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Yamaha NS10m Studio monitors and Amplifier thread
Old 6th February 2019
  #541
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My question is give me a specific number for the least amount of wattage would you drive NS-10's with?


Also, back when I was into high end home audio back in the 80's, wattage was misleading


I had many amps that only had 50 watts, but their current was so high that they would outperform amps with 10 times the wattage (Phase Linear is the first one that pops in my mind for having tons of power).


From what I remember, all watts are not created equal
Old 6th February 2019
  #542
Gear Nut
If you knew the definition of the sound of the Ns-10s you could say whether it is right or wrong. when I would say that with my amp I have a 0db line from 30 hz to 20000 hz then somebody would say that itIsnt the right way! when they says my Ns10 sound like an old newspaper then someone would say its the best. there’s therefore no good of bad amp to choose from than all the amps that suits you.

Ns-10 are real light weight . you could used iT for micing a bassdrum. A 75 watt AMP (alesis ra100) is a good way to start. Iam a user for more than 14 years.
Old 7th February 2019
  #543
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I can only hope that anyone reading this thread ever get to hear NS10's on a Bryston 4B-ST (400 W) // on a Dual Mono class D of my catalog (580 W) // on a Yamaha A 100 // and any regular integrated hifi amp. In the words of Marilyn Monroe: You'd Be Surprised.

@ QueenSisi: interesting points you bring up. Most amps seem to be flat across the frequency range (see pic attached), and yet they all sound so very different. I think it has more to do with how distortion, impedance, damping factor, and load work together. In my experience their actual frequency response rarely translates to that very flat curve they all put forward.

@ jerrydpi: well don't go quoting me - because as you say: not all Watts are created equal indeed! - but off the top of my head I'd say 150 W minimum - since NS10's are rated at 120 W peak. In my experience you're better off asking 100 Watts from an amp that has 300 W on offer, than asking 100 W off an amp that only has 100 W on offer.

Having a Dual Mono setup versus a regular Stereo design also makes a difference. With a Stereo design, the power supply is shared between both channels. With Dual Mono, each channel has it's own power supply, greatly improving dynamics and stereo field, usually resulting in a rock solid and peaceful sound.

Best thing is to audition some amps for yourself .. it's only words and numbers here on Gearslutz for the most part, and what are you with my experience anyway, you need to experience this personally.
Attached Thumbnails
Yamaha NS10m Studio monitors and Amplifier thread-fr.jpg  

Last edited by Emanuel23; 8th February 2019 at 03:04 AM.. Reason: layout, typo's etc.
Old 7th February 2019
  #544
Gear Maniac
I've tried mine with 300w qsc amp and some basic soundtech. Didnt hear any difference. I also tried my Auratones with anything from said qsc to some cheap av receiver Again didnt notice any difference. I think its all in your head or one has to have audiophile ears. 99.9% of people wont tell a difference between some $20 craiglist noname junk and $3000 Brysto Im glad you enjoy yours, but the investment it totally not worth just for a reference monitor unless you're swimming in cash.
Old 7th February 2019
  #545
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuieve View Post
I've tried mine with 300w qsc amp and some basic soundtech. Didnt hear any difference. I also tried my Auratones with anything from said qsc to some cheap av receiver Again didnt notice any difference. I think its all in your head or one has to have audiophile ears. 99.9% of people wont tell a difference between some $20 craiglist noname junk and $3000 Brysto Im glad you enjoy yours, but the investment it totally not worth just for a reference monitor unless you're swimming in cash.
If you can't tell the difference then probably that very QSC and Soundtech happened to sound alike. I gather you haven't heard anything decent yet on NS10's so give it a chance sooner or later. The difference is obvious.

I strongly disagree with that 99,9 % number you put forward. If that were true nobody would buy A-brand amplifiers.
Old 7th February 2019
  #546
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If it were true, that means that .1% would buy A-brand amplifiers, and even .1% could add up to a lot of audiophiles (depending on you definition of "a lot")
Old 7th February 2019
  #547
Gear Nut
@ Emanuel23 you do not quite understand it. if you have a perfect frequency response with ns-10 m, nobody wants that because they are not meant for that. Have you ever heard of straitjacket/bodice . Yamaha ns10 s are 100% straitjacket /bodice monitors.

I do have ns10 m with a response from 40 hz to 20000 hz. +\- 4 Db and everybody says "thats such big time” . “I know , that what I have”.

Alesis ra100 can power the ns10 to 90db more is not wanted . But the frequentie response is too good.
Old 7th February 2019
  #548
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QueenSisi View Post
@ Emanuel23 you do not quite understand it. if you have a perfect frequency response with ns-10 m, nobody wants that because they are not meant for that. Have you ever heard of straitjacket/bodice . Yamaha ns10 s are 100% straitjacket /bodice monitors.

I do have ns10 m with a response from 40 hz to 20000 hz. +\- 4 Db and everybody says "thats such big time” . “I know , that what I have”.

Alesis ra100 can power the ns10 to 90db more is not wanted . But the frequentie response is too good.
I have been using my NS10M's for 19 years now, which trumps your 14 years - and that's not saying a lot, I know, but I tell this to give you some perspective of where I come from. I heard them on a lot of different amplifiers. Long story short, I prefer my NS10's to sound as they are. I do NOT want their frequency response flat. I like them the way they sound, whatever the frequency response is, they just work for me as they are, and I prefer an honest and powerful amp driving them.

When I switch my moco to NS10's, I know I'm gonna get THAT gloriously imperfect NS10 sound, I know I will be presented with the hard truth, translated through a lens that over the years I've gotten to know all to well. And this makes me work harder at my mix, which makes my mix better.

I even had them Trinnov'ed at one time to get them to sound flat and in phase. That was like owning one of those kit cars: not the real thing, feels cheap, does not work.

If you want NS10's to sound good, like the older Genelecs sounded good, use a Bryston 4B-ST on them. It will make your mixes sound better instantaneously - except for the fact that your mixes won't actually sound better at all, only your perception of the mix translated through the Bryston will make you think you did a great job.

That all being said, sure just about anything can drive an NS10. I guess it comes down to a very personal choice in the end of how far you want to go with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jerrydpi View Post
If it were true, that means that .1% would buy A-brand amplifiers, and even .1% could add up to a lot of audiophiles (depending on you definition of "a lot")
Yeah .. good luck to you.
Old 8th February 2019
  #549
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerrydpi View Post
If it were true, that means that .1% would buy A-brand amplifiers, and even .1% could add up to a lot of audiophiles (depending on you definition of "a lot")

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emanuel23 View Post

Yeah .. good luck to you.

Emanuel,


It was meant to be a JOKE (Hey, tough Forum!!!)



But on a serious note..........................................................................



What Nuieve said was:


"I think its all in your head or one has to have audiophile ears. 99.9% of people wont tell a difference between some $20 craiglist noname junk and $3000 Bryston".



I believe what he is saying is that 99.9% of the worlds human population, in other words, ones whe doesn't believe are audiophiles, would probably not be able to hear neither a positive or negative difference between a lesser amp an one that cost a 100+ times more, and if they did hear a difference, how many would care enough to pay the difference?



Now obviously you are disagreeing on the percentage of the worlds total population that are audiophiles.



MY definition of an audiophile is: a person who has a great interest in high-fidelity sound reproduction.



So I have two questions for you:

1) What is your definition an an audiophile?
2) Nowadays, what percent of the world's total population do you believe are audiophiles?




Jerry
Old 8th February 2019
  #550
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Jerry, we are obviously discussing NS10 amplifier options here.
Most NS10 users are audio engineers and musicians.
And many if not most will hear the difference between the amplifiers driving them.
Whether or not they think it's a viable investment is another issue.
Whether or not the difference in sound is important for music production is yet another issue.
But the difference is obvious.
Is it obvious to your 2year old nephew, or your grandma?
Please, we're beyond that scope here so let's stay on topic.
I didn't get that you were joking btw, and in fact I misread your comment as being a reply from Nuieve, so my bad.
Old 8th February 2019
  #551
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emanuel23 View Post
If you can't tell the difference then probably that very QSC and Soundtech happened to sound alike. I gather you haven't heard anything decent yet on NS10's so give it a chance sooner or later. The difference is obvious.

I strongly disagree with that 99,9 % number you put forward. If that were true nobody would buy A-brand amplifiers.
I believe QSC is like a $800 amp and Soundtech, I don't know, $100-200?

But you're right, they're alike. Like all the other normal amps. They all do the same job, simply amplify signal/make it louder. They don't add or subtract anything to/from it. They don't change it to make it "better". They just make it louder. And that's exactly what I want in an amp. If your Bryston makes you "surprised" I have a suspicion that it may be doing something to the signal and changing it, thus nullifying the whole purpose of NS10s as you're not listening to NS10s anymore but to a Bryston now. In other words maybe your $2000 Bryston is in fact a piece of crap from a strictly uncolored-sound-required-for-mixing point of view? Just another thought.

Oh no, I didn't just say that, I'm ready for Bryston crowd to unleash their fury upon me. :D

But seriously, if there's a difference one has to be a highly trained/experienced and extremely familiar with NS10s having spent thousands of hours on them and have ear highly tuned to them to notice that tiny minuscule microscopic speck of difference even if to them it's larger than life. Recommending high-end amps to everybody is just nonsensical.
Old 8th February 2019
  #552
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuieve View Post
Like all the other normal amps. They all do the same job, simply amplify signal/make it louder. They don't add or subtract anything to/from it. They don't change it to make it "better". They just make it louder
No that is wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuieve View Post
But seriously, if there's a difference one has to be a highly trained/experienced and extremely familiar with NS10s having spent thousands of hours on them and have ear highly tuned to them to notice that tiny minuscule microscopic speck of difference even if to them it's larger than life. Recommending high-end amps to everybody is just nonsensical.
No the difference is obvious.

You'd be surprised how much more value you can get out of an NS10 by properly amping it.
If you don't have the budget for it, no big deal.
And if you do have the budget, it is worthwhile.

Last edited by Emanuel23; 8th February 2019 at 03:08 PM.. Reason: another typoooo
Old 8th February 2019
  #553
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emanuel23 View Post
, usually resulting in a rock solid and peaceful sound.
I to am searching for a peaceful sound here but everytime I put on a Rolling Stones record it's not at all peaceful.
Old 8th February 2019
  #554
I'm new to the use of NS-10s and have a question for experienced NS-10 users:
When you first started mixing on them, did you find yourself cutting a little around 1K to 2K when that wasn't something you did before? I'm starting to think that's part of the phenomena with NS10s.
Old 8th February 2019
  #555
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuieve View Post
..................I think its all in your head or one has to have audiophile ears. 99.9% of people wont tell a difference between some $20 craiglist noname junk and $3000 Bryston.


Hi Nuieve


Please clarify something for me.


When you say .99% of people, who are these "people" you refer to?


Are they:
1) People in general?
2) Are they Audiophiles?
3) Are they Engineers?
4) Are they Musicians?



Jerry
Old 8th February 2019
  #556
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
I to am searching for a peaceful sound here but everytime I put on a Rolling Stones record it's not at all peaceful.


I apologize for my English, I actually speak Dutch and try my best not to get lost in translation. A quest in which I fail miserably as you can see.

Last edited by Emanuel23; 9th February 2019 at 02:13 AM.. Reason: added the emoticon
Old 9th February 2019
  #557
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emanuel23 View Post
No that is wrong.
No the difference is obvious.

You'd be surprised how much more value you can get out of an NS10 by properly amping it.
If you don't have the budget for it, no big deal.
And if you do have the budget, it is worthwhile.
Ok, please explain the physics of it then.

Are you saying that lower-grade amps (pretty much anything under $2000) butcher the sound in some way? That they're not clean/flat/transparent? They subtract/add something to the sound? That how I understand your words.

It's either they butcher it, and "butcher" is absolutely the right word because of all the claims of "obvious" difference or Bryston colors the sound to make it sound more appealing.

Can you provide links to any measurement tests that prove your theory that these lower grade amp obviously destroy sound that make them sound so "obviously" inferior compared to Brystons?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jerrydpi View Post
Hi Nuieve
Please clarify something for me.
When you say .99% of people, who are these "people" you refer to?
Are they:
1) People in general?
2) Are they Audiophiles?
3) Are they Engineers?
4) Are they Musicians?
Jerry
99.9% of people who can't hear the difference? I'd say all except for some audiophiles and engineers, but not musicians, and definitely not bedroom and garage musicians and ordinary non-musician public.
Old 9th February 2019
  #558
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuieve View Post
Ok, please explain the physics of it then.

Are you saying that lower-grade amps (pretty much anything under $2000) butcher the sound in some way? That they're not clean/flat/transparent? They subtract/add something to the sound? That how I understand your words.

It's either they butcher it, and "butcher" is absolutely the right word because of all the claims of "obvious" difference or Bryston colors the sound to make it sound more appealing.

Can you provide links to any measurement tests that prove your theory that these lower grade amp obviously destroy sound that make them sound so "obviously" inferior compared to Brystons?
Sure, a lot of it lies in the DISTORTION level of the amp; you'll see the THD distortion listed as a number of say 0,05 % to 0,00001 %. Thing is: distortion colors. It is why tubes sound warm and colored; they distort. The lower the number of distortion, the better for a power amp. That is generally speaking of course. And there's the added bonus of manufacturers playing around with these numbers so you're never sure.

Then there's DAMPING FACTOR of the amp, which in simpleton terms is a number that tells you how much control the amp has over the speaker. (It is quite complicated, forgive me the shortcut explanation). Higher numbers are better, and leave less space for the speaker to freestyle. Again, manufacturers tend to exaggerate this number.

There's also FILTERING / ROLL OFF happening, which, depending on the filter, can color the sound in lesser or more ways. The filtering is there to get the absolute lowest lows out of the pathway of the amp, and same thing on the higher end of the frequency range. You would think this does not affect the sound in between the points of measurement, but it actually does. Some amps have it flat between 20 Hz - 20 kHz, and they roll off on either side of this graph. Others go flat from 3 - 100.000 Hz. AGAIN, just numbers. But the filtering is there.

Which CLASS of amplification is being used and which technology is implemented can also indicate how an amp colors.

To be fair and complete it gets more complicated than all of the above, but this gives you a start.

Here's a trick: we all agree that mic preamps color, right? Well, a "power-AMP"' is just another kind of "mic preAMP". Same with monitor controllers and hifi pre-AMPS. They all color in more or less the same ways. It is not different for a power amp. Excuse the childish metaphors, just trying to make a point.

And I would say the bar these days for a decent power amp lies around the $ 1.000 to $ 1.500 mark. Again, very generally speaking. I'm sure people will make me regret I've put these numbers forward, but hey I'm just trying to be helpful.

I started out with NS10's and Auratones on a very cheap Marantz amp of $100, and upgraded over the years. So do you need a "decent" amp? Don't worry too much about it and just go and make music. If you can afford it, it can be one of the many options for you to upgrade your production and in my experience is worthwhile.

Last edited by Emanuel23; 10th February 2019 at 09:57 PM..
Old 12th March 2019
  #559
If this thread is still going,..I can't count the number of studios I've been in back in the day,. In hollywood,. and, with very few exceptions,.. The ns10s were powered with a crown dc300a or a yamaha 2200. Except I know one that used an 800 watt McIntosh,..if you can afford a McIntosh amplifier,.. they are in a COMPLETE DIFFERENT BALL PARK,.. than what you will find in most studios. I can't say enough good about them. Wish they were cheaper,..if they actually were cheaper everybody else would be out of business.
Old 12th March 2019
  #560
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hello,

What is the natural subwoofer to suit the NS10?

Thanks for the reply

Sergio
Old 12th March 2019
  #561
Quote:
Originally Posted by sergioelectro View Post
hello,

What is the natural subwoofer to suit the NS10?

Sergio
Subs, like any speakers, are suit to taste, ..but I used to use a Cambridge Soundworks P1000 powered dual 12” with NS 10s.
REL, JL, and BK are worth looking into as well. gl.
Old 13th March 2019
  #562
Gee, have things changed. I never saw a subwoofer in any studio unless it was a studio involved with sound for feature films and that type of thing. I couldn't even tell you the name of one.
Old 18th May 2019
  #563
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emanuel23 View Post
www.customdclass.com

For NS10's I would recommend my Stereo amp (=AMP500, with a choice of a compact 340 mm case or 19" case)
Stereo – Custom D-Class
Hey Emanuel - Just curious why no volume/level control on this amp? My concern would be some software glitch (or hitting something by mistake in Logic or my Metric Halo interface's monitor control software) that sends an insanely loud sound through the amp and blows my NS10s.
Old 18th May 2019
  #564
Gear Maniac
Again, the purpose of NS10m is to check overall balance of things and frequencies not to worship them.

Any adequately powered amp will do.

The rest is pure fetish.

I mean, if you're rich you can golden coat them and hire two midgets to hold them like speaker stands if that makes you feel better.

Not that it's necessary.

But you can.

And post here how acoustic midgets are superior to regular foam pads in improving sound.

I don't really see any difference between buying a $2000 amp and hiring acoustic midgets to use NS10s. Excess is excess.
Old 19th May 2019
  #565
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave999z View Post
Hey Emanuel - Just curious why no volume/level control on this amp? My concern would be some software glitch (or hitting something by mistake in Logic or my Metric Halo interface's monitor control software) that sends an insanely loud sound through the amp and blows my NS10s.
Sure, well what I build are strictly power amps.

Power amps in their most neutral / true form are amplifying 100 % at all times.
I.o.w. they are on full blast at all times.

Sometimes there is a "volume" or "level" setting or potmeter on a power amp though, and if that is the case 95 % of the time these will be cheaply implemented, rather coarse level controls that do nothing but degrade the sound quality and affect everything you hear. You don't want that in a critical listening environment.

--- Unless you are on a low budget of course and there's no other options ---

So a power amp is meant to be coupled with a monitor controller or preamp for volume settings. You could use it with a passive volume knob as well.

A power amp is NOT meant to be used "as is", it is not made to hook up directly to your sound card output. You need some way of regulating the volume. So you are very right about feeling insecure about just connecting these to your main output.

However! You CAN hook it up directly to your soundcard output in case you're using software to control the volume AFTER the DAW. For example Cubase has its own "control room" software. Or you might use e.g. RME's Totalmix capabilities here. That latter method is how I drive my amps these days and there's zero issues. ==> I am sure Logic or Metric Halo have similar capabilities.

In other words, a power amp needs to be coupled with a preamp // or with a monitor controller // or with a passive volume knob // or through a software volume control AFTER the main output of the DAW. Than you are safe and good to go.

==> Note that this is the exact same situation as what happens when dealing with a pair of active monitors. The internal amps of most active speakers are ON 100 % full blast all of the time - bar perhaps a trimmer in the back that can finetune the volume a few dB. It is the connected volume control - how ever it may be implemented as described above - that regulates the actual output.

Last edited by Emanuel23; 19th May 2019 at 02:49 AM.. Reason: added note
Old 19th May 2019
  #566
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emanuel23 View Post

Note that this is the exact same situation as what happens when dealing with a pair of active monitors. The internal amps of most active speakers are ON 100 % full blast all of the time - bar perhaps a trimmer in the back that can finetune the volume a few dB.
Thanks.

Most actives I've had have a hardware level control that covers more than a few dB, and many span 0-100%. That final physical attenuating knob gives me peace of mind. As I mentioned, my metric halo interface has monitor control, but it's still software, and I've had occasions where something -- e.g., a track's volume in Logic, master volume in Logic, mixer group in my MH software, main out in my MH software, monitor level control in my MH software, etc. -- was not where I thought, and when it suddenly blasts your speakers and it takes a couple seconds to react and turn down the culprit, that's all it takes to ruin speakers. In all the active monitors and power amps (for passive monitors) I've had, I've never needed to set the hardware trimmer anywhere close to unity (probably because of the principle that an amp should have more power than necessary to be a good match to speakers), and I would never want to risk that much power sent to my speakers.
Old 19th May 2019
  #567
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave999z View Post
Thanks.

Most actives I've had have a hardware level control that covers more than a few dB, and many span 0-100%. That final physical attenuating knob gives me peace of mind. As I mentioned, my metric halo interface has monitor control, but it's still software, and I've had occasions where something -- e.g., a track's volume in Logic, master volume in Logic, mixer group in my MH software, main out in my MH software, monitor level control in my MH software, etc. -- was not where I thought, and when it suddenly blasts your speakers and it takes a couple seconds to react and turn down the culprit, that's all it takes to ruin speakers. In all the active monitors and power amps (for passive monitors) I've had, I've never needed to set the hardware trimmer anywhere close to unity (probably because of the principle that an amp should have more power than necessary to be a good match to speakers), and I would never want to risk that much power sent to my speakers.
Two questions for you:

1)
In the scenarios that you describe - most of whom we all encounter sooner or later - how do you solve a sudden blast?

2)
How did / do you ride your monitor volume levels with active speakers?
Do you use the potmeters in the back of these active speakers as your main level control; simultaneously turning both of the speakers equally up or down, reaching back behind the speaker multiple times during every session?

Last edited by Emanuel23; 19th May 2019 at 11:27 PM..
Old 20th May 2019
  #568
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emanuel23 View Post
Two questions for you:

1)
In the scenarios that you describe - most of whom we all encounter sooner or later - how do you solve a sudden blast?

2)
How did / do you ride your monitor volume levels with active speakers?
Do you use the potmeters in the back of these active speakers as your main level control; simultaneously turning both of the speakers equally up or down, reaching back behind the speaker multiple times during every session?
1. I think I turned off the power amp from the front panel, but it’s slightly out of reach, and not a move I’m ready to do in a split second, because it basically never happens.

2. From my midi controller I control the master track volume in Logic, and occasionally adjust the MH software using my mouse.

My point is simply that, when this inevitably happens once in a blue moon (yesterday was an actual blue moon!), I’d rather it jump to say 50 or 70 percent (or whatever I keep the hardware trimmer set at) of full volume instead of 100% of full volume (which I never need, so why have it set that way).
Old 4 weeks ago
  #569
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave999z View Post
.. full volume (which I never need, so why have it set that way).
That full volume aspect is what is usually misunderstood.

Having a powerful amp for NS10's has nothing to do with how loud it can play.

It is a simple fact that a decent and more powerful amp can react faster and more accurate to sound. It's like driving a car with a lot of horse power; when you need to accelerate at low speeds, it goes without any effort at all. Need to climb a hill? No problem. In the same analogy: do you need to hear your bass, with all of the dynamics accurately represented, at low volume? That's quite a challenge for an amp, and you get it easily with a good and powerful amp.

You will not experience this with a weak and cheap amp; it struggles to keep up and ends up stringing everything together, closing the transient gaps, rounding of the curves. You get a distorted view on things and you end up misinformed, resulting in a twisted mix. You'll have no idea of how your transients actually respond, how much bass there is, how the stereo image translates.

That's why powerful amps sounds so good; they break no sweat. Especially at low volumes there's tons of bass, both accurate and dynamic, and all of the details.

Don't take my word for it, for decades now the most used amps for NS10's in pro environments are indeed far more powerful than what the NS10's prescribe. E.g. the 400 W Bryston 4B-S(S)T is a staple found in many pro studio's driving those speakers. Same story with those Yamaha P series amps (2200, 3500 ..).

So this has nothing to do with how loud the amp can play the speakers. And it has everything to do with what we're all after; a clean, accurate representation of the recording, with all of the details, with all of the bass, those precious life like dynamics, at low and medium levels. And sure, if you need it, it can play loud.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #570
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emanuel23 View Post

So a power amp is meant to be coupled with a monitor controller or preamp for volume settings. You could use it with a passive volume knob as well.

A power amp is NOT meant to be used "as is", it is not made to hook up directly to your sound card output. You need some way of regulating the volume. So you are very right about feeling insecure about just connecting these to your main output.

However! You CAN hook it up directly to your soundcard output in case you're using software to control the volume AFTER the DAW. For example Cubase has its own "control room" software. Or you might use e.g. RME's Totalmix capabilities here. That latter method is how I drive my amps these days and there's zero issues. ==> I am sure Logic or Metric Halo have similar capabilities.

In other words, a power amp needs to be coupled with a preamp // or with a monitor controller // or with a passive volume knob // or through a software volume control AFTER the main output of the DAW. Than you are safe and good to go.

==> Note that this is the exact same situation as what happens when dealing with a pair of active monitors. The internal amps of most active speakers are ON 100 % full blast all of the time - bar perhaps a trimmer in the back that can finetune the volume a few dB. It is the connected volume control - how ever it may be implemented as described above - that regulates the actual output.
Personally i would always want some kind of hardware control between a computer sound card output and the amp and speakers. All it takes is one major pop, squeal, square wave opr other sound card noise (which aren't uncommon) and there go your speakers, amp and most importantly, ears.
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