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Author Topic: Need Help Choosing Sub  (Read 10862 times)

Ian Murphy

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Need Help Choosing Sub
« on: October 02, 2012, 10:32:17 am »

I am newer to pro sound, but I just had my first sound tech gig last week.  I've been in two bands and have played with equipment for about 6-7 years, but this was my first real gig.  Since then I've been craving some upgrades since my rig was not powerful enough at all for that venue.

I'm also not used the whole pro sound system of "program" power ratings, the whole car audio world actually caught on to using RMS ratings.  Right now I'm looking at new mains and a sub.  The thing is that I'd like to get some sound fast and relatively cheap because I'm only in town for 3-4 months.  I'm also hopefully getting a nice cushy full time job soon so I will have more money to upgrade then.  I was looking at the Behringer B1800x because its rated for 800 watts 'program' and I have a crown xls402 that can put out 900w continuous at 8 ohms.  The only reason that I'm looking at it is because is SO cheap, I can get one about $250-280 with a few blemishes.  I know people will immediately say 'behringer=piece of crap' but does anyone actually know what the continuous/RMS rating for this sub is, or otherwise recommend a relatively powerful but inexpensive sub similar to this?  I used a pair of b215xl and it held up 250w continuous pretty well (it just wasn't enough).  I can't spend more than $350 or so.  There is also not a lot of used equipment around here, so I'm primarily looking online. 

Thanks for the input,
Ian
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Ian Murphy

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Re: Need Help Choosing Sub
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2012, 10:41:52 pm »

Ah okay, well I found the manual and it states the B1800x can supposedly handle 450w Continuous, although I can only run 1 of these since the crown XLS402 does 300w x 2 @8ohms or 900w x 1 @8ohms.  I'm still not sure if its worth it.  It looks like a lot of these main subs run about 450w, so its basically the same power but cheaper and probably low sound quality.  The only one I can find that is 4 ohms is the JBL JRX118s and that's only 350w.  So I could run two for maybe $750 and that's still only 700w :-\   
« Last Edit: October 02, 2012, 11:14:04 pm by Ian Murphy »
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Need Help Choosing Sub
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2012, 07:35:43 am »

Ah okay, well I found the manual and it states the B1800x can supposedly handle 450w Continuous, although I can only run 1 of these since the crown XLS402 does 300w x 2 @8ohms or 900w x 1 @8ohms.  I'm still not sure if its worth it.  It looks like a lot of these main subs run about 450w, so its basically the same power but cheaper and probably low sound quality.  The only one I can find that is 4 ohms is the JBL JRX118s and that's only 350w.  So I could run two for maybe $750 and that's still only 700w :-\   
Without going into a long explanation-there is A LOT-A WHOLE LOT more to a speaker than the power rating.  That only gives a marginal idea on the output capacity.  But many people (especially in the car world) think (wrongly) that is the only spec that matters.

Things like REAL sensitivity-REAL freq response can make more of a difference.

And once you start to move into actual sound QUALITY-it all starts to change.

If all you are looking for is a space heater-then go ahead and buy whatever rating you want.  But if you are looking for any kind of sound quality-extension etc-you HAVE to look at other specs-IF you can get them.  Products without real specs/measurements would be suspect right off the bat.
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Frederik RosenkjŠr

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Re: Need Help Choosing Sub
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2012, 10:18:04 am »

Saying "this speaker handles up to X Watts" is exactly the same as saying "this car will burn up to X gallons pr. hour". Nothing more, nothing less AFAICS.
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Ian Murphy

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Re: Need Help Choosing Sub
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2012, 12:50:42 pm »

Saying "this speaker handles up to X Watts" is exactly the same as saying "this car will burn up to X gallons pr. hour". Nothing more, nothing less AFAICS.

Yes I understand they aren't all the same.  A good company will have some type of rating that they have tested the speaker at to know the minimum safe continuous power usually running pink noise, 0db sine wave, etc.  I have studied Acoustics Engineering and I interned for an acoustics company so I have some background with sound in general....
Since an important part of sound reinforcement is actually having enough sound to fill the venue, I'm looking at trying to get at least enough power for the venues around here.  For the customers I'm looking at they just want something loud that doesn't have any high distortion or noise to the casual listener.

I'm not sure if all of you just shoot for the most expensive possible speakers you can buy, but I was looking to see if anyone has experience with some of these lower budget speakers and has any recommendations, its hard to trust internet reviews.  I'm also looking at Seismic Audio, they have the speakers with the specs I'm looking for.  I'm sure they aren't top quality, but they may do for now as "a space heater".

Thanks.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2012, 12:58:57 pm by Ian Murphy »
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: Need Help Choosing Sub
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2012, 01:15:50 pm »

.......its hard to trust internet reviews.

And yet here you are on the Internet looking for reviews/advice.

Quote
  I'm also looking at Seismic Audio, they have the speakers with the specs I'm looking for.  I'm sure they aren't top quality........

You are correct.  They are not top quality or "quality" at all.  The cabinets are made of something other than real wood (OSB???) with inferior components and are about 99% efficient in wasting your money.
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Rob Spence

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Need Help Choosing Sub
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2012, 03:41:30 pm »

If you need loud, then the SPL spec more important to you than the power spec.
Think top speed vs gallons consumed.

Generally, cheep will look ok, not sound ok, and not solve your issue or make you very happy.

If what you need is too expensive then perhaps hiring or renting in the short term is better. You say you are only in town a few months.... What does that mean? You only need the gear for a few months? Or you need to choose it over that time?

Stop thinking about power and think instead about the space you need to fill and how loud it must be. Also, consider that the whole space may not need to be loud. The bartender needs to hear the drink orders or you won't be back.


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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Need Help Choosing Sub
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2012, 06:30:14 pm »

.  I'm also looking at Seismic Audio, they have the speakers with the specs I'm looking for.  I'm sure they aren't top quality, but they may do for now as "a space heater".

Thanks.
So exactly what are the specs you are looking for?  Are you reading the max SPL?  What does that mean.  Is it even in the intended freq range you plan on using it (bass)?  Some "max SPL" figures are waayyyy out of the bass range-even up to 2000Hz.  Not exactly bass range-but they do give a higher number-even it is only a narrow peak.

Single number don't really mean a lot-as they could come fro all kinds of "different places" and mean all kinds fo different things.

It is NOT a simple thing to compare-even when talking about the top brands.  The same graph/measurement could come up with different numbers-as read by different people.  So which one is right? 

And when you don't even have a graph-WHERE THE HECK did the numbers come from?

One thing you should do is to actually test the cabinets and see if they can actually meet the specified specs.
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Frederik RosenkjŠr

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Re: Need Help Choosing Sub
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2012, 07:43:54 pm »

Yes I understand they aren't all the same.  A good company will have some type of rating that they have tested the speaker at to know the minimum safe continuous power usually running pink noise,

I don't think you got my point. It was not that the specification might not be accurate and comparable between different cabinets and manufacturers.

No, my point was that the specification you're asking for (max power rating / that which is measured in Watts) is a meaningless specification to begin with. If a car salesman told you "this baby will guzzle up to X gallons pr. hour!!! That's quite a lot!", what you do with that information? It doesn't tell you anything about how fast the car would be going at that fuel consumption rate or how far it can go. At best it gives some foggy indication of how fast the car can go, but then you have cars that vary greatly in fuel economy, so much as to render that specification useless. Same with speakers.

What you need to worry about is "max SPL", measured in dB. That's the spec that actually tells you what you want to know. And THEN you can start worrying about how Manufacturer X gets his information vs. Manufacturer Y (and the bottomline of THAT discussion is: get the cabinets and listen/test for yourself).

I'd rather have a speaker that does 140 dB with 100W than one that uses 5000W to accomplish the same. Using many watts is BAD in principle.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Need Help Choosing Sub
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2012, 08:40:15 pm »


No, my point was that the specification you're asking for (max power rating / that which is measured in Watts) is a meaningless specification to begin with. If a car salesman told you "this baby will guzzle up to X gallons pr. hour!!! That's quite a lot!", what you do with that information? It doesn't tell you anything about how fast the car would be going at that fuel consumption rate or how far it can go. At best it gives some foggy indication of how fast the car can go, but then you have cars that vary greatly in fuel economy, so much as to render that specification useless. Same with speakers.

What you need to worry about is "max SPL", measured in dB. That's the spec that actually tells you what you want to know. And THEN you can start worrying about how Manufacturer X gets his information vs. Manufacturer Y (and the bottomline of THAT discussion is: get the cabinets and listen/test for yourself).

I'd rather have a speaker that does 140 dB with 100W than one that uses 5000W to accomplish the same. Using many watts is BAD in principle.
But the car that may be using a lot of gas may be a much larger heavier car-that has a smoother ride-or is pulling a heavy load.  So what is more important-speed-or comfort-or gas economy-load rating etc?

As you say-hard to tell without more details.

The max SPL is another VERY vague spec.  Yes it may get to a particular SPL-at what freq?  How loud will it get in the intended range?  How long can it produce max SPL without damage?  Do you even want to listen to it at THAT SPL?

And so and so forth.
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Ivan Beaver
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Need Help Choosing Sub
┬ź Reply #9 on: October 03, 2012, 08:40:15 pm ┬╗


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