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Stupid noob query--FRFR vs. Home Stereo

Mott

Experienced
First post, so of course it's silly.

Axe-FX Ultra owner for a couple of months. Currently, I have two ways of playing with my wonderful new toy.

1. Through my Vetta Combo using the method I found in the Axe-Wiki. SPDIF Out to Vetta's SPDIF In. Works pretty well, and I like being able to use the FBX Floorboard as a midi controller, but I feel like I'm dummying down the Ultra by running it through an inferior processor. And the combo gives you no stereo separation.

2. SPDIF out to my M-Audio Audiophile 192 soundcard, then out of there via 1/4" into a Pioneer 110wpc Receiver out to a pair of very nice JBL S38 3 way speakers. A much better representation of what the Ultra can do to my ears than the Vetta alternative.

Now the silly question--

How are 50 watt 2 way powered monitors better than the home stereo solution? And if I hear "you'll blow your home stereo out", then 'splain to me the difference between the two set ups--why does one blow, and the other doesn't? I would basically be running the same signal path out of the soundcard into the powered monitors.

I'm considering a pair of the Adam A7 Nearfield Monitors, but want hear a little wisdom from the crowd before I shell out another $1000.
 

TimmyM

Inspired
Because the EQ of a home stereo is not even close to being flat frequency, and therefore and accurate representation of the input signal.

You want to hear the Axe in its full glory, my suggestion is you try using an amplification system that is as transparent EQ-wise as you can afford.

TimmyM
 

fandyboy

Inspired
TimmyM said:
Because the EQ of a home stereo is not even close to being flat frequency, and therefore and accurate representation of the input signal.

You want to hear the Axe in its full glory, my suggestion is you try using an amplification system that is as transparent EQ-wise as you can afford.

TimmyM

+1

Home Stereos colour the sound waaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyy too much.
 

stvnscott

Member
TimmyM said:
Because the EQ of a home stereo is not even close to being flat frequency, and therefore and accurate representation of the input signal.

You want to hear the Axe in its full glory, my suggestion is you try using an amplification system that is as transparent EQ-wise as you can afford.

TimmyM

If that is truly the case, your home stereo sucks. Even a fairly basic home stereo strives to have as flat a response as possible to allow you to hear your music as close to the way it was recorded as it can. Home stereos often (almost always) sound better than your average PA equipment.

I would venture to say my home stereo sounds better with my Axe than my QSC wedge does. I'll have to try it now...
 

godprobe

Power User
stvnscott said:
I would venture to say my home stereo sounds better with my Axe than my QSC wedge does. I'll have to try it now...
"Better" and "flat" are not the same.
However, I won't claim to know where home theater systems lie in that debate. In my limited experience (nothing special), it has more often been the former rather than the latter -- especially with over-emphasized bass.

For the OP... I wish I could answer your questions with technical explanations, but... I can't. :(
 

mitch236

Experienced
stvnscott said:
TimmyM said:
Because the EQ of a home stereo is not even close to being flat frequency, and therefore and accurate representation of the input signal.

You want to hear the Axe in its full glory, my suggestion is you try using an amplification system that is as transparent EQ-wise as you can afford.

TimmyM

If that is truly the case, your home stereo sucks. Even a fairly basic home stereo strives to have as flat a response as possible to allow you to hear your music as close to the way it was recorded as it can. Home stereos often (almost always) sound better than your average PA equipment.

I would venture to say my home stereo sounds better with my Axe than my QSC wedge does. I'll have to try it now...

Anyone who has a home stereo that colors the sound more than even the hyped Verve 12ma has a pathetic system indeed.


The problem with using a home stereo for the Axe is........... nothing. People spend obscene amounts of money to have great speaker systems. There's no way a $900 self powered monitor is going to compete with 15-20 thousand dollar speakers driven by 5-10 thousand dollar amps.
But powered monitors like the Verve are designed for spl's and not so much for accuracy (in audiophile terms). For moderate listening levels, you should be fine but if you play loud, you may damage the more delicate home speaker system which is designed more for accuracy and less so for spl's (in most cases).
 

fandyboy

Inspired
Have you seen the 12ma frequency response graph? It's pretty darn flat. I'd like to compare it to your hifi speakers.
 

mitch236

Experienced
fandyboy said:
Have you seen the 12ma frequency response graph? It's pretty darn flat. I'd like to compare it to your hifi speakers.

I don't want to get into any kind of disagreement here but those frequency response graphs are meaningless to me. Try playing music through the Verve's and then compare that to a good stereo and tell me which speaker sounds better.
 

goodwill559

Inspired
This may not be helpful to your specific A7 inquiry per se, but I have played my Axe-Fx through almost every available speaker set I have, using many of the power sections I have had at my disposal including:

*tube power (Mesa simul 2:90, Mesa Mark III power section)

*solid state power amps (Carvin DCM 600, Carvin HRT 150)

*self powered systems

with:

*guitar cabs loaded with guitar speakers (Lopo Line Large 1x12", Mesa Boogie Theile, Mesa Boogie 3/4 back, eminence drivers [man-o-war, tonker, delta pro 12a, wizard], electro-voice drivers [EVM 12L], celestion drivers [C90])

*guitar cabs loaded with 2-way active and passive coaxial configurations (eminence beta 12CX, eminence APT 50, eminence PSD 2002)

*home stereo speakers 2-way (onkyo and KEF) and 3-way (PSB),

*Ultrasound dual 8" coaxial powered acoustic guitar amp & Ultrasound modded with eminence 8" woofer (acoustinator neo), 1" compression driver (eminence apt 50) mounted in a 8" wave guide

*Groove tubes spacestation bipolar 8" coaxial/6" full range active monitor

My favorite so far: Axe-Fx->Ashly Audio XR-1001 with fx=1.2kHz->Carvin HRT 150-> Eminence 12CX/Eminence PSD 2002, mounted in a Lopo Line 1X12" large cab
config.jpg


There are so many ways to get good sounds and bad sounds that it's ridiculous! ;)

Each has strengths and weaknesses, and none "blows away" the others (I hate that phrase).

It depends on what you want to hear and how you want to hear it.

If you can afford to buy and if you are willing to learn from the experience, get the A7's. At the very least, try to get them from a dealer with a generous return policy just in case you simply can't make them work for you.

Enjoy the journey. :mrgreen:
 

fandyboy

Inspired
mitch236 said:
fandyboy said:
Have you seen the 12ma frequency response graph? It's pretty darn flat. I'd like to compare it to your hifi speakers.

I don't want to get into any kind of disagreement here but those frequency response graphs are meaningless to me.

OK forgetting frequency response, monitors are far more robust than stereo speakers, they have limiters to stop being driven too hard. Stereo speakers are designed to play compressed, mastered material. They simply were not designed for the high dynamic range output of a guitar.
 
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strumbringer

Inspired
OK forgetting frequency response, monitors are far more robust than stereo speakers, they have limiters to stop being driven too hard. Stereo speakers are designed to play compressed, mastered material. They simply were not designed for the high dynamic range output of a guitar.

+1000. A friend of mine blew his home stereo system (a nice one!) playing his guitar through it with another modeler.
 

goodwill559

Inspired
Hey, that's weird.

I didn't author that quote; fandyboy did, but I do agree, so I would say if you need a near field solution stereo speakers could work fine.

If you need high spl, something with a more robust design would be more appropriate.
 

stvnscott

Member
fandyboy said:
mitch236 said:
fandyboy said:
Have you seen the 12ma frequency response graph? It's pretty darn flat. I'd like to compare it to your hifi speakers.

I don't want to get into any kind of disagreement here but those frequency response graphs are meaningless to me.

OK forgetting frequency response, monitors are far more robust than stereo speakers, they have limiters to stop being driven too hard. Stereo speakers are designed to play compressed, mastered material. They simply were not designed for the high dynamic range output of a guitar.

I agree with you for the most part on this, however it varies widely with the particular speakers in question. Audiophile grade speakers are often designed for the wide dynamic range of orchestral music, opera, etc.

Back to the OP's question. IMHO, yes, you can use your home stereo for practice. Just be careful with the volume control.
 

Kazak

Member
I use Yamaha HSM80's with the Ultra in the studio most of the time, but occasionally I will hook up a pair of JBL PRX 535s. I know what everyone says about 15" speakers but with the 6" mid horn, these speakers with the Ultra are the best guitar sound I have ever heard. A little overkill I guess at 1300w RMS and 148 lbs the pair, but a huge, mean monster sound. No idea on how flat they really are, but if you get a chance to try this I can highly recommend it.

On the other end of the spectrum I have used a Cambridge SoundWorks Model 12 System which also sounds outstanding with the Ultra. It has a 6" sub built into the case and 3" Satellites, and is amazingly loud for such a tiny, portable system.
 

TimmyM

Inspired
I must apologise for being a little misleading in my first post in this thread. What some of the other posters have said is correct as far as I'm aware.

As it goes, I went away and did a little reading and also based on my own experiences blowing up home hi-fi systems with my guitar, I found that while a hi-fi can be close to FRFR, it is not designed to handle the fast less compressed dynamic transients of a guitar signal being delivered directly from an instrument pre-amp. It is mostly designed to handle mastered (ie compressed) recorded material from media like CDs, DVDs, vinyl, mp3 player etc.

All that said and done, you could get away with it at very low volume, but then you also might find it harder to hear the nuance of your tone. If its attempting to keep up with even a 15watt Valve amp, then sorry, you are on a path to destroying your hi-fi system, even if its just the speakers.

In my experience, playing your guitar at anything above a "busy coffee-shop gig" volume into your hi-fi can be a risky venture if you want to come away with a Hi-Fi that still works properly in the years ahead.

I'm sure Jay could say this better than me (or even clarify my statements if he wishes), but that's what I know from my experience.

Cheers,

TimmyM
 

mitch236

Experienced
You certainly don't need Jay to chime in here. There are many "stereo" systems that will blow away stage monitors. Definately in sound quality but also there are some out there that can handle high spl. Go to AVS forum and hang out at the "over $20k" section and you will see many different systems that would acheive very high spl's. Granted, that's not what those systems are designed for but they could handle it. Yours may not. So let's not generalize.

However, that said, you are better off using a "cheap" monitor for your guitar because if you do damage the driver, it won't be terribly expensive.
 

Javilynch

Inspired
This may not be helpful to your specific A7 inquiry per se, but I have played my Axe-Fx through almost every available speaker set I have, using many of the power sections I have had at my disposal including:

*tube power (Mesa simul 2:90, Mesa Mark III power section)

*solid state power amps (Carvin DCM 600, Carvin HRT 150)

*self powered systems

with:

*guitar cabs loaded with guitar speakers (Lopo Line Large 1x12", Mesa Boogie Theile, Mesa Boogie 3/4 back, eminence drivers [man-o-war, tonker, delta pro 12a, wizard], electro-voice drivers [EVM 12L], celestion drivers [C90])

*guitar cabs loaded with 2-way active and passive coaxial configurations (eminence beta 12CX, eminence APT 50, eminence PSD 2002)

*home stereo speakers 2-way (onkyo and KEF) and 3-way (PSB),

*Ultrasound dual 8" coaxial powered acoustic guitar amp & Ultrasound modded with eminence 8" woofer (acoustinator neo), 1" compression driver (eminence apt 50) mounted in a 8" wave guide

*Groove tubes spacestation bipolar 8" coaxial/6" full range active monitor

My favorite so far: Axe-Fx->Ashly Audio XR-1001 with fx=1.2kHz->Carvin HRT 150-> Eminence 12CX/Eminence PSD 2002, mounted in a Lopo Line 1X12" large cab
config.jpg


There are so many ways to get good sounds and bad sounds that it's ridiculous! ;)

Each has strengths and weaknesses, and none "blows away" the others (I hate that phrase).

It depends on what you want to hear and how you want to hear it.

If you can afford to buy and if you are willing to learn from the experience, get the A7's. At the very least, try to get them from a dealer with a generous return policy just in case you simply can't make them work for you.

Enjoy the journey. :mrgreen:

You use the crossover?...DESIGNED TO WORK IN HIGH

Thanks!
 

1wheel

Inspired
Just some thoughts (many good points have already been presented):

Monitors are intentionally flat response but are affected by room and placement effects. Ones that are internally bi-amplified also can eliminate some of the issues of crossovers (lack of damping) and can handle dynamic levels at crossover points better than passive cross over systems. Protective systems use non-linear elements (double diodes, light bulbs, posistors..) that can be very offensive to produced sound at high levels (but try to save the tweeters).

Large market 'home stereo' speakers are a compromise in many ways due to the influences of market demands including 'selling at the store'. Consider what you hear at the large 'box stores' with accentuated bass and singing highs. The intentional 'loudness contour' is in part to enable customers to hear Fletcher-Munson factored tone at lower levels. Other issues with many home stereo speakers (passive, bookshelf/floor) is the need to put all the bass coverage in the same enclosure at the midrange and high end. This ends up with a large front baffel area that degrades many factors of both frequency coverage as well as diffraction of the sound source. In a perfect world, an ideal speaker would be like an expanding baloon, growing and shrinking in size over all frequencies with minimal size (conflicting requirements).

High end (and pricy) home speakers are more like Monitors in that they accept that the user will add a sub-woofer (for 120Hz and below) and then can make the monitor cover mid and high frequencies, perhaps with a bi-amplified (low level crossover, electronic peak limiter) system with a small enclosure (also with diffraction and time alignment corrections).

Room acoustics always plays a role. JBL and other systems can improve the system response but only to limits. Bass traps and other elements can also yield significant corrections.

FWIW, my home/small PA has a DBX Drive Rack PA+ and is a QSC K10 pair and Mackie 1801 sub. My monitors are Alpha 8X's. Both are pretty high end. My stereo is a self-designed and built, tri-amplified system with triode VT-52s for the mids and high (SS for the Subs), it was my ongoing college project 40 years ago...
 
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