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Old 22nd July 2014, 03:03 PM   #1
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Default new speakers needed

Hello all,

maybe someone can help me. I am really desperate.
I am looking for a replacement for 2 x RCF Event 4000s.
Intended use from 100Hz and up (I have 2 x 18" subs plus active X-OVR plus XTI6002).
For the 3-ways I definitely need more "punch" than those old 15" 3 ways, but less "screaming" at high SPL levels. I could take a great deal of extra punch for sure but no more of that harsh screaming in mid-hi my current RCFs start to produce at around 115 - 120dB. I need WAY more headroom - and for some special setup reason that has to do with S/N I cannot use any mixer so I have to use the amps attenuators. This is only sensible with max 2 amps, so I can only spend one amp channel per speaker. So I d need an internal optimized crossover for the 3 - ways. I have Camco D Power 2, 2 x 650 at 8 Ohms, but I can ramp up the amp power too if needed. On 4 Ohms, that amp would anyway give like over 1100W per speaker.
Speakers can be 12" horn loaded 3 way or 15 " 3 way or the like. or equivalent high performance.
All the pro manufacturers push 12" - 2ways for their cost advantage, but I think that is not so clean in the midrange with the low freq transducer intermodulating the vocals right? So I d like to keep 3 way.
Total cost should not exceed EUR 5000 for the pair, that' about 6700 from the USD or about 5 ounces of the yellow metal that is real sound money and will ever be in contrast to those un-backet fiat paper currencies.
Don't care if this is the sales price or the sum of parts plus what the carpenter takes.
Anybody has any idea / plan or the like? don't think I am the only one having those troubles to get good speakers?
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Old 22nd July 2014, 10:27 PM   #2
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Old 23rd July 2014, 06:26 AM   #3
RJF is offline RJF  Australia
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for 5000 euro I would be looking at something from KV2Audio.
If I had the money (I don't) I would go with a pair of EX10 and either an EX1.2 or EX2.2 as a Sub (although you say you already have a Sub woofer) or maybe an ES system with a pair of ES1.0 etc....
But then I would be dreaming, although it may fit your budget....
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Old 23rd July 2014, 06:41 AM   #4
RJF is offline RJF  Australia
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just puzzling over the rest of your post
Quote:
and for some special setup reason that has to do with S/N I cannot use any mixer
So I take it you are coming directly out of, something and then going into your amplifier.

there are many simple line amplifier/mixers etc. which would give you a master volume control without adding any (significant/noticeable) noise if you do not want to pad your signal down to suit the microphone input of a mixer.

I am afraid active cross over is almost always going to perform better than speakers with passive crossovers, and given your budget one of the many modern powered and processed boxes on the market would have to be obvious contenders (I use QSC K10es with a subwoofer and this set-up works very well for me).
Also I am wondering if the 'Harsh screaming" you mention could be distortion creeping in somewhere when you push the system hard.

Perhaps you could tell us more about your current rig so I can understand your application more?
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Old 23rd July 2014, 10:41 AM   #5
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Thanks for moving thanks for answers I ll check out the ideas today / didn't know that the section was wrong where I put this...
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Old 23rd July 2014, 10:58 AM   #6
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"So I take it you are coming directly out of, something and then going into your amplifier."

I think I ll come directly out of DSP that is always at nominal level since I dont want 2 use a mixer / vol cont. before the DSP s input. So I can use a cheap and still decent DSP like Behringer 2496 and still have good S/N if the signal AND the noise gets turned down by the amps attenuators at lower listening levels.
The XTI6002 for the subs has an additional DSP in the signal path which I do not really use other than for bridging but that is not causing any noise since its bass only, I am only concerned about that "hiss" from the tweeter.
the DSP has a parametric EQ in the input so I can correct several speaker response peaks / dips, but need to know exact parameters. Still I need to try out how many EQ points the DSP processor manages to real-time-calculate when simultaneously doing the XOVR / mono bass summing / delay adjustment thing in stereo....
The 5000 euro comes from my schedule that says I want to have evrything up n running in late spring of 2015, so still some month to save up one two or more salaries till that date...

Last edited by ViennaTom; 23rd July 2014 at 11:01 AM.
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Old 23rd July 2014, 12:43 PM   #7
RJF is offline RJF  Australia
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If you went with something like the KV2 system, processing, crossover etc, is all built in and that system does go hard, and sounds very nice (as I said I wish I could afford one) the only reason for running external processing would be to retain your existing sub-woofer set up.

Although checking UK pricing KV2 may be slightly out of your range (depending on where you are - I am used to overseas pricing for this sort of gear to be half of Australian pricing, but in this case it may not be).

If you went with the (less expensive) QSC K series or slightly more upmarket QSC KW ( the KW153 would be in your price range, as would other similar systems on the market) Processing is built in, so no need for cross over etc just use the XTI cross over for your sub-woofer and throw the switch on the rear of the speaker to tell it you are running with an external Sub.

They also have other processing built in so you do not need to EQ for the speakers (although EQ to help with the room is always good) and they sound pretty damn good out of the box, generally better than most bar the best passive speakers, so nowadays it is difficult to recommend anything that is not powered and processed.
From another practical view point you can push them hard, if you go too hard the built in limiter takes care of things, and they look after themselves.

Then you need a volume control (or you have to run around the speakers) and the K series do have (wired) remote volume control capability allowing you to control all the speakers from a single potentiometer.
But if this is for a portable system, then that is something else to set up, so some other inline master control would be preferable/easier to set up (if you went down this path).

Of course getting gain structure correct is always worth doing (just because you can turn all the level controls up full, doesn't always mean that is a good idea*) and if you get the gain structure correct with any half decent kit you should not have any noise problems of course if your gain structure is not correct (this is not a fault of the amplifier etc) then yep, you will get lots of hiss and noise.

* a typical power amplifier can be driven to full power with somewhere around 1 to 1.5V input, a typical mixing desk will drive its output to somewhere around 10Vrms, so if you have your power amplifier set to full, then yes, you will get lots of unnecessary hiss and your mixer would not be working at its best either.
Typically your power amplifier volume control is best set to somewhere between -10 and -20dB. Powered speakers are similar and I typically run mine (QSC K10es) at around -10 or so.

But I am still not clear on what your signal source is and why it doesn't already have a level control?

Last edited by RJF; 23rd July 2014 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 23rd July 2014, 12:47 PM   #8
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"I am afraid active cross over is almost always going to perform better than speakers with passive crossovers, and given your budget one of the many modern powered and processed boxes on the market would have to be obvious contenders (I use QSC K10es with a subwoofer and this set-up works very well for me).
"

Honestly i ve been looking into actives also, but consider the passive solution superior in terms of noise / tweeter hiss).
Look here:
EV-ETX35P - no way - too much noise hiss... (btw: do they use active xovr plus 3 amps or do they cheat and use just the same 2000W module in all ETX models plus passive LCR XOVR? Who knows that?)
JBL PRX735 - no way - has no internal high-pass - so I would need to go through the rack mounted DSP AND through the active PRX input electronics..
Mackie HD1531: same issue - no highpass settings.

Only options in the active area still on the table are:

QSC KW153 (not sure about the noise - need to find out - but how? I could do some remote-gain using the QSC-5V gain pot voltage divider input, but does it turn lower the noise also if the remote-gain is set lower or is it just turning lower signal at the input leaving the hiss un-changed???)

Lambda Labs TX-3A (will maybe not fit into the budget, but has some high performance low noise ADC DSP section..)

Because of the volume control issue (I don't want to go behind each speaker to set volume), I need to use attenuators on amps - so I d need to go passively X-Overed speakers. Honestly I don't like the idea of mixer plus inputting attenuated low signals into an active speakers input that has ADC plus DSP, using effectively less bits of resolution on lower volume.
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Old 23rd July 2014, 01:34 PM   #9
RJF is offline RJF  Australia
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I think you will find the EV speakers use DSP based cross over and processing with (usually) two D class amplifiers, one driving the LF driver and another driving a passive crossover between the high and mid. they would use the same amplifier/DSP module in all the ETX speakers, but with different firmware for each.
I haven't used the EV speakers (but had heard some good reports) having mainly used the QSC and (occasionally) KV2. The QSC do have high pass and with no input are not too noisy - the remote volume control results in the level being changed on the DSP (so after the input circuitry) but I have to confess that I have not used the remote volume control.

I am curious about your noise concerns, as they do suggest a gain structure problem, but without knowing what your signal source, or application is I am still in the dark as to what the problem might be.
Usually in the scheme of things, the very small amount of noise from a line level ADC and DSP is not likely to be significant.
I mean powering up a K10 now, it is night time here, with very little background noise, and sure I can hear hiss from it a meter or so away, but only if I turn my heater off and it would not be likely to be noticed unless you were looking for it.
Add any background noise, or program material and you wouldn't hear it. In fact comparing it with an Australian monitor PA1200 amplifier, with gain on minimum and driving a B&C 8cx21 loaded foldback speaker, while sure the amplifier is slightly quieter, it is not significantly so, and the fans from the amplifier (particularly by the time it warms up) are louder than the hiss from the speaker (and of course you usually have the amplifier backstage somewhere). But if that level of noise bothers you then you probably aren't going to like any active box.

Either way I would suggest borrowing or hiring a QSC (or any other speaker that anyone else may suggest) before buying one anyway, if only to get a feel for how it sounds and performs. After all just because I like/am happy with a speaker doesn't always automatically mean you will be and after all my application/use may be quite different to yours.....
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Old 23rd July 2014, 02:24 PM   #10
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"I am curious about your noise concerns, as they do suggest a gain structure problem, but without knowing what your signal source, or application is I am still in the dark as to what the problem might be."
There is no problem - just high expectations: Since it is a home discotheque, I want to be able to listen at "room levels" without hiss, even at "sleep" levels, but also would like to not rock the house but shake it's walls loose if I choose to do so. And I may often choose to do so. too often for my ears... (remember - no excessive screaming just chest pounding punch)
Hiss a meter ago is too much. The ETX-Electro-voice I can hear in a modestly quiet environment (shop), at around 80 cm - way too much ssshhhhh....
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