Replacement speakers for Yamaha HS7

I’m mixing the internal sound system on my Kawai NV10S with external Yamaha HS7s and a HS8s sub. I’ve noticed that the notes in the first two octaves over middle C are very pronounced, overly percussive and unmusical through the HS7s (not so through the NV10s speakers, but the overall sound is boxy, hence my use of the external monitors). I’ve tried tweaking settings (velocity curve, hammer hardness, resonance) on the various VSTs I’m using I use, but can’t seem to get a sound I like (as compared to headphones and even what I get through smaller Presonus monitors + internal sound on my Yamaha P515). I’ve also tried using dynamic EQ plugins in my Cantabile song mappings to cut down the range of notes, but I’m still unhappy with the result. I also have the tweeter cutoff switch on the HS7s set at -2db though I’m thinking that the problem frequencies are actually rendered by the upper range of the woofer. I have the volume and cutoff on the HS8s sub both set fairly low. It’s really just to provide some extra low end.

Bases on some reports I’ve read about midrange problems with the HS7, I’ve come to the conclusion that it may be time to consider trying another set of monitors and I’ve narrowed it down to the Adam A8H or the Genelec 8050B. I’m leaning towards the Adams because

  1. They’re 3 way, with a dedicated mid-range speaker
  2. They’re front ported (my monitors are against the wall and I can’t change this
  3. I like the more conventional appearance
  4. I’d also like to use these speakers with my stereo to supplement my PSB tower speakers, which are on the other side of the room, and the A8H are billed as a ‘near-field/mid-field’ monitor (not sure if this is marketing or they do actually have a wider dispersion)

A lot of people swear by the 8050B and they’ve been around for a while, whereas the A8H is fairly new. I’ve heard some complaints about the brightness of the ribbon tweeter and also about reliability in the Adams speaker line. My speakers are on stands behind my piano, about 3 feet from where I’m sitting, and wondering if that’s too close for these speakers.

Is anyone currently using the A8H with a digital piano/midi controller and have comments? Also, can you comment on the ‘room sound’ further away?

Please let us know how the Adams work for you. I’m working with someone who just purchased HS8’s - I like them - less fatiguing and I can hear separate instruments better than many other monitors I’ve used.

Not quite ready to pull the trigger on the A8Hs. You’re the first person who’s responded who’s actually heard them. I’m primarily using them for a digital piano speaker system (note my profile picture). I’m limited on placement and they’ll be against my log walls (not going to be able to add sound proofing) and I’ll be sitting at just over one meter away. As mentioned, I’m also hoping to use these to supplement hi-fi speakers but that’s a secondary use. The A8H’s are described as midfields and I have some concerns about what they’ll sound like close up. Can you give me some details on the close up sound as well as back a bit? This is only for home-use but I’m willing to pay up for a substantial improvement over the HS7s. The A8H is the only quality 3-way at $3k or less (my absolute limit) that I’m aware of, and they include built-in adjustments for placement next to the wall, as well as front port, and a ‘uniform natural response’ setting for a little more forgiving listening experience. Again, I’m not using these for mixing.

So far have only been mixing entire band songs on them. I’ll be demoing VB3 II v2 in the next few days on the HS8’s for our keyboard player. We’ll test some pianos also.

Thanks. I have VB3 V2. Be interested in hearing your opinion on it on through the A8Hs, both close (say 4 feet) and further out, if possible. I know it’s asking a lot, but also curious on your take of the UNR voicing setting. I have a feeling that’s what I’ll be using, vs ‘Pure’.

TBH, the A8Hs are a bit out of my price range for studio monitors, let alone just for digital piano…

I’ve been mixing with a pair of A7X for the last couple of years, and I find them excellent for that purpose. Given that my room isn’t acoustically treated, I still need to check my low end on headphones, so I go back and forth between my Adams and my Slate VSX cans, but for overall mixing, I’m very satisfied with the Adam pair

I like the Adam sound - very balanced! Pianos sound good to my ears, but of course tastes differ. Acoustic piano sounds are notoriously difficult on PA speakers and stage monitors; easy for them to sound “honky” in the mid-range around middle C. No danger of that on my Adam speakers, so I wouldn’t suspect that to change in the upper price range.

Overall comment: moving from a pair of 230 EUR speakers to a pair of 1500+ EUR speakers may be a bit of overkill - maybe try something more balanced in the mid-price range? Best to record some piano tracks on your home setup and take the result with you to a store where you can test a broad range of speakers side-by-side - you’ll find out what pair of speakers sounds pleasing to your ears with your material, and how much you’ll need to invest to get to someplace that’s good enough…



Hi Jon,

I think we might have cross wires here - the monitors we’re using are the big brother of the HS7’s - the Yamaha HS8’s. Like Torsten, this studio owner passed on the bigger Adams


Give the JBL 308P MkIIs a listen.

Thanks Doug. Not interested in the HS8s as I don’t believe they’d be much different than the HS7’s in the mid-to-upper frequencies.

Torsten- just saw your command. Very interested in your comment about piano sounding good on the A7X. “Honky” is actually a very accurate description of the sound I’m hearing in around and for a couple octaves above middle C. If the A8Hs eliminate that and improve the overall sound, I’ll be happy. I agree it’s a lot to pay for piano speakers, but after what I spent for the Kawai NV10S, I’m willing to go all in to be satisfied. Also, as mentioned, I’m hoping to use these to supplement my tower speakers for general (classical, jazz) listening. Unfortunately I’m in a rural setting on the coast of Maine and not near any place where I could demo a bunch of monitors, so will have to take a chance. I’m going to call Sweetwater to discuss with them and if they offer me a no-risk demo I’ll take them up on it. It would have been great to get feedback from someone using these with a DP. There are a number of people happily using the Genelec 8050Bs (same price range) on the PW forum but no Adams A8H users.

Bear in mind that even if those Genelecs were releases some time ago they’re still as good as when they were released. Genelec makes some of the best speakers available on this planet.

The 1030A is still, after ~25 years, a terrific speaker.

Got a good deal on a lightly used pair of Neumann KH 310s and decided they would be a good fit.

Just hooked up the Neumann KH 310a monitors. Took some work to get the settings right for both piano and general music listening. Really happy with these. I’ve been changing all of my Cantabile song settings to remove equalization, and reset velocity curves and hammer hardness I had made to try to fix the HS7s. They sound great at the piano and, turned up a bit, they fill my living room with great sound.

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