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Old 8th December 2010, 08:41 PM   #11
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In my experience most of the guys in charge of the concert PAs have broken/deaf/damaged hearing due to the insanely loud SPL levels, and it shows... They often put the highs way too loud, for starters.
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Old 8th December 2010, 09:24 PM   #12
Xoc1 is offline Xoc1  United Kingdom
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Without doubt the best PA system I have ever heard is the old Turbosound Flashlight system. The last time I heard this was a Glastonbury festival (UK).
The system there used the single 21" horn cabinets for bass and was a 4 way horn loaded point source system.
Pink Floyd used this system on their Division Bell Tour.
Most PA systems are limited when in use due to sound regulations, but one morning when I was in my tent camping above the main stage it was apparent that the PA was run without any limiters or compression. The PA guy played Pop Culture by Thomas Dolby (Album - Aliens Ate My Buick) and the sound was amazingly dynamic and the ground shook with the bass.
I have been to Glastonbury festival a few times since and have heard Nexo, lacoustics and Martin Audio Line array systems (but unfortunately missed the Funktion One Point source system) None of the line array systems can come close!
Recent systems that have impressed me have included D & B Audiotechnik J series line array (Muse Teignmouth Homecoming Gig), and Turbosound Aspect (Leftfield 2010 UK Tour)
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Old 8th December 2010, 09:26 PM   #13
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The Eagles had one of the best live/sounding shows, when they did the "Hell freezes over" tour. The sound was a beautiful mix, and for being outdoors at a football stadium, it sounded great. The second best was Boston's "Walk on" tour. Both of these bands had a good spectrum of sound, which you could feel the beats, but you did not get "ear fatigue", which makes me feel nauseated, with a dull headache.

On the other side, the loudest one I have been to was AC/DC's "Ball Breaker" tour, and a close second was Extreme's "Take Us Alive" tour. Both of these concerts I wish I had earplugs, after the AC/DC one, I started taking earplugs to every concert. When you can't hear the phone ring, 3 days after a show, you know it was too loud.

Last edited by warpedhifi; 8th December 2010 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 8th December 2010, 09:29 PM   #14
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I saw Status Quo in 1977 and couldnt hear for 3 days afterwards.
Definitely the loudest band I have ever heard.

Saw them again 3 years ago and the sound level was much more tolerable but they sounded very good.
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Old 8th December 2010, 09:33 PM   #15
Xoc1 is offline Xoc1  United Kingdom
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On the other hand the worst sound I have ever heard was at a Ramones gig, the sound was totally unintelligible! You could not even tell what song the band was playing.
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Old 8th December 2010, 09:46 PM   #16
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The AC/DC concert had the worst sound, just too loud, and the acoustics of the Colosseum did not help either. Another bad one was Green Jello, they played a concert in a warehouse, and thus again the acoustics were terrible. Which made them sound bad.
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Old 8th December 2010, 11:24 PM   #17
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The Ac/DC "For Those About to Rock" was the loudest(and pretty clean too) concert I have been to.......
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Old 8th December 2010, 11:43 PM   #18
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Originally Posted by flavio81 View Post
In my experience most of the guys in charge of the concert PAs have broken/deaf/damaged hearing
WHAT?? Can you speak up, please??

Sometimes it's not the P.A., it's the tech and the musicians. On the same P.A. (mine) I've heard awful sound and great.

Bela Fleck and Jesse Colin Young come to mind. Both musicians and soundmen care about the sound. Result? Great sound. It really boils down to what you care about and what you want.

FYI, yes, those big Marshal stacks are empty, just for show.
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Old 8th December 2010, 11:55 PM   #19
lgreen is offline lgreen  United States
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I've seen AC/DC, the Stones, Iron Maden, Scorpions, Rush, Dokken, Rage Against the Machine, Candelbox, Counting Crows, Priest, Dire Straits, Metallica (3 times), Elvis Costello, Genesis, etc.... countless shows in the '80s when all I did was listen to music and try to graduate with a useful degree from school.

None of these shows had very good, clean sound. Everything was always too loud and distorted, I started with the earplugs early. I will say that the loudest show was at my school MUB, and was the Smithereens. A small room and they used a PA designed for a stadium. It was crazy loud. I mean crazy loud. This coming from a guy who loves loud music.

Even circque de soleil has a crappy PA to make their live orchestra sound lousy.
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Old 9th December 2010, 12:21 AM   #20
imix500 is offline imix500  United States
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It's really easy to blame bad sound on the band engineer, but without standing next to the guy or girl it's impossible to know the why. There are dozens of variables that can ruin the day for sound, and those same variables can work in favor the next night.
It's possible AC/DC doesn't use all the Marshall amps now, but not so long ago they absolutely were active and not just scenery.
Metallica in a roundabout way also owns their pa, which is almost exclusively Meyer. We work with their provider whenever they do the garden or another venue where they need extra cabinets. Lots of extra cabinets. The sub array they and the boys at Meyer came up with for their most recent tour is CRAZY.

The best concert sound I have heard is actually The Met Opera during their summer parks tour. I may be a little biased because it's our pa, but I am usually used in a capacity, along with several other techs, to hear flaws between the main M3D arrays and the 8 or so delay zones of MILO and MICA. Hearing the Met sound like its ten feet in front of you- 500ft from the stage is really quite extraordinary.
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