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YAMAHA DZR10 mini review

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Goerge Thomas:
Yamaha DZR10 Mini (verbose) Review:

Everybody is familiar with the DZR series here, but not many reviews exist of them on the forums. Just from a few DJ websites or retail website sale reviews. Iím the type of person who will read every scrap of review online, every forum post, every YouTube video to help give me confidence on many of my audio purchases through the years, so this is written in a way that would please me as I was going through my search of what to buy.

Iíve been on the search for a jack of all trades compact utility speaker for years. Up until recently, I have been stocking up on the Yamaha DSR112s that everyone knows from being one of the more famously high SPL compact boxes, punching above its retail priced weight class for many years. However, these have been discontinued for a while now and are harder and harder to find, even secondhand, let alone concerns about out-of-warranty repairs on things like the amp modules, even if failures are few and far between.

We send these DSRs out as rentals and use them as SOS solutions for bands, DJs, corporate work, and more. They are built well, loud as hell, easy to get vocals above a mix for live music, and have been fairly reliable across the board.

The 112s are a money maker and a great utility box. Unfortunately, along with their age, they do have quite a bit of high-frequency presence that you can dial back; the single handle is awkward with a handle on top, which makes placing them onto a stand less than ideal by yourself and no dual pole socket for tilting them down. Most famously of all, these things have pretty much zero low-frequency output and must be paired with subs in my mind for every event unless it is light background music or speech or acoustic only. I think these opinions are pretty well shared across the community. We sold our SRX812p boxes, our QSC K12 boxes, and our EV ETX12p boxes for the DSRs for dollar per dollar return.

Now enter the DZR series. Debated by multiple people many times if this was the true successor or an up-market shift from the DSR series. Specifications are impressive, but we all know specifications are a marketing game at best. I donít own any 10-inch boxes because up until now I felt that even for side fills, it was more beneficial to our company for versatility and flexibility to own more of the 12-inch powered compact boxes across the board.

Our first one came in last week as we wait for more to arrive. As always, highly recommend forum member Mike Pyle for all of your dealer needs including Yamaha.

Yamaha was running a special that made a pair of these incredibly attractive with Yamaha factory covers included shipped to our doorstep.

First impressions: very handsome corporate look box with the fabric grill, great design with a very solid box shape to be used as floor monitors as well as FOH and side fills, and very stable in the monitor position at that instead of just an afterthought. Extremely compact size. Much better handle placement and versatility options.

Easy to throw up onto a stand without thinking about it anywhere anytime. Solid input options and connectivity on the rear. The fit and finish seem durable and impeccable with no rattles or obvious vulnerabilities of things that might get damaged outside of the fabric grill. These are packed very well from Yamaha directly with no concerns of shipping damage. We did forgo Dante as we donít utilize it as a weekend warrior sound company whatsoever.

The factory Yamaha covers are very thoughtfully designed allowing you to keep the covers on and unzip the front for acoustically transparent material but still protect the rest of the box including that previously mentioned delicate foam grill. Clever tricks to access the rear panel while in use with even a light sprinkling of unexpected rain not sending you running for trash bags as the cover used a small tent to protect the amp and connections in use while allowing full airflow with the built-in cooling fans instead of passive cooling only on the previous DSRs.

The cover allows access to both as side and top handle and includes a built-in cable pouch for the power cable which is very appreciated. My only negative comment about the covers is that they do not enclose the entire speaker and leave the bottom open and do not include Velcro to keep the cover secured around the bottom during transit. After extensive testing, the amplifier hardly gets warm and stays almost entirely silent even under full load. As always, Yamahaís warranty after you register is nothing short of stellar and gives me the utmost confidence in their reliability for the next 5 to 10 years. So far, so good, right?

How does the damn thing sound! More details. You are too wordy blah blah blah. Okay fine. Letís go.

There are many scientific terms to describe frequency response and tonality on speakers particularly in this lower-priced category. I did not use measurement equipment on these, just my ears.

Firstly, these are NOT Meyer flat boxes nor do they pretend to be. But they also donít carry the over exaggerated yet not entirely always disliked high-frequency shine that the DSRs do. These do not have too much happening detectable EQ-wise while in their live mode I had to tweak to have my test tracks on to get them sounding just right. No overly exaggerated lows or muddy mid-range.

Truthfully even with just one box crossed over at 90 Hz used with a single 18-inch powered JBL sub, I was absolutely thrilled at the smooth reproduction of my test tracks that didnít change whatsoever from low level up to genuinely downright impressive maximum output level.

There was no ear stress, fatigue, harshness, or signs that even near maximum output the box was working hard sonically. Whatís really impressive is that even though these are 10-inch boxes and are paired side-by-side with my inventory of 12-inch DSRs, through the entire spectrum believe it or not these have more low-end extension.

On lower-volume tracks I find a surprisingly large amount of low-frequency energy available for canned music in a warm sound for acoustic-only shows that will be welcome and that is not running full range. These will never be used without subs except for very select situations but itís amazing the amount of output low end-wise that these achieve through the entire spectrum while maintaining smooth clarity in a very pleasing profile that makes me feel like Iím sitting in front of my high-fidelity studio reference monitors. Some people might not enjoy that profile and might be looking for more of a bright or mid-forward sound or wish for something more flat.

Personally, I cannot overstate how pleased I am with their performance right out of the box listening to everything from classic rock to jazz to electronic and classical. All of the nuances that I am searching for in this music I know like the back of my hand having listened to them thousands of times over the last 15 years were heard but not over exaggerated and had me wishing I could bring this inside my house to listen to continually for the next few hours with how good everything sounded through it for reference playback.

It remains to be seen how well these will cut through a live mix with a full band but we will find out in the next two months. I think these are an excellent addition to my inventory and are my true Swiss Army knife box to replace the aging yet loved DSRs.

Forget their maximum stated decibel rating. In practice, inside my workshop, I would hazard on listening alone side by side that these provide 75 to 80% of the output of the larger DSR112 but with much more pleasing characteristics at first listen and more LF extension all around, all while being able to fit into a Mini Cooper or SMART car with ease if needed and at a price that is a damn good value with a warranty that is solid.

The internal DSP is very intuitive, easy to use, and powerful for what you might need. The internal delay and crossover variability will get the most use in my company as these get deployed and no longer need extra steps to process as delays anymore at events. The screen is easy to see, the encoder knob feels solid and settings including volume changes do not take effect until you push the encoder knob into confirm which helps prevent live mistakes but also means you should play with these in the workshop before you do it in the wild.

Yes, there is USB to update firmware and save settings which could be nice for a larger inventory but I donít see myself using these features often if ever.

Thatís a win for me. For the price I give these a solid 9.5 out of 10 for my initial impressions and only donít give it a 10 out of 10 because itís not a coaxial design or has a massive high-frequency driver with low crossover like some of the RCF boxes nor is the price cheaper. However, I donít think any of those things are necessary but thereís always room for improvement. If you are able to pick up a pair on sale I think you would be hard-pressed to find anything better in this price range for this size class that is so versatile.

I clearly prefer the sound of these so much more heavily over the 12-inch powered JBL SRX 812/VRX932 series, the EVETX 12 series, and the QSC K12 series. All of which are venerable contenders that have made tons of money for companies across the world due to their popularity and success. The DZR12 also follows this winning formula with more output at a larger size and higher price. I do feel the DZR12 and DSR112 are equally matched for output for what itís worth. I prefer the DZR sound to the DSR but the DSR are cheaper and less fragile to me for rentals.

I am incredibly impressed and would recommend these as a replacement to anybody looking for a Swiss Army knife box to use as live stage monitors or weddings, parties, any kind of small to medium event DJs, corporate events, live bands as FOH with the appropriate amount of subs used with them and front fills and side fills any day standalone.

Thanks for listening.


Goerge Thomas:
Any questions, please ask!

Bob Stone:

--- Quote from: Goerge Thomas on April 23, 2024, 12:19:32 AM ---Any questions, please ask!

--- End quote ---

How many pages would be a non-mini review be? :D

Scott Bolt:
Great review.

Still lovin on my DSR112's, but I can easily see the DZR10's as my next speaker when I do retire my venerable DSR's.

Dave Garoutte:
Shouldn't this be in the reviews section?


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