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Passive Mains Recommendation

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Thumper, Mar 9, 2013.


  1. Thumper

    Thumper

    Mar 22, 2000
    Syracuse Ut
    I've read most of the threads I felt pertained to this issue but most of the discussion involved powered mains, and passive VS powered subs.

    The owner of the P.A. equipment wants to upgrade, we do Classic Country and some Rock, and are a low volume band with 1 electric and 1 acoustic guitar, bass and drums, but do play occasional outdoor gigs, so we need to be able to get loud as well.

    We have a fully racked system which is only 2-3 years old, so what are needed are new mains, maybe a sub (if the one I have doesn't work out (a passive 18" JBL (and perhaps a crossover system)). We want passive speakers and/or sub because we are going to keep the power system, but the owner is tired of rebuilding the ‘80 era's mains and wants something lighter.

    Here is a list of the current equipment:

    Mackie Onyx 16 channel mixer
    Power amps: Crown XTi 4000, XTi 2000
    2 DBX stereo equalizers
    DBX 255 XL compressor
    Lexicon MX 200 reverb
    2 BBE Sonic Maximizers
    Furman Power Conditioner
    Mains: JBL 12" 2 way SR 4722, 600 watts

    Any input or recommendations are appreciated.
     
  2. RS66LB

    RS66LB

    Dec 29, 2012
    Connecticut
    A simple soulution that's relatively inexpensive, somewhat light and has decent fidelity would be the Carvin PM12's. Based on your playing volume one speaker per side would work however for larger gigs or outdoor shows you could use 2 per side using Carvins single S5 dual mount bracket (allows 2 speakers on a single stand). The speakers are $179 each while each bracket is around $20. Of course the Peavey PR-12's are simular in weight, performance and price and would probably work out too.
     
  3. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
  4. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    montana
    Not sure but I think the OP is looking for better speakers than what you suggested. I could be wrong since Mackie doesn't make a xenyx mixer. i assume he mean't onyx. I would suggest some newer JBLs. the stx 800 series or PRX400 series.
     
  5. Thumper

    Thumper

    Mar 22, 2000
    Syracuse Ut
    You are correct on both counts, it is Onyx. We are not looking for an inexpensive solution, but a good one. I understand the trend is powered by why go for the added complexity when you already have good amps? A blown passive component is an easy fix, not always the case with a powered one. We want very good and lighter mains.
     
  6. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    montana
    The new STX 812m is basically the newest generation of what you are using now. They weigh 42 pounds which is about 15 pounds lighter than your current cabs. If you could find any of the recently discontinued 712m series they are even lighter at 33 pounds.
     
  7. Thumper

    Thumper

    Mar 22, 2000
    Syracuse Ut
    Prior to your last and checking prx 400s 12s were $499, 126db and 38lbs. 15s were $499, 128db and 46 lbs. What is the advantage either way? We don't plan to put drum or bass into the mains.

    Checking stx they were nearly $1,000 more per cab? Is there that kind of difference in sound? Are there other brands to check in case something comes up for sale locally? Next gig is 2 weeks so we have a little time
     
  8. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    montana
  9. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Passive mains... Meh... Seriously the advances are being made in onboard DSP controlled powered mains. Yeah I know you have the power rack but when you say added complexity... There is none. Wen you're talking reliability, check around the forum here and at ProSound.Web about the latest generation of powered stuff. The track record is pretty well established at this point.

    Before throwing good money after ... Go audition a set of QSC k12's or the equivalent from JBL.

    Guitar Center has a wall of stuff to demo... Just sayin'
     
  10. RS66LB

    RS66LB

    Dec 29, 2012
    Connecticut
    Hey friend -my neighbor was wondering if you could possibly explain what the technological differences are regarding individual speaker choices and how in blind tests it's sometimes difficult to match selection of perceived quality relative to expense of product since in many situations you may find an inexpensive 12" stamped frame driver with a resonant frequency, magnet size, frequency response, efficiency and power handling much the same as it's cast frame counterpart, I mean aside from the obvious stability of the more rigid cast frame they would otherwise seem much the same, essentially I need you to explain how an individual speaker used in a $200 cabinet differs from those used in $2000 cabinets -does one have less power compression and if so is it a thermal issue where the cast frame would sink the heat away better due to more mass? is there a more controlled beamwidth in one over the other? Is it even a major factor due to the crossovers typically being set below the point in which annoying beaming is a non issue? could the impedence curve differences factor in and do the Q differences really mean that much? I mean in many cases even the Vas is relatively close. I'm sorry to have troubled you with these basic questions, it's just that my neighbor has this Emerson clock radio that needs a 2" speaker cause his wife stabbed the original one out back in 83'. Thanks a million for your help and have an awesome day.
     
  11. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    montana
    And you say I need to get back on my meds.:D I suggested the OP check out another forum that has real engineers that could help him.
     
  12. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Honestly. The OP is looking for recommendations on speakers on a budget, not a dissertation from an engineer on high end audio gear. ;)
     
  13. Thumper

    Thumper

    Mar 22, 2000
    Syracuse Ut
    This is so true. The old speakers still work, but are showing their age, and so are our backs.

    Looking at the local "Craigslist" all I found were pair of Electro-Voice ELX115P's which were bought new last July, have been used 2-3 times and come with original packaging, documentation (even still have the stickers on them).

    According to the specs, they are around 54 lbs, so not really lightweight, but could probably be had for $1,000 or less. Any opinions? The reviews seem good, but most people's reviews tend to support their buys (which is why I NEVER give a review on anything I haven't had or used for at least 2 weeks).
     
  14. Vinny D

    Vinny D

    Jan 9, 2007
    Warwick, RI
    I have used this speaker a few times, I liked them a lot.
    Get loud without a lot of power behind them and they sound good.
    Box construction is pretty rugged but the coating/finish sucks on them (scratch/chip easily). So buy slip covers if you go with them.
    Also, you can buy that box new for a lot less then 1000/pr.

    EDIT:
    My comments are based on the passive version ELX115.
    If you have the amps I would go this route, the box needs very little EQ'ing to sound great.
     
  15. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    What's your budget?
     
  16. Thumper

    Thumper

    Mar 22, 2000
    Syracuse Ut
    Budget is around $2,000.

    If powered mains go down during a gig can you use an amp to finish the gig?
     
  17. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Cue modulusman..............


    as for the powered speaker outage question.....I'm not sure if powered speakers have an option to be run by an external amp.
     
  18. Tuned

    Tuned

    Dec 6, 2007
    Mains can go louder when there's a subwoofer handling the deep lows. When driving full range, PA woofers reach their excursion limit at about half their thermal limit (where the voice coil melts). When deep lows are filtered out, excursion is no longer the limiting factor.

    Getting newer JBL's is a good idea, I'd recommend MRX515's since they're 2dB more efficient than the new STX815's. They're only 1dB louder and it takes twice the power to get there.

    Before buying a subwoofer, try out a Yorkville LS608, LS808, or LS801P. I recommend you buy an LS608 and power it with a Peavey IPR3000 bridged, but any of those three models will demonstrate how awesome their reflex horn designs are. All standard ported box subs suck by comparison.

    I've done outdoor festivals of ~500 with a pair of older 800W LS808's and PRX515 tops and had juice to spare. From a production company's perspective more PA should have been provided obviously, just saying what they can handle.
     
  19. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    montana
    No, as far as I know.
     
  20. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    montana
    I have never heard the stx812m series speakers since they are brand new. I have heard the 712m they replaced and they were a good sounding cab. I'm not sure what the difference but I think they 800 may not use Neo speakers. The difference between the 400 and 800 is more power handling and the choice to bi-amp or use the passive crossover on the 800 series.
     

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