So… tell me about these near-field monitors… have you hooked them up and tried them out in a big room as if they were your primary stereo system speakers? How did they do?
So here is a real question I am wrestling with… I was thinking about changing the amp and speakers I use with my Roland RD-2000 keyboard to maybe those Focal powered monitors. But I am worried about doing this as the monitors used to demo these keyboards are AWFUL! In the music stores, Philly and NYC, I would turn off the monitors and plug in my Grado RS2 headphones directly into the board. Totally different experience and there I could understand the quality of keyboard sounds. The monitors I heard in music stores always sound super hard and … bright is not quite the word… but just hard sounding and they never had bass. A nice keyboard like my RD-2000 has some really nice grand piano sounds that go deep and full.
My keyboard amp is an old Adcom GFA 545 II and old, big ADS bookshelf speakers. The sound is a bit hard, tubby and bloaty but not real bad when playing these big full grand piano sounds. I think the amp is the problem with the top end, and the speakers the bottom end. I want better sound for the keyboard. I have the speakers mounted 2 feet from my head, over the keyboard on the left and right side pointed in to me. I love playing (actually plonking) in that sound field.
Bonus question: I was told near-field studio monitors sound awful as a home stereo speaker… why? They are supposedly designed to be ruler-flat response. Why is this a bad thing? (I remember an interview with the late John Dunlavy and he noted his first priority is ruler-flat response.)
So, I am just afraid replacing this with a pair of Focal powered monitors for about $2,200/pair is going to sound more like an awful public address system.
BTW: I have never met a musician who cared about sound quality as much as I do… another why?
I view these keyboard speakers like home audio reproduction… because that is what they are doing when they are playing grand piano sounds from my RD-2000. Guitars are different as the amp is part of the sound generation… with a keyboard, the sound system is playing back, not a part of the creation.
Tonight I am dusting off my old Nikko EQ-1 10-band equalizer (circa 1977) and see if I can’t tame the response curve… going to hook up Realistic SPL meter, hook up my Android phone with a tone generator… and level the field (no tariffs needed). (Sad state when you get all hot and bothered about getting your SPL meter to jump at a bunch of tone curves… back in the day I would be in some bar trying to…)
Bruce in Philly