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Author Topic: Sub-$500 Passive Monitor Suggestions  (Read 638 times)

Augustine Ortiz

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Sub-$500 Passive Monitor Suggestions
« on: May 30, 2019, 01:43:11 pm »

Are Yamaha Club Series (SM12V/SM15V/CM12V/CM15V) still kind of the king of budget passive stage monitors?  Is there something better out there?  Maybe EV, Peavey?

This would be for a portable system and a 1 man weekend warrior situation.  Mainly for rougher non-staged floor environments where active stage monitors would take too much of a beating.  And I already have the power-amps, cables etc.  Just my current passive stage monitors have taken quite a beating, smell like spilled beer, and it is time to get something better.



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Bob Faulkner

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Re: Sub-$500 Passive Monitor Suggestions
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2019, 02:00:46 pm »

Are Yamaha Club Series (SM12V/SM15V/CM12V/CM15V) still kind of the king of budget passive stage monitors?  Is there something better out there?  Maybe EV, Peavey?

This would be for a portable system and a 1 man weekend warrior situation.  Mainly for rougher non-staged floor environments where active stage monitors would take too much of a beating.  And I already have the power-amps, cables etc.  Just my current passive stage monitors have taken quite a beating, smell like spilled beer, and it is time to get something better.
I use 8 of the CM12V powered with 2 x QSC PLD-4.2.  Have had the speakers (new) for about 6 years. They've been great; sound good, and can take some of the bumps/thumps of people moving them around.  I questioned their build quality when I first received them (in another post), but they have worked.  They are used for the smaller fairs/festivals with everything from a 16 piece band down to a duet.  All the performers have said they sounded good and were plenty loud (I always ask - want to make sure they are happy with my service as well.)

Also - the CM12V looks a lot more professional than the SM12V (which I had for years before moving to the CM12V).  I removed the Yamaha plastic plate from the grill... the cabinet looks good and non-descript.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2019, 02:03:15 pm by Bob Faulkner »
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Steve Litscher

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Re: Sub-$500 Passive Monitor Suggestions
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2019, 02:10:25 pm »

+1 for CM12V

We had six of them before upgrading to DSR112 (active). The CM12V worked really well, and never gave us any problems. They sound decent, too.

Kevin_Tisdall

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Re: Sub-$500 Passive Monitor Suggestions
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2019, 02:24:39 pm »

I had a mix of 8 of the SM12IV and V speakers and they worked fine for a long time until I wanted to get into powered wedges.  Then I went to the dsr112's and never looked back.  If you have all the other stuff to run them they are fine.

--Kevin
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Luke Geis

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Re: Sub-$500 Passive Monitor Suggestions
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2019, 02:25:46 pm »

I would go with the JBL PRX-412M before I went with the Yamaha Club stuff. The PRX isn't a huge jump up, but it is probably the best you can get for $500.

JBL PRX-PRX412M Pro's:

1. It is lined with a Rhino Liner type of product.

2. It is quite lightweight @ 35lbs.

3. It handles a good amount of power @ 1,200 watts peak.

4. Can double as a main PA speaker with no issues at all.

5. I have worked with them before and they sound pretty darn good. They are not the loudest speaker there is, but they sound decent.

JBL PRX-412M Con's:

1. Not very loud with a peak SPL of 126db. Should be plenty loud for monitors though.

2. A little bulky in dimensions, but the monitor angle is good though and gets the speakers pointed at your head.

3. It's an 8-ohm box, so extrapolating volume out of it does require reasonable power needing 600 watts at 8-ohms from your amplifier.

4. It uses a 1" HF driver, but its a pretty good one. The same one used in the VRX if I'm not mistaken.

Yamaha Club V Pro's:

1. Uses a 2" HF driver. Not much to go with here, some people care, some don't; the JBL's 2414 used in the PRX is a very good driver at this price point.

2. Hey, the Club series has been around since the 70-80's or something like that! They will be around for quite a bit longer too.

3. They sound ok, but nothing to call home about.

4. They don't require a huge amp to get volume out of them. 350 watts @ 8-ohm's from your amp will get you what you can get from them.

Yamaha Club V Con's:

1. They are carpet covered........ Yup still using Rat Fur in the modern era.

2. No cover over the massive horn. If beer is commonplace for your stage, it won't take long till your Club V gets drunk.

3. Not very loud at all ( neither is the JBL though ). The specs say it has a sensitivity of 97db @ 1 watt 1meter. This means that at 700 watts ( peak power ) it is capable of a whooping 124.8db peak SPL. Which means that it has a continuous output around 119.4db. The JBL has a continuous SPL of 120. It does make good noise with little power though, needing half what the JBL does to do it.

4. Not as good sounding as the PRX if you ask me. This is an entry level speaker and it sounds like it. The JBL is at least one tier up in the JBL offering.

To further draw a comparison among other models. For $500 you won't get a Rhino Lined product from other vendors. EV is the best bang for the buck, but they will be plastic and or painted wood. QSC is all self-powered and plastic. If they aren't plastic or painted wood, it will be Rat Fur. JBL is probably the only company I know of that has a Rhino Lined product that performs well and sounds decent for that price point.
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Don T. Williams

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Re: Sub-$500 Passive Monitor Suggestions
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2019, 04:50:15 pm »

A sound company we partner with uses the db Technologies Arena 12's (and a couple of the 15's)  These sound consistently good. Very little EQ (if any) is needed to get the vocals sounding very good.  It has a plywood cabinet with textured paint, and open cell foam over the steel grill, so they look very nice.  They are worth a look.
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Michael Storey

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Re: Sub-$500 Passive Monitor Suggestions
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2019, 06:27:29 pm »

I'll add the Turbosound TMS122M to the list. They sound good, look good, and are very well built. You should be able to get them in your budget (from some of the dealers that participate on this forum).

One major con- the distributor always seems to be out of stock. I do have two more coming to me now, so if you order soon you should be in luck.
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Tim Hite

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Re: Sub-$500 Passive Monitor Suggestions
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2019, 06:28:33 pm »

You can get Clair SRM's in clamshell flight case for $1000/pair.

Can get you close to your budget with Turbosound TFM122M showing 52 in stock


Are Yamaha Club Series (SM12V/SM15V/CM12V/CM15V) still kind of the king of budget passive stage monitors?  Is there something better out there?  Maybe EV, Peavey?

This would be for a portable system and a 1 man weekend warrior situation.  Mainly for rougher non-staged floor environments where active stage monitors would take too much of a beating.  And I already have the power-amps, cables etc.  Just my current passive stage monitors have taken quite a beating, smell like spilled beer, and it is time to get something better.
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Patrick Cognitore

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Re: Sub-$500 Passive Monitor Suggestions
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2019, 07:20:19 pm »

If I were in your shoes I'd be eyeing the used market. Multiple times I've seen various models of EAW SM and LA series wedges pop up for under $500 (sometimes well under).

Might even keep an eye our for larger production houses selling off their old (but professional and functional) stock as they upgrade.

This would be for a portable system and a 1 man weekend warrior situation.  Mainly for rougher non-staged floor environments where active stage monitors would take too much of a beating.  And I already have the power-amps, cables etc.  Just my current passive stage monitors have taken quite a beating, smell like spilled beer, and it is time to get something better.
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Steve Litscher

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Re: Sub-$500 Passive Monitor Suggestions
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2019, 07:41:24 pm »


Yamaha Club V Con's:

1. They are carpet covered........ Yup still using Rat Fur in the modern era.

2. No cover over the massive horn. If beer is commonplace for your stage, it won't take long till your Club V gets drunk.

3. Not very loud at all ( neither is the JBL though ). The specs say it has a sensitivity of 97db @ 1 watt 1meter. This means that at 700 watts ( peak power ) it is capable of a whooping 124.8db peak SPL. Which means that it has a continuous output around 119.4db. The JBL has a continuous SPL of 120. It does make good noise with little power though, needing half what the JBL does

Couple of clarifications:

1) The CM12V has an epoxy coating; the SM12V have carpet

2) The CM12V has a full, foam lined grille that covers the horn.

3) With a PLD4.5 powering them with DSP controls, ours got nice and loud - good enough for busy, loud stages at outdoor festivals.

I agree they arenít going to compete with TT+, Clair, or db technologies, but they are decent enough. With some careful shopping, you can get a pair for just under $600...
« Last Edit: May 31, 2019, 11:04:28 am by Steve Litscher »
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Tim Tyler

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Re: Sub-$500 Passive Monitor Suggestions
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2019, 08:06:39 pm »

Turbosound Madrid.  They compare favorably to the JBL SRX712m, and can be had for under $500.  I bought one a few weeks ago (after a previous thread by another poster) just to find out if they were worth a hoot, and did a bit of listening side by side with one of my 712s (I own 12 of these...).  I simply switched the speaker cable from box to box.  Full range, only.

I powered them each with one side of a NU6000 (X32 mixer) and played various tunes for a couple of hours as loud as 115 db @ 4', A, C and non-weighted, fast and slow.  They sounded quite similar, get loud and stay clean, I heard no distortion, with no EQ or High Pass used.  The difference I noticed with the Madrid was a SLIGHT "honkiness" in the lo mid area, relative to the 712.

I went back a few days ago and did some more listening under the same situation and decided to EQ the Turbo to try for a close match to the JBL sound quality.  I swept the lo-mids (12 db added gain) to the Madrid and found the maximum "honkiness" at 170 hz and ended up cutting 170 hz by 9 db, Q of 3.  This came very close to the sound of the 712, certainly quite doable for gigs requiring the performance of a 712.  IMO

I'm going to take the Madrid to a gig in June and replace one of my JBLs in order to give it the acid test...

Cheers,

-Tim T
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Mark Scrivener

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Re: Sub-$500 Passive Monitor Suggestions
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2019, 11:51:06 pm »

Another vote for scoping the used market. It wasn't too long ago that JBL switched their lines from the "7" series to the "8" series, QSC Kx to Kx.2, etc. All those recently discontinued model lines took a big hit in resale value when that happened.

Not too long ago I picked up a pair of EV SXa250's for $600, with stands. I think they were over a grand EACH when new...and they are still great speakers. Local listings (Craig's List, word of mouth, etc) are usually where the deals are at.
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Robert Piascik

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Re: Sub-$500 Passive Monitor Suggestions
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2019, 12:26:52 am »

Iíve got 12 EAW LA-215 that can be had for way less than $500 each. Great wedges with extras. Contact me if any interest.
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Augustine Ortiz

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Re: Sub-$500 Passive Monitor Suggestions
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2019, 01:49:24 pm »

Huge thanks for all the great info!

Definitely a few that I didn't consider.  The breakdown on power (PRX vs. Club) by Luke Geis really brings up some interesting points. I would like to continue running my Behringer iNuke NU4-6000 4-channel power amp, which doesn't provide a lot of power but makes for a compact rig.   So that lends itself into the Yamaha Club's favor.

Looks like a lot of the others really need some power to get going.  And I do need some high decibels.  However, I have been running some super crappy Seismic Audio monitors that get the job done.  So I am hoping the Club's will be an upgrade from those.

Used market unfortunately is pretty much impossible in my location without significant travel or shipping costs.  But I do check regularly.
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Matt Greiner

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Re: Sub-$500 Passive Monitor Suggestions
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2019, 01:55:33 pm »

Used market unfortunately is pretty much impossible in my location without significant travel or shipping costs.  But I do check regularly.

What is your market?  Maybe you'll get lucky and a fellow PSWer will be in your area with some used gear to purchase, or even demo.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Sub-$500 Passive Monitor Suggestions
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2019, 02:34:48 pm »

Huge thanks for all the great info!

Definitely a few that I didn't consider.  The breakdown on power (PRX vs. Club) by Luke Geis really brings up some interesting points. I would like to continue running my Behringer iNuke NU4-6000 4-channel power amp, which doesn't provide a lot of power but makes for a compact rig.   So that lends itself into the Yamaha Club's favor.

Looks like a lot of the others really need some power to get going.  And I do need some high decibels.  However, I have been running some super crappy Seismic Audio monitors that get the job done.  So I am hoping the Club's will be an upgrade from those.

Used market unfortunately is pretty much impossible in my location without significant travel or shipping costs.  But I do check regularly.

Seismic - it's Shit-tastic!  Had a buddy report on a band he heard that has a Seismic "lyin' array" and said it sounded worse than he'd expected.  Could be the box or the deployment or both.

The Yamaha CM12V is your best bet, followed by the Turbosound Madrid. 
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