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Author Topic: Yorkville U215 power...  (Read 6749 times)

Steve Loxton

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Yorkville U215 power...
« on: November 30, 2011, 11:56:22 pm »

Not a lot on here on this subject, so...

I've been running a powered Unity rig for over 4 years, now and my gigs have been growing beyond the capability of 2 U15P per side and 4 UCS1P. Using more than 2 per side of these (except in very wide venues) doesn't seem viable. So, much as I wish Yorkville made the U215 in a powered version, I need more SPL and I'm moving up to two pairs of these and am planning on powering them with QSC PLX, or PLX2 amps; because they're light and there are scads of them available used at good prices on fleabay and I've had good luck with them in my pre-active newby days.

Do you think 4 x PLX2502 (or 2402) bridged (one per cab on the low end) and 2 x PLX1802 (one channel per cab high end) would be a good system? I realize the 575w into 4ohms for the highs seems like a lot, but apparently these cabs like lots of mid/high power and I can always throttle the amps back and I'd really prefer to idle my amps than push them to their (probably exagerated) published specs. The 2500w for each cabs low end seems about right for their 1800w rating to keep the amps from working too hard.

So, a few more questions...

1) Could/should I move to the cheaper/lighter 1104 on mid/highs? Power seems to be about the same, but you can't bridge them (not that I plan to, but it's a little less versatility should that ever be desired)...

2) I've now got 6 UCS1P subs. I think I will need to move up to 8, but am I hitting the point of diminishing returns price/performance/form-factor wise on these and therefore, should be looking at something that can deliver more lows with less cabs and/or better efficiency and/or lower cost? Do I have to start being concerned with directionality or comb filtering if I've got to lay 8 of these end to end in front of a low stage?

3) Can anyone help a passive cab novice out with a quick tutorial on how best to set my gain structure on this system to minimize the chance of blowing drivers, since these amps seem like they'll be powerful enough to do it? I have to admit to being a bit nervous considering with the U15Ps, (when required) I just crank them up until I see too solid of a red light and the dynamics start to flatten out due to the DSP limiting. Then, I know I'm at their limit, so I back off and I've never blown a driver (wish I could say the same for the subs... blown 2 woofers in them over the years). How do I use the dbu ratings of the amps to match the attenuators to the console (LS9) and how do I figure out how to get the highest clean SPL out of a 2 or 4 cab rig without learning the hard way? Is there a way to minimize the guesswork and risk without counting on just my ears with unfamiliar cabs and SPL levels?

4) Any recommendations on processing? I have it from an 'inside' source that the Unity processor is probably NOT my best choice, particularly since I run aux-fed subs, which makes part of the processor redundant...

5) Finally, do you think these would cluster well with the U15Ps for mid-sized (1 x U15P + 1 x U215 / side), or the largest (1 x U15P + 2 x U215 / side) gigs, or when I do need particularly wide coverage?

btw, I'm planning on racking the amps 3 per 8 space roller rack; one rack behind each pair of cabs...

Thanks
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Rob Spence

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Re: Yorkville U215 power...
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2011, 09:27:59 am »

You are doing a sideways move at best here. The U215s (134/130spl) are not specified as louder than the U15P (135/129). 1db isn't going to be noticed.

If you need louder you need to do something else. Perhaps a dual PA or look at why you think you need more volume?

What sorts of rooms are you working?

With subs, more units of what ever you use is better though there are subs that will seriously outperform what you have - for some serious $$.
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Mike Pyle

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Re: Yorkville U215 power...
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2011, 11:38:06 am »

Regardless of the spec the U215 is notably louder than the U15 and U15P. It delivers the mid-bass needed to match the output of the horn without the juiced up processing they use in the U15 & U15P, which tends to be the limiting factor of the single 15" cabinets.

I have arrayed U15s and U215s together with decent results.
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Steve Loxton

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Re: Yorkville U215 power...
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2011, 02:48:08 pm »

You are doing a sideways move at best here. The U215s (134/130spl) are not specified as louder than the U15P (135/129). 1db isn't going to be noticed.

If you need louder you need to do something else. Perhaps a dual PA or look at why you think you need more volume?

What sorts of rooms are you working?

With subs, more units of what ever you use is better though there are subs that will seriously outperform what you have - for some serious $$.

Rob,

I've got several rooms (200-250 capacity) where I use one U15P per side (and two UCS1P subs), but 2 per side isn't doable due to site lines, room geometry, etc. In these cases I often find I get pretty much the volume I need and then, I go behind the cab and the red limiter light is on more than it's off. I don't like that. They'll still go louder and sound good, but it means I start to lose my dynamics and I have nothing left to boost a lead, etc. Cudos to Yorkville that I've never damaged one. I'm so close to what I want, I figure 3 or 4 more db of headroom would be just about perfect. So, in those cases I plan to try swapping out the U15P with the U215 and adding a third sub.

The more important thing though is that I started to get a lot more summer outdoor gigs this year. I always use all 4 tops and 4 subs, but even with getting the tops up in the air, that system isn't going to do rock for more than 250-350 people. I've just been lucky so far that anticipated attendance hasn't been reached at any of these gigs, most of which are still building a following. I've been asked back to do all of them next year and as they grow, I'm going to need more PA. I've done a full house of 550 in a theatre with 4 and 4 and it sounded great, but volume was just adequet, not impressive. Definitely nothing left in the tank. In both cases, I would like to use 2 pairs of U215 for mains, flown about 8-15' high on lifts and use the U15P as fills and/or delay stacks and have up to 8 subs.
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Steve Loxton

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Re: Yorkville U215 power...
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2011, 02:53:50 pm »

Regardless of the spec the U215 is notably louder than the U15 and U15P. It delivers the mid-bass needed to match the output of the horn without the juiced up processing they use in the U15 & U15P, which tends to be the limiting factor of the single 15" cabinets.

I have arrayed U15s and U215s together with decent results.

Mike,

Thanks for adding to the consensus that these cabs are louder. Most seem to like their sound better, too due to the better mid-range performance. The main question still remains: does my proposed power for these look reasonable?

And I'd like to hear from anyone else on some of my other questions. This is new territory for me...

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bruce gering

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Re: Yorkville U215 power...
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2011, 08:55:32 pm »

Mike,

Thanks for adding to the consensus that these cabs are louder. Most seem to like their sound better, too due to the better mid-range performance. The main question still remains: does my proposed power for these look reasonable?

And I'd like to hear from anyone else on some of my other questions. This is new territory for me...

I believe the horn by itself is rated at 8ohms, so that cuts your power from the 1602 just about in half. I know from my U15 bi-amping experience that the horn will not flinch even powered by an amp as powerful as the 3402...and you get a cleaner sound from the added headroom.
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Todd Rasmussen

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Re: Yorkville U215 power...
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2011, 08:28:28 am »

I believe the horn by itself is rated at 8ohms, so that cuts your power from the 1602 just about in half. I know from my U15 bi-amping experience that the horn will not flinch even powered by an amp as powerful as the 3402...and you get a cleaner sound from the added headroom.

The power the mid/high can handle depends on the type of biamping that can be configured. While a completely different speaker, the example has some merit.

If I biamp my SR4732A speakers they have no trouble with a PL236 on the mid/highs. However, if I configure those speakers as SR4732AT, where they're a pure triamp with no crossovers before the drivers, the power handling drops considerably to something on the order of 100W for the HF horn and 40W for the UHF horn. It's not that the power handling of the drivers themselves changes, but it's what happens with or without the effect of the internal crossover before the drivers.

Point being, thought I saw some reference to passive biamping or active biamping but couldn't find details. It may well depend on the form as to the actual power handling.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2011, 08:31:47 am by Todd Rasmussen »
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Steve Loxton

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Re: Yorkville U215 power...
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2011, 02:21:44 pm »

So, if the mid/high are actually 8 ohms in bi-amp mode (which seems strange, but...), should I be looking at a bigger amp than the PLX1802 (320w @ 8 ohms) to drive the M/H?
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Yorkville U215 power...
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2011, 03:32:40 pm »

So, if the mid/high are actually 8 ohms in bi-amp mode (which seems strange, but...), should I be looking at a bigger amp than the PLX1802 (320w @ 8 ohms) to drive the M/H?

Yes.  Don't scrimp on power and DONT use bridge mode.  Buy the bigger amps you need; when you inevitably replace/expand/change your speaker inventory you won't have to buy new amps.  "Buy once, cry once«."

If you see yourself doing rock for bigger audiences, outdoors, you need to re-think your approach to PA.  What works "just fine" indoors will show itself to be woefully inadequate when you move outside unless you significantly lower your expectations.  I'm not trying to bust your groove, but sharing 30 years of experience in the biz... and I started out very much like you.  "The wrong product at the right price is still the wrong product«."

The question you need to answer is "do my clients hire me because I own gear, or do they hire me because I take good care of their audio needs?"  If the answer is the latter, consider hiring in "stacks and racks" locally for the outdoor shows.  Use your mixing, mics, etc.  You'll still be the "face" of the show to your client but you won't have to spend big money on gear that you don't use most often.  You might make a little less per show with hire-in, but factor the 100% cost of excess capacity when it's not used and the savings become clear.  Also, good accounting will show you how many outdoor gigs it will take to a) pay for the stuff you need to do outdoor rock shows; b) turn a profit with that gear, not just a positive cash flow and; c) when or if you'll actually make a *return* on that investment in gear.

Making sound is a lot easier than making a profit by making sound.

Have fun, good luck.

Tim Mc
« Last Edit: December 05, 2011, 03:35:34 pm by Tim McCulloch »
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Steve Loxton

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Re: Yorkville U215 power...
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2011, 12:08:18 pm »

Making sound is a lot easier than making a profit by making sound.


You said it brother!

My problem is that I'm in this small, backwater market where the closest rental provider is about 3 hours round trip, so it has to be a pretty big and lucrative gig to make renting viable at the rates I can charge and besides, such gigs really don't exist here. Frustratingly, maximum rates are substantially lower than I could charge if I was in the big city where the rentals are readily available. I'm in a small city of about 70,000 and it's even backed up into a geographic corner where I can only draw out-of-town business from one direction and that's towards the bigger city, which is saturated. So, growth opportunities are severely limited, but growing I am...

I've actually created a market for myself where none existed before, serving bands that had been doing SOS. The money is LOW ($200-$300 per show. But I deploy a completely active PA & wedges. Run it on a wirelessly controlled LS9-32 in a rolling rack and use all custom sub-snakes (w/AC also in them) that live in the rack, permanently attached to the board. So my labour is WAY less than an old-school system. After load in, I can lay down 24 ch. on stage in 5 min. and have the PA running in 15...). I do 30-40 of these little bar gigs per year, now. This started out as a hobby business, but those gigs are now loss-leaders, as they've started getting me more reasonably paying one-offs. Many of these are annual repeaters and running to get rentals every couple of weeks, 10 or 12 times per summer would take all the fun (and money) out of it. None of these gig are bigger than what the PA described above could handle and probably won't ever be; the shows just don't exist for me (or anyone) to do.

As for power then, how about a Crown XTI6002? It delivers 2100 @ 4 ohms and the U215 LF handles 1800w (3600w peak). Sound like a good match, or should I be going even bigger considering the U215 peak rating? And the cost (considering the on-board DSP) works out about the same as two PLX2502 bridged w/outboard processing... Any cheaper solutions? How about the MF/HF? I read a lot of different things about how much power the Unity horn needs/can handle. It's rated at 175w, but some are saying a 500w+ amp isn't too big... any real world experience out there?

Thanks Tim and everyone!
« Last Edit: December 06, 2011, 12:15:35 pm by Steve Loxton »
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Steve Loxton

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Re: Yorkville U215 power...
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2011, 12:51:11 pm »

having done some more homework, looks like the I-T6k would be an even better choice at similar cost... opinions?
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Steve Loxton

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Re: Yorkville U215 power...
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2011, 02:59:33 pm »

having done some more homework, looks like the I-T6k would be an even better choice at similar cost... opinions?

So, I just picked up a pair of I-T6000 on Flea-bay for what I think is a pretty good price. That will take care of power (and DSP) for my first pair of U215... and then some. Although, I'll have to dial the amp on the MF/HF way back. When I get my second pair of U215, I'll use the 6ks for LF and get two more amps for HF. But, the smallest I-Tech (4000) seems like overkill... Since I'll have the DSP in the I-Techs can someone recommend a good amp for the HF? Can the I-Tech DSP feed the MF/HF amp and process the full freq. range?
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Yorkville U215 power...
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2011, 06:34:42 pm »

So, I just picked up a pair of I-T6000 on Flea-bay for what I think is a pretty good price. That will take care of power (and DSP) for my first pair of U215... and then some. Although, I'll have to dial the amp on the MF/HF way back. When I get my second pair of U215, I'll use the 6ks for LF and get two more amps for HF. But, the smallest I-Tech (4000) seems like overkill... Since I'll have the DSP in the I-Techs can someone recommend a good amp for the HF? Can the I-Tech DSP feed the MF/HF amp and process the full freq. range?

No.  The processing remains inside the amp, i.e. the processed signal does not appear on the XLR "thru" output.
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Ronnie.Reels

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Re: Yorkville U215 power...
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2011, 07:12:49 pm »

So, I just picked up a pair of I-T6000 on Flea-bay for what I think is a pretty good price. That will take care of power (and DSP) for my first pair of U215... and then some. Although, I'll have to dial the amp on the MF/HF way back. When I get my second pair of U215, I'll use the 6ks for LF and get two more amps for HF. But, the smallest I-Tech (4000) seems like overkill... Since I'll have the DSP in the I-Techs can someone recommend a good amp for the HF? Can the I-Tech DSP feed the MF/HF amp and process the full freq. range?

Crown XS900 works great for 2 or 3 per channel Hi sections of U15/U215
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Yorkville U215 power...
┬ź Reply #13 on: December 09, 2011, 07:12:49 pm ┬╗


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