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Author Topic: Wharfedale Pro DLX-218B Subs & Crown XLS 5000 - Should I upgrade?  (Read 5921 times)

Dave Roy

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Hi guys, I've been reading up on PSW for about 4 months now and have finally found the guts to sign up and ask some questions of my own - I run a small events business, looking forward to getting more involved in the forum as I grow!

I recently purchased a pair of Wharfedale Pro DLX-218B subwoofers. Each cab is rated 4 ohms with 1600w RMS/3200 Program.

So far I have been running one sub from each channel of my Crown XLS 5000 amp (1800w @ 4ohm per channel). I know that the general rule of thumb is to have 50% headroom on your amp, and I find that at the volume required I tend to clip the amp quite often. I'm very new to the live sound game and I don't want to risk damaging my gear so I always turn the amp down a couple notches when it starts to clip.

Would I be better to run the amp in bridge mode and connect the subs in parallel? Or should I be running them from a larger amp?

There is a local TradeMe auction (NZ version of eBay) for a DB Technologies rig which includes 4 DB 800 15D powered subs. They would be easier to move and more easily scaleable but how would they compare in volume to the Wharfedales? Ultimately I want to be able to run gigs of up to 400-500 people playing EDM and bass-heavy type music. How many subs would I need to do a reasonable job of this?

Thanks for all your help!
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Art Welter

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Re: Wharfedale Pro DLX-218B Subs & Crown XLS 5000 - Should I upgrade?
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2014, 12:26:27 pm »


1)I recently purchased a pair of Wharfedale Pro DLX-218B subwoofers. Each cab is rated 4 ohms with 1600w RMS/3200 Program.
 I'm very new to the live sound game and I don't want to risk damaging my gear so I always turn the amp down a couple notches when it starts to clip.
Would I be better to run the amp in bridge mode and connect the subs in parallel? Or should I be running them from a larger amp?
2)There is a local TradeMe auction (NZ version of eBay) for a DB Technologies rig which includes 4 DB 800 15D powered subs. They would be easier to move and more easily scaleable but how would they compare in volume to the Wharfedales? 3)How many subs would I need to do a reasonable job of this?
Dave,
1)The four subs in parallel would be 2 ohms, the XLS 5000 is not rated for bridge mono 2 ohm operation. For EDM the 1600 watt RMS rating of the Wharfedale Pro DLX-218B is about the most power the subs should see (EDM can have as little as 3 dB dynamic range, same as sine waves) so the 1800 watt amp rating may be enough to cook the voice coils. You could try the amp into one sub bridged mono (5000 watts at 4 ohms) and see if the approximately 4 dB difference in power results in much more output after the voice coils heat up. For many speakers, doubling power results in 2 dB more power compression, so the level difference may hardly be heard.
Keeping the amp out of clip is a good idea, but using proper RMS and peak limiting rather than turning down the input is a more reliable protection scheme.
Since you are clipping and not satisfied with the level, you probably need to double the rig, which will give you 6 dB more level.
2) Neither sub seems to show frequency response, but the DLX-218B claims a 30 Hz Fb, the dB Sub 15D is rated 40-120, (could be -10 dB) so impossible to say which would be louder without an A/B test, but fairly easy to predict the dual 18s would go lower, and the 4" voice coils probably get rid of heat better than the 3". There is a lot of <40 Hz content in EDM, just from that standpoint the dB Sub 15D seems lacking, and so far I have not heard a band pass sub I prefer over a bass reflex or horn.
3)Depends how loud the subs are and how loud you want the playback to be, and how well the room supports bass, so the answer could be anything from a single 18" horn loaded cabinet with a long throw (over 15mm Xmax) to a dozen dual 18" old school (low Xmax) ported cabinets.

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Dave Roy

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Re: Wharfedale Pro DLX-218B Subs & Crown XLS 5000 - Should I upgrade?
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2014, 06:04:56 am »

Dave,
1)The four subs in parallel would be 2 ohms, the XLS 5000 is not rated for bridge mono 2 ohm operation. For EDM the 1600 watt RMS rating of the Wharfedale Pro DLX-218B is about the most power the subs should see (EDM can have as little as 3 dB dynamic range, same as sine waves) so the 1800 watt amp rating may be enough to cook the voice coils. You could try the amp into one sub bridged mono (5000 watts at 4 ohms) and see if the approximately 4 dB difference in power results in much more output after the voice coils heat up. For many speakers, doubling power results in 2 dB more power compression, so the level difference may hardly be heard.
Keeping the amp out of clip is a good idea, but using proper RMS and peak limiting rather than turning down the input is a more reliable protection scheme.
Since you are clipping and not satisfied with the level, you probably need to double the rig, which will give you 6 dB more level.
2) Neither sub seems to show frequency response, but the DLX-218B claims a 30 Hz Fb, the dB Sub 15D is rated 40-120, (could be -10 dB) so impossible to say which would be louder without an A/B test, but fairly easy to predict the dual 18s would go lower, and the 4" voice coils probably get rid of heat better than the 3". There is a lot of <40 Hz content in EDM, just from that standpoint the dB Sub 15D seems lacking, and so far I have not heard a band pass sub I prefer over a bass reflex or horn.
3)Depends how loud the subs are and how loud you want the playback to be, and how well the room supports bass, so the answer could be anything from a single 18" horn loaded cabinet with a long throw (over 15mm Xmax) to a dozen dual 18" old school (low Xmax) ported cabinets.

1) For some reason I thought the amp could go down to 2ohm in bridge mode, thanks for pointing that out! What's the best way to go about RMS/peak limiting? I've got the DBX Driverack PX, but I don't really know how to use the limited side of things properly.

2) Thanks for the advice, that solves that question pretty well. I was getting caught up on shiny new 'powered' speakers but I think bearing in mind that cost is a major factor for me, I'm better to keep using passive gear with my current amps. What are your thoughts on the Crown XLS5000 amp in general?

3) Good point. I offer a large range of services and don't want to specialise or invest too heavily into sound gear but I'd like to be able to offer a versatile rig which can be scaled up to a 500 person gig.



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Art Welter

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Re: Wharfedale Pro DLX-218B Subs & Crown XLS 5000 - Should I upgrade?
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2014, 11:30:29 am »

1) What's the best way to go about RMS/peak limiting?
2)  What are your thoughts on the Crown XLS5000 amp in general?
To set RMS/peak limiting requires a processor with both.  With the "one size fits all" limiters in the DBX Driverack PX I'd just set them so they start limiting slightly before clip.
2) Have  never used the Crown XLS5000, so have no opinion. Generally speaking, in the various Crown lines you get what you pay for.
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Richard Turner

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Re: Wharfedale Pro DLX-218B Subs & Crown XLS 5000 - Should I upgrade?
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2014, 10:04:58 pm »

I've only ever experienced the XLS602, they were mostly destroyed by DJ's running 4 ohm loads 100hz and up on full range cabs.

I'll not bother looking at the schematic of the XLS5000 to guess at how robust it is.

Its one of their lower lines I believe it was fully assembled in China, If that is an error someone will correct me I am sure.
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Looking at retiring. Local PA market has shrank to 2 guys with guitars and bose l1 compacts or expecting full line array and 16 movers on stage for $300... no middle left going back to event DJ stuff, half the work for twice the pay.

Dave Roy

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Re: Wharfedale Pro DLX-218B Subs & Crown XLS 5000 - Should I upgrade?
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2014, 05:45:27 am »

Its one of their lower lines I believe it was fully assembled in China, If that is an error someone will correct me I am sure.

That would explain the bargain price I got it for! Although in saying that, it did come with a 3 year warranty and so far it has done absolutely everything I needed it to do.
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Jon C Thomas

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Re: Wharfedale Pro DLX-218B Subs & Crown XLS 5000 - Should I upgrade?
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2014, 09:44:17 am »

Ultimately I want to be able to run gigs of up to 400-500 people playing EDM and bass-heavy type music. How many subs would I need to do a reasonable job of this?

Thanks for all your help!

With EMD for that many people I think a horn loaded system would be a good option. Four efficient horn boxes would stomp the pair of 2X18"s. The heavy XLS5000 is not a "bad" Chinese muscle amp.
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chuck clark

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Re: Wharfedale Pro DLX-218B Subs & Crown XLS 5000 - Should I upgrade?
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2014, 12:38:22 am »

The stuff you have is big bang for the buck stuff. Not the best but pretty decent and less than  1/2 the price of stuff that is the best.  Your best option may well be to double what you have since the only stuff that will significantly beat it has names like PK, Bassboss, Danley, etc. and can easily cost 3 to 4 x more. In fact for EDM crowds of 500 you may well want 6 or 8 per side. It's better to have enough rig for the gig than risk blowing up your hard earned gear!
Best of luck
Chuck
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Re: Wharfedale Pro DLX-218B Subs & Crown XLS 5000 - Should I upgrade?
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2014, 12:38:22 am »


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