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Author Topic: Continue buying JBL PRX 600 series/or save up for line array?  (Read 22456 times)

Tim Weaver

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Re: Continue buying JBL PRX 600 series/or save up for line array?
« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2012, 06:23:12 pm »

Dude, right now stick with what you've got. Add more to it and make money. 4 618XLF's and 2 635's make a killer, easy to build, fairly bulletproof system. Don't muck around with anything bigger until you figure this rig out and have extracted every ounce of performance from it.

It's similar to driving race cars. You don't jump straight into a formula car right from the get-go. You start out go-karting, and very quickly learn that you'll get your ass handed to you every night for about 3 years before it starts to click. Then you dominate for a little while. Then you move up to Miata's....
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Bullwinkle: This is the amplifier, which amplifies the sound. This is the Preamplifier which, of course, amplifies the pree's.

Chuck Simon

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Re: Continue buying JBL PRX 600 series/or save up for line array?
« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2012, 12:05:02 am »

Dude, right now stick with what you've got. Add more to it and make money. 4 618XLF's and 2 635's make a killer, easy to build, fairly bulletproof system. Don't muck around with anything bigger until you figure this rig out and have extracted every ounce of performance from it.

It's similar to driving race cars. You don't jump straight into a formula car right from the get-go. You start out go-karting, and very quickly learn that you'll get your ass handed to you every night for about 3 years before it starts to click. Then you dominate for a little while. Then you move up to Miata's....

He's right you know!  That would be a nice, easy to manage system that will sound better than most of the other guys in town.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2012, 12:07:22 am by Chuck Simon »
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Randall Hyde

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Re: Continue buying JBL PRX 600 series/or save up for line array?
« Reply #22 on: October 04, 2012, 01:03:28 am »



To be honest, the PRX 635 and XLF combo has served me well for most indoor events...outdoors is a whole different story. Last show I did was an outdoor play/acrobatics performace where the sound had to cover about a 1 acre area (just so they could hear music/commentary). 250 people were all situated under a big tent, and I had monitor speakers facing the performers (there was no stage, they were actually hanging in trees).


Think delay stacks in this situation.
Place two more (or another, in your case) PRX 635 halfway down the venue with an appropriate delay added to the sound. Sound isn't quite as good as the speakers *will* interfere with one another, but that's balanced by the fact that you can lower the volume at the main stack (speakers next to the stage) so you're not killing people's ears up front while people in the back are struggling to hear.

Getting delay stacks to sound good is an art form, I've decided. And when it comes to speech, comb filtering from interference from two sound sources can really kill you (if you're sitting in the wrong spot, anyway). But if it's not a loud rock show, you really need to control the volume next to the stage while allowing people in the back to hear announcements and such.

This is *one* way you can get the PRX gear to scale a little -- buy an extra pair of tops (or even more) to use as delay stacks. You'll need a suitable delay unit (e.g., DR260), you'll need to run power and signal to your delay stacks located out in the audience area (a major pain in and of itself; I typically use RF transmitters/receivers for the signal and [outside] I use a Honda EU2000i generator for the power so I'm not running cords out into the middle of the audience).  Using delay stacks can easily increase your audience size by 50-100%. Just keep in mind that subs are omnidirectional (well, non-cardiod sub arrangements) and you really don't want to place them out in your delay stacks as they'll interfere with the subs from your mains. I've generally found that people way in the back (this is at outdoor shows) either (1) don't want to be blown away by the sound system, or (2) accept the fact that their chests won't get kicked in at that distance, so I get away with subs only in the mains stacks.  With six SRX 725 cabinets (four in the main stack and two in the delay stacks) and six SRX 728s cabinets, I easily handle 2000+ people outdoors with around 120-degree coverage (the subs are a cardiod arrangement, using two rows of three dual-18" cabinets to allow a wider angle than I'd get with all six lined up in a single array).

As I said, I tried using the PRX 625 cabinets as the delay stacks for this rig. Liked the idea of not having to drag amps out to the delay stack positions. The PRX 625 cabinets just don't work well for that application, IMO.

FWIW, I really don't care about how much power JBL claims the speakers have. The Max and Ave SPL is more important to me. They claim something like 134 or 139 dB Max SPL (I forget and I'm too lazy to look it up right now). That's why I got the 625 cabinets over the 635 (not to mention the fact that the 625 cabinets are bigger, and as a lot of audience members listen with their *eyes* as well as ears, I was a bit concerned about how small looking the 635 cabinets are). Well, I was running my 625 cabinets fairly loud and within 8 hours of operation (from new, straight off the truck) I'd managed to blow up three of them (blew the amps, not the speakers). This tells me that achieving 110-120 dB SPL at one meter is real dicey with these speakers. I suspect that 100 dB SPL continuous is about as best I can go with them.  Whatever the case, I won't be using them as delay stacks for my SRX rig ever again. Hopefully, they'll live an uneventful life in my B rig (for smaller, one-sound-person shows where their weight and size is perfect).

If I wind up with some sort of problem again, I'll probably get them fixed under warranty, sell them, and go the QSC route. Will have to wait and see how they do in a month-long show I do in December before I decide to purchase PRX 618s XLF cabinets (same amp as the PRX 625, just bridged AFAIK). QSC cabinets weight quite a bit more (and don't look as "cool" as the JBLs), but reliability trumps all and thus far I've had terrible luck.
Cheers,
Randy Hyde
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Chuck Simon

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Re: Continue buying JBL PRX 600 series/or save up for line array?
« Reply #23 on: October 04, 2012, 01:27:46 am »

Randall, I'be been running four of the XLF'S for a couple of years now and they have been trouble free and sound surprisingly good.  They are the jewel of the PRX line!
« Last Edit: October 04, 2012, 01:30:05 am by Chuck Simon »
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Pete Bansen

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Re: Continue buying JBL PRX 600 series/or save up for line array?
« Reply #24 on: October 04, 2012, 11:13:31 am »

Think delay stacks in this situation.
I typically use RF transmitters/receivers for the signal

Randy -

What transmitter/receivers do you use for this?

Pete Bansen
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Tony Wright

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Re: Continue buying JBL PRX 600 series/or save up for line array?
« Reply #25 on: October 07, 2012, 03:39:26 pm »

If I may...

Forget labels such as "B" grade or "MI".  Every product is built for a specific market.  Often that "market" is to reach a large segment of the potential buyers at a given price point...

Thus companies like JBL (example) have JRX; Eon in both powered and passive configurations; PRX400 (passive); PRX600 (powered) and the newer STX...with models such as the MRX and SRX being phased out, but still very viable products.

I have owned and used all except the new PRX400 and the new STX models.  They are ALL good boxes for their price compared to the competition at the same price level...not always the best product in a give price range, but serious competitors.

The point is, the brand and model are NOT what makes a good show...the most important part of any system is the operator.

Beyond that...

Powered vs passive:  You mentioned buying four PRX618S-XLF for $5000 versus buying a single high power sub.

The JBL SRX728S has a Program rating of 3200 Watts at 4 Ohms.  My amp of choice was the QSC PLX3402 running at a 4 Ohm bridged mono configuration thus providing 3400 Watts to the individual subs.  Recognizing that the PLX3402 is out of production I would probably opt for the PLX3602 or maybe a Crown XTi-4002.

So, $1450 USD for one SRX728S and $1000 USD for a single XTi-4002.  Around $2450 USD plus any shipping and taxes.

The SRX728S weighs 166 pounds/76kg.  That is a chunk of weight in one box.  Dolly/casters, ramp/lift on back of van or trailer.  Two person team lifting.  Big, bulky...and the STX is "more of the same".

edit to add:  I selected the JBL PRX-600 series specifically so I can lift and carry all my inventory if I have to.  There is no way I could carry an SRX728S or one of the dual 18 STX subs, but I can carry four PRX618S-XLF, one at a time...(end edit)

And here is the point...you can manipulate the gear to get the pricing close to the same (two PRX618S-XLF cost about the same as one SRX728S and one XTi-4002)...


The real issue is determining your "typical event".  Your "company inventory" should handle about 75-85% of your "typical events" that you contract.  For those other events you can find a rental source and bid accordingly to the client.  Let the "rental source" invest their money in your "invisible inventory".

=================

I was unsure...so I rechecked all of your posts on this thread.

I noted that you only have one PRX635 and one PRX618S-XLF.  Personally, my purchasing advice would be to buy matching cabinets for your current inventory (able to provide two stacks) then I would concentrate on acquiring four monitors...then I would go back and add two more matching subwoofers.

My experience is that "twice the power for subs versus mains" is a good ratio.  It makes the low end far a more significant part of your sound.

I would observe that IF the market exists (I have NO idea where "the islands" are...Channel Islands, Long Island, Hawaiian Islands???) I would suggest finding good condition USED equipment to match your current inventory.

At the same time, I mentioned getting four monitors...personally, I am a B-I-G fan of the JBL PRX-612M...they make very adequate monitors and can be used as mains with equal success.  For the price and size difference, I would go with the 12s rather than the 15s.  And in the never ending suggestion to "buy more stuff"...I would encourage you to look for as many as six PRX612M.

Having six PRX-612M would give you a more modular inventory.

One advantage in a more "modular" inventory would be that you could split into two systems (especially if one was a live band and the other a DJ job)...that is, if you had a "partner" you trusted with your gear and company reputation. 

How would you split?

Well, your "band system" could be two PRX635 for mains and two PRX618S-XLF for subwoofers with four PRX612M for monitors; and the "DJ system would then be two PRX612M for mains and two PRX618S-XLF subs.

Combined, you would have a pretty decent small festival system...700-1000 people.

==============

My observation of the event in the park where listeners strained to hear commentary...they should have moved closer.

Tony's theory of crowd dynamics:
My observations of people attending events suggests that there are various personalities but they basically divide into 3 or 4 large groups.  Let's take the typical bar or outdoor music festival as an example...you have the "party hardy" types who like to be so close they can hug the speaker stacks and musicians...in the bar, they are the people who stand on the table before the end of the night with a long neck in their hand going "woo-hoo".  Next would be the "serious music lover" who tend to dance at least half the night, they usually sit right behind the "woo-hoo"  crowd (who arrived early and got the best seats near the dance floor).  The serious music lovers usually know what happend the day after it happend...not so much the "woo-hoo" crowd.  The next group are those who are there to be seen by their friends and hopefully members of the opposite sex...the "meat market crowd"...and finally, especially at outdoor festivals...the "let's get out of the house" crowd.  They are likely to take the kids down to the "music in the park" festivals and let them play while the adults relax on a blanket or lawn chairs...they often meet friends and neighbors at the events just to relax...they tend to sit on the fringe of the crowd so they can visit and talk without shouting over the music.

My experience suggests that people tend to move to the area that best suits their personality...but on occasion, they want to hear announcements but they are sitting too far away to clearly understand.  You cannot fix that without blowing the ears off everyone else.

My 2 cents worth....

====================

As a contractor or "service provider" you do need to satisfy the client's expectations within the contract and budget allowed.  For instance, if the event is in a park, have the client meet you there and define the area they want sound coverage.  If you don't own the gear, you need to rent it and add that to your fee prior to the bidding.  You may lose a gig or two, but you won't have dissatisfied clients.  The client trumps the audience because in the end, the client pays you...if THEY screw the estimated audience size and required sound levels, that is not YOUR fault.  If YOU misjudge, it is YOUR reputation.

This "ain't about the music"....this is show "Business" with strong emphasis on business...if you want to be successful.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2012, 03:43:12 pm by Tony Wright »
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Scott Bolt

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Re: Continue buying JBL PRX 600 series/or save up for line array?
« Reply #26 on: October 07, 2012, 04:45:02 pm »

Tony,

I had to see if I had written your post.  My thoughts exactly.

To the OP,

The speakers you have are excellent.  A pair of 635's over 4 XLF's would be a very potent and fantastic FOH setup that would be the envy of most DJ's and bands locally.  In fact, it would be as good sounding as many small touring systems as long as your gig doesn't have 4 digits in the attendance number ;)

The XLF's contain the same driver as the JBL SRX subs do.  Getting one of these subs for ~ $1,100.00 is the steal of the market (that is what I paid for both of mine).

You CAN get more and better sounding speakers; however, unless you really know what you are doing and have the equipment and processing setup well, it is unlikely (actually very unlikely) that you will be able to make a higher end passive rig sound as good as the PRX system.

JBL has done all the math for you.  The speakers are limited, crossed over, time aligned and equalized to sound good right out of the box.

Start by getting a matching set, then add more subs as you need it to get more thump.

I have heard better systems than the PRX lineup, but they were much more expensive, much bigger and heavier, and required much more know-how to setup well.

My personal favorite is Meyer .... but unless I win the lottery, it is unlikely I will ever own them :)
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Randall Hyde

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Re: Continue buying JBL PRX 600 series/or save up for line array?
« Reply #27 on: October 08, 2012, 03:11:18 pm »

Randy -

What transmitter/receivers do you use for this?

Pete Bansen

Line 6
Cheers,
Randy Hyde
P.S. Should have bought the Lectrosonics at 3x the price, but that's another story. The Line 6 units are fine, don't get me wrong, but I suspect that Lectrosonics would have worked better at 250' than the Line 6 units I bought.
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Randall Hyde

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Re: Continue buying JBL PRX 600 series/or save up for line array?
« Reply #28 on: October 08, 2012, 03:13:27 pm »

Randall, I'be been running four of the XLF'S for a couple of years now and they have been trouble free and sound surprisingly good.  They are the jewel of the PRX line!

I just did an indoor show using them. They worked reasonably well indoors where you don't have to push them real hard. Outdoors they just don't have the range as I've discovered.
Cheers,
Randy Hyde
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Chuck Simon

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Re: Continue buying JBL PRX 600 series/or save up for line array?
« Reply #29 on: October 08, 2012, 07:48:00 pm »

I just did an indoor show using them. They worked reasonably well indoors where you don't have to push them real hard. Outdoors they just don't have the range as I've discovered.
Cheers,
Randy Hyde

You're right about that.  For outdoor gigs I would like a few more, but what else is new? ;)
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Re: Continue buying JBL PRX 600 series/or save up for line array?
« Reply #29 on: October 08, 2012, 07:48:00 pm »


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