyway I use NS10s as a check for my vocals and low-mid end. If your vocals are too throaty or chesty then they will throw it back at your face in an instant. I also find that they will point out issues in the brittle ranges of things like violin or other reed instruments. I find that they really do magnify the problem areas that are typical in many home speaker systems and it really does help to hear on these horrible sounding speakers. If your mix sounds good on these things, chances are it'll sound good on lots of other consumer/home audio systems.

So in the end i wouldn't say that i "use" them, but rather "check" on them. Just as I will take a quick listen through some mid-range Sony headphones or something.
Old 21st August 2007
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
electropoet's Avatar
 

I just got a pair of NS-10's to go with my Mackie 824's and a pair of Grot Box pyramids...

I was unsure about whether they were worth the trouble because of how polarizing these speakers are...but now that I have them I have to say that I am very, very pleased. I agree that you wouldn't want to use them alone...but they are a fantastic compliment to the mackies which have a lot of bass...but scooped mids...together i'm getting a good idea of whats happening in the mix and everything I've turned out since has been much improved...also...listening to mixes which i consider classics has been extremely knowledgable.

Well worth the thousand or so dollars I dropped for the speakers and an amp.
Old 21st August 2007
  #7
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FossilTooth's Avatar
 

Primarily, the NS-10s are so popular because the NS-10s are so popular.

I know them well and consider them a valuable tool because I can walk into 95% of commercial studios, and they'll be there. Since I've heard them in a dozen different environments, they let me know how the room sounds, and work as a common reference so I can figure out what the other monitors they might have sound like.


This is the root of the NS-10's popularity. Ubiquitousness. Sound like a catch 22?

That said, the boxy grating sound of the NS-10s encourages the average mixer to make the kinds of changes they should be making to the midrange of their mix. Other monitors can achieve this as well, but if you'll be doing any freelancing, it's good to know the Yammy's. But you don't have to buy them. You just have to do a lot of freelancing!


So, to the original poster: No. You don't need to buy the NS-10s, unless you're a commercial studio, and then it's expected. It's good to have a of alternate consumer reference speakers. At my project studio, I use Auratones in conjunction with my two other pairs of monitors. I've heard the avantone mix cubes, and they do the trick as well.

Something like the mid-priced and higher-end Tannoys, Events, Mackies, Genelecs, KRK's et., will likely be smoother, more even, and more accurate than the NS-10s. The argument is that they don't necessarily represent the way the average end consumer will be hearing things. As affordable speaker technology becomes better and better, this argument becomes less and less valid.

Still, you'll have to rip my auratones form my cold dead hands, and I'll remain suspicious of any commercial music facility without NS-10s. For the majority of a mix, I find it better to focus on the soul rather than get too distracted by the fluff. Midrange=Soul. Thumping lows, dazziling highs=fluff. The fluff comes together quickly easily and easily when everything else is in place.
Old 21st August 2007
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Bierce85's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
This brings up the issue of uninformed hype...

While there's no question that NS10m's can be a valuable tool, we have a situation where folks repeat other people's opinions, which themselves are sometimes just a repetition of someone else's opinion until two things have happened: the original information is degraded. ("I use NS10m's all the time but I also have to use some full-spectrum monitors to catch problems with the bass," becomes "I use NS10m's all the time," which seems to become "You have to use NS10m's..." AND the information is repeated so often that it begins to take the weight of fact.

Anyhow, the cure for this is informed skepticism.

And lots of it.
excellent point, theblue..

I think some people enjoy voicing their opinion to the extent to where they completely forget to ask themselves "can I actually back up what I'm saying right now with real life experience?" Also, many are biased one way or another about their gear. Few people treat their gear like it's just a bunch of tools, not "the stuff I love and am very proud to own". Afterall, this is gearslutz
Old 21st August 2007
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Tone Laborer's Avatar
My set of ns10s sit in the cornor because I don't have room for those and the Event 2020bas. If I did, they'd be right next to the computer monitor and without shielding, they screw with it. Maybe someday if I get a new flat screen monitor they'll go back up.

I prefer the events. Like theblue1 said, hard to get the bass right on the NS-10s.

But consider the shielding issue.
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