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Title: JBL VT4888 vs Clair i3
Post by: John Mcleod on March 13, 2019, 07:18:31 am
Hello gentleman
Were looking at getting a little array setup and locally we can get some 4888 but we thought Clair i3 may be also up our alley..
The cost difference is also a factor for us Canadians vs US DOLLAR. .unfortunately.
Any help or real world experience would be greatfull.
We will be looking at 6-8 boxes per side over time when were done building our system.
Thanks
John
Title: Re: JBL VT4888 vs Clair i3
Post by: John Penkala on March 13, 2019, 08:16:11 am
Hello gentleman
Were looking at getting a little array setup and locally we can get some 4888 but we thought Clair i3 may be also up our alley..
The cost difference is also a factor for us Canadians vs US DOLLAR. .unfortunately.
Any help or real world experience would be greatfull.
We will be looking at 6-8 boxes per side over time when were done building our system.
Thanks
John

In my market you'd keep busy with the 4888's. If you go that route, iTech HD amplification is highly recommended.
Title: Re: JBL VT4888 vs Clair i3
Post by: John Mcleod on March 13, 2019, 08:28:51 am
In my market you'd keep busy with the 4888's. If you go that route, iTech HD amplification is highly recommended.
Thanks for the reply
Im rather fond of the Lab Gruppen FP/PLM sound and performance. ..personally
So that is my amp choice
Title: Re: JBL VT4888 vs Clair i3
Post by: Jerry Prince on March 13, 2019, 08:40:07 am
Thanks for the reply
Im rather fond of the Lab Gruppen FP/PLM sound and performance. ..personally
So that is my amp choice

If you decide to go with the VT4888 the itech HD line is the only way to power them and have them sound their best. I have tried the Lab and the itech V5 and there is no comparison in sound quality. You would be limited that box with any other amp. Iím sure many others will chime in on this.
Title: Re: JBL VT4888 vs Clair i3
Post by: Mark Cadwallader on March 13, 2019, 09:22:32 am
Hello gentleman
Were looking at getting a little array setup and locally we can get some 4888 but we thought Clair i3 may be also up our alley..
The cost difference is also a factor for us Canadians vs US DOLLAR. .unfortunately.
Any help or real world experience would be greatfull.
We will be looking at 6-8 boxes per side over time when were done building our system.
Thanks
John

The general consensus among experienced users here seems to be that these types of systems do not readily lend themselves to "buy-a-box-a-month" deployments.  There are lots of threads on the topic.
Title: Re: JBL VT4888 vs Clair i3
Post by: David Sturzenbecher on March 13, 2019, 09:23:49 am
Thanks for the reply
Im rather fond of the Lab Gruppen FP/PLM sound and performance. ..personally
So that is my amp choice

The 4888 and iTechHD is a package.  If you get one, you have to get the other.... At least to meet riders and be taken seriously. If those don't apply to you then feel free to do whatever.   

I would assume the clair boxes are paired with an amp/dsp in a similar fashion.
Title: Re: JBL VT4888 vs Clair i3
Post by: Steven Eudaly on March 13, 2019, 09:27:12 am
All other deciding factors aside, if you want Lab PLM power, go with i3. If you want VerTec, go iTech HD.

As others have said, it should be seen as non-negotiable. You're buying a "system" not just some speakers and amps.
Title: Re: JBL VT4888 vs Clair i3
Post by: Steve Ferreira on March 13, 2019, 09:42:18 am
All other deciding factors aside, if you want Lab PLM power, go with i3. If you want VerTec, go iTech HD.

As others have said, it should be seen as non-negotiable. You're buying a "system" not just some speakers and amps.

^^^ This.
Title: Re: JBL VT4888 vs Clair i3
Post by: Jim McKeveny on March 13, 2019, 10:13:10 am
... to meet riders and be taken seriously.

Do not let this discourage you. There are outfits that "meet riders" and suck, and others (locally/regionally) that routinely render satisfying shows without edge-of-the-art gear. No one brand/model will be satisfactory to all. Clair Global has clients that opt to use non-Clair stuff.

Title: Re: JBL VT4888 vs Clair i3
Post by: TJ (Tom) Cornish on March 13, 2019, 10:14:47 am
Thanks for the reply
Im rather fond of the Lab Gruppen FP/PLM sound and performance. ..personally
So that is my amp choice
Don't by Vertec then.  ITech HD is mandatory for Vertec.
Title: Re: JBL VT4888 vs Clair i3
Post by: Tim McCulloch on March 13, 2019, 12:13:55 pm
DOG PILE!

Steve, TJ and David are spot on...  These are *systems* and that includes the power amps/processing.  If you insist on Lab Gruppen amps buy the i3 and amps from Clair (so you'll get the needed i3 processing).  If you think the 4888 will have better client acceptance, buy the ITech HD amps and be done with it.

I've heard the alleged transfer function "matching" for VerTec done with other amplifiers and processing and no, it's not the same.  One was close (and proprietary) and the other wasn't.

So is this a hobby or business?  Buy what your clients have expressed an interest in paying money for.  Take you profits and buy whatever you want to listen to in the shop or at home.
Title: Re: JBL VT4888 vs Clair i3
Post by: Riley Casey on March 13, 2019, 12:22:48 pm
Just to run counter to the party line on this Iíve been running Vertec 4888s with Lab Gruppens and BSS366 v4 processing for years and have always found that combo to sound better than the stock itech Harmon solution. This is based on A:B ing against cross rented 4888s running both v4 and V5 processing over the years and Drive pack cabinets as well.  No idea what they would sound like with the Lake proccessing in the current Labs but JBL did provide v4 settings for Lakes so there is a starting place should you choose that path.   If your rig sounds good and you have a good reputation with your customers ( the bands are rarely your customers at that mid level, the promoters are ) then that kind of Brown M&Ms level of rider detail isnít what gets you the gig.

All that being said buy what you can rent more of and easily integrate into your set up. If you routinely do gigs with six boxes a side but a few times a year you need twelve a side to keep your best customer from going to the competition then the right answer is what ever those extra boxes and amps are likely to be.
Title: Re: JBL VT4888 vs Clair i3
Post by: Jim McKeveny on March 13, 2019, 01:34:19 pm
Just to run counter to the party line on this Iíve been running Vertec 4888s with Lab Gruppens and BSS366 v4 processing for years and have always found that combo to sound better than the stock itech Harmon solution.

Ditto. My preferred vendor in LI/NY area has significant number of 4888s/Lab/Lake systems, and they always Sound Good Fast. The proprietor has A/B'd the Crown offering more than once and does not recognize any real world improvement.

A proven rig with a wise SE beats all.
Title: Re: JBL VT4888 vs Clair i3
Post by: Tim McCulloch on March 13, 2019, 01:40:03 pm
Just to run counter to the party line on this Iíve been running Vertec 4888s with Lab Gruppens and BSS366 v4 processing for years and have always found that combo to sound better than the stock itech Harmon solution. This is based on A:B ing against cross rented 4888s running both v4 and V5 processing over the years and Drive pack cabinets as well.  No idea what they would sound like with the Lake proccessing in the current Labs but JBL did provide v4 settings for Lakes so there is a starting place should you choose that path.   If your rig sounds good and you have a good reputation with your customers ( the bands are rarely your customers at that mid level, the promoters are ) then that kind of Brown M&Ms level of rider detail isnít what gets you the gig.

All that being said buy what you can rent more of and easily integrate into your set up. If you routinely do gigs with six boxes a side but a few times a year you need twelve a side to keep your best customer from going to the competition then the right answer is what ever those extra boxes and amps are likely to be.

The V4 and earlier processing was pretty easy to emulate - on that we will agree.

Being very familiar with how V5 sounds (especially off-axis) I have yet to hear any publicly available emulation that sounds the same and I'm very suspicious of any such claims.

A big part of what made VerTec a poor contender for the the first 15 years of its life was open processing and system owners/engineers fiddling with it, back when l'Acoustic was kicking ass and selling Vdosc because their rigs sounded consistent.
Title: Re: JBL VT4888 vs Clair i3
Post by: John L Nobile on March 13, 2019, 02:07:30 pm


A big part of what made VerTec a poor contender for the the first 15 years of its life was open processing and system owners/engineers fiddling with it,

That explains why I haven't heard a VerTec system I've liked. Everyone seems to know more about the setup than the manufacturers.
Title: Re: JBL VT4888 vs Clair i3
Post by: David Sturzenbecher on March 13, 2019, 02:25:39 pm
That explains why I haven't heard a VerTec system I've liked. Everyone seems to know more about the setup than the manufacturers.

There is a reason why the first question every BE asks is....Vertec Huh?  Are you running V5?   
Title: Re: JBL VT4888 vs Clair i3
Post by: Tim McCulloch on March 13, 2019, 03:33:04 pm
That explains why I haven't heard a VerTec system I've liked. Everyone seems to know more about the setup than the manufacturers.

The other reason is use of the Wishful Thinking Mode when using the JBL Line Array Calculator.  That's where the system designer wishes he had more inventory or weight capacity to make the prediction pic prettier in more than 1 frequency band.
Title: Re: JBL VT4888 vs Clair i3
Post by: Riley Casey on March 13, 2019, 04:27:46 pm
Another " this forum needs a like button" moment

 ;D

The other reason is use of the Wishful Thinking Mode when using the JBL Line Array Calculator.  That's where the system designer wishes he had more inventory or weight capacity to make the prediction pic prettier in more than 1 frequency band.
Title: Re: JBL VT4888 vs Clair i3
Post by: Steve Litscher on March 13, 2019, 04:38:56 pm
I auditioned the i3 rig with PLM amplification while at Clair Global in November. I was really impressed by the sound quality and consistent/even coverage. The pricing on their boxes is tough to beat, and there's no one that can touch the pricing on their PLM20k amps. They're used... but they're well maintained and you'll have full support from Clair should you need it.

Tom A is an awesome guy over at Clair Global. We sat down and planned out/defined my immediate needs, followed by my 3 and 5-year goals. He assured me that if I needed 12 boxes at first with an end goal of 32 boxes, that it would be no issue, and they'd make certain I was covered.

The best bet may be to take a few trips... go listen to the gear and then make a decision. I'll also add that in terms of rider acceptance - I was worried about selecting Clair, but learned that (at least around here) the name doesn't matter too much, so long as it's a positively-viewed large scale manufacturer. After talking with dozens of people and mentioning we were looking into Clair, Adamson, and d&b, everyone said, "Yeah, any of those will be great."
Title: Re: JBL VT4888 vs Clair i3
Post by: Matthew Knischewsky on March 13, 2019, 10:23:45 pm
Hello gentleman
Were looking at getting a little array setup and locally we can get some 4888 but we thought Clair i3 may be also up our alley..
The cost difference is also a factor for us Canadians vs US DOLLAR. .unfortunately.
Any help or real world experience would be greatfull.
We will be looking at 6-8 boxes per side over time when were done building our system.
Thanks
John

88's are a great box but they're long in the tooth now but still accepted. You'd want to be able to make your investment back in short order. 6-8 can be a good number per side depending on the type of shows you're doing.

As most are suggesting, go with the Crown HDs for amplification. Not only just for V5 processing but for Performance Manager and the ability to control every amplifier on the network. The Line Array Calculator is quite good and you have the ability to apply EQ/shading to individual circuits during the prediction. It's a powerful software package.

While it's not the rig you're looking at, there's a turnkey 89, 87A, 80, and V Rack system available in Kitchener. It's on Kijiji. Not mine, but I did tech it often at one time and it is very well kept.
Title: Re: JBL VT4888 vs Clair i3
Post by: John Mcleod on March 14, 2019, 05:41:22 am
As always gentlemen. ..
Some excellent advice here
Title: Re: JBL VT4888 vs Clair i3
Post by: Brian Hancock on March 14, 2019, 09:26:57 pm
Would probably add that an 88 rig with the correct amp would allow you an easy path to the newer vtx line in the future perhaps when they start hitting the used market in 3 to 5 years ... vertex with v5 is an easy cross rent too and cheaply done and readily avaliable not air about your area but i3 may may not be?

88s and v5 will also be one of those... may not be first on the rider list but any touring act not carrying has probably played on it and it is a known entity in that way ... so you may not have to meet that specifically with your work but it will make your day easier on a 1 off ... I've heard 88s sound great and like crap all based on the foh / system tech.
Title: Re: JBL VT4888 vs Clair i3
Post by: John Penkala on March 15, 2019, 05:59:16 pm
Hello gentleman
Were looking at getting a little array setup and locally we can get some 4888 but we thought Clair i3 may be also up our alley..



IMO, 4888's are the new KF850.

Title: Re: JBL VT4888 vs Clair i3
Post by: Chris Hindle on March 15, 2019, 07:53:14 pm

IMO, 4888's are the new KF850.
Nice one.
You see them everywhere, everyone knows how to use them, not the best, but get the job done.
Just like ye old 58.
Chris.
Title: Re: JBL VT4888 vs Clair i3
Post by: Jim McKeveny on March 18, 2019, 09:33:01 am
IMO, 4888's are the new KF850.

Ouch!.....and likely true.
Title: Re: JBL VT4888 vs Clair i3
Post by: brian maddox on March 18, 2019, 02:20:01 pm

IMO, 4888's are the new KF850.

a lot of truth there actually.  Much like the 88s, the 850s were a box that sounded really good when processed correctly and deployed correctly and not nearly so good when corners were cut or people decided they could "make them sound better" with their own presets/processing.
Title: Re: JBL VT4888 vs Clair i3
Post by: Tim McCulloch on March 18, 2019, 03:36:23 pm
a lot of truth there actually.  Much like the 88s, the 850s were a box that sounded really good when processed correctly and deployed correctly and not nearly so good when corners were cut or people decided they could "make them sound better" with their own presets/processing.

Yepper, and system owners messing with factory processing is *part* of what made VerTec a gambling decision the first 14 years of it's life.  The other part was that the factory processing, up to V3.x wasn't particularly well done, and until V4, was unlocked and open to owner/end user changes that mostly made the systems sound worse.

Back when Christian Heil and the vDosc waveguild started the vertical array era of live sound, l'Acoustic was wise to black-box all processing; and in the USA the unenviable job of convincing American system owners that sending $1m to France didn't give the owners the right mess with the rig fell to Jeff Cox and Paul Baumann.

When Paul went to JBL, one of the first things he did was convince them that all future processing needed locks.  When V4 was released - with major sonic improvements - I'm sure there was great wailing and gnashing of teeth when some owners found out they couldn't alter every parameter in the crossover.

Coming back full circle to the 4888/KF850 comparison, my bet is the 4888 rigs that remain will be exactly like most of the 850 out there: on old processing and power, as firms with significant ITech HD investments are likely to move up to VTX or VTX-A rather than power a legacy product that's not in significant demand.
Title: Re: JBL VT4888 vs Clair i3
Post by: Jim McKeveny on March 20, 2019, 08:12:30 am
There is a reason why the first question every BE asks is....Vertec Huh?  Are you running V5?

Despite their enhanced self-regard, the BE is not a big influencer regarding these decisions.

The requirement for Crown branded amps was a major pushback on the V5 protocol and VTX.  L' Acoustics and D&B seem to better balance amp cost & service life vs. features. In a networked system a color display on every amp is an unnecessary cost and distraction and point of failure. At a system demo, racks of high heat, high fan noise, high backstage light pollution, idling I-Tech HDs are a non-starter. Sound gear needs to work perfectly and be unseen.





Title: Re: JBL VT4888 vs Clair i3
Post by: TJ (Tom) Cornish on March 20, 2019, 09:44:48 am
Despite their enhanced self-regard, the BE is not a big influencer regarding these decisions.

The requirement for Crown branded amps was a major pushback on the V5 protocol and VTX.  L' Acoustics and D&B seem to better balance amp cost & service life vs. features. In a networked system a color display on every amp is an unnecessary cost and distraction and point of failure. At a system demo, racks of high heat, high fan noise, high backstage light pollution, idling I-Tech HDs are a non-starter. Sound gear needs to work perfectly and be unseen.
While not disagreeing with the main points of your assessment, I suspect the BOM cost of a $6500 ITHD4x3500 is around $1200, with the color screen maybe being $100 of that.  The vast majority of the cost is R&D and support amortized over a very small number of units.  I doubt pulling the screen out would change the price of the amp.

I haven't personally had trouble with fan noise - for me it's the movers that raise the noise floor in the room, not the amps, but I can see your point in certain situations.

Title: Re: JBL VT4888 vs Clair i3
Post by: David Sturzenbecher on March 20, 2019, 11:16:09 am
Despite their enhanced self-regard, the BE is not a big influencer regarding these decisions.

The requirement for Crown branded amps was a major pushback on the V5 protocol and VTX.  L' Acoustics and D&B seem to better balance amp cost & service life vs. features. In a networked system a color display on every amp is an unnecessary cost and distraction and point of failure. At a system demo, racks of high heat, high fan noise, high backstage light pollution, idling I-Tech HDs are a non-starter. Sound gear needs to work perfectly and be unseen.

High Backstage light pollution?  You can turn those screens off.  Or allow them to turn off after a minute of not using them.

If you want to find ways to discredit the iTechHD line, the idea of spending $500 a unit for an obsolete Cobranet chipset would be at the top of the list.
Title: Re: JBL VT4888 vs Clair i3
Post by: Jim McKeveny on March 21, 2019, 09:36:28 am
High Backstage light pollution?  You can turn those screens off.  Or allow them to turn off after a minute of not using them.

If you want to find ways to discredit the iTechHD line, the idea of spending $500 a unit for an obsolete Cobranet chipset would be at the top of the list.

The Crown moniker brings a good deal of baggage. The brand extension that allows us to see the JBL logo on downmarket products hasn't impacted the operational value of JBL's top tier pro offerings. Near-edge engineering and innovation remains at the core. Sharp hires from L' Acoustics demonstrate this.

Myself and others with decades of pro-segment observation do not see the same in Crown. This is curious because Crown does not operate in the consumer sphere. We see Crown products as glossy and feature-driven, rather than as trusted, supported, "keeper" industrial products they need to be.
Title: Re: JBL VT4888 vs Clair i3
Post by: Matthew Knischewsky on March 21, 2019, 10:07:11 am
The Crown moniker brings a good deal of baggage. The brand extension that allows us to see the JBL logo on downmarket products hasn't impacted the operational value of JBL's top tier pro offerings. Near-edge engineering and innovation remains at the core. Sharp hires from L' Acoustics demonstrate this.

Myself and others with decades of pro-segment observation do not see the same in Crown. This is curious because Crown does not operate in the consumer sphere. We see Crown products as glossy and feature-driven, rather than as trusted, supported, "keeper" industrial products they need to be.

This here is what we would call a good old fashioned difference of opinion. Your previous mention of the requirement of Crown amps for V5 processing was a welcome change IMO when that happened. And in a lot of other people's opinion as well.
Title: Re: JBL VT4888 vs Clair i3
Post by: Jim McKeveny on April 08, 2019, 07:40:37 am
Despite their enhanced self-regard, the BE is not a big influencer regarding these decisions.

The requirement for Crown branded amps was a major pushback on the V5 protocol and VTX.  L' Acoustics and D&B seem to better balance amp cost & service life vs. features. In a networked system a color display on every amp is an unnecessary cost and distraction and point of failure. At a system demo, racks of high heat, high fan noise, high backstage light pollution, idling I-Tech HDs are a non-starter. Sound gear needs to work perfectly and be unseen.

Update:

Recently spent some hours at a thorough factory demo of JBL A8 rig hung next to a maintained & developed 4887/Lake/Lab rig. 6 deep each. My takeaway was that, aside from the (welcome) packaging and hardware evolution, sonic gain was incremental. To my ears and Smaart mics.

I had previously thrown shade at Crown, but the 3500's in V-Rack were a complete non-issue.
Title: Re: JBL VT4888 vs Clair i3
Post by: John Heinz on April 16, 2019, 10:05:34 am
Hello gentleman
Were looking at getting a little array setup and locally we can get some 4888 but we thought Clair i3 may be also up our alley..
The cost difference is also a factor for us Canadians vs US DOLLAR. .unfortunately.
Any help or real world experience would be greatfull.
We will be looking at 6-8 boxes per side over time when were done building our system.
Thanks
John

As it relates to processing. I've heard the BSS London units will support V5 because of the installations that used the Crown CTS3000's for amps.

I agree while the VT4888 is not current, an engineer once said "nobody is mad at that box".  When powered with IT-HD and running V5, most will accept because it's a known value. I think there is a financial consideration when you think about the investment and what the market will bear for rentals.  How fast do you want to make the money back for reinvestment in current product? There is nothing wrong with a VT4888 "B" rig. Also keep in mind IT-HD's are 10 years old.

John Heinz
Concert Quality

John Heinz
Concert Quality
Title: Re: JBL VT4888 vs Clair i3
Post by: Raul Suarez on April 16, 2019, 05:59:28 pm
Jim- did you walk the house front to back and listen to the phasing of the 4887 vs the A8? 

While we do not own 4887, we do have every other Vertec Box and the phase consistency of the A8 we feel is quite amazing.
Title: Re: JBL VT4888 vs Clair i3
Post by: Jim McKeveny on April 20, 2019, 10:37:46 am
Jim- did you walk the house front to back and listen to the phasing of the 4887 vs the A8? 

While we do not own 4887, we do have every other Vertec Box and the phase consistency of the A8 we feel is quite amazing.

Raul-

If by "phasing" you mean comb-filtering over distance, the difference was there but subtle.  The short answer as to "Why?" being the tighter physical coupling/critical distances between transducer components. (Longer answer surely involves smart use of sharp & asymmetric FIR filtering). If that is what 15 years of sonic development sounds like, my hat is off to the original VT team.

(...And both rigs measured well, too. We did not measure the latency stack, but my guess is the older rig was "faster".)