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Author Topic: JBL's New SRX800 Series Subs - How do they compare?  (Read 19778 times)

Andrew Brubaker

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Re: JBL's New SRX800 Series Subs - How do they compare?
« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2015, 02:08:43 pm »

I received one of my srx828's. 

I would 100% recommend going with the 828 over two kw181's if you can transport them.  I just did some small testing in my garage and the srx sounds much cleaner even when pushed.  I think it would take 3 kw181's to equal one Srx828.  The srx hits deeper and has an overall better sound quality.

The 181 is no slouch and I will still use them for small shows.  I can't wait until my other 828 comes. On back order now.

I had to run the 181's nearly flat out to get anywhere close to the 828, and the 828 was as still a good bit louder and could be felt more. 

I will use the 828 live this weekend and report back.  As of now it's a great sounding sub and worth the size vs price of two separate subs IMO.   

I think the srx728 with proper power packs a little more  punch but I'll take trade off of low power consumption and built in amps for the majority of my gigs.  I should be able too compare the 728 and 828 in the next few weeks but it gets tough comparing active and passive gear.

Just wanted to mention I did the test in srx top mode as well as 100hz to be fair to kw181's.

Mike, have you had a chance to compare the SRX828 vs SRX728?

Also, I'm curious what the 818 vs the kw181 turns out to be. I'm more interested in a single 18 at this point because I need a system that I can carry by myself and take up stairs at some gigs. My 728s are great when I have roll-in access or help but for smaller gigs I'd like the portability of a single 18.
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Mike Santarelli

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Re: JBL's New SRX800 Series Subs - How do they compare?
« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2015, 09:58:21 am »

Mike, have you had a chance to compare the SRX828 vs SRX728?

Also, I'm curious what the 818 vs the kw181 turns out to be. I'm more interested in a single 18 at this point because I need a system that I can carry by myself and take up stairs at some gigs. My 728s are great when I have roll-in access or help but for smaller gigs I'd like the portability of a single 18.

With an itech 12000hd, the srx728 may have a little more punch but it's very close.  I will know for certain next weekend. My second 828 just arrived and I've only run the 728's in pairs. .  Sound quality is very close. I think I prefer the overall sound of the 828.  If I were starting from scratch I'd go with the srx828 but if you already an srx728 with quality amp I'd stay put. For value an quality the srx800 is hard to beat.  I did get into the limiters last gig but sound quality remained intact.  I have heard the srx728 get farty at times but not so much from the 828. I'm sure the DSP has a lot to do with it.

When I compared the srx818 vs kw181 in store the 818 was much better.  I do a weekly gig outdoors in an area about 150 long by 75ft wide. I was using two kw181's center clustered up until a few weeks ago when I got my srx828.  One 828 smashes two kw181's.  The bottom end is much more defined and has the punch you can feel and hear.  The kw181 bass can be heard but not felt IMO.  The kW is a great sounding sub but the srx is much better.

The owner of one of the bigger sound companies in my area was at the show Sunday night and at show a last month for the same band when I used the kw181's.  He immediately noticed the bottom end.  Said it was more defined, punchier, and clear.  I agree. I could still feel the bass 50-75ft from the stage which I could not with the 181.  I think it's going to be insane with the second 828.  Honestly, one works just fine for this venue and styles of music but a second will be the icing on the cake. 

My initial interest started with a big sounding box with little current draw.  I have run into shoddy power using itechs before even though they were on 20 amp lines.  I have no such worries with the srx800.

I would take the srx818 over any similarly priced competitor and even some higher priced boxes like the vrx.  They do have their limits but if used as intended I think most users will be more than happy. 

I'll get back to you once I use both subs Sunday.
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: JBL's New SRX800 Series Subs - How do they compare?
« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2015, 06:25:12 pm »

With an itech 12000hd, the srx728 may have a little more punch but it's very close.  I will know for certain next weekend. My second 828 just arrived and I've only run the 728's in pairs. .  Sound quality is very close. I think I prefer the overall sound of the 828.  If I were starting from scratch I'd go with the srx828 but if you already an srx728 with quality amp I'd stay put. For value an quality the srx800 is hard to beat.  I did get into the limiters last gig but sound quality remained intact.  I have heard the srx728 get farty at times but not so much from the 828. I'm sure the DSP has a lot to do with it.

When I compared the srx818 vs kw181 in store the 818 was much better.  I do a weekly gig outdoors in an area about 150 long by 75ft wide. I was using two kw181's center clustered up until a few weeks ago when I got my srx828.  One 828 smashes two kw181's.  The bottom end is much more defined and has the punch you can feel and hear.  The kw181 bass can be heard but not felt IMO.  The kW is a great sounding sub but the srx is much better.

The owner of one of the bigger sound companies in my area was at the show Sunday night and at show a last month for the same band when I used the kw181's.  He immediately noticed the bottom end.  Said it was more defined, punchier, and clear.  I agree. I could still feel the bass 50-75ft from the stage which I could not with the 181.  I think it's going to be insane with the second 828.  Honestly, one works just fine for this venue and styles of music but a second will be the icing on the cake. 

My initial interest started with a big sounding box with little current draw.  I have run into shoddy power using itechs before even though they were on 20 amp lines.  I have no such worries with the srx800.

I would take the srx818 over any similarly priced competitor and even some higher priced boxes like the vrx.  They do have their limits but if used as intended I think most users will be more than happy. 

I'll get back to you once I use both subs Sunday.

Update??
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Andrew Brubaker

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Re: JBL's New SRX800 Series Subs - How do they compare?
« Reply #23 on: September 15, 2015, 11:28:32 pm »

With an itech 12000hd, the srx728 may have a little more punch but it's very close.  I will know for certain next weekend. My second 828 just arrived and I've only run the 728's in pairs. .  Sound quality is very close. I think I prefer the overall sound of the 828.  If I were starting from scratch I'd go with the srx828 but if you already an srx728 with quality amp I'd stay put. For value an quality the srx800 is hard to beat.  I did get into the limiters last gig but sound quality remained intact.  I have heard the srx728 get farty at times but not so much from the 828. I'm sure the DSP has a lot to do with it.

When I compared the srx818 vs kw181 in store the 818 was much better.  I do a weekly gig outdoors in an area about 150 long by 75ft wide. I was using two kw181's center clustered up until a few weeks ago when I got my srx828.  One 828 smashes two kw181's.  The bottom end is much more defined and has the punch you can feel and hear.  The kw181 bass can be heard but not felt IMO.  The kW is a great sounding sub but the srx is much better.

The owner of one of the bigger sound companies in my area was at the show Sunday night and at show a last month for the same band when I used the kw181's.  He immediately noticed the bottom end.  Said it was more defined, punchier, and clear.  I agree. I could still feel the bass 50-75ft from the stage which I could not with the 181.  I think it's going to be insane with the second 828.  Honestly, one works just fine for this venue and styles of music but a second will be the icing on the cake. 

My initial interest started with a big sounding box with little current draw.  I have run into shoddy power using itechs before even though they were on 20 amp lines.  I have no such worries with the srx800.

I would take the srx818 over any similarly priced competitor and even some higher priced boxes like the vrx.  They do have their limits but if used as intended I think most users will be more than happy. 

I'll get back to you once I use both subs Sunday.

Hey Mike, have you had a chance to compare them yet?
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Steve Garris

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Re: JBL's New SRX800 Series Subs - How do they compare?
« Reply #24 on: September 21, 2015, 12:53:44 pm »


When I compared the srx818 vs kw181 in store the 818 was much better.  I do a weekly gig outdoors in an area about 150 long by 75ft wide. I was using two kw181's center clustered up until a few weeks ago when I got my srx828.  One 828 smashes two kw181's.  The bottom end is much more defined and has the punch you can feel and hear.  The kw181 bass can be heard but not felt IMO.  The kW is a great sounding sub but the srx is much better.



I'm curious, when you did the 818 to KW118 comparison in the store, had the sales rep's  used the volume knobs to match the output of these two speakers? Or perhaps they went in to the networking to increase the gain?

I just purchased (2) 818's, and out of the box they do not match the level of my PRX sub's. I've used KW118's and loved them, so I cannot imagine how the 818's could be louder without the networking changes.
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Mike Santarelli

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Re: JBL's New SRX800 Series Subs - How do they compare?
« Reply #25 on: September 25, 2015, 11:24:37 pm »

I'm curious, when you did the 818 to KW118 comparison in the store, had the sales rep's  used the volume knobs to match the output of these two speakers? Or perhaps they went in to the networking to increase the gain?

I just purchased (2) 818's, and out of the box they do not match the level of my PRX sub's. I've used KW118's and loved them, so I cannot imagine how the 818's could be louder without the networking changes.

Overall volume was as close as we could get it with the constraints involved.  I did use an spl meter on my phone but I don't really trust it anymore since I used a real meter and found my phone was a good bit off.   The kw181's get very loud for such a small box. Kind of scary.  I don't feel the 818 was necessarily louder volume wise, just much fuller and robust. Lower bottom end.  The kW sounds very flat in comparison.  I found it similar at home when I tested the two kW's vs one 828.  The 828 was definitely louder and sounded much better.  I tested at 100hz to be fair.

I love my kw181's but know they are not in the same league as the srx800 in terms of overall sound. 

I love the prx618 and 718 subs as well but I never compared them to the srx800 but feel they would close.  The 800 should be more refined and I'd imagine would sound better in a live setting.  I didn't play with the makeup gain on the subs but did with the mains and it was a huge difference in output.  If you haven't used them live I'd wait until you do to make a final call.  The 618 and 718 are great subs so the 818 might not be a big upgrade but should better overall. 

In response to other questions I have used the 828's enough now to trust that I prefer them to the 728. I did kind of like the box size more on the 728 but it's no biggie.  Output is close but I give the edge to a properly powered 728. Sound quality I prefer the 828.  They are also more responsive in smaller settings. They don't need to be worked as hard to give up the goods.

If I alredy had 728's of my own with a great amp like an itech or similar I'd probably stay put as the speakers are close in performance.  If I were looking into my first set of dual 18's and buying from scratch  I'd go with the 828. I think it wins In sound quality and is probably pound for pound untouchable.

Steve, just thought of this.  I have been running my subs on a mono master channel.  I only send low Frequency instruments to them. I've been using a soundcraft si and the LR and mono master buses work great for this. I have some flexibility and can boost my overall level to the subs if needed.  How are you running your 818's? 
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Steve Garris

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Re: JBL's New SRX800 Series Subs - How do they compare?
« Reply #26 on: September 28, 2015, 01:18:04 pm »

Overall volume was as close as we could get it with the constraints involved.  I did use an spl meter on my phone but I don't really trust it anymore since I used a real meter and found my phone was a good bit off.   The kw181's get very loud for such a small box. Kind of scary.  I don't feel the 818 was necessarily louder volume wise, just much fuller and robust. Lower bottom end.  The kW sounds very flat in comparison.  I found it similar at home when I tested the two kW's vs one 828.  The 828 was definitely louder and sounded much better.  I tested at 100hz to be fair.

I love my kw181's but know they are not in the same league as the srx800 in terms of overall sound. 

I love the prx618 and 718 subs as well but I never compared them to the srx800 but feel they would close.  The 800 should be more refined and I'd imagine would sound better in a live setting.  I didn't play with the makeup gain on the subs but did with the mains and it was a huge difference in output.  If you haven't used them live I'd wait until you do to make a final call.  The 618 and 718 are great subs so the 818 might not be a big upgrade but should better overall. 

In response to other questions I have used the 828's enough now to trust that I prefer them to the 728. I did kind of like the box size more on the 728 but it's no biggie.  Output is close but I give the edge to a properly powered 728. Sound quality I prefer the 828.  They are also more responsive in smaller settings. They don't need to be worked as hard to give up the goods.

If I alredy had 728's of my own with a great amp like an itech or similar I'd probably stay put as the speakers are close in performance.  If I were looking into my first set of dual 18's and buying from scratch  I'd go with the 828. I think it wins In sound quality and is probably pound for pound untouchable.

Steve, just thought of this.  I have been running my subs on a mono master channel.  I only send low Frequency instruments to them. I've been using a soundcraft si and the LR and mono master buses work great for this. I have some flexibility and can boost my overall level to the subs if needed.  How are you running your 818's?

Thanks for the info Mike. I found that I could get the added volume I need for the 818's by simply using both inputs (added about 3 db). I feel the system is better balanced now with my PRX615 tops. I've got the 818's set using the 100 Hz pass filter. I run my tops in "Main" mode which is full-range. I'm going to experiment with the new subs at my gig this coming weekend, trying the 80 Hz filter as well. If you saw my thread on the Lounge forum, I retested the subs using more input signal and much louder than my first test. The db meter showed a higher output and yes, I could hear that lower extension everyone is talking about. I wish I had room for the 828's!
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: JBL's New SRX800 Series Subs - How do they compare?
« Reply #27 on: September 28, 2015, 01:26:44 pm »

I am finding it very interesting that there are a number of posts on various threads here at PSW that refer to  'manipulating' DSP and configuration in order to get higher SPL on the SRX818 and 828. Surely we shouldn't have to do any of this - isn't one the main reasons for choosing powered boxes so that we don't have to overthink things and we can just plug and play (for the most part) ?
Before these SRX threads, I hadn't heard of using compression make-up gain or using both channel inputs in order to get more gain from the system. Does this seem odd to anyone else that we should even have to go there?
My understanding in the past has been that in order to balance the lows to the highs, we would simply use the level pots on the back of the units till balanced. Why is this not sufficient anymore?
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Jamin Lynch

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Re: JBL's New SRX800 Series Subs - How do they compare?
« Reply #28 on: September 28, 2015, 01:38:03 pm »

I am finding it very interesting that there are a number of posts on various threads here at PSW that refer to  'manipulating' DSP and configuration in order to get higher SPL on the SRX818 and 828. Surely we shouldn't have to do any of this - isn't one the main reasons for choosing powered boxes so that we don't have to overthink things and we can just plug and play (for the most part) ?
Before these SRX threads, I hadn't heard of using compression make-up gain or using both channel inputs in order to get more gain from the system. Does this seem odd to anyone else that we should even have to go there?
My understanding in the past has been that in order to balance the lows to the highs, we would simply use the level pots on the back of the units till balanced. Why is this not sufficient anymore?

Give that lady an award

I said a long time ago that it seems more like "you don't have enough rig for the gig". Then I got jumped on. Oh well. I'm glad Debbie could figure it out too
« Last Edit: September 28, 2015, 01:42:38 pm by Jamin Lynch »
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Lyle Williams

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Re: JBL's New SRX800 Series Subs - How do they compare?
« Reply #29 on: September 28, 2015, 04:08:40 pm »

Maybe there has been a bad design assumption, like "line level signal peaks are +22dB" or something like that.

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