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Inexpensive Yamaha HS7 upgrade Studio Monitors
Old 6 days ago
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Thread Starter
800 EUR Yamaha HS7 upgrade? Worth it?

Hey guys,

Any affordable (around 800-1000 EUR) mid-field monitors (new or used) I can buy to upgrade my HS7?
I would like a deeper low frequencies and maybe overall better sound (but this is highly subjective of course). I would still prefer better accuracy in the smaller range to a bigger range with less accuracy.

I had a pretty small conventional room about a year ago — about 4m x 5m or something and I have bought Yamaha HS7, which were standing on the the desk or right behind the desk — about a meter from my head. I really like the sound of Yamahas — after my first crappy speakers they ounded extremely detailed in near-field, but I rarely hear anyone saying anything good about them, to be honest. Literally noone ever said — Yamahas are fantastic sounding speakers! I feel like a lot of people buy them as a compromise goto monitors.
Anyway, now I have moved, have much bigger studio (around 45m3). Monitors are placed now about 2.5 meters from the listening point (based on my measurements, that the best spot in the room and the most convenient for me) and around a meter from the back wall with a big 10cm deep rockwool panel behind it.

My room is moderately treated: first reflections, back of the speakers, floor is carpeted and diffusors on the the back. The response curve is not perfect, but it's not terrible — I have a 4-6dB dip on 80Hz or so and it's pretty much the worst thing. I have a weird room shape and I don't have bass traps at this point. All the walls though are plasterboard with fiberglass insulation with air space behind them, so low frequencies are not terribly uncontrollable. Decay is reasonable as well at no more than 300ms -60dB across the spectrum (longest in the 40-500Hz).

I have recently invested a lot of money into the gear and some of the people who came into the studio were concerned about HS7. Which in my opinion is not necessarily true, cause I think if I crank HS7, they can still fill the room pretty nicely. But it still created doubt in me, so I decided to take this to you guys. Help me out, please.

Some speakers I have considered: PreSonus Sceptre S8 — they look super nice, but PreSonus does not disclose the frequency response on them so it's impossible to know how accurate they are. I've also bought PreSonus AR16 which is terrible quality. So now I'm kinda in doubt.
I haven't listened to ADAMs, but I hate the design so much. Design is not my main criteria, but I couldn't settle for something I don't like, since I'll be staring at them pretty often. I would prefer either really weird design (like Tannoy Ellipse), or really conventional (like Yamahas).
:-) I'm okay with Focals or Dynaudio, but have no experience with them.

I would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks.
Old 6 days ago
  #2
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thismercifulfate's Avatar
I’ve sorted parts of your post into “you”:
Quote:
Originally Posted by cuba1956 View Post
I would like a deeper low frequencies and maybe overall better sound.

I would still prefer better accuracy in the smaller range to a bigger range with less accuracy.

I really like the sound of Yamahas — after my first crappy speakers they ounded extremely detailed in near-field,
Versus “them”:
Quote:
Originally Posted by cuba1956 View Post
but I rarely hear anyone saying anything good about them, to be honest. Literally noone ever said — Yamahas are fantastic sounding speakers! I feel like a lot of people buy them as a compromise goto monitors.

some of the people who came into the studio were concerned about HS7.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cuba1956 View Post
But it still created doubt in me
That’s an honest assessment coming from you and it appears that you are giving much more weight to “them” (who are they?) than your own real-life experience. An upgrade is a sensible thing to do when you come to the conclusion on your own, amidst day to day use that your current gear isn’t cutting the mustard and affecting your workflow and/or the quality of your work. But wanting to upgrade because “some people” (who don’t care about you) don’t review your gear well enough or seem to look down on it is entirely irrational. At that point you’re making an emotional decision, and you’re making yourself beholden to these strangers opinions, to the point of spending your hard-earned mony. Your gear is for you and your music, not them or theirs!

None of the monitors you have mentioned represent a real upgrade over what you have. It’s worth holding out, saving up for a real step up, into a better class of monitors. But don’t feel the need to spend whatever money you have right now, because you will not end up happy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cuba1956 View Post
My room is moderately treated ... I don't have bass traps at this point.
If you desire deeper, more true bass, I’d look here first, not at new monitors. If you get bass traps, you’ll getvway more of of the HS7’s, and if you do upgrade them down the road, the new monitors will benefit greatly as well.
Old 6 days ago
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismercifulfate View Post
I’ve sorted parts of your post into “you”:
Versus “them”:
That’s an honest assessment coming from you and it appears that you are giving much more weight to “them” (who are they?) than your own real-life experience. An upgrade is a sensible thing to do when you come to the conclusion on your own, amidst day to day use that your current gear isn’t cutting the mustard and affecting your workflow and/or the quality of your work. But wanting to upgrade because “some people” (who don’t care about you) don’t review your gear well enough or seem to look down on it is entirely irrational. At that point you’re making an emotional decision, and you’re making yourself beholden to these strangers opinions, to the point of spending your hard-earned mony. Your gear is for you and your music, not them or theirs!

None of the monitors you have mentioned represent a real upgrade over what you have. It’s worth holding out, saving up for a real step up, into a better class of monitors. But don’t feel the need to spend whatever money you have right now, because you will not end up happy.

If you desire deeper, more true bass, I’d look here first, not at new monitors. If you get bass traps, you’ll getvway more of of the HS7’s, and if you do upgrade them down the road, the new monitors will benefit greatly as well.
That's a very good point, I really appreciate you pointing this out. Let me tell you why I take their opinion into consideration.
1. 'Them' are musicians with much more experience in music production/DJing than me. I've only started to appreciate the whole production aspect of the music, bought a bunch of compressors, tape multitrack, master EQ and HS7 are the only speakers I had a chance to hear properly.
2. I know everyone's hearing is different, perception and preferences are different, but I think 'they' have a more trained ear and maybe they hear something that I really don't. There's no way to tell, so I just decided to do some research.

I have a hi-fi Triangle Celius ESW floor-standing speakers which I use in the same room (in the same position actually), but only for vinyl listening — they create much stronger presence in the room, but I'm pretty sure they are not flat and maybe not the best choice for mixdown. I think I would be okay to sell both set of speakers (I think around 900 EUR total) add some 800 EUR on top and use single set of monitors in the room. I prefer the sound of monitors to the sound of Triangles anyway, if I'm honest. Triangles are something I think useful to check your mix with and they are loud to enough to break the eardums while listening to Nirvana records. So, I would prefer not to sell them. :-)

What's the next level you're talking about? What would be the cheapest option for the 'next level' of monitors? I'll try to see if I can get them in the studio to test.
Old 5 days ago
  #4
Gear Nut
 

Thread Starter
I've measured acoustics in the listening point and here's how it looks.
Room frequency response: Dropbox - Screenshot 2018-08-12 22.21.27.png — 1/48 smoothing.
Decay: Dropbox - Screenshot 2018-08-12 22.21.40.png

I'm no acoustics pro, I know it's not great, but I would say it's good enough with +/- 10dB in 100Hz and above. I'm concerned with 90Hz dip, but this kind of waves are difficult to manage anyway. Anyone has experience upgrading Yamahas to something less than 2000 EUR speakers?
Old 5 days ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cuba1956 View Post
That's a very good point, I really appreciate you pointing this out. Let me tell you why I take their opinion into consideration.
1. 'Them' are musicians with much more experience in music production/DJing than me. I've only started to appreciate the whole production aspect of the music, bought a bunch of compressors, tape multitrack, master EQ and HS7 are the only speakers I had a chance to hear properly.
2. I know everyone's hearing is different, perception and preferences are different, but I think 'they' have a more trained ear and maybe they hear something that I really don't. There's no way to tell, so I just decided to do some research.

I have a hi-fi Triangle Celius ESW floor-standing speakers which I use in the same room (in the same position actually), but only for vinyl listening — they create much stronger presence in the room, but I'm pretty sure they are not flat and maybe not the best choice for mixdown. I think I would be okay to sell both set of speakers (I think around 900 EUR total) add some 800 EUR on top and use single set of monitors in the room. I prefer the sound of monitors to the sound of Triangles anyway, if I'm honest. Triangles are something I think useful to check your mix with and they are loud to enough to break the eardums while listening to Nirvana records. So, I would prefer not to sell them. :-)

What's the next level you're talking about? What would be the cheapest option for the 'next level' of monitors? I'll try to see if I can get them in the studio to test.
I know several professionals — those who make music for a living — who use Yamaha HS series monitors even though they have the means to buy more expensive speakers.

If you really need to check low bass, get some nice headphones.

This truly is an issue of personal preference. The Yamahas do something no other speakers do. Treat your room and get to know your monitors, which you enjoy using, and make the most of what you have. Upgrade your skills first! When your sounds are as good as you can make them, then it may be time to start looking at upgrades.

I don’t mean to sound patronizing but I went through a similar stage — I bought a bunch of stuff thinking it would get me the sound I was chasing. But then I heard people making better recordings than me, with much lesser gear, and realized the issue was not the gear.

Finally, to answer your question, a very nice speaker that I would consider a step up from the Yamaha is the Focal Solo. Until you start spending that kind of money, or find an incredible deal, you will mostly be looking at sidegrades. Another option is the Yamaha HS8, which has more bass but the same basic sound.
Old 5 days ago
  #6
Gear Nut
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yummerz View Post
Finally, to answer your question, a very nice speaker that I would consider a step up from the Yamaha is the Focal Solo. Until you start spending that kind of money, or find an incredible deal, you will mostly be looking at sidegrades. Another option is the Yamaha HS8, which has more bass but the same basic sound.
Thank you. I understand what you're saying.
I've been looking into Focal Alpha 80 which are priced similarly to HS8, but spec amazing frequency response 35Hz-22kHz with +/-3dB. Which considering the price is beyond belief. SPL seems a bit low — 109dB SPL, but HS8 doesn't even specify SPL which is always suspicious to me. Alpha 80 would probably be something like 350 EUR investment (which I think I can afford) — would it make sense instead of HS8 or should I skip this altogether?

Another option I was suggested in my local shop by the owner: get a smaller speakers (like Neumann Neumann KH 80 DSP – Thomann UK) and a sub. He told me that all the best studios have subwoofer, which I don't believe to be honest. I'm not particularly fond of subs and I don't want to release unnecessary low end energy which I can't tame at the moment. What do you think?
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