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Live sound system w/ $7K?

BeerBear

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You'd need the amp as well, but that's again 15kg or so.
It can be significantly less, especially with a class D amp.

But yeah, externally amplified (passive) speakers have some advantages and I would consider them. Not having to deal with power cables alone is quite nice.
 

peniku8

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It can be significantly less, especially with a class D amp.

But yeah, externally amplified (passive) speakers have some advantages and I would consider them. Not having to deal with power cables alone is quite nice.
You're trading two power cables for one power cable plus 2 speakon cables (and two speakon Y splits). The passive system will use more cabling over all and the 4 pole speakons will likely be thicker and heavier than the power cables.

And unless you're running dsp amps with dedicated presets for the speakers at hand, you'll most likely be leaving a lot of sound quality on the table.

Class D amps in most modern speakers barely add any weight to the speaker at all (or literally none if the amp is in the sub and you're connecting a passive top to that) and are overall more convenient and flexible in their use, for the task at hand.
 

BeerBear

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You're trading two power cables for one power cable plus 2 speakon cables (and two speakon Y splits).
Which 'one power cable' do you mean, the one for the amp? Because that's not really an issue.
When you include the XLRs for the signal, I don't see how you end up with fewer cables on active speakers.
 

sarumbear

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Yea the one I saw was the es1203, the reviews on Thomann were pretty good, but since people usually upgrade and then review instead of looking back, most PA reviews will be rather positive, so I'm not sure if it says much. Especially when I think about cable reviews on Thomann.

The HK system I worked with once consisted of 4xElements E110 Sub and 6x Elements E835 Top (5000€ without amps) but it being a passive system has a few massive drawbacks (you need to bring extra amps, but the biggest issue is that it'll waste a lot of potential sound quality unless you have a dedicated dsp amp with a preset for these speakers; idk if that exists for the HK system).

The db 2x12" subs might be a bit heavy if you want to reduce weight, but at least you don't have to lift them onto a pole.

A bit unrelated I think, if you do small indoor gigs, but very good point by @dannut

This is a massive oversight imo since you almost always see a 2.2 setup with the tops on poles on the subs. Sure it's very convenient to not bring stands and it looks much better, but the resulting lobing is terrible. Therefore it's a great idea to bring 4 subs instead of 2; put your speakers on two and then place two more subs in the center between the PA, a bit forward if possible. You can run all off the same amp channel in that setup and get good forward directivity.

Just to illustrate, here is outdoors bass distribution averaged over 32-63Hz in a setup with just the two outside subs enabled:
gw6eXh5.jpg


And now enable the two center subs that are a meter forward, in front of the stage, no delays, no gain differences:
oOPAzFu.jpg


Something to keep in mind if you do bigger gigs at some point; being able to expand the system with more subs is a good thing.

I recommended the column systems first and foremost because of the ease of setup. The smaller system we have is two EV speakers on top of two high power 12" subs, which performs pretty well (I've done an indoors live band (pop punk) and it held up nicely). I like having the tops a bit high if the crowd is close to the PA, that nobody'd ear is right next to the speaker. That saves their ears and also leaves some SPL for the rest of the audience like the other two before me already mentioned
Is that indoors or outdoors? If the latter, I don't think it is relevant to the OP.
 

peniku8

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Which 'one power cable' do you mean, the one for the amp? Because that's not really an issue.
When you include the XLRs for the signal, I don't see how you end up with fewer cables on active speakers.
With 'more' I meant like in total size and weight. We moved from passive stage monitors to active stage monitors at work and it's more convenient to work with for sure, especially considering that power needs to be there for other equipment anyways (like keyboards, a DJ desk or even a tablet charger etc). Splitting hairs now, but imo an active system would be more convenient over all.

Is that indoors or outdoors? If the latter, I don't think it is relevant to the OP.
Outdoors. And yea, it probably doesn't matter for OP; I expanded on @ocinn 's post on that matter for other readers, who might also be looking at PA stuff and do some outdoors gigs. And maybe OP does some outdoor shows after all, in which case this is important to know and understand.
 

Prana Ferox

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This is why, with respect to OP, these questions are low value without more specifics. Musicians asking for a portable setup can mean it needs to fit in a backpack, a hatchback, a package van or a Conex box. A 'small' venue in the US could be the corner of a Starbucks or it could be a baseball field. The sophistication of the FOH PA and sound treatment that a 'small venue' could have also ranges from 'absolutely nothing' to pro-grade megabuck.

The OP did say they didn't want to carry subwoofers. At some point you've got to be realistic that your stage monitors can't carry the room and you need to give up some of that to the house PA; that may just be the absolute low octaves, or it needs to scale with venue size.
 

kipman725

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what about just doing some weight training? and or buying crank stands, wheel board, van ramp ETC. making a loud noise at 30Hz requires big speakers.
 

sarumbear

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Outdoors. And yea, it probably doesn't matter for OP; I expanded on @ocinn 's post on that matter for other readers, who might also be looking at PA stuff and do some outdoors gigs. And maybe OP does some outdoor shows after all, in which case this is important to know and understand.
As OP is going to use his system indoors, don't you think using two speakers emitting the low frequencies is a better solution as it will reduce the number of null points?
 

ocinn

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As OP is going to use his system indoors, don't you think using two speakers emitting the low frequencies is a better solution as it will reduce the number of null points?
PA speakers generally do not play low.

There are very few “full range” boxes, and if you were to use them, it would create MORE lobing than high-order crossing smaller speakers to a single centrally positioned subwoofer.

For example @gnarly went to great lengths to develop a true full range high output speaker that would be suitable for PA use and it is absolutely massive and requires a hilarious amount of dsp over Q-Sys, and 10 channels of amps for a stereo pair. Which is a huge achievement for him, but not viable for OP. Small mid/hi + subwoofer has and will always be the most effiecent way to get ~30-20khz in a package you can transport and setup easily.
 
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ocinn

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The CDD line from Martin Audio is great as well as their more affordable BlacklineX. Their new FlexPoint line appears to be even a notch above the CDD line. I haven't heard them yet, but I'd expect great performance.
Yeah, Martin CDD is the best prosumer powered PA box you can actually purchase without having to jump thru hoops (D&B, L’Acoustic, Danley, Meyer). Also very reasonably priced for what they are. But I think still out of OP budget.

Black line and Flexpoint are passive and I don’t think OP wants to carry an amp rack and have to deal with a DSP System Processor, wifi router, laptop, etc.
 
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Monos

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I've managed some voice live events (small venue) with a pair of Genelec 1032.
But even that, I wouldn't recommend.
Why? That and the s360 seem capable, on paper.
or even the DZR10s + a dedicated subwoofer. Would be higher performing, smaller, and lighter, even if you grabbed a small 12" sub from another brand.
If not a column, this may be the direction I go. What advantages does this have over a column?
How do the DZR's compare to L'Acoustics, Meyer, Danley, etc? I realize my budget is tiny, but I was hoping for a scaled down version of something of higher end pro audio quality, as the music I'm doing is more classical in tone. That I'm playing smaller venues — almost never outdoors — seems like I could get away with it. Isn't there something available to us poor musician wretches who value clarity?!
Did you know, that DZR15 comes with the same woofer as your DZR315?
I assumed a 3-way would offer greater clarity by relieving some bass duty. But if it's not much of a difference I may pursue it. Sounds like 2 DZR10/12s w/ a sub is viable though.
I urge you to reconsider. One wrong move and that's it, 42kg/93lbs is serious weight. You have one of the best 'boxes', but they are meant to be rigged up in the air, not lifted. They don't come with pole mount.
Thanks for lookin out for my back!
It's not that the technology isn't there, but you stumble upon a game of tradeoffs: low extension/output(efficiency)/size - pick two.
Yamahas DZR and JBL SRX 8xx lines are different from others - they have lower frequency extension, higher bass capability than the competition (could be used without subwoofer. Not that they should :) ). As mentioned previously, PA monitors usually are used with a subwoofer system, so they can be optimized for their task.
Yea this is exactly why I selected DZR to begin. Thought it might be easier by eliminating the sub, but it's turned out more difficult.
So you are already using the pinnacle of technology. You can go smaller by sacrificing low frequency extension and output.
Can't I choose one?
Op said it's going to be small-ish gigs, there is no "high" there, most likely. Hence either the first rows will get blasted, or they will fight a lot of ceiling reflections when using wide vertical dispersion speakers.
Indeed, smaller gigs, really a more intimate kind of experience, thanks for catching that.
And all the acoustical information you shared is really, really very helpful, I'll be looking into all this more in-depth. Much thanks.
The CDD line from Martin Audio is great as well as their more affordable BlacklineX. Their new FlexPoint line appears to be even a notch above the CDD line. I haven't heard them yet, but I'd expect great performance. Another option would be KV2 Audio if they're available in your area. I've heard their powered EX line and was impressed. They have 6",10",12", 15", dual 6" two way options and 12",15",18" subwoofer options.
I was looking into the CDD before I went DZR, was just a bit too pricey for me but the coaxial design is something I really like (hence why I thought Genelec/Presonus might work originally). Really good to know about the FlexPoint too, wasn't aware of it. KV2 seems difficult to find in Midwest US but looks awesome.
 

sarumbear

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PA speakers generally do not play low.
The speakers OP use and his spec goes down to 30Hz, which is straight into the range of numerous nulls on a 100m2 room
 
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Monos

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what about just doing some weight training? and or buying crank stands, wheel board, van ramp ETC. making a loud noise at 30Hz requires big speakers.
Yes, that is another way of skinning this cat.

But I am also just curious about what is out there that I may be missing in this massive industry. The reason I (apparently hilariously) suggested some hi-fi options originally is because there seems to be a general need for efficient all-in-one solutions & the industry seems to be closing the gap between hi-fi/PA/monitor, thus ideally eliminating the need for "big speaker". For instance, the Genelec S360 seems to have been designed at least in this direction, & more consumer options such as Devialet & the new Audiocase as well as columns seem to at very least be trying to address this need.
I know everyone says you can't change physics, but imo that is exactly what humans try to do, especially in tech.
 

ocinn

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The speakers OP use and his spec goes down to 30Hz, which is straight into the range of numerous nulls on a 100m2 room
Sure, but they do not have output there. There is no standardization in the live sound world on how the range and output specs are measured. Manufacturers can just make up their own testing criteria.

And two sources 15 feet apart playing 30 Hz would create more nulls over the dancefloor than a single central sub playing it. See the SoundVision plot that someone posted earlier.
 

ocinn

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If not a column, this may be the direction I go. What advantages does this have over a column?
The prosumer columns do not have clean high-level output. It's just physics, You cant make 8x3" drivers keep up with a 10". Not to mention their "woofer" located at the bottom is usually crossed high enough that it becomes locatable. I.E. you will "hear" sounds coming from the floor, where other sounds are coming from above your head. L'Acoustics SYVA is the only good "column" and its a 3 box affair with a midbass and subbass module. I can't disclose the breakdown of costs due to NDA but expect to pay ~38k all said and done for a stereo pair,

How do the DZR's compare to L'Acoustics, Meyer, Danley, etc? I realize my budget is tiny, but I was hoping for a scaled down version of something of higher end pro audio quality, as the music I'm doing is more classical in tone. That I'm playing smaller venues — almost never outdoors — seems like I could get away with it. Isn't there something available to us poor musician wretches who value clarity?!
As a lot of us said, they are the best you can get outside of CDDLive, and exotics (D&B, L'A, Danley, Meyer) that you need to know someone to be able to purchase.

I promise you won't be disappointed by 2x DZR10, 2x Crank stands, and a DXS sub. It's higher performance than what you have now (can play lower and louder by virtue of having the tops high passed), and is lighter, and SIGNIFICANTLY smaller (in terms of volume of space) than your current setup, even with the 18" sub. Go down to the 15" option and its not even close. It also keeps the bass coming from a single point so there won't be lobing like having two bass sources.
 

kipman725

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Yes, that is another way of skinning this cat.

But I am also just curious about what is out there that I may be missing in this massive industry. The reason I (apparently hilariously) suggested some hi-fi options originally is because there seems to be a general need for efficient all-in-one solutions & the industry seems to be closing the gap between hi-fi/PA/monitor, thus ideally eliminating the need for "big speaker". For instance, the Genelec S360 seems to have been designed at least in this direction,
The S360 is more of the other way of taking technology from pro speakers (compression drivers) to increase the SPL capability of a home speaker. I'm sure it would do better than most but the SPL capability particularly in the bass will be lacking. It also lacks things like grills, handles, pole mount that would make it usable.
 

Rja4000

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Why? That and the s360 seem capable, on paper.
They are.
But
1. They are not meant for that type of use.
If you get out of this limited scope, you'll get issue. (Try to add an electronic piano or an electric bass and you'll get out of steam quickly.)
2. Physically, they are not built to support recurrent transport and handling.

Point 2 raises a clear "No go" flag, IMO
 

Rja4000

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unless you're running dsp amps with dedicated presets for the speakers at hand, you'll most likely be leaving a lot of sound quality on the table.
Indeed.
And that's exactly what the Nexo amps are doing.
You may either run the speakers in full passive mode, with internal filter, or run them as active, with the (external) amps' dedicated (and optimized) DSP, powering separately each driver.
The later allows higher SPL, better accuracy, and less risk of breaking drivers.
 

Rja4000

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I have a few questions, first about how you set up your big Yamahas. Do you put them up on stands? Or up on a table?
// I often put them directly on the floor, or lift them up a couple feet with whatever is around. Depends on the situation. They sound great anywhere tbh.
There are several reasons why PA main speakers are usually mounted on a pole (for small gigs) or hanging from heigth.

First is to level a bit better SPL spread accross the audience depth, by tilting speakers.
In big events, line array are used, which achieve a much more uniform coverage, but even in small gigs, with simple speakers, you have some benefits just raising (and, if possible, tilting) the speakers.

Second is to lower the public impact on high frequencies. If you have speakers at public height, and some people are just in front, people behind them will get much less trebble.
By hanging the main speakers above the crowd, you lower this impact.
Tweeters, basically, need to be in direct sight of the listener.

Third (and subsidiary) is to have your speakers out of people reach.
Drunk people do stupid things and those speakers are expensive.

And since you need the mid and high above the crowd, you also usually need separate sub woofers. Those are massive and heavy and don't need to be on height. So you don't want to lift them. So you separate them and keep them on the floor.
And, as noted elsewhere, a pair of subs or 2 is better than just one.
 
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