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Author Topic: Peavey Versarray  (Read 179679 times)

Lee Jacobson

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Re: Peavey Versarray replacing Kf-850 setup
« Reply #50 on: June 13, 2007, 09:45:58 pm »

Perhaps I was a tad harsh toward the cranks. They are not as easy to use as some others I have used in the past. They are lighter, however. In fact, Sunday we put the two cranks up on the deck, with two of us lifting them up to a 4' tall deck. Can't do that with an ST24. Don and I had more than one conversation about the cranks over the ten days or so I had the system. I think he did a good job picking stands that will let you use 6 tops, and set up with one guy if needed. For my needs, a stand that holds more weight, while going taller is in order.

As for the question about how many of these per side will replace how many "typical concert boxes", I can't say. In my experience, the versarray is more about fidelity than sheer SPL. Of course, the fact that it is out with Ozzfest on the B stage means it gets purdy loud as well. My current business path is leaning toward fidelity, not SPL for the sake of SPL. I have minimal experience with some of the "jet engine" noise generators out there. I will say that with 6 per side, and "rock music", I had no problems reaching my target SPL at mix, and felt no indication that I was anywhere near any limiters. The rig never got "squashy" at all, it just did what was asked of it.

I'll let Lowum speak for himself about his opinions. If I recall, the rig he used was 3 over 2 per side, with the Peavey suggested CS3000s on the tops (one per side?? dunno) and CS4080 on the subs, VSX26 dsp. Now, the system tech may have played with the drive settings. On the other hand, perhaps there were simply too few boxes to do what Dave needed. Dave and I have been friends for several years, somewhere around nine+ at last count. During that time, we've had enough conversations about "sound&shit" that we have a pretty good understanding of each other's mindset, system expectations, mixing styles, etc. Given that, I feel like I understand what he's saying, and that it has not been my experience with this rig.

I think Peavey has done an outstanding job with this line. I hope they are able to break some of the current "no peavey" stigma out there with the performance of this system. This one is currently on my short list of "next box" candidates.


More later, and pics to come soon!

Lee
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Lee Jacobson
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Brevard Sound Systems
Deltona, FL
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Don Boomer

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Re: Peavey Versarray replacing Kf-850 setup
« Reply #51 on: June 13, 2007, 10:46:27 pm »

The 850 is a very efficient horn loaded box.  It's difficult to compare boxes directly without taking some factors into consideration ... namely are you asking how loud at 10 feet or 100 feet or 300 feet and under what conditions ... indoor, outdoor?  Is "loudness" your only consideration?  

I have a better idea.  Go to our website and download the Ease Focus program.  It will let you easily model up a system and will show you what to expect.  Just tell it the number of boxes you want to use and the distance you want to throw and how high up you will be using the boxes.  It will show you where your coverage is (and where it isn't ... also very important!) at how loud (and in what bands) it will be along the way.  Maybe EAW has some data that you could load in and compare.  If you can't figure it out quickly ... email me with your requirements and I'll grind the numbers for you.

Here's the link ... http://www.peavey.com/support/software/ease.cfm

Lee ...  How big was your "rock show" (before you were blown out?  and what would you estimate the system you used would handle
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Don Boomer
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Dave Lowum

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Re: Peavey Versarray replacing Kf-850 setup
« Reply #52 on: June 14, 2007, 01:49:56 am »

Lee Jacobson wrote on Wed, 13 June 2007 20:45


I'll let Lowum speak for himself about his opinions. If I recall, the rig he used was 3 over 2 per side, with the Peavey suggested CS3000s on the tops (one per side?? dunno) and CS4080 on the subs, VSX26 dsp. Now, the system tech may have played with the drive settings. On the other hand, perhaps there were simply too few boxes to do what Dave needed. Dave and I have been friends for several years, somewhere around nine+ at last count. During that time, we've had enough conversations about "sound&shit" that we have a pretty good understanding of each other's mindset, system expectations, mixing styles, etc. Given that, I feel like I understand what he's saying, and that it has not been my experience with this rig.
Lee


Thanks for the intro, Lee!  My scenario was the typical "80's style rock act at a festival"... no soundcheck, just quickie line checks and go...  I had the opportunity to listen to the last half of the previous band's set, and the CD interlude, but no real "tuning" time. This is a band I've been working with for YEARS (longer that I've known Lee!), so I know the subtleties of their tones and interactions quite well.

Before I get into my observations and reactions, let me say a couple of things...  First, I was honestly looking forward to mixing on this rig, since I dig new kit.  Second, yes, I am a bit of a gear snob (I tend to preach the Gospel According to Nexo), but I also generally keep an open mind towards things until I have my own experiences to draw from.  There has been a lot of good press about the Versarray, and I was finally going to get my ears wrapped around it!

The rig I was presented with is one I am going to assume to be fairly typical for the targeted market.  A&H GL2800 console, DBX 10-series graphs, Vermette stands, and a total rig of 3 tops and 2 subs per side.  The house EQ was rather hacked up, and had a suspicious rolloff above 10K or so, but I politely inquired about the power, in a curious way, and was told that it was the "factory recommended setup" with the Peavey high-output amps.  Okay, cool.  I'm all-in with Scovil wanting the "latest version of the factory software for the system DSP, with no user edits."  I won't swear that the DSP in my situation was virginal, but the provider wasn't exactly the type that I would imagine diving into the box...

First impression was that the system was severely lacking in low-mid punch, but at the same time, was kind of boxy/flubby sounding in the same area.  Murky and indistinct would be the best description.  The upper mids were okay, if a bit on the harsh side, which I wasn't able to get rid of, and I never experienced the airiness and crystal clarity that Lee was raving about.  I looked for it, but I couldn't find it. The sub freq's were fine, decent oomph from the kick and bass, and really shone on the VLF keyboard stuff.  Definately a sub, and not just a "bass box."

Once I got the initial fires put out and some semblance of a mix happening, I did a little wandering to get a sense of what was happening out from under the 10x10 mix tent.  The coverage was uneven in tonality at different horizontal angles, and directly on axis with the hang, it had a distinct "rip" to the sound, right around +/-5 degrees from dead on.  I went back into the tent and essentially flattened the graph, then pulled 500, 800 and 1K down a tad, and if memory serves, all but crushed 125, which was bleeding all over the deck.  I could tell from the sudden vocal mic resonances immediately following me undoing the house "curve."

In the end, I spent most of the 90 minute set trying to EQ the harshness out, since I just couldn't get the warmth that I was looking for.

To be fair, I have to acknowlege the fact that the provider had JUST gotten the rig, and may not have properly deployed the system.  In conversations with Lee, I did get up on my soapbox about mis-application of line/vertical arrays, and how far too many vendors (including ones that should know better!) hang lines that are just too short.  My biggest worry with a product such as Versarray (affordable high-technology) is that it will get into the hands of those folk that don't have the technical chops to use the tools they have, and wind up creating all kinds of problems with poor sound.  I really don't want to come off snobbish, but I honestly think that you should have to pass some sort of test before being allowed to deploy lines by yourself.  I know experienced guys that blow off shooting the room in the software, and it hurts them.  Now that we have a product aimed at a market that may not have the chops even if they have the tools, I can see a serious danger ahead.  These are the same folk that will blithly and smilingly flat-front their trap boxes "because it's louder that way."  Letting them play with lines gives me the willies!  Okay, I'm off my soap-box now.

Would I give the Versarray another chance?  You bet.  But when I next get on one, I REALLY hope that somebody like Lee or Don was involved, and that it was hung, processed, and powered properly.

Please give me a moment to don my fire-retardant clothing...  Wink
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Dave Lowum
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Tantra Tour Sound, Inc.

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Jeff Babcock

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Re: Peavey Versarray replacing Kf-850 setup
« Reply #53 on: June 14, 2007, 02:11:18 am »

Dave,
Thanks for your detailed comments.  The house GEQ shouldn't have needed to be hacked from what I heard of these cabs.    They were very satisfying just based on Peavey's preset for them in the VSX with no other eq.  What I heard, like Lee, was very opposite to your experience.  I experienced no harshness, and the high end detail thanks to the ribbon drivers was very apparent.  I also thought they were pretty well behaved in the lower mids, certainly not boxy or "flubby" as you put it.  

I really think these must have been misdeployed, which is very unfortunate.  You make a good point, due to the price point of these, they may end up in the hands of inexperienced users who cause more problems than good with them due to lack of understanding what they are dealing with.  Perhaps peavey should include some detailed "primer" documentation with these cabs to at least make inexperienced users aware of potential deployment issues.

I think you're right in wanting to hear them again under different circumstances. Thanks for your comments...
Jeff

ThomasDameron

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Re: Peavey Versarray
« Reply #54 on: June 14, 2007, 03:31:01 am »

A couple of questions Lee, there's a lot of dsp power in those racks.  Is it used for any eq shading?  Did you experiment with any of that and is that the intended use?

Probably more to Boomer, is there any kind of user manual for the lifts?  I couldn't find anything on the site.  I'd be curious to see a quick run through of what exactly is involved in setting up those lifts and flying out the pa.  Pictures would be great.  How high is the bottom box off the ground with 6 boxes flown?

Thanks for the review.  I appreciate the time everybody is putting into it.
thomas d.
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Don Boomer

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Re: Peavey Versarray replacing Kf-850 setup
« Reply #55 on: June 14, 2007, 08:16:35 am »

Hey Dave

You were using 3 tops per side for how big of an event?  That's not much of a system for outdoors. 80's rock act at a festival?  Three tops per side is a "classic rock" system for maybe 200-300 people indoors.

Was there any angle between the cabinets?
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Don Boomer
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Re: Peavey Versarray replacing Kf-850 setup
« Reply #56 on: June 14, 2007, 08:18:49 am »

Jeff Babcock wrote on Thu, 14 June 2007 01:11

   Perhaps peavey should include some detailed "primer" documentation with these cabs to at least make inexperienced users aware of potential deployment issues.



Kinda like the primer that comes with an Indy racing car?
Very Happy
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Don Boomer
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Re: Peavey Versarray
« Reply #57 on: June 14, 2007, 08:33:45 am »

ThomasDameron wrote on Thu, 14 June 2007 02:31

A couple of questions Lee, there's a lot of dsp power in those racks.  Is it used for any eq shading?  Did you experiment with any of that and is that the intended use?

Probably more to Boomer, is there any kind of user manual for the lifts?  I couldn't find anything on the site.  I'd be curious to see a quick run through of what exactly is involved in setting up those lifts and flying out the pa.  Pictures would be great.  How high is the bottom box off the ground with 6 boxes flown?

Thanks for the review.  I appreciate the time everybody is putting into it.
thomas d.


There's a lot fo "funny stuff" in the dsp processing.  You can go to our website and download the VSX PC GUI and then load the PJ8 setting (well that's for a single set)

You have to look at the effects of all the elements happening together ... by themselves they are very non-textbook.  There are a number of elements that deal with the polars of the box (especially around 2k Hz).  What we are interested in it getting the best performance out in the air ... electrically it doesn't really matter.

As far as the Vermette lift ... they don't provide a manual but it's pretty much a Tinkertoy.  You fold down the legs and crank out the cable, then you pull the head off (while it's lying on it's back) and snap on to center post extensions.  Then plug the head back in and stand it up.  I can do it by myself (but I prefer having a little help).  

One of the design elements of the Versarray system is the a single operator (especially and old guy like me) can get this out of the truck and set up by himself.  You do very little lifting and when you do the top boxes only weight 50 lbs each (and they are small so you can get your arms around them).  I've done too many low budget shows over the years where my "crew" were either kids that were little help or the load out crew was drunk or gone come time to break down the system and I ended up loading it myself.

The bottom box is about 6 feet off the deck with a 6 hang.  It's pretty much useless to have any boxes below head height.  The top goes up 13 feet ... and it always goes up the whole 13 feet.

I'll post some pix when i get to the office.
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Don Boomer
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Dave Lowum

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Re: Peavey Versarray replacing Kf-850 setup
« Reply #58 on: June 14, 2007, 10:03:17 am »

Don Boomer wrote on Thu, 14 June 2007 07:18

Jeff Babcock wrote on Thu, 14 June 2007 01:11

   Perhaps peavey should include some detailed "primer" documentation with these cabs to at least make inexperienced users aware of potential deployment issues.



Kinda like the primer that comes with an Indy racing car?
Very Happy



Joking aside, in a way, yes...  The average bloke on the street can't just buy one of those million-dollar rockets, jump in and drive.  It requires a competition license, which is only obtainable by demonstrating that you have the skills necessary, developed on lesser cars in lesser circuits.  Even then, the rookie license is a provisional license, and subject to revocation for "stupidity."

Applied to the line/vertical array, this would be YEARS of working with older systems, a firm understanding of system optimization, and the fundamental knowledge of the relationship between line length and pattern control/LF coupling.

Granted, the Versarray isn't aimed at the same market or price point, but think back to the v-Dosc days, and how they were sold only as complete systems, with mandatory training.

With a typical 15/2 two-way box, it's actually hard to screw up deploying a one- or two-box per side system.  With a line, deploying a one- or two-box per side system is guaranteed failure, but the average "newbie" to the system doesn't know that...
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Dave Lowum
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Re: Peavey Versarray replacing Kf-850 setup
« Reply #59 on: June 14, 2007, 10:14:45 am »

Don Boomer wrote on Thu, 14 June 2007 07:16

Hey Dave

You were using 3 tops per side for how big of an event?  That's not much of a system for outdoors. 80's rock act at a festival?  Three tops per side is a "classic rock" system for maybe 200-300 people indoors.

Was there any angle between the cabinets?



That was pretty much my impression as well... From memory, the top two boxes in the array looked all but flat, and the bottom was fairly steeply pulled back.

I wound up mixing in the low 90's (A, slow, c. 80') because trying to push past that simply sounded worse and worse the further I got above the stage mush.  

My personal opinion was that this was a typical mis-application of a line.  I don't own any LA gear, but I have spec'd it for various shows, and I always spec a reasonable length of line.  Unfortunately, the groups I work with are at the level where the "C" grade providers live, and I get all kinds of good and bad.  I can go from a flown 40-box Flash/Flood rig on one night, to a deck-stacked 3-box M2D rig the next.  Which do you think sounded better?  It wasn't the Meyer, despite the advanced technology, it was the 20 year old Barney rig.  I've also walked into a 12/side M2D rig, and it was spectacular.  With lines, it all comes down to deployment and line length.  With the Versarray experience I had, it's the same old story.  Too short, and the provider was proud of the fact that he could do the show with such a small rig...
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Dave Lowum
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Tantra Tour Sound, Inc.

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