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Author Topic: Subwoofer advice for a small church  (Read 12114 times)

Adam Kurihara

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Subwoofer advice for a small church
« on: March 20, 2014, 10:56:35 am »

Hi All,

I'm looking for some advice on purchasing a powered subwoofer for a church.

Here are the relevant details:
Our sanctuary seats ~200 people

We currently have two un-branded (someone made them years ago) flown mains. They sound nice. He also made some monitors.

Here is our current gear:

Gemini XKB 1600 watt powers the mains
[http://www.whybuynew.co.uk/dj-equipment/dj-amplifiers/gemini-xpb-1600-power-amplifier-.htm]

InterM R300 powers the stage monitors [https://www.stageservicesshop.com/shop/product.php?productid=16540]

Mackie SR24-4-2 4 bus mixing console
http://www.amazon.com/Mackie-SR24-4-VLZ-24-Channel-Mixer/dp/B0002E50TA

The space is actually fine for any size subwoofer. A large pulpit and rail block a section in the front of the worship space that could fit any size subwoofer we need. No space or weight restrictions.

I am leaning towards a 2x12" or a 1x15" powered sub. We do not have an external crossover, but will be routing bass, keyboards, and kick drum through the subwoofer through an aux channel.

The ones from Yorkville seem pretty good (LS720P or LS710P) - though they don't have a true crossover.
QSC KSub seems okay too, but pricier than the Yorkville.
People seem to like the Danley. TH115 or TH212 might be a good size, but I can't get a price.
I could also buy a gemini 15" to match the brand of the main amplifier (DJ GVX-SUB15P). Seems unnecessary to match the brand though.

Any other suggestions?

Ideal budget is ~$800.

Thanks for your advice!
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Subwoofer advice for a small church
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2014, 12:54:20 pm »

Nobody will answer you until you use your full real name as per forum rules
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Ivan Beaver
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Art Welter

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Re: Subwoofer advice for a small church
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2014, 06:24:04 pm »

I'm looking for some advice on purchasing a powered subwoofer for a church.
Our sanctuary seats ~200 people
We currently have two un-branded (someone made them years ago) flown mains. They sound nice. He also made some monitors.
Any other suggestions?
Ideal budget is ~$800.
Adam,

Without knowing more about the mains, hard to say what you need in sub land to "keep up" in level for your subs choice. The subs you list have quite different output level and low extension, you have not mentioned how low you want to go- almost an octave difference between the DSL TH212 and the Ksub.

For the budget, you may be better looking at an amp with a built in 100 Hz (or DSP) HP/crossover  (or used analog crossovers which go dirt cheap) which would open up all sorts of possibilities for subs, if you don't mind stretching the budget slightly or going used.

I happen to have several used sub options available presently  :).

Art
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Adam Kurihara

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Re: Subwoofer advice for a small church
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2014, 08:41:52 pm »

Adam,

Without knowing more about the mains, hard to say what you need in sub land to "keep up" in level for your subs choice. The subs you list have quite different output level and low extension, you have not mentioned how low you want to go- almost an octave difference between the DSL TH212 and the Ksub.

For the budget, you may be better looking at an amp with a built in 100 Hz (or DSP) HP/crossover  (or used analog crossovers which go dirt cheap) which would open up all sorts of possibilities for subs, if you don't mind stretching the budget slightly or going used.

I happen to have several used sub options available presently  :).

Art

In terms of "keeping up" with the mains - We don't need a TON of sound. It's a church for all ages, which means we rarely go above 85Db.

Regarding "how low"? I don't really know - I guess the lower the better right?! We don't need insane 7-string bass low, but we should be able to accurately reproduce a low B of a 5-string bass with ease.
 
My thought was that buying another amp with a crossover and a passive sub would be more expensive than buying a powered sub with a crossover or crossover-like effect (on the Yorkville). Would it be necessary to get a crossover?
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Subwoofer advice for a small church
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2014, 09:21:26 pm »


Regarding "how low"? I don't really know - I guess the lower the better right?! We don't need insane 7-string bass low, but we should be able to accurately reproduce a low B of a 5-string bass with ease.
 

The low B is 31hz.

To reproduce that FLAT-means that most subs are out of question-especially the cheap ones.

FLAT to 30 means that the offerings are VERY slim.  Don't let the "simple numbers" fool you.  INSIST on actual measured response and see how far down 30Hz is from the rest of the sub response.
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Art Welter

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Re: Subwoofer advice for a small church
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2014, 01:21:55 pm »

In terms of "keeping up" with the mains - We don't need a TON of sound. It's a church for all ages, which means we rarely go above 85Db.
 Would it be necessary to get a crossover?
No, a crossover is no more necessary than a sub, but if you want the sub to sound it's best, it needs processing unless it is a bandpass design.

Assuming your 85 dB is at around 16 meters (52 feet) means your mains are producing around 109 dB.
If you want the sub to  have around six dB more output (115 dB at one meter) and cover the low b (31 Hz) at that level, a single long throw (13mm Xmax, about double what most of the commercial low cost models have) 12 low tuned bass reflex in around 6 cubic feet can get you that level. That said, small subs with low tunings are rather unusual in the pro market, as I mentioned previously, the K sub (which would get plenty loud for your needs) rolls off almost an octave higher.
If you want another 6 dB, a dual 12 or single long throw 18 could do it.

Below are some comparisons of a dual 18" JBL SRX 728 (about 98 dB sensitivity at 80 Hz), a 36 Fb dual Lab12" in a 6 cubic foot box (less than half the size of the 728) a single 12" in the same box, and a tiny 12" (11.25 x 15 x 26.5) all at the same drive level and using 24BW 25 and 125 filters.

Art
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Adam Kurihara

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Re: Subwoofer advice for a small church
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2014, 02:19:05 pm »

No, a crossover is no more necessary than a sub, but if you want the sub to sound it's best, it needs processing unless it is a bandpass design.

Assuming your 85 dB is at around 16 meters (52 feet) means your mains are producing around 109 dB.
If you want the sub to  have around six dB more output (115 dB at one meter) and cover the low b (31 Hz) at that level, a single long throw (13mm Xmax, about double what most of the commercial low cost models have) 12 low tuned bass reflex in around 6 cubic feet can get you that level. That said, small subs with low tunings are rather unusual in the pro market, as I mentioned previously, the K sub (which would get plenty loud for your needs) rolls off almost an octave higher.
If you want another 6 dB, a dual 12 or single long throw 18 could do it.

Below are some comparisons of a dual 18" JBL SRX 728 (about 98 dB sensitivity at 80 Hz), a 36 Fb dual Lab12" in a 6 cubic foot box (less than half the size of the 728) a single 12" in the same box, and a tiny 12" (11.25 x 15 x 26.5) all at the same drive level and using 24BW 25 and 125 filters.

Art

Wow! That's a ton of detailed information! Thanks!

I don't think I'll be building a sub (though I realize this forum is for folks that might do that!), and the JBL is over $1000 over my budget.

The Yorkvilles have a HF rolloff (which is similar to what a crossover would do, correct?).

I think I'm still leaning toward the Yorkville LS720P, for the cost, it seems like the best bet. I don't think I need anything down to 31Hz if it's going to cost $1000s more. The KSub seems overpriced for what it is.

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Art Welter

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Re: Subwoofer advice for a small church
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2014, 03:37:56 pm »

The Yorkvilles have a HF rolloff (which is similar to what a crossover would do, correct?).

I think I'm still leaning toward the Yorkville LS720P, for the cost, it seems like the best bet. I don't think I need anything down to 31Hz if it's going to cost $1000s more. The KSub seems overpriced for what it is.
Adam,

Yorkville does not publish frequency response of their subs, so hard to say what the response would be similar to. Most bandpass subs still have funky upper peaks an octave or two past the bandpass that can be very audible.

The cabinets (other than the 728 used as a reference) are all available for less (used) than what you would pay for anything new with similar LF output potential.

I have one small (15" x 22.5" x 26.5") 2 x Lab12" BP sub, the "Bowtie" for sale that would fit your needs nicely, response curve below. It uses a tight rear chamber, so controls excursion well at LF, although it is not a monster down at 30 Hz, slapped bass strings don't make it "fart" like a ported cabinet. More LF, less upper output than the Ksub. An amp with 400-800 watts per side at 4 ohms would drive it nicely, there are some plate amps with built HP that would handle the relatively low impedance (about 4.4 ohms minimum per speaker) that would keep the package price around your budget.

Price for the Bowtie would be $450 plus shipping from 87505.

Art
« Last Edit: March 22, 2014, 03:47:47 pm by Art Welter »
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: Subwoofer advice for a small church
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2014, 03:52:23 pm »

Wow! That's a ton of detailed information! Thanks!

I don't think I'll be building a sub (though I realize this forum is for folks that might do that!), and the JBL is over $1000 over my budget.

The Yorkvilles have a HF rolloff (which is similar to what a crossover would do, correct?).

I think I'm still leaning toward the Yorkville LS720P, for the cost, it seems like the best bet. I don't think I need anything down to 31Hz if it's going to cost $1000s more. The KSub seems overpriced for what it is.

Adam...

I would suggest you think a bit about your needs, what you already have (both system and with the musicians) and how everything "works together".  Since you're looking for LF reproduction, we'll deal with that.

1.  Does your bass player use an amp on stage?

2.  How much sound is coming directly from "onstage", how much needs to come from the PA?

I would imagine that your situation is like so many others in that the PA does not need to be capable of delivering the entire mix at a volume 10 dB higher than the sound coming directly from the band but rather to bring up the level of any voices/instruments on stage to a level commensurate with the louder instruments...and drums.  As such, I'd let the bass amp carry the room pretty much by itself with some assistance in the higher overtones for presence and not be trying to do a lot of ultra-LF reinforcement for it, just enough to "warm up" the bottom end.  For this you can use anything that will start rolling off a 50hz, primarily adding LF clarity to the system by taking the LF load off of your tops.

So I'd be looking to balance the musicians, the onstage presence and the PA presence/enhancement and not be overly concerned about LF power and range so much as simple good LF reinforcement.

Just thinking...
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Adam Kurihara

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Re: Subwoofer advice for a small church
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2014, 12:07:09 pm »

Adam...

I would suggest you think a bit about your needs, what you already have (both system and with the musicians) and how everything "works together".  Since you're looking for LF reproduction, we'll deal with that.

1.  Does your bass player use an amp on stage?

2.  How much sound is coming directly from "onstage", how much needs to come from the PA?

I would imagine that your situation is like so many others in that the PA does not need to be capable of delivering the entire mix at a volume 10 dB higher than the sound coming directly from the band but rather to bring up the level of any voices/instruments on stage to a level commensurate with the louder instruments...and drums.  As such, I'd let the bass amp carry the room pretty much by itself with some assistance in the higher overtones for presence and not be trying to do a lot of ultra-LF reinforcement for it, just enough to "warm up" the bottom end.  For this you can use anything that will start rolling off a 50hz, primarily adding LF clarity to the system by taking the LF load off of your tops.

So I'd be looking to balance the musicians, the onstage presence and the PA presence/enhancement and not be overly concerned about LF power and range so much as simple good LF reinforcement.

Just thinking...

Hi Dick,

The bass player would use a SWR 15 combo amp. You're right in that it alone can provide enough sound for the bass guitar to be heard.

A sub would help to "warm up" the sound by providing some LF reinforcement.

However, we also want to provide LF reinforcement for the kick drum and some keyboard stuff.

I'm also keeping cost and simplicity of use in mind, since we have entirely volunteer sound techs operating the equipment.
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: Subwoofer advice for a small church
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2014, 12:37:46 pm »

Hi Dick,

The bass player would use a SWR 15 combo amp. You're right in that it alone can provide enough sound for the bass guitar to be heard.

A sub would help to "warm up" the sound by providing some LF reinforcement.

However, we also want to provide LF reinforcement for the kick drum and some keyboard stuff.

I'm also keeping cost and simplicity of use in mind, since we have entirely volunteer sound techs operating the equipment.

Yes, a small sub would help on the keyboard(s).  But kick drum impact resides as much in the tops as any subs as a lot of the content is actually above 100hz.  I doubt that you'd need very much LF help on the kick...not as much as on the keyboard, anyhow.

Sounds like you've got a pretty good handle on your needs.  I'd just throw in the bit about the kick drum as a possible point for further consideration.
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Adam Kurihara

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Re: Subwoofer advice for a small church
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2014, 12:41:15 pm »

Also, let me add that what I'm really looking for is the smoothest, warmest, least abrasive sound we can get.

I'm also looking at three other 1x18s:
JBL PRX168S-XLF
QSC KW 181
EV ELX 118P

mixed reviews out there...
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Brad Weber

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Re: Subwoofer advice for a small church
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2014, 01:35:21 pm »

Hi All,I am leaning towards a 2x12" or a 1x15" powered sub. We do not have an external crossover, but will be routing bass, keyboards, and kick drum through the subwoofer through an aux channel.
If you do not high pass filter the mains then the mains will still try to reproduce the LF content of the sources routed to them and with flown mains and subs on the floor that may not provide the desired results.   If you add subs then I would really consider an approach that both low pass filters the subwoofers and high pass filters the mains (which is what a crossover does), even if that means having the subs and mains off the same mixer output(s) rather than using aux fed subs.
 
You mentioned wanting to keep the system operation simple for volunteer operators.  You also noted that the bass amp can carry the room and you just want to "warm up" the LF response.  It's a bit difficult to judge without knowing what your main speakers are or their performance but I have to wonder if a decent equalizer might help you more than adding an aux fed subwoofer.
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John Rutirasiri

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Re: Subwoofer advice for a small church
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2014, 02:02:04 am »

Hi All,

I'm looking for some advice on purchasing a powered subwoofer for a church.

Here are the relevant details:
Our sanctuary seats ~200 people

We currently have two un-branded (someone made them years ago) flown mains. They sound nice. He also made some monitors.

Here is our current gear:

Gemini XKB 1600 watt powers the mains
[http://www.whybuynew.co.uk/dj-equipment/dj-amplifiers/gemini-xpb-1600-power-amplifier-.htm]

InterM R300 powers the stage monitors [https://www.stageservicesshop.com/shop/product.php?productid=16540]

Mackie SR24-4-2 4 bus mixing console
http://www.amazon.com/Mackie-SR24-4-VLZ-24-Channel-Mixer/dp/B0002E50TA

The space is actually fine for any size subwoofer. A large pulpit and rail block a section in the front of the worship space that could fit any size subwoofer we need. No space or weight restrictions.

I am leaning towards a 2x12" or a 1x15" powered sub. We do not have an external crossover, but will be routing bass, keyboards, and kick drum through the subwoofer through an aux channel.

The ones from Yorkville seem pretty good (LS720P or LS710P) - though they don't have a true crossover.
QSC KSub seems okay too, but pricier than the Yorkville.
People seem to like the Danley. TH115 or TH212 might be a good size, but I can't get a price.
I could also buy a gemini 15" to match the brand of the main amplifier (DJ GVX-SUB15P). Seems unnecessary to match the brand though.

Any other suggestions?

Ideal budget is ~$800.

Thanks for your advice!

The Danley TH115 price will be at least 2.5x your budget, and that's for a non-powered version.  But boy is it worth it.  Actually I recommend the TH118 for a bit more low-end.

For about double your budget, you can get JTR Orbit Shifter, which is in the same class as the TH118.

I also like the Grund Audio GT3600CX and the LPB36CX for the money.

Good luck,
JR

P.S. No Gemini, please.
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