You are here

Small PA for live band work, need advice

For performing musicians and engineers: stagecraft, engineering and gear.

Small PA for live band work, need advice

Postby kostanagn » Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:00 am

OK...first post on these forums and quite a long one so bear with me :) I know there are many threads on this matter around but my case is a bit different and I just couldn't make up my mind based on what I read.

I am looking for a relatively small PA system mainly for live band work (and occasionally parties-DJs) for audiences around 200-300 people(500 tops on rare occasions) in closed and open spaces. Just so you know, most of the times the bands are in the heavy rock-metal territory.

So far I‘ve been using a pair of RCF ART 315-A Mk II along with 1 BEHRINGER B1800D-PRO subwoofer. I’m very satisfied with the RCF sound (not so much with the sub which I would just call decent for its price) but I constantly find myself running out of headroom and I’m looking to upgrade my system so as not to push my current one to its limits all the time.

Recently I bought 2x EV ELX 115P based on the very nice reviews around and that they give an SPL of 134 dB on paper which should make quite a difference compared to the 128 dBs the RCF ART 315-A give but when I got to try them out on a gig I was very disappointed with the EVs. They were a bit lacking in the upper mids and highs and the SPL was not really any higher than what I could achieve with the RCFs. I did a side by side A/B comparison the next day with both the EVs and the RCFs set up barely below the limiter kicking in and indeed the EVs had a slight edge on the bottom end, but they just didn’t have the clarity the RCFs had. The SPL was also very similar and I kinda had the impression the RCF was slightly louder.

Anyway...long story short, I ended up returning the EVs since I was still in the money-back period the store had and now I’m looking into other options. I’m writing all this just as a fact that numbers on paper aren’t everything and also to give you some perspective on the sound I’m ideally after.

Since I liked the RCF sound so much more I’m looking at some of their other speakers but I decided to look into 12” speakers this time with the intention of pairing them with subs. So far I’ve narrowed it down to the ART 722-A and the HD12-A. The main difference between the 2 is that the 722 has a 2” HF driver while the HD12 has a 1”. Other than that, the SPL, coverage and frequency response are similar, but budget is always a concern and their price difference is quite big with the HD12-A at around 800 euros each and the 722-A at 1200. I’m not very experienced with speakers so much as to know exactly what to expect from a bigger HF driver but from what I found out so far a 2” HF driver will lower the crossover point and the result is clearer upper mids and highs which results in more clarity. A bigger driver will also give some longer range(throw) on the higher frequencies so it helps with covering bigger crowds. If I’m wrong on any of this please correct me :lol: I could really use the info because I really can’t decide if I really need the bigger HF driver.


Now with the subs...whatever I choose for tops I will pair with 1 sub per side (especially since I am aiming for 12” tops) and I got 2 options here. Either get a second BEHRINGER at least as a temporary solution till I gather some money to buy a pair of better subs, or get a better pair of subs now and try to sell the BEHRINGER I have. I was thinking of the dB Technologies SUB 18 D as a better option which seems loud enough and dB Technologies is a sister company to RCF so I have reasons to believe they make good products, after all, this sub uses an RCF driver and looks very similar with the RCF SUB 718-AS.

If I go with the HD12-A option for tops, that leaves me some money to consider (or at least aim for, relatively soon) a new pair of subs, because as I said the BEHRINGER B1800D-PRO isn’t anything special and 1 alone can’t really give the kick I want, at least in open spaces. The dB Technologies SUB 18 D on the other hand costs around 1150 euros each, which is a huge difference to the 450 euros the BEHRINGER costs and this is out of the question if I go with the 722-A option for tops...



Anyway...to sum it up a bit, I could use any advice on which route I should take because with all that in mind and no first hand experience on these speakers I really can’t decide… Another very basic question I have is if there will be much difference in headroom with any of these upgrades I am considering, because on paper I’m just going 2 dBs louder…
Keep in mind that I don’t have the option to hear any demo units close to where I live, so the classic “go listen to both speakers yourself and decide” does not apply here :lol:.


I would also like to hear some opinions about the choices I made (the subs in particular because I can’t find any info around) and if bigger subs are more important than the 2” HF drivers for live band PA applications (mostly heavy rock and metal bands) and for crowds usually around 200-300 people.

Kostas
kostanagn
New here
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:00 pm

Re: Small PA for live band work, need advice

Postby James Perrett » Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:22 am

The problem is that you have some very nice sounding speakers with your RCF's and just about any affordable alternative will disappoint. Could you find another pair? You are probably sensible looking at the dB Technologies subs - I understand that some of them are very similar to the RCF equivalents.

James.
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 5986
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2001 11:00 pm
Location: The wilds of Hampshire

JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration.
http://www.jrpmusic.co.uk


Re: Small PA for live band work, need advice

Postby kostanagn » Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:05 pm

Thanks for the reply, but I'm not actually looking for an alternative to the 315-As, I'm looking for upgrades so that my system will have more headroom.
To be honest I didn't even consider going with an extra pair of 315-As...
I could buy another pair and that would be very cost effective (around 1200 euros for a pair), but I think that more speakers won't help that much with headroom but with coverage and I don't really have a problem with coverage as I am. I would be willing to think about it if you have some thoughts to share on this though :) ...


As I keep searching around, it seems I will go the 722-A route along with another B1800D-PRO sub because I found someone on another forum (I can't remember where though...) who said that in direct comparison between the 722-A and the HD12-A, even though they both have an SPL of 130 dB on paper, the 722-A was a bit more powerful. He was also saying that he prefered the HD12-A though because it sounded kind of sweeter than the 722-A, I guess due to the smaller HF driver.

Can anyone with similar experience share it with us? :)
kostanagn
New here
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:00 pm

Re: Small PA for live band work, need advice

Postby dickiefunk » Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:07 am

Hi,

I'm also looking to upgrade my tops and after speaking to many dealers they all highly recommend the HK Audio Linear L5, FBT Promaxx 14a, Yamaha DSR/DXR ranges and RCF.

If possible I would advise listening to these before you buy.
User avatar
dickiefunk
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1648
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2005 11:00 pm
Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: Small PA for live band work, need advice

Postby kostanagn » Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:07 pm

Well as I said in my original post, it would be a lot easier if I could just listen to these speakers myself, but unfortunately that's not an option where I live...

I'm pretty set on the two RCF models I wrote about, but the FBT Promaxx 14A seems to be getting nothing but good reviews anywhere I see it being mentioned and spec-wise it seems ideal for me (and quite cheaper than the 722-A as well...).

Problem is that having heard myself the 315-A from RCF I have some perspective when I see someone mentioning the "RCF clarity", but that's not the case with the FBT speakers. If you read my original post, I bought a pair of Electrovoice ELX 115P based on the good reviews around and their nice specs on paper but they were a dissapointment when I got them so I had them returned. I don't want to go through all that again if I can avoid it...


I found a youtube video with the Promaxx 14A and the ART 725-A playing side by side in a store and the FBT speaker sounds really nice, but there are many many factors involved to judge a speaker just from a youtube video.

So...has anyone listened to both the FBT Promaxx 14A and the RCF ART 722-A and can shed some light?
kostanagn
New here
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:00 pm

Re: Small PA for live band work, need advice

Postby Simon R » Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:03 am

dickiefunk wrote:Hi,

I'm also looking to upgrade my tops and after speaking to many dealers they all highly recommend the HK Audio Linear L5, FBT Promaxx 14a, Yamaha DSR/DXR ranges and RCF.

If possible I would advise listening to these before you buy.


I read many good reviews on ELX15P, so I was almost made up my mind when I went to a local store. At the store, they also had JBL EON515XT and Yamaha DXR15, so I compared ELX15P against them. Man, I was really surprised at the performance of DXR15. EON15XT was really light (which was good), but it sucked in terms of sound and power. ELX15P sounded OK up to certain level, but when I pushed, limiter kicked in very fast and could not keep up. DXR15 was the obvious winner among the three above. I have listened to RCF art415A before, but somehow I like the sound of DXR15 and the versatile mixer section and presets. If you may use it as a monitor, DXR15 is the one that you should get. The "monitor" processing works great. I have never listened to HK L5, FBT Promaxx 14a, but a pair DXR15's is my favorite system now.
Simon R
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:00 pm

Re: Small PA for live band work, need advice

Postby kostanagn » Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:15 am

I ended up ordering the FBT Promaxx 14a because the price difference with the 722-A was too big for my budget to ignore and both speakers seem to be in the same league more or less... I hope they meet my expectations...

I'll update the thread when I get them :)
kostanagn
New here
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:00 pm


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests