fbpx
Skip to content Skip to footer

Yamaha NS10s – The Story

In the world of studio monitors, there are few products that have been as ubiquitous or as enduring as the Yamaha NS10. First introduced in 1978, the NS10 quickly became the monitor of choice for mixing engineers around the world thanks to its flat frequency response and ability to reveal even the smallest defects in a mix.

Despite its popularity, the NS10 has always been something of a controversial product. Love them or hate them, there’s no denying that the Yamaha NS10 has played a major role in shaping the sound of popular music over the past four decades. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the history of the NS10 and some of the reasons why it remains such a popular choice among producers and engineers today.

The Origins of the NS10

The Yamaha NS10 was introduced in 1978 as a near-field monitor for use in professional recording studios. It was designed to complement Yamaha’s then-flagship studio monitor, the NS1000, which was intended for use as a mid-field or main monitor.

The NS1000 was ahead of its time in terms of both design and sound quality, but it had one major flaw; it was too large and expensive for most small studios. The NS10 was Yamaha’s answer to this problem. By using a smaller cabinet and driver configuration, they were able to create a monitor that could be used in smaller spaces without sacrificing too much in terms of sound quality.

The original Yamaha NS10 featured a 10″ woofer and 1″ tweeter, with a crossover frequency of 2.5kHz. The cabinets were made from MDF and finished with textured vinyl, giving them a distinctively industrial look. One of the most iconic features of the NS10 is its yellow conical foam pads, which were designed to isolate the speaker from vibrations.

The sound of the NS10 is often described as “punchy” or “analytical.” Thanks to its flat frequency response and accurate transient response, it’s easy to hear even small defects in a mix when listening on NS10s. This can be both a blessing and a curse; while it’s great for getting your mix sounding tight and polished, it can also be very frustrating when you’re trying to make progress on a track that just doesn’t seem to be coming together.

Why Are NS10s Still Popular Today?

In spite of their many flaws, Yamaha NS10s remain one of the most popular choices for studio monitors among electronic music producers. There are two main reasons for this; firstly, their unique sonic character is prized by many producers for its ability to reveal mix problems that might otherwise go undetected. Secondly, there is simply a huge amount of used equipment available on the market thanks to their widespread popularity throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

Go Forth, Rebel Artist.

While they may not be everyone’s cup of tea, there’s no denying that Yamaha NS10s have played a major role in shaping the sound of popular music over the past four decades. Thanks to their flat frequency response and accurate transient response, they’re easy to hear even small defects in a mix when listening on NS10s. This can be both a blessing and a curse; while it’s great for getting your mix sounding tight and polished, it can also be very frustrating when you’re trying to make progress on a track that just doesn’t seem to be coming together. Ultimately, whether or not you choose to use Yamaha NS10s in your studio is up to you; but if you do decide to give them a try, we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what they have to offer.