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Author Topic: Bill Fitzmaurice - Titan 48's & DR300's  (Read 32349 times)

John Marsh

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Bill Fitzmaurice - Titan 48's & DR300's
« on: December 18, 2010, 02:30:50 pm »

One of the venues that I DJ for on a weekly basis is looking at building a Concert PA system for their outdoor pavilion. The audience size is roughly the size of two high-school baseball fields.

They don't have the working capital needed to be able to purchase high-end line arrays such as EAW's and the like.

I have a solid background in woodworking, and have built my own speakers before with great success. I've been looking through different speaker plans that are out there and wanted to get the opinions of anyone who has real-world experience with the following:

Bill Fitzmaurice's Titan 48's
http://www.billfitzmaurice.com/T48.html

Bill Fitzmaurice's DR 300 Concert PA tops
http://www.billfitzmaurice.com/DR300.html

Titan 48's SPL Comparisons
http://billfitzmaurice.info/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=4 40

These DIY speakers boast a lot of large claims, and i'm wanting to know if these claims can be substantiated. I am very accurate in my building, so they would be built to specification, with no issues regarding air-leaks, incorrect horn angles, etc.

Some questions I'd like input on are things like:

1.) They state in the SPL chart that the Titan 48 pretty much across the board achieves a higher 1W/1M SPL than the EAW SB850. Is this true?

2.) What is the sound quality like for these DIY Cabinet? (If you've experienced them in person)

3.) Overall do you think this combination of cabinets would suit an outdoor venue the size I described, and if so, what would your estimate be for the number of subwoofers and full-range speakers needed?

4.) Any additional input that you can think of that may be of assistance in deciding which direction to go with this build.

Looking forward to hearing from anyone and everyone Smile

~ John Marsh

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Rick Powell

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Re: Bill Fitzmaurice - Titan 48's & DR300's
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2010, 03:13:43 pm »

Notwithstanding the quality of the Fitz speakers, if you are covering the size of 2 baseball fields (assuming they are filled with people, or even projecting across it) you will need several multiples of cabinets and appropriate power to cover it.  A pair of bass bins and tops ain't gonna cut it.

If I were going to go the DIY route, I would build about 8 to 12 copies of the LAB subwoofer which detailed plans and construction advice are available here on the LAB Subwoofer thread.  You are probably looking at $600 to $800 apiece for materials - don't skimp on the plywood quality, use marine birch plywood or equivalent.  

Building the mid-hi tops would be more problematic.  Most generic speaker design plans are not meant to be splayed in multiples - you will get lots of pattern interference if you just build the usual vented box/HF horn tops and bunch them up together on top of the bass bins.  I am awaiting a LAB Unity Horn construction thread someday Laughing  But seriously, you might be better off searching for some good used horn loaded mid hi boxes with good pattern control to go with the bass bins.  You would splay them as needed to get the coverage you need.  There are a lot of Community and EAW boxes floating around that would serve the purpose, and you may find them for less than $1000 per box.  But you will need at least 4 per side just to get in the ballpark of covering your area with modest SPL.

For power, there are a lot of used Crown I-techs floating around that have a great dollar per watt ratio.

This is not meant to give you a detailed list of what you should do, just the order of magnitude you will need.  We will probably get some following messages telling us even this is not enough rig for the gig. Laughing  
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Rick Powell
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John Marsh

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Re: Bill Fitzmaurice - Titan 48's & DR300's
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2010, 03:22:29 pm »

I was 'guess-timating' that it would need 8-10 Titan 48's V-Coupled, and probably 4-6 DR300's per side. Definitely will be going with Crown Amplifiers, and the higher end DBX PA Management Units, 24 channel presonus mixer, etc.
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Seth Hochberg

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Re: Bill Fitzmaurice - Titan 48's & DR300's
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2010, 03:30:43 pm »

You may wish to send a PM to a poster on here named Nimrod Webber - he is one name that sticks in my mind as using arrays of Bill Fitzmaurice designs professionally. I think he does DR290 over LABSubs.
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John Marsh

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Re: Bill Fitzmaurice - Titan 48's & DR300's
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2010, 03:31:58 pm »

Also wanted to mention that the DR300 Tops would be flown in a vertical line array format
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Rick Powell

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Re: Bill Fitzmaurice - Titan 48's & DR300's
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2010, 03:44:47 pm »

I haven't heard the DR300's but the site said they are a tight pattern control box that will do 135 dB.  That is the kind of box you are looking for.  I am surprised there is not a vertical to horizontal pattern given or a polar plot of frequency sensitivity.  I would ask the designer how to place these speakers for maximum coverage and minimum pattern interference, both side-to-side and on top of each other.  You may have to raise them up off the ground a good bit and angle them appropriately to get the best results.

If you get the Crown I Tech or xti series you may be able to use the built in dsp in the amps rather than going the dbx drive rack route.  If I were going to get a dbx, I would get at least the 260 series for a system this big.  For a big outdoor rig like this, it would be a good idea to get someone in who is proficient with SMAART and set all the delays, crossovers and EQ for optimized system performance.

And I would reiterate - the LAB sub design here is a proven design that works, is in commercial use all over the world, and provides monster, high quality low end when combined in multiples of 6 or more.  I'm sure the Titan 48 has it's fans, too, but I have yet to see a sound company with any, whereas the LAB subs are all over the place and can be more easily rented if you need more, or provide you income from cross renting to another outfit when they need more.
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Rick Powell
StudioLive 16:4:2
JTR Triple 8 Mains
Danley TH115 Subwoofers
Bag End TA15 Floor Monitors
Crown xti6000/4000/2000

"There are two types of people...those who divide people into two types, and those who don't."

Mac Kerr

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Re: Bill Fitzmaurice - Titan 48's & DR300's
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2010, 04:11:26 pm »

You are talking about a major undertaking to end up with what may or may not be suitable. If the construction is not up to snuff it may be so much firewood. It would probably be safer to buy used quality gear. I don't know what is left from this Marketplace ad, but it is real pro gear that would suit your needs.

http://srforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/t/60971/377/

The seller has a lot of experience with the system, he can probably advise you what you need.

Mac
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John Marsh

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Re: Bill Fitzmaurice - Titan 48's & DR300's
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2010, 04:19:30 pm »

construction would be impeccable (i'm very well versed in woodworking, and these would likely be some of the very best Titan 48's and DR300's ever built) I'm more concerned that even with a perfect build to spec, what is the sound quality from these these going to be like? Are there going to be issues with phasing, delay, etc. EQ / Delay / Phasing will all be done using a pair of DBX 260's for the best sound possible, but even with this, are the cabinets going to be sufficient?
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Bill Fitzmaurice - Titan 48's & DR300's
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2010, 04:25:28 pm »

John Marsh wrote on Sat, 18 December 2010 16:19

construction would be impeccable (i'm very well versed in woodworking, and these would likely be some of the very best Titan 48's and DR300's ever built) I'm more concerned that even with a perfect build to spec, what is the sound quality from these these going to be like? Are there going to be issues with phasing, delay, etc. EQ / Delay / Phasing will all be done using a pair of DBX 260's for the best sound possible, but even with this, are the cabinets going to be sufficient?


If they are going to be the best construction ever that must mean you are going to have all the cutting done at a CNC shop. By the time you pay for that you will be saving a lot less money. You will still have to assemble them and make sure they are fully airtight.

If you are building a few boxes for your own use DIY may be a good way to go, putting together a fairly large system for someone else is something else again.

Mac
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John Marsh

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Re: Bill Fitzmaurice - Titan 48's & DR300's
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2010, 04:38:11 pm »

by 'some of the best Titan 48's and DR300's ever built' - i was referring to the quality and care I put into my own fabrication. I am extremely accurate in my measurements and such when building something, especially if it's for someone else. Basically, these wouldn't be DIY cabs built in dim-lit garage... rather, I have access to a full woodworking shop that has about every tool imaginable (Including CNC Routers, accurate commercial table saws, etc), and I have the know-how to use it lol The cabinets I've built there in the past have all turned out excellent, so I have no concerns regarding quality of construction. My only real concern is that even built perfectly to spec, are they going to perform at a level suitable for the venue?
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