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Mackie MR5MK2 or Yamaha HS80M's?

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Mackie MR5MK2 or Yamaha HS80M's?

Postby ProfoundTactics » Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:58 pm

Currently have the Mackies, but looking to upgrade.

At louder volumes, I find the Mackies to be a little muddy and squashed sounding in the mid-upper ranges. Also, from what I've read, the Yamaha's provide a really nice flat response. I produce Electronic music, so that's something I'm looking for. (Who isn't I guess?) Will be set up in a small-ish room. Which is why I thought perhaps the Yamaha's would be overkill?

I realise it's unfair to compare the two, as one has a 5 inch cone, and one an 8 inch. Also one is twice the price. Despite that, do you think there would be a noticeable difference in the two monitors? I apologise for such a generalised question, but if anyone has any advice (or experience with the Yamaha's) it would be massively appreciated.

Just wanted to know if the extra £200 price jump is justified.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Mackie MR5MK2 or Yamaha HS80M's?

Postby uphillbothways » Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:58 pm

How well behaved is your room?

8" woofers are invariably bad news in a small room, as the extra energy is just going to worsen the inherent problems in the room - even more so if you like to monitor at high volumes. The Mackie MR5 is a perfectly competent budget monitor and I wouldn't expect to notice a huge difference in switching to the HS80Ms. The Yamaha monitors have a very forward sound with pronounced upper mids which will probably be more to your taste, but I don't think the upgrade would provide you with value for money.

If your room is untreated, put the time and effort into sorting it out. A £200 pair of KRKs in a good room will outperform any monitor at any price in an untreated cube. If you're confident that your room is sorted, have a think about some passive AE22s; The transient information you get from infinite baffle monitors is absolutely vital in honing percussive elements. The Mackie HR series might seem a bit old hat, but they're still superb monitors for mixing electronic music in small rooms - good transient response and deep bass extension with a gentle roll-off.
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Re: Mackie MR5MK2 or Yamaha HS80M's?

Postby ProfoundTactics » Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:11 pm

Thanks for the reply! The room is fairly well treated. So, from your perspective, the Yamaha's don't really justify the extra cost. Not what I was expecting to hear! The reviews are glowing for the Yamaha's. I don't think I've read a bad one yet.

How about the MR8MK2's? Is the only difference the lower bass response, or would I receive more clarity at higher volumes? Having said that, in SOS's review, they preferred the bass of the MR5MK2's, so I'm not sure what to think really.

Might be best just to stick with what I've got for now, in all fairness, they've been treating me pretty well. (Minus the issues I described in my first post)
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Re: Mackie MR5MK2 or Yamaha HS80M's?

Postby uphillbothways » Thu Dec 27, 2012 5:14 pm

There are an enormous number of ported nearfields available for that sort of money. The Yamaha HS80m is perfectly competent, but not outstanding. It's a bit better than what you've already got, but I wouldn't expect a tremendous difference and I think you'll find the upgrade to be relatively poor value for money. Putting a big monitor in a small room is inherently risky in terms of bass response, especially with a rear-ported design, so you might find yourself wishing you hadn't bothered.

I'd suggest either saving up a bit more and picking up some proper quality monitors second-hand, or spending the money on a good pair of headphones (HD650/DT880) and/or an Avantone. If you've got a decent hi-fi amp knocking about you could go for a pair of passive AE22s, which are only about £40 dearer than the Yamaha monitors but a league apart.
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Re: Mackie MR5MK2 or Yamaha HS80M's?

Postby ProfoundTactics » Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:18 am

So in regards to the flat response, how do the Yamaha's compare to the Mackies?
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Re: Mackie MR5MK2 or Yamaha HS80M's?

Postby ProfoundTactics » Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:35 pm

Bump
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Re: Mackie MR5MK2 or Yamaha HS80M's?

Postby MonkeySpank » Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:50 pm

I have the HS80Ms in a room 2.75m x 3.5m (small living room, brick walls, solid wooden floor) and they trash the joint. The -4dB switch is a must for me to try and tame the bass. I even have socks stuffed in the reflex ports but they keep popping out! And they are LOUD. And they physically take up a lot of space. My room isn't acoustically treated but is packed full of synths on stands, curtains, bookcase, sofa, filing cabinet...so it probably needs a couple of full height bass traps in each corner to tame the woof.

I utterly love how the Yamahas sound though, but it took me a while to get used to them. I make olde skool Krautrock myself on modular and analogue synths and don't feel the need for more bass extension than my Yamahas give me. Quite the opposite. Personally, if your room is the same size as mine, or smaller, I think you should stick to 5" or 6" speakers and get a sub woofer if your music demands it (dance, hip hop, etc.), which is what I should have done originally. A friend of mine has the 50Ms and they sound much more appropriate in his similar sized control room.

Another friend has the original Mackie HR8s (or is it MR8s?) and they sound fantastic too. Again, he probably should have chosen the 6" versions, but the deal on whybuynew.co.uk was too good to pass up. The Mackies have less sheen than the Yams and sounded a bit less tight in the bass to me, but that could have been his room modes playing games. However, you seem to describe the same thing with your 5's so maybe that's just how the Mackies sound? Or perhaps you are driving your Mackies quite loud? That also tends to exaggerate 'boxiness' in small speakers.
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Re: Mackie MR5MK2 or Yamaha HS80M's?

Postby uphillbothways » Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:49 am

ProfoundTactics wrote:So in regards to the flat response, how do the Yamaha's compare to the Mackies?

It's completely and absolutely irrelevant. Studio monitors of even mediocre quality have significantly flatter frequency response than even a well treated domestic room. Both the Mackie and Yamaha monitors are flat within a couple of dB across most of their range in an anechoic environment. The human brain is extremely good at compensating for uneven frequency response and it is easy to make consistent, transferable mixes even with a 10 or 15dB boost of reasonably wide Q, so long as you have attuned yourself to the monitoring environment by using reference material. What your brain cannot compensate for is the loss of transient information caused by room or cabinet resonances, or poorly-damped drivers.

The NS10 is the classic example of this - a monitor that performs relatively poorly in the frequency domain, but superlatively in the time domain. It's not a pleasant speaker to listen to, but it's a far better mix tool than most similarly-priced ported monitors.
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Re: Mackie MR5MK2 or Yamaha HS80M's?

Postby ProfoundTactics » Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:13 am

uphillbothways wrote:
ProfoundTactics wrote:So in regards to the flat response, how do the Yamaha's compare to the Mackies?

It's completely and absolutely irrelevant. Studio monitors of even mediocre quality have significantly flatter frequency response than even a well treated domestic room. Both the Mackie and Yamaha monitors are flat within a couple of dB across most of their range in an anechoic environment. The human brain is extremely good at compensating for uneven frequency response and it is easy to make consistent, transferable mixes even with a 10 or 15dB boost of reasonably wide Q, so long as you have attuned yourself to the monitoring environment by using reference material. What your brain cannot compensate for is the loss of transient information caused by room or cabinet resonances, or poorly-damped drivers.

The NS10 is the classic example of this - a monitor that performs relatively poorly in the frequency domain, but superlatively in the time domain. It's not a pleasant speaker to listen to, but it's a far better mix tool than most similarly-priced ported monitors.

Sorry, I think perhaps 'flat response' is the wrong choice of words. What I mean, is how much better do they translate?
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