Nearfields for audiophile listening?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by sashafuckinggrey, Feb 27, 2016.

  1. JustAnotherRando

    JustAnotherRando My other bike is a Ferrari

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    FWIW, I just checked my Vanatoo T1Es, ear right up against the woofer and tweeter and zero hiss.
     
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  2. Luckbad

    Luckbad Traded in a unicorn for a Corolla

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    Unfortunately, someone saying they can put their ear right up to a monitor without hearing it means nothing to me. I've seen people say the same about the Kali LP-6. The problem is that many music production folks and audiophiles are quite deaf (in the literal sense, not in the bad at listening to music sense).

    Despite having tinnitus, my hearing is still quite good and I listen to music at much lower volumes than most, so what one person can't hear with their ear hugging a speaker doesn't mean I won't hear it.

    I'm planning to send the Kali LP-6 back from whence they came. I just can't get over being able to hear them when nothing is playing, even with the simple power switch trick from a page back.

    I'll have to save up for something without Class D amps that I can actually listen to before buying them to ensure I won't grow angrier the longer they're powered on. It's a shame, because these sound very good for the price.

    Edit: There I go listening to music on the damn things again. Urgh.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019
  3. Decomo

    Decomo Facebook Friend

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    Hiss is main reason that i am staying away from active studio monitor. Tried budget to decent ones from JBL, KRK, PreSonus etc and they all do hiss a bit which is quite annoying for nearfield. I personally sensitive to hiss so understand @Luckbad situ.

    Focal Alpha series did not hiss but auto turn off function is very annoying and need crank up the volume quite high to turn it back on from sleep mode every time.

    I am seriously considering desktop speakers such as Vanatoo, Canto Yu series, or even Chinese Edifier S2000Pro or Swan M200 MK3+. I see that they are popular and did not hear much complaint about hiss on those ones.

    At present, I am using passive bookshelf speaker with integrated amp to avoid hiss and simplify the setup but keen to try active speaker in the near future.
     
  4. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Most improved member; A+

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    If you can’t drown out the hiss with music at 80db, then you got a problem and rma or return that shit ASAP. Class D has nothing to do with it. The amps and power supply filtration and board layouts being cost reduced to get the super low price point to compete with shit made by the millions has everything to do with it. It’s a race to the bottom and the “boutique” cheap shit doesn’t have that same economy of scale. The hiss is usually drowned out by the music. Better to get something made by the millions (JBL, KRK, Mackie) they will just swap out the bad units of than some “we designed it with SCIENCE” off brand.

    If you can’t stand hiss, need monitors, are on a budget: Yamaha HS8. Don’t nitpick the sound if you can’t afford anything else. Don’t mod them. Just use them. They’re cheap, decent, don’t hiss, and have no dsp trickery to extend the bass response. If you get a unit of Yamahas that hisses a tiny bit through the tweeter when you’re listening to music, then you’re listening at too low a level and have no business buying any high end audio gear, driving a non-electric car, or owning a home with an HVAC system.

    Your alternatives to that in your price range are stuff like Behringer Genelec clones and if you think Yamahas are etched, your ears will be destroyed.

    That being said: STOP BUYING MEMES JUST BECAUSE THEY’RE THE NEW HOT SHIT OF THE MONTH. Do you listen to Top 40 and buy the K-Mart employee of the month a beer? No? Then you don’t need to buy the latest and greatest new piece of gear. If you haven’t heard it and can’t afford to keep it, or sell it off used and take the hit, then don’t buy it in the first place.

    Up your budget then and try before you buy. Most of the meme audiophile bookshelves and desktop speakers (vanatoo, iloud, pioneer Andrew Jones, crap, crap, and more crap) are worse speakers than the not awful cheap beer fields (the models from the brands you mention which you can try in most strip mall retailers) that are all heavily value engineered to hit that price point to compete with each other for 150-400 bucks. The expensive 6-8” ones totally destroy them for form factor and size. LS 50 and friends can go to hell. For yet cost of getting a decent amp, you could up budget and get something that costs 1500 or so that doesn’t hiss. Of course nobody on the internet who refuses to pull the trigger does this and judges all active speakers by the 300 dollar bullshit they hear at Guitar Center and then of course blind buys some meme off brand Chinese crap or Andrew Jones Pioneer from Amazon and ends up with worse sound. It’s all like judging towers by what you hear at a speaker show or the Martin Logan dealer show room.

    Focal Alpha also sound like shit. Genuinely much worse than JBL and Yamaha. Might as well get the closeout older KRK Rockets then with the glass composite woofers. They have class ab amps, don’t hiss, and at least those are priced on blowout now to where their sound quality is: rather low. If you don’t care, then you don’t care so you might as well go cheap. I’m not even saying this just to be a dick. Don’t waste your money if you don’t care that much about sound quality. Buy something cheap that works and stop nitpicking. Try it before you buy it if you can to make sure you don’t viscerally hate it but don’t waste your money. Especially if you play video games and want to hear that full orchestral soundtrack in HD DSD. Then really don’t waste your money.

    Of course if you listen at 60db to Spotify, none of this matters and you can’t be helped except by playing guitar on a full stack with the volume knob decked to 10, shooting rifles, or mowing the lawn. The kpop, nerf guns, and push mowers are that way.
     
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  5. iFi audio

    iFi audio MOT iFi Audio

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    'Firends' aside, that's a stretch. LS 50 is a great product for what it is, a true overachiever, which gracefully scales up with electronics it gets. It has tremendous potential in this regard.
     
  6. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf MOT: E.T.A Headphones

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    Personally I've never heard a LS50 setup that impressed me in any way. I've heard em at the Schiitr, in a few offline friends' homes, and in our own showrooms with a variety of gear behind them.

    I prefer any of the small recent KRK actives to them at a fraction of the price across the board of sonic attributes (possibly aside from imaging), plus they don't need an amp which makes them cost even less comparatively.

    I mean, I'd take LS50s over the Blumenstein Orcas but I've always thought of them as a speaker for the uninitiated - an ok place to start if you haven't heard better (and sometimes a bargain on the used market compared to other ridiculously priced standmount speakers), but hardly the best choice for the money in light of the inexpensive 'pro' active speakers available.
     
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  7. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Most improved member; A+

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    Yeah if you hate anything below 100hz, love pots and pans clanging treble, never listen loudly, and use them to the sides of a television for watching sitcoms and the news. LS50 are the riced-out PC cases of speakers. They’re for people who would otherwise be using ear buds.
     
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  8. Dzerh

    Dzerh Friend

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    @Luckbad , I'm not sure about your needs, but I personally can recommend trying Monoprice Studio Monitors, 8in or 5in with sub. No hissing for me, at least in ones I have (were bought about 3 years ago). Avoid newer coaxial 6.5in exactly due to hissing. (I have all 3 models and sub at home)
    For me 5in and 8in have good resolution and tonal balance (and I can't hear past 14.5KHz and have pretty limited exposure to live music :) ). The only downside for me is a pretty narrow beam from the twitter so positioning is critical. I really like them, but I'm not sure I'm not biased due to their price :)
     
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  9. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    Did you ever hear the Genelec computer speakers? The tiny ones? I was at a meet once and the local Genelec guy dropped in with a pair. You could put one on each hand, just like the sort of computer speakers that cost a few dollars and have an AA battery. They were utterly absurd. Absurdly good, for their size... and absurdly expensive for their size.

    For anyone wanting to go beyond headphones, and travel with actual real speakers one could chuck into a suitcase, they would have been brilliant.

    Don't know how they would compare now. This was a few years back, before bluetooth speakers became ubiquitous and one or two maybe even listenable.

    I think I heard LS50s at the same meet (Powered by an old Quad amp about the same age as me). I liked them. But I might fit into the group that you describe :)
     
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  10. Decomo

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    @Psalmanazar Thank you for your advice. Very well noted.

    I will visit local studio gear shop to demo several studio monitors (incl. KRK G3 with glass composite woofer).
    I am particularly interested in Adams T5v which is within the budget and looks very good and internet review seem very positive.

    Anyone tried Adams T5v and care to share feedback?
     
  11. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Most improved member; A+

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    The cheap Adams are really bad. Etched wth tweeter and back ported. They’re not close to A7X. If you’re going to buy from a local shop, might as well spring for the current Kevlar
    rockets that actually sound good hahaha. The difference is night and day and I doubt they will give you g3 for a hundred a pair. The only rocket that was a good buy after the lsr 305 and Hs8 came out was the Rocket 10-3 and that was a thousand a pair. The revamp was sorely needed but now they’re the best thing (along with Hs8) In chain retailers who replaced German made A7X with cheap crap Chinese made, Adam-branded speakers post Adam bankruptcy. The decline is as big as American-made Mackie to Chinese “Mackie”
     
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  12. Decomo

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    Again, thank you very much and great to know. I will check out KRK Rockit G4 new series or look out for used pair of real Adams monitor (A5x or A7x). I am not sure 10-3 which looks way too big for nearfield and my space is relatively small (10' x 10') so 5" to 6" may be better fit, I guess. :)
     
  13. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Most improved member; A+

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    I gotta agree with you on the small new KRKs. I heard the new Rocket 5” and 8” again today and the 7” for the first time with @HitmanFluffy. The 5” is Shockingly good despite lack of low end extension and getting boxy at high volumes. Whatever value engineering the bankers who own Gibson now directed KRK to do now as a brand is working, unlike Adam. Hopefully Les Pauls QC improves too.

    The 7” lack detail that and have wooly bass. 8” good bass for what it is, mids congested. Good for poppy pop and rap stuff, bad for metal. Fell apart with Mercyful Fate. 7” good for those who like shitty distorted bass but I don’t see why it’s there other than to fill a hole in the price range. The 5” was awesome for identifying effects on vocals and guitars.

    All are better than Yamaha and JBL. Yamahas have suckout in comparison except for the in your face honk of the HS5. JBLs... no unless you can’t afford anything more than 150-180 a pair speakers.
     
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  14. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf MOT: E.T.A Headphones

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    I'm still curious about the new KRK 10" 3-way. At that pricepoint I'm not sure what else is competitive.
     
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  15. Decomo

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    Is 3 way ok for nearfield? Not sure if the distance between speaker and listener would be far enough for 3 ways hence 2 ways are popular for nearfield? Please correct me if I am wrong. It is what I read online hence I never thought about 3 ways for nearfield.
     
  16. Decomo

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    Great to hear that KRK Rockit 5 G4 is good. I went to local DJ shop earlier today and it was packed with people so could not grab any sales assistant to try one so will have to visit another time to try.

    However, music was on previous model G3 5" and I could not detect hiss and it sounded pretty good. I have not checked the spec but when I lift both of old and new, previous model seems slightly heavier. I guess that it is because previous model is Class AB and newer model is Class D amp inside?
    I definitely prefer new G4 design and look. Just wished the front baffle is made of smooth plastic like previous version instead of coarse surface plastic which look even cheaper somehow but design is definitely look more professional.
    Thank you very much for the suggestion.
     
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  17. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Most improved member; A+

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    The old one was actually decent, which was a surprise for KRK Rokit.
    No not really. Maybe 2-3 meters meters away. Most three way speakers and even the 8” two ways have problems blending 3 feet from your face. There are specialized three way near fields with smaller bass woofers like the Hedd 20, Kh310, Dyn Lyd 48, etc that are usable for near field but are not for extremely close up use.

    Older one is class ab and I think might use linear power supplies. The class d should be a benefit in the 5” one even if some units might hiss more due to higher efficiency, lower heat, and more wattage. The Kevlar drivers in the new ones are a lot better sounding too. The older ones are colored and unclear but don’t sound worse than stuff like most Focal speakers and Harbeths. Not that that means anything.
     
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  18. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    I've now got about a month playing with some cheap things that should sound like garbage:

    https://www.miccatron.com/micca-rb42-reference-bookshelf-speakers/

    http://www.tpdz.net/products_detail/productId=33.html

    Setup: listening midfield, speakers shoved into bookshelves. Fed by Gungnir A2-->Freya.

    Listening @ less than 90db or so, and with a 36db highpass @ 33Hz, this little setup has no business sounding as good as it does, imho. $235 all in (but more like $265 after intro pricing on Miccas). Adding a 2db boost above 8500hz for less than ideal setup (placed low in bookshelf) gets the soundstage up and out. Good midbass punch before things get rowdy above 93-95db. After that, shit falls apart. Really impressed with an overall lightness, quickness that's not bright. The combo is pleasantly nimble, and the woofer/tweeter blend is surprisingly good. Macrodynamics aren't awesome, but do catch me off guard because I wouldn't expect speakers like these to have any jump factor. But, they do, a bit. I might schlep this little mini-rig out to the June DMV meet for fun if folks are interested.

    Anyhow, go ahead and shit all over tiny woofers and Class-D, but in some situations with small SQFT and no need for pants-flapping horse dicks at 18hz or the last word in breathy-like-i-can-hear-what-color-diana-krall's-bra-is microdetail, it might be good enough combo to keep things fun for folks looking to spend less than $250-ish. This setup does music in an engaging and unfatiguing way that is worth mentioning. I've got a pair of JBL LSR305s coming in a few weeks that I'll compare.

    Edit: one thing i'd like to add is that these Miccas seem to suffer from thermal compression and therefore distortion more than any other small speaker I've spent time with (PSB Alphas, Paradigm Atom V6, etc.). PSBs seemed to be the most "fail gracefully" of the smaller speakers I've spent time with. So, be forewarned, Micca References not SPL machines. Things top out at about 90-92db continuous listening midfield for more than 60 minutes. After that it turns into a shit show; compressed, truncated bass and soundstage shrinks like a frightened turtle. Putting a hand on the woofer cone after a "lively" listening session with some Battles, things got hot. I'll have to do some more fiddling with my cheapo thermal gun. Iron law definitely applies, no free lunch. 83db/w sensitivity means a shitload of watts ripping through a teeny tiny VC to make bass, hence, thermal capacity much lower than a lot of other options at or around this price point, it seems. Align your preferences!

    Edit 2: Some more thoughts on soundstage. Compared to my AN transmission lines, the Miccas are a good bit more "3 blob" and forward. Image specificity is there, but things are kind of clumped together; middle, left, and right. Less depth and further forward from the plane of the speakers. Stereo pans are still convincing and quite immersive, but the space around instruments doesn't quite congeal into a wide and relatively deep soundfield the way the AN's present things. Very excited to get the JBLs in so I can hear what a decent constant directivity speaker does with regards to imaging, which should be a strongpoint with the fancy pants wave guides.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
  19. julian67

    julian67 Facebook Friend

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    I'm volunteering to be trampled underfoot, but here goes:

    If the use case really is literal desktop i.e. two loudspeakers a yard or two apart and a similar distance away from the ear then there is just no good reason to spend serious money. Loudspeakers aren't magic. They have been excellent for many decades and are a mature and refined product. And it's cheap and easy to make truly excellent small loudspeakers for small spaces. People have been designing and manufacturing *small* loudspeakers for many years that work great up against a wall and don't need a stand. They are called, wait for it.....bookshelf loudspeakers!

    For this exact purpose I'm using the tiniest Wharfedales, the Diamond 9.0. They are perfect for this usage. If you want deep rumbles and/or realistic bass filling a normal size living space they are absolutely not the right thing. If you want the right amount of weight for listening from 1 or 2 yards away it's hard to find anything to criticise. The mids and highs are beautiful, exceptionally good, the soundstage is great, vocals and instruments are hauntingly real. Cost? £40. That's $50 US.

    This is mature technology, well understood, competently mass produced. Spend the other $1000s on the difficult stuff ;)
     
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    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
  20. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    There are exceptions, but mostly it's a misnomer. The worst place to put many (most?) bookshelf speakers would be on a bookshelf.
     
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