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Author Topic: Loudspeaker industry opinions  (Read 11988 times)

Stephen Kirby

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Re: Loudspeaker industry opinions
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2016, 12:39:20 pm »

Maybe the OP is looking for what the next step up from the MI stuff he's used to is.  It's kind of an odd hole.  Big Dog companies do what they do to satisfy their clientele.  But it kind of has little relation to someone trying to step up from music store stuff.

Around here, probably because they're local, I see lots of Meyer stuff in installs.  But the small soundcos seem to get some size of VerTec (depending on how much money they have to start with) build up their lines and if they're successful graduate to the larger boxes if they didn't start out there.  Doesn't mean that they're the best.  Just that the entry costs are a bit more palatable than some of the European brands and it's easy to sell to clients.  Everybody wants a line array.  The piles of EAW or some such seem to have gone by the wayside.  And I haven't seen any large point source systems at any events I've been to.  I'm much more likely to see a four box hang of 4887 or 4888 than an SH96.
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Liam Croft

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Re: Loudspeaker industry opinions
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2016, 03:25:52 pm »

Thanks for all the input guys!

I know the question sparks a lot of debate but opinions is exactly what I'm after! I've been working in sound for a few years now and I realise that different applications require different speaker system designs. Of course I don't want to compare a JCB to a Ferrari, but I do want to see how these brands fit into their respective fields. For example, the 2 I just mentioned are generally considered to be at the top end of the market.

I'm not really looking for any answer in particular, and I'm not looking for speakers to fill a particular purpose. But if there's a brand that you think makes the best (or worst) product in the category, I would love to hear your opinions!

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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Loudspeaker industry opinions
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2016, 03:36:55 pm »

Thanks for all the input guys!

I know the question sparks a lot of debate but opinions is exactly what I'm after! I've been working in sound for a few years now and I realise that different applications require different speaker system designs. Of course I don't want to compare a JCB to a Ferrari, but I do want to see how these brands fit into their respective fields. For example, the 2 I just mentioned are generally considered to be at the top end of the market.

I'm not really looking for any answer in particular, and I'm not looking for speakers to fill a particular purpose. But if there's a brand that you think makes the best (or worst) product in the category, I would love to hear your opinions!

Liam, you're in the Big Boy Forum and I suggest you go back and read Ray's first reply.

What *I* think of something is pretty much irrelevant; what my clients think is much more to the point (even if I don't like their choices).  Clients can and do change their minds for a variety of reasons and some of those reasons are just as influenced by marketing (both advertising and the more persuasive one-on-one conversations among peers) as are consumers buying home electronics or automobiles.

If I were to suggest a brand that seems to be universally accepted in the USA (and probably a decent chunk of western Europe) is Clair Brothers.  Their equipment (and affiliated touring production company) is used by about 75% of the touring concerts in our local hockey arena.  We've seen 1 Martin MLA rig (twice, same artist); a couple of d&b Q series rigs, a couple of JBL VTX, and a couple of l'Acoustic K1/K2/ARCS rigs.

What's best?  The rigs your customers request repeatedly.  The rest is hype and bullshit.

It's the BUSINESS of sound.
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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

Stephen Kirby

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Re: Loudspeaker industry opinions
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2016, 04:56:23 pm »

There's also support.  Why do you see so many people playing DW drums?  And why is Vinnie no longer playing Gretsch?  It's because some companies have the infrastructure to support high level touring artists.  People like Clair can bring the whole shebang to bear on a tour.  There may be some small company somewhere that makes better sounding boxes, but what are you going to do when the tour rolls into some weird venue and you need a different configuration?  Can you get someone from the company to watch over your show, do they have phone numbers of people who will pick up and can answer just about any question when needed?  On a multi-million dollar tour there is no "sorry 'bout that chief".
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Loudspeaker industry opinions
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2016, 12:58:52 am »

There's also support.  Why do you see so many people playing DW drums?  And why is Vinnie no longer playing Gretsch?  It's because some companies have the infrastructure to support high level touring artists.  People like Clair can bring the whole shebang to bear on a tour.  There may be some small company somewhere that makes better sounding boxes, but what are you going to do when the tour rolls into some weird venue and you need a different configuration?  Can you get someone from the company to watch over your show, do they have phone numbers of people who will pick up and can answer just about any question when needed?  On a multi-million dollar tour there is no "sorry 'bout that chief".

The real variable is us, we spend so much time talking about gear and comparatively so little talking about technique.  If half the effort that was put into deciding on the rig went into sharpening the saw I think we all could benefit from it.

I get the upgrade bug every few months but the truth is I am mixing on the same gear I had when I came in hear because I bombed in a bar one night.  My gear hasn't gotten any better but my skills have from listening and learning. 

On the rare occasion somebody asks for specific gear I rent it, and usually go grab a friend who has run it before.

All this gear discussion gets pedantic after awhile and seems like a whole lot of mental masturbation.  Many of the threads are nothing but flights of fantasy from unqualified buyers.

The real variable that is the least expensive to improve is ourselves.  SMAART class, SynAudCon, vendor training etc.  provide a much  higher ROI than any gear you can purchase.

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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman

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Liam Croft

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Re: Loudspeaker industry opinions
« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2016, 07:49:23 am »

I do read and fully consider the advice in every reply. I certainly don't mean to waste anyone's time and if you think this post should be in a different forum, please suggest where it should be. I posted here because I wanted professionals' opinions and I thought a new post would be appropriate because of the new product releases surrounding all the trade shows at this time of year.

I apologise to those who consider this a pointless topic, but I greatly appreciate any and all replies. I'm just trying to get opinions from professionals who have experience with equipment that I've not yet had the opportunity to work with.

Thanks once again for everyone's input, I've found it all very useful.

Regards,

Liam
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John Rutirasiri

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Ray Aberle

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Re: Loudspeaker industry opinions
« Reply #17 on: April 02, 2016, 01:33:30 pm »

Scott, agreed- it's the skills of the operator that really has the most impact as to how well a rig sounds (the operator, and how it's deployed) - and I think that's what I was talking about in my first post.

But the point that I think that the OP is missing is that when you get to a certain level of systems provision, as Tim said, you deliver what the client asks for and will pay for. And back to the last train of thought- the skills of the operator will have a direct impact on how the show sounds. We provided our VerTec system for a show recently, and there were online reviews of the show afterwards. "**** * *** should fire their sound crew! It sounded horrible!" -- Well, the PA (16bx of VT4888, 12bx of SRX728S, I-Tech amplification, all v4.2 presets) sounded awesome. It is well tuned, and deployed properly per JBL LAC. And the opening act sounded great. The headliner, though, their mix engineer drove the system how he felt the band wanted it to sound in the house. The local A1 and myself supported him all we could, and dealt with audience complaints as we could (some minor tweaking and shading of PA boxes) - but again, when it comes to the bottom line, the man in the driver's seat determines where the rig goes.

Liam mentioned trade shows and new gear being released-- well, for the most part, a PA company isn't going to just jump on a new system-- unless and ONLY IF there's a viable business reason to do so. Those can include "We can do new events with additional PA," or "We will be able to charge more for our current shows with this new rig." If the purchase opens new business opportunities (or decreases the chance of failures onsite- that's why we're currently replacing ALL of our conventional I-Techs with I-Tech HDs-- 7-11year old amps are getting to the point where it's not a question of whether they will fail onsite, but when...) then that's a good business decision. But, most big companies won't jump on a new rig just 'cos it's NEW AND SHINEY! I mentioned before about big shows, the Grammies, Super Bowl, etc-- ATK does a lot of those, and yeah, you'll hear about them deploying their new VTX V25-II rig... but you'll also see mentions of them using VT4889s. 15 year old boxes- but they WORK. They're proven and super reliable, and still making them oodles of money every year. Why dump them just because they're not the newest and greatest?

Tim was pretty spot on with his comments re Clair (the exception to the rule that you don't build your own speakers and have them accepted by a touring BE -- Clair builds ALL of their own boxes, which means they can regularly improve their designs and it's not going to cost as much as it would be if I were looking to upgrade) -- they're widely acceptable. As for the rest of the rigs he mentions- same deal. They're all A-list kit right now.

I stand by my earlier suggestion of going to see what is coming through your local venues on tours-- that will give you the best snapshot as to what's popular in your area! (Again, regions will have different flavors. Here in the PNW, I can get 40+  more boxes of our model VerTec (VT4888) with 3 phone calls. I can get 4889s and VTX V20s in a call, large format d&b in two other calls, or EV boxes with two other calls. And a V25 rig. One of the shops used to be big on EAW but they dumped them a few years ago.)

-Ray
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Loudspeaker industry opinions
« Reply #18 on: April 02, 2016, 04:23:14 pm »

There was just a thread about BE'S that butcher the mix and what the house or providers responsibility is.  My comment was more generic,  My comment was simply fatigue on the endless disection of gear that is functionally similar. 

The OP'S post sounds like it  is a marketing survey or something, I wasn't directly questioning the OP

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman

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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Loudspeaker industry opinions
« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2016, 04:49:51 pm »

At this level all the gear is competent and capable of sounding very good or very shitty - that's largely up to the system engineer and Band Mixerperson.  When you get into the range of US$8000 -$15,000 PA boxes there is a presumption that the PA sounds good to start with and that other factors (client acceptance, truck pack, maintenance costs, weight, and powering considerations, etc) play a greater role in system selection.

Liam, I'm not sure what you're trying to learn from this.
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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

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Re: Loudspeaker industry opinions
« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2016, 04:49:51 pm »


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