ProSoundWeb Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: 1 2 3 [4]   Go Down

Author Topic: Anyone still using power amps with passive speakers, analog mixers....  (Read 4903 times)

Steve M Smith

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3294
  • Isle of Wight - England
Re: Anyone still using power amps with passive speakers, analog mixers....
« Reply #30 on: August 28, 2019, 09:13:26 am »

Basically your argument is:
powered speaker amp died? Better have a spare.
Standalone amp died? Better have a spare.


In a larger passive system with more than one amp running the same frequency ranges, if you have an amp go out, you can connect its speakers to another amp.  e.g. run everything at 4 ohms but have 2 ohm capable amplifiers.


Steve.
Logged

Doug Johnson

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 270
  • Rhoadesville, VA
Re: Anyone still using power amps with passive speakers, analog mixers....
« Reply #31 on: August 28, 2019, 10:36:17 am »

As far as mixers, I started using digital maybe 18 years ago.  I still have some small analog mixers and a powered head that get used quite a bit but, I sold off my last large format analog board and processing almost 5 years ago.  My speakers however are all passive.  I also got into class d amplifiers early on.  This work well for the level I currently operate at and are all paid for.  That said my foh is EAW;  KF,  JFx, and SB, processed with UX8800 and sounds better than better than 90% of the rigs I am competing with.   For me, I don't really see an advantage to powered speakers but I have nothing against them.
Logged

Dave Guilford

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 265
Re: Anyone still using power amps with passive speakers, analog mixers....
« Reply #32 on: August 28, 2019, 11:58:16 am »

The whole ďspare ampĒ thing is also stupid because youíre acting like the amp is the only failure that could ever happen.  Iíve had speakers fail more than Iíve had amps fail.

So if youíre packing a spare amp- you should also be packing a spare speaker.  Which is great.  But then - we should pack spare everything and this tangent is completely unnecessary.

You Will have a hard time convincing me that powered speakers are bad because ďwhat if the amp diesĒ is just as likely as what if _____ dies. 

Ps- Iím almost all passive anyways.
Logged

Rory Buszka

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 91
  • Gearmonger
Re: Anyone still using power amps with passive speakers, analog mixers....
« Reply #33 on: August 28, 2019, 01:29:56 pm »

This is a weak argument that Iíve heard for years.  If you lose an amp at all (in the speaker or out) - youíre out of luck. 

Basically your argument is:
powered speaker amp died? Better have a spare.
Standalone amp died? Better have a spare.

I donít see how one is more beneficial than the other.

It's only weak if you can easily spare the budget to keep an extra (or multiple extras, if you're a working shop that's doing lots of shows or renting lots of gear) of every amplifier in your powered boxes in stock. The key is that the spare amp you shove in the rack (if it's not already there waiting) is flexible enough to drive whatever speaker you need it to, in a pinch, while a spare amp for an active speaker is tuned to that specific speaker and you can't just load another preset to make it do something else - it has to be the right one, or else your box is out of commission until you get the right one. It's anecdotal evidence, yes, but I've heard more stories about amps in powered boxes failing and leaving a speaker out of commission than I've heard of rack amps failing, so you also set yourself up for success that way even if you don't carry spare amps.

Maybe keep a spare diaphragm for your most critical compression drivers too. It tends to be the compression driver that takes it hardest when a speaker is abused. Later you can open the speaker back up and re-center the diaphragm for best performance, but a spare diaphragm can restore your sound-making ability from that speaker. Or keep a cheap compression driver in each of your popular sizes, to be used in a pinch if one of the good ones gets toasted. In my younger years I remember being at a show (where the system was a pile of proprietary black boxes) and wandering into a room where some extra equipment was being kept by the sound provider, and seeing a few boxes of replacement Peavey Black Widow baskets laying around. So they also thought spares were important, or else they had made use of them already.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2019, 01:37:48 pm by Rory Buszka »
Logged
Friends don't let friends mix a band from the stage.

The expert in anything was once a beginner.

Bob Stone

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 179
Re: Anyone still using power amps with passive speakers, analog mixers....
« Reply #34 on: August 28, 2019, 02:25:46 pm »

It's only weak if you can easily spare the budget to keep an extra (or multiple extras, if you're a working shop that's doing lots of shows or renting lots of gear) of every amplifier in your powered boxes in stock. The key is that the spare amp you shove in the rack (if it's not already there waiting) is flexible enough to drive whatever speaker you need it to, in a pinch, while a spare amp for an active speaker is tuned to that specific speaker and you can't just load another preset to make it do something else - it has to be the right one, or else your box is out of commission until you get the right one. It's anecdotal evidence, yes, but I've heard more stories about amps in powered boxes failing and leaving a speaker out of commission than I've heard of rack amps failing, so you also set yourself up for success that way even if you don't carry spare amps.

Maybe keep a spare diaphragm for your most critical compression drivers too. It tends to be the compression driver that takes it hardest when a speaker is abused. Later you can open the speaker back up and re-center the diaphragm for best performance, but a spare diaphragm can restore your sound-making ability from that speaker. Or keep a cheap compression driver in each of your popular sizes, to be used in a pinch if one of the good ones gets toasted. In my younger years I remember being at a show (where the system was a pile of proprietary black boxes) and wandering into a room where some extra equipment was being kept by the sound provider, and seeing a few boxes of replacement Peavey Black Widow baskets laying around. So they also thought spares were important, or else they had made use of them already.

Seriously? Nobody is keeping spare individual components to rebuild a speaker or amp in the field short of maybe a big name touring company. You swap the entire unit. Having an entire spare powered box is just as good (actually better IMO) than having just a spare amp, whether the amp, diaphragm, the cabinet gets dropped and splits open, a jack breaks, whatever the case...you can just swap the whole box and get on with the show. Nobody has time to open up a cabinet or rebuild a rack or fiddle with tiny components and do some soldering in the field.
Logged

Mike Caldwell

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1761
  • Covington, Ohio
    • Mike Caldwell Audio Productions
Re: Anyone still using power amps with passive speakers, analog mixers....
« Reply #35 on: August 29, 2019, 08:15:20 am »

As for spares....I always carry as spare mixer in some form, spare system DSP along with an analog crossover, spare power amp and buried in the bottom of my work trunk is a spare diaphragm for my main speakers.
The amp is a rack bag, and the spare DSP and analog crossover are in a small two space rack.

As for failures it seems we hear more about powered speaker issues than power amp issues, or do people just talk about them more.

Bob Stone

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 179
Re: Anyone still using power amps with passive speakers, analog mixers....
« Reply #36 on: August 29, 2019, 09:24:05 am »

As for spares....I always carry as spare mixer in some form, spare system DSP along with an analog crossover, spare power amp and buried in the bottom of my work trunk is a spare diaphragm for my main speakers.
The amp is a rack bag, and the spare DSP and analog crossover are in a small two space rack.

As for failures it seems we hear more about powered speaker issues than power amp issues, or do people just talk about them more.

Or are there just more powered speakers out there getting used by less experienced operators?
Logged

Chris Grimshaw

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1481
  • Sheffield, UK
    • Grimshaw Audio
Re: Anyone still using power amps with passive speakers, analog mixers....
« Reply #37 on: August 29, 2019, 12:44:56 pm »

I'm someone that uses passive speakers and amp racks. I learned everything on analogue equipment*, but my mixing desk is digital now. While I could have a compressor on every channel if I wanted, most of the time I might only use a few - I think the midset of "I only have 4x comps, better use them wisely" has remained.

I use passive speakers because I can build things that are better than the cabinets I can afford.


* MixWizards and an A&H ML4000, with racks of Drawmer compressors and gates, plus a few GEQs.

Chris
Logged
Sheffield-based sound engineering.
www.grimshawaudio.com

Randy Pence

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 429
  • Berlin, Germany
Re: Anyone still using power amps with passive speakers, analog mixers....
« Reply #38 on: August 29, 2019, 04:29:04 pm »

i prefer passive speakers and digital mixers.

Siamese cables might speed up getting active speakers powered, but still complicate power delivery unless you have enough built into wherever the xlrs are coming from. I'd rather have amps and the power to feed them under or off-stage. For Lounge level gigs, the area  around stage boxes gets congested enough. Active speakers still need system integration, too.

I always got lost in the matrix of knobs of analog mixers and hated patching outboard. it is much faster for me to select a digital channel and play with its knobs than visually confirm which analog channel knob I'm about to turn
Logged

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Anyone still using power amps with passive speakers, analog mixers....
¬ę Reply #38 on: August 29, 2019, 04:29:04 pm ¬Ľ


Pages: 1 2 3 [4]   Go Up
 



Page created in 0.034 seconds with 22 queries.