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Author Topic: Upgrading Drivers in Cheap Stage Monitors  (Read 1454 times)

Augustine Ortiz

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Upgrading Drivers in Cheap Stage Monitors
« on: December 05, 2017, 12:47:15 pm »

I have a pair of Seismic Audio FL-12MP that I would like to upgrade the drivers in to see if I can get them to sound a bit better.  Super cheap I know, but the construction I think is solid enough and they sound like megaphones but I have been pounding on them as stage monitors for over 3 years now. Even as drum monitors and they have yet to die.  Anyway for nicer higher paying clients I have a set of active Turbosounds that have been great.  But for the death metal shows in dive bars and DIY warehouse shows, these are great for catching beers and supporting musicians' dirty shoes.

https://www.seismicaudiospeakers.com/collections/monitors/products/12-inch-pro-audio-pa-dj-floor-monitors

These are 1/2" birch ply, carpet covered, pretty heavy duty steel grills.  The current crossover is at 3k, I want to swap that.

54.78L volume
2x Ports: 2.5"diax4.75"length

I am thinking Eminence Delta 12A or an Eminence Delta Pro 12 for the woofer.  Plugging the data into WinISD I get the attached picture.  The GREEN line is the Delta 12A with the current ports.  The BLUE line is the Delta PRO 12 and shortening the port length.

Do these look ok?  The 12A is a lot cheaper, higher F3, but these are stage monitors.  Is the PRO12 that much better?

For the crossover I was thinking of getting an Eminence PXB2:1k6 which is at 1.6k then for a tweeter either the PSD:2002 or the PSD:2013 which 1.6k is where they recommend.  Then get an adjustable LPAD.

Any thoughts on this? Or better suggestions?

I considered Bi-Amping, but that is more rack space that I would prefer not to carry around.  When right now I can roll with an X32 Rack and and quad power-amp. 

I also have some FL-15 15" monitors that I will be tackling as well depending on how this project goes.


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Mark Oakley

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Re: Upgrading Drivers in Cheap Stage Monitors
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2017, 01:19:53 pm »

About 4 years ago I decided to build new boxes for my Community CSX-38 (15"+1") wedges. The factory boxes were particle board covered in carpet, and were pretty dinged up on the corners. The original plan was to build 3/4 Baltic birch boxes to the same measurements and transfer the components over, but in the process I decided I didn't like the tweeter (originally a piezo) or the crossover (5 bulbs-one per show would always be breaking), so the only remaining component is the 15" (Eminence Defini-max, I believe).

I start off by ordering an Eminence PSD:2002 which sounded better than the piezo, but then heard about the B&C DE-250. This was a noticeable upgrade from the 2002, so I went with these. I also ordered a crossover from GLS Audio (no longer available) that had an L-Pad and a switchable 1.5k/2.5k crossover point. With some experimentation I decided on the 1.5k crossover with the horn wired in reverse polarity to null the 15" frequency rise from 1.5-2k.

I would go with the original port length- the lower frequency extension comes with a price of less output in the box's low range. I also wouldn't worry too much about the F3-I usually High-pass my vocal monitors round 160 hz to clean up the tone and remove any stage rumble.

-Mark
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Stu McDoniel

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Re: Upgrading Drivers in Cheap Stage Monitors
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2017, 01:28:20 pm »

For like 250 a piece you can get a pair of JBL EON powered 10's Bstock.

Just sayin........
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Upgrading Drivers in Cheap Stage Monitors
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2017, 01:39:14 pm »

Augustine, before I went to that much work I'd just buy new wedges.
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Scott Gaines

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Re: Upgrading Drivers in Cheap Stage Monitors
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2017, 01:39:53 pm »

Sometimes it's fun to try to out-smart a problem with basic component upgrades. But replacing drivers just doesn't make sense to me.
 
You could remove a significant portion of your rig (amps, rackspace, cables, etc...) by just upgrading to cheap powered wedges. Yes it'll cost a bit more, but you'll feel the weight reduction, hear the sound quality bump, and enjoy shorter setup times.

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Rob Spence

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Re: Upgrading Drivers in Cheap Stage Monitors
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2017, 01:45:12 pm »

The crossover isnít just pick a frequency. They are tuned to the drivers. If you pick drivers from a single vendor, they may have a matching crossover.
If you mix and match, it is unlikely you can find an off the shelf crossover that will work right.

I agree with Tim. If you want better wedges, buy better wedges. A kludge will cost money and may sound bad.


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Augustine Ortiz

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Re: Upgrading Drivers in Cheap Stage Monitors
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2017, 01:54:42 pm »

For like 250 a piece you can get a pair of JBL EON powered 10's Bstock.

Just sayin........

Yeah that's a good price B-stock.  But I can do this project for a little over $100 per speaker.  I am also learning things in the process.  Plus the resale on these Seismics is total crap.  So I might as well use them.   

In response to other powered wedge comments, I debate faster setup times.  I use them for my nicer rig and they are great.  But I have to run power and signal to them.  For smaller places there is no power across the stage.  Yeah I have and can run multi port extension cords and such at more to bring.

For this set of passive monitors I use a quad power amp (Behringer INUKE 6400) which weighs nothing and lives in the rack with a X32 rack.  Power at one location and then just a speaker cable to each wedge.  Pretty quick and easy setup and not a lot of weight.

Also I have had issues with power coming out of the back of monitors where there is no stage and people standing and spilling bears right there.  Have had controls get kicked in, jacks broken, etc.  These have side plugs, no power, no controls.  They have held up much better.

Also considered finding some better used passive monitors.  But locally that isn't an option and shipping would be brutal.  In Santa Fe, NM or even ABQ, the pickings are slim. 
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Jean-Pierre Coetzee

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Re: Upgrading Drivers in Cheap Stage Monitors
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2017, 02:12:38 pm »

Make some looms with power and XLR cable each for the powereds, will make your life much easier.

As for the abuse, what your your stage monitors placed on the dance floor? Honestly if the venue cannot put a small lip on the stage to help you out then you need to question if that venue really respects you as a provider/band. Sometimes PITA is more hassel than staying home but you need to make that decision for yourself.

Sent from my 2014817 using Tapatalk

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Jay Marr

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Re: Upgrading Drivers in Cheap Stage Monitors
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2017, 02:29:59 pm »

Make some looms with power and XLR cable each for the powereds, will make your life much easier.

As for the abuse, what your your stage monitors placed on the dance floor? Honestly if the venue cannot put a small lip on the stage to help you out then you need to question if that venue really respects you as a provider/band. Sometimes PITA is more hassel than staying home but you need to make that decision for yourself.

Sent from my 2014817 using Tapatalk

Or just have beater wedges, like he is a trying to do.

I play plenty of rooms where my wedge is a beer rag.  I bring a JBL JRX112, because I can live with the sound from it, and at $100 used from GC it's pretty much disposable.   
That's a better option for me, than turning down a gig.
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Augustine Ortiz

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Re: Upgrading Drivers in Cheap Stage Monitors
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2017, 02:36:34 pm »

Make some looms with power and XLR cable each for the powereds, will make your life much easier.

As for the abuse, what your your stage monitors placed on the dance floor? Honestly if the venue cannot put a small lip on the stage to help you out then you need to question if that venue really respects you as a provider/band. Sometimes PITA is more hassel than staying home but you need to make that decision for yourself.

Sent from my 2014817 using Tapatalk

I totally agree with you.  However, I have a soft spot for the DIY Punk and Metal scene, so I do those shows where it is a warehouse or basement bar.  Band on the ground, mosh pit in front, unruly high energy music.  But does that mean they shouldn't have great sound?   They are all actually incredibly respectful, you would be amazed, but accidents happen and I would rather adapt as best I can than be upset.

For my nicer gigs, with real stages and tamer crowds, what I do is I run a multi-out extension cord that has a plug every 3 feet or so. I see them now in pro audio shops, but at the time I could only find ones for Christmas decorations (still 3 prong, been over 8 years now and they still work).  So that takes care of power and some extras for bands pedal boards.  Then I just use the returns on the snake for signal.  Still pretty fast setup.

The Turbosound IQ series, what I love about those is you can daisy chain the Powercon power and they run off ethernet which you can also daisy chain.  Really cut down on my setup time and stage clutter.

My mains are Yamaha DSR115's over Yorkville LS808 subs.  The subs are a bit boomy, but loud and still an MI/Weekend warrior rig, but it has no problems keeping up.  But I hope to be upgrading those in another year or so.

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