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"Best" Budget powered speakers

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Matt Vivlamore:
Let talk about some good budget POWERED speakers, ones that can double as a main and then drop on the floor for a wedgeÖ what are your recommendations for a ĎBelow $500 speaker?Ē  What about in the $500-1000 speaker?  (based on Retail pricing)

Since this is in the Lounge, we arenít talking about meeting artist specific rider requirements, but the local bar band/festival would like to have # of monitors on stage.

Steven Eudaly:
We've picked up several dB Technologies Opera 10s for dry rental stock and various utility speaker roles, small talking head events, etc. Small, loud, clean sounding (for a plastic box), good looking, simple back panel controls and under 30lbs. With a street price of $399 it's pretty hard to beat, in my opinion.

The only thing I don't like about them is the wedge angle is a bit shallow. If you place it right against the base of a mic stand, it's pointing at your knees. Nothing an audio block can't fix.

Jeff Lelko:
Hi Matt,

In the sub-$500 category Iím going to say nothing worth owning unless you find a good deal on used older gear thatís still in good working condition.  The Mackie SRM450 comes to mind (weíve all used them) but they wonít compare to the better prosumer options on the market.  Iíve heard positive comments about Alto boxes but have no direct experience to offer.

For around $1,000 you have the Yamaha DZR12 and JBL SRX812P.  Both are well-received here and are generally considered best in class for their price point.  The QSC K.2 Series is also an option but overall not as popular as the JBL and Yamaha products.  For what itís worth Iím still using my QSC HPR boxes for this purpose, but sadly QSCís long product life (KW especially) has lost them market share when it comes to competitive offerings versus Yamaha and JBL.  Hope this helps!

Matt Vivlamore:

--- Quote from: Jeff Lelko on June 01, 2021, 03:14:35 pm ---Hi Matt,

In the sub-$500 category Iím going to say nothing worth owning unless you find a good deal on used older gear thatís still in good working condition.  The Mackie SRM450 comes to mind (weíve all used them) but they wonít compare to the better prosumer options on the market.  Iíve heard positive comments about Alto boxes but have no direct experience to offer.

For around $1,000 you have the Yamaha DZR12 and JBL SRX812P.  Both are well-received here and are generally considered best in class for their price point.  The QSC K.2 Series is also an option but overall not as popular as the JBL and Yamaha products.  For what itís worth Iím still using my QSC HPR boxes for this purpose, but sadly QSCís long product life (KW especially) has lost them market share when it comes to competitive offerings versus Yamaha and JBL.  Hope this helps!

--- End quote ---

Main PA is SRX812P over SRX828SP, thus why we're talking about the under $500 range and $500-1000 range.  The SRX/DZR are over the $1400+.

Chris Grimshaw:
The cheapest box I'd ever recommend would be the Yamaha DBR10.

At sensible volumes, they sound fine - it's a 10" 2-way box, so difficult to get badly wrong. Turn them up, and the cheap drivers make themselves known pretty quickly. The switchable EQs are pretty useful, and the limiters clamp down well enough to make them basically impossible to kill. The I/O is pretty handy, too.

I'd always push a potential buyer towards something more expensive and better-performing, but when someone asks for the cheapest half-decent thing, well, that's it.


I keep one around which goes out with a 21" subwoofer for house party rentals. That setup has paid for itself many times over.

Chris

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