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Author Topic: Looking for experienced opinions on KS118 and SRX818  (Read 3611 times)

Bob Stone

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Re: Looking for experienced opinions on KS118 and SRX818
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2021, 04:23:00 pm »

I agree with Luke, the SRX boxes are a big step up from all of the QSC options.  If you only have one sub, my .02 is this: don't worry about starting over (it is easy to sell off one sub, or save it for your drum monitor).  Get something scalable that can fit into what you plan to drive.  Single 18's are fine, and you may soon want more.  But you have to double what you have to make a difference, so don't rule out SRX828 if you can find a good way out transporting them; they are a really good value, especially right now.

As far as the tops, keep in mind how you will get them up.  An 835 is 95 lbs... you need two people to lift it, and there is no really good stand option (even though there is a pole cup, I mean that is just silly).  If you plan to do top/pole/sub, go with a smaller option. I would look at the 835 only if I intended to ground stack on a pair of 828 (or single on its side), on sound wings.  Otherwise you will be too low.

If I was buying SRX818, I would pair it with SRX812.  It is powerful and sounds great, and is compact.  You can add subs for bigger shows.  If you grow down the line, SRX812 can be a good monitor or front/side fill.  And, it is a sizable monetary gap to the next step up.

However, I think the real winner is 4xSRX828 and 4xSRX835, if you're looking at JBL.  Then you have a scalable system: one over one, or two over two.  If that fits in the van and you can move it without getting hurt, pull the trigger. If you are a single owner/operator without help for load in/out, get the small stuff.

Of course, if you providing for your band, maybe you already own enough stuff.  What you own already can handle a wedding, small event, or a small club.  Bigger than that and there will often be other sound providers anyway.  Taking the "next step" is bigger than a new set of speakers.  I do believe it is Tim M who has said repeatedly that the next step involves spending 2x what you have invested already, no matter the level you are at.  I have found this to be true, many times over.

Side note: I still have four SRX725, which I have had for many years.  They have been bullet proof, sound good, they get loud.  They have had a good return on investment, and been fun to mix on.  And, they still do the trick for some shows.  The most difficult thing with large speakers is how you deploy them.  Beyond that size, things get a lot more difficult.

Hope that helps you.

Cheers,
Nils

I disagree about the size of step. We're not talking double the performance, we're talking a db or two more useful output and marginally better sound.

If the guy was buying net new, then the SRX would be a good direction to go. Given his inventory already though, making the move to JBL over QSC is going to cost a lot more (total price spent before and now). Given the market for live sound is tough right now and the fact that the SRX setup isn't going to increase his ability to get shows (honestly almost any show the SRX speakers could do, the QSC's could do too), it's not worth the investment.

Now if he starts talking about moving actually up to say Danley's or even the SRX dual 18's or something that's substantially more output/capability, then that's a move worth making as it opens up the possible shows he could do.
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Nils Erickson

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Re: Looking for experienced opinions on KS118 and SRX818
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2021, 02:55:13 pm »

I disagree about the size of step. We're not talking double the performance, we're talking a db or two more useful output and marginally better sound.

If the guy was buying net new, then the SRX would be a good direction to go. Given his inventory already though, making the move to JBL over QSC is going to cost a lot more (total price spent before and now). Given the market for live sound is tough right now and the fact that the SRX setup isn't going to increase his ability to get shows (honestly almost any show the SRX speakers could do, the QSC's could do too), it's not worth the investment.

Now if he starts talking about moving actually up to say Danley's or even the SRX dual 18's or something that's substantially more output/capability, then that's a move worth making as it opens up the possible shows he could do.
Fair enough, it is pretty subjective stuff we are talking about here...

As far as getting more shows, there is much more to it than the name of the system I think.   My experience is that some clients have cared what brand of speakers I had; many others just care about how the job gets done.  So, my advice would be to mix on what makes you happy and brings you business.  Maybe no "upgrade" is needed at all.  Sometimes getting more shows means being about to cross rent with another business in town to do bigger stuff or keep your gear working, so I suppose that is something to consider as well.

Over the years, I have owned JBL SRX, EAW, Danley, d&b, Meyer, QSC, Apogee.  All of them have been fun to mix on, some of them have met riders, some are good for rentals, all of them have been right for some gig, none of them have been right for every gig. 

Cheers,
Nils
« Last Edit: May 08, 2021, 10:03:51 pm by Nils Erickson »
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Luke Geis

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Re: Looking for experienced opinions on KS118 and SRX818
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2021, 03:28:28 pm »

I'm sort of bummed. I had a good post written up about why the SRX is actually a huge leap forward, but then the i-net crashed on me, again..... the long and short was this:

SRX = Wooden Box / QSC K series = Plastic
SRX = 3" compression driver / QSC 1/4"
SRX = Fully programable DSP / QSC K.2 = limited DSP parameters
SRX = 136db peak output ( in a wet dream ) / QSC = 132db ( also in a wet dream )
SRX = fairly linear output ( considering the price point ) / QSC = not very linear output ( despite it price point )
SRX = Compatible with JBL's flagship VTX line / QSC = not directly compatible with anything
SRX = networkable and remote controllable / QSC = not networkable or controllable remotely
SRX = F.I.R filters / QSC = no F.I.R filters

As you can see, even if you were to make a list of the things that the QSC K series was good at vs. the SRX, it wouldn't really help their case much. I believe and feel the SRX sounds and performs much better than the QSC K series in every way. The K series stuff is pretty expensive considering what it is competing against. There is only about a $300 difference in price between the SRX and the QSC lines, and the SRX is punching far above the QSC in terms of features and performance.

I think the SRX falls into what I call the Pro-sumer market. It is entry-level professional-grade stuff. The QSC K series to me is just consumer or MI grade. It is what 9 out of 10 bands will own happily because it was the best they could afford. That is not to say that it is worthless, unusable, or crap. The QSC K series is good and performs rather well actually. It provides excellent ROI, is accepted by just about any local band, is simple to use, and has good reliability. Having used both the QSC and the SRX MANY times to mix on, the SRX is just easier and more rewarding to work with.
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Looking for experienced opinions on KS118 and SRX818
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2021, 06:20:31 pm »

I'm sort of bummed. I had a good post written up about why the SRX is actually a huge leap forward, but then the i-net crashed on me, again..... the long and short was this:

SRX = Wooden Box / QSC K series = Plastic
SRX = 3" compression driver / QSC 1/4"
SRX = Fully programable DSP / QSC K.2 = limited DSP parameters
SRX = 136db peak output ( in a wet dream ) / QSC = 132db ( also in a wet dream )
SRX = fairly linear output ( considering the price point ) / QSC = not very linear output ( despite it price point )
SRX = Compatible with JBL's flagship VTX line / QSC = not directly compatible with anything
SRX = networkable and remote controllable / QSC = not networkable or controllable remotely
SRX = F.I.R filters / QSC = no F.I.R filters

As you can see, even if you were to make a list of the things that the QSC K series was good at vs. the SRX, it wouldn't really help their case much. I believe and feel the SRX sounds and performs much better than the QSC K series in every way. The K series stuff is pretty expensive considering what it is competing against. There is only about a $300 difference in price between the SRX and the QSC lines, and the SRX is punching far above the QSC in terms of features and performance.

I think the SRX falls into what I call the Pro-sumer market. It is entry-level professional-grade stuff. The QSC K series to me is just consumer or MI grade. It is what 9 out of 10 bands will own happily because it was the best they could afford. That is not to say that it is worthless, unusable, or crap. The QSC K series is good and performs rather well actually. It provides excellent ROI, is accepted by just about any local band, is simple to use, and has good reliability. Having used both the QSC and the SRX MANY times to mix on, the SRX is just easier and more rewarding to work with.


Sorry you lost your quote.  THe KS118 and KW181 are all wood sub.
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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman

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Bob Stone

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Re: Looking for experienced opinions on KS118 and SRX818
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2021, 10:44:12 pm »

I'm sort of bummed. I had a good post written up about why the SRX is actually a huge leap forward, but then the i-net crashed on me, again..... the long and short was this:

SRX = Wooden Box / QSC K series = Plastic
SRX = 3" compression driver / QSC 1/4"
SRX = Fully programable DSP / QSC K.2 = limited DSP parameters
SRX = 136db peak output ( in a wet dream ) / QSC = 132db ( also in a wet dream )
SRX = fairly linear output ( considering the price point ) / QSC = not very linear output ( despite it price point )
SRX = Compatible with JBL's flagship VTX line / QSC = not directly compatible with anything
SRX = networkable and remote controllable / QSC = not networkable or controllable remotely
SRX = F.I.R filters / QSC = no F.I.R filters

As you can see, even if you were to make a list of the things that the QSC K series was good at vs. the SRX, it wouldn't really help their case much. I believe and feel the SRX sounds and performs much better than the QSC K series in every way. The K series stuff is pretty expensive considering what it is competing against. There is only about a $300 difference in price between the SRX and the QSC lines, and the SRX is punching far above the QSC in terms of features and performance.

I think the SRX falls into what I call the Pro-sumer market. It is entry-level professional-grade stuff. The QSC K series to me is just consumer or MI grade. It is what 9 out of 10 bands will own happily because it was the best they could afford. That is not to say that it is worthless, unusable, or crap. The QSC K series is good and performs rather well actually. It provides excellent ROI, is accepted by just about any local band, is simple to use, and has good reliability. Having used both the QSC and the SRX MANY times to mix on, the SRX is just easier and more rewarding to work with.

You're missing the point, will the OP get thousands of dollars more business by having the SRX boxes? Unlikely. As a business owner there should be a clear ROI before investing thousands more dollars into gear. If the new rig would let him get bigger shows or something then sure, but going from a couple single 18's to some other couple single 18's, he isn't gaining enough to open him up to new possibilities.

Nobody is arguing that the SRX boxes aren't better, just they aren't worth the money when the OP already has a similar rig.

Also, your math is wrong, a K12.2 is $800, a SRX812p is $1300...that's a $500 difference.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2021, 10:47:35 pm by Bob Stone »
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Looking for experienced opinions on KS118 and SRX818
« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2021, 10:49:11 pm »

You're missing the point, will the OP get thousands of dollars more business by having the SRX boxes? Unlikely. As a business owner there should be a clear ROI before investing thousands more dollars into gear. If the new rig would let him get bigger shows or something then sure, but going from a couple single 18's to some other couple single 18's, he isn't gaining enough to open him up to new possibilities.

Nobody is arguing that the SRX boxes aren't better, just they aren't worth the money when the OP already has a similar rig.

Also, your math is wrong, a K12.2 is $800, a SRX812p is $1300...that's a $500 difference.


Bob is exactly right, you may run across that odd customer who knows the models but a KW and and SRX/PRX are all the same "level" of speakers and would be interchangeable sent out.  If you have someone payone a premium for SRX that's a unicorn.

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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman

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Luke Geis

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Re: Looking for experienced opinions on KS118 and SRX818
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2021, 12:40:25 am »

If you pay $1,300 for an SRX 812, you didn't shop enough. I got my 818's for that much, the 812's can be found for just over $1k if you look hard enough.

I won't argue about ROI and acceptance. We know that pretty much any local level act and organization will accept either one. I am proposing that for a little bit more, you get quite a bit more. I guess the shift in thinking I am talking about is at what point do you go from the just enough, to the value-added mindset? I also think the SRX can demand a little more money. I think the QSC K series is a $50 per box rental item. I charge $75 per box for my SRX's. That is on par with most companies in my area.

Yes, the KW range of QCS is wooden, also 100 years old, heavy as heck, and none of the features that the SRX has exist. It is also more expensive than the K series. So if the major question is will a client pay more for the SRX over that of anything QSC, that is dependent upon how you look at it. I say it is X price and my client either says yes or no. I don't really haggle. My business model is different in that I don't nickel a dime with line item after line item. I know a few in my area that charge less per line item, but will charge you for every single item that leaves the shop. I do more packaged pricing. You can't use a speaker without a stand. So my price includes most of the complimentary items you MUST have to utilize it. A microphone comes with a stand and cable, one price. I charge a little more for each item than most of those in my area, but you don't have a proposal that reads like a grocery list either. I guess what I am saying is where you value yourself and your business and how competitive you want to be is up to you. If you buy Harbinger grade equipment and can charge SRX prices for it, more power to you. But if you have QSC grade gear and charge Harbinger grade prices for it, well, that is up to you. Your ROI plan is not of importance once the item has been paid for. If you can move it enough that it is paid for in one month, it doesn't matter if it cost $2k or $100, you move it enough to get your ROI and anything beyond that is profit margins. If having a slightly better grade of gear doesn't demand more money, but can get you more, better, or both kinds of gigs, then an extra $1k in expense is easily worth it. What holds you back from commanding more money? Is it your level of talent, or your level of gear? Is it both? Will having better gear propel you? If a QSC K series speaker is where the knee exists for quality to price ratio, then NOTHING beyond that price point in gear will get you any further, quite literally.

Case in point; and perhaps it was just my attitude shift? I went from a JRX system to a PRX system. I thought my life had changed when I made that jump. I was instantly gratified with the ease and level of quality I was able to prduce. My pricing and quality of gig went up with that purchase. I then went up to SRX from the PRX. Again, it was an instantly gratifying move. And again my pricing and job quality went up. I was able to demand almost double what I used to for the same gig and there was no pushback from my clients. They couldn't, my work spoke for itself, and my equipment further made my work and the job that much better. I am not a big house, I am not the best sound engineer to walk this planet, I just picked my clients wisely, made smart business decisions, and could provide a service that exceeded most other companies with less effort. I was making a damn good income and it was only getting better ( before the pandemic.... ). I wasn't working my butt off and when I worked I was happy. Mostly because work wasn't work, it was place speaker here, plug it in, turn it on and off to the races; the client was happy, I was happy and I got paid! Was it the quality of the equipment or was it me? I think it was a bit of both. I was happier with my tools, which improved my attitude and the pace of deployment. I spent less time thinking and more time doing.

:) I can't wait till we are full swing again!!!
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Looking for experienced opinions on KS118 and SRX818
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2021, 01:02:16 am »

{snip of other stuff}
If having a slightly better grade of gear doesn't demand more money, but can get you more, better, or both kinds of gigs, then an extra $1k in expense is easily worth it. What holds you back from commanding more money? Is it your level of talent, or your level of gear? Is it both? Will having better gear propel you? If a QSC K series speaker is where the knee exists for quality to price ratio, then NOTHING beyond that price point in gear will get you any further, quite literally.

Word.

Case in point; and perhaps it was just my attitude shift? I went from a JRX system to a PRX system. I thought my life had changed when I made that jump. I was instantly gratified with the ease and level of quality I was able to prduce. My pricing and quality of gig went up with that purchase. I then went up to SRX from the PRX. Again, it was an instantly gratifying move. And again my pricing and job quality went up. I was able to demand almost double what I used to for the same gig and there was no pushback from my clients. They couldn't, my work spoke for itself, and my equipment further made my work and the job that much better. I am not a big house, I am not the best sound engineer to walk this planet, I just picked my clients wisely, made smart business decisions, and could provide a service that exceeded most other companies with less effort. I was making a damn good income and it was only getting better ( before the pandemic.... ). I wasn't working my butt off and when I worked I was happy. Mostly because work wasn't work, it was place speaker here, plug it in, turn it on and off to the races; the client was happy, I was happy and I got paid! Was it the quality of the equipment or was it me? I think it was a bit of both. I was happier with my tools, which improved my attitude and the pace of deployment. I spent less time thinking and more time doing.

:) I can't wait till we are full swing again!!!
This is the 'incremental' upgrade path I mention occasionally.  It's the reason for "buy once, cry once" - to leapfrog that next incremental round of purchases.  In your case, you were able to turn the improvement into additional revenue and correctly identify that as a primary reason to make capital equipment purchases.  The "ear-opening" experience of moving up in the quality of equipment can be revelatory but I'd rather hear it on someone else's dime... ;)

Work is coming back.  Keep up the value and the prices will follow.  My shop is doing a one-off for a returning client at 2019 rates.  For some folks the year 2020 didn't stop the way it did for the events/meetings/theater industries.
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Steve-White

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Re: Looking for experienced opinions on KS118 and SRX818
« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2021, 10:43:42 am »

^^^ What he said and yes it's down to business philosophy.

In today's climate finding used SRX's shouldn't be a big deal, and frankly for someone going out for the dime the difference in cost -vs- gains in performance are a no-brainer to me.

Again, down to personal philosophy and that can be inserted into a circular argument with no beginning and no end.

Delivering quality to our customers is just that.  There's always a step up and a step down from every point.

I agree with Luke on the "Mental Aspects" of it as well.  When I go out on a job, and the gear is more than it takes, loaded for bear as I call it - it makes for a much easier time than dealing with "just enough" or I have to squeeze it for every drop to pull this off.
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Bob Stone

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Re: Looking for experienced opinions on KS118 and SRX818
« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2021, 12:04:09 am »

If you pay $1,300 for an SRX 812, you didn't shop enough. I got my 818's for that much, the 812's can be found for just over $1k if you look hard enough.

I won't argue about ROI and acceptance. We know that pretty much any local level act and organization will accept either one. I am proposing that for a little bit more, you get quite a bit more. I guess the shift in thinking I am talking about is at what point do you go from the just enough, to the value-added mindset? I also think the SRX can demand a little more money. I think the QSC K series is a $50 per box rental item. I charge $75 per box for my SRX's. That is on par with most companies in my area.

Yes, the KW range of QCS is wooden, also 100 years old, heavy as heck, and none of the features that the SRX has exist. It is also more expensive than the K series. So if the major question is will a client pay more for the SRX over that of anything QSC, that is dependent upon how you look at it. I say it is X price and my client either says yes or no. I don't really haggle. My business model is different in that I don't nickel a dime with line item after line item. I know a few in my area that charge less per line item, but will charge you for every single item that leaves the shop. I do more packaged pricing. You can't use a speaker without a stand. So my price includes most of the complimentary items you MUST have to utilize it. A microphone comes with a stand and cable, one price. I charge a little more for each item than most of those in my area, but you don't have a proposal that reads like a grocery list either. I guess what I am saying is where you value yourself and your business and how competitive you want to be is up to you. If you buy Harbinger grade equipment and can charge SRX prices for it, more power to you. But if you have QSC grade gear and charge Harbinger grade prices for it, well, that is up to you. Your ROI plan is not of importance once the item has been paid for. If you can move it enough that it is paid for in one month, it doesn't matter if it cost $2k or $100, you move it enough to get your ROI and anything beyond that is profit margins. If having a slightly better grade of gear doesn't demand more money, but can get you more, better, or both kinds of gigs, then an extra $1k in expense is easily worth it. What holds you back from commanding more money? Is it your level of talent, or your level of gear? Is it both? Will having better gear propel you? If a QSC K series speaker is where the knee exists for quality to price ratio, then NOTHING beyond that price point in gear will get you any further, quite literally.

Case in point; and perhaps it was just my attitude shift? I went from a JRX system to a PRX system. I thought my life had changed when I made that jump. I was instantly gratified with the ease and level of quality I was able to prduce. My pricing and quality of gig went up with that purchase. I then went up to SRX from the PRX. Again, it was an instantly gratifying move. And again my pricing and job quality went up. I was able to demand almost double what I used to for the same gig and there was no pushback from my clients. They couldn't, my work spoke for itself, and my equipment further made my work and the job that much better. I am not a big house, I am not the best sound engineer to walk this planet, I just picked my clients wisely, made smart business decisions, and could provide a service that exceeded most other companies with less effort. I was making a damn good income and it was only getting better ( before the pandemic.... ). I wasn't working my butt off and when I worked I was happy. Mostly because work wasn't work, it was place speaker here, plug it in, turn it on and off to the races; the client was happy, I was happy and I got paid! Was it the quality of the equipment or was it me? I think it was a bit of both. I was happier with my tools, which improved my attitude and the pace of deployment. I spent less time thinking and more time doing.

:) I can't wait till we are full swing again!!!

$1300 is regular retail price on all the major sites, it's a quick and easy and fair comparison for pricing. If you can knock a couple hundred off the SRX, you can probably do the same on the QSC's anyway, so moot point.

Ok, so you get more for renting out an SRX box...but if a QSC box goes out every weekend for $50 because it's more affordable to renters and the SRX goes out every other weekend for $75, I'll take the QSC in my inventory. This all comes back to the fact that the OP actually has a rig. If he didn't, yup, SRX all the way 100%...but since he does, he has to weigh a relatively minor investment (one new sub) versus a wholesale replacement of his inventory. With that calculus it just doesn't fly. We're also not talking a 10 year old Behringer speaker or even your JRX's, we're already into the good solid equipment part of the market.

Also, for the VAST majority of clients, they will see QSC or JBL and be perfectly satisfied. In fact, most clients won't even care what brand the speakers are as long as you show up with a relatively clean rig that works. The only people who care are the sound engineers and band members and people like you in a crowd, but they are rarely the ones paying the bills.

I stand by my statement, the SRX is not the wise move here. If the OP wants to invest in the next level, go get some TH118's, not just a slightly different run of the mill 18" box. You're making a very typical gear acquisition syndrome decision and not a business decision.
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Looking for experienced opinions on KS118 and SRX818
« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2021, 12:04:09 am »


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