IS THERE an Audiophile Club Soundsystem? - diyAudio
Go Back   Home > Forums > Live Sound > PA Systems

PA Systems A forum for discussion of all parts of a sound reinforcement or DJ system: loudspeakers, mixers (desks) etc.

Please consider donating to help us continue to serve you.

Ads on/off / Custom Title / More PMs / More album space / Advanced printing & mass image saving
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 14th December 2008, 07:49 PM   #1
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Default IS THERE an Audiophile Club Soundsystem?

Hi,

I'm new to this forum, but really enjoy reading all the valuable opinions by the experts on this board already!
You guys really know what you're talking about and it's been a great source of information to me.
I haven't followed many of the topics covered here, but some specifics one's, so please forgive me if my question has already been discussed in some form in the past!

I've been working as a Dj/events organiser for a number of years now and have come across/heard a great variety of clubs, sound systems and equipment and I'd say that the majority of times I'm not really impressed with the results I hear, but also realise that I haven't come across all the outstanding set up's that are out there somewhere! (For suggestions which systems you rate, I'd love to find out and check it out if can)

I suppose much of it has to do where priorities are set (I.e. focus on selling drinks rather than sound as a destination venue) and the way the chain is managed, from designing the venue (acoustics, sound proofing) to installation and maintenace and optimisation of the equipment, and they way Dj's treat it. So maybe most of the times we just don't get to hear what could be heard? Having said that, I do for example rate Plastic People in London, which uses a TurboSound set-up and Formula Sound Mixer. I hear good reports about Love in NYC, which was designed by Gary Stewart and Sapporo Hall in Hokaido is based on Klispchorns and old school UreiAmps/Mixer. So 3 totall differnt set ups.. all sounding good.

Then there's also 'purpose' of the party/event, they type of music that's played on a particular system. I know I'm generalising here, but these are the questions I ask myself leading to the next question.

Is an audiophile inspired setup realistic in a small club environment?

Ok I'm gonna be more specific and start from what I have experienced.
I love hearing MUSIC (not necessarily repetitive beats) on a good system, one where the music sounds defined, where there's a good separation of mid/highs and bass of the different parts and a focus, where music sounds warm and even silky and where there's no ear fatigue to the listener, where you can hear the music clearly but also talk to the guy/girl standing next to you. You get the picture.

You might think this sounds like a home/studio set up I'm talking here.

Ok, let's follow that thought and here's what I like: for neutral but still 'big' studio sound, vintage 2 way JBL's, such as 4325 or 4330, more 'coloured' sound old Tannoys and my personal faves Klipsch LaBelle's.
I even thought about investing in some of the more 'heavy performancy' Lansing built/or sel-built JBL's and buy (a minimum of) 2 pairs, power them with some old 800 Watt Crowns each.
Another 'idea' is to use 2 pairs of Klipsch la Belle's, they do sound awseome on the midrange and if you're into underground 70s/80s dancemusic where live instrumentation is part of the style, coupled with a nice sub bass. (I've read reports that someone in the States used several pairs of these for an out door accoustic music preformance with Crowns/Qsc. and catered for a couple of thousand punters! hmm, can this apply to more dancy music?)
As for improving overall quality I'm looking into modifying, optimising the system, perhaps using better crossovers maybe adding a more powerful horns with cones etc. (I.e. Altec, ATC, Precision Device etc..more details to be discussed, hopefully by you guys).
I can't specify exact frequency range, but I think max output is at around 120 db. Something closer to an old cinema system set-up than studio. Has any of you guys heard the ALTEC VOICE OF THE THEATER before? I'd like to know what they sound like.

I'm looking to use my 'imaginary ideal set-up' in a small club around 200 capacity, preferably with a low ceiling. Organic dance/disco rather than electronic music. Other components I'm considering: phono pre-amps and bozak/urei original mixers (their output is much better compared to say a Pioneer Mixer. I think they even beat the Allen & Heath)

Now am I'm being unrealistic using this type of set-up for a small club?
Is there a danger that it might not be powerful enough/a risk of blowing up the x-overs?

I've played on Martin Audio, RF, Turbo Sound , Wattco, Funktion 1...I agree that the Funktion one is a powerful system, clean sounding, good 'throw' when used outdoors, but to me almost too clinical sounding. Great for Djs playing electronic on a laptop, but no so ideal creating drama with 'organic/instruments' produced music. Not that I don't like electronic music, but I'm just in love with that 'valve' quality sound with an added omph and listening and dancing to music that way. I think it's gotta be experienced by more music enthusiasts having a good time out, because that's how magic can happen.

I'd be grateful to hear you experts thoughts on this, and more specifically how this can be translated into reality.

cheers!
  Reply With Quote
Old 14th December 2008, 08:11 PM   #2
diyAudio Member
 
Moondog55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Norlane; Geelong: Victoria: Australia
Hi This isn't an answer as I really don't know enought to do so.
Just a comment, I'd probably visit more clubs and listen and watch ( and perhaps dance until my legs and balance give out ) if it wasn't for a couple of things.
Most dance clubs are too loud and I want to keep what little hearing I have left and most sound is heavily compressed and lifeless.
I have friends with bands and every time they ask my opinion of the sound they get offended when I tell them it would sound much better if it were 6 /10 dB less loud.
Also most sound systems hear in big rooms are peaking on the kick drum at around 100/120Hz. OK if all you want to do is dance and get lost in the beat.
So I have to ask my own question, "What do the patrons at this venue want??"
There was a thread about a year ago asking the ame question and chasing really deep bass in a large venue.
It wont be cheap ( at least by my tight-**** standards ) first thing throw the compressor in the bin and then see if your venue will actually support high quality audio, most will not; too reverberant.
__________________
QUOTE" The more I know, the more I know, I know (insert maniacal laugh >here<) NOTHING"
  Reply With Quote
Old 14th December 2008, 08:35 PM   #3
HK26147 is offline HK26147  United States
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Quote:
Has any of you guys heard the ALTEC VOICE OF THE THEATER before? I'd like to know what they sound like.
Yes, They used to be very common up until the 70's.
Very loud, but these were short horns, so you didn't get much output in the bottom octaves.
If cost were not an issue, AvantGuarde horns are refuted to get a lot of use in European Venues

Quote:
Is an audiophile inspired setup realistic in a small club environment?
Certainly there is a lot of room for improvement, as you said, the primarily focus of most places is not optimum sound, but max profit.
A lot of the problem is the owners don't design the room with acoustics in mind.
Even the best systems with a lot of headroom can only do so much to overcome the bad acoustics of most venues.
  Reply With Quote
Old 14th December 2008, 09:50 PM   #4
Pano is offline Pano  United States
diyAudio Moderator
 
Pano's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Milliways
Blog Entries: 4
It's a lofty goal and it can be done. But it's not easy
How do I know ? - I tried it about 20 years ago in France.
The system was based on these speakers:
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
(not ones like them, this exact pair)

Electronics and mixers came and went, always sounded fantastic. But what a pain in the butt for a road rig!

You have to ask yourself, what do most punters want?
Loud! Oh, they claim they don't, but they do, really.
You might want to read "Why Louder Sounds Better" in Mix Magazine.


Quality is aways secondary to 95% of the public. Though they will always tell you otherwise.
So instead of working my butt off to acheive an audiophile sound with oversized, expensive, funky speakers I can get 95% of the subjective result with a pair of little Mackie powered speakers. And get 100% of the money while being faster and more reliable, too.

So much of what makes up pro sound is - and has to be - reliablity. And fast setup and tear down. Those are very important when you're trying to make a living.

But you asked about club systems and they can be easier. And I've always worked to improve the SQ of the systems I've worked with. I believe a lot of sound techs do. And if you get to work in the same room night after night, it's easier.

I've worked with some modern Electrovoice boxes that I though sounded damn good - just plug and play. Crown amps or Crest. Ditto a lot of the Meyer Sound gear ($$) Then we get into mixing consoles, which is a whole other mess. (So glad the area of the shreaky Yamaha PM4000-5000 consoles is past)

That's my more than 2 cents worth. I applaud anyone who can do "Hi-Fi" PA. It's possible, but the odds are against you. I have heard it "done right" in some top end cinemas.
__________________
Take the Speaker Voltage Test!
  Reply With Quote
Old 14th December 2008, 11:03 PM   #5
HK26147 is offline HK26147  United States
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
panomaniac: I enjoyed those vintage pics:
One thing I think is important to mention to johnnyld is that the stuff you posted was designed and primarily used for an in house system, NOT moved around daily, like todays touring gear.
I had to move the A-7 around 30+ years ago, though it was meant to be part of a stationary system.

Quote:
(So glad the area of the shreaky Yamaha PM4000-5000 consoles is past)
I have to say that the Yamaha LS series, the Yamaha M3000 console, PM 3000 & Soundcraft Spirit II Monitor console, that I am familiar with are capable of outstanding sound, or dreadful sound if the operator is a monkey who sets the board to suck.
* Recently I have been doing research on contract riders and related issues.
On the specificity of equipment standards: A common approach for bands who have to rely on the venue to provide a sound system for a performer, is to set guidelines.
They can include a demand for a specific SPL level with tolerances within a bandpass. To make matters simple many include a short list of acceptable sound platforms and name brands.
Today's riders still accept the Yamaha models mentioned earlier, and Crown amps and JBL drivers.
Some also include an unacceptable - do not use list.
IMVHO: There is a vast difference between the sound of source material on a PA system using lesser grade components, and one using good drivers, well implemented, with clean powerful amps.
Also what could be done in a permanent install, could be optimized for that particular environment, vs the considerations that limit a sound system that has to be robust, reliable, transportable and made to provide even quality sound at a high level ( 120db *- That's VERY loud btw ).
My advice also would be to define and balance your expectations with your acceptable limitations.
Syd
  Reply With Quote
Old 14th December 2008, 11:42 PM   #6
diyAudio Member
 
Moondog55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Norlane; Geelong: Victoria: Australia
Appreciated the link to the article, in my case say " Bass players father"
regards
Ted
__________________
QUOTE" The more I know, the more I know, I know (insert maniacal laugh >here<) NOTHING"
  Reply With Quote
Old 15th December 2008, 02:26 PM   #7
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
thanks guys for your honest opinions.

Well I'm still in the planning stage and want to learn what could be done.
PAnomaniac, your design looks awesome, much respect for trying to achieve this!
So how did it sound in France back then? What components did you use?
Was this set-up based on Altec drivers? Would love to hear more!

Loud as in Volume mentioned by you earlier on:

Sure -it seems that most punters are morons when it comes to that, but it's time
for change! MAny clubs in Japan follow good design principles, they're just that way inclined and I'd say Europe has a lot of catching up to do.
I'm only referring to improving a small club environment, once you go 'bigger' the systems we're talking about are totally out of the question!

I have to explain further: I'm not into a 'loud; sound (Ok I mentioned a 120 db tops system design, but I'd rarely play it much over 100 db) I just like a system that doesn't have to be pushed to the max, but one that can give you nice quality 'audiophile' playback at lower levels, so I'm giving it a little extra room, but maybe I'm being over-optimistic and I'd have to settle for less in my initial planning.

The system will be permanently installed, in a space I can call my own.
Much will go into soundproofing and carpeting the place, avoiding concrete and tiles, going for low ceiling as opposed to open space etc.
As for punters, I'd like the venue to become a pure destination place, so I'm going for a very specific market... I've worked with plenty of audiophile-inclined DJ's, the collector types (NOT ravers/live venue) and crowds who appreciate music and art, and know exactly what they want. So, i think we've got a niche market, yes ...


Like I said you can't beat listening to music on say a pair of klipsch la scala's and a big tube sound, so I'm not gonna settle for MAckies!. Sure if you in the hire/mobile disco trade it's a different story........ but I'm after an audiophile soundsystem (even if I have to learn how to get there, but with informed decisions) and still my fear is:

is it feasible, especially considering this comment, I think he was referring to one of my sugesstion's of utilising a JBL 4325/4330 type design

'Using studio monitors is one option as you have mentioned, however at the levels you need you will be pushing direct radiator loudspeakers way into distortion. Although I have seen this done successfully using large Genelec loudspeakers in Tokyo, but you need a lot and some cleaver designing to prevent acoustic issues.

Using compression drivers or line arrays are also out (in my view), due to distortion inherent with compression drivers and the time response of line arrays, this will kill your attack and transient response behaviour.'

:::::

I suppose it'll be best for me to get a bit more into the technical data of the drivers/cones/crossovers I think could work and let you guys comment on it.

I have little experience building my own system form scratch, but I will collate all the info I need and then either try to test what I want (and I'm prepared to travel for this) or ask an expert cabinet designer to build me a system with the optimised spec in mind.

I still want to do it this way , rather than settle with a Funktion 1 (which is really not bad at all in a club environment, but really deviating from the audiophile approach)
  Reply With Quote
Old 15th December 2008, 03:22 PM   #8
HK26147 is offline HK26147  United States
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Quote:
however at the levels you need you will be pushing direct radiator loudspeakers way into distortion. .. but you need a lot and some cleaver designing to prevent acoustic issues.
The last outdoor party I ran with portions of my friend's "A" line gear.
4 2206H, 2 2385A, 2 2242 JBL drivers powered by 2 Crown Macro 2400 and a smaller Crown for the 2" compression drivers. The mixer was a Soundcraft Spirit II.
The sound is clean & crisp and recorded material sounds better than many home systems I've heard.
You can add up the costs and see it doesn't come cheap.

Quote:
Using compression drivers or line arrays are also out (in my view), due to distortion inherent with compression drivers and the time response of line arrays, this will kill your attack and transient response behaviour.'
I would have to disagree, it's not the design but the implementation. There are of course cheap CD drivers and very good ones.

BTW: Define your venue - Think of your area in terms of volume and some math can be applied ( roughly ), to get you started.
If I had complete control of a venue I would chose to fly some, or all of the system ( highly dependent on the venue of course ). And maximize 1st ( direct ) occurrence of sound and suppress the bulk of reflected sound, especially if the reflected path is greater than direct by over 35' . Probably with acoustic clouds that could be adjusted so you have tuning options
  Reply With Quote
Old 15th December 2008, 06:55 PM   #9
Pano is offline Pano  United States
diyAudio Moderator
 
Pano's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Milliways
Blog Entries: 4
Hey guys - as I said before, this is a noble goal. Really would like to see it happen. And in your own space, it's much more likely to.

Johhny - do you plan live music to start, or just DJ stuff? The needs are somewhat different. But starting with a DJ rig will the the easiest.
Just mentioning this because what I've found works best in small venues is to let the musicians provide their own sound. I.E. bass amp, guitar amp, no reinforcement for the drums, etc. Then you need worry only about the vocals and that's pretty easy. Piano is hard if you have to do it.
If the space isn't huge, then this has always worked best for me. It's amazing how loud guitar amps can get!

As for what to use - stick to the good stuff as much as you can. JBL, EV, RCF, etc. A lot of guys here use some of the newer pro brands like 18 Sound, B&C, Beyma - I've used Selenium. The trick is to use them within their limits and don't push too hard. Most pro crossovers are made to keep the drivers from blowing up. Important for most PA! But the big cinema gear often crosses lower, to get more out of the horns. You can hear the drivers stressing at the high levels played in most movie palaces these days. The loudness wars are not fought only on CDs.....

There are some good amps out there, even used. I've always like Crest and Hafler the best. You'll have to see what you can find in the UK. I'll agree with HK26147 that an old Soundcraft mixing desk will serve. I've used them and liked them. My two favorite mixing consoles of all time where odd balls. An old Hill 24 channel board and a Studer (all balanced) made for radio. Very sweet. No ne else would use them - not enough knobs and buttons!
If you're starting with DJ stuff, you won't need a huge mixer - maybe an 8 channels.

If you can give us more details on the size of the venue and what you plan to do with it we can provide more ideas, FWIW.
__________________
Take the Speaker Voltage Test!
  Reply With Quote
Old 15th December 2008, 09:47 PM   #10
Ron E is offline Ron E  United States
diyAudio Member
 
Ron E's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: USA, MN
IMO, HiFi PA rigs do exist, they are called Movie Theater Sound Systems - not "home theater" crap. Notice that in a movie theater acoustics are also very carefully controlled and acoustic treatments may cost as much as the sound system to get an equivalent sound quality in a club.

Oh, and FWIW, I have never heard Altec VOT's, but they are reported to have a frequency response like:
__.------.__
where modern stuff is more like:
_.-----------._

---so VOT's are heavy on the midrange and have less highs and lows than modern stuff.

Just my $0.02.
__________________
Our species needs, and deserves, a citizenry with minds wide awake and a basic understanding of how the world works. --Carl Sagan
Armaments, universal debt, and planned obsolescence--those are the three pillars of Western prosperity. Aldous Huxley
  Reply With Quote

Reply


Hide this!Advertise here!
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Athens Audiophile Club Bonsai Solid State 11 3rd June 2009 04:59 AM
Dallas Audiophile Club sparkle Everything Else 0 9th January 2009 07:54 AM
Gorogoro SoundSystem gorogoro Introductions 1 10th March 2008 04:13 PM
12v portable soundsystem tRasH Car Audio 7 13th July 2005 01:54 AM
pirateaudio soundsystem vin-e Introductions 2 19th January 2004 11:09 PM


New To Site? Need Help?

All times are GMT. The time now is 07:22 AM.


vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 1999-2014 diyAudio

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2