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Author Topic: Showco Prism speakers  (Read 22201 times)

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Showco Prism speakers
« on: April 10, 2006, 06:38:30 pm »

Does anyone know what's behind the grille of the Showco Prism stuff? Not an incredible amount of info about them on the internet, since they're proprietary. Are they sort of like Rat Traps? What sort of drive compliment do they use? It's a marvel that these enormous things are still so popular even in the age of simple, gracefully-swooping line array hangs. It's cool to read about them in Live Sound International.
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Joachim Venberget

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Re: Showco Prism speakers
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2006, 06:47:28 pm »

All I Know is that they got some JBL's inside. The subs are dual 2241's. Dont remember the drivers in the tops but i once managed to get a showco guy telling me about some of the JBL's in there but he  wouldnt say it all. They have always managed to keep the system secret.
Theres also several versions of the top-cabs that can be configured in different ways... I think the difference are dispersion and angles.





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Joachim V

Tim McCulloch

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Re: Showco Prism speakers
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2006, 06:47:37 pm »

I suggest a patent search.

Tim Mc
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Tom Young

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Re: Showco Prism speakers
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2006, 08:04:55 pm »

I think I recall the contents of Prisms discussed fairly authoritativey here on LAB several years ago and to some level of detail. There are several models.

Do I also recall they have a line array version/system, or was that Clair Bros ? (I know they are under same ownerhsip now).
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David Holland

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Re: Showco Prism speakers
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2006, 08:09:39 pm »

What I know about them is the design is at least 25 years old and they seem very outdated. I know it is a four way system and they recently switched from analog processing to the wireless Clair/Lake IO system. I worked 3 shows last summer at an outdoor amphitheater where a Prism system was used. Ozzfest was the first show and they used a Prism rig on the main and side stages. The side stage sounded awful all day it seemed like every band enginner was fighting the system the entire set.  The main stage did not sound decent until Iron Maiden's set it was ok for them. Then Black Sabbath hit the stage and after spiking and 4 or 5 frequencies on the Lake the system actually sounded decent.  Black Sabbath FOH engineer has been with Claire for 20 something years and knew how to tame the rig to sound good.

The other show where a Prism rig was used was the Back Street Boys and again it seems unless you have had 20 years of working with a Prism rig you are fighting the system to try and make a decent mix.  

The best sounding shows at this venue were a JBL Vertec rig for 3 shows and a DB rig.  

I just heard last week that Claire is using a Prism rig again on this years Ozzfest.    
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Joachim Venberget

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Re: Showco Prism speakers
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2006, 08:15:12 pm »

Hmmm, Isnt it a 5 way system including subs?

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Paul Tucci

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Re: Showco Prism speakers
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2006, 08:51:23 pm »

David Holland wrote on Mon, 10 April 2006 20:09


... it seems unless you have had 20 years of working with a Prism rig you are fighting the system to try and make a decent mix.  
   


There is the problem. A classic case of head up the ass and a failure to separate the system from the music mix.

An accurate sound system will reproduce shit accurately. Have an engineer create a mix that is shitty and then the system reproduces it. Somehow the PA should know better? The only one at fault would be the person judging things from ignorance.

The guy at the controls has the best perspective to say the system is malfunctioning, not a punter who doesn't like the sound until miraculously, the PA heals itself for the headliner.

I had a Prism rig supplied to me in Dallas one Xmas. It was the 15th system of a 25 show PA du jour run. My first experience with the Prism. I tuned it, I mixed on it, I loved it. More importantly, so did the crowd, my producer, and M.L. It doesn't take 20 years to understand.
Your perspective is very different than mine.

Tucci
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Mats Fagerkull

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Re: Showco Prism speakers
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2006, 10:04:47 pm »

David Holland wrote on Tue, 11 April 2006 02:09

What I know about them is the design is at least 25 years old and they seem very outdated.
<snip>
... it seems unless you have had 20 years of working with a Prism rig you are fighting the system to try and make a decent mix.  

I just heard last week that Claire is using a Prism rig again on this years Ozzfest.    


I'm with Tucci on this one. You don't do it wrong for +25 years and still become one of the best and most respected in business. Actually you wouldn't be in business that long if your equipment and crew were that bad.

I also don't think Clair/Showco would risk their reputation by using an inferiour product. If they, and more important their customers, still have faith in their Prism rig that tells me something.

/mats




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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Showco Prism speakers
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2006, 10:08:09 pm »

The Prism II (tm) is deployed.  I've helped hang a few as a local stage hand.  I asked what the changes were and was told basically "same idea, new beast" for the cab, and getting the Lake/Clair io processing to do what needed to be done.  Seems like a complete redesign, except for the rigging and footprint...

I've never mixed on a Prism or Prism II.  I'd like to.  I've heard enough shows on them that I think the rig is very unforgiving in the "garbage in, garbage out" way.

Funny... one show I was a house follow spot operator, in position but not used until the headliner went on.  Prism rig, ShowConsole.  The opening acts both sounded distorted to me, and I could see all kinds of red lights on the console.  The headliner sounded much cleaner to me, and I noticed there were no twinkly red lights on the ShowConsole.  Was it the desk, or the mixerperson?  Was it the Prism rig, or the mixerperson?

Read Tucci's reply.  I'd have paid money to be there when he tuned the rig... and I'd probably still be learning from it.

Tim Mc
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Andy Peters

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Re: Showco Prism speakers
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2006, 10:41:20 pm »

Tim McCulloch wrote on Mon, 10 April 2006 19:08

Funny... one show I was a house follow spot operator, in position but not used until the headliner went on.  Prism rig, ShowConsole.  The opening acts both sounded distorted to me, and I could see all kinds of red lights on the console.  The headliner sounded much cleaner to me, and I noticed there were no twinkly red lights on the ShowConsole.  Was it the desk, or the mixerperson?  Was it the Prism rig, or the mixerperson?


Was the system clamped down on the support bands?

That's the usual reason for support band engineers running the console into the red ... there's nothing coming out of the PA.

(Yeah, I know that running the console into clip doesn't make the PA get any louder, so it's still a BE problem, but you get my point.)

-a
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