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"The Cult of the Yamaha NS-1000 Monitor Loudspeaker"


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This thread is a homage to a great loudspeaker that has stood the test of time, the Yamaha NS-1000M studio monitor. There is good reason why this classic threeway loudspeaker has a cult following - it is simply a VERY ACCURATE transducer.

 

The Yamaha NS1000 Monitor has been around since 1974 and word has it that Yamaha has sold more than 200,000 pairs of them worldwide, many of them ending up in recording studios. This is indicative of its overall capability and accuracy. For the home environment, I wouldn't say that it is the best sounding loudspeaker because it can have a lean and incisive, tight and boxy sound, lacking the bloom that we have come to associate with musicality in a domestic system. However, there is no denying that you will hear everything on a properly set up pair of 1000s ...even its tonality is spot-on once you get everything right (the speaker is best with valves-and-vinyl in my experience).

 

Over the years I have had a love-hate relationship with the NS1000 and more than six pairs have come and gone through my home. The beryllium drivers and overall monitoring quality of the design means that they are ruthlessly revealing of a poor room/set-up and will show up less than good upstream components. While I like this aspect as it appeases the brain, the overall result does not always win over the heart. I personally want it all, the accuracy plus the musicality and bloom to my music, therefore I have over the years drifted to other speaker designs that give me more air and transparency and deeper bass by using ribbons, electrostatics, horns and also big box speakers with exotic drivers ...Accuton ceramics, kevlar, magnesium, Raven ribbons and the like.

 

Anyway, wind it forward to 2017 ...and I have another pair of the ubiquitous Yamaha NS1000M's in house. This pair came from a Perth muso with a home recording studio and has had a 'working ' life with lowish serial numbers @ 63,000. And guess what? they sound fantastic and I still have great respect for the ol' girl. This is regardless of my love affair with the other candidates in the harem (of which you all know about ...the Orange DDESL etc). The Yamahas still compete (if not exceed) at the hi-end game and is the equal of many great systems I have heard recently heard in people's homes. Actually, they remind me of the ATC threeways the SCM50 and 100A’s I have heard, but with an extra layer of shimmer, detail and decay. The speaker is at its best played loudly, where its clean-ness and composure is something to behold! 

 

Please feel free to add or relate your experiences with Yamaha NS1000 good or bad and like the Quad ESL-57 they are an acquired taste, but unsurpassed in what they do well. Any Perth-ites who wish to hear them in a good setting and at their near best, please send me a message and I can accommodate it sometime.

 

Cheers,

 

Steve.

 

System below comprises of Yamaha NS1000M speakers+Acoustic Elegance Dipole 15 in Open Baffle 'H' Frame+150w plate amp; latest circuit Supratek Cortese preamp using Kenrad VT99 output tube (superb 6SN7 equivalent); Supratek/Micrex M-1 mosfet hybrid monoblocs 100w/ch; Kajak12 Philips based TDA-1541 Killerdac+Singxer SU1+Antipodes clone SOTm PC Server+Chanh Power Supply; Sony SCD-777ES for SACD replay; Squeezebox Touch+Gigadac; Technics SP10 Mk II turntable with EPA100/SAEC WE317/Rega RB250 tonearms+Zyx Airy3 cryo, Lyra Argo-i, Transfiguration Temper and Supex 900 Mk IV Moving Coil cartridges. Cables are Accuphase Super Refined IC; Van den Hul The First Carbon; XLO Reference; Nordost Blue Heaven and Kimber 8TC spkr; Oyaide Continental 5S and Curious Cable USB. 

 

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Edited by Steve M
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FWIW, I have had several pairs of both NS1000M's and Gale 401's for many years.  During almost all of that time, I clearly preferred the Yamaha's, but couldn't bear to part with the Gales, partly beca

This thread is a homage to a great loudspeaker that has stood the test of time, the Yamaha NS-1000M studio monitor. There is good reason why this classic threeway loudspeaker has a cult following - it

I use NS-1000M’s. My own have been extensively rebuilt but they still sound excellent without anything done to them:

Don't much like the look of them, but then the last time I contributed to a thread on Yamaha speakers, I managed to get suspended for a time. So upon reflection, I think I'll pass.

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All good MusicOne, agree on the industrial look of the Yammies ... a 12" woofer in a big black 32kg box with silver surrounds on drivers, pretty hard to disguise?

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I scored a pair of the mahogany ones back in the 90's for $400. Gave them to my son. He had them on HB3 stands. Eventually sold them for $3400

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31 minutes ago, Steve M said:

All good MusicOne, agree on the industrial look of the Yammies ... a 12" woofer in a big black 32kg box with silver surrounds on drivers, pretty hard to disguise?

 

If you rate them highly, Steve, they must have something going for them. Cheers.

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Just a few more pics ...and

 

Getting amazingly realistic drum strikes on Dave Brubeck's classic Take Five. The open baffle AE 15" bass signature is a match made in heaven with the NS-1000M - a lightning fast percussive whack! that blends seamlessly with the accurate sealed bass coming from the 12" Yamahas - a lot of (Sd) surface area going on with this combo which makes it sound like a live band.

 

Last photo shows my white Raven-Accuton-Cabasse-Eton system which goes lower-higher-is more filagreed/refined on acoustic material compared to the Yamaha system, but the Accuton system is not as impactful and impressive when played loud.

 

Steve.

 

  

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Edited by Steve M
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I have been in many many recording studios and I have never seen NS1000s installed as monitors. Lots of NS10s as near fields, which I remove before any work commences, but never 1000s.

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Guest jakeyb77

Well that took 2 hours longer than expected. I'm out as this thread only has history to repeat itself...

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32 minutes ago, THOMO said:

Sure that is not a typo Steve?

Three of the four letters that spell cult I would agree with.

 

 

Haha Jon ...was waiting for the repartee, touche! :popcorn:

 

Sorry to say no contest, there's a reason the NS1000 is a cult item and the other while very good (NS75T) is totally unknown. 

 

One thing with the NS1000, you have to get them up high on 400mm high stands (ears at the gap of the mid-tweeter) or its no show. Set up correctly with the right ancillaries and supplement some extra bass modules, and its a very good speaker.

 

Anyway, drop in next time you are up and judge for yourself.

 

Cheers,

 

Steve.

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Steve M said:

 

Set up correctly with the right ancillaries and supplement some extra bass modules, and its a very good speaker.

 

Haha, you could pretty much say that about most speakers Steve!  :P

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5 minutes ago, Peter_F said:

Haha, you could pretty much say that about most speakers Steve!  :P

 

Yeah Pete, I'm a believer in good bass as a foundation to all musical styles ...that's why you see so many boxes and multiples of 10,12, 15 inch drivers in my system these days. 

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What's 500m like compared to 1000m? Once had a pair and they featured the same Be tweeters?


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28 minutes ago, Steve M said:

 

Haha Jon ...was waiting for the repartee, touche! :popcorn:

 

Sorry to say no contest, there's a reason the NS1000 is a cult item and the other while very good (NS75T) is totally unknown. 

 

One thing with the NS1000, you have to get them up high on 400mm high stands (ears at the gap of the mid-tweeter) or its no show. Set up correctly with the right ancillaries and supplement some extra bass modules, and its a very good speaker.

 

Anyway, drop in next time you are up and judge for yourself.

 

Cheers,

 

Steve.

 

 

Well another poor attempt at humour on my behalf.

I lived with a pair for quite a while.Not really keen to go there again.

To me they are a bit like a half finished painting done by a master painter with some really great stuff going on but spoiled by the rest of it being finished off by a three year old.So although you can appreciate the good bits the overall picture is an annoyance.

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42 minutes ago, kab said:

Yamaha FX3.....Heard a pair of these when i was living in London

 

NS1000s on steroids......magic speakers!

 

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Man, FX-3's rare as hens teeth, would love to hear them! A pair did sell here on SNA a few years ago for $1,500 ...

 

This speaker is the solution to the lack of deep bass in the NS-1000, the FX3 is a bass reflex ported design in a larger cabinet ...sacrifice a bit of accuracy that a sealed box might(?) give for real world room filling domestic bass.

 

Al M. is trying this concept out with his re-boxed ported NS-1000 clones.

 

Steve.

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42 minutes ago, SETSergio said:

How many watts do they like Steve?

 

Having had a few pairs of NS1000 under my belt, I reckon they need a minimum 30w/ch of push-pull valve power or about 50w/ch of doubling solid state power or valves. If you can get to 100w/ch, then superb!

 

That said, they do sing quite well on lower wattage power amps and acoustic music ...just don't expect them to pull out the realistic dynamics of live music with lowish watts. The rated sensitivity is 89dB/w/m @ 6 ohm average, from memory?

 

Bring your amps here Steve, or I can always bring the speakers around to your place. I have a feeling the NS-1000 would sound pretty good in your system, although the Raven-Accuton array would be better (more finessed). I know your tastes, you might find the Yammies a bit boxy sounding?

 

Cheers,

 

Steve.

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19 minutes ago, Steve M said:

 

Having had a few pairs of NS1000 under my belt, I reckon they need a minimum 30w/ch of push-pull valve power or about 50w/ch of doubling solid state power or valves. If you can get to 100w/ch, then superb!

 

That said, they do sing quite well on lower wattage power amps and acoustic music ...just don't expect them to pull out the realistic dynamics of live music with lowish watts. The rated sensitivity is 89dB/w/m @ 6 ohm average, from memory?

 

Bring your amps here Steve, or I can always bring the speakers around to your place. I have a feeling the NS-1000 would sound pretty good in your system, although the Raven-Accuton array would be better (more finessed). I know your tastes, you might find the Yammies a bit boxy sounding?

 

Cheers,

 

Steve.

Yes, we will work something out, may involve wine though :hiccup

 

 

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1 hour ago, Steve M said:

 

 

Man, FX-3's rare as hens teeth, would love to hear them! A pair did sell here on SNA a few years ago for $1,500 ...

 

This speaker is the solution to the lack of deep bass in the NS-1000, the FX3 is a bass reflex ported design in a larger cabinet ...sacrifice a bit of accuracy that a sealed box might(?) give for real world room filling domestic bass.

 

Al M. is trying this concept out with his re-boxed ported NS-1000 clones.

 

Steve.

Its a pity Yamaha did't use the FX3 design into the new NS5000,now that would have been fantastic.

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Yes they are a cult/legend among hifi users, and the odd home studio, but I don't think there's been a pair used in a proper studio for over 20 years, and before that maybe very occasionally for novelty use. I've never seen one in a studio in my 30 years in the business. Definitely just a domestic speaker.

 

A myth more than a legend.

 

That said, if you like them in your listening room, go for it, it's all about personal taste, and playing with toys.

 

Cheers,

Jason.

 

Edited by koputai
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48 minutes ago, koputai said:

Yes they are a cult/legend among hifi users, and the odd home studio, but I don't think there's been a pair used in a proper studio for over 20 years, and before that maybe very occasionally for novelty use. I've never seen one in a studio in my 30 years in the business. Definitely just a domestic speaker.

 

A myth more than a legend.

 

That said, if you like them in your listening room, go for it, it's all about personal taste, and playing with toys.

 

Cheers,

Jason.

 

 

Yes, a sad indictment on the recording industry that they cheapened things up and moved towards the horrible little $599 Yamaha NS10, cheap Behringers and KRK Rocket spkrs etc. Who cares about recording quality when the end game is appeasing the masses with their iPods, computer speakers and Beats headphones ...sigh. :(

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Bought a pair around 1980, and kept them around 10/11 years. I think I paid something like $1700? Agree they have some strengths, but also some weaknesses. From memory they lacked a bit of "soul" and a were a little bright. Of course my ancillory equipment etc. has improved dramatically since then, so would be interesting to revisit. I replaced them at the time with an upgraded pair of Richter Secret Weapons (long gone), which were a bit of a step up in sound quality.

 

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Steve M said:

 

Yes, a sad indictment on the recording industry that they cheapened things up and moved towards the horrible little $599 Yamaha NS10, cheap Behringers and KRK Rocket spkrs etc. Who cares about recording quality when the end game is appeasing the masses with their iPods, computer speakers and Beats headphones ...sigh. :(

Went to an auction last Thursday of old sound studio equipment and the prices paid were crazy money and the NS-10's were ratty at best and 2 idiots bid them to $812.50. There should be a tv show called vintage pickers, highlighting the need for knobs and recaps.

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9 hours ago, Steve M said:

 

Yes, a sad indictment on the recording industry that they cheapened things up and moved towards the horrible little $599 Yamaha NS10, cheap Behringers and KRK Rocket spkrs etc. Who cares about recording quality when the end game is appeasing the masses with their iPods, computer speakers and Beats headphones ...sigh. :(

 

Pretty sure that is not the point that was being made.  The NS1000M is just not a serious studio monitor; period.  The use of NS10Ms is driven by two things; they provide a 'consistent', if middling, benchmark and they allow engineers to hear the mix on something approaching the crap standards most end-users will 'enjoy'.

 

I know a number of folk who love their NS1000s; and good luck to them, I can see the appeal.  But the, "It's what they use in the big studios", thing is BS and refuses to die.  You'll find acres of JBLs and Tannoys as far-field monitors in high-end studios but never a NS1000.

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6 minutes ago, guru said:

Went to an auction last Thursday of old sound studio equipment and the prices paid were crazy money and the NS-10's were ratty at best and 2 idiots bid them to $812.50. There should be a tv show called vintage pickers, highlighting the need for knobs and recaps.

 

Why were you there? 

 

You didnt think you were we're going to bid and pick up some nice old AN pieces were you?  :P

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I really don't understand why everyone think that Behringers and KRK are shcitt...

 

My son has a pair of Behringers 3031A that he bought for $530.  For that value that includes active to drivers and amps to 200W class A\B has me dumb founded on value.  I could easily live with these for the rest of my life.  They support XLR, the SQ is an absolute bargain for what you get.  However not so in today's exchange rate when they are around $1100 

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17 minutes ago, Gruffnutz said:

The use of NS10Ms is driven by two things; they provide a 'consistent', if middling, benchmark and they allow engineers to hear the mix on something approaching the crap standards most end-users will 'enjoy'.

My understanding is that NS10's were only used for their bass pitch.

I remember back in the 80's that a major reviewer for the British HIFI press used NS1000's in his reference system mated with Audio Research SP8 and  D70.

Apparently it sounded very good.

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Most of the studio monitors used in the 1970s were pretty horrible.The JBL 4311s were commonly used and they sound really nasty.The NS1000s would have been a big improvement on them.Many studios used Auratones which used a 4. 5 inch full range driver in a tiny box.

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Most of the studio monitors used in the 1970s were pretty horrible.The JBL 4311s were commonly used and they sound really nasty.The NS1000s would have been a big improvement on them.Many studios used Auritones which used a  5 inch full range driver in a tiny box.


Hey Auratones we're better than I had expected them to be on a desktop system


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2 minutes ago, Happy said:

 


Hey Auratones we're better than I had expected them to be on a desktop system


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Yes they sounded pretty decent really.A friend had a pair in his Landrover.

I see you can buy new ones but the drivers look a bit different.

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58 minutes ago, Addicted to music said:

 

Why were you there? 

 

You didnt think you were we're going to bid and pick up some nice old AN pieces were you?  :P

No AN pieces, they had baz luhmann's cd collection that he was disposing of, probably 2000 in total and I wanted to see if there was anything worthwhile. Went for 500. Probably was worth $150, shite taste in music which is strange considering his movies have reasonable soundtracks.

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17 minutes ago, Happy said:

 


Hey Auratones we're better than I had expected them to be on a desktop system


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The auratones at the same auction went for $160 and Jbl 4410's went for $400.

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No AN pieces, they had baz luhmann's cd collection that he was disposing of, probably 2000 in total and I wanted to see if there was anything worthwhile. Went for 500. Probably was worth $150, shite taste in music which is strange considering his movies have reasonable soundtracks.


I shuddered at his particular choice for a certain version of a Mozart symphony though (probably the 25th). Could easily have been Andre Rieu after a night of drinking Viennese wine.


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The auratones at the same auction went for $160 and Jbl 4410's went for $400.


Sounds about the same with ebay then!


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5 minutes ago, Happy said:

 


Sounds about the same with ebay then!


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Add 25% buyers premium on top of that and that's the price paid.

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