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Old 16th March 2013, 08:00 PM   #1
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Default Why no serious technical reviews of DJ/PA speakers?

Let me apologize up front for what will sound like a rant.

Why is there no ezine/website/forum/magazine that seriously reviews DJ/PA loudspeaker systems? By serious, I mean measuring frequency response, dispersion, distortion, true rms power handling, true sensitivity, etc., just like there is for home stereo or so called 'high-end" speaker systems.

The stuff certainly seems expensive enough to warrant it, but I've never seen a true review. The manufacturers don't want it? The people buying it really don't care what it sounds like, as long as it is loud and reliable? Mobile DJ's care only about size and weight? It really doesn't matter because it is going to be EQ'd to death?

Does the world really need another 15" woofer crossed over at 3khz to a tweeter, or worse, a piezo?

Am I missing out on something here?
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Old 16th March 2013, 09:48 PM   #2
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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Just my opinion...

Audiophile reviews tend to be filled with rhetoric and jargon. "The soundstaging was excellent though the upper midrange tended to be a bit grainy on dynamic sections." None of that has much value to pro audio. If I am looking for a PA system, having some 2db dip or bump at 2kHz is irrlevant, I will ring that out with the graphic as I set up the system. And system is the operative concept. I don;t set a pair of speakers up on poles and expect them to be the entire equation. That isn't EQing anything "to death," that is smoothing out the bumps. Radio and the recording industry might EQ something to death and compress it to within an inch of its life, but this is live sound, we don;t need to do that.

I have a mixer, with EQ on each channel, and I will pan each channel as I see fit. I have processing gear like 31 band graphic EQ, and maybe some sort of compressor/limiter, I might even have a feedback fighting processor. Maybe i am triamping or biamping, so that adds an active crossover. All of that is set up together and adjusted for optimal sound. If something sounds like a cardboard box, sure I want to know about it, but in general, I know that most PA speakers will sound reasonable if used within their limits. I am not going to buy something with piezos, I don't need a review to tell me that.

I know my audience. They are there to be entertained, they are not sitting in the "sweet spot" critically listening to every nuance of Mahler #2 as played by the London Philharmonic as compared to the Deutch Grammofon recording of..." and so on. The audience is dancing, laughing, talking among themselves, even singing along with the music. They don;t care if the soundstaging is a bit uncertain between 3kHz and 5kHz. In fact in clubs I always mixed in mono anyway. Otherwise you get the tables on the left side hearing only the left channel and the ones on the right only the right channel. Wait, where did the horns and backup singers go? Oh they are on the other side.

DJ rigs are even more distant from hifi, exagerated thumpin subwoofers are part of the game. It drives the beat, and drives the dancers onto the floor, which sells more beer.


Does the world NEED another 15 with horn? No. I am not sure the world NEEDs even one. If Peavey makes a 15 and horn cab, Yorkville or JBL don;t hop in and make them too just to satisfy a world need, they make them to keep market share. Every dollar Peavey gets for a speaker is one less dollar JBL or Yorkville gets.


There already are reviews though. You can read the comments at places that sell online. Magazines like Mix and EQ do reviews and also market comparisons "The great floor monitor wedge shootout" or similar. So such reviews do exsist. What I get from such articles is more a matter of pracrtical concerns such as conectivity, flyability, transportability.

A DJ does care alot about size and weight. A rack with three Peavey IPR1600 amps (1600 watts and only 7 pounds each) versus three other amps of similar power but with large transformers at 45 pounds each is a major consideration. If I am working by myself, I need to know I can lift the speakers onto their poles by myself. SOme terrific EAW cabs that weigh as much as small car are not so great in that case.

These systems are generally heard in isolation, meaning we very rarely hear two systems side by side for a real comparison. And consider the audience again, I bet if you set up a system to sound nice and have the low cut turned on, no one would notice until you turned the cut on and off to show them. THEN they'd hear the difference.

There are pro audio forums for people who want to discuss this. Manufacturer data sheets usually include things like fly hardware, but a touring pro may have needs that are not spelled out, and would benefit from the discussion. But that is pretty specialized at that level.
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Old 16th March 2013, 09:48 PM   #3
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I think this subject is for professional users, not DIYers so try another blog, DV247 maybe?
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Old 16th March 2013, 09:49 PM   #4
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Yes magazines may not want to alienate potential advertisers.
There are occasional "shootouts" but new products get introduced/modified/dropped regularly so keeping up to date is difficult, prices also can fluctuate.

Prosound Web/Harmony Central/Gearsluts/Sound Forum Networks etc. have reviews from people using the equipment in the field which may be more important than a test from the lab. The reviews from many Hi-Fi magazines are so full of hyperbole, voodoo and nonsense about flat frequency response it is hard to take them seriously. At least with most pro-sound boxes they list the dispersion of the horn and F-3/F-10 points.
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Old 17th March 2013, 03:26 PM   #5
Mid Low is offline Mid Low  United States
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I agree maybe there are speakers that u can't really listen to them unless you buy them and some feedback on how they sound what quality material you are getting are important would be neat i have also at some time have questioned myself too why aren't any magazine or anything i could get professional advice.
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Old 18th March 2013, 12:41 PM   #6
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Thanks to all who replied, especially Enzo's, who apparently has real experience as a working DJ.

Yes, I know there are so-called reviews of DJ speakers from places that sell online, but IMHO many of them are self-serving, and even the best are a seat-of-the-pants comparison only to the equipment they have had experience with.

I stand by my original statement. I can not find a single, serious, technical review of a DJ loudspeaker. If you can, just point me to the URL, I'd like to see it.
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Old 18th March 2013, 07:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanginon View Post
I can not find a single, serious, technical review of a DJ loudspeaker. If you can, just point me to the URL, I'd like to see it.
Done:

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Old 19th March 2013, 10:44 PM   #8
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"Why is there no ezine/website/forum/magazine that seriously reviews DJ/PA loudspeaker systems?"

Maybe because Bose would sue them out of business?
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Old 19th March 2013, 10:47 PM   #9
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They'd probably team up with Monster and royally screw them to the wall. Or is that royally shove a pole up their port?
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Old 20th March 2013, 02:07 PM   #10
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Well, thanks to turbodawg, I sit corrected. That is the kind of DJ speaker review I have wanted to read.
Before I, or anyone else, bought speakers at that price, that is exactly the kind of information you would want. I bet they have a great mid-range with decent dispersion.

I have never heard of these speakers before. IMHO the bazillions of Peaveys, Yorkvilles, Communitys, EV's, JBL's, etc., which can also be expensive, should be reviewed like that.
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