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Best Sounding, Lightest Speakers For Portable PA?
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Beto Carvalho
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#1
18th October 2012
Old 18th October 2012
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Best Sounding, Lightest Speakers For Portable PA?

Hello all,

I am a studio engineer, not live sound. Which means I can set up and run a PA system, but this is not my specialty.

Our church is moving to a Century movie theater, with around 200 seating. The thought of setting up and tearing down a PA every week is daunting, so we're looking for the lightest/best quality system we can get.

Console: As much as I prefer analog consoles, I'm considering going with the PreSonus Studiolive 24.4.2, because that will have all dynamics and effects on board, plus I can record audio easily – plus, it actually sounds good.

Speakers: What is the highest quality, lightest self-powered speaker system we can get? (I'd prefer to go with self-powered, but I would consider doing using a dbx Rack Drive PA+ + amps + passive speakers)

Not interested in Behringers, would like to go a step higher than Mackies, and even active QSCs.

Budget: around $2,000

Bose L1? Turbosound Milan? Anything by Funktion One? EAW?

Please, people with real world experience, help.
#2
18th October 2012
Old 18th October 2012
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Good luck for 2k..
Even a mackie sub is 1k, and you'll need at least 2
Best small high end system i know is the Coda Audio Coray4 system with G15sub, combined with processor and Lab6000..
But that'll cost you +-6k..
Amazing though..

Does the presonus also have to go in that 2k$ ?
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18th October 2012
Old 18th October 2012
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Turbosound sounds very good. They've recently been bought out my music group, but for the price they've always been satisfying for me.

Honestly, a 200 seat theater isn't that big so you can very much focus on quality over total sound output

The QSC actives are extremely good for the price. What source are you going to be using? If you need subs and mains for 2000 go with the QSC KW series. We have them for our 'small event rig' and they're quite good.

To be honest, an M15 will run you about 800 each, if you need subs you won't be able to afford Turbosound.
Beto Carvalho
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19th October 2012
Old 19th October 2012
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First of all, thanks for the responses. They help already.

Mesadude:

• The $2K is what I am hoping to spend for the speakers alone (not sub, or mixer). But if I have to push that, I can try and raise a bit more (I know the Presonus Studiolive 24 ch. will cost about $3,200).

• Where can I buy Coda Audio in the US? Looking at their site now, but can't seem to find a place to check prices in the US.

• What is the "lab6000"?

Red Shift:

• Yes, going for sound quality (and light weight) over SPL.

• Sounds like you are saying that, if I can afford them, the Turbosound Milan M15s will sound better than the QSC K12s (for instance), which are the same price. Correct?

• Sound source would be a full band (live drums, keyboard, guitars, bass and vocals). One of the reasons I am trying to get a good system is so that we can try minimize the use of amps and just use DIs to the mixer.
#5
19th October 2012
Old 19th October 2012
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mesadude,

I think you are way over-pricing what this guy is looking for. There are PLENTY of excellent systems for a 200 person house far below 6k.


Beto,

The K12 is different from the KW122. The K use plastic molded enclosures, while the KW are made of wood, and sound 'nicer' than the K's.

My suggestion would be look at the On Point Audio Active 10. These sound excellent, and are powered by Powersoft built-in amps, which are excellent. The 10 and 15 actually have the same amp module so it's a question of how much low end you need out of the mains. (65hz vs 45) but they sound 3x more expensive than they are.

Seriously, I have never been more impressed with a powered speaker, and with an MSRP of just about 1100 any dealer should be able to get you a pair for under 1800 easy

Also if you are willing to go unpowered, the OPA 28 NP is really excellent and might fit your application well. You'll need an amp, but the sound quality and size are very good. Not quite upm-1p territory but close

p.s.
A lab600 is a 4 channel power amplifier for the subs and the mains. And it's overkill, and will run you at least 3000 alone.
Beto Carvalho
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19th October 2012
Old 19th October 2012
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Thank you Red Shift.

The On Point Audio seems to be exactly what I am looking for. I just sent them an email asking "who sells your stuff?". Amazing how a search yielded nothing.

I found a used Coda Audio D-Core 2.7 on solarisnetwork.com, and a pair of used OPA Active 15 for $900 (!) on Craigslist – but it's a pawn shop, so I'm a bit weary.

I prefer going this direction instead of the QSC, JBL, etc...

Thanks a million.
#7
19th October 2012
Old 19th October 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beto Carvalho View Post
Thank you Red Shift.

The On Point Audio seems to be exactly what I am looking for. I just sent them an email asking "who sells your stuff?". Amazing how a search yielded nothing.

I found a used Coda Audio D-Core 2.7 on solarisnetwork.com, and a pair of used OPA Active 15 for $900 (!) on Craigslist – but it's a pawn shop, so I'm a bit weary.

I prefer going this direction instead of the QSC, JBL, etc...

Thanks a million.

You're welcome, OPA is mostly the OEM channel, most good companies are OEM only (danley, meyers, etc).

If I might direct you to a dealership I've purchased from, ask for Jason and tell him you got his name from Austin Federa at Lawrence University. they beat every other quote i got by at leas 5%

Jason DeMoe
AGI, Inc.
541-683-8809 x100
#8
19th October 2012
Old 19th October 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beto Carvalho View Post
Thank you Red Shift.

The On Point Audio seems to be exactly what I am looking for. I just sent them an email asking "who sells your stuff?". Amazing how a search yielded nothing.

I found a used Coda Audio D-Core 2.7 on solarisnetwork.com, and a pair of used OPA Active 15 for $900 (!) on Craigslist – but it's a pawn shop, so I'm a bit weary.

I prefer going this direction instead of the QSC, JBL, etc...

Thanks a million.
Go with the CODA !! it really is an amazing system..

We have compared their LA12 line array system with L'acoustics K1, without blushing, Coda stood their ground ! (at 1/5 of the price..)

Coda = BMS
same company, same owner, same developer..
the brand is really starting to get somewhere in Europe (don't know about US) and is regarded in the same league as L'acoustics, Meyer, Adamson, Nexo, D&B, JBL,..
so really top of the line, but with an easier pricetag..
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20th October 2012
Old 20th October 2012
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If you're considering the Turbosound Milan MI5's then I would suggest looking at the Yamaha DXR15's.

I had both here to try out and tested them out pretty thoroughly with different sources using a Presonus Studiolive 16.0.2. I personally preferred the DXR15's. They sounded clearer and more detailed. They also have a surprising amount of low end and go pretty deep for a pair of 2 way speakers! What was even more impressive was how loud these go!!
I did a test using a di'd bass guitar and slowly turned up each speaker. They Turbosounds went fairly loud with this but the limiter kicked in quite early and the sound started to distort. The Yamaha's seemed to continue delivering way after the Turbosound's had had enough. The limiter light on the Yamaha's didn't even flicker once!

Yamaha make the DSR range that is meant to be even louder, detailed and have more bass!
#10
20th October 2012
Old 20th October 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dickiefunk View Post
If you're considering the Turbosound Milan MI5's then I would suggest looking at the Yamaha DXR15's.

I had both here to try out and tested them out pretty thoroughly with different sources using a Presonus Studiolive 16.0.2. I personally preferred the DXR15's. They sounded clearer and more detailed. They also have a surprising amount of low end and go pretty deep for a pair of 2 way speakers! What was even more impressive was how loud these go!!
I did a test using a di'd bass guitar and slowly turned up each speaker. They Turbosounds went fairly loud with this but the limiter kicked in quite early and the sound started to distort. The Yamaha's seemed to continue delivering way after the Turbosound's had had enough. The limiter light on the Yamaha's didn't even flicker once!

Yamaha make the DSR range that is meant to be even louder, detailed and have more bass!

Well that makes absolutely zero sense because the
M15 is 23Hz - 22kHz ±10dB
and the DXR15 is 49Hz - 20kHz ±10dB
so I think what you heard was 100% subjective.

Also yes, obviously the yamaha's are louder, they're almost twice the power...


Not saying the Yamaha's aren't good, just that what you're saying doesn't really make sense.
#11
20th October 2012
Old 20th October 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red_Shift View Post
The QSC actives are extremely good for the price. What source are you going to be using? If you need subs and mains for 2000 go with the QSC KW series. We have them for our 'small event rig' and they're quite good..
+1

I currently run a 16.4.2 with two KW153's and two KW181's, the quality is ridiculously good.
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20th October 2012
Old 20th October 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red_Shift View Post
Well that makes absolutely zero sense because the
M15 is 23Hz - 22kHz ±10dB
and the DXR15 is 49Hz - 20kHz ±10dB
so I think what you heard was 100% subjective.

Also yes, obviously the yamaha's are louder, they're almost twice the power...


Not saying the Yamaha's aren't good, just that what you're saying doesn't really make sense.
Sorry, I didn't say that the Yamaha's had more bass than the Turbosounds. Yes the MI5's had more bass but they couldn't produce this at high spl levels. Whilst the Yamaha's couldn't go quite as deep as the Turbo's, they weren't that far off!
Whilst specs on paper say one thing, this doesn't always give the full picture in real world performance!
#13
21st October 2012
Old 21st October 2012
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From above, agi inc is a great dealer in terms of pricing.

I own a large inventory of qsc k series. The next step up is the RCF TT series or the qsc kw stuff. The next step up from there is a pretty big price jump.
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21st October 2012
Old 21st October 2012
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21st October 2012
Old 21st October 2012
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I like my JBL PRX615m's 38 lbs, definately lighter than the QSC stuff.

QSC are nice, but a bit heavier and IMO the HF is a bit hyped.
To me the JBL's are smoother, warmer sounding especially with
acoustic instruments.

If plastic was a good sounding material for speaker cabs
then why isn't Marshall making plastic 412 speaker cabinets.
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21st October 2012
Old 21st October 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manfrensengensen View Post
QSC are nice, but a bit heavier and IMO the HF is a bit hyped.
To me the JBL's are smoother, warmer sounding especially with
acoustic instruments.

If plastic was a good sounding material for speaker cabs
then why isn't Marshall making plastic 412 speaker cabinets.
Ha that's interesting, the one word I would neve use to describe JBL drivers is 'warm'. They VRX is extremely accurite, but I've found their drivers cold and steril sounding. That's part of what makes them so good for a line array.

Also... you know JBL makes plastic speakers right? the KW's are wooden, the K's are just the entry level. Heck, even Danley makes molded horns and they're some of the best speakers around
#17
22nd October 2012
Old 22nd October 2012
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Yep. Everybody's ears are different.

The OP wanted lightweight and portable. KW's and VRX are great,
But not lightweight or as portable or within the budget listed.

Yea I know JBL makes plastic speakers. And they don't sound great. I have been in the audio biz a while and have a wall of speakers
I have listened to everyday doing demo's side by side with the same audio source when comparing them.
#18
22nd October 2012
Old 22nd October 2012
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I'll toss a vote for the Yamaha's too. So true about spec sheet being only a benchmark... use your ears, Every time I do The Yamaha's beat everything in the price range.

I do sound in a 300 seat venue ( built for live theater) and you do not want low end in there, 12" speakers work best. There's plenty of low end from the bass rig set on "1" and even the kick drum can acoustically easily fill the room. You'll want to go test the venue out before purchasing equipment that might not be matched up. See if your local music store will let you try before you buy. Most carry the Yamaha's.
#19
22nd October 2012
Old 22nd October 2012
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took back my k12s and bought RCF D-LINE HD 12A .. qsc gets to thin when pushed ..
#20
23rd October 2012
Old 23rd October 2012
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For your budget you probably won't be able to do realistically better than RCFs. Unless you can find some good used EAW NT29s. JBL EONs are a waste of time, and the QSCs aren't astounding.
#21
24th October 2012
Old 24th October 2012
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I have never had any problems getting a set of K12's to sound good. They are light and a pair will set you back right around your budget of $2000. EV sx250a's are also good but considerably heavier and discontinued I believe. Yorkville makes some nice stuff too, and worth checking out but I think the K series offer better better value in terms of features. My $0.02
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24th October 2012
Old 24th October 2012
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There's a difference between sounding good and sounding good..

Considering the size and price, those k12's sound very good..

But they don't even come close to sounding GOOD !
#23
25th October 2012
Old 25th October 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mesadude View Post
There's a difference between sounding good and sounding good..

Considering the size and price, those k12's sound very good..

But they don't even come close to sounding GOOD !
Absolutely, but with a budget of $2k, what do you expect?

Meyer UPA and EAW JFX series sound "GOOD", but with the Meyers starting at $5000 a piece, we can both agree that such superlative performance is reflected in the price.
#24
29th October 2012
Old 29th October 2012
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I also recommend looking into the RCF offerings at your price point. I'm so pleased with my entry-level RCFs (310a and 312a), that I'd upgrade to one of their better lines in a second if I had the cash.

Louis
#25
30th October 2012
Old 30th October 2012
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after flushing the k12s and getting the RCF-HD12's i will now only buy RCF


i own and used to own.. jbl,yamaha,B52,peavey,carvin,alto,mackie,qsc,RCF,trayner,TOA,KRK and many others
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