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Title: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Alex Magor on December 03, 2015, 11:14:30 am
Looking to possibly upgrade some components in my system. Current setup = drive rack PA+, JBL MRX 515 tops and JBL MRX 518 bottoms all powered by QSC PLX3602's. I just picked up a dbx venu360 to replace the drive rack pa+ since the rta mic input has a bad connection. I noticed a significant upgrade in the digital convertors. But I've seen people recommend the BSS mini drive and the Ashly Protea line over this (or even an Ashly xr1001 for just the crossover). I am the sound guy and also play in the band so I have virtually no time to do sound checks. We play a wide variety of venues. Everything from outdoors, to nyc clubs, to large banquet halls etc... I like the fact the dbx drive rack can do the auto eq program in a minute.

1) So is the sonic quality of the BSS and Ashly (analog or digital) worth it over the drive rack venu360 since I would lose the auto eq function?

2) For Speakers and Amps which of these combos would be best?

JBL MRX515
JBL MRX518
JBL SRX715
JBL SRX718

Crown Itech 4000
Crown Itech 6000
Crown Itech 8000
QSC PL340
QSC Pl380
QSC PLX3602

Or any other suggestions...


THANKS!
Title: Posting Rules
Post by: Mac Kerr on December 03, 2015, 12:25:47 pm
Or any other suggestions...


THANKS!

Please go to your profile and change the "Name" field to your real first and last name as required by the posting rules displayed in the header at the top of the section, and in the Site Rules and Suggestions (http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/board,36.0.html) in the Forum Announcements section, and on the registration page when you registered.

Mac
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Stephen Kirby on December 03, 2015, 02:17:36 pm
There's a significant different in performance between the MRX and SRX lines, also a significant difference in cost.

What is the purpose of the upgrade?  Need more level for larger events?  Unhappy with the clarity of the present system?

Why the questions on amps?  I used to run a triamped PLX system and other than a small improvement replacing the 3602 on subs with a Crest 9200 the rest of the range sounded fine.  Unless you go for something like the HD Crowns where you can load FIR presets (assuming you have the JBL boxes they were made for), I don't think there's much to be had in upgrading amps.

The SRX7XX line has been supplanted by the 8XXp powered line.  Lots of discussion here on the merits of these boxes and how much they improve over previous product.  It wouldn't seem to make sense to buy 7 series boxes and new amps given the availability of the 8 series.

Do you hear an improvement in the 360 processor over the PA?  I think most of the recommendations of BSS or Ashley boxes are as upgrades over the older DBX PA and 260 processors.  I haven't seen a direct shootout between the 360 and other brands but there have been a few comments that it was an upgrade from the 260.

I would either keep the 360 and use it with your MRX or take it back and upgrade to an SRX8XXp powered system (staying within the Harman family and ignoring other options) if you need more performance than what you're getting out of the MRX system.  The PLXs could either be repurposed for monitors or sold off.

It really comes down to what are you trying to achieve and how much money can you invest in doing it?
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Alex Magor on December 03, 2015, 03:45:57 pm
I feel the current system could be stronger in the bottom end.  Want to feel more kick in the chest.  Also could use a little more clarity overall which I started to get with the newer driverack.  I tried the powered prx 700 series but they just sound very processed to me so I think Id prefer to stay in the passive world.  I am also considering simply upgrading the speakers in the mrx718 cabs to a 2242h perhaps.  Thanks.

There's a significant different in performance between the MRX and SRX lines, also a significant difference in cost.

What is the purpose of the upgrade?  Need more level for larger events?  Unhappy with the clarity of the present system?

Why the questions on amps?  I used to run a triamped PLX system and other than a small improvement replacing the 3602 on subs with a Crest 9200 the rest of the range sounded fine.  Unless you go for something like the HD Crowns where you can load FIR presets (assuming you have the JBL boxes they were made for), I don't think there's much to be had in upgrading amps.

The SRX7XX line has been supplanted by the 8XXp powered line.  Lots of discussion here on the merits of these boxes and how much they improve over previous product.  It wouldn't seem to make sense to buy 7 series boxes and new amps given the availability of the 8 series.

Do you hear an improvement in the 360 processor over the PA?  I think most of the recommendations of BSS or Ashley boxes are as upgrades over the older DBX PA and 260 processors.  I haven't seen a direct shootout between the 360 and other brands but there have been a few comments that it was an upgrade from the 260.

I would either keep the 360 and use it with your MRX or take it back and upgrade to an SRX8XXp powered system (staying within the Harman family and ignoring other options) if you need more performance than what you're getting out of the MRX system.  The PLXs could either be repurposed for monitors or sold off.

It really comes down to what are you trying to achieve and how much money can you invest in doing it?
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Brian Jojade on December 03, 2015, 05:22:48 pm
I just picked up a dbx venu360 to replace the drive rack pa+ since the rta mic input has a bad connection.

Quite honestly, the RTA mic input going bad could be a blessing.  While using the RTA can be handy in LEARNING how your system operates, rarely does the actual result that it creates end up being the right solution for a room. Remember that the RTA mic is measuring one very specific point in space and thus the adjustments are for that specific space.  Move the mic 3 feet, and the result is different.  Heck, run the test multiple times without moving the mic at all and you will see that the results can vary quite dramatically.  If each time you run the RTA it produces a different result, how can that be BETTER than doing it by ear?

I used to have the RTA and I used that to see general patterns of the speakers in different types of venues. I could see how speaker placement affected EQ in different areas of the room, but never did I end up using the final results of the RTA.  After a few uses, I no longer even needed to run the RTA to get predictable results.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Bill Hornibrook on December 03, 2015, 05:51:35 pm
If you got a better sound from your current system without the Driverack and it's RTA, my guess is that it's because you weren't using RTA more than the Driverack itself - especially if you were just taking one reading and running with it. That "feature" does more damage than good.

I am the sound guy and also play in the band so I have virtually no time to do sound checks.

This just screams "Go powered!" to me. Try to audition JBL's SRX800Ps or Yamaha's DSRs - both which are highly regarded in these forums at their respective price points. And with four 18s (if you aren't getting enough punch now).

I love my SRX-715s, but this entire line is getting harder and harder to find in the used market unless they have been beat to crap. Do you have some decent ones lined up?
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Dave Pluke on December 03, 2015, 05:57:19 pm
Remember that the RTA mic is measuring one very specific point in space and thus the adjustments are for that specific space.  Move the mic 3 feet, and the result is different.

The VENU360 (and PA2, for that matter) use a new tuning wizard that instructs the operator to move the microphone into several positions, then runs a sweep tone at each location.

But, your point is taken - the RTA results can be considered a starting point, with fine tuning required to yield optimal results.

Alex, if your VENU360 is doing the DSP, you don't really need full DSP on your amps as well.  Also important to consider the power draw of some of the amps in your list.  In my "wedding band" experience, tracking down adequate electricity can be a challenge.

Dave
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Luke Geis on December 03, 2015, 06:27:05 pm
I would give up on 15" models for starters if your going to be running subs. A 12" top would sound a little clearer and have perhaps a little more punch when coupled with subs. These days a 12" has just about as much output as its 15" counterpart. It may not go quite as low, but you have a sub......

The SRX line your looking at is discontinued, so your looking at a used only market. Not to mention parts will be getting sparse in the future. I would recommend looking into the passive SRX800 series first if you plan on spending used SRX700 series money. They are relatively the same cost. The MRX line is a step up from the JRX line and a step down from the PRX400 line. The PRX400 series is a pretty nice line and I would not overlook them. The MRX line is discontinued too BTW.

The amps and DSP you have are perfectly fine for just about any option, so I would leave it with what you have. Going from the dbx Venue 360 to a more expensive XTA will not bring the moon any closer to you. The BSS model DSP is about even with the dbx you currently have. I would under no circumstance ever go with the Ashley analog X-over. They do not sound right and are not going to improve anything for you.

As for getting more power from your subs there is a couple ways to do that. To snag about an extra 3db you could put the subs together in the center of the stage, or together on one side of the stage. You could get two more and get the same 3db and configure the subs however you like. Or you could ditch them while you still can and get a set of real subs. The MRX subs are rated at 133db ( half space ) and are good down to about 40db. Now  subs are touchy in that low and loud is really expensive. So the newer PRX400 line is pretty much a parallel step, but they do go lower and appear to be measured in full space? In other words they get the lower, but not the louder. To get louder you would have to go with the passive SRX800 series which will get you down to about 40hz ( so not lower really ) but acquire 135db in what I believe to be full space rating ( 138db half space ). If it was still half space rated it would be 3db louder than what you currently have. It would in essence be that same as adding another pair of subs that you currently own. Or you could say that one SRX800 sub alone is as good as the two you currently own.

I would also consider selling the farm and starting anew. If you can get what you need with what you currently have, then the newest EON line would suffice well. The tops are rated to 126db in the 12" model and the subs are rated to 134db. This is pretty good considering the average price for each box is right about $450! The other cool bit is that they are blu-tooth enabled and you can remotely control them with an ipad. For a guy on the stage this may help? I bet you could sell all that you have and have enough money to buy a whole new EON system outright. They are lighter than what you currently have, there is no amp racks to carry and you can still save the setting for each venue with the app. Not to mention I would venture a bet that the EON's will sound better than the MRX stuff you have any day of the week. The EON's also have a unique feature to them. 100deg. wide coverage.

I know you mention being akin to keeping with passive operation, but in terms of speed of setup and tuning, quality of sound and outright performance, powered is the only way to go. If your going to throw money at something to make it better, then you have buyers remorse and you know you should have gotten better to begin with. If it were me I would look at what I get for the money I spend vs. the goals I have. If what I have does the job fine and I just want to improve the overall quality of sound and ease the setup, then a newer powered rig is that answer in your case. Passive speakers require that the operator be the one to get the most out of it. This is great as it tests your ability and knowledge. It also takes more time and you have to do all the grunt work. A powered speaker does all that stuff for you. All you have to do is worry about taking the room out of the PA. The limiting, crossover settings, and speaker optimizing is already done for you. Powered speakers are inherently lighter, use less energy and often have other helpful options ( like blu-tooth control ) that make them easier to tune and deploy.

I own more passive rigs than I do powered rigs and what I can say is that the powered rig I have always does what I need it to easier. The passive stuff I own is amazing and has its place, but I have designed those system to get there. I use digital amplification so I can save settings and I bought passive stuff that works well together with a single amp option. So I don't have to have multiple amps in differing power options. Food for thought anyway.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Scott Holtzman on December 03, 2015, 07:22:16 pm

I own more passive rigs than I do powered rigs and what I can say is that the powered rig I have always does what I need it to easier. The passive stuff I own is amazing and has its place, but I have designed those system to get there. I use digital amplification so I can save settings and I bought passive stuff that works well together with a single amp option. So I don't have to have multiple amps in differing power options. Food for thought anyway.

Luke,

Why didn't you tell me that 2 years ago? 

What he said is prophetic.  I love tinkering with the powered rig, processor, amps and getting every last bit of performance I can out of it.

Problem is the client is paying for that and the extra time and expense to set up the passive systems rarely yields a better show. 

They also buffer abuse better and and much less likely to get an inexperienced engineer in trouble with far less gain knows to destroy the gain structure.

Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Alex Magor on December 03, 2015, 07:36:33 pm
I hear u guys on the powered rigs but I have a JBL PRX718 + PRX715 I just picked up sitting right next to my Passive Rig and I am telling you I don't like the powered rig and all.  It sounds very processed.  The Passive rig on the other hand sounds crystal clear, very open and natural sounding.  Again I'd prefer to stay passive.  On this note I just picked up a crown itech 4000 and I'm barely getting any low end in the subs compared to my PLX3602.  Surely from all the things I read about the itech4000 I must be doing something wrong, right?  Also testing on mains I think I also prefer the QSC over the Crown Itech 4000.  Maybe I should go with the QSC RMX or power light series. 

Also as for tuning the EQ are you guys saying I am better off bypassing the AUTO EQ altogether and simply play a track and adjust the master graphic eq by ear?  Any tips on that?  I'm very comfortable using master EQ's in the studio when I'm mixing and mastering but generally those are broad strokes.  Any more tips on using a graphic eq to tune to the room?  Thanks.  I think that was a good tip as far as eq'ing to a track.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Mark Cadwallader on December 03, 2015, 07:46:18 pm
Alex,

Did you run auto-EQ on the powered speakers before listening to them?  If so, the auto EQ "corrections" may be what you are hearing and don't like. Try them without using the drive rack. I find I need little or no EQ on my prx600 rig.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Alex Magor on December 03, 2015, 07:54:53 pm
Alex,

Did you run auto-EQ on the powered speakers before listening to them?  If so, the auto EQ "corrections" may be what you are hearing and don't like. Try them without using the drive rack. I find I need little or no EQ on my prx600 rig.

Yes I've been testing every possible combination; Auto EQ enabled/disabled, tried DBX crossover running to speakers individually vs one cable to sub using sub's crossover and thru jack to the main, etc...  The powered speakers just have a very colored sound to them.  And they sound more directional whereas the passive boxes seem to eminate sound in all directions.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Luke Geis on December 03, 2015, 09:49:28 pm
As to what is meant by a processed sound, I can't tell you? I would find it hard to believe that the MRX would sound better than the PRX700 series. Crystal clear highs should not be a problem with either box, but the stock settings in the PRX might have it set for a sweeter or softer top end?

My experience with the auto room correction in the DR PA and other models is similar. It sucks........ While it may have this airy clarity about it ( which the auto EQ seems to get ) it is fraught with things I don't like. I find it to utilize EQ too much and reduces potential SPL. The PA might be linear in the little window, but I doubt it is in reality.....

RTA room analyzers are time blind. They can't discern from direct sound and reflected sound. That means if the mic was set in a place where comb filtering is occurring at X frequencies, it will try and compensate for it. This may be good or bad; usually bad. It can't tell if the subs are properly aligned, it can't tell if it's a fly buzzing near it. If you go stand next to the mic, you will hear pretty much what it hears. The only difference is that it is trying to fix something that may not need fixing.

I used to use them all the time thinking I was doing more good than bad. I always had reservations about it though. It took too long, made too much noise and the results never really made the PA sound the same. The results were inconsistent. I then went about a new approach that has since paid off. Using my ears....... I have not heard a PA in it's natural state that I would say I think sounds like absolute crap. They have what I would call a " sonic character ". I listen to a speaker with no processing or trickery and can decide what it is I know will or not work with it in the space I am in. If I feel there is too much 500hz, 2khz and not enough 80hz, I will adjust those to my liking and can usually get it pretty close. What is it that is bothering me about the sound of the PA in that space? That is what I will fix. Then when the band comes on for sound check, I will fine tune it a little more. Running the EQ wizard takes at least 5mins. of time and you have to play this horrid sound for 2 mins. to do it. In theory you need to do it for both sides independently. You still have to listen to music and fine tune it. Bypass all that and just get what you want by listening first.

Your also second guessing things by immediately going to the auto EQ. If you like the sound of the MRX over that of one that is probably superior, then there might not be a need for correction at all? I am a less is more type. Every time you bring down an EQ fader, you reduce potential SPL to a degree. You can increase GBF ( gain before feedback ), but that is only half the story. The best GBF is not always the best sounding and not always the loudest either. Not that being the loudest is best, but if you have the sweetest sounding PA ever heard and you can't get loud enough to beat the band, it is useless. Conversely having a PA that has amazing GBF that sounds like absolute butt is no good either. Compromise is what it is. Just because the PA is linear doesn't mean it will sound good and just because it sounds good doesn't mean it will get loud.

As to why one amp is louder than another? The I-Tech has two input sensitivities. The QSC has only one input sensitivity. It may be very likely that the input sensitivity of the I-Tech is set to a lower one than that of the QSC? You also don't mention how the subs are ran?  Mono with the amp bridged? If it is with the amp bridged, both amps produce the same power. It is also possible that the I-Tech has limiter settings and output settings that neuter it a little? My bet is that the setting in the I-Tech are not optimized. Although the QSC is a great amp despite how simple it is. The amplification you have in not the weak link.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Alex Magor on December 04, 2015, 08:58:00 am
Does anyone know if it would be wise to try putting a JBL 2242h speaker inside the MRX 518 cabinets?
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Ray Aberle on December 04, 2015, 10:05:49 am
Does anyone know if it would be wise to try putting a JBL 2242h speaker inside the MRX 518 cabinets?

I wouldn't. The MRX518S, being self powered- has had its amp carefully matched to the driver. By changing that driver out, now you have a driver with different electrical (and acoustical, in the same space) performance then what the amp is expecting. You will probably experience problems... The 2242H does go lower and has a higher power handling then the stock (2044G) driver, but the likely result would be over-driving the internal amplifier as you seek the higher performance out of the newer driver. Under-sized amps/amps driven too hard will kill your driver.

-Ray
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Alex Magor on December 04, 2015, 10:56:10 am
You must be confused with another speaker perhaps?  The MRX is a passive box.

I wouldn't. The MRX518S, being self powered- has had its amp carefully matched to the driver. By changing that driver out, now you have a driver with different electrical (and acoustical, in the same space) performance then what the amp is expecting. You will probably experience problems... The 2242H does go lower and has a higher power handling then the stock (2044G) driver, but the likely result would be over-driving the internal amplifier as you seek the higher performance out of the newer driver. Under-sized amps/amps driven too hard will kill your driver.

-Ray
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Alex Magor on December 04, 2015, 11:02:06 am

As to why one amp is louder than another? The I-Tech has two input sensitivities. The QSC has only one input sensitivity. It may be very likely that the input sensitivity of the I-Tech is set to a lower one than that of the QSC? You also don't mention how the subs are ran?  Mono with the amp bridged? If it is with the amp bridged, both amps produce the same power. It is also possible that the I-Tech has limiter settings and output settings that neuter it a little? My bet is that the setting in the I-Tech are not optimized. Although the QSC is a great amp despite how simple it is. The amplification you have in not the weak link.  So I think my next step will be trying a QSC PL380 with an SRX 718 as well putting a 2242h speaker in the mrs cabinet.  Also just for psyche I want to check out the RCF Evox12 after hearing good reviews though I am doubtful I will prefer it tone wise to what I have now but that would be a nice backsaver if by some miracle I do prefer the sound.


Thanks for that.  So I changed the input sensitivity on the amp from 15 to 21 db and from 15 to 21db on the drive rack and still was about the same performance.  I still had to crank the mixer more then on the qsc to get as much volume out of the subs.  But what is surprising to me is that the tone seems much deeper and more natural to me through the QSC.  The crown is heavier, noisier (both with the annoying fan and through the speaker), and the tone is not as deep.  I'm getting more mid range than deep bass out of the crown.  And for the tops I still prefer the cleaner tone of the QSC.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Ray Aberle on December 04, 2015, 11:13:31 am
You must be confused with another speaker perhaps?  The MRX is a passive box.

Yeah, awkward, read the spec sheet too quickly; thought I saw it was powered. lolz. With that said, I probably still wouldn't personally change out the driver; the whole "box is designed acoustically for that driver" thing comes to mind. It might work, but you might not get the full advantage of the more expensive driver.

The 15 to 21dB change is the max analog input setting; not the actual Input Sensitivity. Changing the 15 to 21 or back will change the spread of sensitivity options that you get (in the Input Sensitivity Menu), but you have to still set the input sensitivity separately in its menu.

-Ray

Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Alex Magor on December 04, 2015, 11:57:34 am
A DJ told me he replaced the speaker inside his JBL MRX518 cabinet with some crazy 5000 watt speaker and put a powered amp inside the cabinet.  And he was happy with his results.  So I think its worth a shot.  Thanks for the advice on the input sensitivity.  I did play with that but when I match the setting on the drive rack to the amp input sensitivity there is no change.  Its like a game of cat and mouse.  I guess if I set the drive rack to a different setting than the amp I suppose I could cheat my way to more gain but I like the simplicity of the qsc and don't see the need for the dsp in the crown. 

Yeah, awkward, read the spec sheet too quickly; thought I saw it was powered. lolz. With that said, I probably still wouldn't personally change out the driver; the whole "box is designed acoustically for that driver" thing comes to mind. It might work, but you might not get the full advantage of the more expensive driver.

The 15 to 21dB change is the max analog input setting; not the actual Input Sensitivity. Changing the 15 to 21 or back will change the spread of sensitivity options that you get (in the Input Sensitivity Menu), but you have to still set the input sensitivity separately in its menu.

-Ray
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Brandon Scopel on December 04, 2015, 12:02:23 pm
A DJ told me

Say no more.......
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Tim McCulloch on December 04, 2015, 12:21:54 pm
Thanks for that.  So I changed the input sensitivity on the amp from 15 to 21 db and from 15 to 21db on the drive rack and still was about the same performance.  I still had to crank the mixer more then on the qsc to get as much volume out of the subs.  But what is surprising to me is that the tone seems much deeper and more natural to me through the QSC.  The crown is heavier, noisier (both with the annoying fan and through the speaker), and the tone is not as deep.  I'm getting more mid range than deep bass out of the crown.  And for the tops I still prefer the cleaner tone of the QSC.

The ITech series has 2 "maximum input level" selections, but those are not to be confused with changing the input sensitivity.  I don't remember if input sensitivity can be changed from the front panel or requires a computer running System Architect or Audio Architect and connection to the amplifier.

There are lots of things inside an ITech that can affect gain - it's a sophisticated product - and I strongly urge you to read the manual and call Crown if you have questions.  They have folks that can help you (ask for Kevin Gring, who posts here occasionally).

We do not own (and I do not typically use) MRX or PRX series speakers but based on the comments of users on these forums it sounds to me like you have a button, knob, or some "feature" used incorrectly or inconsistently.  Rather than make more side-by-side comparisons I suggest starting over with the powered boxes without external processing and assiduously avoiding ANY "wizards" or automatic stuff.

And I would NOT substitute drivers or transducers simply because some random DJ (even if he's a great DJ) thinks he's a loudspeaker designer.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Steve Oldridge on December 04, 2015, 12:26:45 pm
I changed the input sensitivity on the amp from 15 to 21 db and from 15 to 21db on the drive rack and still was about the same performance.  I still had to crank the mixer more then on the qsc to get as much volume out of the subs. 
Alex,
have you ever gained staged your system? If you have, run the mixer, etc. at unity should give you max output across your system.
What did upping the input sensitivity gain provide you? 
If doing so did not drive ur amps into clipping then I would guess ur system has not been gain staged correctly - or at all.

I have a BL right now that loves the auto-rta/EQ. It adds artifacts into the system that ALWAYS have to be adjusted/corrected - and as mentioned above - are only valid at the position of the RTA mic. I totally dislike that tool. He and I have been round and round about the benefits - or lack of - that feature. I won't even mention the inline BBE he likes. I no longer raise the issue with him, because he believes the GC "pro's" over me. <shrug>

But - I'd take Tim's advice
Quote
starting over with the powered boxes without external processing and assiduously avoiding ANY "wizards" or automatic stuff.

And I would NOT substitute drivers or transducers simply because some random DJ (even if he's a great DJ) thinks he's a loudspeaker designer.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Alex Magor on December 04, 2015, 12:31:48 pm

 I suggest starting over with the powered boxes without external processing and assiduously avoiding ANY "wizards" or automatic stuff.


Yes I did run straight from the board to the powered boxes without any drive rack in between.  It is just a very different sound than the passive boxes with QSC amps that I am used to.  It is a much more colored sound.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Ray Aberle on December 04, 2015, 01:18:20 pm
Starting with the I-Tech, are you using absolutely clean (empty) pre-sets with no processing or crossovers applied? Never hurts to ensure you have the latest firmware installed, of course. I know you've already been fussing in it, but if there's something else set/configured that you've not noticed, that could explain your issue with feeling like it's not doing the same as your PLX3602 did. GRANTED that the actual difference (in real world SPL difference between the related numbers) is not huge, given the max power of the QSC of 1250w/4ohms and 775w/8ohms is less then the "Guaranteed Minimum Output" of the I-Tech of 1,250w/8ohms and 2,000w/4ohms, I'd still think you should see something more out of the I-Tech.

-Ray
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Stephen Kirby on December 04, 2015, 02:34:42 pm
I'm still confused over what the OP actually has vs. is looking at buying.  A lot of scattershot questions and replies.

If he has 518s then 718s will get a bit louder.  If he has 718s then he either needs to go for more boxes, dual 18s or a tapped horn type thing to get noticeably more "punch" or "kick".

It would be good to get a better description of what Alex considers a "processed" sound.  Does this mean a more forward midrange?  Harsher?  I kind of like the CD horn on the MRX as it doesn't have that classic icepick in the forehead JBL sound although the driver is kind of weak and can't be pushed very hard compared to SRX level stuff.  If he's used to that more scooped DJ sound, then a flat system will sound forward and artificial to him.  I'm surprised EV's haven't come up as they traditionally have a warmer voicing, although they are getting my JBLish as you go up the modern lines.
As someone who's long been adverse to "that" sound, I've very happy with my DSRs which might be another option although I don't think they have subs to keep up with the latest JBLs and a mixed system isn't quite as plug and play convenient.  Which in a wedding band is a big asset.  Event coordinators expect you to be able to get in and out quickly and take up minimal footprint.  Siamese cables to a powered system is quick and clean and limits the amount of "ugly wires" that wedding planners abhor. 
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Alex Magor on December 04, 2015, 02:58:35 pm
Again current setup = dbx venu 360.  Jbl mrx515 x2, Jbl mrx518 x2.  Powered by 2x QSC plx3602's.  If I could make an analogy of the coloration I hear it is similar to the difference between my active genelec speakers vs passive yamaha ns-10's.  I think it may just be the acoustic aspect of empty passive cabinets that resonate more openly and freely. 
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Alex Magor on December 04, 2015, 03:10:48 pm
Also it sounds like on the Jbl powered speakers like there is some type of eq in line whereas the passive box and amp sounds closer to wire + gain.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Alex Magor on December 04, 2015, 04:40:30 pm
I just got a chance to check out an in store demo of the Rcf evox 12 and I was much more impressed over the Jbl powered speakers.  These seem smaller, lighter, more powerful and less colored.  I will likely be getting a set in my studio to put up against the passive Jbl setup.  The powered jbls i returned already to the store
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Luke Geis on December 04, 2015, 05:04:38 pm
The PRX probably has a more linear sound to it to be honest. A speaker that is relatively flat ( lets use the word linear ) has a sound to it, and that sound is usually said to be up front and apparent. This is due to the lack of the DJ smile and the more balanced amount of highs and lows in comparison. It doesn't have the Fletcher Munson curve built in. In theory the powered speaker will be as close to AMP/WIRE/SPEAKER as you can get. The lack of cable between the amp and the speaker will help make the speaker follow the input even better ( less cable length improves the damping factor ). So in all actuality the PRX in comparison to the MRX should be sonically superior. Now whether you like that sound or not is the question? Obviously you don't like it.

The PRX will and does have an EQ preset in it, along with limiting, excursion and thermal protections. So when you have the thing pushed to the limiters, then you may notice what I call a processed sound. To me a processed sound is one that has been highly compressed and has a very linear sonic character. Imagine your favorite CD from the mid 90's to early 2000's, that is processed. A speaker that is linear is typically easier to get a balanced mix with at the cost of not sounding as sweet and warm ( no DJ smile type sound ). The sweet and warm sound is now up to the engineer to get. I will detail why a linear speaker is more of a goal:

1. When you have a linear speaker system, canned ( commercial ) music sounds more like it was intended to ( no DJ smile please ).

2. When you mix live music through a linear system you can easier make it sound like the canned music and utilize a little less energy doing it. That DJ smile type sound makes the bass seem really heavy with canned music. So when you try and replicate it, your really using a lot of energy to do so. The balance of the instruments is easier to acquire because the PA is not colored as much. When the PA is not as colored, natural sound is easier to accomplish.

Lets define linear: Linear is not necessarily flat. It doesn't mean that the PA is a perfectly horizontal line from 20-20. It more simply means that the PA is devoid of large dips and humps that color the sound. You can have a little more emphasis on the lows and reduce the emphasis on the highs if you like, but in essence a linear system is like a see-saw. The fulcrum is near the middle and ideally you shoot to have it level and balanced, but you can add weight to one side or the other if desired. To polish things off there is also usually a 10db per octave roll off of highs from 2khz - 20 khz ( the last octave ). Now that doesn't mean that you should go out and shoot to get the flattest PA possible. A linear PA doesn't always sound very good. It is a taste thing. The primary objective is to mitigate the large humps and dips and to have a nice balance from one end to the other. There just happens to be a little more emphasis on the low end usually.

Now I am not saying that the PRX is perfectly linear, only that it is likely to more linear than the MRX. Most PA speakers have a little hump around the 80hz area to get the oomph many like. Some have a little cut around 500hz to give it that DJ smile and many also have a little boost in the high end to give it some sparkle and again, that DJ smile.

As mentioned you will have to dig deeper into the I-Tech and be sure of the settings. The two amps you have produce nearly identical power and should be nearly identical in output and sonic character. The extra noise you are hearing from the I-Tech is due to the input setting you used ( 15db or 21 db ) in combination with the actual input sensitivity.

Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Rob Spence on December 04, 2015, 05:05:57 pm
I just got a chance to check out an in store demo of the Rcf evox 12 and I was much more impressed over the Jbl powered speakers.  These seem smaller, lighter, more powerful and less colored.  I will likely be getting a set in my studio to put up against the passive Jbl setup.  The powered jbls i returned already to the store

My $.02
Stop buying things until you have a plan.
Check here before buying or you must have too much money because you are wasting it.

Don't replace drivers in a cabinet unless you know how to read the specs and what they mean. Not just watts and frequency response of a raw driver. Once you put it in a cabinet, lots changes.

For me, I don't mix QSC amps and Crown amps.

For sub duty, if I wanted Crown, I would be looking at IT6000 or bigger.
I had a 6000 and didn't like it on my subs. I sold it and got a big QSC for them.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Alex Magor on December 04, 2015, 05:12:37 pm

I had a 6000 and didn't like it on my subs. I sold it and got a big QSC for them.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

Which subs and which qsc?
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Bob Leonard on December 04, 2015, 06:54:51 pm
 
 
Alex,
A linear system properly EQ'd will have equal frequency response across the spectrum at any given volume where the cabinets work efficiently. That response is not a matter of a single component, but rather the response of all components combined.

Starting with the board EQ. During the initial setup phase it will be best to bypass the board EQ, end of subject. The board EQ is used to tailor the specific channels sound to your needs.

Now comes the real trick, setting the major system components, the upper cabinets, subs and crossover. Regardless of the speaker type,  powered or passive, the crossover/DSP is and always will be the key to success. Start by turning off everything but the bandpass filters. No EQ, no, limiters, none of that shit. Work with the crossover points, the filter type, etc. using the manufacturers recommendations or presets, which once set will almost NEVER be changed. And while I'm at it, let's dispel some other myths. Very, very few subs are designed to replicate sound above 80-90hz. If you believe your system lacks punch, has no bass drum snap, etc., stop looking at the subs, because that sound should be coming from the low/mid range drivers, which to dispel another myth, will make a 15" driver a superior driver for use above an 18" sub. Once you have set the filter for the sub around 87hz (think JBL here) your next quest will be to set the filter(s) for the upper cabinets.

When setting the filters for the upper cabinets once again follow the manufacturers recommendations. Your upper cabinets will be supporting sound down to the point where the sub does not, so consider this. How good are your upper cabinets, in other words, how low do they go, and will they take the beating. Output is not an indication of long term capabilities, it is simply a statement of how loud the cabinet can become under IDEAL situations. An MRX may produce sound as loud as an SRX, but let's put them side by side for a night and see which cabinet is still alive after 4 hours of dub step.

To this point there has been no mention of EQ, limiters, etc., but that's because those are variables that you're not ready to address. The next step will be input levels, those that are controlled by the DSP (or on board amplifier). In most cases you'll be setting the input levels to the upper and lower cabinets using what? That's right, the manufacturers recommendations for the COMBINED cabinets. No such recommendations? Try setting the input level to the upper cabinets at -6db and the subs at 0db. That should get you into the ballpark.

Still not using any EQ it's time to determine if the upper and lower (sub) cabinets are getting along with each other. At this point you'll adjust the input levels of the UPPER cabinets. Too loud as compared to the subs? Lower the input level, and vice versa. I would doubt you have a SMAART system on hand so your options will be to sweep the cabinets using a signal generator and db meter, tune the levels by ear to your own taste, or find someone who can do this for you.

DO NOT adjust the crossover or cabinet levels using an EQ. That comes later.

Your next step will be amplifier sensitivity. That's an easy subject, and keep this in mind. Sensitivity is not used to produce more volume. It is an adjustment to be used in conjunction with the combined output of the board and dsp, the goal being a linear output. There should be no volume increases as components are added. In other words 0db from the board should equal 0db from the DSP with no gain at the second step of the signal path, the DSP.

So how do you set amplifier sensitivity? Easy, turn it all the way up and if you hear any hiss, back it off until the hiss is gone. Yea, I know, wicked old school, but that's the way to do it.

Now, if you have the crossover set properly, have the gain structure set, and the sensitivity set it's time to play with the EQ. That will be the SYSTEM EQ, the EQ that almost never changes, the EQ that is found on the DSP (or outboard EQ if analog). And did I say you could fuck with the board EQ? No I didn't so if you've turned it on, turn it off and leave it alone.

Find some good not compressed listening material and play the material through the system. Using the DSP EQ (or SMAART with pink sound) work the EQ slowly one band at a time until you find the best sounding response for the SYSTEM. There should be no gaps in sound, the low mids should be coming from the upper cabinets, and there should by this time be plenty of bass.

Take a rest, have a beer, let your ears rest, then go back and do it again. Forget about limiters, compressors, etc.. Set all that bullshit aside until the system response is correct. Once the system response is correct, the cabinets are working well together and you've found that the speakers you have can do much more than you thought you have my blessing and may now play with the board EQ to tailor the sound of the individual instrument or vocal. And remember, the DSP is the key to success.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Dave Pluke on December 04, 2015, 11:08:13 pm
That will be the SYSTEM EQ, the EQ that almost never changes, ...

Excellent tutorial, Bob!  Listen to the man, Alex.

My observations indicate that the higher quality (i.e. better designed) the SYSTEM is, the less adjusting the SYSTEM EQ needs.

Carry on,

Dave
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Rob Spence on December 05, 2015, 12:00:42 am
Which subs and which qsc?

4 JTR Growlers
A QSC PL 6.0 II


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Alex Magor on December 05, 2015, 09:21:23 am
Thanks Bob.  Ive been doing live sound for 8 years and studio mixing for 20 years so Im not a total beginner but I did learn a few things from your tutorial so thanks a lot for that.  I tried your method of eqing the system to some tracks but when I go back to playing live drums and keyboards I actually prefer the sound with the eq bypassed.  The tracks sound good but I may need a different method since I'm doing sound for live instruments vs. studio mixed records.  Or should this method work for live instruments and I am just failing at it?


 
Alex,
A linear system properly EQ'd will have equal frequency response across the spectrum at any given volume where the cabinets work efficiently. That response is not a matter of a single component, but rather the response of all components combined.

Starting with the board EQ. During the initial setup phase it will be best to bypass the board EQ, end of subject. The board EQ is used to tailor the specific channels sound to your needs.

Now comes the real trick, setting the major system components, the upper cabinets, subs and crossover. Regardless of the speaker type,  powered or passive, the crossover/DSP is and always will be the key to success. Start by turning off everything but the bandpass filters. No EQ, no, limiters, none of that shit. Work with the crossover points, the filter type, etc. using the manufacturers recommendations or presets, which once set will almost NEVER be changed. And while I'm at it, let's dispel some other myths. Very, very few subs are designed to replicate sound above 80-90hz. If you believe your system lacks punch, has no bass drum snap, etc., stop looking at the subs, because that sound should be coming from the low/mid range drivers, which to dispel another myth, will make a 15" driver a superior driver for use above an 18" sub. Once you have set the filter for the sub around 87hz (think JBL here) your next quest will be to set the filter(s) for the upper cabinets.

When setting the filters for the upper cabinets once again follow the manufacturers recommendations. Your upper cabinets will be supporting sound down to the point where the sub does not, so consider this. How good are your upper cabinets, in other words, how low do they go, and will they take the beating. Output is not an indication of long term capabilities, it is simply a statement of how loud the cabinet can become under IDEAL situations. An MRX may produce sound as loud as an SRX, but let's put them side by side for a night and see which cabinet is still alive after 4 hours of dub step.

To this point there has been no mention of EQ, limiters, etc., but that's because those are variables that you're not ready to address. The next step will be input levels, those that are controlled by the DSP (or on board amplifier). In most cases you'll be setting the input levels to the upper and lower cabinets using what? That's right, the manufacturers recommendations for the COMBINED cabinets. No such recommendations? Try setting the input level to the upper cabinets at -6db and the subs at 0db. That should get you into the ballpark.

Still not using any EQ it's time to determine if the upper and lower (sub) cabinets are getting along with each other. At this point you'll adjust the input levels of the UPPER cabinets. Too loud as compared to the subs? Lower the input level, and vice versa. I would doubt you have a SMAART system on hand so your options will be to sweep the cabinets using a signal generator and db meter, tune the levels by ear to your own taste, or find someone who can do this for you.

DO NOT adjust the crossover or cabinet levels using an EQ. That comes later.

Your next step will be amplifier sensitivity. That's an easy subject, and keep this in mind. Sensitivity is not used to produce more volume. It is an adjustment to be used in conjunction with the combined output of the board and dsp, the goal being a linear output. There should be no volume increases as components are added. In other words 0db from the board should equal 0db from the DSP with no gain at the second step of the signal path, the DSP.

So how do you set amplifier sensitivity? Easy, turn it all the way up and if you hear any hiss, back it off until the hiss is gone. Yea, I know, wicked old school, but that's the way to do it.

Now, if you have the crossover set properly, have the gain structure set, and the sensitivity set it's time to play with the EQ. That will be the SYSTEM EQ, the EQ that almost never changes, the EQ that is found on the DSP (or outboard EQ if analog). And did I say you could fuck with the board EQ? No I didn't so if you've turned it on, turn it off and leave it alone.

Find some good not compressed listening material and play the material through the system. Using the DSP EQ (or SMAART with pink sound) work the EQ slowly one band at a time until you find the best sounding response for the SYSTEM. There should be no gaps in sound, the low mids should be coming from the upper cabinets, and there should by this time be plenty of bass.

Take a rest, have a beer, let your ears rest, then go back and do it again. Forget about limiters, compressors, etc.. Set all that bullshit aside until the system response is correct. Once the system response is correct, the cabinets are working well together and you've found that the speakers you have can do much more than you thought you have my blessing and may now play with the board EQ to tailor the sound of the individual instrument or vocal. And remember, the DSP is the key to success.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Alex Magor on December 06, 2015, 11:58:10 am
So just an update on what I've tried so far:

Original setup - Driverack PA+, MRX 518, MRX 515, QSC PLX3602

1) Swapped Driverack PA+ for driverack venu360 = improvement in clarity and tightness in bass

2) Swapped PLX3602 for PL380 = improvement in bass response and clarity

3) swapped MRX518 for srx518 = improvement in clarity and tightness in bass response

4) swapped srx518 for MRX518 w/ 2242h speaker = biggest improvement in bass response HOWEVER the speaker doesn't fit perfectly in the cabinet so it was not securely fastened all the way down so above a certain volume you could hear a basketball like recoil of the speaker.  Ugh and I'm afraid to make the hole big enough to fit because I can't undo it if it doesn't solve the problem.  Which leaves me looking at a few options:

1) Stick with the SRX 718

2) STX818 (100 lbs. - don't think my partners will be happy about the 28lb. additional weight over our MRX cabs)

3) Take a gamble and make the hole 1/8" larger on the MRX 518 box to fit the 2242h

4) Evox RCF 12 pair - Heard these in store and sounded great but would have to deal with possible restock fees if I need to return them.

Any advice?
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Luke Geis on December 06, 2015, 05:45:11 pm
Well if the 2242H is that big of an improvement over the stock speaker??????? It's just a box after all.....

However I am not a fan of hacking things. While the improvement may be noticed at the levels you were playing them, there is no way to really know how it will perform at full volume? I would imagine that you could get the old speaker back in without issue even after adjusting the hole size? Without knowing all the dimensions of the box myself or the exact thiele small parameters and technical info of the speaker, there is no real telling how well the cabinet and speaker will play together? There are calculators that you can use to help with that.

It's always nice to have a sleeper, but the STX818 comes with the 2242H speakers in it, which seems to be the speaker you want? 28lbs is not what matters if the sound is what your after. Or save the money all together and use the SRX718. It is not the loudest sub, but it gets pretty darn low. It is also not a bad sounding sub.

You seem to be all over the place with this honestly. You likely have listeners bias. Now I'm certain the better speakers sound better and that the better processor sounds better in this case, but the hunt for new mains is going to be tough without sticking to a goal. You want what? Loud and linear come at a price. One of my favorite speakers to work with is the Meyer UPJ-1P. It is small, very linear and gets reasonably loud for it's size. It is not light for a 10" speaker. It has a very sweet neutral sound and I love it. The UPJ-1P would be only just loud enough to do a rock band in a small venue and would walk all over the MRX  in clarity and purity of sound. It costs about $4k apiece and it doesn't include the stand adapter. So what is it you want??????????? I gave an extreme example of similar performing speakers ( they produce roughly the same specs ) so you can see the huge disparity in price vs performance ratio. If you can only afford to buy once, then you have to pick some parameters and a budget and stick to it.

The big issue is that going from the pro-sumer/entry level pro gear to the actual pro level stuff is HUGE...... The JBL SRX line is entry level pro and is more pro-sumer than that. The JBL VP series is pro level and for portable sound is as good as one can expect to get. The difference in price for like spec. speakers is THOUSANDS. The SRX is about $1,200 a speaker and the VP line about $5k per speaker! There is only one line between the SRX and the VP and that is the VRX which is not really a standard design. Most other brands have this same jump. The entry level pro stuff is affordable and the next step up costs THOUSANDS more.

I feel that most any speaker at the $1k - $1.5K point is as good as it is going to get until you have real money to play with. If you go and get every $1k speaker on the market that is similar in spec, they will all perform about the same. Yes they will each sound different, but none will sound bad. Now lets not confuse this with some of the newer dash array designs like the RCF EVOX, the Renkus Heinz Iconyx and Bose L1 ( Nady and Fender have a new line like these too ) as they have a different application and cost due to the driver count and multi box design. If you have a $2k per box budget your in for some headaches. There really isn't a box that is in that price point that blows away others sitting nearer the $1k mark. You can't get d&b Auditechnic, Meyer, L'Acoustics, Martin and other higher end designers with entry level money. RCF and EAW are the slight oddballs. They are pricier for the performance level you get, but do make very nice stuff.

My suggestion as well as others, is for you to get together a plan/goal report back and see what others say. This was my long way of saying I don't think the RCF EVOX is the speaker your looking for. While I'm certain is sounds great, it doesn't get very loud ( for rock band use anyway ) and it doesn't get any lower than a typical 15" 2 way speaker would. It is also expensive for the level of performance it has. There is not many passive speakers that I consider to be leaps and bounds above what you could get with a powered speaker these days, even if it costs twice as much. The sad thing is that most passive speakers at the pro level have grey boxes and or specific amps you have to use in order to get the stated level of performance.

It sounds as if your not looking for outright SPL and that overall quality is what your after? The MRX while a nice entry level MI grade box is certainly not a standard to measure against. If you want the best you can afford, you want powered boxes with FIR crossover tunings. For that there is only a few options, the JBL SRX-800 series, the EV ETX series and the Yamaha DSR series. All perform spec wise exactly the same, and all of them sound really good. If you get what you need with a speaker capable of only 130db, then these will be at idle most of the time. These options are all powered, loud, lightweight and multi purpose. Being that you work from the stage, the SRX may be a great option? Another suggestion is the new JBL EON series. It has ipad control and is great if your stuck on the stage. The EON is more affordable and of course EV, Yamaha, QSC and a few other manufacturers all have more affordable lines too.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Mike Monte on December 07, 2015, 07:29:00 am
Looking to possibly upgrade some components in my system. Current setup = drive rack PA+, JBL MRX 515 tops and JBL MRX 518 bottoms all powered by QSC PLX3602's. I just picked up a dbx venu360 to replace the drive rack pa+ since the rta mic input has a bad connection. I noticed a significant upgrade in the digital convertors. But I've seen people recommend the BSS mini drive and the Ashly Protea line over this (or even an Ashly xr1001 for just the crossover). I am the sound guy and also play in the band so I have virtually no time to do sound checks. We play a wide variety of venues. Everything from outdoors, to nyc clubs, to large banquet halls etc... I like the fact the dbx drive rack can do the auto eq program in a minute.

1) So is the sonic quality of the BSS and Ashly (analog or digital) worth it over the drive rack venu360 since I would lose the auto eq function?

2) For Speakers and Amps which of these combos would be best?

JBL MRX515
JBL MRX518
JBL SRX715
JBL SRX718

Crown Itech 4000
Crown Itech 6000
Crown Itech 8000
QSC PL340
QSC Pl380
QSC PLX3602

Or any other suggestions...


THANKS!

My thoughts:
First of all, since you are primarily a "wedding band" you may be best to focus your gear on those particular gigs....since weddings are where the money is!  I would not go too big as far as FOH cabs are concerned.  A simple (or not) tri-amped rig (with one 12/1 or 12/2 OR 15/1 or 15/2) bi-amped box on a stand per side over one 15 or 18" sub per side is plenty for weddings in my experience.
 
I'm a passive racks'n stacks guy so I would recommend a http://yorkville.com/loudspeakers/tx/product/tx4/ or http://yorkville.com/loudspeakers/elite/product/e12/ or http://yorkville.com/loudspeakers/elite/product/e152/   over http://yorkville.com/loudspeakers/elite/product/ls808/ per side.

There are similar size/weight powered options out there as well.
   
Wedding bands in my area that gig at the mansions in Newport, RI and the usual banquet hall are using smaller rigs these years.  I've seen QSC K10's (one per side) over a powered QSC sub (one per side) on more than one occasion.
The last thing that you want to do is show up to a wedding reception and have a "religious experience" schlepping in your huge system only to use 1/3 to 1/2 of its capabilities all-while the function coordinator has a second eye on your group as you "look loud" to them.

I am also wondering why you adjust the EQ for each room that you play in....  Yes, it is probably a good idea but to be truthful if your band is gigging weekly you should know your PA by now thus your PA's EQ should be set for the most part IMO.

It has been my experience that most newer/inexperienced bands base their system's needs on "the most PA that they'll ever need" (outdoor/concert in the park performances) scenarios (and thus schlepp their huge rig everywhere) while the veteran bands go with what's needed for 80-90% (modest rig) of their gigs and rent a larger rig/or rig with soundguy for the occasional outdoor concert.

The above is my TCW.

Mike M   
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Alex Magor on December 07, 2015, 07:45:02 am
Thanks for the suggestions but I think even 100lbs is pushing it for what we want to carry around for any single speaker and what makes sense to carry around for most gigs we do.  Ive heard a few people now disway me from a hack job so I'll take that option off the table.  So now Im down to this (upgrade prices are after selling current setup.  Weight is total weight added to load in):

Srx 715/718 x2 + QSC pl380 x2 = $3000 upgrade (+26lbs)

Stx 815/818 x2 + QSC pl380 x2 = $3400 upgrade (+88lbs)

Rcf evox 12 = $1,900 upgrade (-100lbs)
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Alex Magor on December 07, 2015, 01:16:11 pm
So i just picked up the rcf evox 12 system and all I can say is im returning it immediately.  Its not even close.  So now im looking at either upgrading to the JBL SRX or STX series.  The prices are comparable so it will likely come down to weight vs. sound.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Luke Geis on December 07, 2015, 02:10:24 pm
I tried warning you.......... Although probably too late.

Here is the brass tacks. You want more rig for the gig than you need for more than a couple reasons.

1. Longevity. If your not running the system to within an inch of its life most of the time it will last longer.

2. The known quotient. It works every time, you know it will work every time and you know how it works every time. If you have less than you need and try to make it work, who knows?

3. Systems that are designed to be loud and linear simply perform well. They don't necessarily sound the best, but they will get you through anything acceptably. 

4. There is no rule that says one must run all that you have brung. You don't have to use the available power you have. This may mean less distortion and more quality than you think. Now that you have headroom to spare, you also have room to tune for perfection. With low output PA's you have to be careful how much you take away or it could mean not ever getting loud enough. This is of course assuming you had just enough to to the gig anyway.

The JBL SRX-812P is probably the most linear speaker at the price there is right now. It sounds great simply put. It has more than ample processing in it to do ANYTHING you want with it. The Yamaha DSR is another highly regarded performer. I have yet to hear the EV ETX, but have also heard good things about it. The SRX has the most features though and is also the most expensive.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Alex Magor on December 07, 2015, 03:16:39 pm
I tried warning you.......... Although probably too late.

Here is the brass tacks. You want more rig for the gig than you need for more than a couple reasons.

1. Longevity. If your not running the system to within an inch of its life most of the time it will last longer.

2. The known quotient. It works every time, you know it will work every time and you know how it works every time. If you have less than you need and try to make it work, who knows?

3. Systems that are designed to be loud and linear simply perform well. They don't necessarily sound the best, but they will get you through anything acceptably. 

4. There is no rule that says one must run all that you have brung. You don't have to use the available power you have. This may mean less distortion and more quality than you think. Now that you have headroom to spare, you also have room to tune for perfection. With low output PA's you have to be careful how much you take away or it could mean not ever getting loud enough. This is of course assuming you had just enough to to the gig anyway.

The JBL SRX-812P is probably the most linear speaker at the price there is right now. It sounds great simply put. It has more than ample processing in it to do ANYTHING you want with it. The Yamaha DSR is another highly regarded performer. I have yet to hear the EV ETX, but have also heard good things about it. The SRX has the most features though and is also the most expensive.

Cool.  I'll try to check out the srx powered as well but I have a feeling i will prefer the passive version.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Jerry Prince on December 07, 2015, 03:36:23 pm
Cool.  I'll try to check out the srx powered as well but I have a feeling i will prefer the passive version.
Unless you are going to buy iTech HDs also, go with the powered version.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Ray Aberle on December 07, 2015, 03:55:34 pm
Jerry,

Alex is convinced that powered boxes sound "too processed" for his taste. If you read the thread, he's tried the PRX line, and thought his passive MRX boxes still sounded better.

... which would raise the point... why not just buy more of the same?!? Heh.

But really, Alex, the powered JBL stuff (like what we're looking at, the SRX800 series) is heads and tails better then what you've got now. The right rig (SRX812Ps and SRX818SP) will sound crazy good and crush what you have now-- I've never been naive enough to think I can tune a rig better then JBL can (SYSTEM crossovers/EQ, not for room or to correct poor deployment/mic placement). And it'll be scaleable, and power friendly. Simply run an XLR to a remote speaker, plug it in, and you've expanded your rig easily with a setup that will play well with the other speakers.

-Ray
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Tim McCulloch on December 07, 2015, 04:10:03 pm
Jerry,

Alex is convinced that powered boxes sound "too processed" for his taste. If you read the thread, he's tried the PRX line, and thought his passive MRX boxes still sounded better.

... which would raise the point... why not just buy more of the same?!? Heh.

But really, Alex, the powered JBL stuff (like what we're looking at, the SRX800 series) is heads and tails better then what you've got now. The right rig (SRX812Ps and SRX818SP) will sound crazy good and crush what you have now-- I've never been naive enough to think I can tune a rig better then JBL can (SYSTEM crossovers/EQ, not for room or to correct poor deployment/mic placement). And it'll be scaleable, and power friendly. Simply run an XLR to a remote speaker, plug it in, and you've expanded your rig easily with a setup that will play well with the other speakers.

-Ray

I think Alex started out with 1 goal and now is suffering from "project creep."  Louder LF is now louder, LIGHTER LF; new tops that come pre-voiced to his taste, also LIGHTER and maybe louder; and ease of use.

This kind of comes back to the "cheap, fast, good - pick any 2" thing.  I'm pushing 60 and don't really want to lift, carry or move any more weight than I have to (but some of you guys are pussies, really - and note the lack of a smiley) but by having inflexible and largely intangible goals means that there is probably ZERO gear out there that meet all 3 criteria.  Yeah, I want a rig that weighs nothing, is tiny and puts out stadium PA SPL while sounding angelic.  Oh, and it needs to MAPP for <$999.00.  But I also want a herd of unicorns farting rainbows, too.  ;)

It's important to remember that this is a wedding band PA.  It needs to cover a specific amount of area with "dancing/motivating" SPL but have clarity further away for toasts, announcements, etc.  It needs to go up fast, look nice (or as nice as non-invisible can be to a wedding planner or momzilla), and run on as little AC power as possible.  If the music sounds fine and the rig doesn't feed back when Aunt Gertie makes her toast, "sound quality" is more a matter of subjective taste.

A PA system is a tool used to make money (for the band, in this case).  It's not a big-ass personal stereo system, it's not recording control room monitoring, it's not an ego extension.  It's a capitalist tool and the acquisition should be evaluated accordingly.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Steve Garris on December 07, 2015, 05:41:33 pm

This kind of comes back to the "cheap, fast, good - pick any 2" thing.  I'm pushing 60 and don't really want to lift, carry or move any more weight than I have to (but some of you guys are pussies, really - and note the lack of a smiley) but by having inflexible and largely intangible goals means that there is probably ZERO gear out there that meet all 3 criteria.  Yeah, I want a rig that weighs nothing, is tiny and puts out stadium PA SPL while sounding angelic.  Oh, and it needs to MAPP for <$999.00.  But I also want a herd of unicorns farting rainbows, too.  ;)



LOL!

I'll chime in but I'm not at the level as most giving you advice. I use all powered boxes these days and love the results. My system's only need a very little EQ on the mains to sound good (I use only parametric EQ's). I have a PRX 600 series system, with 15/horns pole mounted above the 618xlf's. This setup is more than enough for any wedding, bar band, or even small, outdoor shows. I used my system for a "summer concert series" this summer, with crowds at about 800 or so. It was excellent, sounding great when pushed hard. 

Having said that I'm in the process of upgrading to the new powered SRX stuff. I have the single 818sp sub's, which are awesome so far, and I'll be matching tops to them very soon. My only dilemma is whether to purchase the 12" or 15" tops. I have a preference for the 15's, but the SRX stuff is huge and heavy - and I'm admitting that I'm a pussy when it comes to heavy lifting!
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Stephen Kirby on December 07, 2015, 06:18:03 pm
Tim nailed it.  Voice of experience.  Requirements for a wedding band PA in a nutshell.  I'm reminded of the Cover Band Book, which is (or should be) kind of the bible for wedding bands that want to be successful.  How to make the client happy.  Everything Tim said about looks, quick set up, clarity, lack of feedback and low power consumption(there's never enough circuits to power a substantial PA after the event's lighting folks and caterers plug all their stuff in) is spot on.

There are a few event bands around here with pro level gear funded after years of high dollar corporate events.  But I've played weddings at Pebble Beach and other high end venues around here and never needed more than 100dB right in front, often less.  Small footprint, quick set up and reliable are what counts if the SQ is decent.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Luke Geis on December 07, 2015, 06:40:35 pm
Steve,

    If they made a 10" version that got 135db I would be all over that. The smaller speakers just sound so much better in comparison to their larger counterparts when coupled with a sub. The PRX line has a 10" speaker that seems to perform well, but I know it won't handle a loud rock band. I will say that if your not using subs and you absolutely need the low end to be there, then a 15" is the way to go. If you usually use subs with rocks bands then 12'" will work very well. They are typically lighter and smaller too. Most 12" speakers these days have extension down to 40hz ( while of course not kicking your gut ) and are probably the most versatile speaker size there is. POS, rock bands, fills, mains, monitors and anything in between, they are the easy bet.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Alex Magor on December 08, 2015, 08:21:16 am
Thanks for the suggestion on the Srx powered series.  I just picked up the passive version 15" tops and I have a slight preference of it over the mrx series.  Im gonna check out the powered version in my local guitar center soon.  Though when I tested my 15" mrx against my 12" mrx i have a strong preference for the 15" especially on keyboards.  So either way I will likely end up with 15's for mains.  Also curious if u or anyone might have a preference either way with the srx powered series vs. the vrx powered series.  Thanks!

Jerry,

Alex is convinced that powered boxes sound "too processed" for his taste. If you read the thread, he's tried the PRX line, and thought his passive MRX boxes still sounded better.

... which would raise the point... why not just buy more of the same?!? Heh.

But really, Alex, the powered JBL stuff (like what we're looking at, the SRX800 series) is heads and tails better then what you've got now. The right rig (SRX812Ps and SRX818SP) will sound crazy good and crush what you have now-- I've never been naive enough to think I can tune a rig better then JBL can (SYSTEM crossovers/EQ, not for room or to correct poor deployment/mic placement). And it'll be scaleable, and power friendly. Simply run an XLR to a remote speaker, plug it in, and you've expanded your rig easily with a setup that will play well with the other speakers.

-Ray
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Ray Aberle on December 08, 2015, 10:45:00 am
So Alex, a lot of times when people post on here, they either have a fully unrealistic budget (I can haz lie array speakers for a thousand buckz?!?) or murky direction. I get the vibe that you pretty much have no set budget, and will spend whatever you can to make this work well. (You had the PRX rig. Not sure what happened to those. Then you bought the RCFs. Returned them. Now you just picked up the SRX-815s?) So can we freely suggest boxes, no limit on budget, to get you the best rig possible? (It's nice that you have a supplier with a liberal return policy!)

Now you're asking about the VRX? VRX will return you to single 12" boxes. They are also only good for two boxes per side (110 horizontal, 30 vertical) unless you can fly them. I own both SRX and VRX boxes- they both sound great but they are both Tools In The Toolbox. In other words, they each have their place, and it's more difficult to just have one of these models expecting to cover all situations.

-Ray
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Steve Ferreira on December 08, 2015, 11:06:20 am
Like mentioned above, if you don't like the sound of the powered stuff then get some Crown I-Tech HD's BUT also remember that you will probably pay just as much for the amps as you did for all your speakers.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Alex Magor on December 08, 2015, 11:09:01 am
Thanks sounds like the vrx is better for club installs and outdoor festivals than for my needs as a weekly gigging wedding band.

So Alex, a lot of times when people post on here, they either have a fully unrealistic budget (I can haz lie array speakers for a thousand buckz?!?) or murky direction. I get the vibe that you pretty much have no set budget, and will spend whatever you can to make this work well. (You had the PRX rig. Not sure what happened to those. Then you bought the RCFs. Returned them. Now you just picked up the SRX-815s?) So can we freely suggest boxes, no limit on budget, to get you the best rig possible? (It's nice that you have a supplier with a liberal return policy!)

Now you're asking about the VRX? VRX will return you to single 12" boxes. They are also only good for two boxes per side (110 horizontal, 30 vertical) unless you can fly them. I own both SRX and VRX boxes- they both sound great but they are both Tools In The Toolbox. In other words, they each have their place, and it's more difficult to just have one of these models expecting to cover all situations.

-Ray
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Alex Magor on December 08, 2015, 11:12:23 am
Also for budget id like to stay under $6k (and prefer to purchase used)

So Alex, a lot of times when people post on here, they either have a fully unrealistic budget (I can haz lie array speakers for a thousand buckz?!?) or murky direction. I get the vibe that you pretty much have no set budget, and will spend whatever you can to make this work well. (You had the PRX rig. Not sure what happened to those. Then you bought the RCFs. Returned them. Now you just picked up the SRX-815s?) So can we freely suggest boxes, no limit on budget, to get you the best rig possible? (It's nice that you have a supplier with a liberal return policy!)

Now you're asking about the VRX? VRX will return you to single 12" boxes. They are also only good for two boxes per side (110 horizontal, 30 vertical) unless you can fly them. I own both SRX and VRX boxes- they both sound great but they are both Tools In The Toolbox. In other words, they each have their place, and it's more difficult to just have one of these models expecting to cover all situations.

-Ray
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Ray Aberle on December 08, 2015, 11:15:57 am
Thanks sounds like the vrx is better for club installs and outdoor festivals than for my needs as a weekly gigging wedding band.

Not necessarily. Depends on what the gig requires, coverage-wise. That being said, I've done quite a few shows (including for a local wedding/event entertainment band! As a DJ for school dances as well.) with 2-over-2 VRX ground-stacked per side with great results. But, you have to accept that this is the limit for ground stacking, and you only have a single 12" driver per box.

VRX is great to have as a utility box for, say, front fills on a larger stage. :)

-Ray
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Scott Carneval on December 08, 2015, 11:27:46 am
Have you looked at the Danley SM80? You could get a pair within that budget, and they sound a whole lot better and go louder than anything mentioned so far.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Steve Ferreira on December 08, 2015, 11:40:58 am
Not necessarily. Depends on what the gig requires, coverage-wise. That being said, I've done quite a few shows (including for a local wedding/event entertainment band! As a DJ for school dances as well.) with 2-over-2 VRX ground-stacked per side with great results. But, you have to accept that this is the limit for ground stacking, and you only have a single 12" driver per box.

VRX is great to have as a utility box for, say, front fills on a larger stage. :)

-Ray

I would never setup VRX more then a 2 over 2 setup ground supported. Not being able to "splay" the boxes plays a big role in this.
All the speakers that have been mentioned here are just tools. Every speaker will have pros and cons to them.

Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Ray Aberle on December 08, 2015, 11:50:45 am
I would never setup VRX more then a 2 over 2 setup ground supported.

Steve, since the 2-box limit is a JBL restriction on their use, and I didn't suggest or imply that one should rig more then two when ground-stacked, let's not confuse people. :)

Not being able to "splay" the boxes plays a big role in this.

Which is why I said you have to accept the 110 coverage width.

All the speakers that have been mentioned here are just tools. Every speaker will have pros and cons to them.

Yep.

-Ray
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Tim McCulloch on December 08, 2015, 12:00:51 pm
Thanks for the suggestion on the Srx powered series.  I just picked up the passive version 15" tops and I have a slight preference of it over the mrx series.  Im gonna check out the powered version in my local guitar center soon.  Though when I tested my 15" mrx against my 12" mrx i have a strong preference for the 15" especially on keyboards.  So either way I will likely end up with 15's for mains.  Also curious if u or anyone might have a preference either way with the srx powered series vs. the vrx powered series.  Thanks!

I don't think you'll like the VRX if you're looking for more "ooph".  It has some other limiting characteristics that ultimately may work against your set up situations, too.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Alex Magor on December 08, 2015, 12:01:34 pm
So I just got back from guitar center, hooked up my keyboards through the jbl srx815p and... It is a step up from the prx version I previously tried.  However it is still in the same active box family of sound.  Yes it sounds like a very well balanced speaker but to my ears the passive box still sounds more open and musical whereas the srx815p sounds more flat and boring like no matter how much u eq it it would still sound more constrained whereas the passive box resonates more openly.  Almost like looking through a glass window vs. no window. Does anyone get what I am saying or u think I am imagining things?



The right rig (SRX812Ps and SRX818SP) will sound crazy good and crush what you have now-- I've never been naive enough to think I can tune a rig better then JBL can (SYSTEM crossovers/EQ, not for room or to correct poor deployment/mic placement). And it'll be scaleable, and power friendly. Simply run an XLR to a remote speaker, plug it in, and you've expanded your rig easily with a setup that will play well with the other speakers.

-Ray
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Tim McCulloch on December 08, 2015, 12:09:37 pm
So I just got back from guitar center, hooked up my keyboards through the jbl srx815p and... It is a step up from the prx version I previously tried.  However it is still in the same active box family of sound.  Yes it sounds like a very well balanced speaker but to my ears the passive box still sounds more open and musical whereas the srx815p sounds more flat and boring like no matter how much u eq it it would still sound more constrained whereas the passive box resonates more openly.  Does anyone get what I am saying or u think I am imagining things?

Alex, I do not doubt that you think you hear a difference (any maybe there is a difference, I'm not claiming there isn't).

What I think is that for your use *it doesn't really matter*.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not talking smack on your band or your pursuit of whatever it is you're trying to find.  I'm saying that for the commercial purposes of providing entertainment and dancing at a wedding reception, you're making this much harder than it needs to be.

This is a PA system, not your control room monitors.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Alex Magor on December 08, 2015, 12:25:36 pm
I am a musician in the band and my success and income depends on word of mouth.  The goal is not to get the job done, the goal is to put on the best show we can and wow the crowd as much as we can.  Besides this I have a strong passion for sound quality.  Is it worth a little more effort for me to squeeze a few extra inches of sound quality?  Yes.  Also it is actually a bit faster for me to set up a passive rig vs active rig as I would need to run an extension cord to each speaker.  But the set up time difference is pretty neglible.  My priorities are sound followed by weight followed by price.

Alex, I do not doubt that you think you hear a difference (any maybe there is a difference, I'm not claiming there isn't).

What I think is that for your use *it doesn't really matter*.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not talking smack on your band or your pursuit of whatever it is you're trying to find.  I'm saying that for the commercial purposes of providing entertainment and dancing at a wedding reception, you're making this much harder than it needs to be.

This is a PA system, not your control room monitors.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: John L Nobile on December 08, 2015, 12:29:30 pm
Have you looked at the Danley SM80? You could get a pair within that budget, and they sound a whole lot better and go louder than anything mentioned so far.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Those would be my first choice as well. Problem would be getting a chance to hear a pair.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Paul G. OBrien on December 08, 2015, 12:57:27 pm
Yes it sounds like a very well balanced speaker but to my ears the passive box still sounds more open and musical whereas the srx815p sounds more flat and boring
Yes.. and that is on purpose.. by design. A flat response is(or should be) the starting point of all FOH PA systems, this is the blank canvas upon which the engineer can paint any portrait he/she likes meaning it will allow the artist's work to be reproduced exactly as it was intended. Powered speakers get much closer to this goal than passive systems so you will find these systems need less setup work in venues and are less feedback prone, but a system like the SRX powered rig can be made to sound like a passive SRX too if you like, just connect the tuning software and add the peaks and troughs the passive system has in it's response.


(http://)
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Steve Ferreira on December 08, 2015, 01:10:41 pm
Steve, since the 2-box limit is a JBL restriction on their use, and I didn't suggest or imply that one should rig more then two when ground-stacked, let's not confuse people. :)

Which is why I said you have to accept the 110 coverage width.

Yep.

-Ray

100* horizontal coverage, but who's keeping tabs....lol
I remember someone here once trying to get 3 VRX tops over the subs.

OP, I love my SRX725's and SRX728s powered by Crown I-Tech 8000s. If you don't mind carrying some extra weight around this is a hard combination to pass on. See if you can stretch that $6,000 mark say to $8000 to allow for cabling and other stuff that might arise.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Alex Magor on December 08, 2015, 01:16:44 pm
Just wanted to try the crown itech 4000 on my new jbl srx 715 and it works even better than the qsc pl380 for mains.  I was mainly testing it on subs and only briefly on mains but its much easier to hear the difference on the srx compared to the mrx boxes.  I an extremely pleased with this setup.  This is the best I heard so far.  But I know the 4000 is slightly underpowered so now im looking at getting a couple of 6000's or perhaps 1 itech 8000 and going mono. 
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Alex Magor on December 08, 2015, 01:19:46 pm
I dont understand though why I would go through all the trouble trying to make the active boxes sound like the passive boxes artifically through eq when the passive boxes are giving me what I want naturally.  But maybe u r right and the end result would be worth trying so I dont know.

Yes.. and that is on purpose.. by design. A flat response is(or should be) the starting point of all FOH PA systems, this is the blank canvas upon which the engineer can paint any portrait he/she likes meaning it will allow the artist's work to be reproduced exactly as it was intended. Powered speakers get much closer to this goal than passive systems so you will find these systems need less setup work in venues and are less feedback prone, but a system like the SRX powered rig can be made to sound like a passive SRX too if you like, just connect the tuning software and add the peaks and troughs the passive system has in it's response.


(http://)
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Ray Aberle on December 08, 2015, 01:22:30 pm
I keep mixing up coverages between my VRX and VT4888s. Awkward. lolz. Sorry, Internet.

Since they already have a PA, I presume he's already got a nice investment in Speakon cabling-- and that may be a subtle reason why he's hoping to stick to passive gear... his mind is telling himself (rightfully so) that he has this cable that cost money... it would be nice to be able to keep using it.

Re the SRX boxes-- agreed that they're a great kit (My 725s, whereas they only go out a few times a year anymore, are still workhorses!), but it sounds like the OP is hoping for lighter boxes then 100ish for 725s and 168# for 728s. And since this is for a wedding band... stacks of SRX 725s/728s might piss off the client.

(side note: if you're on a Mac, option-shift-8 will get the degree () sign. :) )
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Alex Magor on December 08, 2015, 01:44:46 pm
The thought of cabling didnt even cross my mind.  Im not trying to save pennies.  Sound comes first.

I keep mixing up coverages between my VRX and VT4888s. Awkward. lolz. Sorry, Internet.

Since they already have a PA, I presume he's already got a nice investment in Speakon cabling-- and that may be a subtle reason why he's hoping to stick to passive gear... his mind is telling himself (rightfully so) that he has this cable that cost money... it would be nice to be able to keep using it.

Re the SRX boxes-- agreed that they're a great kit (My 725s, whereas they only go out a few times a year anymore, are still workhorses!), but it sounds like the OP is hoping for lighter boxes then 100ish for 725s and 168# for 728s. And since this is for a wedding band... stacks of SRX 725s/728s might piss off the client.

(side note: if you're on a Mac, option-shift-8 will get the degree () sign. :) )
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Ray Aberle on December 08, 2015, 01:57:57 pm
The thought of cabling didnt even cross my mind.  Im not trying to save pennies.  Sound comes first.

And cabling doesn't matter to me now either- if I need more XLR or Speakon or whatever to do something- well, hell, I'll need it eventually anyways, so it's not worth worrying about. :)  [And in reality, it's just been this past year that I've finally gotten enough cabling to feel comfortable, and not stretching it at every show to make it work. And there was still a couple of nail-biters over the summer. And I've lost like 8 NL4 barrels. GRRR.]

-Ray
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Will Knight on December 08, 2015, 05:51:57 pm
I dont understand though why I would go through all the trouble trying to make the active boxes sound like the passive boxes artifically through eq when the passive boxes are giving me what I want naturally.  But maybe u r right and the end result would be worth trying so I dont know.

Alex,
You have received unquestionably priceless advice from the likes of Bob, Tim, Paul, Steve (x2), Scott (x2) Ray etc., all recognized and accomplished leaders in SR from across the globe.  They have "been there, done that" more times than you can imagine, learned through the "school of hard knocks" and save the rest of us from repeating mistakes.  While I've not posted much on the forum, I've followed their musings for the past 6+ years and there isn't a day that passes that I don't learn something important - and new.  Personally, I started with an EON platform (if you call it such) years ago...(won't say how long).... with my band where I play bass and also am the default SG guy for the group, moved to MRX5....then PRX6, then SRX7...each step learning more about the physics of sound, SG and environments.  My early foray in getting EQ did not follow the PSW motto of "buy once cry once"...and I paid dearly for it....While I'm holding on to my beloved SRX7's for now, I too made the decision to go powered and currently in the process of acquiring SRX8's...and at my age (SS level), my back has never felt better...So a word to the wise....take their suggestions...SERIOUSLY!!  I'm sure you will eventually find the powered offerings, be they JBL, QSC, EV, EAW, RCF et al, all will deliver much more than you'll need for your planned engagements for the next several years..

Good luck..

Bill
 
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Stephen Kirby on December 08, 2015, 06:44:08 pm
Alex,  I do note that you are using different criteria for judging the speakers under consideration.  So some clarity in application would be good.  I tend to agree with the 12" 2way over 18 crowd for mains.  For weddings and small corporate events you are primarily putting the vocals out front and giving some omph to the bottom with kick and some bass.  Probably filling in some keys and maybe a taste of guitar to balance across the room if the guitarist keeps their stage volume down.  Drums usually only require a kick mic and maybe some help from a snare mic or low overhead.  Cymbals get into all the frontline vocal mics so you aren't trying to fully reinforce the drums (although I have run full stage sound outdoors through 12s over 18s, DSR112 over Cubo tapped horn 18s) 
If you are running most things direct then I agree with the 15 or dual 15 crowd.  e-drums, guitars through modelers and direct keys put a lot more energy in the lower midrange though the PA than vocal reinforcement over stage sound.
Playing a keyboard in a store though a PA speaker isn't really representative of FOH use.  The upper bass thump you can get from that box doesn't really come into play in FOH use over subs.  I would suggest playing some music though a candidate box and walking around the room in front of it.  How much does the sound change when you go side to side or back to front?  That was what sold me on the Yamahas.  The other thing that's hard to demo is how the speaker will sound when pushed.  For that I had to rely on hearing other bands and the first hand experience of people using them on this board.  Even playing canned music loudly through them in a store isn't really representative of trying to get the vocals over the stage sound and out to the back of a hotel ballroom.
What kind of music are you playing?  How big of rooms, how loud doesn't it seriously need to be?  The band I did all the weddings and corporate stuff with was primarily an R&B outfit which is what I tend to think of for those gigs.  Although I guess there are people hiring classic rock groups that are more loud guitar based for those situations.  I remember doing a Silicon Valley CEO's birthday party and we brought in a couple of other folks to play the classic rock he liked.  Same PA though.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Luke Geis on December 08, 2015, 07:36:57 pm
I just want to be sure I am understanding this correctly? It sounds like the only thing you have used to test these is with low level music and a keyboard? However with anything in the srx series your going to pull a win. The powered stuff as can be seen is a little bit more linear in the mid range and can be made to get even better with minimal EQ on the highs and lows.

While I understand what you mean by more musical and perhaps better sounding, remember sound is a preference and subjective. As mentioned, if a PA was a canvas, you would prefer it to be blank ( free of coloration ). Now we can beat around the bush all day about which PA out there sounds better than another, but it all comes down to two things, taste and ability to color with sound. Audiophile's are often teased on this forum because of the ridiculous levels of weird they go through to get that molecule more of better sound. Many will also attest that they have a particular sensitivity to the quality of sound as well. If you get 10 audiophiles in a room with 10 different sound systems, I can nearly guarantee they will pick the one that is the worst for doing live sound on. It may sound the best, but that isn't the whole story. A PA system is not a studio reference monitor scaled up, it is meant to be heard first and sound pretty second.

Pretty much any PA can be made to sound pretty, but how much work does it take to get it there? Objectively you try to get the PA as linear as you can and then pretty it up from there. This is on a per venue basis though. So having a PA that is naturally linear is helpful because you spend that much less effort to make it that way once in the venue. You can essentially bring the PA in, listen to it with little hassle, fix the anomalies and then make it pretty. With a PA that has lots of color you are now fighting not only the room, but the PA as well. The PA no longer sounds pretty because of room nodes and comb filtering, furthermore you have to neuter the PA to make it pretty.

So why make a PA linear first and then make it pretty afterwards? If the PA is made to be a blank slate in a particular venue, there is little probability that it will sound great, but at that point you have the blank slate. A little bit of subtractive EQ can usually get you the rest of the way to pretty land. A colorful and musical sounding PA will not work quite the same. The abundance and or lack thereof in frequencies present in the PA will interact with the room both inversely and proportionately in conjunction with the characteristics of the room.  What????? If the PA has a hump around 100hz and the room has a positive node at 100hz, then 100hz is going to pop out like a sore thumb. Conversely if the pa has little mid range and the highs and lows are bouncing all over the room, there will be little intelligibility. Since every indoor space will introduce comb filtering and nodes, having a more linear PA will be easier to sort all that out. You still have to do the work to make the PA work in the venue, but there is that much less of it to do.

So if most high end PA systems are pretty much linear and each one sounds different, then what makes one better than another? Subjectively, the ears of the person who bought it and how he utilizes that tool for the job. Like I said before, just about every $1k speaker on the market will sound good, they will also all sound different. So all that's left is the performance of the speaker and how you can best apply it.

You have gone from a mid level MI grade speaker to an obsolete ( but still effective ) entry level pro / pro-sumer model speaker. This is a jump in quality of at least 2 steps. You doubled the cost of the speaker and only feel that it's better, but not light years ahead. This is the reality check in cost I was speaking of. Once you get to the $1k - $1.5k mark it costs thousands more to get that next step more. So chances are good your not going to find a speaker in your budget that will blow the SRX-715 away. However your beginning to see that you have to throw money at it. You have a used box that cost probably $600-800 and requires an amp that cost $2k new to power it. Your now roughly $3k deep to get something that $1,200 would get you new ( the SRX-800 series ). You have already reached the point of diminishing returns and your not even 100% happy with what you have.......

I strongly suggest that you check out the SRX-812P since you both A: have the budget, and B: want the quality of sound that I know that box will produce. I will tell you right now that it is not going to be the most beautiful speaker you have ever heard, but I can tell you it will surpass your needs. If you can make the MRX work, this one will make things a walk in the park.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Jonathan Betts on December 08, 2015, 08:48:27 pm
Just wanted to try the crown itech 4000 on my new jbl srx 715 and it works even better than the qsc pl380 for mains.  I was mainly testing it on subs and only briefly on mains but its much easier to hear the difference on the srx compared to the mrx boxes.  I an extremely pleased with this setup.  This is the best I heard so far.  But I know the 4000 is slightly underpowered so now im looking at getting a couple of 6000's or perhaps 1 itech 8000 and going mono.

ITech  4000 is plenty of  power for the 715. I run both the 4000 and 6000 on my 715's and there is no difference in performance. If you don't have enough rig with the 715/4000 combo Its time to look for a more sensitive/higher output box.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Alex Magor on December 08, 2015, 08:52:03 pm
Thanks I think for now I am going to settle for the srx715/srx718 pair that I got already and still need to get a couple of crown itech 6000's.  Even with the itech 4000 for the tops and qsc pl380 for subs this rig sounds fantastic and a big step up in sound quality from the mrx's and only about 7lbs heavier per speaker.  Down the road if I see a good deal on the powered versions I'll get them in my studio to see if I can make the sound leap out in front if the speakers the way I hear the passive boxes.  Also would I be correct in saying that there is eq processing in these active boxes that make them more linear?  So in essence my work would be like "un-eqing" them to make them sound like passive boxes again?

I just want to be sure I am understanding this correctly? It sounds like the only thing you have used to test these is with low level music and a keyboard? However with anything in the srx series your going to pull a win. The powered stuff as can be seen is a little bit more linear in the mid range and can be made to get even better with minimal EQ on the highs and lows.

While I understand what you mean by more musical and perhaps better sounding, remember sound is a preference and subjective. As mentioned, if a PA was a canvas, you would prefer it to be blank ( free of coloration ). Now we can beat around the bush all day about which PA out there sounds better than another, but it all comes down to two things, taste and ability to color with sound. Audiophile's are often teased on this forum because of the ridiculous levels of weird they go through to get that molecule more of better sound. Many will also attest that they have a particular sensitivity to the quality of sound as well. If you get 10 audiophiles in a room with 10 different sound systems, I can nearly guarantee they will pick the one that is the worst for doing live sound on. It may sound the best, but that isn't the whole story. A PA system is not a studio reference monitor scaled up, it is meant to be heard first and sound pretty second.

Pretty much any PA can be made to sound pretty, but how much work does it take to get it there? Objectively you try to get the PA as linear as you can and then pretty it up from there. This is on a per venue basis though. So having a PA that is naturally linear is helpful because you spend that much less effort to make it that way once in the venue. You can essentially bring the PA in, listen to it with little hassle, fix the anomalies and then make it pretty. With a PA that has lots of color you are now fighting not only the room, but the PA as well. The PA no longer sounds pretty because of room nodes and comb filtering, furthermore you have to neuter the PA to make it pretty.

So why make a PA linear first and then make it pretty afterwards? If the PA is made to be a blank slate in a particular venue, there is little probability that it will sound great, but at that point you have the blank slate. A little bit of subtractive EQ can usually get you the rest of the way to pretty land. A colorful and musical sounding PA will not work quite the same. The abundance and or lack thereof in frequencies present in the PA will interact with the room both inversely and proportionately in conjunction with the characteristics of the room.  What????? If the PA has a hump around 100hz and the room has a positive node at 100hz, then 100hz is going to pop out like a sore thumb. Conversely if the pa has little mid range and the highs and lows are bouncing all over the room, there will be little intelligibility. Since every indoor space will introduce comb filtering and nodes, having a more linear PA will be easier to sort all that out. You still have to do the work to make the PA work in the venue, but there is that much less of it to do.

So if most high end PA systems are pretty much linear and each one sounds different, then what makes one better than another? Subjectively, the ears of the person who bought it and how he utilizes that tool for the job. Like I said before, just about every $1k speaker on the market will sound good, they will also all sound different. So all that's left is the performance of the speaker and how you can best apply it.

You have gone from a mid level MI grade speaker to an obsolete ( but still effective ) entry level pro / pro-sumer model speaker. This is a jump in quality of at least 2 steps. You doubled the cost of the speaker and only feel that it's better, but not light years ahead. This is the reality check in cost I was speaking of. Once you get to the $1k - $1.5k mark it costs thousands more to get that next step more. So chances are good your not going to find a speaker in your budget that will blow the SRX-715 away. However your beginning to see that you have to throw money at it. You have a used box that cost probably $600-800 and requires an amp that cost $2k new to power it. Your now roughly $3k deep to get something that $1,200 would get you new ( the SRX-800 series ). You have already reached the point of diminishing returns and your not even 100% happy with what you have.......

I strongly suggest that you check out the SRX-812P since you both A: have the budget, and B: want the quality of sound that I know that box will produce. I will tell you right now that it is not going to be the most beautiful speaker you have ever heard, but I can tell you it will surpass your needs. If you can make the MRX work, this one will make things a walk in the park.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Alex Magor on December 08, 2015, 08:54:35 pm
Oh thats very helpful!  I guess I'll keep the 4000 then.  I was just afraid of blowing the speakers due to under powering them.  They sound absolutely great and have more than enough power.

ITech  4000 is plenty of  power for the 715. I run both the 4000 and 6000 on my 715's and there is no difference in performance. If you don't have enough rig with the 715/4000 combo Its time to look for a more sensitive/higher output box.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Paul G. OBrien on December 08, 2015, 09:31:04 pm
I was just afraid of blowing the speakers due to under powering them.
Sigh. You don't blow speakers by underpowering them you blow them by overpowering them. There are lots of ways to overpower a speaker however and one of them is with an undersized amp that is overdriven, but if you're never anywhere near clipping the amps you currently have then you're in no danger of hurting anything.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Tim McCulloch on December 08, 2015, 10:36:47 pm
Oh thats very helpful!  I guess I'll keep the 4000 then.  I was just afraid of blowing the speakers due to under powering them.  They sound absolutely great and have more than enough power.

Under-powering speakers to result in damage/destruction is mostly a myth (I know JBL has a white paper on their site, but it's not to be read casually).

Speakers get damaged either because of heat in the voice coil or from exceeding their Xmec.  Supplying too little voltage or having too little current will do neither.

Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Alex Magor on December 09, 2015, 09:31:42 am
Also would I be able to power tops and bottoms SRX's off of one Itech 6000 in mono (stereo mode but powering tops on 1 channel and the bottoms on second channel using the speaker's thru jacks to connect them) should one amp fail or would I be better off getting an itech 8000 as a fail safe in such a situation.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Rick Powell on December 09, 2015, 01:30:44 pm
Also would I be able to power tops and bottoms SRX's off of one Itech 6000 in mono (stereo mode but powering tops on 1 channel and the bottoms on second channel using the speaker's thru jacks to connect them) should one amp fail or would I be better off getting an itech 8000 as a fail safe in such a situation.

You certainly could power the whole main system off of one Itech 6000.  It's whatever you feel comfortable with.  Lose the capability of stereo music playback and don't have a "spare" so to speak, but one less amp to buy and carry.  For me, I run in stereo and have a separate Itech 6000 for low end and xti4000 for high end.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Alex Magor on April 05, 2016, 07:58:50 am
As it turns out the guys in the band preferred the older MRX speakers for the band.  Although we all preferred the SRX speakers when spinning mp3's.  Question now is wether we would notice any difference using two QSC PLX3602's, as we have used for many years, to power 2 MRX518 bottoms and 2 MRX 515 tops compared to just using one PLX3602 to power the whole system?  Its very hard to test this at the gigs as we are usually very short on time.  But it would be nice to sell off one of the amps and make the rack lighter and pocket some cash.  We have a second PLX3602 which powers the monitors so if the main amp fails we have a backup and can live without stage monitors for 1 gig (I have a backup powered monitor on stage as well).
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Stephen Kirby on April 05, 2016, 12:33:18 pm
I used to use a PLX3602 on subs.  At some point I replaced it with a Crest Pro 9200.  The first gig with it was a club we played every month and just used two 1-18s.  In the first set the keyboard player did an organ rush (glissando from the low end of the keyboard) and immediately looked up at me with this "what did you do with the PA?" look on his face.  Then he came over and asked during the break.  Same settings and levels we always used in there.  But when he mashed the low end of the keyboard you could feel it in the floor.  If wasn't that it was louder, but it was noticeably more solid.  All this by way of saying that as good as the PLX are (and even though I've migrated to powered tops and monitors I've kept the 3602 as a back up to the sub amp and to have just in case for other things) they tend to be somewhat limited, don't tolerate low line voltage well, and just don't work on subs as well as some alternatives.  Splitting one between top and sub duty might just not give you the clarity and reserves you need at some point.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Alex Magor on April 06, 2016, 08:43:49 am
I used to use a PLX3602 on subs.  At some point I replaced it with a Crest Pro 9200.  The first gig with it was a club we played every month and just used two 1-18s.  In the first set the keyboard player did an organ rush (glissando from the low end of the keyboard) and immediately looked up at me with this "what did you do with the PA?" look on his face.  Then he came over and asked during the break.  Same settings and levels we always used in there.  But when he mashed the low end of the keyboard you could feel it in the floor.  If wasn't that it was louder, but it was noticeably more solid.  All this by way of saying that as good as the PLX are (and even though I've migrated to powered tops and monitors I've kept the 3602 as a back up to the sub amp and to have just in case for other things) they tend to be somewhat limited, don't tolerate low line voltage well, and just don't work on subs as well as some alternatives.  Splitting one between top and sub duty might just not give you the clarity and reserves you need at some point.

Should I use 1 Crest amp for both tops and bottoms or would I be better off using 1 amp for tops and 1 amp for bottoms?
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Luke Geis on April 06, 2016, 02:31:36 pm
Depends?

If the subs and the tops are all 8 ohm's you can run a mono system that has the tops on one channel and the subs on the other. This will put a 4 ohm load on the amp and will work quite well. Now if the subs and tops are 4 ohm's each, you may want to reconsider? I am not sure if your amp is rated down to 2 ohm's per channel? If it is rated for 2 ohm loads in dual channel mode, then you will again be alright to run everything off the one amp.

I usually suggest running a dedicated amp for tops and for subs. Two reasons:

1. If the amps breaks down or you loose a channel, you can at least get through the gig in limp mode. You will have to reconfigure things to make it work, but at least you can if you have a good working amp.

2. Proper powering of your speakers. As we know, having an amp that is too small is not going to hurt anything, but trying to get the SPL out of an amp that may be grossly under powered is not ideal; especially when you run it into clipping! If you use a dedicated amp approach, you can power each part of the system as it was designed to be. This is of course more ideal. It truly depends on how closely rated your tops are vs your subs. If you need the same power going to each half of the system, it is not as big of a deal, but you are still better off with an amp dedicated to each half ( as per point # 1 ).

A third and possibly more debatable reason is that using subs on one half of an amp and tops on the other will present an uneven load to the amp. If you have the subs going full bore, it is likely that the top swill be pulled back a little to achieve balance. This means one channel of the amp will always be working a little harder than the other. This probably doesn't have any negative implications in the short term, but my bet is that in the long term it will. With one side always working harder, there will be more heat on one half and eventual failure will occur on that side sooner. Perhaps not though?
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Dave Garoutte on April 06, 2016, 04:36:27 pm

A third and possibly more debatable reason is that using subs on one half of an amp and tops on the other will present an uneven load to the amp. If you have the subs going full bore, it is likely that the top swill be pulled back a little to achieve balance. This means one channel of the amp will always be working a little harder than the other. This probably doesn't have any negative implications in the short term, but my bet is that in the long term it will. With one side always working harder, there will be more heat on one half and eventual failure will occur on that side sooner. Perhaps not though?

If you swap amp channels from show to show to show, it will even out the 'wear'.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Stephen Kirby on April 06, 2016, 06:03:54 pm
In my experience the PLX will safely run at 2 ohms.  But there is a noticeable drop in sound quality.  It just sounded more strained and blurry when I tried it.  Thinking I could get more headroom with "more power" I actually got less.

If you're not running very hard you could get away with splitting duties between the channels of one amp.  Especially if it's a good robust amp.  PLX are good sounding and reliable, but I don't think of them as robust.  Kind of like conversations you read about here with folks replacing XTi's with iTech HDs.  The regular PowerLight series is QSCs robust touring versions.

As they say "it depends".  All the amps in the discussion are <25lbs.  Two in a rack compared to one isn't going to make or break a load in.  When I had a completely passive system I had the three mains amps and DSP in one rack and the monitor amps in another.  All one man lifts.  If all your gigs are in small rooms at moderate levels, then one amp is fine.  If you need to move people in a larger room (and many weddings I've played were in moderate sized hotel ballrooms) then two good amps is probably called for.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Brian Jojade on April 06, 2016, 06:23:36 pm

A third and possibly more debatable reason is that using subs on one half of an amp and tops on the other will present an uneven load to the amp. If you have the subs going full bore, it is likely that the top swill be pulled back a little to achieve balance. This means one channel of the amp will always be working a little harder than the other. This probably doesn't have any negative implications in the short term, but my bet is that in the long term it will. With one side always working harder, there will be more heat on one half and eventual failure will occur on that side sooner. Perhaps not though?

In a well designed amp, each channel functions independently, as long as there is sufficient power available.  I regularly will put a top on one side of an amp and the sub on the second side for each channel instead of one amp for tops and one amp for subs.  The primary reason to do this is to even out the current draw between the two amps when splitting circuits.  Interestingly enough, the average current draw for the tops is usually higher than it is for the subs.

As far as wear and tear on the amps, I doubt that matters even a little bit. At least not enough to create a measurable difference in the life of the amp.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Luke Geis on April 07, 2016, 01:51:03 am
Hence why I said it was debatable. And of course if things are pretty well evened out, it is another non issue perhaps? My point being that if the amps halves are grossly different in terms of power delivery, can it and would it shorten life for one side?

Forget that all together. If you show up to a show with one amp and one amp only, then it fails, you are up a creek with nooooooooo paddles. At least with a second amp you have a backup plan that allows limp mode.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Alex Magor on April 08, 2016, 09:00:42 am
Hence why I said it was debatable. And of course if things are pretty well evened out, it is another non issue perhaps? My point being that if the amps halves are grossly different in terms of power delivery, can it and would it shorten life for one side?

Forget that all together. If you show up to a show with one amp and one amp only, then it fails, you are up a creek with nooooooooo paddles. At least with a second amp you have a backup plan that allows limp mode.

Like I said I have a second amp as a backup which is used for monitors in case the main amp dies.  And I have a backup powered monitor as well. 
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Alex Magor on April 11, 2016, 10:22:19 am
Well we just had back to back wedding gigs and tried working off one amp the first gig and 2 amps the second gig and both of my partners said the second gig sounded better and that there was more power behind the sound.
Title: Re: Help choosing crossover, amps, speakers for wedding band
Post by: Brian Jojade on April 11, 2016, 11:31:36 am
Hence why I said it was debatable. And of course if things are pretty well evened out, it is another non issue perhaps? My point being that if the amps halves are grossly different in terms of power delivery, can it and would it shorten life for one side?

Forget that all together. If you show up to a show with one amp and one amp only, then it fails, you are up a creek with nooooooooo paddles. At least with a second amp you have a backup plan that allows limp mode.

When the amp is powered on, even with no load, there is a certain amount of wear and tear on the amp.  Driving speakers does heat up the transistors, which does cause failure eventually. However, unless you are driving your amplifier to the point of premature failure on the side you are using, the change of the lifespan of that side of the amp will be minimal, if even measurable.  An amp that is overloaded and driven hard, no matter what, will have a shortened lifespan.  An amp that is used within spec can last decades.  Proper storage conditions would have a greater impact on the life of the amp rather than measuring which side had more real life use out of it.