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Kick bins and tops for labs.

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Daniel Martini:
Hello all! This will be my first post on here. Just wanted to say thanks for all of the knowledge you guys have given me over the years about pro audio. I've learned everything from this website/forum thus far and I am truly appreciative of this resource. I know this has been asked a million times before but here is the situation...

I'm in the process of building X4 labhorns... I need tops. I've done extensive research for the right tops to no avail and no consensus. I have X4 JBL Mpro 225 bandpass boxes and my main question is, are these suitable to stack on top of the labs and crossover above 80hz?  If so then my options open up greatly for a mid top box but if not I need to find a full range cab to extend down that far. I don't really want to stack the mpros (two on four) on top of the labs (because imo mpros are pretty janky) but will do so if necessary. Was mainly looking at the EV TX2152 for tops but not sure if they can keep up or if they are a good cab to array. Open to suggestions of tops except eaw that requires the UX 8800.

My requirements are that they need to be array-able ie one for each lab and that they have plenty of kick. In the future I want X8 labs so will need tops that are readily available and able to use in clusters.

For reference the rig includes
X4 Labs
X4 Mpro 225
X1 QSC Powerlight 6.0 II (Labs)
X4 Mackie M1400 (JBL)
X1 Driverack 260
(Need a distro but have no idea where to begin on that)

Mostly will be doing indoor shows (warehouse, club, house,) but will do outdoor in the future.
If i didnt ask this question correctly my apologies and please correct me! Thanks in advance. - Daniel

Tim Weaver:
I mean, yeah, you can use them.  They'll probably let the smoke out pretty quick unless you are very careful.

You're gonna need some serious tops to keep up with the subs. Especially 8 of them. You say your not prepared to buy an 8800 for some reason, but that makes me wonder if you really know what kind of investment it will truly take to buy tops for 8 labs and power them properly....

Maybe look at building some of Peter Morris' top cabinets? You may still want a low-mid box between them though.

Steven Eudaly:

--- Quote from: Daniel Martini on February 16, 2019, 05:06:36 pm ---Open to suggestions of tops except eaw that requires the UX8800.

--- End quote ---

Pretty much any speaker is going to require the manufacturer specified processor for optimum performance whether it be a UX, Lake, DC-One, or [insert any dsp brand/model]. Is there any reason you rule out the UX?

Regarding the original question, IMO the need for "kick bins" is unnecessary. The EV boxes you mentioned would presumably have no issue handling 80Hz and above, however they really aren't designed to be arrayed. They're going to have little pattern control below the operating range of the compression driver. Will they make more noise when clustered together, sure, but not in a constructive or predictable fashion. Adding more cabinets, especially of such different design philosophies will only create more alignment issues and complicate setup with little performance gain. As opposed to breaking up pass bands by adding different subs, I'd be looking at 3-way tops.

You don't mention budget, but based on your suggestions it seems to me like KF650s would be fit your needs, despite the initial bias against its dsp. Lots of output for their size, they array well and you've already got enough amps to biamp or triamp, albeit a bit underpowered. For nearly the same price as those EV boxes, you should be able to find them on the used market. Sell those MP225S boxes to help fund the purchase of the proper processor. As others have said on this forum, if you can't afford the right processing, you can't afford the speakers.

Chris Grimshaw:
So, 8x Lab horns in the future.

If we say each cab will be 105dB@1w (ignoring the sagging response and assuming it'll flatten when used in multiples) and take 1KW, you're looking at 135dB per box. Eight boxes gives +18dB gain, so 153dB.

Depending on the sort of music you're playing, the subs need to be capable of quite a lot more output than the main speakers. Given the sort of system we're talking about here, it might be of the order of 20dB.

So, you need a main speaker that can put out 133dB.

That's the sort of territory where a good 2x12" direct-radiating cab would manage just fine. Something like 2x Faital Pro 12FH520 with a BMS coaxial compression driver, 800Hz-ish crossover.

Heck, my 2x10" mains would get close, and we're still only looking at one main speaker per side, which is a Good Thing when it comes to coverage and sound quality.

+1 on previous comments about processing. The tuning of a system can make or break it.


Mark Wilkinson:
Just looking at the spec sheet for the M225 pro, I'd say the biggest concern is their compression driver.
Plain too weak for the subs you're bringing to the party.
My guess is the dual 15"s would do fine crossing to the Labhorns at 80Hz.

I do think 80Hz is about ideal for crossing the Labs (I own 4).
Impedance goes low and stays low from  90-95Hz up....I speculate more labs were burnt up being used too high, than over driven down low.

That said, I've used the Labs as high as 100Hz very successfully with a number of different tops including a couple mentioned in this thread, the Peter Morris DIYs and kf650/695z.
If you're still into DIY after building the Labs,  highly recommend the Peter Morris boxes.

Some used kf650's would make a nice compliment to the Labs other than their weight.
I agree with all the folks who say you really need the right processing, but i also agree with you about the UX8800...I'd never spring for it (waay overpriced.)  The 3x6 little brother UX3600, which would do the same thing, can be found new for under $1200 however.

When it comes to new boxes in the market...I dunno. 
Where's the boxes with big balls that only reach to 50-80Hz ?? ..that's all the low end really needed.
Why does every body have to make stuff that can also "be used without a sub" ?
But then again, I haven't looked very hard either....


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