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Author Topic: Ideas for Subwoofer Upgrade  (Read 7502 times)

Aaron Carian

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Ideas for Subwoofer Upgrade
« on: February 24, 2017, 05:24:29 pm »

Hello, I am a new member and this is my first post, for what its worth.

I currently have a really expensive hobby that I am working on turning into a side business.  Up to this point I have primarily been providing equipment for one band that travels around a bit and does some fairly decent sized outdoor shows 2000-5000 people about 10 times a year.  The genre is varied from classic rock, through country, blues and all the way to some hard rock.  The SPL level is what I would consider responsibly loud for an outdoor show.  Around 100-105dBC at mix position 75-90' away.  I am not trying to physically damage people but who really wants to hear the drunk guy sing next to them?  I am working on staring to book some local festivals/events that fall into the same wheelhouse.

This year I have upgraded my mains to JBL 4883/4886.  With 2 x 4883 and 6 x 4886 a side.  They will be flown at a trim height of approximately 21'.  Previously I was flying 2 x JBL SRX722f a side with mixed success.  The low end has been handled by 6 x JBL SRX728s stacked usually front and center and I will start out with those this year.  However, I can already tell that I will have to push the low end much harder than I would like and also will be leaving some quality on the table with the 728s.  Right now I have the system configured with 30-60Hz for sub, 60-160Hz for low-mid with the 4883s and the 4886s from 160Hz up. 

Given my current equipment a safe choice for an upgrade would be a sub from the Vertec or VTX lines.  I feel though that while I can tolerate some of the shortcomings of the 728 because it is cheap there are better options out there for the Vertec/VTX money.  Right now I am really leaning towards the DSL TH118 or DBH218 based on a demo from a few years ago.  Thoughts on either of those pairing with the main cabinets?  I am also open to other suggestions.  Ideally the cabinets should be able to be picked up by two people.  I have 4 x I-Tech 8000 for power.  With the DSL TH118 or DBH218 or any other cabinet what would be a good starting number of cabinets to match my current mains?

I have been reading posts here for many years and am always impressed with the industry knowledge present and advice given.  Thank you.   
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Ideas for Subwoofer Upgrade
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2017, 07:23:30 pm »

Here is how I would look at this.

You asked for 105C.  So let's assume a 15dB crest factor-that is 120dB peak.

With the TH118, 3 per side would give you that peak at 100'

So if you want "some extra room" 4 per side would be fine.

I can stack the TH118 3 high by myself.  The 3rd one is easier (and better) to have another helper.

You will need a 2nd person (2 total) to go 3 high.

If you only go 2 high, that is very easily done by a single person.

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Ivan Beaver
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: Ideas for Subwoofer Upgrade
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2017, 09:22:24 pm »

POOF
« Last Edit: February 24, 2017, 09:39:40 pm by dick rees »
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Aaron Carian

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Re: Ideas for Subwoofer Upgrade
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2017, 10:13:07 pm »

Ivan - If I was to use 8 x TH118 would it be ill advised to use a center cluster like I am today?  Putting them side by side and then using EDS to tune the horizontal coverage for the site? 
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Ideas for Subwoofer Upgrade
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2017, 10:21:21 pm »

Hello, I am a new member and this is my first post, for what its worth.

I currently have a really expensive hobby that I am working on turning into a side business.  Up to this point I have primarily been providing equipment for one band that travels around a bit and does some fairly decent sized outdoor shows 2000-5000 people about 10 times a year.  The genre is varied from classic rock, through country, blues and all the way to some hard rock.  The SPL level is what I would consider responsibly loud for an outdoor show.  Around 100-105dBC at mix position 75-90' away.  I am not trying to physically damage people but who really wants to hear the drunk guy sing next to them?  I am working on staring to book some local festivals/events that fall into the same wheelhouse.

This year I have upgraded my mains to JBL 4883/4886.  With 2 x 4883 and 6 x 4886 a side.  They will be flown at a trim height of approximately 21'.  Previously I was flying 2 x JBL SRX722f a side with mixed success.  The low end has been handled by 6 x JBL SRX728s stacked usually front and center and I will start out with those this year.  However, I can already tell that I will have to push the low end much harder than I would like and also will be leaving some quality on the table with the 728s.  Right now I have the system configured with 30-60Hz for sub, 60-160Hz for low-mid with the 4883s and the 4886s from 160Hz up. 

Given my current equipment a safe choice for an upgrade would be a sub from the Vertec or VTX lines.  I feel though that while I can tolerate some of the shortcomings of the 728 because it is cheap there are better options out there for the Vertec/VTX money.  Right now I am really leaning towards the DSL TH118 or DBH218 based on a demo from a few years ago.  Thoughts on either of those pairing with the main cabinets?  I am also open to other suggestions.  Ideally the cabinets should be able to be picked up by two people.  I have 4 x I-Tech 8000 for power.  With the DSL TH118 or DBH218 or any other cabinet what would be a good starting number of cabinets to match my current mains?

I have been reading posts here for many years and am always impressed with the industry knowledge present and advice given.  Thank you.   
Hi Aaron - Welcome to the forum from another 4886/4883 user.  I continue to be impressed by the systemís flexibility, sound quality, and output.

I use Danley TH118s for subs.

The quantity of subs you need depends on the output you want.  The number of 4886 boxes relates more to the vertical coverage you need. 

I have run a variety of setups:

- 2 4883 over 6-8 4886 with 1 or two TH118 per side

- 4 4886 over 2 4883 per side ground stacked

- 4 4886 with U-brackets on tall tripod stands with 1 or two TH118 per side with 1 4883 on top of the TH118

In every case Iíve tried, the 4886 boxes always have headroom left (looking at ITech limiter meters in Audio Architect), even with as few as 4 4886 boxes and 2 TH118s per side.  1 4883 seems to limit about the same time as a pair of 2 TH118s (using the preset for the TH118 I got from Ivan for the ITech HD12000s).

I did a rock show outdoors with 2 4883 over 8 4886 per side with 3 TH118s center-clustered.  The coverage area was about 80í wide and 250í + deep.  FOH position was about 100í from stage and I had enough for the gig.  8 would have been awesome.
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Aaron Carian

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Re: Ideas for Subwoofer Upgrade
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2017, 10:31:40 pm »

Hi Aaron - Welcome to the forum from another 4886/4883 user.  I continue to be impressed by the systemís flexibility, sound quality, and output.

I use Danley TH118s for subs.

The quantity of subs you need depends on the output you want.  The number of 4886 boxes relates more to the vertical coverage you need. 

I have run a variety of setups:

- 2 4883 over 6-8 4886 with 1 or two TH118 per side

- 4 4886 over 2 4883 per side ground stacked

- 4 4886 with U-brackets on tall tripod stands with 1 or two TH118 per side with 1 4883 on top of the TH118

In every case Iíve tried, the 4886 boxes always have headroom left (looking at ITech limiter meters in Audio Architect), even with as few as 4 4886 boxes and 2 TH118s per side.  1 4883 seems to limit about the same time as a pair of 2 TH118s (using the preset for the TH118 I got from Ivan for the ITech HD12000s).

I did a rock show outdoors with 2 4883 over 8 4886 per side with 3 TH118s center-clustered.  The coverage area was about 80í wide and 250í + deep.  FOH position was about 100í from stage and I had enough for the gig.  8 would have been awesome.

Thank you Tom that really helps.  I sort of felt like 6 would work well for my needs but not leave a whole lot of headroom for the largest gigs and 8 would be better matched.  Which looks like lines up exactly with that your experience has been.  Are you running one TH118 per channel of the 12000HD?
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Ideas for Subwoofer Upgrade
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2017, 10:39:11 pm »

  1 4883 seems to limit about the same time as a pair of 2 TH118s (using the preset for the TH118 I got from Ivan for the ITech HD12000s).


The limiters in the 12000 is a voltage limiter.  So it does not matter if there is 1 or more speakers hooked up.  They will all get the same voltage/same limiting.
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Ivan Beaver
Danley Sound Labs

PHYSICS- NOT FADS!

Aaron Carian

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Re: Ideas for Subwoofer Upgrade
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2017, 10:47:27 pm »

The limiters in the 12000 is a voltage limiter.  So it does not matter if there is 1 or more speakers hooked up.  They will all get the same voltage/same limiting.

I took this to mean that in practice when mixing a live rock show that a pair of TH118s would limit around the same time as a single 4883 in terms of even output.  So 2 4883s a side handling the low mid pushed to limiting (probably more output than I would need normally) would require 4 TH118s per side to provide adequate LF energy to match.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Ideas for Subwoofer Upgrade
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2017, 10:48:18 pm »

  Are you running one TH118 per channel of the 12000HD?
The standard impedance of the TH118 is 4 ohms.

However you can order 8 ohm drivers. I think the price is the same.

This can come in handy with some of the "super amps".  It allows you to hookup more drivers to a single channel.

On lower powered amps, the standard 4 ohm might be a better option.

But you need to pay attention to the power output at specific loads.

I seem to remember that the HD12000 delivers the most power at 2.7 ohms (like some large lab Gruppen amps.

So 3 8 ohm drivers would be ideal per channel.

With something like the Powersoft K20, you could run 4 drivers per channel.
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Ivan Beaver
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Aaron Carian

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Re: Ideas for Subwoofer Upgrade
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2017, 10:54:44 pm »

The standard impedance of the TH118 is 4 ohms.

However you can order 8 ohm drivers. I think the price is the same.

This can come in handy with some of the "super amps".  It allows you to hookup more drivers to a single channel.

On lower powered amps, the standard 4 ohm might be a better option.

But you need to pay attention to the power output at specific loads.

I seem to remember that the HD12000 delivers the most power at 2.7 ohms (like some large lab Gruppen amps.

So 3 8 ohm drivers would be ideal per channel.

With something like the Powersoft K20, you could run 4 drivers per channel.

Using the old I-Tech 8000 which has an output of 4000W per channel at 4 ohms would each channel provide unnecessarily too much power for a single TH118?  I happen to have 4 of those amps so I could have 8 channels to devote to 8 TH118s.
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