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Author Topic: Plastic cabs vs wood cabs observation  (Read 1099 times)

Mike Monte

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Plastic cabs vs wood cabs observation
« on: November 06, 2018, 07:02:39 am »

I played in a band for a festival in NH on Sunday. 
We were in a 100'x50' tent...no heat (argh)....

I am in this band strictly as a musician....another band member brings his PA (which is very ok with me...let it be someone else's problem).

He usually uses older Mackie powered 450 cabs for FOH but this time around he had to bring his old PA cabs (Peavey 112HC 11) and powered mixer (Peavey XR4008) to drive them.  He used his usual Berhinger mixer.  Everything worked ok.

What I noticed was that my ears were not as fatigued as usual during the gig....  I am quite sure that the Peavey cabs were made of wood as opposed to the Mackies (plastic).  The Peaveys' didn't seem to have as much sound radiating from the back of the cabs.

I was liking the old cabs....and I got to sleep that night without my ears ringing...

The Peaveys' did not have a rear "port"....

...just an observation...


   
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Plastic cabs vs wood cabs observation
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2018, 09:46:04 am »

It is unlikely that the wood makes the difference, but different cabinet designs sound different.

JR
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Mal Brown

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Re: Plastic cabs vs wood cabs observation
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2018, 09:59:26 am »

Mackie sm-450’s harsh ?  First time I’ve heard that 🙄😜
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Brian Jojade

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Re: Plastic cabs vs wood cabs observation
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2018, 11:09:11 am »

You're comparing 2 totally different cabinets. While wood is one variable, there are lots more at play here.

The Mackie 450's are a harsh beast for sure.  I wish they would all just go away already!  The old Peaveys were not horrible speakers as long as you were able to contain them. Once you started to drive them near their limits, they sounded absolutely dreadful.  The advantage of that though, is that they sounded really bad before they got to the point of blowing.  Other speaker designs sound just fine right up to their limits, then poof, nothing once they blow out.

Anyway, one of the biggest things that can cause hearing fatigue is distortion.  You can comfortably listen to clean audio at a pretty high volume.  However, listening to something severely distorted even at relatively low volumes can cause fatigue pretty quickly.

Example, take a crappy boom box and put it in a large room.  Crank it up until it distorts to mush.  Try and have a conversation next to someone, and you'll realize that it's nearly impossible!  If you measure the level, it might only be 80db, but it causes problems with conversation.  On the flip side, you can have a clean system pushing over 100db and can have a conversation with someone next to you just fine.  It's pretty fascinating.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Plastic cabs vs wood cabs observation
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2018, 11:41:42 am »

FWIW... I mixed monitors behind a 12 box hang of RCF HDL20a.  So much resonance from the boxes they were essentially omni below 500Hz.
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Bob Faulkner

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Re: Plastic cabs vs wood cabs observation
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2018, 12:46:35 pm »

FWIW... I mixed monitors behind a 12 box hang of RCF HDL20a.  So much resonance from the boxes they were essentially omni below 500Hz.
Same experience with the RCF NXL-23A cabinets.
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Wes Garland

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Re: Plastic cabs vs wood cabs observation
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2018, 06:05:05 pm »

I have been thinking about making rear baffles for my NX55Ps somehow.  I use them for a concert-in-the-park gig where the stage height winds up putting the speakers' rears at  face height for the performers.  I have had complaints about excess stage mud because of this.
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Ken Braziel

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Re: Plastic cabs vs wood cabs observation
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2018, 06:41:52 pm »

A better comparison would be the QSC K12's vs the KW122's - in my experience the 122's handle higher volume levels better and have less sound off the rear - the K-series always seems to bleed tons of 200-250 Hz off the back, much less so with the KW series.

I don't have the K12.2's to compare, but I'm in love with the K8.2's for monitors in tight spaces.
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: Plastic cabs vs wood cabs observation
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2018, 07:26:23 pm »

DSR112 (wood)seems more controlled than DXR12 (plastic).
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Dave Guilford

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Re: Plastic cabs vs wood cabs observation
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2018, 08:52:42 pm »

+1 for wood. 

K12 to kw122.  Huge difference in rear “leakage”
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Plastic cabs vs wood cabs observation
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2018, 09:48:46 pm »

The more rigid the cabinet the less energy lost to spurious resonances and retransmission.

Years ago I saw some prototype carbon fiber cabinets and they were very good about managing back/side losses (emissions).

I recall one plastic box I was product manager for (last century) where we used an internal wooden strut/brace to stiffen up the box, made a measurable difference in bass output in the important direction (if the cabinet is vibrating that is sound energy wasted). 

Plastic can be made rigid if you don't mind the weight/cost.   I doubt that is what was bothering the OP, distortion from overload is a more likely suspect.

JR 
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: Plastic cabs vs wood cabs observation
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2018, 01:00:53 pm »

Regarding the Mackies.....There seems to be such a love affair built around these speakers yet every single one I have heard sounds like an ice pick to the forehead. They also thermal very easily.
I have  a friend who runs a popular Karaoke service - has done for many years. She replaced her 12 year old, well used Thumps based on my advice (she went to ZLX12's for budget purposes AND loves them) and she put the Mackies on CL. I believe she got $300 for the pair and the guy couldn't get there fast enough.
They were the most battered tatty scratched up pair of speakers I have ever seen - NEVER seen covers and thrown in the back of her SUV.
Maybe that's why - they are built to last forever ????
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Plastic cabs vs wood cabs observation
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2018, 01:37:27 pm »

Regarding the Mackies.....There seems to be such a love affair built around these speakers yet every single one I have heard sounds like an ice pick to the forehead. They also thermal very easily.
I have  a friend who runs a popular Karaoke service - has done for many years. She replaced her 12 year old, well used Thumps based on my advice (she went to ZLX12's for budget purposes AND loves them) and she put the Mackies on CL. I believe she got $300 for the pair and the guy couldn't get there fast enough.
They were the most battered tatty scratched up pair of speakers I have ever seen - NEVER seen covers and thrown in the back of her SUV.
Maybe that's why - they are built to last forever ????

We still have 6 SRM450 in inventory.  Not selling for $150 ea as they're in VGC with carry bags but we seldom use them any more for the reasons you cite.  They're heavy, too.
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Ken Braziel

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Re: Plastic cabs vs wood cabs observation
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2018, 01:54:04 pm »

Regarding the Mackies.....There seems to be such a love affair built around these speakers yet every single one I have heard sounds like an ice pick to the forehead. They also thermal very easily.
I have  a friend who runs a popular Karaoke service - has done for many years. She replaced her 12 year old, well used Thumps based on my advice (she went to ZLX12's for budget purposes AND loves them) and she put the Mackies on CL. I believe she got $300 for the pair and the guy couldn't get there fast enough.
They were the most battered tatty scratched up pair of speakers I have ever seen - NEVER seen covers and thrown in the back of her SUV.
Maybe that's why - they are built to last forever ????

The original C300's they were based on were wonderfully over-engineered speakers, a guy I used to play with still uses the set he got in the late 90's & they sound like new. We used to run full-band mixes through them outdoors, including kick mic (no subwoofer in the setup). But I think he got the ones made before they got cheap with the manufacturing (made in Italy), the self-powered 450's have WAY smaller magnets on the woofers & do tend to shut down regularly in hot conditions.

Edit: back on topic, I also used to have the Mackie 15" passive wood-cabinet mains from the same era (S500), they were heavy beasts that pushed plenty of sound for the gigs I was working at the time. But I wouldn't go back, now that I'm in deep into the QSC K-series ecosystem...
« Last Edit: November 07, 2018, 01:59:40 pm by Ken Braziel »
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Steve Loewenthal

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Re: Plastic cabs vs wood cabs observation
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2018, 07:35:46 pm »

Regarding the Mackies.....There seems to be such a love affair built around these speakers yet every single one I have heard sounds like an ice pick to the forehead.

For the SRM450, I believe there is a big difference between those that were manufactured in Italy by RCF (for Mackie) in the early 90's, and all those that came after.

I still have 2 of the made in Italy ones and think they sound quite good.
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Steve Loewenthal

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Steve Loewenthal

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Re: Plastic cabs vs wood cabs observation
« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2018, 07:39:37 pm »

I still have 2 of the made in Italy ones and think they sound quite good.

I also have some QSC HPR 152i that sound better, but I only use them on the floor because they are too heavy to lift onto a pole.

While it is probably more than just the wood cabinet that makes them better, they are probably the best sounding speaker in my personal inventory.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2018, 07:50:17 pm by Steve Loewenthal »
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Robert Lofgren

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Re: Plastic cabs vs wood cabs observation
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2018, 09:48:43 am »

When I read up on the turbosound iq-speakers I was surprised to learn that they are fiberglass reinforced.

The iq8 weights 32lbs and I can tell you that the amp module weights next to nothing compared so the chassis is quite heavy by itself.
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