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Author Topic: FBT PSR 212MA Powered Wedges  (Read 21148 times)

Rob Spence

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FBT PSR 212MA Powered Wedges
« on: September 19, 2006, 04:24:27 pm »

Wedgefest
Some background… I am a weekend warrior that wants to make it into a bit more than that. My usual fare is folk clubs and folk festivals with the occasional corporate talking heads thing and a garage band or so.

I went to Wedgefest to find out, hopefully, what you get when you spend 4 to 8 times the price of a typical MI wedge.

Ok, so that was my focus. I understand that a good sound from the monitors is important to get the best performance from the artists.

My rig consists of all powered speakers so I was particularly interested in the powered ones we had to listen to.
Size and weight matter to me also so I looked at that too.

The FBT PSR 212MA is a 12” 2 way coaxial design with a 400w amp for the LF and 100w for the HF.

One real neat feature that jumps right out is that the power inlet is a Neutrik Powercon and there is no on/off switch!

Here they are at Wedgefest (it was a big room and the flash didn’t cover well)
http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/7523/img0813cropoc4.jpg

Closer view so you can see the driver
http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/3806/img0861cropsn9.jpg

Side angle view
http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/2289/img0863smallak0.jpg

Up close of the connector panel
http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/7581/img0866smallsv2.jpg

On the side panel there is the expected XLR in and through with indicator LEDs for power, Overload, LF Limit, HR Limit and network.

There are also a block of DIPswitches for setting an EQ contour and another block for setting delays.

An attenuator (gain) is present but requires a small screwdriver or long fingernail to set it.

Finally, there are RJ45 (Ethercon) jacks for a network connection. The network is proprietary and you need their adapter to USB in order to use it with their software.

I felt that the FBT got pretty loud but not stupid loud like some of the other wedges.

On Saturday I felt that the FBTs didn’t sound as good as many of the others at very high volume but did sound clean quite loud. They also had very good stability and excellent feedback rejection. It turned out that on Saturday we had set the DIPswitches wrong. The markings on the side panel are small (see above), the printing in the supplied manual was also small and in the manual there were 3 tables for three different speaker types in the powered FBT line and for some reason, a few of the settings were on different switches for different speakers. We ended up setting them from the wrong table on Saturday but discovered the problem Sunday, set them right, and the sound clarity at louder volumes improved quite a bit.

One thing that became obvious to me as I got to handle each of the wedges, including the FBT, was just how dense and non-resonant they were compared to MI speakers. A tap of the knuckles on a big surface met with a dull thud.

So, I guess the question is did I learn what I wanted? Big resounding yes! The difference in performance of these wedges compared to what I usually see was hard to believe. In general, all these boxes went far louder with clear intellegent vocals and many were all but feedback proof compared to MI cabs. Wow!
This has to be one of the best kept secrets in audio  Very Happy

Out on a Gig
Saturday I had a gig to provide sound for a 5 piece classic rock band (think “the Dead”) in a large grassy field for a neighborhood party.

Here are the wedges in their boxes heading out to the gig
http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/2061/img0832smallxa0.jpg

This was a bit of a stretch for me as I don’t do rock often and not outdoors at a site this size. I was hoping that the FBT monitors would at least relieve me of the worry of getting a monitor mix to sound good and loud enough on stage for the band.

They did!

And on the stage during soundcheck
http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/2431/img0846smallus2.jpg

These things are heavy at 64lbs each! Good thing the band members were young and strong  Razz

The show went off well with the band getting all the volume they wanted from the FBT monitors (I got asked to turn it down once!) and I didn’t have to fight any feedback problems that have been like a plague to me in the past!


Summary
These wedges sounded good, were easy to set up if you really read the right table in the manual (note: I used the zoom in Adobe Acrobat quite a bit to make the table readable).

Pro
- Get very loud while staying clean
- Powercon power connector with pass through
- No power switch to get turned off by error
- Nice long 16’ power cable
- Feedback resistant
- Remote monitoring capable (was not able to test this)

Con
- No feet on the end opposite the handle.
  the cab gets scuffed cause it is set on this end when not in use

- An awful lot of things that can be set or set wrong

- The area where the DIP switches are should have a protective cover to keep unauthorized folk from messing with settings and to protect the switches should you set it down on an irregular surface

- Network isn’t a standard one. The need for a USB adapter is annoying as it is yet another thing to plug into USB

- Really Heavy


The bottom line is “would I buy these for my use?”

I really liked the sound of these! They are a huge step up from what I am used to. They are bit too heavy and a little pricey for me though they were priced in the range of the other good wedges at Wedgefest.

I may look into the unpowered model that is 12lbs lighter and with fewer things for my volunteer roadies to screw up  Laughing

If someone else would carry them for me I think I would like the FBT PS212MA wedges a lot!!

I hope this is helpful.
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Rob Spence
Lynx Audio Services
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Dan Brown

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Re: FBT PSR 212MA Powered Wedges
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2006, 04:44:10 pm »

Rob,

You never said what wedges you usally use or are used to using.
Let us know.

thanks,
db
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Rob Spence

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Re: FBT PSR 212MA Powered Wedges
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2006, 06:56:26 pm »

Good point  Confused

I usually use my Mackie 450s or 350s or Yorkie NX520s or some SxA100s that a friend owns. I also use some 10" Peaveys.

I owned some Nady wedges a while back and they were terrible. Feedback all the time.

I have known for a while that I needed good monitors but was almost afraid to buy any since I had no idea what made a good one.

Now I know and appreciate what a good wedge can do for a performance.
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Rob Spence
Lynx Audio Services
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Eric Reese

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Re: FBT PSR 212MA Powered Wedges
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2006, 12:14:02 pm »

Just curious,
What is the MSRP and avg street price on these?
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Bennett Prescott

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Re: FBT PSR 212MA Powered Wedges
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2006, 12:52:05 pm »

Eric Reese wrote on Wed, 20 September 2006 12:14

Just curious,
What is the MSRP and avg street price on these?

Maybe if I say "Jeff Knorr" right here, he'll be able to tell us...
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Jeff Knorr - Cobra Sound

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Re: FBT PSR 212MA Powered Wedges
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2006, 10:24:35 pm »

PSR212MA (Active) List $2300  MAP $2070
PSR212M (Passive) List $1169  MAP $995
I'm sure you're friendly FBT dealer can make you a better offer.

If you have any other questions on the FBT's feel free to ask.  We have been using four of the PSR 212MA's this summer with excellent success (everything from street fairs to bluegrass festivals to small college rock fests).

Just an FYI, the FBT website and the dealer price sheet specs the amplfiers at 500 watts RMS for the 12" and 150 watts RMS for the high-freq.

Jeff

Edited to fix the price typo
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Bennett Prescott

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Re: FBT PSR 212MA Powered Wedges
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2006, 11:48:46 pm »

Jeff Knorr - Cobra Sound wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 22:24

PSR212MA (Active) List $1169  MAP $995
PSR212M (Passive) List $2300  MAP $2070

Jeff, at that price, I'll take 10 of the PSR212MAs.
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Eric Reese

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Re: FBT PSR 212MA Powered Wedges
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2006, 10:38:31 am »

Jeff,
I'll take 10 of the powered versions as well at that price. Oh yea, and Bennett and I are going in together on the twenty so we would also like a quantity discount..... Very Happy

Thanks for the info. We know what you meant.

Eric
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Rob Spence

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Follow up
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2006, 02:10:22 am »

Used the wedges a few times in the past weeks.

One was a Slovakian folk band that needed 7 wedges on 4 mixes.
I placed the FBT wedges for the 2 most difficult vocalists using 5 of my NX520P speakers for the rest. The band was 2 accordians, each with a clipon microphone (it seemed omni to me) , electric bass to DI, electric guitar to DI, violin with builtin pickup, and 2 percussionists. The stage was a hard sided slightly raised platform with a hard low ceiling. Lots of reverberation. I used my Sennheiser E865s on the 2 vocalists and that combined with the FBT wedges kept the feedback from them under control. There was also a vocal mic for one of the percusionists which raised havoc with the wedge they wanted. We had to position the wedge so it wouldn't feed back but could still be heard (even with the walls around).

All in all the FBT wedges worked well. The folks helping did complain about the weight though  Smile

The second gig was a large swing band. Again, the monitor needs were awkward due to the large number of instruments in a small space though the wedges were not required to get super loud for this.
The FBTs did great. I just wish I didn't have to cary them.

One new thing cam up this time though. When we were loading out we noticed how uneven the ground was where we were parked and worried that if we set the speaker down on something protruding, it might break the little dip switches. We also thought that if it were a wet lawn, the moisture or wet grass clippings might not do the connections a lot of good either.
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Rob Spence
Lynx Audio Services
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drewgandy

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Re: Follow up
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2006, 07:55:44 pm »

Rob Spence wrote on Sun, 15 October 2006 01:10



All in all the FBT wedges worked well. The folks helping did complain about the weight though  Smile




At 60 some pounds they sound like lightweights to me.  I typically use SPL TRIKs for monitors and at 115lbs I definitely hear about it from the crew.  In all honesty, because of their size and weight they are not always a good choice for a wedge but they sound sweet.    

Are you allowed to add feet to the cabs?  

drew
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Rob Spence

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Re: Follow up
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2006, 05:50:48 pm »

If they were mine and I was keeping them, then I would add feet on the end and a clear plexi cover over the controls with velcro.
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Rob Spence
Lynx Audio Services
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Sara Elliott

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Re: FBT PSR 212MA Powered Wedges
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2006, 07:27:38 pm »

Rob - hope you had a great time at Evan's shin dig.  For anyone that is interested in seeing photo's and get more of an explanation on what happened at his show - Evan drove the rig a little hard, so I heard.  Check it out in the basement.  
Back to FBT business, I understand you left the wedges with Evan is that correct?  
Oh, dear...  
Evan, please be gentle and call home if anything happens to them.
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Rob Spence

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Re: FBT PSR 212MA Powered Wedges
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2006, 04:24:00 pm »

Yes, the FBT wedges were turned over to Evan at breakfast on Sunday morning (after embarasing Evan out of bed  Laughing ).

I used one the evening before Evan's bash and will post a writeup after I get home from Thanksgiving with the in-laws.

I tried to pry the Navigator loose to try out but it was clutched tightly so I let go  Smile
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Rob Spence
Lynx Audio Services
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Rob Spence

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Re: FBT PSR 212MA Powered Wedges
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2006, 11:00:02 pm »

The evening before Evan's bash I used one FBT wedge for a singer songwriter at a small venue. There were about 100 people there.

The performer used the wedge for vocals and for the electric keyboard as well as her guitar. There were 2 vocal mics set up with one directly in front of the wedge and the other at an angle to it plus one for a banjo.

She was aprehensive about feedback what with up to 3 open mics in close proximity to the wedge.

http://www.lynxaudioservices.com/forums/FBT_Susan.jpg

We dialed in the monitor during sound check and had no sign we were going to have any feedback. No ringing at all.
At one point she actually asked me to turn down the monitor Smile

I asked her about it after and she was very happy with it. So, therefore I was very happy with it too.

The day before the gig I took off the grills from the wedges and removed the "Bennett Memorial Boot Prints" from them  Laughing so Evan would have good looking wedges to start out with.

At Evan's bash I attempted to give Evan the wedges but he, predictibly, had no room in his vehicle that night. Well, I wasn't hauling them 400 miles north again so Tom Brandis was kind enough to put them in his van for the night. Thanks Tom!
The next morning at breakfast Evan collected them from Tom.

I really liked the FBT wedges and if they were a bit lighter and I could have afforded a bunch of them, I would be very happy to use them on any gig.

Thanks to FBT and Pro Sound Web for letting me use them.
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Rob Spence
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Evan Kirkendall

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Re: FBT PSR 212MA Powered Wedges
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2006, 01:04:44 am »

I used the FBT's for the first time tonight. I ran them on the front mix and everyone was happy. They were loud and clear. All the bands were very happy with them. I tried to hit the limiters on the cabs, but was asked to turn them down before I could...  Sad They sound good though. I went up on stage to ring them out before the show and barely had to do anything with the EQ. They resist feedback very well and sound good by themselves. Also, one thing I found funny was that you cant stand on them. The cabs have a very steep front and everytime someone went to jump onto the cabs they just slid off! I was laughing at them. Smile But, So far so good...

Here's just some general things about the cabs:

Pros:
loud and clean
resist feedback
Built very well

Cons:
Lack of handles(only 1 on top)
Lack of feet(they get scratched up if you stand them on their side..)
Dip switches(Dont touch them, seriously...)



More coming soon.


Evan
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theo mack

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Re: FBT PSR 212MA Powered Wedges
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2007, 06:59:19 pm »

Who makes their drivers?
How expensive are replacements?

Regarding the powered version:
At R&R levels do you hear any breakup in the HF section?
How visible are the clip/limit indicators? They look tiny. Do they stay lit for a second? or are they super fast.

Sound quality of the limiters in the circuit, how do they sound?
Like, Nasty clamp with slow release, or Relatively fast and transparent.

Thanks,
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Evan Kirkendall

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Re: FBT PSR 212MA Powered Wedges
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2007, 07:09:55 pm »

In the time I had them I never once hit a limiter or saw a clip light. They were ripping my head off with volume and still nothing.

They sound fairly smooth even as you push them. I never really got to really open them up in the short time I had them, so I dont know what they sound like balls to the walls...



Evan
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theo mack

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Re: FBT PSR 212MA Powered Wedges
« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2007, 07:15:41 pm »

Evan Kirkendall wrote on Thu, 05 July 2007 16:09

In the time I had them I never once hit a limiter or saw a clip light. They were ripping my head off with volume and still nothing.

They sound fairly smooth even as you push them. I never really got to really open them up in the short time I had them, so I dont know what they sound like balls to the walls...



Evan



Thanks for that,

Seems like these are real sleepers as far as bang vs. buck.
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Mark Walter

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Re: FBT PSR 212MA Powered Wedges
« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2007, 01:58:19 pm »

Jeff Knorr - Cobra Sound wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 22:24

PSR212MA (Active) List $1169  MAP $995
PSR212M (Passive) List $2300  MAP $2070
I'm sure you're friendly FBT dealer can make you a better offer.

If you have any other questions on the FBT's feel free to ask.  We have been using four of the PSR 212MA's this summer with excellent success (everything from street fairs to bluegrass festivals to small college rock fests).

Just an FYI, the FBT website and the dealer price sheet specs the amplfiers at 500 watts RMS for the 12" and 150 watts RMS for the high-freq.

Jeff


Is this correct? The passive units are more than the active ones?
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Phil LaDue

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Re: FBT PSR 212MA Powered Wedges
« Reply #19 on: July 09, 2007, 02:04:22 pm »

Mark Walter wrote on Mon, 09 July 2007 13:58

The passive units are more than the active ones?

No,  http://www.tag.com.au/component/option,com_acat/method,appli cation/id,231/
Mind you that is in Australian Dollars but the point is illustrated.
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