The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
NS-10m Totally worth it
Old 20th March 2013
  #1
NS-10m Totally worth it

After much internal debate on whether or not to add the famed Yamaha NS-10m monitors to my setup I finally went ahead and did it when I saw the perfect pair for sale. (Nashville location, reputable seller, original docs, custom banana plugs and fuse added).

It was pretty clear from reading the forums that they do provided a uniform, 2 dimensional mixing experience that has become a staple in the industry. "A mix that sounds good on them will pretty much sound good across the board."

Well, today I plugged them in and immediately their benefit was clear.

It's like in the first grade when you only have 8 fat crayons to work with. Its really easy to pinpoint the overall balance and spacing without overwhelming detail. Get the job done with nice broad strokes then go back with 64 tiny crayons and paint in the details on the reference monitors.

Oh, thank you music industry!! What a time saver this will be for me. I had often been spinning my wheels on one detail after another but not really satisfied with the big picture. These babies cut out the fat and present the bare bones mix.

I even tried some plug in knobs from min to max and on some i can barely hear a difference!!

One scratch and in the original box! For me worth every penny. A shout out for an industry that takes care of its toys!

Maybe to most people this was obvious, to me I thought it was mostly about sounding like everyone else. It's a whole lot about workflow and common sense. I missed that, so here is a heads up to anyone else who is in my situation.
Old 20th March 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
 

It also surprised me how easy it is to set compression with these when I first got mine... It's super easy to hear if something is too pokey
Old 20th March 2013
  #3
Lives for gear
 
RCM - Ronan's Avatar
I went away from them for a decade but ended up getting drawn back and now do most of my mixing on them.
Old 20th March 2013
  #4
It seemed to me they have become rather cliche, but I figured how can I argue with success. I thought it was safe now they were no longer the in thing.

I guess the price, the fact they are always used and require their own power amp are draw backs.

Now, should I,( where do I ) get some aura tones? As always, where to draw "the line"!
Old 20th March 2013
  #5
Gear Head
 

Got mine years ago through a friend. They have always been my only monitors at home. I would say we have a love/hate relationship. I have gone through many periods where I thought about replacing them, but they always stick around.

Granted, its not like Ive had thousands of dollars to throw at replacement monitors, but the 10's translate best to consumer systems.

Ive found that a mix on my ns10's doesnt sound as sparkly when I transfer it over to a pair of nice genelecs, but it always works on laptops and crap stereos, and for the most part in the car.


One thing though, im running mine through a pretty old alesis amp. It was maybe 4 or 500 bucks new, but im hearing that in order to really get why ns10's are great, you need a super expensive amp.

Truth or hype?
Old 20th March 2013
  #6
Gear Addict
 

I bought a pair a few years ago. Mint condition, original speakers. Bought them a Crown D-75.
Best investment I've ever made. They don't lie.
You won't miss transients and poking frequencies. If it sounds clear and powerful on Ns10, you've got your mix done.

Don't put them sideways... Let them stand up for their rights.
Old 20th March 2013
  #7
Gear Addict
 
Kubilay's Avatar
 

I couldn't work without mine. I do like them with a sub, and they definitely appreciate a good amp. Also, I find they are as unforgiving of a bad room as they are of a bad mix - their timing and imaging advantages get nixed in a bad room and you're just left with the mid-focus. But in an acoustically good space with a good amp they are really something, and it's then quite fun (and educational) to listen to good mixes on them.
Old 20th March 2013
  #8
Gear Addict
 

I traded A 6 slot lunch box with two API 550Bs for my pair of NS-10ms and a Bryston 4B amp. I will not mix on anything else.

You said it best.. with higher end monitors its really easy to spend HOURS spinning your wheels on details that most wont hear.

NS-10s get me in the ballpark faster than any other pair of monitors. Period.

Love em. Can't mix without em =]
Old 20th March 2013
  #9
Gear Addict
 
WasserSpitzer's Avatar
 

NS-10`s sound just like the systems i used to listen to when i first discovered music in the early 80`S . Tight and punchy without all the low end crap
Old 20th March 2013
  #10
Gear Head
 

Couple questions if you please....

I currently have a mismatched pair. One of them is an NS-10m, the other is an upright model. I never really checked into it as I got them from a friend basically for free about 10 years ago. I have used them forever and I feel like I know them pretty well.


Should I shell out for a Bryston amp instead of buying a nice new set of monitors? This is my home set up, as such I often mix at a very low volume. Ns10's seem perfect for this. Im wondering if paying a bunch of cash for an amp will really make a huge difference, and also if having a mismatched pair is super terrible.
Old 20th March 2013
  #11
Gear Addict
 
WasserSpitzer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bsides88 View Post
Couple questions if you please....

I currently have a mismatched pair. One of them is an NS-10m, the other is an upright model. I never really checked into it as I got them from a friend basically for free about 10 years ago. I have used them forever and I feel like I know them pretty well.


Should I shell out for a Bryston amp instead of buying a nice new set of monitors? This is my home set up, as such I often mix at a very low volume. Ns10's seem perfect for this. Im wondering if paying a bunch of cash for an amp will really make a huge difference, and also if having a mismatched pair is super terrible.
What does the power rating on the back panel say , is there a difference ?
I`m just checking if the X-overs are the same . There is a difference between the Studio and non studio model . The tweeters are different as well.
The amp is a big deal on ns-10s so i would go for it as it is the most expensive part of the setup .
Old 20th March 2013
  #12
Lives for gear
 
montanasan's Avatar
 

I've got NS-10Ms but have been thinking I need a better amp - I'm just running them off a cheap Samson. Any recommendations?
Old 20th March 2013
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by montanasan View Post
I've got NS-10Ms but have been thinking I need a better amp - I'm just running them off a cheap Samson. Any recommendations?
Since recently I use one of these ...

ABACUS electronics | Ampino

I didn't expect that much of an improvement in details and clarity.
Old 20th March 2013
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by montanasan View Post
I've got NS-10Ms but have been thinking I need a better amp - I'm just running them off a cheap Samson. Any recommendations?
Yamaha p2250 or 2002
Old 20th March 2013
  #15
Gear Addict
 
WasserSpitzer's Avatar
 

During my search The Bryston 4B got most love on here.
Cheaper alternatives mentioned a lot is the Yamahas (P2200 , P2002) and Adcom 555 .
I use the P2200 and it sounds fantastic
Old 20th March 2013
  #16
Gear Addict
 
chrisjones's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by montanasan View Post
I've got NS-10Ms but have been thinking I need a better amp - I'm just running them off a cheap Samson. Any recommendations?
I like the old Yamaha Power Amps but I also have a Crown Xti 1002(I had a chat with Jeff Juliano last year who recommended the Crown) which sounds great with the NS10's.
Old 20th March 2013
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bsides88 View Post
Couple questions if you please....

I currently have a mismatched pair. One of them is an NS-10m, the other is an upright model. I never really checked into it as I got them from a friend basically for free about 10 years ago. I have used them forever and I feel like I know them pretty well.


Should I shell out for a Bryston amp instead of buying a nice new set of monitors? This is my home set up, as such I often mix at a very low volume. Ns10's seem perfect for this. Im wondering if paying a bunch of cash for an amp will really make a huge difference, and also if having a mismatched pair is super terrible.
At one time I was heavily into consumer home audio. The amp you need should have around 100 watts per channel or more. Not so you can blow the speakers, but whatever detail can come through will get pushed well enough.

You also want an amp with low THD so you aren't losing or distorting the details.

Both these factors translate to a "good" amplifier. Getting a dedicated amp over a receiver is usually a cleaner route to go at a reduced price.

I am using a Rotel 2 channel.
Old 20th March 2013
  #18
Lives for gear
 
SteelyDani's Avatar
In my opinion the NS-10m provide an incredibly accurate stereo image. Main vocals sound exactly in the middle and its height varies significantly with the reverb. If I close my eyes I could swear that the singer is right in front of me and over my head. I guess the positioning of monitors and room acoustics play an important role.
Old 20th March 2013
  #19
Lives for gear
 
montanasan's Avatar
 

Are there any new amps worth considering (for those of us on a budget)?
Old 20th March 2013
  #20
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by montanasan View Post
Are there any new amps worth considering (for those of us on a budget)?
Check out the amp they're selling to go with the Spiral Groove Studio Ones...the Class D Audio one...

$600 brand new, and sounds better than amps at double or triple it's price. I have it, and a Bryston 4B, and it holds it own against my 4B no problem. It actually has some more lows and is a little fuller sounding which helps the NS10s. Highly recommend!!

You can buy it here:

Spiral Groove Studio Monitors — Home

I don't make a penny off it, but I seriously urge people who are looking for an amp to get this one. By far the best bang for your buck and sounds fantastic.
Old 21st March 2013
  #21
Gear Addict
 
spenceroo's Avatar
 

How many watts is the Companion amp? I'm not seeing any specs.
Old 21st March 2013
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Tone Laborer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by H89 View Post
I even tried some plug in knobs from min to max and on some i can barely hear a difference!!
And this is a good thing?

Whatever works, like they say.
Old 21st March 2013
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by H89 View Post
After much internal debate on whether or not to add the famed Yamaha NS-10m monitors to my setup I finally went ahead and did it when I saw the perfect pair for sale. (Nashville location, reputable seller, original docs, custom banana plugs and fuse added).

It was pretty clear from reading the forums that they do provided a uniform, 2 dimensional mixing experience that has become a staple in the industry. "A mix that sounds good on them will pretty much sound good across the board."

Well, today I plugged them in and immediately their benefit was clear.

It's like in the first grade when you only have 8 fat crayons to work with. Its really easy to pinpoint the overall balance and spacing without overwhelming detail. Get the job done with nice broad strokes then go back with 64 tiny crayons and paint in the details on the reference monitors.

Oh, thank you music industry!! What a time saver this will be for me. I had often been spinning my wheels on one detail after another but not really satisfied with the big picture. These babies cut out the fat and present the bare bones mix.

I even tried some plug in knobs from min to max and on some i can barely hear a difference!!

One scratch and in the original box! For me worth every penny. A shout out for an industry that takes care of its toys!

Maybe to most people this was obvious, to me I thought it was mostly about sounding like everyone else. It's a whole lot about workflow and common sense. I missed that, so here is a heads up to anyone else who is in my situation.
Love at first blush is pretty common in this field. Let me know how you feel about them in 5 or 10 years.


FWIW, I bought my NS10's in the mid-90s. They were my primaries for a couple years but as I moved increasingly into electronic music (at the time), the rapid bass roll off became increasingly problematic and I augmented them with a pair of Event 20/20bas and the two sets seemed to balance each other nicely.

Having shut down my project studio, I have the Events to the side because they're just way too loud (I use an analog mixer for CR level, but the speakers' self-noise is a bit much up close in my present circumstance, even padded all the way down). I started using the NS10's for everyday listening and casual mixing and slipped into using them with the built in, continuously variable loudness compensation in my old Yamaha hi fi amp from the same era.

After many years of contemplating the differences between the speakers -- the Events are overall much, much flatter and easily have an extra octave of relatively flat bass --- but the Yamahas, being acoustic suspension (ultra low resonance driver in a sealed baffle) don't have the same resonance bump and fast bass drop off that bass reflex speakers do. The bass rolls off gradually (which means, among other things, that it accepts corrective EQ more much more gracefully in that range). And the transient response of acoustic suspension speakers tends to be considerably better, as they avoid the resonance-reinforcement strategy of ported speakers, and the subtle but potentially nagging 'ring' that ported speakers (like my Events) tend to have. Still, the Events gave a good overall view of the frequency relationships, were often 'fun' to listen to, and, when I brought them onboard, improved my mixes, which had been a bit all over the map at the bottom from trying to mix with the NS10s flat but without a proper low frequency reference speaker. (Well, duh, hunh? heh )
Old 21st March 2013
  #24
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
Love at first blush is pretty common in this field. Let me know how you feel about them in 5 or 10 years.


Indeed, The happiest day of my life was the day I bought a pair of NS10's. The next happiest day was the day I packed them up and sold them.

Tracked and mixed on em for 10+ years. I could tell stories, but I won't because this seems to be a NS10 love fest, but suffice it to say, one day I woke up and realized I hated music.

I hated the way it sounded. And NS10's had a lot to do with that.

Bought some speakers that engaged and pulled me in, and I've been happy ever since.
Old 21st March 2013
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post


Indeed, The happiest day of my life was the day I bought a pair of NS10's. The next happiest day was the day I packed them up and sold them.

Tracked and mixed on em for 10+ years. I could tell stories, but I won't because this seems to be a NS10 love fest, but suffice it to say, one day I woke up and realized I hated music.

I hated the way it sounded. And NS10's had a lot to do with that.

Bought some speakers that engaged and pulled me in, and I've been happy ever since.
I always felt like the NS10s were an asset. (You should have heard what I was mixing on before, oh heavens! In fact, go back far enough and you will find me mixing on Minimus 7s. As primaries. My main keyboard could run on batteries and had those tiny keys. And yet I still had car buying money tied up in the whole thing -- you whippersnappers don't even realize how INCREDIBLY STUPID CHEAP prosumer stuff is nowadays.)

But, at least until I started using compensatory playback EQ, they were never particularly much fun to listen to.

Now, however, while they still don't field a basement full of bass, with the EQ engaged, they're a pleasant and genearlly unfatiguing listen.

That said, I'm really feeling like getting the Events hooked up again... they're not that much bigger than the Yamahas (but lots heavier being powered speakrs with 400 honest watts of bi-amplification between them) but I want to have them both up, if only because I don't want to be hearing the self-noise of the Events when I'm not listening to music. And then the two sets of speakers that IS kind of a bit much for this tiny place -- particularly for my speaker stands, at least until I get them properly stabiliized. (This is California. The ground moves when you least expect it. And I'm on a sandbar near the ocean, so, depending on where the shock waves are coming from, this flat over a row of wooden garages really sways, sometimes quite violently. And I do't get excited by earthquakes much as a rule.)
Old 21st March 2013
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
Love at first blush is pretty common in this field. Let me know how you feel about them in 5 or 10 years.
Let me clarify, I also have Adam S3a's and KRK 10's and reference subwoofer with an analog console that I can A/B and Mini Swap in and out of with or without Bass management.

I mean to say I am happily adding the NS-10m to my workflow. Would I ever choose to listen to them for Music? Heavens NOOOOOO!!
Old 23rd March 2013
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by H89 View Post
Let me clarify, I also have Adam S3a's and KRK 10's and reference subwoofer with an analog console that I can A/B and Mini Swap in and out of with or without Bass management.

I mean to say I am happily adding the NS-10m to my workflow. Would I ever choose to listen to them for Music? Heavens NOOOOOO!!
heh

Honest, they're not too bad with the right EQ. That said, they are quite good as 'magnifying glass' type monitors.

I had a revelation a while back that they are the bookshelf speakers I always dreamed of back when I was a kid in the 60s. They 'take' bass boost fairly gracefully because of the infinite baffle and resulting gradual rolloff -- it's really interesting listening to a sweep down to the bottom. Using them with EQ was a real revelation. But, for sure, no amount of bass boost is gonna make them rock the foundation. Maybe not even the wooden floor. heh
Old 25th March 2013
  #28
Gear Addict
 

For additional questions about the NS-10s I would recommend doing a search for the comprehensive NS-10 thread that goes in detail on each version and all the different power amps that pair well and not so well with it.
Old 25th March 2013
  #29
recently I packed up my NS 10's and replaced them with some Neumann KH120's, which I find are a little easier to listen to. My main speakers are Focal Twin 6's which I trust and using the 120's is mainly for checking my balances, which is what I used my NS10's for. So far I'm happy.
Old 25th March 2013
  #30
Lives for gear
 
scruffydog's Avatar
''That's what it sounds like on those then!''
๐Ÿ“ Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 56 views: 6034
Avatar for Reptil
Reptil 16th April 2005
replies: 645 views: 223263
Avatar for Jim Williams
Jim Williams 2 days ago
replies: 5066 views: 1066993
Avatar for fabriciom
fabriciom 4 hours ago
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
๐Ÿ–จ๏ธ Show Printable Version
โœ‰๏ธ Email this Page
๐Ÿ” Search thread
๐ŸŽ™๏ธ View mentioned gear
Forum Jump
Forum Jump