PDA

View Full Version : Help deciding on a new amp & limiter/compressor



kipperj
03-20-2012, 10:11 PM
Hello, fellow DJs! Here's my situation. I still have my first DJ system. It consists of 2 PV 900 amplifiers (http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/peavey-pv-900-power-amp) that power 2 PV 118 subs and 2 PV 115 Cabs, all of which are 8 ohms, 400W RMS. I've been underpowering my system for the longest time. I have been running them both in stereo mode @180W x 2. The amp is not stable @ 4ohms bridged so I'm looking to get an amp that can provide enough juice for at least two of these speakers (probably for cabs) and I would just use the two PV900s separately, one for each sub. I want something that won't be too much or too little and I'm looking to spend around $650. Hopefully, there's something decent that I can dig up and I'm hoping someone on DJF can help me out. Also, If the full budget isn't burnt, I'm considering buying a compressor/limiter. I'm ready for any sort of feedback you have to offer. Thanks a lot for reading! Looking forward to some help!

kipperj
03-20-2012, 10:12 PM
And if possible, I'd like to find something that doesn't weigh 50lbs, haha. My power box already weights 100+

Incognito
03-20-2012, 10:36 PM
Peavey IPR3000 with built in DSP for $599.99 http://www.ebay.com/itm/PEAVEY-IPR-3000-DSP-Power-Amplifier-IPR-3000DSP-NEW-Free-Shipping-/270924969628?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f1462f69c search around & you may even find a better deal.

Has your processing built in & is the perfect match for your speakers @ 400 watts per channel 8 ohms (your speakers are actually 400 watts program http://www.peavey.com/assets/literature/additional/00572150_3.pdf ) best of all the amp only weighs 7 lbs.

kipperj
03-20-2012, 10:44 PM
I was actually looking at those IPRs before they even came out. I've wanted one. I looked at the 1600. I was stupid for not looking at the 3000s. That would be perfect! I think I could get one for around $450. Still looking for advice on a compressor, if anyone has any. Thanks, Incognito.

Incognito
03-20-2012, 10:52 PM
I was actually looking at those IPRs before they even came out. I've wanted one. I looked at the 1600. I was stupid for not looking at the 3000s. That would be perfect! I think I could get one for around $450. Still looking for advice on a compressor, if anyone has any. Thanks, Incognito.

Get the one with the built in DSP & you'll get the processing you're looking for with Peaveys built in DDT & the DSP will add other built in processing as well http://www.peavey.com/assets/category/manuals/703_11721.pdf best of all the IPR has a number of preset DSP settings for speakers from their product line so you just scroll to that setting & you're pretty set. Either leave the factory settings or you can tweak to taste.

kipperj
03-20-2012, 10:59 PM
I love the idea of the DSP, but what should I do about my remaining two amps? I would only be able to control settings for the cabs :/

windspeed36
03-20-2012, 11:11 PM
sell them?

windspeed36
03-21-2012, 01:31 AM
As for a compressor, I'd be looking at the DBX 1066 comp gate limiter or the Alesis 3630 comp gate limiter. Some people love the Alesis and some hate it, I've got no real problem with it. It's okay for getting started and is only a 1/4 of the cost of the DBX at only $100 USD from Muscians friend.

Here's a bit of a tutorial on how to setup and use a compressor: http://youtube.com/watch?v=_TsLwlHjFhA

Robdogg
03-21-2012, 09:22 AM
QSC gx5 or gx7 .... if you run two of them one for each side they have the crossover built in and all the power you will need...

kipperj
03-21-2012, 02:07 PM
I'm liking the looks of that Alesis, but I think I'm going to try and sell the PV900s even though I know its going to be tough to find a buyer who wants them both. I appreciate all of the feedback, guys. You have all made my decision much easier!

djfaceatl
03-21-2012, 04:28 PM
Why are you looking to get that Allesis compressor? You do not need it
Less is more. It is easier to mess up the sound of your setup by adding more equipment unless you know how to properly use it.
Go to this page... http://www.peavey.com/products/proaudio/poweramps/ipr/index.cfm/item/116954/IPR%26trade%3B%26nbsp%3BDSP%26nbsp%3B3000.html
Read every tab on it and even read the instruction manual. There is a pdf link that will give you the manual. You will realize all that is included with this amplifier.
Good luck

kipperj
03-21-2012, 09:04 PM
The only reason I'm looking into a compressor is because I'll have two extra amps that don't have processors built in. If I manage to sell my old amps, I'm going to invest in 2 IPRs however. Just weighing my options.

windspeed36
03-21-2012, 11:22 PM
A compressor isn't a signal processor in the same sense that a crossover is. A compressor is normally inserted into a chanel or put across the entire output matrix. A crossover is designed to split that signal matrix up before its routed to the amplifiers. If your just playing Pre-recorded music then the compressor is redundant however it will serve some use if inserted on microphones that are used for speaches ect

Incognito
03-21-2012, 11:37 PM
Yeah I think he's getting his processors mixed up judging by his last statement
The only reason I'm looking into a compressor is because I'll have two extra amps that don't have processors built in. I think he's thinking of a crossover.

ampnation
03-22-2012, 01:38 AM
yeah, compressors and gates are usually applied to input channels. As indicated above, for a DJ, the main use would be on your mic channels. They're also used a lot for instruments in live sound applications.

According to Peavey the IPR 3000 has...
DSP-based Loudspeaker Management System
- 120 ms of delay per channel
- 4 bands of parametric equalization per channel
- Security lock
- Adjustable fourth-order Linkwitz-Riley Crossover
- Adjustable fourth-order high-pass filter each channel

Not compressor or gate and one wouldn't expect one.
Also, if you're going to be in a variety of venues you would EQ as following (one way anyway):
- adjust mic or instrument inputs to get a relatively flat response using input channel EQ strips -- this should give you a flat response at your master outs on your mixer.
- adjust for speakers using your DSP EQ. In this case, using the ones provided for in the IPR DSP 3000
- adjust for the venue using a 31 band graphic EQ like the dbx 231, or if you can't spring for a 31 band, at least a 15.

windspeed36
03-22-2012, 02:05 AM
A little more help with the EQing thing - I use my EQ's pretty much the same as Dave Rat uses his and it makes for easy simple adjustments. http://youtube.com/watch?v=cU9BmupC62c

kipperj
03-22-2012, 10:28 AM
I see where I screwed up. I thought the compressor came right after the mixer, right before the power. I feel stupid for not realizing they were applied to input channels... Sorry for the confusion everyone :freak:

djfaceatl
03-22-2012, 10:36 AM
Can you post a pic of your rack?
Or give specifics on what you have in your rack
If you only have amps in there now, then you need to get other equipment before you decide that you want to get new amps or a compressor first..
Take a look at a DSP. A decent inexpensive one is the Behringer DCX2496. You can also look at the BBE DS26 or the Driverack PA. Before you go out and buy them though, read the instruction manuals a few times. Get to understand what they do.
Just adding a DSP will get you much better sound out of what you already have

kipperj
03-22-2012, 12:54 PM
From top to bottom: BBE sonic maximizer (tear me apart, if you wish), Behringer ULTRAGRAPH PRO FBQ3102 EQ (31 band, I use it as my crossover), two Peavey PV900 amps, Juice Goose JR power conditioner. As of now, I plan to put at least one IPR3000 in on top of the 900s. Ideally, I'd like to get rid of the 900s altogether but being in college makes my money situation a bit tight.

windspeed36
03-22-2012, 04:01 PM
Id replace that Behringer EQ as soon as possible - it generates so much excess noise. See if you can find a cheap DBX driverack or a cheap EQ and Crossover

djfaceatl
03-22-2012, 04:52 PM
From top to bottom: BBE sonic maximizer (tear me apart, if you wish), Behringer ULTRAGRAPH PRO FBQ3102 EQ (31 band, I use it as my crossover), two Peavey PV900 amps, Juice Goose JR power conditioner. As of now, I plan to put at least one IPR3000 in on top of the 900s. Ideally, I'd like to get rid of the 900s altogether but being in college makes my money situation a bit tight.

Get rid of the BBE and the Berry unit. Get a DSP right now. U said you have a $650 budget. Well getting a DSP will only be half of your budget and it will improve your setup a lot. You do not have a proper crossover so you are not playing the proper frequencies through those speakers and amps
If you do not have that budget yet, go the inexpensive route. This will also help. Get a CROSSOVER
You can get a DOD SR-835 for only $100 new. You can get quite a few others used for that price or less. You really do not need an eq. Its more trouble than it is worth until you learn to use it properly. An eq is supposed to be used to tone down peaks. Most people dont know this and they use it to boost frequencies and that is how they easily blow their speakers.

Incognito
03-22-2012, 05:34 PM
According to Peavey the IPR 3000 has...
DSP-based Loudspeaker Management System
- 120 ms of delay per channel
- 4 bands of parametric equalization per channel
- Security lock
- Adjustable fourth-order Linkwitz-Riley Crossover
- Adjustable fourth-order high-pass filter each channel

Not compressor or gate and one wouldn't expect one.


You forgot the Peavey soft limiter feature known as DDT (Distortion Detection Technology) protection.

kipperj
03-22-2012, 06:04 PM
Id replace that Behringer EQ as soon as possible - it generates so much excess noise. See if you can find a cheap DBX driverack or a cheap EQ and Crossover

That Behringer EQ IS my cheap EQ, haha. Ideally, what would be the best option for me? What should I keep, and what should I buy, working with what I have, of course. I really need to get one of those IPRs ASAP but I'm going to figure something out to do the best with the money I have and do some "financial planning" so I can get everything I need to get sorted out.

windspeed36
03-22-2012, 06:21 PM
DBX231 is a decent 31 band EQ - its sliders do +- 6dB which is okay for a beginner, optimality you would would want +-12dB but you'll survive. You'll also want a semi-deccent crossover. Have look on ebay,craigslist or whatever floats your boat to find one - preferably DBX, BBE or Rane for a cheap beginner. That and your amps are really all you need in your racks. Some people prefer power conditioning however true power conditioners cost. The cheap ones you see are more like rack mountable distros.

If you want you can add a comp either inserted on channels or accross your entire mix output if you do a lot of work with people who haven't used mic's much ect.

As for signal chain (with entire mix comp'd): Mixer outputs > EQ > compressor (optional) > crossover > amps.

kipperj
03-22-2012, 07:41 PM
Could that EQ be the reason the DDT lights on my amps light up when it's not at full power? And when I say not at full power... i mean not even close.

Incognito
03-22-2012, 08:34 PM
Could that EQ be the reason the DDT lights on my amps light up when it's not at full power? And when I say not at full power... i mean not even close.

How are you judging if the amps "not at full power"? The knobs on the amps aren't volume knobs, they're attenuators, you can reach the full potential of the amp no matter where their set (depending on how hot the input signal is). If you don't have your gain structure set correctly & you have your EQ settings cranked up then yes, you can reach full potential output of your amp pretty fast. As a rule of thumb you should be using your EQ to make cuts to peaky frequencies rather then boosting frequencies, if you go boosting you bass frequencies on your EQ then you'll run out of headroom very quick.

ampnation
03-22-2012, 08:47 PM
I think a lot of people are missing that the particular EQ you have isn't just an EQ based on some comments. I has a mono sub output, presumably, post-EQ, with an adjustable xover point which hints that the "full-range"outputs are also affected by the frequency selected. Since the xover frequency range goes up to 200Hz it should be easy to determine by hooking up just your tops and adjusting the xover frequency. If increasing the frequency from say 80 to 200 Hz causes the low end to drop off on the tops, you know it affects both sub and tops. If it doesn't, it's really kind of a pointless feature on the EQ unit.

I don't know how noisy that unit is. Maybe that particular piece has a rep that way? I have a pair of Behringer MX882 mixer/splitters that both are quite acceptable for everything I've done so far. I'm sure the Rane version that costs about 6x as much is better and I'm certain nobody would know the difference. That doesn't mean I'm not going to avoid the yellow triangle when I can, but if I already have it and it works, I'll only change it out if it is obviously causing a problem. In the OP's case, it seems it would be fairly easy to try renting a good EQ and crossover from a sound house and try swapping it to see how noticeable the difference is. Figure on spending about 10% of retail for rental goods. Another point on the FBQ3102 being noisy is, it does have a pink noise generator which should be turned off, not just down. I can see how simply turning it down could lead to it sounding noisy when it is really just user op error. Then again, I have a Behringer UB802 which has significant channel bleed and a similar problem might be lead the pink noise generator in an FBQ3102 to bleed into the signal even when turned off.

Yes, I did miss the DDT... saw it but in my hurry I glossed over it and wasn't thinking "limiter" when I was looking for DSP features.

The dbx231 has a switchable +/- 6/12 db range.

+1 on removing the power conditioner. A simple power strip is a better idea in most cases. (pun intended)

kipperj
03-22-2012, 08:55 PM
I keep my EQ flat, and as ampnation said, it has a mono sub out, which I use as my crossover. I don't boost any of my signals, as far as I know (at least they don't clip). Should I be wondering why my DDT light is coming on?

ampnation
03-22-2012, 08:58 PM
And to add to incognito's point about the DDT kicking in early... and this is a very basic concept...

When he says gain structure, the key point when setting your levels is, NONE of the equipment in your signal chain should clip more than momentarily once in a while. If you're hitting clipping each time the bass hits, your levels are too high. Start at or as close as possible to the source when checking this.

For instance, if you have a CD player plugged into a mixer, the mixer is probably your first item with a vu meter. If you're the type who adjusts your EQ strip during performance on the mixer, then turn those all the way up. Put your channel fader all the way up and your master level all the way down. Play an aggressive track, and start turning up your output level until you're showing clipping, then turn it back down a bit. Once that is set, center your channel strip EQ's again and lower your channel level but keep your master where it is.

Then move to your next piece of equipment and follow a similar procedure. Usually on processing equipment you simply start with the output all the way up and the input level all the way down and adjust the input level, but be mindful about other settings that might affect the gain.

The amps should be the last thing set. Since they usually don't have input levels, you just worry about the attenuators, usually referred to as gain or volume controls erroneously.

ampnation
03-22-2012, 08:59 PM
I keep my EQ flat, and as ampnation said, it has a mono sub out, which I use as my crossover. I don't boost any of my signals, as far as I know (at least they don't clip). Should I be wondering why my DDT light is coming on?
Yes. you might have a faulty amp if the input signal isn't clipping and you're getting early limiting on the amp.

windspeed36
03-22-2012, 09:03 PM
I brought the same EQ (brought it new for $49 on sale for a friend) and it is the noisiest thing I've ever heard...

kipperj
03-22-2012, 09:04 PM
... Really makes me wish I had an IPR right now, haha

Incognito
03-22-2012, 09:05 PM
I keep my EQ flat, and as ampnation said, it has a mono sub out, which I use as my crossover. I don't boost any of my signals, as far as I know (at least they don't clip). Should I be wondering why my DDT light is coming on?

On DJF 1.0 I did a comparison review of the PV 1500 vs the QSC MX1500a & one of the things I did notice is the Peavey PV series of amps didn't have much headroom to them & the amp ran out of steam pretty fast. Now take into consideration that the PV 900 that you have is only putting out around 150 watts to 160 watts per channel (based on a 20hz - 20khz rating), you're really not deivering too much power into your speakers that only has a sensitivity of 95db (a calculated max output of 116.8 from your configuration if you ran your amp to max output based on a single PV 115). This means you'll run out of steam long before those speakers get to the point that they seem they're getting loud (unless you're only using them for home use).

Incognito
03-22-2012, 09:15 PM
Yes. you might have a faulty amp if the input signal isn't clipping and you're getting early limiting on the amp.

The DDT feature is designed to kick in before clipping to give the amp a little extra headroom before clipping. Read page 12 http://www.peavey.com/assets/literature/manuals/116310_13347.pdf

Also looking at page 8 of the manual the PV 900 doesn't have a clip light bvut I think the DDT light is the warning that you're about to run out of headroom & can be used as the clip light.

http://www.musiciansbuy.com/mmMBCOM/images/PEAVEY_PV900.jpg

kipperj
03-22-2012, 10:02 PM
I brought the same EQ (brought it new for $49 on sale for a friend) and it is the noisiest thing I've ever heard...

The Behringer?

kipperj
03-22-2012, 10:08 PM
One thing I just realized.. IPR3000 puts out 840W per side @ 4ohms, meaning I COULD potentially chain my tops on one side and my subs on the other. Would this be ideal? Or would I be better off just getting 2 3000s?

windspeed36
03-22-2012, 10:24 PM
The Behringer?

Yeah, I dont know why the guy wanted me to grab one for him...

kipperj
03-22-2012, 10:35 PM
Yeah, I dont know why the guy wanted me to grab one for him...

Should I just take it out of the line for now?

ampnation
03-22-2012, 10:52 PM
Should I just take it out of the line for now?

Not until you have a crossover to replace it. Also, it is possible windspeed's particular example was faulty and yours is not. Try what I suggested earlier first... rent some quality gear.

windspeed36
03-22-2012, 10:57 PM
Not until you have a crossover to replace it. Also, it is possible windspeed's particular example was faulty and yours is not. Try what I suggested earlier first... rent some quality gear.

It didn't seem faulty and i'm comparing the noise to my DBX2231 EQ's which are pretty quiet...

kipperj
03-22-2012, 11:02 PM
Not until you have a crossover to replace it. Also, it is possible windspeed's particular example was faulty and yours is not. Try what I suggested earlier first... rent some quality gear.

Even so, I'm still ashamed to have that Behringer in the middle of all my Peavey gear... I've only heard bad things about Behringer. Plus, there's nowhere to rent from in my area. I'm going to try and do the best I can with what you guys can give.

Anyone have thoughts on Peavey crossovers? http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/peavey-pv-23xo-2-way-stereo-3-way-mono-crossover Like this one?

unsafe8989
03-23-2012, 04:28 AM
One thing I just realized.. IPR3000 puts out 840W per side @ 4ohms, meaning I COULD potentially chain my tops on one side and my subs on the other. Would this be ideal? Or would I be better off just getting 2 3000s?

One is probaly all you need I love my pair they run 2 Ohm loads no problem and are always room temperature.

Incognito
03-23-2012, 05:27 AM
One thing I just realized.. IPR3000 puts out 840W per side @ 4ohms, meaning I COULD potentially chain my tops on one side and my subs on the other. Would this be ideal? Or would I be better off just getting 2 3000s?

It would work but you would loose stereo imaging for your tops (doesn't matter for your subs) if that's important to you. I know you have the PV 115 tops but what subs do you have (to check the power handling of your subs)?

kipperj
03-23-2012, 07:22 AM
It would work but you would loose stereo imaging for your tops (doesn't matter for your subs) if that's important to you. I know you have the PV 115 tops but what subs do you have (to check the power handling of your subs)?

2 PV 118s. Rated at 400W RMS, just like the tops

Phil Lewandowski
03-23-2012, 03:25 PM
The only reason I'm looking into a compressor is because I'll have two extra amps that don't have processors built in. If I manage to sell my old amps, I'm going to invest in 2 IPRs however. Just weighing my options.

I agree with the others, skip the compressor. If using a compressor, use it on each of the inputs of your vocal mics, not on your main outs.

Pretty much you will just want to go: Mains outs of mixer - DSP - Amps - Speakers

Nice and simple. And as has been mentioned you can get amps that have DSP built-in, but you would want all your amps then to be from that same DSP-Amp combo product line. (The up side of DSP/Amp combos is they normally have much better limiters than separate under $1000 DSP's.)


~Phil