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Author Topic: vocal PA for small spaces  (Read 6045 times)

Lee Buckalew

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Re: vocal PA for small spaces
« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2017, 08:31:16 am »

Hi Lee,
The Martin CDD series look very innovative and I would bet they sound as good as you say.
I think one advantage that the Danley's would have is that they use off the shelf drivers that are very easy to obtain.
What would be your estimate in delivery time and cost if you had to order one of the proprietary Martin CDD drivers?
I recall Ivan writing that if you had the correct tools and knew what you were doing, it would take 10 minutes to replace the driver in an SM80.

I don't know what delivery time is like as I have not needed one yet.  Any driver components that I have needed from Martin were typically in stock so was just shipping time.
As far as changing the drivers, access is very easy, pop the grill off, remove the metric allen drive machine screws holding in the coaxial driver. 

I have not yet needed to disassemble the HF from the coax on one but have rebuilt a number of Tannoy Dual Concentric and would expect it to be similar.

Unfortunately there is no third party off the shelf driver (at least not LF, I'm not sure what driver the HF uses) for a CDD or CDD-LIVE cabinet as they are a driver designed and patented by Martin Audio to create their unique coverage pattern.  No off the shelf driver can do that. 

There are certainly not a solution for everything and different people prefer different cabinets for different reasons.  They are a unique and excellent tool for what they were designed to do.

Lee Buckalew
Pro Sound Advice, Inc.

olakunle odebode

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Re: vocal PA for small spaces
« Reply #21 on: September 03, 2017, 11:18:25 pm »

Iím in the process of determining what I want in a portable PA for use in small spaces with an audience area around 900 square feet indoors or out. Our band is three to four people and when we play these size spaces, the instruments are either acoustic or have their own amplifier. Thus far we have been playing them instrumental and want to add vocals. We need reinforcement for the vocals so they can accompany a drum set and small combo amps. The PA will be used exclusively for the microphones of one or two vocalists. It will not grow in the future. We hire a production company for anything larger.

A speaker with good pattern control is a benefit. Narrower dispersion will help limit reflections in indoor spaces and increase gain before feedback, but our use is essentially near-field and wider dispersion may be fine if they are well controlled. Maybe you can tell me what you think will work better.

Here are some of the options Iím considering now. Iím also open to your ideas. Iím interested to know what reason makes one or another compelling for my use.

Meyer UPJ-1P for house and floor
Danley SM100 for house, one SM100M on the floor
Danley SM60F for house, one SM100M for floor
KV2 EX10 for house and floor
RCFTT-08A for house and TT25-SMA for floor
NEXO PS10 R2 for house and floor with amps and system controllers
L'Acoustics 108P for house and floor
Fulcrum FA28AC for house and floor

We are working musicians. I am not looking for the pinnacle of sonic quality for a gentlemanís hobby.  Our music is profitable and we want to add vocals to these small venues at a high level of quality.  I appreciate the advice that will be pertinent to a fellow professional.

May I start with this : All audio amplification efforts involve some measure of compromise, so the key criteria of import to you are what I'd like to focus on in my response.

1. You need something that will work indoors as well as outdoors - so power is important or rather SPL (especially where devoid of distortion from compression within the speaker, typically when you play lower end speakers for long periods at the top of their loudness range).

2. I make the assumption that simplicity is important, so active speakers with in built amps and active crossovers, would exclude the Danleys.

3. You need something reliable, and particularly clear. I suggest you take a cue from the speakers which are used predominantly in theater environments - where vocal clarity is of the utmost importance.

Anecdotally - for this reason, options I would suggest for FOH include :

a) speakers such as the Meyer UPA-1P - lots of history and generally accepted to represent high quality projection

b) KV2 EX12 (definitely better than the EX10) - would be another good option.

c) Martin Audio CDD Live 12, or if your budget can stretch that far to the CDD Live 15's.

d) Nexo PS 10 or better still the PS 15's for reasons stated below.

Overall 12 inches(or larger) are IMHO the best for loud voice projection. Anything smaller - I find to sound that bit tinny, even for voice. But bear in mind that sooner or later you will also wish to pass some instrumental mixes through these speakers, and larger speakers tend to sound more coherent.

All of the above are 2 way speakers.

IMHO, you may wish to consider some 3 way speakers, which will provide a slightly different texture, somewhat smoother tone, than the 2 way speakers.

3 ways, which, until you are able to add subwoofers to the FOH, will provide an even better compromise in full range sound, in comparison to some of the aforementioned options :

e) Yamaha DSR 215's, which has only one disadvantage - it cannot be mounted on a pole, without significant modification. - Loud - full range - 7 year warranty. Top of the line Yamaha portable speakers - developed in partnership with NEXO, which Yamaha owns shares in. - If too large - consider the Yamaha DSR 115, or DSR 112.

f) QSC KW153 - Loud - full range - 6 year warranty

g) JBL SRX 835 (top of the line portable speaker from JBL) - Loud - full range...

I would be bold to say that the JBL's, QSC and Yamaha's mentioned above are somewhat clones of Meyer equivalents, at lower price points, and you are likely to spend at least twice for anything better sounding, in the Meyer, L'Acoustics, Danley, Martin Audio league. Items e, f, g, represent really good value for the money, at a lower price point - yet give you what I expect to be a more natural sound, utilising three drivers/speakers, instead of 2.

You may need some center fills - to cover the front rows directly in front of the band, to avoid the sound appearing to come from the left and/or right - for those sitting or standing here.

Any of the 12 inch woofer (or larger) options mentioned above or the 12 inch 2 way versions of the 3 way speakers could fulfil the role, of stage monitors.

Typically the same speakers you would choose for center fill, would also be a great choice for stage monitors.

I am not the best person to advise on stage monitors, so suggest you also take a look at L'Acoustics, and similar manufacturers (like Meyer) if you need the highest quality here.

Ultimately every speaker manufacturer voices their speakers to their own taste, so some way to subtly tweak the speaker frequency response to your liking is advised, e.g, EQ - parametric or graphic.

All of the aforementioned speakers will provide an audio quality that is good enough for the room size or outdoor space you described. You choice will be a matter of personal preference, possibly your own audition, and maybe the brand, as well as cost.

All of the aforementioned speakers have sold in very good numbers and hold pride of place in the manufacturers line up of products, and have been on sale(or a similar product - e.g prior versions) for many years (at least 5), with very low anecdotal failure rates. I would not suggest you become a guinea pig for products from Presonus - relative newcomers to the speaker business.

Do let us know what you eventually choose/purchase

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Re: vocal PA for small spaces
¬ę Reply #21 on: September 03, 2017, 11:18:25 pm ¬Ľ

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