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Author Topic: For those using active speakers  (Read 17250 times)

Samuel Rees

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Re: For those using active speakers
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2014, 02:05:27 am »

All powered in my personal rig. I'd been looking into unpowered speakers for my upgrade because there seemed to be not much middle ground between PRX/KW and JBL VP/Fulcrum (<$1k, >$3). RCF filled that void with the NX12. Wedges with PowerCon really helped me fear the extra cabling less.
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Scott Olewiler

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Re: For those using active speakers
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2014, 05:57:04 am »

Wow, So far we have an overwhelming yes and those who have mentioned what cabs they're using seem to be using much higher end equipment than what's in my price range at the moment.  What I'm finding in my price range is that I can get a lot more SPL for the dollar staying passive for FOH, but for wedges it's a wash money wise and that's where I see the biggest benefit as far as flexibilty goes. Obviously if your monitors can be put anywhere with any feed in any quantity without having to worry about impedance loads and amp configurations that's a huge plus.

As far as the extra cabling, I'm not that concerned with FOH since you've only got two or 3 locations to deal with, depending whether I'm clustering subs in the middle, but more concerned with running all the extra power wires to the stage monitors. Instead of just a speaker wire, you've got your signal cable, a power cord and the IEC cord to deal with for every box. And having to keep the power cabling away from the signal cables.

At my working level(part-time 1-2 times a month) I've usually only got 2- 2.5 hrs to set up, mic the band and do a sound check. Anybody have some good ideas how to speed up setting up powered wedges that will save me some time. Jamin mentioned "power/signal" cables. I didn't even knew such a thing existed. I though I saw someone else mention putting Powercon on the boxes. Never worked with them yet.

I like the idea of completely eliminating my racks cases, especially now that I have digital mixer that has all the outboard stuff I might possibly want built in except for output delay ( and a lot of powered cabs have DSP, so that takes care of that) just need some convincing I'd be able to set up just as quickly as do now. 
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Jamin Lynch

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Re: For those using active speakers
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2014, 09:21:50 am »

Wow, So far we have an overwhelming yes and those who have mentioned what cabs they're using seem to be using much higher end equipment than what's in my price range at the moment.  What I'm finding in my price range is that I can get a lot more SPL for the dollar staying passive for FOH, but for wedges it's a wash money wise and that's where I see the biggest benefit as far as flexibilty goes. Obviously if your monitors can be put anywhere with any feed in any quantity without having to worry about impedance loads and amp configurations that's a huge plus.

As far as the extra cabling, I'm not that concerned with FOH since you've only got two or 3 locations to deal with, depending whether I'm clustering subs in the middle, but more concerned with running all the extra power wires to the stage monitors. Instead of just a speaker wire, you've got your signal cable, a power cord and the IEC cord to deal with for every box. And having to keep the power cabling away from the signal cables.

At my working level(part-time 1-2 times a month) I've usually only got 2- 2.5 hrs to set up, mic the band and do a sound check. Anybody have some good ideas how to speed up setting up powered wedges that will save me some time. Jamin mentioned "power/signal" cables. I didn't even knew such a thing existed. I though I saw someone else mention putting Powercon on the boxes. Never worked with them yet.

I like the idea of completely eliminating my racks cases, especially now that I have digital mixer that has all the outboard stuff I might possibly want built in except for output delay ( and a lot of powered cabs have DSP, so that takes care of that) just need some convincing I'd be able to set up just as quickly as do now.

Wish I had 2.5 hours to set up.

Why do you feel you need to keep power cables away from signal cables?
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Bill Schnake

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Re: For those using active speakers
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2014, 09:36:57 am »

Scott, we are running active monitors on one and soon to be two of our rigs.  Mic cable for the speakers is much easier to wrap and it takes less space and doesn't weigh anywhere near what a 25' or 50' NL4 cable does.  We use a 50' power stringer for the front of stage that gives us power for monitors as well as power for fans and guitar pedal boards.  We run 1 quad box to the drummer giving him power for a monitor and a sub as well as two outlets for a fan and whatever else a drummer might want to use.

As far as carrying extra speakers we do carry one extra EV ZLX-12p in case of needing an additional mix or if we were to lose a monitor.  We have been using the EV ZLX-12p for about 6 months, and as Tim pointed out, if you use them correctly and take care of them you don't blow them up.  This rig has 5 regular monitors and a drum sub and monitor and it is much quicker to setup and tear down then our bi-amp rig.  As long as you set the gain on the monitor to match what you are sending from the mixer you should have no problems with a rig like this and it should save you significant time at setup and teardown.

Bill  ;)
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Scott Olewiler

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Re: For those using active speakers
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2014, 10:16:16 am »


Why do you feel you need to keep power cables away from signal cables?

I've so many times in forums and other sites on live sound that power cables should not be next to mic cables, etc due to electrical interference that it's just ingrained in my head. Real world they usually just end up where they end up but that's generally just behind the rack.    You don't think it matters?  What did you mean by power/signal cables, BTW?  Thanks
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: For those using active speakers
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2014, 10:30:22 am »

I've so many times in forums and other sites on live sound that power cables should not be next to mic cables, etc due to electrical interference that it's just ingrained in my head. Real world they usually just end up where they end up but that's generally just behind the rack.    You don't think it matters?  What did you mean by power/signal cables, BTW?  Thanks
Try it and see.  I routinely run FOH power along the main snake and have never had an issue with power/signal proximity.

Self-powered/amplified/active speakers are generally speaking much easier to make sound good than their passive cousins, as the tuning magic - particularly in the latest generation where many manufacturers are using FIR presets - is done by people smarter than me.
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: For those using active speakers
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2014, 10:39:53 am »


Self-powered/amplified/active speakers are generally speaking much easier to make sound good than their passive cousins, as the tuning magic - particularly in the latest generation where many manufacturers are using FIR presets - is done by people smarter than me.

Lucky for you neither of them were busy with other problems.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2014, 11:22:54 am by dick rees »
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Samuel Rees

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Re: For those using active speakers
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2014, 11:06:28 am »

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/EC950

This is a power/signal cable. Price is a little steep here, but this is the product being referred to.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: For those using active speakers
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2014, 11:07:22 am »

I've so many times in forums and other sites on live sound that power cables should not be next to mic cables, etc due to electrical interference that it's just ingrained in my head. Real world they usually just end up where they end up but that's generally just behind the rack.    You don't think it matters?  What did you mean by power/signal cables, BTW?  Thanks

One of these days I'll post a picture of a 250' 54 pair snake running under/next to/on top of the 10/5 AC service to FOH... and the 50' part of the run where it's on top of the 4/0 lighting feeder and the #2 audio feeder.  Not a hum or buzz to be heard.

Your comment "...they usually just end up where they end up but that's generally just behind the rack." remains true for self-amplified speakers or externally powered speakers.  With conventional, externally powered speaker systems you run AC service to an amp rack, 1 or more signal XLRs to the amp rack, and however many NL4 or NL8 cables as needed.  It becomes the central hub of the FOH system.  With self-amplified speakers I think it's a good idea to have a central point where power and signals can be distributed.  If you're hunting for power in a bar and run 3 or 4 extension cords, bring the female ends to one place, and have that near where ever your signals come from (or build a little signal loom, use a drop snake, etc.  Then build up cabling to run from that point to the speakers.  You can use friction tape to put an XLR cable with AC and customize your cable runs.  "Siamese" cables with signal & power in 1 jacket exist but are pretty expensive.

The suggestions about using a down stage power stringer for monitors, pedal boards, fans, etc is a very good idea.  All you need to do is build a 4 channel XLR loom to get from your monitor outputs at the mixer to the speakers.

All this involves spending money, but you're going to do that anyway.  Spend it in ways that saves you time and effort at the gig, makes your stuff easier to hook up, take down, pack away and transport.
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Samuel Rees

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Re: For those using active speakers
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2014, 11:30:54 am »

I'm particularly sold on powered monitors for my rig. If I needed to buy a bigger FOH system (which I don't), I would consider unpowered FOH alongside powered options, but I'm pretty sold on powered monitors because of the sheer number of them. For a 6 mix 6 wedge biamp'd rig I'd need 12 amp channels and 6 DSP channels. This could be ~15U of rack. With something expensive you could get it down to less RUs, but powered wedges makes it lighter and smaller for me. RCF NX12s are 36 lbs a piece.
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Re: For those using active speakers
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2014, 11:30:54 am »


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