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Author Topic: Small powered speaker shootout  (Read 22460 times)

Caleb Dick

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Re: Small powered speaker shootout
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2010, 10:53:32 pm »

The point wasn't about comparing 15" 2-way speakers. It was a client who initially wanted to buy ZXA5's, then asked last minute to hear them with the KW153's. Possibly better speakers at a lower price point is appealing, no?  

The others were extras we had laying around.

A tangent- I think driver size and number of drivers is becoming last century. For example, when used with subs like all systems should be, a KW153 should smoke a Nexo PS10 r2. If you closed your eyes, could you tell?  What if both had not only subs but full processing?  Why does it matter to hear top speakers unprocessed and without subs, if that is not how they will be used in real life?  I want to remove variables like EQ, and listen for issues that can't be fixed after the fact.

I am also a fan of total system cost. An inexpensive speaker that needs special processing and multiple amps should include those in the cost. Example- SM-60F vs PS10.

/tangent

Caleb

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Caleb Dick
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Reggie Kendrick

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Re: Small powered speaker shootout
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2010, 03:40:32 am »

Caleb Dick wrote on Tue, 20 July 2010 18:51




...At 90' back or so, we cranked up the ZXA5 and KW153 to limit.  The ZXA5 was so harsh, they asked me to kill the level quickly.  At full output, the KW153 sounded better, and I'll admit, wasn't bad at all.  The next day they had a small outdoor concert, and I went from 40' to about 300' a few times.  Even at long distance, the vocals stayed on top of the mix, and it sounded better than expected...

Caleb

Another question... how do you know what the limit is on the ZXa5?  They don't have limit light indicators like most other powered speakers.

I just try to play it safe and use the limiting on my processor or play it by ear.

Adam Kane

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Re: Small powered speaker shootout
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2010, 10:32:31 am »

Caleb Dick wrote on Sat, 24 July 2010 22:53


A tangent- I think driver size and number of drivers is becoming last century. For example, when used with subs like all systems should be, a KW153 should smoke a Nexo PS10 r2. If you closed your eyes, could you tell?  What if both had not only subs but full processing?  Why does it matter to hear top speakers unprocessed and without subs, if that is not how they will be used in real life?  I want to remove variables like EQ, and listen for issues that can't be fixed after the fact.

I am also a fan of total system cost. An inexpensive speaker that needs special processing and multiple amps should include those in the cost. Example- SM-60F vs PS10.

/tangent

Caleb




+1
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Mike Pyle

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Re: Small powered speaker shootout
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2010, 03:31:49 pm »

I would guess at limiting the ZXA5 was also a good bit louder than the KW153. I personally have compared the ZXA5 to a few other well reviewed powered cabinets in the same price range and find it to be just about as smooth sounding as any, up to the maximum levels the other cabinets would put out. Beyond that it just keep going and going and going.... and it would not surprise me at all that it might get harsh when it is hitting a few dB higher levels than any of the others are doing.

I know there is a response dip right at the crossover point that could affect clarity in the mids, but none of my customers that use them have complained of any difficulty getting vocals on top of the mix, so I seriously doubt that the problem was with the speaker unless something was broken.
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Alan Roberts

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Re: Small powered speaker shootout
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2010, 04:38:14 pm »

Caleb Dick wrote on Tue, 20 July 2010 15:51



ZXA5 - got louder than expected.  Mid range was indistinct and mushy, HF was harsh especially when cranked.  Was quite disappointing.  


Caleb



Interesting. First really negative comment I've read regarding the ZXA5.

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Caleb Dick

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Re: Small powered speaker shootout
« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2010, 07:21:59 pm »

I want to be clear - this isn't a 'bash the ZXA5' thread. Taken alone, with (I'm assuming) EQ and Smaart, the ZXA5 is a very capable speaker. Especially for a basic 15" 2-way. There are many worse out there.

All the listening/demos proved is that if ultimate output isn't needed, it's possible to drop price point into a respectable 15" 3-way wood cab.  

Another factor was all the hype around the ZXA5, which made its shortcomings even more noticable.

Caleb
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Reggie Kendrick

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Re: Small powered speaker shootout
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2010, 10:42:51 am »

I went into a local music shop that has the new QSC KW153 along with the KW122. I decided to compare my 2-way EV ZXa5 to the 3-way KW153. Like Caleb alluded, this would be a more solution-to-solution comparison.

The sales guy had the mixer set up with my speaker on one slider and the KW153 on the other. The EQ was flat and the KW153 was set to NORM/FLAT mode. My ZXa5 was running full range mode. We played several tracks from Miles Davis to George Benson to Outkast.  The output volume difference was easily evident. As far as sound, I felt the EV had a very pronounced mid-range sound. The mids were a lot more pronounced than those of the KW153. When pushed to high volumes, the EVs seemed to break up in the highs area. With the QSCs, the sound was more even or flat and I noticed the highs did not break up on the same songs where the EV had. There was a very acoustical George Benson song off the "That's Right" album where his vocals and cymbals come in together. I could hear the distinction and clarity of the cymbals on the KW153 where the EVs sounded overly harsh on those sections. The sales guy was being a little too easy on the KW153s volume levels so I had him crank them up to levels where the limiter began to kick in. The EVs perceived output was still louder overall but the clarity and overall better sound would go the the QSC 3-way. I like the fact that the KW153s have a pole mount and are still somewhat manageable at 87 lbs.

They did not have the KW152s there. If they did, I doubt they would sound better and definitely not louder than the EVs. I did not listen to the KW153s too long in their DEEP mode.  Their bottom end was not overly impressive as a stand alone.  I would be using these tops with a pair of TH-118s anyway so that low end wouldn't be necessary.

Phil Lewandowski

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Re: Small powered speaker shootout
« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2010, 11:31:34 am »

Reggie Kendrick wrote on Tue, 14 September 2010 10:42

I like the fact that the KW153s have a pole mount and are still somewhat manageable at 87 lbs.




Really, wow the KW153's have a pole mount?  I would be very interested how stable they are at 43" tall and 87lbs.

My U15's are right around 80lbs but are only 34" tall.  So the 153 adds 9" more.
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Reggie Kendrick

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Re: Small powered speaker shootout
« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2010, 01:58:20 pm »

Phil Lewandowski wrote on Wed, 15 September 2010 11:31

Reggie Kendrick wrote on Tue, 14 September 2010 10:42

I like the fact that the KW153s have a pole mount and are still somewhat manageable at 87 lbs.




Really, wow the KW153's have a pole mount?  I would be very interested how stable they are at 43" tall and 87lbs.

My U15's are right around 80lbs but are only 34" tall.  So the 153 adds 9" more.

That's one thing I'll do when I go back in there, pole mount the speaker and see how stable they are on some standard $39 sticks.  

Pat Latimer

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Re: Small powered speaker shootout
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2010, 01:59:52 pm »

Phil Lewandowski wrote on Wed, 15 September 2010 11:31

Reggie Kendrick wrote on Tue, 14 September 2010 10:42

I like the fact that the KW153s have a pole mount and are still somewhat manageable at 87 lbs.




Really, wow the KW153's have a pole mount?  I would be very interested how stable they are at 43" tall and 87lbs.

My U15's are right around 80lbs but are only 34" tall.  So the 153 adds 9" more.



I don't think the KW153 is pole mountable. I'm sure he's speaking of the KW152.

Pat


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