Tag Archives for " Yamaha "

New Music Gear Monday: Yamaha HPH-MT8 “NS10 Inspired” Headphones

yamaha-MT8 headphonesFor a generation of engineers prior to their discontinuation in 2001, Yamaha NS-10′s were a monitor fixture in every control room, no matter how big or small. They weren’t used because they sounded good, mind you, but quite the opposite – they sounded rather ordinary.  That’s why it’s a bit of a mystery that the company’s new HPH-MT-8 headphones bear the moniker “NS-10 inspired.”

NS-10’s were never particularly accurate (legendary mixer Bob Clearmountain started the trend of putting tissue paper over the tweeter to tame the high-frequency response), so when Yamaha touts the MT8 as its “most accurate headphone set ever offered” you have to wonder whether its marketing and engineering departments are on the same page. That said, with the number of home studio engineers relying on headphones more and more to keep the noise level down, the need for an accurate headphone that closely mirrors real world acoustic monitoring is greater than ever. Still, you’d probably never hear “most accurate” and NS-10 in the same sentence from anyone that used them, but that dichotomy of perception makes me want to give these a try all the more.

Now for the tech: the MT8 features custom 45mm drivers with a 15Hz to 28kHz frequency response, built with copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils, and neodymium magnets. Other features include a detachable straight 10-foot cable and coiled 5-foot cable (you see this combination supplied with more and more headphones these days), corrosion-resistant gold-plated stereo mini plug and quarter-inch stereo adapter.

The Yamaha HPH-MT8 has a street price of $199. A less expensive version, the HPH-MT5, is also available at $99. There’s more information on Yamaha’s dedicated webpage. If monitoring on NS-10s is your thing, then you probably want to check these out.

New Music Gear Monday: Yamaha TransAcoustic Guitar

Yamaha TransAcoustic guitarOK, this is pretty wild. What if you want to add some extra ambience to your acoustic guitar, but hate the idea of plugging into an amp or adding effects pedals. If that’s the case, then the Yamaha TransAcoustic guitar might be the thing for you.

The Yamaha TransAcoustic guitar lets you add reverb and chorus to the guitar sound, but incredibly uses no external amplification or processing to do so. The way it works is that an actuator installed on the inner surface of the guitar back vibrates in response to the vibrations of the strings. The vibrations of the actuator are then conveyed some DSP, then back to the body of the guitar and to the air in and around the guitar body, generating authentic reverb and chorus sounds from inside the body.

Three knobs let you adjust the degree of effect applied and as well as the volume level at the line out jack. There’s one control for Reverb (the reverb type automatically switches from Room to Hall at the 12 o’clock position), and another for Chorus, and finally an on/off – Line Out Volume Control called a TA Switch (for TransAcoustic, I guess). Pressing the TA Switch for more than 0.3 seconds activates the TA function. When a cable is connected to the line-out jack in the strap knob, the volume can be adjusted by rotating the TA knob.

The TransAcoustic guitar is pretty new so there’s not much info available on it yet, but you can find some here on the Yamaha Europe site. There’s also no U.S. price yet, but the European one is around $1,500.