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Title: Favorite small/lightweight subs for single person transport?
Post by: Mark Scrivener on August 14, 2019, 04:54:41 pm
The thread "Challenge: Build a full band system that can fit in an SUV" (https://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,171796.0.html) got me thinking. It's really about the subs. There are tons of decent choices for small powered tops and monitors (or IEMs) that get loud and occupy little space, and the mixer is a total non issue with all the rack mount wireless digital solutions on the market. Heck without subs I've moved systems like this in a Ford Focus! The real challenge is finding good subs that can still fit through the door/hatch opening on a typical vehicle and are light enough to be comfortably transported by a single person.

Personally I have 2x PRX815XLFW's. JBL lists them at 58 lbs each, and I find the handle positions well balanced for single person transport. Not gonna handle a large outdoor DJ gig, but they work for my needs. The JTR 212 Captivator looks like an excellent option as well (at 2x the cost), 67 lbs, though I have no idea how well balanced the handles are for single person lifting in and out of a vehicle. 

So let's hear it - what are your favorite subs when you have to move them alone in a personal vehicle (no lift gates or box vans)?
Title: Re: Favorite small/lightweight subs for single person transport?
Post by: Rob Bernstein on August 14, 2019, 10:50:22 pm
The thread "Challenge: Build a full band system that can fit in an SUV" (https://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,171796.0.html) got me thinking. It's really about the subs. There are tons of decent choices for small powered tops and monitors (or IEMs) that get loud and occupy little space, and the mixer is a total non issue with all the rack mount wireless digital solutions on the market. Heck without subs I've moved systems like this in a Ford Focus! The real challenge is finding good subs that can still fit through the door/hatch opening on a typical vehicle and are light enough to be comfortably transported by a single person.

Personally I have 2x PRX815XLFW's. JBL lists them at 58 lbs each, and I find the handle positions well balanced for single person transport. Not gonna handle a large outdoor DJ gig, but they work for my needs. The JTR 212 Captivator looks like an excellent option as well (at 2x the cost), 67 lbs, though I have no idea how well balanced the handles are for single person lifting in and out of a vehicle. 

So let's hear it - what are your favorite subs when you have to move them alone in a personal vehicle (no lift gates or box vans)?
I have a Mazda CX-5, what I would call a mid-sized SUV. I do most of my weekend work for a 6-piece wedding band, I work alone, and my back ain't getting any stronger.
I had been using a pair of JBL PRX715XLF's, same size and power as your 815XLF's. Served me well for almost 4-years. I can lift them and the whole PA (4 x Yamaha DXR10's, 2 x JBL PRX712's, A&H Qu-SB, mics, stands, etc...) fits in my SUV. I do have a cargo carrier that attaches to the trailer hitch for things like my 4-wheeler and mic stands.
I decided I wanted to try something other than the PRX715XLF's for subs and have the weight and size constraints you mention.
I went with a pair of RCF SUB-905AS MKII. A tad heavier than the JBL's and a tad taller. Some nice DSP options and the covers RCF sells for them are superb, very well thought out. They fit in the SUV nicely and I just had to adjust the truck pack to accommodate.
And they sound great. I did an A/B with my JBL subs and they sound much fuller to my ears.
Title: Re: Favorite small/lightweight subs for single person transport?
Post by: Rick Powell on August 15, 2019, 12:08:57 am
The Captivator 212's have those "4-way" cut-out handles that can be grabbed in any direction on both ends. I have not grabbed one for loading myself, but if you are grabbing both handles it's a 30" wingspan between the ends (16 H x 30 W x 22 D, when laid sideways). I am used to hauling bigger cabinets and am sure it wouldn't be a problem for me to load into a small vehicle by myself, but that's just me. Danley TH Mini's should be another candidate, similar weight, slightly smaller dimensions (22 H x 15 W x 22 D) and have a cut-out grab handle on the top end only, but they don't make a self powered version if that's important to you.
Title: Re: Favorite small/lightweight subs for single person transport?
Post by: andyolsen on August 15, 2019, 12:24:28 am
I used to load up Danley mini subs (1 12s).
They are easy, but heavier than you might think.
Built solid like a tank, sound great.
Title: Re: Favorite small/lightweight subs for single person transport?
Post by: Mal Brown on August 15, 2019, 01:38:56 pm
I built a few of Dave Green (GreenBoy) fEarful 12 subs.  Very small.  Very punchy.  Based on Eminence 3012lf.  Like anything small and voiced as a sub, there are limits...

If I were buying, the QSC rear cancelling sub would be high on my list.
Title: Re: Favorite small/lightweight subs for single person transport?
Post by: Mark Rombouts on August 15, 2019, 01:59:47 pm
I recently bought an FBT Subline118sa sub. 18 powered. Great sub and really small for an 18. I like it very much. Before these I had RCF 8004, way bigger, too big for my use.
Title: Re: Favorite small/lightweight subs for single person transport?
Post by: Dave Guilford on August 15, 2019, 02:09:22 pm
The newer qsc cardioid ksc212 or whatever is really pretty sharp, considering a relatively small size.  Sounds nice.  I thought the cardio thinf was gimmicky - but it works and its noticable.
Title: Re: Favorite small/lightweight subs for single person transport?
Post by: Craig Hauber on August 15, 2019, 03:14:08 pm
The thread "Challenge: Build a full band system that can fit in an SUV" (https://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,171796.0.html) got me thinking. It's really about the subs. There are tons of decent choices for small powered tops and monitors (or IEMs) that get loud and occupy little space, and the mixer is a total non issue with all the rack mount wireless digital solutions on the market. Heck without subs I've moved systems like this in a Ford Focus! The real challenge is finding good subs that can still fit through the door/hatch opening on a typical vehicle and are light enough to be comfortably transported by a single person.

Personally I have 2x PRX815XLFW's. JBL lists them at 58 lbs each, and I find the handle positions well balanced for single person transport. Not gonna handle a large outdoor DJ gig, but they work for my needs. The JTR 212 Captivator looks like an excellent option as well (at 2x the cost), 67 lbs, though I have no idea how well balanced the handles are for single person lifting in and out of a vehicle. 

So let's hear it - what are your favorite subs when you have to move them alone in a personal vehicle (no lift gates or box vans)?

Don't laugh, but I use the Ramsa 240 still for small events that I alone have to carry.  After multiple hernia surgeries and a back that's going, I would rather walk multiple trips with smaller light items than have to grunt even a medium sized tour-worthy cabinet.
So for tiny gigs (acoustic singer/guitar in a lobby or mansion) I take just one of the subs to fill in some "warmth"  for anything larger I'll take 2 or 4.  For my maximum under those circumstances I take six -anything more has diminishing returns. 
Anything larger simply must have allotment for an assistant or additional loaders, ramps, elevators etc...
The Ramsa subs more than surpass the bose sticks and their companion bass-box that seems to dominate those types of gigs.  Three per side keeps up with an MI-grade single-18 and they are more easy to hide for those gigs where decor is more important than anything else.
I regularly use a Grand Marquis (Crown Victoria) for those smaller gigs, everything fits fine (considering the large backseat and cavernous trunk on those), it fits great in parking structures and doesn't embarrass me at the Valet.
Title: Re: Favorite small/lightweight subs for single person transport?
Post by: Peter Kowalczyk on August 15, 2019, 05:12:45 pm
The newer qsc cardioid ksc212 or whatever is really pretty sharp, considering a relatively small size.  Sounds nice.  I thought the cardio thinf was gimmicky - but it works and its noticable.

We put a QSC KS212 cardioid into a small venue last year.  The cardioid effect works, and it's got decent output.  However, like most bandpass designs, it's kind of a 'one-note wonder' - exactly 60Hz if I recall correctly.  I used a high-Q notch there to 'even out' the response a bit.  The clients are happy.  ( I started a thread a while ago about 'Low Profile Subs' where we discussed this and other options.  In the end, this model was what someone else wanted to buy... so it goes).

If SPL / ft^3 is the main metric, this is a good option.  I'd still prefer to mix on  KW181s or other direct radiating subs....
Title: Re: Favorite small/lightweight subs for single person transport?
Post by: Jay Marr on August 16, 2019, 09:41:38 am
I like the JBL SRX718s for personal carry.  They're pretty light and easy to pop in and out of a SUV.  I power them with a Crown iTech.
6 space rack on wheels - itech, X32 core, S16, patchbay. - also very easy to pop in and out of my SUV.
Take your tops of choice, and you're good to go.  I'll throw either my DSR112s or JTR Noesis over those subs and either system sounds amazing (I'll use one side of iTech for subs, one side for JTR).
The JTR stand up in my Escalade, so they actually have a really small footprint for packing.
I also have my personal monitor (only), cable trunk, and my guitar rig all in that Escalade - and only have to put one seat down.

If I was buying new today - I would likely be looking at the JTR Captivator 212.  Reviews are all super positive, and the form factor looks awesome.
Title: Re: Favorite small/lightweight subs for single person transport?
Post by: Mark Scrivener on August 17, 2019, 02:32:27 pm
Great inputs. Gotta find a way to hear the JTR Captivator 212 - it certainly gets a lot of love. Though it doesn't look like it would work as a base for pole mounts, not that that's a huge deal. The RCF SUB-905AS MKII's look interesting as well. I guess my JBL PRX's are OK, they just don't impress me. Not looking for EDM mega bass, just accurate smooth, flat, "wow that sounds great" response.

Are any of the DIY options self powered? And how do the DIY options compare to the top tier stuff? The impression I get is there are DIY solutions that will get you Danley/Meyer/etc type performance at a fraction of the cost. Is that true? I can do the wood work no problem, but is that really a major cost savings?
Title: Re: Favorite small/lightweight subs for single person transport?
Post by: Bill Hornibrook on August 17, 2019, 03:41:25 pm
^ If you are DIY inclined consider these:

https://www.bcspeakers.com/en/products/lf-driver/18-0/8/18ds115-8

Note B&C's recommended enclosure size for this 18 of 3.53 cubic feet with a port area of 30 square inches and a port length of 9 1/3 inches. I was going to put a couple together for the summer season, but just got too busy. Planning on it this fall.

There is no commercial equivalent. Nothing I know of would be this small and potent. I have total faith in B&C because of their excellent 21" subs and enclosure recommendations that I put together a few years ago. Anyway that's my plan. I'll let everyone know how it works out later this fall.
Title: Re: Favorite small/lightweight subs for single person transport?
Post by: Mike Monte on August 17, 2019, 03:47:39 pm
So let's hear it - what are your favorite subs when you have to move them alone in a personal vehicle (no lift gates or box vans)?

Ok, I will get laughed off the this thread but...  My favorite (of what I have) to move is a Bose 502BP sub.  My pair are left over from my wedding band rig in the early 90's.   Yes, they are 90 lbs, however, the handles are as such that I do not have to bend way down to pick them up - I just bend my knees a little, pull up to my torso and move....way easier than moving my single and double 18's.

A note: I only use them for "wedding band work" and they are fine.  Bose are what they are, however, clients (who more often than not) listen with their eyes.  Bose is very recognizable in the US especially for peeps that follow the NFL as all of the coaches for the past several seasons have used Bose "cans".
 
Title: Re: Favorite small/lightweight subs for single person transport?
Post by: Mark Scrivener on August 17, 2019, 03:59:23 pm
^ If you are DIY inclined consider these:

https://www.bcspeakers.com/en/products/lf-driver/18-0/8/18ds115-8

Note B&C's recommended enclosure size for this 18 of 3.53 cubic feet with a port area of 30 square inches and a port length of 9 1/3 inches. I was going to put a couple together for the summer season, but just got too busy. Planning on it this fall.

There is no commercial equivalent. Nothing I know of would be this small and potent. I have total faith in B&C because of their excellent 21" subs and enclosure recommendations that I put together a few years ago. Anyway that's my plan. I'll let everyone know how it works out later this fall.

Interesting....would be very curious to see how this turns out. Any links to a cab design? Also, any suggestions for making these self powered? I guess one could buy a rack mount amp, gut it and mount the PCB inside the cab, but that seems like a waste. Where do you find good circuit board level amps for subs? I'd really prefer not to have to drag speaker cables or add power amps to my rack.
Title: Re: Favorite small/lightweight subs for single person transport?
Post by: Bob Stone on August 17, 2019, 04:07:22 pm
Interesting....would be very curious to see how this turns out. Any links to a cab design? Also, any suggestions for making these self powered? I guess one could buy a rack mount amp, gut it and mount the PCB inside the cab, but that seems like a waste. Where do you find good circuit board level amps for subs? I'd really prefer not to have to drag speaker cables or add power amps to my rack.

What you're looking for is a plate amp...but most are home audio grade.
Title: Re: Favorite small/lightweight subs for single person transport?
Post by: David Morison on August 17, 2019, 05:41:29 pm
Interesting....would be very curious to see how this turns out. Any links to a cab design? Also, any suggestions for making these self powered? I guess one could buy a rack mount amp, gut it and mount the PCB inside the cab, but that seems like a waste. Where do you find good circuit board level amps for subs? I'd really prefer not to have to drag speaker cables or add power amps to my rack.

http://www.speakerpower.net/store/c3/Plate_Amplifiers.html (http://www.speakerpower.net/store/c3/Plate_Amplifiers.html)
or https://www.hypex.nl/plate-amplifiers/ (https://www.hypex.nl/plate-amplifiers/) if lower power is suitable.


Title: Re: Favorite small/lightweight subs for single person transport?
Post by: Geert Friedhof on August 17, 2019, 06:44:51 pm
Ok, I will get laughed off the this thread but...  My favorite (of what I have) to move is a Bose 502BP sub. 

...  the NFL as all of the coaches for the past several seasons have used Bose "cans".

Not only coaches use Bose for cans...

https://www.reddit.com/r/CrappyDesign/comments/9mouuy/well_the_paper_says_it_all/

 :) ;) :D ;D

No sorry. Just couldn't resist.
Title: Re: Favorite small/lightweight subs for single person transport?
Post by: Mark Scrivener on August 17, 2019, 08:46:53 pm
http://www.speakerpower.net/store/c3/Plate_Amplifiers.html (http://www.speakerpower.net/store/c3/Plate_Amplifiers.html)
or https://www.hypex.nl/plate-amplifiers/ (https://www.hypex.nl/plate-amplifiers/) if lower power is suitable.



What you're looking for is a plate amp...but most are home audio grade.

Indeed, these are obviously targeted to home audio applications. There must be some commercial/industrial module suppliers. I can't believe every powered speaker company is designing and building their own amps.
Title: Re: Favorite small/lightweight subs for single person transport?
Post by: Mac Kerr on August 17, 2019, 09:06:19 pm
Indeed, these are obviously targeted to home audio applications. There must be some commercial/industrial module suppliers. I can't believe every powered speaker company is designing and building their own amps.

There is always PowerSoft (https://www.powersoft-audio.com/en/oem-solutions/integrated-solutions#Heatsink)

Mac
Title: Re: Favorite small/lightweight subs for single person transport?
Post by: Scott Olewiler on August 18, 2019, 07:58:25 am
Really depends on what you need them to do.

Today I'm using a pair of EV ZXA subs that I can carry one in each hand.  Small gig and everything has to be carried up steps. Heavy rolling carts and cases not practical, so trailer stays at home and everything I need goes into the back of my Suburban.

A week ago I used a pair of DXS-12 for the same band, and just 3 days ago I used a pair of Yorkville USC1Ps for them for an outdoor show.

I wish I could justify the cost of one pair of higher end portable subs that really sound good.
Title: Re: Favorite small/lightweight subs for single person transport?
Post by: Sean Anderson on August 18, 2019, 10:30:35 am
Great inputs. Gotta find a way to hear the JTR Captivator 212 - it certainly gets a lot of love. Though it doesn't look like it would work as a base for pole mounts, not that that's a huge deal.

Why not? Mine work fine with poles. I use the rcf poles with the expanding mandrel on each end. Those and the JTR's create a sturdy assembly.
Title: Re: Favorite small/lightweight subs for single person transport?
Post by: Mark Scrivener on August 18, 2019, 02:21:22 pm
Why not? Mine work fine with poles. I use the rcf poles with the expanding mandrel on each end. Those and the JTR's create a sturdy assembly.

Cool. The photos on the JTR site don't show a socket or even where the carry handles are. Great to know they have sockets (M20 threaded or just cups?).

Title: Re: Favorite small/lightweight subs for single person transport?
Post by: Kevin Bayersdorfer on August 18, 2019, 04:32:38 pm
I built a few of Dave Green (GreenBoy) fEarful 12 subs.  Very small.  Very punchy.  Based on Eminence 3012lf.  Like anything small and voiced as a sub, there are limits...

If I were buying, the QSC rear cancelling sub would be high on my list.
I have one in my bass rig, along with a 12/6/1 and that lead me to build two of the fEarful 15 subs. I run them off of a Crown XTi 2002. Think they are 46 lbs each and put out really well. I love them for gigs that I don't need the SRX818SP's that are twice the weight, but not twice the output.
Title: Re: Favorite small/lightweight subs for single person transport?
Post by: Steve Crump on August 18, 2019, 04:35:52 pm
Cool. The photos on the JTR site don't show a socket or even where the carry handles are. Great to know they have sockets (M20 threaded or just cups?).



Mine came with cups, but I changed them to M20.
Title: Re: Favorite small/lightweight subs for single person transport?
Post by: Luis_Marquez on August 18, 2019, 05:50:26 pm


Mine came with cups, but I changed them to M20.
[/quote]

Steve,

Mine also have cups. What did you use for M20? Been meaning email Jeff about recommendation.

Mark S, from what I read there are c212pros around the states. One of us could give you a road test if close. Mine are active and easy to carry. No metal handles but cut outs
Title: Re: Favorite small/lightweight subs for single person transport?
Post by: Mark Scrivener on August 18, 2019, 06:24:58 pm

Mine came with cups, but I changed them to M20.


Steve,

Mine also have cups. What did you use for M20? Been meaning email Jeff about recommendation.

Mark S, from what I read there are c212pros around the states. One of us could give you a road test if close. Mine are active and easy to carry. No metal handles but cut outs

Thanks Louis. I'm in the San Jose, CA area.
Title: Re: Favorite small/lightweight subs for single person transport?
Post by: Steve Crump on August 18, 2019, 07:43:06 pm
Luis,

I bought those (M20 pole mounts) a couple years ago and just don't remember which manufacturer I ended up with. I went out to my shop hoping that I had kept the packaging, but no luck.
Title: Re: Favorite small/lightweight subs for single person transport?
Post by: Scott Holtzman on August 19, 2019, 03:09:43 am
Indeed, these are obviously targeted to home audio applications. There must be some commercial/industrial module suppliers. I can't believe every powered speaker company is designing and building their own amps.

There not.  Take a look at all the plate amps on Alibaba.

Most low end use Chinese CM's.

Certainly JBL, EV, QSC etc.  all design and build there own amps. 

One of the things you have to consider is to get modern performance you have to have processing power.  Setting up complex processing is an iterative process that requires the right tools to measure the sound and program the processor.

There are talented speaker buildrers on here that make some cool, highly performant gear.  Duplicating their efforts requires woodworking skills and time.

I can't believe you can build speakers for less than you can buy them.  The Captivators are like 1100 bucks.  I don't think you could duplicate the performance for twice the price.
 
Title: Re: Favorite small/lightweight subs for single person transport?
Post by: Mark Scrivener on August 19, 2019, 03:32:57 am
....
There are talented speaker buildrers on here that make some cool, highly performant gear.  Duplicating their efforts requires woodworking skills and time.

I can't believe you can build speakers for less than you can buy them.  The Captivators are like 1100 bucks.  I don't think you could duplicate the performance for twice the price.
 

Scott you hit the nail on the head. It's not the woodworking that concerns me - I have a nice shop and have built all sorts of things from wood, metal, composites, etc. It is the design, and sourcing the right components that gives me pause. Placing a speaker in a nice looking box is easy. Making an awesome sub that is properly matched to a power amp....slightly more complicated.

I thought JTR was direct only. Are they available through dealers at a discount? JTR's website lists the 212 Captivator at $1899 for the powered version.
Title: Re: Favorite small/lightweight subs for single person transport?
Post by: Scott Holtzman on August 19, 2019, 03:47:31 pm
Scott you hit the nail on the head. It's not the woodworking that concerns me - I have a nice shop and have built all sorts of things from wood, metal, composites, etc. It is the design, and sourcing the right components that gives me pause. Placing a speaker in a nice looking box is easy. Making an awesome sub that is properly matched to a power amp....slightly more complicated.

I thought JTR was direct only. Are they available through dealers at a discount? JTR's website lists the 212 Captivator at $1899 for the powered version.

I was speaking of the unpowered.  I have a plethora of power amps.  I think the single Nl4 is easier to run and external power amps represent a better value.  The plate amp on the C212 is expensive.