After LS-3/5As and NS-10s - What's next? - diyAudio
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Old 13th June 2004, 01:07 AM   #1
netgeek is offline netgeek  United States
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Default After LS-3/5As and NS-10s - What's next?

In a previous thread I mentioned that I'd used some NS-10s in a small (really small) room for years and was happy with that. This prompted some comments about what's "wrong" with the NS-10s (and these problems seem to be well-known and agreed). There was also some mention of the BBC-designed LS-3/5As.

Both of these models have achieved near legendary status for use as near-field monitors over many years. Not the "best" speakers by a long shot - and with lots of "character" (i.e. flaws) - but at least they are a known quantity and MANY recording engineers and producers have used them to great effect to mix and balance most of what is available in recorded format to us these days.

So, what is the "next thing" in use? (Now that these speakers have been essentially "retired"). What's the current popular setup in ACTUAL use in real recording and production environments? I'm not looking for conjecture or off-the-wall opinions here - rather some real observations about what is REALLY used - not just what might be nice...

I'd like to design and build something which was the equivalent (and, ideally, more than) these monitors - something which could be used in the same environment - and to replace my NS-10s which I gave to my daughter! SO - any comments regarding what you like or dislike about either of these speakers - and any suggestions for improvement and/or alternatives would be very much welcome.

In other words - What could replace them and perhaps go to the next level - and how/why?

Thanks and regards,

Bill
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Old 13th June 2004, 02:23 AM   #2
Ron E is offline Ron E  United States
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What's funny is that the NS-10 and the LS3/5a are essentially exact opposites. The NS-10 has high sensitivity, exaggerated mids and no bass, and the LS3/5a has low sensitivity, depressed mids and a tubby midbass.

What is used now in studios a lot are the Mackie and Genelec powered monitors. These are designed for extremely flat response and probably sound more like the BR-1 (which I haven't heard) than either of the colored vintage monitors you mention in your post.

Best thing is to go to your local pro shop and listen to find out what you like. Check out studio mags for reviews with measurements and try to formulate a target curve in your mind - then design a speaker to match that curve.
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Old 13th June 2004, 09:17 AM   #3
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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Well for nearfields you could always build a clone of the Wilson WATT.

http://www.users.nac.net/markowitzgd/david/david.htm

For a small room bi-amping, active c/o etc is a waste of time.

For farfield hi-fi use line level BSC should be used.

sreten.
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Old 13th June 2004, 03:59 PM   #4
Ron E is offline Ron E  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by sreten
For farfield hi-fi use line level BSC should be used.
That's a good point. The BR-1 has a full 6dB of BaffleStep Compensation, IIRC - where studio monitors typically have little since they are used nearfield, on a console against a wall.

One could modify the BR-1 crossover to remove it.... and gain a lot of sensitivity in the process.
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Old 14th June 2004, 05:20 PM   #5
EC8010 is offline EC8010  United Kingdom
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LS3/5a has tubby bass when driven by underpowered amplifiers (<50W) and they need really solid stands.

PMC is popular in the UK amongst broadcasters. Their LB1 is a very nice near-field monitor, and I prefer its mid-range to that of the (much more expensive) PMC MB1.
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Old 12th July 2004, 11:42 PM   #6
netgeek is offline netgeek  United States
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As a follow-up:

I've been pursuing this problem as a mental exercise - and because I like small monitors... They seem ideally suited for those of us who live in small, restricted quarters and can only listen at modest SPL's without taking on the neighbors.

Can't find or afford some "real" Ls-3/5a's, I gave my NS-10s to my daughter (good riddance, perhaps? ) - but I'm in need of some small "bookshelf" type speakers (or "mini-towers").

So, just for laughs, I'm going to build them. I'm hoping to follow on the path of the BBC designers and the NS-10 designers (although with the heavy emphasis on the BBC group) - and I'd like to think that I'm pursuing their original plans/needs - but using somewhat more modern techniques. It might be possible, but perhaps I'm deluding myself... In any event - should be fun.

I invite comments from other forum members who think a small monitor might be useful! Here's what I'm going to do to start:

SMALL (sealed) enclosure - something between .25 and .50 cu. ft.
3-Way design - active crossovers at ~300 and ~3,000Hz).

Current plan is to use a 3" mid, 1" tweeter and something like the Tang Band 5" sub plus an 8" passive radiator to cover the bottom end. Smooth midrange, good on-axis tweeter, active crossover (plus LT if needed - gently, possible "BBC Dip" to emulate the originals, variable BSC to accomodate different placements)...

Any suggestions are welcomed - in the meantime I'll slog forward blindly...

Regards,
Bill
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Old 13th July 2004, 12:06 AM   #7
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Try LINN KAN and you are not going to change them ever I mean never. They are like Ls-3/5a's

Trigon
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Old 13th July 2004, 12:20 AM   #8
netgeek is offline netgeek  United States
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Well, thanks for the link - they look interesting. But, I'm looking for something that can be designed and built by the DIY community!

Regards,
Bill
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Old 13th July 2004, 12:49 AM   #9
Ap is offline Ap
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No dont try the Linn Kan, it is too coloured. It's like a 3/5a with a better (and louder) tweeter, hence more detail.
The BBC dip was a xover correction for the Kef B110b driver used in the 3/5a...there is some info on Harbeths site & the http://"http://www.nutshellhifi.com/...r-design2.html by Lynn Olson
For a monitor you want consisitency, so you need drivers which have been around (and probably will be) for a long time.
I would suggest something from Seas 17 series (P17rex, CB17rcy/p etc) & tweeter to suit.
Pick your requiremnts of a desired f3/spl/size - then you can choose drivers.
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Old 13th July 2004, 01:55 AM   #10
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try ls35a.com - there's a number of alternatives to choose from.

You could also look at near field monitors or small speakers like
Rogers DB101, Hafler unpowered mini-monitors, etc.

Some say that tube amps and the LS3/5a were magic in
the midrange especially with female voices.
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