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Thread: Small speakers revisited, and we have a new winner: Sony XB-20

  1. #1

    Default Small speakers revisited, and we have a new winner: Sony XB-20

    Tried Bose soundlink mini, Marshal MS-2, XS Hive 2, and lastly (out of desperation or dogged determination) a Sony XB-20.

    Here are the reviews so you guys don't have to spend money like I did:

    - Bose - great sound, 20+ms digital delay, unplayable as a result.
    - Marshal MS-2, weakest sound, with lots of EQ it got close but won't go very loud, it's a 9v battery powered tiny thing from yesteryear, none of the sophisticated stuff found in a Bose or similar type speaker. But it does produce a credible Marshal tone on overdrive if you are into that kind of thing.
    - XS Hive 2 - All the way from Amazon UK, I had high hopes for this one, but it has a noise like a faint string buzz, maybe mine was defective, but it failed my ear test.
    - Sony XB-20 - In their lineup of portable speakers this is the second smallest from the bottom, it has Bose quality sound and no delay. It even has a bass port in the back So DING, DING, DING, we have a winner! Aux in 1/8 stereo jack only though, so need a pedal or pre with a headphone out.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N5V0FVK/

    The Sony sounds as good (and nearly as loud) as my Yamaha THR-10, and that's a hard act to follow, so I'm giving pretty high praise here.

    All of them are under 2 lbs (and about the same size/shape except for the Marshal), nice hard cases are available for the Sony and the Bose, I bought them all, so you don't have to. Enjoy.

    In the pic, the pedal is just there so you have a reference for how tiny it is:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Trinity College TM325 Octave Mandolin (converted to 4-string tenor guitar).
    Eastman MD-605SB, MD-604SB, MD-305, all with Grover 309 tuners.
    Eastwood 4 string electric mandostang, 2x Airline e-mandola (4-string) one strung as an e-OM.
    DSP's: Helix HX Stomp, various Zooms.
    Amps: QSC-K10, DBR-10, THR-10, Sony XB-20.

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  3. #2
    Registered User bbcee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Small speakers revisited, and we have a new winner: Sony XB-2

    How are you using these, Kurt, as an amp for playing out, or as small & accurate studio monitors for recording playback? I'm on the hunt for the latter, so these would be pretty innerestin' if so.
    Last edited by bbcee; Jun-13-2019 at 8:44am.

  4. #3

    Default Re: Small speakers revisited, and we have a new winner: Sony XB-2

    If you have a sub, and are willing to tune it for flat, it could be ok, the clarity is there. But I wouldn't normally mix into something like a Bose or a THR. They may sound great, but don't know if they are carefully tuned to be flat like a studio reference monitor is. The Sony at least had a button to disable bass boost. The Bose did not, it always boosts bass. And none of those tiny speakers goes much below 100 hz, not an issue for mandolin, or even an OM, but needs a sub for more general purpose use.

    My target is live music, so I adjust my sound for how it sounds in a PA. The QSC K10 is my goto there. It is tuned to be flat, and lets me know my live sound well enough to avoid surprises live.

    I would use studio monitors for mixing a recording, that's what they are best at AFAIK. The narrow field means you have to sit right between them to hear the acurate sound. If you want monitors I would buy monitors.

    My purpose for the travel speaker is for use on vacations, hotel rooms and small family gatherings. We are a musical family. I need enough power to keep up with a few singers, and am willing to pay for decent sound in a tiny suitcase-friendly speaker. They have never heard me play electric before, the vacay is in two weeks, and I think I have a usable setup at this point.
    Trinity College TM325 Octave Mandolin (converted to 4-string tenor guitar).
    Eastman MD-605SB, MD-604SB, MD-305, all with Grover 309 tuners.
    Eastwood 4 string electric mandostang, 2x Airline e-mandola (4-string) one strung as an e-OM.
    DSP's: Helix HX Stomp, various Zooms.
    Amps: QSC-K10, DBR-10, THR-10, Sony XB-20.

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    bbcee 

  6. #4

    Default Re: Small speakers revisited, and we have a new winner: Sony XB-2

    FYI, Vacay was a success. I ended up using a zoom pedal directly connected to the speaker (1/4 mono to 1/8 stereo cable). Even with the impedance mismatch it sounded great.

    I took the emandola and accompanied some decent singers with powerful voices no problem. Exactly what I had hoped for.
    Trinity College TM325 Octave Mandolin (converted to 4-string tenor guitar).
    Eastman MD-605SB, MD-604SB, MD-305, all with Grover 309 tuners.
    Eastwood 4 string electric mandostang, 2x Airline e-mandola (4-string) one strung as an e-OM.
    DSP's: Helix HX Stomp, various Zooms.
    Amps: QSC-K10, DBR-10, THR-10, Sony XB-20.

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  8. #5

    Default Re: Small speakers revisited, and we have a new winner: Sony XB-2

    Quote Originally Posted by bbcee View Post
    How are you using these, Kurt, as an amp for playing out, or as small & accurate studio monitors for recording playback? I'm on the hunt for the latter, so these would be pretty innerestin' if so.
    Try the Adam A3x. Might be a bit pricy at 350 each, but man are they great for a nearfield system.
    Girouard Custom Studio A Oval
    P.W. Crump OM-III

  9. The following members say thank you to Gary Leonard for this post:

    bbcee 

  10. #6
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Small speakers revisited, and we have a new winner: Sony XB-2

    IMHO, links to the manufacturer site is more useful than Amazon
    which only funnel a buy it from them not learn anything about it..

    https://www.sony.com/electronics/wir...eakers/srs-xb2
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  11. #7
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Small speakers . Other ones

    I bought a Roland Mobile AC, I plug into it directly, not with a phone bluetoothsource, and all that..

    It runs off flashlight batteries when no AC for the wall wart is around..


    A few years back I saw one used as a stage monitor by Evan Marshall he laid it on it's back on the floor..

    about the size of an old portable radio.. .. from the neolithic era..





    ....
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

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