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Neumann KH310a or KH120a with 805 sub?

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Neumann KH310a or KH120a with 805 sub?

Postby jodaki » Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:01 am

Firstly apologies if this has been discussed elsewhere. My searches haven't turned this question up so...

I have/will have a medium-sized well treated good room and want/need some good monitors.

My shortlist is the KH310 or KH120 plusd an 805 sub

Ive read elsewhere someone saying that the KH120a with the 805 sub is a better option than the KH310a.

Any thoughts about which will give me the better monitoring system? thanks, John
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Re: Neumann KH310a or KH120a with 805 sub?

Postby CS70 » Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:32 pm

jodaki wrote:Firstly apologies if this has been discussed elsewhere. My searches haven't turned this question up so...

I have/will have a medium-sized well treated good room and want/need some good monitors.

My shortlist is the KH310 or KH120 plusd an 805 sub

Ive read elsewhere someone saying that the KH120a with the 805 sub is a better option than the KH310a.

Any thoughts about which will give me the better monitoring system? thanks, John

Without having tried the combos, I guess that by definition with the 120s + 805 have a subwoofer so you can go lower than with the 310s alone?

Whether that's better or not depends largely on what you do with them, and obviously your environment - if you have a room that can handle bass down to 18hz..
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Re: Neumann KH310a or KH120a with 805 sub?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Mar 24, 2019 2:24 pm

jodaki wrote:Ive read elsewhere someone saying that the KH120a with the 805 sub is a better option than the KH310a.

They are alternative options, with very different sets of benefits and disadvantages. Either would be very good... I'd say the choice depended on your requirements and priorities.

Personally, I love my KH310s and don't feel the need for a sub. Moreover, I know that getting a sub to work properly in my room would be nigh-on impossible. But then, I don't listen at silly levels and I don't need to have my internal organs rearranged while I'm mixing. Your requirements might be different.

Having a sub handle pretty much all of the low end (which would be the case with KH120s) does give you more options for placement to appease the room mode Gods... With the 310s you have to find a compromise between stereo imaging and room mode excitation, which is more fiddly.

But that mid-range driver on the 310s really does help with hearing deep into the mix, and the closed box aspect maintains time-domain precision.

Swings and roundabouts...

And just to muddy the waters a little more, if you're persuaded to go down the subwoofer route, you might want to try out the KH80s instead of the KH120s. I would! :-)

And finally: make sure you know how big the KH805 is before you buy. The website and brochure pictures make it look like a neat little cube, but it's actually pretty big (360 x 330 x 645 mm or 14 x 13 x 25 inches).
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Re: Neumann KH310a or KH120a with 805 sub?

Postby jodaki » Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:08 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Personally, I love my KH310s and don't feel the need for a sub.

Yes, this seems to be the more popular opinion. My KLH310s are on their way as we 'speak'.
Thanks Hugh, great information as always.

Finally do you mind if I ask one more thing? I have a scarlett 18i20 (but use my focusrite 2 CH and 8 CH A/D converters for conversion when recording) - so while Im on the project of improving my monitoring with the KH310s - do you think Id benefit much from upgrading my D/A? Ive looked at a few options (in particular the Crane Song Solaris and RME ADI-2 pro) but have noticed the Dangerous D-box+ which I think they have upgraded to fix all the niggles you noted in your review of the original d-box. I thought it could be a good combo DAC/monitor controller. If not then I'll stick with my scarlett for now. thanks, John
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Re: Neumann KH310a or KH120a with 805 sub?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:39 am

I like shiny new toys as much as the next man (and more than some!) and the RME ADI or Dangerous boxes are nice converters with useful functionality... but actually, the Focusrite converters are very good and unless your room is exceptionally well sorted I doubt you'd really benefit from the upgrade in any practical sense.

So what I'd recommend is that you live with and get used to the new monitors for a while first, and then if you feel you can hear any limitations with your current converters, consider trying out something more high-end.

I suspect that you'll find your new monitors let you hear all sorts of issues with your existing recordings and other elements of your recording chain. The converters in the Focusrite interfaces definitely won't be the weakest link!

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Re: Neumann KH310a or KH120a with 805 sub?

Postby dickiefunk » Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:31 pm

I’ve been reading this thread and am considering upgrading my current setup.
At the moment I’m using the KH120’s with an Eve TS108 sub and this is very working well. However, I’ve been offered a good deal on the KH310’s but the seller isn’t local so I can’t try them first.
I’ve read a couple of people say the KH310’s need a bigger room to focus the stereo imaging? I’m not sure this is true though? Also, I sometimes like to mute the Eve sub for certain mixing tasks.
I take my KH120’s out to some of my location recording jobs so the small size really helps. Also, the Eve sub has some very useful features like being able to fully control all the parameters via remote control.
I think ideally I would love a DSP version of the KH120’s but have no idea if Neumann have any plans for this? I’ve also considered adding a second sub as I’ve read this helps with node averaging but again don’t know if this is true?

Not sure if I would be better to stick with my current setup?
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Re: Neumann KH310a or KH120a with 805 sub?

Postby Trevor Johnson » Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:48 pm

you might want to try out the KH80s i

As a KH80 user, I heartedly endorse them, and without a sub. And the DSP is exceptionally well implemented - genius!

And as a classical organist, I have had plenty of opportunities for re-arranging mine, and others, internal organs. Nothing beats a 32 foot pedal bombarde: something Olivier Messiaen wanted at the the Église de la Sainte-Trinité , where I heard him play in '70. He never realised his dream, sadly. Messiaen extemporised a five part fugue during communion! (To put it into context, none of the published J S Bach fugues for organ have more than four parts).

Anyway, in 2005, I was at Sainte-Trinité and spoke at length to the lady who was pretty much his manager and she very kindly gave me a lot of material about him. Funnily enough, my organ teacher always said that organists were megalomaniacs. He was right! He also turned the pages for Marcel Dupré, at Saint-Sulpice in '70: I rate Dupré as the greatest ever player. Widor said that the Dupré Prelude and Fugue in G minor was unplayable (Op 7); it is not, but just needs practice...

Anyway, apologies about the red herrings..........
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Re: Neumann KH310a or KH120a with 805 sub?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:35 pm

dickiefunk wrote:I’ve read a couple of people say the KH310’s need a bigger room to focus the stereo imaging? I’m not sure this is true though?

No, it's not true. I believe the technical term is that they are 'talking utter bollarks'!

If you check the manuals, Neumann specify the minimum listening distance as 0.75m, and the recommended distance 1 to 2.5 metres. For comparison, the equivalent figures for the KH120 are: minimum: 0.75m, and recommended, 1 to 2 metres.

So the KH310 can be used at exactly the same minimum and recommended distances as a KH120 and in the same sized room, if desired... but it can also be used at a greater distance and in a larger room if necessary/appropriate.

This is all entirely obvious, though... if you think about it the tweeter and midrange unit in the KH310 are in a very similar physical arrangement/spacing to a KH120 or KH80... So the minimum and recommended listening distances are bound to be quite similar.

I think ideally I would love a DSP version of the KH120’s but have no idea if Neumann have any plans for this?

I'd be amazed if they didn't, especially given the impressive capabilities of the KH80 ... but I'm afraid I can't offer any wisdom as to when new digital models might be launched... I'd have thought fairly soon... and NAMM is coming up...

I’ve also considered adding a second sub as I’ve read this helps with node averaging but again don’t know if this is true?

Yes, it is sometimes done and it can work if engineered carefully... but to be effective you'd need very accurate control over the time (phase) alignment of the two subs in relation to the main monitors (and each other).

To be blunt, though, I'd still much rather invest in sorting the basic room's LF response out than fill it with yet another trouser-flapper. When you're in a hole, stop digging, as the saying goes!

Not sure if I would be better to stick with my current setup?

It would certainly be the cheaper option... And while the KH310 is a lovely speaker the KH120 is no slouch... If setup properly with a good subwoofer I should imagine the combination would perform to a similar level to the KH310....
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Re: Neumann KH310a or KH120a with 805 sub?

Postby dickiefunk » Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:15 pm

Thanks Hugh. That’s confirmed a lot of what I was already thinking.
The plan is to sort out the room acoustics as much as I can first before potentially adding a second sub.
I didn’t think the KH310’s needed to be positioned further from the listening position and need a bigger room to focus the stereo imaging either!

Ideally I think I would prefer a DSP version of the KH120’s if Neumann do release it.
How does the KH80DSP compare to the KH310 in overall clarity and stereo imaging etc?
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Re: Neumann KH310a or KH120a with 805 sub?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:33 pm

dickiefunk wrote:I didn’t think the KH310’s needed to be positioned further from the listening position and need a bigger room to focus the stereo imaging either!

To be fair, you would usually need a greater listening distance with more typical three-way speakers using vertically aligned drivers. But the KH310 is a very compact design that keeps all three drivers closely spaced, so their outputs integrate quickly.

How does the KH80DSP compare to the KH310 in overall clarity and stereo imaging etc?

Slightly difficult to make a direct comparison as the phase linearity of the KH80 changes the sound presentation quite dramatically. It's for the good, once you're used to it, but it does make A-B comparisons rather confusing and counterproductive.

I'd almost certainly pick the KH80 over the KH120... it would be a tougher call with the 80/310 decision...
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Re: Neumann KH310a or KH120a with 805 sub?

Postby dpete » Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:47 pm

"with NAMM coming up"... looks like this new KH750 sub may be Neumann's answer for adding DSP to KH120 and KH310 (and integrating with the 80). Hope SOS can review.

https://en-de.neumann.com/kh-750-dsp
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Re: Neumann KH310a or KH120a with 805 sub?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:57 pm

I hope so too... I'd very much look forward to giving that a whizz with my KH310s
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Re: Neumann KH310a or KH120a with 805 sub?

Postby dickiefunk » Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:00 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:I hope so too... I'd very much look forward to giving that a whizz with my KH310s

If I added the KH750DSP to my K120 would this effectively be the same as KH120DSP’s?
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Re: Neumann KH310a or KH120a with 805 sub?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:26 pm

I've only skim-read the blurb, but it sounds like the acoustic alignment process built into the sub will correct the impulse (phase) and in-room EQ responses of the satellite speakers, at least through the mid-band. So yes, it will probably go a long way to creating a virtual KH120DSP...

But you could also do that by using one of the other third-party room-correction systems out there (one that includes impulse-response correction, that is).

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Re: Neumann KH310a or KH120a with 805 sub?

Postby Zukan » Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:45 am

dickiefunk wrote:I’ve been reading this thread and am considering upgrading my current setup.
At the moment I’m using the KH120’s with an Eve TS108 sub and this is very working well. However, I’ve been offered a good deal on the KH310’s but the seller isn’t local so I can’t try them first.
I’ve read a couple of people say the KH310’s need a bigger room to focus the stereo imaging? I’m not sure this is true though? Also, I sometimes like to mute the Eve sub for certain mixing tasks.
I take my KH120’s out to some of my location recording jobs so the small size really helps. Also, the Eve sub has some very useful features like being able to fully control all the parameters via remote control.
I think ideally I would love a DSP version of the KH120’s but have no idea if Neumann have any plans for this? I’ve also considered adding a second sub as I’ve read this helps with node averaging but again don’t know if this is true?

Not sure if I would be better to stick with my current setup?

Dickie, if it's working for you why change?
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