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Author Topic: What type of generator/inverter/power conditioning for system  (Read 9263 times)

Steven C Barnes

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What type of generator/inverter/power conditioning for system
« on: November 07, 2018, 01:24:27 pm »

Hello my name is Steven and im new to the mobile DJ world. I have purchased 2 JBL PRX 818XFL,s (1500 w each), 2 PRX 815w,s (1500 each). Im using a Pioneer DDJ-SX3 and a laptop. Im going to start DJing at events and outdoor events.
I was wondering if anyone can give me some tips and what exactly is the best way to power these bad boys. Iv been looking into 6000 watt inverters so far but have read that they can have issues with high power low frequency subwoofers. Any tips and recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!
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lindsay Dean

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Re: What type of generator/inverter/power conditioning for system
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2018, 02:26:51 pm »

Per forum rules you must use your full real name for members to respond to your questions thank you
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Steven C Barnes

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Re: What type of generator/inverter/power conditioning for system
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2018, 02:58:58 pm »

Per forum rules you must use your full real name for members to respond to your questions thank you
Fixed!
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: What type of generator/inverter/power conditioning for system
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2018, 06:28:58 pm »

Hi Steven, so a few things...

To begin with, youíre not actually going to be drawing 6000w with what you bought.  With the way amplifiers work, you donít normally draw advertised power in real-world conditions even with the speakers running full-open.  While power consumption will vary by a number of factors such as playing bass-heavy EDM or not, everything you listed can probably run just fine on a single 20A circuit.  Also, keep in mind that wattage applies more to marketing than actual volume and performance. 

Second, an inverter isnít really what you need.  Youíll want an inverter generator such as a Honda EU product.  I know itís a small difference in language, but if using search engines this will be important.  More importantly, do your locations not have power?  Running a full show of the level youíre talking on only generators is an absolute last resort for me.

Finally, seeing as youíre new to this, do you have the necessary business aspects of your operation in order such as insurance?  Many venues even at the mobile DJ level wonít even let you in the door without it.  Hope all this helps!
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Steven C Barnes

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Re: What type of generator/inverter/power conditioning for system
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2018, 08:28:51 am »

Hi Steven, so a few things...

To begin with, youíre not actually going to be drawing 6000w with what you bought.  With the way amplifiers work, you donít normally draw advertised power in real-world conditions even with the speakers running full-open.  While power consumption will vary by a number of factors such as playing bass-heavy EDM or not, everything you listed can probably run just fine on a single 20A circuit.  Also, keep in mind that wattage applies more to marketing than actual volume and performance. 

Second, an inverter isnít really what you need.  Youíll want an inverter generator such as a Honda EU product.  I know itís a small difference in language, but if using search engines this will be important.  More importantly, do your locations not have power?  Running a full show of the level youíre talking on only generators is an absolute last resort for me.

Finally, seeing as youíre new to this, do you have the necessary business aspects of your operation in order such as insurance?  Many venues even at the mobile DJ level wonít even let you in the door without it.  Hope all this helps!

Yes i meant an inverter generator im sorry.
Now in terms of efficiency, Is the Honda series really worth the extra $$$ compared to other portable inverters like the Champion 3200 or Predator series? I see a lot of them that are very competitively prices and Honda is near double most of them.
And for the most part i will indeed have power but at some camp grounds and small events I will not have power. I could always just drop one of the PRX 818s while mobile if a inverter generator is a bad idea.
As for insurance, that is my next step coming up but I wanted to have all my equipment first. 
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: What type of generator/inverter/power conditioning for system
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2018, 09:32:46 am »

Yes i meant an inverter generator im sorry.
Now in terms of efficiency, Is the Honda series really worth the extra $$$ compared to other portable inverters like the Champion 3200 or Predator series? I see a lot of them that are very competitively prices and Honda is near double most of them.
And for the most part i will indeed have power but at some camp grounds and small events I will not have power. I could always just drop one of the PRX 818s while mobile if a inverter generator is a bad idea.
As for insurance, that is my next step coming up but I wanted to have all my equipment first.
It's not theft insurance on your equipment,  it's liability insurance to protect the venue.

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Dave Garoutte

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Re: What type of generator/inverter/power conditioning for system
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2018, 12:42:54 pm »

Yamaha makes a similar genny for a bit less.
Super quiet.
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Steven C Barnes

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Re: What type of generator/inverter/power conditioning for system
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2018, 01:54:38 pm »

Yamaha makes a similar genny for a bit less.
Super quiet.
Thanks i was really looking into the Champion 3400 watt inverter generator. Its under 1000 dollars and from all the reviews i read it works great. Any objections on Champion vs Yamaha/Honda?
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: What type of generator/inverter/power conditioning for system
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2018, 02:37:09 pm »

Thanks i was really looking into the Champion 3400 watt inverter generator. Its under 1000 dollars and from all the reviews i read it works great. Any objections on Champion vs Yamaha/Honda?

It is much nosier,  constructed cheaper and the outputs get noisy as you approach full load.  Extra caution for non-PFC devices connected to it.

There were some tests done on the Champion over in RV Forum that had scope traces of the inverter line noise.
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Steven C Barnes

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Re: What type of generator/inverter/power conditioning for system
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2018, 02:53:12 pm »

It is much nosier,  constructed cheaper and the outputs get noisy as you approach full load.  Extra caution for non-PFC devices connected to it.

There were some tests done on the Champion over in RV Forum that had scope traces of the inverter line noise.
Oh wow thanks for the heads up ill look into that. The last thing I want is noise. How about Biggs & Stratton? They have some gennys on sale right now for this month.
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Steve Litscher

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Re: What type of generator/inverter/power conditioning for system
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2018, 02:58:06 pm »

A similar question was recently asked in one of the Facebook groups is browse.

From what I can determine, the PRX818XLFW is rated to draw 300-watts of power, as is the PRX815.

JBL doesn't appear to publish thermal or power specs under various loads, so let's just assume that each speaker draws 300-watts at around the clipping level.

4 speaker cabinets @ 300-watts draw each = 1200-watts

Your Pioneer DJ DDJ-SX3 appears to be powered by a 5-volt AC adapter... so, conservatively, let's say it draws 100 watts. Same with your laptop adapter.

Your entire set-up appears to draw around 1400-watts of power. As others have said, the number can vary based on the type of music - EDM will draw power for longer periods of time (instead of "bursts" found in typical rock music).

I would think that a Honda EU2200i generator would work well for this application. The Honda EU series are well-known for their reliability and quality. It's slightly larger than a lunch box and is very quiet. "Buy once, cry once."

Dave Garoutte

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Re: What type of generator/inverter/power conditioning for system
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2018, 04:47:58 pm »

You get what you pay for. YGWYPF?
« Last Edit: November 08, 2018, 09:53:30 pm by Dave Garoutte »
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: What type of generator/inverter/power conditioning for system
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2018, 08:20:26 pm »

I went back and forth trying to get the best inverter generator I could for the money and all roads led to Honda or Yamaha. 
I looked at all those you have mentioned and some of them have very good reviews. Thing is if you use a generator for tail gating or for back up to run power in a travel trailer or something then no biggie if it stops running... If running sound with a paying audience relying on you to keep the music going and the genny craps out - different story.
I chose Yamaha over the Honda because I got a great price - no other reason - I have a Yamaha  EF3000 and 2 Yamaha EF2000's. This way I stay modular. It also means I can move them around myself quite easily- the EF3000 has wheels and the other 2 are only around 50lbs each.
I have used all of them at one time or another when my power has gone out at the house ( recently during hurricane season) and plenty of times with my PA.
I can run full stage - SRX828p, 2 x SRX818p, 2x SRX815p plus monitors and all backline including LED Pars off them by splitting half the stage from the EF3000 and the other half off the 2 smaller ones wired in parallel. Works like a charm and never misses a beat....

With your rig I suggest you get at least either an EF3000 or the equivalent Honda EU3000. You will need some headroom as you never mentioned lights which I presume you will be using.
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Steven C Barnes

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Re: What type of generator/inverter/power conditioning for system
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2018, 08:41:07 am »

A similar question was recently asked in one of the Facebook groups is browse.

From what I can determine, the PRX818XLFW is rated to draw 300-watts of power, as is the PRX815.

JBL doesn't appear to publish thermal or power specs under various loads, so let's just assume that each speaker draws 300-watts at around the clipping level.

4 speaker cabinets @ 300-watts draw each = 1200-watts

Your Pioneer DJ DDJ-SX3 appears to be powered by a 5-volt AC adapter... so, conservatively, let's say it draws 100 watts. Same with your laptop adapter.

Your entire set-up appears to draw around 1400-watts of power. As others have said, the number can vary based on the type of music - EDM will draw power for longer periods of time (instead of "bursts" found in typical rock music).

I would think that a Honda EU2200i generator would work well for this application. The Honda EU series are well-known for their reliability and quality. It's slightly larger than a lunch box and is very quiet. "Buy once, cry once."

Thank you i appreciate your shared knowledge. As i have researched all night, Honda and Yamaha look like its the way to go.
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Steven C Barnes

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Re: What type of generator/inverter/power conditioning for system
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2018, 08:42:30 am »

I went back and forth trying to get the best inverter generator I could for the money and all roads led to Honda or Yamaha. 
I looked at all those you have mentioned and some of them have very good reviews. Thing is if you use a generator for tail gating or for back up to run power in a travel trailer or something then no biggie if it stops running... If running sound with a paying audience relying on you to keep the music going and the genny craps out - different story.
I chose Yamaha over the Honda because I got a great price - no other reason - I have a Yamaha  EF3000 and 2 Yamaha EF2000's. This way I stay modular. It also means I can move them around myself quite easily- the EF3000 has wheels and the other 2 are only around 50lbs each.
I have used all of them at one time or another when my power has gone out at the house ( recently during hurricane season) and plenty of times with my PA.
I can run full stage - SRX828p, 2 x SRX818p, 2x SRX815p plus monitors and all backline including LED Pars off them by splitting half the stage from the EF3000 and the other half off the 2 smaller ones wired in parallel. Works like a charm and never misses a beat....

With your rig I suggest you get at least either an EF3000 or the equivalent Honda EU3000. You will need some headroom as you never mentioned lights which I presume you will be using.
Thank you lights and stuff will definitely come into play as well and these inverters can be hooked up in parallel which is also great.
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Tracy Garner

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Re: What type of generator/inverter/power conditioning for system
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2018, 01:29:38 pm »

Hello my name is Steven and im new to the mobile DJ world. I have purchased 2 JBL PRX 818XFL,s (1500 w each), 2 PRX 815w,s (1500 each). Im using a Pioneer DDJ-SX3 and a laptop. Im going to start DJing at events and outdoor events.
I was wondering if anyone can give me some tips and what exactly is the best way to power these bad boys. Iv been looking into 6000 watt inverters so far but have read that they can have issues with high power low frequency subwoofers. Any tips and recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!


I do one of the larger tailgates near Mercedes Benz stadium in ATL. My typical setup is:
2 - Crown Itech 8000
2 - JBL SRX718
2 - JBL SRX715
2 - generic 50" TV (~100 watts each)
2 - CDJ 1000MK3
1 - Allen Heath 9:2
1 - Laptop
2 - Shure ULXP
4 - SlimPar 56 (lights up the tent nice for night games)
1 - analog mixer sometimes (A&H mixwiz16 or smaller)
I RMS limit the 718 channels only. There are times during the peak of the party where I have to watch myself to keep from overloading the generator. At times when I'm only playing the TVs I can move the generator into Economode no problem.

I use the Honda EU3000i. This is the right choice for me not only because of the power I need but also the size of the gas tank enables me to go all day without having to shut down to refuel.

I play old school R&B and Hip Hop and sometimes do track acts.

Also, I prefer passive systems outside at tailgates because I dont have AC cable all over the place and dust clogging up amps and powered speakers. I try to keep my amps inside the van playing outside.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2018, 01:35:17 pm by Tracy Garner »
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: What type of generator/inverter/power conditioning for system
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2018, 02:29:07 pm »


I do one of the larger tailgates near Mercedes Benz stadium in ATL. My typical setup is:
2 - Crown Itech 8000
2 - JBL SRX718
2 - JBL SRX715
2 - generic 50" TV (~100 watts each)
2 - CDJ 1000MK3
1 - Allen Heath 9:2
1 - Laptop
2 - Shure ULXP
4 - SlimPar 56 (lights up the tent nice for night games)
1 - analog mixer sometimes (A&H mixwiz16 or smaller)
I RMS limit the 718 channels only. There are times during the peak of the party where I have to watch myself to keep from overloading the generator. At times when I'm only playing the TVs I can move the generator into Economode no problem.

I use the Honda EU3000i. This is the right choice for me not only because of the power I need but also the size of the gas tank enables me to go all day without having to shut down to refuel.

I play old school R&B and Hip Hop and sometimes do track acts.

Also, I prefer passive systems outside at tailgates because I dont have AC cable all over the place and dust clogging up amps and powered speakers. I try to keep my amps inside the van playing outside.

Tracy hits on a good point I forgot that is worth mentioning again. You have to pay attention to the gas tank size. The Honda and Yamaha will go for many more hours than some of the cheaper versions like the ones you mentioned. This makes a HUGE difference if you don't want to have to power everything down to refuel or invest in extended fueling systems.
My run time starts a good hour or more before the show because it has to include system test, sound check and sometimes background music so there is at least an extra hour on top of show times PLUS if I need to keep lights on at the end of the show if outside ( to be able to see) and maybe music to play out the night. I'd be really limited if I could only run my generator for 4 hours or less.
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Craig Leerman

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Re: What type of generator/inverter/power conditioning for system
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2019, 03:04:33 am »

I have 4 Generators I bought at Costco that are ď A-IPower  POWERED BY YAMAHAĒ units. They were on sale for under $500.  1600W running, 2000 starting peak power.  Real quiet and include a parallel power cord.

They work well and I am looking to get a few more this summer when they go on sale. Look into them if you are a Costco member.


https://www.costco.com/A-IPower-1600W-Running--2000W-Peak-Yamaha-Powered-Gas-Inverter-Generator.product.100343958.html

Craig
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Paul G. OBrien

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Re: What type of generator/inverter/power conditioning for system
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2019, 06:23:42 pm »

Your entire set-up appears to draw around 1400-watts of power. As others have said, the number can vary based on the type of music - EDM will draw power for longer periods of time (instead of "bursts" found in typical rock music).

I would think that a Honda EU2200i generator would work well for this application.

Based on my recent experience with providing parade float sound systems I'm afraid this size generator would be a bit too undersized for this application. The problem with the manufacturers power draw ratings is that it is a nominal continuous number that doesn't factor in the momentary peak draw that "shore power" has in abundant reserves. A portable supply has to be capable of delivering this peak demand too or it will shut down or disconnect due to a perceived overload, so it wouldn't be unreasonable to need a 4000-5000w generator here IMO.

As an example the one year we ran a 6000w PA plus DJ controller, a couple laptops, and a monitor(QSC K12) from a pair of Honda EU2000i's and it would shut them down when pushed up anywhere close to 0dB, the same system ran fine on a single 5000w generator though.
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Steve Litscher

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Re: What type of generator/inverter/power conditioning for system
« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2019, 08:33:47 pm »

Based on my recent experience with providing parade float sound systems I'm afraid this size generator would be a bit too undersized for this application. The problem with the manufacturers power draw ratings is that it is a nominal continuous number that doesn't factor in the momentary peak draw that "shore power" has in abundant reserves. A portable supply has to be capable of delivering this peak demand too or it will shut down or disconnect due to a perceived overload, so it wouldn't be unreasonable to need a 4000-5000w generator here IMO.

As an example the one year we ran a 6000w PA plus DJ controller, a couple laptops, and a monitor(QSC K12) from a pair of Honda EU2000i's and it would shut them down when pushed up anywhere close to 0dB, the same system ran fine on a single 5000w generator though.

I realize this is all theoretical math, and I certainly can't discount your experiences, but I also can't ignore that Tracy (a few posts above) was running 2 XTI6000 amps, flat screen TVs, and DJ gear on a EU3000i.

That said... I saw a post on gearslutz where someone connected a K12 to a Kill-A-Watt and measured 348-watts draw at full clipping. They're rated for 2.1 amps at 1/8th power - just clipping - or 252-watts at "loud" levels.

Assuming the JBL have a similar "burst ratio" (137% higher draw at maximum, full clip output), we might see a max, heavy draw of 411-watts per speaker. Put four together, all running at full clip, and that's 1,645-watts. Add-in the laptop and controller, and you're still right at around 1800-watts, maximum draw.

Would I want to run it that "close"? Absolutely not. So, I'd probably go with the 3000i. But, on the same token, there's no way I'd want to run my gear at full clip, continuously, and expect the generator to keep up with the burst/peak draw.

As an aside (I've rambled enough, but I can't help myself)... we've run a few outdoor festivals with 1200-1400 people in attendance, 3x PL380, 1x PLD4.5, Mix Rack, wireless rack, etc., and had zero issues with a EU6500i. That was with 4x Orbit Shifters running on PL380s and playing some pretty heavy bass music.

Paul G. OBrien

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Re: What type of generator/inverter/power conditioning for system
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2019, 08:53:16 pm »

A usual with all of this stuff the one unspoken rule is.. "Your milage will vary", so the smart thing to do here might be to rent a generator(or two) for a trial run just to see what will work in this case.
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Steve Garris

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Re: What type of generator/inverter/power conditioning for system
« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2019, 03:47:50 pm »

Just a quick question - Why inverter generator instead of a generator?
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: What type of generator/inverter/power conditioning for system
« Reply #22 on: August 10, 2019, 05:44:05 pm »

Just a quick question - Why inverter generator instead of a generator?
Theoretically cleaner power.  But the inverter type seem to be the quietest (most soundproofing?) also.
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Art Welter

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Re: What type of generator/inverter/power conditioning for system
« Reply #23 on: August 12, 2019, 11:32:00 am »

Just a quick question - Why inverter generator instead of a generator?
Some good explanations from around post #10:
https://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,171376.10.html

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