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Loudspeaker question

Postby nsea » Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:15 pm

Hi, fairly new to audio equipment so please be nice, any help/suggestions welcome

Thinking of setting up a cinema type setup in our school.

We already have a tv connected to a set of Pulse speakers: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pulse-Speakers ... B00ZJET95Y

Is there a way to connect the following loudspeakers as an extension from our current setup?
https://www.electromarket.co.uk/rcf-art ... array-300w

Thanks!
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Re: Loudspeaker question

Postby blinddrew » Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:56 pm

It might help to know what the rest of the kit set up is but firstly, the pulse speakers are active speakers (they have their own amplification) and can be run directly from the TV.
The RCF ones are passives (despite what it says in the product description) so you'd need a separate amplifier if you went down this route.
It's probably worth going back to basics slightly here, what are you trying to achieve with the extra speakers? More volume or surround sound? And how big a space are you trying to fill?
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Re: Loudspeaker question

Postby Wonks » Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:59 pm

That link shows a pair of passive speakers, despite the 'active' description. You'd need a separate power amp with those.

Presumably you meant something more like the active version
https://www.pmtonline.co.uk/rcf-art-312-a-mk4-active-pa-speaker?utm_source=google&utm_medium=shopping&gclid=CjwKCAjwu5veBRBBEiwAFTqDwdWDfokhpW8ZzMdbRpRGGrS4_wUGqNs3nO4Z--oBz8Xrw1u7nT10FxoCEGsQAvD_BwE

Yes, you can. It's just a question of using the right leads with the necessary connectors. The Pulse speakers don't have any extra terminals, so if you wanted both speakers on at the same time, then you'd need to run a cable to each of the RCFs first, then run a cable from the RCFs to the Pulse speakers.

The TV will have phono connectors, so you will need two leads that are phono at one end and unbalanced XLR at the other. Then another pair of leads that are again XLR to phono or TS jack to phono. The inputs on active speakers

Alternatively you could split the signal using an ART DTI box, then feed it out. https://www.gak.co.uk/en/art-dti/781?gc ... lsrc=aw.ds
You can feed in a signal to it from the TV on phono leads, then take out one set of outputs on phono leads and another on XLR to XLR leads for the RCFs.

You may not want both sets of speakers on at the same time as the RCFs will be a lot louder and will generally drown the Pulse speakers. However if you have people sitting near the TV and the RCFs are out to the side, then they can act as infill speakers for the nearest rows.
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Re: Loudspeaker question

Postby ef37a » Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:39 pm

Well blow me down Nsea! Just a couple of weeks ago I bought Panasonic SA-HT855 surround sound amplifier/dvd player from a charity shop for £35.

Came with six speakers and unless your TV is huge and you are running the "cinema" in the assembly hall I bet it would serve you.

You are unlikely of course to find anything like that but you might pickup an AV amplifier very cheaply. Such an amp will have a digital input and most modern TVs I think have a digital output? You then just need to source some passive speakers. You don't need to go the full on 5.1 surround all at once. Get a pair then a sub woofer perhaps then centre and possibly rear fill.

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Re: Loudspeaker question

Postby nsea » Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:15 pm

blinddrew wrote:It might help to know what the rest of the kit set up is but firstly, the pulse speakers are active speakers (they have their own amplification) and can be run directly from the TV.
The RCF ones are passives (despite what it says in the product description) so you'd need a separate amplifier if you went down this route.
It's probably worth going back to basics slightly here, what are you trying to achieve with the extra speakers? More volume or surround sound? And how big a space are you trying to fill?
Hi, thanks for your reply!

Have attached a pic of our current layout: https://imgur.com/a/26zoWqD

The first floor setup works fine, currently we have sound from all four speakers and the chosen movie running simultaneously on the tv and the same on the projector which projects onto the wall on the ground floor.

Now the only thing is if you're on the ground floor (in front of the glass barrier there is stepped seating) the speakers on the first floor aren't enough. Ideally we'd like to put the two RCF loudspeakers near the projected image to fill the space which is a breakout area/canteen seating area.

So in response to your wonderful helpfulness - if we are to somehow use the RCF speakers they need to be with an amplifier because they are passive? right? Any suggestions for an amplifier that would be compatible? Would we in turn then need an audio mixer of some sort?

Thanks!
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Re: Loudspeaker question

Postby nsea » Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:20 pm

Wonks wrote:That link shows a pair of passive speakers, despite the 'active' description. You'd need a separate power amp with those.

Presumably you meant something more like the active version
https://www.pmtonline.co.uk/rcf-art-312-a-mk4-active-pa-speaker?utm_source=google&utm_medium=shopping&gclid=CjwKCAjwu5veBRBBEiwAFTqDwdWDfokhpW8ZzMdbRpRGGrS4_wUGqNs3nO4Z--oBz8Xrw1u7nT10FxoCEGsQAvD_BwE

Yes, you can. It's just a question of using the right leads with the necessary connectors. The Pulse speakers don't have any extra terminals, so if you wanted both speakers on at the same time, then you'd need to run a cable to each of the RCFs first, then run a cable from the RCFs to the Pulse speakers.

The TV will have phono connectors, so you will need two leads that are phono at one end and unbalanced XLR at the other. Then another pair of leads that are again XLR to phono or TS jack to phono. The inputs on active speakers

Alternatively you could split the signal using an ART DTI box, then feed it out. https://www.gak.co.uk/en/art-dti/781?gc ... lsrc=aw.ds
You can feed in a signal to it from the TV on phono leads, then take out one set of outputs on phono leads and another on XLR to XLR leads for the RCFs.

You may not want both sets of speakers on at the same time as the RCFs will be a lot louder and will generally drown the Pulse speakers. However if you have people sitting near the TV and the RCFs are out to the side, then they can act as infill speakers for the nearest rows.
Unfortunately I only have the passive version of the speakers you mentioned (see my original link) which only has speakon connections.

Is there a still a way to make it work?

Thanks for your help!
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Re: Loudspeaker question

Postby blinddrew » Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:28 pm

If you were to use the DTI box Wonks suggested you could take the phono outs from the telly to the DTI box inputs. On the back of that are 3 sets of outputs: phono outputs (which would go to your current Pulse speakers) and then either the XLR or TRS outputs would have to go to a new power amp (something with speakon connections), which you'd then use to feed your RCFs.
General advice appears to be to pick an amp that is capable of delivering twice the nominal power of the speakers, so something that puts out 600W per side. What to look for will very much depend on your budget though.
Be wary of power amp specs as well, you're looking for figures in Watts RMS. Some manufacturers quote 'music power' or 'peak power' which can be 2-4 times higher than the real figure.

N.B. the above is my understanding - there are smarter people on here who may be along later and contradict or correct my advice - in which case, listen to them not me. :)
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Re: Loudspeaker question

Postby ef37a » Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:54 pm

I am still of the opinion that what you need is an AV 5.1 amplifier. I have quickly found the Pioneer VSX330 rated at 5X 120 watts at £199. If you went for those RCF speakers they would deliver well over 110dB SPL at a mtr and that I think is more than enough in a place of education!

The other advantage of the AV amp is control. As you are presently setup I cannot see how you can have a "one knob to do it all" facility? Much less balance the speakers in the room.
AV amps give you all that and on a remote to boot.

You can of course pay more and get more powerful amplifiers but even if Pioneer are being a wee bit optimistic in their figures, just 50W per channel into those 97dB/W/mtr speakers would be easily loud enough.

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Re: Loudspeaker question

Postby ef37a » Thu Oct 18, 2018 6:24 am

And! (guess I should have realized this) many AV amplifiers can be controlled from a phone or pad.

That could mean you could "lock" the system away from those pesky students or meddling member of staff (always one in every school!)

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Re: Loudspeaker question

Postby nsea » Thu Oct 18, 2018 8:58 am

ef37a wrote:I am still of the opinion that what you need is an AV 5.1 amplifier. I have quickly found the Pioneer VSX330 rated at 5X 120 watts at £199. If you went for those RCF speakers they would deliver well over 110dB SPL at a mtr and that I think is more than enough in a place of education!

The other advantage of the AV amp is control. As you are presently setup I cannot see how you can have a "one knob to do it all" facility? Much less balance the speakers in the room.
AV amps give you all that and on a remote to boot.

You can of course pay more and get more powerful amplifiers but even if Pioneer are being a wee bit optimistic in their figures, just 50W per channel into those 97dB/W/mtr speakers would be easily loud enough.

Dave.
Hi Dave

Thanks for your suggestions, though it seems that AV receiver doesn't have the connections I'd prefer (our audio is actually coming from a PC behind the tv, not the actual tv itself) but will definitely keep this in mind if we want to do a similar setup in the future. Though quick thought, how would I connect the RCF speakers to the AV receiver?

Thanks so much for your help
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Re: Loudspeaker question

Postby nsea » Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:07 am

blinddrew wrote:If you were to use the DTI box Wonks suggested you could take the phono outs from the telly to the DTI box inputs. On the back of that are 3 sets of outputs: phono outputs (which would go to your current Pulse speakers) and then either the XLR or TRS outputs would have to go to a new power amp (something with speakon connections), which you'd then use to feed your RCFs.
General advice appears to be to pick an amp that is capable of delivering twice the nominal power of the speakers, so something that puts out 600W per side. What to look for will very much depend on your budget though.
Be wary of power amp specs as well, you're looking for figures in Watts RMS. Some manufacturers quote 'music power' or 'peak power' which can be 2-4 times higher than the real figure.

N.B. the above is my understanding - there are smarter people on here who may be along later and contradict or correct my advice - in which case, listen to them not me. :)

Ah I see, makes sense! Thanks drew and Wonks for your enlightening info!

Would you be able to point me in the direction of a compatible amp for this setup? Something not to pricey however, good for money, as am on a school budget, eek!
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Re: Loudspeaker question

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:41 am

No problem connecting the Pioneer VSX330 to those speakers, just use a cable with bare wires on the amp end and Speakons on the other. Inputs are all on Phono/RCA which will be fine for the computer as, unless you have a proper audio interface, will have unbalanced connections. However pretty much any 100watt (or thereabouts) per channel amp will run the speakers effectively so give your local PA retailer a call and they should have something which will accept XLR or TRS on the inputs and have Speakon speaker outputs. It may turn out to be a little more expensive (but probably be more robust) than the Pioneer.
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Re: Loudspeaker question

Postby ef37a » Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:35 am

If the computer has a S/PDIF output that is the best way to connect it to an AV amplifier.

I suspect however that it has a Sound Blaster style card and comes out on 3.5mm three pole jacks? 3.5mm to RCA cables are readily available from any decent PC store or even Rock Bottom/It's a Gift type stores and definitely online.

Ok yes, that Pioneer IS a "domestic" amplifier but it is a well established brand and along with Denon, Marantz and other well known hi fi names is pretty bombproof these days. Not as though you will be crashing it in and out of a Transit six days a week?

See, since I have been messing with this surround sound system I can appreciate how tricky they can be to setup and control.

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Re: Loudspeaker question

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:30 pm

:thumbup:
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Re: Loudspeaker question

Postby blinddrew » Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:27 pm

I'd still be nervous about running a set of 300W PA speakers from a 100W per channel AV amp. Even the reputable brands tend to be a bit ambitious about their quoted power figures and distortion can start creeping in quite low down the dial.
Maybe I'm just being paranoid... :?

It Nsea can tell us the approximate dimensions of the space that we're dealing with that would help a bit.
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Re: Loudspeaker question

Postby Wonks » Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:38 pm

I'm also not sure whether these speakers are for the existing space shown in the diagram, or for the projected image space on the floor below with the tiered seating, which isn't shown with any speakers at the moment.

I'd image that the four speakers already shown (presumably two sets of the Project speakers) are already sufficient for the TV display itself.

As Drew said, it's hard to get an idea of the size of the space and therefore how much volume you'll actually need (or want).
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Re: Loudspeaker question

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:26 pm

I think the OP plans to use the new speakers in the larger projection area.
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Re: Loudspeaker question

Postby Wonks » Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:28 pm

I was thinking that, but better not to assume, and it also looks very thin in the diagram!
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Re: Loudspeaker question

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:34 pm

nsea wrote:Now the only thing is if you're on the ground floor (in front of the glass barrier there is stepped seating) the speakers on the first floor aren't enough. Ideally we'd like to put the two RCF loudspeakers near the projected image to fill the space which is a breakout area/canteen seating area.
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Re: Loudspeaker question

Postby Wonks » Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:36 pm

A ha! No one told me I had to read and remember everything!
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