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Title: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Sherman Johnson on February 11, 2011, 10:00:24 pm
I apologize for the double post but it looks like the first thread has been locked and I would really like some input/advice.  Thanks!

I'm looking for a powered subwoofer for my wife to use at her karaoke and DJ gigs.

I've been researching powered subs for her for several days now.  The gigs are in small to medium size rooms.  I've looked at dozens of subs and spec sheets and have narrowed the list down to a few:

1) Mackie SRM1801
2) JBL EON518S
3) Mackie HD1501
4) Samson dB1800a
5) Samson dB1500a - discontinued
6) JBL PRX618S
7) JBL PRX518S
8) RCF SUB 705-AS - OEM mfr

The list above is by no means complete.  I'm open to any and all suggestions.  I'm sure there are options I'm not aware of.

Some considerations are:

1) Weight.
    A couple of the above may be getting too heavy at about 80 lbs (if my info is correct) -- #3, 4, and 6.  The lightest is the JBL EON at 65 lbs, the others are about 70 lbs.

2) Quality (not quantity) of sound.
   Having high SPL capability is great, but not if it comes at the expense of accuracy and musicality.

3) Freq. response.
    If we can believe Samson's specs, both of their subs are capable of 20>200 Hz, +/- 3 db.  The max SPL is not specified.  Of course, they may fall apart in 6 months, I don't know.  I can't find any customer reviews or info on them in the online forums.  The claimed freq. response of all the other subs is nowhere close.  Needless to say, all else being equal, I'd go with the sub that has the best response.  I know mfrs sometimes "stretch the truth" so I'm taking max. SPL and freq. response numbers with a grain of salt.  I'm more interested in the opinions of those who know good sound.  Has anyone heard either of the Samsons?

4) High pass outputs.
    Some subs only have full range (parallel/pass-thru) outputs.

5) Price.
    I hesitate to put a hard limit on the price, but the subs above are in our price range -- say less than $1,000.  The RCF is a bit over that (new anyway).

6) Versatility.
    The more inputs and outputs the better.  Variable crossover freq.  Level control.  Phase switch.  XLR and 1/4" inputs and outputs.  Etc, etc.  More = better.

Please keep the above in mind -- particularly weight.  In fact, I'm tempted to eliminate #3, 4, and 6 for that reason.  That said, I would consider buying one of them if it was really good in every other regard, but 80 lbs is stretching it.

Thanks for your help!
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub (first thread has been locked)
Post by: Mike Pyle on February 12, 2011, 04:52:59 am
What kind of tops are you using?
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub (first thread has been locked)
Post by: Tim Talbot on February 12, 2011, 02:37:38 pm
Got some of thoese Mackie and there crap... utter crap hence why am trying to shift mine on lol.
Go JBL Eon or PRX and maybe RCF if you can. I Love the JBL kit but the RCF's are very very good ;)

Whatever you do DONT buy the Mackies, just loook online to the pages and pages of people writing about just how bad they are and how often they fail. Amp blows & takes the driver out with them at the same time.
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Sherman Johnson on February 13, 2011, 12:05:04 am
Mac, thanks for cleaning things up.

Mike, I hesitate to even say what she's using for tops because I don't want this thread to get off track.  I'd really like to remain focused on powered subs but since you asked she's using some old Bose 802s and she's happy with them.  Yes, I know, many people think Bose is junk.  I'm more familiar with home theater A/V gear and it's the same in that world.  People either love 'em or hate 'em.  In this case, she likes them and they work for what she's doing.  I'd like to see her get something else but I need to take it one step at a time.  Right now, at least she has something that sounds ok for the tops.  Regardless of what she eventually replaces them with she will need a sub.  That's my thinking anyway.

Tim, I've heard the same bad things about Mackie -- that ever since they were bought by some large corporation their service and product quality has gone downhill.  I've also heard that the quality issues only affect some of their products, not all.  I suppose the safest thing to do would be to stay away from them entirely but their subs are supposed to sound good.  There's a used SRS1500 for sale on Craigslist that we're looking at.  I don't know whether it's post or pre buyout but that model has been discontinued so it's a few years old at least.  I've read nothing but good things about it.  Still, if we need service or parts we may be SOL.

Thoughts?

PS: I wish I could edit my first post.  Should be _locked_, not looked.

Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Aaron Talley on February 13, 2011, 01:47:56 am
What do you consider small to medium size rooms?

Have you considered the QSC K Sub? It has casters on it and would be pretty easy to get around.
There is one on ebay right now.

Just a thought.

Aaron Talley
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Mike Pyle on February 13, 2011, 02:29:11 pm
The main reason I ask about the tops is to determine if you plan to use a crossover or rely on the sub having a full crossover built in.
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Tim Talbot on February 13, 2011, 06:39:31 pm

Tim, I've heard the same bad things about Mackie -- that ever since they were bought by some large corporation their service and product quality has gone downhill.  I've also heard that the quality issues only affect some of their products, not all.  I suppose the safest thing to do would be to stay away from them entirely but their subs are supposed to sound good.  There's a used SRS1500 for sale on Craigslist that we're looking at.  I don't know whether it's post or pre buyout but that model has been discontinued so it's a few years old at least.  I've read nothing but good things about it.  Still, if we need service or parts we may be SOL.

Thoughts?

PS: I wish I could edit my first post.  Should be _locked_, not looked.

They don't sound good when you compare them to the JBL or the RCF. If your after a one note party bin then it will do but order in some spare parts for when it goes bang. I wish i never brought ours but at the time i had very little time to get things sorted and we brought a job lot of them cheapoo....

Mackie did use RCF drivers in some of there older cabinets but now its all ''OEM'' stuff ;) Some say the SRM 450v1 sound better than the V2 but we own 12x SRM450v2 and to be fair theres not much (if anything) between them, there a great dry hire box / cheap monitor and just keep on trucking = very good product for the money
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Sherman Johnson on February 14, 2011, 05:20:43 am
What do you consider small to medium size rooms?

Have you considered the QSC K Sub? It has casters on it and would be pretty easy to get around.
There is one on ebay right now.

Just a thought.

Aaron Talley

She plays mostly restaurant/bar type places that I consider 'small'.  I haven't measured them so any dimensions I give you will just be a guess but say 20'x30' to 30'x40'.

Then there are some larger rooms like American Legion halls, places like that.  One place I saw might be 40'x70'. 

The very first sub we saw was the KSUB.  I've heard good things about it, it's relatively light and has the casters like you said, but it does not have high pass outputs.  That's not a total deal killer but I'm really trying to keep things simple.  It's just a lot easier to let the sub take what it wants and pass the mids&highs on to the mains.  Also, it's a bit pricey at $1,050 new (I haven't checked eBay).

Good suggestion though, thank you.
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Sherman Johnson on February 14, 2011, 05:22:17 am
The main reason I ask about the tops is to determine if you plan to use a crossover or rely on the sub having a full crossover built in.

Yes.  See #4 on my list.  I think having a full crossover built in makes the most sense.
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Sherman Johnson on February 14, 2011, 05:36:56 am
They don't sound good when you compare them to the JBL or the RCF. If your after a one note party bin then it will do but order in some spare parts for when it goes bang. I wish i never brought ours but at the time i had very little time to get things sorted and we brought a job lot of them cheapoo....

Mackie did use RCF drivers in some of there older cabinets but now its all ''OEM'' stuff ;) Some say the SRM 450v1 sound better than the V2 but we own 12x SRM450v2 and to be fair theres not much (if anything) between them, there a great dry hire box / cheap monitor and just keep on trucking = very good product for the money

Thanks for the advice Tim.  We're supposed to go audition that Mackie SRS1500 tomorrow.  Now I'm not sure what to do.  I definitely do NOT want a one note party bin (see #2 on my list).  If we're going to spend several hundred dollars on a sub I expect it to sound musical and tight -- not just pump out blasts of air.  I guess we'll just have to judge for ourselves -- I plan to listen to some Dire Straights and some Steely Dan.

Question -- which Mackie subs do you (or did you) have?  In my list I mentioned the most recent model 1801 and 1501.  The used one we're going to check out is a SRS1500, which I believe was made in Italy.  I know is has a 18mm Baltic Birch cabinet.  I've read mixed reviews of the 1500.  Most people seem to like it and say it sounds good and has been reliable (used for 10 years with no trouble, etc).  But I've read some negative reviews as well.

From what I've been able to tell, since Mackie was sold their products and service have gotten worse, but the products made before Mackie was sold seem to hold up very well.  Again, that's just based on what I've read in online forums.  The owner of our local music store did tell me that he's had trouble with Mackie recently which isn't a good sign (if they treat store owners badly then I guess we can't expect much). 
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Tim Talbot on February 14, 2011, 06:43:11 am
Thanks for the advice Tim.  We're supposed to go audition that Mackie SRS1500 tomorrow.  Now

Question -- which Mackie subs do you (or did you) have?  In my list I mentioned the most recent model 1801 and 1501. 

I only ever used & owned the SWA1501 and the SWA1801 Mackie sub(s) both are as bad as each other. I've not tried there new lightweight kit thou.

Am the older subs might be a bit better but please test test & test before you buy, you should be able to run them hard (hitting limit) without them sounding crap & without them over heating. This is where the RCF wins for me.... run them as hard as you like & your find it hard to find a fault. 
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Sherman Johnson on February 15, 2011, 04:04:49 am
Well, we went ahead and bought the SRS1500. It's about 4 years old and was made in Italy. Price was $400. It sounded a bit muddy to me but it should be a big improvement to my wife's rig.

I looked at the speaker through the ports.  It seemed fine and the surround (what I could see) looked almost brand new.  Checked the high pass outs to verify that they work.  Checked the level control and phase switch.  I couldn't find anything obviously wrong with it.  Even the cabinet was almost scuff free.

I'm anxious to hear how it sounds with her gear.  She has a gig Friday.  I may go just to hear it, even if I have to put up with the karaoke singers.  ;-)  Actually, many of them aren't bad at all, but man when they are -- that's torture.  My wife is a singer and was in bands for a couple decades before doing this karaoke/DJ thing.  She has a very good ear.  I'm surprised she can handle it.  Better her than me! 

Anyway, now I'm in the middle of modifying her Mackie 808M so that inserting a plug into "power amp in" will cut the signal from the mixer -- so she can take advantage of the crossover in the sub. For anyone who's interested I've uploaded a few photos of the 808M PCB to Picasa:

https://picasaweb.google.com/ShermanAJoh...CJDtjqmJ1cH3OA#
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Tim Talbot on February 15, 2011, 05:58:00 am
Sounds like your all sorted then :)

Best of luck buddy and do tell us how it all goes....
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Jacob Goldenthal on February 15, 2011, 09:47:47 am
What about the QSC Ksub?
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Tim Talbot on February 15, 2011, 03:59:31 pm
I've never tried the K sub..
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Kurt Stephens on February 15, 2011, 11:50:40 pm
Some compact and lightweight subs to consider:

RCF ART 902-AS (60lbs)
FBT ProMaxX-15SA (65lbs)
RCF SUB 705-AS (71lbs)
QSC KSUB (74lbs)
RCF ART 905-AS (75lbs)
Yorkville NX720S (78lbs)

on the heavier side, but still compact, and a beast in terms of real-world max. SPL (for the size) is the EV SbA760. Has casters.
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Sherman Johnson on February 16, 2011, 05:13:57 am
What about the QSC Ksub?

The KSUB was also suggested by Aaron (reply #4).

I couldn't really audition the KSUB when we saw it in a local music store because they didn't have any decent CDs on hand -- just home made ones from local bands that had poor sound quality -- and we had just gone in to pick up a wireless mic so I didn't bring anything with me.  That said, what I did hear sounded good considering the source.

As I wrote above, one serious drawback (IMO) is the lack of high pass outputs.  Apparently the KSUB is designed to work with QSC speakers that have a crossover built in and have a low pass out for the KSUB.  Seems to me that for $1,050 the QSC could have sprung for a crossover and high pass outs like their competitors have, but for those willing to buy the entire QSC system or use an external crossover it isn't an issue.
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Sherman Johnson on February 16, 2011, 05:16:54 am
Some compact and lightweight subs to consider:

RCF ART 902-AS (60lbs)
FBT ProMaxX-15SA (65lbs)
RCF SUB 705-AS (71lbs)
QSC KSUB (74lbs)
RCF ART 905-AS (75lbs)
Yorkville NX720S (78lbs)

on the heavier side, but still compact, and a beast in terms of real-world max. SPL (for the size) is the EV SbA760. Has casters.

Those look like good suggestions Kurt.  If the SRS1500 doesn't work out (my wife and I haven't heard it with her gear yet) I'll definitely check those out.  I wasn't aware of many of them, thank you!
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Tim Talbot on February 16, 2011, 06:42:21 pm
I've heard quite a bit of the FBT range ( not those subs thou ) and its lovely kit but i find it just runs of of steam a little to quick for me.
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Duncan McLennan on February 16, 2011, 07:54:33 pm
I have one of the Yorkville subs mentioned, and it's a decent little unit. Not super loud, but more than enough for rock n' roll in the little 80-100 cap club where I have it.

One of the nice features is a sweepable boost on the back. I'm not sure how much the boost is, but it's a really easy way to give them a little more output up top (for rock) or roll the boost down low, which smoothes them out quite a bit.

I am quite pleased for the money, but they're also cheap here (Canada) because they're made locally. I got mine for $625. I'm not sure how it would hold up against the other offerings at US prices.

I think you'll be reasonably happy with the Mackies for what you're doing.
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Kurt Stephens on February 16, 2011, 07:58:09 pm
I've heard quite a bit of the FBT range ( not those subs thou ) and its lovely kit but i find it just runs of of steam a little to quick for me.

What are you referring to "running out of steam" - the new PromaxX series specifically?
I've never heard anything from this new series yet - so I'm anxious to get opinions.
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Tim Talbot on February 17, 2011, 07:00:51 am
What are you referring to "running out of steam" - the new PromaxX series specifically?
I've never heard anything from this new series yet - so I'm anxious to get opinions.

Take the FBT Maxx5, sounds great ( better than the Mackie SRM range ) BUT isn't anywhere as near as loud and doesn't take the stick that people are going to be giving them when out on dry hire.

I took a pair of these out with the matching bins and i had to push them hard to cover 150people.

The Mackie SRM 450v2 may sound a little ummm rough sometimes (lol) but they keep trucking on and there perfect for dry hires.
 
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Douglas R. Allen on February 19, 2011, 09:06:32 pm
Late for the show I know but wanted to throw these out in case someone was checking this thread out.

http://www.thedjhouse.com/item/proel-flash15sa-powered/

Although I have not heard these myself I keep hearing good things about them. At this price and size they appear to be a good light small sub with a solid sound.

Douglas R. Allen

Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Tim Talbot on February 19, 2011, 11:46:02 pm
Proel are backed by some very good people / companies. expect good things
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Sherman Johnson on February 24, 2011, 11:37:50 pm
Late for the show I know but wanted to throw these out in case someone was checking this thread out.

http://www.thedjhouse.com/item/proel-flash15sa-powered/

Although I have not heard these myself I keep hearing good things about them. At this price and size they appear to be a good light small sub with a solid sound.

Douglas R. Allen

Thanks for the tip!

It looks like a good deal for $479.  I wish I'd known about these before we bought the SRS1500.  The Mackie sounds decent, and we may have gone that way anyway, but it's nice to have options.  This sub only costs $80 more than we paid for  the Mackie used.  Most new subs that are similar to the SRS 1500 cost about $1,000 (+/-) so it seemed like a deal at $400.  I checked completed sales at eBay and found two SRS1500 subs that were sold recently -- one was close to $500 and the other was about $675 IIRC.
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Rob Spence on March 06, 2011, 08:35:00 pm
I have not seen anyone in these forums say kind words about the sound of the KSub.
I studied powered subs for a while (and had a thread on lightweight powered subs on the old lounge forum. If you search it you may find the spreadsheet I posted with my comparisons.

I used to own the Mackie 15" subs many years ago and didn't like them.

What I wanted was a sub that was under 90lbs, powered, with wheels.

I bought KW181s and love em. They are very easy to load in and out of the car with 2 people as the handles are in a nice location (though a second pair at 90 degreed would be nice).
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Sherman Johnson on March 06, 2011, 08:57:18 pm
I have not seen anyone in these forums say kind words about the sound of the KSub.
I studied powered subs for a while (and had a thread on lightweight powered subs on the old lounge forum. If you search it you may find the spreadsheet I posted with my comparisons.

I used to own the Mackie 15" subs many years ago and didn't like them.

What I wanted was a sub that was under 90lbs, powered, with wheels.

I bought KW181s and love em. They are very easy to load in and out of the car with 2 people as the handles are in a nice location (though a second pair at 90 degreed would be nice).

I just quickly checked out the KW181 -- it looks very nice!  Of course, it's also $1,400... :o

Still, it looks well worth the money, and it's weight (88 lbs) is identical to the SRS1500 we ended up buying.

That may be her next sub if she decides to trade up and we can find one used for a reasonable price.

What didn't you like about the Mackie 15" subs?  Do you recall the model #(s) of the one(s) you owned?

Thanks!
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: james page on March 13, 2011, 10:51:45 pm
I just quickly checked out the KW181 -- it looks very nice!  Of course, it's also $1,400... :o

Still, it looks well worth the money, and it's weight (88 lbs) is identical to the SRS1500 we ended up buying.

That may be her next sub if she decides to trade up and we can find one used for a reasonable price.

What didn't you like about the Mackie 15" subs?  Do you recall the model #(s) of the one(s) you owned?

Thanks!

Sherman: You won't find many kind words about Mackie on this forum. Although I'm looking to upgrade mine, I've had an SRS1500 for over 10 years and have used it probably a thousand times with very few problems. Also be aware that many people confuse the 1500 with the later models which I've heard aren't as good.

So would people say the KW181 is a big upgrade from the 1500?

JP
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Sherman Johnson on March 13, 2011, 11:16:20 pm
Sherman: You won't find many kind words about Mackie on this forum. Although I'm looking to upgrade mine, I've had an SRS1500 for over 10 years and have used it probably a thousand times with very few problems. Also be aware that many people confuse the 1500 with the later models which I've heard aren't as good.

So would people say the KW181 is a big upgrade from the 1500?

JP

Thanks JP, I feel better now.  8)

I also thought that perhaps people were confusing the SRS1500 with the 1501.  That's understandable.  The SRS1500 we just bought was made in Italy which I understand means that it's probably a decent unit -- made before Mackie's quality took a nose dive.

I know a lot of people have had bad experiences with Mackie over the last few years.  From what I've heard Mackie quickly went downhill after Greg Mackie sold to Loud Technologies.  Being a big corporation they immediately began 'maximizing profit' which meant moving production to China and cutting the number of customer service personnel, among other things.

Prior to Greg selling though, Mackie had a great rep as far as I know. 

I'm dealing with them right now as a matter of fact.  I was misinformed by someone in their tech support dept who told me to order a 1/4" jack that I did not need, in order to modify my wife's Mackie 808M powered mixer.  They charged me almost $17 for this little 1/4" jack (that would probably sell for $1 at Radio Shack).  It was unnecessary so I've requested a refund.  If I don't hear back from them by tomorrow I'll dispute the charge with the credit card company.  Hopefully they'll do the right thing and it won't come to that.

BTW, her mixer which was built in 2001 (IIRC) has been a real work horse.  No problems at all, and she uses it regularly.   

Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Kurt Stephens on March 16, 2011, 01:59:59 am
So would people say the KW181 is a big upgrade from the 1500?

I've heard the Mackie SWA series on quite a few occasions and was never blown away by them. I've also used the QSC HPR series on many occasions - and loved them.

I would absolutely take a QSC HPR over a Mackie SWA - of course those are two completely different model ranges - but if I had to take a guess at what a direct comparison between an SRS1500 (heard only twice) and KW181(only read reviews) would sound like - I'd take the QSC no questions asked.


I don't think I'd buy anything from Mackie right now with the whole LOUD Technologies situation as described above. Even EAW I'm not so sure about for the price. Martin I haven't heard much about their changes.
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Tim Talbot on March 16, 2011, 04:43:08 am
''I've heard the Mackie SWA series on quite a few occasions and was never blown away by them. I've also used the QSC HPR series on many occasions - and loved them.''

I've owned many SWA subs and there crap & fail all the time, the SRM cabinets are great but the subs need burning :(
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: David Morison on March 16, 2011, 08:39:31 am
I would absolutely take a QSC HPR over a Mackie SWA - of course those are two completely different model ranges - but if I had to take a guess at what a direct comparison between an SRS1500 (heard only twice) and KW181(only read reviews) would sound like - I'd take the QSC no questions asked.

But given the KW is 2-2.5x the price of the Mackie (at least here in the UK), you wouldn't expect anything else, right?
It's hardly a fair comparison once are taken into account.
Cheers,
David.
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Kurt Stephens on March 16, 2011, 09:51:18 am
But given the KW is 2-2.5x the price of the Mackie (at least here in the UK), you wouldn't expect anything else, right?
It's hardly a fair comparison once are taken into account.
Cheers,
David.

agreed - the QSC should be the better product.

The wrong product for the job at the right price - is still the wrong product for the job however.
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: josiahberry on April 25, 2011, 10:38:57 pm
I apologize for the double post but it looks like the first thread has been looked and I would really like some input/advice.  Thanks!

I'm looking for a powered subwoofer for my wife to use at her karaoke and DJ gigs.

I've been researching powered subs for her for several days now.  The gigs are in small to medium size rooms.  I've looked at dozens of subs and spec sheets and have narrowed the list down to a few:

1) Mackie SRM1801
2) JBL EON518S
3) Mackie HD1501
4) Samson dB1800a
5) Samson dB1500a - discontinued
6) JBL PRX618S
7) JBL PRX518S
8) RCF SUB 705-AS - OEM mfr

The list above is by no means complete.  I'm open to any and all suggestions.  I'm sure there are options I'm not aware of.

Some considerations are:

1) Weight.
    A couple of the above may be getting too heavy at about 80 lbs (if my info is correct) -- #3, 4, and 6.  The lightest is the JBL EON at 65 lbs, the others are about 70 lbs.

2) Quality (not quantity) of sound.
   Having high SPL capability is great, but not if it comes at the expense of accuracy and musicality.

3) Freq. response.
    If we can believe Samson's specs, both of their subs are capable of 20>200 Hz, +/- 3 db.  The max SPL is not specified.  Of course, they may fall apart in 6 months, I don't know.  I can't find any customer reviews or info on them in the online forums.  The claimed freq. response of all the other subs is nowhere close.  Needless to say, all else being equal, I'd go with the sub that has the best response.  I know mfrs sometimes "stretch the truth" so I'm taking max. SPL and freq. response numbers with a grain of salt.  I'm more interested in the opinions of those who know good sound.  Has anyone heard either of the Samsons?

4) High pass outputs.
    Some subs only have full range (parallel/pass-thru) outputs.

5) Price.
    I hesitate to put a hard limit on the price, but the subs above are in our price range -- say less than $1,000.  The RCF is a bit over that (new anyway).

6) Versatility.
    The more inputs and outputs the better.  Variable crossover freq.  Level control.  Phase switch.  XLR and 1/4" inputs and outputs.  Etc, etc.  More = better.

Please keep the above in mind -- particularly weight.  In fact, I'm tempted to eliminate #3, 4, and 6 for that reason.  That said, I would consider buying one of them if it was really good in every other regard, but 80 lbs is stretching it.

Thanks for your help!

The old mackie srs1500 subs are the best powered subs ever made. I would try to find those... If you can't find any used ones, go for the mackie srm1801 subs. those are great too.
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Sherman Johnson on April 25, 2011, 11:47:53 pm
The old mackie srs1500 subs are the best powered subs ever made. I would try to find those... If you can't find any used ones, go for the mackie srm1801 subs. those are great too.

That's what I like to hear!

We've been happy with the SRS1500 we bought used a few months ago.  At 88 lbs it isn't exactly "lightweight" but the price was right ($400) and it definitely does the job.  It's really overkill for most karaoke/dj gigs in average sized rooms.  It is very efficient compared with the mains so my wife keeps its level control dialed back to -15 db most of the time to get a decent balance between the sub and mains.  Most of the places she plays they aren't looking for ear bleed spl anyway.  The other night she unknowingly played something that was recorded very hot -- it was way loud (well, relatively speaking -- I'd guess 95 to 100+ db for those up front) and it sounded great!  Well, for about 3 or 4 seconds anyway until she dialed it back.  The mains were clear, they're much improved since the srs1500 takes everything below 120 Hz (IIRC) and the bottom end was tight and punchy.  I was impressed.  It certainly woke the room up.   8) 

Just curious -- why do you say they're the best powered subs ever made?  That's high praise. 
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Lawrence Sokol on May 01, 2011, 10:42:20 am
I recently purchased the Carvin LS1801NA and so far am quite impressed w/ the quality/value. ($549). I am the drummer in the band using Roland Vdrums. We use JBL EON's on top. Sound great! Good luck!

I apologize for the double post but it looks like the first thread has been locked and I would really like some input/advice.  Thanks!

I'm looking for a powered subwoofer for my wife to use at her karaoke and DJ gigs.

I've been researching powered subs for her for several days now.  The gigs are in small to medium size rooms.  I've looked at dozens of subs and spec sheets and have narrowed the list down to a few:

1) Mackie SRM1801
2) JBL EON518S
3) Mackie HD1501
4) Samson dB1800a
5) Samson dB1500a - discontinued
6) JBL PRX618S
7) JBL PRX518S
8) RCF SUB 705-AS - OEM mfr

The list above is by no means complete.  I'm open to any and all suggestions.  I'm sure there are options I'm not aware of.

Some considerations are:

1) Weight.
    A couple of the above may be getting too heavy at about 80 lbs (if my info is correct) -- #3, 4, and 6.  The lightest is the JBL EON at 65 lbs, the others are about 70 lbs.

2) Quality (not quantity) of sound.
   Having high SPL capability is great, but not if it comes at the expense of accuracy and musicality.

3) Freq. response.
    If we can believe Samson's specs, both of their subs are capable of 20>200 Hz, +/- 3 db.  The max SPL is not specified.  Of course, they may fall apart in 6 months, I don't know.  I can't find any customer reviews or info on them in the online forums.  The claimed freq. response of all the other subs is nowhere close.  Needless to say, all else being equal, I'd go with the sub that has the best response.  I know mfrs sometimes "stretch the truth" so I'm taking max. SPL and freq. response numbers with a grain of salt.  I'm more interested in the opinions of those who know good sound.  Has anyone heard either of the Samsons?

4) High pass outputs.
    Some subs only have full range (parallel/pass-thru) outputs.

5) Price.
    I hesitate to put a hard limit on the price, but the subs above are in our price range -- say less than $1,000.  The RCF is a bit over that (new anyway).

6) Versatility.
    The more inputs and outputs the better.  Variable crossover freq.  Level control.  Phase switch.  XLR and 1/4" inputs and outputs.  Etc, etc.  More = better.

Please keep the above in mind -- particularly weight.  In fact, I'm tempted to eliminate #3, 4, and 6 for that reason.  That said, I would consider buying one of them if it was really good in every other regard, but 80 lbs is stretching it.

Thanks for your help!
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Rob Truesdell on May 01, 2011, 02:20:36 pm
[quote author=josiahberry link=topic=724.msg11907#msg11907

The old mackie srs1500 subs are the best powered subs ever made. I would try to find those... If you can't find any used ones, go for the mackie srm1801 subs. those are great too.
[/quote]


Thanks....I needed a good laugh!
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Richard Penrose on May 01, 2011, 03:49:13 pm
I've just picked up a JBL EON 518S sub and am amazed at how light this 18inch sub is!!
I tried it out for its first gig on Friday night and used it with a pair of EON 15G2's for a four piece band.
I miked kick drum and put the bass, keys and 3 vocals through the PA. On first impressions I love this sub! I've had experience with the Mackie SRM 1801 subs and SRM 450 tops which was quite a nice system but so far I prefer the JBL system.
I'm so pleased with the EON 518S that I'm going to pick up a second at a later date!
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Greg_Cameron on May 05, 2011, 07:49:38 pm
Quote from: josiahberry
The old mackie srs1500 subs are the best powered subs ever made. I would try to find those... If you can't find any used ones, go for the mackie srm1801 subs. those are great too.
Thanks....I needed a good laugh!

Indeed. THIS (http://www.meyersound.com/products/concertseries/700hp/) is more of my idea of a good powered sub.

Greg
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Chris Gruber on May 05, 2011, 11:57:44 pm
Thanks....I needed a good laugh!


Indeed. THIS (http://www.meyersound.com/products/concertseries/700hp/) is more of my idea of a good powered sub.

Greg
or this one http://www.jblpro.com/catalog/general/Product.aspx?PId=237&MId=4
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Steve Anderson on May 06, 2011, 12:34:30 am
Thanks....I needed a good laugh!


Indeed. THIS (http://www.meyersound.com/products/concertseries/700hp/) is more of my idea of a good powered sub.

Greg
or this one http://www.jblpro.com/catalog/general/Product.aspx?PId=237&MId=4

Or even this (http://www.danleysoundlabs.com/matterhorn.htm) and it doesn't need a power outlet! Although may be slightly overkill.  :P    (sorry...)
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Matt Errend on May 06, 2011, 11:45:28 pm
We just got in 4x of the DB Technologies S09 subs today, and while they're not exactly inexpensive they are lightweight and pack a hell of a punch for the size. The specs list the weight at 80 someodd pounds, but I don't think this is accurate because I was able to easily lift one to the top of a stack of 4 by myself. My guestimate from putting hands on them would be more in the range of 60lbs.
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Jay Barracato on May 10, 2011, 08:50:26 pm
Quote from: josiahberry
The old mackie srs1500 subs are the best powered subs ever made. I would try to find those... If you can't find any used ones, go for the mackie srm1801 subs. those are great too.
Thanks....I needed a good laugh!

Indeed. THIS (http://www.meyersound.com/products/concertseries/700hp/) is more of my idea of a good powered sub.

Greg

I am a huge Meyer fan, but this is one I really want to check out:

http://www.adraudio.com/Products/ATA218C.html
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Pat Latimer on May 11, 2011, 08:44:53 am
Quote from: josiahberry
The old mackie srs1500 subs are the best powered subs ever made. I would try to find those... If you can't find any used ones, go for the mackie srm1801 subs. those are great too.
Thanks....I needed a good laugh!

Indeed. THIS (http://www.meyersound.com/products/concertseries/700hp/) is more of my idea of a good powered sub.

Greg

I am a huge Meyer fan, but this is one I really want to check out:

http://www.adraudio.com/Products/ATA218C.html

You and me both, Jay. I would like to get a demo of two or four of these with the tops and see how they play together. I really want to hear some of the ADR gear! Bennett.....??

Pat

Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Frank Guerrero on May 11, 2011, 11:54:55 am
I think that the Ksub would be a great choice for the size and sound quality it is very easy to move with the wheels but the only down side is the crossover it was made to really be used only with the K series tops.  They did make a HPR-151i that might still be available. I believe they did discontinue production on the HPR series, I may be mistaken.  But it did have a 2 inputs with a 2 direct output, it also had matching outs with 100hz crossover filter with phase-revers switch and led on/off switch for the front led  the only down side would be size/weight and price but i think it would of really hit nice and hard for you.

I use the HPR-181i and the HPR-151i all the time and they hit hard and sound very big with no issues at all i would have gone with the hpr's

The difference between the two are physically very little but audibly very different.
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Richard Penrose on June 18, 2013, 07:55:58 am
I've just picked up a JBL EON 518S sub and am amazed at how light this 18inch sub is!!
I tried it out for its first gig on Friday night and used it with a pair of EON 15G2's for a four piece band.
I miked kick drum and put the bass, keys and 3 vocals through the PA. On first impressions I love this sub! I've had experience with the Mackie SRM 1801 subs and SRM 450 tops which was quite a nice system but so far I prefer the JBL system.
I'm so pleased with the EON 518S that I'm going to pick up a second at a later date!

Thought I'd post an update on this. I have since moved on from the JBL system and now am using a pair of Yamaha DXR15's and EV ELX118P subs. This has been a significant step up from the JBL rig and is working out great.

The EV ELX subs are my current favorite lightweight powered sub. Whilst the specs say they are 2kg heavier than the JBL's they don't really feel it and are easier to carry due to their smaller size and ergonomics.
In terms of performance/sound, they are much louder and sound really good. I used to have to turn my DXR's down to 50% to not overpower the EONs. Not only were the EON's maxed out, the limiter light was constantly flickering. With the EV subs, I now have my DXR's turned up full and the limiter hasn't flickered yet and I have loads of output left on the desk!

I've also heard good things about the DB Technologies sub15D and FBT Promaxx 15sa but haven't had any personal experience with them.
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Ivan Beaver on June 18, 2013, 11:54:17 am
. I used to have to turn my DXR's down to 50% to not overpower the EONs. Not only were the EON's maxed out, the limiter light was constantly flickering. With the EV subs, I now have my DXR's turned up full and the limiter hasn't flickered yet and I have loads of output left on the desk!
You really can't use the idea of where the gain is set when using powered speakers.  The gain in the amps can be really different.

Just because you have to turn a particular speaker up or down to match another has no bearing on how loud it actually is.

Just because you "have loads of output" left on the console-does not mean that you can keep turning it up.  You don't have any more headroom than the actual speaker/amp combination.  THAT is your limiting factor-NOT the voltage on the console.  Having "extra headroom" buys you nothing-if the rest of the system cannot also make use of it.

I'm not saying you don't have some room left-but it may not be anywhere near as much as you think.

Generally all that it means if you have "plenty of headroom" on the console is that the gain structure of the system is not setup properly.
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Chuck Simon on June 25, 2013, 09:51:24 pm
After reading these post I'm wondering if any of you have actually compared your choices to the JBL 618S-XLF?  If so and I missed it, sorry!  But, as far as light weight, bang for the buck powered subs go, they are hard to beat!
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Richard Penrose on June 26, 2013, 03:44:51 am
After reading these post I'm wondering if any of you have actually compared your choices to the JBL 618S-XLF?  If so and I missed it, sorry!  But, as far as light weight, bang for the buck powered subs go, they are hard to beat!

Hi, no I haven't compared them to the JBL 618-XLF. In the UK they cost almost double the EV's which put them out of my budget. Also, they are bigger and heavier than the EV's. The EV's are easily manageable by myself but the JBL's would be too much for me to manage. Also, they are too big to fit into my small van with the rest of my gear!

I was able to score a great deal on the EV's where I paid less for a pair than a single JBL 618-XLF!!
Title: Re: Best lightweight powered sub
Post by: Brian Jones on July 06, 2013, 04:21:38 am
I just quickly checked out the KW181 -- it looks very nice!  Of course, it's also $1,400... :o

Still, it looks well worth the money, and it's weight (88 lbs) is identical to the SRS1500 we ended up buying.

That may be her next sub if she decides to trade up and we can find one used for a reasonable price.

What didn't you like about the Mackie 15" subs?  Do you recall the model #(s) of the one(s) you owned?

Thanks!

I think the KW181 is a brilliant sub. Having started with a SRX728S (167 lbs not counting the amp to power it) I will be very happy when I actually buy my own at under 90 lbs. Every time I look at other subs I feel I would be compromising vs. the KW181 with the exception of the PRX618S-XLF and subs that cost a considerably more. I understand RCF has some good ones too, but I haven't heard them. I've seen the KW181 go for as low as $1000 each on craigslist.

If 90 lbs was too much for me, I would consider Yorkville LS720P or the Yamaha DXS 12 or 15. For lower SPL, the EV ZXA1-Sub would be my first choice.