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Suggestions for a sub

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by kinclune, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. kinclune


    Nov 27, 2005
    We are a blues rock bar cover band. Drums (always mics kick, and now has an overhead and snare mic), guitar (miced amp), bass and vocals. We play medium sized bars, and a few outdoor places that are bigger than a patio. A good crowd is a couple of hundred. We have powered 15 inch Harbingers on sticks that the vocals, a little guitar and kick (and now snare and overhead) go into.

    We played with a borrowed sub the other night (Tapco 18 inch, powered) and by all accounts it was good for the overall sound.

    The master plan is to upgrade the mains and get a sub. Criteria for the sub include it should be powered, and I would like to get by with a single sub if at all possible. Size matters - it would be great if it was something one person could move around. The way we set the sub up the other night we used both inputs and both through-puts. We take care of our gear pretty well, and am looking for something that will last. Probably do not need the top of the line but something solid that gets the job done. Budget range is $500 to say $800.

    I have found nothing powered on the used market for a long time.


    1. We should be able to get by with one sub, right?

    2. Are there issues with matching with the mains?

    3. Any features (such as adjustable internal crossover) that is really useful?



  2. Barisaxman

    Barisaxman Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    If you're using the internal crossover, I'd say matching tops and subs generally helps, since manufacturers tend to make products of the same line work together. I'd plan on using your own crossover if you're not going to match tops/subs. For a couple hundred people I'd like more than one sub, but if that's what you want to work with, it can be fine. Main thing is don't expect rock-concert levels or earth-moving bass from a single box....not going to happen. Without shopping used...I'd say you may want to extend your budget up to 1k. That puts a JBL PRX618 or Yamaha DSR118 in range. If you cannot do so and you can't find used, you could try the JBL EON sub (newer one)...they're fugly but not too bad of a performer for the money. Yorkville has a powered sub in the YX series now...and Yorkies are generally pretty good for the money. I don't have experience with these particiular boxes, however.
  3. moten33


    Jan 7, 2012
    Albion, NY
    I know a guy who uses the Nady PSW18. While an inferior brand he swears by it and it is cheap! I am thinking of adding a couple to our setup eventually. 300w RMS powered for $179.99. The reviews on MF also seem to be generlly positive 9long lasting, good sound for the money, etc.) so if you are in the budget equipment area like me I would at least check them out for the price. Also, fro mreading the reviews they took the crossover out of these so I would purchase one.
  4. TimmyP


    Nov 4, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    Hearsay is that the PRX618s-XLF is pretty good (must be the XLF).
  5. Avoid the cheaper stuff like intro line Peavey, Gemini and especially Nady.. etc... Especially if you are tough on it - loading and unloading. I have a Peavey PV118 its made of MDF not plywood... its not as strong - its breaking and bending after one year of carefull loading. It sounds OK for indoor small gigs but doesn't really have the proper porting for outdoors. and it has plastic jackplate that rattles when air displaces. Try to Find at least a used 18" JBL JRX series sub. One of those will be enough, to start, you can always add later. If you have one sub try to place it strategically in a corner or against a wall when possible.
  6. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I 'm a qsc fan. I use their Ksub. That thing doesn't spec well. Sounds great though. Got mine on a Guitar Center deal at 960. Fits with everything else, in the bsck of my outback wagon... Crosses at 100. 2 12's in a band pass design. Tight focused and punchy as heck. Makes the typical 18 sound flabby. 72 lbs.

    Last outdoor season I used home built fEarful 12 subs on a plx2402 and dbx xover. That worked very well indeed but the K sub is overall a smaller package and being internally crossed and powered, simpler to setup.

    Imo - a single sub, if at all possible belongs center stage in line with the tops. Low stages, weird shaped rooms, the you have to adjust...
  7. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Expand your search to include passive enclosures and you'll have more luck. Used power amps and crossovers are also good values. I was able to configure a solid dual 18" subwoofer system for ~$800 which included Yorkie enclosures, QSC RMX amp, and dbx crossover.

  8. musicman7722

    musicman7722 Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2007
    Boothbay Maine
    Another idea would be to use an aux out (monitor) from your board and feed it right to the powred sub. Then use the aux volume control to feed just the instruments you want in the sub. Usually bass and kick. You will not believe the punch and how clean your system sounds. If you don't have a crossover for the toes you could use a 15 band graphic and roll some of the real low's off them. Perhaps 100 hz and below. I do this with my QSC K12 sub and the band says we sound as good if not better then when our full FOH tech comes with his 4 subs.
  9. kinclune


    Nov 27, 2005
    Great info and lots to think about.

    I realize if we went passive it would expand the possibilities (and the amount of used gear), but I prefer the simplicity of the powered gear.

    The QSC gets a lot of love.... I will look closely, but will need a massive coupon to fit in the budget!
  10. tycobb73


    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    I looked around trying to keep it under $600. spent many hours in live sound boards getting opinions and everyone saidd its better if your budget is larger but if that is your budger the Proel 15 inchi is what you want.

    Carvin also had their 18 on sale but I have no experience with it.
  11. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Inactive

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    JBL makes some nice powered 18"s. 500 watts is pretty anemic as far as subs go. I would look at stuff in the 800 watt or higher range. There are good deals on used stuff these days so it shouldn't be too hard to find the right boxes in your price range. Passive subs are especially cheap used right now. Deals like this are all over.

  12. kinclune


    Nov 27, 2005
    I heard the Yamaha DXS15 today http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/yamaha-dxs15-15-active-subwoofer.

    It was quite nice, probably not as full as an 18, but definitely produced substantial low end. I listened to it side by side with the QSC subs (the 2x12 and the 18), it seemed to hold its own... although I think the QSCs can probably go much louder (but don't think we would need it).

    I believe these are relatively new products so I can't find much feedback on them. Anybody have any experience with these? They also make a 12 inch, but I worry if a single 12 can work for us.


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