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Is there a perfect amp/monitor... for my situation?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Bjazzman, Mar 20, 2009.


  1. Bjazzman

    Bjazzman

    Dec 7, 2004
    Madison WI
    here are the options at the place im talking about. should i try one particular one out first? again remember, im looking for something around 50lbs or less. i figure most places will have subs i can hook up with. Heck, most places will probably have one of these monitors anyway but it's always good to be prepared
    http://www.emionline.com/emirentals/speakers/poweredspeakers.html

    the prices are for rentals and go toward the purchase of the speaker
     
  2. honestjohnny

    honestjohnny

    Nov 24, 2006
    I use a Carvin LS1503A with cheap multi-FX boxes for bass and guitar. I've been using this setup for bass as a sub in an all-girls band and in my own band. Sounds as good as anything else I've heard. I also send a line to the board from the FX box, though.
     
  3. Bjazzman

    Bjazzman

    Dec 7, 2004
    Madison WI
    but the carvin isn't on the list at emi. i can't try it out first. but i appreciate the input. at this point im thinking the jbl eon might be perfect. or maybe the mackie
     
  4. DukeLeJeune

    DukeLeJeune rational romantic mystic cynical idealist Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 24, 2008
    Princeton, Texas
    Owner & designer, AudioKinesis; Auth. mfg, Big E (Home Audio only)
    From the models at that link that meet your weight criteria, the Yorkville E160P and the Mackie SRM450 look the most interesting to me.

    If you really are planning to rent several and try them out, let me congratulate you on your methodology. One thing to consider: With a horn-type driver, often the sound is smoother about 10 to 15 degrees off-axis rather than directly on-axis. There will inevitably be reflections at the mouth of a horn, and going off-axis kinda smears out those reflections so they aren't as audible. You don't hear them as distinct reflections; you hear them as edginess.

    Listen some at live-sound levels if possible. The reason is, there are types of distortion present in some horns that are not readily apparent at low volume levels but they'll drill a hole in your head at high volume levels. zzzzZZZZZZZT!

    I'm not down on horns; in fact, I build hornspeakers. But I hate "horn sound", so I'm intensely aware of the issues horns can have.
     
  5. Bjazzman

    Bjazzman

    Dec 7, 2004
    Madison WI
    pardon my ignorance but does off-axis mean not pointed directly at you?
     
  6. DukeLeJeune

    DukeLeJeune rational romantic mystic cynical idealist Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 24, 2008
    Princeton, Texas
    Owner & designer, AudioKinesis; Auth. mfg, Big E (Home Audio only)
    Yes, exactly, Bjazzman. You want to be off to the side a bit; however, in most cases you don't want to be off very much in the vertical plane.
     
  7. honestjohnny

    honestjohnny

    Nov 24, 2006
    I would think any of those 10's with a 15" sub would give you what you want.
     
  8. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Banned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    If I understand your need correctly, you're seeking the stage-worthy equivalent of near-field reference monitors on steroids, which can also endure sustained abuse administered by a bass guitar:

    Thus, for a single woofer cab, I'd go with a 12" at minimum myself--a 15" would be closer to the essential character of a bass guitar & kick drum IMHO.

    I'd also want a self-powered bi-amp design with built-in signal processing & driver protection + plenty of wattage/headroom. Oh yeah, and a tilt-back cab too.

    At 50 lbs the 15" EV ZXA5-60 looks interesting. Good brand and LOTS of power. :)

    The 15" JBL EON 15G2 is a contender.., a-n-d so is the 12" JBL VRX-932LAP.

    (See if EMI has the 47 lb. Yorkville NX55P for comparison with the 12" JBL.)

    --------

    All the other offerings on the EMI Rentals' Powered Speakers page appear to be either:

    - too shy on the lows and/or are under-powered and/or are overweight,

    - or is a brand name which unfortunately is best avoided (the MACKIE SRM 450, since the Mackie brand is currently owned by LOUD Technologies which is now on the skids: post #186.)​
     
  9. Bjazzman

    Bjazzman

    Dec 7, 2004
    Madison WI
    thanks. the only thing about the higher end jbl vrx 932-- can it tilt back? also, what is the normal frequency range for basses that incorporate synth style effects? will 57hz be deep enough or will it just feel like more mids?

    at least the jbl eon 15 will go down to 42hz

    you also mentioned a good thing would be it's ability to have a bi-amped design.... what would be the purpose of this and which ones have it?
     
  10. ga_edwards

    ga_edwards

    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    Synths can produce frequencies out of human hearing range, but IMO something that handles as low as about 40hz should suffice. You may want to eq out anything below this on the synth stuff too.
     
  11. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Banned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    +1 on a tilt-back cab. For on-stage monitoring it's a must.

    I don't know about synth bass, but is 57Hz low enough? Well it's a tad lower than the lowest frequency an Ampeg 810E is rated for.

    That being said, my preference is for a cab which will go down to 45Hz - 50Hz. Critical listening via some recorded music which one knows well (along with a bass tryout) will allow one to judge the overall musicality of any prospective active PA loudspeaker.

    Trust your ears since you'll be the one who has to listen to your purchase.

    Bi-amped designs employ a separate power amp for the woofer and the tweeter which are fed by an active crossover (it divides the audio signal into low and high frequencies). The result is cleaner sound, especially at higher volume levels.

    Built-in signal processing and speaker protection is a must-have too for truly decent sound and longer service life. A good description of what this is & does can be found on the Yorkville Sound's NX55P product page.

    I'd expect that the better speakers which you are considering will have these goodies, but check their manufacturer's Web sites to be sure.

    Specs. are only a guideline IMHO. It's how it sounds.

    --------

    DISCLAIMER: I am not a audio technician. However I do try to learn about sound gear I am interested in, and I do trust my ears.
     
  12. Bjazzman

    Bjazzman

    Dec 7, 2004
    Madison WI
    would i risk damaging the powered speaker by using lots of effects? and would i need a preamp for what im doing instead of just a mixer? any recommendations?
     
  13. Joe Smithberger

    Joe Smithberger Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Canton, Ohio, USA
    Tech 21 VT Bass?
     
  14. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    A lot of PA mains and monitors don't have woofers (or internal space) designed/intended to reproduce Big Bass. The supposition is that if you want full-spectrum sound with low frequency extension that subwoofers will also be used. Thus the woofers are usually chosen for sensitivity/efficiency and not LF excursion capabilities, and the boxes are smaller than one would want if they were intent on "having it all" in one box.

    One of the best affordable packages I've seen is the Carvin LS1503 if you want to reproduce a variety of instruments well including low-pitched ones without also adding subwoofers.

    I've also designed a number of cabs that would work very well for this, and one of them has a profile that would work well as a tiltback, using a wedge, a Markbass velcro dealie, or whatever is handy to get the desired angle. I found that approach preferable to cutting angles into the enclosure and thus subtracting internal space the woofer needs to do its job best. But with a taller cab in the right position one doesn't need to use a stand or tilt back.
     
  15. Bjazzman

    Bjazzman

    Dec 7, 2004
    Madison WI
    do you think the carvin would be a better fit than the jbl eon for what im trying to do with all my instruments? it's a little heaver/larger than what i'd like, but it's a good price and if it works that's what counts
     
  16. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    I found the Eons not to have enough bottom for bass and low synths, and easy to fart out when really pushed with such a signal. A lot of smaller PA cabs/monitors I could say the same of, actually. If you play with subwoofer support in front of the stage this may not be an issue though you'll want to cut low end or use a high-pass filter onstage to keep from damaging the driver.

    ...I use a Roland V-Bass all the time, and often layer phat synthy stuff with the bass signal - the Carvin keeps up remarkably well. It also has a dedicated midrange driver which makes it easier to hear off-axis and presents a more detailed, articulate midrange which is essential for multi-instrumentalists, I feel.
     
  17. Bjazzman

    Bjazzman

    Dec 7, 2004
    Madison WI
    i read a little of the botique on a budget thread but i have a few questions still about the ls1503... What is the weight of the cab when you change the driver to an eminence 3015lf? and does doing that change the sound much? for the better? at this price i might have to jump on one. also, would i be fine just running my instruments from my mixer into the carvin or would i need a preamp? how would you bi-amp and what are the benefits?

    thanks
     
  18. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Banned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    I don't see how using effects would damage any well designed self-powered bi-(or tri, three built-in power amps)-amped PA cab which is not driven into distortion.

    The signal processing built in to Yorkville Sound's self-powered full-range bi-amped NX55P~$900 CND, for instance, (and similar products made by other manufacturers as well I'd image) includes a high pass filter (*60Hz in the NX55P's case, switchable to 100Hz to accommodate the addition of self-powered sub-woofers to handle gut-shaking lows for FOH applications) set to begin rolling off lows which fall below the cab's capabilities in order to prevent woofer over-excursion/waste of power amp head room.

    *If you download the NX55P's manual, you can see a picture of its rear panel which shows its 'LF ROLLOFF' 60Hz/100Hz high pass filter switch.

    As well the Yorkies have this:

    "We''ve also found an opportunity to tweak the electronics for maximum overall speaker performance and protection. Borrowing some ideas from our powerful and popular TX Series PA systems, the limiters used in the input and crossover stages are a complex combination of gain reduction and sweeping filters. As the NX55P is being pushed to its maximum input / output levels, it''s advanced filtering begins rolling off unnecessary subsonic frequencies.

    The filter has remarkable response times (less than 70ms), allowing the system to constantly be returning itself to make sure the output is as clean, as loud and as clear as possible at any given moment. This is achieved without negatively affecting the overall sonic quality of the cabinet. This ensures that the essential part of any mix, like the vocals or solo instruments, comes out clean and clear at the extremes of power and woofer excursion. Extremely fast and accurate limiting is in place to protect the speaker components."

    As long as your Saffire Pro 40 has enough inputs (and EQ sufficient for your needs) then augmenting your 'Pro 40 with a one-size-fits-all pre-amp/direct box like Tech 21's Sans Amp Para Driver DI~$260 CND, or their 'SVT-in-a-box' VT Bass~$190 CND may be the way to go for your stringed instruments.
     
  19. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Banned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    Say Bjazzman...

    There is a F-A-R more portable and better sounding solution to your on-stage monitoring needs which is worth investigating:

    In-ear monitors, augmented with (if in your new role as a multi-instrumentalist you'll be largely staying put on stage) a ButtKicker.
     
  20. Bjazzman

    Bjazzman

    Dec 7, 2004
    Madison WI
    oh man... you're so right... but doesn't a great sounding in-ear setup cost big bucks? and wouldn't i have to get my other 2 bandmates to have the same in-ear setup?
     

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