JBL PRX series experience??

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by 1Drop, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. 1Drop


    Jul 31, 2009
    My band has finally decided to pull the trigger on a new PA. We feel the JBL prx618sxlf sub with the prx 612m mains will be just what we need givin our budget is around 3 grand. I'm just wondering if any one here has experience with this series. We are a 6 piece reggae band usually playing venues that are 150-500 dancer capacity. I know two subs would be ideal but we'll have to wait on purchasing a second. The system gets great reviews but some more feedback never hurts.

  2. I mixed a couple hundred bands in a 200 capacity room on a PRX PA. They sound nice, dollar for dollar they are not especially loud.

    As with all things JBL, replacement parts are insanely expensive.

    I was running the three way tops and two subs. You are going to have trouble trying to do reggae with one sub.
  3. Tomis17


    Jan 21, 2007
    What are you guys using right now? Maybe you could add onto what you have or sell/trade your current stuff to purchase the new gear. I agree that for the crowd you are looking to please, you may want to consider 2 subs and 2 tops.
  4. Also, just as a point of comparison:

    Buying used and putting a total of maybe a weekend of my time in to sourcing parts and making some repairs, I put together a 5000 watt EAW FOH for less than the 3 grand you are planning on spending. That's 2 double 18 subs and two double 15 3 way tops.

    Just throwing that out there...
  5. 1Drop


    Jul 31, 2009
    You don't want to know what we've been using. Our old/current system is maybe worth $400 bucks, the only thing we will salvage is a crown powerbase 3 to run our monitors.

    500 dancer capacity is by the far the biggest we'll play with our personal system and that only happens once or twice a year. I'd say the average capacity would be 100-300 and those are fairly small rooms that just get packed. Volume wise our old/current system (2x200 watt old school EV 15" mains, and usually one peavey 18"BW sub pushed by 1000 watt amps each was usually enough for the venues we play, just not the best sounding system. The sub was floppy sounding and the mains muddy and harsh at the same time, but we never needed to push them volume wise.
  6. 1Drop


    Jul 31, 2009

    We have explored that avenue, but the reality is we live in the sticks. Any decent used piece of gear will be 4-5 hours away so the shipping becomes an issue and we would never get to test any of the gear before purchase, unless we drive that far to do so, gas prices don't help that scenario. PLUS the 18 month no interest deal from sweetwater makes this purchase do-able for us.

    How much of a pain would it be to add another passive sub to the mix at a later date? We have a spare 1000 watt crown to push it. BAd idea? Seems like we can get a decent passive sub for about half the price of the active JBL.

    Thanks for the tips guys!
  7. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I have two PRX512M mains, two PRX612M mains and two PRX518S subs. I love them. the 12-inch mains keep the vocals crisp, and are plenty loud for medium venues and some outdoor venues. The 612s are 1,000 watts each, so they're a little louder than the 512s. They do run a little hot, but I've never had one thermal out, even at outdoor gigs.

    Last night, I took them to an indoor gig, but the venue already had some JBL Eon 15s set up so we just used a few of mine as monitors. We had to tweak our EQ a fair amount to get what we wanted out of the vocals, but all-in-all, it sounded good. I prefer the sound of 12s for vocals.

    Skip the passive route. The convenience of powered speakers is worth the extra cost. You don't have to lug around amp racks and patch them.

    With the 612Ms weighing in at 36 pounds and the subs at about 80 pounds, your back will thank you for getting them.
  8. Been using the PRX 535s as our main loud speakers for the past 5 years or so at my church, which seats about 250.

    They don't fill the room all that well but they can get plenty loud, we're not even running ours halfway up.

    They were our "travel" speakers but when our old mains blew out we started using these.
  9. Keithwah


    Jan 7, 2011
    Milwaukee WI
    I love the sound and the portability is unreal for the sound and size and power.

    You are correct that they don't seem to have as much as advertised power available. I was expecting a bit more output myself.....

    But for the dollar, the sound is great, they are crazy light to heft around. You must use two subs unless you are a CSNY tribute act. We are considering picking up a second set of the XLF subs for our outdoor work this season. We do some smaller community festivals that pay mad money but with our Presonus StudioLive and farm of iPads controlling the system and our IEM's, it makes a very nice sounding system. We just know one pair of subs couldn't carry a larger room or beer tents.

    For the balance of our larger festival work in the summer, we get rigs provided. We have had an issue with the subs crapping out the first night we had them..at the same moment, bizarre. But they fixed the power supplies on the amps and they have been fine since, So our decision to use the 3-Ways worked well for us, and we do know if we do a real small hole, leave the subs in the truck and just run the top boxes.

    I'd buy them again as a whole, but the 3-Ways do sound one way better than the 2-ways....and that would be more. Seriously though, I love the sound of the 3-Ways over the 2-Ways.
  10. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    JBL publishes all the information you could ever need about their FOH lines including the PRX

    JBL :: Product Family

    There are even EASE files so you can model some of the venue's you would play in.

    You should of course as a final step try them out in real life for a final confirmation.

    IMHO - you can't go wrong with JBL. They know what the hell they are doing.
  11. Marko 1

    Marko 1 Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    If you’d like to save a few bucks, I think you can still score the “RCF ART312-A” powered speakers for under $500.

    Call/email RMCAudioDirect for a quote.

    RCF ART312-A powered speaker - www.rmcaudiodirect.com

    I chose those RCFs and the JBL PRX618S-XLF subs for my new band PA.
  12. Lync

    Lync Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2004
    Those new JBL's (and the prior 512's) sound great IMO. I personally think you will be fine with that system-especially where you are coming from.

    You could always add another JBL powered sub down the road, but I doubt you will need it.
  13. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I would point out that it would be well worth your while to call Northern Sound and Light on the telephone to get the price on JBL PRX products. Don't go by the website price, which is MAP. When you call them, you won't believe their price.

    No affiliation, I just like for everyone to save money.
  14. Keithwah


    Jan 7, 2011
    Milwaukee WI
    An RCF driver was the heart of every EAW cabinet I ever liked before they got "Mackie'd". Can't really go wrong with the RCF boxes either. Manly drivers for sure.
  15. spector_boogie

    spector_boogie No Limit Honky

    Apr 15, 2012
    The Woodlands, TX
    i love the PRX stuff, from top to bottom. my last cover band used the 215 tops and 118 bottoms on each side with a dbx DriveRack and that's exactly what i'd buy if i ever need my own PA.
  16. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004

    Yes - you must Call
    You'll get the best price, and actually best sales support.
  17. I have a pair of the PRX 612m speakers that we have used as mains (vocals only) for a small bar band for the past several months.

    Sound is pretty good, and they are crazy light and easy to move which is why I got them. My female lead singer can set them up.

    I will say that one of them crapped out on me. Completely dead, discovered minutes before a gig, which was a major hassle.

    I took it in for warranty service and the amp board was blown. They ordered another amp module from JBL and when it arrived and they plugged it in, it blew the amp board again. Not JBLs fault (misdiagnosis -- the problem was a short in the speaker wiring harness), but in any case, I was without that speaker for four weeks while it got straightened out. It was under warranty and was covered.

    As mains they're pretty good but the angle is all wrong for use as floor monitors on small stages. Pack down very small for transport, which is great.
  18. 1Drop


    Jul 31, 2009
    Ok so we got our system and had our first gig with it last weekend. We are very pleased!!! It was a 200 capacity room and the sound was fantastic. The mains were clear and crisp and plenty enough volume set at 75% power. But the best by far was the sub.....OH MY, that thing is killer. It handles the super lows very well. One sub was causing boobs to shake in the back of the room. I got two compliments from ladies saying just that. I can't imagine the thump we would get with another sub..:bassist:

    I did have to send one of the mains back right away as it was rattling pretty bad right out of the box but sweetwater sent out a replacement the day I called to schedule the return.

    So far so good....Easy set up, light weight, and just great sound for us!! We had keys, sax, trumpet, 4 vocals, snare, kick, bass, and guitar all running for 4 hours, two nights in a row..without a problem.. I'd recommend the prx series in a heart beat!

    BTW, we really like the tilt down feature of the mains when they are on their stands, seems to really help with dispersion.
  19. We've had the rattling issue with our 535s. We've sent each of the speakers in to get worked on but you can still hear the rattling every once in a while.

    I think these are great for on the road use, but in permanent install being used week to week, I'd rather have something else.
  20. 1Drop


    Jul 31, 2009
    Did you find out what the culprit was? Still a mystery?