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Author Topic: Replacing 4x PRX718XLF with 2x RCF SUB 8004?  (Read 5908 times)

Trevor Jalla

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Replacing 4x PRX718XLF with 2x RCF SUB 8004?
« on: May 23, 2016, 10:24:02 am »

Hi all,

Long time lurker, first post here. I'm a small sticks-on-subs operator running 4x RCF NX M10As over 4x JBL PRX718XLFs for weddings, small ballrooms and events. I primarily run IEMs (Sennheiser EW300s), desk is a Soundcraft Expression 1 + Mini Stagebox 32.

Depending on the splay/coverage needs I also have 4x DB Tech D12HP tops, and run the NX boxes and downfill/infill.

The PRX sub actually sounds good for my needs - clear and deep, not "notey". I'm wondering however - if there is there a single 18" that will perform equally to pair of PRX718XLF? I'm thinking in the range of the RCF SUB 8004. So far have been using powered boxes, but will consider passive+amp.

Looking for a short-term lateral move in SPL and sound quality, that I can expand on in the future with another pair of the same. Budget and ROI practicalities with probably prevent me getting into touring grade level, but any suggestions appreciated.

Thank you.
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Luke Geis

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Re: Replacing 4x PRX718XLF with 2x RCF SUB 8004?
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2016, 01:02:47 am »

Welllllllllll.......... I think you should stay with the PRX subs honestly. 4 of them should provide plenty of boom and are honestly good sounding. If the goal is to have one brand then it would make sense to go RCF, but they are not as common and Specs seem to show that they are not the flattest in response. They are also much more expensive. SPL is about the same so not a huge step up. It is a parallel purchase at best. A couple db's is not anything to hoot and holler about. For the same money you could get the JBL SRX 818SP and have something that performs really well, gets about the same SPL, but is flatter in response.

You will be hard pressed to find an acceptable single 18" sub that performs like a dual 18". 132-136db is about the going SPL these days with a single 18". Don't fool yourself, 2-3db isn't a make or break amount of SPL. The JBL offerings are about the best there is right now, dollar for dollar. RCF makes some great stuff, but not everything they make is such.

From an ROI standpoint, buying a name isn't always a smart move, this is especially true with short term purchases. If you can demand the work, it probably doesn't matter what you have. It is best to rent when possible, if you need a short term advancement for impression purposes. If you simply throw money at a non existent problem, then you are just throwing away money. If you MUST have such gear to accommodate your clients, then and only then should you pull the trigger on something like that. The buy once, cry once mantra comes to mind. Avoid lateral expensive purchases like the plague. You either buy up, or buy down ( to collect a different market ). A parallel purchase doesn't get you anywhere.

For example. In my area the going rate for a wireless mic rental is $75 per channel. It doesn't matter if you ask for a Sennheiser EW300 or a Shure UHF-R unit, same price, totally different levels of quality. Same goes for speakers. A powered Mackie will rent for roughly the same price as a powered speaker of much better quality ( around $50-$75 ) even though the price difference between them to purchase is nearly double. Call another local company in your area and see what it costs to rent their best single 18" sub. Now look up what it costs to buy that sub. You can't charge more for a sub that isn't any better just because it costs more. You may be shocked to find that even a speaker that cost 1.5X as much as your PRX only costs $25 more dollars to rent........ The more expensive the gear, the lower the profit margin.
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Trevor Jalla

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Re: Replacing 4x PRX718XLF with 2x RCF SUB 8004?
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2016, 08:32:02 am »

Luke,

Thank you for that measured and very level-headed response. Given me a bit to think about there. The 8004 seems to be well-regarded by some others here at PSW, and even though its only 2db louder, it's only -3db down at 30hz. Pretty impressive, no?

Playing my own devils advocate however, do live bands need that extra 5hz extension compared to what the PRX puts out? Probably not.

Going with two subs in the short term negates being able to dry hire a pair plus use a pair for my own smaller shows. That does contribute to my ROI. However, if I'm honest, the PRX do at time feel like they come up a bit short. They always sound good - as mentioned clear and even down below 40hz. But there are also times I wish they were punchier, say outdoors 300/400 people. Dancefloor plus tables surrounding. I'm usually at limit light flickering point here - but perhaps I need to figure different mix approaches.

Still not writing off the 8004 - considering its EOFY soon, I maybe able to get one 8004 for not much more than the 2nd hand price of the PRX pair.

Other thoughts and sub recommendations more than welcome.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2016, 08:35:23 am by Trevor Jalla »
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Rob Spence

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Re: Replacing 4x PRX718XLF with 2x RCF SUB 8004?
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2016, 08:52:24 am »

Luke,

Thank you for that measured and very level-headed response. Given me a bit to think about there. The 8004 seems to be well-regarded by some others here at PSW, and even though its only 2db louder, it's only -3db down at 30hz. Pretty impressive, no?

Playing my own devils advocate however, do live bands need that extra 5hz extension compared to what the PRX puts out? Probably not.

Going with two subs in the short term negates being able to dry hire a pair plus use a pair for my own smaller shows. That does contribute to my ROI. However, if I'm honest, the PRX do at time feel like they come up a bit short. They always sound good - as mentioned clear and even down below 40hz. But there are also times I wish they were punchier, say outdoors 300/400 people. Dancefloor plus tables surrounding. I'm usually at limit light flickering point here - but perhaps I need to figure different mix approaches.

Still not writing off the 8004 - considering its EOFY soon, I maybe able to get one 8004 for not much more than the 2nd hand price of the PRX pair.

Other thoughts and sub recommendations more than welcome.

One pair of single 18 subs is not enough for outdoors.
A rule of thumb is an outside gig takes 4 times the rig to get the same performance as indoors.
So, of course you are running out of subs outside.

If outside is only occasionally, then rent a few more or bigger ones.

Don't trade sideways. You are suffering from GAS (gear acquisition syndrome ) with money in your pocket.

If the PRX do ok and sometimes you just need more, buy a used second pair.

As said earlier, there is no conventional single 18 that replaces two 18s.
Want more, then make a step up. Something like a Danley TH118 will more than replace your two PRX subs.



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Re: Replacing 4x PRX718XLF with 2x RCF SUB 8004?
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2016, 09:38:02 am »

One pair of single 18 subs is not enough for outdoors.
A rule of thumb is an outside gig takes 4 times the rig to get the same performance as indoors.
So, of course you are running out of subs outside.

If outside is only occasionally, then rent a few more or bigger ones.

Don't trade sideways. You are suffering from GAS (gear acquisition syndrome ) with money in your pocket.

If the PRX do ok and sometimes you just need more, buy a used second pair.

As said earlier, there is no conventional single 18 that replaces two 18s.
Want more, then make a step up. Something like a Danley TH118 will more than replace your two PRX subs.



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
Good day guys, really, you need to take a good look at the Turbosound IQ18B. I have used all the other single 18s and none comes close to the IQ18B. More over, you can get a pair of IQ18B 3000 watts amp active for the price of one QSC single 18. if anyone have any input on this please comment, i own 12 IQ18bs using M32 and 8 KV2 Audio tops 10"
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Rob Spence

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Re: Replacing 4x PRX718XLF with 2x RCF SUB 8004?
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2016, 09:57:40 am »

Good day guys, really, you need to take a good look at the Turbosound IQ18B. I have used all the other single 18s and none comes close to the IQ18B. More over, you can get a pair of IQ18B 3000 watts amp active for the price of one QSC single 18. if anyone have any input on this please comment, i own 12 IQ18bs using M32 and 8 KV2 Audio tops 10"

Really?

"Music group watts" don't translate into SPL.

The published specs are nothing special.

IQ18B   peak SPL 130 w/3000 watts
KW181 peak SPL 135 w/1000 watts

IQ18B response   50 Hz 130 Hz 3 dB
                             40 Hz 130 Hz -10 dB
KW181 response  40 - 112 Hz -6 dB
                              37 - 129 Hz -10 dB

Again, this is, at best, a lateral move. He won't make money making the change.

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Courtney Williams

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Re: Replacing 4x PRX718XLF with 2x RCF SUB 8004?
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2016, 10:30:16 am »

Really?

"Music group watts" don't translate into SPL.

The published specs are nothing special.

IQ18B   peak SPL 130 w/3000 watts
KW181 peak SPL 135 w/1000 watts

IQ18B response   50 Hz 130 Hz 3 dB
                             40 Hz 130 Hz -10 dB
KW181 response  40 - 112 Hz -6 dB
                              37 - 129 Hz -10 dB

Again, this is, at best, a lateral move. He won't make money making the change.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
Good morning Rob, so my ears and  my pocket book are deceiving me? i can only speak from experience and what i hear, i would not have invested in that much iq if it didnt do the job. I get it Rob people hate the Music Group, i dont work for them in any way, lots of people think if its not expensive its not good, i really think music gear dont need to be over priced.
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Chuck Simon

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Re: Replacing 4x PRX718XLF with 2x RCF SUB 8004?
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2016, 11:00:07 am »

Good day guys, really, you need to take a good look at the Turbosound IQ18B. I have used all the other single 18s and none comes close to the IQ18B. More over, you can get a pair of IQ18B 3000 watts amp active for the price of one QSC single 18. if anyone have any input on this please comment, i own 12 IQ18bs using M32 and 8 KV2 Audio tops 10"

You have used "all the other single 18s"?  That's pretty amazing!  The Music Group must be very conservative with their advertised specs(not bloody likely) if a IQ18b can outperform one XLF let alone replace two of them!

To the OP, I agree with Rob, keep the JBL's.  There is no single 18 powered cab that I know of that is going to out perform two of them.  If there is such a creature it is going to be $$$$$$!
« Last Edit: May 24, 2016, 11:04:57 am by Chuck Simon »
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Courtney Williams

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Re: Replacing 4x PRX718XLF with 2x RCF SUB 8004?
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2016, 11:19:37 am »

Good morning Rob, so my ears and  my pocket book are deceiving me? i can only speak from experience and what i hear, i would not have invested in that much iq if it didnt do the job. I get it Rob people hate the Music Group, i dont work for them in any way, lots of people think if its not expensive its not good, i really think music gear dont need to be over priced.
Good morning Trevor, Rob is a really good guy, he means well, everyone has am opinion on audio gear and there are others that read and quote specs, i love specs, but your ears will decide what good for your application. Danley is very good, i if i win the lottery thats what i will buy, but for right now, you can get 6 IQ18B for a pair of RCF 8004 and 6 IQ18B will do the job outdoors than 2 RCF 8004, not to mention the extensive DSP capabilities on this unit. No other single 18" on the market right now at that price point. i'm sure Mr. Rob and anyone else will agree, again, i dont sell, or work for MUSIC GROUP.
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Courtney Williams

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Re: Replacing 4x PRX718XLF with 2x RCF SUB 8004?
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2016, 11:30:12 am »

You have used "all the other single 18s"?  That's pretty amazing!  The Music Group must be very conservative with their advertised specs(not bloody likely) if a IQ18b can outperform one XLF let alone replace two of them!

To the OP, I agree with Rob, keep the JBL's.  There is no single 18 powered cab that I know of that is going to out perform two of them.  If there is such a creature it is going to be $$$$$$!
Chuck, you miss read my statement, I DID NOT SAY ONE IQ18B CAN OUT PERFORM 2 SINGLE 18, PLEASE RE-READ MY STATEMENT, price $$$$$$ wise, take a look on the other brands prices and look at Turbo price. MY point was, if your gonna buy a pair of the other brand, why not buy 4 Turbo. Chuck, maybe i will invite you over to DEMO my Turbo, i have gotten word from KINGSTON, JAMAICA, W.I. about these subs.
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Chuck Simon

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Re: Replacing 4x PRX718XLF with 2x RCF SUB 8004?
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2016, 11:30:46 am »

Good morning Trevor, Rob is a really good guy, he means well, everyone has am opinion on audio gear and there are others that read and quote specs, i love specs, but your ears will decide what good for your application. Danley is very good, i if i win the lottery thats what i will buy, but for right now, you can get 6 IQ18B for a pair of RCF 8004 and 6 IQ18B will do the job outdoors than 2 RCF 8004, not to mention the extensive DSP capabilities on this unit. No other single 18" on the market right now at that price point. i'm sure Mr. Rob and anyone else will agree, again, i dont sell, or work for MUSIC GROUP.

I think you miss the point.  The OP wants less cabs, not more.

And, as someone who has "used all the other single 18s" you must have more experience than most of us here, but your patronizing comments about Rob are still inappropriate in my opinion. ::)   
« Last Edit: May 24, 2016, 11:43:20 am by Chuck Simon »
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David Morison

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Re: Replacing 4x PRX718XLF with 2x RCF SUB 8004?
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2016, 03:00:49 pm »

The 8004 seems to be well-regarded by some others here at PSW, and even though its only 2db louder, it's only -3db down at 30hz. Pretty impressive, no?

Unfortunately not.

If you have a look at the spec sheet rather than just the website, you'll see that when they say it'll go to 30Hz, they don't actually specify that's the -3dB point.

The response graph on the other hand suggests an actual -3dB point in the mid 40's, depending on where you take it from.

HTH,
David.
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Scott Carneval

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Re: Replacing 4x PRX718XLF with 2x RCF SUB 8004?
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2016, 05:06:40 pm »

Chuck, you miss read my statement, I DID NOT SAY ONE IQ18B CAN OUT PERFORM 2 SINGLE 18, PLEASE RE-READ MY STATEMENT, price $$$$$$ wise, take a look on the other brands prices and look at Turbo price. MY point was, if your gonna buy a pair of the other brand, why not buy 4 Turbo. Chuck, maybe i will invite you over to DEMO my Turbo, i have gotten word from KINGSTON, JAMAICA, W.I. about these subs.

A pile of cheap subs will only get you so far. Will 8 of your Turbosounds outperform 4 PRX718's? Maybe. They might even be less expensive too. But who wants to lug around 8 subs when 4 will do the job? And as you get into bigger events where you need 'real output' you could pile up 32 of those Turbosounds and still not equal 4 tour-grade subs. There is a point of diminishing returns that you will quickly reach.
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Rick Powell

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Re: Replacing 4x PRX718XLF with 2x RCF SUB 8004?
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2016, 06:36:27 pm »

If you are looking for a single 18" powered solution that would take the place of two single 18's, something like the powered JTR Orbit Shifter could more than do it...although it is 45" tall and 190 lb.  They list for $3099 direct, will get up to about 140dB, and will go flat from about 40-100Hz as tuned.
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Luke Geis

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Re: Replacing 4x PRX718XLF with 2x RCF SUB 8004?
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2016, 06:44:22 pm »

The brass tacks are simple. No single 18" sub will outperform a double 18" of similar quality and design. No ifs and or butts..... You can get a Danley TH118 and yes it will shake your teeth, but it is not an JBL PRX speaker either. The TH118 costs about $4k I believe and you also need an amp for that. So your in for at least $4-5k to get a sub that will just beat the performance of many popular dual 18" subs that would still cost half as much. Sounds like a great option right? Well if you consider it doesn't get very low and costs a lot, it may not be?

There are three tiers of product alignments in the rental aspect, but easily 4-5 tiers of actual product quality grade. What I mean is that you have three levels of rental stock; crap but cheap, good and not overly expensive and then the best, which costs a little more. Some products sit in what I call fixed format pricing. Things like wireless, amps, cables, stands and mics all seem to have a " going rate " that does not change despite the quality level of the product. In most cases your going to pay $50 for an amplifier regardless if it's a QSC RMX or a Crown Macro-Tech. In the actual market there are several levels of quality. Most bunch them into these categories:

M.I Grade: cheap inexpensive gear that is affordable to a very large market.

Consumer grade: Mid tier equipment that is priced competitively yet still affordable. Think PRX, EV Live X and Mackie SRM500 series.

Pro-sumer: This is the the entry level pro grade equipment that is pretty good and still mildly affordable. This is the JBL SRX, EV ETX type stuff.

Pro: This is the unobtanium stuff that you really can't find at Musicians Friend and GC. Mostly dealer only gear and VERY expensive. This is Meyer, L-Acoustics, D&B etc.

The unfortunate thing is that even pro grade stuff still rents pretty cheap. The general rule of thumb that I go by for a rental price is 10% of the retail price of the product. This model works well until you start getting into the $1k retail mark. Nobody is going to pay $400 per speaker for a Meyer UPJ-1, so the price will sit near the $100 mark instead. For a speaker that costs $500 you would set a rental price of about $50 and so on. The $100 dollar mark is nearly the end of the line. The most I have seen a high end speaker rent for is $150 and the highest price for an amp I have seen is $75. This is why making parallel purchases is dooming as a business move. Especially if you are paying more for that parallel purchase.

Again I stress that a couple, few db is no big deal. 3db has never made or broken a show. A speaker that gets louder by 3db but only at one frequency is of no real use. Also keep in mind that there really isn't much stuff that exists down in the sub 40hz area. while it is nice to have a speaker that gets that low, the reality is that it won't make or break you either way. Most all models that are in the same price and or market segment are fairly close in spec. The JBL PRX is one of the more linear subs for the price and a single 18" that gets below 40hz at all is pretty good. I would say that a single 18" sub that gets to 35hz within -10db is really good. While we are not certain as to what type of smoothing the manufacturers use to come up with their respective graphs, what is telling of the truth is in the details. Looking at the JBL PRX and the RCF-8004 it seems to me that clear winner is the PRX. It is more linear, goes lower and gets nearly as loud. Now I have no idea if the JBL is actually as linear as the specs suggest, but if it is at all close to them, it certainly won't be worse than the RCF offering.

lets take it a step further. The JBL PRX spec for spec is pretty darn good and is even better when you consider it is a $1k sub. The JBL SRX 818SP is only slightly more expensive at about $1.2-$1.5k and gets to 135db and has a very linear response as well. The RCF 8004AS retails for about $3k!!!!!! So it is nearly double to triple the cost and it is still a parallel purchase. As a matter of fact I would say it is a downgrade purchase from a spec and performance standpoint. I am not a huge JBL fan boy, but I gotta say that right now, they are bringing the win. They have the best stuff at the best price that can be had. Electro Voice is a close second and Yamaha with their DSR series is also really nice. These are all offerings that fall right around the $1k mark. This is the magic number I was talking of above. You can have something that rents for nearly top dollar and is still affordable to own.

You will likely not be able to downsize your rig size while getting the performance levels up to what you want. You cannot ask a single sub to do the job of two, three, or more subs. It is an impossibility. You can throw more money at it, but you still can't do it. The Danley TH118 is about the closest you will get. There is a downside though. It does not get very low. Its effective usable range is down to about 40hz. The -10db point of 28hz is pretty good. The JBL SRX gets down to 35hz at -3db. Granted the difference between their peak outputs is pretty large, but you have to place value on what you want. Do you really want sub 40hz performance, or do you want it to get really loud?

I think that if your having a tough time with 4 JBL PRX subs outside, you will not find solace in a sub that only gets a couple db louder. You would need one that is nearly 6db louder to even notice an improvement and ideally you would want one that is twice as loud at +9db to really get there on a 1:1 ratio. You would need a single 18" sub that would be capable of 143db to have a marked improvement! This again costs money....
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Caleb Dueck

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Re: Replacing 4x PRX718XLF with 2x RCF SUB 8004?
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2016, 09:58:05 pm »

A TH118 is well below $4k.  The main cost driver is the amp.  A Powersoft K20 or similar is one of the lowest cost ways to power 4 subs.  4 subs and a K20 work out to around $4k per sub, which if it will replace 3x $1500 subs, is a good deal. 
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Replacing 4x PRX718XLF with 2x RCF SUB 8004?
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2016, 01:01:34 am »

A TH118 is well below $4k.  The main cost driver is the amp.  A Powersoft K20 or similar is one of the lowest cost ways to power 4 subs.  4 subs and a K20 work out to around $4k per sub, which if it will replace 3x $1500 subs, is a good deal.

Dick, you are the expert on the Danley.  Are you of the opinion that a TH118 will outrun two STX828P's or properly powered and processed SRX728?  I have never seen it quantified that simply.

Without taking measurements I don't think the STX828P is glaringly better than a pair of KW181's which are about the same as PRX718XLF's.  Each sound a little different but all seem like lateral steps to me. 

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Trevor Jalla

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Re: Replacing 4x PRX718XLF with 2x RCF SUB 8004?
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2016, 05:16:32 am »

Thanks all. Great info.

Yes, the ROI on changing my setup is something I have to look at closely. I'm leaning towards sticking with the PRX boxes,
as 4 subs does give me more dry rent options. Quite often I do small venues to less than 300 persons where a PRX pair are sufficient. However, if I can find a way to demo a 8004 against a PRX pair I might try see how much/little the difference is in person.

Luke you are absolutely right about tiers of hire vs tier of quality. Even though I'm on the other side of the world in Australia, everything in this thread still makes sense re markets etc. I could easily run the risk of spending more with little return to show for it if GAS+cash gets the better of me.
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Brian Dill

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Re: Replacing 4x PRX718XLF with 2x RCF SUB 8004?
« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2016, 08:45:51 am »

I'm just gonna drop this here:

LS801P
or
LS2100P

Problems solved.


Hi all,

Long time lurker, first post here. I'm a small sticks-on-subs operator running 4x RCF NX M10As over 4x JBL PRX718XLFs for weddings, small ballrooms and events. I primarily run IEMs (Sennheiser EW300s), desk is a Soundcraft Expression 1 + Mini Stagebox 32.

Depending on the splay/coverage needs I also have 4x DB Tech D12HP tops, and run the NX boxes and downfill/infill.

The PRX sub actually sounds good for my needs - clear and deep, not "notey". I'm wondering however - if there is there a single 18" that will perform equally to pair of PRX718XLF? I'm thinking in the range of the RCF SUB 8004. So far have been using powered boxes, but will consider passive+amp.

Looking for a short-term lateral move in SPL and sound quality, that I can expand on in the future with another pair of the same. Budget and ROI practicalities with probably prevent me getting into touring grade level, but any suggestions appreciated.

Thank you.
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Paul G. OBrien

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Re: Replacing 4x PRX718XLF with 2x RCF SUB 8004?
« Reply #19 on: May 25, 2016, 02:27:11 pm »

I'm just gonna drop this here:

LS801P
or
LS2100P

Problems solved.

Funny I was just thinking the same thing, but if a recent test result is to be believed an SRX828p gets louder and goes lower than the LS2100p and we all know the LS801p gets stupid loud for a single 18 but it's only flat to 50hz give or take.
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Rick Powell

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Re: Replacing 4x PRX718XLF with 2x RCF SUB 8004?
« Reply #20 on: May 25, 2016, 06:22:01 pm »

Dick, you are the expert on the Danley.  Are you of the opinion that a TH118 will outrun two STX828P's or properly powered and processed SRX728?  I have never seen it quantified that simply.

Without taking measurements I don't think the STX828P is glaringly better than a pair of KW181's which are about the same as PRX718XLF's.  Each sound a little different but all seem like lateral steps to me.

We need Data-Bass to make a measurement.  They have measured a few pro subs but not a lot of the popular ones.  It's like the Consumer Reports of subs, although tilted more to the home theater and DIY crowd.

www.data-bass.com
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Caleb Dueck

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Re: Replacing 4x PRX718XLF with 2x RCF SUB 8004?
« Reply #21 on: May 27, 2016, 10:35:27 pm »

Dick, you are the expert on the Danley.  Are you of the opinion that a TH118 will outrun two STX828P's or properly powered and processed SRX728?  I have never seen it quantified that simply.

Without taking measurements I don't think the STX828P is glaringly better than a pair of KW181's which are about the same as PRX718XLF's.  Each sound a little different but all seem like lateral steps to me.
I don't have extensive or side by side experience with JBL subs, I know, I must live under a rock.   With that in mind, every time I have heard JBL subs (usually SRX728) I was underwhelmed. 

I haven't heard all the newest front loaded subs, from my limited experience my favorite non-Danley subs are probably Fulcrum TS221's. 

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