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Author Topic: On the Turning Away  (Read 2126 times)

Dennis Wiggins

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On the Turning Away
« on: November 11, 2020, 08:27:22 pm »

What to do with all these passive cabinets? 

Since around 1978, I have turned my inventory about every 4 years, while things still had resale value.  This has always worked.  2 years (or so) ago, I flipped to powered cabinets but this time made no attempt to sell my old "favvies," thinking that for some situations they might be better. 

I was wrong.  I liked them because they sound like me, not how the built-in DSP wants me to sound.  I got lazy.  I lost my identity and really miss working my Kosmos on the dance floor.  DSP killed (neutered) that.

The show will go on.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2020, 10:17:24 am by Dennis Wiggins »
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: On the Turning Away
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2020, 09:38:08 pm »

What to do with all these passive cabinets? 

Since around 1978, I have turned my inventory about every 4 years, while things still had resale value.  This has always worked.  2 years (or so) ago, I flipped to powered cabinet but this time made no attempt to sell my old "favvies," thinking that for some situations they might be better. 

I was wrong.  I liked them because they sound like me, not how the built-in DSP wants me to sound.  I got lazy.  I lost my identity and really miss working my Kosmos on the dance floor.  DSP killed (neutered) that.

The show will go on.


How can a DSP neuter your sound?  Are you talking about a Peavey Kosmos processor?  No reason you can't use it.

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MikeHarris

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Re: On the Turning Away
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2020, 01:18:05 am »

you have reopened a can of worms....some are gonna wiggle out.
DSP has taken a bit of unique-ness once available to the experienced designer out of the currently available solutions.
I still have a box of passive networks...custom built for me by White Instruments...which plugged into the octal sockets on BGW amps to make them band-specific...like we do now with DSP.
I would love to build a new club completely analog...from source to ears
I had plans with Scotty J to redoo Eldorado Auto Skooters in Coney Island but with his untimely death we lost one of the true champions of quality dance sound.
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Dennis Wiggins

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Re: On the Turning Away
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2020, 06:57:14 am »


How can a DSP neuter your sound?  Are you talking about a Peavey Kosmos processor?  No reason you can't use it.

Yes.  When I use this effect with powered subs (specifically, ZXA1 and ELX200-18SP ) their internal 'workings' filter out most of what try to add in.  This is not unlike 'getting the tone" from a guitar amp.  My old school EV X180B dual 18s and even the sB122s (both high passed at 45hz with my own EQ/Limiting) responded quite well for well the last 2 decades.  I never blew any drivers. 

I am not complaining about the performance of powered speakers; a DXR12 over either of these powered subs sounds fantastic.  What's missing is my ability to 'play' the bottom end of the system. 

I can live with it, but miss that bit of being able to work the floor. 

-Dennis

<edit>  As tracks may wildly differ from each other, I constantly have to adjust top to sub balance via aux-fed subs.  Where  there is too much bass I roll it off.  Where there is too little or in some cases no low bass, that's where aux boost and synthesized low frequencies are added to my liking.

I do 'play' my system like an instrument.

-D
« Last Edit: November 12, 2020, 09:13:00 am by Dennis Wiggins »
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MikeHarris

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Re: On the Turning Away
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2020, 01:14:45 am »

that pesky worm...the biggest problem is you have had the need...the ability...and the ears to tailor the sound to get the 'feel' you seek. I dont believe DJ's today are aware of the options we used to have
As good as Powersoft or Lab Gruppen sounds on paper...a bridge mono GTA will have a better*bass sound in any dance club.
Crown MA3600/5000 a joke on low end.
We would also choose amplifiers like Bryston or UREI for the horns and tweets as they were less harsh..
.
* better = fuller..rounder..make you shake your ass
« Last Edit: November 13, 2020, 01:20:36 am by MikeHarris »
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Paul G. OBrien

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Re: On the Turning Away
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2020, 03:41:39 pm »

When I use this effect with powered subs (specifically, ZXA1 and ELX200-18SP ) their internal 'workings' filter out most of what try to add in.  This is not unlike 'getting the tone" from a guitar amp.  My old school EV X180B dual 18s and even the sB122s (both high passed at 45hz with my own EQ/Limiting)

DSP isn't the problem here, it's what is implemented with the DSP that is. Those powered speakers will have a very steep high pass filter whereas the roll-your-own setup you had with the old EV passives most likely had a very shallow filter... so more low frequency energy got though with the Kosmos boost. The solution is better powered subs.. something with real output down into the 30hz range.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2020, 03:44:29 pm by Paul G. OBrien »
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Dennis Wiggins

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Re: On the Turning Away
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2020, 03:58:45 pm »

DSP isn't the problem here, it's what is implemented with the DSP that is. Those powered speakers will have a very steep high pass filter whereas the roll-your-own setup you had with the old EV passives most likely had a very shallow filter... so more low frequency energy got though with the Kosmos boost. The solution is better powered subs.. something with real output down into the 30hz range.

"Do try this at home" was always my motto.   "Have knob, will turn" is another.

X180Bs were high-passed BW24 @40hz EQ Freq 50 BW 0.4 +4.5

sB112s BW48 @48hz EQ  Freq 57 BW 0.4 +4.5. 

Output Limiters on both were +9 2.5:1 10/100ms. 

I created these settings by trial and ear-roar and could push the "haystack" hard to good effect. 

The new system is very easy and satisfying to run, but my ego says "I want more control!"

 I'll get over this :)

« Last Edit: November 16, 2020, 06:41:54 pm by Dennis Wiggins »
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Paul G. OBrien

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Re: On the Turning Away
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2020, 06:46:39 pm »

X180Bs were high-passed BW24 @40hz EQ Freq 50 BW 0.4 +4.5

Well so much for that theory so maybe it was just a case of more subbage, how many of those dual 18s did you use and how were they powered, and how many powered subs do you use now? You would probably need 4 of those ELX subs to equal one X180B loaded dual 18s in SPL.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2020, 06:49:00 pm by Paul G. OBrien »
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Chris Grimshaw

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Re: On the Turning Away
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2020, 09:21:30 am »


As good as Powersoft or Lab Gruppen sounds on paper...a bridge mono GTA will have a better*bass sound in any dance club.
Crown MA3600/5000 a joke on low end.
We would also choose amplifiers like Bryston or UREI for the horns and tweets as they were less harsh..


A brief search online didn't turn up anything about GTA amplifiers.

Which Powersoft or Lab amps did you try?

I suspect there are a lot of people around that would also disagree with your assessment of the Crown MA5000VZ. I have a good-condition MA5002VZ here and find it sounds remarkably HiFi when running full-range, and has plenty of power on tap. I also find that those amps often suffer from sub-par repair work (ie, replacing only some of the output transistors, rather than a full matched set), which would directly impact performance.

Chris
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Milt Hathaway

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Re: On the Turning Away
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2020, 11:07:01 am »

A brief search online didn't turn up anything about GTA amplifiers.

I'll bet he's talking about BGW's 78 pound monster: https://www.dropbox.com/s/a3dhiq0l92fedy0/BGW-GTA.pdf?dl=0

I still have a few keeping my warehouse foundation from floating off into space.
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Dennis Wiggins

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Re: On the Turning Away
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2020, 01:24:40 pm »

...The solution is better powered subs.. something with real output down into the 30hz range.

Agreed.  I should be running EKXs ETXs ;) but at 71, lifting 114 lbs. is no longer an option.  The ELXs are a very manageable 73 64 lbs.

-Dennis

<edit>  Superfluous note deleted.

With regards to Paul's later comment about doorways and stairs:  The 200-18s are 20" wide.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2020, 06:19:20 pm by Dennis Wiggins »
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Luke Geis

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Re: On the Turning Away
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2020, 12:22:52 am »

I am not familiar with EV's passive stuff as much as I am their powered units. While I would love to think that I have a " sound " that keeps me employed, I find that it is really more about my ability to produce consistent, problem-free results that happen to sound acceptable to a majority of people in the room that matter. I used to own and run a LOT more passive units and one thing was easy to hear between each show. I corrected obvious problems to arrive at an acceptable sound that was dictated by the gear I had at my disposal at the time. If I was working with a Behringer PA system, it sounded like a Behringer that was running as best it could. If I had a Meyer PA and Midas Console it sounded like a Meyer PA that was running as best as I could make it. I started with a passive PA and quickly realized that powered is a conceptually better approach to a more easily obtained " sound ". I got rid on my passive system for a powered one and instantly saw why having a speaker that was tuned to the best compromise it could be at already, was a great idea. All I was required to do was fix the problems that the speaker in the room caused. Not asses if " My Sound " and the PA in the room sound was correct.

I will say this. Affordable speakers are affordable for a reason. The EV stuff is the best bang for the buck you can get. Their lower-end lines sound remarkably good for the price even, but they do have limitations. They can't give you class A performance for C grade prices. My recent PA upgrade was purchasing the JBL SRX-800 series stuff. To me, it is still the best you can get for the price. There is also no blaming the gear for the result you end up with. It is good enough that I find little if any need to spend much time tuning the PA for a sound as much as simply tuning for the sound in the room. Many of the powered systems are aiming at that same idea, make it so that there is little need to tune the PA and simply make noise and fix obvious problems.

Every speaker is inevitably going to have " A sound", but how does it sound naturally? I prefer the sound of a neutral or linear PA. To me, it sounds kind of meh. it's not too bright, not too dull, not too boomy, and not too wimpy, it just sounds realistic, and not overemphasized. It has a sound and it sounds natural, real, and even. It is not my sound at all. When I mix the band, I adjust the mic position, channel EQ, channel and bus processing, and master bus processing to acquire " My Sound ". When I'm done with the band, the master bus processing, and all other stuff go away so that the sound from the source media sounds as it was intended. I will fix what is needed if any is required.

As for DJ stuff, well I am only a DJ for those that pay me enough, but I still feel that I get more consistent and appealing results with the out of the box settings that most all powered stuff comes with. Another way to look at it is this: If the speaker sounds the way it does, it is probably because that is the best it could be made to sound and stick to the price it has. So if you don't like that sound of the speaker, then you must try another brand or model. I think as you start getting to the $700 plus point, the sound is relatively close, but is down to your flavor of how it's implemented. I.E. a $700 and $1000 speaker sound pretty close in terms of quality and output, you just have to decide what features and sound qualities of each you value more. As you get into lower-cost units, the difference in sound is more evident between similar cost units. Imagine a JBL EON vs. a QSC CP model or an EV EKX vs a Mackie SRM.

Sound is a money game. What you spend ultimately determines how good it will sound and how loud you can get doing it. If a passive speaker costs $700, it is probably going to sound better than an equivalent $700 powered unit. The problem is that you need another couple grand in amplifiers and processing to truly make that a reality. That $700 passive speaker no longer costs $700 anymore because you have almost as much more per speaker invested in other technology. Dollar for dollar powered gear sounds and performs better than most passive stuff. This assumes of course a 1:1 cost ratio. If your passive rig costs double what your powered rig does, then it is no longer an equal comparison. With a powered rig, I can turn it on and assess what I am working with. With a passive rig, I have to asses the WHOLE system to see where I can do what and with what.
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Paul G. OBrien

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Re: On the Turning Away
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2020, 10:48:39 am »

Agreed.  I should be running EKXs but at 71, lifting 114 lbs. is no longer an option.  The ELXs are a very manageable 73 lbs.
Maybe you are thinking ETX... the EKX 18sp only weighs 72lbs.
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Dennis Wiggins

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Re: On the Turning Away
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2020, 12:06:55 pm »

Maybe you are thinking ETX... the EKX 18sp only weighs 72lbs.

True!  ETX18-SP are the 114 lb. ones with significantly more range and output.
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Paul G. OBrien

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Re: On the Turning Away
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2020, 12:59:42 pm »

Each step up brings a bit more lowend extension and output but also the larger cabinet that requires, the EKX18 is right at he edge of what can be considered a 1-man lift, it's light enough but the dimensions make for a tight fit through doorways.. I have lost some knuckle skin moving mine around. The ETX18sp is a 2 man lift, the box is just too big and heavy to handle so good thing it has wheels, that doesn't help when it comes to stairs though.
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Steve-White

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Re: On the Turning Away
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2021, 11:32:04 am »

I'll bet he's talking about BGW's 78 pound monster: https://www.dropbox.com/s/a3dhiq0l92fedy0/BGW-GTA.pdf?dl=0

I still have a few keeping my warehouse foundation from floating off into space.

Which were turds......but, everyone has their favorites.  :)

I used to work with a guy that lugged a bunch of BGW 750's around for years.  Geezus those racks were heavy, like hauling a cast iron 426 hemi to gig.  He ended up with a bunch of Carver 1.5's when they came out.  Keep a spare amp or two around and you're all set.

Saw a few club installs with BGW's in them - reliable amps they were and sounded decent.  I'd never rack one up and load it in a truck.  :)
« Last Edit: January 22, 2021, 11:34:47 am by Steve-White »
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John L Nobile

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Re: On the Turning Away
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2021, 01:04:11 pm »



Saw a few club installs with BGW's in them - reliable amps they were and sounded decent.  I'd never rack one up and load it in a truck.  :)


That's what I used in the late 70's and 80's. Heavy, yes, but reliable and sounded great. But there weren't any light amps then that put out 200w/8 ohms a side. I did buy a Carver 1.5 but it never sounded as good on the lo end.

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Steve-White

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Re: On the Turning Away
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2021, 08:21:11 pm »


That's what I used in the late 70's and 80's. Heavy, yes, but reliable and sounded great. But there weren't any light amps then that put out 200w/8 ohms a side. I did buy a Carver 1.5 but it never sounded as good on the lo end.

Nothing you could pull of of the box and put into service.  But, I ran Phase Linear's for many years in club installs and portable sound.  The chassis had to be reinforced, face plates modified for rack use (the Clair Brothers amps weren't for sale yet), RCA inputs changed to 1/4", and fans installed.  I only had two amp failures in a 10 year span and it was simple output failure - still run a couple of them in my den system.  Properly setup, the PL 700 would blow the BGW 750's away.  Again, we all had our preferences.  :)
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Re: On the Turning Away
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2021, 08:21:11 pm »


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