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Author Topic: Choosing the best sub for me  (Read 19652 times)

Alex Berry

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Re: Choosing the best sub for me
« Reply #30 on: May 30, 2015, 06:39:31 pm »

Sorry to hear that you have blown an 18sp.  Did you kill a driver, or did the electronics break?

Killed a driver. The sub wasn't outputting any sound yet the amp module was working perfectly. So as I was testing our other working sub, the blown sub was in close proximity and the bass coming from the working sub moved the cone of the blown sub, producing that obvious distortion that comes from a blown driver if it's not totally locked up. Luckily the amp module detects the short and mutes the amplifier output, minimizing the chances of any damage occurring to the amp module. I've heard of other people having their ETX subs/35P's blow also under normal use cases, so apparently it's not as unheard of as you would expect from something that's marketed to have such amazing protection features.

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I find the etx18sp to be as loud or louder than comparable powered subs (PRX, KW,...)  There are certainly many other bigger boxes that get louder.  Some at LOT louder.  As with any rig, you need enough for your gig.

Absolutely. No arguments from me there. It definitely stacks up to its competition. I was just expecting it to beat the competition by a decent bit, and I'm no longer interested in anything from this level.

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Setting limiter voltage protects you from overexcursion, but not from thermal failures.

Setting the limiter to limit at the continuous voltage rating of a speaker should protect it from thermal failures, although if you want to have bulletproof protection you could setup a second tier of limiting (long attack and release times) at an even lower threshold that would help deal with thermal problems.

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My point was that a coordinated system from a single vendor can have many issues looked after for you.

Again, no arguments from me. It's just that that can get either very costly to fit what I need, or fit into my budget and not give me what I need.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2015, 06:41:47 pm by Alex Berry »
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Choosing the best sub for me
« Reply #31 on: May 30, 2015, 10:20:40 pm »

Man, I really should have worded my response that you quoted differently. By my saying "I am now educated" I only meant that I am now educated to the fact that I shouldn't have been worrying as much about the "extra phase shift" as I was. Nothing more. I love this line of work, and I love learning as much about it as I possibly can. I was not trying to imply in any capacity that I was educated to all of the nuances involving phase response.


It all depends on what you mean "worrying about" the phase shift.

Today I was doing an alignment on a "BIG name brand" and popular line array and subs- all "matching" ;) ;)  That was speced by one of the "biggest names in the industry" and installed by a large install company.

No "second rate" stuff going on here.

The original installer and consultant made no attempt to "align" the subs to the tops-even though they were both flown side by side (a good thing).

By properly aligning the phase- I was able to get almost 6dB more out of them around crossover point.

This allowed me to shift the crossover points to reduce the freq range going to them (which means less power going to them), so there is a bit more headroom in both amplifier size and thermal capacity in both the subs and the tops.

SO YES-you CAN get more out of a system.  Do you need to "Worry"?  Well they were fine for a awhile-but I got a bit more out of it.

BTW these were reflex/ported subs and front loaded top boxes-NO horns-and they STILL benefited from a proper alignment.

BTW the crossover points were NOT the same between the boxes.

But the ONLY way you are going to get this type of advantage is through proper MEASUREMENT-not guess work.

Was it bad before hand?  NO.  Was it better afterwords? YES.

So it depends on what you consider "worry".

And if you are going to have to delay front loaded ported reflex boxes-then what is the difference between that and horn boxes.

They BOTH still need signal delay to get the best performance.
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Ivan Beaver
Danley Sound Labs

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Alex Berry

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Re: Choosing the best sub for me
« Reply #32 on: May 30, 2015, 10:46:12 pm »

It all depends on what you mean "worrying about" the phase shift.

All I meant by worrying about the phase shift, was worrying that I needed to do something different to the tapped horn boxes that I wouldn't normally do to a bass reflex cab, which could mean the tapped horn subs wouldn't sound good in general at all unless I aligned the subs in a way that I didn't know how to do. All of this is irrelevant now, as you have alleviated my concerns.

I hate to hijack my own thread, but while I have you here I'd like to ask you some questions specifically about the SM80 (since I'm now aware that it's practically your baby) and the TH-118. Down the road, perhaps after the summer, my company is going to make an investment into a larger sound system than what we have now. The sound system would need to cover up to 1000 people comfortably in a room about this size or around there https://youtu.be/WCzj_ib0-5Y?t=8m7s (you can get an idea for the size of the room in the video, but it's a high school gym). By comfortably I mean around 115dbA front row (perhaps with front fills), and around 100dbA at around halfway point to 2/3 of the way back. It would need to be able to play the same style of music in the video as well, specifically heavily compressed EDM. So we're talking some pretty abusive stuff here.

I'm seriously interested in the SM80 and the TH-118 to compliment after doing a bunch more research on them both. I've also read in other threads that you prefer to have 2-3 TH-118's for a loud rock show per SM80. Having a general idea how loud the TH-118 is (about as loud as 2 average dual 18s), this tells me that the SM80 is very very loud. Now you say this but in regards to live bands as your program material, and my style of music is very, very different. I'm looking to have 20-30db more bass than mid/high. So for instance if I'm sitting at a 115dbA front row, I'd really like to have at LEAST 135db in bass (40hz-100hz), preferably I'd like to be in the low 140's or even more.

So what I'm fully asking is would a pair of SM80's (with a proper sub compliment) be able to meet my requirements? Obviously I can just add more TH-118's if I need more sub volume, but it's not as easy as just adding more SM80's to get more mid/high volume.

I'd like to thank you again for all your help so far. I'm learning a lot from you, and am very appreciative!
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Stephen Kirby

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Re: Choosing the best sub for me
« Reply #33 on: May 31, 2015, 01:25:48 am »

my style of music is very, very different. I'm looking to have 20-30db more bass than mid/high. So for instance if I'm sitting at a 115dbA front row, I'd really like to have at LEAST 135db in bass (40hz-100hz), preferably I'd like to be in the low 140's or even more.
So this plays to one of the things Ivan was talking about.  With the subs turned up that much more than the tops, the crossover is not going to be where you set the frequencies.  It's going to be higher.  Let's say you use an 18dB/octave crossover slope.  And for giggles let's say that your subs are 9dB hotter than your tops (20dB would obliterate the highs and you wouldn't hear much at all).  So now the intersection of those slopes is moved upwards in frequency, that is; at the point where the subs an tops are at the same level it's moved up an octave.  From say, 100Hz to 200Hz.  So you can actually move the sub LP down to get the intersection point where you want it.  Or change the slope to 24dB/octave or any number of other things.  Each of which will also introduce different amounts of phase shift.  So that thing I was telling you about playing a tone at the crossover point, you want to do it at the acoustic crossover.  The point where each band pass is outputting the same SPL.
Hopefully I've got this right.  It's been awhile since I played with it.
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Alex Berry

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Re: Choosing the best sub for me
« Reply #34 on: May 31, 2015, 01:45:29 am »

So this plays to one of the things Ivan was talking about.  With the subs turned up that much more than the tops, the crossover is not going to be where you set the frequencies.  It's going to be higher.  Let's say you use an 18dB/octave crossover slope.  And for giggles let's say that your subs are 9dB hotter than your tops (20dB would obliterate the highs and you wouldn't hear much at all).  So now the intersection of those slopes is moved upwards in frequency, that is; at the point where the subs an tops are at the same level it's moved up an octave.  From say, 100Hz to 200Hz.  So you can actually move the sub LP down to get the intersection point where you want it.  Or change the slope to 24dB/octave or any number of other things.  Each of which will also introduce different amounts of phase shift.  So that thing I was telling you about playing a tone at the crossover point, you want to do it at the acoustic crossover.  The point where each band pass is outputting the same SPL.
Hopefully I've got this right.  It's been awhile since I played with it.

That's a fantastic point, and very helpful. I'll definitely take this into account in the future, thanks! And I'll have to disagree with your comment about 20db more bass than mid/high obliterating the highs. I've been in a club where the tops were sitting probably around 110dbA or so, and the bass was an easy 150db (unweighted), and I could easily hear the music. It was at a club with a d&b J series install (6 J8 and 2 J12 a side, but they weren't being pushed very much at all), but the artist playing had brought along their own compliment of 12 PK Sound CX800s. Was the bass modulating the music, absolutely. Was the system balanced? Hell no! But it was awesome, but that's beside the point. If my tops are sitting around 100dbA, and the bass at 120db (C or unweighted), I'd hardly consider the bass to be obliterating the highs. Perhaps I was not specific enough when I was giving my bass db level examples. I did mean them unweighted, not A weighted. I assumed Ivan wouldn't assume I usually like 135dbA of bass! Unweighted at 50hz that would be a 165! But I guess everyone knows what happens when you assume...
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John L Nobile

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Re: Choosing the best sub for me
« Reply #35 on: May 31, 2015, 01:56:58 am »

That's a fantastic point, and very helpful. I'll definitely take this into account in the future, thanks! And I'll have to disagree with your comment about 20db more bass than mid/high obliterating the highs. I've been in a club where the tops were sitting probably around 110dbA or so, and the bass was an easy 150db (unweighted), and I could easily hear the music. It was at a club with a d&b J series install (6 J8 and 2 J12 a side, but they weren't being pushed very much at all), but the artist playing had brought along their own compliment of 12 PK Sound CX800s. Was the bass modulating the music, absolutely. Was the system balanced? Hell no! But it was awesome, but that's beside the point. If my tops are sitting around 100dbA, and the bass at 120db (C or unweighted), I'd hardly consider the bass to be obliterating the highs. Perhaps I was not specific enough when I was giving my bass db level examples. I did mean them unweighted, not A weighted. I assumed Ivan wouldn't assume I usually like 135dbA of bass! Unweighted at 50hz that would be a 165! But I guess everyone knows what happens when you assume...

Damn that's loud. I had to put earplugs in just to finish reading that post.
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Alex Berry

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Re: Choosing the best sub for me
« Reply #36 on: May 31, 2015, 02:18:05 am »

Damn that's loud. I had to put earplugs in just to finish reading that post.

LOL! It really wasn't that bad, I've heard louder. It was very enveloping, and seems to be the norm for all of the EDM concerts I've been to so far.
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John L Nobile

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Re: Choosing the best sub for me
« Reply #37 on: May 31, 2015, 09:14:50 am »

I'm having a really hard time with those DB numbers. How is it even possible to be in a room with that kind of volume? Disclaimer.... I've never been to an EDM event.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Choosing the best sub for me
« Reply #38 on: May 31, 2015, 09:28:00 am »



I hate to hijack my own thread, but while I have you here I'd like to ask you some questions specifically about the SM80 (since I'm now aware that it's practically your baby) and the TH-118. Down the road, perhaps after the summer, my company is going to make an investment into a larger sound system than what we have now. The sound system would need to cover up to 1000 people comfortably in a room about this size or around there https://youtu.be/WCzj_ib0-5Y?t=8m7s (you can get an idea for the size of the room in the video, but it's a high school gym). By comfortably I mean around 115dbA front row (perhaps with front fills), and around 100dbA at around halfway point to 2/3 of the way back. It would need to be able to play the same style of music in the video as well, specifically heavily compressed EDM. So we're talking some pretty abusive stuff here.

I'm seriously interested in the SM80 and the TH-118 to compliment after doing a bunch more research on them both. I've also read in other threads that you prefer to have 2-3 TH-118's for a loud rock show per SM80. Having a general idea how loud the TH-118 is (about as loud as 2 average dual 18s), this tells me that the SM80 is very very loud. Now you say this but in regards to live bands as your program material, and my style of music is very, very different. I'm looking to have 20-30db more bass than mid/high. So for instance if I'm sitting at a 115dbA front row, I'd really like to have at LEAST 135db in bass (40hz-100hz), preferably I'd like to be in the low 140's or even more.

So what I'm fully asking is would a pair of SM80's (with a proper sub compliment) be able to meet my requirements? Obviously I can just add more TH-118's if I need more sub volume, but it's not as easy as just adding more SM80's to get more mid/high volume.

I'd like to thank you again for all your help so far. I'm learning a lot from you, and am very appreciative!
Yes-having your subs 20dB hot (and sometimes even more) is not uncommon at all-It happens all the time at EDM shows

Here is a link to just about the setup/show you are talking about

Read the comments about more details of the event etc.  Before we had to turn it down (due to complaints from  4-5 miles away) we were around 124dB C at 100' outside. 

This video was after we turned it down.

https://www.facebook.com/ivan.beaver/videos/vb.100000581642030/1070611356301576/?type=2&theater

I am 100' from the speakers (that are 90 degrees from the DJ) with 1 SM80 per side.  We used 2 BC218s for subs.  So 2 tops and 2 bottoms and 2 amp channels total for the PA.

The BC218 (not the DBH218) goes lower than the TH118 and (within the TH118 operating range) it would take around 4 TH118s to equal a single BC218 and twice as many amp channels. 

Below 35Hz it will take more TH118s to equal a single BC218.

The TH118 is easier to move around, but the BC218s are really not bad-despite what people claim who have never moved them.  But steps are going to KILL you.

The BC218 gives you more "SPL per dollar" than the TH118.  So everything is a trade off.

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Ivan Beaver
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Choosing the best sub for me
« Reply #39 on: May 31, 2015, 09:35:42 am »

I'm having a really hard time with those DB numbers. How is it even possible to be in a room with that kind of volume? Disclaimer.... I've never been to an EDM event.
Those numbers are not out of bounds at all.

BASS rules when it comes to EDM shows.

Basically the full range cabinets are there to keep the bass from being so boring-------------------

The whole idea is to be "moved" by the subs, to feel the air getting sucked from your lungs and to be hit in the chest with a baseball bat and to make your "personal parts" tingle.

This was taken at an EDM show last year (the speakers are the front fills)

A sign maker saw some girls humping the speakers-so he made a sign.

One evening there was a couple that were actually "getting it on" with the girl pressed up against the main subs (BC415s).

She looked as if she was really enjoying the whole "experience".

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=866711980024849&set=pb.100000581642030.-2207520000.1433079146.&type=3&theater
« Last Edit: May 31, 2015, 09:38:01 am by Ivan Beaver »
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A complex question is easily answered by a simple-easy to understand WRONG answer!

Ivan Beaver
Danley Sound Labs

PHYSICS- NOT FADS!
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