Tyson's NX-Studio Monitor Review

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Tyson

Tyson's NX-Studio Monitor Review
« on: 2 Jan 2020, 06:11 am »



Preamble
Had a chance to visit Danny recently and spent a few days listening to ALL the most recent OB offerings and thought I'd write up separate reviews for each of them.  This review is for the NX-Studio Monitor.





Initial Impressions
I listened to this after I listened to the Super Minis (and the Super Minis had blown me away).  But the NX-Studio Monitor was the speaker I was the most excited to listen to.  Per Danny, it could be placed close to a wall due to the sealed box used for the mids, but it would give some of that "OB magic" due to the Neo3 planar magnetic tweeter being used in a clever OB fashion. 






Listening Notes
All right, this is now officially the second time I'm being blown away in the same day.  This speaker didn't have "some" OB magic, it had a LOT of OB magic.  And I'm not sure what Danny did to the box but that thing was freaking INERT.  There was almost no box coloration that I could detect.  Yes, there was a slight coloration to the sound in the lower mids, a slight beautification that wasn't there in the ruthlessly honest Super Mini we'd heard previously.  Danny said that a lot of it was because the wave guide was so deep it allowed the tweeter to be crossed over much lower than previous speakers.  Even lower than the Neo3 in my Super 7 speakers.  Thus the tweeter and it's OB nature tended to dominate the sound of the speaker. 

Also, the midrange driver - that's a special unit. I'll say more about it in my upcoming review of the NX-Ottica and NX-Treme.

Edit to add more info requested below - I tend to think of speakers less as individual drivers and more as mid/tweeter combos nowadays.  My current references are of course the Neo10/Neo3 combo in my Super 7s, but also the Beyman TPL150-H tweeter and the JBL 2226H midrange that a friend has in his speakers.  Both of these designs have perfect integration of the drivers as well as a see-through transparency and detail level, without being 'analytical' sounding AT ALL.  That last part is important.  Lots of speakers can sound detailed but it's because they are voiced on the analytical side.  That voicing leaves me cold.  So the trick is to get a speaker that has all the detail and none of the analytical coloration. 

From a detail level I'd say the Neo3/M165NQ combo is better than the Beyma/JBL combo and very close to the Neo10/Neo3 I have at home.  Shockingly close.  Honestly I've been in this game so long and I've heard every 6 inch driver out there and they all bore me to tears.  But this driver is different - it seems to combine the sheer resolution of the best ceramic cones with the quite self-damping properties of the best paper cones.  And the integration with the Neo3 tweeter is just perfect.  Color me impressed. 

In fact, now that I've had a bit more time to think about it, I feel more comfortable saying this - the NX-Studio Monitor is the best box based bookshelf speaker I've ever heard.  It does most things better than anything else out there and some things MUCH better than anything else out there.  At least IME.

Edit to add:  Here's a link to the recent New Record Day visit to Danny's and their impressions on several speakers, including this one.  They heard stuff very similar to what I did:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xxFKVC2Xro
« Last Edit: 13 Feb 2020, 06:52 pm by Tyson »

maty

Re: Tyson's Studio Monitor Review
« Reply #1 on: 2 Jan 2020, 07:54 am »
OBs need a lot of space between the speakers and the side and rear walls, so these would be a good compromise in most rooms, at least in Europe.

It seems that the walls are thick, including the front. And the upper part, being inclined and not horizontal should help a lot to reduce the furniture vibrations by breaking the symmetry, I think.

With one or two subwoofers...

To build some loudspeakers (without little coaxials) are the ones I would choose. First without subwoofer and loudspeakers near to rear wall, after with one sub and maybe later with two. Step by step.

PS: the front should be sold with the speakers. And maybe the upper wood too. Already put, the option with all the woods!

Tyson

Re: Tyson's Studio Monitor Review
« Reply #2 on: 2 Jan 2020, 08:00 am »
Maty, I think the kit includes the front baffle.

maty

Re: Tyson's Studio Monitor Review
« Reply #3 on: 2 Jan 2020, 08:50 am »
http://gr-research.com/diykits.aspx

Danny should create new sections for the latest kits he sells: Studio Monitors and Super Mini.


http://gr-research.com/upgrades.aspx

And Klipsch RP-600M upgrade.

Modernize the web too.
« Last Edit: 2 Jan 2020, 10:12 am by maty »

maty

Re: Tyson's Studio Monitor Review
« Reply #4 on: 2 Jan 2020, 08:57 am »
Yes, there was a slight coloration to the sound in the lower mids, a slight beautification that wasn't there in the ruthlessly honest Super Mini we'd heard previously.  Danny said that a lot of it was because the wave guide was so deep it allowed the tweeter to be crossed over much lower than previous speakers.  Even lower than the Neo3 in my Super 7 speakers.  Thus the tweeter and it's OB nature tended to dominate the sound of the speaker.

First a good soft player with a minimum phase PEQ and after rePhase -> convolution filter, like me with my modded little coaxials.

JLM

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Re: Tyson's Studio Monitor Review
« Reply #5 on: 2 Jan 2020, 11:20 am »
Tyson you're such a tease!

Please provide more info: prices; frequency range; efficiency; crossover frequency; driver/kit details; links; more description of the sound.

maty

Re: Tyson's Studio Monitor Review
« Reply #6 on: 2 Jan 2020, 11:36 am »
https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=160647.msg1764167#msg1764167

Quote
1. MDF is fine. It is dense and less resonant than other materials. It is also cheap and easy to purchase and cut.

2. The front baffle is 1.375" thick already. So there is no resonance issue. Also the woofer frame is made from a polymer material that is non-resonance and will not transmit a resonant to the front baffle like most woofers. And it surface mounts so baffle material is not removed for mounting like many drivers that have to be recessed.

3. The kit does not come with material for making a grill. Grill cloth type and color is up to you.

maty

Re: Tyson's Studio Monitor Review
« Reply #7 on: 2 Jan 2020, 11:39 am »
Measurements, a lot of graphs:

https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=160647.msg1729409#msg1729409

Quote
Here is the crossover response showing each driver and the sum.




And just the on axis response.




And since these could be mounted high above a console, here is the response on tweeter axis and on woofer axis. It is pretty flat both ways.




And the spectral decay is about as clean as any speaker I've ever measured. These driver settle super fast and clean.




Pretty even horizontal off axis responses too.




And the vertical off axis is very consistent too. For playback in a listening room they might like a slight tilt.




And they have an easy to drive impedance load.


maty

Re: Tyson's Studio Monitor Review
« Reply #8 on: 2 Jan 2020, 11:54 am »
https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=160647.msg1730672#msg1730672

Quote
Okay what you've all been waiting for. Since the crossover was not at all complex (few parts) the complete total came in really low.

$859 for the complete kit including the CNC cut front baffle and two sheets of No Rez.

And $120 of that total was for the CNC cut baffles.

Copper by-pass caps are extra as are any other tweaks that you might want to try.

The stock crossover is great. It uses all Sonicaps, Erse XQ inductors, and Mills resistors. It also come with tube connectors.

Power handling will be no issue so long as power is clean. Since these are designed for studio monitoring, small rooms, or more near field listening then it is not likely that they will need much power.

maty

Re: Tyson's Studio Monitor Review
« Reply #9 on: 2 Jan 2020, 12:03 pm »
I usually listen to about 65 dBSPL continuous. And very good recordings with high / very high dynamic range (DR).

To estimate the amplifier and that this always works in its comfort zone, I want 80 dBSPL + 15 dB = 95 dBSPL max at the listening point.

https://www.doctorproaudio.com/content.php?2273-calculators-proaudio-sound-dmx&langid=1#calc_spl

88 dB/W/m, 8 Ohms, random phase, 3 m -> 23 watts at 8 Ohms to have 95 dBSPL max



* 2 m -> 10 watts at 8 Ohms

* 3 m -> 23 watts at 8 Ohms

* 4 m -> 40 watts at 8 Ohms

maty

Re: Tyson's Studio Monitor Review
« Reply #10 on: 2 Jan 2020, 12:10 pm »
If you listen to modern commercial recordings, then DR will be < or << 10 dB.

80 dBSPL + 10 dB = 90 dBSPL max

* 2 m -> 4 watts at 8 Ohms

* 3 m -> 7 watts at 8 Ohms

* 4 m -> 13 watts at 8 Ohms

JLM

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Re: Tyson's Studio Monitor Review
« Reply #11 on: 2 Jan 2020, 02:07 pm »
How is the room accounted for?

maty

Re: Tyson's Studio Monitor Review
« Reply #12 on: 2 Jan 2020, 03:02 pm »
80 dBSPL continuous in a room is loud. In a room, with reflections, you need less watts to obtain the same SPL than in open field. Therefore, once again we are overestimating the necessary power, so surely we will not fall short of power if we focus on 95 dBSPL.

For normal rooms, that is, they are not the size of a sports center, to calculate the maximum power required is sufficient with 95 dBSPL.

They are always for real 8 Ohms loudspeakers and not fictitious as usual.



The usual are boxes with minimum impedance over 4 Ohms. Then the calculated power must be doubled.



That is why it is important to know the measurements of the louspeakers before buying them, avoiding commercial boxes newly released, with only the manufacturer's specifications, usually overestimate the sensitivity and nominal impedance.

maty

Re: Tyson's Studio Monitor Review
« Reply #13 on: 2 Jan 2020, 03:12 pm »
DR15

Days ago I listened some albums with tracks of DR19. And one, exceptional, with DR23. Usually DR12 - DR17.

https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/music/6958-playing-listening-862.html

maty

Re: Tyson's Studio Monitor Review
« Reply #14 on: 2 Jan 2020, 03:17 pm »
BTW, Studio Monitor's phase graph?

Wind Chaser

Re: Tyson's Studio Monitor Review
« Reply #15 on: 2 Jan 2020, 05:25 pm »
How far out in the room were these set up?

Were they flying solo or with a sub?

What is the price?

Kit availability?


Tyson

Re: Tyson's Studio Monitor Review
« Reply #16 on: 2 Jan 2020, 05:58 pm »
How far out in the room were these set up?
Were they flying solo or with a sub?
What is the price?
Kit availability?

They were 1/3rd into the room like all the other speakers we demo'd.  We used the triple OB subs with them like we did for all the speakers.  Price is between $800 and $900 I think.  Danny did mention that he included the CNC cut front baffle in the kit.  I think they're ready to ship but you'd have to ask Danny.  I'm mainly here to talk about the sound ;)

Captainhemo

Re: Tyson's Studio Monitor Review
« Reply #17 on: 2 Jan 2020, 09:37 pm »
The baffles are indeed included in the kits and Danny does have stock on everything.

Tyson, all the  NX series  use  that deep wave guide.. ranges from 1.375"  to 1.5" .
The new  Super Mini's and  new  Super 7's  use a  1"  baffle with  slightly different waveguides. .

jay

mr_bill

Re: Tyson's Studio Monitor Review
« Reply #18 on: 3 Jan 2020, 01:03 am »
How do you buy the cabinet for it?

I understand you get front baffle, drivers, crossover, binding posts and wiring?

JLM

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Re: Tyson's Studio Monitor Review
« Reply #19 on: 3 Jan 2020, 01:38 pm »
80 dBSPL continuous in a room is loud. In a room, with reflections, you need less watts to obtain the same SPL than in open field. Therefore, once again we are overestimating the necessary power, so surely we will not fall short of power if we focus on 95 dBSPL.

For normal rooms, that is, they are not the size of a sports center, to calculate the maximum power required is sufficient with 95 dBSPL.

Thanks for your responses.  But by your response I assume your calculator has no means for accounting of room size.  Yes, I understand how rooms affect SPL versus open field.  But I disagree with your 95 dB premise.  I find that most audiophiles do serious listening at average 80 dB levels.  But average is only a ball park value.  Music is made of peaks (rock = 10 dB, jazz = 20 dB, classical = 30 dB).  Live performance peaks are normally accepted as roughly 105 dB for classical or jazz and 110 dB for rock, although some would push those numbers much higher.   

I have a couple of basic standards for a system to begin to be considered high fidelity:  it must reproduce the entire range of musical instruments sans large pipe organs, so 30 - 20,000 Hz; and it must be able to produce 105 - 110 dB peaks.  Failing to reach both those criteria a system cannot be faithfully reproduce the full range of music, let alone all the other attributes we listen for.  Accounting for room size is essential in determining what peak SPL the system is capable as many systems struggle to reach those peaks in-room.