BIG & BORING…But I Bought Them! - Neumann KH420 speaker review



Welcome back. So you saw in my last video, because I know from the comments that I've got some big Neumann 420 KH. 420s they're called. And everyone's saying to me, what's going on with the Kii Three that you've had. The big, massive Kii that I've had for so long. Well, I've still got them. Yes I've still got the Kii Three Audio BXT System, which is obviously amazing. Use it for mastering. Sounds great. You need one in your life. But my other setup, so this end of the room is for mastering. Have all my mastering gear, have everything set up exactly how I want it for mastering. Why would I change it? And then when I flip my room round, I've got my Dolby Atmos mixing set up. So everything that I need for mixing in Dolby Atmos screens, loads, and loads of speakers.

It's 7.1.4 room. And obviously I've just got some ns10s there for just, so I can do some stereo stuff if I really want to. But that's not really happened yet. So this is my Dolby set up, which is at one end of the room. The other end is my mastering setup. But I've had loads of people ask me. What do the KH 420 sound like the big 420 speakers compared to a lot of people have the 310s, the smaller ones, which I've reviewed before. Link it there. Which sound amazing, the 310s, brilliant three way to have if you haven't got a big room, haven't got a lot of space. But how do these big boys sound?

So you can see, these are fairly big boys and I have these subs to match. So it makes them like a four-way speaker rather than a three-way speaker. They sound great. But the whole reason why I needed them so big because at first I wanted to get the smaller ones. I wanted to get the 310s because obviously they're hell of lot cheaper. And I thought I'd have those going round. But when the guy from Dolby comes over. He has to measure the room. He comes with loads of little mics and he has to make sure that you can get the level of all the speakers and the subs playing at, I think 85dB. So it's pretty loud across all speakers. So if you get like big sub hits, you can get everything. And when I had the smaller ones, I literally couldn't do that. So I had to fork out a little bit more cash, (great) to buy the massive ones. But I'm so happy that I did because they sound so nice.

Like the 310s, they sound fairly flat and boring, right? So I'm saying that because they're not. But they sound like that when you first get them. Because you are not used to them. Once you get used to them and you play a few things through them. And you play all your reference tracks through. You realize how much clarity they've actually got. And how you hear you are hearing things that you basically can't hear on other speakers. Now I can hear on the Kii, totally different sound to the Kii. Because the Kii do a totally different thing with the bass and the sound. You can have the Kii in any room. You can't have these in any room. Need a lot more trapping and a lot more…they're much more lively in the low end. Especially when I've got the subs and everything.

So the room needs more trapping than the Kii. Kii you can buy, you can put them in a rubbish room. They still sound great because they're doing the cardio effect on the bass. So you get more of a directional sound where these just fill the room up. And you can feel the whole room going. They liven the room up. So if you haven't got the space for a massive speaker like this. I definitely wouldn't get it in here. It's fine. You know, I've got massive space and I've got loads of trapping going on. I am going to add a bit more. I think, just because when I'm doing my lineups. I think I could probably get it even better sounding. I want to keep tweaking and tweaking forever, but they do sound really good. They sound better with the subs even in stereo mode basically. Because when you are in Dolby, obviously the subs are doing the, the low frequency effect channel.

But when you are in stereo, then you want to play across the whole thing. And this sub is taking loads of the weight away from this cone here. So instead of this cone, trying to play all the way down to say 20Hz, that's what the job of the sub is. And I always say it in loads of other videos. That's why you should have a sub for three-way speakers, two-way speakers. It's always with two-way speakers. But with three-way speakers, if you get a sub. Then obviously it's everything's got a different place to play. This is doing more high mids. This is doing the low mids. This is doing the subs. This is doing the super high. So everything has its own thing. These have amps across each one. I think inside. So they're just really nice.

They can just handle the sounds so well. And they're so detailed, I love them. I mean, if I think you'll find that they will be not these, but the 310s and even the 120s that I've got as surrounds at the back there. And I've got 80s at the top for doing all my top speakers. They're all so good. They're all. So like similar along. Obviously, you can get more level out of the bigger ones than you can out smaller ones. But the detail and the sound of these speakers is really, really top-notch. And I think you'll like them. I think you'll see them in a lot of studios as go-to standard speaker. Because the translation of them into the real world is really good. And, that's what we want as engineers. We want the translation and that's what you're getting with all these models.

The 120s sound great. Detail in them is just really good. So big thumbs up for me. So happy. I've got them. Yes. They cost me an arm and a leg. I think they're about three and a half grand each. And I've got a load of them and subs extra. And obviously I've got all the surrounds. And ones in the roof. So it wasn't exactly a cheap mission. And so now I've got more speakers than I can point a stick at. But it's great to have a dedicated setup for mixing. And then at the other end of the room, a dedicated section for mastering. Then I'm not changing what I'm doing, my mastering set up. So that's it.

Let's have a look around the back and I'll show you a few of the settings that you can manipulate. So you have this display brightness, which turns the light down on the front at first annoyingly. I had this off and then it took me ages to work out whether the speaker was working or not. So that was a bit of faff bit scary to start with. But that's on full beans there. Then you've got your output levels. This spl that you can do. That's from 114 down to 94, and then you've got an input gain adjust on there as well. Then you've got some acoustic controls, which are your base mid and tops. You can bring those down in levels. So you can balance that off on the back. Then you've got a parametric EQ on here for doing the different frequency ranges. So you can set those up on here too.

Great thing about this, is if you are using Trinnov or SoundID. You can get it sounding good in the room. First with their built in EQ, and then just use a touch of the Trinnov. And that rather than having loads of software doing it. Get their actual inbuilt EQ doing it. Because it'll sound better. There's also an input. You can lift the ground on it too. And that's about it really. It's quite simple. But like I said, if you can get it sounding good off the back first. And then move on to some room correction software. Then you can really tune them up.

Well, so there's my Atmos mix setup and my mastering setup. I'll do a full tour of the whole studio downstairs, upstairs. And so you can see exactly what goes on here. If you want to see that. Let me know in the comments. I'll see you next time. Bye.

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