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#1924127 - 07/08/12 08:56 AM Which speakers for a stage piano?
Sutino Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/08/12
Posts: 6
I`ve been playing my Kawai MP10 through headphones which is fine for short periods. What kind of speakers would people recommend for a small room that sound good at low volume. I`m leaning towards studio monitors but the choice is overwhelming.

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#1924130 - 07/08/12 09:07 AM Re: Which speakers for a stage piano? [Re: Sutino]
FormerlyFlute Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/21/06
Posts: 232
Loc: Maryland
I have a Yamaha P85 and mostly played it with headphones while visiting my daughter. It is now back at my place (boyfriend moved in - piano got the boot) in the same room as my acoustic grand.

So in order to play 2 piano music, I need speakers. After much research, I purchased, just this week, Mackie MR5mk2 speakers for $150 each. They sound pretty good in the mid range, a little wobbly in the extreme base. But I also read that the base improves after about 10 hours of use.

I bought them at Guitar Center which gives me 30 days to return if not happy.
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#1924133 - 07/08/12 09:14 AM Re: Which speakers for a stage piano? [Re: Sutino]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5260
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
But I also read that the base improves after about 10 hours of use.

I always find it interesting that things improve with age and not get worse.
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#1924136 - 07/08/12 09:24 AM Re: Which speakers for a stage piano? [Re: Sutino]
FormerlyFlute Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/21/06
Posts: 232
Loc: Maryland
Ah, should read "bass" not "base". My mistakes increase with age!
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#1924141 - 07/08/12 09:46 AM Re: Which speakers for a stage piano? [Re: Dave Horne]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3331
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
But I also read that the base improves after about 10 hours of use.

I always find it interesting that things improve with age and not get worse.


It's true of quite a few things, Dave.

- A lot of speakers "open up" with use after being initially a bit stiff.
- An acoustic guitar is nowhere near its potential when it's brand new. It takes time for the glue and lacquer to loosen and for the wood to learn how to resonate. True of acoustic pianos to a lesser extent.
- New guitar strings are too bright at first. They sound best after a couple of days of playing.
- New piano action is a bit tight because felts are not compressed yet. Tends to be faster and light after some use.
- A new engine is very tight when first run, it takes a little while for it to develop full power.
- A cricketer's favourite bat can take months to reach maturity - that's why they are so fussy about not just using any old bat. They play them in over time in the practice nets to compress the wood and get a "lively" feeling into it. New bats feel heavy and dead.

I could come up with plenty of other examples, but you get the idea. Of course everything mentioned has a life-cycle. They will have an optimal period, but also a a decline at some point.

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#1924147 - 07/08/12 09:59 AM Re: Which speakers for a stage piano? [Re: Sutino]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3474
Loc: Pennsylvania
Yes, though one case in which it is apparently *not* true is speakers. Speaker burn in is one of those hi fi myths that can't be reproduced in controlled, blind studies (it's been checked a bunch of times). It's no more true than the notion that very expensive cables make music sound better than normal ones.

The more important effect with speakers is that your ears get used to them. And there is also the placebo effect.

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#1924148 - 07/08/12 10:06 AM Re: Which speakers for a stage piano? [Re: Sutino]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5260
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
So, in this instance it's a bass less\baseless claim. smile
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#1924153 - 07/08/12 10:14 AM Re: Which speakers for a stage piano? [Re: Sutino]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3158
Whiskey and Wine improve with age.
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#1924156 - 07/08/12 10:25 AM Re: Which speakers for a stage piano? [Re: gvfarns]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3331
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
Yes, though one case in which it is apparently *not* true is speakers. Speaker burn in is one of those hi fi myths that can't be reproduced in controlled, blind studies (it's been checked a bunch of times). It's no more true than the notion that very expensive cables make music sound better than normal ones.

The more important effect with speakers is that your ears get used to them. And there is also the placebo effect.


Well my experience with speakers is limited only to this:

I have a Trace Elliot PA system with EV woofers in it. The PA is about 15 years old. About 2 years ago the left channel woofer burned out and I replaced it with an identical new EV speaker. At first there was pronounced difference in the sound. The left channel sounded weaker, less warm, less bassy. And yes, I did A/B them using a Mono source to see whether I was imagining things. I wasn't. I accepted that the speaker might have been a slightly different design. But now that it's 2 years later, they sound identical again! I can only put this down to wearing in. I do recall that the new speaker felt stiffer around the edges of the cone when I installed it. I think that's where some of the change occurs - the flexible membrane which joins the cone to the housing can become more flexible and creates a speaker which breathes a bit more. I don't know where the rest of the change might be happening.

I accept that this is my own anecdote and you have no reason to believe me, but it was real enough for me to believe it.

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#1924159 - 07/08/12 10:29 AM Re: Which speakers for a stage piano? [Re: Sutino]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3474
Loc: Pennsylvania
Haha, well I'm not really a speaker expert. I have tried to burn in a number of speakers without noticing any difference and I've done a lot of internet "research" (a meta-analysis, if you will) and my conclusion is as I stated it above. If you put engineers, manufacturers, and experimental results in one column and retailers and hi fi advocates in the other, you find with few exceptions that the first column says there's no such thing as burn in and the second says there is.

Maybe there are certain cases (perhaps older speakers?) where it is a thing. I don't know. I'm not actually an engineer, manufacturer, or experimenter (if you don't count my own attempts to burn speakers in).


Edited by gvfarns (07/08/12 10:33 AM)

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#1924165 - 07/08/12 10:56 AM Re: Which speakers for a stage piano? [Re: gvfarns]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3331
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
It's certainly not important enough for me to bother trying to induce it myself. I think of it as part of the life-cycle of the product. I think any speaker would be within 10-15% of its best when brand new or else they would have trouble selling them! It may also be that the speaker gains something through age, but also loses something. Then it's just a question of whether you like the tonal balance that you end up with.

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#1924293 - 07/08/12 05:11 PM Re: Which speakers for a stage piano? [Re: Sutino]
Sutino Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/08/12
Posts: 6
I was hoping for some useful advice about speakers but the replies are (OK entertaining)spiraling away from my original question. Come on now share a little.

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#1924308 - 07/08/12 05:47 PM Re: Which speakers for a stage piano? [Re: Sutino]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3331
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Hey, if it wasn't for our off-topic banter, this thread would be vanishing into obscurity!

Sorry I can't help with your question. I haven't bought this type of speaker in many years. Hope you get an answer soon!

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#1924319 - 07/08/12 06:14 PM Re: Which speakers for a stage piano? [Re: Sutino]
toddy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1320
Loc: Portugal
Three names to look at are Yamaha powered reference speakers HS50 and HS80 and Alesis M1 Active series. Polk (passive?) speakers are also mentioned here on this forum. But since I haven't owned or even tried these speakers, I'm keen to see what people with more experience of these things say, too.

I would like something to widen the range of the sound from the internal speakers in the Roland HP302. The thing is, whilst they are very restricted in frequency range, they are fairly good at representing the sound of a piano. My external'hi-fi' set up is great for opening out the sound (especially for other instruments sourced from the DP) but the characteristic piano sound is somewhat compromised.
_________________________
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Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#1924337 - 07/08/12 07:35 PM Re: Which speakers for a stage piano? [Re: Sutino]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3474
Loc: Pennsylvania
After owning a few pair my recommendation is not to get studio monitors. They just aren't designed to sound particularly good. They are designed to reveal flaws in the music. The result is that they are very clear, but it is super easy for them to sound harsh and not too pleasant. The other real downside of them is they are super directional, which means you have to point them RIGHT AT YOUR HEAD and they have to be positioned just so and at the right height. It's a hassle. And they sound bad if you are not in their direct path.

In my opinion, a pair of bookshelf-sized hi fi and a sub is a better alternative. Or floor standing. They may color the sound in some way, but are designed to do it in such a way that it sounds good and fills a room. At the moment I'm temporarily using some high end computer speakers. Computer speakers are considered to be kind of crappy for this application, but I have to say I enjoy these better than I did my monitors. Genuine hi fi would be better despite the fact that you would have to hassle with an amp as well.

Better than all these alternatives is just to stick with headphones. A good pair of headphones sounds great in any room. smile


Edited by gvfarns (07/08/12 07:52 PM)

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#1924389 - 07/08/12 09:42 PM Re: Which speakers for a stage piano? [Re: Sutino]
Dr Popper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/09
Posts: 1706
Loc: Hancock Park LA (not again)
KRK K8 Rokit's
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Disclosure : I am professionally supported by but not beholden to various musical instrument manufactures including Yamaha

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#1924414 - 07/08/12 10:29 PM Re: Which speakers for a stage piano? [Re: Sutino]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3474
Loc: Pennsylvania
Well, or the RP6's and the 10s if you are going with the KRK's. I had the 8's and found them unacceptable on the low end so I ended up getting the sub anyway. The 8's are kind of a jack of all trades.

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#1924487 - 07/09/12 03:22 AM Re: Which speakers for a stage piano? [Re: Sutino]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2232
Loc: UK
Just to give another opinion, and confuse the OP further, I think monitors can be fine, if connected via a multi-stage equaliser that allows you to shape the sound to the room and your ears. Small room, m-audio BX5 with a sub, or BX8 without a sub. ...and the EQ.

Speakers like so many things tend to be a personal choice and you need to listen first. So buy from a retailer who you can also return them to.

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#1924921 - 07/10/12 02:16 AM Re: Which speakers for a stage piano? [Re: Sutino]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 1803
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Sutino... I would highly recommend the Event Opals. They would live up to your MP10's quality. Don't worry about the power. The big secret on power is: It's for sounding good and having dynamic range when the volume is down low.
I own a pair of Event ASP8's. This brand is known to be easier to listen to. I love mine. Even though they have quality problems and the amp will go out. Doh! Still love em in comparison. They need to be placed right to get the best out of them. They are monitors. Not speakers.
You might also consider the Event BAS 20/20. They appear to be the same speaker I have. But with increased reliability. They have heat sinks on the back. Mine don't.
I wouldn't get anything MKII. They all have drawn out falsely increased muddy bass. Same with the Rockits. Most popular cheaper monitors are this way. Someone may like them at first. But they will wear out their welcome in time with that bass.
Yes there are speakers and monitors that do need break in. I have a pair of monitors that sounded awful at first. Had to burn them in. They keep sounding better. Not as good as my Event's though. Some speakers are just built tight. No big deal. Just throw them on a bed. Throw a blanket over them. And crank them for hours. Burns them in.
I do think monitors would be good for a small room. They are built for close up listening. I would also look into treating the room acoustically. The room can ruin the sound.
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Ingrid, my beloved VPC : "Play it Sam....For old times sake...Play it for me...I'll sing it with you...Play me again, Sam."

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#1925123 - 07/10/12 03:23 PM Re: Which speakers for a stage piano? [Re: spanishbuddha]
Riff Raff Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/02/08
Posts: 11
Loc: Austin, Texas, USA
Originally Posted By: spanishbuddha
Small room, m-audio BX5 with a sub

This is exactly what I ended up using.

M-Audio SBX10 Subwoofer
M-Audio BX5 D2 Studio Monitors
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Shawn McHorse
AustinRocky.org / RockyMusic.org

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#1925318 - 07/11/12 02:37 AM Re: Which speakers for a stage piano? [Re: Dave Horne]
slipperykeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/12
Posts: 341
Loc: Dorset, England
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
But I also read that the base improves after about 10 hours of use.

I always find it interesting that things improve with age and not get worse.


I got worse.

I have a Roland RD700 NX which I play through a CGiant guitar amp and, in case there is any doubt, let me assure you right now, it sounds simply terrible.

I will get around to buying a Roland keyboard amp or two for it, but use it on headphones at the moment.

Considering how bad I am at playing the piano I just hope the neighbours are grateful.

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#1925848 - 07/12/12 01:24 PM Re: Which speakers for a stage piano? [Re: Sutino]
Walt Brooks Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/19/11
Posts: 16
Loc: New England
I use a pair of Yamaha HS50 and a KRK10 subwoofer, and am pleased with this set-up in my small studio. If you choose to go with studio monitors, make sure you place then at ear level in an equilateral triangle to your head -- it makes a huge difference. A pair of good stands is worth the investment if its the only way you can get the monitors properly positioned.

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#1926292 - 07/13/12 02:16 PM Re: Which speakers for a stage piano? [Re: Walt Brooks]
Sutino Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/08/12
Posts: 6
Thanks that answers my question somewhat.Are the speakers good at low volume? I don`t want to wake the whole street.

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#1926312 - 07/13/12 02:58 PM Re: Which speakers for a stage piano? [Re: Sutino]
Riff Raff Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/02/08
Posts: 11
Loc: Austin, Texas, USA
In reference to the M-Audio studio monitors I'm using, they're designed for close listening so they don't go ridiculously loud like a stage amp would. Though if I crank up the subwoofer, I can certainly rattle the heck out of the room they're in. They sound great at lower volumes.
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AustinRocky.org / RockyMusic.org

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#1926635 - 07/14/12 10:19 AM Re: Which speakers for a stage piano? [Re: Sutino]
Walt Brooks Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/19/11
Posts: 16
Loc: New England
Yes, they sound great at low volume.

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#1927634 - 07/16/12 04:53 PM Re: Which speakers for a stage piano? [Re: Sutino]
bajabill Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 86
Loc: mid USA
I just got my Kawai ES6 and knew going in that the onboard speakers were going to be lacking. I have an old Yamaha receiver and a pair of Boston Accoustic CR7 bookshelf speakers sitting idle that I dusted off and hooke up. This setup really makes a difference. The bostons are known to be neutral as far as hifi speakers go and they really bring out the lows that sounded hollow from the onboard speakers.

I cant believe some of the money jumps between DP models that people are paying for accoustic "improvements". Piano companies are not speaker companies. If you want it, throw some money to a speaker company and you will get more for your money.

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#1927645 - 07/16/12 05:17 PM Re: Which speakers for a stage piano? [Re: Sutino]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3474
Loc: Pennsylvania
FWIW I owned the M-Audios previously and I did not like them as well as I liked the KRK's. There was also a quality control problem (one of them buzzed like crazy and got louder as it warmed up even when nothing was playing), so I ended up returning them for two reasons.


Edited by gvfarns (07/16/12 05:17 PM)

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#1928867 - 07/19/12 03:21 AM Re: Which speakers for a stage piano? [Re: gvfarns]
Sutino Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/08/12
Posts: 6
A site,(thomann.de), I was in sold Roland CM-110 consisting of a sub plus two satellites. Has anyone tried these?

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