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Yamaha HS5 + sub vs. Focal Alpha 50 / 65 vs. Presonus Sceptre 6 - Also, waterfall plots?

Discussion in 'Monitoring' started by JoshHPMusic, Jan 7, 2018.

?

Which Speakers?

  1. Yamaha HS5 + sub

    1 vote(s)
    100.0%
  2. Focal Alpha 50 (+ sub?)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Presonus Sceptre 6

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Focal Alpha 65

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. JoshHPMusic

    JoshHPMusic Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Location:
    Chicago
    Home Page:
    Hey everyone,

    So I've been mixing with Yamaha HS5's for about 5 years on, and I'm starting to feel like there are a few limitations. Mainly, the lack of low end, as I don't have a subwoofer currently, which I feel makes it difficult to judge important factors of instrument timbre and overall feel. Additionally, I think this in conjunction with the upper mids brightness has caused be to compensate in certain ways. I will give you a link to my music to judge for yourself, but I think it has caused me to over-emphasize the lower mids in wanting more body to my mixes, and leave out some upper mids perhaps as well. Some of this likely also has do with the self-mastering that I did, which I will not be doing for my next release. Anyhow: https://soundcloud.com/joshhpmusic/sets/color-it-blue

    My options as I've narrowed it down are either the Yamaha HS5's that I already have, with the addition of a subwoofer (HS8S or comparable), the Focal Alpha 50 or 65, or the Presonus Sceptre. I've really heard great things about all of them, but I want to hear what you all think.

    Another factor to consider is my room. My primary mixing room when I'm at home during the summer, winter, and breaks from college is roughly 20' x 12', though fairly irregular with two corners that are sort of recessed, has been DIY treated with rigid fiberglass panels and is pretty damn well tamed if I might say. It's got walls made of old knotted pine halfway up, and a ceiling made of this almost card-board like white tile surface that oddly seems to help as well. from Though, I will have different monitoring situations this semester vs. next year vs. the next. My current room at school is a bit smaller, probably like 16' x 12' and definitely doesn't sound quite as good. But I'm only there for a couple more months. Next year, the room will likely be a little bit more square, and similar size if not slightly smaller.

    For this reason, I would like to find something that will work decently well in these different spaces, and obviously that will allow mixes to translate well.

    I've also heard that porting can sometimes be an issue if it A) causes the speaker to resonate longer than the actual sounds or B) rear porting that causes issues close to a wall. However, maybe I could just stuff the rear ports in conjunction with having a sub? And before you warn against the dangers of subs, I think those dangers can be mitigated with measured placement and careful level/crossover control. Does anyone have waterfall plots or experience with port resonance on these?

    Aaand... GO!
     
  2. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Location:
    Boulder, Colorado
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    Wouldn't measurements need to be done in an anechoic chamber to see the port resonance without it being swamped by room effects?
     
  3. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
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    How close to the wall are your hs5 ?
     
  4. JoshHPMusic

    JoshHPMusic Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Location:
    Chicago
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    At home, about 7 or 8 feet from the wall behind them. At school, it will probably have to be within 2 or 3 feet of the wall.
     
  5. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
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    Due to the bass port being at the back, Yamaha recommand 3 feet if I remember...
    there have been many debates as if it's ideal or not tho...
    I do have the HS8 and the sub (not the original yet) but I don't have other choice to be close to the wall so the sub is a good help to me. You see, I'm a low end heavy kind of guy so having a sub to hear a bit too much of it makes me mix better.
    With that said, studio monitors aren't about which sounds good or better but those who makes you do better mixes.
    Some of notarious bad sounding speakers have been widely used in studios because they made engineer do better mixes.
     
  6. JoshHPMusic

    JoshHPMusic Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Location:
    Chicago
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    Right, I get that. Most likely I will not have a choice of being more than about 2 feet from a wall. I also like low end so having a sub might be nice. On the HS5's I really feel blind to anything below a couple hundred hertz and this really compromises some of my mixing decisions. Additionally, I do not feel that they are particularly good in the stereo field representation, or depth representation, and feel like there might be something I'm missing. I've also made mixes on these that sound damn good, but less so on other systems. To me it seems that just because they share general midrangey-ness with the NS10's does not mean that they share the right kind of midrangey-ness, as in not the same frequencies boosted, crossover clarity, resonance times, or stereo imaging. I do plan on getting a Mixcube or something along those lines to help with the cluttered midrange area and mono mixing.

    I know that ports can sometimes cause resonance that hangs over the lower frequencies, especially in smaller speakers, but I'm not sure if that would be more or less problematic than a sub in a less than ideal room. Also, how that compares with rear-porting vs. front-porting. This is why I wish I could find waterfall plots for these speakers.
     
  7. JoshHPMusic

    JoshHPMusic Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Location:
    Chicago
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    Also, wondering if anybody can comment on the Focal Alpha 50 vs Alpha 65? I realized that they both have surprising bass response going all the way down to 45 and 40 Hz at -3dB, respectively. The HS5's only go down to 54Hz, but at -10dB, and realistically are measured at 74Hz at -3dB (no wonder they don't publish this measurement!

    So, while I could get the 65's, I think they might be kind of big for my setup. By the measurements it really doesn't seem like losing those 5 Hz of low end would be a huge deal.

    But, can anyone comment on the sound differences between these speakers? Or any other recommendations?
     
  8. Phongthuam

    Phongthuam Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2018
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    Hh2B Linh Đàm, Hoàng Mai, Hà Nội
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    did you treatment your room ?
     
  9. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
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    HS 5's plus the sub should do the trick. I'd suggest a mixcube too.

    With the focals you might need a sub too.

    I know someone who had focal alphas, and intially liked them, but quickly changed their opinion, on them and sold them after working with them a few months.

    The HS series are some of the better nearfields out there regardless of price.

    I liked the Yamaha sub when I used it in conjunction with meyer hd1's. It's not super powerful or loud, but blends nicely into the tops, without being obviously 'subwoofer' sounding, and relaying useful low end info.
     
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    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

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