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Topic Options
#2354305 - 11/24/14 03:37 PM Will smaller monitor speakers limit the low end of a DP?
Giancarlo Robles Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/30/14
Posts: 55
Loc: San Juan, Puerto Rico
I was wondering if someone could clear up a few doubts I'm having. I would like to buy a pair of studio monitors and am considering some Presonus Eris E4.5s since they've been mentioned in the forums a few times, however I'm not sure how it would work with my Privia since it is an 88 key piano.

Being that the Presonus 4.5s can only go down to 70 Hertz in the low range, how will this affect the notes on the piano that go lower than that? Will they sound distorted or not sound at all? Does this become a problem as I raise the volume possibly breaking the speakers? If the cons outweigh the pros, would buying larger monitors significantly alleviate the problem?
_________________________
Casio Privia PX-350 | CS-67 Stand | SP-33 Pedal Unit | Audio Technica M40x Monitor Headphones | Galaxy Instruments Vintage D and Grand Piano Collection (Steinway, Bosendorfer Vienna Grand Imperial and Bluthner German Baby Grand) VSTs

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#2354311 - 11/24/14 03:52 PM Re: Will smaller monitor speakers limit the low end of a DP? [Re: Giancarlo Robles]
dire tonic Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1459
Loc: uk south
It depends a lot on personal preference. I'm not keen on hefty bass and no acoustic piano I've ever had was bass-heavy so, for me, smallish monitors are no problem. I'm using Focal Alpha 50 which is a tiny bit larger than yours and the bass sounds good and reasonably faithful. In the case of the Eris, I would be inclined to save up the extra pennies and get the E5, not just for the little bit of extra low-end but also because the E5 is bi-amped; the 5.5" driver and the tweeter have their own independent amplifiers which will help to give a sound which is more true and flat. The E4.5 has a single amp with a cross-over which will be ok but more of a compromise.

You'll have no problem 'hearing' the lowest notes whichever monitors you buy, but some will punch out more of the fundamental frequency than others.

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#2354432 - 11/24/14 09:47 PM Re: Will smaller monitor speakers limit the low end of a DP? [Re: Giancarlo Robles]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1491
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
While the lowest fundamental frequency of a piano is 27 Hz, there's not much _energy_ in the sound at that frequency:

. . . Most of the energy is in the harmonics.

Small woofers won't give you the full "oomph" of larger ones. But you'll hear the harmonics (54 Hz / 76 Hz / etc), and your brain will fill in the fundamental. So the piano sound doesn't "cut off" at the low end -- it just sounds weaker, with less body than it should have.

If you find that the sound of the Presonus speakers doesn't have enough bass, you can add a subwoofer.

. Charles

PS -- the other problem is that small woofers won't give you the _loudness_ of an acoustic piano. But they'll do better than many DP's built-in loudspeakers.

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#2354485 - Yesterday at 04:12 AM Re: Will smaller monitor speakers limit the low end of a DP? [Re: Giancarlo Robles]
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3803
Loc: Northern England.
Originally Posted By: Giancarlo Robles
I was wondering if someone could clear up a few doubts I'm having. I would like to buy a pair of studio monitors and am considering some Presonus Eris E4.5s since they've been mentioned in the forums a few times, however I'm not sure how it would work with my Privia since it is an 88 key piano.

Being that the Presonus 4.5s can only go down to 70 Hertz in the low range, how will this affect the notes on the piano that go lower than that? Will they sound distorted or not sound at all? Does this become a problem as I raise the volume possibly breaking the speakers? If the cons outweigh the pros, would buying larger monitors significantly alleviate the problem?


Educated guess from a not clever person. The size of the speakers are not as important as the price. The price is not as important as your threshold of quality. If you have a low threshold, then. . . .go cheap!

Tbh, most of the low piano sounds are harmonics. Too much bass as found on high end DPs and concert grands would sound terrible in a small room.

So the pre-question becomes "How big is my room?" And, to muddy the water further, "Soft furnishings, or few?"

smile


Edited by peterws (Yesterday at 04:18 AM)
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes � but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2354592 - Yesterday at 12:00 PM Re: Will smaller monitor speakers limit the low end of a DP? [Re: peterws]
Compassion Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/05/05
Posts: 13
Good, thoughtful advice from the previous posters.

(Of course, we're all trying to put ourselves in your shoes,
so these suggestions can only be friendly guess-timates, at best.)

You're going to like pretty well any powered studio monitors with your Privia,
as they'll be obviously superior (as a bare minimum) to the instrument's built-in speakers.
You'll be grinnin', for sure. smile

However ... (and IMHO) ...
70Hz is definitely not a low enough frequency response to give a (digital) piano any kind of sonic justice.
As previously suggested:
don't cheapen your investment with monitors that don't at least substantially approach a frequency response that is usually referred to as "full range".
(You sure wouldn't with your stereo system, would you?)

Now ... failing that (or not ) ...
just ADD A SUB(WOOFER)! ...
of appropriate size and power (relative to your monitors).
You will not believe what you've been missing!

You were grinning before ... now you'll be: smile cool grin wow 3hearts thumb





Edited by Compassion (Yesterday at 12:07 PM)

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#2354615 - Yesterday at 12:33 PM Re: Will smaller monitor speakers limit the low end of a DP? [Re: Compassion]
Giancarlo Robles Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/30/14
Posts: 55
Loc: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Originally Posted By: Compassion
Good, thoughtful advice from the previous posters.

(Of course, we're all trying to put ourselves in your shoes,
so these suggestions can only be friendly guess-timates, at best.)

You're going to like pretty well any powered studio monitors with your Privia,
as they'll be obviously superior (as a bare minimum) to the instrument's built-in speakers.
You'll be grinnin', for sure. smile

However ... (and IMHO) ...
70Hz is definitely not a low enough frequency response to give a (digital) piano any kind of sonic justice.
As previously suggested:
don't cheapen your investment with monitors that don't at least substantially approach a frequency response that is usually referred to as "full range".
(You sure wouldn't with your stereo system, would you?)

Now ... failing that (or not ) ...
just ADD A SUB(WOOFER)! ...
of appropriate size and power (relative to your monitors).
You will not believe what you've been missing!

You were grinning before ... now you'll be: smile cool grin wow 3hearts thumb





In that case, I can buy the 4.5s and connect a subwoofer that can have a frequency of I'd guess 70Hz and lower to something like 30 - 35Hz? I'm not looking to make any windows rumble when playing piano, but just want adequate bass. Any recommendations on a subwoofer that I can connect to the Eris 4.5s?

Edit: Not sure if either of them works or if they can be plugged into the Eris 4.5s. Just made a quick search off Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Dayton-Audio-SUB-8...words=subwoofer
http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-10-Inch...words=subwoofer
_________________________
Casio Privia PX-350 | CS-67 Stand | SP-33 Pedal Unit | Audio Technica M40x Monitor Headphones | Galaxy Instruments Vintage D and Grand Piano Collection (Steinway, Bosendorfer Vienna Grand Imperial and Bluthner German Baby Grand) VSTs

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#2354793 - Yesterday at 08:53 PM Re: Will smaller monitor speakers limit the low end of a DP? [Re: Giancarlo Robles]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1491
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
FWIW --

The Polk PSW10 subwoofer uses a 10" driver, and a 50-watt (continuous power) amp.

So the frequency response should be OK, but the volume might be a little low. It will be _much_ better than your built-in speakers, and it will do a good job extending the bass of the monitors you're looking at.

If you do a lot of playing with organ tones, that power limit might become annoying. On piano, I wouldn't worry about it.

There's a thing to check:

1. Either the subwoofer should have two channels (L/R) of input, and two channels of output for the monitor speakers (with subwoofer frequencies removed),

or:

2. the monitor speakers will have one channel _each_ of input, and an output jack for driving a subwoofer (with high-frequencies removed).

Because low frequency sound isn't easy to localize, either stereo channel should work to drive the subwoofer. The right way to arrange things is either (1)(above) or a pair of monitors with a "derived" (summed) sub-woofer output.

Read the specs and manuals carefully.

. Charles

PS -- the Polk sub-woofer is really inexpensive. You could spend more money, and get something better if you wanted to.




Edited by Charles Cohen (Yesterday at 08:54 PM)

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#2354946 - Today at 08:31 AM Re: Will smaller monitor speakers limit the low end of a DP? [Re: Giancarlo Robles]
Compassion Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/05/05
Posts: 13
As Giancarlo is saying, most of us are
"not looking to make any windows rumble when playing piano,
but just want adequate bass."

(As we all know,) we pianists/"keyboard"-players need (heck, deserve ) smile
an audio system that has the capability of re-producing all of the frequencies
(including the harmonics) that are generated when playing any note,
or (even more difficult) any combination of notes.
These are very demanding criteria, particularly when dealing with the low frequencies.

Charles reminded us that: the lowest fundamental frequency of a piano is 27 Hz.
Therefore, it would seem to stand to reason that:
the low frequency spec of a desirable rig/system
- amp(s) and speaker(s) - with or without a subwoofer -
would need to be comfortably in the neighbourhood of
27 Hz ( +/- 3 dB, for legitimacy)
in order to handle these lows with grace , and authority.

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#2354951 - Today at 08:45 AM Re: Will smaller monitor speakers limit the low end of a DP? [Re: Giancarlo Robles]
Hookxs Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/02/13
Posts: 249
Loc: Czech Republic
Are built-in speakers in slab or console models capable of this frequency range, given their size?

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#2355018 - Today at 11:55 AM Re: Will smaller monitor speakers limit the low end of a DP? [Re: Hookxs]
Alexander Borro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/18/14
Posts: 70
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Hookxs
Are built-in speakers in slab or console models capable of this frequency range, given their size?


I would very much doubt in most models. Perhaps one of the higher end consoles, for example the yamaha CLP 585 I read has a 3 ways speaker system. I expect that in most console/slab speakers there is significant roll off at the lower frequencies below 50 - 60 Hz already even if they reach that far. Most of the 5 inch monitors are in that sort of 50 - 60 Hz range and are probably better and larger than most of the console/slab equivalents.

The cabinet design can help deepen the sound a bit, for example one of the reasons I bought the Casio Celviano 450 instead of the Casio PX 850, same amp, same speakers, basically the same piano in a bigger cabinet resulted in a slightly deeper sound when I compared them in the shop.

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#2355019 - Today at 12:02 PM Re: Will smaller monitor speakers limit the low end of a DP? [Re: Giancarlo Robles]
login Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/14
Posts: 35
I would consider those monitor more than enough for a DP.

If you can go to the store to try them (along other models) take with you a piano recording you like and listen to it on different monitors.

Not that you DP is gonna sound like a great recording but you can get an idea of what is the difference between sizes and models.

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#2355061 - Today at 01:54 PM Re: Will smaller monitor speakers limit the low end of a DP? [Re: Giancarlo Robles]
DazedAndConfused Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/26/10
Posts: 201
Loc: Greenwich, London, United King...
Originally Posted By: Giancarlo Robles
Originally Posted By: Compassion
Good, thoughtful advice from the previous posters.

(Of course, we're all trying to put ourselves in your shoes,
so these suggestions can only be friendly guess-timates, at best.)

You're going to like pretty well any powered studio monitors with your Privia,
as they'll be obviously superior (as a bare minimum) to the instrument's built-in speakers.
You'll be grinnin', for sure. smile

However ... (and IMHO) ...
70Hz is definitely not a low enough frequency response to give a (digital) piano any kind of sonic justice.
As previously suggested:
don't cheapen your investment with monitors that don't at least substantially approach a frequency response that is usually referred to as "full range".
(You sure wouldn't with your stereo system, would you?)

Now ... failing that (or not ) ...
just ADD A SUB(WOOFER)! ...
of appropriate size and power (relative to your monitors).
You will not believe what you've been missing!

You were grinning before ... now you'll be: smile cool grin wow 3hearts thumb





In that case, I can buy the 4.5s and connect a subwoofer that can have a frequency of I'd guess 70Hz and lower to something like 30 - 35Hz? I'm not looking to make any windows rumble when playing piano, but just want adequate bass. Any recommendations on a subwoofer that I can connect to the Eris 4.5s?

Edit: Not sure if either of them works or if they can be plugged into the Eris 4.5s. Just made a quick search off Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Dayton-Audio-SUB-8...words=subwoofer
http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-10-Inch...words=subwoofer


Presonus make two subwoofers designed to partner the Eris speakers. I am looking at E5 + Temblor myself. http://www.presonus.com/products/Temblor-T8
_________________________
Currently working on:
Poulenc, Mouvements Perpetuels
Shostakovich, Prelude & Fugue no. 5
Beethoven, Sonata in F Op. 10 No. 2

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#2355078 - Today at 02:38 PM Re: Will smaller monitor speakers limit the low end of a DP? [Re: Giancarlo Robles]
NormB Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/02/12
Posts: 47
Loc: Vancouver, BC
The short answer, for which there seems agreement, is yes.

I use really big audiophile three way speakers with 10" woofers and still don't get the physical feeling of an AP; and yet they have a flat frequency response well below 40 Hz. I plan to try a subwoofer in the future.

One issue with 'big' monitors or speakers: your ear is likely to be very sensitive to transitions between one driver and another when playing--more so than when using the same speakers to listen to music. Big usually = three way, so you have two such transitions to consider.

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#2355221 - Today at 07:24 PM Re: Will smaller monitor speakers limit the low end of a DP? [Re: Giancarlo Robles]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1491
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
The Presonus subwoofers look interesting.

Note that the SPL (= "loudness", roughly) of the 10" sub is 9 dB greater than the SPL of the 8" sub. So you get considerably louder capability in the 10".

The claimed frequency response of those two is meaningless. There's a low-frequency limit, but no statement of how flat the response is.

There's a huge difference between:

. . . 30-200 Hz +/- 3 dB

and

. . . 30- 200 Hz +/- 20 dB

and you don't know which one Presonus is claiming.

My EV ZXA1 (which is a PA speaker with an 8" woofer), which I think is OK for piano, has this spec:

Frequency Response (-3 dB) 60 - 20000 Hz Full Range Mode
Frequency Response (-10 dB) 48 - 20000 Hz Full Range Mode

That's honest, and not easy to beat (with an 8" woofer).

. Charles

PS -- the real answer to this question is:

. . . "Use you own ears".

That's why brick-and-mortar specialty audio stores are so nice.


Edited by Charles Cohen (Today at 07:25 PM)

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#2355231 - Today at 08:10 PM Re: Will smaller monitor speakers limit the low end of a DP? [Re: Giancarlo Robles]
Marko in Boston Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 915
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts
I've mentioned in previous post that I'm a big Presonus fan. Eris 5S-T10 sub combo sounds fantastic and reasonably priced. The T8 would be fine. My T10 is a bit overkill but I like the killswitch pedal option.


_________________________
KAWAI ES7 | ROLAND RD-800 | TRAYNOR K4 | YAMAHA STAGEPAS 400i | PRESONUS ERIS 5 & T10 | SHURE SRH1540 | SENNHEISER HD380 | K&M OMEGA

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