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Author Topic: Need decent subs for Community SLS960.  (Read 15391 times)

Stan Chigintsev

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Need decent subs for Community SLS960.
« on: October 22, 2015, 08:52:48 am »

Hi all.

After working for years with crappy equipment, we are finally about to get good stuff (but affordable). I have decided on two Community SLS960 tops. They will be bought used, as we're on a budget. Didn't get them yet but about to.

Now the question is what about subs (looking for used as well). I know that a good match for 960's performance is LVF218, but many people mentioned that they don't give as much kick as equivalent JBL models, and are somewhat not as successful as 960s, although as old.

Ideally we would prefer single 18 or 15 due to scalability: for small gigs just one or to 1x18 (with single 15 tops), then four 1x18 for bigger gigs (with either two SLS-960 or four 1x15 tops) and so on. Seems like highest SPL for a single 18 is produced by Yorkville LS801p, a bass reflex sub, which also sounds decent according to many users. The subs must be suitable for both dance music and rock (so they must be fast enough to accommodate rock).

Am I moving in right direction with multiple 1x18 as a match for SLS960? Will bass reflex subs complement SLS960 Ok or subs MUST be HORN LOADED just as the tops???

Active subs would be preferable but not required.

Also, what is the proper placement of SLS960 on LVF218: LVF218 in upright position and a SLS960 on top? Is it really hard to get that 130lbs on top of an upright dual 18 sub? If I go with two 1x18 one on top another, will I be able to put SLS960 on top just like in the case of LVF218?

And lastly, if you think that LS801p is a decent match for SLS960 then how many of them are required to match SLS960 ran at full power?

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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Need decent subs for Community SLS960.
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2015, 09:32:28 am »

Hi all.

After working for years with crappy equipment, we are finally about to get good stuff (but affordable). I have decided on two Community SLS960 tops. They will be bought used, as we're on a budget. Didn't get them yet but about to.

Now the question is what about subs (looking for used as well). I know that a good match for 960's performance is LVF218, but many people mentioned that they don't give as much kick as equivalent JBL models, and are somewhat not as successful as 960s, although as old.

Ideally we would prefer single 18 or 15 due to scalability: for small gigs just one or to 1x18 (with single 15 tops), then four 1x18 for bigger gigs (with either two SLS-960 or four 1x15 tops) and so on. Seems like highest SPL for a single 18 is produced by Yorkville LS801p, a bass reflex sub, which also sounds decent according to many users. The subs must be suitable for both dance music and rock (so they must be fast enough to accommodate rock).

Am I moving in right direction with multiple 1x18 as a match for SLS960? Will bass reflex subs complement SLS960 Ok or subs MUST be HORN LOADED just as the tops???

Active subs would be preferable but not required.

Also, what is the proper placement of SLS960 on LVF218: LVF218 in upright position and a SLS960 on top? Is it really hard to get that 130lbs on top of an upright dual 18 sub? If I go with two 1x18 one on top another, will I be able to put SLS960 on top just like in the case of LVF218?

And lastly, if you think that LS801p is a decent match for SLS960 then how many of them are required to match SLS960 ran at full power?
What kind of events will you be doing?  The SLS960 is a narrow dispersion box; frequently you're going to need two per side, not just two total to cover your room.  Do you really need the full output of these boxes?  If so, that's a very big boy rig, and a pair of LS801 subs or any other single or dual 18 sub isn't going to get anywhere close to keeping up.  If you're truly looking for 140dB+ worth of sub output, that's going to be multiple dual 18" boxes per side or the equivalent. 

I think I would think hard about a different main box than the SLS960 - I'm pretty sure that's not the right box for you unless you have more than 2 of them, have a significant road crew, and are willing to pile up at least 4 2x18 boxes per side.  That doesn't sound like where you are headed.
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Doug Fowler

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Re: Need decent subs for Community SLS960.
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2015, 10:26:58 am »

Another thing about 960 is serious lack of low mid.   It truly needs a bass bin, along with a sub.  Loud rock guitars will suffer greatly, as will loud bass guitar. 

That, plus the relatively narrow coverage, makes it less than ideal for many things.  For lighter weight music and speech it does quite well. 

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Stan Chigintsev

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Re: Need decent subs for Community SLS960.
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2015, 11:15:36 am »

Mostly rock, sometimes dance kind of stuff, and mostly outdoors I'm talking about. Basically I need most SPL out of a single box. Indoors single 15s are usually enough for us.

One gig came to mind when you asked what kind of events. It was an outdoor rock concert for 2,000 people on a concrete stage and people mostly seated on benches (bandshell in a park). There was also a DJ with his "big thumb bass rap". We had no choice other than combining three JBL JRX125 with two 1x15 Peavey per side, plus one 2x18 EV sub and one 1x18 Behringer sub per side. It did cover the area well but I don't need to tell you that there were multiple no-no's: cheap brands, combining different brands and types, very inefficient rig, comb filtering... etc...  I want to be able to cover this kind of jobs with just one SLS960 (instead of 5 crappy tops!) and one to four subs per side.

If SLS960 projects too far, I can put front fills. If I realize it's too narrow for our purposes like you said - then we'll get 2 more SLS960 later on.

I think that narrow, far reaching coverage is what I'm after.  Too much wide coverage only handles the front. Keep in mind: we're on limited budget.  Other alternatives are KF650 (too expensive even used), KV2 brand (no used on the market, lower SPL), Danley (expensive), JBL STX (3 time price of SLS960 , lower SPL).


Do you think that four LS801s will keep up with one SLS960 per side outdoors for dance music? How about indoors?

Doug, yeah....I've heard about luck of low mids. It can be an issue for rock. I guess I can have, say, one base cab and two LS801s per side for rock and four LS801s with no base for dance?  In this case what affordable base cabs can you recommend?

P.S. I use term "dance music" loosely to describe stuff that's played in clubs. .. rap, hip-hop and other kind of "chest-play" (hitting in the chest I mean). :).
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Need decent subs for Community SLS960.
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2015, 11:26:43 am »

Mostly rock, sometimes dance kind of stuff, and mostly outdoors I'm talking about. Basically I need most SPL out of a single box. Indoors single 15s are usually enough for us.

One gig came to mind when you asked what kind of events. It was an outdoor rock concert for 2,000 people on a concrete stage and people mostly seated on benches (bandshell in a park). There was also a DJ with his "big thumb bass rap". We had no choice other than combining three JBL JRX125 with two 1x15 Peavey per side, plus one 2x18 EV sub and one 1x18 Behringer sub per side. It did cover the area well but I don't need to tell you that there were multiple no-no's: cheap brands, combining different brands and types, very inefficient rig, comb filtering... etc...  I want to be able to cover this kind of jobs with just one SLS960 (instead of 5 crappy tops!) and one to four subs per side.

If SLS960 projects too far, I can put front fills. If I realize it's too narrow for our purposes like you said - then we'll get 2 more SLS960 later on.

I think that narrow, far reaching coverage is what I'm after.  Too much wide coverage only handles the front. Keep in mind: we're on limited budget.  Other alternatives are KF650 (too expensive even used), KV2 brand (no used on the market, lower SPL), Danley (expensive), JBL STX (3 time price of SLS960 , lower SPL).


Do you think that four LS801s will keep up with one SLS960 per side outdoors for dance music? How about indoors?

Doug, yeah....I've heard about luck of low mids. It can be an issue for rock. I guess I can have, say, one base cab and two LS801s per side for rock and four LS801s with no base for dance?  In this case what affordable base cabs can you recommend?

P.S. I use term "dance music" loosely to describe stuff that's played in clubs. .. rap, hip-hop and other kind of "chest-play" (hitting in the chest I mean). :).
How often do you have shows of exactly the configuration you mention?  If infrequently, you may be better off renting.  Stacked up PAs are usually worse than flown PAs (and by flown I include speakers on stands) in coverage and clarity, and end up wasting a lot of their power blasting through the front rows.

I would suggest you look at the JBL SRX-835P box as a modern alternative that will be more useful more often, sound better, and will scale down to smaller gigs better than the SLS960.  It's also got a pole socket, so you can get it in the air so people can actually hear it.

Don't worry too much about a couple dB difference on the spec sheets.  If your previous baseline is a pile of JRX, you will be very happy with the SRX800P series.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Need decent subs for Community SLS960.
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2015, 12:00:01 pm »


And lastly, if you think that LS801p is a decent match for SLS960 then how many of them are required to match SLS960 ran at full power?
That is one of those "it depends" questions.

In most cases-the subs need to "outrun" the tops in SPL capability.

By how much is the real question.

For some music styles 3-6dB is fine

For "harder styles" 15dB is a good number.

For serious dance music, 25dB is a better number.

There is a HUGE difference in price and the amount of subs/amps/cables/truck space etc for the ranges I listed.

It is not a "quick easy" question.

You also cannot simply take the "max SPL" numbers and do the figuring-UNLESS you know where those numbers came from.

Are they at some peak in the response? or an usable average level over the intended freq of use?

This can be 10dB different.  That is a lot of extra money-if you figure wrong.

The "simple numbers" with simple math will most likely end up with a wrong answer.
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Stan Chigintsev

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Re: Need decent subs for Community SLS960.
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2015, 12:47:13 pm »

How often do you have shows of exactly the configuration you mention?  If infrequently, you may be better off renting.  Stacked up PAs are usually worse than flown PAs (and by flown I include speakers on stands) in coverage and clarity, and end up wasting a lot of their power blasting through the front rows.

I would suggest you look at the JBL SRX-835P box as a modern alternative that will be more useful more often, sound better, and will scale down to smaller gigs better than the SLS960.  It's also got a pole socket, so you can get it in the air so people can actually hear it.

Don't worry too much about a couple dB difference on the spec sheets.  If your previous baseline is a pile of JRX, you will be very happy with the SRX800P series.

Renting is out of question here... I'm in NYC, competition is so high here that low prices negate any chance of renting.

A lot of times I use two JRX125 per side and each of them is not much lighter than SLS960 (94 lbs vs 130 lbs). Even in this regard a single SLS960 would be more useful.

I've considered JBL SRX835P. It's not a loud box (much less SPL than passive STX line, I've read reviews), it is not much louder than my JRX125 which I have six of with upgraded tweeters (although SRX definitely sounds better), and SRX835P are double the price of SLS960. I will still need to STACK up to three SRX835Ps per side to get same SPL as one SLS960, plus SLS960 would hit farther.

One SRX835P will probably give me similar performance to two JBL MP415 (1x15, passive) that I already have. My goal is to cut quantity of tops.

Ivan Beaver, I totally agree on "it depends" with regard to ratio of subs to tops needed. Let me rephrase my question then: how many of LS801p will be required to get roughly similar SPL as one LVF218, considering that they are bass reflex vs horn loaded?
« Last Edit: October 22, 2015, 12:52:18 pm by Stan Chigintsev »
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Mike Pyle

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Re: Need decent subs for Community SLS960.
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2015, 01:00:13 pm »

If you have to do it on a budget with a model that is readily available without scouring the used market for bargains, consider getting some Yorkville LS1208s. They are loud and cheap. 3 a side strapped together on their sides would get your tops well up in the air.
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Need decent subs for Community SLS960.
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2015, 01:32:37 pm »

Renting is out of question here... I'm in NYC, competition is so high here that low prices negate any chance of renting.

A lot of times I use two JRX125 per side and each of them is not much lighter than SLS960 (94 lbs vs 130 lbs). Even in this regard a single SLS960 would be more useful.

I've considered JBL SRX835P. It's not a loud box (much less SPL than passive STX line, I've read reviews), it is not much louder than my JRX125 which I have six of with upgraded tweeters (although SRX definitely sounds better), and SRX835P are double the price of SLS960. I will still need to STACK up to three SRX835Ps per side to get same SPL as one SLS960, plus SLS960 would hit farther.

One SRX835P will probably give me similar performance to two JBL MP415 (1x15, passive) that I already have. My goal is to cut quantity of tops.

Ivan Beaver, I totally agree on "it depends" with regard to ratio of subs to tops needed. Let me rephrase my question then: how many of LS801p will be required to get roughly similar SPL as one LVF218, considering that they are bass reflex vs horn loaded?
JBL has made a (IMO) dumb decision to make the SRX800P series fairly low-gain, meaning that you need to send them a hotter signal than most speakers.  This does not mean they don't have the power of other boxes, just that you need to send them more level.  Anyone who says they are in any way comparable to the JRX garbage has not run the SRX800 series correctly.

I own the SRX812P boxes and they make A LOT of noise.

I'm done trying to talk you out of the SLS boxes.  I don't believe they are the right choice for what you're trying to do, and I think they're a false economy when you consider the entire situation including logistics.  Maybe I'm wrong - you can report back in a year and let us know how you're getting on with them.
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Tim Weaver

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Re: Need decent subs for Community SLS960.
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2015, 04:09:54 pm »

By the same token, the SLS960 is a good box. Its very efficient, has decent pattern control and is cheap on the used market.

I would not pair it up with active subs though. You will have to have an amp rack to run the tops so why not have amps and dsp for the entire system in 1 place and make connector panels so that cabling is easier.

Also, a set of used double 18's would be cheap and should make a good match for the tops. Something like JBL 4719's or some SRX728's would be great.
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Re: Need decent subs for Community SLS960.
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2015, 04:09:54 pm »


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