Grateful Dead Music Forum

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Chat about Equipment Info
 #84714  by chummy
 Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:47 am
Anybody using powered speakers? I want to dump the heavy pre amps and go to powered speakers. The Yorkvilles are way too much. I am debating between the Macki SRM 450 or the QSC K12's. Any advice or expirences with these?
 #84719  by strumminsix
 Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:03 am
chummy wrote:Anybody using powered speakers? I want to dump the heavy pre amps and go to powered speakers. The Yorkvilles are way too much. I am debating between the Macki SRM 450 or the QSC K12's. Any advice or expirences with these?
Firstly, spell 'em right so folks can search

Secondly, how are you gonna dump your pre amps and thirdly why are they so heavy?
 #84720  by chummy
 Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:18 am
Mackie (sorry) I meant power amps by the way (too much coffee this morning). They weigh about 40lbs each and we have 3 in the case. The powered speakers allow me to get rid of them. I will only need one power amp to run the monitors. Much easier to travel with.
 #84725  by strumminsix
 Fri Aug 06, 2010 11:10 am
I too considered going this route but decided against it. Advisement from a sound engineer was that with a standard system:
- more easily make is scalable
- more easily swap out component
- racked poweramps are more efficient
- better management of weight

His advisement is that a gigging band is best suited with a pair of 2x15+horn mains and at least a pair of 2x12+horn monitors

I've not seen a 2x15 powered mains
 #84728  by JonnyBoy
 Fri Aug 06, 2010 11:25 am
I am assuming you want to use these as your mains, You still get way much more tone/volume for your money with separate amps with non powered speaker cabs since you own them already. Plus like Strum said, there are only 1x15's. Look into the new Peavey amps they are super powerful and CHEAP. Plus they weigh 6lbs each. That would in the end save you money versus the powered speakers, and you only have to sell the amps which are easier to ship and sell. I don't know how many watts you are using but they have some amps that are just overkill in terms of wattage all for the price of a single powered speaker.
Last edited by JonnyBoy on Fri Aug 06, 2010 11:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
 #84731  by strumminsix
 Fri Aug 06, 2010 11:38 am
RiverRat wrote:
strumminsix wrote:His advisement is that a gigging band is best suited with a pair of 2x15+horn mains and at least a pair of 2x12+horn monitors

I've not seen a 2x15 powered mains
2x15's for most gigging bands are overkill... better served with 1x15's with 3 way crossovers. Unless you meant a pair of 15" mains with included horns.
Umm, you are considering that many of the Jerry guys on this board are pushing hundreds of watts into JBL speakers and many knuckleheads are still giggin with full or half stacks.

A pair of 2x15s+horn work AWESOME in rooms with a stage at least 2' up where you won't need stands. And you can easily get more drums and bass in these than 1x15s. Don't know the science but my ears hear bass so much clearer from 2x15s than 1x15s and they don't get muddy when mixed.

Honestly, for my band my EXM500 powered mixer + pair of BR15s mains + pair of BR12s mons works very well for us. Vocals only in the mains and monitors with a smidge of kick drum with a high pass filter engaged (pud vs thud).

I think many folks go overkill with gear. But if I was to build up I'd grab the Yamaha Club package with the pair of 15+15+horn + poweramp and start from there!
 #84732  by playingdead
 Fri Aug 06, 2010 11:46 am
The K12 is a nice speaker. Weight is very reasonable and it's loud ... 129 db rating. I have three of them, plus a pair of K10s. I run two K12s on stage with Playing Dead on the larger stages for my guitar rig.

I have also used them as PA speakers in small outdoor settings. They are definitely better than the Mackies, nice flat response, with the option to put a boost on the lows if you don't have a sub.

As mains, a pair of K12s on each side with the matching sub will do a nice job. And they do make killer vocal monitors.

The KW series is a little more robust, but much heavier (the "W" stands for wood cabinets). The KW is the replacement for the HPR series, I believe.
 #84736  by tcsned
 Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:08 pm
yeah, I thought about it when getting my PA together and decided against it due to if either the speaker or amp goes bad you're kinda fucked for a while. I got Mackie S251s for mains and JBL monitors - same speakers as the Eons w/o the amps. They work great for small to medium sized gigs.
 #84746  by SarnoMusicSolutions
 Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:52 pm
Those K-series QSC powered speakers are quite impressive. Some of the best new stuff to come along. Affordable and great power/size/weight ratio. Sound really nice too.

Also look into the lesser-known FBT Maxx series stuff. They're the Italian company that used to mold the nice Mackie powered cab's back before Mackie cheapened the quality and moved to China for that work. They've been making their own stuff for a long time. These FBT's sound great and have nice sounding class-D power. They have systems with a sub and a pole to mount the mains, or simply a pair of 15" or 12" mains can really kick out a big, clean, low-fatigue sound. Very light as well.

 #84761  by Stone
 Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:41 pm
QSC stuff is alot better then Mackie. You might might want to look into there new Kw series or perhaps JBL Prx series. Theres more pro's then cons when it coming to using powered speakers. With the factory parameters and proper processing built into powered speakers puts you way beyond 90% of ppl with a "Driverack". All the proper processing and limiting is already there. We are replacing out current older JBL SR-X with powered speakers. Ive also found that 12" top speakers are clearer and have better punch then tops with 15' speakers.

Some other brands to look at would be EV ( Zxa's) and RCF or Kv2

What size venues are u playing ?
 #84769  by jester536
 Sat Aug 07, 2010 6:40 am
I have the Mackie SRM 450's and I like them a lot...but a buddy has the QSC's...they're just a better speaker...sound very nice. I've also heard that the newer 450's have taken a step down in quality. If it's between those 2...go with the QSC's.
 #84840  by chummy
 Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:00 am
We are playing bars. Some large, some small. I want music loud enough and clear enough for people to talk but get a good dose of music. It seems like the QSC's have the clarity at lower levels. I think the QSC's seem to get the better vote.
 #84856  by SarnoMusicSolutions
 Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:11 pm
Mackie used to make a great powered speaker, but when they bailed on the Italian cabinet maker and went to China or someone over there for the electronics, their stuff hasn't been the same. Mackie has become one of those victims (or culprits) in the outsourcing, cost-cutting, mass producers that really isn't the company they used to be.

Funny story about Mackie. They tried to save money by not paying the price it cost to have their molded cabinets made in Italy, so they went to China to do it much cheaper. They learned the hard lesson that a GOOD plastic speaker cabinet is no easy task, and the Italian company they had worked with made the very best in the world. Their chinese attempts would shatter, crack, resonate, split, all kinds of bad things. So they came crawling back to Italy, tails between their legs. These corporate Mackie guys showed up at the factory surrounded by the Italian workers, were peacefully escorted to the part of the factory where their old mold castings were for these powered speakers. These metal castings are extremely expensive to make, hundreds of thousands of dollars. So in response to Mackie begging to come back to them to have these plastic cab's made again, the Italian execs gave the nod and made the Mackie execs witness a couple of factory workers violently destroy the castings with sledgehammers. Then they were rapidly escorted out of the factory as the many other workers stared them down, punching fists and slapping tools in their hands, Mackie exec's fearing for their own safety. Mackie learned a hard lesson that day. Now that Loud Technologies has purchased Mackie, Ampeg, EAW and others, the production quality of these once-good brands has really gone downhill. I talked to the bass player touring with Crosby and Nash, and he said he was on his 3rd SVT bass amp that month. When they built them in Arkansas, they were rugged, American, quality amplifiers. Now that they're made in Vietnam or China, the quality and ruggedness is gone. Tragic what a capital investor seeking to minimize costs and maximize profits will do to a brand as well as US jobs. A lot of good, talented people here in St. Louis lost their long-time, good jobs when Ampeg sold out to Loud Tech. It's sad.

Back on topic. I know that the QSC cab's are also built in China, and really there are some very well tooled factories set up over there making excellent quality stuff, so this comparison really comes down to performance. I've heard both, and find the QSC stuff to be really nice. The Mackie, to be fair, isn't bad at all, but the QSC seems to have something a bit more nice happening. If you have any of the older Italian/US made Mackies, those are really worth holding on to and taking care of.