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Author Topic: Turbosound Milan M12/M10 vs RCF ART 712/710-A MKII vs RCF ART 422/310-A MKII/III  (Read 11854 times)

Chris Shaw

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Hi

You help would be appreciated! My task is to recommend a set of main and monitor powered speakers for our church and I have narrowed it down to the three systems in the subject line, where the 12" speakers are the mains and the 10" speakers are the monitors (before you ask, IEM would be too restrictive for us).

We meet in a school hall that is ~25x15x6 meters, which at the moment we half fill. We go for quite an intimate, inclusive feel so clarity and natural sound is important to us. Surprise surprise, budget is quite limited so we aim at the budget end of pro equipment. We will be replacing a pair of very heavy Tanny T12's as mains (with TX2 controller and Tapco Juice J1400 amp) and a hodge-podge of low quality monitor wedges.

A nice-to-have would be sufficient power so that we could also support community events, covering a similar area at similar SPL except outdoors (we'd of course add subs).

So I have arrived at the the Milan series, the ART 3/4 series and the ART 7 series. On current Thomann prices, the Milan's are the cheapest, and the two RCF combinations are ~30% more for the combination we are after.

From reviews I read, all of these speakers offer very good sound at lower levels (as we would typically use them) but the Milan's loose clarity at higher level (maybe due to the HF drivers only being 50W?). Is this anyone else's experience? Is paying 30% more for RCF's worth it in sound quality?

Regarding the RCF's, I first looked at the ART 7 series due to the higher power, but would our money be better spent on cheaper 310 monitors and more expensive 422 mains, even though they are all 400Wrms instead of 700Wrms?

My only concern with the RCF's is the open design - that either fluid or an item (helped by a child) might enter a monitor, causing a lot of work to remove and/or damage the to speaker. Can any RCF owners advise how much of an issue this is?

And finally, the possible curve ball is the Mackie HD1221 (which are less than 320 ea on Thomann at the moment and still 790 elsewhere) with SRM 350 V3's as monitors, but the HD1221's seem to have reliability issues and the SRM350s apparently don't sound that great.

I appreciate this is a highly subjective area, but your experience would be very helpful.

Many thanks!
« Last Edit: June 28, 2015, 02:16:56 pm by Chris Shaw »
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Chris Shaw
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King's Community Church, Hatfield, England

Eric Simna

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    • A440 Sound

From reviews I read, all of these speakers offer very good sound at lower levels (as we would typically use them) but the Milan's loose clarity at higher level (maybe due to the HF drivers only being 50W?). Is this anyone else's experience? Is paying 30% more for RCF's worth it in sound quality?

I recently ran a show outdoors, with a pair of Milan M12's.  Within their limits, I really love these boxes.  I didn't have anywhere near enough Rig For The Gig on this show and had them in limit for most of the show.  I would agree that they lose clarity when pushed to the brink.  I was nervous I'd lose them completely, but they held up, and the event organizers were very happy.  Indoors, I haven't been able to push them hard enough to put them in limit.  They can be a loud box. 
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Chris Shaw

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I recently ran a show outdoors, with a pair of Milan M12's.  Within their limits, I really love these boxes.  I didn't have anywhere near enough Rig For The Gig on this show and had them in limit for most of the show.  I would agree that they lose clarity when pushed to the brink.  I was nervous I'd lose them completely, but they held up, and the event organizers were very happy.  Indoors, I haven't been able to push them hard enough to put them in limit.  They can be a loud box.
Thanks for your input Eric. For the outdoors show, how many people were you covering, did you have subs and what style of music was it? Thanks
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Chris Shaw
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King's Community Church, Hatfield, England

Eric Simna

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Thanks for your input Eric. For the outdoors show, how many people were you covering, did you have subs and what style of music was it? Thanks

I had a pair of stages.  One was a 60s Beach Boys meets 90s style.  The other was instrumental soul.  I had a pair of single 18 subs per stage as well.  It was way undersized for the 2-3k in attendance on a residential street.  I did not take any measurements, but you could hear everything at least.  It was my first year with this group and I am already in talks to go much bigger.  The soul stage fared better than the first stage.  Tree cover may have played a part in that.  I'm not sure.

The photo shows most of the crowd.  There were a lot more people off to the right.  This was a case of "they asked for this, but they needed much more." 
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Darren Scaresbrook

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Hi Chris,

I haven't used the M12's but I have recently put a pair of M15's into a church.

The M15's go surprisingly hard and sound good. They also have more lf output than any similar box I have heard. My guess is that the 12" version should sound a little better than the 15". The 15" was chosen because they need to run fullrange without any subs.

As far as overall sound quality, I'm afraid you will not find anything in this price range that comes close to the Tannoys you are currently using. The T12's sound pristine, just don't expect them to go super loud.

Cheers,
Darren

Chris Shaw

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I had a pair of stages.  One was a 60s Beach Boys meets 90s style.  The other was instrumental soul.  I had a pair of single 18 subs per stage as well.  It was way undersized for the 2-3k in attendance on a residential street.  I did not take any measurements, but you could hear everything at least.  It was my first year with this group and I am already in talks to go much bigger.  The soul stage fared better than the first stage.  Tree cover may have played a part in that.  I'm not sure.

The photo shows most of the crowd.  There were a lot more people off to the right.  This was a case of "they asked for this, but they needed much more."

Thanks Eric
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Chris Shaw
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King's Community Church, Hatfield, England

Chris Shaw

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As far as overall sound quality, I'm afraid you will not find anything in this price range that comes close to the Tannoys you are currently using. The T12's sound pristine, just don't expect them to go super loud.

Thanks Darren. I knew the T12's were very good back in their day, but I had hoped that advances in speaker technology would have bridged that gap.

What would you recommend as a 12" powered speaker with equivalent sound quality today? (preferably RCF or Turbo)
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Chris Shaw
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King's Community Church, Hatfield, England

Mike Pyle

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What would you recommend as a 12" powered speaker with equivalent sound quality today? (preferably RCF or Turbo)

Being on a budget, I would choose the ART422A. If you happened to locate a good used pair of ART522A or 525A, you should also consider those.
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Darren Scaresbrook

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Thanks Darren. I knew the T12's were very good back in their day, but I had hoped that advances in speaker technology would have bridged that gap.

What would you recommend as a 12" powered speaker with equivalent sound quality today? (preferably RCF or Turbo)
Hi Chris,

To stay in the same league sound quality wise you need to look at RCF's TT range. The TT22a is one of the best 12" boxes I have heard. The problem is they are going to be as heavy as your current Tannoys. I find the Tannoys to be no heavier than other similar quality boxes. Fitting the stands on the ground then tipping them up is a good way to save your back.

What is your reason for wanting to change them? Weight, sound or other reasons?

Darren

Chris Shaw

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Hi Chris,

To stay in the same league sound quality wise you need to look at RCF's TT range. The TT22a is one of the best 12" boxes I have heard. The problem is they are going to be as heavy as your current Tannoys. I find the Tannoys to be no heavier than other similar quality boxes. Fitting the stands on the ground then tipping them up is a good way to save your back.

What is your reason for wanting to change them? Weight, sound or other reasons?

Darren

Our motives are:
- current mains (Tannoy T12's) are very heavy and only just have enough power (Tapco Juice J1400)
- current monitors are few in number and low in quality (img, Peavy, Carlsbro)
- we mix monitors through FOH so a matching set would keep the system more stable
- we would like monitors that can be put on stands for smaller events
- powered speakers are a lot easier to shift around in cars

I'd love a pair of TT's, but I can't make the numbers add up to get from T12's to TT22a's. Tannoy VX12 (presumably the current equivalent to the T12???) are RRP ~800. Add ~200 for half an amp (the Tapco Juice is by no means a high quality amp) and that gets to 1000, for a 15+ year old system. TT22a's are well over 2000. I guess RCF don't have a whole lot in between though.

Weight wise, the biggest issue with the T12's is that they don't have side handles, so bearing the weight is harder and the risk of dropping it is higher. We'll try the upside down method you suggested.

Thanks
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Chris Shaw
Tech Team Lead
King's Community Church, Hatfield, England

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