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Author Topic: PRO or MI Speakers?  (Read 2430 times)

Robert Lunceford

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PRO or MI Speakers?
« on: February 09, 2019, 02:30:27 pm »

What is the standard that determines if a speaker is a true professional level speaker vs MI level?

In what category would you place the following lines of speakers?

DB Technologies IG series
EV QRX series
JBL STX series
QSC KW series
RCF NX series
Yamaha DZR series

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Roland Clarke

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Re: PRO or MI Speakers?
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2019, 03:56:53 pm »

They are all MI level speakers.  Many pro users and hire companies will have stocks of these for parties, amateur hire and small scale stuff.  In Italy, Gardaland (their largest theme park) is powered by hundreds of QSCís all round the park running 18 hours a day and they are a good number of years old.  The line is a bit more blurred these days and many MI speakers are truly great, some professional ones are terrible.  I would recommend deciding what you need to do and the sort of coverage you need, then your budget, at that point take same recommendations and try and get a listen before you decide.
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Jamin Lynch

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Re: PRO or MI Speakers?
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2019, 04:49:20 pm »

What is the standard that determines if a speaker is a true professional level speaker vs MI level?

In what category would you place the following lines of speakers?

DB Technologies IG series
EV QRX series
JBL STX series
QSC KW series
RCF NX series
Yamaha DZR series


Most of those I would classify as semi-pro rather than MI
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Cailen Waddell

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Re: PRO or MI Speakers?
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2019, 05:06:31 pm »

If I can buy it at banjo hut then itís not a pro level speaker.

More often than not, if I can buy it on the internet itís not a pro level speaker. 


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Mal Brown

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Re: PRO or MI Speakers?
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2019, 05:28:26 pm »

Not sure I can buy into Pro vs MI.  To me it is more about application, sound quality and SPL.  The labels donít really tell you much.
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Bob Stone

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Re: PRO or MI Speakers?
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2019, 06:22:38 pm »

Who cares? Just use the right speaker(s) for the job.
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Luke Geis

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Re: PRO or MI Speakers?
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2019, 11:06:01 pm »

While I equate MI as being pretty much anything you can purchase at a box store, that isn't true nor is it accurate. Each manufacturer has levels that they market the products within. RCF, for instance, has an entry-level MI/Portable grade, an intermediate Pro level, and a touring level. Same with JBL, EV, QSC and just about every other vendor.

If we class systems based on the type of company that will employ the said product, we could easily say that the QSC K series is a pro level speaker. I don't think it is, but it gets employed as such. I feel that any speaker under $1k is MI grade. This is the price point where the men become separated from the boys. It is no longer entry level and it is no longer cheap. When it breaks, it hurts. When it comes to buying more, it is a considerable cost to chew on. Pro-sumer is a more modern term used to class speakers that fall below touring grade, but are also considered semi-affordable. Speakers like the VRX, SRX, KLA, DZR, ETX fall into this sort of zone. They are not cost prohibitive and are certainly not cheap, but are also not tour grade. If you ask me, there really isn't a pro-sumer grade option that isn't also a pro-level speaker.

Of your entire list, the only one I don't feel is quite pro level is the KW. Two reasons for that. It is only just hitting the $1k mark at full retail and it really doesn't have elements in it that are any better than the K series. It is really just a wooden box version of the K series.

As you step into the Pro level there is typically a clear distinction between them and the MI grade stuff. The components are better and the sale price tends to stick relatively close to the MAP price. You can get SRX 812's for under $1k, but only just and you have to have one hell of a hookup. The RCF NX line has quite a disparity in pricing from their MAP and dealer hookup, but you will still spend over $1k per unit. The other thing that seems to clarify pro level gear is the cost between it and the next step up. If you have three speakers from the vendor A) costs $500, B) costs $1,000, and C) costs $5,000 and there is no step between the B option and the C option, you have a pro level speaker. JBL has the SRX and then the next step up is the VP series, which costs multitudes more. One is pro level, one is touring grade, this means that the PRX is therefore clearly an MI grade speaker in comparison. Same with most of the other brands. They all have a point where the next best thing costs double or more. There really is only Touring grade, Pro level, and MI grade options. Some vendors muddy the waters by offering many different options to stick themselves in many market segments. One last way to tell you are buying pro level speakers is if it only available through a dealer that is listed on the site. Companies like Danely Sound Labs, JTR, D&B, Meyer etc. fall into that distinction where they really don't offer MI grade and the name alone sells the product as being Pro or touring grade.
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(Brian) Frost

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Re: PRO or MI Speakers?
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2019, 01:05:30 am »

Ive been on pro tours that have k10's on stage.  Madison Square Garden level tours.  That being said, most of the boxes employed were what you'd traditionally call Pro Level.  My point is that you should use whatever level your clients demand and what works for the situation. 
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Robert Lunceford

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Re: PRO or MI Speakers?
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2019, 02:34:26 pm »

While I equate MI as being pretty much anything you can purchase at a box store, that isn't true nor is it accurate. Each manufacturer has levels that they market the products within. RCF, for instance, has an entry-level MI/Portable grade, an intermediate Pro level, and a touring level. Same with JBL, EV, QSC and just about every other vendor.

If we class systems based on the type of company that will employ the said product, we could easily say that the QSC K series is a pro level speaker. I don't think it is, but it gets employed as such. I feel that any speaker under $1k is MI grade. This is the price point where the men become separated from the boys. It is no longer entry level and it is no longer cheap. When it breaks, it hurts. When it comes to buying more, it is a considerable cost to chew on. Pro-sumer is a more modern term used to class speakers that fall below touring grade, but are also considered semi-affordable. Speakers like the VRX, SRX, KLA, DZR, ETX fall into this sort of zone. They are not cost prohibitive and are certainly not cheap, but are also not tour grade. If you ask me, there really isn't a pro-sumer grade option that isn't also a pro-level speaker.

Of your entire list, the only one I don't feel is quite pro level is the KW. Two reasons for that. It is only just hitting the $1k mark at full retail and it really doesn't have elements in it that are any better than the K series. It is really just a wooden box version of the K series.

As you step into the Pro level there is typically a clear distinction between them and the MI grade stuff. The components are better and the sale price tends to stick relatively close to the MAP price. You can get SRX 812's for under $1k, but only just and you have to have one hell of a hookup. The RCF NX line has quite a disparity in pricing from their MAP and dealer hookup, but you will still spend over $1k per unit. The other thing that seems to clarify pro level gear is the cost between it and the next step up. If you have three speakers from the vendor A) costs $500, B) costs $1,000, and C) costs $5,000 and there is no step between the B option and the C option, you have a pro level speaker. JBL has the SRX and then the next step up is the VP series, which costs multitudes more. One is pro level, one is touring grade, this means that the PRX is therefore clearly an MI grade speaker in comparison. Same with most of the other brands. They all have a point where the next best thing costs double or more. There really is only Touring grade, Pro level, and MI grade options. Some vendors muddy the waters by offering many different options to stick themselves in many market segments. One last way to tell you are buying pro level speakers is if it only available through a dealer that is listed on the site. Companies like Danely Sound Labs, JTR, D&B, Meyer etc. fall into that distinction where they really don't offer MI grade and the name alone sells the product as being Pro or touring grade.

Hello Luke, I am replying to your post, not to you directly but in general, as you made some good points.
First, let's not consider rider friendliness as a criteria. Let's focus on performance and quality only.
You mentioned the JBL SRX in comparison to the VP line so we can use that as an example.
The SRX835 goes for around $1600 and the VP7315 around $8,000. The VP speaker costs 500% more, but how much more performance are we getting for five times the cost? I would make a guess that the SRX has at least 90% the performance as the VP. Why would someone pay 500% more money for 10% more performance?
Aside from rider acceptability, what else are we getting that makes the professional level speaker worth 5 times the price?
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Lyle Williams

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Re: PRO or MI Speakers?
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2019, 07:31:31 pm »

To be pro the product needs to be built to be maintainable over a period of probably 20 years.

The product needs to be part of a full ecosystem for transport and deployment.

Technical data needs to be provided to allow the performance to be modelled.
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