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Old 9th December 2010, 05:43 AM   #21
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Charles, a lot of bands do use mostly empty cabinets but there are many bands who use all of their cabinets for real.

Jacques, when you put that reference I have no problem with it and that is the most commonly used reference when dealing with sound pressure that is but, it's not even the only one that could be used.

I have a question for you about that. I really do not know the answer. I am not trying to be a wise guy or anything. I know that anytime you double the power that is a 3 dB power gain. Anytime you double the current or voltage that is a 6 dB current or voltage gain. When you double the SPL how much gain is that?

I just realized something I have wondered about since I began lurking here sometime back. I rarely think concerts are loud enough. Not for my personal taste anyway. I also think MOSSFET amplifiers are worthless. Now I realize why many of you guys do not think MOSFETTS are worthless. You don't like blistering loud music so MOSFETTS are great to you. To me they are horrible because I like really loud music. If you put a watt meter on a 1000 watt BJT amp and a 1000 watt MOSFET amp they will both say 1000 watts. Every way you can possibly measure those amps (with equipment) they will be equally "loud". But when you measure them with your ears the 1000 watt BJT amp is several times louder than a 1000 watt MOSFET amp but since you guys never crank your amps up loud enough to be able to tell the difference you probably didn't even know that MOSFETTS just will never "sound" loud and when I say loud I mean extremely loud. No MOSFETT amp has ever been nearly loud enough for me.

I have a Studio Master MOSFET 1000 power amp which is 1000 watts RMS. I also have an amp that has much greater apparent volume (it is louder to my ears) that is an old 70 watt tube amp built from a kit.

A tube amp will sound several times louder than a BJT amp of the same power also. A 100 watt tube guitar amp is louder than Satan to your ears. Several times louder than a 100 watt BJT amp but any kind of equipment you measure them will will say they are the same. And I guess they are the same "level" but the tube amp has a much greater apparent volume as far as your ears are concerned. Amps like Marshall Valvestates on 10 are quiet sounding to me (using the same speaker cabinet for both) but old all tube Marshalls of the same power, I could never even stand to hear on about 7. When anything is too loud for me it is insanely loud to most people and if they even survive it probably a health risk. I am not trying to tell anybody that they should listen to music as loud as I like to in fact it is probably better if you don't (although I do not appear to have suffered any hearing loss). I am just saying that I like it really loud and MOSFETS can't do it and I think I just figured out why some of you don't seem to realize that (or maybe just don't care?)

A lot of people mistake anything that is louder than they like with being distorted too. I am not saying that nothing out there is actually distorted but what is often accused of being distorted is simply louder than somebody likes. Not always but often.

Oh and to me the best sounding concerts are the ones in auditoriums rather than arenas. I think it makes more difference than the PA usually. They are designed and built for sound. More specifically designed so everybody in the place can hear well with no microphones or a PA. You do not need that big a PA to be loud as hell in one of those. Not just loud but also really good sound. Some arenas have better sound than others but none have good sound IMO. A lot of bands say Tarrant County Convention Center Arena in Fort Worth (14,000 seats) is the best sounding arena in the world and so a lot of bands have played the first date of their US tours there but even TCCA does not have very good acoustics.

I was not intending to write a book but I got carried away.
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Old 9th December 2010, 05:47 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Charles Darwin View Post
If by backlines you mean those huge stacks of Marshalls I can assure you that the vast majority of those are dummies with no amps or drivers in them.
Back in the '80s I found myself backstage on a number of metal bands (work related, it's not my type of music), all had huge numbers of Marshall stacks onstage but almost all used a single Mesa Boogie head hidden offstage and only one 4x12 Marshall cab per instrument had any drivers in them.
That's the first i have heard that, interesting. On one of Manowar's DVD with a backstage tour narrated by the frontman Joey Demaio, he plays his bass through 20k watts on the stage, and the guitarist Karl Logan has 30k watts for his backline. The drummer Scott has more subwoofers for monitor that some band has for the PA. I guess those comments need to be taken with a lot of salt. Here's a pic of their stage. This is a smaller one, usually its 10 or 12 boxes per side.

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-..._7709115_n.jpg

I have been reading up recently on live sound and PA, thought this was a very interesting read.

Instrument EQ - Mik Fielding
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Old 9th December 2010, 05:53 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Peckerwood View Post
A lot of people mistake anything that is louder than they like with being distorted too. I am not saying that nothing out there is actually distorted but what is often accused of being distorted is simply louder than somebody likes. Not always but often.
I still think when we feel it's too loud, it's because of the increasing distortion as the sound system is pushed beyond its limits. Think about truly louds natural sounds, like a harley on full throttle, a thunderclap. Those are clean loud. A harley up close can be up to 130dB at full throttle. That's loud, but clean. We don't want to turn those down. We just feel our insides shake and think that's AWESOME!
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Old 9th December 2010, 06:24 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Peckerwood View Post
Now I realize why many of you guys do not think MOSFETTS are worthless. You don't like blistering loud music so MOSFETTS are great to you. To me they are horrible because I like really loud music. If you put a watt meter on a 1000 watt BJT amp and a 1000 watt MOSFET amp they will both say 1000 watts. Every way you can possibly measure those amps (with equipment) they will be equally "loud". But when you measure them with your ears the 1000 watt BJT amp is several times louder than a 1000 watt MOSFET amp but since you guys never crank your amps up loud enough to be able to tell the difference you probably didn't even know that MOSFETTS just will never "sound" loud and when I say loud I mean extremely loud. No MOSFETT amp has ever been nearly loud enough for me.
What!?
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Old 9th December 2010, 11:57 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by rhapsodee View Post
That's the first i have heard that, interesting. On one of Manowar's DVD with a backstage tour narrated by the frontman Joey Demaio, he plays his bass through 20k watts on the stage, and the guitarist Karl Logan has 30k watts for his backline. The drummer Scott has more subwoofers for monitor that some band has for the PA. I guess those comments need to be taken with a lot of salt. Here's a pic of their stage. This is a smaller one, usually its 10 or 12 boxes per side.

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-..._7709115_n.jpg

I have been reading up recently on live sound and PA, thought this was a very interesting read.

Instrument EQ - Mik Fielding
The bands I have seen using dummy cabs in their backline are, in no particular order, Anthrax, Slayer, Metallica (3 times), Megadeth, Testament and UFO. There was also some danish band whose name I forgot but my ex-brother-in-law was their tour manager (he was also a good mate of Big Mick, Metallicas sound man) and picked up the dummies himself directly at the Marshall factory. In fact I have never seen or even heard of a metal band using only working cabs and I used to work for a company supplying lighting rigs and stage sets to almost all of them. Things like that become abundantly clear during the full stage rehearsals which precede every tour.
The thing is huge Marshall stacks are a status symbol for them like 'being from the ghetto' was for rappers and they do perpetuate the myth by claiming that they are all real. If they were the PA in most cases would be inaudible over the backline.
That was all during the mid- to late '80s, the heydays of metal.
During that time Marshall made as much money from selling dummies than they made from selling actual amps according to the Marshall employee my ex-brother-in-law dealt with.
Can't say anything about Man'o'war directly but if they actually do use what they claim they would all have been completely deaf a long time ago.
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Old 9th December 2010, 12:04 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by rhapsodee View Post
I still think when we feel it's too loud, it's because of the increasing distortion as the sound system is pushed beyond its limits. Think about truly louds natural sounds, like a harley on full throttle, a thunderclap. Those are clean loud. A harley up close can be up to 130dB at full throttle. That's loud, but clean. We don't want to turn those down. We just feel our insides shake and think that's AWESOME!
On this point I do agree, you do need enough headroom to avoid distortion and many bands are to cheap to pay for it!

As an aside a PA that distorts at say 126dBSPL will sound louder than one producing the same level at the same distance cleanly.
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Old 9th December 2010, 12:37 PM   #27
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The best PA I heard was at the Pinkpop festival in Holland when Tool played. It wasn't Tool's PA though, but it was crystal clear, I heard everything I knew from listening at home.
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Old 9th December 2010, 03:46 PM   #28
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I use 6 4 x 12 cabinets and 2 100 watt heads and 1 50 watt head and every single cabinet has 4 speakers in it and they are all working. I actually play through 2 100 watt heads and 4 cabinets and the 50 watt head and two cabinets are a spare in case the other 2 go down. They never have though and I hope they never do because I hate 50 watt heads. They are just as loud as 100 watt heads though but they sound different. And I play mostly in small places. If I had more I would use it.

On the distortion I have to say this. If you have some all tube power amps for a PA then it won't hurt the sound if you have a little bit of distortion but I have not seen a all tube PA power amp in a long long time. As you gradually increase the power and therefore the distortion at some point it starts sounding bad but not at first. Then the sound gets worse and worse as you keep increasing it. Maybe the big time bands still use them. I am not sure. But with transistor power amps the second you push one hard enough to clip (distort) they sound terrible and I doubt many bands would run them like that. The sound does not gradually get bad. It goes from good to crap all at once. Anything digital does the same thing only many times worse. Even people who know nothing about music or equipment would notice how bad it sounded. Not to mention that there is really no way to do that without wasting equipment so the odds are if a band did they would blow some speakers, amps or both every night. It only takes 1 watt of dc to blow ANY speaker and when you clip the **** out out a signal it becomes dc at a point. Looks like square waves on a scope. It will blow amps too. Not tube amps though. It might if it got bad enough but I have never seen that happen. I have seen many amps and speakers blown to hell. I think Electro-Voice stopped their lifetime "blow this speaker and get a free new one for the rest of your life" because of me but mostly my friends because I learned my lesson and stopped blowing them up a long time ago but try convincing a bunch of musicians who know nothing about electronics how to avoid blowing them. You almost can't do it.

Man those top of the line EV's rule. I use them for everything except guitar speakers. They are awesome. You can hit them with 5 or 6 hundred unclipped watts no problem and they are only rated at 300 watts.
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Old 9th December 2010, 05:53 PM   #29
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I heard Roger Waters do 'The Wall' a couple months ago in Toronto. Loud, but not too loud. They had an awfully big set up, really modern looking. Cleanest large venue sound I have heard. The music was moderately loud, but there was a ton of headroom - the show has a lot of theatrics and sound effects, and thats where you heard what it could really do. It was also multichannel. Sounds actually panned from front to back - first time I have ever experienced that at a concert. The video setup was also spectacular. Its an expensive show to see, but you get your moneys worth.
I was also blown away by the Tragically hip in a small concert hall. I was 3rd row, and it was loud as hell, but very clean and well balanced, no harshness. Helluva show too.
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Old 10th December 2010, 09:05 PM   #30
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I remember way back when Pink Floyd did the Animals tour I think it was they used a quadraphonic PA system. I didn't go but I read that they used one.
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