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Author Topic: Looking for experienced opinions on KS118 and SRX818  (Read 4239 times)

Debbie Dunkley

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Re: Looking for experienced opinions on KS118 and SRX818
« Reply #50 on: May 18, 2021, 08:26:16 pm »

I really like the sound of the KW181 but I am NOT a fan of the K or KW series tops. Don't know why - I've heard KW setups sounding pretty good yet there is something about the sound I just don't like. I don't hear enough clarity or definition and boy do they sound harsh and tinny at high volumes WAY before they should. But I really like the KW181.
In fact a few years ago when I was looking for my first powered system, I would have purchased KW181's for subs as I had used them and enjoyed them but becasue I chose against the QSC tops (for the reasons I just gave), I picked up some PRX612's instead that to my ear sounded so much better.
However, the tops didn't have the HP built in at the time and nor did the KW sub and I wasn't going to mess with external crossovers - my whole point of going powered was to simplify - so I got myself some PRX subs instead and really enjoyed them so it worked out.
So I'd put the SRX tops quite a bit higher on the totem pole than the QSC 'equivalent' as I always saw the K/KW series as the equivalent of the JBL PRX series NOT the SRX series.
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Jay Marr

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Re: Looking for experienced opinions on KS118 and SRX818
« Reply #51 on: May 18, 2021, 08:39:09 pm »

No.... no you are not Scott.... ;)

Hahaha...guilty as well.
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Steve-White

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Re: Looking for experienced opinions on KS118 and SRX818
« Reply #52 on: May 18, 2021, 10:37:09 pm »

No.... no you are not Scott.... ;)

I've noticed that TAS & GAS are synonymous in many cases.

And no, Scott/Debbie you are not alone.
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Bob Stone

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Re: Looking for experienced opinions on KS118 and SRX818
« Reply #53 on: May 19, 2021, 09:58:20 am »

Quite the flurry of input here ;).

Considering the OP's original equipment list, and his stated future plans, I would recommend:

1)  Sell the KSUB and buy 1-2 QSC KW181's to go with the current set of QSC speakers.  This will run you either 1.5K or 3K.  This is by far the least expensive option and is a very good rig.  Anyone that can't make this rig sound good needs to work on their mixing chops IMO.

2)  If the OP wants to overhaul/replace his FOH, sure, I agree that the SRX system is a better choice than the QSC system; however, it is much more expensive.

Just to put things into a bit of perspective here, I have heard QSC systems that sounded outstanding and I have heard SRX systems that I found it hard to understand how anyone could make them sound so bad.  The chops on the mixing board makes all the difference IME.

Now, I will agree that I have heard QSC K12's sound relatively bad on many more occasions than I have heard SRX sound bad.  Furthermore, the SRX will go louder and still sound good while the QSC system will become harsh at higher SPL.

If it were my band and gear, I would likely stick with the QSC's.... or at least I believe I would.  There is always that irrational moment when something happens to you for the umpteeth time and when you get home at the end of the night you don't even unload the trailer but instead run straight to the computer and order something new in your fit of rage ;).

.... or maybe I am the only one that has done this!

Just a point of note here, the op said he had a KS118 which is the new ".2" version that replaces the KW181...he does not have the absolutely awful K-Sub. So a second KS118 would be the right choice.
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Scott Bolt

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Re: Looking for experienced opinions on KS118 and SRX818
« Reply #54 on: May 19, 2021, 06:58:53 pm »

Just a point of note here, the op said he had a KS118 which is the new ".2" version that replaces the KW181...he does not have the absolutely awful K-Sub. So a second KS118 would be the right choice.
Good point.  By far the least expensive update is a 2nd KS118 then.

The K-Sub is definitely NOT a good sounding sub (at least to my ears).

Still, if the OP is in the market for a new FOH and intends to demote the K12's to monitor duty, then he could sell the single KS118, demote the K12's, and purchase the SRX tops and subs.

More money, but it would indeed sound better I expect.

In order for the comparison to be fair, the "cheap upgrade" would need to include a pair of monitor speakers as well.

So the decision then becomes:

1)  Buy another KS118 and 2 more K12's

OR

2)  Sell the KS118, buy 2 SRX812p and 2 SRX818p.

Still some daylight between the 2 options in price; however, there is also some daylight between the 2 options in quality (my opinion).  The question really becomes how much the OP wants to upgrade vs spend money :)
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Looking for experienced opinions on KS118 and SRX818
« Reply #55 on: May 19, 2021, 10:36:11 pm »

No.... no you are not Scott.... ;)


Oh not me Scott, lol


I have a new opinion, so one of the clubs we take care of the system at ordered four of the KS181.  As an owner of both SRX and KS I can tell you these have just as much usable output as the SRX and they are the total opposite of the KW181.  In fact I am going to repaint all of my KW181's and replace them with the KS, it is that big a difference.  They dig low, they are musical, as I said the exact opposite of KW's one note wonders (well not that bad).  I think using the new KS's with your existing tops would get you where you need to be without blowing a whole lotta dough.
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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 #56 on: May 20, 2021, 12:01:29 am »

Admittedly I have not heard the newer KS181 ( KS118 or whatever it's called ), but I have worked with the newer K12.2's. The K12.2's were not significant if any of a step up from the originals in terms of overall quality of sound. The specs don't support that they would be either. A couple extra db and some basic EQ and crossover options are about it. I didn't like the KW181 because it was to me, a " one-note wonder ". Perhaps not that bad as mentioned, but it didn't go appreciably low, and it was loud at a particularly small range of frequencies compared to the rest of what it produced. I always felt the need to tune it, and by the time it was reeled in, there just wasn't much volume anymore.

There is something to be said when you can turn on a PA and it sounds more or less spot on right out the gate. I am not a low-frequency fiend, so I prefer a smooth, even response from my subbage, even if it isn't all that loud. The sub still needs to get loud though. The SRX818 for me fills those boxes. It gets low enough, is smooth and even, and gets loud enough with very little work. So if the new QSC KS118 does that, it is certainly a good contender then.
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Looking for experienced opinions on KS118 and SRX818
« Reply #57 on: May 20, 2021, 12:24:02 am »

Admittedly I have not heard the newer KS181 ( KS118 or whatever it's called ), but I have worked with the newer K12.2's. The K12.2's were not significant if any of a step up from the originals in terms of overall quality of sound. The specs don't support that they would be either. A couple extra db and some basic EQ and crossover options are about it. I didn't like the KW181 because it was to me, a " one-note wonder ". Perhaps not that bad as mentioned, but it didn't go appreciably low, and it was loud at a particularly small range of frequencies compared to the rest of what it produced. I always felt the need to tune it, and by the time it was reeled in, there just wasn't much volume anymore.

There is something to be said when you can turn on a PA and it sounds more or less spot on right out the gate. I am not a low-frequency fiend, so I prefer a smooth, even response from my subbage, even if it isn't all that loud. The sub still needs to get loud though. The SRX818 for me fills those boxes. It gets low enough, is smooth and even, and gets loud enough with very little work. So if the new QSC KS118 does that, it is certainly a good contender then.


Like,. I expected nothing when I stopped by to audition these speakers, my tech was raving.  Keep in mind I own a pair of SRX818 I bought them to see what everyone was raving about. 


Additionally I have 6 STX828's so I am very familiar with the JBL capabilities.  I know the STC are a range up but they use the same class driver they are just a bit bigger and take more power. 


The QSC stuff is very reliable, it does what it does consistently and they hold an important place in our rental portfolio.  I can't ever remember a customer complaint. 


I was blown away by the new KS, I was expecting nothing.  The icing on the cake was the form factor, they are much easier to handle than the SRX.  I am still best down from my COVID recovery yet I was still able to stack them with ease.


They are worth checking out.  I hope QSC updates the KW line to keep up with the KS .


 
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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman

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Nils Erickson

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Re: Looking for experienced opinions on KS118 and SRX818
« Reply #58 on: May 21, 2021, 04:28:57 am »

QSC K series has been a reliable money maker for me.  But I almost never spec it on a job, it is used as a matter of affordability or convenience, or when someone requests it.  Strangely, it doesn't rent for a lot less than speakers that cost 5x more.  And, I have better passive speakers that I rent for about the same.  My SRX and my K10s rent for a similar price, but have different customers.  Few people pick up a dual 15" passive speaker in their Honda, and few people run a festival with K10s.  But people will rent K10s regularly for decent money, so why not own it?  A great alternate speaker can be rented for $50 more.  I spec it on nearly every job.  It rents much more often, I love to mix on it, clients comment on it, my other engineers love to mix on it.  People seek out the brand, and it in turn leads to bigger overall jobs with specific requirement.  Specific requirements cost more money.

I think it is silly to think that people don't notice the difference.  Yeah, some don't and will never care.  But some care very much and will pay a premium.  If you yourself can't tell, don't buy it.  I had a new client call me today, concerned about intelligibility for a mass in a gym.  He was elated when I told him we could bring in either d&b or Meyer.  He knew them by name and model.  Anyone could have suggested K10s for half or a third of the money.  It was about quality.  But on an order, loudspeakers are only part of the whole package; if the entire order ends up being a couple hundred bucks more or less, the speaker cost plays a smaller role.  As a business grows, it makes sense to me to be able to offer things in different price ranges, so I can accommodate different budgets and people who know and appreciate quality.  One thing I know is that I am not going to lose money because I don't also own the cheap speaker that other people will quote on their jobs.

For the OP, with one system, over time I would argue the cost difference can be minimal, get what you like.  Like Tim said, work is easier with good tools (or something like that, sorry Tim).  I'll stick with my original argument that SRX, or many other things, will be a substantial upgrade... but not necessarily required as six pages of posts have said very well.

One more thing- it is really interesting to read these posts and get an understanding for what other people's markets are like, and what works for you all.  I know my strategy would not work well everywhere, so perhaps being savvy about your business and market is more important that the speaker brand.

Cheers,
Nils
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Looking for experienced opinions on KS118 and SRX818
« Reply #59 on: May 21, 2021, 05:17:22 am »

QSC K series has been a reliable money maker for me.  But I almost never spec it on a job, it is used as a matter of affordability or convenience, or when someone requests it.  Strangely, it doesn't rent for a lot less than speakers that cost 5x more.  And, I have better passive speakers that I rent for about the same.  My SRX and my K10s rent for a similar price, but have different customers.  Few people pick up a dual 15" passive speaker in their Honda, and few people run a festival with K10s.  But people will rent K10s regularly for decent money, so why not own it?  A great alternate speaker can be rented for $50 more.  I spec it on nearly every job.  It rents much more often, I love to mix on it, clients comment on it, my other engineers love to mix on it.  People seek out the brand, and it in turn leads to bigger overall jobs with specific requirement.  Specific requirements cost more money.

I think it is silly to think that people don't notice the difference.  Yeah, some don't and will never care.  But some care very much and will pay a premium.  If you yourself can't tell, don't buy it.  I had a new client call me today, concerned about intelligibility for a mass in a gym.  He was elated when I told him we could bring in either d&b or Meyer.  He knew them by name and model.  Anyone could have suggested K10s for half or a third of the money.  It was about quality.  But on an order, loudspeakers are only part of the whole package; if the entire order ends up being a couple hundred bucks more or less, the speaker cost plays a smaller role.  As a business grows, it makes sense to me to be able to offer things in different price ranges, so I can accommodate different budgets and people who know and appreciate quality.  One thing I know is that I am not going to lose money because I don't also own the cheap speaker that other people will quote on their jobs.

For the OP, with one system, over time I would argue the cost difference can be minimal, get what you like.  Like Tim said, work is easier with good tools (or something like that, sorry Tim).  I'll stick with my original argument that SRX, or many other things, will be a substantial upgrade... but not necessarily required as six pages of posts have said very well.

One more thing- it is really interesting to read these posts and get an understanding for what other people's markets are like, and what works for you all.  I know my strategy would not work well everywhere, so perhaps being savvy about your business and market is more important that the speaker brand.

Cheers,
Nils


Nils, I want to be clear that the QSC is bread and butter rentals.  Small corporate breakout rooms, pre-event space that type of thing.  The KW112 over KW181's is the standard cover band rig.  We have a few local engineers that don't want to own and we rent them a club rig as a package, the aforementioned mains, we have a variety of monitors to choose from, an x32 rack in a fly rack with a UPS and quality AP + a couple of light bars and a mic package with 57's 58's kick drum mic they can choose from an Audix, Shure or Sennheiser.  The drums get the 604's.  We can't do the gig for less than $500 but I rent this rig out to frequent fliers for $250, when things were hopping we had 5 or 6 of these out over a regular weekend.


For the gym gig you spoke of we have 12 box KH Projector rig, it is all horn loaded and would put the sound where we need it.  It's an older PA but we keep it immaculately maintained and it is a huge step up from the bar rigs. 


We have the SRX system and that goes out for small outdoor gigs, pro DJ's just anywhere we need a bit more performance. 


The next system up is VRX932LA's properly processed and powered.  We have JBL STX-828's to go out with these, we have six but have never sent more than four.  We can do two on crank stands or send out the lifts.  These are very popular with the I have to have a line array crowd, especially corporate work. 


Lastly we have 16 FBT Mus 210's a powered dual 10" Italian made B&C loaded line array element that is a nice system, very honest and it gets the job done.   We have trolleys and flyware and can deploy in a variety of configs.  We have customers that insist on ground stacking them when the HK rig would do a better job but we have to fill the order.  We got rid of the MSL-4's but kept our 650R2 subs, we have 12 of them and they are so honest and a wonderful sounding sub, especially considering their age.  We have the Meyer processing and those were passive, we use Yamaha 7000 amps, way too much amp but hey we have headroom and the Meyer protection in the processors is wonderful.  Nobody asks us the age of the Meyers, we keep them clean and painted, my partner is amazing at reconing the drivers and we have a stash of the Meyer kits and plenty of ferrofluid on hand.  The FBT/Meyer system is not competing with 8th day down the road but it's an affordable line array that serves a great niche we are happy to be in. 


We have lots of odds and ends too, some EV QRX a Turbosound column rig so lots of gear to fill orders.  They all have a place and it works for us, everyone has a different plan, markets and needs.


I want to share this with you, we have been doing a "mini-tour" so far 14 dates all within 100 miles of the shop for a comedy tour that are is performing in AAA ballparks.  We are using ground carts with the FBT's and Shure QLXD wireless.  After the first 7 gigs, our initial contract we were offered more dates and I received this from the client, it warmed my heart. 


 
Quote
Scott and Keith,
[/size]Wanted to send a quick message to say Justin and Matt were everything I could have asked for and more. Punctual, professional, quick problem solvers, respectful of the turf, and most importantly…good hangs. Thanks to your team for making us look good and for being so easy to work with.
[/size]

[/size]
[/size]I don't see any mention of the gear, they expected us to bring the right rig for the gig (thanks Tim) it was our project management, communication and staff that earned the accolades.  This kind of feedback makes it easy to hit the ground running. 
[/size]
[/size]That's my little story. 
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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman

Ghost Audio Visual Solutions, LLC
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www.ghostav.rocks

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Looking for experienced opinions on KS118 and SRX818
« Reply #59 on: May 21, 2021, 05:17:22 am »


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