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Which amp would you choose?
Old 7th December 2020 | Show parent
  #61
Gear Nut
 
JohnnyShotgun's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip Dixon View Post
I already listed the reasons to go passive: you want to buy old stuff or you want to have amps to use when renting the speakers your client wants for the gig. In 2020, there will almost always be a superior powered option available from pro manufacturers. Some make their best speakers as only powered speakers. If you have the money, you go powered. It saves truck space and set up time. Those things cost money so powered pays for itself quickly if you use them a lot.
Hi Chip

I want to go passive for all those reasons you listed, but the bigger advantage I think it has, is the long term reliability. I’m not expecting to sell this gear after a few years and buy something else, however I ‘d like to add subs and stuff someday. I have seen old crown macro tech and peavey cs-800 that have more than 30 years and they are still working, same about speakers and other gear. I think that keeping things simple works better, simplicity in electronics is way more reliable but it makes the learning curve steeper.
Old 7th December 2020 | Show parent
  #62
Gear Maniac
 
The first powered speakers only came out 30 years ago. Meyer. They still work. If you don't have subs you can't use the best powered speakers any way. My meyer UPA-1Ps only go down to 60 hz and won't go below that so you can't blow them up. If you can't take subs, I would recommend a pair of used meyer CQ-1s. They will still be worth using when you get subs and will go low enough in the meantime.
Old 7th December 2020 | Show parent
  #63
Gear Maniac
 
I have a bunch of crown macro and micro techs. They end up needing capacitors and output transistors too. Taking them around sucks though. Huge, heavy, needs a circuit each. I still use one every day to power the 4 JBL 2241s in my den though. Fan noise can be a little obnoxious at low volumes. I never hear my powered stuff running.
Old 7th December 2020
  #64
Gear Maniac
 
QSC and Crown are the reliable options if you go for their higher end amps. I have had bad luck with cheap crowns. All my Crown CEs failed and they are not made to be as easily serviced as the micro and macro techs are. You will need a DSP or a drive rack too. My DBX driverack 260s have been reliable. I can recommend those. Good luck. Make sure you at least high pass those speakers before you turn them up
Old 7th December 2020
  #65
Gear Maniac
 
Everyone I know that went passive blew up their first set of speakers. That is why I said that. Myself included. Powered speakers are harder to blow up. Get a crossover and limiter as a bare minimum. A DBX 260 is a good bare minimum IMHO
Old 8th December 2020 | Show parent
  #66
Gear Nut
 
JohnnyShotgun's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip Dixon View Post
Everyone I know that went passive blew up their first set of speakers. That is why I said that. Myself included. Powered speakers are harder to blow up. Get a crossover and limiter as a bare minimum. A DBX 260 is a good bare minimum IMHO
Thank you Chip

This is my second set actually, I had my first set some years ago, they were those heavy Peavey PV215, I powered them using a powered low-end mixer, the PVi8b+. I bought them brand new from a local supplier when I was a singer in a tight budget and they survived well, they were very heavy and not easy to carry around but I learned that I didn’t like the powered mixers and I sold that rig. I’m more likely to buy a separate eq/limiter, like a dbx 2231 or so, what do you think?
It seems like the driverack has some fragile, non repairable smd components, but I’m tempted to get a PA2
Old 8th December 2020 | Show parent
  #67
Gear Maniac
 
Any driveracks below the 260 I do not recommend because they aren't flexible enough. so you outgrow them. A 2231 can work, but graphic EQs are the most abused and misused tools in the audio world, so i don't usually recommend them to people who aren't using them for monitors. On the mains, they often do more harm than good. Nice for on the fly adjustments to the room. Not desirable for setting basic drive settings for your speakers.
Old 8th December 2020 | Show parent
  #68
Lives for gear
 
Pro Sound Guy's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip Dixon View Post
Powered speakers are always heavier than passive speakers. Amp racks have wheels and don't need to be stacked up and put on poles. If weight is your issue, go passive.
This is incorrect
Old 8th December 2020 | Show parent
  #69
Gear Nut
 
JohnnyShotgun's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pro Sound Guy View Post
This is incorrect
It seems like you like to answer what nobody asked but the actual question.
Old 8th December 2020 | Show parent
  #70
Gear Maniac
 
Please explain to me how you make a speaker lighter by putting an amplifier into it. That seems to be impossible.
Old 10th December 2020 | Show parent
  #71
Gear Maniac
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip Dixon View Post
Please explain to me how you make a speaker lighter by putting an amplifier into it.
If we're comparing concurrently available models then of course the powered version weighs more, but these days that isn't much more, for the EV boxes that are the subject of this thread for example the powered version is only 4lbs heavier.

If on the other hand we are comparing an old passive speaker to a new one then yeah.. the new powered box could be a lot lighter. A passive 15" PA speaker from 1990 weighed 80-100lbs, a comparable powered speaker manufactured today might only weigh 50lbs. The uneducated knee jerk reaction is that the new box is cheap crap but that ignores things like neodymium magnet drivers, the miniaturization of electronics and the computer optimization of materials that has defined the last 30yrs.
Old 10th December 2020 | Show parent
  #72
Gear Nut
 
JohnnyShotgun's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by paul o View Post
If we're comparing concurrently available models then of course the powered version weighs more, but these days that isn't much more, for the EV boxes that are the subject of this thread for example the powered version is only 4lbs heavier.

If on the other hand we are comparing an old passive speaker to a new one then yeah.. the new powered box could be a lot lighter. A passive 15" PA speaker from 1990 weighed 80-100lbs, a comparable powered speaker manufactured today might only weigh 50lbs. The uneducated knee jerk reaction is that the new box is cheap crap but that ignores things like neodymium magnet drivers, the miniaturization of electronics and the computer optimization of materials that has defined the last 30yrs.
Yes, optimization of certain materials is important. An example for this are capacitors, they used to be bigger and now you can get smaller ones with the same capacitance and voltage.

But don’t forget consumerism and planned obsolescence, which is widely applied to electronic devices.

When I studied mechanical engineering, I used many times a universal milling machine, it was made in Zagreb, Yugoslavia; that machine was just beautiful, probably was 60 or 70 years old but it worked like a charm and was built like a tank, USSR is gone, the machine’s brand no longer exists, Yugoslavia is now Croatia, but the machine still works. That’s the way things should be made, built to last, to always outperform the best.
Old 10th December 2020 | Show parent
  #73
Lives for gear
 
Pro Sound Guy's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip Dixon View Post
Please explain to me how you make a speaker lighter by putting an amplifier into it. That seems to be impossible.
Example
I have a pair of EAW JF260s these are 12" inch two way passive. Each weighs 90lbs/40.8kg.

I have a pair of JBL PRX812 these are a 12" inch two way self powered.
These weigh 42.5lbs/19.3kg.

I have a pair of EV ZLX 12" inch two way self powered.
These weigh 34.4lbs/15.6kg.

Does this give you an answer?
Old 10th December 2020 | Show parent
  #74
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Pro Sound Guy's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyShotgun View Post
It seems like you like to answer what nobody asked but the actual question.
I answered your original question many posts back.
I said I would power those with [email protected] and up to [email protected] which is program 2X RMS for you passive boxes.

If after you spend another 400 to 500 dollars on an amp to drive those passive EV boxes it has been recommended over and over on this thread to instead purchase a set of those boxes self powered and the reasons why it is a recommendation for you.
Old 10th December 2020 | Show parent
  #75
Gear Maniac
 
You just compared two different speakers from even different manufacturers. Not a powered version versus a passive version. When you make dumb examples that is where you end up
Old 11th December 2020 | Show parent
  #76
Lives for gear
 
Pro Sound Guy's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip Dixon View Post
You just compared two different speakers from even different manufacturers. Not a powered version versus a passive version. When you make dumb examples that is where you end up
I did and I misunderstood your post about weight.
I understood you to mean all powered boxes are heavier then passive boxes.

However, comparing that model passive box to a powered box is 35lbs passive
and 36.9 pounds powered.

Class D plate amps are extremely light.

The difference between a passive EV ZLX and powered is like 4lbs.


I do apologize for misunderstanding your post though.
Old 12th December 2020
  #77
S21
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S21's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
If you're not installing the system in a venue, whatever gear you have needs to be loaded in and out.

The amps in powered speakers weigh less than the roadcased amps that go with passives. Especially if you are biamping.

Siamese XLR+power cables weigh about the same as the speakon cables they replace.
Old 17th December 2020
  #78
Here for the gear
 
I think powered speakers are the way to go currently, especially considering weight and ease of setup. Even if they add 5 pounds (sorry in the US, uhmm 2.5 kilos) to a speaker, how much does a rack of power amps with crossovers, channel strips, compressors, and eq’s weigh? Do wood boxes sound better then plastic boxes? I guess that depends on the brand, size of the speakers, and the listener. QSC has sold a lot of K-12’s and K12.2’s over the years and they are plastic boxes. Sure there’s a power cord involved with powered speakers, and they use cables to connect them just like non-powered tops. They also have everything a rack unit has, and even some mixers. Here is another option. I picked up a set of Samson (don’t laugh) battery powered 10 inch pa speakers earlier this year for small outdoor events. Plastic boxes, good clarity, and acceptable bass for what they are. Are they Myer’s or even QSC’s? No. Do they sound ok for small acoustic shows and outdoor wedding ceremonies? Yes, very much so (even though I didn’t get to put them through the torture test this year due to Covid). I have thought about putting some better speakers and horn drivers in them, but for what they are, they sound pretty good. Again, I don’t expect them to replace my main FOH speaker setup for bands and larger events. I also checked out the JBL options, but the reviews on the battery powered line array system with a sub, looked like I would be pissing my money away. What I would like to see is speaker manufactures build a plastic/wooden box, that can run for at least 8 hours continuous at high db’s, that doesn’t weigh a ton, doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, and has great sound and clarity. A battery powered subwoofer with a 15 inch speaker or larger option would be great too. I also remember that Carvin had a battery powered setup a couple of years ago, before they changed hands/went bankrupt, that I really liked (there was an option for a battery powered 10 inch sub), but that setup with 2 subs was over 5k US. I couldn’t justify it then and still can’t. Let’s think about it this way. Battery powered replaces a power cord, extension cords, and power strips. No power amps, conditioners, racks, or extra stuff to haul around. A good battery powered mixer option would be great too. Wireless connectivity would replace speaker cables. Speakers would need at least 8 hours of continuous use (or more) at high db’s. So, imagine showing up to a gig, setting up the FOH speakers and subs with no cables or power cords (connected wireless to your mixer), wireless drum mics (phantom powered from your battery powered mixer), wireless guitar/bass/piano/other instrument setups with battery powered DI boxes (with amp/cab sim options built in) that syncs with the the mixer or speakers (speaker option for small acoustic shows), battery powered in ears, and battery powered vocal mics. Connect your laptop/tablet/phone via Bluetooth (or optional usb cable) to your mixer for recording and plug ins, and bonus points if you could bypass a standalone mixer altogether and use just a laptop/tablet/phone synced to everything. You could literally play anywhere/anytime. I think this will be the new live setups in the next 5 years and I am all for it.
Old 18th December 2020 | Show parent
  #79
Lives for gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyShotgun View Post
But don’t forget consumerism and planned obsolescence, which is widely applied to electronic devices.

When I studied mechanical engineering, I used many times a universal milling machine, it was made in Zagreb, Yugoslavia; that machine was just beautiful, probably was 60 or 70 years old but it worked like a charm and was built like a tank, USSR is gone, the machine’s brand no longer exists, Yugoslavia is now Croatia, but the machine still works. That’s the way things should be made, built to last, to always outperform the best.
I can very much appreciate where you're coming from on this part of the equation . . . over here, the mid-century i.e. Monarch and Cincinnati machines have a loyal following, and the ones in decent shape will probably still be cutting true after we're all long gone. But if you ask a bunch of professionals for recommendations about what the best CNC conversion approach is for this old stuff . . . they'd probably tell you that it makes far more sense to just go get a new Haas and be done with it. It's not that they're ignorant of what the old-school approach has to offer, it's that they understand the realities of what makes sense for the demands of working as a professional machinist these days. The equipment itself isn't of much value if it doesn't fit within the workflow required to do quality work in the time available to make money doing it. They also have enough on their plate to deal with, and don't want to be without any sort of factory warranty, support, or recourse for problems.

The main reason you're getting pushback on the passive approach is because of your particular speakers . . . IMO they're certainly competent in context of their price and competitive manufacturers' offerings, but it doesn't take much to see that active speakers clearly dominate the value/performance/usability equation for this market segment, EV included. If they're what you have, and you like them, and they fit with your workflow . . . then certainly that's valid in my book. But as far as exemplifying the position of passive speakers being "better" than active . . . sorry, but the EKX-12 don't really cut the mustard in this regard. Kinda like a Grizzly milling machine . . . they have their place in the world, but not something any professional would have an attitude over.

Personally, the small rig that I have in-house is all passive . . . Danley tops and subs with Radian coax wedges. Given that Danley's offerings are mature, well-developed, and price-competitive in the passive versions, I decided to go this route. Had I gone with Meyers or Martins instead (both under consideration for the purchase), I would be running active, as that's IMO a better value in the Martin line, and the only way you can get the Meyer. The Radian wedges I inherited via somebody else's purchase, so that's that. For me, schlepping an amp rack is no big deal . . . I have a truck and a loading dock at my shop, and have never had a problem arranging any help I might need for load/unload at the gig. If I was storing this stuff at my house and loading in and out of an Explorer (like the typical target customer of $500 EV tops), then it would be a completely different story.

So to answer your original question . . . if you want to keep your current speakers, and want linear amps (not class D) that are classic, overbuilt products sort of in line with that old milling machine . . . then I'd assume that you've already come to peace with the fact that you'll be looking at older, heavier gear that can sound awesome but might require some extra maintenance to bring up to spec. In that case, take a pass on all that Chinese-built Crown XTi stuff and get the amps that were built in Elkhart, i.e. a Macro-tech or Com-tech 1200, 2400, 2402, etc. For DSP, the Ashly Protea units can be had pretty cheap (usually pulls from commercial installs where everything gets "upgraded") . . . the user-interface and software tools for them are a bit clunky, but they're well-made, reliable, and sound good - IMO a better choice than a Driverack.
Old 18th December 2020
  #80
Lives for gear
 
kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
I am fine with powered speakers. I am fine with unpowered speakers. With powered speakers you have power cables to run to the speakers, which is a pain. With unpowered speakers you have heavy speaker cables to run to the amp rack, which is a pain. And you also have the amp rack to carry, which is a pain.

Long cable runs between the amp and speakers are a problem; you don't want series resistance causing the speaker damping to change, so you want the shortest and largest gauge cable, but you don't want to lug around or pay for the large gauge cable, so with unpowered speakers laying out the stage for short speaker runs is critical.

On the other hand there is absolutely nothing worse than flying a powered speaker and then discovering it wasn't turned on and someone has to get up on the genie lift or someone has to drop the truss so you can flip a switch.

Class-D amps are a -whole- lot lighter and easier to get in and out of the truck, if that is a concern for you. If it's not, consider the QSC RMX series of amplifiers. Conventional topology, good sound, low output Z, very solid and very easy to repair when they fail. You can do better and you can do cheaper but I don't think you can do better and cheaper without going to something much more complex inside.
--scott
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