Is the Yamaha NS-10 still relevant? ·
Source: Veikko Venemies / Unsplash / Yamaha
Since their introduction in 1978, the Yamaha NS-10 series of passive loudspeakers have had an unprecedented impact on the music industry with over 300,000 units sold to date.
For a failure bookshelf speakerbecoming the global standard studio monitor was completely unintentional but nonetheless, it was religiously embraced by best engineers like Bob Clearmountain, Andy Wallace and Manny Marroquin.
Why do we love/hate the Yamaha NS-10?
When it was finally arrested in 2001there were a total of six different models of NS-10 speakers, each offering a slightly different set of features from the original NS-10M.
During this period, the NS-10 series polarized opinions continuously as it is today. In fact, the voices question its relevance have grown in recent years, and for good reason.
The way we consume music has completely changed since the NS-10 became famous, and the sound characteristics pop music have changed somewhat. Is there still room for the NS-10 in the landscape of modern music? Or is it rather a novelty?
Yamaha HS-5: The bedroom producer’s NS-10?
The HS-5 is the entry level model in the popular HS series of active monitor speakers launched in 2014. It is an affordable price 5″ monitor it is relatively neutral sound and can produce good results in smaller listening environments.
The fact that these have a relatively similar approach to the NS-10 surveillance style without requiring an amp is probably why they are so popular. That being said, active speakers sound project in a different way from passives. So keep that in mind.
Avantone CLA-10: stay passive
With the help of superstar mix engineer and longtime NS-10 user, Chris Lord-Alge, Avantone reincarnated the NS-10 as the CLA-10. It’s as close to the original as you can get in a modern monitor.
Like the NS-10M, it is passivewhich means you don’t understand its hype that we often associate with active monitors. Additionally, Avantone has a reputation for creating ruthless monitors like the Mixcubes with excellent Translation Properties.
Auratone A2-30: Passive Monitoring
As you know it, passive monitoring performance is largely amp dependent you have driving your speakers. The Auratone A2-30 was developed in collaboration with Bettermaker as a compact solution for passive near field monitors.
It’s a relatively affordable way to fly your NS-10s reliably and colorless way. Designed for 5C passive sound cubes, you can be sure that Translation is the main directive here.
Avantone CLA-10A: an active modern remake
A truly modern remake, the CLA-10A brings the NS-10 monitoring experience into a active monitoring format much better suited to home recording setups. With 200W amplification is more than enough power to produce accurate mix levels.
If you wonder what Variable Tissue Paper Control button on the rear panel does this, it allows you to simulate your favorite NS10 models. See you $1000 a pair, the CLA-10A between professional monitor territory, so you must really want the NS-10 sound.
Avantone AV-10: Blown cones?
Those who didn’t stock NS-10 drivers were heartbroken when Yamaha stopped making them. Luckily, these days you can continue using your favorite monitors forever because you can now replace the woofer, crossover, and even the tweeter.
These Avantone will fit the NS-10M perfectly, and the facility is simple enough to DIY. Additionally, many users have even reported that they prefer the sound of modern replacement cones. Go figure.
Are you an advocate for NS-10 and otherwise, what are your favorite active or passive alternatives?
Please let us know in the comments below!
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