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Author Topic: Anyone still using power amps with passive speakers, analog mixers....  (Read 4901 times)

Scott Olewiler

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Re: Anyone still using power amps with passive speakers, analog mixers....
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2019, 07:52:40 am »



I once thought that active speakers would be faster and easier. Iíve since learned thatís not the case and have come back full circle to passive for monitor duty. I can throw out a bunch of srx712 and a single speakon cables much faster than xlr and power.

Siamese cables can make active just as fast to deploy. Still one cable run  And if power is placed  next to the Xlr connections, just as fast to plug in.

Some  people make active a lot more work than it has to be for wedges by thinking they should use their stage stringer for power. That is a lot of unnecessary work running separate power cables IMO.

Whether one is faster is more about the person's individual situation and how flexible they need their set ups to be.   

Anyone who runs the exact same setup every time can leave a lot more thing permanently connected and use special looms to save set up time.  I don't think active/passive makes much difference if you're smart about it.

One guy pulls out of a case and then connects the same 24 channel drop snake to his rack mounted mixer/stagebox every single time, the next guy leaves the Xlrs connected and just rolls the snake up and stores it in the bottom of the rack case.  Exact same set-up, one guy is just smarter about his time management.

Take the same two guys, one active and one passive rig. Doesn't matter which rig the smarter guy has, he'll deploy it faster.
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Scott Slater

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Re: Anyone still using power amps with passive speakers, analog mixers....
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2019, 08:38:46 am »

We run both.  Passive subs and mains on our bigger systems, and active subs and mains on other systems.  The monitors are all active, and we run both digital and analog consoles / snakes depending on what is requested.  Most clients don't care, so we run digital for ease of setup (no outboard FX, compressor, EQ racks).
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Taylor Hall

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Re: Anyone still using power amps with passive speakers, analog mixers....
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2019, 09:35:39 am »

Depends on the gig, really. We have powered and passive versions of most everything in our inventory aside from a few larger items (double 18s, etc) and typically use a combo of both on any given event. They each have their strengths and weaknesses, so it's all about leveraging those to your advantage (and budget).
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Dave Guilford

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Re: Anyone still using power amps with passive speakers, analog mixers....
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2019, 10:08:04 am »

I bring out whichever Rick is easier to load at any given day. Inventory shuffles around and some of itís easier to get than others. That said Ė I prefer my passive system or set up t I bring out whichever rake is easier to load at any given day. Inventory shuffles around and some of itís easier to get than others. That said Ė I prefer my passive system or since itís all on wheels. 
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John M Calhoun

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Re: Anyone still using power amps with passive speakers, analog mixers....
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2019, 10:20:29 am »

I have done both over the past 20 or so years. I just run a small rig compared to most of you out there, but I went from running passive (4) Peavey QW2s over (4) Peavey QW218s and (8 ) QW monitors. I ran in all through either a Yamaha or Allen and Heath analog console... Of course, with that, I had two quite heavy power amp racks to move as well.

Within the past 3 years, I have gone to a digital board (yes, the X32... I know, but it's what I can afford, but I hope to step up to the Midas M32 soon  :)) and all active speakers and monitors (EV ETX series).

For me, personally, the pros of the new rig. 1) the power draw from the active speakers is FAR less than the old power amps, which is good for the small venues where I work. 2) Not moving heavy amp racks and having the freed up real estate in the trailer is a big plus. 3) As for the digital board, I do like the option of saving shows, channel settings, and having things like comps, gates, etc available for every channel. 4) The ability to run sound remotely via ipad is nice too. I can go on stage and actually mix monitors for musicians while standing right there next to them without having to guess what they're asking for 50 or more feet out front.

The biggest drawback for me, though, is I grew up on analog boards and, even after 3 or 4 years using digital, I still find analog much more comfortable. I like things being at my fingertips without scrolling pages.
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Dave Pluke

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Re: Anyone still using power amps with passive speakers, analog mixers....
« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2019, 10:20:45 am »

I'm agnostic to analog vs digital.  They both have a place in live sound for the events we do.

Precisely.  Use the right tool for the right job.

Dave
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scottstephens

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Re: Anyone still using power amps with passive speakers, analog mixers....
« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2019, 10:22:52 am »

Mike,

Based on the answers, mine included, it seems as if passive and active can and do work together. If everything is paid for and things are making you money, keep things like they are until either your body tells you to lose the heavy stuff or until you think things are going to start letting you down.  If your clients are happy,  and you're happy,  and you are putting away a few dollars that's all that matters. 

If the analog makes you money and provides a good back up keep it. If you can make more by selling it and freeing up the space, sell it. What's the most important thing to you? Do you have a multi-year plan for getting out  someday? You need to decide what and when and how.  A few years ago I looked at where I was at and what I was doing, and where I wanted to be.  I unloaded all of my big stuff and invested in more wireless units. Because for me, school plays and small corporate things are where the money and sustainable gigs are. My bottom line is happy and my body is happy.

Scott
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Taylor Hall

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Re: Anyone still using power amps with passive speakers, analog mixers....
« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2019, 10:23:34 am »

Precisely.  Use the right tool for the right job.

Dave
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Mal Brown

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Re: Anyone still using power amps with passive speakers, analog mixers....
« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2019, 01:04:26 pm »

I have a bunch of K series stuff plus 4 DSR-112.  They deploy easily and sound decent without a lot of work or requiringíspecialí skills.  Which translates into rental income...

I do small shows with some of that stuff as a one or two guy event.

My larger rig is a 3 man operation to deploy and tear out.  It comes out for shows where there is budget and a requirement for the SPL and there is suitable power for it.  My amps are all QSC at this point.  I retired the old led boxes.  The QSCís are less power hungry as well as being a more manageable load.  They do not sound quite as sweet side by side though.  My old EV P series have a sound about them.
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Rory Buszka

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Re: Anyone still using power amps with passive speakers, analog mixers....
« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2019, 04:19:12 pm »

Something to consider for active speakers: If your active speakers require the amplifier to provide processing and crossover, then if you have a failure of one amp in a cabinet, then that cabinet is out of commission until you get the replacement part for that specific amplifier, unless you happen to carry that exact spare part, and if you don't have a backup cabinet or amp then you have to make sacrifices. If you have a failure of a power amp (with built-in DSP since that's common nowadays) in a rack, then you can just power it down, bring up a spare amp, copy over the processor settings (if you don't just load your library of tunings for all speakers in inventory into each amp in preparation for this eventuality), and power back up, and the show keeps going. If your processing is separate then it's even easier to replace one amp with another one (though the single processor adds a single point of failure that also has to be provided for) - just re-patch and go.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2019, 04:22:23 pm by Rory Buszka »
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Re: Anyone still using power amps with passive speakers, analog mixers....
¬ę Reply #19 on: August 27, 2019, 04:19:12 pm ¬Ľ


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