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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => LAB Lounge => Topic started by: Scott Bower on January 01, 2019, 02:51:01 pm

Title: Sub upgrade, anyone using PRX818XLFW?
Post by: Scott Bower on January 01, 2019, 02:51:01 pm
I'm long overdue for a sub upgrade and looking at the PRX818XLFW or KW181. Anyone have experience with both and how do they compare? Specs look close other than the HPF on the JBL.
I'm currently running K12's as tops. Typical shows are 200-500 people at weddings and clubs. Mostly showbands or tribute acts, not heavy rock shows but do need some low end.
It looks like the 818 is similar to the 718 so that would also be a valid comparison.
Title: Re: Sub upgrade, anyone using PRX818XLFW?
Post by: Pat Cognitore on January 01, 2019, 03:04:32 pm
I'm long overdue for a sub upgrade and looking at the PRX818XLFW or KW181. Anyone have experience with both and how do they compare? Specs look close other than the HPF on the JBL.
I'm currently running K12's as tops. Typical shows are 200-500 people at weddings and clubs. Mostly showbands or tribute acts, not heavy rock shows but do need some low end.
It looks like the 818 is similar to the 718 so that would also be a valid comparison.
What are you upgrading from?

I've got the PRX718XLFs and I'm pretty happy with them.  The combination of output, extended frequency response, overall smoothness and size/weight at that price point is really good.

TBH I got both mine at a discounted price when the were discontinued. If I were looking now at the PRX800 series price point I'd probably consider the offerings by SRX, Yamaha, JTR and others In the next price bracket.

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Title: Re: Sub upgrade, anyone using PRX818XLFW?
Post by: Scott Bower on January 01, 2019, 03:28:30 pm
What are you upgrading from?

I've got the PRX718XLFs and I'm pretty happy with them.  The combination of output, extended frequency response, overall smoothness and size/weight at that price point is really good.

TBH I got both mine at a discounted price when the were discontinued. If I were looking now at the PRX800 series price point I'd probably consider the offerings by SRX, Yamaha, JTR and others In the next price bracket.

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I'm currently using Mackie SWA1501, 2 or 4 depending on venue size. I know anything would be an improvement although they do a respectable job most of the time.
Title: Re: Sub upgrade, anyone using PRX818XLFW?
Post by: Will Knight on January 01, 2019, 03:57:31 pm
The only difference between the 718XLF and the 818XLF is the addition of the Wireless capability and the Harman Connected PA app.  Both units have the same driver, weight, Freq Response etc.
I have several of 718ís, purchased at a discount (first pair) and picked up another pair from a fellow PSW member.  I use them under srx812pís or prx712ís depending on need and venue.

Patís suggestions are spot on for a start.  The KW181ís, while considered dated by todayís models, has retained itís value very well and continues to be a solid workhorse though I personally have not heard them.   If youíre not in a hurry and ok with used, periodically check the Marketplace forum as these and other units do come up for sale.  Finally, whatís your budget?

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Title: Re: Sub upgrade, anyone using PRX818XLFW?
Post by: Scott Gaines on January 01, 2019, 04:30:00 pm
I have a PRX818XLFW, and I'm VERY happy with the sound. It is a beast of a cab though, and no casters. They sound way better than the QSC to me, and they look super pro with my JBL tops.
 
That said, you already have K12's. Are you also considering moving to JBL mains?There is something to be said for matching tops and bottoms. Aesthetically speaking, it's important. But I don't particularly like the sound of the KW181.
Title: Re: Sub upgrade, anyone using PRX818XLFW?
Post by: Scott Bower on January 01, 2019, 04:41:37 pm
The only difference between the 718XLF and the 818XLF is the addition of the Wireless capability and the Harman Connected PA app.  Both units have the same driver, weight, Freq Response etc.
I have several of 718ís, purchased at a discount (first pair) and picked up another pair from a fellow PSW member.  I use them under srx812pís or prx712ís depending on need and venue.

Patís suggestions are spot on for a start.  The KW181ís, while considered dated by todayís models, has retained itís value very well and continues to be a solid workhorse though I personally have not heard them.   If youíre not in a hurry and ok with used, periodically check the Marketplace forum as these and other units do come up for sale.  Finally, whatís your budget?
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I don't have a set budget but would like to stay around $2000. I'll keep an eye out for used 718's too. I don't have a set timetable but would like to be into new subs before the busy season starts.

Title: Re: Sub upgrade, anyone using PRX818XLFW?
Post by: Luke Geis on January 01, 2019, 05:33:36 pm
The KW181's sound like one note wonders to me. They have lots of output, but it just seems to all be in a very small range of frequencies. They are punchy, but of course all within that small range. DJ's love them, I could live without them.

That being said I think the PRX is a great series and will double on what another said. For the cost of the PRX, just save a few hundred more and get the SRX. The SRX is not kidding around. They sound amazing and get plenty loud. You can get used SRX's for around the $1k mark or less.
Title: Re: Sub upgrade, anyone using PRX818XLFW?
Post by: Luis_Marquez on January 01, 2019, 07:02:26 pm
Came upon a informal powered sub listening gathering this weekend while visiting a friend. It was a very small mix of djís and band members at this gathering.  2 1/2 hrs were spent listening and comparing. Single sub of Prx718xlf, srx818sp, kw181, harbringer, ev(donít remember the model) were on site. A single prx712p was on mains. To my ears, srx was the clear winner in sound quality. Srx sounds fuller, goes deeper and fills the coverage area very nicely. Prx has a more focused sound, goes deep but not as the srx. Kw is more punchy but does not play as deep as Prx. Kw is very compact and easy for transport. Srx is large and a bit bulky but sound darn good. Prx is the happy medium in the transport category.

As others have said, Prx subs are very good subs but Srx are better.

I am waiting for someone to compare JTR c212 proís to SRX, PRX, KW, in sound quality and output.
Title: Re: Sub upgrade, anyone using PRX818XLFW?
Post by: Scott Holtzman on January 01, 2019, 10:48:31 pm
Came upon a informal powered sub listening gathering this weekend while visiting a friend. It was a very small mix of djís and band members at this gathering.  2 1/2 hrs were spent listening and comparing. Single sub of Prx718xlf, srx818sp, kw181, harbringer, ev(donít remember the model) were on site. A single prx712p was on mains. To my ears, srx was the clear winner in sound quality. Srx sounds fuller, goes deeper and fills the coverage area very nicely. Prx has a more focused sound, goes deep but not as the srx. Kw is more punchy but does not play as deep as Prx. Kw is very compact and easy for transport. Srx is large and a bit bulky but sound darn good. Prx is the happy medium in the transport category.

As others have said, Prx subs are very good subs but Srx are better.

I am waiting for someone to compare JTR c212 proís to SRX, PRX, KW, in sound quality and output.
Luis,  I too would like to know how the C212's stack up with those popular models.

I have a pile of KW-181's they do well for us. 

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Title: Re: Sub upgrade, anyone using PRX818XLFW?
Post by: Mal Brown on January 02, 2019, 12:29:48 am
The kw-181 is the winner to my way of thinking.  For one thing it integrates perfectly with your K12ís.   I have just a ton of gigs on mine and they have been trouble free and they sound great.  I do tend to roll the extreme lows out bit.  That is all it takes to get them from DJ - which they do well- to general sound support.

In my area they show up on CL for 800 to 1000 per unit in good condition.  I would have no issue buying used with an audition.
Title: Re: Sub upgrade, anyone using PRX818XLFW?
Post by: Chrysander 'C.R.' Young on January 02, 2019, 03:00:13 pm
I have owned and operated both the KW181 and the PRX718XLF.  I am happy to report that both subs are superb, especially for the price point.

The JBL PRX718XLF, in my experience, go a little louder and lower, but are larger and do not come with wheels.  It also can hi-pass the through connections at 80Hz, 24dB/octave.

The KW181 are smaller and, in my experience, do not seem to go quite as low and loud, but to my ears seem tighter.  These cannot provide hi-pass on the through connections.  They do come with the wheels and poles, which is handy.

I kept my PRX718XLF because they work flawlessly as a system with my PRX tops.  My church uses a KW181/KW153 system that sounds fantastic.  I would be happy to use either.  My $0.02 - since you have QSC tops, go with the KW181.  They sound very good together.

Title: Re: Sub upgrade, anyone using PRX818XLFW?
Post by: Scott Gaines on January 02, 2019, 03:16:09 pm
I have owned and operated both the KW181 and the PRX718XLF.  I am happy to report that both subs are superb, especially for the price point.

The JBL PRX718XLF, in my experience, go a little louder and lower, but are larger and do not come with wheels.  It also can hi-pass the through connections at 80Hz, 24dB/octave.

The KW181 are smaller and, in my experience, do not seem to go quite as low and loud, but to my ears seem tighter.  These cannot provide hi-pass on the through connections.  They do come with the wheels and poles, which is handy.

I kept my PRX718XLF because they work flawlessly as a system with my PRX tops.  My church uses a KW181/KW153 system that sounds fantastic.  I would be happy to use either.  My $0.02 - since you have QSC tops, go with the KW181.  They sound very good together.
I prefer the JBL's, but agree that for you the QSC makes more sense so you have a matching rig.
Title: Re: Sub upgrade, anyone using PRX818XLFW?
Post by: Steve Garris on January 03, 2019, 02:27:22 pm
I too have used both systems. While I own the JBL's, I have no trouble mixing at a club that has the KW181's and K12's for tops.
Title: Re: Sub upgrade, anyone using PRX818XLFW?
Post by: Debbie Dunkley on January 03, 2019, 03:43:00 pm
I own the PRX's and I have used both. They are both excellent subs and you could go either way and be happy after considering all the points made. If I already owned K tops however, I'd probably be tempted to go KW181.
Title: Re: Sub upgrade, anyone using PRX818XLFW?
Post by: Mark Wilkinson on January 03, 2019, 03:47:04 pm
The KW181's sound like one note wonders to me. They have lots of output, but it just seems to all be in a very small range of frequencies. They are punchy, but of course all within that small range. DJ's love them, I could live without them.


The measurements this guy shows appear to support your opinion.

http://www.audiomeasurements.com/?p=4048
Title: Re: Sub upgrade, anyone using PRX818XLFW?
Post by: Mark Wilkinson on January 03, 2019, 05:51:19 pm
Luis,  I too would like to know how the C212's stack up with those popular models.


Hey Scott, just in case you haven't seen this.....
https://data-bass.com/data?page=system&id=142

I so wish the popular pro subs would find their way to his site....it's the sub reference par excellence IMO
Title: Re: Sub upgrade, anyone using PRX818XLFW?
Post by: Chris Grimshaw on January 04, 2019, 09:41:29 am
Hey Scott, just in case you haven't seen this.....
https://data-bass.com/data?page=system&id=142

I so wish the popular pro subs would find their way to his site....it's the sub reference par excellence IMO

Agreed.
Also worth noting that Josh's measurements are usually at 2m, so you'll have to normalise to get SPL @1m for comparison.

Chris
Title: Re: Sub upgrade, anyone using PRX818XLFW?
Post by: Pat Cognitore on January 11, 2019, 06:26:38 pm
In case the OP or anyone else is interested, there are some decent discounts on the JBL stuff right now, including the PRX and SRX subs.

http://www.proaudiostar.com/landing/jbl-sale.html

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Title: Re: Sub upgrade, anyone using PRX818XLFW?
Post by: Scott Gaines on January 11, 2019, 06:31:24 pm
In case the OP or anyone else is interested, there are some decent discounts on the JBL stuff right now, including the PRX and SRX subs.

http://www.proaudiostar.com/landing/jbl-sale.html

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Wow, those are GOOD prices. But Hell, with those prices, I'd buy the 1500W VRX subs.
Title: Re: Sub upgrade, anyone using PRX818XLFW?
Post by: Scott Bower on January 11, 2019, 08:26:56 pm
Well just ordered a pair of KW181. Advice here seemed to be evenly split between the 2 but the size of the JBL(I usually work alone) and the "keep it all QSC" thing tipped the scales. I have heard them many times and I know they'll get the job done.
JBL prices are pretty good now but price wasn't the primary concern. Thanks to all who offered advice on this.
Title: Re: Sub upgrade, anyone using PRX818XLFW?
Post by: Richard Penrose on January 12, 2019, 04:19:03 am
I find this debate between the PRX 818-XLF and KW181 pretty interesting as opinions on these subs can be total opposites. When I was looking to buy I spoke to a few guys who owned them over here and their opinion was the JBLís went a little deeper but were a little boomy and muddy and the KW181ís went a little louder, sounded clearer and punchier. I know a few local companies who use the KW181ís as part of their smaller rigs that love them. Iíve also had some very experienced engineers comment on how good they thought the KW181ís sounded. Iím definitely not getting the one note wonder here with mine?
Title: Re: Sub upgrade, anyone using PRX818XLFW?
Post by: Scott Bolt on January 13, 2019, 03:24:24 pm
I have a neighbor down the street that has a system with KW181's and I have a system with PRX618S-XLF's.

Comparing the two subs side by side (using a multi-track feed of a gig going back through the original digital mixer that recorded it), my ear said that the JBL sounded "cleaner" and "less cluttered" than the KW.

That being said, if I already had QSC tops, I would absolutely go with the QSC subs (though not the KSUB :) ).
Title: Re: Sub upgrade, anyone using PRX818XLFW?
Post by: Debbie Dunkley on January 13, 2019, 05:03:52 pm
I have a neighbor down the street that has a system with KW181's and I have a system with PRX618S-XLF's.

Comparing the two subs side by side (using a multi-track feed of a gig going back through the original digital mixer that recorded it), my ear said that the JBL sounded "cleaner" and "less cluttered" than the KW.

That being said, if I already had QSC tops, I would absolutely go with the QSC subs (though not the KSUB :) ).

Yes Scott- I was able to compare the 2 years ago and also preferred the PRX (hence why I have them). The PRX sounded 'bigger' and deeper to me. I agree with you though as I stated before if I already had QSC, I'd stick with them as the difference is very slight and opinions are split.It's all a matter of taste...