Best FOH speakers for rock band
Old 21st April 2010
  #1
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Thread Starter
Best FOH speakers for rock band

I need to know what the best FOH speaker system is for a rock band.

Here's the scoop:
Budget - under $7500, hopefully under $5000.
Band - 5 pc hard rock, 2 elec. guitars, bass, drums, 3 vox, loops, bass drops, etc..
Sound - This system needs to deliver a big punch, lows not floppy, clarity at high volume, and be able to rock the house for 300 people or less. Most gigs are indoors, but there will be some small outdoor venues.

Wish list:
I'd like the system to be as lightweight as possible, but will sacrifice weight for the quality of we're looking for, if necessary.
I'd prefer an active system, but willing to go passive to get a system that will deliver better punch and volume.
It would be good to be able to modify the system down for smaller gigs as well, but not necessary.

NOTE:
I went and listened to the QSC K Series (K12 & K-Sub) everyone is talking about. So disappointing! I went two places because I thought something was wrong with the system at the first place. If that would have worked I would have gotten 4 of each! I've listened to the QSC HPR series stuff and the only thing that is seeming to really kick is the HPR 153i and the 181i. Those are about to be discontinued and the KW series is out in June.

What I've heard:
I've heard from other audio pros that Yorkville is the Canadian version of Peavey, although personally I've read some descent reviews.
I've heard that JBL PRX is not going to be much better. I've not listened to either of these and would insist on it prior to purchase.
QSC has good stuff and good warranty, but the HPR is going out and unseen KW series is coming in June.

Recommendations Please???????
Brand & Models?
Active or Passive system?
Subs in 15" or 18"? Single or dual?
Tops in 12" or 15"? (2-Way or 3-Way)?
Dual speakers or singles per side?
Wattage, etc...????


I'm making a list of possible systems and going to stores and other places to listen to various systems.

Thanks.
Old 21st April 2010
  #2
Old 21st April 2010
  #3
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ddageek's Avatar
 

Pick one
EAW
Turbosound
Meyer
L'acusic
Macpherson
PAS (the TOC series)
All are excellent!
Old 22nd April 2010
  #4
Gear interested
 

Danley... Danley Sound Labs - Home of Tom Danley - Innovative Designer of Pro Loudspeakers & Subwoofers Make your tech's job easy. The SH100's are sweet, can do jazz to Rock in a Gym with no eq. The TH115 series Subs are amazing, but the 100's and a TH115 is my favorite system. Just effortless mixing. Even better if you can move to the sh50's. Both will work without a sub so you can save up for when you can. And you should have space in your budget. They will need amps.
For what it is worth and best of luck.
JP
Old 22nd April 2010
  #5
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jude's Avatar
 

EV make some kick arse boxes, however most of my favs arnt powered (think X-Array) however it might be worth your while having a look at their smaller boxes, which are powered. pretty pricey tho
Old 22nd April 2010
  #6
Gear maniac
 

2 Jbl srx 715 for tops
4 jbl srx 718 for subs
biggest amps you can get with rest of budget

passive but super light and awesome sounding system
you only need to run it 2 way. so 1 cable to each side then link up the boxes.
Old 22nd April 2010
  #7
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tINY's Avatar
 



You didn't say what you didn't like about the QSC K-stuff...

Reading between the lines, it sounds like you don't like ported subs. Your two options on the bottom, in that case, are the Earthquake style folded horns (like Cerwin Vega) or a BagEnd sub.

You might want to budget for a separate cross-over.



-tINY

Old 23rd April 2010
  #8
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Puffer Fish's Avatar
If you can afford it, four 15s or 18s for some serious, pounding low-end thunder with double the power specs for the speakers coming out of whatever power amps you decide to buy.--800 watt speaker? Then 1600 watt amp. If you can't get the correct power amps with the four drivers, DO NOT get more drivers than power amp--you'll just clip the signal going into the drivers and shorten the voice-coil life of the subs.

I have always used 15s because that is what I was into 20 years ago and I made my investment and stuck with it. But the 18s would get some lower frequencies and push more air. But they are bigger, the box volumes are bigger and thus heavier, so based upon your one criteria, you may want to check out 15 inch drivers. In fact, for the sake of portability, check out four single 15 boxes that you can stack up and that have speaker pole ports on top of the boxes so you can either stack everything up or else 'fly' the higher frequency boxes on poles mounted on top of the subs. That is something I do and it works very well and is very stable--no one will ever accidentally knock them over.

As for the top boxes, I would say 12" drivers and 1 or 2 inch horns. Powered boxes are convenient but you still need to run power cables and then XLR cables to them. Whatever, to me it is a wash. I have power amps for my speakers, but I have nothing against powered speakers. I have never really heard a three way top box that ran circles around a two-way top box. Plus, the two-way boxes will be smaller and lighter. I like the sound of the 12" drivers up top more so than the 15s. But I have used both at different times and would do so again in a pinch, but I prefer 12s. 12s with one inch horns, that is MY preference. I like the articulation and clarity and the voice coil movement. I have not heard every possible speaker in the world though, so maybe there are some 15 inch drivers with 2 inch horns that would sound just as good.

Brands... Most of my rig is JBL stuff--2226 and 2246,... But I really like EAW boxes. I have also heard some wonderful EV stuff. Now, the real sleepers are the Eminence drivers--the higher-end cast frame stuff. Those drivers are where you'll find some serious value. However, then you are still looking for boxes. If you can find some empty boxes that you like, load them up with some sweet Eminence drivers. Or if one of your crew is handy with a table saw and you are feeling adventurous, you could build some boxes, but it is difficult to build for less than you can buy. If you want to upgrade the components inside a box, look at the Yamaha boxes. Yes, they are already loaded with Eminence drivers, I know that, but not really the better stuff. I see those boxes used for good deals. Pull out the mid to lower end drivers and load the boxes up with some kicking mid and sub drivers.

Amps... You may note that the QSC RMX amps have very similar specs to a bunch of other amplifiers. I do not know this for certain, but it is awfully suspicious that TAPCO, Peavey, Behringer, QSC,... have amp lines with the same specs, same plate faces (just different paint jobs) ... We pulled apart a Behringer Europower 2500 and compared the guts with a QSC RMX 2400--they look an awful lot alike inside. Like exactly alike. Now maybe they are all made in the same factory. Or maybe a Chinese company copied the QSC amps. I don't know. But I do know I did my price shopping on those amps that all clone the QSC RMX line and ended up with a pair of Behringer E2500s five years ago. They get used a lot, they have never failed over many years of service, they have serious power available to drive my JBLs (when I run the amp mono bridged) and they sound as good as my Ashly FET 2000, which is a pretty good sounding amplifier--at least they sound as good as any of us can tell in a live setting. So if you want best bang for your buck, do yourself a favor and check out all those amps I mentioned and figure out for yourself what is the best deal.

That is what I will suggest. There are obviously a lot of ways to get here. I humbly suggest to take as much time as you can when deciding so you are not stuck with something you later regret. Some audio gear is easy to unload and get your money out of later. FOH speakers are not one of those items. The value tends to drop pretty fast on used boxes. A caveat to homemade boxes is there is pretty much NO one interested in buying them from you. You are better off pulling out the raw frames and selling them separately.

I am sure you'll get some good advice from other folks on here. The front drivers are worthy of some serious consideration.
Old 2nd May 2010
  #9
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tysonviolin's Avatar
 

I'm buying 6 KW122s and 4 KW181s the moment they come out. I don't think a road test is necessary because they have a proven amplifier in the K series amp, and an upgrade to the HPR Baltic Birch cabinet. I don't see how these can in any way not be an overall upgrade to the HPR series. They have better power consumption specs and are much lighter. One can talk about amplifiers all day, but in my opinion QSC makes the best sounding and most reliable lightweight affordable amp.
Old 3rd May 2010
  #10
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
Cool

I have a question about the QSC subs....

The 18" sub in both the HPR and new KW series have casters on the back so you flip them and roll them in and out for loading and unloading. Great idea, BUT that puts the speaker facing up!

Even if you purchase the soft case QSC makes to protect the sub, is it feasible to think that you could put anything on top of the sub in a trailer when packing? So you would wind up with a lot of wasted space it seems. Not to mention it seems like the speaker (even though there is a grill) is more prone to damage facing up!

Does anyone have any thoughts or experience with this?
Old 3rd May 2010
  #11
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cavern's Avatar
 

quote "I've heard from other audio pros that Yorkville is the Canadian version of Peavey"


the bottom line yorkvilles may be equivalent to the top line peaveys maybe but the unity series most certainly are not. i don't know if there is somewhere in your area where you could listen to some though.

i listened to a lot of different systems before i bought mine.
tight/full range/hi fidelity and exellent projection.

4 of these would run you approx. $5500 or so.

Yorkville Sound: Unity™
Old 3rd May 2010
  #12
Gear Guru
 
tINY's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by daddygreene View Post
I have a question about the QSC subs....

The 18" sub in both the HPR and new KW series have casters on the back so you flip them and roll them in and out for loading and unloading. Great idea, BUT that puts the speaker facing up!

Even if you purchase the soft case QSC makes to protect the sub, is it feasible to think that you could put anything on top of the sub in a trailer when packing? So you would wind up with a lot of wasted space it seems. Not to mention it seems like the speaker (even though there is a grill) is more prone to damage facing up!

Does anyone have any thoughts or experience with this?


Two things to think about here:

1) There is a grill, so anything that is flat and not too heavy should ride just fine on top

2) we always loaded the speakers in the truck off the wheels. Roll them in and then flip them over. That way they don't try to roll around going down the road...





-tINY

Old 9th July 2010
  #13
Gear interested
 

Power amps are very important. Check out proaudiostar out of NY. They are on eBay as well. They have B-stock Crown I-Tech amps you can pick up real cheap. I'm using a few of them and they work GREAT. Sound 10xxx better than anything you can buy at Guitar Center. JBL SRX speakers are wonderful. I'd suggest a couple JBL MRX528s, powered by a Crown I-Tech 6000. And then throw a couple JBL SRX277's on top of them. You could even just get 1 crown IT8000 and run subs off one side, tops on the other side. If you want to keep things cheap and simple. More amps would be better, but this will work for a while.
Old 29th September 2012
  #14
Gear addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JP Friesen View Post
Make your tech's job easy. The SH100's are sweet, can do jazz to Rock in a Gym with no eq.
Do you work for Danley by any chance? No need for a graphic EQ? ha!

Last edited by stuartb; 29th September 2012 at 02:38 PM.. Reason: Don't want to put in another massive advert for danley
Old 29th September 2012
  #15
Gear interested
 

No.
I do sound for therapy.
Mine.
I tend to work gigs that have the better musicians involved. I like it that way.
Have a friend who reps Danley here and he is the one who supplied them. We are not close enough that I'd promote them if they weren't a great product. As much as I'm loyal to him he/I couldn't do that. I believe quality tools matter and I don't have time to fight with equipment. (I use Festool for my paying job so if you know anything about them it should give you an idea of my tendencies in this regard). So I go for the best I can afford and that don't work against me.
My church has a set of mackies on the gym ceiling that I am subjected to (mixed by the kids) and I spend a lot if time talking myself out of buying a set of sh100's and switching them in. Perfect for the amateurs. They'd have to work hard to make them suck. For my ear's sake.
My bud did an install for a church here that was looking to be the destination for touring acts and he set up a set there (not sh100's in this situation.) This place installed an Icon and the Danleys are not the typical front end for them ( I understand there is some pretty pricey esoteric rigs they spec.) The digi guy brought in to set up and train was impressed enough. But that is here-say and I've yet to hear them myself.
One of the reasons I like the 100's is that they're 10" singles that roll off at 100. Mostly there and with a sub all the way.
And I'm not kidding about no eq. Did 3 gigs without. Speakers 5' from side of stage 7' from the nearest mic. Nothing coming off the back of the cab. They have 110 degree spread so they were just slightly splayed. Gym was just over a full court size. Typical bright surfaces.
Old 30th September 2012
  #16
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Frost's Avatar
 

I own all qsc stuff these days but have mixed plenty of gigs on Danley stuff with no eq. I don't think you can afford a danley rig but maybe an sh50 over a single th115 per side if you got a crazy package deal. I would look at an srx rig if I were the op and find someone local that I could subrent an extra pair of subs from when I needed to go really big.
Old 2nd October 2012
  #17
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RightOnRome's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tINY View Post


You didn't say what you didn't like about the QSC K-stuff...

Reading between the lines, it sounds like you don't like ported subs. Your two options on the bottom, in that case, are the Earthquake style folded horns (like Cerwin Vega) or a BagEnd sub.

You might want to budget for a separate cross-over.



-tINY

sorry but i had some k12s and after about 13 shows i decided that they just were over hyped on these fourms and gave up when i needed them to shine... i traded them in for 2 RCF dline 20 A and wow what a difference.. not as popular but blew the k away
Old 2nd October 2012
  #18
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Frost's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RightOnRome View Post
sorry but i had some k12s and after about 13 shows i decided that they just were over hyped on these fourms and gave up when i needed them to shine... i traded them in for 2 RCF dline 20 A and wow what a difference.. not as popular but blew the k away
The RCF DLine is a single line array box at 3x the price of a k12, you will need 3-6 per side, for a minimum workable cost of $18k plus fly hardware and a system to fly them. Not really comparable to a k12 trap box.
Old 2nd October 2012
  #19
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RightOnRome's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frost View Post
The RCF DLine is a single line array box at 3x the price of a k12, you will need 3-6 per side, for a minimum workable cost of $18k plus fly hardware and a system to fly them. Not really comparable to a k12 trap box.
sorry my bad..RCF D-line HD 12A..single pole mount version ...
Old 10th October 2012
  #20
Gear addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stuartb View Post
Do you work for Danley by any chance? No need for a graphic EQ? ha!
I do many shows large and small without a graphic EQ. I use parametrics on the console if needed.
Old 11th October 2012
  #21
3 + infractions, forum membership suspended.
 

Martin Audio is not bad neither
Old 12th October 2012
  #22
3 + infractions, forum membership suspended.
 

Turbosound + a good engineer will do the trick
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