NS-10 Info - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 5 Old 04-26-10, 02:09 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 76
NS-10 Info

So i figured, lots of people have questions about these speakers, some people love them, some people don't.

Either way, a lot of people use them every day and are making #1 hits on them.

I did a lot of research just recently on them so i thought i'd share it with you guys. Here is a bit of a rundown of each revision.

NS-10m: Where it all began, many engineers preferred putting some tissue paper over the tweeter to tame the highs. Has push in cable terminals. Also has front cover.

NS-10m Studio:
Yamaha fixed the tweeter issue, basically by putting some felt around the grill. They also made it horizontal mounting. Has larger screw in terminals.

NS-10m Pro: Is basically the studio, but vertical mounting, and has the front cover of the original

NS-10m x (aka NS-10MX):
This, you don't hear much about, and you really have to do some digging to find it. It seems like these were a relatively limited run towards the end of the ns-10s life. I don't think they really left japan, as almost all the info i found on them was from Japanese websites. It was designed for the vision industry and was magnetically shielded. It had a slightly different tweeter design that did not use the grill or dampening felt, so one can assume that they engineered a tweeter that fixed the "tissue" problem. From what i can tell, the sound is pretty much the same, or indistinguishable without an a/b test, which for reference monitors, shouldn't be a problem for most engineers.

Some other little facts i found.

Anyone who tells you they have a flat response is not correct, they are quite lumpy frequency response wise and have a huge lack of bass. They are also quite mid forward (and subjectively harsh) which is why some prefer them as reference monitors to check vocals and guitars.

They were considered as "real life" reference speakers. And most think that they translate to other speaker systems well. One common quote is that "if it sounds good on NS-10's, it'll sound good on anything". Some believe that with the advent of better consumer speakers and headphones that they are obsolete.

Many believe placing fast blow fuses inline with the tweeter and woofer is a prudent idea to stop the speakers blowing. 0.75A for the tweeters and 1.5A for the the woofer. This is a relatively easy mod, all it needs is a few inline fuse holders, heat shrink, the fuses and some soldering skills, or any tech should be able to do it for you for under $20. The sound degradation that is incurred is to be thought insignificant due to the protection, and also as they are not meant to be "perfect" sounding speakers.

Some would advise that you DON'T place your NS-10ms horizontally as it affects the sound and phase relationships, but someone with more speaker know-how would need to elaborate on this one.

Some believe that to truly get the most out of your NS-10m's you need a good amp to run them. It is also recommended to get an amp that will have more power than you will need. Later models of NS-10's had higher wattage ratings so a more powerful amp would be needed as under powering the NS-10's can lead to blown tweeters.. Most people believe the Bryston 4b/st/sst are the best choice for the speakers. Other popular choices are Bryston 3b/st/sst if you have the original NS-10m's, Hafler P3000 or 9505 and Adcom 545 (if you have original) or 555/ii/se (if you have later revisions). Some also believe that an Adcom modified by Jim Williams of Audio Upgrades (not to advertise, just trying to give all the information) is just as good as the Bryston 4B.

According to many people, the trick to monitoring with NS-10's is to monitor quietly to get your mix to translate properly. If you turn the speakers up, they get "harsh".

Please take this information subjectively (except from the obvious facts).

Some people love these speakers, some don't.

If anyone has anything to add or to correct, please post and i'll add it to this first post, or even if you have tips and suggestions, you will of course be credited.
tehguit is offline  
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post #2 of 5 Old 04-26-10, 05:43 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 27
Re: NS-10 Info

This may be obvious to some forum members but:

The NS10 range do sound significantly different with different amplifiers - not just the output power but the brand of amp too

As is often said they sound like cr*p to most engineers but the reason there are so many in use is not because they are good (quite the opposite in fact) but that they have become an international 'benchmark' monitor that engineers around the world know and understand the sound of

I even have a flight case for my pair so that I can transport them safely to other studios or for mobile reference monitors when recording on location

BoogieBear is offline  
post #3 of 5 Old 04-26-10, 03:10 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Astoria Oregon
Posts: 19
Re: NS-10 Info

The NS10's are definitely 'mid forward'... They augment the less desirable frequencies and hide the foo foo frequencies... Not sure what Yamaha was thinking when they released them as HiFi Bookshelf speakers (yuck), but as reference for hearing the 'ice picks' in a mix, they work for me
BentRabbit is offline  
post #4 of 5 Old 04-27-10, 12:29 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 241
Re: NS-10 Info

The forwardness in the mids is good for seeing whats going on there, if not exactly pleasant to listen to.

But I wonder if this sound is as representative of consumer systems as it used to be...

I think it's just as important, maybe even more important, to listen on a bass and tops heavy system (smile eq) to see how a mix translates, because lots of people listen to systems like that thesedays...
jonathanm is offline  
post #5 of 5 Old 04-27-10, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 76
Re: NS-10 Info

Way i look at it is because it is so good at pointing out flaws in that crucial area it still has its place.

I do agree, everyones car who i get into has a smiley curve with the sub turned up WAY too loud... bit of a lopsided smile i guess. I personally use a sub to check all of my bass so hey.
tehguit is offline  


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