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jasno84



Joined: 15/12/12
Posts: 73
Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ?
      #1040566 - 30/03/13 09:13 PM
I actually own a pair of Adam A5x for my small bedroom-studio (my first monitor ever, but I like them a lot for their size/price ratio. I'm working on them since almost 1.5 years and I am forced to use them only 15 cm from the wall, but I find them still pretty workable). I will probably move into another space at end of summer, so I'm already dreaming about a new pair of monitors for my dance productions works (house / deep house / progressive house).

I can spend up to maximum 1.500£ for a pair of new monitors (but of course I don't have to, if something cheaper can help me in the same way).
I am seriously thinking about:

- Pair of Adam A77X: 1.270£
- Pair of Neumann KH-120A: 1.050£
- Pair of Adam A7X: 800£ (can consider them if the A77x are too big for my space, or if they don't worth 450£ more than the A7x)


Please consider that:

- I mainly do dance/house/progressive house/deep house genre. So the low end is really important for me. But also consider that the space will not be acoustically treated....so I cannot say that it would be a perfect sounding room.

- Since I will have neighbour, I could not run the monitors at extremely high volume levels all the time, otherwise my neighboor will kick me out of the place in few weeks. I need to use the monitors mainly with a moderate volume (let's sayaround 80-95 decibel range, just to say some numbers).

- As I said , the place will probably not be acoutic-treated. I can think about some small work...maybe some small panels or bass-trap, but since the apartment is the apartment of my parents, I cannot do lot of work inside it! So I would say that it would be probably untreated.
I need to find a solution that permits me to increase the quality of the sounding room, but at the same time that doesn't damage the walls (or maybe white panels - if exists - could be a nice solution, since walls are white and so my parents will probably accept them). Let's say that if I can find someone that can help me to understand what treatment I have to do, and some product that doesn't damage the walls, I can consider other 500-700£ for "non-invasive" room treatment.

- the place is a small loft, around 45 square meters: it's an open space, but with different zones divided by the various furnishing (mainly 2 zones divided by a column and a wardrobe: it's possible of course to walk from a zone to the other without any door). So it's something different from a "classic closed room". The place will be quite small but still be "open" for the sound to flow in the other zones of the house in some way. The place is the highest floor of the building (a small attic), so the cieling is not really high everywhere, and goes down on one side.



Reviews of the Neumann KH-120 are amazing, but I think they are maybe small for dance heavy bass projects and after working with Adam A5x now I'd wish for something bigger than my Adams (I have some difficulties judging the really low end, and sometimes kick/bass balance).
Adding a Sub to monitors (from what I heard around) it seems not a good solution in an untreated space. It seems that separated subs are better to use in a really well-trated space, otherwise they can cause more problems than benefits.

Since I like Adam sound....the A77X seems a dream to look at, and review are nice too; but on the other end, will the A77X (or the cheaper but still good rated A7X) bigger woofer work well in an untreated (or semi-treated) space?


What to do? Which is the best solution for my situation considering all above?
Thanks everyone for their kind suggestions!

Edited by jasno84 (30/03/13 09:40 PM)


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whis4ey



Joined: 26/09/11
Posts: 156
Loc: N Ireland
Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: jasno84]
      #1040570 - 30/03/13 10:38 PM
Try the Focal CMS 50's, or if you want a larger speaker, the CMS 65's (the former are equivalent in size to the Neumann's and cheaper, the latter similar in price. and are very similar on quality (well there are those here who would disagree, but I use the Focals and they are an absolutely fabulous monitor for the money

--------------------
Sam


Edited by whis4ey (30/03/13 10:42 PM)


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: whis4ey]
      #1040589 - 31/03/13 10:48 AM
Quote whis4ey:

...the former are equivalent in size to the Neumann's and cheaper, the latter similar in price. and are very similar on quality




...and yet:
Quote whis4ey:

Of corse, I have never heard the Neumanns


...which kinda renders the opinion dubious at best!

I'm not going to recommend specific speakers here, but I will offer this advice:

1. It's easy to improve mid and high frequency room acoustics, but much more difficult to sort out the LF standing waves (room modes) from which every room suffers.

2. The more bass energy you put into a room, the more obvious those standing waves will become and the harder it will be to balance the bass end of your mixes accurately, because some notes will boom and others will go missing.

3. I know with dance music that a thumping bottom end is an important element of the music, but there is no way you'll ever recreate the 'club sound' in your project studio anyway and if you're working in a small room you'll never get an even bottom end whatever you do. So why push excessive amounts of bass into a space that can't handle it. All you'll do is struggle to compensate for the LF peaks and troughs.

It is better, in my view, to use more modest speakers that don't excite the room modes so badly, and learn how the sound they produce translates to a typical club system. Use headphones to help you assess the bottom end without the room modes.

4. The best monitor manufacturers maintain a very consistent sound across all of their models. Moving from the smallest speaker to the largest in their range sounds like you're winding out a high-pass filter, while the mid and HF character and balance stays essentially identical. This implies that the manufacturer has a firm idea of what the 'right' sound balance is supposed to be.

However, with some manufacturers you'll find that every model sounds noticeably different and I find rather disconcerting. How do you know what the 'accurate' sound is? How does the manufacturer know?

If you're spending that kind of money on monitors it's worth making the effort to find a retailer that will let you hear them for your self -- and ideally in your own studio. Remember that a monitor is supposed to have the resolution to reveal flaws in the mix, but not in a way that causes listening fatigue after an hour or two. Monitors aren't supposed to flatter the mix -- that's what hifi speakers are for -- so don't be lulled into buying a speaker that sounds 'nice' or exciting, or that over-eggs the bottom end.

Just a few thoughts...

H

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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whis4ey



Joined: 26/09/11
Posts: 156
Loc: N Ireland
Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: jasno84]
      #1040593 - 31/03/13 10:55 AM
LOL Hugh ... you are finding it difficult to let me off the hook

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Sam


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: whis4ey]
      #1040595 - 31/03/13 11:02 AM
Sorry W, I know you love your Focals and they have opened your ears to the wonders of high-end sound... but it would be remiss of me to allow anyone to pass off unfounded opinions as fact.

By all means recommend the CMS speakers on the basis of your experience of them, but lets stick with the facts, eh?

H

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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jasno84



Joined: 15/12/12
Posts: 73
Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #1040616 - 31/03/13 01:21 PM
thanks for the advices! I know that low frequencies are the worst to deal with, and that's why I think it's not even worth considerin woofer size bigger than 7" in my situation. That's why I exluded Adam A8x from the choices and thinked about A7x or A77x (even if they have 2 woofer drives, they should have more accuracy and precision, but not more accentuated low end than A7x).

On the other hand the marvellous reviews of the Neumann KH-120 are tempting me as well. Everybody says that they are excellent monitors, extremely precise and accurate...and more and more I work on new tracks, the more I'd like to work with monitors that help me in taking the right mixing decision (eq, compression...) and make me save time!

Listening to many monitors at once it's not easy here in Italy. We don't have such big stores like big U.S. / UK stores with dozens of monitors ready to be listened. I've been lucky enough to listen to Dynaudio Bm Mkii series, Adam Ax series and Krk Rokit series before purchasing my Adams. I found the Krk Rokit to be less precise than Adams (more boomy bass / dark sound....less neutral), and I didn't like for personal taste the Dynaudio timbre, because I found them too middish. I didn't had any fun listening to them. I know monitors are for working, but I need to appreciate a timber from a monitor..... because audio is fun too for me. So Adam was the best for my overall neeeds. And I'm happy I've choosen the A5x model because my bedroom is not big, they need to sit on the desktop just 15cm from the back wall and listening distance from speaker to ears is just 70-80 cm, so A5x was the perfect choice for my needs. I have to say that they have a good bass extension for their size

But the new place will be bigger than my bedroom, and I will not be forced to keep monitors so close to the walls. I can finally use proper stands if I want, so I can imagine that the bass will probably become lighter than now. Just to know...how is the bass extension of the Neumann KH-120A (5,25" woofer) compared to the Adam A5x (5,5" woofer)? I've read of people that says that bass extension for their size is really good, but even someone that says that are not suitable for dance music (someone says the same with A5x, but I like them in my specific environmental situation). Sooo difficult to choose. But I cannot think about having less bass than now with my A5x model.

Of course I can consider other brands as well...but not Dynaudio because I didn't like the timbre. Everybody says that Focals are nice speakers, but I've read of different opinion on them as well (I've read about port noise, and that they are really good speakers in general but maybe not so great for dance as well). The Neumann seem the ones on which most people agree on the quality. My only concern is the Bass extension


The new apartment is in Paris: any nice shops there that can give me advices / let me try at home different monitors before choosing the final one?

It would be great finding an audio engineer that can help me about monitor positioning / discrete and basic room treatment. I'm not an expert in room treatment and I tink that doing something without the right know-how is probably worst than doing nothing. I'll prefer having an expert to pay that really know what he is doing with room treatment as well


Thanks again!


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whis4ey



Joined: 26/09/11
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Loc: N Ireland
Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: jasno84]
      #1040682 - 31/03/13 09:01 PM
Quote:

Sorry W, I know you love your Focals and they have opened your ears to the wonders of high-end sound... but it would be remiss of me to allow anyone to pass off unfounded opinions as fact.

By all means recommend the CMS speakers on the basis of your experience of them, but lets stick with the facts, eh?



You really have to read my other comments and keep to the facts. I have NEVER criticised the Neumanns, merely given my personal opinion of the Focals
You seem to be taking all of this very personally, and I wonder why you are so determined to dismiss an honest opinion as 'unfounded' or 'suspect' simply because it is based on the experience of one particular monitor?

--------------------
Sam


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Joined: 25/07/03
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Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: whis4ey]
      #1040736 - 01/04/13 10:15 AM
Quote whis4ey:

I wonder why you are so determined to dismiss an honest opinion as 'unfounded' or 'suspect' simply because it is based on the experience of one particular monitor?




If you stuck to your honest opinion of the one speaker you have personal experience of, there'd be no issues at all. But sadly, and increasingly frustratingly, you have continually mentioned and taken thinly veiled side-swipes at another monitor of which you have no experience whatsoever, and that's just not acceptable.

Moving on...

H

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Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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chris...
active member


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Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: jasno84]
      #1040744 - 01/04/13 11:10 AM
Quote jasno84:

I mainly do dance/house/progressive house/deep house genre. So the low end is really important for me.



I note Narcoman was recommending AE22 over KH120, for this sort of genre.

Forum post link.


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fay spook



Joined: 09/09/09
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Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: jasno84]
      #1040750 - 01/04/13 12:32 PM
What a nice situation to be in, Paris and buying some new monitors. Good to see you have listened to some speakers and you are happy with your opinions, too many people just passively take advice but not the best advice of going out there to listen.

As people have said, if you like ADAMs bigger ADAMs should add bass etc. Have a listen to the AE22s, you can get active versions. How about some Quested S6Rs? In your price range and a sealed box like the AE22s. And yes the Focals and Genelecs are options in the cast cabinet world!!

--------------------
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fay spook



Joined: 09/09/09
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Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: fay spook]
      #1040751 - 01/04/13 12:45 PM
I forgot to add.....how about some SE Munro Eggs? It is Easter after all......

I've heard them and they are great, nice bit of grunt and a precise stereo image.

--------------------
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jasno84



Joined: 15/12/12
Posts: 73
Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: fay spook]
      #1040763 - 01/04/13 02:39 PM
thanks to all for the advices:

- Se Egg seem a nice system too ( but 500£ more than the Neumann!)
- AE 22 seems nice, but heard less people speaking about them compared with Neumann.
- But Neumann KH-120A still appealing a lot (so many great opinions about them)!!

If it can be useful, I can give measure of the new space:

- length: around 6 metres (probably little less, because there is a sofa at the end of the length, and a small furniture at the beginning..)
- width: around 3 metres
- height: since it's an attic, it starts at 3.20 metres on the highest part, but goes down to 1.10 metres on the edge of the wall. (So the width, which length I said it's about 3m, starts with a highest heigth of 3.20 metres and lowest heigth of 1.10 metres).

So it will be around 18 square metres, with a high of the cieling from 3.20 to 1.10 metres (it's an attic, so the cieling is inclined and it becomes pretty short in height on one side of the place!). The important thing is that the space is not "closed", like a normal room: at the end of the 6 metres of length there is space on the left for walking into another small part of the house, end on the right for entering in the kitchen. And the walls that divide the various zones oh the house don't go up to the cieling, leaving some space for sound to go in other spaces.

I'm starting to think to avoid such big speakers like Adam A77X, I think that Hugh is probably right because the space is not so big, and the cieling goes down to 1.40 metres, and I don't know how much easy it will be to treat the room since it's asymmetry and inclined cieling (I can treat the room with white panels or not-invasive treatment, otherwise my parents will screw me!!). So, if the Neumann can produce an acceptable low end that is as deep as the Adam A5x (I hope it will be easier to work with Neumann than on the A5x on bass actually, otherwise why switching?), they could probably be a good choice for a particular space like that.


So new questions are:


1) Anyone can tell me how is the low end of the Neumann KH-120A compared to the Adam A5x (deeper, more precise...etc)? Would I obtain an obvious help in mixing if I pass from the Adam's A5x to the Neumann KH-120A?

2) If I find some pictures and the planimetry of the house I can publish here: could it be helpful for obtaining advices in choosing the monitor of the right size / verifying that the positioning I'm thinking of is the best one I can achieve?

3) Hugh, you seem a great fan of the Neumann's, but I see that you actually reviewed the Egg system as well with great results...which system you recomend me?

Thanks!


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sambrox



Joined: 20/12/08
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Loc: Denmark
Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: jasno84]
      #1040807 - 01/04/13 08:19 PM
You won't go wrong with the Neumanns. Best monitor I have heard for the price. I just bought AE22s and am pleasantly surprised by how low they go bass-wise, but am under no illusions - the KH120A is easily the more accurate when talking frequency response and distortion. Resolution and imaging are also excellent. I had other reasons for purchasing the AE22s, but I repeat, you won't get a better speaker for the price!

Cheers,
Sam

--------------------
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seedy.dk


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John Willett
Sound-Link ProAudio


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Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: jasno84]
      #1040865 - 02/04/13 08:48 AM
The Neumann KH120A do have positioning filters as standard - IE: switches to modify the response if the monitors are next to a wall, in a corner, on a console meter-bridge, etc., so you get the correct response wherever you put them.

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sambrox



Joined: 20/12/08
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Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: sambrox]
      #1040870 - 02/04/13 09:39 AM
Ps I compared the sE Eggs directly with the Neumann not so long ago. In the shop, they were both very revealing and comparable with regards to imaging and soundstage, but the Neumann had a much more pronounced low end. Incredible for the size, I would say.

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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: jasno84]
      #1040872 - 02/04/13 09:55 AM
Quote jasno84:

Se Egg seem a nice system too ( but 500£ more than the Neumann!)




The Egg is a novel but impressive system, and sE have a policy of allowing the user to try at home before buying -- something that I wish a lot more manufacturers would support.

Quote:

AE 22 seems nice, but heard less people speaking about them compared with Neumann.




They were discussed non-stop when they were first launched, but they're kind of 'old hat' now and people have moved on to the things they see advertised more often! Speaker discussions tend to vary like fashion, and the Focal brand is very fashionable at the moment. The AE22s are sealed cabinet speakers and that makes them both unusual and useful specifically because of what the sealed cabinet brings to the party in terms of the minimal bottom end resonances and time smearing. They also have a surprising bass extension, again because of the cabinet design, which isn't particularly powerful but does go down a very long way very smoothly! Something which ported cabinets generally dont't do.

Quote:

But Neumann KH-120A still appealing a lot (so many great opinions about them)!!




Anyone who has heard and used them gives great reviews... And it is hugely popular in the pro markets, but it's not a model that many people seem to have bought into in the home studio market. One reason might be that it is such a good and accurate monitor that it doesn't sound very 'impressive' when first auditioned, and this is a common problem for the inexperienced. Monitors that are shouty or have hyped top ends appear to be more revealing and detailed when auditioned in crude comparisons, and thus tend to sell better. Sad but true.

Quote:

If it can be useful, I can give measure of the new space:




6 x 3 x 3.2 is tricky because the dimensions are very close to simple integer multiples, which means that the standing waves will tend to pile up at similar frequencies. Bass trapping will be important and necessary to smooth out the room response.

Quote:

So, if the Neumann can produce an acceptable low end that is as deep as the Adam A5x




The published specs for the two are very similar in terms of LF extension. As for whether the low end is acceptable is a probably an issue of personal expectations. It won't make your trousers flap, but equally I found the balance very acceptable and had no trouble at all mixing the bottom end with confidence.

Quote:

1) Anyone can tell me how is the low end of the Neumann KH-120A compared to the Adam A5x




I haven't compared them side by side, so these are largely subjective opinions based on recollections, but the bass extension will be very similar. I'm inclined the think the KH120 is better controlled at the bottom end -- the Adams seemed to me to be tuned to make them a little more punchy.

Quote:

2) If I find some pictures and the planimetry of the house I can publish here: could it be helpful for obtaining advices in choosing the monitor of the right size / verifying that the positioning I'm thinking of is the best one I can achieve?




Probably... but given your descriptions so far I think you're on the right lines in terms of speaker size.

Quote:

3) Hugh, you seem a great fan of the Neumann's, but I see that you actually reviewed the Egg system as well with great results...which system you recomend me?




I'm a great fan of all good monitors. There are way too many monitors in the world, but a lot of them don't really warrant the term 'monitor' in my opinion. The Egg system is genuinely impressive from a sound quality point of view, but it is quite expensive and the unusual configuration is not going to suit everyone's requirements. Well worth auditioning if you can... and there are other very capable monitors around -- you'll have already seen the strong praise for the Focal CMS models which is entirely valid too. But if I was spending my own money I'd buy the KH120s without hesitation.

H

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MGBR



Joined: 20/07/06
Posts: 72
Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: John Willett]
      #1040887 - 02/04/13 11:21 AM
Quote John Willett:

The Neumann KH120A do have positioning filters as standard - IE: switches to modify the response if the monitors are next to a wall, in a corner, on a console meter-bridge, etc., so you get the correct response wherever you put them.




I've always wondered about this.
Why is it that if people want to use eq to compensate for roommodes, standing waves, corner placement etc. they get strongly advised not to (wich I totally agree on by the way). But on the other hand it's totally accepted that monitors have eq switches onboard to compensate for the very same things?


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: MGBR]
      #1040892 - 02/04/13 12:18 PM
Quote MGBR:

Why is it that if people want to use eq to compensate for roommodes, standing waves, corner placement etc. they get strongly advised not to (wich I totally agree on by the way). But on the other hand it's totally accepted that monitors have eq switches onboard to compensate for the very same things?




The LF boost that occurs through boundary loading is a broad-band effect which is both progressive and predictable, and thus easily corrected with first-order attenuating EQ.

Room modes and standing waves are narrow band effects which are not predictable (to the speaker designer) and can result in both huge peaks and massive notches. The notches can not be filled in by electronic EQ unless the speaker has a massive headroom margin (which would make it uneconomic to produce in most cases), and the narrow band filtering required is very difficult to do in the analogue domain and has serious phase shift problems. It can be done more easily and with linear-phase filters in the digital domain (at the expense of some latency), but the problem of deep notches doesn't go away.

And at the end of the day, standing waves or room modes are the result of a physical acoustic problem that is best address in the acoustics domain.

H

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Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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MGBR



Joined: 20/07/06
Posts: 72
Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: jasno84]
      #1040897 - 02/04/13 12:47 PM
Thank you very much for explaining.

I don't want to hijack this thread but I do have a follow up question, so I will start a new one in the studio design and acoustics section.
I would appreciate it very much if you could find the time to go over there and help me out?

MGBR


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Pete Kaine
Scan Computers


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Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: jasno84]
      #1040898 - 02/04/13 12:57 PM
Personally after running an A/B/C setup to compare them I'd take the Neumann 120 over the Adam A77X but then as I consider the Neumanns a little bass light in the first place I'd take the A8X over both of the previous options when it comes to working with dance music.

Yeah, probably not what you wanted to hear going off all that is printed above but the are another few notes extension (half an octave if I remember rightly over the A5X) on the A8X below what can be handled by the other two, althrough with the additional cone inches you'd expect that to be the case anyhow.

The Neumanns are pretty much the same size as the A5X's so I'm not expecting much more extension figures (I've not checked before posting, so feel free to smack me around with some printed specs) althrough the Neumanns are certainly a far more percise set of speakers I can't help but feel this is partially due to the tighter and less expanded lower region making that the case. I have to wonder through without some resonable room treatment is any upgrade here just going to be a bit of waste?... expecially going from 5" to 5.25" speakers.

The A77X's are not what you expect coming from any of the A*X range so get a listen to them. If your expecting A5X but with more bass then go for the A7X or above as the A77X to me at least has a slightly more pop/rock mixdown feel to it in being that they sometimes come across a little too clean and clinical. Perhaps that's exactly what you want (and with good reason) but do try and compare them first.

--------------------
ScanProAudio & 3XS Audio Systems
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jasno84



Joined: 15/12/12
Posts: 73
Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: Pete Kaine]
      #1040959 - 02/04/13 08:45 PM
Hi Pete,

thanks for your point of view, but I think (from my current poor knowledge) that an 8 inch woofer would probably be quite hard to control in a room where I cannot do a proper and complete acoustic treatment: from what I'm understanding bigger the woofer ----> bigger the bass, but at the same time bigger problems with low frequencies control in a poor treated room.

Room will be around 18 square metres, so not very big, with a cieling that goes from 3.20 metres to 1.10 metre (really low) on the edge of one wall, so pretty asimmetric in height. Maybe the Neumann could be a good size considering all those factors.

I have to say that I personally think that the Adam's have a good amount of bass for their size, even if I'm starting to think that it's not easy to take very good decisions on them with regards to low end - low mid's. But still have to understand if the problem is related to inexistent room treatment. I think they are good for their price and happy to have bought them as my first monitor system ever, but I'd like to start to desire something more revealing in the mixing phase...something that I can trust more and more and that can translate my project better on other systems (at the end is the most important thing with a monitor!!)

What I'm hoping is that the Neumann could help me with mixing decision, compared to the Adam's. They cost more than twice at the moment, and many people says that they probably worth more than their price. So I would expect a substantial change - of course in positive terms, if I decide to switch to them

I think I will have soon pics of the room, and maybe planimetry too...maybe this could help with the choice.


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jasno84



Joined: 15/12/12
Posts: 73
Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: jasno84]
      #1041074 - 03/04/13 02:25 PM
Hugh,

I've read all your suggestions, thanks for taking all that time to reply to all my doubts! I have to say that you are really active and helpful here, and replied to all my treads I've opened since I joined the forum! So really thank you for all the time you spend on my treads!!

Now I contacted Gikacoustics for discussing better a non-invasive room treatment, so I hope to be able to find a good treatment solution for my needs. Probably after I will have more information in order to choose the right monitor for my needs.

I still have few questions:

1) you said that AE22 have sealed design. Neumann are ported. In the end which technology you think work better for (dance and general) music, considering a non treated / soft-treated room? Will the fronted ports help more, compared to the sealed design?

2) What about the Neumann KH-310A ? Of course they are way lot expensive than the KH-120A, and have bigger 8" inche woofers.... so I may think about them only if they will be the definitive monitor I will ever buy in the next 10 years. And only if they can effectively work in a place like the one I described. I'm just a little fought about this: better investing less money for a still great monitor like the KH-120A (but maybe still desire upgrading in few years) and check for very low frequencies with my AKG K240 MKii headphones, or maybe worth considering a "definitive" monitor like KH-310A? If you think that the KH-310A would still be too big for my place and introduce anyway too much bass problems and that the KH-120A still seem the best overall choice considering a modest-treated living room..... maybe I can start buying them while I'm here in Italy, so can start enjoing them in my actual bedroom, and then bring them with me if I move to Paris....or you think it's worth waiting and choosing the new monitors while in Paris?

3) You said that the Neumann are great monitors, but since they don't sound "impressive" when first auditioned, they sometimes get (wrongly, from a working point of view) underestimated. So my question is: how effectively useful is demoing the sound of different monitors? Maybe the only way to understand how good a monitor is to read trustable reviews and use them effectively for some days and see how your work translates to other systems?

4) Is still fun enjoying them to listening to music, or they suit only for mixing? I ask that because at the moment I both work and listen to the music with my Adam A5x and I think in the end they have a pleasant sound to hear even while listening to music, and not only to work with. How is the timber of the Neumann? Still possible enjoying music from them? I hope to find them to audition first, just to understand if the timber is more similar to the Adam's or to the Dynaudio (that I don't like so much).


Thanks again!!


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Pete Kaine
Scan Computers


Joined: 10/07/03
Posts: 3681
Loc: Manchester
Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: jasno84]
      #1041075 - 03/04/13 02:27 PM
Quote jasno84:

Hi Pete,

thanks for your point of view, but I think (from my current poor knowledge) that an 8 inch woofer would probably be quite hard to control in a room where I cannot do a proper and complete acoustic treatment: from what I'm understanding bigger the woofer ----> bigger the bass, but at the same time bigger problems with low frequencies control in a poor treated room.





Yeah, I got that, sorry I should have been clearer in my conclusion yesterday!

In absence of the ability to fit the A8X's in the studio but if you still want the A5x sound then the A7X might be worth considering alongside the A77X. The A77X comes acoss as the more clinical solution due to the improved seperation and if you want the slightly more vibey sound of the A8X/A5X you might acturly prefer the A7X instead which is what I was trying to get across(and failing!).

I'm quite suprised that you can't find somewhere to audition them in Paris, have you spoken to the French distro to see if they can set you up a demo session?

--------------------
ScanProAudio & 3XS Audio Systems
ScanProAudio Blog


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jasno84



Joined: 15/12/12
Posts: 73
Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: Pete Kaine]
      #1041078 - 03/04/13 02:57 PM
Hi Pete,

at the moment I'm still living in Italy...I'm thinking about moving to Paris after summer

I'm looking for a place where to audition the KH-120, really curious about them. The Adam A7x seem nice too...but from what I've read around, maybe it's better something little smaller but more detailed and revealing.

The truth is that we probably have too much choice...and at the end this is not always a good thing, because it makes purchase decision even more complicated


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ken long



Joined: 21/01/08
Posts: 4649
Loc: The Orient, East London
Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: jasno84]
      #1041084 - 03/04/13 03:10 PM
Hi,

Last time I was in Paris, I went here and they had a separate room to the showroom just for listening.

http://www.stars-music.fr/magasin-paris.html

They also have the Adams

http://www.stars-music.fr/home-studio/monitoring/monitoring-actif.html?manufacturer=16

--------------------
I'm All Ears.


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sambrox



Joined: 20/12/08
Posts: 233
Loc: Denmark
Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: jasno84]
      #1041088 - 03/04/13 03:22 PM
The shoot out I referred to in a previous post was actually between the sE Eggs, the KH120a and the Dynaudio BM5a mkii. The Dynaudios, while still very revealing monitors, seemed ever so slightly veiled in the mids compared to the other two; kind of a darker sound, although we're talking fractions here. They were my least favourite of the three, but again it was marginal. I'm not a great fan of the Adams I've had experience with, although I've never heard their top of the line monitors, only the AX variants. They seem to make everything sound better than it is, but I've only limited experience. I honestly think you should just bite the bullet and buy the Neumanns! By the sounds of your room and treatment options, anything with a more extended low end would be counter productive (although that isn't to say the Neumanns are bass light - they most definitely are not!).

Cheers,
Sam

--------------------
http://www.soundcloud.com/sambrox
seedy.dk


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fay spook



Joined: 09/09/09
Posts: 315
Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: jasno84]
      #1041132 - 03/04/13 05:57 PM
Quote jasno84:


I still have few questions:

1) you said that AE22 have sealed design. Neumann are ported. In the end which technology you think work better for (dance and general) music, considering a non treated / soft-treated room? Will the fronted ports help more, compared to the sealed design?

2) What about the Neumann KH-310A ? Of course they are way lot expensive than the KH-120A, and have bigger 8" inche woofers.... so I may think about them only if they will be the definitive monitor I will ever buy in the next 10 years. And only if they can effectively work in a place like the one I described. I'm just a little fought about this: better investing less money for a still great monitor like the KH-120A (but maybe still desire upgrading in few years) and check for very low frequencies with my AKG K240 MKii headphones, or maybe worth considering a "definitive" monitor like KH-310A? If you think that the KH-310A would still be too big for my place and introduce anyway too much bass problems and that the KH-120A still seem the best overall choice considering a modest-treated living room..... maybe I can start buying them while I'm here in Italy, so can start enjoing them in my actual bedroom, and then bring them with me if I move to Paris....or you think it's worth waiting and choosing the new monitors while in Paris?

3) You said that the Neumann are great monitors, but since they don't sound "impressive" when first auditioned, they sometimes get (wrongly, from a working point of view) underestimated. So my question is: how effectively useful is demoing the sound of different monitors? Maybe the only way to understand how good a monitor is to read trustable reviews and use them effectively for some days and see how your work translates to other systems?

4) Is still fun enjoying them to listening to music, or they suit only for mixing? I ask that because at the moment I both work and listen to the music with my Adam A5x and I think in the end they have a pleasant sound to hear even while listening to music, and not only to work with. How is the timber of the Neumann? Still possible enjoying music from them? I hope to find them to audition first, just to understand if the timber is more similar to the Adam's or to the Dynaudio (that I don't like so much).


Thanks again!!




As you can see the more questions you ask the more answers you will get.....and possibly confused.

If you want a lot of bass or speakers that play low frequencies at a reasonable level you need big speakers, its simple physics. Dont get too tied up with speaker driver sizes, the 5" driver will reproduce say 30hz but it will be at a very low and pretty useless level- its the roll off at the bottom end of a speakers frequency response. In fact some actives will roll off the bass at the lowest frequencies to protect the amps and bass driver. if little speakers could reproduce bass down to the lowest frequencies at high levels you wouldnt need big PAs or bigger speakers in manufacturers ranges.

The type of bass loading matter less than how well it is implemented- this has been discussed in similar threads.

If you are looking at more and more expensive speakers then this thread gets harder to draw any conclusions from!! How about some PMCs and a nice big Bryston power amp?

No, demoing is the ONLY way to judge how a monitor sounds, the reviews are just a guide. The reviewers room isnt your room either. Perhaps the SOS reviewers could take a leaf out of the much maligned hi-fi journalists book/magazine and include details of the rooms they audition speakers in? Trust your ears. No one else will be helping you mid mix. Learn your monitors and you can mix on almost anything.

if you dont enjoy listening to music on speakers they there is something wrong. And why would you ever want to sit yourself in front of some speakers that are wrong? We can go down the line of "if something is wrong with the recording" but I am talking about the source being correct and the speakers not.

Or ask the question again in 6 months and get the flavour of the day recommended to you then

--------------------
http://soundcloud.com/for-mash-get-ash


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dickiefunk



Joined: 17/06/05
Posts: 2400
Loc: Cornwall, UK
Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: jasno84]
      #1041175 - 03/04/13 08:27 PM
I've had the SE Eggs, Focal CMS65's, Neumann KH120's and Acoustic Energy AE22's here. I was able to spend quite a bit of time with all of these and tested them thoroughly. I found all of these to be excellent monitors. My favourites were the Neumann KH120's followed by the Acoustic Energy AE22's. Both of these really impressed me with their accuracy and suited me best as a mixing tool.


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jasno84



Joined: 15/12/12
Posts: 73
Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: fay spook]
      #1041728 - 06/04/13 04:08 PM
@ dickiefunk and sambronx, thanks for your advices! Neumann will probably be my next monitors. I'm considering Focals Solo 6 BE and CMS65 as well, so at the end it would be one of the three.

@fayspook: yes, I've dreamed about the KH-310A for a moment (you know when you think "I will buy this and then I will be ok for the rest of my life"?) But seriously speaking they are probably too big for my room without an excellent acoustic treatment...and too expensive for my possibilities right now. I was just dreaming

I'm looking for a place where I can demo them, but another problem is that I will maybe use them in 2 different rooms over time, so I'd need to pick up the one that create less problems when changing room eventually.

About the "joy" of listening: sometimes I read about people saying that certain types of monitor are "so neutral" , or "so analytical" that work really well for mixing and critical decisions, but work less for enjoying the music. So I'm just a little worried that the Neumann could sound in that way, and maybe could give me less joy in listening the music...maybe just stupid worries...


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fay spook



Joined: 09/09/09
Posts: 315
Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: jasno84]
      #1041731 - 06/04/13 04:52 PM
Quote jasno84:


About the "joy" of listening: sometimes I read about people saying that certain types of monitor are "so neutral" , or "so analytical" that work really well for mixing and critical decisions, but work less for enjoying the music. So I'm just a little worried that the Neumann could sound in that way, and maybe could give me less joy in listening the music...maybe just stupid worries...




It is a matter of semantics or terminology. One persons bright is anothers airy. So analytical can mean a pitched or etched mid range. Or it can mean a raised mid. Or peaks in the mid. Or a very non-resonant cabinet where people are used to a bit of cabinet bloom etc etc.

My auditioning is very simple. Do I like the sound. Is it 100% neutral? The cop out answer is nothing is so do the best you can. But be realistic, if a speaker is super "neutral" but it makes listening fatiguing you wont want to listen to it for too long, so why buy it? You are making dance music, my opinion is that the speaker has to reproduce the "groove" more than offer the best accuracy of the fine balance between the 3rd and 4th violins. The music I make, all for fun, is currently mostly in the box and has never existed acoustically so who it to tell me what it is meant to sound like. But I get jumping around the studio when a groove is working. Of course if a speaking is inaccurate it wont really make anything work, either in terms of accuracy or enjoyment. What makes a track sound exciting in a club? The tonal accuracy of the PA or its bass and dynamics? I am not saying ignore neutralness but think of the job you want it to do.

Again I understand you could argue neutralness is the speakers ability to reproduce any aspect of sound accurately but I am talking about tonal neutralness here.

No you arent being silly!! Music is meant to be enjoyable.......

--------------------
http://soundcloud.com/for-mash-get-ash


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jasno84



Joined: 15/12/12
Posts: 73
Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: fay spook]
      #1041740 - 06/04/13 05:45 PM
Hi Fay,

thanks for your point of view. I agree that hearing the groove pumping in your own room with big focus on low frequencies is important, but what I want to achieve is to realize grooves and songs that will translate well in clubs and other systems, not only in my own room. Here is what I'm looking to achieve...

Following the advices received here, if the room is not really well treated and the speakers has big woofers, this could make things even worst, because the balance of the mix become ever more difficult to judge. I'm not completely unhappy with the results I'm achieving with my low budget Adam's, but I want to continue improoving, and since I don't own a well treated studio I'm looking for a monitor upgrade that will help me. I'm worried that uncontrolled low frequencies will make things worst instead of helping me. That's why I think it has sense to choose a monitor with with woofers in the 5-7" maximum range. The Adam has only 5 inches woofer, but have to say that they pump a lot if you turn up the volume! I'm looking for something more precise that makes my mixing decision easier...that's my dream


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fay spook



Joined: 09/09/09
Posts: 315
Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: jasno84]
      #1041746 - 06/04/13 06:17 PM
I am happy that someone is bothering to read my posts!!

The groove I am talking about isnt low frequencies loud. It is about dynamics, bass CONTROL etc. When you hear a car drive past with boooooooming bass, there is no groove there it is all about overhanging nonsense. It is about the ability of a speaker to start and stop a sound quickly via a lack of cabinet boom, amplifier control and correctly designed drivers. Resolution at different levels. Having a vocal sound natural while the bass is flying around. And so on.

So and listen to some BIG Focals, perhaps some Grande Utopia EMs and I have recently and see how easy they make your mix decisions. (loving the field coil bass) but dont tell the bank manager.

--------------------
http://soundcloud.com/for-mash-get-ash


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Steve Broadbent



Joined: 06/04/05
Posts: 10
Loc: Penrith, NSW, Australia
Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: jasno84]
      #1042016 - 08/04/13 12:24 PM
I recently upgraded. I tried the neumans and for some reason they sounded fluffy to me. I ended up with the dynaudio dbm50's. I felt rhey sounded clearer but very close to the neumans. Give em a try if you can. I am not a pro but since having them, I like my mixes everywhere

--------------------
https://soundcloud.com/steve-broadbent

Edited by sweben (08/04/13 12:27 PM)


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


Joined: 25/07/03
Posts: 22422
Loc: Worcestershire
Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: jasno84]
      #1042081 - 08/04/13 03:32 PM
Quote jasno84:

1) you said that AE22 have sealed design. Neumann are ported. In the end which technology you think work better for (dance and general) music, considering a non treated / soft-treated room? Will the fronted ports help more, compared to the sealed design?




It's not the technology -- you can find good and bad examples of both very easily. It's how they've been engineered that matters. However, there is a prevailing theme amongst a lot of low cost ported monitors to over-egg the design to create an impression of far more bass than there really is -- which sells the speakers to a lot of customers. The trade-off is in the time domain, usually with severe time-smearing which can make judging the bass end very difficult. So this kind of implementation can sound very impressive, but can be difficult to mix on. For that reason, some commentators (Mike Senior and myself amongst them) caution against low-cost ported speakers and recommend similar cost sealed ones instead.

But at the higher levels of monitor design most are ported and are perfectly fine, with minimal time smearing, because they've been designed properly -- so it really isn't the technology, but how its been implemented that matters.

The KH120 is a very transparent monitor that punches way above its price in my view, but its bass performance is inherently limited becuase of its size. In typical home studios I doubt that would be a problem for many -- it certainly wasn't a problem for me -- but the AE22 will undoubtedly offer more SPL at the low end which might make them more appropriate for dance music applications.

Quote:

2) What about the Neumann KH-310A ?




This is a whole different kettle of fish, and as it happens a pair turned up here for review this morning! These are sealed three-ways, with an uprated SPL capability over the original O300s -- but that slightly restricted SPL limitation was the only complaint I ever heard for the original design. I've nearly bought O300s for myself several times but never quite made the leap... I might succumb this time because I suspect the newer 310s will be stunningly good... but you'll have to wait for the review for a definitive answer.

Quote:

better investing less money for a still great monitor like the KH-120A (but maybe still desire upgrading in few years) and check for very low frequencies with my AKG K240 MKii headphones, or maybe worth considering a "definitive" monitor like KH-310A?




The loudspeaker will always be the weakest link in the chain, and for that reason I always urge people to buy the best monitor they possibly can -- but also to invest in decent acoustic room treatment. The bottom end will always be a problem in any home or project studio, and personally, I'd rather have a modestly sized three-way than a two-way with a large woofer, or a small two-way with a separate subwoofer -- although there are examples of both those formats that do actually work very well.

Having used the AE22, the KH120 and the O300 I can say in all honesty that all three are genuine monitor-quality speakers that will all allow quality mixing... If i had the free choice of any I would go for the O300 -- and I presume the O310 will be at least as good and probably usefully better. That is a monitor that few project studio owners would ever outgrow!

If it had to be between the AE22 and the KH120 I'd struggle to decide. For the kind of classical, choral, acoustic, jazz and voice stuff that I generally do I'd probably lean towards the KH120. For rock/pop/dance stuff I'd probably lean towards the AE22 -- just because of the extra oomph it can deliver. And of course, ther are many other decent montiors in a simlar £1000/pair price range that you could consider!

Quote:

So my question is: how effectively useful is demoing the sound of different monitors? Maybe the only way to understand how good a monitor is to read trustable reviews and use them effectively for some days and see how your work translates to other systems?




There is an acquired skill to assessing speakers quickly, and the temptation is inevitably to be swayed by the ones that are louder, brighter (within reason) and with slightly pronounced midranges. This is even worse if you are moving up to real monitor-quality speakers for the first time, because the sheer level of information they present can overwhelm some listeners.

The trick is to force yourself to listen critically to the mix detail, rathe than the overall impression and assess what information you can actually hear within a mix -- at the bottom end, the midrange adn the high end. Compare that to other models you're considering to see what they are missing or what they are telling you that the others are missing. Best of all is to try to mix something on them for real in an acoustic space that you are familiar with, because that's when you realise immediately how easy or hard it is to hear the EQ or dynamics changes you're making.

Trusted reviews are a help, of course, but you need to take care about what is really trustable, and bear in mind the reviewer's own preferences and experience. Ideally, check archive reviews of things you have experience of yourself to assess how the reviewers comments stack up against your own impressions, and how consistent their views are. Ignore anything that reads like the manufacturer's marketing brochures!

Quote:

4) Is still fun enjoying them to listening to music, or they suit only for mixing?




That's a good question... I generally use some large three-way PMC monitors for most of my critical as well as a lot of my relaxation listening... and there are many albums that I simply can't tolerate on them -- even though I'm fine with those same albums in the car or the kitchen etc. The reason I can't listen to them on the big speakers is because the recording/mixing flaws stand out so clearly, whereas they kinda get glossed over on the other less critical systems. However, most of the music I listen to sounds just fine on the big monitors and I have no problem switching between relaxation and critical listening modes. And at the end of the day, it's probably a good thing to be aware of poor quality music when it is poor!

H

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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Pete Kaine
Scan Computers


Joined: 10/07/03
Posts: 3681
Loc: Manchester
Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #1042548 - 10/04/13 12:07 PM
Quote Hugh Robjohns:

Quote jasno84:


2) What about the Neumann KH-310A ?




This is a whole different kettle of fish, and as it happens a pair turned up here for review this morning!




Looking forward to reading this already!

One of the lads here in amongst his various speakers has the KH120 in his home studio already and the second they announced the KH-310A the credit card was reached for as he's kitting out his new recording space currently and fancies an upgrade (from the Adam A8X's as it happens... so another endorsement for the Neumanns there then). If we're lucky he may just hold out long enough for the samples to arrive in order to check them out first... I'd be suprised if he manages to restrain himself that long

--------------------
ScanProAudio & 3XS Audio Systems
ScanProAudio Blog


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MartinJG



Joined: 14/04/11
Posts: 101
Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: jasno84]
      #1042953 - 12/04/13 12:54 AM
Jasno

I went through the business of chosing monitors a while back and ended up going for AE22's. Just couldn't find what I wanted and then I heard the AE22's and that was that. Never looked back. They excel in the midrange which is where most of the traffic is but have a reputation for being bass light which is unreasonable and misleading. They actually do a decent and realistic job in the lower end just not ball shaking low. However, I haven't auditioned the Neumann's so cannot compare them. It is frustrating but there are far worse things in life. Good luck!

Edited by MartinJG (12/04/13 12:54 AM)


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John Willett
Sound-Link ProAudio


Joined: 07/03/00
Posts: 12550
Loc: Oxfordshire UK
Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: Pete Kaine]
      #1043164 - 13/04/13 10:34 AM
Quote Pete Kaine:

Quote Hugh Robjohns:

Quote jasno84:


2) What about the Neumann KH-310A ?




This is a whole different kettle of fish, and as it happens a pair turned up here for review this morning!




Looking forward to reading this already!

One of the lads here in amongst his various speakers has the KH120 in his home studio already and the second they announced the KH-310A the credit card was reached for as he's kitting out his new recording space currently and fancies an upgrade (from the Adam A8X's as it happens... so another endorsement for the Neumanns there then). If we're lucky he may just hold out long enough for the samples to arrive in order to check them out first... I'd be surprised if he manages to restrain himself that long




I listened to the new KH310A at ProLight+Sound in Frankfurt on Thursday in Neumann's specially treated listening room.

Listening and comparing them the the KH120A, they sounded almost the same, but with that "extra" that a larger unit gives.

The tweeter on the 310 is the same as the one on the 120, but the mid and bass units on the 310 are new drivers - the mid is now protected and does not sit proud of the baffle like the 300.

Well worth listening to and the 310 is only €100 more than the 300 - and the 300 had no price increase in 8 years, so that's almost a price reduction.

--------------------
John - Sound-Link ProAudio
President - Federation Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


Joined: 25/07/03
Posts: 22422
Loc: Worcestershire
Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: John Willett]
      #1043174 - 13/04/13 12:10 PM
Initial impressions are that all the good things of the O300 have been retained, and good improvements made where appropriate. I'm very, very impressed so far.

H

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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audio_processing



Joined: 06/09/13
Posts: 2
Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #1065269 - 06/09/13 04:46 PM
Thank you Hugh for this detailed answer.
But you didn't answer to one question from jasno84.
Do you think it is a good idea to buy the Neumann KH 310 for a small room home studio ?
Mine is a odd L shaped room (3.7mx3.1m) and I plan to put tuned bass trap and additional treatment.
I'm closed to buy the Neumann KH 310 for precise and flat monitoring especially in low frequencies (I mix electronic music).
But I'm afraid to be disappointed because they would be oversized for such a room.
I mix at low level with monitors @ 1.5m from my ears, and positioned close to the walls (10cm)

Best Regards,

Thomas


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: Neumann KH-120A or Adam A77x for Dance Music Production at Home ? new [Re: audio_processing]
      #1065359 - 07/09/13 12:14 PM
Quote audio_processing:

Do you think it is a good idea to buy the Neumann KH 310 for a small room home studio ?




If you have the budget, and you've paid some attention to room acoustics, then there is no reason not to use KH310s in a small room. They can be placed relatively close to the listening position as the drivers are close enough to each other to integrate well over short distances. The sealed cabinet makes the bass roll-off smooth gentle, which is less likely to over-excite the strong resonances inherent in a small room.

I use KH310s in a room which is roughly 2.9x3.1 metres quite happily...

H

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