Yamaha DXR10 vs. DXR12 – comparison incl. audio samples

  • Hi guys,
    since many KPA users rely on Yamaha´s DXR series as active FRFR monitors, many potential buyers ask themselves whether to get the DXR12 or the DXR10. I got myself a pair of DXR12s for an unbeatable price 2 years ago and I have been using them in a studio and rehearsal room. However, I always asked myself if the DXR10s might have been the better choice. I never really had the opportunity to compare the 2 monitors directly before. However I met a KPA user from my own town who recently bought the DXR10 so this was a perfect opportunity for a little comparison. So we met at my studio and had another guitar player and potential KPA and DXR users come along with an “unbalanced” opinion.


    We placed both DXRs next to each other on speaker stands inside my studio room and hooked both monitors up to my digital mixer so that switching monitors was quickly possible without interruption. I prepared some audio clips inside my DAW including some clean, crunch and high gain tones as well a complete mix sample and played those to both monitors. To get an impression of the sonic differences between both DXRs, I tried to capture the sound with a neutral LDC mic at a distance of 45 cm angled at the point between the woofer and the tweeter of each DXR. Of course this kind of “measurement” is not suitable for judging the overall sound, but we all agreed that it nicely represents the sonic differences between both monitors. In fact all three participants came roughly to the same conclusions so i would say it is a little more representative than just my own personal opinion.


    So what were our findings and which one did we like better? This is really tougher than I thought. First, both systems sound very good and you probably won´t go wrong with either of them.


    The DXR12 sounds fuller, more “open”, more “HIFI” sounding and a bit closer to my near field monitors. For guitar signals it has a tendency that the low end is a little bit over pronounced. This might pose a problem in a rehearsal or live situation. However the integrated high pass filter works very effective when set to “100 Hz”. We preferred the DXR12 on the full range mix, acoustic, and clean tones as well as the high gain metal and solo tones.


    The DXR10 sounds more mid focused. It is less “HIFI” sounding but also less over pronounced in the low end. It will probably cut the mix a little better in band situations with more difficult sonic structures. However the DXR10 also has a tendency to sound a bit more “boxy” with more nasal mids. While it made the crunch and mid gain tones sound more interesting this might be a problem when using tones with very strong or characterful mids. Another advantage is that the DXR10 has less weight and smaller dimensions.


    Using 2 Monitors
    Many players consider getting two monitors for a stereo setup. I have been using my 2 DXR12s in the way that I place one of them in a traditional floor monitor position and the other on a speaker stand a little sideways from me, aiming at the rest of the band. This helps the other band members to hear you little bit better than by just using the angled floor position. While i really like my setup I always thought that there might still be room for improvement. As a result of our comparison “DXR10 vs. DXR12”, we all came to the conclusion that the answer might just be “DXR10 + DXR12!!!”. The combination of both monitors sounded extremely good. I am not big fan of superlatives but I would say that this has been the best guitar sound I have ever heard. Both monitors complement each other perfectly. Maybe this still needs more investigation with direct comparisons to 2 x DXR12 and 2 x DXR10 but I really think I am going to trade one of my DRX12s for DXR10 and use this combination.
    Conclusion:
    If getting only one monitor, I would go for the DXR12 for heavier music, full range music and clean/acoustic tones. For mid gain stuff and if size and weight matter much, go for the DXR10. If getting 2 monitors, seriously consider a mixed pair.


  • Thanks for the report... very interesing findings. Need to check the 12&10 combination myself as I'm currently using 2 DXR10 :)

    MJT Strats / PRS Guitars / Many DIY Guitars -- Kemper Profiler Rack / Kemper Remote / InEar

  • I have the DXR 8 and is realy satisfied with small and low weight. soundwise its more enaugh for me, cause i use in-ear, and for homepractice its perfect. i bought Kemper mainly for less to carry, and simple live use :)
    I can make some sound samples

  • I seem to be in the minority, but I just don't feel enough bottom end from my DXR10. I've had it for quite a while, but have barely used it, as the opportunities to play out have always had other options. I used it last Saturday and was very disappointed. My friend was playing through a Peavey with a 15" speaker, and his tone was better than anything I could dial in using my lunchbox and the DXR. Unfortunately, weight is a big issue for me, so beefier speakers are generally out of the question...

    Go for it now. The future is promised to no one. - Wayne Dyer

  • I seem to be in the minority, but I just don't feel enough bottom end from my DXR10. I've had it for quite a while, but have barely used it, as the opportunities to play out have always had other options. I used it last Saturday and was very disappointed. My friend was playing through a Peavey with a 15" speaker, and his tone was better than anything I could dial in using my lunchbox and the DXR. Unfortunately, weight is a big issue for me, so beefier speakers are generally out of the question...


    If the DXR12 is no option due to the higher weight, i would hook up the DXR10 to the monitor out and use the monitor out eq to boost the low end. Since the DXRs can put out 1100 Watts, the speakers should be able to handle some serious low end boost.

  • If the DXR12 is no option due to the higher weight, i would hook up the DXR10 to the monitor out and use the monitor out eq to boost the low end. Since the DXRs can put out 1100 Watts, the speakers should be able to handle some serious low end boost.


    I tried boosting the bass but it just wasn't tight.

    Go for it now. The future is promised to no one. - Wayne Dyer

  • @Zappledan


    I use my Dxr10 positioned like a wedge monitor, but with the switches in full range mode. Depending on the sounds you are using, Pure Cab may make a big difference.


    I was using it as a wedge and in full range mode, but it just sounded boxy to me. I run Pure Cab around 4.5.

    Go for it now. The future is promised to no one. - Wayne Dyer

  • As a follow up to this, I A/B'd my DXR10 and my Fishman Loudbox Artist. Surprisingly, the Fishman sounded better. I took it with me to the same place where I was disappointed with the DXR, and the Fishman actually sounded decent. This opened my eyes, as I was getting an entirely different take on the rigs I've been using. I think my studio monitors, which is what I'm mostly listening to, are far too mid heavy. The Fishman would probably not hold up under that type use, but it made me realize that I need a really good monitor. I might have to splurge on a CLR Neo.

    Go for it now. The future is promised to no one. - Wayne Dyer

  • Just got the DXR12 - set as floor wedge, but DXR switches as follow: No HPF, D-Contour = FOH (Bass & Treble boost)


    Kemper Main Output EQ:
    Bass = 0
    Middle = - 3.1 ( removes the nasal tendency, but leave warm and clear sound like fender)
    Treble = +1.8
    Presence = +1.2


    Volume Fender = +4 (input 2 - Low); with DXR Vol = 3 o'clock ( close to "-8" setting)
    Like this, my Fender Blues Reissue Dlx sounds pretty close to the DXR12, with my own sampled profile.


    Find the DXR12 much more 'percussive'/responsive than the Yamaha HS80m monitors - responds faster to string attacks as well. Experience playing through DXR12 is pretty much same as through Fender amp.