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12" active speaker recommendations

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kevinzanardelli:

12" ACTIVE SPEAKER RECOMENDATIONS: Have been doing some research as it is time to upgrade my current 12" tops (Yamaha DSR112's). They have been great, but getting a little older (like me), and figured I should update them and upgrade if I can. They will still be used as backups or floor wedges going forward. I also am looking for something with a side handle (what a miss on the DSR's!) for easier handling when throwing them on a pole. I would be using them for DJ and live sound for a couple of local bands in small to medium venues. I always use a sub or 2 (currently have 2 QSC kS118's - and an old Yorkville LS800 that I still drag out once in a while, ksub for small venues, etc.). Below is what I have been looking at so far for replacements:

QSC K12.2: have used them in the past. A little too bright sounding for me. Not really a step up from current speakers.

JBL PRX 912P: heard some reliability issues.

Yamaha DZR12: The next gen of my current speakers. I heard some great things (great sound, features, headroom), and some not-so-great things (a few reliability issues).

EV ETX-12P: Salesman is telling me the sound is brighter than the QSC's. I have the EV ZXa5's (15") and love them (they can get so loud & clear).

RCF ART-932a (or NX 932): reading tons of great reviews and recommendations on these.

FBT?:

Turbosound?

Based on what I have read so far, I keep on coming back to the RCF. My only issue with the RCF-932A at the moment is that they do not include a hi-pass crossover/filter.  I use the QSC KS118 subs when I play out, and they do not have a hi pass filter on the outputs (they only have variable LPF for what the subs put out and full range pass through).   This is not a problem when I do sound for the bands because I can set up the digital mixer with internal DSP and with subs on their own aux channel with low pass filter and mains with high pass filter.  However, when I DJ, I do not use my larger mixer.  I go right from my DJ console into the subs and out to the tops.  I DJ a lot more than I do sound for the bands.   I could introduce a stand-alone crossover, but now I am making my setup more complicated and running more wires. Definitely more convenient to have DSP with HPF in the speaker.

I welcome any recommendations (either on the above or additional models)!

Lev Raber:
What is your budget? There are many of two-way 12" powered speakers only differ in quality, price and place of manufacturing. Consider weight and features too, if it's important to you. I'm a huge fan of RCF and FBT and if you're mixing DJ and live band gigs I would suggest FBT PROMAXX 114A for total budget of around 3K for the pair. It's relatively small 14" speaker, which will hold strong even without subs on small jobs.
Otherwise, look for speakers with LF drivers with 3" VC and up and HF drivers with 2.5" VC and up. Just a thought.

Matthew Knischewsky:
I'm enjoying the pair of RCF ART-932a I bought instead of Yamaha DZR12's.

The larger HF driver performs very well. I find the voicing a bit bright for my taste, easily tamed with a -2dB high shelf filter. It has side handles as well as one top handle, I like the covers, it's a good weight (42lbs IIRC) and is well balanced.  Gets loud and sounds good doing it. No onboard HPF filter adjustment, for me that's fine.

They do have a high self noise which I'm surprised about. The noise is introduced after the input attenuator so it can't be turned down and it's a broad spectrum- it's more than just typical HF horn noise. For band gigs or playback/DJ gigs it's not a problem at all but it is something I've noticed about these speakers that is louder than I would expect. It would be nice if the attenuator control was detented or had a centre detent.

Matt

Goerge Thomas:

--- Quote from: Matthew Knischewsky on May 30, 2024, 12:21:51 PM ---I'm enjoying the pair of RCF ART-932a I bought instead of Yamaha DZR12's.

The larger HF driver performs very well. I find the voicing a bit bright for my taste, easily tamed with a -2dB high shelf filter. It has side handles as well as one top handle, I like the covers, it's a good weight (42lbs IIRC) and is well balanced.  Gets loud and sounds good doing it. No onboard HPF filter adjustment, for me that's fine.

They do have a high self noise which I'm surprised about. The noise is introduced after the input attenuator so it can't be turned down and it's a broad spectrum- it's more than just typical HF horn noise. For band gigs or playback/DJ gigs it's not a problem at all but it is something I've noticed about these speakers that is louder than I would expect. It would be nice if the attenuator control was detented or had a centre detent.

Matt

--- End quote ---

Iím going to add an opposing viewpoint here. I have a ton of DSR112s and own the DZR10 and DZR12. I also own the big brother of the RCF mentioned here the NX945. I would suggest you stick with the DZR. I prefer the voicing of it over the NX series to the point that I am considering selling the NX at a partial loss. No matter what I do, I just canít get the voicing to be as smooth as I prefer on the RCF. And yes it does have that high noise level you cannot deter from even with nothing connected and the attenuator down. I also heavily enjoy the DSP on the DZR. Not a big deal since I have proper processing for the NX but just one more strike against them. I would say the DZR and NX both sound better than the QSC or JBL SRX800 and EV ETX stuff at this level IMHO. The JBL PRX isnít even in the same league here. 7 year warranty for the Yamaha vs 3 with the RCF. If you go for the RCF. Donít do the ART series. Do the NX.

The RCF has longer throw than the DZR. And cuts through vocally better. I have to give it that.

Mike Santarelli:
I am going to echo George.

I don't think any of these are going to be a worthwhile upgrade just to upgrade.  I always felt the dsr was really voiced well for a main and does what it does well. 

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