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Title: "Best bang for the buck" line-array system for 12-15k
Post by: Jonathan Collins on November 21, 2011, 09:02:49 pm
Best bang for the buck line-array system for a maximum of 800-1000 people which incorporate the following characteristics.
Powered Cabs
Budget 12-15k
Portability is high Priority
Clean Crisp mids & highs
Must have more of a "power punch" for bass rather than a vibratory shake.
Would prefer used for the purpose of depreciation savings but New is fine also.
Thanks for your help.
 
Title: Re: Help & Advice Needed - Thanks in Advance
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on November 21, 2011, 09:06:18 pm
Is there a question in there somewhere?

If so, please skip the life story and ask it simply.

Then you'll get some answers.

Paragraphs are good things when the text is long.
Title: Re: Help & Advice Needed - Thanks in Advance
Post by: Brad Weber on November 22, 2011, 07:20:05 am
Jonathan, it probably would help if you broke out the specific questions you have so they were easier to identify.

Overall, I'd say that one challenge you face may be that you've apparently used the good stuff so now you have that as a reference.  Another is that 'bang for the buck' is about value and value is in the eye of the beholder.  In other words, people may need to know a lot more about your gigs, the audiences, your budget, etc. to know what might represent the best value for you, which may differ significantly from what is the best value for someone else.

Perhaps you could start by addressing the purpose of the system and who is running it.  Is this going to be used exclusively for your gigs or may it be rented out?  Are there any goals relating to size, weight, transportability, ease of setup, etc.?  Who is going to be mixing, they may have some strong opinions on some of the gear?  How many inputs, aux sends, etc. do you need?  When considering budget have you thought about power distribution, cases, DIs, stands and all the little things needed to make the system work?  You note "...I do not expect to throw 10k down for turn-key" but do you have an idea of how much you do want to spend?

What I have learned is just how much I like the line array choice but thats it.
I'm curious as to why you say this since there is nothing presented that necessarily suggests a line array being a good option, but this is also a good example of the envisioned venues, typical audience size (you say "crowds up to 1000", but what is the typical gig setting and size?), people involved in setting up and running the system and so on having a great impact on the potential value of any options.
Title: Re: "Best bang for the buck" line-array system for 12-15k
Post by: Jean-Pierre Coetzee on November 22, 2011, 07:30:08 am
Best bang for the buck line-array system for a maximum of 800-1000 people which incorporate the following characteristics.
Powered Cabs
Budget 12-15k
Portability is high Priority
Clean Crisp mids & highs
Must have more of a "power punch" for bass rather than a vibratory shake.
Would prefer used for the purpose of depreciation savings but New is fine also.
Thanks for your help.

Good to see you took the advice on being more concise. We stall are going to ask the question why line array? Describe your exact use of this system and why line array would be better than point source for this use. I'm unsure about that being 12-15k USD?

You will probably want to look at the JBL VRX stuff since this is "line array" and 4 a side should be pushing coverage for 1000 people but unsure about the price range. I've heard the new eaw boxes and they sound great(better than the VRX imo) but again unsure about the price.
Title: Re: "Best bang for the buck" line-array system for 12-15k
Post by: Jay Barracato on November 22, 2011, 08:20:02 am
Best bang for the buck line-array system for a maximum of 800-1000 people which incorporate the following characteristics.
Powered Cabs
Budget 12-15k
Portability is high Priority
Clean Crisp mids & highs
Must have more of a "power punch" for bass rather than a vibratory shake.
Would prefer used for the purpose of depreciation savings but New is fine also.
Thanks for your help.

As only 4 boxes per side, spending 15K is $1875 per box, I am not sure what you are looking for exists, even used for any name brand. If you do, it is going to be a bargain.

You might, without any type of accessories, get 6 constant curvature vertical array boxes such as JBL VRX with that budget. At that point it becomes important how your 1000 people are spaced, but I think the coverage is light.
Title: Re: "Best bang for the buck" line-array system for 12-15k
Post by: TJ (Tom) Cornish on November 22, 2011, 09:07:12 am
Best bang for the buck line-array system for a maximum of 800-1000 people which incorporate the following characteristics.
Powered Cabs
Budget 12-15k
Portability is high Priority
Clean Crisp mids & highs
Must have more of a "power punch" for bass rather than a vibratory shake.
Would prefer used for the purpose of depreciation savings but New is fine also.
Thanks for your help.
You're going to need to multiply your budget by about 4X.
Title: Re: "Best bang for the buck" line-array system for 12-15k
Post by: Spenser Hamilton on November 22, 2011, 09:48:11 am
Good to see you took the advice on being more concise. We stall are going to ask the question why line array? Describe your exact use of this system and why line array would be better than point source for this use. I'm unsure about that being 12-15k USD?

You will probably want to look at the JBL VRX stuff since this is "line array" and 4 a side should be pushing coverage for 1000 people but unsure about the price range. I've heard the new eaw boxes and they sound great(better than the VRX imo) but again unsure about the price.

An SRX rig could do gigs like that, but is still not going to fall in the 12-15k budget.
Title: Re: "Best bang for the buck" line-array system for 12-15k
Post by: john sanders on November 22, 2011, 10:12:09 am
For just under $15k including shipping you could purchase 4 jbl srx728 subs and 4 jbl srx722's. A respectable system.
Title: Re: "Best bang for the buck" line-array system for 12-15k
Post by: Brad Weber on November 22, 2011, 05:58:33 pm
For just under $15k including shipping you could purchase 4 jbl srx728 subs and 4 jbl srx722's. A respectable system.
You would still need amplification and processing to have a complete system and what you have would not be a line array or powered, but a good example of what that budget can possibly get you.
Title: Re: "Best bang for the buck" line-array system for 12-15k
Post by: Justin Bartlett on November 22, 2011, 06:17:48 pm
Best bang for the buck line-array system for a maximum of 800-1000 people which incorporate the following characteristics.
Powered Cabs
Budget 12-15k
Portability is high Priority
Clean Crisp mids & highs
Must have more of a "power punch" for bass rather than a vibratory shake.
Would prefer used for the purpose of depreciation savings but New is fine also.
Thanks for your help.

I just finished a tour with venues/crowds primarily in the 800-1000 range.  Our PA was two Mackie HD1231 tops per side with a total of four Mackie HD1801 subs (sometimes 2 per side, sometimes centered).  Not a line array, but it's self-powered and meets your budget requirements, even including cases.

That said, we were *right* on the edge of the system's capabilities and frankly a bit beyond them on some nights; for some of the larger venues we tied into the house PA instead.

I agree with the other posters that you should examine whether a line array really makes the most sense for your needs; if so I also agree that your budget probably won't do the trick unless you find a pretty extraordinary deal on something used.
Title: Re: "Best bang for the buck" line-array system for 12-15k
Post by: Jamin Lynch on November 22, 2011, 06:46:40 pm
Best bang for the buck line-array system for a maximum of 800-1000 people which incorporate the following characteristics.
Powered Cabs
Budget 12-15k
Portability is high Priority
Clean Crisp mids & highs
Must have more of a "power punch" for bass rather than a vibratory shake.
Would prefer used for the purpose of depreciation savings but New is fine also.
Thanks for your help.

I don't think there is a true line array system that I would call "highly portable." Line arrays take a bit more effort and know how to set up than a typical ground stack system. Although the right team can deploy a line array system pretty quickly....but they know what they are doing.

For your described application, I would take a look at the VRX or JFL gear. You can put those on stands. You're going to eat up your whole budget on lifts and/or truss for a suspended line array system.
Title: Re: "Best bang for the buck" line-array system for 12-15k
Post by: Bob Leonard on November 22, 2011, 07:25:15 pm
I don't think there is a true line array system that I would call "highly portable." Line arrays take a bit more effort and know how to set up than a typical ground stack system. Although the right team can deploy a line array system pretty quickly....but they know what they are doing.

For your described application, I would take a look at the VRX or JFL gear. You can put those on stands. You're going to eat up your whole budget on lifts and/or truss for a suspended line array system.

Exactly !
 
15K isn't what I would call a large sum of money to be spending on an array. The VRX line is fine, and I like the sound of those boxes, but they have to be deployed properly and deploying an array properly requires much more precision than a traditional front loaded rig.
 
It's also critical to understand that an array is NOT the perfect system for all jobs, or is any system for that matter, BUT, you'll find that a front loaded system will fit the venue more often than not, especially if the crowds are 1500 or fewer waterbags.
 
My last point would be that an array will require a certain number of cabinets per side. Now, I'm no expert on the subject, but my old ears have taught me that smaller arrays seldom sound decent with fewer than three (3) cabinets per side, PLUS subs. That being the case I'll state you'll not deploy any type of decent array with the required processing, mounting hardware and lifts for much less than 30K.
 
For the crowds you're talking about four (4) SRX 725s and four (4) SRX 718s will do the job just fine and you've already spent 10-12 grand without amps or processing and a decent board.
 
 
Title: Re: Help & Advice Needed - Thanks in Advance
Post by: Jonathan Collins on November 22, 2011, 08:48:03 pm
Jonathan, it probably would help if you broke out the specific questions you have so they were easier to identify.

Overall, I'd say that one challenge you face may be that you've apparently used the good stuff so now you have that as a reference.  Another is that 'bang for the buck' is about value and value is in the eye of the beholder.  In other words, people may need to know a lot more about your gigs, the audiences, your budget, etc. to know what might represent the best value for you, which may differ significantly from what is the best value for someone else.

Perhaps you could start by addressing the purpose of the system and who is running it.
The purpose is to employ a FOH system in what will mostly be clubs that includes the the following.
Consistency- Years ago, when we were playing a lot of clubs we never knew what we were walking into with equipment nor the sound person provided which was frustrating to say the least. It was not only the clubs but there were shows where the local sound contractor provided was just as bad.
Portability- I want this system to be as small in size and weight as possible but not at the peril of sound. As mentioned ease of setup is preferred also. Not only because of having to physically lift equipment but I would strongly prefer not to pull a trailer this time.   
Quote
Is this going to be used exclusively for your gigs or may it be rented out? 
We will use it exclusively.
Quote
Are there any goals relating to size, weight, transportability, ease of setup, etc.?  Who is going to be mixing, they may have some strong opinions on some of the gear? 
A sound tech has not been hired but will be. One reason i posted in this forum was to get various options from those who are the best in their field.
Quote
How many inputs, aux sends, etc. do you need?   
Unless something changes I've decided on a Presonus 24.4.2 console.
Quote
When considering budget have you thought about power distribution, cases, DIs, stands and all the little things needed to make the system work?  You note "...I do not expect to throw 10k down for turn-key" but do you have an idea of how much you do want to spend?
I have a lot of the little things like stands, some cases, cables etc but haven't thought much about power distribution options yet. The 10k was used only as a generic example of my understanding the price of pro quality equipment.
Quote
I'm curious as to why you say this since there is nothing presented that necessarily suggests a line array being a good option, but this is also a good example of the envisioned venues, typical audience size (you say "crowds up to 1000", but what is the typical gig setting and size?), people involved in setting up and running the system and so on having a great impact on the potential value of any options.
The main reasons I like the line-array option is partly because of the portability and scalability options. I used the 1000 number as a max number but if I do the deal that has been offered the average club will be approx 400.
Title: Re: "Best bang for the buck" line-array system for 12-15k
Post by: Jonathan Collins on November 22, 2011, 09:25:56 pm
Good to see you took the advice on being more concise. We stall are going to ask the question why line array? Describe your exact use of this system and why line array would be better than point source for this use. I'm unsure about that being 12-15k USD?
My interest in the line array stuff is mainly the portability and scalability. I'm willing to spend more money, however, I'm cognizant of just of easy it is to slip off the edge of the pro audio back hole.
You will probably want to look at the JBL VRX stuff since this is "line array" and 4 a side should be pushing coverage for 1000 people but unsure about the price range. I've heard the new eaw boxes and they sound great(better than the VRX imo) but again unsure about the price.
Title: Re: "Best bang for the buck" line-array system for 12-15k
Post by: Spenser Hamilton on November 22, 2011, 09:49:48 pm

Exactly !
 
15K isn't what I would call a large sum of money to be spending on an array. The VRX line is fine, and I like the sound of those boxes, but they have to be deployed properly and deploying an array properly requires much more precision than a traditional front loaded rig.
 
It's also critical to understand that an array is NOT the perfect system for all jobs, or is any system for that matter, BUT, you'll find that a front loaded system will fit the venue more often than not, especially if the crowds are 1500 or fewer waterbags.
 
My last point would be that an array will require a certain number of cabinets per side. Now, I'm no expert on the subject, but my old ears have taught me that smaller arrays seldom sound decent with fewer than three (3) cabinets per side, PLUS subs. That being the case I'll state you'll not deploy any type of decent array with the required processing, mounting hardware and lifts for much less than 30K.
 
For the crowds you're talking about four (4) SRX 725s and four (4) SRX 718s will do the job just fine and you've already spent 10-12 grand without amps or processing and a decent board.

I have to agree with Bob here, although I'd probably opt for 728s because a) easier to get the 725s where they need to be height-wise and b) it's more (and more is always better, right guys). You could realistically start with a pair of each and get pretty damn passable results with the right amps and processing, I do 200-400 crowds all the time with that setup and just a rack of XTi amps. Throw some real iron behind the SRXs and they'll surprise you.
Title: Re: Help & Advice Needed - Thanks in Advance
Post by: Brad Weber on November 22, 2011, 10:41:41 pm
Portability- I want this system to be as small in size and weight as possible but not at the peril of sound. As mentioned ease of setup is preferred also. Not only because of having to physically lift equipment but I would strongly prefer not to pull a trailer this time.
The main reasons I like the line-array option is partly because of the portability and scalability options. I used the 1000 number as a max number but if I do the deal that has been offered the average club will be approx 400.
Thanks for all the additional information.  Perhaps it is terminology but I don't see a line array being a good choice in terms of portability, ease of setup, etc.  Line arrays would typically mean having to do some advance planning to match the array configuration to each venue and then flying multiple boxes in each array.  Scalability with line arrays would usually mean having a larger number of boxes but typically not using all of them.  It sounds like something more along the lines of the JBL VRX, EAW JFL, Mackie HD, QDC KLA, L-Acoustics ARCS/ARCS II, Renkus-Heinz CF101LA, etc. may better fit your goals and may be what you had in mind, however those are not line arrays.
Title: Re: "Best bang for the buck" line-array system for 12-15k
Post by: Randall Hyde on November 22, 2011, 10:44:12 pm
You will probably want to look at the JBL VRX stuff since this is "line array" and 4 a side should be pushing coverage for 1000 people but unsure about the price range. I've heard the new eaw boxes and they sound great(better than the VRX imo) but again unsure about the price.

I was told by the JBL people at the NAMM show that three cabinets was the limit of what you'd want to do with the VRX932LA. Beyond that point the curvature was too great and the lower-end Vertec cabinets were probably a better fit. The advantage of the VRX is that they actually work with (one?) two or three cabinets per side -- the smaller Vertecs need three or four stacked together IIRC.

That said, I was once considering VRX 923 or 928 cabinets for a show (that actually starts this Friday). The size is perfect for this application (flying from a truss with a roof). Then I looked at the specs and discovered that the VRX 932 only has a 90 dB SPL @1w/1m. Compare this with the 99 dB SPL the SRX 725  cabinets produce; in theory, it takes almost 10x the power to produce the same SPL with the VRX line as it does the SRX 725 (and the VRX 932LA doesn't have the same max power handling capability as the SRX 725, so applying 10x the power isn't an option). 

People love the VRX 932 cabs, so I won't go around bashing them too much. But unless I've misread the specs, they are probably too inefficient to handle medium-sized crowds without a whole lot of them stuck together (which is probably why the JBL salesperson recommended Vertecs rather than going beyond three cabinets with the VRX 932).

To the OP: I've done crowds of up to 2,000 with (4) JBL SRX 725 and (4) SRX 728s cabinets. If you don't need chests caved in (which I infer from your posts), then a pair of 728s cabs (or 4 718s cabs) would do just great. However, the 728s cabs need a *lot* of power. I used to run each cabinet off a bridged XTi 4000 amp; that was pathetic. They started singing when I ran a pair of them off a used ITech 8000 amp.

The 725 and 728s cabs are ground-stacked. But you don't have the liability associated with flying them (btw, the 725F is a flyable version of the 725 if you really need to fly the speakers; I just went to Home Depot and bought a couple of scaffolding units, $200 ea, to get the speakers 6' higher; a bit safer and a whole lot less expensive than flying the cabinets).

$15K would be reachable with SRX+Itech. New SRX 725 cabs are around $1,800 each (4x = $7,200). SRX 728s cabs are probably around $1,600 each (so you're at $10,400 with just the speakers).

Used ITech 6000 or 8000 amps can be found, occasionally, in the $1,600 to $2,250 range. You'd need three of those (two for the 725 cabs, one for a pair of 728s or four 718s cabinets).

However, you'd have to wait for the (used) amps to become available and you'd have to shop around for the new JBL cabinets (I'm not a big fan of buying used speaker cabinets; amps seem to be fine used, though).

Of course, at some point you'd probably want a couple of smaller amps so you could bi-amp the 725 cabinets. That, however, could wait.
Cheers,
Randy Hyde
Title: Re: "Best bang for the buck" line-array system for 12-15k
Post by: Tim McCulloch on November 23, 2011, 01:26:29 am
People love the VRX 932 cabs, so I won't go around bashing them too much. But unless I've misread the specs, they are probably too inefficient to handle medium-sized crowds without a whole lot of them stuck together (which is probably why the JBL salesperson recommended Vertecs rather than going beyond three cabinets with the VRX 932).

The VRX932 rigs I'm familiar with have been powered by I-Tech 6000.  When used beyond their design, they sound like a small box pushed really hard, i.e. they sound stressed.  Sticking a whole lot of them together doesn't result in more direct SPL at a given spot.  These aren't like the old days of "pile 'em high and wide" for more SPL.  Jean-Pierre is right on about the 1,000 peeps; the area that you can put 1k pax in is about all you can cover with a 4 box array (which presumes a 60 vertical angle of the audience plane), and there's a limit to how loud that will get.

Now, about that 3 box thing you were told about...  that comes from the constant curvature.  Adding elements increases the vertical coverage of the array rather than contributing to HF & MF summation.  Why spray the ceiling or, alternately, have a bottom box pointing straight down?  Also, from my observation, 3 boxes of 932 is where there is enough LF coupling to match up with the HF.  At 4 boxes the LF starts to outrun the HF and requires some LF shelf EQ.  Either way, you'll run out of LF & HF at the same time and it's not pretty when it does happen.

The constant curvature vertical array isn't *the* answer to many types of uses but it can work well for others.  If you can get them up in the air and don't ask more of them than they can realistically deliver, they'll work...

That all said, I agree that doing a vertical array *right* is going to pretty much blow the budget and be labor intensive.

$15k will buy a decent conventional rig that will do well for several hundred punters indoors and 300-400 outdoors.  I think SRX with I-Techs would be sweet... easy on the AC outlets for the output, common configurations available as Device and/or Preset files from JBL/Crown.

Have fun, good luck.

Tim "aligning SRX728 w/KF850ef" Mc
Title: Re: "Best bang for the buck" line-array system for 12-15k
Post by: Bob Leonard on November 23, 2011, 01:50:44 am
Tim,
So now three or more of us have told the OP pretty much the same thing, and I see a trend. Obviously those of us using the SRX line are happy with the results. The right power, the right processing, toss in some 725s, 718s or 728s and bada bing, it's show time.

I have no problem feeding crowds up to 1500 with my SRX system, and keep in mind, I still run the dual system. It must be the TAC-551P low end units that make all the difference.   ;)
Title: Re: Help & Advice Needed - Thanks in Advance
Post by: Jonathan Collins on November 23, 2011, 10:16:04 am
Thanks for all the additional information.  Perhaps it is terminology but I don't see a line array being a good choice in terms of portability, ease of setup, etc.  Line arrays would typically mean having to do some advance planning to match the array configuration to each venue and then flying multiple boxes in each array.  Scalability with line arrays would usually mean having a larger number of boxes but typically not using all of them. 

It sounds like something more along the lines of the JBL VRX, EAW JFL, Mackie HD, QDC KLA, L-Acoustics ARCS/ARCS II, Renkus-Heinz CF101LA, etc. may better fit your goals and may be what you had in mind, however those are not line arrays.
After reading this post I spent several hours reading up on each of these specific speakers and have decided to take a strong look at EAW's JFL210 enclosure. What would be the ideal amp configuration to use with these?
Title: Re: Help & Advice Needed - Thanks in Advance
Post by: TJ (Tom) Cornish on November 23, 2011, 02:30:18 pm
After reading this post I spent several hours reading up on each of these specific speakers and have decided to take a strong look at EAW's JFL210 enclosure. What would be the ideal amp configuration to use with these?
The ideal amp configuration is probably a couple Powersoft K3 amps: http://www.powersoft-audio.com/en/products/k-series/k-series.html

as these can natively run the EAW greybox models, saving you from having to buy a UX8800 processor.  Unfortunately a pair of these amps will eat up most of your $15,000 budget as they retail for nearly $6K each.

Since I can't afford that either, here's what I've done:

I run a 2 per side JFL210 over 1 per side JFL118 rig.  I run the four mains single amped off a PLX3402 running in stereo mode and the subs bridged off a PL236.  The subs are fairly well matched to the PL236, the mains are "underpowered" somewhat.

I don't really know how much SPL I've left on the table by "underpowering" my boxes, but the one time I experimented and bridged my PLX3402 into 2 JFL210s, I wasn't blown away compared to normal stereo operation.  If I win the lottery, I'll add another amp so I can biamp the speakers, but in the configuration I have (the UX8800 is a pretty big deal), the system works really well.

I ended up with similar conclusions to you.  My church started with a JBL SR4732 over 4719 rig, which was upgraded to a 2 X SRX722/1 X SRX728 per side rig.  This was upgraded to 2 X VRX932/side over the same SRX728 subs.  The quality improvement was extremely noticable moving from SRX to VRX.

Personally I bought the JFL system instead of VRX because of the Gunness focusing that the UX8800 brought to the rig.  I'm not sorry - I think the JFL sounds better than VRX, and due to more cone area, seems to have more guts in the mid section than the VRX (2 10s in the JFL vs 1 12 in the VRX).

Unfortunately the JFL210s are not available new at the moment - apparently EAW had to take them off the market briefly due to some kind of intellectual property infringement thing (I don't have specific information - just putting bits and pieces together).  I emailed my EAW rep and he said that a replacement product that is compatible with the current system is coming out in Q1 next year.  That may or may not be an issue depending on your purchasing horizon.  If you do go the JFL route, plan on getting the UX8800 processor - it's worth it.

Title: Re: "Best bang for the buck" line-array system for 12-15k
Post by: Chuck Simon on November 23, 2011, 03:07:27 pm
Quote
My church started with a JBL SR4732 over 4719 rig, which was upgraded to a 2 X SRX722/1 X SRX728 per side rig.  This was upgraded to 2 X VRX932/side over the same SRX728 subs.  The quality improvement was extremely noticable moving from SRX to VRX.
I guess it all depends on the processing and amps.  I recently mixed a rock band with 2 X VRX 932/side and I really missed my SRX 722's. 

Title: Re: "Best bang for the buck" line-array system for 12-15k
Post by: TJ (Tom) Cornish on November 23, 2011, 03:56:06 pm
I guess it all depends on the processing and amps.  I recently mixed a rock band with 2 X VRX 932/side and I really missed my SRX 722's.
If you need raw sound power, the SRX definitely has more go - especially 2 per side.  We don't run that hard, and the fidelity improvement of the VRX was substantial over the SRX722.  Both of our systems were at least reasonably competently set up - I don't think it was a poor SRX tuning vs. a great VRX tuning, since the same guy did both systems.
Title: Re: "Best bang for the buck" line-array system for 12-15k
Post by: Bob Leonard on November 23, 2011, 11:00:11 pm
Tom,
I'm not a huge fan of the 722 myself, although they certainly can and will out perform other products of their type and size. I think you may have noticed over the years that I am almost anal where sound quality is concerned. At lower volumes I'll agree the VRX may sound better than the 722. However, I don't feel the same can be said when comparing that same VRX to the 725s, one of the reasons I did not move to the VRX a while back, and the reason I replaced all of my 722s with 725s.
Title: Re: "Best bang for the buck" line-array system for 12-15k
Post by: TJ (Tom) Cornish on November 24, 2011, 08:42:50 am
Tom,
I'm not a huge fan of the 722 myself, although they certainly can and will out perform other products of their type and size. I think you may have noticed over the years that I am almost anal where sound quality is concerned. At lower volumes I'll agree the VRX may sound better than the 722. However, I don't feel the same can be said when comparing that same VRX to the 725s, one of the reasons I did not move to the VRX a while back, and the reason I replaced all of my 722s with 725s.
I've not heard the 725s, but my issue with the 722s was not the low mids, but the high-mid fidelity - 2k and up. I'm a keyboard player and am very sensitive to distortion on my keyboard patches - especially acoustic grands. The SRX sounded nasty and lo-fi, and the VRX sounded good.

As I mentioned above - this wasn't a casual listening exercise - we were evaluating the VRX to potentially upgrade - a fairly large expenditure for my church, and we spent a fair bit of time and measuring, tuning, and listening. The difference wasn't subtle. YMMV

For the record, I don't do bar rock where I have to worry about always being on the edge of feedback, so I have the luxury of having a more neutral tuned system.

I played a festival a year ago where the wedges were biamped EAWs. They were "rung out" with 58s and I've never heard such garbage.  Wow.
Title: Re: "Best bang for the buck" line-array system for 12-15k
Post by: Jay Barracato on November 24, 2011, 09:25:03 am
I played a festival a year ago where the wedges were biamped EAWs. They were "rung out" with 58s and I've never heard such garbage.  Wow.

"wrung out" might be better.
Title: Re: "Best bang for the buck" line-array system for 12-15k
Post by: TJ (Tom) Cornish on November 24, 2011, 09:32:31 am
"wrung out" might be better.
Possibly, or even strung out.
Title: Re: "Best bang for the buck" line-array system for 12-15k
Post by: Bob Leonard on November 24, 2011, 10:44:56 am
Tom,
I don't know what you use for keys, but I suppliment our backline with Roland XV-3080 sound modules using all six outputs to seperate instruments. I know what your talking about and agree that the 722 can actually start to growl if pushed really hard. The 725 is actually just the opposite of the 722. The transition from driver to driver is very smooth and the 15s do keys justice in a big way. I actually route B3 and piano to their own seperate channels on the APB pro house and the realism is beyond compare. This is one reason I seperate the backline from the vocals and EQ each instrument independently. Complex in some ways, simplistic in other ways.
Title: Re: "Best bang for the buck" line-array system for 12-15k
Post by: Spenser Hamilton on November 24, 2011, 11:16:01 am
Tom,
I'm not a huge fan of the 722 myself, although they certainly can and will out perform other products of their type and size. I think you may have noticed over the years that I am almost anal where sound quality is concerned. At lower volumes I'll agree the VRX may sound better than the 722. However, I don't feel the same can be said when comparing that same VRX to the 725s, one of the reasons I did not move to the VRX a while back, and the reason I replaced all of my 722s with 725s.

Rule 1: Must Bi-Amp 725.

Rule 2: Read Rule 1
Title: Re: "Best bang for the buck" line-array system for 12-15k
Post by: Chuck Simon on November 24, 2011, 06:40:28 pm
Quote
I've not heard the 725s, but my issue with the 722s was not the low mids, but the high-mid fidelity - 2k and up.

Quote
I know what your talking about and agree that the 722 can actually start to growl if pushed really hard.


The 722 and 725 use the same horn/driver.  The 12" in the 722 or the 15" in the 725 have no effect on 2k and up.  I have never heard my 722's "growl".

I prefer the 12" for midrange.
Title: Re: "Best bang for the buck" line-array system for 12-15k
Post by: Bob Leonard on November 24, 2011, 10:19:08 pm
Rule 1: Must Bi-Amp 725.

Rule 2: Read Rule 1

Why?
Title: Re: "Best bang for the buck" line-array system for 12-15k
Post by: Tim McCulloch on November 25, 2011, 12:08:19 am

Why?

I'm not sure.  Whatever someone may dislike about the 725 is unlikely to get "fixed" solely with bi-amping.
Title: Re: "Best bang for the buck" line-array system for 12-15k
Post by: TJ (Tom) Cornish on November 25, 2011, 08:22:04 am
Tom,
I'm not a huge fan of the 722 myself, although they certainly can and will out perform other products of their type and size. I think you may have noticed over the years that I am almost anal where sound quality is concerned. At lower volumes I'll agree the VRX may sound better than the 722. However, I don't feel the same can be said when comparing that same VRX to the 725s, one of the reasons I did not move to the VRX a while back, and the reason I replaced all of my 722s with 725s.
I'll reserve some judgement since I've not listened critically to the 725s, but as Chuck said, as far as I know they have the same tweeter/horn as the 722s.  My complaint of distortion is definitely north of the cones, so I would assume that the 725s would have the same issue that I don't like. 

My dislike of the character of the 722s was not only at loud volume - playing about 85dB revealed the same thing.  For the record - I don't find anything wrong with the SRX series for rock and roll - they are well made and a pile of noise comes out of them.  For the higher fidelity corp/church stuff that I do, they're not at the top of my list.
Title: Re: "Best bang for the buck" line-array system for 12-15k
Post by: Chuck Simon on November 25, 2011, 08:33:56 am
I think we are in agreement, T.J.  If you don't like the high end in the 722, you're not going to like the 725 either.  I found the 932 lacking in a rock and roll type environment, but I think they would sound  great for other applications.
Title: Re: "Best bang for the buck" line-array system for 12-15k
Post by: TJ (Tom) Cornish on November 25, 2011, 08:43:23 am
Tom,
I don't know what you use for keys, but I suppliment our backline with Roland XV-3080 sound modules using all six outputs to seperate instruments. I know what your talking about and agree that the 722 can actually start to growl if pushed really hard. The 725 is actually just the opposite of the 722. The transition from driver to driver is very smooth and the 15s do keys justice in a big way. I actually route B3 and piano to their own seperate channels on the APB pro house and the realism is beyond compare. This is one reason I seperate the backline from the vocals and EQ each instrument independently. Complex in some ways, simplistic in other ways.
I've played keys seriously for over 20 years.  My current axes are a Kurzweil PC3X and a Korg Oasys.  From reading your posts over the years I see how you have pursued guitar tone.  I've taken a similar path on the keys side. 

Over the years I've owned many of the big workstations - Alesis QS series, Yamaha EX5 (same sounds as original Motif), Roland XP-80 (still have it and is still one of my favorite boards, though I don't use it currently), Korg Triton (which sucked and was a mistake for me), Various Kurzweil PC2s and K2600s, briefly a Motif ES, briefly a Roand Fantom (also a huge mistake and categorically worse than the XP-80), etc.  I still have a Roland XV-5080, which gets occasional use in a very large live rig backing up the PC3X.

What I've learned from that expensive and depreciating pile of gear is that as the fidelity of the board increases, the fidelity of the PA has to keep up, or else you're throwing money away.  Electric pianos are easy, as they're "guitarish" in their frequency range.  Hammond stuff sounds passible through most decent PAs if the source is good (I have a hardware Korg CX-3, but now principally use the soft CX-3 inside my Oasys).  Acoustic pianos are the real PA killer, and are really hard to get sounding hi-fi.

I started writing my naughty and nice lists of systems that I've had occasion to use and listen to somewhat critically, but I think I've swerved the topic enough. 
Title: Re: "Best bang for the buck" line-array system for 12-15k
Post by: TJ (Tom) Cornish on November 25, 2011, 08:48:06 am
I think we are in agreement, T.J.  If you don't like the high end in the 722, you're not going to like the 725 either.  I found the 932 lacking in a rock and roll type environment, but I think they would sound  great for other applications.
I can definitely see how the VRX932 would run out of gas doing R&R.  Thankfully we all have more than one choice of speaker for our different applications.
Title: Re: "Best bang for the buck" line-array system for 12-15k
Post by: Bob Leonard on November 25, 2011, 02:50:35 pm
I'll reserve some judgement since I've not listened critically to the 725s, but as Chuck said, as far as I know they have the same tweeter/horn as the 722s.  My complaint of distortion is definitely north of the cones, so I would assume that the 725s would have the same issue that I don't like. 

My dislike of the character of the 722s was not only at loud volume - playing about 85dB revealed the same thing.  For the record - I don't find anything wrong with the SRX series for rock and roll - they are well made and a pile of noise comes out of them.  For the higher fidelity corp/church stuff that I do, they're not at the top of my list.

Tom,
The 725 is a horse of a different color. Not only do the 15s handle any amount of power better than the 722 (IMO), but the transition between drivers is smoother as well. Regardless that the compression driver is the same for both boxes it should be noted that the crossover circuit is not the same. I used 722s for vocals only in the past and found them to be a decent fit for that application. However, within the past 6 months I have replaced all of my 722s with 725s. Those boxes combined with the right processing and power and attached to my APB board have a sound as good as almost any cabinet I have listened to in the past 45 years. I suppose if more people weren't put off by the 100lb weight of the box then more people would own them. Too bad that in todays world most people put size before tone.
Title: Re: "Best bang for the buck" line-array system for 12-15k
Post by: Tim Padrick on November 26, 2011, 05:24:37 am
I find the VRX to be unusable.  Sound good 20 to 30 degrees off axis, are exceedingly forward any closer to on axis.
Title: Re: "Best bang for the buck" line-array system for 12-15k
Post by: Jim Hodges on November 30, 2011, 03:57:32 am
Best bang for the buck line-array system for a maximum of 800-1000 people which incorporate the following characteristics.
Powered Cabs
Budget 12-15k
Portability is high Priority
Clean Crisp mids & highs
Must have more of a "power punch" for bass rather than a vibratory shake.
Would prefer used for the purpose of depreciation savings but New is fine also.
Thanks for your help.

You don't say what type of music you are playing, but you might want to look at something like the A-Line Acoustics Emma system.  Fits your budget, and I know of users who have covered 1000-seat areas with this system with ease.  If you need more bass, add aux-fed subs and you're good to go.  Transport and setup is very quick and easy. 

Of course, you also don't state the types of venues you are playing but they are assumed to be standard clubs with single level seating/dancing. 

Jim
Title: Re: "Best bang for the buck" line-array system for 12-15k
Post by: Spenser Hamilton on November 30, 2011, 03:20:57 pm

Why?

I found a large increase in fidelity once we starting bi-amping our 725's, it's especially noticeable when you go back to running passive, they just sound better bi-amped to my ears.
Title: Re: "Best bang for the buck" line-array system for 12-15k
Post by: Jim Hodges on December 02, 2011, 02:00:54 am
BTW, if you are interested in used gear, there's a complete EV X-array system, with amps/cables/etc, on eBay for just under $17k.  I'm not affiliated with the seller in any way, but it might fit what you want/are looking for.  Do a search for "line array" and you'll find it.  Of course, the shipping charges may put it way out of reach for you.
Title: Re: "Best bang for the buck" line-array system for 12-15k
Post by: Tim Weaver on December 02, 2011, 03:21:54 pm
BTW, if you are interested in used gear, there's a complete EV X-array system, with amps/cables/etc, on eBay for just under $17k.  I'm not affiliated with the seller in any way, but it might fit what you want/are looking for.  Do a search for "line array" and you'll find it.  Of course, the shipping charges may put it way out of reach for you.

Confusingly enough, an X-array rig is not a line array. Also, though it is good kit, it takes three men and a mule to move it.