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View Full Version : Time to upgrade...need some recommendations



jlcpremier
02-27-2012, 06:28 PM
Here is my current system...

1 Crown XLS402 (300W RMS) powering 2 Behringer B215XL 15" 2 Ways (250W RMS)
1 Behringer EP4000 (550W RMS) powering 2 Behringer VP1800S 18" Subs (400W RMS)
Behringer CX2310 Crossover

I've only had this setup for about a year and 1/2 now but it just doesn't cut it for the larger events I do. I do mainly high school/college dances and I'm constantly seeing the clip indicators light up on the amps. I haven't actually over driven them enough to shut them off but I'm looking for something a little better. Something louder and a bit more quality.

Thanks to a decent tax return this year I've got some extra cash to invest in a better system. I'm not looking at spending thousands and thousands of dollars but I definitely feel I need something more than what I have now. It works but just barely.

I usually do 1 to 2 events per month max with a month off here and there, so again cost does play a bit of a factor.

2 things I'm also trying to keep in mind...

Powered speakers would be preferred but not 100% necessary. I cart all my DJ gear around in a Highlander, so space is definitely a concern. I'm at the point right now where I'm playing Tetris trying to load all of my sound and lighting gear in my car, and don't have space for anything else.

I'm open to any suggestions or advice you guys have, also any idea what I might be able to get for my current stuff on say Craigslist? Anything would be nice to help offset the cost of a new system.

Thanks

windspeed36
02-27-2012, 06:40 PM
We're going to need a budget mate :P
Oh and your average audience sizes

jlcpremier
02-27-2012, 08:28 PM
I would say $2000 is the most I would "want" to spend. I realize that may be impossible for both tops and subs, or tops and subs plus amps if I go the non-powered route. If I have to go over that, I'm open to it.

Audience sizes vary from between 60-70 for smaller events to over 300 for the high school gym dances

I was looking at the ELX series from EV. Any thoughts on those or is that pretty much what I have right now?

Ideally I want to match the speakers, but if I can make something like a EV dual 15" cab work with the Behringer subs that's something I'm open to, though like I mentioned, I can't throw a lot at those subs before the clip indicators light up.

DJHoss
02-27-2012, 08:37 PM
You went with Berhinger in the first place because..?

If I were you, i'd upgrade my tops to JBL PRX 615's, or subs to PRX 618-XLF's.

Then, you'll be rockin for sure!

Al Poulin
02-27-2012, 08:57 PM
A pair of EV Live-X powered 12s on top of a pair of the powered 18'' subs are probably the best you can do for around 2000$ (you will probably be closer to 2400$). This system will be a noticable upgrade from what you are currently using. Only negatives I've read about the Live-X is the very fragile cabinet finish. A few reports of thermal failures have also surfaced, but I think as long as the units have adequate room to breathe and you are not running them into limiting all night, this should be a non issue. EV is generally very good to deal with and have been producing great sounding gear for a long time.

Al

windspeed36
02-27-2012, 09:23 PM
I would say $2000 is the most I would "want" to spend. I realize that may be impossible for both tops and subs, or tops and subs plus amps if I go the non-powered route. If I have to go over that, I'm open to it.

Audience sizes vary from between 60-70 for smaller events to over 300 for the high school gym dances

I was looking at the ELX series from EV. Any thoughts on those or is that pretty much what I have right now?

Ideally I want to match the speakers, but if I can make something like a EV dual 15" cab work with the Behringer subs that's something I'm open to, though like I mentioned, I can't throw a lot at those subs before the clip indicators light up.
Are you opened to buying used equipment in good condition? As you said you cant get new tops and new subs for $2k. You'd be more looking at $2200. However you could pick up a pair of RCF312A's for around $900 and get a secondhand QSC KW181 or JBL PRX618S-XLF for about $800-$1k

jlcpremier
02-27-2012, 09:25 PM
I went with Behringer because before that I only had a pair of almost 10 year old JBL TR125's I was running off an American Audio amp. Believe it or not that system worked like a champ for many years, though it limited me to playing small events.
When I started looking into upgrading I went to my local GC and demo'd the JBL TRX and then also the Behringer's. For the cost difference I didn't hear much of a difference between the two, so I could have just gone with the TRX but only picked up 2 15" cabs, or the Behringer, and picked up the 15's and the subs, plus the amp and x-over for not much more. (I got the employee price from a friend who worked there)

I like your idea of the PRX line from JBL, that would definitely give me the extra power on the speakers I would need, but I think i would have to limit myself to 1 sub. Do you think that would still work?

jlcpremier
02-27-2012, 09:33 PM
double post

jlcpremier
02-27-2012, 09:34 PM
A pair of EV Live-X powered 12s on top of a pair of the powered 18'' subs are probably the best you can do for around 2000$ (you will probably be closer to 2400$). This system will be a noticable upgrade from what you are currently using. Only negatives I've read about the Live-X is the very fragile cabinet finish. A few reports of thermal failures have also surfaced, but I think as long as the units have adequate room to breathe and you are not running them into limiting all night, this should be a non issue. EV is generally very good to deal with and have been producing great sounding gear for a long time.

Al

On the specs they show the power on the 12's being 1000W...what does break down to in RMS. I can't seem to find that anywhere? Same with the subs and they're less at 700W. i always thought the subs should be at a higher power handling as they get the most power through bass.

Canon
02-27-2012, 09:35 PM
A pair of EV Live-X powered 12s on top of a pair of the powered 18'' subs are probably the best you can do for around 2000$ (you will probably be closer to 2400$). This system will be a noticable upgrade from what you are currently using. Only negatives I've read about the Live-X is the very fragile cabinet finish. A few reports of thermal failures have also surfaced, but I think as long as the units have adequate room to breathe and you are not running them into limiting all night, this should be a non issue. EV is generally very good to deal with and have been producing great sounding gear for a long time.

Al

Saturday I ran the ELX118P's under K12's for a dance floor of 200... and the ELX's failed to impress at all, and certainly did not keep up with the K12's. http://www.djforums.com/forums/showthread.php?2573-1500-2000-for-subs-Oh-no-not-this-again! is the thread where we're discussing it.

windspeed36
02-27-2012, 09:39 PM
I went with Behringer because before that I only had a pair of almost 10 year old JBL TR125's I was running off an American Audio amp. Believe it or not that system worked like a champ for many years, though it limited me to playing small events.
When I started looking into upgrading I went to my local GC and demo'd the JBL TRX and then also the Behringer's. For the cost difference I didn't hear much of a difference between the two, so I could have just gone with the TRX but only picked up 2 15" cabs, or the Behringer, and picked up the 15's and the subs, plus the amp and x-over for not much more. (I got the employee price from a friend who worked there)

I like your idea of the PRX line from JBL, that would definitely give me the extra power on the speakers I would need, but I think i would have to limit myself to 1 sub. Do you think that would still work?
The PRX XLF sub is good for around 300 at wedding SPL but only maybe 200 at club SPL in a high school gym

jlcpremier
02-27-2012, 09:46 PM
Are you opened to buying used equipment in good condition? As you said you cant get new tops and new subs for $2k. You'd be more looking at $2200. However you could pick up a pair of RCF312A's for around $900 and get a secondhand QSC KW181 or JBL PRX618S-XLF for about $800-$1k

The RCF looks interesting. A new pair of those run about $1000. Again the same question goes for the amp. It's 350W bi-amped so how does that compare with what I'm using now? Would a pair of those and a single JBL PRX sub be enough?

windspeed36
02-27-2012, 10:15 PM
You'll find that bi-amped speakers will sound better and have a higher output SPL. If you were going to hire speakers, what would you have access to? If they have the RCF's and the PRX's id go for them because you can easily hire another sub or a second pair of tops if the venue/crowd exceeds your capabilities.

Al Poulin
02-27-2012, 10:31 PM
Saturday I ran the ELX118P's under K12's for a dance floor of 200... and the ELX's failed to impress at all, and certainly did not keep up with the K12's. http://www.djforums.com/forums/showthread.php?2573-1500-2000-for-subs-Oh-no-not-this-again! is the thread where we're discussing it.

I have a feeleing the actual room had at least a little to do with the Live-x subs not being impressive. A close coupled pair of powered 18s such as the Live-X should keep up fine with a pair of Live-X12 tops or the K12 tops. Wall or corner loading the subs also helps a great deal when possible. Some rooms simply need more sub than others. I was mostly recommending the Live-X because of their excellent pricing = the OP could have 2 tops and 2 matching subs and still be close to his budget. I do feel it will be a noticeable improvement over his actual system...

Al

Gjhowe1
02-28-2012, 12:00 AM
On the specs they show the power on the 12's being 1000W...what does break down to in RMS. I can't seem to find that anywhere? Same with the subs and they're less at 700W. i always thought the subs should be at a higher power handling as they get the most power through bass.

The passive version of these cabs are rated at 250w continuous 1000w peak, if the speakers are the same in both cabs that's what your looking at. The passive subs are rated at 400w contiguous.

The important thing to remember is wattage is a very very poor way to compare a speaker. Wattage and spl can both be skewed to make the speaker appear more powerful then it is on paper.

Incognito
02-28-2012, 12:05 AM
The important thing to remember is wattage is a very very poor way to compare a speaker. Wattage and spl can both be skewed to make the speaker appear more powerful then it is on paper.
Very true, but it only becomes an issue if you don't take the time to know what to look out for.

Wattage alone means nothing, max SPL without a chart means nothing, but have driver spec, frequency/SPL chart in hand (with test conditions known) & you're well on the way to knowing what the speaker is actually capable of.

peterwo2e
02-28-2012, 09:38 PM
i had my QSC k-10s for 3 years now simply love them. don't let the size fool you is only a 10 inch driver but fuckers sound really loud and clear. now the best part is the 30 plus pounds each. tripods carrying case wires and the 2 speakers at e bay about 1,300 bucks. shop around. by the way QSC is top of the line equipment.

ampnation
02-28-2012, 10:52 PM
The RCF (ART312A) looks interesting. A new pair of those run about $1000. Again the same question goes for the amp. It's 350W bi-amped so how does that compare with what I'm using now? Would a pair of those and a single JBL PRX sub be enough?

Keep looking and you'll find those RCF's for around $800 a pair. You might have to call to get that price though.
As far as the amp power, don't even consider it. There are other factors that are just as important and watts are mostly marketing tools. The 350w RCF's are great speakers.

I would consider getting the one XLF sub if that's the way you're leaning, then sell your old rig and apply that to a 2nd one. You can probably get by on one, but it is so much better to have headroom and with two, if one goes out, you're not dead in the water.

djfaceatl
02-29-2012, 03:16 PM
I would do the following
First off, start off with some good quality subs. That will make your system sound much fuller and appear louder. It takes more for the bass to push than the tops
Here is one I would jump all over if I were you
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Used-JBL-SR4718X-single-18-subwoofer-pair-/220964703260?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item337285cc1c#ht_1100wt_1086
If not these then look for the JBL MP418s
While you are at it, I would get these as well
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Pair-JBL-MPro-MP-215-speakers-monitors-Excellent-Condition-NR-/110833066368?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19ce2a6180#ht_500wt_1103

Lets say thats roughly $1200 you spend on tops and bottoms. Just so you realize, these are in no class near to your JRX series that you had before. These are mid/pro level.

You can keep the EP4000 to push your subs as the recommended amp power is 600w @ 4ohms. I would change out that XLS 402 for something with a bit more power for headroom. You can go with the Peavey IPR 3000 since they are extremely light and word is they are good amps..

Good luck

ampnation
02-29-2012, 04:19 PM
I'm pretty sure djfaceatl meant those as examples, not that you should get those particular items since the tops are pickup only in Connecticut and the OP lives in California. hehe. But yes, those are pretty good deals. The subs are the predecessors to the SRX718S which is a fantastic sub. Check the price on one of those and you'll see how a pair of mint condition subs that are nearly the same, is a good deal at $700. The MPro led to the MRX I believe. I don't like the look of those MPro tops but I have heard they are very good sounding. If you're doing house parties vs. weddings, that's fine. Also freight for a pair of subs from NJ to CA... check before you bid!

Bottom line, there ARE deals out there on equipment that hasn't been trashed, used for a good price, but you have to know what you're looking for. If you're gonna buy used, build a list of good products first, THEN go looking because 90% or more is gonna fall into the category of "Next!"

djfaceatl
03-02-2012, 04:27 PM
Amp you are right. I just did a quick search and that was what I found... Didnt check the details.
Anyhow, its deals like those that the OP needs to be looking for.
Good quality and great prices
Oh and those MP412s sound great to be honest... If I had some extra cash lying around I would pick em up for backups

jlcpremier
03-08-2012, 07:46 PM
So after much research, and thought, I decided to go with a pair of the ELX 115P and a pair of the 118P subs. I managed to get a pretty sweet deal of just over $2300 for everything new. I'll let you know how they turn out. Thanks for the help.

Al Poulin
03-08-2012, 08:08 PM
So after much research, and thought, I decided to go with a pair of the ELX 115P and a pair of the 118P subs. I managed to get a pretty sweet deal of just over $2300 for everything new. I'll let you know how they turn out. Thanks for the help.

Congratulations on your new toys! 2300$ for a pair of powered 18'' subs and powered 15'' tops is excellent. EV makes good sounding equipment - and has been doing it for a long time - so I'm sure you will be very happy with your new system. The 15'' tops by themselves will easily handle those smaller parties too... Enjoy and let us know how you like your new setup. Remember to be careful handling them however, as the finish on them is somewhat fragile.

Al

windspeed36
03-08-2012, 09:20 PM
So after much research, and thought, I decided to go with a pair of the ELX 115P and a pair of the 118P subs. I managed to get a pretty sweet deal of just over $2300 for everything new. I'll let you know how they turn out. Thanks for the help.

I wish I could get that sorta pricing over here in Aus - $1500 for a single RCF 312A

DJKR7
03-09-2012, 12:12 PM
ELX sounds good at low volume, but cannot keep up with other wooden cabinet speakers such as DSR, KW and PRX. The limiter kicks in really quick...
By the way, I just found nice sounding speakers today. They are from Yamaha and called DXR. I listened to 12" and 15" models next to QSC K, JBL EON and EV ELX, and just loved the sounding of the DXR:love: They really sound sweet at extremely high volume... It's worth a listen.

jlcpremier
08-09-2012, 11:17 AM
Hey everyone, just thought I'd give you an update on how the speakers are performing. It's been a few months now and I have a handful of gigs under my belt with them. Overall I'm still happy with the purchase, but I've noticed on a couple gigs those limiters on the subs tend to kick in fairly easily. The tops I can usually push much harder, but generally I can't push the subs more than about 1-2 o clock on the level knob. That said I am not running them in EV's prefferred configuration which is mixer-->sub--->top. Instead I run the sound from the mixer to the tops then to the sub. This way if the subs get pushed too hard they won't cut out the tops, as losing low end for a second or two is much less noticeable then losing the mids and highs, which has only happened once in the last 6 gigs I've used them, but that was my fault as I noticed i was clipping my levels on my mixer.

The tops I can usually run with the input level and speaker level anywhere up to 3'oclock position on the dials. These things sound 1000X better than my old Behringers but for anyone looking to get club SPL levels out of the ELX line you might be slightly dissapointed. The largest gig I've done with them so far was a dance with 400 kids and they held up ok. Saw the limiters light up every now and then but nothing constant. Surprisingly the worst performance I had with them was an outdoor dance for about 150 kids in a pavilion quad. inside the quad up to about 50 away the music was nice and loud, but as soon as you walked outside, or off the main dancefloor area, it got pretty quiet pretty quick. At the height of the night I was pushing the speakers about as hard as I could, where the limiter lights on the tops were lighting up a couple times during each song, and the sub limiters were doing the same. I noticed the crowd moved back about 10 feet from the speakers around that point but when I did a walkaround to get a sense of the sound levels i was still not 100% happy. Overall still great speakers, just know they have limitations. If I could go back I probably would spend the extra money and get the JBL or QSC speakers instead.

light-o-matic
08-12-2012, 02:41 PM
With the ELX, it doesn't matter whether you go through the sub first, or through the top.. since the outputs are full range on both. BUT, if when you are running through the subs, if the tops cut out when you push the subs.. that indicates that either you are running the subs WAY too hard.. or you don't have enough power available to the subs. Check the quality/gauge of your extension cords.. make sure they are 12 gauge or lower.. and ideally use two extension cords.. one for the subs, one for everything else. And ideally those extension cords would be plugged into outlets on separate circuits. You can get away with running that setup on one circuit, but two is much better.

Also, your subs should be positioned right next to each other, in the center. Not one under each speaker. Your 112's go on stands, 118's in the middle, together. Much more bass that way.