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Author Topic: Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space  (Read 942 times)

Dan Erni

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Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space
« on: September 01, 2019, 10:18:04 am »

First post from a new member.  I used to DJ (15+ years ago), often setting up my system between gigs in my living room.  It was a great way to listen to music - very loud, physical bass, etc.  System had two 15" two-way mains on poles and two subs with two 15" woofers each, all powered by two Crest Audio V1500 amps. 

I have a 30 ft x 50 ft space I'm setting up as a workshop, and need to put together a nice sounding, permanently installed system that will provide a near-concert experience with respect to SPL and bass production and feel.  Source music will be pre-recorded classic rock music only, no live stuff.  Budget is modest and timeframe is flexible, so plan to buy used equipment in the area roughly outlined by St. Louis, Indianapolis and Chicago.

Anyone tackled a similar situation with good results?  Anyone have specific equipment recommendations?  Right now I'm leaning towards two powered 12" two-way mains and one or two 15" or 18" subs.  Just not sure how available good powered speakers are.
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David Winners

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Re: Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2019, 03:25:29 pm »

What is your budget?
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Dan Erni

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Re: Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2019, 05:08:05 pm »

What is your budget?

Less than $1000, closer to $750 would help justify to my wife  ;)
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David Winners

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Re: Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2019, 05:20:51 pm »

I'd suggest you start looking for used equipment in your area. Older passive equipment is going for pennies on the dollar these days.

That budget wouldn't buy one decent sub brand new. I'd plan on at least $3500 for a new system with cabling and a small mixer.
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Dan Erni

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Re: Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2019, 05:36:39 pm »

I'd suggest you start looking for used equipment in your area. Older passive equipment is going for pennies on the dollar these days.

That budget wouldn't buy one decent sub brand new. I'd plan on at least $3500 for a new system with cabling and a small mixer.

As mentioned in my original post, I'm focusing on used equipment and powered speakers.  Cable costs can be disregarded for budget purposes.  Appreciate any suggestions based on real experience with specific brands and models of powered speakers.
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Dan Erni

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Re: Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2019, 05:39:29 pm »

As mentioned in my original post, I'm focusing on used equipment and powered speakers.  Cable costs can be disregarded for budget purposes.  Appreciate any suggestions based on real experience with specific brands and models of powered speakers.

Should also clarify that signal source will likely be the output from a computer sound card connected via an appropriate DI box, so I don't anticipate the need for much on the front end of the signal path.
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Matthias McCready

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Re: Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2019, 10:20:10 am »

As mentioned in my original post, I'm focusing on used equipment and powered speakers.  Cable costs can be disregarded for budget purposes.  Appreciate any suggestions based on real experience with specific brands and models of powered speakers.

I'll bite. Right around the previous ballpark given would get you 2x JBL SRX 812P and JBL SRX 828P through a good dealer. When I usually see used SRX stuff (800 series mind you) it is usually for sale for MORE then I paid for it new through a good dealer.

The point I am making here is most people selling this used gear did not get great pricing on it, and if someone did get good pricing there is little motivation for them to sell it below what the going rate is.

In my opinion, the SRX 800 series, in terms of clarity, is closer to your expectation of a professional sound system, it does not sound like a high-end box, but it is detailed enough. You could also look into some QSC K series. Most cheaper boxes would fall pretty flat for your intended purposes, many lesser boxes sound piss poor with playback tracks.

I would agree with David that you are not going to find a sub that can do what you want in the price range. Most subs you will see for cheap are older, and they do not go low, not to mention they are passive. Most cheaper powered subs tend to be one-note wonders (not conducive to a "concert" experience).

In all honesty, I would either adjust budget or expectations.

Also depending on what your expectation of what a concert should feel like and if you are a member of the "SPL preservation society," $3,500 (in the used market) would not even get you close to the system you want. ;) 
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Dan Erni

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Re: Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2019, 03:39:04 pm »

I'll bite. Right around the previous ballpark given would get you 2x JBL SRX 812P and JBL SRX 828P through a good dealer. When I usually see used SRX stuff (800 series mind you) it is usually for sale for MORE then I paid for it new through a good dealer.

The point I am making here is most people selling this used gear did not get great pricing on it, and if someone did get good pricing there is little motivation for them to sell it below what the going rate is.

In my opinion, the SRX 800 series, in terms of clarity, is closer to your expectation of a professional sound system, it does not sound like a high-end box, but it is detailed enough. You could also look into some QSC K series. Most cheaper boxes would fall pretty flat for your intended purposes, many lesser boxes sound piss poor with playback tracks.

I would agree with David that you are not going to find a sub that can do what you want in the price range. Most subs you will see for cheap are older, and they do not go low, not to mention they are passive. Most cheaper powered subs tend to be one-note wonders (not conducive to a "concert" experience).

In all honesty, I would either adjust budget or expectations.

Also depending on what your expectation of what a concert should feel like and if you are a member of the "SPL preservation society," $3,500 (in the used market) would not even get you close to the system you want. ;)

Appreciate your thoughts and opinions.  Will keep an eye open for SRX 8xx series speakers.  A quick look at Craigslist and Reverb confirms your statement on pricing - even used 8xx speakers are holding their value.  If I was to lower my expectations, what would you suggest as the next best option?  Keep in mind the room is 30'x50', so hopefully that justifies some smaller (and possibly less expensive) mains to be used.  Thanks for your input.
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Justin Quinn

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Re: Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2019, 08:45:29 pm »

Appreciate your thoughts and opinions.  Will keep an eye open for SRX 8xx series speakers.  A quick look at Craigslist and Reverb confirms your statement on pricing - even used 8xx speakers are holding their value.  If I was to lower my expectations, what would you suggest as the next best option?  Keep in mind the room is 30'x50', so hopefully that justifies some smaller (and possibly less expensive) mains to be used.  Thanks for your input.
+1 for the JBL SRX8xx boxes.  We use a passive SRX828 powered by 1 channel of a QSC PL380 and have knocked down ceiling tiles, it's a pretty powerful setup.  I've used the sub for many weddings and you can feel it throughout a decent sized venue and intensely so on the dance floor (mission accomplished).  They have a smooth sound compared to something like a KW181, not that the 181 is a bad sub.

I honestly haven't used enough subs to offer a valuable suggestion.  We also have a QSC E18sw and it puts out a lot of sound with proper power but I don't think it will give you a "concert experience" in a 30x50 room.  I'm not sure anything will give you a "concert experience" for $750-$1000- concert sound costs a lot of money.

Good luck on your search.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2019, 08:48:55 pm »

Hi Dan-

Stuff that sounds good and is in good condition tends to get retained by owners.  While manufacturers release new product rather frequently the new adopters come more slowly than in the past (the previous generation stuff is still acceptable to owners).

The key to buying cheap is to watch your local-ish sources and have cash in hand.  You want to find "our band broke up, selling the PA" offers, or similar.  Folks liquidating company inventory will have a better idea of worth and finding a killer deal is less likely.

Good luck in your search.
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Re: Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2019, 08:48:55 pm »


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