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Author Topic: "Phony rock" outdoor speakers  (Read 3515 times)

Jerry Turnbow

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"Phony rock" outdoor speakers
« on: November 05, 2008, 01:12:28 pm »

Hey, folks -

Part of this project I'm working on involves selecting some outdoor speakers - the kind that are designed to look like an artificial rock and blend into the environment, that would be suitable for essentially delay speakers for a live music venue.  The distribution system will be 70.7 volts, and there will, of course, need to be suitable EQ and compression.

It seems there are a number of folks out there making these things, with pricing ranging from under $100 to $400 or more each.  Obviously a 2-way or 3-way should sound better, but I'm curious if anyone has first-hand experience with running live music through these things and can recommmend any particular manufacturers or models.

Thanks!
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Phillip_Graham

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Re: "Phony rock" outdoor speakers
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2008, 02:04:24 pm »

Jerry Turnbow wrote on Wed, 05 November 2008 13:12

Hey, folks -

Part of this project I'm working on involves selecting some outdoor speakers - the kind that are designed to look like an artificial rock and blend into the environment, that would be suitable for essentially delay speakers for a live music venue.  The distribution system will be 70.7 volts, and there will, of course, need to be suitable EQ and compression.

It seems there are a number of folks out there making these things, with pricing ranging from under $100 to $400 or more each.  Obviously a 2-way or 3-way should sound better, but I'm curious if anyone has first-hand experience with running live music through these things and can recommmend any particular manufacturers or models.

Thanks!


I have no idea about the rock speakers, but the one good sounding in ground speaker (not a rock) on the market is from Bose (yes, really)

http://pro.bose.com/ProController?url=/pro/products/freespac e/fs360p.jsp
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Hal Bissinger/COMSYSTEC

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Re: "Phony rock" outdoor speakers
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2008, 04:46:35 pm »

but the one good sounding in ground speaker (not a rock) on the market is from Bose...

Ah, "mushroom" speakers. Have you tried Atlas? Same as that Bose but they have to be $$$ less. I'll admit I haven't heard those Bose but I can't see how they would be any better. I have used the Atlas's, they sound good and they hold up. I've seen them used on a pier out into salt water and they have been there for years.

As to "rock" speakers, no experience with them. I think I would want to use a "mushroom" speaker and some nice landscaping than those things.

-Hal

Brad Weber

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Re: "Phony rock" outdoor speakers
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2008, 05:46:18 pm »

Phillip Graham wrote on Wed, 05 November 2008 14:04

I have no idea about the rock speakers, but the one good sounding in ground speaker (not a rock) on the market is from Bose (yes, really)
Hal Bissinger/COMSYSTEC wrote on Wed, 05 November 2008 16:46

Ah, "mushroom" speakers. Have you tried Atlas? Same as that Bose but they have to be $$$ less. I'll admit I haven't heard those Bose but I can't see how they would be any better. I have used the Atlas's, they sound good and they hold up. I've seen them used on a pier out into salt water and they have been there for years.

Interestingly, at one point the local Atlas Sound rep was also the Bose rep and did a demo with both.  It's been a few years, but I recall the Atlas sounding better to me with both sounding better than the generic home store landscaping speaker they had for comparison.

Atlas Sound, Bose, OWI, Rockustics, Soundtube and TIC all off 'mushroom' type speakers and I think OWI, Rockustics and TIC offer 'rock' speakers.  Some of these actually sound pretty good but I'm not sure any of them are up to being used as delay fills for a live music application, that is simply not the intended use.

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Brendan Maroney

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Re: "Phony rock" outdoor speakers
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2008, 11:05:30 pm »

Phillip Graham wrote on Wed, 05 November 2008 14:04



I have no idea about the rock speakers, but the one good sounding in ground speaker (not a rock) on the market is from Bose (yes, really)

 http://pro.bose.com/ProController?url=/pro/products/freespac e/fs360p.jsp



Uhg, then installed those EVERYWHERE outside my mall.  And all they play is elevator music style of well-known songs.

Brendan
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Hal Bissinger/COMSYSTEC

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Re: "Phony rock" outdoor speakers
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2008, 10:30:48 am »

I'm not sure any of them are up to being used as delay fills for a live music application, that is simply not the intended use.

Agreed.

-Hal

Lee Douglas

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Re: "Phony rock" outdoor speakers
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2008, 11:34:12 am »

As delay fills; not a chance.  They'll never keep up.  

As part of a garden speaker system in restaraunt, I used live music (solo/duo acoustic) as an input to the house system for distrubution.  Think Muzac not SR.  But with a high pass, comp and limiter in place.  
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Phillip_Graham

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Re: "Phony rock" outdoor speakers
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2008, 06:05:41 pm »

Hal Bissinger/COMSYSTEC wrote on Wed, 05 November 2008 16:46

but the one good sounding in ground speaker (not a rock) on the market is from Bose...

Ah, "mushroom" speakers. Have you tried Atlas? Same as that Bose but they have to be $$$ less. I'll admit I haven't heard those Bose but I can't see how they would be any better. I have used the Atlas's, they sound good and they hold up. I've seen them used on a pier out into salt water and they have been there for years.



Hmm, looking at the Atlas website it seems they have upgraded their mushroom speaker since the last time I investigated these things.

The Bose blew the old metal can atlases out of water.  It appears its time for me to have another round of listening!
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Jerry Turnbow

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Re: "Phony rock" outdoor speakers
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2008, 11:53:48 am »

Hal Bissinger/COMSYSTEC wrote on Thu, 06 November 2008 09:30

I'm not sure any of them are up to being used as delay fills for a live music application, that is simply not the intended use.

Agreed.

-Hal



Sorry folks, I guess my post was a little misleading.

While I'd like these speakers to be as full-range and "musical" as possible for the price and applicatio, they are basically for pumping music from a live stage to two or more outdoor patio/dining areas that are located approx. 50' and 125' from the stage, at essentially background music levels, and not true delay fills like one would see at a concert.

They will have appropriate signal leveling, compression, and EQ as needed to shape the dynamics of the live signal into something more suitable for this type of speaker, but the main intent is to avoid hearing a "power echo" from the difference in the main stage and the local speakers.  The rest of the project appears under the topic "Interesting Installation" on this same forum.

It sounds like overall the "mushroom" type speakers probably are the better sounding of this type of device, and those are the ones I've seen typically at theme parks, hotels, etc. where the BGM/paging systems were of a bit higher quality than elsewhere.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions!
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Joseph White

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Re: "Phony rock" outdoor speakers
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2008, 12:59:46 am »

Check out http://www.rockusticsinc.com/Rockustics as Brad mentioned. They are a little pricey but they sound very good for outdoor speakers. They also have a ridiculous selection of styles, textures and colors to fit your application. Nobody will ever notice they are there.

If they are background reinforcement then make sure they are compressed so you can still hear what is going on at a lower SPL. Even if they are not "traditional delay speakers" they still need to be properly and precisely delayed if the listener will be able to hear the main speakers. Also since they are delay speakers I would go with a directional model rather than the "mushroom" shaped speakers that are usually pretty omnidirectional.

I agree that landscape speakers are not made to be used for any type of reinforcement, but for your application it sounds like it will be a good original approach. I can't stress enough that they be properly processed, placed, and delayed to meet both the applications of background music speaker and delay speaker. Sounds like a fun installation if you can pull it off.

Joseph
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Joseph White
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