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Author Topic: Powered Sound System Setup  (Read 21123 times)

Corey Scogin

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Re: Powered Sound System Setup
« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2015, 11:35:22 am »

Thank you all so much for your replies.  I really appreciate all the advice and recommendations.  Based on what you are saying, the first thing I'm doing is changing from the K12's to the DSR112's.  Looks like almost everyone agrees that the DSR112's are superior.  What about subs?  Does Yamaha make a sub that is better than the QSC sub that I picked out? 

And Alto:  I'm not familiar with those.  Are they a new company?  By the way, the reason I chose the cheap Mackie monitors was solely based on price.  Thanks for letting me know about the Altos.

Yamaha does not make a sub that matches the QSC KW181 or JBL PRX718-XLF (note that the -XLF is very important).  Matching brands of subs/tops is generally a good idea Yamaha just doesn't make a sub that keeps up. 

Alto is one of the best value brands out there.  Some of their products are surprisingly good for the money.  The SXM112 is one of those.  I think you'll like the coaxial setup for monitors.

If the money is there though, just get more Yamaha DSR112's for monitors.  That way you can be more flexible in case of equipment failure or in an instance where you need fill speakers.
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Hampton Maher

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Re: Powered Sound System Setup
« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2015, 11:47:05 am »

Has anyone used the DSR112 on top of a KW118?  Their built in hi pass/low pass filters are at different frequencies so I'm wondering if you end up with a hole in the 100-120 Hz range.
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Brian Jojade

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Re: Powered Sound System Setup
« Reply #22 on: February 24, 2015, 01:27:00 pm »

The downsides of passive speakers are:

- You have to store, transport, carry, and have space on stage for a rack.
- Your cost is just as high or higher than active speakers for similar (usually poorer) performance.
- Generally speaking, passive boxes don't sound as good as active.  This is especially true for box/amp combos that cost less than $2K per side.
- Passive systems are much easier to damage due to less-integrated speaker protection algorithms, etc.
- Now that the most recent crop of active boxes come with FIR tunings built-in make it an even harder sell to stay passive.

1. Yes, the advantage to a powered system is no amp rack needed. However, if it's integrated with other gear, it won't take up much space. There IS an advantage on a stage in that you only have to provide power to one location. This can make setup faster.

2. Cost is usually a wash when comparing equal quality cabinets. If you chain multiple speakers on a single amp, sometimes that's a cheaper option.

3. From a plug and play perspective, active speakers may be a bit more idiot proof, but someone that knows what they are doing can make choices to improve the sound of a passive box that they may not be able to do with an active unit. This is especially true on the lower end of the scale.

4. Agreed that passive speakers are a bit more idiot proof, but at a cost. Often times, the amplifiers are undersized in order to prevent stupid mistakes. This means you get less out of each speaker.

Powered cabinets are great when you just need a speaker or 2 at a location.  When you get into multiple cabinets such as on a stage, the advantages disappear.  Setup time is NOT going to be faster in a properly deployed system.  Remember that with powered cabinets you will have to connect power and signal to each speaker and then you have to go to each speaker to make adjustments.  Passive speakers will need an amp rack, but if racked with other gear doesn't represent an additional trip to the truck, just a few pounds of extra weight.
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Brian Jojade

TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Powered Sound System Setup
« Reply #23 on: February 24, 2015, 01:48:27 pm »

1. Yes, the advantage to a powered system is no amp rack needed. However, if it's integrated with other gear, it won't take up much space. There IS an advantage on a stage in that you only have to provide power to one location. This can make setup faster.

2. Cost is usually a wash when comparing equal quality cabinets. If you chain multiple speakers on a single amp, sometimes that's a cheaper option.

3. From a plug and play perspective, active speakers may be a bit more idiot proof, but someone that knows what they are doing can make choices to improve the sound of a passive box that they may not be able to do with an active unit. This is especially true on the lower end of the scale.

4. Agreed that passive speakers are a bit more idiot proof, but at a cost. Often times, the amplifiers are undersized in order to prevent stupid mistakes. This means you get less out of each speaker.

Powered cabinets are great when you just need a speaker or 2 at a location.  When you get into multiple cabinets such as on a stage, the advantages disappear.  Setup time is NOT going to be faster in a properly deployed system.  Remember that with powered cabinets you will have to connect power and signal to each speaker and then you have to go to each speaker to make adjustments.  Passive speakers will need an amp rack, but if racked with other gear doesn't represent an additional trip to the truck, just a few pounds of extra weight.
At the level of what the OP is asking about, I'm having a hard time picturing any amp/speaker combo that will sound as good as a pair of DSR112s at anywhere near the cost, not to mention the skill required to tune the amp/box combo to anywhere near the performance of a manufacturer-supplied platform.  The cheapest DSP-equipped amp I'm aware of is the Peavey IPR series, and for a pretty little amp - the 3000, it's $600.  The more normal sized 7500 is $1000.  Now you're left with at best $700 per passive speaker, and you're not going to get a good-sounding biamped platform for that money.

Even after you get the components, then there's the tuning.  This is really not trivial, and not something the average weekend guy is going to pull off other than some basic broad-stroke adjustments.  The only way this usually works out well is to buy matching amps/speakers, and use the manufacturer-provided presets.

Those of you with ITech HDs and SRX boxes are not talking about the same universe as the OP here, in price or performance.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Powered Sound System Setup
« Reply #24 on: February 24, 2015, 02:00:44 pm »

Mackie Thumps suck.  They should be called "thud" for the sound made when tossed into the waste bin.

I'm serious.

As for Alto, I've never used them but Guys I Trust recommend them on a regular basis.  A couple of participants on the forums are Alto dealers and I suggest you have a phone conversation with them ;)  (nope, I'm not an Alto dealer)
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

frank kayser

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Re: Powered Sound System Setup
« Reply #25 on: February 24, 2015, 03:25:32 pm »

Mackie Thumps suck.  They should be called "thud" for the sound made when tossed into the waste bin.

I'm serious.

As for Alto, I've never used them but Guys I Trust recommend them on a regular basis.  A couple of participants on the forums are Alto dealers and I suggest you have a phone conversation with them ;)  (nope, I'm not an Alto dealer)
Based on the indirect advice from the above Guys I Trust, I got some Alto SXM112a monitors.  I like them.  Small, easy to handle coaxial boxes. Baltic birch. Sound SO MUCH BETTER than the EON10 II they replaced, with little to no EQ.  Save a bit of space, too. Probably get another pair. I have not compared them to my K10s, but so far, good reviews from the peeps I've used them on. (not a dealer on nut'in)
Dump the Thumps. 'Nuff said.
Yamaha has a small DSX12 sub that sounds far better than KSubs, and fits in more places.  Can't say compared to anything else.  Downside, wood, but not Baltic Birch - particle.  Treat them fairly gently.  EV has something similar power/size/driver in Baltic Birch, but I have not heard/worked with them.


My take on active vs passive.  I have both.  I've run both. I think each has its place. My experience is mostly SOS, and active works for me.
I have limited cargo space - due to being able to dump the amp rack, I can fit more equipment in the car - Active speaker about the same size as passive speaker.
XLR are lighter/smaller than 12/2 or 12/4 speaker cables, and I can run directly from snake/subsnake.
I don't need space in a small venue for the amp rack.
Power - I'm running stage stringers for the band front and back anyway, so I consider that not an add for the active setup time/weight/space.
The siamezed power/signal cable seem to be bulkier than needed, and I've not found any with options of locking IEC connectors - either the blue ones used on the QSC or other locking IEC schemes.  Also a bit pricy. Not a huge fan of IEC in either case - other than I can always find one.
I think passive has the possibility of a neater stage, especially if not running stringers.
FWIW.
frank

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Tim Weaver

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Re: Powered Sound System Setup
« Reply #26 on: February 24, 2015, 04:04:06 pm »

Nothing in this range of powered subs can touch the PRX718XLF. It's right in there on price, and blows away the other subs in this class. You would almost need two of anything else to equal what the XLF can do. The QSC KW 18 comes close, but it doesn't dig nearly as deep as the XLF. Like wise with the DSR112. It just simply out works the competition and sounds great doing it. These two can work fine together using the crossover on the sub. The sub has a 48db/oct low pass at 100hz. It has a Highpassed output at 120hz with a shallower 12db/octave. Once you balance the sub to the top you will not have a hole anywhere.
 


Locking iec's are over rated. Put a tie line or velcro strap near the speaker end of the iec. Tie it to the speaker pole. You have now created a locking iec. You're welcome.


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Scott Bolt

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Re: Powered Sound System Setup
« Reply #27 on: February 24, 2015, 06:16:25 pm »

Sadly, the DSR118 sub is not nearly as impressive as the DSR112 top is.

The KW181's are pretty good.  The PRX718XLF is very good.  All others in this price category are lack-luster in comparison to my ears (and chest).

I use the XLF's with the DSR's.  The way I run them is to use the built in cross-over inside the XLF which feeds a high pass output of >90Hz signal to the DSR's.  I run the DSR's full range.

The DSR's thrive on the >90Hz signal.  Some powered tops would start clipping the limit lights early with the additional LF content, but the DSR's really do nicely with it.

Just to reiterate the discussion of powered vs passive....

It is very difficult for an untrained person to get a passive rig to sound as good as an active system.  I know one of our local clubs where the owner bought 4 SRX715's over 4 SRX718's.

Should sound pretty good right?  Not.  I love these speakers and can't imagine how he got them to sound so bad, but it is evidently possible to do (might have something to do with the 175Hz cross over point he thought sounded so good to his ears though).

Given the same skill, 4 DSR112's and 4 XLF's would have been nearly impossible to screw up.
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Scott Bolt

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Re: Powered Sound System Setup
« Reply #28 on: February 24, 2015, 06:23:10 pm »

Mackie Thumps suck.  They should be called "thud" for the sound made when tossed into the waste bin.

I'm serious.

As for Alto, I've never used them but Guys I Trust recommend them on a regular basis.  A couple of participants on the forums are Alto dealers and I suggest you have a phone conversation with them ;)  (nope, I'm not an Alto dealer)

Sorry Tim,  I just had to quote you.  Got a good belly roll laugh going after reading your post :)

... and I agree.  The only powered boxes I like less than the Thumps are the old JBL EON 15's... but both are worthy of the name "Thump" in your context ;)
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Hampton Maher

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Re: Powered Sound System Setup
« Reply #29 on: February 24, 2015, 06:50:34 pm »

The DSR118 doesn't keep up with the KW181 or PRX718XLF but the QSC and JBL are also 40% more expensive.  Even the Ksub is more expensive than the DSR118.  I think the DSR118 just seems disappointing because the DSR112 is so good. 
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Powered Sound System Setup
« Reply #29 on: February 24, 2015, 06:50:34 pm »


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