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Author Topic: Powered Monitors  (Read 4796 times)

Aaron Fisk

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Powered Monitors
« on: August 08, 2011, 11:36:40 am »

I am looking at getting 3 powered monitors for our church plant setup.  I am currently looking at two different options
EV ELX122a
EV ZX1a

I was just wondering what peoples experience has been with either of these and whether the ZX1a gets low enough frequency response to work pretty effectively for monitors in a worship setting (Hillsong, David Crowder, etc.).  In some ways I like the idea of smaller, lighter monitors for a cleaner looking stage, but I don't want to have a huge sacrifice in terms of sound. 

I would be interested if people have other options that would work well too.  I have heard good things about the RCF ART 310A, but I am not real excited about how they look.  Thanks. 
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: Powered Monitors
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2011, 11:43:45 am »

I am looking at getting 3 powered monitors for our church plant setup.  I am currently looking at two different options
EV ELX122a
EV ZX1a

I was just wondering what peoples experience has been with either of these and whether the ZX1a gets low enough frequency response to work pretty effectively for monitors in a worship setting (Hillsong, David Crowder, etc.).  In some ways I like the idea of smaller, lighter monitors for a cleaner looking stage, but I don't want to have a huge sacrifice in terms of sound. 

I would be interested if people have other options that would work well too.  I have heard good things about the RCF ART 310A, but I am not real excited about how they look.  Thanks.

It depends on what program material the monitors are required to produce.  You also mention keeping the stage clean.  One of my favorite monitor deployments is to run the vocal monitors from side wash speakers at head height on tripod stands.  This keeps them off of the main stage area, covers the entire area with vocals and lets you use any floor wedges which are necessary as clean, minimal program fills.
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George Friedman-Jimenez

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Re: Powered Monitors
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2011, 06:57:54 pm »

The ZXA1 is a nice little vocal monitor. It has plenty of low frequency for vocals, in fact I sometimes use it with the 100 Hz low cut filter engaged. It has a rotatable 90x50 horn which is very nice, and about a 45 degree floor monitor angle which is just right for a small stage. If you have very loud stage sound levels it may not be loud enough, but for my uses (vocals, congas and percussion onstage with max 105-108 dB SPL on stage) I have never needed more volume and feedback is the limiting factor not max SPL. Very small, superlight, nice looking, good sound quality, but it seems a bit on the delicate side so get a good case for it. I like it better for a monitor than my ART 310A, which although much louder, more robustly built, and still very light, has a bit too much smiley face EQ built in for my taste in vocal monitors.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2011, 07:03:55 pm by George Friedman-Jimenez »
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Aaron Fisk

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Re: Powered Monitors
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2011, 09:15:19 pm »

The ZXA1 is a nice little vocal monitor. It has plenty of low frequency for vocals, in fact I sometimes use it with the 100 Hz low cut filter engaged. It has a rotatable 90x50 horn which is very nice, and about a 45 degree floor monitor angle which is just right for a small stage. If you have very loud stage sound levels it may not be loud enough, but for my uses (vocals, congas and percussion onstage with max 105-108 dB SPL on stage) I have never needed more volume and feedback is the limiting factor not max SPL. Very small, superlight, nice looking, good sound quality, but it seems a bit on the delicate side so get a good case for it. I like it better for a monitor than my ART 310A, which although much louder, more robustly built, and still very light, has a bit too much smiley face EQ built in for my taste in vocal monitors.

In your opinion, is the ZX1a a good monitor for electric guitar and keys?
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George Friedman-Jimenez

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Re: Powered Monitors
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2011, 11:10:26 pm »

I have no experience with that, my group is just percussion and vocals and we don't mic the percussion. It has good sound quality but not a lot of SPL for between set CDs. Both the ZX3 and the QRX112 have better overall sound quality than the ZXA1, and are obviously louder, but I have not heard anything that small and light that sounds better.
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Brad Weber

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Re: Powered Monitors
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2011, 09:02:08 am »

I am looking at getting 3 powered monitors for our church plant setup.  I am currently looking at two different options
EV ELX122a
EV ZX1a
Just to make sure, do you mean the ELX112P and the ZXA1?

As George briefly mentioned, an unknown in this is the stage levels.  If the guitars are using amp emulators, you have electronic drums, etc. then the levels on stage are likely much lower and thus you may be able to get away with a much lower monitor level.  If the guitar players have huge stacks behind them pointed out at the audience, the drummer can only play their big rock kit by hitting it as hard as possible, your vocalists can never get enough "me" and so on then you may need more from your monitors, and the house system, to overcome all of that.

It may also depend on what you put in the monitors.  For example, if you did have electronic drums then you may need monitors with more low frequency response just about everywhere as that would be the only way to hear the beat of the kick.  Similar if anyone wants the bass in their monitor versus just wanting vocals.
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Aaron Fisk

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Re: Powered Monitors
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2011, 09:15:35 am »

Just to make sure, do you mean the ELX112P and the ZXA1?

As George briefly mentioned, an unknown in this is the stage levels.  If the guitars are using amp emulators, you have electronic drums, etc. then the levels on stage are likely much lower and thus you may be able to get away with a much lower monitor level.  If the guitar players have huge stacks behind them pointed out at the audience, the drummer can only play their big rock kit by hitting it as hard as possible, your vocalists can never get enough "me" and so on then you may need more from your monitors, and the house system, to overcome all of that.

It may also depend on what you put in the monitors.  For example, if you did have electronic drums then you may need monitors with more low frequency response just about everywhere as that would be the only way to hear the beat of the kick.  Similar if anyone wants the bass in their monitor versus just wanting vocals.

Yes, I am sorry, I did mean the 112p's.  We will have live drums (not electronic).  I ma not a huge fan of the drum shields, but we will see, as I know they help control stage volume.  Hopefully we can get the drummer to keep things under control (which will probably be me at this point, unless we can get another drummer). 

I will have to check with the janitors about the power and what circuits they are on. 
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Tom Young

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Re: Powered Monitors
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2011, 04:11:29 pm »

Yes, I am sorry, I did mean the 112p's.  We will have live drums (not electronic).  I ma not a huge fan of the drum shields, but we will see, as I know they help control stage volume.  Hopefully we can get the drummer to keep things under control (which will probably be me at this point, unless we can get another drummer). 

I will have to check with the janitors about the power and what circuits they are on.

I concur that the ZX1a's are very impressive for their cost and size and that they would work well as monitors unless you need bass instruments at median to high levels in them.

One of my most rewarding projects recently was for a Gospel church in the Bronx with limited budget. I used ZX-5's for the primary clusters, ZX-1's for fills and Danley subwoofers. The system gets as loud as they want (which is ..... loud) and was quite economical.

I also used ZX-1's as the primary speakers in a bar/restaurant that has live "lightly reinforced" music a few nights a week. The combined LF response of these plus the delay speakers (Evid's) was just enough that they went for 3 years before asking me for a subwoofer. Not bad.

EV "knocked one out of the park" with the ZX line, IMHO.
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Tom Young
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Chris Penny

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Re: Powered Monitors
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2011, 08:31:54 pm »

I agree with Tom, the ZX-1's are pretty good. We now have 4 of them performing various duties and are about to get a couple more.  If I was to replace our monitor speakers now these are what I would go for.

The only reason not to go with them is if you need increased low end support for bass and drum monitoring.
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Aaron Fisk

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Re: Powered Monitors
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2011, 08:43:32 pm »

I agree with Tom, the ZX-1's are pretty good. We now have 4 of them performing various duties and are about to get a couple more.  If I was to replace our monitor speakers now these are what I would go for.

The only reason not to go with them is if you need increased low end support for bass and drum monitoring.

I was thinking ZX1a's for everyone except the bass and drums.  We would get a EV ELX115p for the bass and the drums would use in-ears through a headphone amp.  Would electric guitars be ok with the ZX1a's?
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Ryan M. Fluharty

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Re: Powered Monitors
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2011, 12:07:11 am »

We would get a EV ELX115p for the bass and the drums would use in-ears through a headphone amp. 

2 considerations here:

Make sure you have mics on the drums to add into the in ear mix if you haven't already thought that far ahead.  I've found that not having drums mic'd with in ears can make volume issues worse, and personally as a drummer its harder to play finesse and with accuracy since in ears essentially act as a low pass filter.

Concening the bass, what we do at my church is place the bassist's amp in front of him and point it at his ears so it doesn't have to be fed through a monitor send.  One could argue that the sound man has no volume control over the amp, but on the flip side the bassist could still hear himself if anything happened to the monitor feed.  Also, you wouldn't have to worry about getting low end out of the monitors unless of course the bassist needed kick.
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Aaron Fisk

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Re: Powered Monitors
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2011, 07:50:32 am »

2 considerations here:

Make sure you have mics on the drums to add into the in ear mix if you haven't already thought that far ahead.  I've found that not having drums mic'd with in ears can make volume issues worse, and personally as a drummer its harder to play finesse and with accuracy since in ears essentially act as a low pass filter.

We do plan on micing the drums (kick, snare, 2 OH's).  You do bring up a good point though.  Will in-ear monitors, even with drum mics, shelter the drummer too much so that he is less aware of the dynamics, as I do not plan on using a drum shield.  Maybe it is just better to have the bassist and drummer share the EV ELX115p?

Concening the bass, what we do at my church is place the bassist's amp in front of him and point it at his ears so it doesn't have to be fed through a monitor send.  One could argue that the sound man has no volume control over the amp, but on the flip side the bassist could still hear himself if anything happened to the monitor feed.  Also, you wouldn't have to worry about getting low end out of the monitors unless of course the bassist needed kick.

Interesting thought, I have seen that before.  I will have to take a look at that.  Thanks. 
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Ryan M. Fluharty

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Re: Powered Monitors
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2011, 04:34:37 pm »

Will in-ear monitors, even with drum mics, shelter the drummer too much so that he is less aware of the dynamics, as I do not plan on using a drum shield.  Maybe it is just better to have the bassist and drummer share the EV ELX115p?

IMO it can go either way.  If the drummer is not used to playing with IEM's take some time to work with him to get the levels (in ear and level of the drums in FOH) to fit within acceptable levels.  I don't think dynamics are an issue, as even with wedges what you are hearing is not an accurate representation of how the FOH sounds.  If the IEM's are properly set up and mics properly placed, I think you will find the results to be quite pleasant.

If the drummer is playing too loud, you can always turn up the drums in the IEM, tricking him into thinking he's playing louder than he actually is. I can say as a drummer, it works.  Just make sure you aren't blowing his ears in the process.
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