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Author Topic: 1st Post - Powered Subs  (Read 8885 times)

Steve Garris

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1st Post - Powered Subs
« on: June 30, 2011, 08:26:08 pm »

Hi all - this is my first post here.  I'm looking for advise on active subs for live rock venues (small).
I've been running sound for 25 years, working with big heavy cab's and extremely heavy amp racks.  My typical set-up would have 2-18 JBL passive bass bins powered by Crown Microtech amps.

Now I'm working with smaller venues and the bands are using portable active PA systems.
The 4-piece rock band I work with is using Mackie SRM450's on top of the Mackie SRM1801's.  I realize we only have (2) 18's, but I find the bottom lacking in warmth and fullness (as compared to the (4) 18" JBL's).  Maybe I'm asking for too much, but I'm interested in your thoughts on active subs.

I'm in the process of building my own portable set-up.  I'm leaning heavily towards the K-Series for my top speakers (K12), and a quick search on this forum indicates the K-series subs are liked.  I do see that the K-series have the crossover built into the top speaker - not the sub, which means I would need a separate crossover to run them with the 450's.

From this forum I also saw a recommendation for these:JBL PRX618-XLS.
And then there's these? http://www.thedjhouse.com/item/proel-flash15sa-powered/

Thanks to all for your advice,
Steve Garris
Seattle, WA
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Mike Pyle

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Re: 1st Post - Powered Subs
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2011, 10:33:30 pm »

Hi all - this is my first post here.  I'm looking for advise on active subs for live rock venues (small).
I've been running sound for 25 years, working with big heavy cab's and extremely heavy amp racks.  My typical set-up would have 2-18 JBL passive bass bins powered by Crown Microtech amps.

Now I'm working with smaller venues and the bands are using portable active PA systems.
The 4-piece rock band I work with is using Mackie SRM450's on top of the Mackie SRM1801's.  I realize we only have (2) 18's, but I find the bottom lacking in warmth and fullness (as compared to the (4) 18" JBL's).  Maybe I'm asking for too much, but I'm interested in your thoughts on active subs.

I'm in the process of building my own portable set-up.  I'm leaning heavily towards the K-Series for my top speakers (K12), and a quick search on this forum indicates the K-series subs are liked.  I do see that the K-series have the crossover built into the top speaker - not the sub, which means I would need a separate crossover to run them with the 450's.

From this forum I also saw a recommendation for these:JBL PRX618-XLS.
And then there's these? http://www.thedjhouse.com/item/proel-flash15sa-powered/

Thanks to all for your advice,
Steve Garris
Seattle, WA

You might be confusing the K-Sub with the KW181. I don't think the K-Sub will get any respect around here. The KW181 on th eother hand is pretty decent. If you want something relatively compact that will slam you, look at the Yorkville LS801P. Also, your Mackies should have a switchable 75 Hz highpass filter. Using that, you might get decent results without a crossover. Far from perfect but maybe passable.
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Rob Spence

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Re: 1st Post - Powered Subs
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2011, 11:44:36 pm »

You might be confusing the K-Sub with the KW181. I don't think the K-Sub will get any respect around here. The KW181 on th eother hand is pretty decent. If you want something relatively compact that will slam you, look at the Yorkville LS801P. Also, your Mackies should have a switchable 75 Hz highpass filter. Using that, you might get decent results without a crossover. Far from perfect but maybe passable.

I use K12s over KW181 subs. For the QSC speakers, each speaker has the appropriate filters for it's own use so you can safely send full range to all of them.

Most of the time I put the 2 subs on one side with a K12 over it and put the other K12 on a stand. A pair of KW181s together make quite a bit of noise.

That said, I often aux feed the subs. Cleans up the mud nicely.
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Glen Earl Brown Jr

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Re: 1st Post - Powered Subs
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2011, 11:43:25 am »

I use K12s over KW181 subs. For the QSC speakers, each speaker has the appropriate filters for it's own use so you can safely send full range to all of them.

Most of the time I put the 2 subs on one side with a K12 over it and put the other K12 on a stand. A pair of KW181s together make quite a bit of noise.

That said, I often aux feed the subs. Cleans up the mud nicely.

Can you elaborate on this last sentence Rob?. How is this done and what is the exact benefit?
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Chris Carpenter

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Re: 1st Post - Powered Subs
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2011, 12:12:14 pm »

Can you elaborate on this last sentence Rob?. How is this done and what is the exact benefit?
Rather than using an active crossover to split your fully mixed signal, you connect the subs to an Aux out on your board. This lets you put only what belongs in the subs.
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Glen Earl Brown Jr

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Re: 1st Post - Powered Subs
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2011, 12:28:08 pm »

Rather than using an active crossover to split your fully mixed signal, you connect the subs to an Aux out on your board. This lets you put only what belongs in the subs.
So you run the tops at full range signal and run your lower frequency channels into a a sort of sub mix???
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Rob Spence

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Re: 1st Post - Powered Subs
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2011, 01:45:18 pm »

Rather than using an active crossover to split your fully mixed signal, you connect the subs to an Aux out on your board. This lets you put only what belongs in the subs.
So you run the tops at full range signal and run your lower frequency channels into a a sort of sub mix???

Well, you send to your tops what ever range is appropriate. So, for most powered tops, you send a full range signal. Passive tops are going to need a high pass filter somewhere - often in a crossover or in the dsp of some modern amps.

For the subs, again, if it is a powered sub, then the full range signal can be sent. Sending via a post fader aux lets you only send send content that has low frequencies you want.

For example, in a normal rig with drums and bass on stage, the lows are going to get in to all the open mics on stage. A HP filter on the mics helps but when you combine the signals of 10 open mics even with the HP filter, you get lots of lows in the mix. Since they all show up at different times, it creates a bunch of mud. So, I usually only send kick, toms, bass and keys to the sub. Most of the time the rest doesn't have any low frequency content I want.

Does that help?
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Pete Bansen

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Re: 1st Post - Powered Subs
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2011, 03:45:25 pm »

Well, you send to your tops what ever range is appropriate. So, for most powered tops, you send a full range signal. Passive tops are going to need a high pass filter somewhere - often in a crossover or in the dsp of some modern amps.

For the subs, again, if it is a powered sub, then the full range signal can be sent. Sending via a post fader aux lets you only send send content that has low frequencies you want.

For example, in a normal rig with drums and bass on stage, the lows are going to get in to all the open mics on stage. A HP filter on the mics helps but when you combine the signals of 10 open mics even with the HP filter, you get lots of lows in the mix. Since they all show up at different times, it creates a bunch of mud. So, I usually only send kick, toms, bass and keys to the sub. Most of the time the rest doesn't have any low frequency content I want.

Does that help?

That's a good explanation, Rob.  Sounds like you are more concerned with mud in the subs (coming from the lows getting into those 10 open mics) than in the tops - is that correct?  I haven't tried this, but it makes lots of sense.
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Rob Spence

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Re: 1st Post - Powered Subs
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2011, 06:31:38 pm »

That's a good explanation, Rob.  Sounds like you are more concerned with mud in the subs (coming from the lows getting into those 10 open mics) than in the tops - is that correct?  I haven't tried this, but it makes lots of sense.

I like to reduce the unwanted sound from any mic but it can be hard to do some times.
If the tops are high passed properly then the "mud" as I think of it doesn't happen. You get cleaner low frequencies. Of course, you can get too much of anything in the open mics but thoughtful placement can help.

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Scott Bolt

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Re: 1st Post - Powered Subs
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2011, 08:58:22 pm »

Take a look at the JBL PRX618 XLF (vs XLS).  These are powerful and relatively light.

If you want the gran-daddy of all powered subs (IMHO), the LS801p is beastly ..... but quite heavy.

The QSC K-Sub is great ..... if you want a night stand for a lamp ;)  The KW181 is a good sub, but I think the PRX618XLF is better.  It is a tough call though.  I have never been able to A/B the two since most GC's don't carry the XLF (only the XLS).  I have only heard the XLF live.
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Sndguy (Joel Ashcraft)

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Re: 1st Post - Powered Subs
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2011, 01:33:45 am »

If you want something relatively compact that will slam you, look at the Yorkville LS801P.


+1
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: 1st Post - Powered Subs
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2011, 01:33:45 am »


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