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Live PA Question
Old 18th September 2012
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Live PA Question

Hope this is the right place for this thread. I play in a contemporary christian band (occasionaly do to old rock and roll covers and some country) and are looking for a live PA system.
We currently play with

4 qsc k12's ( 2 per side)
4 ksubs (2 per side)
all use good quality instruments (taylor, pdp x7 drums)
presonus studiolive 24 board (lovin it!)
inn ear monitors and such

anyways, the system sounds nice inside small-med size venues, but as soon as we go outside the thump is not there. sounds good but can not "feel it"

I am trying to ask around all kinds of experts and no one seems to have the same answer. I live in fort wayne, in and love going to sweetwater... there is a great sound technician there that knows his stuff and I tend to believe him....and this is in regards to which sound system I should get.

option 1

4 qsc KW 153's (2 per side)
8 qsc KW 181's (4 per side)
each speaker is active and has a 1000 watt amplifier
(yes I am set on these powered speakers if active system is the way I go)

option 2

2 jbl stx 835 (1 per side) OR peavey qw 4F to save some money (1 per side)
jbl- 2400 watts program, 4800 peak; peavey 2800 watts program, peak 5600
2 peavey versaray dual 18 subs (1 dual 18 per side)
4800 watts program, 9600 watts peak- per dual 18.

given these speakers and appropriate crown applification I am being told that this many qsc speakers would easily be enough to "feel it" outside, however my source at sweetwater, who I respect, says qsc will sound good, but with the passive system you would "feel it" much better. He said the pasive system would throw farther and the kick drum would hit you in the chest more so than the above described qsc system.

My dilemma is that most of our gigs are inside and the kw system I talked about would be more than enough, however we do play outside often and I am longing for a system that works inside and has the abilty to really thump outside. My concern for the passive system is that it requires a few crown 6002 xti amps and the specs say that each amp needs a 20 amp circuit and I am not sure just how aften we will have the ability to have access to 2-3 separate 20 amp circuits. That aside the kw system may sound and feel good enough to me and it would be easier to downsize or upsize depending on the gig venue.....

I tend to think the kw system would be easier to get, but my gut is telling me that the passive system would indeed thump more and I would regret not getting it instead.
any input would be greatly appreciated.....
any explanation of why the higher wattage passive system would be felt better over several more of the 1000 watt active qsc speakers would be appreciated too.
Old 18th September 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
You need like 4 of these for outdoor gigs.

http://www.cerwinvega.com/pro-audio/folded-horn-subwoofer/ab-36c.html

Using multiple conventional speakers per side causes HF cancellation problems.
That's why they make line arrays to reduce this problem. Ask your trusted sound tech about it an do some research. There are speaker placement techniques that can minimize HF phase cancelation and Comb filtering.

Or get this:
http://www.qscaudio.com/products/speakers/kla/
Old 18th September 2012
  #3
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BradLyons's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Ahhhhhh the Fort..... I was one of their Sr.Sales Engineers for 10-years before joining GC PRO in Atlanta two years ago.

The system you have now is excellent and sounds like it certainly works for the needs you require indoors, but outdoors you're right---it won't hold up. But the issue is that while you do perform indoors most of the time, you do need to perform outdoors and have a system that can keep up. Personally I would recommend to re-vamp your indoor system that can be expanded when outdoors, or in larger venues. While the K12's are wonderful cabinets (we sell countless quantity every day it seems like) that are powerful and quite versatile, the other cabinets you're talking about do improve not just the power but the tonality as well. The KW153 is a significant upgrade from the K12, likewise that KW181 is far more beefier than the KSUB. In your smaller spaces a pair of KW153's and pair of KW181's would certainly replace a K12 and KSUB, with a better sound all around. Whether you need (2) per side depends upon the coverage needed, but again this is why I recommend having a system that you can use in one place----and expand upon when needed. This helps to provide a consistent sound---especially considering you have a Studiolive console (great board!). There are, of course, pros and cons to an active system..... such as the power amps being matched (and bi-amped!) internally to a power amp designed for that cabinet. Likewise this allows them to be more efficient requiring less worries when dealing with "do I have enough circuits available to me".... Of course a downside is having power lines run everywhere ;-)

Okay----on to passive. The QW4F speakers are VERY powerful and sound amazing! Those subs, also have serious output and will absolutely give what you need in an outdoor space providing you're not trying to fill up a stadium or something :-) BUT as stated now you're dealing with power amps requiring dedicated circuits. But here's a reason that is ideal in many ways----say an amp goes out, you can just swap it out! If an amp goes out in an active system, so did your speaker! I recently installed about a $70,000 system into a church in Alabama based around the JBL VRX928's and CBT70J's with SRX728 subs. We had several Crown XTI series power amps and wouldn't you know it one of them worked perfectly fine for a few days and the first Sunday morning it was to be used----IT DIED! We had a backup amp that we pulled out the bad amp, replaced with the temporary unit, and then ultimately replaced the amp. I'm currently working on a $350,000 system for another church that while it's a brand new build---we're going with passive for that very reason (with 16 power amps going in it's important that one can be replaced in just a few minutes). That said, it will cost more money to go this direction especially if you want to bi-amp (which is the way to go).
Old 18th September 2012
  #4
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
thank you for the input. The person I am talking about at sweetwater is paul lea, not sure if that rings a bell? He runs a live sound company and has lots of experience with systems. He sure seems to know his stuff.
I guess if I could hear the KW system outside and like the punch then I would go that direction. I am definitely not looking to do anything stadium size, this would be like a small city downtown outdoor ampitheatre with AT MOST 300-500 people.
That being said, my source at sweetwater said that when these 2 systems are side by side the passive system would throw much farther and you would feel it far more so than the kw system. He also said that depending on the new (drivers?) in the jbl stx series that it may be worth the extra investment in the jbl stx 835 (yes bi amped) because he is hearing that the sound, particularly the vocals, these have are much improved over past jbl systems and would likely sound better than the peavey qw stuff. Again, my concern would be circuits when using this passive system inside (of course would use only 1 dual 18 for this and not have the volume as high).
The line array stuff sounds great and would love it, but I am looking at a price max around $16 or $17,000 (less would be better of course) and do not want to mess with having to fly anything, we just don't have the extra time (our set up takes long enough as it is )
Again, back to the issue, if the kw stuff I mentioned has enough thump for my liking when outside then that is the way I would go I just have to hear it for myself. I think that since I am going from a k12 where the 12" speaker is driven by a 500 watt amp, and the horn driven by another 500 watt amp (obviously wasting lots of wattage since the horn does not need that much power), going to a kw 153, where the 15in speaker by a 500 watt amp, 6in speaker and horn by the other 500 watt amp (not wasting the other 500 watts on just the horn, it actually gets some use by the 6in speaker) that this speaker would hit much harder.... Is this correct thinking?
anyways, thanks for input. Any other help/advice you could offer would be greatly appreciated.
Old 28th September 2012
  #5
Lives for gear
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I like the idea of two speakers and two subs way better than 4 or 8 speakers-there's just a lot more chance for comb-filtering and phase nastiness. And to be fair, passive speakers are WAY more durable, IMHO than active ones, and much cheaper to diagnose and repair. So, if you need 2000 wpc, then go with the passive system.

That said, you don't need 2000 wpc all the time. Indoors you're going to be semi-idling the system, so why not spec a few smaller amps for inside and the massive amp rack for outside? You're running things, I assume, so you won't be diming the smaller amps and clipping things? You can still find the 1500-2000w QSC installation amps (which weigh a metric ton, but you won't be moving them) for less than $500 each. 2 of those would do the job inside then the Macrotech's for outside.

As to JBL vs Peavey, I'm not sure I'm a huge fan of either if ultimate sound is what I'm after. I'd tend to lean to EV or Yamaha, if they make something in that range?
Old 5th November 2012
  #6
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
I'm going to say +1 on the suggestion for Cerwin-Vega subs. Their folded horn design makes them very efficient, unleashing a lot of sound/thump without needing a ton of power to do so. Back when I was in college, I could blow out a Zippo cigarette lighter from 3' away using CV subs; in a DJ setup for house party weekend, someone came from the chemistry building (1/3 mile away) and could recite the last seven songs I'd played, even though another fraternity house had a band in their front yard and was 1/6th mile from the chemistry building.

Also, consider renting to either try-before-you-buy or supplement as needed without having to own for infrequent use.
Old 5th November 2012
  #7
Gear Nut
 
NikMuso's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Mi 2 cents... I have always preferred the sound of mi analog Yamaha PA system over all the other bands in town using powered speaker systems. Playing a lot of open air shows, we were always more of a sonic force, according to friends.
Old 10th November 2012
  #8
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🎧 10 years
How often do you have outside gigs? How big is your truck/trailer? Would renting racks and stacks delivered be an option for you?
Old 10th November 2012
  #9
|-|
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|-|'s Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Maybe check out the Yorkville LS2100P

Monster of a sub! Loud, deep, and powerful.
Old 11th November 2012
  #10
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
I have JBL STX828S's. 2 of them (one for each side). I did an outdoor gig last weekend and people are still talking about how much they could feel the bass. I was watching the compression wave blowing peoples t-shirts about. Couldn't recommend them more highly.
Old 22nd November 2012
  #11
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by rufusdisturbed ➑️
I have JBL STX828S's. 2 of them (one for each side). I did an outdoor gig last weekend and people are still talking about how much they could feel the bass. I was watching the compression wave blowing peoples t-shirts about. Couldn't recommend them more highly.
Exactly what kind of amplifiers are you using to run each of those dual 18 subs?
Old 24th November 2012
  #12
NJS
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
You have probably already done this, but make sure to double check your system EQ and crossovers. You might be able to get a bit more "thump" out your subs that way.
Old 10th February 2013
  #13
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Just wanted to follow up with an update. I decided to purchase the QSC KW system. I have gone with 4 KW 153's and 8 KW 181's. I will be picking these up from guitar center tomorrow and am very excited. I guess after talking with Brad Lyons (GC Pro in Atlanta) my thoughts were that the active speakers were the way to go for my bands application. Regardles, I must say that Brad was EXTREMEMLY helpful and gave me an INCREDIBLE deal. I did purchase a handful of other things as well, which allowed him to give me an even better deal, but I recieved excellent customer service throughout this purchase and delivery process. I will post a follow up on what my thoughts are on the system when I test it tomorrow.....Overall, great experience with guitar center pro Brad Lyons. Highly recommend his services!
Old 10th February 2013 | Show parent
  #14
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BradLyons's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgrannell ➑️
Just wanted to follow up with an update. I decided to purchase the QSC KW system. I have gone with 4 KW 153's and 8 KW 181's. I will be picking these up from guitar center tomorrow and am very excited. I guess after talking with Brad Lyons (GC Pro in Atlanta) my thoughts were that the active speakers were the way to go for my bands application. Regardles, I must say that Brad was EXTREMEMLY helpful and gave me an INCREDIBLE deal. I did purchase a handful of other things as well, which allowed him to give me an even better deal, but I recieved excellent customer service throughout this purchase and delivery process. I will post a follow up on what my thoughts are on the system when I test it tomorrow.....Overall, great experience with guitar center pro Brad Lyons. Highly recommend his services!
Justin,

So glad that I was able to help mold your dream into reality, and we could make this system work for your needs :-) Likewise, thank you for the kind words! I believe in doing business the way I wish others to do business with me. Now let's hope this design works. LOL
Old 11th February 2013
  #15
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Ok, I officially had a chance to plug in the KW system. 4 KW 153's (2 per side) and 8 KW 181 subs. For the trial listen I did a 4 stack. I was happy with the design that allowed for a stable stacking of the subs. I did not use my dbx drive rack px this time. I went stereo into the subs, daisy chained, and then up to the tops. All amps turned up 3/4. Vocal boost at Flat. tops turned to external sub....... I played a few different things thu the system.... I started with a recording from my band from last year through our presonus studiolive 24...... It thumped ok, but sounded a little muddy..... Keep in mind I didn't spend any time EQ'ing it because I could not remember which channels were which instrument and did not want to take time to find out. So I went to a few songs on my itouch. First played needetobreathe The Devil's Been Talking..... sounded nice but the kick was not hitting liked I hoped. Then played a dance club mix with a lot of low end and it was ok, but then switched subs to DEEP mode and it was thumping!!!!!! My whole body was vibrating 40 ft away( and I only had the slider turned up about 1/2 way on the mixer. I then played Keih Urban Who Wouldn't Wanna Be Me (still with subs on DEEP mode) and was VERY happy with the way the kick hit.

Long story short, I LOVE the new system. I believe that it will do just fine outdoors with proper EQ'ing and such, and I am pretty sure that they will need to be on DEEP mode to get the punch in the chest I was looking to get out of this system.
I will attempt in the future to do some sort of youtube video comparing the KW 153 with KW 181 vs K12 with KW 181 and the K12 with Ksub.
Any suggestions on ways to use my pair of K12's and Ksubs with this new system? We use IEM's btw so using the K12's as wedges usually is not needed.

Regardless...very happy... If I try and find any criticism it would be I was hoping for a little more punch with the kick from this system, but I will wait untill our first gig to make my final opinion on this. We do not play outside alot, but at least we have a system that won't peter out once we are outside.

thanks everyone for your input, and thanks again to Brad Lyons of GC Pro for all your hard work and help!
Old 11th February 2013 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJS ➑️
You have probably already done this, but make sure to double check your system EQ and crossovers. You might be able to get a bit more "thump" out your subs that way.
Don't you know, the solution is always more/different equipment rather than first making sure you are making the most of what you have. Just ask anyone who sells equipment!
Old 18th February 2013
  #17
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Aisle 6's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
The QSC speakers are a great product and I really like them, but outdoors where you need some serious throw, they are not going to deliver as well.

IMO, the KV2 Audio ES rigs are one of the most versatile, under rated PA's around. They are affordable, compact and can fire up just as well outdoors as indoors. You could seriously do better than your current system with 1 mid/high and 1 sub per side. I kid you not. The ES2.5 rig will deliver. If you want a little more grunt the 2.6 rig will be all you will require and it is still only 1 x mid/high per side. They are crazy efficient, super low THD and intermodulation specs. Super clean and clear. I love them. Best of all, most of it can be loaded by one guy.
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