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Title: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: Russ Buck on February 23, 2010, 03:34:21 pm
I was asked to figure out what we need and come up with a price.  Here is the quote I got " We don't need "Cadillacs" but we don't want "Yugos" either.  Maybe a nice Oldsmobile" We are a smaller church maybe 120ish people each week and we meet in an 100+ old building with huge ceilings.  I know our board is thinking this should cost around $1000, I am hoping to figure something out for around $2000 I don't think they can justify anything more than this.  Currently we have a set of Yamaha club series (one of which has a blown woofer).  From what I have heard here and else where just buying a set of speakers and setting them on each side of the stage is not the best way of doing things.  I just don't know where to start.  Do some of the bigger music equipt. suppliers have people that help with this?  Should I look for a sound engineer to come and tell me what to get and where to place?  currently we have  the speakers about head height placed at each side of the room just in front of the stage, and angled them in.  Any help would be great.

Russ

sorry if I rambled on...
Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: Dick Rees on February 23, 2010, 03:49:21 pm
Russ Buck wrote on Tue, 23 February 2010 15:34

I was asked to figure out what we need and come up with a price.  Here is the quote I got " We don't need "Cadillacs" but we don't want "Yugos" either.  Maybe a nice Oldsmobile" We are a smaller church maybe 120ish people each week and we meet in an 100+ old building with huge ceilings.  I know our board is thinking this should cost around $1000, I am hoping to figure something out for around $2000 I don't think they can justify anything more than this.  Currently we have a set of Yamaha club series (one of which has a blown woofer).  From what I have heard here and else where just buying a set of speakers and setting them on each side of the stage is not the best way of doing things.  I just don't know where to start.  Do some of the bigger music equipt. suppliers have people that help with this?  Should I look for a sound engineer to come and tell me what to get and where to place? currently we have  the speakers about head height placed at each side of the room just in front of the stage, and angled them in.  Any help would be great.

Russ

sorry if I rambled on...


Russ....

Yes to the above highlighted portion of your message.  You will certainly be able to get a lot of good help here, but the amount of information needed to make the proper responses is sort of a ping-pong game with you posting something, someone else answering and asking for more info and back and forth....a lot.  And in the end an experienced person in the actual room listening to a service is invaluable.


The best solution I can think of is to first maximize what you can get out of what you have.  If there are any needs to be addressed above and beyond that, then proceed.  I hate to try to solve "problems" by throwing money at them.  Throw knowledge and experience at them first.

DR
Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: Brad Weber on February 23, 2010, 04:47:19 pm
Russ Buck wrote on Tue, 23 February 2010 15:34

  Here is the quote I got " We don't need "Cadillacs" but we don't want "Yugos" either.  Maybe a nice Oldsmobile"

Yugo has not been sold in the US for some time and Oldsmobile has been phased out entirely, so probably not the best analogy unless they are truly wanting speakers from a once great but no longer existing manufacturer (there are a few of those). Embarassed

On a more serious note, are they saying they want an Oldsmobile or something they would consider to be like an Oldsmobile?  What defines being 'like and Oldsmobile' to them?  What model do they want?  What options?  It also needs to fit in with the rest of the existing conditions and goals, no fun to get home and find your new SUV doesn't fit in the garage or the coupe you just bought can't hold all the family and luggage for your regular trips to the beach.  Much better to define the goals and conditions before you start looking.

It's not just the brand name on the product or even the general level of price and quality, it is whether it is the right specific product for the application.  So what are your services like?  What sources might you run through the speaker system?  What is the rest of the audio system like?  Are there any practical options for speaker locations and mounting other than on stands to either side at the stage?  The more you can define your goals andexpecations, the existing conditions and any limitations on what can be done, the better.  But as Dick noted, in many cases nothing can beat actually being in the room and meeting with the people involved.
Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: Tom Young on February 24, 2010, 06:18:02 am
I would add to what Dick and Brad have advised that you also must very carefully figure out what coverage pattern the new loudspeakers must provide which also involves whether the system is mono or stereo. This probably requires a sound system expert/designer.

Buying any level of loudspeaker system (Yugo, Buick, Cadillac, whatever), and especially for sound reinforcement, requires that you have DSP to optimize the system. This requires measurement (after the system has been installed) and the specialized skills needed to implement the proper processing. So this is all the more reason to bring in a specilaist who knows what they are doing.

One more factor: safety. If new loudspeakers are to be hung, you must ensure that this is done safely. A qualified sound system designer can help with this but a structural engineer or professional rigger may also be required.

A big red flag here is that someone came up with a number ($1000.00) which you then doubled. Deciding on a price before thoroughly evaluating the needs is a recipe for disappointment.

It is very unfortunate that churches (and some other institutions) *in general* treat sound systems in this manner while they would never arbitrarily set a price for a new roof, repaving the parking lot, buying new pews, replacing the heater or air conditioner, etc.
Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: Russ Buck on February 24, 2010, 11:18:13 am
That's why I am here getting advice.  I Realize there is much more than just finding a speaker in my price range.  i was thrown the number ($1000) by someone that would of just looked in a catalog for speakers that "Looked Good" for the price.  There are other people involved that have the same approach, run to the local music store and buy some speakers within the price range, I am hoping to get the nessasary info to help them understand that we need to bring in an expert.  My hope it to find a few options and let them decide how they want to proceed.  I threw the prices out there to let everyone reading know where I am coming from.  If Hiring a professional is going to run in the $10000+ then I don't think we are at that point yet, and maybe we need to figure out something to "get us buy a few more years. But I have know idea what cost we are talking about.
Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: Dick Rees on February 24, 2010, 11:53:19 am
Russ Buck wrote on Tue, 23 February 2010 15:34

  From what I have heard here and else where just buying a set of speakers and setting them on each side of the stage is not the best way of doing things.



Maybe so, maybe not.  Before we go farther, what (if any) other options are open to you?  Sometimes the proper technical solution is summarily dismissed for aesthetic reasons.  Aesthetics, acoustics and physics all end up fighting each other to a certain extent.

If you cannot stand mount or permanently wall mount the speakers, there will be talk of flying them.  This in itself will easily eat the budget you have for purchase plus fly-rated speakers and hardware will cost way more than you're looking at.

If you have a significant live music presence (praise band), then you're going to want the speakers placed in front of or at least even with the front of the band.  That kind of dictates things.

You can argue with the congregation.  You can't argue with physics.  (Friendly arguments only, please. Very Happy )  
Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: Brian Ehlers on February 24, 2010, 12:50:25 pm
I'm going to play Devil's Advocate here (if I'm allowed to do so on a church message board  Very Happy ) just to air another viewpoint.

I agree with what everyone is saying, and I encourage the original poster to bring in a professional to evaluate the church's needs and provide a rough estimate of what it would cost.  This will allow the church to plan for the future.

But we have to admit that there are many situations, and many small churches, where the sound reinforcement needs can be met with a system which is FAR less than optimum.  Many years ago I read somewhere the three priorities of sound reinforcement:
1.  Make sound, ANY sound.
2.  Make LOUD sound (which I will paraphrase as "provide good coverage").
3.  Make GOOD sound.

I can't count the number of times I've been in a public place with no PA system and wished they had a simple speaker on a stick and one mic.  It wouldn't matter if it was 6 dB too soft or 6 dB too loud.  It wouldn't matter if it had the distortion and bandwidth of a telephone.  I just wish I could hear most of what was being said.

Hopefully your church is a little beyond that point.  But we have to admit that there are MANY struggling churches out there who simply cannot afford decent PA equipment, nor can they afford to pay a professional to design and install a system.  For such churches it is entirely appropriate to head to the local Music store and buy one or two speakers on a stick and a small, cheap mixer.  With that, you grow your congregation, grow your budget, and grow your knowledge of sound reinforcement.  Sure, if you have to replace this equipment three years later you've wasted some money, but not much.  It was the right solution at the time.

I don't know where Russ's church fits into this picture.  Hopefully they're ready to move beyond priority #1 above.  But there are many churches who aren't.
Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: George S Dougherty on February 24, 2010, 01:22:15 pm
Russ Buck wrote on Wed, 24 February 2010 09:18

That's why I am here getting advice.  I Realize there is much more than just finding a speaker in my price range.  i was thrown the number ($1000) by someone that would of just looked in a catalog for speakers that "Looked Good" for the price.  There are other people involved that have the same approach, run to the local music store and buy some speakers within the price range, I am hoping to get the nessasary info to help them understand that we need to bring in an expert.  My hope it to find a few options and let them decide how they want to proceed.  I threw the prices out there to let everyone reading know where I am coming from.  If Hiring a professional is going to run in the $10000+ then I don't think we are at that point yet, and maybe we need to figure out something to "get us buy a few more years. But I have know idea what cost we are talking about.


If you're on a budget and decide you can't afford the advice of a professional, you may also want to consider building your own to save some money.  I've been a participant over at www.billfitzmaurice.com  for several years now.  The speaker designs are as good as commercial speakers costing quite a bit more and the designer and forum participants are happy to help with selection and placement questions given enough info on requirements and layout.

That said, if you can afford to hire in experience, do so.  I don't think you'd necessarily be looking at the $10K range and if you don't have the experience in-house you'll be far ahead of the game.  Running out and buying whatever the salesperson at a local music store decides you might need or fits your budget is likely to get you not much past where you're at already.

A few thoughts from your intro post.  You have a speaker with a blown woofer.  More than likely, you need a limiter and probably some sort of EQ with a HP filter to remove the frequencies the speakers will never realistically reproduce anyway.  The club series are not great speakers, but they're not terrible either.  I'd put them in the "Kia" or "Mercury" range following your previous analogy.  They do fine with the basics as long as they're not driven hard, at which point I find the high end goes harsh and fatiguing.  There are better options, but a repaired woofer, some system processing and maybe a quality subwoofer could be a better option for a crowd of 120 people than just going out and buying new speakers.   Hard to say, depends on the room dimensions and what you're doing.  Answer the other questions posed first and that will help determine what might do better for you.
Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: Keith Shannon on February 25, 2010, 11:32:51 am
Russ Buck wrote on Wed, 24 February 2010 11:18

That's why I am here getting advice.  I Realize there is much more than just finding a speaker in my price range.  i was thrown the number ($1000) by someone that would of just looked in a catalog for speakers that "Looked Good" for the price.  There are other people involved that have the same approach, run to the local music store and buy some speakers within the price range, I am hoping to get the nessasary info to help them understand that we need to bring in an expert.  My hope it to find a few options and let them decide how they want to proceed.  I threw the prices out there to let everyone reading know where I am coming from.  If Hiring a professional is going to run in the $10000+ then I don't think we are at that point yet, and maybe we need to figure out something to "get us buy a few more years. But I have know idea what cost we are talking about.


I doubt hiring a pro will cost you $10,000. However, if you think your cost ballpark is in the $1k-$2k range, hiring a consultant to analyze, spec, install and tune the system may cost more than the system itself. However, a professional acoustical engineer is a must for most jobs beyond the simplest portable setup.

Whether a consultant is strictly necessary depends on what the basic plan is. The space seats roughly 120 people; that's one consideration, and unless your space is shaped weirdly, it generally suggests that a simple pair of speakers up front, about 300W/channel, would be more than enough to get the message out to the congregation clearly and inexpensively. However, there are other questions that need to be asked and answered:

- What will this system be required to reproduce/reinforce? Is this just for reinforcement via a podium mike and maybe a couple handhelds or lavalieres? Will you be playing recorded music through the system? How about live reinforcement of instruments? Does it have to have enough power to blend with a drum kit? The more power you need for volume, and the wider frequency response you need, the more expensive the components will be.
- Are there space concerns? Specifically, do you have space to set a couple of speaker stands such that the speakers will do their job but not interfere with the flow of worship, or is floor space at a premium, requiring you to fly or wall-mount them? If you're going to fly them, I recommend a professional just for that; you only get one shot tp place them correctly, and there are building code requirements for weight-handling when you fly a wooden box that can easily kill someone if it falls.
- Are there portability concerns? Do you need to be able to move this system in and out of the space, because it's used for other things or you need the system in a different space? If so, poles are your main option, and wall-mounting, flying, or similar permanent installation is probably a no-no.
- Have you had any complaints about the current PA being too loud in front, but unintelligible in back? That would suggest that your space is either very lively, or deep enough that the current setup's volume is being attenuated before it gets to the back row. One solution to either problem is a set of fill speakers toward the back, acting as a sort of booster to the volume level, while allowing the overall volume, especially up front, to be lower. These kind of systems, however, require timing and tuning for best performance, and that usually means expert consultation.

Beyond that, there are some dimension and dispersion questions that must be answered, to determine what type, brand and model of speaker is best suited for your environment. A wider dispersion pattern is necessary for a broader space, but if used in a narrower space, it'll bounce sound off the walls, reducing intelligibility. Almost the exact opposite is true for narrower patterns. Also remember that speakers work in the vertical too; speaker cabinets generally have a 40- to 45-degree vertical dispersion pattern, which is again good for the general case, but if you have low ceilings or a deep room, you'll bounce sound off the ceiling with a basic 2-way cabinet. Line arrays (a vertical stack of multiple speaker cones) make use of an acoustical effect that narrows and fine-tunes the vertical dispersion of the sound wave coming out; however, this is another area of acoustical design that requires an expert's help to get just right, and line arrays are almost universally more expensive than the basic 2-way.

Just some more things to think about; answer these questions (doesn't have to be here) and you'll have a bit more knowledge of the direction you need to go, and whether you think you can do it yourself.
Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: Russ Buck on February 25, 2010, 12:26:20 pm
To clairify more on my situation.  the building is older, basicly a square, so it's wider than deep where people seat and the ceiling vaults up probably 40' at the point, with huge stained glass on one side and the back wall.  I am guessing the room dim. are close to 100' square.  I am hoping to go and get some exact measurements in the next few days.  currently the speakers are at the far sides sitting on shelfs the band is to one side of the stage so that speaker is set a little bit closer to the pews than the other side.   We are a very contemporary music style with drums, guitars, bass, keyboards, and everything is run through the board, including the Bass via a direct box.  We are also planing on caging the drums sometime int he near feature which I think will make the speaker issues even worse.  The front is loud and they are not very clear in sound, you get very different sounds depending on where you are at in the room.  We have a newer Allen and heath GL2400 sound board  , Apc8 compressors on the individual inputs, currently power the existing speaker with a crown amp and no processors, or crossovers.
Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: Keith Shannon on February 25, 2010, 01:34:08 pm
Russ Buck wrote on Thu, 25 February 2010 12:26

To clairify more on my situation.  the building is older, basicly a square, so it's wider than deep where people seat and the ceiling vaults up probably 40' at the point, with huge stained glass on one side and the back wall.  I am guessing the room dim. are close to 100' square.


Ouch. That's the first problem; a square room tends to be livelier than any other shape with similar volume and contruction materials. That, coupled with the "hard" wall surfaces, would be my main concern. The reverb timing of this room will be your main enemy in getting an intelligible reinforcement system, especially with a band.

Quote:

Currently the speakers are at the far sides sitting on shelfs the band is to one side of the stage so that speaker is set a little bit closer to the pews than the other side.


This, in my unprofessional opinion, suggests a need to wall-mount or fly the speakers. If the best option for their placement on stands is at the far corners of the space at unequal distances, you'll get better clarity bringing them in a bit, and that may mean they have to be overhead. Right there, that screams professional consultation.

Quote:

We are a very contemporary music style with drums, guitars, bass, keyboards, and everything is run through the board, including the Bass via a direct box.  We are also planning on caging the drums sometime in the near feature which I think will make the speaker issues even worse.


You're right; your situation calls for a pretty wide frequency band with good program power handling and even better peak. Caging the drums will actually help you out here by reducing "stage sound" and its reverberation, allowing you to concentrate on getting the best clarity out of the speakers. With bass running direct, as well as sung vocals, you already need enough power/frequency handling for a miced drum kit.

You will probably need subs in your new system. Running bass direct means you're putting a lot of fundamental into the woofer of your mains. That speaker also has to cleanly reproduce most of the other fundamental frequencies the cab gets, including speech/vocals, keyboard, the lower end of guitar, and tom/snare/kick hits. That's just too much to ask of a 2-way. Adding a sub will require a crossover, another amp channel and possibly some timing, since the sub will likely be in a corner and not near the mains. Taking the real lows out of the woofer's signal should decrease the THD from the speakers. You'll still have the room reverb to contend with, though.

Quote:

The front is loud and they are not very clear in sound, you get very different sounds depending on where you are at in the room.


This is 90% reverb timing. Your biggest problem, to hear you tell it, is that you have a very lively room with a long decay, and you're attempting to compensate for the unintelligibility, and to blend with the drums, using increased volume. Reduce the reverb time, and you decrease the acoustic chaos that's producing much of the differing sounds.

Quote:

We have a newer Allen and heath GL2400 sound board  , Apc8 compressors on the individual inputs, currently power the existing speaker with a crown amp and no processors, or crossovers.


Sounds like the signal side of the system's pretty good; Crown XTis are nothing to sneeze at either.

My opinion (worth what you paid for it) is, you are not going to solve your room's problems with new speakers. They will likely be a part of the fix, but your #1 concern is taming the room's acoustics. That will definitely require some professional consultation. Be aware that acoustical treatment will alter the aesthetics of the space; curtains, acoustical paneling, even architectural changes may be required to bring the reverb time down to "acceptable" levels. It's likely also going to cost several times your budget.
Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: George S Dougherty on February 25, 2010, 03:31:14 pm
Keith Shannon wrote on Thu, 25 February 2010 11:34


...your #1 concern is taming the room's acoustics. That will definitely require some professional consultation. Be aware that acoustical treatment will alter the aesthetics of the space; curtains, acoustical paneling, even architectural changes may be required to bring the reverb time down to "acceptable" levels. It's likely also going to cost several times your budget.


+1, it may cost more, but a bad room with good speakers will rarely produce good sound.  A good room with mediocre speakers will allow the system to be tuned and overcome some of its own limitations.

Think of it like this, put any car on a road that's flooded out and they'll all have problems slogging through.  Put any car on a straight stretch of dry pavement and some will go faster than others, but all of them can run about as optimally as possible.
Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: Russ Buck on February 26, 2010, 03:46:25 pm
I had a chance to get some excat measurements legth of room is 50' deep and it's 45' wide.  There is a small room off the side of the main room. 8' deep and 20' wide. I am not really concerned with the sound quality in that area but thought I would put it in as it might changes something.  the ceiling height is 25' high and as you can see in the picture it's vaulted on all sides almost to a point.  the stage area is 8 1/2' deep at the center and 12 1/2' deep on the left side where the drums and instruments are.  I will try to post some pics below.

index.php/fa/487/0/index.php/fa/486/0/Notice the back two corners are cut out too. index.php/fa/488/0/
index.php/fa/489/0/
Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: Keith Shannon on February 26, 2010, 04:49:48 pm
Russ Buck wrote on Fri, 26 February 2010 15:46

I had a chance to get some excat measurements legth of room is 50' deep and it's 45' wide.  There is a small room off the side of the main room. 8' deep and 20' wide. I am not really concerned with the sound quality in that area but thought I would put it in as it might changes something.  the ceiling height is 25' high and as you can see in the picture it's vaulted on all sides almost to a point.  the stage area is 8 1/2' deep at the center and 12 1/2' deep on the left side where the drums and instruments are.


OK, I'm a LITTLE less concerned about your space than I was. I was thinking a lot more brick, glass and hardwood than there really is. However, that ceiling and the basic dimensions are still a concern; all the 45* and 90* angles mean sound bounces around quite a bit.

As for speaker placement, I think you have it a bit wide. You have a pretty well-defined "stage" at front and center. Your speakers should be placed such that the sound will appear to be coming from that point; with the cabs in the corners, this won't happen. In addition, because they're so widely spaced, and most of the congregation is in the dispersion pattern of both speakers, there's a timing issue; you'll be closer to one speaker than the other unless you're right in the middle, which will cause one speaker's output to arrive later. If that difference is more than a few milliseconds, you'll get a delay effect that will cloud intelligibility. I see two major options:

1) Fly a center cluster, with two speakers positioned close together about where that chandelier is, angled to minimize the amount of reflection against the walls without pointing the speakers toward each other (left speaker points to left side of congregation, right side points right). This placement will be tricky aesthetically, because you'll want them to be low enough that the sound doesn't appear to be emanating from the ceiling, while still out of the way of the screen and the rest of the front view. If you can swing it, though, this will produce the least comb filtering effects and the most defined point source for the podium, and good enough for the band.

2) Wall-mount or fly a separated pair to either side of the projection screen a few feet in front of it to get them closer to the podium. They should again be angled away from each other, but not too much. This will interfere less with the view, as the cabs are less likely to be hanging down in front of something you need to see, like the screen. It will also provide a similar reduction in delay/comb filtering for most of the congregation. Care must be taken, however, to avoid placing thespeakers so their dispersion pattern covers the podium. That's a recipe for feedback.

On top of that, you'll want to do some things to deaden the room. Cloth generally works well to soak up sound; consider a few more wall hangings and possibly suspending some drapes from certain faces of that ceiling. Acoustical paneling may also work well in that kind of space. Let's face it, you've got a white ceiling carved into facets; they're just at the wrong angles. Further breaking up of some of those surface at "odd" angles, while refacing others in acoustical paneling, can increase the visual effect the designers intended while decreasing the reverb time from the sound bouncing around in the rafters. There's a science and an art to acoustical treatment, so I would reiterate that you'll want to hire a professional to help you out.
Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: Brian Ehlers on February 26, 2010, 05:57:21 pm
I'll leave it to an on-site professional to work out the details, but my eyeball says that you can probably get good coverage with a single 90 x 40 full-range speaker mounted near the ceiling, about halfway between the front chandelier and the projection screen.  The chandelier will probably need to move.

A quality full-range speaker with good sound, good pattern control, and good efficiency will cost in the neighborhood of $4000.  You will probably be able to find suitable budget-friendly speakers closer to $2000.  Amplification and installation are extra.
Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: Dick Rees on February 26, 2010, 06:35:02 pm
http://www.shrinkpictures.com/resize.php

Use the above to cut your  pictures to fit the standard margins so we don't all have to scroll from side to side to read any posts following the bloated photo.

Thanks
Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: Arnold B. Krueger on March 01, 2010, 09:41:25 am
Russ Buck wrote on Tue, 23 February 2010 20:34

I was asked to figure out what we need and come up with a price.  stage, and angled them in.  Any help would be great.



I looked at the pictures of your room, and to me it looks like heaven. A relatively small room, only about as wide as our 120' long sanctuary, far from being completely squared off, a very interesting diffusive ceiling, carpeted floor, and padded pews.

It would be easy to overdamp this room with bad effects on congregational response.

My first question would be what do you want to do? Voice only? Do you want to route all of your electronic instruments through the SR system? Do you have any other acoustic or atypical electronic instruments to amplify (e.g. an electronic organ)?

How loud do you want to go?  90 dB? 110 dB?  ???  What sort of bass extension do you want? 80 Hz? 60 Hz, 40 Hz?

The general approach I've used is to draw a plan view of the room and then draw arcs that cover the seating from speaker hanging spots that are not over the platform, and use their included angles to figure out what horizontal coverage pattern that you need. It might be 60 to 90 degrees.

Then draw lines in the side view and try to keep the sides of the arc that covers the seating area from front to back, within 2:1.

It's pretty much a given that you're going to want to hang the speakers, so that means getting a qualified rigger to actually do that deed.

I've covered far larger rooms with far more people with a pair of heavily-equalized ZX-1s, handled a rap singer with accompaniment to match, and even gotten a little bit loud.

Good solutions start out with good statements of the problem!
Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: Russ Buck on March 23, 2010, 10:34:38 am
Here's where I am at.. Not sure where to go from here either.  Gave the pictures and measurements to a "consultant" He basically said that material cost were at least $3800 not including labor to install, or consulting fees.  so I'm figuring roughly $6000 total.  We have a rough budget of $2000 so that's 3 times what were looking to spend. and not at all in our range.  I am wondering if anyone has "hung" their own speakers/speaker and with what results.  figuring I have a relativity small room that one speaker may be able to cover the seating area.  to respond to the post before this we run all the instruments through the house sound system.  including bass and will soon be running the drums through it.
Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: George S Dougherty on March 23, 2010, 10:54:57 am
I hung my own speakers.  It's not generally advisable and I didn't get any engineering input.  I probably should have, but here's why I was okay with it.

The speakers weigh about 35 lbs and aren't directly over anyone's heads.  They hang over a piano and organ either side of the stage.

I built the speakers myself.  In recognition of that, the mounting hardware in the cab is rated for about 350lbs. The cabinet has additional bracing where the mounting bolt passes through.  I have three fly points on the cabinet.  Two up front, one in back.

The cabinets are hanging from two very large and thick beams either side of the stage that trisect the roof of the sanctuary.

The mounting points from the beam are 3/8" eye-hole screws 4.5" long with nothing but the eye-hole protruding from the beam.

The chain and hardware suspending the cabinets are all rated for at least 350lbs.

Given all that, I feel reasonably safe the speakers aren't coming down before the building does.
Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: David Sumrall on March 23, 2010, 12:29:48 pm

Here is a rough suggestion.....

2 EV zx3, Wall poll mounts mounted higher and angled better, and 1 dbx drive rack PA, and a little tuning,  will get you better then where you are.

Still not ideal or perfect but much much better.

2 EV ZX3- @$800 per- $1,600
1 drive rack PA- @$600
Wall pole mounts- @$200

Roughly- $2,400 give or take a little bit. If cables are long enough.

Plus some install labor for the mounts.

Plus some setup and tuning on the drive rack  maybe a couple hundred for this.

SX300 would be a little cheaper maybe, and would do fine.

Then you could always come back later and take down the fans and have someone install the speakers more correctly.

my 2 cents.

Good luck!

David

Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: Brad Weber on March 28, 2010, 11:52:50 am
George S Dougherty wrote on Tue, 23 March 2010 10:54

I feel reasonably safe the speakers aren't coming down before the building does.

I think that it is important to note that George had a good idea of the issues involved and specifically tried to address them.  He also had a good situation for attaching the speakers to the structure.  And he is probably willing to assume liability for his work.  These are not all valid for every situation and should not be seen as suggesting that just anyone can or should fly their own speakers or build speakers for flying.

I think David gave some good ideas based on the budget available.  However, the comment regarding running the bass and drums through the system concerns me as if you need the speakers to provide support for those sources beyond their natural sound in that room, then you may be looking for a lot more speaker than a ZX1.
Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: George S Dougherty on March 28, 2010, 07:13:19 pm
Brad Weber wrote on Sun, 28 March 2010 09:52

George S Dougherty wrote on Tue, 23 March 2010 10:54

I feel reasonably safe the speakers aren't coming down before the building does.

I think that it is important to note that George had a good idea of the issues involved and specifically tried to address them.  He also had a good situation for attaching the speakers to the structure.  And he is probably willing to assume liability for his work.  These are not all valid for every situation and should not be seen as suggesting that just anyone can or should fly their own speakers or build speakers for flying.

I think David gave some good ideas based on the budget available.  However, the comment regarding running the bass and drums through the system concerns me as if you need the speakers to provide support for those sources beyond their natural sound in that room, then you may be looking for a lot more speaker than a ZX1.


Thanks for repeating my point and clarifying on my comment about it not being advisable for everyone.  You're absolutely right.  We've talked about flying the Bill Fitzmaurice designs on the building forums and I've learned a good amount over there about safety concerns and "over-engineering" for margin.  The situation was ideal for the plan and I certainly wouldn't recommend people fly their own cabinets in most situations.  Production companies looking at our sanctuary for a lighting install discussed load studies on the roof before mounting any truss or bars.  I'd assume the same would be a good idea for hanging speakers from a normal ceiling.

If the budget is $2k, and you have some people willing to build cabinets, I'd give a serious look at the Bill Fitzmaurice designs.  There are several designs that would work well in your room.

One of the best options may be the TLAH Pro.  You can corner or wall mount them either side of the screen like Keith mentioned.  They'll provide a tighter vertical pattern than a traditional speaker and will provide all the performance you should ever need in that room for the top end.  With 8" speakers they'll extend efficiently down to 80Hz, no problem.  You should be easily able to build and wall mount them yourself (worst case with the assistance of someone in the congregation).  They can be built with 8-9 8" speakers for about $450/ea.

http://billfitzmaurice.net/TLAH.html

If you want kick and bass out of the PA, I've never seen a good top that will handle that efectively on their own, or that would fit in your budget.  Easy solution, get a sub or two to handle the bottom end.  There are several options that will provide plenty of output with great quality and can be built for about $300-$350 or less.  We use a single 30" wide Titan 48, roughly the equivalent of a double 18" cab in output volume.  Clarity is no contest between the two.  It does quite well on its own, and cost only $350 and a week of evenings for me to build.  It's a large cabinet so the Titan 39 may be a better fit if you're looking for a small footprint.

Both the Titan subs and the TLAH are very efficient, so you don't need a huge power amp to drive them to loud volumes.

The forums over there are filled with helpful people who've built and use the designs week in and week out for local sound companies and churches.
Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: John Moore on April 11, 2010, 10:54:27 am
your space is an excellent candidate for the TOA HX-5's , these small speakers will work wonders in your space, can be adjusted for coverage angle. A hang of 2 center clustered (4 speakers in each) or a hang of 1 per side will do you. We have a hang of 2 per side in our church ( a total of 8 speakers) and they do a great job. Coupled with some small subs (don't use the TOA's we toasted them) the system sound really good. If you do a hang per side, just inside of where your fans are. These speakers don't weigh much and come with the hardware to hang, plus they have additional mounting options.

Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: Lee Buckalew on April 11, 2010, 07:57:59 pm
I have to reply about the TOA's.  They have truly awful coverage.  At 1k the horizontal coverage is about 100 degrees, by 4k it is down to about 22 degree's.
They are definitely among the least expensive but they are also cheap and don't cover well.

His,
Lee Buckalew
Pro Sound Advice, Inc.
Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: John Moore on April 11, 2010, 08:23:24 pm
I hate to punk you on this but that it not all correct. In real life application the coverage and sound of these speakers is quite impressive for their size and price point offering. In a single hang or even more per side the horizontal in experience and use is quite good and the dB output is loud, clear and overall frequency response is quite good. Not sure if you are doing the numbers off paper or do you have the install to back that up. They are a very good speaker given the application, which for a HOW with limited budget would work great.
Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: Lee Buckalew on April 11, 2010, 09:21:36 pm
In real applications that is the case.  It is also the case via TOA's predictive software per a TOA rep specing these in a classroom application where I designed the Theatre spaces.
Tested, with FFT analysis equipment, they fall FAR short of good coverage.  They may work for certain applications but they do not cover evenly.  I can work with gradual equal drop off in level as you move off axis but coverage that narrows with increasing frequency is poor.

If you have multiple point FFT analysis that shows identical source material and the plotted coverage I would like to see it.

Hear is the plot given by another provider for a classroom in the building to which I referred above for the 1k response.  I'll follow with the 4k since there's only 1 attachment per message body.

index.php/fa/515/0/

His,
Lee Buckalew
Pro Sound Advice, Inc.
Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: Lee Buckalew on April 11, 2010, 09:39:24 pm
Now the 4k response.

An equal drop at all controllable frequencies as you get off axis would be O.K. but this is really unusable beyond about 15 degree's off axis when compared to the 1k.    This is very uneven sound coverage.

It may be that, given the budget and other factors these may be the best compromise but, in most situations for small church spaces line array boxes are not the best choice.  In the same price range I can get much better two way cabinets with far more even coverage capability.

In this room, a very reflective back wall combined with a reverberant room overall, there are two problems with an uneven off axis coverage and a line array.
#1, the forward gain increase (actually the decrease in drop over distance) provided by a line array will create problems off of the back wall.
#2, with a reverberant room and a speaker that produces uneven frequency coverage as the angle off axis changes, you will have a build up of mid and lower frequencies when compared with higher frequencies.  This results from the build up of off axis reflections and the substantially higher level of lower frequencies when off axis.

His,
Lee Buckalew
Pro Sound Advice, Inc.

index.php/fa/516/0/
Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: Russ Buck on April 12, 2010, 11:23:28 am
OK After looking at the TOA HX-5, they are looking like a good candidate for my situation given my budget.  Has anyone used these out there and what was your thought on the sound of these?  From what I read most people are amazed based on the price of them.  Also what sort of processor should I get and what sub.  
Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: John Moore on April 12, 2010, 11:41:15 am
We have a hang of 2 per side in our church covering the seating areas in front of them. We are using a Peavey VSX26 processor which has all of the necessary PEQ capabilities to do the system well. It works well again for the price point. If you want more info, email me or call.... Razz
Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: Russ Buck on April 12, 2010, 12:41:30 pm
what are you using for subs?  and with out subs is there no low end?
Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: John Moore on April 13, 2010, 12:25:24 am
We initially bought the TOA subs, but toasted one before install. We used the cabs and replaced them with (4) Ciare 12.00 SW drivers ($299 each just for driver) at 16 ohms to get us a 4 ohm load on our amp. They are a nice size sub, but if pushed at all pushes it beyond its limits. I would think there are some better choices for small subs than the TOA. We drive them with a QSC PL280. Low end wise with the VSX26 processor, I recall the roll off is around 125hz, so no, not much low end at all, for vocals and response down to 125 they work well, but if you want that full sound, get a sub or two. For subs, what kind of music are you doing, CD playback, etc., will help determine what you may need, 12" 15" or 18"...
Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: Russ Buck on April 21, 2010, 09:27:34 am
Ok after looking into this a little more, thinking I may be better off finding some main speakers that can handle the bass as well, cost wise this should be cheaper than mains and subs, and extra processor for the subs.  Can anyone give me a recomendation for a decent flyable speaker that can handle bass, and drums.  maybe not perfect as down the road we can add subs.  
Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: George S Dougherty on April 21, 2010, 10:57:05 am
Russ Buck wrote on Wed, 21 April 2010 07:27

Ok after looking into this a little more, thinking I may be better off finding some main speakers that can handle the bass as well, cost wise this should be cheaper than mains and subs, and extra processor for the subs.  Can anyone give me a recomendation for a decent flyable speaker that can handle bass, and drums.  maybe not perfect as down the road we can add subs.  



Really, there isn't one.  If you want real bass reinforcement, even a double 15" cabinet won't hold a candle to a 2-way setup with an efficient top and subwoofers.  Anything else, unless it's properly shelved to keep out the LF content and properly limited to protect the drivers from someone cranking the LF knob on channels, is just an efficient cabinet to rotate blown drivers through.  Strong bass output for kick drums, bass guitar, music playback, etc. requires moving a lot of air, and that's not something that single cabinets are designed to do.

Better tops will provide strength down to 60Hz, but you really need strength down to at least 50Hz and better to 40Hz to do things justice.  That 10-20Hz doesn't seem like much difference, but you're at a point where one octave down from 60Hz is 30Hz.  That 10-20Hz is one to two thirds of an octave in lower notes and frequency content and makes a noticable difference if you roll a HP filter up on a system that can handle that range.

You could easily put a single 27" wide T39 in the right corner as you face the front of the sanctuary and get sufficient bass for that room.  Construction is all simple angles and square panels, pretty easy, especially if you have or can get use of a table saw.  $200 buys a kit with everything you need besides plans, plywood and finish of your choice.  The rest is about another $100-150 depending on your choice of finish.  Pickup something like a crown XTi2000 or any number of newer inexpensive power efficient amps with DSP included and you'll have everything you need to add it to your system.
Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: Dick Rees on April 21, 2010, 12:24:43 pm
It will cost money to implement LF reinforcement in the room.  You can usually get by with the low end just letting the bass amp carry the room.  Attention must be paid to overall balance, but that shouldn't be hard given that you're in the same room all the time.  The only real difference will be the "presence" of the bass in the mix and that can be compensated for to a certain extent by sculpting the EQ of the bass amp output into the room.  It will actually tend to eliminate the "hot spots" or power alley problems associated with sub placement.


DR
Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: Taylor Phillips on April 26, 2010, 05:48:27 pm
Hey, Russ.  I'm probably the least qualified person on here, so look for someone to correct me if I'm steering you wrong.  My parents' church uses four Yamaha BR15s hung in a center cluster for a large rectangle in warehouse space with a concrete floor, and they sound quite good.  They don't have any subs, and the bass is played through an amp on stage. Supposedly the BR series is supposed to have good 'bass reflex' and that's where Yamaha came up with the designation. I wouldn't bother with mic'ing the drums in your situation, unless they really are too quiet (which has never been a situation that I've encountered in a small church setting) or if you want to record them.
Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: Jonathan Johnson on April 27, 2010, 01:01:10 am
I'm not qualified to be designing flying speaker mounts, but I do want to point out that the strongest speaker mount available is still a danger and a liability if it's not also designed to withstand continuous multi-frequency vibration that the speaker cabinets will experience during normal use.

A 350-lb rating isn't going to keep a turnbuckle without a jamb nut from coming unscrewed, dropping the cabinet on someone's head. And if it's "over the piano," well, you've just lost a cabinet, a piano, and the pianists eye when a splinter goes flying out at lightning speed.
Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: Kevin Willis on May 03, 2010, 02:36:10 pm
I think you have gotten some good advice here. I would reiterate the one point being made: if you are not comfortable rigging a significant overhead load, DON'T DO IT!!!!

Having said that, I do see a couple of areas to the left and right of the stage that you could possible wall-mount a couple of speakers. There are a lot of low-end speakers out there that will fit your budget that could easily be wall-mounted and have omnimount inserts built-in.

A couple of people mentioned adding subs and processors. I would echo that, but add that you can add those elements as your budget allows. I would definitely have a come-to-Jesus talk with your board and let them know that $1k-$2k is only just the beginning.

Hope this helps! Don't be discouraged by the dollar amount. Figure out what you need and don't be afraid to ask, maybe even outside the board.
Title: Re: Where to start with purchasing new speakers
Post by: Russ Buck on January 17, 2011, 10:44:12 am
I'm still getting quotes and trying to figure out the best solution for new speakers.  I got a quote from a co./ guy where he wants to put eh speakers on either side of the room.  I am concerned because many people have told me this is not the best way to do it for my size room, etc.  Plus this last quote utilizes a powered sub for the crosssover of all the speakers. ( He talked about doing this to save $ from having to purchase a crossover) but he then adds $350 for a EQ.  why not spend a little bit more for a crossover that also have eq in it.  maybe $100-$150 more.