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Yamaha HS50M - sub £250 budget monitor that doesn't lie?
Old 10th February 2009
  #1
Here for the gear
 
phantom_lights's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Yamaha HS50M - sub £250 budget monitor that doesn't lie?

Firstly, I've been through all the threads with the aforementioned monitors and it's made it worse choosing new monitors.

I'm after some decent budget monitors for my home setup, essentially monitors to practice my mixing techniques when not working in the studio, and essentially something that will tell me how it is and translate well to other systems. I usually work on rock/metal though occasionally some Trance.

My main problem is I've become too accustomed too early to monitors that just sound good all the time and used to impress clients, and it's not helping my mixing at all. A previous studio I worked at, they had NS-10M's and my Pro Tools guy I work with would come out with the classic "they're rubbish, get them off" after 2 seconds of playing material, mainly as he didn't understand their purpose and jumped on the hate bandwagon. I was slowly getting used to working with them. Now in my own studio I’ve got some Yamaha MSP10’s.

I'm after something small and cheap for my home setup, my spare rooms about 3.5m x 2.5m so not big and preferably with a 5 inch woofer due to that, but most importantly monitors that don't lie (hyped bass and highs), will show my mixes for what they really are, improve my mixing (especially the mids) and translate relatively well. I keep coming across the Yamaha HS50M’s in forums and on here for the price and performance. I don’t want to fall into if you spend another 50, or another 150 however at that range another 200 will you get you this etc when ideally the extra money is better spent on treatment. I can also get them for £200 new.

Other monitors in my range I have come across are; Alesis MK1 MKII (heard bad things), Tannoy 5A & 6D and ESI 08. My budgets £250 and as it’s for home I don’t really want to spend more than that.

Thanks in advance for any help or advice.
Old 10th February 2009
  #2
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
I'm not a pro by any means, but I do have those Yamaha's. As I'm sure you've read, they have a 2 db boos or cut switch for highs on the rear of the unit.
I'm very happy with them. Good solid feel to them and the sound is clear. I've read folks saying they prefer the 80m's to the 50m's because of bass response, but in your situation, the 50's might do the trick. Demo them at your local retailer before you invest. Take a tune with you that your very familiar with. That's probably the best thing you can do.
Old 10th February 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
I also enjoy these monitors. I have a small room and they work just fine. Go give them a listen, as suggested.
Old 10th February 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
i've got 'em (HS50m) and sitting right next to my MSP7. They compliment each other very well. I also have to agree the eq controls at the back is very usefull, -2db on the mids for hi fi sounding, +2db for more ns10 like midrange and flat for simply flat. Saw one on ebay today as im shopping for an auratone, for £180 i'd grab that quickly

Yamaha HS50m Studio Monitor on eBay, also, Monitors, Pro Audio Equipment, Musical Instruments (end time 12-Feb-09 12:44:36 GMT)
Old 10th February 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Here for the gear
 
phantom_lights's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks for the help so far. I've heard the HS80M's are better but they're £130 more than I want to spend at the moment. I know the HS50M lacks in the low end but I think a bigger woofer would give me more problems in my room, and I have some Sennheiser HD595's that help me out with that.

I noticed the HS50M's on eBay though I got a price match plus discount offer of £200 delivered new with warranty which is much more a safe bet than buying used and possibly out of warranty.

I read the MSP5's are better built and are flat though the HS50M's are designed to translate well to other systems, which seems to be true from reviews and what I'm after.

Thanks again, any more advice or recommendations, keep them coming.
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Nut
 
Bobbaganouche's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
+1 on the MSP7 setup. love mine.

the hs50m with the HS10 subwoofer is a great budget system. far more impressive than a comparably priced KRK or M-Audio setup.
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobbaganouche ➡️
far more impressive than a comparably priced KRK or M-Audio setup.
i agree thumbsup
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Heartfelt's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
the 50's have a good rep here.
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Greetings all! Long time lurker, first time poster. I aquired a pair of HS50Ms about 10 months ago as I moved into a new house and a smaller room. I had outgrown my previous speakers, A pair of Hi-Fi Kef Model 104ABs. These Kefs were definitely not suitable for reliable monitoring, but the low end was gorgeous!

My first impression of the Yamaha HS50Ms was- Lovely detail in the high end... reveals things that were previously clouded, but where has all my lovely low end gone? In my old, big studio room there was now no bass to speak of, it was all getting lost. (The room was not really adequately treated, in hindsight. Dimensions were about 6 metres by 5 and 2.5 high)

I purchased a Fostex PM 0.5 Subwoofer to see if a dedicated sub would help. It didn't- I just got a loud, mushy smeared low end due to my acoustically poor room. I quickly abandoned that idea!

Moving day came, and my studio was transplanted. New room is L2.2 x W2.7 x H2.4 metres. I had feared that I had bought a turkey, but in the new small room, the Yamahas gained more low end. I experimented with lots of layouts taking care to keep the monitors a safe distance from the wall behind, as I had read you should. I could never quite get enough low end to suit my tastes. Never a hint of any chest slapping kicks which I was used to with the KEFs. I guess its unreasonable to expect that from a 5 inch cone! The KEFs had an 8 inch woofer and a 4 x 8 inch passive resonator below that!

One day I was trying another studio layout when I thought of my old Mission bookshelf speakers- they were rear ported (as are the HS50Ms) and it struck me- those bookshelf speakers were designed to be placed close to a wall or other boundary... perhaps the HS50Ms would benefit from this too?

I tried this out, placing the monitors (on heavy metal stands) right up against the wall and gained a chunk of low end! I was ecstatic. It went against everything my acoustics research online said, but it sounded right! I assume that the low end emitted from the rear port is reflected off the wall?

I gained even more when I placed the left monitor near the corner of the room... again, totally bad practice, but it sounded right. unfortunately the right one is prevented from doing the same by the doorway placement.

Questions that my experience left me with-

Is the bass I am now hearing accurate? Probably not, but it sounds good (still a bit bass light), mixes I do seem to translate well..
Would more bass trapping help 'uncover' more bass? Perhaps!

Looking back, I should have gone for the HS80Ms... the 8 inch woofer would likely given me the bass response I am after, but I do love my HS50s. I would recommend them, but would warn bass lovers to consider the HS80s first!

I hope my long winded story helps you a little!

Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Take this opinion as one of a weekend home recording hack.

I've always had trouble with translation on "nice" sounding monitors. I bought the yamaha's as a second reference. The first thing I mixed on them (in conjunction with Mackie 824's) is the best translation I've ever gotten. I feel I like having the 824's for the lo and hi extention but I feel if I had to live with one set, I think I'd pick the yammies. I'm already making different decisions than before and for the better.

I think a person is better off with both types but the "nice" ones have become the second reference to extend the extremes after getting the mids on the yammies. LOVE these things. Good Luck with whatever you choose.
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Heartfelt's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Coming from 824's to HS80M's I found the same thing... more accuracy and less hype.
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeC1980 ➡️

Questions that my experience left me with-

Is the bass I am now hearing accurate? Probably not, but it sounds good (still a bit bass light), mixes I do seem to translate well..
Would more bass trapping help 'uncover' more bass? Perhaps!

Looking back, I should have gone for the HS80Ms... the 8 inch woofer would likely given me the bass response I am after, but I do love my HS50s. I would recommend them, but would warn bass lovers to consider the HS80s first!
More bass trapping would uncover more of the speakers real character, the HS50m dont have much bass. Thats why its better to have 2 sets of monitors. What i think you've simply done is you used acoustics to compensate for the hs50m's weakness. But im not sure if thats accuracy your hearing
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
i hear mix reviews about yamaha speakers. mostly positive.

many say they are great. then there is those that say they sound like ns10 with bright high fatiguin to the ears? which is true?
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Here for the gear
 
phantom_lights's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I've read on here that coupling the HS50M and the HS10W subwoofer gives you a pretty damn good setup that will translate very well. I've had KRK monitors (too hyped and coloured) and M-Audio (weren't that bad but awful translation)

As for the HS50M rep on here it seems about 75% absolutely love them and the other 25% regard them as the biggest piece of trash on earth, though I feel they are jumping on the bandwagon. I hear people too say they are fatiguing like NS10's but other users state this is good as it allows you to hear what others will be hearing and create a smoother better spread out and balanced mix?

I'm contemplating the HS80M's also, bit out of my range but I feel for my room size the HS50M's would be ideal and as my spare room is small, lack of bass wouldn't be too much of a problem. I've got cans to check on and I managed on KRK5's which had little bass and suffered the one-note cone resonance from too much hyped bass and the way the monitors are too cheaply designed. I feel any extra money spent on better, higher priced gear should be spent on treatment. Also I've got MSP10's at work I can check on before finishing a mix.

Thanks again and keep the thoughts and opinions coming.
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skorch Trakz ➡️
i hear mix reviews about yamaha speakers. mostly positive.

many say they are great. then there is those that say they sound like ns10 with bright high fatiguin to the ears? which is true?
yep they're bright and can be fatiguin at long listening sessions, thats why i dont really recommend them as a pleasure listening speaker but more of a mixing one. The EQ's at the back compensates for this tho. If you attenuate the highs and the mids then you got a hi fi speaker
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I just ordered a couple (HS50m) from MFriend. Factory Bstock but the price was right. I havent gotten them yet but I've heard great things so I took the plunge.

Buy Yamaha HS50M 5" Powered Studio Monitor Factory B-Stock | Powered Monitors | Musician's Friend
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
beingmf's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
the most important thing about dedicated "studio" monitors is: does my work translate to ANY other monitoring system out there? and i truly have the feeling that the 50's do that! of course they do not sound "good" by HiFi standards, but that's not what they're supposed to be, no?
2 weeks ago i needed to bring my pair of 50's to a friend's studio (equipped with K-Rok's that I always considered "ok") because i wasn't able to fix the low end in a dub mix we were doing together. the next day he ordered a pair, too!
but: i told him to keep the KRK's because if he wasn't really sure about the bass in the HS50's, he may check on the "old" speakers – and every time we did so, it turned out to be just perfect!

(the guy at the shop i bought them asked me if i want a job at Yamaha, cause he's already the 3rd client i brought who ends up with the HS50's )
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #18
Here for the gear
 
phantom_lights's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks again for more thoughts and opinions. I'm not really after a pleasure listening speaker as that's what I've got too used to, which hasn't helped my mixing or their translations.

I think what I'll try and do is get to a store and try them out with some material, and if I like them, spend the rest of my cash on treatment rather than bigger monitors in a non-treated room.
Old 23rd February 2009 | Show parent
  #19
Here for the gear
 
phantom_lights's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Well I think people have clicked onto how good these monitors are.

I popped into Digital Village at the weekend to try out the Yamaha HS monitors again, though what got me was they had the HS50Ms a few weeks ago for £209, now they are £260. The HS80Ms have also gone from £329 to £402. It was even worse at GAK, gone from £349 to £487 in a week.

I know times are bad, thankfully other places have kept their prices the same.
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