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#2005248 - 12/27/12 11:37 PM Which are the best speakers for a Kawai MP10 for $800?
Javi Cazua Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/21/12
Posts: 10
I'll soon be getting a Kawai MP10, and I'll need some speakers for it. I wanted to ask your advise, of what speakers to get, given the following considerations:
  • My main objective, is to enjoy playing the piano as much as possible. I'd like to be able to hear it, and think that it's an acoustic piano, and been able to differentiate all the little details that you can hear while playing one of those.
  • I'll be playing in my apartment, for myself, so I don't need a lot of volume. I'm renting an apartment, so I won't make any sound treatment in it. I'll probably move next year, so the speaker should be something that works well in general, and not for any specific room type
  • If I can use the same speakers to listen to general music, I'd be great!
  • I'm willing to spend about $800, and I wouldn't mind buying some used speakers, as long as they are from a reputable source, and I know they'll work properly
  • I went to a store and tried several studio monitor, and the only conclusion I got was that bigger is better. Apart from that, for each song I tried, the best speaker was a different one.


BTW: Recommendations about cases and stands are also welcome!

Thank you very much!


Edited by Javi Cazua (12/27/12 11:37 PM)

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#2005273 - 12/28/12 01:09 AM Re: Which are the best speakers for a Kawai MP10 for $800? [Re: Javi Cazua]
Charles Cohen Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1177
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
>>>
I'll be playing in my apartment, for myself, so I don't need a lot of volume.
<<<

Famous last words! A digi-piano with low volume won't sound the way you _want_ it to sound.

The ear is very non-linear. If you look up "Fletcher-Munson curve", you'll find that to get a decent sensation of piano low end, you must either:

. . . a) use equalization to boost the bass, or
. . . b) use high volume.

I suggest you take _some_ of your speaker budget, and buy a good set of headphones. You can play as loud as you want, and enjoy the full sound of the digi-piano. "Good set" means something around $100 or more -- AKG, Sennheiser, etc.

. Charles

PS -- if you've already got headphones, good!

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#2005424 - 12/28/12 10:34 AM Re: Which are the best speakers for a Kawai MP10 for $800? [Re: Javi Cazua]
Smaug Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/18/07
Posts: 34
Loc: Zurich
I'd be careful with "bigger is better". A bigger speaker may give you better bass response, but often at the expense of mid range. I'd look for a speaker with a forward mid range to bring you closer to the sound. I've found auditioning powered 2-way monitors with >6" driver that I felt more disconnected than a 5". I use M-Audio BX5 with a MP8 and am very happy. No big thundering bass notes but they get me involved in the sound.

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#2005567 - 12/28/12 01:29 PM Re: Which are the best speakers for a Kawai MP10 for $800? [Re: Javi Cazua]
Javi Cazua Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/21/12
Posts: 10
Charles Cohen: I already have some good Sennheiser headphones, but I get tired of using them after a while, and I also want to protect my ears. That's why I want to get some good speakers too. Regarding the two options, how high is a high volume? and how could I achieve the second option to get a nice sound (use equalization to boost the bass) with low volume?

Smaug: If I get a speaker with a forward mid range and a separated bass speaker, could I get the best of both worlds? and could you tell me what a "speaker with a forward mid range" is, since I have no idea what you are talking about? smile.

Thank you very much!

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#2005588 - 12/28/12 01:57 PM Re: Which are the best speakers for a Kawai MP10 for $800? [Re: Javi Cazua]
dmd Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1779
Loc: Pennsylvania
It has been my experience that unless I hear the sound, or at least a good portion of it, coming from the speakers on my digital piano I do not get a good sense of playing a piano.

I have worked my way through various monitors and speakers and am now reasonably happy with my Focal CMS 40s but not by themselves. I still must blend that sound with the sound from my ES7 dp in order to "fool" my brain that the total sound is coming from my dp. Also, my dp sound gives the sound a "bite" that is not coming from my Focals.

I also add the sound through my Yamaha HS80M monitors to add additional bass but that usually causes the entire mix to sound too muddy so I end up turning off the Yamahas.

I also fool with adding software sounds to the mix on occasion.

I guess my message is that you should not think that getting big expensive monitors or speakers is going to result in "perfection".

Folks on this forum have been working through this issue ever since I have been a member and there is basically no conclusive answer to the question you are posing. All you can do is try to get high quality (expensive) components and see how it goes. There are no guarantees the sound will be what you are looking for.

Not to mention that if you should be lucky enough to get a great sound ... just wait, it might disappear (at least in you ears) tomorrow. Our sense of what is a great sound seems to meander around and what is hot today may sound dull tomorrow.

Good Luck

P.S. If you find the GREAT SOUND, let us know. We will be all EARS.



Edited by dmd (12/28/12 02:01 PM)
_________________________
Don

My current system: Kawai ES7 + Focal CMS40 Powered Monitors, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface, Mackie ProFX8 Mixer, Ravenscroft275, True Keys American Grand, Ivory II American Concert D, Steinway Basic, Galaxy Vintage D, True Pianos, Pianoteq, Alicia's Keys

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#2005713 - 12/28/12 06:09 PM Re: Which are the best speakers for a Kawai MP10 for $800? [Re: dmd]
Kbeaumont Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/10
Posts: 257
Loc: Virginia, USA
I am very happy with the Roland CM-220 system.

LINK


The detail is phenomenal and the bass response is tight!

I have also used rokit 5 monitors with a 10 inch sub.
I like the Roland a little bit better for piano.
_________________________
A long long time ago, I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile....

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#2005736 - 12/28/12 07:16 PM Re: Which are the best speakers for a Kawai MP10 for $800? [Re: Javi Cazua]
Charles Cohen Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1177
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: Javi Cazua
Charles Cohen: I already have some good Sennheiser headphones, but I get tired of using them after a while, and I also want to protect my ears. That's why I want to get some good speakers too. Regarding the two options, how high is a high volume? and how could I achieve the second option to get a nice sound (use equalization to boost the bass) with low volume?


I've re-thought the situation, and done an experiment.

The re-thinking:

. . . You want good sound _at your ears_ -- you're not trying to fill a hall with live-concert sound.

So your power requirements (for the loudspeakers) are quite reasonable. You'll be running them as near-field monitors, a few feet (at most) from your head.

The experiment:

. . . I played my new Casio PX-350 through my Behringer MS40 monitors (20 watts/channel, 4.5" woofer / 1" tweeter). Most musicians would turn up their noses at the speakers, but that's what I have.

The MS40's delivered much better sound -- louder, clearer, better-balanced -- than the PX-350's built-in loudspeakers. The bass was a bit muddy (I was driving them pretty hard), but the sound was pretty good.

And they were plenty loud enough. Based on that single test, and the fact that the fundamental of the lowest "A" on a piano keyboard is 27.5 Hz:.

. . . You should do very well with a pair of studio monitor speakers with 6" woofers, with a subwoofer to handle the lowest 1.5 octaves (approximately 25 - 75 Hz). The Rokit 10" subwoofer is flat down to 34 Hz (the lowest "C#").

That will just about use up your budget.

For an equalizer, this would do nicely (in fact, it's overkill):

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/behringer-ultragraph-pro-fbq3102-eq

With it, you can set up the tonal balance of the system to please yourself -- even song-by-song. It might be possible to find an EQ that handled stereo sound with _one_ set of controls -- that would be better, for what you want to do.

I think all I've done is confirm what several people have said already. And they have experience to back them up.

. Charles

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#2006297 - 12/30/12 12:19 AM Re: Which are the best speakers for a Kawai MP10 for $800? [Re: Javi Cazua]
Javi Cazua Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/21/12
Posts: 10
I decided I'll try a pair of Focal CMS 50. They are about $1000 probably, but they have really good reviews all over the place (for general audio). Do you know where are the best places to search for those? Where can I search for used ones (in addition to eBay)?

Thank you very much!!!

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#2006314 - 12/30/12 01:29 AM Re: Which are the best speakers for a Kawai MP10 for $800? [Re: Javi Cazua]
thercman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/15/12
Posts: 126
Loc: Spokane WA, United States
I read quite a bit on setting up a studio then built sounds panels (just hang with a screw, so you can put them in an apartment) and now working on a acoustic cloud. If you spend $695 a piece on speakers and put them in a room that hasn't been treated you are seriously wasting money. Also speaker placement is very important as well. Lets say your speakers are 4 foot apart to the center of the woofer. Then you should be centered in-between the speakers with your ear 4 foot from the speaker making a triangle. This will make them sound as though its coming from right in front of you. You would be better off spending $600 total on the the speakers and then a couple hundred on DIY panels....

EDIT: Here is a pick of the panels. They now extend around the room. First I bought some 1x3x8 from Lowes for the frames. Used one screw in each side to hold them together. Bought Rockwool from Lowes at $46 for a pack of 8 http://www.lowes.com/pd_89017-1278-RXSS323_0__?productId=3285120 Then got some fabric and stapled it to the frame.....



Edited by thercman (12/30/12 01:38 AM)
_________________________
NP2, Arturia Laboratory 61

Addictive Keys, Kawai EX Pro
Heil PR-40 Mic, Allen & Heath Mixer, Yamaha HS80

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#2006486 - 12/30/12 10:45 AM Re: Which are the best speakers for a Kawai MP10 for $800? [Re: Javi Cazua]
dmd Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1779
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: Javi Cazua
I decided I'll try a pair of Focal CMS 50. They are about $1000 probably, but they have really good reviews all over the place (for general audio). Do you know where are the best places to search for those? Where can I search for used ones (in addition to eBay)?

Thank you very much!!!



I have the Focal CMS 40s and I like them very much. The 50s should be even better. The price I see for them everywhere is $695 so unless you can get them to drop that price some, the cost will be about $1400 for the pair. I went for the 40s because they had (and still do) have a price tag of $425 (sweetwater). That, to me, was a significant difference.
_________________________
Don

My current system: Kawai ES7 + Focal CMS40 Powered Monitors, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface, Mackie ProFX8 Mixer, Ravenscroft275, True Keys American Grand, Ivory II American Concert D, Steinway Basic, Galaxy Vintage D, True Pianos, Pianoteq, Alicia's Keys

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#2006857 - 12/31/12 03:05 AM Re: Which are the best speakers for a Kawai MP10 for $800? [Re: Javi Cazua]
Hideki Matsui Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 787
Having used near field monitors for many years, I recently picked up a pair of QSC K10s for my Vintage Vibe 64 setup. I'm not sure what they will do for a piano setup, but they are absolutely fantastic in my EP setup. While monitors are great for recording and small rooms, the QSCs sound far more dynamic in my larger music room.
_________________________
Shigeru Kawai SK5
Vintage Vibe 64
Roland LX-15e
Roland Jupiter 80

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#2007721 - 01/01/13 11:13 PM Re: Which are the best speakers for a Kawai MP10 for $800? [Re: Javi Cazua]
Coldsalmon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 41
I recently had the same problem and ended up going for a Rokit 6. I noticed that the largest speakers in the best digital pianos are only 16cm (see the Yamaha AvantGrand series, for example). This is just over 6 inches, so I opted for a 6-inch monitor. I've been very happy with it so far. I can always add a sub later if I get the desire for more bass.

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#2009236 - 01/05/13 01:17 AM Re: Which are the best speakers for a Kawai MP10 for $800? [Re: Javi Cazua]
Javi Cazua Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/21/12
Posts: 10
I've just ordered my Kawai MP10 for $2124.15 (without shipping or taxes) on http://www.musiciansfriend.com (If anyone want that price, you need to call by phone or chat and ask for a special discount of 15%).
I've also decided I'll be getting some Focal CMS 50 speakers.
So my only problem now, is what Stand + Bench + Case to get... I'd be great if the stand and the bench were folding, and the case had wheels. I also want a stand that is "stable" (I might be a little clumsy, and I don't want my keyboard ending up broken in the floor). So any suggestion about those?

BTW: Does it matter which cables I use to connect the speakers to the piano, or which converter I use to use some headphones? Do all the cables have the same "sound quality", or are there some better than the others?

Thank you very much!

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#2009252 - 01/05/13 02:09 AM Re: Which are the best speakers for a Kawai MP10 for $800? [Re: Javi Cazua]
thercman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/15/12
Posts: 126
Loc: Spokane WA, United States
I think I might do that same thing and pick up a Nord Piano 2... $500 off!
_________________________
NP2, Arturia Laboratory 61

Addictive Keys, Kawai EX Pro
Heil PR-40 Mic, Allen & Heath Mixer, Yamaha HS80

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#2009615 - 01/05/13 06:30 PM Re: Which are the best speakers for a Kawai MP10 for $800? [Re: Javi Cazua]
Javi Cazua Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/21/12
Posts: 10
Well, I took the QuikLok WS-550 for $80 dollars.
Any suggestions for cases? I read a lot of ppl complained about gator cases, and most of them liked SKB. What do you think? Is it worth it to get a hard case?

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