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Author Topic: EAW KF400a  (Read 2711 times)

Will Cash

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EAW KF400a
« on: July 23, 2016, 11:28:25 am »

Hey everyone,

I'm considering purchasing a pair of used EAW KF400a speakers to use as mains for portable live/electronic music applications.

I haven't been able to find out a whole lot about these speakers beyond the EAW legacy PDF:
http://eaw.com/docs/2_Legacy_Products/Loudspeakers/KF/KF400/KF400a/KF400a.pdf

They seem like a good deal for what I want to use them for ($1600/pair), but I'm wondering how outdated the tech is on them. Does anyone have experience using these speakers?

How do they compare to a more consumer-level 3-way like the QSC HPR153i or JBL PRX735?

Any advice on powered mains for mobile production in this price range would be appreciated.

Thanks for any time!
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: EAW KF400a
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2016, 02:53:57 pm »

Hey everyone,

I'm considering purchasing a pair of used EAW KF400a speakers to use as mains for portable live/electronic music applications.

I haven't been able to find out a whole lot about these speakers beyond the EAW legacy PDF:
http://eaw.com/docs/2_Legacy_Products/Loudspeakers/KF/KF400/KF400a/KF400a.pdf

They seem like a good deal for what I want to use them for ($1600/pair), but I'm wondering how outdated the tech is on them. Does anyone have experience using these speakers?

How do they compare to a more consumer-level 3-way like the QSC HPR153i or JBL PRX735?

Any advice on powered mains for mobile production in this price range would be appreciated.

Thanks for any time!
They are a fairly narrow box - 65 rather than the more common 90 (for single box per side operation).  This might be good or might not be so good.  You might need 4 boxes for wide rooms.

The spec sheet for the EAW is relatively unimpressive - max SPL of 126dB and -3dB point at 62Hz.  The JBL SRX815P lists a max SPL of 137dB and a -3dB point at 44Hz, and the JBL box is less than half the weight of the EAW.  It's hard to compare spec sheets of different manufacturers and what assumptions they may be making, but 11dB and half an octave of advantage for the JBL is pretty significant.

I haven't heard the EAW box, but it's an analog processor, meaning no FIR tuning like boxes in the last 3 or 4 years have.  I'm sure the EAW box sounds good - it's only recently that cheaper boxes can compete with former higher-end stuff due to the recent availability of DSP, so that eats into the EAW advantage.  The EAW's size will help with pattern control, but for portable use it's a detriment.

At the very least you should compare them side by side.  If the spec sheets are anywhere close to accurate (I own the JBL SRX812P boxes and know how much noise they can make), the EAW will have a hard time keeping up with modern boxes.  They might be a good value at $1000 for the pair if you had a good application fit, but for general purpose boxes I think you can do better if you can stretch your budget to $2000 or so.

If you really need a 3-way box and 60 pattern, the JBL SRX835P fits the bill.  It's still half the weight of the EAW, has pole sockets, and 137dB peak SPL and 41Hz -3dB point.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2016, 02:56:01 pm by TJ (Tom) Cornish »
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Riley Casey

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Re: EAW KF400a
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2016, 03:59:29 pm »

EAW stopped repairing the electronics in these more than ten years ago.  If the amps go south you fix them yourself or settle for  passive boxes.  I would value them accordingly when settling on a purchase price.

DavidTurner

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Re: EAW KF400a
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2016, 05:34:32 pm »

Those are 1980's technology. Good box for the era, but way outdated.
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Scott Jordan

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Re: EAW KF400a
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2016, 08:47:42 am »

These were effectively a powered version of the LA460, and a predecessor to the EP3. The amps were made by others, a company that went out of business and took their tech with them, so support for the amps lasted as long as available parts. This is a post from Nov 2008 I made referencing this same conversation (shortly after I left working for EAW tech support):


Re: EAW EP Series
Reply #3 on: November 17, 2008, 07:26:52 am
The EP series were a great sounding line of powered boxes, albeit heavy. The issue with them, and the reason they left the market quick, was due to the amps, which were made by Cyberlogic. It was a combination of them being problematic, and then there being an issue with being able to get those amps fixed and obtain parts. I am not sure if Cyber is still around, but I know there isn't any support for those amps from them these days. Most EP's are out of warranty now, and the remaining amps out there I guess could be fixed if needed, but it is sketchy at best. EAW these days doesn't have in house service anymore (it is contracted out, info is on EAW's webpage), so the resources to repairs may be limited.

Most people are either (a) running the EP's as is as there aren't any issues yet; (b) opting to 'upgrade' to an amp upgrade, based on the NT amp module (no Gunness Focusing, and since the amp module was designed around 4 ohm drivers, not 8 ohm drivers, it doesn't yield as much output for those loudspeakers; or (c) pull the amp and use the NL4 connection for external processing and amplification.


I have no idea at this time 8 year later whether or not the modified NT-based amps are even available.

Given the weight of the boxes, the uncertainty of being able to repair or replace the amps, the uncertainty of whether or not drivers are readily available, unless these are being sold for pennies on the dollar, you might be better off pursuing something lighter and louder from a currently sold product. If you do go with these, they will sound like classic EAW. Company I worked for years ago, we had an inventory of KF400a's, they arrayed well, they get plenty loud, they sound fine.
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Scott Jordan

Will Cash

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Re: EAW KF400a
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2016, 09:25:45 am »

Thanks everyone. I did find your post about Cyberlogic after my initial inquiry. I appreciate the time. My decision has been honed between the:

DAS Audio VANTEC 215A
JBL   SRX835p
RCF   4 Pro 6001-A (most expensive)
DB Technologies   S-215


And I'm discussing here: http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,160134.0.html

...if you have anything to offer. Thanks again.
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Scott Jordan

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Re: EAW KF400a
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2016, 11:22:14 am »

Thanks everyone. I did find your post about Cyberlogic after my initial inquiry. I appreciate the time. My decision has been honed between the:

DAS Audio VANTEC 215A
JBL   SRX835p
RCF   4 Pro 6001-A (most expensive)
DB Technologies   S-215


And I'm discussing here: http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,160134.0.html

...if you have anything to offer. Thanks again.

Having worked for RCF, I know the 4Pro 6001 well - great box, sounds great. It is discontinued, but I would think RCF could still support the product line without issue. It is a 3-way, so you will get better (IMO) performance in the mid-range. The dB box (sister company to RCF, though this one came out after my tenure there) is good as well, but it more prosumer...double 15" 2-way, more weight, but a good amount of output, digi amps. Decent box. I think if it was my decision to make, comparing form and function of all the choices, I would put the JBL 835 at the top.
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Scott Jordan

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: EAW KF400a
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2016, 11:22:14 am »


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