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Title: JBL SRX828SP, Danley DBH 218, Yorkville LS808, and QSC KW181: An Audience's Take
Post by: Peter J. Curtis on August 26, 2020, 06:16:21 pm
So this might be a tad strange and an odd mix of subs, but it's what we've had available. Given the coronavirus has halted a great deal of events in Southern California, I've found myself with more time than usual and a wider variety of boxes just waiting to be rented. I've been wanting to do a different kind of review on these particular subs and I felt like now was a great opportunity. I've heard pro audio members make comments about these subs from time to time and how each of them have their own niche and unique qualities. I myself have experienced these subs first hand but most people in my line of work know the response graphs and how the subs sound too. However, I will not focus on any of that. Given that I've been fixing up and working with subs for a long time, I thought it'd be nice to know what regular folk think of these subs. These are the main clients I work with anyway and they pay the bills most of the time.

We have tons of gear in our inventory but it seems like these are the subs that seem to attract the most customers. Curious, I gathered a group of 15 people. Whether it be old high school friends, college roommates, or work associates; I found a mixed group of individuals of varying age and gender and did a sub shootout for them. These subs included the JBL SRX828SP, Danley's DBH 218, Yorkville's LS808's, QSC's KW181, and a Danley TH215 I just happened to have around at the moment. I know this might be a little odd, especially since two of these subs are powered, but I tried to make it as fair as possible since it seems like most people who end up wanting to buy these subs end up renting these to give them a test run. There were 2 Yorkville LS808's and 2 QSC's KW181's, so there were 2 18" woofers being used in every test except for the TH215 which had 2 15" woofers. Also each box had the original drivers in them. Funnily enough, I didn't learn until awhile ago that the TH215 had two different sets of woofers used in them during their lifetime. The TH215's had the Transparence drivers in them rather than the Eminence and I'm not sure which one is actually better or if they can even be used together (couldn't even find the specific Transparence driver spec sheet, since I believe it's been discontinued as well). In either case, it the TH215 just had the 2 Transparence drivers in them.

Now, for the test, I used an Itech 5000HD for all the passive models and did unprocessed and processed versions with them. The powered subs were left as is, with no tinkering. All of them were set with a 100hz crossover but nothing else. I probably should have set an HP but I didn't think it'd represent "out-of-box" performance that well. For the processed tests, I attempted to get each sub to play as flat as possible using the spec sheets I have on all of them and my personal experience with getting them to play in a more well-rounded manner. I guess the only issue is that I ran the DBH 218 with two four ohm loads, and without the proper wiring in the neutriks, this isn't exactly possible for a newbie. However, I figure that most people could watch a YouTube video or tutorial and find out how to wire the neutriks properly or just buy some that are already wired correctly. As for the sound itself, I played a variety of different tracks from different genres and spent about an hour with each person just playing tracks. If you want the list of tracks, I think I still have the playlist somewhere. I do remember most people's favorite track being "Under the Influence" by the Chemical Brothers though. This is probably the only downside to the test, since everything I used was digitally recorded audio, it might not be indicative of a bands true performance. However, since these are subs and not tops, I view this downside as a minimal one and I played enough rock n' roll, church rock, metal, country, and so forth to compensate. Listening distance was between 10-30m; I let them choose where they stood but they moved frequently to hear it in different locations and feel it in different places in the room. This was especially helpful because some of the subs don't hit you in the chest until you're a bit farther away.

Onto the data! I chose six main qualities for them to make decisions on. These are: Sound Quality, Loudness, Feeling, Box Design (including weight, and I let them move the boxes around), Price (to performance ratio), and Overall. I have abbreviated them as SQ, L, F, BD, P, and O respectively. They were only allowed to pick one sub in each category as a winner. I didn't do box design and price twice in processed for obvious reasons, they are the same as the unprocessed. I also didn't tell them a price on the TH215 because it's not available anymore; as far as I know, you can only get them used.

Unprocessed Results

JBL SRX828SP*
SQ: 4, L: 0, F: 2, BD: 2, P: 8, O: 0

Danley DBH 218
SQ: 2, L: 14, F: 4, BD: 6, P: 1, O: 8

Yorkville LS808's
SQ: 1, L: 1, F: 4, BD: 1, P: 4, O: 2

QSC KW181's*
SQ: 0, L: 0, F: 0, BD: 5, P: 2, O: 0

Danley TH215
SQ: 8, L: 0, F: 5, BD: 1, P: N/A O: 5

Processed Results

JBL SRX828SP*
SQ: 2, L: 1, F: 1, O: 2

Danley DBH 218
SQ: 8, L: 12, F: 10, O:10

Yorkville LS808's
SQ: 0, L: 0, F: 0, O: 0

QSC KW181's*
SQ: 2, L: 0, F: 0, O: 0

Danley TH215
SQ: 3, L: 2, F: 4, O: 3

* denotes no processing was ever used.


I want to leave this data up to interpretation. Be careful though, since I didn't give the subs many points to begin with, the point differentials don't tell the whole story; most of these boxes will be just fine for nearly any gig. For instance, the TH215 is like -3db to -6db from the Yorkville LS808's at their loudest (60-80hz) but it goes so much lower and so it sounds louder on many tracks in my opinion. Not everyone agrees though; the one guy who voted the Yorkville's as the loudest on the unprocessed liked the sound the most too, I think he was into car audio and loved how the 808's thumped. Weird, but not uncommon in an audience. So these results are more indicative of what an average listener/concert goer would think, and takes crowd diversity into account.

I also know it's a small sample size, but it actually comes quite close to my clients experiences with these boxes too, it's just that this was a tad more controlled, albeit minimally. This was just for fun and since I mainly just lurk the forums, I thought I could contribute with something different. The results of the TH215 did astonish me quite a bit though. I was expecting the DBH 218 to steal the show, but it turns out that unprocessed, the TH215 just sounds good. With or without processing, I'd have to say that the overall winner was the DBH 218 though. The only complaints were its weight and price. The weight was negated somewhat by wheels, but the price is what it is because it's only one box and it can perform like 4 LS808's max spl at 60-80hz on the entire range of 30hz-100hz. I understand that, but the average folk in my testing did not. The only issue that a few people said that the DBH was too loud. I was very surprised by those comments but I did explain that it's not meant to be used at high volume at your average house party, unless you feel like breaking all the dishes and picture frames.

Anyway, do with this what you will. If you have any questions about my testing, feel free to ask.
Title: Re: JBL SRX828SP, Danley DBH 218, Yorkville LS808, and QSC KW181: An Audience's Take
Post by: Luke Geis on August 27, 2020, 12:09:43 am
The results honestly don't surprise me. The one thing that did was how in the unprocessed test, the SRX was lauded, but in the processed test it dropped to an equal with the QSC that it was well ahead of before in the unprocessed test. The Danley results seem par for the course and supports what I tell most about getting passive units. You can get really good results, but it is highly dependant upon the user if you don't have the exact tools meant for them. A powered unit has 99% of the guesswork and safety already figured out. I feel a little bias started setting in on the second round as the results followed nearly exactly the price difference.

Fun stuff!! I would like to hear your thoughts more too though.
Title: Re: JBL SRX828SP, Danley DBH 218, Yorkville LS808, and QSC KW181: An Audience's Take
Post by: John L Nobile on August 27, 2020, 11:32:35 am
Curious as to why the DBH 218's didn't get 15 for loudness. Were people moving around the room and getting nulls and peaks at different spots? Or as you stated, they may have been miswired.

Interesting test though and I applaud you for the time and energy put into it.

 
Title: Re: JBL SRX828SP, Danley DBH 218, Yorkville LS808, and QSC KW181: An Audience's Take
Post by: Peter J. Curtis on August 27, 2020, 03:37:06 pm
The one thing that did was how in the unprocessed test, the SRX was lauded, but in the processed test it dropped to an equal with the QSC that it was well ahead of before in the unprocessed test.

A few of the SRX people ended up changing to the DBH. The guy who liked the LS808's ended up liking the KW after the processing. I think it was because my processing wasn't exactly standard; I went for an even response on the range that each sub could handle. More specifically, I attempted to get the range to play +1/-1db from its playable range. This was in an effort to maximize each sub on the the entire range it's capable of. This is why I believe the LS808's sounded horrid after, since they are quite literally one note boxes. I didn't touch the powered subs, so I think they got more light in the second test because some of the subs took a hit when I processed them. Even the DBH took a hit because I smoothed its response out down to 35hz.

Curious as to why the DBH 218's didn't get 15 for loudness. Were people moving around the room and getting nulls and peaks at different spots? Or as you stated, they may have been miswired.

Edited: Most likely solution found.

What happened was that because I saved the DBH for the last in the unprocessed round and used it first in the processed round, the loudness of the DBH might've trickled off for a few because it was immediately quieter because of how I flattened the response and the SRX and TH215 are quite loud boxes too. The difference in SPL from the DBH to the SRX and TH215 should be about -6dB all around from my calculations. Which is noticeable, but still, all these boxes pump out over 130dB consistently, which is quite loud.

Fun stuff!! I would like to hear your thoughts more too though.

My thoughts are, I really want to replace my DBH's with the LC version but the extra size might not fly with certain clients. Overall, for this test, I would never personally own any of these subs. To be fair, I wouldn't own any brand, I'd probably just build my own sub and tweak it to my liking. If I was forced to choose, then it depends on my budget. The JBL is my favorite in its price range, but if you had a bigger budget, then the DBH218. In multiples, the DBH gets further and further ahead too, beyond even the TH118's. This plays into its favor too, since the increases are in doubling the amount of speakers. So a stack of four DBH218's would require something like eight SRX boxes to match its spl and eight DBH218's would require sixteen JBL boxes. Double that amount if you want to match the DBH down low with the JBL's. So, you can immediately see the advantages to the DBH. However, with even four DBH218's, you'd probably need some big location. I think two DBH's would easily do smaller clubs, churches (not mega churches), smaller outdoor concerts (1000 people or less), ice rinks, roller skate rinks, and you'd probably be asked to turn it down if you decided to bring them to a prom or high school dance. I think most of the people in this "study" would recommend the DBH though.
Title: Re: JBL SRX828SP, Danley DBH 218, Yorkville LS808, and QSC KW181: An Audience's Take
Post by: Caleb Dueck on August 29, 2020, 04:07:01 am
The DBH is a great sub, but they are just starting to wake up in clusters of 4.  4 of them, flown in a center cluster, with a pair of Powersoft K20's fed with 240V, for an 800 seat church - was awesome!  A pair in a 500 seat church was just barely enough, but they were trimmed higher. 

Like the regular DBH, the -LC version needs to be in a cluster to really come alive.  Get enough of them together, which means a huge amount of truck pack gone - and they are incredible.  I'd love to hear 8 of them together sometime. 

I also like to power them with one driver per amp channel. 
Title: Re: JBL SRX828SP, Danley DBH 218, Yorkville LS808, and QSC KW181: An Audience's Take
Post by: Debbie Dunkley on August 29, 2020, 01:15:21 pm
I am surprised the KW181 received the same votes as the SRX828 - they are very different in sound with the SRX going deeper, sounding cleaner and getting louder - even the SRX818 beats it hands down IMHO. The KW181 is more in the same category as the JBL PRX series. ( I own PRX too so not bashing the KW181 in any way - it is an impressive sub for the money)
Title: Re: JBL SRX828SP, Danley DBH 218, Yorkville LS808, and QSC KW181: An Audience's Take
Post by: Peter J. Curtis on August 29, 2020, 03:41:08 pm
I am surprised the KW181 received the same votes as the SRX828 - they are very different in sound with the SRX going deeper, sounding cleaner and getting louder - even the SRX818 beats it hands down IMHO. The KW181 is more in the same category as the JBL PRX series. ( I own PRX too so not bashing the KW181 in any way - it is an impressive sub for the money)

I agree that the KW is probably not in the same league. It's definitely not loud and they saw that. It got zero for sound quality and loudness unprocessed and only 2 people voted for it in sound quality in processed. I think this is because the QSC sounds different than the SRX; I prefer the sound of the SRX but the KW does have a similar sound to the Yorkville just a little more fuller and less loud. This has its appeals to certain people.

In either case, that was the main reason for doing this. Their choices seemed par for the course, but the few people who chose otherwise made it interesting.

To be fair, I'm not positive about how Danley's specs are taken. The DBH should have a higher continuous output than 141db. My assumption is that they read 28.3V as it is taken in 2 ohms. So if you extrapolate backwards (factor of 8:1 from 8 ohms to 2 ohms I believe), you'll find the actual sensitivity is less than 112 compared to a 1 watt at 8 ohms calculation (I think it'd be 106-108? Just off the top of my head). It can be considered a little naughty by some but I've seen plenty of spec sheets do this; if just calculate backwards, you get the right numbers and their 112 looks correct for their stated 2.83V. After some googling, this jives as to why the JTR Orbit Shifter Pro has less sensitivity than the TH118 on paper but puts out basically the same output in person. And they have roughly the same continuous and max spl's too, despite the TH118 having a higher sensitivity on its spec sheet. Either way, the SRX and the TH215 should be at least 6db quieter all around than the DBH, which should be very noticeable but apparently not everyone agreed on this. Although, the majority did agree.
 
I think I figured out why the others were considered "louder" in the unprocessed test: In the first test, I saved the DBH218 for last and I used it first for the processed test. I remember doing this because it was easier just to keep the DBH hooked up rather than lifting and moving it out of the way. Thus, its loudness was overshadowed by the TH215 and the SRX828 for some, since those boxes are quite loud as well. So there you go! My other assumptions before were (probably) wrong and I'm almost certain this is the reason why and it's the reason why they thought it sounded so much better because they had literally just heard it unprocessed before.
Title: Re: JBL SRX828SP, Danley DBH 218, Yorkville LS808, and QSC KW181: An Audience's Take
Post by: David Allred on August 30, 2020, 11:39:28 am
I appreciate that a sub has great value if it is just connected an amp and sounds good.  But if it has a processor designed to be used with it, shouldn't it be judged on that?  So be it if the added cost bumps it into another class range.  And similarly, if there are factory recommended eq settings, they should be implemented for comparison testing.  My 2 cents.
Title: Re: JBL SRX828SP, Danley DBH 218, Yorkville LS808, and QSC KW181: An Audience's Take
Post by: Peter J. Curtis on August 30, 2020, 12:32:49 pm
I appreciate that a sub has great value if it is just connected an amp and sounds good.  But if it has a processor designed to be used with it, shouldn't it be judged on that?  So be it if the added cost bumps it into another class range.  And similarly, if there are factory recommended eq settings, they should be implemented for comparison testing.  My 2 cents.

I agree but there are people out there looking for plug and play. Plus, when you rent speakers, most people don't care about processing. I'd say for more than 50% of the rentals I've seen they skip the processor. It's probably something like 1 out 5 people get/use the processor when they rent. Even when they get an itech with processing embedded, they almost never use it or even ask how to. Should've specified that's what the business I work for mainly does and the reason why unprocessed is important. This project also helped choose which subs the company will end up focusing on when business gets going again.
Title: Re: JBL SRX828SP, Danley DBH 218, Yorkville LS808, and QSC KW181: An Audience's Take
Post by: Art Welter on August 31, 2020, 09:51:11 am
To be fair, I'm not positive about how Danley's specs are taken. The DBH should have a higher continuous output than 141db. My assumption is that they read 28.3V as it is taken in 2 ohms.....After some googling, this jives as to why the JTR Orbit Shifter Pro has less sensitivity than the TH118 on paper but puts out basically the same output in person.
Peter,

Interesting comparisons, different strokes for different folks ;^).

The 112 dB sensitivity of the DBH-218 is referenced to 2.83V @1M 1⁄2 space, measured as 28.3V @ 10M.
To be a "one watt" sensitivity rating in to it's 2 ohm (1.8 minimum) nominal load, the drive voltage would have to be reduced to 1.41/14.14 volts.
Since 2.83v in to 2 ohms results in a 6 dB higher output than a 1 watt/1 meter rating, the "continuous" rating of 141 dB at 3600 watts reflects that calculated sensitivity, with no power compression considered.

The Orbit Shifter (available in 2, 4 or 8 ohms)is referenced to 1 watt/1 meter, and rated for 139dB, using an 8000 watt calculated peak of 142db – 3dB power compression.

Art
Title: Re: JBL SRX828SP, Danley DBH 218, Yorkville LS808, and QSC KW181: An Audience's Take
Post by: Peter J. Curtis on August 31, 2020, 08:29:01 pm
Peter,

Interesting comparisons, different strokes for different folks ;^).

The 112 dB sensitivity of the DBH-218 is referenced to 2.83V @1M 1⁄2 space, measured as 28.3V @ 10M.
To be a "one watt" sensitivity rating in to it's 2 ohm (1.8 minimum) nominal load, the drive voltage would have to be reduced to 1.41/14.14 volts.
Since 2.83v in to 2 ohms results in a 6 dB higher output than a 1 watt/1 meter rating, the "continuous" rating of 141 dB at 3600 watts reflects that calculated sensitivity, with no power compression considered.

The Orbit Shifter (available in 2, 4 or 8 ohms)is referenced to 1 watt/1 meter, and rated for 139dB, using an 8000 watt calculated peak of 142db – 3dB power compression.

Art

Eh, to be fair, I kind of just wrote the comment off the cuff and just used rudimentary knowledge I've learned over the years but I guess I didn't think it through all the way. Either way, I didn't mean anything by it; I still haven't heard a louder dual 18 than the DBH. I have heard one of better sound quality, that goes lower, and is almost as loud: JBL's G28. It's like -3dB from what I've gathered on paper, and in person it's only slightly less loud. Although I didn't directly A/B them, I've dealt enough with the DBH that I know it's a touch louder than when I heard the G28 except if you put EDM through it, then the G28 is the better box. Plus it's lighter and smaller, so there's the trade off. This is why I want to switch to the LC's, except for the fact that they're even bigger. Regarding spec sheets though, just the other day someone mentioned to me about the Electro Voice's X12-128. Its spec sheet has a 105 sensitivity with a 141 continuous output and 147 peak. EV typically does 1w/1m, which seems dang close to what the DBH218 actually does, I doubt it outputs as much though. Your math seems like a more educated comment than my one off but hey, my guess of 106-108 wasn't far off! I just knew for a fact that a true 1w/1m 112 sensitivity subwoofer, in conservative spec sheets, would definitely be much more than 141dB continuous.

Wall of text incoming!

For contrast purposes and to further my gripes with spec sheets, EV's spec sheets show the QRX subs being on par with the JBL VTX subs which is definitely not the case in the real world. This is also the case with some of Danley's gear too. I heard from a colleague this morning who did a real 1w/1m test on the TH412, found it has a 104 sensitivity. Those other numbers are just fluff that some people put in and I don't really care what they did to get their numbers, what I care about is the actual output, sound quality, and client satisfaction as that's what I get paid for. Danley's do output tremendous amounts of sound and definitely meet their continuous SPL's, but their sensitivity ratings just seem like fluff that could catch the uneducated off guard. I don't know why they started doing this because they didn't need to and they used to use the 1w/1m standard anyway. For instance, the TH215 was rated at a 1w/1m measurement and it puts out that much in my experience. If I had a choice, I'd stick with EAW spec sheets. Those whole space 1w/1m numbers are tasty. The half space 1w/1m conservative specs from JBL are quite pleasing to the palate as well. At least neither EV or Danley is as horrendous as Cerwin Vega though. I would legitimately pay someone just so I never have to see another Cerwin Vega spec sheet alongside its true response graph. Yuck.

Spec sheets aren't the only thing that Danley does that upsets me though. They do claim things like the TH115 is "lightweight" which it definitely is not. Maybe for its output compared to other cabs this could be valid, but honestly, this falls short when you realize that the SRX828 is lighter and louder (albeit minimally in both), but JBL does NOT advertise its low weight. because they know that no one in their right mind would consider anything close to 150lbs as lightweight. They focus on its portability and ease of transport. Danley has portability as advertisement for the DBH, which I mostly agree with though. However, the weight is the biggest issue I've had with Danley cabs over the years. Which brings me to my conclusion for this thread....

Final notes and statement from me on this thread: The biggest complaint I get for the DBH is that some clients think it's too heavy but I think after 150 pounds, if it's on wheels, it's like pushing the same weight, except the DBH has a better equilibrium than those two wheeled 160 pound TH118's. I like how the JBL SRX828 has the four wheeled caster and bag, plus it's lighter than TH118, goes deeper, costs roughly half the price, and is pretty close in spl. The VT4880 beats the TH118 by being louder, going deeper, and being lighter so there's that (this is from personal experience), but it is a dual cab that's slightly bigger and was more expensive new. If people actually used these subs or understood the spec sheets, they'd see this too. To be fair though, I've gotten more complaints over the years for the TH118's weight than any other box I've had in inventory, which is why we switched to the DBH and SRX828SP for larger gigs because if you say dual 18, they expect the weight (I presume anyway) but mainly the four wheels make it seem light, plus we give them a metal ramp most of the time when they rent the DBH or multiple quantities of the SRX, so they can just push it up and down stairs, into their trucks, etc. They usually only complain about lifting the DBH up and down, which does suck. Much easier stacking another on top than putting the first one down. Still, I enjoy not hearing complaints about the TH118 like "it took two of us to slide this sucker up and into the truck" and so forth. Maybe we should've given them the ramp for the TH118's.... We also just sold the Yorkie's and I'm glad to have them out of our inventory to be honest; I didn't like how often I'd have to recone them in comparison to the other cabs and I hate their sound. And the KW's weren't ours in the first place; they were borrowed. At least they have four wheels on them though! Albeit, it's a very small box compared to everything else that was tested. I think that is very appealing to a great many people though.

Long story short, I love Danley gear but there are compromises, like weight, less lower frequency response (from a price standpoint because you have to spend considerably more with Danley to get what a JBL rig already does down low, e.g. the price of 2 BC218's is equivalent to 8 JBL G28's but the G28's will be louder than the 2 BC218's), and they do not have what I consider conservative spec sheets. If I were a company just starting out, I'd pick up some cheap Vertec rigs and be done with it since they're much easier to find second hand than Danley gear, weigh less, go lower, and sound great. They're a touch less in spl, but honestly, going lower is a great trade off because it widens your range to more EDM genres which make use of those lower frequencies quite often. If you have the money for new though, then Danley or JTR are the best value BUT this only valid for certain Danley cabs and JTR is cheaper simply because of the manufacturer direct option. And, as an alternative to JBL, EAW, or other upper-echelon subwoofer manufacturers, Bassboss would be a good choice. QSC, Yorkville, EV, Peavey, Yamaha, Cerwin Vega, and many others just aren't worth the price to performance ratios in the long run. Just my two cents. Anyway, I've been rambling for too long and kind of got side tracked.

I think that's all there is to say in this thread. Plus, I'm getting tired of doing the research and making sure everything is 100% so someone doesn't complain about this or that. I don't get paid for this you know, so I'm not giving it 100%. The first review I got paid for and permission to post so I put all my effort into that. If there's any other unique questions, I'll try to answer, but otherwise I think that's all there is to say and you got added extras since I was up late and bored. I think I like lurking and learning better than posting, plus I don't like having accounts on many sites, but this was a fun change of pace and thanks for the conversations/input!

Edit: Before someone tries to defend Danley, realize I do prefer Danley and think about it logically for a second. The DBH spec sheet lists its continuous and peak ratings in WATTAGE and not in VOLTS. There is ZERO uniformity, despite what anyone what might tell you, other than within Danley's own brand and even then, there's still room for question. For instance, their DNA amps state wattage, not volts. Since Art extrapolated it backwards properly, Danley could do the same but they do not. EVERY single amplifier specs I've ever seen uses wattage rather than voltage, so there should be consistency in that regard. Hence, this is marketing fluff just the same as how the TH115 is "lightweight". That cracks me up everytime by the way. 152lbs, lightweight. LOL. Like the old adage goes, "a good product sells itself".. or, probably more applicable for Danley.. "The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself." - Peter Drucker.. And given how many mobile Danley rigs I've seen or "low-level" entertainers I've seen with Danley, it seems like the market is more than just big arenas and stadiums... so better specs go a long way and seem less manipulative of the ignorant. I'm sure this was not their intent at all to have fluff or wonky specs, and they probably thought they were giving people better information, but it doesn't change the fact that it has happened to a few people that I know and they still believe that the DBH has 112 sensitivity at the standard 1w/1m. So...
Title: Re: JBL SRX828SP, Danley DBH 218, Yorkville LS808, and QSC KW181: An Audience's Take
Post by: Tim McCulloch on September 12, 2020, 06:01:53 pm
Hi Peter-

That's an interesting read, and I want half of my time back... ;)

How long have you been schlepping audio gear?  Long enough that you remember when real subwoofers were a rare commodity?  That they were the size of a refrigerator and twice the weight?  That's the perspective of "light weight" at work here.

And density of construction has an audible and measurable effect, too.  I'm from a JBL shop and there's a significant difference in the cabinet resonance between a G28 (or an older 4880a) and an SRX828, let alone a long term output different in favor of the G28/4880a.  The additional 4-6dB of output comes at +3dB/$ to +6dB/$.  Right now if I were buying subs based on output and price, there are a lot of 4880a out there right now, but G28 are showing up as Covid kills off the local and regional audio biz...

Here's my take:  for acts playing <2000(ish), SRX828 is fine if the rest of the JBL rig is up to the genre and audience geometry.  Above that the expectations usually start rising and in order to leave some real estate for monitor beach, GTR techs, etc, having a box with 3dB more output cuts the footprint considerably, along with savings in transportation and labor.  I don't care about the sensitivity so long as I can safely drive it to full output, and that the long term acoustic output is +3dB or more of whatever it replaces.

I'll let Ivan explain why Danley handles their measurements the way they do, but I recall it making sense.

I heard my first Danley sub, the TH115, in NYC back in 2007 at a sub shootout.  What I liked about it then - tight and responsive, went low enough, size/weight - I still like 13 years later.  When compared to a bass reflex box with matched levels, it didn't sound as loud because it lacked the harmonic distortion of the reflex cab.  It was still impressive.

It's a great time to be in audio.  We have more choices of better gear than ever before.
Title: Re: JBL SRX828SP, Danley DBH 218, Yorkville LS808, and QSC KW181: An Audience's Take
Post by: Peter J. Curtis on September 17, 2020, 10:16:45 pm
That's an interesting read, and I want half of my time back... ;)

Hey Tim, so I'll try to keep it shorter this time:

How long have you been schlepping audio gear?  Long enough that you remember when real subwoofers were a rare commodity?  That they were the size of a refrigerator and twice the weight?  That's the perspective of "light weight" at work here.

I've been in audio for awhile but I didn't start working with pro gear until the 2000's. I worked on L'Acoustics rigs for a long time at the Irvine Amphitheater before it closed. Loved the mids and highs but abhorred the subs. Ever since then, I've become more interested in subs, since I've found that most pro audio mid-hi range is great for most any application. Some bands and performers would bring in different gear, which led to basic involvement with a wide variety of gear, except I never got a chance to work with Danley on that job. I heard that elsewhere. I've heard the Jericho and TH812 setup at the BYU stadium before and, while I liked it, I didn't feel like it was unbelievably better than the L'Acoustics, EAW, db, or JBL rigs I've worked with before. It was a touch louder except I did not like the lack of subs (might have been due to where I was).

For me, I'm a little cynical now. I used to be a man of numbers, calculations, and equations to the point where I would obsess ever little detail. Now, I still love math, but for audio I don't really care as much anymore. I care about price. I want the best gear for the least amount of cash. And as long the gear sounds great with your material and gets loud enough, then it's great. No need to switch. Working with rentals limits this though. Like you, we use the MI SRX boxes for smaller gigs, but we use the Danley for bigger gigs. The mentality is that the SRX has enough protection that we don't need an engineer and if the gig is big enough for Danley, we'll most likely require that one of our engineers attends. There are exceptions, like people who must have the Danley's and are willing to pay the price. The company I'm working for is in a transition period right now, but we'll be back to full and have our inventory fully reorganized by 2021.

The TH115 is not my cup of tea. I'd choose the DBH218 or the TH215 over it anyday. The TH115 and TH118 just doesn't get low enough for some of the EDM clients we have (no experience with the TH118XL). Sure it works fine for rock, hip hop, and rap but as a rental, we need the lower extension for those heavy EDM raves. I personally enjoy a pair of TH215 over a pair of TH115's or TH118's. For a rental though, the DBH really floors the TH215, TH115, and TH118 for initial cost to performance though. If the TH115's were $1500-1750 a pop or the TH118 was $2000-2500 a pop, maybe it'd be a different conversation. But they're not, so.. Get a JTR Orbit Shifter Pro for basically the same performance as the TH118? It's less money and the horns couple..

Still, Danley is hands down better than others. Those MI subwoofers from Yorkville, QSC, EV, EAW, Yamaha, db, and so forth just aren't worth it in the long run. Even certain pro cabs aren't worth it for their price to SPL, looking at you Meyer/L'Acoustics/Clair/McCauley! If you can splurge a little more, I think $500-1500 if memory serves, the next up beyond the G28 would be the Nexo RS18. It's also a great sub. The only subs I haven't heard yet that I want to hear is the Megaton NDB218 and Turbosound TFS-900B. Spec wise, both look to be on par with the DBH218. The NDB218 looks like it's half the price of the DBH218, at 1600-1700 euros before shipping, from what I've been quoted before online, but who knows if that's actually true (or if it actually performs like it says) and the TFS-900B is about the same price as the DBH218. But hands down the DBH218 is still Danley's best price to SPL and performance ratio. They just have some spec sheet discontinuities and other non-sound related issues, plus all their cabinets are fridges. When renting out the cabs it's basically "do you want a mini-fridge with two wheels or do you want a full-sized fridge with four wheels?"

Also, if anyone has experience with the NDB218 or TFS-900B, I'd be curious to know your thoughts. Especially when compared to Danley. They both look to be extremely close to the DBH218 in SPL on paper.

It's a great time to be in audio.  We have more choices of better gear than ever before.

But it's been 13 years since the TH115. There is new and better technology out there, waiting to be unraveled and put into boxes. I'm waiting for something new to come down in price and/or become feasible, like Powersoft's M-force. That sub could be a real game-changer for transient (it just uses so much power and isn't that efficient at the moment, especially for heat dissipation). Still need some kind of dual 18 for resonance though, which the DBH218 or G28 is my pick since you're more likely to get bigger contracts with dual 18's. I guess since the industry has been stagnant for awhile, I've become more and more focused on price since there are tons of subs within the same category. Still, I have to agree with you, it is a great time to be in audio. There are tons of choices and I don't think the prices would be this low on certain brands if it weren't this competitive at the moment. I just want more newer tech to come down the pipe, like the M-Force. The old servo's were great innovation too. Just something new to break the mold would be nice. The constant horn loaded, tapped horn, front loaded, and so forth have been around for decades. It's old tech. The woofers themselves have gotten better, which is great though. But who knows what will be the next great innovation, will it be a new kind of box? A new kind of woofer? Some combination? That's what I want. I want one box, with few drivers, lighter weight, and massive sound. You'd think this would violate physics, but hey, you just need to find a way around the physics. It's not like I'm asking for a perpetual motion machine; I'm pretty sure louder subwoofers are possible, and that we just haven't found the solution yet.
Title: Re: JBL SRX828SP, Danley DBH 218, Yorkville LS808, and QSC KW181: An Audience's Take
Post by: Peter J. Curtis on September 17, 2020, 10:42:46 pm
Just wanted to note that, despite getting sidetracked, if you have any questions about the testing itself or anything at all, you can post it here or message me. I'll still keep that option open.. I just get too sidetracked.

My problem is that once I get talking, my love for conversation just takes over... I tried so hard over the last few days to not reply and just be done with it, since I said everything I wanted to.. It's just so addicting to talk about audio.. Please take my keyboard away before I develop withdrawals.
Title: Re: JBL SRX828SP, Danley DBH 218, Yorkville LS808, and QSC KW181: An Audience's Take
Post by: Jeff Lelko on September 18, 2020, 08:48:46 pm
Those MI subwoofers from Yorkville, QSC, EV, EAW, Yamaha, db, and so forth just aren't worth it in the long run.

I suppose it would depend on your definition of "worth it", but otherwise I'd have to disagree.  Comparing a Danley DBH218 to a QSC KW181 is nearly as polar opposite as you can get short of bringing in a $199 Behringer sub.  The DBH218 and KW181 are two completely different boxes with completely different uses and users in mind.  Compact powered single 18" subs are far more versatile and applicable for a much wider variety of jobs compared to something like the 218, which by size and weight alone is going to restrict it to larger jobs with the space and handling logistics to accommodate.   

Additionally, top end MI-level gear tends to be extremely profitable for bands, DJs, and corporate use alike.  I've used a variety of QSC HPR Series and Yorkville Unity Series for my audio needs over the past 11+ years, and they are by far the most profitable investments I've made to date.  No, they're not Danley, but they're also only a fraction of the price and perform "well enough" to be acceptable for professional use.  You're not going to play an amphitheater with 10,000 people at rock concert volumes with them, but I've done crowds in the 2-3000 range without issue for the average corporate or municipal event.  Others here have also had excellent results with this level of equipment to build a business around.
Title: Re: JBL SRX828SP, Danley DBH 218, Yorkville LS808, and QSC KW181: An Audience's Take
Post by: Peter J. Curtis on September 19, 2020, 12:54:49 am
QSC HPR Series and Yorkville Unity Series for my audio needs over the past 11+ years, and they are by far the most profitable investments I've made to date.

A profitable investment that has its limitation. Besides, this was NOT for DJ's, corporate gigs, and so forth. Most of those gigs pay way less than anything we'd ever consider for a contract. Maybe years ago, but never now. Large festivals, church events, raves, graduations, and so forth are the only things we really consider doing ourselves. When business is slower, we might give the DJ kiddo's some SRX's and they go wild with them, but they are not our main clients at all. Why would we waste our time with a $500 DJ or small corporate event when we could do $10,000 for a large church event or festival? And for those events, we need the most SPL per dollar that we can get. Also I made no comments on MI top boxes. There are 100's of those that perform adequately enough for nearly all of our events. In fact, we'll pair MI EV tops quite often with our subs, like the QRX or ZX. So.. that's kind of an unrelated comment since this whole thing was about subwoofers.

Comparing a Danley DBH218 to a QSC KW181 is nearly as polar opposite as you can get short of bringing in a $199 Behringer sub.  The DBH218 and KW181 are two completely different boxes with completely different uses and users in mind.

They are not polar opposite. They can all be put into the same cateogry: public sound systems. Logically, polar opposites would be a vacuum. A comparison between a Behringer and a DBH218 is definitely a worthwhile comparison.

My motto for audio is: buy once, cry once. I get it, the QSC is a good box and a money maker. You literally just reiterated what I said before:

I want the best gear for the least amount of cash. And as long the gear sounds great with your material and gets loud enough, then it's great. No need to switch.

I also said prior that all these boxes are good, but thanks, go ahead and keep thinking that comparisons of a DBH218 and even a Behringer aren't worth it. They are, because the money to SPL is a real and calculable comparison between the Behringer and the DBH218. My entire point was that, if you want the best system, the MI subwoofer game isn't worth it. Literally the entire point of my post. Yes, the MI boxes have their places, but if you want the best and something that can scale up to thousands of people, do not get MI gear for your subwoofers. Also, the DBH was considered too loud by some, but you could simply turn it down. You cannot do this with the QSC, since it'll hit its limit way before it gets loud enough for most people's taste. That was literally the entire point of my experiment. If you can only afford MI, then JBL is the obvious winner right now for price to performance. Really hurts that you walked over my experiment without even reading everything. I never said that the other boxes didn't have their place, merely that, from my tests, the top tier boxes are the way to go, especially for the money. And I stated that money is the most important factor for me. I'd advise others to do the same and buy the best they can get for their money, but the others work too, if you want to play favorites. But this is all relevant for large rental companies and not relevant to the DJ scene (which includes lower level corporate gigs). Any 14 year old with a large bank account can buy up some powered gear and play for crowds up to 1000, but beyond that, it takes a touch more finesse. Not that some DJ's couldn't do it, but there is a reason for audio engineers. Even still, I'd advise a DJ pick up 1 Orbit Shifter Pro, TH118, or other pro subwoofer, since these are much better investments than the majority of their choices but my argument was not for them.

Kind of hurts that you glossed over the fact that this information was geared towards rental companies, in particular, the one I work for. DJ's, corporate events, and so forth have different components and different needs. E.g. a corporation might simply prefer QSC because of its name and nothing else. Also, we're not going to waste money trying to build up licensed music and karaoke libraries that those gigs entail, since that's just another expenditure that's not as profitable. I hope I'm not coming off as mean, I'm just trying to explain things that I feel you misunderstood. The company I work for is moving more and more in this direction and dumping the MI inventory below the SRX simply because it's not profitable as a time to money endeavor to rent to the smaller gigs.
Title: Re: JBL SRX828SP, Danley DBH 218, Yorkville LS808, and QSC KW181: An Audience's Take
Post by: Mark Wilkinson on September 19, 2020, 01:14:59 pm


Peter, thanks for the writeups.  Informative and enjoyable.

I've also come to favor front-loaded horns over tapped horns, probably foremost for their ability to couple and dig deeper.
Have you had a number of Orbitshifters coupled together? And measured their response?

I only have a pair, and coupling occurs, albeit it's kinda slight.  Or at least, noticeably slighter than putting a pair of Labhorns together.
I've also noticed that impedance measurements, 1 box vs 2, don't really change for the OS Pro, whereas they do for 1 vs 2 Labhorns.

So I've always wondered how much coupling go could on with the Orbitshifters.
More thanks in advance if you have this info !
Title: Re: JBL SRX828SP, Danley DBH 218, Yorkville LS808, and QSC KW181: An Audience's Take
Post by: Peter J. Curtis on September 19, 2020, 04:06:41 pm
Have you had a number of Orbitshifters coupled together? And measured their response?

I've only had experience with a block of four. My experience with their coupling is similar to the Yorkville LS1208's. They both have around a 9ft folded horn, but the LS1208's don't get as low in blocks of four. A block of four Orbit Shifters will go to about 25hz while the LS1208's will barely go down to 35hz for a block of four. I'd wager that two Orbit Shifters could beat out four LS1208's at 30hz.

Either way, two of them coupled is decent, but four is where it's ideal. Onto Danley comparisons..

Initially, the TH118 will be louder down low when you have 1v1. At 2v2, they should be very close to each other. At 4v4, it's not much of a contest anymore and the Orbit Shifters leap ahead of the TH118's. Granted, I haven't A/B'd them, but this is my experience with the Orbit Shifters and the TH118's. Blocks of four really get the JTR's going. It's similar to what Caleb said for the DBH218. Horn coupling seems to work best in blocks of four. This is true from my experience as well. I've only done a measured response between 1 Orbit Shifter and 1 TH118. The difference was minimal, making the Orbit Shifter and the TH118 essentially the same except the TH118 had a 3-5dB advantage from 25hz-35hz. My experience mainly comes from EDM events with these boxes though, they'd both have the SPL for a church event and a block of four LS1208's would be pretty close to them as well, since most church events I've done use 50hz-80hz the most for their bands lower frequencies and the 1208's excel in that area.

If you get the chance, try to test out four of them and you'll definitely notice the difference down low. Just play some dubstep, deep house, or something with 20-30hz notes through them and you'll definitely hear and feel the difference (give them less amplification to make it on par with one Orbit Shifter for a better A/B). For me, I like by hearing tests than response curves nowadays, so I've kind of dropped the whole "response curve" mentality and use it only as a passing reference. I have no experience with lab horns, but maybe their drop off is more severe and so the coupling helps them more? Like with the LS1208's. Just one LS1208 sounds "blah". Two of them, and it sounds much much better. Four and it actually sounds competent. You don't get this with the JTR's since they are already great from 40-100hz. You'll need the right material that has notes that demand 20-35hz performance. Organs, EDM, and certain effects (like in an action movie) are the only things that really come to mind.

Hope that helps!
Title: Re: JBL SRX828SP, Danley DBH 218, Yorkville LS808, and QSC KW181: An Audience's Take
Post by: Mark Wilkinson on September 20, 2020, 09:43:02 am
I've only had experience with a block of four. My experience with their coupling is similar to the Yorkville LS1208's. They both have around a 9ft folded horn, but the LS1208's don't get as low in blocks of four. A block of four Orbit Shifters will go to about 25hz while the LS1208's will barely go down to 35hz for a block of four. I'd wager that two Orbit Shifters could beat out four LS1208's at 30hz.

Either way, two of them coupled is decent, but four is where it's ideal. Onto Danley comparisons..

Initially, the TH118 will be louder down low when you have 1v1. At 2v2, they should be very close to each other. At 4v4, it's not much of a contest anymore and the Orbit Shifters leap ahead of the TH118's. Granted, I haven't A/B'd them, but this is my experience with the Orbit Shifters and the TH118's. Blocks of four really get the JTR's going. It's similar to what Caleb said for the DBH218. Horn coupling seems to work best in blocks of four. This is true from my experience as well. I've only done a measured response between 1 Orbit Shifter and 1 TH118. The difference was minimal, making the Orbit Shifter and the TH118 essentially the same except the TH118 had a 3-5dB advantage from 25hz-35hz. My experience mainly comes from EDM events with these boxes though, they'd both have the SPL for a church event and a block of four LS1208's would be pretty close to them as well, since most church events I've done use 50hz-80hz the most for their bands lower frequencies and the 1208's excel in that area.

If you get the chance, try to test out four of them and you'll definitely notice the difference down low. Just play some dubstep, deep house, or something with 20-30hz notes through them and you'll definitely hear and feel the difference (give them less amplification to make it on par with one Orbit Shifter for a better A/B). For me, I like by hearing tests than response curves nowadays, so I've kind of dropped the whole "response curve" mentality and use it only as a passing reference. I have no experience with lab horns, but maybe their drop off is more severe and so the coupling helps them more? Like with the LS1208's. Just one LS1208 sounds "blah". Two of them, and it sounds much much better. Four and it actually sounds competent. You don't get this with the JTR's since they are already great from 40-100hz. You'll need the right material that has notes that demand 20-35hz performance. Organs, EDM, and certain effects (like in an action movie) are the only things that really come to mind.

Hope that helps!

That did help, thx!

Good to know the JTR's couple well at 4 boxes. 
I'm a big fan of bass that we can feel, and totally get the need for 20-35Hz performance. I test and listen for such all the time.
Labhorns are still awesome boxes imo, and couple very well.  But alas, the same way i'm short a pair of OS's to hear how they couple, I'm short of pair of Labhorns too, as full coupling is supposed to occur at 6 boxes i think.
FWIW, here's an old comparison i made a few years back....https://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,161015.0.html

I've had good luck learning measurements, processing, and building subs...which have all tied to reality in listening/feeling tests.
For digging really deep at a small scale (ie less than 1000 peeps), i think it's either build something like Josh Ricci's been doing, or stick with well designed bass-reflex.
Right now, i'm getting 3dB down@ 30Hz, and about 7dB down @ 25Hz, from a couple of different bass-reflex designs, when i want easier to get low end than from coupling horn subs.  Wish response went little lower, but the few times i really want it, doesn't seem to justify getting more/different boxes.
Response curves work for me, when i measure them and know they are real Lol 

Circling back to what you wrote, i especially appreciate the breakdown between comparing the different number of boxes together, OS's vs TH-118's.
Maybe just because it reinforces my belief that a front loaded horn trumps a tapped horn, but hey, we all have our preferences huh?  ;)

Title: Re: JBL SRX828SP, Danley DBH 218, Yorkville LS808, and QSC KW181: An Audience's Take
Post by: Caleb Dueck on September 20, 2020, 01:35:27 pm
Maybe just because it reinforces my belief that a front loaded horn trumps a tapped horn, but hey, we all have our preferences huh?  ;)

The purpose of a tapped horn isn't to acoustically perform better than a front loaded horn.  Rather, it's to get the frequency response the same whether it's 1 box or 8.  You could bring 8 Lab Subs or Orbit Shifters or BattleAxes to a basement party, which would be a logistics nightmare - or a single TH118XL.  There are some acoustical trade-offs for the size convenience. 
Title: Re: JBL SRX828SP, Danley DBH 218, Yorkville LS808, and QSC KW181: An Audience's Take
Post by: David Sturzenbecher on September 20, 2020, 04:25:33 pm
Hi Peter-

That's an interesting read, and I want half of my time back... ;)


I heard my first Danley sub, the TH115, in NYC back in 2007 at a sub shootout.  What I liked about it then - tight and responsive, went low enough, size/weight - I still like 13 years later.  When compared to a bass reflex box with matched levels, it didn't sound as loud because it lacked the harmonic distortion of the reflex cab.  It was still impressive.

It's a great time to be in audio.  We have more choices of better gear than ever before.

Wasn’t that myth that tapped horns have less harmonic distortion debunked in reply #20 here? (The link goes to reply 19... sorry)
https://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,172686.msg1591151.html#msg1591151
Title: Re: JBL SRX828SP, Danley DBH 218, Yorkville LS808, and QSC KW181: An Audience's Take
Post by: Peter J. Curtis on September 20, 2020, 05:59:03 pm
The purpose of a tapped horn isn't to acoustically perform better than a front loaded horn.  Rather, it's to get the frequency response the same whether it's 1 box or 8.  You could bring 8 Lab Subs or Orbit Shifters or BattleAxes to a basement party, which would be a logistics nightmare - or a single TH118XL.  There are some acoustical trade-offs for the size convenience.

Really makes me want to hear a TH118XL now. I've been wanting to hear a TH221 for a long time and compare it to a G28, since they seem like they would make good competitors in SPL. Definitely no contest in size, price, and weight. JTR also has the Captivators that go down to 27hz and do not require coupling to get that low. I doubt they are as loud as a G28, but they're probably close and they're half the price. Same can be said about Bassboss units.

However, for down low, I'd still prefer a cab like the G28. With the given Itech processing it gets quite loud and goes very low. A G28 is definitely louder than a TH118 and quite close to a pair of TH118's. Logistically, since it's somewhere in between one and two TH118's that equal a G28, it makes it more or less the same. Not in efficiency though, since those G28's do suck up a ton of power. There are other subs than the G28 that you can say the same thing about too. In general, most horn-loaded and tapped-horn designs on the market sacrifice those last 10hz for more efficiency. E.g Danley replaced the TH215 with the TH115. The latter requires at least two to match one TH215 below 40hz. And from 50-100hz, you probably need two TH215's to match one TH115. Hence, the trade-off.

There's still no arguing that a tapped-horn or horn-loaded subwoofer has better efficiency from 40hz and up. And only horn-loaded subs have the advantage that they can go lower with more of them. Just for lower frequencies, Bassboss, JTR, and JBL present better options if you need less cabs.
Title: Re: JBL SRX828SP, Danley DBH 218, Yorkville LS808, and QSC KW181: An Audience's Take
Post by: Jeff Lelko on September 21, 2020, 04:54:19 am
Really hurts that you walked over my experiment without even reading everything.
...
Kind of hurts that you glossed over the fact that this information was geared towards rental companies, in particular, the one I work for.

Peter, I did read the entire thread, but much of it is meandering around different topics with several contradictions.  I like the experiment but am not in agreement with some of your conclusions, which is why I chose to contribute my thoughts.  I'm just trying to emphasize that there is no one-size-fits-all solution on the market, and that the perfect product for one person might be the worst choice for another.  I'll take it easy since you're new and I don't want to come off as argumentative, but I do like a healthy debate.

A profitable investment that has its limitation. Besides, this was NOT for DJ's, corporate gigs, and so forth. Most of those gigs pay way less than anything we'd ever consider for a contract.

All products have their limitations, and part of owning a business is knowing how to maximize your investments.  Since pricing and pay rates vary by location I won't talk numbers, but upper end DJ and corporate can be very lucrative with an extremely high profit margin.  Sure the bigger events have bigger numbers on the invoice, but also have much higher overhead expenses to consider. 

I also said prior that all these boxes are good, but thanks, go ahead and keep thinking that comparisons of a DBH218 and even a Behringer aren't worth it. They are, because the money to SPL is a real and calculable comparison between the Behringer and the DBH218. My entire point was that, if you want the best system, the MI subwoofer game isn't worth it.

Again, adjectives like "good" and "best" are completely relative without any real bounding criteria.  If you want an actual dollar per decibel number for each subwoofer I'd wager that the Behringer sub would come out far ahead, as both volume and frequency range can drive a significant price increase for little numerical benefit. 

As a business owner and the one signing the checks, the "best" system is the one that I can turn profit on by providing it to customers who are willing to pay for it.  While a stack of DBH218s might be fitting at a large outdoor function, it'd be the absolute wrong choice to bring to a VIP corporate event where the system needs to be heard (at reasonable volumes) but not seen.  This is why many of us impress upon others the need for a business plan before spending any money.  It's too easy to buy the wrong thing all together without understanding the anticipated application - completely being agnostic to brand names or the number of zeros in the price.  The same argument can be made for a rental house - you typically stock what your customers need to rent to meet riders or play events - not what you personally like the most.  Sure, I've chosen to splurge on a few things here and there just to make life easier or because I really like the solution (such as Prolyte Verto Truss), but that's still in the minority when it comes to making large investments.  Just my two cents of course! 
Title: Re: JBL SRX828SP, Danley DBH 218, Yorkville LS808, and QSC KW181: An Audience's Take
Post by: Tim McCulloch on September 21, 2020, 04:49:19 pm
As the guy responsible for making money for my employer with the budget I get, I'm in favor of having as few different models and manufacturer's gear in the shop as possible, based on what customers are willing to pay for.  The rest is largely moot.  It's not my big-ass stereo, the rig is is a capitalist tool to make money for the owners and provide employment to the crew.

There are a number of niche markets out there - the EDM and fine arts segments in particular - that have pretty specific desires regarding what gear is expected.  If you don't have it, you'll have a harder time pitching your service.

But in general entertainment and corporate work, it's about not using too much space in the venue, weight in the truck, and making the client happy with the result.  At any given level of db$, gear is more similar than it is dissimilar and to an extent, it's brand-interchangeable.  The top end of almost every manufacturer represents very good product with complete 'families' of products and accessories.  Unless dealing with an artist engineer or production manager that won't accept substitutions, it's about having the right level of gear and less so the badge on the gear.

Back to the original listening eval.  What I got from that is the variety of expectations and desires.  Not every auditioner is listening for the same things and there's no real way to scale their responses without having some knowledge of the subs being used.  None of this is surprising nor a whine about the process, I know how these things get done - they're set up to answer some immediate questions and curiosities, not designed as research projects.

Ultimately it's the customer acceptance to the solutions you offer that will determine the future of your product choices. 
Title: Re: JBL SRX828SP, Danley DBH 218, Yorkville LS808, and QSC KW181: An Audience's Take
Post by: Peter J. Curtis on September 21, 2020, 06:53:23 pm
100% agree with you Tim.

I was just about to mention how QSC and Behringer do not provide the SPL desired by many clients unless you have many many more cabs. SPL is heavily dependent on the initial sensitivity. I'd rather not pay employees to lug around something like sixteen QSC boxes when I could have less employees move four boxes that give the same output. Plus, it's unreasonable to consider billing a large event with a boat load of QSC KW181's. The client is mostly likely going to fuss about that.

It is client satisfaction that gets more money overall, but it's also nice to cut costs whenever quality isn't sacrificed. This is why buy once, cry once is vital. Initial costs are usually high regardless, but you'll make more in the long run by getting the best gear for your money.

To be fair Jeff, you're right about corporate gigs. In my experience, I've found that it's easier to just use tops and forget the sub. It's less money and usually just one or two people can get the entire thing up and running for 90% of the large scale corporate events that come our way. On a related note, the expense of having more of a cheaper cabinet manifests not only in SPL but in employee fees. Thus, it's easily argued that less SRX or DBH cabs are better than having eight or sixteen QSC KW181's. Strike time is less, meaning you don't have to pay employees as much. You might not think this is much, but I assure you it's a 5-6 figure savings for most rental companies over a year. Even for larger DJ's that do big weddings or school dances, they generally need helpers, and having less people to pay is important. Being able to have two Orbit Shifters for a moderately sized student prom will set you apart from the other DJ's that need eight MI boxes to adequately provide enough bass. And they could set it all up by themselves, rather than needing significantly more time or some helpers.

I also mentioned the substitution too, where a client must have x brand, so you're kind of screwed if you don't have it. This is the nature of the game though. The overall outcome of my listening tests were that clients did have different takes. However, the Danley gear came out on top in most tests. Thus, statistically, we'll have an easier time pushing the Danley's as rentals than the others. Still, as Tim said, at pro levels, the gear is similar enough that you can get by. I just want to eek out the most benefits in initial costs as possible, since this looks better on my part; I spent less for gear that fits our clientele and so my boss is happy.
Title: Re: JBL SRX828SP, Danley DBH 218, Yorkville LS808, and QSC KW181: An Audience's Take
Post by: Mark Wilkinson on September 22, 2020, 10:17:30 am
The purpose of a tapped horn isn't to acoustically perform better than a front loaded horn.  Rather, it's to get the frequency response the same whether it's 1 box or 8.  You could bring 8 Lab Subs or Orbit Shifters or BattleAxes to a basement party, which would be a logistics nightmare - or a single TH118XL.  There are some acoustical trade-offs for the size convenience.

That's one way to look at it. (Keeping the frequency response the same, one box or eight)
My way, is who would not want an extended low end from adding boxes.....
especially when a single front loaded horn goes as deep as a single tapped horn to begin with?

I mean, a single Orbitshifter goes as low as a single TH118XL, and a single Labhorn goes a little lower still.
All gain, and no loss i think.

I totally agree with the point about acoustical tradeoffs for size and convenience.
I think that's what tapped horns represent, a tradeoff giving up deeper bottom end, to gain maximum SPL in the more often used frequency range.
Title: Re: JBL SRX828SP, Danley DBH 218, Yorkville LS808, and QSC KW181: An Audience's Take
Post by: Peter J. Curtis on September 22, 2020, 01:54:23 pm
especially when a single front loaded horn goes as deep as a single tapped horn to begin with?

Mark, this box is more or less the same as the TH118XL but goes lower and should be louder dB wise at some frequencies (based on spec sheets it should be +2dB, and they'd be even at other frequencies): https://www.jtrspeakers.com/jtr-captivator-218pro

This was compared using this spec sheet: https://www.danleysoundlabs.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/TH118XL-Specs-V0.03.pdf

JTR measured the box with 2.0v, so the sensitivity of the Captivator 218 Pro is more than the TH118XL. The TH118XL should be about 102dB at 2.0v (I actually did the math this time instead of just guessing). You could also get the active version for the price of the TH118XL passive. The drop off of the TH118XL on spec looks like it's still relatively smooth till 30hz, so they should actually be really close to each other but the JTR should still be louder. From data-bass, JTR has proven themselves to be very honest with their spec sheets too, so I'd be willing to believe that 27hz at -3dB. So 101dB sensitivity at 27hz is quite good. And even if it ends up being -6dB at 27hz, that's still louder than the TH118XL at 27hz cause 98dB at 2.0v would be 95dB at 2.0v for the TH118XL.

This is not just deeper but noticeably deeper and louder on most of 20hz-120hz. I don't know what cutoffs most people use, since I typically use an 80hz or 100hz for gigs, but if someone cut at say 120hz, you might get slightly more performance with a tapped or folded horn.

By spec sheets only, it looks like the TH118XL only has a chance of being louder from 70-120hz and only by an upper limit of 2dB, provided that the +/-3dB holds for the Captivator. It should given JTR's reputation, but still, this is why I don't like spec sheets or response curves. They just don't tell the entire story, even with the TH118 vs the Orbit Shifter Pro, since they do sound different, albeit minimally in their case. This is further expanded when you start shifting through cabs and even with a perfect "levelling" of their frequencies, they'll still sound different than each other due to the nature of how their sound is propagated. Because of this, I always want to have the cabs in front of me to do a proper test and it's why listening tests mean so much more to me than spec sheets because if the Captivator is able to do this, it kind of invalidates the Orbit Shifter Pro since the Captivator is only slightly bigger. However, the way the Orbit Shifter Pro produces sound might make it sound "better" than the Captivator to certain listeners. Again, this part is subjective and difficult to gauge without actually testing the boxes. Also, regarding distortion, it seems like David cleared that part up about horns vs other cabs by referencing another person's actual tests. Depending on the distortion, this could sound better or worse to some as well, which is also important to note.

What I really want is another subwoofer shootout. Get a few companies or rental companies to work with a group and really test the cabs. You know, really let the engineers get the feel for each cab right next to each other. The TH215 was in that test and, while it wasn't as loud as the Tripps or TH115 for instance, it also got some great reviews despite having subpar SPL. And I got a similar vibe from non-audio when I tested it for them. I wish I could have done this test with audio engineers too, but, sadly, I don't have many engineer friends with enough time (and the ones that do are generally lacking in experience) to do a legitimate test and shootout with lots of subs. Nor do I have access to the all the cabs I would like to test. I tried to though, but many of the engineers I had fell through. Maybe people with more pull and experience could get it all together but I certainly cannot and so I resorted to audio tests with people that fit within the demographic of potential clients. I could provide several cabs though, if anyone ever decides to attempt another subwoofer shootout. I'm sure my employer wouldn't mind since the results could be used for our businesses purposes.
Title: Re: JBL SRX828SP, Danley DBH 218, Yorkville LS808, and QSC KW181: An Audience's Take
Post by: Mark Wilkinson on September 24, 2020, 10:29:51 am
Mark, this box is more or less the same as the TH118XL but goes lower and should be louder dB wise at some frequencies (based on spec sheets it should be +2dB, and they'd be even at other frequencies): https://www.jtrspeakers.com/jtr-captivator-218pro

This was compared using this spec sheet: https://www.danleysoundlabs.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/TH118XL-Specs-V0.03.pdf



Yes, very familiar with data-bass and JTR's products tested there.  Awesome resource from Josh....and I admire Jeff for participating in such full disclosure.
I look forward to seeing the Captivator-218pro tests show up.

Also think the 218pro, being a double 18, kinda validates the idea the easiest way to dig real low is with bass-reflex.

Sub shootouts are always fun.  Although i do think it's often really hard to make fair apples to apples comparisons. 
Me and my buds always get over zealous thinking we can try/test too many things at the same time. Mistakes get made, memories blur, etc.
Nothing like living with gear for a while, huh?
Title: Re: JBL SRX828SP, Danley DBH 218, Yorkville LS808, and QSC KW181: An Audience's Take
Post by: Tim McCulloch on September 24, 2020, 02:17:44 pm
Yes, very familiar with data-bass and JTR's products tested there.  Awesome resource from Josh....and I admire Jeff for participating in such full disclosure.
I look forward to seeing the Captivator-218pro tests show up.

Also think the 218pro, being a double 18, kinda validates the idea the easiest way to dig real low is with bass-reflex.

Sub shootouts are always fun.  Although i do think it's often really hard to make fair apples to apples comparisons. 
Me and my buds always get over zealous thinking we can try/test too many things at the same time. Mistakes get made, memories blur, etc.

Nothing like living with gear for a while, huh?

Yepper.  And using a shoot out to make *meaningful, repeatable measurements* requires lots of space and strict adherence to the measurement protocol.  This is what we found in NYC in 2007.  Any variation can introduce unknown errors in the measurement and small-ish spaces mean moving subs around (Helmholtz resonators...) and introducing numerous reflections into the measurements.

"We" kind of presumed that any anomalies that were present in all measurements could be mathematically subtracted from measurements and the practicality of that proved us wrong, so we had a bunch of TEF plots that were valid only for each unit, in the acoustic space the measurement was taken.  So no universal 'truths' were uncovered, other than there are some really good subs built by non-multinational companies...

For the last 30 years or so I've made my living running other people's companies.  Incremental savings - the kinds that come from buying more efficient, higher output products - are difficult to pitch to the equity side of the biz.  These savings don't have a direct, positive impact on cash flow and the savings are very much economy-of-scale things.  If one needs only 2 or 4 subs and the SRX will do, there's little reason to spend 3x the cash for 6dB more output, especially if having a big pile of subs impresses clients and results in more work.

At scale, though, the difference between, say, an SRX828 and a similar size unit with 3dB-6dB more output is a smaller warehouse, less space in the truck, and less labor... but it takes owning more than most small operators will need in order to realize those incremental savings.  And is there a perceivable difference between those two products in the use ones own shop might give them?  One needs, as you say, Mark, to live with them for a while.
Title: Re: JBL SRX828SP, Danley DBH 218, Yorkville LS808, and QSC KW181: An Audience's Take
Post by: boburtz on October 16, 2020, 02:57:05 pm
Yes, very familiar with data-bass and JTR's products tested there.  Awesome resource from Josh....and I admire Jeff for participating in such full disclosure.
I look forward to seeing the Captivator-218pro tests show up.

Also think the 218pro, being a double 18, kinda validates the idea the easiest way to dig real low is with bass-reflex.
We purchased 16 of the Captivator 218Pro boxes last winter (pre-pandemic). We actually took delivery of the final four after the shelter in place imposed by the California governor, so sadly, no real world reviews of the package yet, although we did get to squeeze a couple of smaller gigs in with them before the lockdown. Prior to the Cap218P, we were using QRX218 subs. We do all sorts of stuff and frankly, with enough quantity, the QRX is a solid box. The Cap218P is physically larger, handles more power, and is more efficient in the lowest registers, by a lot. The driver has more than twice the xmax, and almost three times the power handling, so higher output than the QRX is a given. I measured them both outdoors with a calibrated interface and calibrated microphone. The only processing was a 21hz, LR 24db hi-pass and a 100hz, 36db butterworth low-pass. Measurement source was the same and conditions were identical for each. Microphone on the ground at 1m, no boundaries within 30' and we moved the subs that weren't under test completely out of the area. I'm sure there were things we could have done to get more accurate results, it was on an asphalt parking lot. Maybe that matters, maybe it doesn't. Anyhow, the results are below. Black is Cap218 Pro, Orange is QRX218s. The QRX trace is pretty close to its published spec, so it's probably fair to say that the measurements are reasonably accurate. However accurate they may or may not be, it's certainly an accurate like for like comparison. As you can see, the Cap218P is very solid below 30hz. Bear in mind, our Cap218P is a modified version, the box dimensions differ from the production version. We had them customized to fit into our 16' box truck, so 30"x22.5"x45", and no tilt back wheels. Jeff says the internal box volume is close enough to the stock design that the specs shouldn't really stray. I'm sure he's right, I just thought it would be prudent to mention.
Title: Re: JBL SRX828SP, Danley DBH 218, Yorkville LS808, and QSC KW181: An Audience's Take
Post by: Caleb Dueck on October 17, 2020, 05:19:40 pm
We purchased 16 of the Captivator 218Pro boxes last winter (pre-pandemic). We actually took delivery of the final four after the shelter in place imposed by the California governor, so sadly, no real world reviews of the package yet, although we did get to squeeze a couple of smaller gigs in with them before the lockdown. Prior to the Cap218P, we were using QRX218 subs. We do all sorts of stuff and frankly, with enough quantity, the QRX is a solid box. The Cap218P is physically larger, handles more power, and is more efficient in the lowest registers, by a lot. The driver has more than twice the xmax, and almost three times the power handling, so higher output than the QRX is a given. I measured them both outdoors with a calibrated interface and calibrated microphone. The only processing was a 21hz, LR 24db hi-pass and a 100hz, 36db butterworth low-pass. Measurement source was the same and conditions were identical for each. Microphone on the ground at 1m, no boundaries within 30' and we moved the subs that weren't under test completely out of the area. I'm sure there were things we could have done to get more accurate results, it was on an asphalt parking lot. Maybe that matters, maybe it doesn't. Anyhow, the results are below. Black is Cap218 Pro, Orange is QRX218s. The QRX trace is pretty close to its published spec, so it's probably fair to say that the measurements are reasonably accurate. However accurate they may or may not be, it's certainly an accurate like for like comparison. As you can see, the Cap218P is very solid below 30hz. Bear in mind, our Cap218P is a modified version, the box dimensions differ from the production version. We had them customized to fit into our 16' box truck, so 30"x22.5"x45", and no tilt back wheels. Jeff says the internal box volume is close enough to the stock design that the specs shouldn't really stray. I'm sure he's right, I just thought it would be prudent to mention.

Impressive.  I've read a few posts about the Cap218 over the past few months, looks like a great sub.

What I'd like to see compared at full SPL are a Cap218 Pro and Bassboss ZV28.  If you're up for it Bob, Bassboss is now in California. 
Title: Re: JBL SRX828SP, Danley DBH 218, Yorkville LS808, and QSC KW181: An Audience's Take
Post by: boburtz on October 17, 2020, 07:49:08 pm
Impressive.  I've read a few posts about the Cap218 over the past few months, looks like a great sub.

What I'd like to see compared at full SPL are a Cap218 Pro and Bassboss ZV28.  If you're up for it Bob, Bassboss is now in California.
I expect the ZV28 would be louder down low, but it's a significantly larger cabinet. The specs on that thing are impressive. The Cap218P is more on par with BassBoss's SSP218 in terms of physical size. I think the Cap has the advantage below 30hz. Here is the SSP218 published spec, and here also is a measurement of the Cap218P with processing that I've developed in Lake.
If the pandemic drags on for many more months, maybe I'll look into passing the time by making the drive to LA and meeting up with Dave for a sub comparison. I've always been intrigued by the BassBoss stuff, but I think it's safe to say we won't be looking at changing our subs any time soon...
Title: Re: JBL SRX828SP, Danley DBH 218, Yorkville LS808, and QSC KW181: An Audience's Take
Post by: Mark Wilkinson on October 19, 2020, 10:22:55 am
We purchased 16 of the Captivator 218Pro boxes last winter (pre-pandemic). We actually took delivery of the final four after the shelter in place imposed by the California governor, so sadly, no real world reviews of the package yet, although we did get to squeeze a couple of smaller gigs in with them before the lockdown. Prior to the Cap218P, we were using QRX218 subs. We do all sorts of stuff and frankly, with enough quantity, the QRX is a solid box. The Cap218P is physically larger, handles more power, and is more efficient in the lowest registers, by a lot. The driver has more than twice the xmax, and almost three times the power handling, so higher output than the QRX is a given. I measured them both outdoors with a calibrated interface and calibrated microphone. The only processing was a 21hz, LR 24db hi-pass and a 100hz, 36db butterworth low-pass. Measurement source was the same and conditions were identical for each. Microphone on the ground at 1m, no boundaries within 30' and we moved the subs that weren't under test completely out of the area. I'm sure there were things we could have done to get more accurate results, it was on an asphalt parking lot. Maybe that matters, maybe it doesn't. Anyhow, the results are below. Black is Cap218 Pro, Orange is QRX218s. The QRX trace is pretty close to its published spec, so it's probably fair to say that the measurements are reasonably accurate. However accurate they may or may not be, it's certainly an accurate like for like comparison. As you can see, the Cap218P is very solid below 30hz. Bear in mind, our Cap218P is a modified version, the box dimensions differ from the production version. We had them customized to fit into our 16' box truck, so 30"x22.5"x45", and no tilt back wheels. Jeff says the internal box volume is close enough to the stock design that the specs shouldn't really stray. I'm sure he's right, I just thought it would be prudent to mention.

Thanks from all of us for that Bob, this post and the subsequent processed one.

Cap218 Pro looks like another JTR winner.  Really cool you got 16 of them, and customized to fit. 
That's another thing i like about bass-reflex, how you can  vary WxHxD dimensions and get near identical responses, as long as you keep internal volume and port size the same.
I figure the 21 Hz, LR24 high pass, knocks down response at 30Hz by nearly 2dB on it's own, which makes 30Hz response even a little more impressive.

Your processed graph looks great.  I like to flatten everything within the passband too, and then measure the entire passband's sensitivity.
i think it's the true measure of a sub, as long as no boost's are used beyond 2-3 dB .
Which from the look of your graph, it appears to be all about cuts to get the flattening. 
Was any low-end boost used at all to keep the 30Hz knee?  I figure maybe a little, but you already had 2 free dB just to compensate for the high-pass rolloff.

It's always amazing to me how hard it is to scratch out the last few, clean and safe dB, from the very bottom....and how much it can help the sound at certain select times....

After you get some time with them running harder, will you let us know how much they walk when driven?
Although with 16 subs, you may never be pushing them hard enough to walk i guess.

That's an additional spec I'd love to see for all subs....."walk rate when running near max" haha
Title: Re: JBL SRX828SP, Danley DBH 218, Yorkville LS808, and QSC KW181: An Audience's Take
Post by: boburtz on October 20, 2020, 02:40:33 am
I figure the 21 Hz, LR24 high pass, knocks down response at 30Hz by nearly 2dB on it's own, which makes 30Hz response even a little more impressive.
...
Was any low-end boost used at all to keep the 30Hz knee?
My mistake, it's actually a Butterworth 24db hpf @ 21hz, so not much affect on the 27hz box tuning frequency. Maybe 1db, but I think that's about it. I never measured the box without that protective hpf, maybe I'll look into making that happen if I can find some time in my busy production schedule.  ;)

I used three very narrow, very slight boosts to keep everything flat.
+.8db @ 30.2hz, .12 oct bw
+.8db @ 33.6hz, .33 oct bw
+.5db @ 44.0hz, .33 oct bw
After that it's a few cuts, including a shelf at 67.6hz, 1.51 bw slope @ -4db

I like the looks of the results, it would be nice to be able to open them all up at a show outdoors...



Title: Re: JBL SRX828SP, Danley DBH 218, Yorkville LS808, and QSC KW181: An Audience's Take
Post by: Mark Wilkinson on October 21, 2020, 08:50:56 am
My mistake, it's actually a Butterworth 24db hpf @ 21hz, so not much affect on the 27hz box tuning frequency. Maybe 1db, but I think that's about it. I never measured the box without that protective hpf, maybe I'll look into making that happen if I can find some time in my busy production schedule.  ;)

I used three very narrow, very slight boosts to keep everything flat.
+.8db @ 30.2hz, .12 oct bw
+.8db @ 33.6hz, .33 oct bw
+.5db @ 44.0hz, .33 oct bw
After that it's a few cuts, including a shelf at 67.6hz, 1.51 bw slope @ -4db

I like the looks of the results, it would be nice to be able to open them all up at a show outdoors...

Thx.  Excellent results from such small boosts....methinks you have real world bottom end !!