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Line array speakers for live gigs
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Line array speakers for live gigs

I'm looking at the idea of getting some line array speakers to replace the current 12" two way tops I use. We play mainly private gigs and sometimes the rooms are quite large (or outdoors) and I'd like better dispersion, and to not blast the people in the front.

Current set up is a pair of Yamaha DRX12s on a pair of EV EKX-15SPs. I am using K&M Distance Rods to get the Yamahas up around 8 feet high, which definitely helps. But I imagine an array type speaker would be better?

I was thinking of replacing the DXR12s with something like the Turbosound IP300 or RCF L2406-T or Fishman SA220. I realize those are all pretty wildly different. I just am not sure of what other options are out there.

I'd also be willing to replace the whole set up and just use two "stick PA"s with their own subs. That would seem to open up a lot more options. We're a soul band and don't need a lot of low end. Our bassist's amp is usually loud enough that I just barely put him through the PA.

Added bonus would be bluetooth. It's not necessary as I already have a seperate bluetooth dongle I run into my mixer, but if I could get rid of that and just use the integrated bluetooth that would be less things to deal with and would free up a channel.

Suggestions? Comments? Concerns? Open to it all, thanks!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
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mojo filters's Avatar
 

For column type speakers that will make the upgrade expense worthwhile and work well right away, have a look at DB Tech IG4, RCF NXL44, or if you really want to move up and the fixed dispersion suits your needs - the impressive RCF TTL6a.

That's just off the top of my head, and other potentially suitable and/or better products might well be available!

The only real way to properly answer your question, is to request further information about why you want to change what you currently have - beyond avoiding blasting the folks up front from a single box solution?

For example, what do you actually mean by "better dispersion?" In the horizontal axis, the vertical, or some more specialised asymmetric type coverage?

I've no idea about products with Bluetooth on board, I don't know any serious products that include such a feature. I'm no expert, but whilst I've used Bluetooth for recorded programme material, I didn't think the latency issue was suited to live sound.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Cool I'll check those out, thanks.

Yes I just wanted better dispersion - mainly to have volume at the back without blasting the front.

Bluetooth is not necessary, I can just keep using the bluetooth adapter I have, not a big deal. Just a small benefit. I don't use it for live sound, just to play house music when the band isn't on.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackchandelier View Post
Cool I'll check those out, thanks.

Yes I just wanted better dispersion - mainly to have volume at the back without blasting the front.

Bluetooth is not necessary, I can just keep using the bluetooth adapter I have, not a big deal. Just a small benefit. I don't use it for live sound, just to play house music when the band isn't on.
Hmm... IMO it would be more effective to position your current speakers higher and tilt them.

Those small "line arrays" will usually give you:
- very wide horizontal dispersion
- unobtrusive looks
- quite narrow vertical dispersion at high frequencies

they WON'T give you:
- the throw
- mid frequency directivity that a larger line array would provide.

Because of the narrow vertical dispersion you have to position them quite low, otherwise people in front won't get enough highs. Considering that the mentioned arrays are too short to form a cylindrical waveform at any significant distance and frequency, you'll get less even SPL distribution front to back than you would get by using a point source speaker with wider vertical dispersion that would allow you to position the speaker higher.

You might want to check some speakers with an asymetrical horn like the Nexo PS10, though. As the vertical angle increases, the horizontal dispersion gets narrower - SPL is distributed over a wider angle for the front rows than for the rear rows (at least at the frequencies where the horn is effective).
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

None of the systems you mentioned in the OP would be a good choice IMO. None have a subwoofer and the SPL sucks. If you want Bluetooth look at the Electro voice Evolve -50. It sounds good for a column PA and can get pretty loud.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by modulusman View Post
None of the systems you mentioned in the OP would be a good choice IMO. None have a subwoofer and the SPL sucks. If you want Bluetooth look at the Electro voice Evolve -50. It sounds good for a column PA and can get pretty loud.
As I said in the original post I've already got subs. I am just looking to replace the tops.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackchandelier View Post
As I said in the original post I've already got subs. I am just looking to replace the tops.
All those tops would be a considerable step down. They are all only capable of about 1/2 the SPL you get with your current tops. Any of the systems usable for a full band, come with subs. Most of the time the tops are passive, with the amps and DSP built into the subs. The only thing I can thing of that's self powered and capable of something in the ballpark of 130 dB is an RCF NX L24-A and it's big brother the NX L44-A.

As for putting your current speakers higher, that's certainly a way to get them over the heads of the folks in front and cover more area. Most column arrays will actually be WORSE in this regard as the tops aren't height adjustable, sitting directly on top of the subs, or on a fixed length pole. The Turbosound and EV offerings come to mind. The exception is the RCF Evox series. The Evox 12 in particular seems to have the best design and usable output. The tops are on an adjustable pole, and use good old speakon cables. This allows for other configurations like getting longer speakon cables and center cluster your subs where it makes sense. You can't really do that with most other systems. It also uses a 15" sub so there's some decent bass frequencies and output.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by abzurd View Post
All those tops would be a considerable step down.
.

I figured that might be the case. Honestly though I'm not opposed to having less SPL if it reduces our set up time, amount of cables, weight, etc. We really never need anywhere near the volume our system is capable of. I don't know if we even need subs at all. My bass player's amp is loud enough that I usually have to tell him to turn it down so I can put it through the subs just to get more even dispersion in the room.

What about the RCF Evox 12s? They have 15" subs and adjustable height tops. Seem somewhat similar to what I'm running now, with the added benefit of being a more compact version and not having a big heavy box high up on a pole (safety).
Old 1 week ago
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackchandelier View Post
What about the RCF Evox 12s? They have 15" subs and adjustable height tops. Seem somewhat similar to what I'm running now, with the added benefit of being a more compact version and not having a big heavy box high up on a pole (safety).
Yes, I'm saying the Evox 12 would be a contender. Just understand, performance wise it's a sideways move.

PROS

- Sleek look - For higher end private gigs it's more elegant. Also, the thin tops may make your sight lines better

- I'd agree it's safer - I think the tops are around 20 lbs versus what you're doing now, which is a 42 lb top over a 57 lb sub with the top raised high in the air.

- One power cable powers the whole system

CONS

- You're paying roughly $4,000 for similar performance to what you have currently. Though you're shedding a few lbs, the pack size will be similar too, just different shape tops.

- Less flexible. If something happens with the power supply the whole side goes down. You also can't use the tops on their own as they are passive and not meant for full range. You can't put different tops over the subs unless you use an external crossover to high pass the tops to match the higher crossover of the Evox subs. (well, you can, but you can't control the "poo" sound you may get as a result).
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Gear Nut
 

Whoops, sorry, I was using my phone and totally missed the second half of your post!

I could get two EVOX 12s for around $2200 or so used, so at least I wouldn't actually be paying 4k. But I see your other points. I'm not too worried about losing "a whole side" as I have the same risk right now - if one of my tops stops working for any reason I have also lost "a whole side" as we hardly use the subs and one sub by itself is pretty useless. I'd just throw one of our monitors up on a pole and run that as a main if that ever happened.

For the price, if the performance is roughly the same, I think it's worth it for the added safety, sleek look, and less weight, easily.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackchandelier View Post
Whoops, sorry, I was using my phone and totally missed the second half of your post!

I could get two EVOX 12s for around $2200 or so used
If you can do that, BUY IT NOW! I've been monitoring the price of these new and used for the past few years and have NEVER seen anything even close to that price for a pair. Honestly, I'm skeptical, as it's so far under the used market. New, the MAP price is $2499, so $5000 for the pair, but they can be had for around $1900 or $3800 for the pair.

I've never seen a used pair for under $3000.
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by abzurd View Post
I've never seen a used pair for under $3000.
Oops again. My bad, I'm running on no sleep. I was up all night comparison shopping lower end systems for all the times my band needs to set up a smaller PA in a second location. I was looking at the RCF Evox Jmix 8 and then when I responded just now I had those prices in my head. You're totally right, a used Evox 12 is around 1800.
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