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Author Topic: Need PA speakers, etc...  (Read 4629 times)

Chris Harwood

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Re: Need PA speakers, etc...
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2010, 10:15:36 pm »

some interesting replies...and I THANK all for them.

It MAY appear God might just bless me with some PA stuff, so I'm not sure what the route is right now.

By the way, this is the music I'll be playing thru them...

I'll be running my Toontrack drums and synths thru them and playing gtr and/or more keys on top... and of course the vocals.

my latest CD  http://www.masonharwoodproject.bandcamp.com
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George S Dougherty

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Re: Need PA speakers, etc...
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2010, 04:30:32 pm »

Tom Young wrote on Sun, 27 June 2010 18:40

Here at LAB and elsewhere the quality of Bill Fitzmaurice speaker designs has come into question. As have his methods of measurement and verification.

Despite your frequently posted enthusiasm for this stuff here, George, I feel an obligation to point out that not everyone agrees with you.

I have no experience with them and have no interest in (nor time for) researching how well, or poorly, they work.

I only wish to provide a "proceed with caution" response.



Fair enough.  They're not Meyer boxes, he does smooth his response charts, he does make a living off of them and they're not without their small warts and dimples.  They're not the most incredibly phenomenal speakers available on the planet, Tom Danley's stuff anecdotally seems to be better in performance for sure.  

On the flip side, I paid $100 for a CD filled with plans for everything from HT speakers to large high output line array speakers (flying hardware design not included for good legal reasons on DIY cabinets IMO).  I've invested time and a relatively small amount of money into building a system that gets rave reviews far more often than not.  Comments include the depth and tightness of the subs as well as the clarity and coverage of the mains.  There may be better, but for $250/top/monitor and $350/sub it does very, very well.  

I've compared my subs mains and monitors side-by-side with JTR products which I liked quite well.  The little 12" loaded Growler seemed tighter than my Titan without EQ.  Pulling out some of the natural rise in the 60-100 range to leave a peak around 80Hz like the Growler helped quite a bit.  The Growler has a significant size advantage but looses a bit on the low-end extension because of it.  Since my budget allows for several Titans or one Growler or other commercial sub, I'm living happily with my Titans.  They run most genre's of content very capably indoors and out.  The same evening I compared my Titans to the Growlers and was beginning to think something else might do a bit better for me, I got a comment from a professional musician that the bass was tighter and hit harder than anything he'd played through.  I can live with that.

I'd like to trade up to some mains that are strong to 80Hz as the design I'm using is only strong down to 100-120Hz, but I kind of like the size and weight of what I'm running now too.  The system currently packs in my cargo van easily but may be an issue with a larger design.  Then again, more strength in the 100-120Hz region would get me more punch which is the only thing on my wish list.  Everything's a trade off.
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Tom Young

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Re: Need PA speakers, etc...
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2010, 06:41:50 pm »

I appreciate your even-handed response.

What is missing, as far as I am concerned, are verification measurements by an independent lab or measurement maven. Most, but certainly not all, professional live sound speaker manufacturers in North America use one of two independent labs that currently provide this service. Folks like me feel fairly secure that such data can be effectively employed to help in our evaluation of a specific speaker that we might be considering for a project.

I look foward to the day when Fitzmaurice feels confident enough to submit his designs for such mesurement and so that we (all of us) can be more informed about what they really do.

(and BTW: it was never my intent to compare his designs to those of Meyer or anyone else's. I simply want to know exactly what they really do. It really is that that simple.)
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Tom Young, Church Sound section moderator
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George S Dougherty

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Re: Need PA speakers, etc...
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2010, 10:39:41 pm »

Tom Young wrote on Mon, 28 June 2010 16:41

I appreciate your even-handed response.

What is missing, as far as I am concerned, are verification measurements by an independent lab or measurement maven. Most, but certainly not all, professional live sound speaker manufacturers in North America use one of two independent labs that currently provide this service. Folks like me feel fairly secure that such data can be effectively employed to help in our evaluation of a specific speaker that we might be considering for a project.

I look foward to the day when Fitzmaurice feels confident enough to submit his designs for such mesurement and so that we (all of us) can be more informed about what they really do.

(and BTW: it was never my intent to compare his designs to those of Meyer or anyone else's. I simply want to know exactly what they really do. It really is that that simple.)


I don't see it as a lack of confidence in his own designs as much as a lack of interest.  He designs certain models to meet various needs and design goals.  They meet those needs or he wouldn't release the designs, and he continues to refine them over time.  He sells plans for ~$15/ea or $100/CD and isn't exactly rolling in the dough to build and submit them to a third party.  He does collect some annual fees from authorized builders as well.  

The biggest issue I see is the sheer volume of variability among the designs.  He measures some, and is now measuring even more accurately than he used to, but he often provides only a few charts from several different recommended configurations.  There are so many driver variations possible for each design.  He's content to provide what he does and allow those who care enough to collect the data they require.  Most users are bar bands or small sound companies that are just happy to have something that performs significantly better than their budget allows commercially.

They're not exactly the kind of thing to get spec'd out by system installers and we in the community are the first to admit they may not be your best choice if you're trying to meet riders from national acts spec'ing d&b, l'Acoustics, Meyer or Nexo rigs to name a few.  While some users have outfitted their builds with premium drivers from Eminence and BMS and happily compared them to Meyer rigs they're not certified for flying and most don't get beyond ground stacking a small array like I do.  The few that go that far have the engineering chops to do so and are very happy with their selection of Bill's designs.

In the case of the OP here, I recognize many similarities to my own situation and feel they may be a satisfactory fit.
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Arnold B. Krueger

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Re: Need PA speakers, etc...
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2010, 07:44:39 am »

Tom Young wrote on Mon, 28 June 2010 23:41

I appreciate your even-handed response.

What is missing, as far as I am concerned, are verification measurements by an independent lab or measurement maven. Most, but certainly not all, professional live sound speaker manufacturers in North America use one of two independent labs that currently provide this service. Folks like me feel fairly secure that such data can be effectively employed to help in our evaluation of a specific speaker that we might be considering for a project.



I generally agree with the above paragraph, but frankly I care less about who does the measurement. I very much care that they are done well and that is paramount, even if it is the developer who is doing the measurements.

I would hope that serious developers are using measurements as part of their development process. Measurements are not the be-all or end-all, but few things that measure bad sound really good. The ear can be fickle. especially in the short run.

Acoustic measurements used to be an arcane art that required expensive equipment. A good measurement setup still costs money, but its not a prohibitive expense any more. The procedures used to be trade secrets but they are now pretty well documented.
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Brad Weber

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Re: Need PA speakers, etc...
« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2010, 11:03:57 am »

Not to belabor the topic, but despite some of his rather unusual perspectives on some topics and questionable testing and data reporting methods and it would indeed be interesting to see how some of Bill's designs built by 'approved' builders would do in a more controlled and standardized test procedure.  However, I believe that the biggest issue is that Bill is not selling speakers, he is selling speaker designs.  Test information on the originals would be useful as it should reflect a sort of 'best case' result for that design and any inherent issues, as well as what should be expected from an authorized builder, but those test results may have little relevance to what anyone actually builds.   That's pretty much true of any DIY approach.

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Brad Weber
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Re: Need PA speakers, etc...
« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2010, 11:03:57 am »


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