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PA Subwoofers:Best bang (boom) for the buck?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Tim Cole, Oct 9, 2004.

  1. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    I'm thinking of getting some subs for a PA system, but don't want to wrap a ton of money into them, since I am the only one spending any money on this stuff. I'd like to get something to carry the bass, kick, and low toms well in small to medium venues. Who makes the best cab for the buck? I have up to 1680 watts I can dedicate just to the subs.....thanks.
  2. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    IMHO, in small venues the subs are generally a waste of time/effort. Your money is better spent on a good pair of PA mains that can handle the watts and the lower frequencies, as well as being able to disperse the sound well and articulately.
    Otherwise subs are cool. I'll defer to the more expert people as far as bang for buck, maybe passinwind and the like will show up. Ya know, we could really use a forum dedicated to pa/live sound sometime in the future. :D
  3. Jim Ingraham

    Jim Ingraham Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2002
    I was thinking the same thing earlier this summer. What got me started was a show we played that had really good pro sound. They set my rig up as side fill next to the drummer so it didnt really have to be that loud to get a great mix on stage. The bottom end was taken care of by the FOH subs and everybody was happy. :D
    I started looking around to see what was available to scale down to the small to med clubs we play. Seems that you need to spend about 400 to get a decent 18" direct radiator.... more than i wanted to spend at that time. While searching I came across Bill Fitzmaurice's DIY site and he had just posted a new design for 24" cubed horn sub that you could build for under 150. Since I have a shop and the wood, I threw one together over a weekend... and now I'm a believer. ;)
    As it turns out, the one sub is plenty for the size venues we play. I run it off one side of my PLX and just dial in the appropriate amout of bottom sort of like you adjust the sub volume on your computer or home stereo system. It doesnt necessarily make things louder, just fuller, deeper and richer including vocals. Having the sub out front also makes it much easier to control stage volume.
    Here's a pic of the completed Tuba 24:
    It weighs about 70 lbs. and we just set one of our mains on top so it really doesnt take up any more stage real estate.
  4. Great work Jim. Any more pics or info on the cab and speaker you used? :D
  5. Jim Ingraham

    Jim Ingraham Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2002
  6. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    I generally agree with that, and I mix a lot on small club systems without subs. Big kick is another story though, unless you have 2 X 15 mains or something. Yorkville 808 is good bang for buck, especially from these guys: http://www.audioeast.com/subs.htm

    I'm in the same boat, thinking about adding subs to my modest PA. EAW is the likely outcome, but cheap doesn't fit there. Bang for buck definitely does though.

    Tim: what kind of tops are you going to put over your subs? Do you already have a crossover? If not, powered subs start to look pretty attractive.
  7. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Wow, very nice work! I was thinking of attempting to build one similar myself.....thanks for the link!!!

    As of now, Here's what I am going with:

    Yorkville powered mixer: 400w to mains, and 200w to monitors
    Main speakers we are currently running are yorkville 15" full range. I don't own these, the singer does. I don't want to buy any more than I need to.

    I figure if I can get a sub to thicken things out and give it some thump, this setup should be plenty for the smaller places we play, and still get a pretty good sound. Buying a crossover is plenty cheap, and I already have a big power amp sitting around.

    Again, nice work!
  8. Jim Ingraham

    Jim Ingraham Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2002
    Thats exactly the PA setup were using and the Tuba fills out the bottom so nicely without becoming boomy. 300 watts is more than enough power. For a cross over Bill recommends this:http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/pshowdetl.cfm?&DID=7&Partnumber=266-946, but i didnt even bother. Mine sounds great without it. Best 150 i ever spent on sound gear.
  9. Jerry Ziarko

    Jerry Ziarko Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Rochester, NY