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I use a subwoofer to supplement the built-in speakers of my Yamaha P515. The difference is like night-and-day: Boxy and weak thru the internal speakers, broad and powerful when the sub kicks in. And it’s not even an expensive sub - it’s an ancient Yamaha YST-MSW10 from a 1990’s multimedia PC rig. Works a treat.

Use can gauge how bad your speakers are using this frequency sweep:


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This proves to me that I can no longer hear beyond 9 kHz.
I'm pretty sure these headphones can handle more than 9. But my ears won't.
It's called OFD.

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
This proves to me that I can no longer hear beyond 9 kHz.
I'm pretty sure these headphones can handle more than 9. But my ears won't.
It's called OFD.

Like i said, lifer pianist are some of the deafest bastards I know of. grin

Last edited by EinLudov; 05/05/21 09:32 AM.
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I did not realize that this last-year thread of mine had been resurrected, but I now can add that my recent ordering of a Kawai NV5 was entirely caused my frustration with the speaker/amplification shortcomings of the Roland LX 706, and generally all the former generation of digitals. I believe Kawai recognized the issue, and its deal with Onkyo shows its willingness to deal with experts and put serious money into that side of their digital pianos. The market is ready to spend, and the appearance of electronically excited soundboards a marketable plus.

Now the problem is to get the pianos out of the factory and into dealerships...


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Originally Posted by EinLudov
Like i said, lifer pianist are some of the deafest bastards I know of. grin
+1

...and still they keep pounding Rachmaninoff out o’ them acoustics.....!

This is akin to slamming your body into a concrete wall repeatedly, and expecting that the wall will somehow soften at some point.......newsflash, it won’t.



P.S.

Please don’t bring up your quantum physics and how it is not only possible to soften a concrete wall by persistently slamming into it, but that one could potentially go through that wall and end up in another dimension.

This is only ‘theoretically’ possible and has not, as of yet, been duplicated in a lab!

So yes, my ‘proven’ theory stands unless you can prove yours in a lab!

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Originally Posted by Pete14
Originally Posted by EinLudov
Like i said, lifer pianist are some of the deafest bastards I know of. grin
+1

...and still they keep pounding Rachmaninoff out o’ them acoustics.....!

This is akin to slamming your body into a concrete wall repeatedly, and expecting that the wall will somehow soften at some point.......newsflash, it won’t.

Earplugs and/or Digitals should be standard for practice. Performance on acoustics sure, but do you really need to blow out your ears during practice ?

Oboe and flute players wear earplugs, so should pianists.

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#EarPlugs4Pianists!

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If sub woofers are so good, why don't digital piano manufacturers add a sub out connector? I presume that if you go straight out of the the MONO L&R connector, your built-in speakers don't gain that extra head space as the sub kicks in. So they are working too hard on the wrong frequencies. Yamaha even makes a sub for digital pianos, but hasn't tried to capitalise in a serious way.


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Originally Posted by anotherpianoplayer
If sub woofers are so good, why don't digital piano manufacturers add a sub out connector? I presume that if you go straight out of the the MONO L&R connector, your built-in speakers don't gain that extra head space as the sub kicks in. So they are working too hard on the wrong frequencies. Yamaha even makes a sub for digital pianos, but hasn't tried to capitalise in a serious way.

The Yamaha NS-SW100 is an interesting subwoofer possibility for a DP:

. . . 50 watts (continuous) output (100 watts "dynamic power");

. . . 10" woofer;

. . . 25 - 180 Hz claimed frequency response;

. . . $180 US

There is a curve in the Owners Manual -- ruler-flat from 40 Hz to 125 Hz -- but it has a very strange footnote:

Quote
This diagram does not depict actual frequency response characteristics.

Sorry for the thread drift . . . .


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My wife agrees the sound stops around 14,500-15,000, but that is using phone speakers...

Last edited by InspiredByKawai; 07/30/21 08:12 PM.
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You say "strange footnote"?!
Quote
There is a curve in the Owners Manual -- ruler-flat from 40 Hz to 125 Hz -- but it has a very strange footnote:
Quote
This diagram does not depict actual frequency response characteristics.

Isn't that like saying ...
Quote
Here are the facts ...
.
.
.
But those facts are false.
frown frown frown

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Isn't that like saying ...
Quote
Here are the facts ...
.
.
.
But those facts are false.
frown frown frown

That's how I read it -- or at least:

Quote
We don't have any evidence for that nice smooth curve.

Marketing, at its finest.


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Hello,

I did consider purchasing that Yamaha subwoofer at some point -- neat, compact, not too visually intrusive, promising specifications.

And then I came across that graph-with-note too, and immediately discarded the sub because of it.

Since then, I discovered/decided that I just don't need a subwoofer at all with my six-speaker VSTi piano setup.

Cheers and happy optimizations,

HZ

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Originally Posted by HZPiano
Hello,

Originally Posted by anotherpianoplayer
Does anybody agree/disagree about the subwoofer idea?

I've been pondering this a lot. Because of that 27.5 Hz. And because I'm a perfectionist of sorts 🙄.

But in reality, the gains with a subwoofer may be marginal. I tested adding my subwoofer to the piano, and although it added a bit more fundamental in those lowest notes, I disliked the resulting quality of the tone--among other reasons because this subwoofer rolls off too slowly, introducing muddiness in the lowest mids. A third or even fourth order low pass filter, preventing the subwoofer to sound where it shouldn't, is one critical factor in having it be a successful addition.

It depends a lot on what you try to emulate. A really beautiful long concert grand has bass strings that may actually produce beautiful clean fundamentals. And that is so utterly lovely to experience. But many other pianos just can't really get there; what we're listening to is more the harmonics than the fundamentals. The first harmonic of A0 is at 55 Hz, which is where decent hifi or monitor speakers with a well balanced bass extension/rolloff already (should) perform quite nicely.

Also, consider how much your music depends on the lowest 'strings' of your piano. However satisfactory monkeying with da bass is from time to time, many pieces hardly use the lowest octave at all.

Hope this helps you a bit to evaluate whether a subwoofer is for you, or is an unnecessary burden.

Cheers and happy A0's,

HZ

HZPiano, Thanks for your thoughts. I went away and tried things and thought some more. Seems that I'm not missing anything obvious on the piano while in my studio (the combination of built-in speakers and studio monitors works) but the studio monitors on their own sound worse than I had hoped. Recently I streamed a piano demo video that sounded horrible. Then I did the same with my headphones instead. It sounded so much nicer - warmer, with better bass. Am I just experiencing the reality of studio monitors (designed for editing/mastering of recordings, not for recreational listening) or do I need to improve my studio configuration? Maybe it's the studio that needs a sub woofer more than the piano.

Last edited by anotherpianoplayer; 08/01/21 02:12 AM. Reason: spelling

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I'm looking at a quick fix to a stage monitoring requirement. My P-255 has pretty good built-in speakers as they go, but onstage they are of limited use, partly because some of them point away from me. I'm looking for a small portable monitor that will have strong mids and bass at close range. So I'm looking at the DB Technologies B-Hype 8. If it works, I might get a second one or even get the B-Hype 10 for my left output. I fear that two 10" monitors might leave a slight hole in my mids, particularly with such a cheap brand.

Has anybody tried these speakers. Are they too cheap for a tight response?

Last edited by anotherpianoplayer; 08/01/21 03:04 AM. Reason: eliminate repeated text

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Hello,

@anotherpianoplayer, I think what you're experiencing is that the studio and the piano are different phenomena with rather different purposes and needs.

My brother is more of a studio/production person (me, not at all) so he kept talking about the virtues of monitors. So I tried monitors with my piano and wasn't happy at all. Monitors return to sender.

By the way my piano is a setup through which I solely play the VI Labs Modern U VSTi, meeting my goal to have a piano that feels as real and musical as it gets within limited means.

So after further experimentation I ended up with a PreSonus 68c audio interface, two early '90s Onkyo amplifiers (which I restored) and three pairs of Wharfedale bookshelf-type (HiFi) speakers. Two of those pairs are of a recent model, the third pair are also from the early '90s. All employ 5" low/mid drivers and 1" tweeters.

And now all is well and utterly enjoyable.

This, at least, is my experience on these matters and is from a piano playing perspective.

Cheers and happy distinctions,

HZ

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Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
Originally Posted by anotherpianoplayer
If sub woofers are so good, why don't digital piano manufacturers add a sub out connector? I presume that if you go straight out of the the MONO L&R connector, your built-in speakers don't gain that extra head space as the sub kicks in. So they are working too hard on the wrong frequencies. Yamaha even makes a sub for digital pianos, but hasn't tried to capitalise in a serious way.

The Yamaha NS-SW100 is an interesting subwoofer possibility for a DP:

. . . 50 watts (continuous) output (100 watts "dynamic power");

. . . 10" woofer;

. . . 25 - 180 Hz claimed frequency response;

. . . $180 US

There is a curve in the Owners Manual -- ruler-flat from 40 Hz to 125 Hz -- but it has a very strange footnote:

Quote
This diagram does not depict actual frequency response characteristics.

Sorry for the thread drift . . . .

Thanks. No problem.

Yes I'm very aware of that sub woofer. I don't know of any others which are specifically made for digital pianos. Unlike all of the studio subs, it has no lineouts, because it receives, it doesn't send. I think it is just a variation on Yamaha's existing home theatre sub. Money for old rope? I see that one member here is very happy with a similar setup.

Well if it works, it works, but I can't see how any sub saves the existing DP speakers from working too hard. This Yamaha cuts in at 120hz, but the 4" or 5" warblers/woofers on each DP will still be straining to hit well below 100hz, and unnecessarily. The Presonus Eris Sub8 is a little more expensive, but much more powerful, and has twin lineouts filtered at 100hz+. If it disappoints on the piano, you've still got a workable studio sub, thanks to the lineouts.

I remember that the Stagepas 600BT (PA system) has a sub output, and filters at 120hz and below. Yamaha has a thing about 120hz!


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Originally Posted by HZPiano
Hello,

I did consider purchasing that Yamaha subwoofer at some point -- neat, compact, not too visually intrusive, promising specifications.

And then I came across that graph-with-note too, and immediately discarded the sub because of it.

Since then, I discovered/decided that I just don't need a subwoofer at all with my six-speaker VSTi piano setup.

Cheers and happy optimizations,

HZ


But I can see the temptation for someone with a living room or bedroom setup, where lots of leads and speakers are undesireable. Yes, a dinky sub tucked under the keyboard must be appealing. Still, if you're the sort who's willing to have a home theatre with leads everywhere anyway, what's a few more speakers and leads?


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Originally Posted by Vikendios
I did not realize that this last-year thread of mine had been resurrected, but I now can add that my recent ordering of a Kawai NV5 was entirely caused my frustration with the speaker/amplification shortcomings of the Roland LX 706, and generally all the former generation of digitals. I believe Kawai recognized the issue, and its deal with Onkyo shows its willingness to deal with experts and put serious money into that side of their digital pianos. The market is ready to spend, and the appearance of electronically excited soundboards a marketable plus.

Now the problem is to get the pianos out of the factory and into dealerships...

Excellent point about Kawai, I was going to say the same. When I got my piano and played around with it I could hear the deficiencies in the signal chain. It literally thought, the only thing they could do better was the sound system, then they hired Onkyo (who makes nice stuff) to take care of it!

I've thought about re-doing the sound system in my CS-11. I still might, one day...

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