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Author Topic: Should I hire someone to help me with speaker setup or just go with this?  (Read 3155 times)

Ben.Hunsicker

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I lead worship at a mid-size church that has put a good deal of money renovating our old gymnasium into a contemporary facility. Here is a rough drawing of the layout:

As you can see, we play to the middle third of the gym (which is still a decent size area ~30'x60'.) One of the best investments made was the addition of these really thick, floor-to-ceiling curtains that come out on tracks and cut the gym in to thirds. They absorb a massive amount of sound, and really help to deaden what would be a horribly live-sounding room. There's still a bit of natural reverb, but it sounds more like a club than a gym with the curtains in place. The consensus is that the curtains were a great idea, but the original speaker placement was a poor decision. Here is a diagram of the original speaker placement (above) and the current/modified placement (below):


As you can see in the original design, there were 2 1x15" Yorkville speakers flown above the pulpit pointed at the 3-4th rows. They also flew 2 1x15" Peavy speakers (and ran them on a delay) over the last row of chairs and pointed them at the back wall! Only the people in the 3-4th rows ever said the sound was decent. We got complaints from every other section of the room about being unable to hear anything. Also, there was no subwoofer in the original plan, so someone built us a 2x15" sub out of a wooden box, and set it to the left of the stage. It puts out minimal low end, and no one is really sure of the wattage.

When I got there, I made a few changes. First off, I unplugged the "delayed" pair of speakers. We don't use them at all. I also found these 2 1x15" JBL powered speakers on really old-rickety tripods in a closet and put them to use:


The coverage has been greatly improved, but we have to drag them out onto the floor every week.

Anyway, we've been wanting to go to something more professional looking and more permanently seated (strongly considering Yamaha's DSR series. I've A/B's them with their JBL and QSC counterparts and like the Yamaha's myself. I have not heard the EV's, Peavy's or Carvins.)

I was looking at the 1x18" subs and pairing them with the 2x15" mains. I am thinking of stacking them on either side of the stage (where the boxed 'X" is on the diagram.) Before I pulled the trigger though, I just wanted to see if anyone out there thinks this would be a bad idea? My reasoning is that with the current setup of triangulating the JBL's (using the Yorkvilles for fills only at about half the volume), we've gotten a much more consistent sound. Stepping up the game with decent subs and taller mains to reinforce what the JBL's were doing seems like the practical solution. My budget is around $4k.

Thanks for any suggestions and honest discussion!
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Bob L. Wilson

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Re: Should I hire someone to help me with speaker setup or just go with this?
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2013, 04:18:28 pm »


I DON'T WANT TO BELONG TO ANY CLUB THAT WILL ACCEPT PEOPLE LIKE ME AS A MEMBER". Groucho Marx

1)You don't want the services of any contractor that says they can do this job for $4K.
2)The coverage on the Yorkvilles can't be as bad as the yellow color indicates unless they are: hurt, aimed crazy, or the horns are oriented the wrong way. Get them down, then check, test, repair, redeploy properly, and reevaluate. Given model number and how high off the floor, one can speculate about coverage vs installation angle, but the only way to proceed from those speculations is install, evaluate, iterate.
3)No way the coverage on Eons is that green area. If a worse performing major brand active speaker exists than early generations of JBL Eons I have not had the displeasure to hear them. Attach ropes go fishing.
4)The people are probably hearing plenty but they can't understand what they are hearing.
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Josh Daws

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Re: Should I hire someone to help me with speaker setup or just go with this?
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2013, 08:12:12 pm »

I DON'T WANT TO BELONG TO ANY CLUB THAT WILL ACCEPT PEOPLE LIKE ME AS A MEMBER". Groucho Marx

1)You don't want the services of any contractor that says they can do this job for $4K.
2)The coverage on the Yorkvilles can't be as bad as the yellow color indicates unless they are: hurt, aimed crazy, or the horns are oriented the wrong way. Get them down, then check, test, repair, redeploy properly, and reevaluate. Given model number and how high off the floor, one can speculate about coverage vs installation angle, but the only way to proceed from those speculations is install, evaluate, iterate.
3)No way the coverage on Eons is that green area. If a worse performing major brand active speaker exists than early generations of JBL Eons I have not had the displeasure to hear them. Attach ropes go fishing.
4)The people are probably hearing plenty but they can't understand what they are hearing.

not to mention current phasing issues and mismatched speakers...
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Tom Young

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Re: Should I hire someone to help me with speaker setup or just go with this?
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2013, 09:19:40 pm »

The consensus is that the curtains were a great idea, but the original speaker placement was a poor decision.

Yup. You all got real lucky when someone put in the curtains. But are they fire treated/rated ?

Quote
Anyway, we've been wanting to go to something more professional looking and more permanently seated (strongly considering Yamaha's DSR series. I've A/B's them with their JBL and QSC counterparts and like the Yamaha's myself. I have not heard the EV's, Peavy's or Carvins.)

I also like the Yamaha's. The others may be fine depending on model and how well they cover.  Avoid Carvin at all cost.

Quote
I was looking at the 1x18" subs and pairing them with the 2x15" mains. I am thinking of stacking them on either side of the stage (where the boxed 'X" is on the diagram.)

Ground stacked invariably means that it will be too loud in front in order for it to be loud enough in the rear.  You should fly whatever you decide on (because it places the speakers more equidistant to the listeners, not to mention that they don't need to be moved, etc) but you must not undertake this on your own. You need a structural engineer and an installer with experience with this. This is a life-safety *and* a liability issue.
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Brad Weber

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Re: Should I hire someone to help me with speaker setup or just go with this?
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2013, 08:00:51 am »

As you can see, we play to the middle third of the gym (which is still a decent size area ~30'x60'.) One of the best investments made was the addition of these really thick, floor-to-ceiling curtains that come out on tracks and cut the gym in to thirds. They absorb a massive amount of sound, and really help to deaden what would be a horribly live-sounding room. There's still a bit of natural reverb, but it sounds more like a club than a gym with the curtains in place.
Tom brought up a good point on the material being fire retardant and a related aspect is if they impact egress, block sight of fire exit signage, etc.  Hopefully whoever recommended, sold and installed them addressed those issues.

The consensus is that the curtains were a great idea, but the original speaker placement was a poor decision. Here is a diagram of the original speaker placement (above) and the current/modified placement (below):
I agree with Bob that while the sketches may provide some idea of the location and aiming of the speakers, they do not accurately reflect the actual coverage of the speakers.

As you can see in the original design, there were 2 1x15" Yorkville speakers flown above the pulpit pointed at the 3-4th rows. They also flew 2 1x15" Peavy speakers (and ran them on a delay) over the last row of chairs and pointed them at the back wall! Only the people in the 3-4th rows ever said the sound was decent. We got complaints from every other section of the room about being unable to hear anything. Also, there was no subwoofer in the original plan, so someone built us a 2x15" sub out of a wooden box, and set it to the left of the stage. It puts out minimal low end, and no one is really sure of the wattage.

When I got there, I made a few changes. First off, I unplugged the "delayed" pair of speakers. We don't use them at all. I also found these 2 1x15" JBL powered speakers on really old-rickety tripods in a closet and put them to use:
It might help if you could provide the actual models of the Yorkville and Peavey speakers as well as information such as how high they were flown, what other related equipment you have (mixer, processing, amplifier(s), etc.) and whether you mix in mono or 'stereo'.

Anyway, we've been wanting to go to something more professional looking and more permanently seated (strongly considering Yamaha's DSR series. I've A/B's them with their JBL and QSC counterparts and like the Yamaha's myself. I have not heard the EV's, Peavy's or Carvins.)
When looking at these have you been considering their pattern and the resulting coverage, how they mount, how you would get power to them, etc?

I was looking at the 1x18" subs and pairing them with the 2x15" mains.
Unless you know you absolutely need the couple of extra dB of output then since you are planning on also using subwoofers there would usually be no reason to use a dual 15" main.  Because of the subs you would not really benefit from the extended low frequency response of the DSR215 while since it has no fly points or pole cup and weighs 110lbs., it is pretty much limited to being ground stacked.  In fact for portable use with subwoofers many would likely consider the single 12" driver DSR112 version since it weighs less than half as much as the dual 15" version and can be flown or stacked.
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Ben.Hunsicker

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Re: Should I hire someone to help me with speaker setup or just go with this?
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2013, 10:32:13 am »

I DON'T WANT TO BELONG TO ANY CLUB THAT WILL ACCEPT PEOPLE LIKE ME AS A MEMBER". Groucho Marx

1)You don't want the services of any contractor that says they can do this job for $4K.
2)The coverage on the Yorkvilles can't be as bad as the yellow color indicates unless they are: hurt, aimed crazy, or the horns are oriented the wrong way. Get them down, then check, test, repair, redeploy properly, and reevaluate. Given model number and how high off the floor, one can speculate about coverage vs installation angle, but the only way to proceed from those speculations is install, evaluate, iterate.
3)No way the coverage on Eons is that green area. If a worse performing major brand active speaker exists than early generations of JBL Eons I have not had the displeasure to hear them. Attach ropes go fishing.
4)The people are probably hearing plenty but they can't understand what they are hearing.

1) Since our budget is so low, we are pretty much forced to DIY.
2) Coverage shown is in no way approximate, more of just a basic visual representation.
3) See (2)
4) I agree.
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Ben.Hunsicker

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Re: Should I hire someone to help me with speaker setup or just go with this?
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2013, 10:36:23 am »

Yup. You all got real lucky when someone put in the curtains. But are they fire treated/rated ?

I also like the Yamaha's. The others may be fine depending on model and how well they cover.  Avoid Carvin at all cost.

Ground stacked invariably means that it will be too loud in front in order for it to be loud enough in the rear.  You should fly whatever you decide on (because it places the speakers more equidistant to the listeners, not to mention that they don't need to be moved, etc) but you must not undertake this on your own. You need a structural engineer and an installer with experience with this. This is a life-safety *and* a liability issue.


Yes, they have been fire-treated. One of the reasons (I should have mentioned) on going with the 215's with the 1x18's is the ability to move them outside. We do an annual outdoor event and have always had to rent a PA for $500. The YAMAHA setup is in hope to move them outdoors and have decent coverage for the stage area, while still maintaining a decent setup indoors. I know this thinking won't make me any friends here, because you want to match the speakers to the venue, but we won't be able to fly anything outside.
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Jason Lucas

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Re: Should I hire someone to help me with speaker setup or just go with this?
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2013, 12:31:44 pm »


Yes, they have been fire-treated. One of the reasons (I should have mentioned) on going with the 215's with the 1x18's is the ability to move them outside. We do an annual outdoor event and have always had to rent a PA for $500. The YAMAHA setup is in hope to move them outdoors and have decent coverage for the stage area, while still maintaining a decent setup indoors. I know this thinking won't make me any friends here, because you want to match the speakers to the venue, but we won't be able to fly anything outside.

I see no reason to use 2x15s with a sub. Get a decent pair of 12s to go with the 18 and use the right size amps. Need more? Get more (of the same) cabs...
« Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 02:35:10 pm by Jason Lucas »
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Brad Weber

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Re: Should I hire someone to help me with speaker setup or just go with this?
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2013, 01:28:29 pm »

One of the reasons (I should have mentioned) on going with the 215's with the 1x18's is the ability to move them outside. We do an annual outdoor event and have always had to rent a PA for $500. The YAMAHA setup is in hope to move them outdoors and have decent coverage for the stage area, while still maintaining a decent setup indoors. I know this thinking won't make me any friends here, because you want to match the speakers to the venue, but we won't be able to fly anything outside.
I'm not sure I follow.  The DSR112, DSR115 and DSR215 seem to all have the same horn and same basic pattern so there would not seem to be much difference between them in terms of coverage.
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Samuel Rees

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Re: Should I hire someone to help me with speaker setup or just go with this?
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2013, 03:52:54 pm »

I see no reason to use 2x15s with a sub. Get a decent pair of 12s to go with the 18 and use the right size amps. Need more? Get more (of the same) cabs...

I don't think that is a conclusion follows. Not to say that anyone shouldn't get 12s or something else, but SRX725s and 718s/728s is pretty tried and true configuration and 725s obv. have 2x15"s. They should focus on things like coverage, SPL, genre, budget, amps / processing, and other factors instead of making a generic conclusion about 2x15s.
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