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Old 26th June 2018, 09:25 AM   #1
MICK87 is offline MICK87
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Default 15” speaker or subs? FOH

Interested in people with knowledge about live sound. Clearly the best option for a live 5 piece band with all instruments mixed and through the FOH is good quality subs with good quality tops to go with. But if you only had a certain amount of money to spend and the choice was between 2 really good quality 15” speakers (EV ELX200 15P) with no subwoofers for front of house or 2 medium quality 12” speakers (behringer eurolive 1000w) combined with 2 medium quality 15”subs (LD systems 1300w). What do you believe would deliver the best sound to a medium sized venue with 150 people? Are 15” speakers of good quality enough to hold there own without subs to supports a full live sound?
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Old 26th June 2018, 10:05 AM   #2
125dbmonster is offline 125dbmonster  Australia
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Would go for 15's and the 12's as there is no substitute for moving cones.
If you want to cut down on gear, the EV's 15's would smash it , no problems. How loud ? +130dB at 1m ?

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Old 26th June 2018, 10:19 AM   #3
chris661 is offline chris661  United Kingdom
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Don't get those EV 15"s. A 15"/1" cab never sounds good - a 15" cone rarely sounds good past 1kHz, and has very narrow dispersion up there. A 1" compression driver really wants to run above 2kHz. The result is always a compromise in the midrange. On-axis might sound okay, but because of the 15" cone's beaming, the people off to the sides will miss out a fairly wide frequency range.
A 15" really needs a 1.4" (or 2") compression driver with a 2.5-3" diaphragm, with a crossover at 1.2kHz or below, depending on the dispersion you're looking for.

Depending on the levels you're looking at for the 150 people, I'd go for a good pair of 12" tops and then add subwoofers when you can. Or, a pair of 12"s and a single subwoofer straight away, and then add another later if you feel you're lacking.

Chris
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Old 26th June 2018, 09:20 PM   #4
indianajo is offline indianajo  United States
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In the used market 15" + 2" horn (driver diaphragm dia.) is not expensive. I love my Peavey SP2-XT from 1998. Great for venues of 100 people or so. Go on poles over the audience head. The 2008 spec. SP2 without the suffix weigh 15 lb less and sound better. Don't buy the first generation SP2 with the separate horns about 12" wide & 6" tall. *****y sound.
This is for accurate sound. Overwhelming buzz buzz bass, like a car system gone PA, you want a sub.
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Old 26th June 2018, 09:29 PM   #5
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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Get a good full range system with some 15' woofers. Get it sounding right. Then later go rent a powered subwoofer and add it to the system to see if you really need it or not.

Just my opinion, but unless you are a DJ looking for absurd bottom end, subwoofers are a luxury.
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Old 26th June 2018, 10:25 PM   #6
chris661 is offline chris661  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indianajo View Post
In the used market 15" + 2" horn (driver diaphragm dia.) is not expensive.
You want a 1.4" or 2" exit. 2.5 or 3" diaphragm, and crossover at or below 1.2kHz IME.

Chris
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Old 26th June 2018, 11:21 PM   #7
conanski is offline conanski  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MICK87 View Post
Are 15” speakers of good quality enough to hold there own without subs to supports a full live sound?
No.. and it not even a contest.


I own a set of Yamaha DXR15s that I have used stand alone for DJ and live band, and I also have a couple EV systems with ZLX12p tops and EKX18sp subs.

Even with just 1 sub that sub/sat system totally outclasses the 15's on tripods, way better vocal clarity and much more and better quality bass.
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Old 3rd July 2018, 12:48 AM   #8
Jsixis is offline Jsixis  United States
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get the EV's then buy subs and a DSP unit later, I use older Peavey SP2's and they have plenty of punch, the advantage of subs is most 15's drop off around 70-90 and that is where the subs come in (75 to 100hz crossover). That helps to clear up the vocals below 2k.
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Old 10th July 2018, 09:28 PM   #9
Cableaddict is offline Cableaddict
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris661 View Post
Don't get those EV 15"s. A 15"/1" cab never sounds good - a 15" cone rarely sounds good past 1kHz, and has very narrow dispersion up there. A 1" compression driver really wants to run above 2kHz. The result is always a compromise in the midrange. On-axis might sound okay, but because of the 15" cone's beaming, the people off to the sides will miss out a fairly wide frequency range.
A 15" really needs a 1.4" (or 2") compression driver with a 2.5-3" diaphragm, with a crossover at 1.2kHz or below, depending on the dispersion you're looking for.

Depending on the levels you're looking at for the 150 people, I'd go for a good pair of 12" tops and then add subwoofers when you can. Or, a pair of 12"s and a single subwoofer straight away, and then add another later if you feel you're lacking.

Chris
This is a great explanation, (without being overly complex) and good advice.

Even if you went with 15's and a 3" horn, crossed at 1K, you would still have the issue of intermodular (or is it Doppler?) distortion. When that 15" is reproducing 50 hz, the quality of your mids goes out the window.
(You could go with a three-way top, but that starts to get heavy & expensive, and you still would want subs for the next two reasons.)

Additionally, subs sit on the floor, giving you a free 3 db boost.

Additionally, unless you have tons of setup time, sophisticated analysis equipment, and the knowledge to use that, subs will always sound best when you have just one, or a group of them, in the CENTER. You pretty much need separate subs to achieve this.
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