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New Studiolive AI speakers vs. QSC KW/K
Old 18th October 2013
  #1
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New Studiolive AI speakers vs. QSC KW/K

Hello, I would like to know if anyone has any experience with the new Studiolive PA speakers and how do they fare to QSC's KW and K series offering since they tend to be a bit pricier then the QSC. Are there any other offerings amongst the similar price range worth looking at. Have searched all over the net with no information yet.
Old 18th October 2013
  #2
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mixer mixer's Avatar
Other powered speakers: EV ELX, JBL PRX700, Yamaha DSR/DXR/DXS.

The Presonus speakers haven't even been released yet, it's still on pre-order (at least in the USA...)

Speaker - $ USD (dB max SPL)

Presonus 312ai - $1400 (131 dB)
EV ELX112P - $600 (132 dB)
JBL PRX712 - $850 (135 dB)
QSC KW122 - $1100 (131 dB)
QSC K12 - $850 (131 dB)
Yamaha DXR12 - $700 (132 dB)
Yamaha DSR12 - $900 (134 dB)

IMO you're overpaying when something as cheap as an EV can get as loud as the Presonus for half the money.
Old 18th October 2013
  #3
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You're discounting the sound quality, DSP, connectivity, and also assuming that the max output specs of speakers are accurate. Sure it may go to 135, but how does it sound at that level? How much do you need to eq a speaker and how much gain are you losing by doing so?
Old 18th October 2013
  #4
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Whoa calm down guys, the Presonus speakers haven't even released yet, they're on pre-order.

I'm just listing what's good on paper.

Old 18th October 2013
  #5
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Of course sound quality is important, but it's also subjective and not something easy to put in a product spec. Since the StudioLive AI speakers are not yet available and I believe what anyone may be able to talk about hearing were prototypes that incurred some changes getting into production then currently all you have for comparison is published specs, and even those may not be final.

To the OP, what is your application and what qualities for a speaker are important to you?
Old 18th October 2013
  #6
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Talking

You know for some reason I had not realized they were on pre order, very ignorant of me, sorry. Still I wonder if it's worth the wait and when will they be out. I'm looking to buy a PA system to use for about 200 to 1000mostly in doors or semi in-doors. I was pretty much sold on QSC given their reputation but since I thought they were already out I was asking for the SL AI. I was looking for EXCELLENT sound quality before anything. I play keyboards/piano and I know how horrible it feels when your piano sounds honky or smushed because of the speakers. Or when the strings just pop out harsh the high end and sound totally out of place. I am willing to pay for quality as I have played through different speakers and there's a hell of alot of difference between speakers sound on di and vocals on different brands.

Also as I play mostly rock(but do play other stuff for paying gigs) I am looking for something that can reach moderately good levels, not ears blowing off as I am heavily against it.

And yeah I'm willing to pay what it takes. And lug it around as well with carts help of course. Most soundmen where I live dont have a royal clue and many times I have found myself to give them excessive suggestions to the point they get pissed. I'm not saying I'm great. However let me state an example; there's this local place I went to play and I took my trusty radioshack meter and it was like about 110db averege spiking alot more. The guy charges the band for doing live sound from the SIDE of the venue no ipad or nothing, doesn't even move to where the people actually are at EVER. Plus a friend went to ask him if he could lower the channel faders cuz they were ALL over 0db (more like max db) including master and he just responded: "that way you wont hear anything" That's actually one of the most visited venues of my area so I figure people who go there are just half deaf already. Other stuff just includes; unintelligible vocals and lyrics,excessive feedbacks in HUGE budget productions, excessive time effects, random noises, bad/no monitoring, rude attitudes and big egos etc. So if we've got to carry and buy our own stuff I'm fine with that, I've mixed myself other people's shows before and I'm also into recording and mixing my own stuff. So yeah that's long story long.

But in terms of budget something around 10k (w/ monitors) seems ok. But willing to dish out less or more for the necessary quality. Music is not my hobby and I also gig for a living so yeah chip in suggestions. Sorry if I seemed like a hater in my last paragraph as I have much respect for good engineers for outstanding or good work, sadly lots of people over here are not trained or know barely anything audio just know how to plug some speakers and move some faders.
Old 19th October 2013
  #7
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Edited post so it actually makes some sense now. I had to re-evualuate the writing because I was on a tablet(kind of difficult to write when keyboard just pops in and out of the screen randomly) and ran out of battery.
Old 19th October 2013
  #8
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I heard the PreSonus (328Ai" over the "matching" 18" subs) at a demo at Ben Harper's studio in Nashville about six weeks ago. They sounded great, both on test files, including my room-tuning .AIFFs of Crooked Still (Calvary), Sarah Jarosz (Come On Up to the House), Wailin' Jennys (Storm Comin'), Chris Jones (No Sanctuary), Donald Fagen (IGY) and Toto (Dave's Gone Skiing)... and with live singer/songwriters performing through them. They were as good as I've heard, small-form, outside of well-tuned major d+b or Meyer line array systems. That said, they were no more impressive than my current RCF ART322As over Mackie 1801 subs... at a 50% higher (suggested) pricing.

I'll likely be a RCF guy until I stop doing what I'm doing. Mileage may vary.

One old guy's experience and opinion, worth every penny paid for it.

HB

Last edited by hbphotoav; 23rd October 2013 at 06:40 AM.. Reason: Misrememberated the PreSonus speaker model names...
Old 20th October 2013
  #9
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Hi, thanks for the reply. Have not heard about the RCF, what would you recommend for my needs, are they comparable to QSC in sound quality and volume?
Old 21st October 2013
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azndnbdub View Post
Other powered speakers: EV ELX, JBL PRX700, Yamaha DSR/DXR/DXS.

The Presonus speakers haven't even been released yet, it's still on pre-order (at least in the USA...)

Speaker - $ USD (dB max SPL)

Presonus 312ai - $1400 (131 dB)
EV ELX112P - $600 (132 dB)
JBL PRX712 - $850 (135 dB)
QSC KW122 - $1100 (131 dB)
QSC K12 - $850 (131 dB)
Yamaha DXR12 - $700 (132 dB)
Yamaha DSR12 - $900 (134 dB)

IMO you're overpaying when something as cheap as an EV can get as loud as the Presonus for half the money.
"as loud as" is totally misleading without even going into the discrepancies on how different makers rate their products.
Biggest Things are:
1. The Presonys are 3 way boxes. I have pretty much givens up on 2way boxes for articulation at real volume levels. The Yamahas are the best at this for a 2way box, IMO.
2. The Presonus boxes have what used to be called "Guiness Focusing" when Dave Guiness was employed by EAW. This greatly reduces high frequency reflections within the high frequency device and greatly improves clarity. If you have not heard it, you don't know.
Basically Apples to Oranges.
Old 21st October 2013
  #11
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It's apparently a form of Dave's TQ or Temporal Equalization from his work at Fulcrum Acoustic which goes beyond addressing internal horn reflections and can potentially be performed with a variety of DSP devices. My understanding is that while Dave Gunness is providing input, the actual speaker design and final implementation of the processing is by PreSonus. One important aspect with the PreSonus boxes and many of the Fulcrum Acoustic boxes, as well as those of some other manufacturers, is the coincident or coaxial arrangement of the mid and high drivers.
Old 21st October 2013
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KDJFC View Post
Hi, thanks for the reply. Have not heard about the RCF, what would you recommend for my needs, are they comparable to QSC in sound quality and volume?
In my little world, output levels are decidedly less important than sound quality. If I wanted mainly SPL, I'd have stayed with my oldskool Crest/Altec Lansing/JBL all-horn-loaded rig, and the 24' truck needed to haul it all around.

When I downsized my rig in 2008 to better match the gigs I wanted to do, sound quality was my first requirement. I owned JBL EON15s (usually used as wedge monitors) and had heard Mackie SRM450s and several upscale powered boxes from EAW and MeyerSound. I couldn't afford the upscale, so I began listening to every small-form powered system I could. The EV SxA360, "new" EON, new Mackie HD, DAS, and the then-new QSC K-series were all on the radar.

The RCF line was introduced to me by a friend who works with the Nashville Symphony. I saw a box onstage there (used as a foldback for a pops concert) and asked what it was. His answer... "The best plastic box on the planet." Strong words. Having heard his work for a decade, I ordered a pair. IMO, he was right.

Major difference (and one of the reasons the EAW and Meyer cabs sound like they do)... the 2" HF device (with a 2.5" voice coil), coupled with over two decades of building small, powered speakers (they OEM'd the original EON line for JBL, and supplied drivers to EAW from their early days) and one of the best-sounding horns I've heard outside well-designed and implemented line arrays. The 322As are rated at max SPL of 128dB... and since getting to 131-132 requires doubling the power amp output, increasing the weight (and cost), and since I'm actively engaged at protecting my hearing at this late stage of my career (avoiding loud, loud gigs)... well, then. Color me satisfied... even "happy". As are my clients.

In short... you can have my six ART322a's when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers. I'll upgrade subs long before I shed the ARTs. They do everything I want, better than anything I've heard remotely within the size- and price-range. Your mileage, of course, may vary. I don't mind mixing for my clients with installed QSC K's... but I usually mutter, at some point in the evening... "I wish these were my 322s..."

322As are discontinued... ART422A is the replacement. http://www.rcf.it/en_US/products/pro...art-422-a-mkii Not available at GC or most other mass-market providers. I got mine from RMC Audio Direct in Knoxville, TN (http://www.rmcaudiodirect.com/RCF-Speakers-s/130.htm) and you can also order them from B&H in NYC.

HB
Old 21st October 2013
  #13
KEL
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I think the Presonus dual 8" are going to be very interesting boxes.

I like the Yamaha offerings, RCF too.

My QSC have never given me problems. any of those would be no hadicap towards great sound
Old 22nd October 2013
  #14
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Given that the other speakers have been out and have been proven in the wild - by companies that make amplifiers and speakers for a living. Presonus makes neither, and seeing as how their StudioLive mixers have had issues, I would think going with a known quantity vs. "beta testing" an expensive unknown speaker would be an easy choice.

That being said, SOS did a favorable review of their studio nearfield monitors, but they're also priced around $299 a pair...

I'd avoid Presonus and go with QSC, Yamaha, etc. - what sounds good to your ears at the price you can afford.
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