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Who's using a subwoofer / satellite type PA system?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by TC2112, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. TC2112

    TC2112 Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2009
    Parke County, Indiana
    I'm looking at a new PA system for a small trio playing rooms no larger than 150 people (ie -small clubs, American legions. so on). Classic rock, country - guitar, bass, drums.

    I'm looking at a single powered sub 18" 800 watts with two 2x10 cabs with 2" coil horns on stands @ 300 watts each. I can't imagine needing anymore for small rooms, but would like to hear if anyone else has done something similar and how are the results?
  2. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    1. I suggest you auditon the system against other systems first. The PA room at Guitar Center was helpful for me when I picked QSC.
    2. Forget about watt ratings. By themselves they are virtually meaningless. You simply cannot listen to a spec sheet.
    3. In the lower end, price wise, you may find performance as good or better by spending up for two good mains and skip the sub...

    I run QSC K10 tops and one KSub. You have to be careful when locating the sub or you can create some wierdities. Next year, I'll add a second sub which won't get as much use but in some places I go, it will help balance things out.

    If your budget is mid teens. EV Live X, QSC K series, Yamaha D, JBL EON 515 or PRX would all be good sounding choices for going with a good full range top. You will not get chest thumping DJ style bass but you don't give up much else and sound quality wise, you'll pick up a lot.
  3. I personally own LiveX...

    For much of what I do it's Bose L1... I bring an amp.... I got a ton of gear for what the Bose cost... I can DI with my gear... can't with the Bose.

    Don't overlook the LiveX ... there are some other options including RCF and Alto worth investigating.
  4. Tuned


    Dec 6, 2007
    "Satellite" is not a term I would use. There are mains and subwoofers. Mains of any power capacity cannot deliver deep bass like a good subwoofer (note that there are many crappy subwoofers). Just because they're not subwoofers doesn't mean their frequency range is deliberately compromised like those crappy Bose home systems with tiny tops.

    Direct radiating subwoofers suck, those with just woofers and ports. Horn-loaded subs are way better. The least expensive good subwoofer is the Yorkville LS608. It's not available in powered format, the powered LS801P is awesome but it's a big heavy pig. Match an LS608 with a bridged Peavey IPR1600 and you're out-gunning many powered subs costing 3x as much.

    BTW most powered subs use 2-ohm drivers and much less amp than the claimed output. The JBL PRX 618XLF uses a driver with two 2 ohm voice coils and two 500W amps. 2 Ohm loads generally only get 1dB more output than 4 Ohm, they just do it so the specs look higher. My LS808's on my AP4040 amp (800W x2 at 8 Ohms) kick the crap out of PRX 618XLFs, and the 808's can handle 1400W each, I've just never needed more amp.
  5. Marko 1

    Marko 1

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    Who's using a subwoofer / satellite type PA system?

    Are you talking about one of those systems where the powered sub also powers the satellite speakers?

    Years ago I saw a band similar to what you’re describing, that used one- a B52 with 18” sub and 12” tops, and it did okay for what you’re talking about. I remember the sub not doing much, but that may not have been the system's fault.

    I’d advise going with separates; an 18” powered sub and two 12” powered speakers would be a good place to start.

    State a budget if you like, and maybe good recommendations could be had.
  6. watspan


    Nov 25, 2002
    madison, wi
    Is a sub essential for what the OP describes? let's assume only the kick & vocals get mic'd. Asked a different way, can you suggest a system w/o a sub that will support a kick for the typical bar-type venue?
  7. My band uses the EV LiveX series as well (ELX115p mains and ELX118p subs). I am extremely pleased with them.
  8. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    I do.

    I own 2 RCF ART 310a and an RCF ART 902as sub.

    I use it as a PA with my trio (gtr,bass, vox) with IEM or other active boxes as wedge and I also use the sub + a top as my bass monitor in my Very loud Hard rock band.
  9. F-Clef-Jef


    Nov 13, 2006
    Neenah, WI
    We use a pair of Mackie SRM450's and SWM15 subs, sound great. We also tried the Bose L1 system, it was no where near as good sounding or as loud as the Mackies.
  10. First I used a B52 system for years. I really liked it but needed more horses for my 5 peice. The tops were the best damg mons I uever heard when I used them as such.

    Currently I sue All QSC. I have their 2x12 sub and I usually lay it on it's side and place it on a rubber matt on the dance floor about mid center of the stage. Then depending on the room I withe use K10's or K12's for tops. When possible on the left and right side of stage. Whichever K's I don't use for tops I run as mons.

    I use a Presonus 16.0.2 board.

    I really like the system. Very portable and flexible. I have one room that is such a bear for space, setup time and sound that I stand the sub up and place a speaker over it on the pole that is provided. I place the second top on a stand beside it and just use one spot for my entire sound source. Not ideal but for the room I do it for it works.

    If anybody has any feedback on how I set these up I truly welcome your ideas.

  11. I cluster too- - typical audience can't hear stereo in a band context
  12. Good to hear that. I only do it in this one place. My lead player was freaking out about it but i stood my ground. It was fine :)
  13. It's actually a bit more efficient - you'd need to test combing and dispersion ---- saves setup time --- faster cabling --- easier corrections
  14. joelb79


    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    Subs should always be coupled if you only have a few of them with low watts, like today's typical powered sat/sub setup. Putting them together in pairs instead of separate on the sides of the stage increases the perceived low end a great deal by getting rid of phase cancellation you typically see around 60-80hz where the meat of your sound is. Once you move your low end boxes apart you start to see nodes where sound cancels. Try it some time. Clustering works.
  15. You can also get better dispersion with the mains
  16. Medford Bassman

    Medford Bassman Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2007
    Medford, Wisconsin
    +1 true dat
  17. gndboy


    Sep 18, 2010
    Corpus Christi, TX
    TC2112 - I use a PA similar to what you described in OP. I have a pair of Carvin 2X10 + bullet horn wedges with pole sockets that do vocals very well. I recently added a Carvin 1X15 unpowered sub, but I changed the driver to a 700-watt Eminence. The main speakers get 300W/side and the sub gets 700W. I am using the Crown XLS amps, 1500 for the mains and 1000 bridged for the sub. Crossover is approximately 80Hz. I do run the parallel effects returns in stereo, but it's essentially a monaural system. Each vocal mic has a compressor/gate, and there is a stereo EQ and comp/gate just prior to the power amps. I wouldn't want to play really loud with the system, but it does a good job in rooms approximately 3000 sq ft or less. For more than a quartet I'd seriously consider upgrading the main speakers.
  18. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    ha ha, no.

    (OK, real horn subs are indeed awesome, and awesomely big. there's just lots and lots of top-shelf sound companies using direct-radiating reflex subs to do some very large million-dollar shows. there's plenty of reflex sub boxes that would do the OP just fine, and still be able to fit in his truck or whatever.)

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