Yamaha HS7 vs. Focal Alpha 65

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by METAL123, Aug 11, 2017.

Which monitors should I get?

  1. Yamaha HS7

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Focal Alpha 65

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. METAL123

    METAL123 SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2016
    Location:
    Canada
    I've had my M-Audio BX5 monitors for several years now and think it's time for an upgrade. Nothing in particular I don't like about them, it's just that I've had them for so long and it's the only pair of monitors I've ever had. I want something better.

    After doing some research on new monitors, I decided I'd probably be better off with either the Yamaha HS7 or Focal Alpha 65. I'm having trouble deciding between the 2. I'll be using them in my home studio which is around 14 x 11 ft and has some acoustic panels on all 4 walls (looking to get bass traps and improve acoustics in there future).

    I'll be using them primarily for mixing and tracking. Mainly for metal music however I'll be doing other genres and styles from time to time. I'll be using them for the occasional casual music listening as well (not a big focus though).

    Which set of monitors would you recommend and why?
     
  2. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

    Messages:
    26,343
    Likes Received:
    1,876
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    Unless you don't have the desk space, I'd hold out for something with an 8" speaker. Otherwise you'll be upgrading again in a few years' time.
     
  3. METAL123

    METAL123 SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2016
    Location:
    Canada
    I was considering it. But most of my research suggested that it's not a good idea to go with anything bigger than 7" in my situation.
     
  4. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

    Messages:
    26,343
    Likes Received:
    1,876
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    Room size? Trust me, the physics behind that argument make no sense, and over and above that 7" is an awfully arbitrary cutoff. If you're seeing guys with backgrounds in acoustic engineering making this argument I might hear you out, but this myth that you have to use a smaller monitor unless your room is such-and-such a size is one of these myths I've been trying to stamp out on this board.

    First... Small rooms tend to have more problems with reflections, and in turn frequency combing/notching due to phase cancellation, than larger rooms, and those problems are often most audible in the low end. But, simply producing a little less low end isn't the answer, because that combing/notching/filtering is still going on, and if your speaker physically can't reproduce the low end of the mix you're working on, then you're still going to be left with blind spots. End of the day, a smaller monitor doesn't solve any problems, it just gives you a few new ones.

    Second... If you look at frequency response graphs fo the HS7 vs the HS8, the low end isn't necessarily the biggest difference; To within 5db the HS7 is "flat" down to 50hhz, but the HS8 is flat within +/1 a db or so to 50hz, whereas the HS7 starts to roll off a little below 200hz, meaning you're really under-representing the entire low end. Over and above that, though, the HS7 has some pretty major nonlinearities going on in the midrange. Both have alittle bit of a dip in the 7-8k range though the HS7s is bigger, and the high end drops off a lot faster on the 7s than the 8s -the 8s are flat up to about 25khz and within 5db at 30, while the 7s start to drop off immediately at 20khz and are 10db off by 30, and yes, this does matter. :lol:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The 8" gives you a flatter, truer low end response and causes fewer problems with crossover and the treble driver, and gives you a clearer high end. And, considering they both have bbass cut switches on the back, if for some reason you're really worried about the low end in your space, you can just hit that and drop the whole thing by -2db below 500hz.

    But, I have yet to see a single scientifically-valid argument that you "need a smaller monitor for a smaller room," except questions of pure logistics - my first monitors were 5" simply because I couldn't fit an 8" on the desk I was using at that time. :lol:
     
  5. METAL123

    METAL123 SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2016
    Location:
    Canada
    You do have good points. I'm still not sure. I feel like 8" almost seems like too much. Those things are huge.

    Looking into it more, many people say the Focal Alpha's are better and if I were to get those in 8", it would be over my budget.
     
  6. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

    Messages:
    26,343
    Likes Received:
    1,876
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    There's a LOT of "common knowledge" on message boards that is dead wrong. :lol:

    I have no experience with the Focal Alphas, though the HS80Ms I've been using for maybe five years now in a room actually a hair smaller than yours (kind of an odd shape, 12'8" long, 11'7" on one end, with a corner cut off to make it 8'7" on the other, and I had to pull up the unit deed to look this up because I really don't remember) have been great. The room is untreated, though I spent some time working out positioning and the odd shape helps a little, but the low end reproduction hasn't been an issue.

    The other thing to realize, of course, is we're still solidly in the "prosumer" range here. The Yamaha HS series are good monitors, and compared to everything I tested them against they were my favorites, but they're still a $700 pair of monitors. At some point down the road, and maybe not until I'm in my next place and have a better space to really spend some time on acoustic treatment, I still will want to suck it up and spend a couple grand on something really nice. That's a long ways off though.

    Also, this might be a useful read - stumbled across it a few moments ago. Some of these guys are extremely knowledgable when it comes to acoustic design, and while they'll give you a few caveats I'd neglected, by and large, especially in the price range we're talking, they're saying that this argument you need a small speaker for a "small" room is bunk.

    https://www.gearslutz.com/board/stu...s/730158-does-monitor-size-really-matter.html
     
  7. METAL123

    METAL123 SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2016
    Location:
    Canada
    Looking for more opinions on this.. Anyone else?
    Yamaha HS7 or Focal Alpha 65 and why?
     

Share This Page