EQ monitors to sound like NS10

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EQ monitors to sound like NS10

Post by wearashirt »

Hi all,

I was just wondering if anyone has tried equalizing their monitoring output (whether software or hardware) to make it sound like a yamaha ns10 or at least drive the mids higher. Just want to know anyone's experience with that.
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Re: EQ monitors to sound like NS10

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

The value of the NS10 went beyond its midrange dominance, and that's not something that can be fully replicated with EQ.

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/yamaha-ns10-story

Personally, I find turning the monitoring level right down and/or listening form the hallway outside the studio just as effective at judging the midrange balance. (And reviewing the mix on a phone or laptop is helpful too.)
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Re: EQ monitors to sound like NS10

Post by Luke W »

I'm glad that my monitors don't sound like NS10's personally, so it's not something I've tried :D

It'd certainly be possible to insert an EQ over your DAW/interface output, or stick a hardware one in the chain before your monitors, but there's more to what makes a speaker sound like itself than its frequency response, so how helpful it would be overall is questionable.

I think it's also worth mentioning that there's nothing magical about NS10's, they just became commonplace because they were a viable option at the time. Even with lots more choice these days there's still a lot of talk of them being a "must have" for reference. To me, that sort of talk is in the same category as "having" to use an SM57 on a guitar amp...

Not saying they don't have their uses, and this is just my opinion of course. :thumbup:
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Re: EQ monitors to sound like NS10

Post by Dennis J Wilkins »

Hugh is right that EQ won't make your speaker (especially if a ported one) sound like an NS10 and the article he cites has a fine explanation of why the NS10 is still useful. The additional paper linked in that article (THE YAMAHA NS10M: TWENTY YEARS A REFERENCE MONITOR. WHY?) shows plots for frequency response, distortion, impulse response and waterfall plots that really identify how the NS10 "out-performs" many other speakers tested. The step function response, harmonic distortion performance and lack of low end "slop" in the waterfall plot for the NS10 are all excellent. Of course the lack of low end itself and the peak in the 1-2 kHz region tend to focus on the critical midrange.

I used NS10's for years as a secondary monitor, and found an interesting alternative -- NS10 impulse response functions come much closer than EQ, and IK Multimedia's ARC system (3.0 now) includes a "white cone" speaker emulation in its virtual monitoring system that works well. I removed the NS10's from my studio a few years ago when I remodeled and added new main monitors (I recall Hugh suggested to me to remove the NS10's since they would affect the edge diffraction performance of the main speakers that were essentially stacked right nest to them). I haven't missed the NS10's, but since clean, like-new units are selling for four to five times what I paid, they look like a good investment!

As Hugh said, listen to your mixes at low levels to emphasize hearing the midrange, and if you have ARC, you can use several of its virtual monitors to evaluate how the mix translates to other systems.
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Re: EQ monitors to sound like NS10

Post by blinddrew »

I think Sonarworks offers a 'white cone' option in it's preset options - but again, this just mimics the EQ and doesn't give you any of the time-domain benefits.
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Re: EQ monitors to sound like NS10

Post by The Elf »

Please don't believe the NS10 hype. I still have some here and I can tell you they sound harsh and tiring on the ear, and always did. Can they be a useful reference? Yes. But they are not a magic wand, despite what many want to believe.
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Re: EQ monitors to sound like NS10

Post by Mixedup »

There's little point IMHO. As others have indicated, the benefits were about more than.the restricted bandwidth. A big part of it was the fast time-domain response which meant no smearing of the bass (which is there albeit down in level...). You can't recreate that with an EQ or with an impulse response if listening over speakers that aren't capable of that response time. Perhaps over headphones -- the Acustica Sienna emulation is a good likeness with the right headphones. So you might as well just use a HPF if you want to focus your ears on the midrange...
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Re: EQ monitors to sound like NS10

Post by Arpangel »

Sealed box design, tight bass, very controlled, there were a few speakers that were in the same ball park, AR Red Box was one cheaper alternative, I liked NS10’s a lot, o once you’ve got used to them, most other things sound really coloured.
I can’t see the point in trying to replicate them, as Hugh said there are other things going on, it’s very complex, not worth bothering.
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Re: EQ monitors to sound like NS10

Post by The Elf »

AE22s are a later, much better-sounding (IMHO - and are my main monitors), sealed design alternative, but sadly no longer made.

I keep my NS10Ms to give visitors a warm feeling. They impress clients, but are never used.
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Re: EQ monitors to sound like NS10

Post by James Perrett »

The Elf wrote: Sat Jan 22, 2022 11:27 amI keep my NS10Ms to give visitors a warm feeling. They impress clients, but are never used.

That's exactly why I keep them too.
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Re: EQ monitors to sound like NS10

Post by sc1460 »

My NS10s are tertiary monitors, I like them and refer to them just to see what they say about a track, they really do point out when the mid-range is too bright or when kick and bass are not working well for playback on small speakers, and I think that’s useful on some genres, eg folk, rock, guitar bands.

Interestingly when I play R&B EDM on NS10s they point how bright and harsh that genre can sometimes get, but those tracks sell millions so indicating a massive difference between the generation that heard tracks mixed through NS10s eg fleetwood Mac, U2 etc and the generation that buys Megan Thee Stallion, Guetta, Martin Garrix EDM. I can’t see the NS10s as useful for them.

May be more useful buying some 2nd hand Avantone Cubes.

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Re: EQ monitors to sound like NS10

Post by Arpangel »

The Elf wrote: Sat Jan 22, 2022 11:27 am AE22s are a later, much better-sounding (IMHO - and are my main monitors), sealed design alternative, but sadly no longer made.

I keep my NS10Ms to give visitors a warm feeling. They impress clients, but are never used.

Damn you! I’ve been looking for a pair of AE22’s for ages.

:(
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