Author Topic: Quality of Speakers  (Read 3551 times)

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Offline leroquoz

Quality of Speakers
« on: April 18, 2023, 08:40:57 AM »
I recently purchased an sx600 to replace my aging 3000 and returned it to the music store on the first day . I found the internal soeaker systm elacked the depth of the psr and had a "cheap" feelig to it .

CAn anyone tell me if the 700/900 has a better sounding internal system
 

Offline BogdanH

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2023, 10:35:45 AM »
Yes, SX700/900 have noticeable better sounding speaker system, but is hard to say if it will be that much better for you -as we all have different criteria. SX900 has even slightly better sound than SX700, but I couldn't notice the difference in store.
Anyway, if SX600 capability was acceptable to you, then I suggest you get SX700, which not only has better sound than SX600, but also has other useful features.

Bogdan
PSR-SX700 on K&M-18820 stand
Playing for myself on Youtube
 

Offline TiasDad

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2023, 11:03:47 AM »
Out of the box, all new keyboards I've tried have lacked the warmth of my old PSR740 but thankfully, they have a very good Master Equalizer section which can be tweaked to your own preference.

Offline svpworld

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2023, 09:55:49 PM »
Given the almost £400 price difference between the SX600 and SX700, I think you would be better off buying an external amplified speaker system and sticking to the SX600!  I have been extremely impressed with the SX600 speakers, especially after a bit of tweaking with the EQ and compressor. Of course I don't expect them to sound like a pair of Yamaha HS7 monitors, but for what they are (onboard monitors) they are excellent.

Simon

Offline Lacko

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2023, 07:37:27 AM »
+1 for external amplified speakers
 

Offline mixermixer

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2023, 02:12:22 PM »
The SX900 speaker is pretty good and loud for what it does. I use it weekly on stage and it can keep up with a band. Of course its up to you to justify the huge price jump but the UI as well as more sounds/styles built in were worth it for me to upgrade from a S770. To be fair I got my SX900 used for a really good deal.
 

Offline mikf

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2023, 02:52:58 PM »
If you are ok with the keyboard generally, then adding speakers will improve it a lot and is a modest extra cost. Frankly, many people do this anyway even with the more expensive keyboards. A pair of decent quality small powered 4 inch monitors can be found for anything between $100 and 200, and these will improve sound immensely, way better than upgrading the keyboard.
Mike
« Last Edit: April 21, 2023, 04:42:33 PM by mikf »
 

Offline Amwilburn

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2023, 09:55:24 PM »
The sx900 has a 4 way speaker system (50w) and is absolutely fantastic, clearest speakers I've ever heard on a PSR *but* I think the on board PA1000 speakers still have more punch. The PSR3000 had really good speakers for the time, so much so that they weren't as good on the PSRs900,s910, or s950 (it wasn't until the s970/s975 that the speakers were finally back in the same ballpark). The old PSR740 speakers were incredible, yup. Insanely bassy without distortion; very similar to the PA1000 speakers.

I also find the PSRsx600 speakers somewhat anemic, but at least they aren't too harsh (like the s950 ones were) or thin like the s900 ones.

Newer isn't always better (in every way); the PSRA1000 & A2000 had fantastic bass from their speakers (again, like the PSR740 and Korg PA1000) but for the PSRA3000, they toned it down (still good, but not as much bass punch) and on the PSRA5000, pretty anemic on the low frequencies, but incredibly clear detail on the highs (much clearer than the sx600, yes). And they removed the heavy Watariat strings present in the A1000,A2000,A3000 are gone, but fortunately can be downloaded from the Oriental pack. But this is an Oriental focused keyboard... why remove those voices?!?!

PSRsx700 speakers sound better than the sx600 ones, despite having the same wattage; not much more bass but more clarity in the upper end. But neither approaches the sx900/A1000/PSR740/PA1000 speakers

You need to visit a store to hear them all side by side to really make an assessment.

Mark

Offline BogdanH

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2023, 09:46:09 AM »
The sx900 has a 4 way speaker system (50w)...

I don't have SX900/700 service manual, but I assume similar solution was used on S970/770. So, for sake of correct info and terminology:

SX600:
Has one stereo amplifier and one 12cm speaker per channel is connected. That makes it "one way" speaker system, but that term isn't used usually... we just call it "full range" speaker.
SX700:
Has one stereo amplifier and two speakers (13cm+5cm) per channel are connected. That makes it "two way" speaker system. To separate low/high frequency band (for bass and tweeter speaker), simple passive filter is used.
SX900:
Has two stereo amplifiers: one for low frequency band and one for high frequency band (passive filter isn't needed). That solution is much better (more precise) than that's the case with passive filter. Still, to each stereo channel two speakers (13cm+2,5cm) are connected and so this is also "two way" speaker system.

About power...
SX600 and SX700 have single 2x15W amplifier and SX900 has two of them:2x15W for low band and 2x10W for high band. The question is, how much louder is SX900 compared to SX700 (by assuming speaker efficiency is the same)?
Simple math would suggest... 2x15W=30W vs (2x15W)+(2x10W)=50W... 50W/30W=1,7... That makes SX900 70% louder than SX700 -which is wrong, of course.
Power (W) and loudness (dB) are not the same thing: loudness is result of power and it doesn't grow linear with power. Correct calculation is:
dB(difference) = 10 x log(50W/30W) = 2,2dB
What does that tell us?
Let's assume we listen SX700 at max volume at 1m distance and measured loudness is 100dB. If we now listen to SX900 at the same condition, loudness will be 102,2dB -in this case, SX900 is 2% louder than SX700.
Conclusion... two amplifiers in SX900 are not used to get more power -they're used to get better frequency separation.

I hope that wasn't too boring,
Bogdan
PSR-SX700 on K&M-18820 stand
Playing for myself on Youtube
 

Offline Amwilburn

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2023, 07:27:51 PM »
Bogdan, the sx900 is only *slightly* louder than the sx700... after all, our ears hear logarithmically.
It's nailing the speaker crossover separation that makes it sound so good. (They've screwed that up before; the CLP585 was the first to use 3 pairs of amplifiers and speakers, but they didn't do the crossover separation properly... it just sounded too "thuddy"). Thankfully, they've figured it out since then.

Offline BogdanH

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2023, 07:53:14 PM »
Bogdan, the sx900 is only *slightly* louder than the sx700... after all, our ears hear logarithmically...
You're correct Mark.
SX900 has better (digital) frequency crossover system, because two separate stereo amplifier are used. That's why (probably) Yamaha also decided to use "better" speakers in SX900 -so one can actually notice the difference in sound quality. As mentioned previously, I couldn't notice the difference between SX900 and SX700 in store (I only made a quick comparison in noisy store), but I'm pretty sure SX900 sounds better -although, I'm happy with SX700 sound (for what it is).

Bogdan
PSR-SX700 on K&M-18820 stand
Playing for myself on Youtube
 

Offline Amwilburn

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2023, 08:33:36 PM »
Well, unless you need audio styles, a slightly better piano, and the talking sounds from the choir section (jazz scat, phrases, and vocal shots) and solo stringed instruments (the sx900 has great solo violins and cello, the built ones on the sx700/s970/s975 are not good), the 2.5 x the sample space, the twin stereo-imaged guitars (alternated panning left and right on the guitar pickups) and the compatibility with the newer styles (thanks to the sx900's revo-compatible drum kits) then you really aren't missing too much besides the 4 way amplified speakers. (And playing mostly on headphones removes that last advantage).

The sx700 is still *really* good, yes. So much so that I still have my s970 (identical sound library to the sx700)

Mark

Offline Lacko

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2023, 08:34:41 AM »
Sound quality is given not just by amplifier power and number of speakers. Inner volume of the box, size of speakers and construction details like bass-reflex are also important. And good external speakers can cost less than is price difference between two keyboard models.
Built-in speakers in keyboards are relatively good and it's fine we have them. But, in my opinion, no built-in speakers in keyboard can fully substitute external speakers (without built-in keyboard).
 

Offline BogdanH

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2023, 10:14:42 AM »
My thoughts about SX900 vs SX700... and I'm not writing this to convince myself into what a great decision I made. It's more a personal opinion for those who are considering either of these two keyboards.

Is not a surprise that SX900 is better. The question for a potential buyer is, in which departments is better and how much difference that makes in everyday usage. SX900 has almost double price of SX700 and so one would expect SX900 to be substantially better than SX700 -which, in my opinion, is not the case.

Both have the same set of voices, where SX900 only has a few more. Are these additional voices that exceptional? And how important are these particular voices for potential buyer? -I mean, cello isn't something we use that often. And if someone really needs particular voice, it can usually be found on internet.
Revo drums... I can't comment on that, because I don't have them. But honestly, drums on SX700 work just fine for me. And again, if there's a case that particular percussion is missing or is not "the right one" for particular song (i.e. tambourine is embarrasing on all SX'es), then we can download the sample.
At the end, no matter how many voices we have, there will always be a missing one (i.e. violin can be played in many different ways) and we will need to buy it or create a custom one -that's why that option exists.

What I do miss on SX700 and SX900 has it, is bigger user memory for voices. I'm not a voice "collector" and I'm quite selective, but 400MB really feels small sometimes. For those who are buying first arranger keyboard: how limiting that is in everyday use? Let me put it this way... There are already 1000 voices built-in. So, how many additional do we really need? We don't need all the voices (that we collected) all the time. User memory is meant for additional voices that we actually use. And if we look that way, then I think 400MB is sufficient.
For sake of completeness: how much memory is needed for single voice? Depends on voice type... it can be 5MB or 100MB (average being about 20-30MB). Means, we can add about 10-20 voices on SX700.

SX900 has few other hardware features which don't exist on SX700. Vocal harmony, for example, which can be important for live singers. But that can be bought as separate device anytime later.
Another feature I like on SX900, is additional Line output, which can be useful for recording. The problem is not that SX700 is missing that additional output... the problem is, volume level of Line output on SX700 can not be separately adjusted (independently of main volume).

And that's pretty much all. Is it worth the price difference? Is a question everyone should answer for himself. Sure, if money is there, why not? I mean, nobody will say no to additional features. On the other hand, SX700 already has capabilities & features that majority of owners never use. One is for sure: is a great hobby  :)

Bogdan

PS: agree with Lacko. But truth is, because of various reasons, big majority never decides for additional speakers. And so, the quality of built-in system can be quite important for those. But yes, if sound quality is the only reason when deciding between SX900 and SX700, then pairing SX700 with external speakers is smarter solution.
PSR-SX700 on K&M-18820 stand
Playing for myself on Youtube
 

Offline Jeff Hollande

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2023, 10:59:18 AM »
Hey Bogdan :
 
IMHO the question of personal needs, expectations, knowledge and satisfaction might be much more important than the price.

One can buy the most expensive arranger, speakers, mics, etc. and be very disappointed and dissatisfied ( for many reasons ).

Everything is relative ( Albert Einstein ).

Enjoy your Sunday.
JH
« Last Edit: April 23, 2023, 11:11:19 AM by Jeff Hollande »
Making music is my daily passion.
 

Offline BogdanH

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2023, 11:29:13 AM »
...
One can buy the most expensive arranger, speakers, mics, etc. and be very disappointed and dissatisfied..
Jeff, you're so right on this!
It is really important to know what actually matters on keyboard and what matters less (for each individually) -especially for someone who's starting with arranger keyboard. Buying "the best" keyboard can make someone feel good, but at the end, player makes the music.

Best wishes,
Bogdan
PSR-SX700 on K&M-18820 stand
Playing for myself on Youtube
 

Offline EileenL

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2023, 12:42:50 PM »
The beaty of the speakers on the SX900 is that they are specially shaped to produce sound from front and back. This is most noticeable when playing in a small venue or large home lounge. The sound can be heard from most angles and not just the player.
 
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Offline Amwilburn

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2023, 08:28:42 PM »
Again, I agree the sx700 is very good (I essentially have the same keyboard!) but:


Is not a surprise that SX900 is better. The question for a potential buyer is, in which departments is better and how much difference that makes in everyday usage. SX900 has almost double price of SX700 and so one would expect SX900 to be substantially better than SX700
Er... I guess regional differences, but in Canada the sx700 is exactly 30% less than the sx900, far from being double here!

Both have the same set of voices, where SX900 only has a few more. Are these additional voices that exceptional? And how important are these particular voices for potential buyer? -
The sx900 has 351 voices and 15 kits more than the sx700, and they are the best qualify of voices available on the sx900. However, how important? that's the question. I've had some customers who *needed* the high quality solo strings, some who could care less. And yes, I myself have installed better solo strings into my s970 to compensate. Likewise, the additional speaking choir sounds? I only use the Ooh's and Aahs, which our sx700/s970 have, so the additional singing phrases mean little to me as well.


drums on SX700 work just fine for me. And again, if there's a case that particular percussion is missing or is not "the right one" for particular song (i.e. tambourine is embarrasing on all SX'es), then we can download the sample.
*snip*

What I do miss on SX700 and SX900 has it, is bigger user memory for voices. *snip*
but 400MB really feels small sometimes. For those who are buying first arranger keyboard: how limiting that is in everyday use? Let me put it this way... There are already 1000 voices built-in. So, how many additional do we really need? We don't need all the voices (that we collected) all the time. User memory is meant for additional voices that we actually use. And if we look that way, then I think 400MB is sufficient.

For sake of completeness: how much memory is needed for single voice? Depends on voice type... it can be 5MB or 100MB (average being about 20-30MB). Means, we can add about 10-20 voices on SX700.

This is where I wish we had revo compatible drums; *all* the new styles from the CVP series (launched after the PSR and Genos) all require revo compatible kits. Yes you can use the revo cleaner to get a working style, but it'll be missing a *lot* of hi hat detail. this for me is the biggest failing of the sx700/s970 (which again, I also own the same chipset!) and is an absolute pain when collecting new official Yamaha styles. Yes, we can add voices to our keyboards, but as the 400mb is already more than half full from on board sounds, you can add maybe 40-80 voices to the sx700. But I can usually add 250-500 voices on the sx900, another pretty large difference. Due to the pre-installed approx 250mb, the *empty* space on the sx700 is roughly 150mb vs the sx900 with approx 850 mb.

Another thing I wish I could do on my own keyboard as well.


SX900 has few other hardware features which don't exist on SX700. Vocal harmony, for example, which can be important for live singers. But that can be bought as separate device anytime later.
Another feature I like on SX900, is additional Line output, which can be useful for recording. The problem is not that SX700 is missing that additional output... the problem is, volume level of Line output on SX700 can not be separately adjusted (independently of main volume).

Ah, there you go; most of my customers are singers (or want to be), and all of them want to do recording. I myself? have VH on the s970, and just render directly to USB audio to record losslesly (obviously so can sx700 owners!)

*snip*
Bogdan

PS: agree with Lacko. But truth is, because of various reasons, big majority never decides for additional speakers. And so, the quality of built-in system can be quite important for those. But yes, if sound quality is the only reason when deciding between SX900 and SX700, then pairing SX700 with external speakers is smarter solution.

Again, another oddity of Canada I suppose, but to get speakers even approaching the quality of the sx900 (HS8 x 2), you would have to spend *more* than the price difference between the 2 here! (Keep in mind the sx900 speakers are superior to the Genos GNSMS01 2.1 set)

Again, not telling you that you made the wrong choice... it's practically the *same* choice I made! but that there are a *lot* more differences that you may not have been aware of. Including: I *love* audio styles; Queens' "We Will Rock You" style only sounds correct as an audio style. Also the style for the underwater theme from Donky Kong Country , had to be an audio style (on the s970) Are they limiting? Yes. Can't really change the tempo, can't render audio internally (requires 4 tracks of audio, sx900 and s970 only have 2)

I'm curious, what country are you in? nevermind, I see Slovenia in your bio. Prices are clearly different regionally! Can you tell us how much the below prices are where you are? I'm curious!

The prices in Canada (easily found online)
sx900
https://www.tomleemusic.ca/yamaha-psrsx900-61-keys-digital-workstation-keyboard-212789

sx700
https://www.tomleemusic.ca/yamaha-psrsx700-61-keys-digital-workstation-keyboard-212790

HS8 speakers (each, so 2 is larger than the difference between the 2)
https://www.tomleemusic.ca/yamaha-hs8-8-inch-active-studio-monitor-each-167121


Mark

Offline Amwilburn

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2023, 08:47:09 PM »
Not sure if this is the same price for you, but I just checked European prices for the 2 keyboards... holy cow, you're right, it's double where you are from the sx700 to the sx900!!!! What the heck?!?!?!?

PSRsx900
https://m-s-v.eu/sk/Yamaha-PSR-SX900-Digital-Keyboard/PSR-SX900#/ecae875e-b185-4cc6-9783-f2875f773a08/Classic-initial/page=1&rpp=10

PSrsx700
https://m-s-v.eu/sk/Yamaha-PSR-SX700-Digital-Keyboard/PSR-SX700

Eesh!!! Canada 30% less  vs Slovakia 49% less (I couldn't find a Slovenian website, but probably close in price?) holy cow I'd get the sx700 too there.
another way of looking at it is 1.43 times the price vs 1.95 times the price to upgrade. That is insane to me

Mark

Offline pjd

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #19 on: April 24, 2023, 01:07:35 AM »
Not sure if this is the same price for you, but I just checked European prices for the 2 keyboards... holy cow, you're right, it's double where you are from the sx700 to the sx900!!!! What the heck?!?!?!?

That is insane to me.

Nice comments and observations, Mark! A lucid analysis.  :)

As to pricing, I believe the nutso pricing differences that we (customers) observe are due to Yamaha's bean-counters (AKA "accountants".)

A few years ago, Yamaha took a financial beating due to currency fluctuations. They made a decision to hedge currencies and I think the end result is the crazed pricing that we observe -- especially differences between geographical regions, e.g., Canada vs. USA vs. UK and so forth.

Cheesh -- pj
« Last Edit: April 24, 2023, 02:43:26 AM by pjd »
 

Offline BogdanH

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #20 on: April 24, 2023, 10:05:44 AM »
Hi Mark,
Thank you for additional thoughts... which proves, that we actually agree.
It was not my intention to downgrade SX900 (having "more" is always welcome). I just wished to point out, that not every feature is important for everyone. VH for example is nice to have. But those who are more serious in singing recording, they will buy separate device anyway (to have separate vocal channel for mixing). Or voices... what a "must have" was there when Mega voices were introduced. They are a welcome addition of course, but only for those who know how to use them properly.
Again, all additional features on SX900 are welcome and can be useful... if they are actually used later -otherwise, it's thrown away money. And that is what I tried to clarify.

Hahahah.. prices! Who would think that, huh? Yes, that puts these two keyboards in quite a different perspective: depending on where you buy  :o :)

Bogdan
PSR-SX700 on K&M-18820 stand
Playing for myself on Youtube
 

Offline Jeff Hollande

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #21 on: April 24, 2023, 01:21:14 PM »
Hi :

As far as I know, the lowest enduser Yamaha arranger selling prices will be found in China and Indonesia.

IMO it might be not interesting for us to buy in these countries due to high import duties, VAT, taxes and transport costs but ... it might be interesting to know their local prices compared to our local purchasing prices.
A couple of years ago the price differences were huge.


JH
« Last Edit: April 24, 2023, 02:06:01 PM by Jeff Hollande »
Making music is my daily passion.
 

Offline Amwilburn

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #22 on: April 24, 2023, 07:03:17 PM »
Oh I wasn't even comparing the differences of price from country to country (as it happens, the average price between the 2 is nearly identical); I was talking about the relative price differences between models;in North America, there's only a 30% difference in prices between sx700 and sx900, but in Europe, it's 49%! That puts the keyboards in very different classes in different countries!

Makes it an easy upgrade in North America, but nearly impossible in Europe. ><

Offline Jeff Hollande

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #23 on: April 24, 2023, 07:53:09 PM »

Hi Guys :

If you or one of your family members or friends have plans to go to Indonesia on vacation, maybe it might be easy ( for you ) to buy a Yamaha arranger at a very attractive price. 🤓🤓🤓

All the best, JH
Making music is my daily passion.
 

Offline mikf

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #24 on: April 24, 2023, 11:48:55 PM »
Hand carry a keyboard back from Indonesia, take the risk of high taxes, import duties, damage on the way ..... just to save maybe $100. Only a crazy person would do that.
Mike

Offline Amwilburn

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #25 on: April 28, 2023, 06:27:20 PM »
Hand carry a keyboard back from Indonesia, take the risk of high taxes, import duties, damage on the way ..... just to save maybe $100. Only a crazy person would do that.
Mike

Plus you then have no local warranty (unless you want to travel back to Indonesia everytime)

Offline Lije Baley

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #26 on: April 30, 2023, 03:56:52 PM »
I recently purchased an sx600 to replace my aging 3000 and returned it to the music store on the first day . I found the internal soeaker systm elacked the depth of the psr and had a "cheap" feelig to it .

CAn anyone tell me if the 700/900 has a better sounding internal system

Hi guys!

Generally, I think people sometimes dismiss things just because they are old. I am certainly not immune to this either. In the case of a PSR-3000 vs PSR-SX600, I must say that while I have not heard either of these, it would stand to reason that the older top model in the PSR range has a better speaker system. The reason is very simple – while technology has moved forward and now even less expensive instruments have nicer sample libraries that were previously not available even on the most expensive instruments, speakers still represent a significant percentage of the cost of the instrument. Magnetic circuits, voice-coils, diaphragms as well as amplifier circuits still cost the same as they did. While the manufacturers found ways to make more for less, the mechanics of speakers have advanced only so far, unlike sample libraries. This is why manufacturers can typically afford to use higher quality speakers and components only in higher-priced instruments. Conversely, as the cost of the instrument goes down, one of the first things that will be reduced in quality are the things that cost the most, like speakers.

It is also entirely possible that Yamaha was willing do make this apparent compromise to save on weight. I have read on several occasions that people chose the PSR-SX600 specifically because it is easier to transport. Some even bought it so that they wouldn’t have to carry their main and larger instrument that they have at home.

I myself own a PSR-SX900 and as someone who spent much time learning how to listen critically, I can tell you that the built-in speakers are really very good. While not up to the likes of high-end bookshelf speakers like KEF LS50 or Goldenear BRX, which you shouldn’t expect them to be anyway, It is a speaker system deserving of a high-fidelity badge. It is certainly better than any expensive TV soundbar or Bluetooth speaker I have heard. I can’t imagine anyone being displeased with it.

I also quite like the white colour of the mid-woofers. It’s a nice homage to the famous NS-10 studio monitor, I think.

Cheers – Antun
 

Offline BogdanH

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #27 on: April 30, 2023, 06:44:23 PM »
Just to add some of my thoughts to Antun's post above...
When we say some keyboard has better sound system than another, it's just that: comparison between two systems. And of course opinions are always subjective, as some prefer more "bass punch", other wish more "clarity" etc. Means, if someone says "this" sounds better than "that" -it's just someone's personal opinion.
The problem is, there are no specifications. Two 12cm speakers inside thin plastic case and power of 2x15W means absolutely nothing. We should be aware, that built-in speakers are only meant for practicing at home and nothing more. To enjoy the sound from keyboard or to judge the quality of voices, external speakers are a must have.
Just out of curiosity I attached my keyboard to my hi-fi system and the difference at about the same moderate loudness, is much bigger than I expected. Again, it's not about declared power of sound system.. it's about overall quality of sound system.

Bogdan
PSR-SX700 on K&M-18820 stand
Playing for myself on Youtube
 

Offline J. Larry

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #28 on: April 30, 2023, 10:11:43 PM »
To me, some type of external speaker system is needed, especially for playing out live.  With the SX 900, I only use the internal speakers for practice, learning new tunes, or too lazy to use headphones.  Playing dinner parties and such, I’ve used everything from desk top media speakers to line array units.  But, always with the internal speakers on to help monitor everything.
 

Offline Lije Baley

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #29 on: April 30, 2023, 11:03:36 PM »
Just to add some of my thoughts to Antun's post above...
When we say some keyboard has better sound system than another, it's just that: comparison between two systems. And of course opinions are always subjective, as some prefer more "bass punch", other wish more "clarity" etc. Means, if someone says "this" sounds better than "that" -it's just someone's personal opinion.
The problem is, there are no specifications. Two 12cm speakers inside thin plastic case and power of 2x15W means absolutely nothing. We should be aware, that built-in speakers are only meant for practicing at home and nothing more. To enjoy the sound from keyboard or to judge the quality of voices, external speakers are a must have.
Just out of curiosity I attached my keyboard to my hi-fi system and the difference at about the same moderate loudness, is much bigger than I expected. Again, it's not about declared power of sound system.. it's about overall quality of sound system.

Bogdan

Hi Bogdan!

You’re absolutely right, nothing can please everyone.

Which external speakers are you using if you don’t mind my asking?

Also, given your name, I think we might be neighbours so just wanted to say ‘Howdy’! 😊

Cheers - Antun
 

Offline BogdanH

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #30 on: May 01, 2023, 09:21:03 AM »
hi Antun,
I don't have dedicated external speakers for keyboard yet. When I'm in the "right mood" I connect keyboard to Yamaha RX-V581 receiver where I have a pair of JBL HLS810 speakers attached. It sounds great of course, but it's not really practical for everyday use because of cabling and speakers position. That is, I'm still mainly using built-in speakers.
I'm seriously thinking about to buy some smallish monitors for quite a while now... it seems I have problem with clicking on "Add to basket"  ::)

Greetings from Slovenia  :)
Bogdan
PSR-SX700 on K&M-18820 stand
Playing for myself on Youtube
 

Offline Jeff Hollande

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #31 on: May 01, 2023, 10:23:09 AM »
Hey Bogdan :

I have 2 external pair of speakers.
They are approx. Euro 70 - 100,-- for a pair.

A. One pair is used for the TV Sound only. Sounds better than the built-in TV speakers but not brilliant.
B. One pair is used for my computer.
    Connection of two keyboards : Tyros4 and synth Korg Kross2 ( external sound card = Steinberg midi/audio interface ).
    The headphones' sound quality is acceptable but the speaker sound is absolutely underperforming. :P

It might be my intention to replace the computer speakers in the ( near ? ) future.
I do not know which speaker set I need to get a " natural and nice " keyboard sound.
Not urgent. For the time being I am mostly using my headphones ( 95% of my time ).
Your suggestions would be very welcome. Thanks in advance !

We are living in a small apartment which is very well acoustically isolated. Up to 100W might be acceptable ?, I guess ?

Bye for now.
Best regards, JH

« Last Edit: May 01, 2023, 10:26:28 AM by Jeff Hollande »
Making music is my daily passion.
 

Offline Lacko

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #32 on: May 01, 2023, 11:21:19 AM »
Hi guys,
I have only one external speaker - Peavey KB2. It is solid piece of furniture, so there is not enough place for second one in my room. :-(
But good sound, even in mono, is for me more important than stereo effect.
 

Offline Lije Baley

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #33 on: May 01, 2023, 11:24:57 AM »
hi Antun,
I don't have dedicated external speakers for keyboard yet. When I'm in the "right mood" I connect keyboard to Yamaha RX-V581 receiver where I have a pair of JBL HLS810 speakers attached. It sounds great of course, but it's not really practical for everyday use because of cabling and speakers position. That is, I'm still mainly using built-in speakers.
I'm seriously thinking about to buy some smallish monitors for quite a while now... it seems I have problem with clicking on "Add to basket"  ::)

Greetings from Slovenia  :)
Bogdan

Hi Bogdan!

I sympathise! Having trouble adding something to the basket is something I can definitely relate to! 😊

I am thrilled to meet someone from Slovenia! Best wishes to you from Croatia! 😊

Regarding the speakers, I can definitely see the trouble of having to connect the keyboard to a HIFI system – too many cables lurking around and of course, you also need different adapters to hook everything up. In the past, I had a Roland GW-8 keyboard which had no speakers so I had to buy some. The monitors I got were M-Audio BX5. I believe it was the 2nd generation, it was quite few years ago. While they were good-sounding, the additional cables – 2 audio cables plus 2 power cables – which you could never buy in the appropriate length, of course, just made the whole setup a bit ‘too much’ for the small room. After that, I sort of regretted not buying a keyboard with built-in speakers. But as you’ve said, what’s good for me, may not be good for someone else, or vice-versa. One thing I would not exclude, however, is buying a small amplifier and a pair of passive speakers. That way you only have one power cable instead of two. You also have more inputs and very often you have a remote control, if that’s important to you. One thing I find very inconvenient with studio monitors is the fact, if you buy two, they each have their own volume control. It is usually on the back of the monitor but even more inconvenient than that, they have to be set to an equal position or you risk having channel imbalance. Having volume pots with ‘notches’ is very rare so it’s difficult to set them right just by ear. You would likely need an SPL meter or a suitable measurement tool. Now, I can hear you laughing over there in Slovenia – I KNOW ALL OF THAT!!! 😉 In that case, I apologise – I’m just taking this from a perspective of someone who’s just begun – my perspective! 😉

Best regards,
Antun
 

Offline BogdanH

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #34 on: May 01, 2023, 01:36:24 PM »
@Jeff
Here I share some of my thoughts at deciding about what speaker/system to buy for my relative small room. But first, in short about power... it depends on quality of amplifier & loudspeakers. If listening to good system at distance of 1m, a power of 1W delivers a loudness (or more precise: SPL =Sound Pressure Level) of about 90dB (which is loud!). At every doubling the distance, the loudness decreases by 6dB. In reality, decrease is less than 6dB, because we also hear reflections from walls. How much is 6dB? Well, listen at 1m and then step back to 2m and you'll hear the difference. It doesn't matter if you listen at 1W or 100W, the difference is always 6dB.

Why am I talking about this? Because a live band makes SPL of about 100-110dB (depending on where you stand). So, if you wish 100dB in your room, how much power do you need? If 1W speaker makes 90dB at 1m, then it will make 96dB at 50cm... and 102dB at 25cm distance. Yes, 1W at 25cm can have the same loudness as band playing live.
Or you can go the opposite way: you keep the distance of 1m and increase the power instead. To increase SPL by 6dB, we need to increase the power 4-times. Means, at 4W we get SPL of 96dB and at 16W we get SPL of 102dB. Btw. longer listening to SPL of about 120dB can cause serious hearing damage.
Conclusion... about 2x25W is more than enough for most homes, if sound system is of good quality. Now you might say, my keyboard has 2x15W and it isn't really that loud... True -because wattage alone means nothing. It's about efficiency, distortion and frequency response.. about data that we don't have for our keyboards.

We all know, that declared power of amplifiers is usually blown up (to impress buyer) and so there's even a bigger reason not to turn volume close to max -because it will sound awful. And because of that we usually decide for a bit more power than we actually need. In this case that would be (let's say) about 2x40W -by assuming that amplifier and speakers are of decent quality.

Bogdan
PSR-SX700 on K&M-18820 stand
Playing for myself on Youtube
 
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Offline BogdanH

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #35 on: May 01, 2023, 02:09:38 PM »
@Antun
hahah.. yes, I know all that, but is always good if someone reminds me  :)
Of course I'm also thinking to get an amplifier only, because I already have smaller passive Mission 731 speakers doing nothing right now. Actually I already narrowed my decision to Thoman S100-MkII amplifier. That way I would save some money and there would be one cable less -yes, I hate cables. The problem is, where do I put the amplifier? Ok, I have some attachments for my stand and so it's possible, but I don't like too busy look. Btw. as you can see, most amps don't have balance knob -each channel is regulated separately... is not really a big deal, because once adjusted, volume is regulated by keyboard (or mixer).

As you said, active speakers require one cable more and is also a bit more expensive. But still, it's easier to manage only one more cable than having additional amplifier (I have cable storage mounted on my stand). I'm not ready to pay some big money and If I decide for that route, I was thinking to get Presonus Eris E5 speakers.

Now you understand why "Add to basket" doesn't work for me  ;D

Greetings to Croatia,
Bogdan
PSR-SX700 on K&M-18820 stand
Playing for myself on Youtube
 

Offline Jeff Hollande

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #36 on: May 01, 2023, 02:31:10 PM »
@ Bogdan :

WOOOOW ... I knew you are very knowledgeable.  :)
Thank you very much for your detailed information and advice. I keep learning every day.  ;)

In this case I would go for 2 x 40W, active speakers.
Plse let me know by return which brand(s) ( + model name or nr., if possible ) you would recommend.

Thank you so much for your help and support. Very much appreciated !
Best wishes, JH
« Last Edit: May 01, 2023, 02:36:54 PM by Jeff Hollande »
Making music is my daily passion.
 

Offline Lije Baley

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #37 on: May 01, 2023, 06:57:29 PM »
@Antun
hahah.. yes, I know all that, but is always good if someone reminds me  :)
Of course I'm also thinking to get an amplifier only, because I already have smaller passive Mission 731 speakers doing nothing right now. Actually I already narrowed my decision to Thoman S100-MkII amplifier. That way I would save some money and there would be one cable less -yes, I hate cables. The problem is, where do I put the amplifier? Ok, I have some attachments for my stand and so it's possible, but I don't like too busy look. Btw. as you can see, most amps don't have balance knob -each channel is regulated separately... is not really a big deal, because once adjusted, volume is regulated by keyboard (or mixer).

As you said, active speakers require one cable more and is also a bit more expensive. But still, it's easier to manage only one more cable than having additional amplifier (I have cable storage mounted on my stand). I'm not ready to pay some big money and If I decide for that route, I was thinking to get Presonus Eris E5 speakers.

Now you understand why "Add to basket" doesn't work for me  ;D

Greetings to Croatia,
Bogdan

Hi Bogdan!

Well, I must say, I wish I knew about the K&M 18808 Cable organizer two days ago. I just placed an order with Thomann for some accessories and was wondering if there is such a thing to add to the stand. I think the K&M website does a very poor job of displaying all the available accessories. Still, because I have multiple supports (both default larger and additional smaller ones), it’s possible this accessory wouldn’t properly fit and generally, while K&M is good quality, I think the price can raise very quickly if you start adding accessories.

I checked the Mission speakers and they seem rather lovely. It’s a bit of traditional British mini-monitor but ‘with a twist’ – the upside-down tweeter/woofer arrangement is typical Mission-style. Also, the paper woofer cone should produce some nice midrange! Congrats! 😉

I’ve also looked at the Thomann amplifier and must admit I like the design a lot. It’s utilitarian, even Spartan, but very functional and no-nonsense. I am a bit unclear as to what amplifier topology it uses but my guess is that it is a class A/B amplifier since class D would surely pack more Watts into the chassis. However, 65 Wpc into 8 Ohms will be plenty powerful, certainly if you will be using the little Missions. The price of 155 € is also fair, I think. Prices have gone up dramatically in the recent years so this is still a good price. There’s one additional benefit to this amplifier however – it can be bridged. So, theoretically, if at one point in the future you need more power, you can buy another and set them up as two mono amplifiers, providing greater power output. This is something not to be underestimated.

Greetings to Slovenia! 😊
Cheers,
Antun

Offline BogdanH

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #38 on: May 01, 2023, 07:56:03 PM »
...
Plse let me know by return which brand(s) ( + model name or nr., if possible ) you would recommend.
..
I can't... because I have no personal experience with any studio monitor. If budget would allow me, right now I would probably buy KRK Rokit R G4 (300€/pair) -but that's only because of info I could gather on internet. Why exactly this one and not i.e some Yamaha (by assuming that both have similar sound quality)? Because KRK has Class D amplifier built in -which doesn't heat up as much as Classical A/B amplifier. Does that matter? Well, it can... I don't wish to heat up my room with speakers on hot summer days.
Anyway, I think you can't really go wrong with any speakers at a price above 200€.

Bogdan
PSR-SX700 on K&M-18820 stand
Playing for myself on Youtube
 
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Offline Jeff Hollande

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #39 on: May 01, 2023, 08:47:14 PM »
@ Bogdan :

Thank you for your feedback.

I fully understand and agree it is not easy to make a speakers' choice.
It is not possible to test them at home.
One has always to buy them first.
It is what it is.

Best regards, JH

« Last Edit: May 01, 2023, 08:49:39 PM by Jeff Hollande »
Making music is my daily passion.
 

Offline Lije Baley

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #40 on: May 02, 2023, 01:26:36 PM »
@ Bogdan :

Thank you for your feedback.

I fully understand and agree it is not easy to make a speakers' choice.
It is not possible to test them at home.
One has always to buy them first.
It is what it is.

Best regards, JH

Hi JH!

If you are looking for a pair of speakers or studio monitors, first try to answer these 3 questions:
1. what kind of a music do you produce, play or listen to? Is it something with a lot of bass (hip-hop, dance), something with a lot of acoustic instruments (pianos, guitars) or is it everything in equal proportion?
2. how loud do you intend to listen to them?
3. how much are you willing to spend?

With all the different manufacturers and models, it's very easy to make the wrong choice. Just because a speaker received rave reviews doesn't mean it's the right speaker for you. By answering these questions for yourself, you can narrow down the selection very quickly.

Depending on your location, you can talk to a sales rep from whichever store you plan on buying from but they can only steer you ever so slightly in the direction you need to go. It is always better to be as informed as possible and then, if necessary, ask a sales rep.

Cheers,
Antun
 
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Offline Jeff Hollande

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #41 on: May 02, 2023, 02:41:06 PM »
Hey Antun :

Thank you so much for your input. Very useful !

My answers :
1. Something with a lot of acoustic instruments (pianos, guitars) + electric guitars + background choirs + vocals.
2. Not too loud with a nice treble and bass sound when the volume is low.
3. Approx. Euro/US$ 250, --

Best wishes, JH
« Last Edit: May 02, 2023, 02:44:00 PM by Jeff Hollande »
Making music is my daily passion.
 

Offline Lacko

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #42 on: May 02, 2023, 04:39:52 PM »
Hi Jeff,
here are some keyboard amps reviews:
https://www.pianodreamers.com/keyboard-amplifier-guide/#amp-reviews
https://www.gawvi.com/best-powered-speaker-for-keyboard/
https://oldtimemusic.com/best-keyboard-amplifier/
As you can see, there are very different preferences. But is is interesting reading.
 
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Offline BogdanH

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #43 on: May 02, 2023, 05:05:58 PM »
hi Jeff,
This discussion now actually belongs in Speaker and Headphones section... so I will try to be short.
I think there isn't much difference in sound quality (or sound characteristic) if we compare similar priced loudspeakers. All 200-300€ speakers have 5" woofer, all have similar box sizes, all have similar power and all come from China. So, unless you're unlucky (by buying a lemon), you can't really go wrong with any of them. That is, brand A isn't miles better than brand B in sound quality. And reviews today aren't a reliable source anymore: 90% is actually advertisement.

Narrow down to three models and then find out what you like or dislike on each of them. Something like this, for example:

KRK Rokit RP G3 -300€/pair
+modern design (if you like yellow membrane),
+Class C amplifier (is more efficient than Class AB amplifier: draws less power and generates less heat)
+has bass-reflex opening in front (means, doesn't matter where loudspeaker is placed)
+has built in equalizer for fine sound adjustment
+you can disable auto-turn-off feature (if you wish to)
+is considered as one of the best in this price range
-is more expensive and a little bigger than other two speakers

Presonus Eris E5 -210€/pair
+neutral design (doesn't look fancy)
+has bass-reflex opening in front
+all basic sound adjustments
+seems to have the best price/performance ratio

M-Audio BX3 D3 -200€/pair
+neutral design,
+slightly smaller than other two
+price
-has bass-reflex opening in back (bass will depend on where loudspeaker is placed)
-practically no sound adjustment possible
-heavier than other two

I hope that is of some help to you,
Bogdan
PSR-SX700 on K&M-18820 stand
Playing for myself on Youtube
 
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Offline Jeff Hollande

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #44 on: May 02, 2023, 05:29:30 PM »
Thanks, guys ... very much appreciated. JH  :)
Making music is my daily passion.
 

Offline mixermixer

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #45 on: May 02, 2023, 05:30:42 PM »
I personally own the JBL LSR305 mk2's, they sound pretty good. I'm pretty fancy with my setup in that I augment a small sub and an external crossover so I have more bass on my setup.
 
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Offline Lije Baley

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #46 on: May 02, 2023, 05:40:40 PM »
Hey Antun :

Thank you so much for your input. Very useful !

My answers :
1. Something with a lot of acoustic instruments (pianos, guitars) + electric guitars + background choirs + vocals.
2. Not too loud with a nice treble and bass sound when the volume is low.
3. Approx. Euro/US$ 250, --

Best wishes, JH

Hi JH!

OK, that’s a start. At least now we know what to look for.

If your music is predominantly acoustic and not bass-heavy and you also won’t be listening to it loudly, then I think a good 5’’ monitor is all you will need. The price will be a limiting factor but no worries, there are some nice ones to choose in that category as well.

In no particular order, Here are some of the ones I’d consider:
KRK Rokit RP5 G4 ; an excellent all-arounder, with useful features and much better value than the ‘Classic’ model below, which is just slightly cheaper ; recommended
https://www.thomann.de/intl/krk_rokit_rp5_g4.htm
KRK Rokit RP5 Classic ; like the ‘G4’ above, it’s a nice monitor but the ‘G4’ is only slightly more expensive and offers a lot more features, especially concerning EQ
https://www.thomann.de/intl/krk_rp5_rokit_g3.htm
M-Audio BX5 D3 ; a decent moderately-priced monitor, very powerful amplifiers for the size means this monitor packs a punch ; Kevlar (aramid fibre) woofer is uncommon at this price and is probably the reason why this monitor sounds good ; also, not to be underestimated, the amplifiers are SILENT which means there is no hiss coming from the speakers while the music is not playing and this too is uncommon, even with a VERY expensive monitor ; recommended as a cheaper alternative to the KRK
https://www.thomann.de/intl/active_nearfield_monitors.html?feature-47039%5B%5D=1x%204%22%2C%201x%201%22&feature-47039%5B%5D=1x%204%2C5%22%2C%201x%200%2C75%22&feature-47039%5B%5D=1x%204%2C5%22%2C%201x%201%22&feature-47039%5B%5D=1x%205%22&feature-47039%5B%5D=1x%205%22%2C%201x%201%22&feature-47039%5B%5D=1x%205%2C25%22&feature-47039%5B%5D=1x%206%2C5%22%2C%201x%201%22&feature-47039%5B%5D=1x%204%22&price-first=0&price-last=1500&gk=STMOAN&cme=false&filter=true
Presonus Eris E5 XT ; I don’t much about this one but looking at the design features and specs, it seems like a good monitor
https://www.thomann.de/intl/presonus_eris_e5_xt.htm
Yamaha HS5 ; probably the most neutral midrange out of all of these which also means it can sound ‘dull’ and non-hyped – if it’s for a serious production studio, this might be the right choice, but if it’s for a home studio where you also need a monitor to inspire the senses, this is not it ; recommended with caution
https://www.thomann.de/intl/yamaha_hs_5.htm
Fluid Audio FX50 ; like the Presonus, this is a monitor I don’t know but looking at the design feature, it seems rather interesting as it is unusual to find a coaxial driver array in a relatively affordable monitor ; the theoretical benefits of such a design mean coherent time-domain response which (usually) translates to excellent stereo imaging – this might be a good choice where there are lots of differently panned instruments or instruments that have a lot of motion within a stereo image
https://www.thomann.de/intl/fluid_audio_fx50.htm
JBL 305P MkII ; with JBL’s reputation, this is probably a safe bet, but the others on this list should be equally good ; I am not certain whether that tweeter has a horn or a waveguide but I have a feeling this monitor can go LOUD
https://www.thomann.de/intl/jbl_lsr_305p_mkii.htm

Before you ask, I don’t work for Thomann! 😊 I am just using their prices as a reference because more of often than not, they tend to be cheaper than other stores. If you’re in the US, the prices will be lower than these, that’s the way things are here in Europe.

I must admit, I am a bit disappointed that there are no monitors from Adam or Kali in this price range. Still, I believe these are worthy contenders. The decision will, of course, be based on what is available in your area and it goes without saying that you might find something not listed here.

I hope this helps you out! Perhaps we ought to consider starting a dedicated thread just on this topic. 😊

Best wishes,
Antun
 
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Offline Nova227

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #47 on: May 02, 2023, 05:50:05 PM »
 

  The Bose S1 speaker is an excellent  speaker for the PSR . It is based on the Bose L1 array tower but smaller and lighter.

Nova 227.
 
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Offline travlin-easy

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #48 on: May 02, 2023, 05:50:50 PM »
Take a look at the Logitech 5.1 sound systems - they are incredible and inexpensive. Many forum members used them for monitors at home, while other actually used them for restaurant and nite club jobs. https://www.logitech.com/en-us/products/speakers/surround-sound-speakers.html

Good luck,

Gary 8)
Love Those Yammies...
 
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Offline mikf

Re: Quality of Speakers
« Reply #49 on: May 03, 2023, 12:18:19 AM »
Jeff
Buy 5 inch monitors if you wish. But the way you describe your room, and your musical tastes, 4 inch will be more than sufficient. I have much larger rooms than you and the 4 inch monitors are almost overkill. I once used them for a small gig with about 50 people.
And much cheaper than 5 inch!
Mike
 
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