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Author Topic: User's of Bill Fitzmaurice designs.  (Read 35150 times)

Tony Martin

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Re: User's of Bill Fitzmaurice designs.
« Reply #110 on: March 22, 2010, 11:10:30 am »

Hey, Kevin. I can't do that with THIS rig, and even with my much-smaller mobile rigs I still need a bit more space. I just retired my old Dodge short-box cargo van. NOT a cube van, just a normal delivery-type van, but the short and stubby version, only 8' from back of seats to back of van.
In that little van I could carry enough of my mobile rig to do quite a large hall. All my boxes a home-brew except the subs which are H&H 1x15" folded horns (at least one pair is, the rest we duplicated in my garage). They're quite small and light, but deliver a very pleasing thump with good, usable response down to 40Hz and below. If we need more rig, the rest packs in a trailer.
Our tops, so far, are all front-loads with compression drivers. Easy to build, and effective, but I've been looking for a good vertical-line design that's not too hard to build.
I was looking at some of Bill's designs, but the ones that interest me have a few little design peculiarities that bother me a bit.
I do applaud the guy's initiative, and his designs, to me, look like they'd do the job at a budget price, and that's never a bad thing.
As an aside, I've always had a fondness for piezo's, so that aspect doesn't bother me at all. In fact years ago there was this one guy whose band I used to mix regularly. He was a singer with a hearing problem (imagine that !!!), and out of 4 types of wedges I had, the only ones he was happy with were a pair with 1x12" + 1x2"x6" piezo powerline tweeter, just a higher-power piezo, all in a home-made box. No x-over, just parallel connection of woofer-tweeter.
That said, those little wedges really did slice through the stage noise.
The other wedges they were competing against included my 4 EV's. Don't remember the model# (1x12" + 1" exit horn, 300wRMS), but those are still in use, in the house rig I mentioned above, and everyone loves them.
But given my druthers, if I was forced to choose between say, a Behringer speaker-rig, and one of Bill's designs, well, let's just say I'd be getting the tools out....

EDITED for spelling, and I may have missed a few, but too lazy to do it again Smile
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Jeff Babcock

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Re: Users of Bill Fitzmaurice designs. Walking and Seating
« Reply #111 on: March 23, 2010, 12:11:38 pm »

Phil Lewandowski wrote on Sun, 21 March 2010 17:53

Ivan Beaver wrote on Sun, 21 March 2010 17:32

Jeff Wheeler wrote on Sun, 21 March 2010 17:29

Ivan Beaver wrote on Sun, 21 March 2010 15:39

There is no doubt that a pile of them will make a bunch of noise.

Is it good noise?  I do not understand the merits of Bill's "melded tweeter array."

Cheap and light weight?



In several comparisons I've read, the piezo array does sound better than very cheap comp drivers.  But once you get into decent comp drivers there is no comparisons.  I think that Jeff Babcock has also mentioned that the piezo's don't do as well with dynamic highs as with some things you might find in live music.
Take Care,
Phil


I found that the "melded array", while having very good extension  well above 20KHz and wide coverage, had a few limitations:

-poor headroom for reproduction of fast transient peaks
-very peaky freq response with considerable phase issues
-uneven off axis response
-very high crossover point required
-nastiness when pushed hard, especially with vocalists who shout/scream (again related to poor headroom).

Certainly nowhere in the league of a good quality compression driver on a good horn.  Maybe comparable to low-end Eminence HF's like the ASD or PSD stuff.

IMO a budget-driven option only.

Mike Butler (media)

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Re: Users of Bill Fitzmaurice designs. (apostrophe corrected)
« Reply #112 on: March 24, 2010, 11:15:11 am »

Doug Fowler wrote on Sun, 21 March 2010 11:59

BTW I sent yet another email to a local TV station about apostrophe abuse.  I guess it really is that hard.



Thank you, Doug!

Seriously, THANK YOU!

That said, I so far have seen nothing in this thread about the elephant in the room....resale. The tenor of the comments here clearly identifies BFM speakers as a transitional piece, a way to "make do" for less money. Not addressed is what happens to them when an owner either "moves up" to name-brand commercial gear or "moves on" (to different pursuits?) and it is time for these boxes to change hands. This topic should be of interest to both those contemplating building a set who want to ponder what the end game (exit strategy) might be, and to those who may lack either the time, patience, tools, or skills to build  but might be interested in buying used (for me, item #2 is in the shortest supply).

I would guess that resale value would be significantly lower than that of similarly aged commercial gear, and potentially lower than total cost of the materials and components to build. Might be good news for a potential buyer but bad news to a potential builder.


[edit: hat=that]
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Adam Schaible

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Re: Users of Bill Fitzmaurice designs. (apostrophe corrected)
« Reply #113 on: March 24, 2010, 01:01:26 pm »

Hi Mike,

I'm not sure I'd go as far as to say they are a transitional piece.  Some folks will grow out of them, others will use them for a long time.

If someone has aspirations to become a top quality regional provider, they aren't going to be able to cover riders with the system.  In this case, I think it's fair to say they may be transitional -- but I don't think they are out of place as a "b" rig, if your "a" rig is top notch.

To the thousands of bar bands across the world with Yamaha or equiv. cabinets, these are an upgrade and may very well be end game.

Regarding total cost of ownership (purchase price - sale price), you make some valid points from your perspective.  I'm not sure I agree that it's the elephant in the room, though.  If I have $250 + labor into an item, and I can resell it for $250 a few years later -- and initial I considered my labor as being free, I'd be pretty happy.

If you count your labor at $10, or $20/hr, then you might be better off buying commercial cabs.  That said, if you have the opportunity to do odd jobs/etc for $20/hr, you'd probably just be saving that money for commercial cabs.

I think we just have to say "it depends" and agree that it's very situational.  I just want to say that while a lot on this forum may make resale a high priority (rightfully so) -- all DIY projects will have limited resale potential.  It might be possible to lose the same or more on these cabs than other cabs, but if you couldn't purchase the other cabs in the first place then it becomes less of a factor.

As far as resale compared to other cabs -- it's hard to get rid of low end peavey/yamaha/behringer/etc for more than half retail, so for the average user of BFM gear the resale is similar to the other items in the price range.
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Winston Gamble

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Re: Users of Bill Fitzmaurice designs. (apostrophe corrected)
« Reply #114 on: March 24, 2010, 03:05:50 pm »

Mike Butler (media) wrote on Wed, 24 March 2010 15:15

Doug Fowler wrote on Sun, 21 March 2010 11:59

BTW I sent yet another email to a local TV station about apostrophe abuse.  I guess it really is that hard.



Thank you, Doug!

Seriously, THANK YOU!

That said, I so far have seen nothing in this thread about the elephant in the room....resale. The tenor of the comments here clearly identifies BFM speakers as a transitional piece, a way to "make do" for less money. Not addressed is what happens to them when an owner either "moves up" to name-brand commercial gear or "moves on" (to different pursuits?) and it is time for these boxes to change hands. This topic should be of interest to both those contemplating building a set who want to ponder what the end game (exit strategy) might be, and to those who may lack either the time, patience, tools, or skills to build  but might be interested in buying used (for me, item #2 is in the shortest supply).

I would guess that resale value would be significantly lower than that of similarly aged commercial gear, and potentially lower than total cost of the materials and components to build. Might be good news for a potential buyer but bad news to a potential builder.


[edit: hat=that]

When I sold our Tuba 24's to a friend, it was for about 2/3rds of the materials cost. He had heard them in use so he had a sense of their capability and they were in good shape. They are working just fine for his vanity band practice room use for a very small $ outlay on his part.
Three years of use plus $125 out of pocket seemed like pretty decent compensation for my time spent having fun while building them.

Winston
Edited for cost figures.

Adam Whetham

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Re: Users of Bill Fitzmaurice designs. (apostrophe corrected)
« Reply #115 on: March 24, 2010, 04:27:07 pm »

Adam, I'm still wondering the rigging for these speakers?? The DR300 has a recommendation of 6 boxes (guessing that means 3 a side??)

How do you rig those?? Does Polar Focus have a setup for them? Does Bill have a supplier or a recommended way to deploy them?? Is the recommended way to just use audio wood blocks between cabinets and then ratchet strap them down?

I guess I just don't understand how people are getting his boxes up in the air besides scaffolding. But how do you stack a box like the DR300 three high on scaffolding that is safe and secure?? It appears the top and bottom are angled (I may be seeing it wrong) so I wouldn't expect to just hope they stay put on top of each other... something I've always wondered about DIY boxes as i don't know of an easy way to rig them...
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Adam Schaible

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Re: Users of Bill Fitzmaurice designs. (apostrophe corrected)
« Reply #116 on: March 24, 2010, 04:34:31 pm »

This is an area that the designer has chosen to leave out of plans - for good reasons.  I'm sure he doesn't want to be responsible for folks DIY'ing rigging hardware poorly and blaming him.

Nimrod Webber posted his version of the rigging on this site I believe.  He did a good job, and while personally I would use rigid connectors between each cabinet, he did a great job mounting fly track in the cabs.

As far as stacking on scaffolding, this isn't rocket science -- and there are some good examples of how to do this effectively in the forum.
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Kevin Unger

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Re: Users of Bill Fitzmaurice designs. (apostrophe corrected)
« Reply #117 on: March 25, 2010, 02:30:05 am »

Mike:

A quick glance at the forsale section of Bill's forum and you'll see plenty cabs changing hands.

Most usually get their money back on the build, some come out with a few bucks for the labor. For a diy cab, I don't ever see it being any better with any other designs.


Best Regards,
Kevin Unger
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Mike Butler (media)

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Re: Users of Bill Fitzmaurice designs. (apostrophe corrected)
« Reply #118 on: March 25, 2010, 11:42:54 am »

Good answers, guys, thanks. I guess I should have said that they are transitional for many folks but not everyone. I personally have concluded that no gear is permanent, and things I thought I would use forever have lapsed into disuse. I then either sold them, or held onto them because it wasn't worth trying to get more than a pittance for them versus the convenience of having them around for spares.

When buying used commercial gear, I don't pay more than 50% of retail, whether it is MI-grade bar band stuff or touring grade prestige brands. That way I don't get hurt too much if I later sell it.

As for DIY boxes, 2/3 of the build cost sounds reasonable enough to pay, considering I'm getting somebody else's time and effort rather than expending my own, assuming their building skills are on par. One nice thing I can see about buying "pre-owned" home-built boxes is that one can actually hear them before laying out the cash.
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