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Author Topic: Where to start with purchasing new speakers  (Read 26852 times)

Keith Shannon

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Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2010, 01:34:08 pm »

Russ Buck wrote on Thu, 25 February 2010 12:26

To clairify more on my situation.  the building is older, basicly a square, so it's wider than deep where people seat and the ceiling vaults up probably 40' at the point, with huge stained glass on one side and the back wall.  I am guessing the room dim. are close to 100' square.


Ouch. That's the first problem; a square room tends to be livelier than any other shape with similar volume and contruction materials. That, coupled with the "hard" wall surfaces, would be my main concern. The reverb timing of this room will be your main enemy in getting an intelligible reinforcement system, especially with a band.

Quote:

Currently the speakers are at the far sides sitting on shelfs the band is to one side of the stage so that speaker is set a little bit closer to the pews than the other side.


This, in my unprofessional opinion, suggests a need to wall-mount or fly the speakers. If the best option for their placement on stands is at the far corners of the space at unequal distances, you'll get better clarity bringing them in a bit, and that may mean they have to be overhead. Right there, that screams professional consultation.

Quote:

We are a very contemporary music style with drums, guitars, bass, keyboards, and everything is run through the board, including the Bass via a direct box.  We are also planning on caging the drums sometime in the near feature which I think will make the speaker issues even worse.


You're right; your situation calls for a pretty wide frequency band with good program power handling and even better peak. Caging the drums will actually help you out here by reducing "stage sound" and its reverberation, allowing you to concentrate on getting the best clarity out of the speakers. With bass running direct, as well as sung vocals, you already need enough power/frequency handling for a miced drum kit.

You will probably need subs in your new system. Running bass direct means you're putting a lot of fundamental into the woofer of your mains. That speaker also has to cleanly reproduce most of the other fundamental frequencies the cab gets, including speech/vocals, keyboard, the lower end of guitar, and tom/snare/kick hits. That's just too much to ask of a 2-way. Adding a sub will require a crossover, another amp channel and possibly some timing, since the sub will likely be in a corner and not near the mains. Taking the real lows out of the woofer's signal should decrease the THD from the speakers. You'll still have the room reverb to contend with, though.

Quote:

The front is loud and they are not very clear in sound, you get very different sounds depending on where you are at in the room.


This is 90% reverb timing. Your biggest problem, to hear you tell it, is that you have a very lively room with a long decay, and you're attempting to compensate for the unintelligibility, and to blend with the drums, using increased volume. Reduce the reverb time, and you decrease the acoustic chaos that's producing much of the differing sounds.

Quote:

We have a newer Allen and heath GL2400 sound board  , Apc8 compressors on the individual inputs, currently power the existing speaker with a crown amp and no processors, or crossovers.


Sounds like the signal side of the system's pretty good; Crown XTis are nothing to sneeze at either.

My opinion (worth what you paid for it) is, you are not going to solve your room's problems with new speakers. They will likely be a part of the fix, but your #1 concern is taming the room's acoustics. That will definitely require some professional consultation. Be aware that acoustical treatment will alter the aesthetics of the space; curtains, acoustical paneling, even architectural changes may be required to bring the reverb time down to "acceptable" levels. It's likely also going to cost several times your budget.
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George S Dougherty

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Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2010, 03:31:14 pm »

Keith Shannon wrote on Thu, 25 February 2010 11:34


...your #1 concern is taming the room's acoustics. That will definitely require some professional consultation. Be aware that acoustical treatment will alter the aesthetics of the space; curtains, acoustical paneling, even architectural changes may be required to bring the reverb time down to "acceptable" levels. It's likely also going to cost several times your budget.


+1, it may cost more, but a bad room with good speakers will rarely produce good sound.  A good room with mediocre speakers will allow the system to be tuned and overcome some of its own limitations.

Think of it like this, put any car on a road that's flooded out and they'll all have problems slogging through.  Put any car on a straight stretch of dry pavement and some will go faster than others, but all of them can run about as optimally as possible.
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Russ Buck

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Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2010, 03:46:25 pm »

I had a chance to get some excat measurements legth of room is 50' deep and it's 45' wide.  There is a small room off the side of the main room. 8' deep and 20' wide. I am not really concerned with the sound quality in that area but thought I would put it in as it might changes something.  the ceiling height is 25' high and as you can see in the picture it's vaulted on all sides almost to a point.  the stage area is 8 1/2' deep at the center and 12 1/2' deep on the left side where the drums and instruments are.  I will try to post some pics below.

index.php/fa/487/0/index.php/fa/486/0/Notice the back two corners are cut out too. index.php/fa/488/0/
index.php/fa/489/0/
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Bethel A/G church
Sycamore, IL

Keith Shannon

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Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2010, 04:49:48 pm »

Russ Buck wrote on Fri, 26 February 2010 15:46

I had a chance to get some excat measurements legth of room is 50' deep and it's 45' wide.  There is a small room off the side of the main room. 8' deep and 20' wide. I am not really concerned with the sound quality in that area but thought I would put it in as it might changes something.  the ceiling height is 25' high and as you can see in the picture it's vaulted on all sides almost to a point.  the stage area is 8 1/2' deep at the center and 12 1/2' deep on the left side where the drums and instruments are.


OK, I'm a LITTLE less concerned about your space than I was. I was thinking a lot more brick, glass and hardwood than there really is. However, that ceiling and the basic dimensions are still a concern; all the 45* and 90* angles mean sound bounces around quite a bit.

As for speaker placement, I think you have it a bit wide. You have a pretty well-defined "stage" at front and center. Your speakers should be placed such that the sound will appear to be coming from that point; with the cabs in the corners, this won't happen. In addition, because they're so widely spaced, and most of the congregation is in the dispersion pattern of both speakers, there's a timing issue; you'll be closer to one speaker than the other unless you're right in the middle, which will cause one speaker's output to arrive later. If that difference is more than a few milliseconds, you'll get a delay effect that will cloud intelligibility. I see two major options:

1) Fly a center cluster, with two speakers positioned close together about where that chandelier is, angled to minimize the amount of reflection against the walls without pointing the speakers toward each other (left speaker points to left side of congregation, right side points right). This placement will be tricky aesthetically, because you'll want them to be low enough that the sound doesn't appear to be emanating from the ceiling, while still out of the way of the screen and the rest of the front view. If you can swing it, though, this will produce the least comb filtering effects and the most defined point source for the podium, and good enough for the band.

2) Wall-mount or fly a separated pair to either side of the projection screen a few feet in front of it to get them closer to the podium. They should again be angled away from each other, but not too much. This will interfere less with the view, as the cabs are less likely to be hanging down in front of something you need to see, like the screen. It will also provide a similar reduction in delay/comb filtering for most of the congregation. Care must be taken, however, to avoid placing thespeakers so their dispersion pattern covers the podium. That's a recipe for feedback.

On top of that, you'll want to do some things to deaden the room. Cloth generally works well to soak up sound; consider a few more wall hangings and possibly suspending some drapes from certain faces of that ceiling. Acoustical paneling may also work well in that kind of space. Let's face it, you've got a white ceiling carved into facets; they're just at the wrong angles. Further breaking up of some of those surface at "odd" angles, while refacing others in acoustical paneling, can increase the visual effect the designers intended while decreasing the reverb time from the sound bouncing around in the rafters. There's a science and an art to acoustical treatment, so I would reiterate that you'll want to hire a professional to help you out.
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Brian Ehlers

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Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2010, 05:57:21 pm »

I'll leave it to an on-site professional to work out the details, but my eyeball says that you can probably get good coverage with a single 90 x 40 full-range speaker mounted near the ceiling, about halfway between the front chandelier and the projection screen.  The chandelier will probably need to move.

A quality full-range speaker with good sound, good pattern control, and good efficiency will cost in the neighborhood of $4000.  You will probably be able to find suitable budget-friendly speakers closer to $2000.  Amplification and installation are extra.
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Dick Rees

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Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2010, 06:35:02 pm »

http://www.shrinkpictures.com/resize.php

Use the above to cut your  pictures to fit the standard margins so we don't all have to scroll from side to side to read any posts following the bloated photo.

Thanks
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Arnold B. Krueger

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Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2010, 09:41:25 am »

Russ Buck wrote on Tue, 23 February 2010 20:34

I was asked to figure out what we need and come up with a price.  stage, and angled them in.  Any help would be great.



I looked at the pictures of your room, and to me it looks like heaven. A relatively small room, only about as wide as our 120' long sanctuary, far from being completely squared off, a very interesting diffusive ceiling, carpeted floor, and padded pews.

It would be easy to overdamp this room with bad effects on congregational response.

My first question would be what do you want to do? Voice only? Do you want to route all of your electronic instruments through the SR system? Do you have any other acoustic or atypical electronic instruments to amplify (e.g. an electronic organ)?

How loud do you want to go?  90 dB? 110 dB?  ???  What sort of bass extension do you want? 80 Hz? 60 Hz, 40 Hz?

The general approach I've used is to draw a plan view of the room and then draw arcs that cover the seating from speaker hanging spots that are not over the platform, and use their included angles to figure out what horizontal coverage pattern that you need. It might be 60 to 90 degrees.

Then draw lines in the side view and try to keep the sides of the arc that covers the seating area from front to back, within 2:1.

It's pretty much a given that you're going to want to hang the speakers, so that means getting a qualified rigger to actually do that deed.

I've covered far larger rooms with far more people with a pair of heavily-equalized ZX-1s, handled a rap singer with accompaniment to match, and even gotten a little bit loud.

Good solutions start out with good statements of the problem!
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Russ Buck

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Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
« Reply #17 on: March 23, 2010, 10:34:38 am »

Here's where I am at.. Not sure where to go from here either.  Gave the pictures and measurements to a "consultant" He basically said that material cost were at least $3800 not including labor to install, or consulting fees.  so I'm figuring roughly $6000 total.  We have a rough budget of $2000 so that's 3 times what were looking to spend. and not at all in our range.  I am wondering if anyone has "hung" their own speakers/speaker and with what results.  figuring I have a relativity small room that one speaker may be able to cover the seating area.  to respond to the post before this we run all the instruments through the house sound system.  including bass and will soon be running the drums through it.
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Bethel A/G church
Sycamore, IL

George S Dougherty

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Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
« Reply #18 on: March 23, 2010, 10:54:57 am »

I hung my own speakers.  It's not generally advisable and I didn't get any engineering input.  I probably should have, but here's why I was okay with it.

The speakers weigh about 35 lbs and aren't directly over anyone's heads.  They hang over a piano and organ either side of the stage.

I built the speakers myself.  In recognition of that, the mounting hardware in the cab is rated for about 350lbs. The cabinet has additional bracing where the mounting bolt passes through.  I have three fly points on the cabinet.  Two up front, one in back.

The cabinets are hanging from two very large and thick beams either side of the stage that trisect the roof of the sanctuary.

The mounting points from the beam are 3/8" eye-hole screws 4.5" long with nothing but the eye-hole protruding from the beam.

The chain and hardware suspending the cabinets are all rated for at least 350lbs.

Given all that, I feel reasonably safe the speakers aren't coming down before the building does.
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David Sumrall

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Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2010, 12:29:48 pm »


Here is a rough suggestion.....

2 EV zx3, Wall poll mounts mounted higher and angled better, and 1 dbx drive rack PA, and a little tuning,  will get you better then where you are.

Still not ideal or perfect but much much better.

2 EV ZX3- @$800 per- $1,600
1 drive rack PA- @$600
Wall pole mounts- @$200

Roughly- $2,400 give or take a little bit. If cables are long enough.

Plus some install labor for the mounts.

Plus some setup and tuning on the drive rack  maybe a couple hundred for this.

SX300 would be a little cheaper maybe, and would do fine.

Then you could always come back later and take down the fans and have someone install the speakers more correctly.

my 2 cents.

Good luck!

David

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David Sumrall
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Gateway Church
Soutlake Texas
GatewayPeople.com
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