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couple of NS-10 questions
Old 28th February 2005
  #1
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couple of NS-10 questions

I'm starting to mix more local rock projects in addition to my personal electronic stuff, so I'm considering a pair of used NS10's as a second reference set.

My questions are:

- I've noticed different NS-10 designs from one studio pic to the next, some have the YAMAHA typed vertically on the cabinet, while others (and the more common it seems), say YAMAHA horizontally below the tweeter. Is there any difference in sound between these, or are these nothing more than aesthetics?

- What would be a good amp to pair these with, something around $200-300?

Thanks!
Old 28th February 2005
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
Blue Bear Sound's Avatar
 

I still don't get why people inflict such harm to their ears by using NS-10s...... worst damn speaker I've ever heard!

And it's arguably the product with the most nonsense mythology surrounding it! (Gems like "....if it sounds good on NS-10s, it'll sound good everywhere..." -
Newsflash - a good mix sounds good everywhere, a bad mix doesn't.... regardless of the monitor!)

Seriously -- there are so many better options out there now - why go thru the pain?
Old 28th February 2005
  #3
The one's with the verticle writing are the ones you don't want. The one's with the horizontal writing are the ones you DEFINITELY don't want.
Old 28th February 2005
  #4
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally posted by Blue Bear Sound
I still don't get why people inflict such harm to their ears by using NS-10s...... worst damn speaker I've ever heard!

And it's arguably the product with the most nonsense mythology surrounding it! (Gems like "....if it sounds good on NS-10s, it'll sound good everywhere..." -
Newsflash - a good mix sounds good everywhere, a bad mix doesn't.... regardless of the monitor!)

Seriously -- there are so many better options out there now - why go thru the pain?
Well, it's one of those 'standards'. Thousands of records mixed with 10s and kept mastering engineers busy over the years. Same with Auratones, Acoustic Researh... I quess it's a matter what you get used to. If you can work on 10s it makes your life hell of a lot easier if you freelance as they are everywhere. Then again different rooms and amps do make huge differences. I liked them most with Bryston 4B ST and Chord amps (don't know the models). Quad 520f is good for lower budget (imo). What do you guys think about MSP-5s? A friend of mine uses them as a substitute to 10s. I am happy with my Questeds (vs2108) and Phoney ghetto blaster. Whatever gets the job done, innit?
Old 28th February 2005
  #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by antti
Whatever gets the job done, innit?
Absolutely, but all the hype and bull**** surrounding those gawdawful speakers is nothing short of incredible.... there's so much of it, and it's soooooo unwarranted.

Since they've been discontinued, I've seen them going on eBay now sometimes for upwards of $600-800/pair, and occasionally even over a $1K!!! Unbelievable!!!

I use ADAM S2A's as my primary nearfields, and B&W 601s as secondaries, along with the $100 ghettoblaster......

More than enough "references" to cross check with!
Old 28th February 2005
  #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Blue Bear Sound
Seriously -- there are so many better options out there now - why go thru the pain?
Blue Bear,

everything you wrote I pretty much agree with, as I've even said the exact same thing (above) to seemingly very 'green' bedroom musos on other forums. The reason for my slight regresssion is purely based on the fact that for rock music, they make a great second set for referencing a mix, and to many others, a great primary set, but we won't go down that route. I know the drill.

Again, I've never used them as my main monitors like thousands of others have, some for decades, and I firmly believe that this 'familiarity' factor is their only saving grace, which transformed an otherwise "once a speaker now Ready-Made flower pot" into a ubiquitous, legendary studio item. How they sound has really nothing to do with their popularity.

My friend has a set, as well as some V6II's just like I have. I sat in on a mix session with him the other night, and every once in a while, he would switch back and forth between the Yammies and the KRK's. I just found it interesting to really listen for where the differences lay, and how he compensated to find a happy medium between the two. At one point the mix was sounding so good I'd lost track of which monitors were playing. Then, just as I was kicking back in the chair to just enjoy the music, he switched to the KRK's and it was heavenly. That's when it all clicked, that famous NS10 mantra. "if............, then..........anything".
Old 28th February 2005
  #7
I think you're on the right track. I prefer the old tweeters (vetical standing) to the new ones. The differences are subtle, but the tweeters are not as harsh to my ears. Actually, most mixing engineers agree about this and DJui5 is the only person I've ever heard say the opposite (he's also the only engineer I've ever heard talk bad about the Hardy pre's so to each his own).


I bought mine when I went through my Dave Pensado admiration stage. He was advocating the older NS-10's and I love his mixes, so I figured what the heck. I bought a used pair on Ebay ($450) and a Hafler 9505 ($700), and my mixes translate better than ever!!! I had a lot of the same experience you had with getting things tight on the 10's and having them sound great on my Hafler TRM 8's. They quickly became my "A" monitors, and now I wouldn't want to mix without them. Good luck.
Old 28th February 2005
  #8
Dot
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The original NS-10M's had the label vertically - and were designed to be placed vertically. But so many people began laying them on consoles on their sides that when Yamaha came out with the NS-10M STUDIO version the labels were horizontal.

The STUDIO versions of NS-10's came out in around '90, so the chances of you finding a pair of "newer" STUDIO's is probably greater.

For an amp in that price range try a Hafler TA 1600 or look for a used Hafler P1000D or P1500D.
Old 28th February 2005
  #9
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Show me a speaker at Best Buy or Circuit City that sounds like an NS10 and I'll pay you one million billion dollars.

War
Old 28th February 2005
  #10
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anybody here who knows how the NS10 made their way into the studios or do i have to tell the story?
Old 28th February 2005
  #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by warhead
Show me a speaker at Best Buy or Circuit City that sounds like an NS10 and I'll pay you one million billion dollars.

War
Even consumers wouldn't buy speakers that sound like NS-10s anymore... hell, the Sony mini-system I have in my office sounds better!!! (and Sony makes horrible speakers!)

I tried for several years to work with NS-10s - they were hideous.
Old 28th February 2005
  #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by AngeloClematide
anybody here who knows how the NS10 made their way into the studios or do i have to tell the story?
You mean the Bob Clearmountain story about him sending a runner out to find the cheapest consumer speakers he could so that Bob could check a mix on them (to hear what it might sound like on a "typical" cheap stereo)?!

One thing I will say about them is that they do look striking... although I think ADAMs look WAY cooler.........
Old 28th February 2005
  #13
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>Bruce Valeriani

yes - was it Clearmountain... Didn't he gave a interview in mix and many engineers bought a pair to?

Who was the guy who said in the interview he mixed on the Auratones which he bought at radioshack?
Old 28th February 2005
  #14
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Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

For every one person that hates NS10's, there are 10 that won't mix without them.

I don't care if Bob Clearmountain poops them out his butt.

They have helped me get great results for over 15 years.

You need a few constants in the studio. These fall into that category for me.

YMMV.
Old 28th February 2005
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Produceher
For every one person that hates NS10's, there are 10 that won't mix without them.
Yes - I know... monitors are an extremely subjective topic, and I know people have gotten used to working with them (and even get great results!), but damn, do they have to sound soooo bad?!?!?!

Old 28th February 2005
  #16
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toolskid's Avatar
 

ns-10s are invaluable for me at most mixes I do, but obviously each to their own
Old 28th February 2005
  #17
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Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Blue Bear Sound
Yes - I know... monitors are an extremely subjective topic, and I know people have gotten used to working with them (and even get great results!), but damn, do they have to sound soooo bad?!?!?!

They do sound bad. I was really dissapointed when I first bought them.

But I dug in and learned them.

Do they need to sound this bad?

Probably.

These speakers focus alot of energy in the midrange. Which is pretty much where all the instruments fight with each other. Vocal, Snare, Guitars, Piano, etc.

So if you get this area right, you're about 80% of the way there.

With most other speakers, the lows and hi's are soo nice that you spend too much time in that area. And you forget about the important part. Mid-range.

Just my opinion.
Old 28th February 2005
  #18
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I think the extended midrange helps counter the effects of years of drumming
Old 28th February 2005
  #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by toolskid
I think the extended midrange helps counter the effects of years of drumming
What?.....





ERic
Old 28th February 2005
  #20
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I think he's talikng about that big bump at 2K. I thinka lot of people "think" NS-10's are a very flat freq.reponse speaker. I use them form time to time but find it hard to listen to them for many hour at a time as the mid bump is hard to take.
Old 28th February 2005
  #21
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eh?
Old 28th February 2005
  #22


NS10s are like that favorite pair of underwear: The ones with the stains and the holes. You should get rid of them, but just can't bring yourself to throw them out or use them to wipe the oil off when you check the dipstick...



-tINY

Old 28th February 2005
  #23
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Mythology is amazing.

Before there was the NS-10 in studios there was the NS-4. The NS-4 was used because it was by far the biggest selling speaker in the United States. In New York, it had been common since the 1960s to use whatever was the biggest selling speaker as a reference in addition to using the mains. While the NS-4 was originally used for this reason, it was discovered that mixes had an uncanny way of translating really well if they sounded good on NS-4s.

Unfortunately, the NS-4 was discontinued and the supply of replacement drivers dried up almost immediately because it was being used in many studios. The NS-10 was the closest thing to an NS-4 that Yamaha still made so many studios went that route although people were not nearly as happy with them as we had been with the NS-4. The Clearmountain article where he described using tissue paper over the tweeters to try and make them sound more like NS-4s caused a global addition of NS-10s to most studios.

Mixing with NS-10s and no other reference has always been foolish. WITH a full range reference, they are still a very useful tool. Nobody, including Yamaha, has any idea why the NS-4 and to a lesser extent the NS-10 work so well as a mix reference but they do. And it isn't as if people haven't tried many other, better sounding speakers.
Old 28th February 2005
  #24
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Very cool history lesson, Bob - thanks for that!

I'm glad people can get NS-10s to work for them, but I for one, have no trouble getting mixes to translate on my S2As, so I think I'll stick to them!!!
Old 28th February 2005
  #25
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Bob, thanks for the elucidation
Old 28th February 2005
  #26
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Here's some info..

http://www.bobhodas.com/tissue.html

http://www.proaudiorx.com/ns10nearfieldmonitors.htm

I'm also attaching an interview with Akira Nakamura, original designer of the NS10M and the NS10M Studio....I think some of you will find it interesting. It's a .txt document.

Also..here's some more threads on the subject.


http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/ind...d8b3#msg_38594

http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/ind...d8b3#msg_31759





P.S.
Paul, Yes..to each his own. I have no problems monitoring on the "nasties". I feel if you don't like your mixes on them...then you should re-evaluate your work. But..of course..I'm not one of the "big 5".....not yet anyway.
Attached Files
Old 1st March 2005
  #27
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Re: couple of NS-10 questions

Quote:
Originally posted by krou

My questions are:

- I've noticed different NS-10 designs from one studio pic to the next, some have the YAMAHA typed vertically on the cabinet, while others (and the more common it seems), say YAMAHA horizontally below the tweeter. Is there any difference in sound between these, or are these nothing more than aesthetics?

- What would be a good amp to pair these with, something around $200-300?

Thanks!
The basic difference between the two models is the tweeter -- the older ones have a dome shape grill, and the 'newer' ones have a redesigned tweeter with a squared-off grill and foam surrounding the tweeter.

Sonically, the older ones are more present in the mids, which is why the whole 'toilet paper' thing started [wasn't there an artilce in a mag at somepoint about how the different brands of toilet paper sounded?!?!?]. They work better for me in most situations than the ones with the newer tweeters.

Are you going to use them on speaker stands or on top of a console? If speaker stands, I would say you'll probably be disappointed. If you put them on a console, make sure you don't put anything underneath them -- tape them down on the sides but don't de-couple them from the top of the console.

The other thing is that if the woofers are old/fatigued, they will not sound as punchy as they could [transient-response, that is]. And you know what the replacement situation is going to be...

As far as amps, the Yamaha amps with the VU meters in them [don't remember the model number ] sound the best on them. Macintosh 2505 [I think that is the model number] sound good in a different way. The Haflers can sound OK.

Good luck

John

PS -- why is that any time someone posts a question about NS-10's, someone else always has to go into a 'I hate NS-10' rant. Lighten up -- or start another thread...

PSS -- thanks for the links, Randy...
Old 1st March 2005
  #28
Deleted bd1be4f
Guest
The thing about NS10s is that you have to "learn" them, unlike better monitors that are truer. There is a certain sound that once you know how it should be coming out the NS10s you just work toward until you get it.

I think a lot of engineers who have used the NS10s for a long time are afraid to get rid of them after learning them so well. I know that I have been one of them. But recently I mixed in a studio with ADAM monitors that I had never heard, and the mix I did has translated better than most mixes I've ever done. It was a nice change to know that what I was hearing out of the monitors didn't have to be discounted or compensated for certain bumps or dips in the response of the monitors.

Now that ADAM has come out with the ANF10's which are passive (and cheap!), I may have found the perfect replacement for my NS10's.
Old 1st March 2005
  #29
Gear Addict
 

I used NS10's for about 5 years, and try as I might I never could get the low end in my mixes to work properly. How can you mix what you can't hear? I switched to ADAM P11A's (pretty much the ones I could afford) and my mixes translate much better. Also I no longer miss the mind numbing ear fatigue I used to get from long sessions mixing on the 10's.
Old 1st March 2005
  #30
Gear Maniac
 
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Re: Re: couple of NS-10 questions

Quote:
Originally posted by paterno
TPS -- why is that any time someone posts a question about NS-10's, someone else always has to go into a 'I hate NS-10' rant. Lighten up -- or start another thread...
It has nothing to do with "lightening-up", thank you.......

I came down on the NS-10s because I can't stand the mythology some people surround these monitors with...... sometimes, the truth needs to be told to avoid propogating more bull**** about them -- especially for those new to the arena.... at least give them a fighting chance of developing their ears! They sure as hell won't get one if you lock 'em in a control room with nothing but NS-10s to track or mix with!!
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