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Title: Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space
Post by: Dan Erni on September 01, 2019, 10:18:04 am
First post from a new member.  I used to DJ (15+ years ago), often setting up my system between gigs in my living room.  It was a great way to listen to music - very loud, physical bass, etc.  System had two 15" two-way mains on poles and two subs with two 15" woofers each, all powered by two Crest Audio V1500 amps. 

I have a 30 ft x 50 ft space I'm setting up as a workshop, and need to put together a nice sounding, permanently installed system that will provide a near-concert experience with respect to SPL and bass production and feel.  Source music will be pre-recorded classic rock music only, no live stuff.  Budget is modest and timeframe is flexible, so plan to buy used equipment in the area roughly outlined by St. Louis, Indianapolis and Chicago.

Anyone tackled a similar situation with good results?  Anyone have specific equipment recommendations?  Right now I'm leaning towards two powered 12" two-way mains and one or two 15" or 18" subs.  Just not sure how available good powered speakers are.
Title: Re: Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space
Post by: David Winners on September 01, 2019, 03:25:29 pm
What is your budget?
Title: Re: Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space
Post by: Dan Erni on September 01, 2019, 05:08:05 pm
What is your budget?

Less than $1000, closer to $750 would help justify to my wife  ;)
Title: Re: Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space
Post by: David Winners on September 01, 2019, 05:20:51 pm
I'd suggest you start looking for used equipment in your area. Older passive equipment is going for pennies on the dollar these days.

That budget wouldn't buy one decent sub brand new. I'd plan on at least $3500 for a new system with cabling and a small mixer.
Title: Re: Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space
Post by: Dan Erni on September 01, 2019, 05:36:39 pm
I'd suggest you start looking for used equipment in your area. Older passive equipment is going for pennies on the dollar these days.

That budget wouldn't buy one decent sub brand new. I'd plan on at least $3500 for a new system with cabling and a small mixer.

As mentioned in my original post, I'm focusing on used equipment and powered speakers.  Cable costs can be disregarded for budget purposes.  Appreciate any suggestions based on real experience with specific brands and models of powered speakers.
Title: Re: Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space
Post by: Dan Erni on September 01, 2019, 05:39:29 pm
As mentioned in my original post, I'm focusing on used equipment and powered speakers.  Cable costs can be disregarded for budget purposes.  Appreciate any suggestions based on real experience with specific brands and models of powered speakers.

Should also clarify that signal source will likely be the output from a computer sound card connected via an appropriate DI box, so I don't anticipate the need for much on the front end of the signal path.
Title: Re: Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space
Post by: Matthias McCready on September 02, 2019, 10:20:10 am
As mentioned in my original post, I'm focusing on used equipment and powered speakers.  Cable costs can be disregarded for budget purposes.  Appreciate any suggestions based on real experience with specific brands and models of powered speakers.

I'll bite. Right around the previous ballpark given would get you 2x JBL SRX 812P and JBL SRX 828P through a good dealer. When I usually see used SRX stuff (800 series mind you) it is usually for sale for MORE then I paid for it new through a good dealer.

The point I am making here is most people selling this used gear did not get great pricing on it, and if someone did get good pricing there is little motivation for them to sell it below what the going rate is.

In my opinion, the SRX 800 series, in terms of clarity, is closer to your expectation of a professional sound system, it does not sound like a high-end box, but it is detailed enough. You could also look into some QSC K series. Most cheaper boxes would fall pretty flat for your intended purposes, many lesser boxes sound piss poor with playback tracks.

I would agree with David that you are not going to find a sub that can do what you want in the price range. Most subs you will see for cheap are older, and they do not go low, not to mention they are passive. Most cheaper powered subs tend to be one-note wonders (not conducive to a "concert" experience).

In all honesty, I would either adjust budget or expectations.

Also depending on what your expectation of what a concert should feel like and if you are a member of the "SPL preservation society," $3,500 (in the used market) would not even get you close to the system you want. ;) 
Title: Re: Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space
Post by: Dan Erni on September 02, 2019, 03:39:04 pm
I'll bite. Right around the previous ballpark given would get you 2x JBL SRX 812P and JBL SRX 828P through a good dealer. When I usually see used SRX stuff (800 series mind you) it is usually for sale for MORE then I paid for it new through a good dealer.

The point I am making here is most people selling this used gear did not get great pricing on it, and if someone did get good pricing there is little motivation for them to sell it below what the going rate is.

In my opinion, the SRX 800 series, in terms of clarity, is closer to your expectation of a professional sound system, it does not sound like a high-end box, but it is detailed enough. You could also look into some QSC K series. Most cheaper boxes would fall pretty flat for your intended purposes, many lesser boxes sound piss poor with playback tracks.

I would agree with David that you are not going to find a sub that can do what you want in the price range. Most subs you will see for cheap are older, and they do not go low, not to mention they are passive. Most cheaper powered subs tend to be one-note wonders (not conducive to a "concert" experience).

In all honesty, I would either adjust budget or expectations.

Also depending on what your expectation of what a concert should feel like and if you are a member of the "SPL preservation society," $3,500 (in the used market) would not even get you close to the system you want. ;)

Appreciate your thoughts and opinions.  Will keep an eye open for SRX 8xx series speakers.  A quick look at Craigslist and Reverb confirms your statement on pricing - even used 8xx speakers are holding their value.  If I was to lower my expectations, what would you suggest as the next best option?  Keep in mind the room is 30'x50', so hopefully that justifies some smaller (and possibly less expensive) mains to be used.  Thanks for your input.
Title: Re: Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space
Post by: Justin Quinn on September 02, 2019, 08:45:29 pm
Appreciate your thoughts and opinions.  Will keep an eye open for SRX 8xx series speakers.  A quick look at Craigslist and Reverb confirms your statement on pricing - even used 8xx speakers are holding their value.  If I was to lower my expectations, what would you suggest as the next best option?  Keep in mind the room is 30'x50', so hopefully that justifies some smaller (and possibly less expensive) mains to be used.  Thanks for your input.
+1 for the JBL SRX8xx boxes.  We use a passive SRX828 powered by 1 channel of a QSC PL380 and have knocked down ceiling tiles, it's a pretty powerful setup.  I've used the sub for many weddings and you can feel it throughout a decent sized venue and intensely so on the dance floor (mission accomplished).  They have a smooth sound compared to something like a KW181, not that the 181 is a bad sub.

I honestly haven't used enough subs to offer a valuable suggestion.  We also have a QSC E18sw and it puts out a lot of sound with proper power but I don't think it will give you a "concert experience" in a 30x50 room.  I'm not sure anything will give you a "concert experience" for $750-$1000- concert sound costs a lot of money.

Good luck on your search.
Title: Re: Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space
Post by: Tim McCulloch on September 02, 2019, 08:48:55 pm
Hi Dan-

Stuff that sounds good and is in good condition tends to get retained by owners.  While manufacturers release new product rather frequently the new adopters come more slowly than in the past (the previous generation stuff is still acceptable to owners).

The key to buying cheap is to watch your local-ish sources and have cash in hand.  You want to find "our band broke up, selling the PA" offers, or similar.  Folks liquidating company inventory will have a better idea of worth and finding a killer deal is less likely.

Good luck in your search.
Title: Re: Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space
Post by: Matthias McCready on September 04, 2019, 12:37:43 am
Appreciate your thoughts and opinions.  Will keep an eye open for SRX 8xx series speakers.  A quick look at Craigslist and Reverb confirms your statement on pricing - even used 8xx speakers are holding their value.  If I was to lower my expectations, what would you suggest as the next best option?  Keep in mind the room is 30'x50', so hopefully that justifies some smaller (and possibly less expensive) mains to be used.  Thanks for your input.
Well you could get one SRX top... but that would neither be stereo nor satisfy your low frequency desires.

I hate to take things in this direction...  :o but maybe a PA system isn't what you need?

Check around for a used pair of Cerwin Vega RE30's, they get VERY loud and they even have a fuse if you push them too hard. They sound better than must PA speakers cheaper than a QSC K. They can be picked up for between $50-400, depending on how hard you look...

If you felt you needed more low end look into a HSU Research VTF-15H MK2. It is a fun sub!  8)

No this isn't PA gear, but I don't honestly think you will find anything that sounds decent in the PA category for your budget.

That is the best I can think of without someone giving away gear, and best of all it is roughly in the budget. Happy wife, happy life  ;)  ;D
Title: Re: Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space
Post by: David Winners on September 04, 2019, 01:33:27 am
My tiny rig for open mic stuff with filler music is 2 Turbosound iQ8 over 2 iQ15b. That's about $2800 ish from a dealer. I'm on a budget too and its what I chose. YMMV
Title: Re: Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space
Post by: Caleb Dueck on September 08, 2019, 07:06:44 pm
Appreciate your thoughts and opinions.  Will keep an eye open for SRX 8xx series speakers.  A quick look at Craigslist and Reverb confirms your statement on pricing - even used 8xx speakers are holding their value.  If I was to lower my expectations, what would you suggest as the next best option?  Keep in mind the room is 30'x50', so hopefully that justifies some smaller (and possibly less expensive) mains to be used.  Thanks for your input.

A pair of Turbosound M10's for tops - turn the HF knob on the back down by 1 tick. 

Sub(s) are hard, there aren't any decent self-powered subwoofers, new or commonly used, for under $500.  A powered JTR Captivator 212 is probably the best you'll find. 
Title: Re: Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space
Post by: Scott Holtzman on September 09, 2019, 04:24:56 am
Well you could get one SRX top... but that would neither be stereo nor satisfy your low frequency desires.

I hate to take things in this direction...  :o but maybe a PA system isn't what you need?

Check around for a used pair of Cerwin Vega RE30's, they get VERY loud and they even have a fuse if you push them too hard. They sound better than must PA speakers cheaper than a QSC K. They can be picked up for between $50-400, depending on how hard you look...

If you felt you needed more low end look into a HSU Research VTF-15H MK2. It is a fun sub!  8)

No this isn't PA gear, but I don't honestly think you will find anything that sounds decent in the PA category for your budget.

That is the best I can think of without someone giving away gear, and best of all it is roughly in the budget. Happy wife, happy life  ;)  ;D

Where are you?  If you are in driving distance to Cleveland we have  a ton of used stuff in that price range that is really heavy but would literally pressurize that space.  Some Behringer 18" B series cabinets with redesigned ports and loaded with B&C drivers.  One sub, a couple of  JBL SR tops and two power amps could be had for that price. 

 
Title: Re: Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space
Post by: Dan Erni on September 13, 2019, 06:47:03 pm
Hello all and thanks for the responses and suggestions.  Unfortunately I'm a pretty good distance from Cleveland.

I have Craigslist searches set up for Yamaha powered speakers, K series QSC speakers, EV SX series passive speakers and a few other brands.  I have also been checking out local pawn and resale shops.  Seems like the EV SX speakers are well thought of, but my limited experience using and listening to EV speakers is that they are very bright sounding.  My workshop will have smooth walls, so an already bright sounding speaker might be a bad fit.  I'll post if anything I think might be good becomes available.  I have time (several months) so can afford to wait for the right thing to come up.

Thanks again to all.
Title: Re: Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space
Post by: Dan Erni on September 13, 2019, 06:59:43 pm
I should also mention my "test" for subwoofers.  My old DJ cabinets had two 15" woofers in each cabinet, powered by a Crest Audio V1500 amp.  The woofers were mounted face out on the front of the cabinet, one above the other, with two ports in between.  The cabinets had angled sides, so the back panel was narrower than the front.  Certainly nothing fancy about them.  They sounded fantastic, with plenty of mid bass and, to my ears, low bass.  They provided physical bass, and bass that seemed to surround and press on your entire body.  One of my favorite songs to play was Alive by Pearl Jam.  There are very low bass guitar notes at 2:27, 2:33, 2:38 and 2:44 that many (most?) people have never heard.  I hope to find a sub that can duplicate or improve on my old ones.
Title: Re: Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space
Post by: David Winners on September 13, 2019, 11:44:18 pm
I should also mention my "test" for subwoofers.  My old DJ cabinets had two 15" woofers in each cabinet, powered by a Crest Audio V1500 amp.  The woofers were mounted face out on the front of the cabinet, one above the other, with two ports in between.  The cabinets had angled sides, so the back panel was narrower than the front.  Certainly nothing fancy about them.  They sounded fantastic, with plenty of mid bass and, to my ears, low bass.  They provided physical bass, and bass that seemed to surround and press on your entire body.  One of my favorite songs to play was Alive by Pearl Jam.  There are very low bass guitar notes at 2:27, 2:33, 2:38 and 2:44 that many (most?) people have never heard.  I hope to find a sub that can duplicate or improve on my old ones.

That's a low E.

41hz
Title: Re: Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space
Post by: Dan Erni on September 14, 2019, 07:35:41 am
That's a low E.

41hz

Thanks for this info - I knew it had to be a pretty low frequency.  My old subs would reproduce that note at the same loudness as the rest of the bass notes in the song.  It was about 50% hear/50% feel with occasional rattles from things in the house and lots of air from the ports.
Title: Re: Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space
Post by: Dan Erni on September 16, 2019, 05:08:26 pm
Based on the low E frequency explained above, I'd be very pleased with subs that are 3 db down around 40 hz and capable of 120 db at that frequency.  I'm looking at some used Yamaha DBR10 powered speakers for the higher frequencies, with a sub/main crossover point somewhere between 80 hz - 120 hz (whatever sounds best in the room).  I think I can get them for around $350 apiece.  I know that doesn't leave much for the sub, but again I can wait a bit for the right bargain to come along.  Any opinions on the Yammies for this particular application?
Title: Re: Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space
Post by: Matthias McCready on September 19, 2019, 03:43:25 pm
Based on the low E frequency explained above, I'd be very pleased with subs that are 3 db down around 40 hz and capable of 120 db at that frequency.  I'm looking at some used Yamaha DBR10 powered speakers for the higher frequencies, with a sub/main crossover point somewhere between 80 hz - 120 hz (whatever sounds best in the room).  I think I can get them for around $350 apiece.  I know that doesn't leave much for the sub, but again I can wait a bit for the right bargain to come along.  Any opinions on the Yammies for this particular application?

Personally, I feel the DXR is not suitable for music playback. I cannot imagine the DBR being better.
Title: Re: Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space
Post by: Brian Jojade on September 19, 2019, 06:34:23 pm
What's the actual purpose of this?  Is this just a workshop setting to get some music for personal enjoyment out of it?

Your desire for 'concert quality sound' should come with the realization that concert quality sound really isn't all that great.

Compression drivers are great at moving air great distances, but the actual sound quality isn't all that awesome.  Looking at getting some reference monitors might provide you with a MUCH, MUCH better listening experience.

I know I love my JBL SRX stuff, but there's no way I'd use those speakers for personal listening!
Title: Re: Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space
Post by: Dan Erni on September 19, 2019, 07:22:54 pm
What's the actual purpose of this?  Is this just a workshop setting to get some music for personal enjoyment out of it?

Your desire for 'concert quality sound' should come with the realization that concert quality sound really isn't all that great.

Compression drivers are great at moving air great distances, but the actual sound quality isn't all that awesome.  Looking at getting some reference monitors might provide you with a MUCH, MUCH better listening experience.

I know I love my JBL SRX stuff, but there's no way I'd use those speakers for personal listening!

Would be for personal listening.  I did this with my DJ equipment nearly 20 years ago and enjoyed it greatly.  I agree that my 5.1 surround sound home system with subwoofer provides a more accurate listening experience, but at much lower max volumes.  I equally enjoy the higher SPLs and bass "experience" from a system with larger amps and drivers.
Title: Re: Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space
Post by: Dan Erni on September 19, 2019, 07:24:32 pm
Personally, I feel the DXR is not suitable for music playback. I cannot imagine the BXR being better.

I'm looking at the DBR10 speakers and don't have any leads on the DXR or BXR series you mention.  Any thoughts on the DBR series?
Title: Re: Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space
Post by: Dennis Wiggins on September 20, 2019, 08:16:05 pm
Right now I'm leaning towards two powered 12" two-way mains and one or two 15" or 18" subs.  Just not sure how available good powered speakers are.
Just out of curiosity, why are you looking at powered? You may find that the "personality" (dynamics, EQ, crossover/drive/port distortions when pushed, how your power amp goes into clipping or limiting - I could go on...) you enjoyed as a DJ will not be accessible with the canned processing in any reasonably priced powered speaker. These sonic traits will be neutered.

In other words, if you want control over, to be able to use, these "bad" things to create your  signature sound, then you will be disappointed with budget powered tops. Powered subs are similar, but less so. Try using a Kosmos-type LF generator to liven up old recordings that had no real bass, and you will find that the powered sub's built in DSP will filter out most of it.

It is not about sonic accuracy; it's what do you want it to sound like.

I recommend borrowing an Sx300, as they can be had for cheap at *rhymes with cheesy* in nearly new condition. You will hear an abundance of clarity (you referred to it as "bright") and pretty satisfying bass. This is as close to a "full-range cabinet" as I've experienced at this level (my level, my opinion, of course). Add sub to taste. Be prepared, as the Sx300 will easily keep up with a dual 18".

-Dennis
Title: Re: Powered Speakers for 30 ft x 50 ft Space
Post by: Dan Erni on September 21, 2019, 07:14:37 am
I was leaning towards powered speakers because they seem like a good value compared to the price of two passive speakers plus a separate amp, and would tidy up the install a bit.  My workshop will be dusty, so was hoping to find powered speakers that don't have a fan.  However, you raise a good point though about desired sonic inaccuracies.  There is a pair of SX100s about 70 miles south of me for $200, and a pair of SX500s about 3 hours north of me for $450, so certainly in my price range.  I'll see if I can get over to listen to one set of them.