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cho7

What speaker do I need ?

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Hi there, 

 

since a few months now, I'm using my HX stomp and I love it. Yet, I'm still unsure in what speaker I should plug my new baby in. 

 

I have a Spider Jam which doesn't have any FX loop so it's a no as it is hard to have a neutral sound on this.

 

And I have my drums amp (a Roland PM-10), which is so far the amp I'm using through the line input :-) 

 

I play mostly at home, and I'd like to have the best sound of my pedal at home, and since it has built-in amp & cabinet simulations, my understanding is that the most neutral speaker ("PA" ?) should be used, rather than a fancy amp with its own personality. I don't know how neutral my PM-10 can be, and I'm not familiar with the PA thing, so can you tell me what kind of speaker can I use to have something which doesn't level down my HX stomp ? I'd like to have get a speaker at a reasonable price, and which takes a reasonable amount of space :-) 

 

Many thanks

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Well at home I use my studio monitors - basically upmarket stereo speakers - and it's pretty good.

If you want a box that does the job for home and even a not too loud gig, there is the Headrush FRFR-108.

From all reports it's good.  But you can make anything that's kind of flat response do well at home volumes.  You just need to adjust the global EQ to match the particular speakers.

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It sounds like you just discovered the reality of modeling which is, the Helix is only half of what you need.  Without a decent speaker system it's a great modeler that you won't be able to appreciate or hear.  And when it comes to speakers, you get what you pay for.

Most drummers with electronic kits wouldn't dream of using a PM-10.  It's an anemic and overpriced drum amp for drummers that don't know any better, and it's certainly not a flat or neutral response speaker.  Since you're only playing at home right now, the lowest price option would be some decent studio monitors, but I'd advise to not go cheap if you want to get a full appreciation for what your Helix can do.  They won't be loud, but they will be precise.

I'm personally a big fan of Yamaha speakers and the HS5, HS7, and HS8 are all popular options.  I've had my HS7's for over a decade and they are absolute workhorses.  There are cheaper options but you get what you pay for in this area.

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Headrush 108 or the Alto TS308 (these are essentially identical) will do the job. Even though this speaker "only" has an 8" speaker it can go really loud.

I recently tried out some old KRK Rokit 6 monitors. For home use and dialing in tones these also work pretty well; soundwise actually preferable over the Alto to my ears.

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If you really think a more traditional powered speaker might be more to your liking, I'd urge you again to not get caught up in the lowest price or highest wattage (because manufacturers tend to be not exactly honest in how they determine their wattage).  There are clearly decent speakers at the low end but there are also a number of people that have encountered the natural limitations of them.  Fortunately some of the higher end manufacturers such as QSC, Electrovoice and Yamaha have introduced some very respectable speakers at a mid-priced level while retaining many of the features of their higher end brothers.  For example the Electrovoice ZLX series, QSC CP series, and Yamaha DBR series are about half the price of the higher end cousins while retaining the tone contouring abilities, built-in limiters and higher end precision crossover designs of the higher priced units and are therefore less likely to need to be upgraded when you find yourself in more demanding situations in the future.

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Thanks all for your response, very interesting. 

 

Indeed my PM-10 is a piece of crap, but I'm not even a drummer actually, I sold my old td-11k as I wasn't able to do much with it except basic stuff :-) 

 

@DunedinDragon you are talking about the Yamaha DBR range which is half the price of the higher end (I can see 420 euros for a DBR10 on my favourite music store), but they still cost twice the price of HS5/7/8 that you quoted earlier (approx. 200 euros with +/- 50 euros depending on the model - and whites are cheaper :-)) so which are the fundamental differences between these 2 ranges of products to justify this difference in price ?

 

 

 

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24 minutes ago, cho7 said:

Thanks all for your response, very interesting. 

 

Indeed my PM-10 is a piece of crap, but I'm not even a drummer actually, I sold my old td-11k as I wasn't able to do much with it except basic stuff :-) 

 

@DunedinDragon you are talking about the Yamaha DBR range which is half the price of the higher end (I can see 420 euros for a DBR10 on my favourite music store), but they still cost twice the price of HS5/7/8 that you quoted earlier (approx. 200 euros with +/- 50 euros depending on the model - and whites are cheaper :-)) so which are the fundamental differences between these 2 ranges of products to justify this difference in price ?

 

 

 


Those are two completely different products and serve completely different purposes.  The HS series are studio monitors and are designed for close up, detailed listening...not at all for public performance.  The DBR series is designed as a live performance speaker (think PA speaker) engineered specifically for covering large areas with a consistent sound whether you're off to the side or directly in front.  That's why you'd use something like the HS series at home ideally and the DBR in live performances.  However, I do have the bigger brother to the DBR which is the DXR and I use that for dialing in my presets at home which I play through the DXR at performances.|

It's also important to consider you would typically have two HS studio monitors used for stereo.  Stereo isn't that important in live performances since you can't easily maintain an accurate stereo image in a large unpredictable areas, so you'd probably  only need to buy one and play it in mono.  You could buy two and use them for stereo, but again that's not all that important in real world live environments.

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@DunedinDragon understood. I read that HS8 has a wider spectrum, especially in bass frequencies, than the HS7 or of course than the the HS5. As far as I'm concerned my budget allows me to buy either, so if I can, I should buy the HS8, right ?

 

A final question (or not, who knows :) )  : is it worth it if I only buy one of these, or do I really need to buy a pair ? I'm currently playing using my mono jack to my mono cab so far, but since the hx stomp can output stereo signal, I don't know if I want to use that particular feature. Maybe it will be more useful to someone who actually wants to use the stomp as direct interface and do Computer music with it. But maybe some effects can be more effective in stereo ?  

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, cho7 said:

@DunedinDragon understood. I read that HS8 has a wider spectrum, especially in bass frequencies, than the HS7 or of course than the the HS5. As far as I'm concerned my budget allows me to buy either, so if I can, I should buy the HS8, right ?

Not necessarily. The smaller driver on a 6.5" or 7" model gives a different midrange response than the 8" model in the same line that is preferred by many listeners. I personally tend to prefer the 8" version due to the typically better bass (I don't use a sub), but it's as much a taste call as a cost decision.

 

5" models are, IMO, a different thing, where size or cost are more at issue. Without a sub, these have sounded a bit thin to me, though I've not listened to everything out there.

 

EDIT: I meant write that I was speaking in general, not about the HS line specifically (which I have no experience with!) I realize that I didn't make this clear! My experience has mostly been with JBLs & Mackies.

Edited by jester700
Clarity
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2 hours ago, cho7 said:

@DunedinDragon understood. I read that HS8 has a wider spectrum, especially in bass frequencies, than the HS7 or of course than the the HS5. As far as I'm concerned my budget allows me to buy either, so if I can, I should buy the HS8, right ?

 

A final question (or not, who knows :) )  : is it worth it if I only buy one of these, or do I really need to buy a pair ? I'm currently playing using my mono jack to my mono cab so far, but since the hx stomp can output stereo signal, I don't know if I want to use that particular feature. Maybe it will be more useful to someone who actually wants to use the stomp as direct interface and do Computer music with it. But maybe some effects can be more effective in stereo ?  

 

I have the HS7 and I don't feel any low end loss at all.  But what you hear out of any of these speakers is going to be highly dependent upon their placement within the room since they depend on a rear-ward facing bass reflex port to help deliver the bass frequencies.  That means they need to be placed fairly precisely relative to a rear wall for the best results.

As far as a single speaker, I can't answer that.  I've only ever used these types of speakers in pairs as they work in a fashion similar to common stereo speakers.  It might work fine with one, but if it doesn't sound full or big enough you could always get a second one.  There are very definitely stereo effects that can be quite stunning in the reverbs and delays.

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Thanks @DunedinDragon for all your very detailed answers.

 

Much appreciated :-) I will probably go with the HS7 ! 

 

 

 

 

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If you go down the monitor path (HS7s) - get a pair.

First stereo is a lot of fun for delays etc, but you then have  great stereo system ans surely you play along with backing tracks and listen to music in general?

So why not have a good sound system not just a guitar speaker?

 

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For my Helix Floor, I use a pair of Electrovoice ZLX-12P's in my "sound room," which is a large family room. I have them situated in a stereo fashion in front of me, from where I play. I absolutely love the sound, it's very wide and "surrounding." I replaced a Mesa Boogie Mark V and a 10" and 12" cabinet and a bunch of pedals. PA speakers are a good option because they offer much larger speakers than studio monitors, so can move air better, and produce encompassing bass. The EV speakers provide EQ on the back of them and I can set them between my Helix setting and a music setting. The helix setting, I set using room eq software to make the sound even, and dial out some bass. On the music setting, I use that when I run my phone's audio into my helix to play spotify, which is set to more of a music EQ setting. The EV is nice in this regard, allowing the various EQ settings, using my helix as a "hub" for both guitar and music. Also works well piping in my Digitech Trio + bass and drums. Love the sound. They also work well to give me a really wide sound stage for my guitar. It's like a wall of sound in front of me. I also get the added benefit of stereo effects sounding unreal. Highly recommend although two ZLX's can be a bit on the high side money wise.

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32 minutes ago, obscurehifi said:

Highly recommend although two ZLX's can be a bit on the high side money wise.

 

Two?  Why not four?  3D movies came back!  When is Quadraphonic sound coming back?

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21 hours ago, Lone_Poor_Boy said:

 

Two?  Why not four?  3D movies came back!  When is Quadraphonic sound coming back?

Hard to argue with that! More is more!

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