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Looking for sub upgrade advise for PA use

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by slap-a-da-bass, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. slap-a-da-bass


    Sep 28, 2009
    I currently have some passive Fender 18" subs from the mid 90's, 900w program/1800 peak, they just plain suck. So I'm in the market for some subs. I'd likely want powered, but some good passive's that will match with my amps would be an option also. My amps are Crown XLS1500's (2), each giving 1050 watts @ 8ohms. My tops are active RCF Art312a's 350w. Our typical show would be up to 100/200 people, indoors. Any outdoor gigs, we've had so far has been moderate volume.

    Here's my list. Under 100lbs would be nice too.

    What do you think?

    Top end for me

    QSC KW181 - I like that it includes the pole & has wheels.
    JBL PRX618s-xlf - Another $115 for each sub/sat pole

    Mid point

    Yamaha DSR118w
    Mackie HD1801

    Lowest pricing

    EV ELX118p
    Mackie SRM1801

    I've been talking with Sweetwater & they really like the Yamaha at the under $1000. Also wondering how much more output the KW181 has over the Yamaha DSR118w? Any experience?

    What's out there for Passive? What would match well with my amps? Any good comments on Carvin Subs? I've used some BRX neo bass cabs that have been very good.
  2. uhdinator


    Apr 20, 2010
    Actives. Kw181 have more thump and volume than any other powered compact sub listed and the wheels, cover and poles that come with them is a nice feature.

    Passive I would check out the new JBL
    Prx418's. Very light......
    You would need a bigger amp that would bridge at 4 ohms with 3200-3600 watts to run mono.

    You would spend about the same amount of money either way.
  3. Dantreige


    Oct 22, 2009
    If you are a DIYer you could try some BFM subs. http://billfitzmaurice.net/

    Two or four Titan 39's would be a perfect upgrade. They are more efficient then most subs on the market and less expensive as well. Also, they are under your 100 lbs limit. Your crown xls1500 would be a close match for them as well. (iirc)

    Even if you don't want to DIY, there are a bunch of very knowledgable folks there that can help you with almost any sound reinforcement question.
  4. Dave the Bass

    Dave the Bass

    Sep 11, 2011
    For passives I like the EV QRx218s.
  5. TimmyP


    Nov 4, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    The JBL and QSC are decent choices. Hard to decide without a test drive of each in similar circumstances.
  6. 1Drop


    Jul 31, 2009
    We are using the JBL xlf and it is a great sounding sub. The lows are huge and its been dependable so far, about 15 shows worth. Its pretty light too, its one of those subs one guy could lift easily IF he can get his arms around it.
  7. slap-a-da-bass


    Sep 28, 2009
    I called every music store with in 100 miles of me & no one has either of these subs on the floor, so I can listen. I'm leaning toward the QSC.

    1Drop - Are you using one sub? Where do you place it in a venue? What kind of music & places do you play?
  8. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I don't think you can go wrong with the QSC. I have the Ksub and while it doesn't spec well... It sure sounds good! Check RMC and ProAudioStar (on Flea'Bay)
  9. OtterOnBass


    Oct 5, 2007
    Ksub with my old band was as loud as the drummer. I'd think you'd want it louder than natural. Then again, he was a very loud drummer. I've heard good things about that sub, and the tops were nice, but I wasn't in charge of the PA and I wasn't impressed with the way the KSub worked in that band.
  10. testing1two

    testing1two Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    The QSCs and JBLs are safe bets and if you want passive the JBL SR subs are good. Whichever one you choose, don't bother with the integrated poles. Put both subs together on one side (or in the center if possible) and use stands for the top boxes.
  11. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Totally true in most cases. Not all though.
  12. i work for a production company and have used both. and personally i would reccommend the JBL PRX618XLF

    my reason is that the jbl have a much smoother sound. and at 1000w and 60pounds are incredible. i really like them

    the QSC also have a great sound. however they brickwall the the signal too quickly so if you wanted to push the subs they just wont get louder, and they did this so the dumb ass must see red lights DJ's don't blow up the speakers. however they still are a good buy for the price. they are a little tighter sounding than the JBL, but if i were to pick i would go JBL
  13. dare i ask why would would put 2 subs together on one side verses one sub on one side? this doesnt make and sense.
  14. slap-a-da-bass


    Sep 28, 2009
  15. RCF is a great brand. usually very reliable. just expensive....
  16. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis

    3db boost by clustering the subs. I do this at venues where it is possible to center cluster them. Otherwise, I put the mains on sticks coming out of the subs, one per side.
  17. slap-a-da-bass


    Sep 28, 2009
    The company I'm working with is within $100 of the QSC or JBL subs. I was concerned the RCF would have less output with the internal amp being rated @700w vs 1000w on both the other subs. I have RCF Art312a tops that I really like.
  18. i would agree as a center stack. but you said to put it on one side? however even still you would get a much better fill coverage and overall sound one per side. so wouldn't you be better off this way? i don't wanna sound like a dick but just interested to see if there is something to learn...
  19. testing1two

    testing1two Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    I'm not debating this claim but am genuinely curious: what circumstance would benefit from not clustering the subs? Wouldn't the low-end comb filtering from a spaced pair be a universal justification for a single sub cluster?

    EDIT: I should put this question in context referring to small to medium scale systems as used by most bands and houses of worship. Install systems and touring systems would obviously allow for a greater degree of sophistication in terms of sub placement and calibration.
  20. DuraMorte


    Mar 3, 2011
    Because frequencies below ~150Hz are omnidirectional, you can put the sub stack wherever it needs to go: center, either side, doesn't matter.
    However, splitting them one per side causes way more problems than it solves.

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