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#1 FuNkShUi

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 10:11 AM

Think this would be the right forum for this? Feel free to move.

Currently we have a non powered desk (Yamaha MG16xu), powered by a Behringer iNuke, then this powers passive tops, that we link to subs underneath. The subs have a built in crossover in them.

I've convinced the band to go for active tops, and as such we are looking at either RCF 322s (second hand) or some DB opera 12s, or some Alto TS 212s.

My question is, what would be the best way to set this new system up? Because the tops will be powered, we obviously wont be running the power amp to them. So what would you do? Whats the best way to link everything? I'm not a expert on PA's so any advice is appreciated, even if you think it may be obvious.

The mixer has 4 auxs' and 2 monitor outs. At the minute we run our monitors from the aux outs, so they can have individual mixes to them. So my thoughts were to run the tops as normal, then instead of linking the subs to them, run the subs from a aux via the power amp , and manually mix in the channels we want to come through them. Or would you still link the subs to the tops in series , and do away with the power amp?

#2 Happy Jack

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 10:16 AM

The signal to your powered tops will be through standard balanced lines, i.e. XLR cables like you'd normally use for microphones.

You will need to place your powered tops close to power supplies of course, and you will have two cables running into each one instead of a single speaker lead.

Powered tops weigh a great deal more than otherwise equivalent passive tops, natch. Make sure your stands are up to that, and your band mates are happy lifting 30Kg speakers above shoulder height.

I never really understood the attraction, myself.

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#3 Gottastopbuyinggear

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 11:50 AM

View PostHappy Jack, on 12 September 2017 - 10:16 AM, said:

Powered tops weigh a great deal more than otherwise equivalent passive tops, natch. Make sure your stands are up to that, and your band mates are happy lifting 30Kg speakers above shoulder height.

I never really understood the attraction, myself.

:lol:

From the list of tops the OP has given I think he might well find they weigh little more than their current passive speakers - we've just replaced some EV SX300's with Yamaha DBR12's and they're only about 1Kg heavier. We don't run subs, so replacing the powered mixer (weight of a small star...) was the attraction for us. :D

FuNkShUi, I'm also far from an expert here but I think your best bet is an external crossover on the main outs, which will then have outputs for your tops and subs (or power amp feeding your subs). I think that's going to be easier than trying to use the EQ on the mixer to remove all the low end that you don't want going to the tops, and means you don't have to change the way you're using your auxes.

Edited by Gottastopbuyinggear, 12 September 2017 - 11:52 AM.


#4 FuNkShUi

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 11:54 AM

That's an option.
How about if i ran the L and R to the tops as normal, and then linked the tops to the subs as we have, but let the tops power the subs.
Is that an option? I haven't checked impedance's, and don't know how much that would effect the overall sound etc. As i said, i'm no expert!

#5 Gottastopbuyinggear

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 12:04 PM

I don't know of any powered tops that will allow that. Depending on what you get then there might be a signal "through" that you could take to the amp feeding your subs, but I'm pretty sure you won't find anything that'll allow you to slave another passive speaker from them.

I'm slightly puzzled by exactly how you're set up at the moment - just to confirm, your tops and subs are all passive? And your power amp speaker outputs go to your tops first, and then you have a slave output from your tops to your subs?

#6 mrtcat

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 12:19 PM

At the risk of getting in trouble (although I've paid my 20 again recently) for advertising, I've got a pair of RCF art 322a tops for sale.

#7 FuNkShUi

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 12:20 PM

I don't know if its a slave output as such. But yes, both are passive.
L and R from mixer goes to the power amp.
L and R from the power amp go to the tops "input".
Each top also has an "output", and we feed from that, down to the subs

#8 Les

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 12:35 PM

I'm pretty sure your new powered tops won't run the bins as they need power.

We've had mackie active tops and mow have Alto powered tops and the only outs from either of them are a signal link.

You're going to need an amp to drive your subs

Les
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#9 FuNkShUi

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 12:39 PM

That's fine. We already have one we can use.
I just wasn't sure if i could do without it altogether.
Next thing then.... What is the best way to connect the subs to the mixer, to make the most out of them?

#10 Gottastopbuyinggear

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 12:42 PM

I've no doubt someone more knowledgeable will be along shortly, but I'll stick to saying that a crossover is your best bet - I'm pretty sure Behringer make something that will do the job for less than £100.

Unless your tops have a crossover in them then they'll currently be trying to reproduce all the low end, as well as your subs, which doesn't strike me as a good situation. Either way, I'd be willing to bet that you'll get a better sound out of your planned set-up than you do currently, just by letting your power amp concentrate on driving the subs and the tops concentrate on putting out all the mids and highs.

#11 Les

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 12:49 PM

View PostFuNkShUi, on 12 September 2017 - 12:39 PM, said:

Next thing then.... What is the best way to connect the subs to the mixer, to make the most out of them?

If your subs have a crossover I would imagine you could use the link form the tops which is a signal through out into your power amp then
send that to your subs. Our subs (powered) take what they need from a full range signal and just ignore the rest.
That would save sacrificing one of your aux sends
I play in a cover band for money, so anything I post about bands is coming from the viewpoint of a cover band that plays for money.


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some harmonicas
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A penny whistle

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Tex and The Hardcore Troubadours
The Snakes
A yet to be named SexPistols tribute for a one off in 2014 (didn't happen)
Vince Reno and the Sabres
Switchgear

Motorbikes

Yamaha 600 Fazer (the real one with carburettors) (sadly nicked)
Another Yamaha 600 Fazer like the last one but redder

#12 Gottastopbuyinggear

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 12:53 PM

This is what I was thinking of: https://www.music-gr.../CX2310/p/P0132

Mixer main L and R signal outs to that, and then from that you have a high and low signal out for both left and right, lows to the inputs of the power amp driving the subs, and highs to the inputs of your powered tops.

I had a very quick look at this while my band were talking about PA options recently, so this isn't based on deep research.

#13 Gottastopbuyinggear

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 12:56 PM

View PostLes, on 12 September 2017 - 12:49 PM, said:

If your subs have a crossover I would imagine you could use the link form the tops which is a signal through out into your power amp then
send that to your subs. Our subs (powered) take what they need from a full range signal and just ignore the rest.
That would save sacrificing one of your aux sends

That would work okay for the Yamaha DBR12's that we have, as they have a high pass filter which can be set to 120Hz so they won't try to reproduce the bass.

But not all tops will have that option, and even if they do then the crossover frequencies might not be particularly well matched.

#14 mrtcat

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 12:59 PM

Depends on the tops. The RCF 322s don't have an HPF option so they would be running as full range. You could then feed the power amp from the "through" output from the tops. Alternatively you could run the subs from an aux send on the desk and the tops from the main l/r out. If it were me I'd be inclined to go either all active or all passive. If you want to mix active and passive then using a basic crossover (the behringer ones mentioned above would work fine) would take the pressure off the tops.

#15 Les

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 01:04 PM

View PostGottastopbuyinggear, on 12 September 2017 - 12:56 PM, said:

That would work okay for the Yamaha DBR12's that we have, as they have a high pass filter which can be set to 120Hz so they won't try to reproduce the bass.

But not all tops will have that option, and even if they do then the crossover frequencies might not be particularly well matched.

Yes, the mackies we had had a high pass, the Alto's don't they just have a contour button (basically a mid scoop) which I only use in small places were we're not using the subs.
I play in a cover band for money, so anything I post about bands is coming from the viewpoint of a cover band that plays for money.


Gear

some basses
some amps
some pedals
some harmonicas
some guitars
A penny whistle

Bands

Tex and The Hardcore Troubadours
The Snakes
A yet to be named SexPistols tribute for a one off in 2014 (didn't happen)
Vince Reno and the Sabres
Switchgear

Motorbikes

Yamaha 600 Fazer (the real one with carburettors) (sadly nicked)
Another Yamaha 600 Fazer like the last one but redder

#16 FuNkShUi

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 01:09 PM

Thanks for the suggestions so far everyone.
That crossover looks like it could be useful

#17 Phil Starr

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 01:21 PM

Not disagreeing with any of the advice, but at the risk of trying to teach you to suck eggs...

You absolutely need a crossover and if the subs are passive the one(s) in that won't do. The chain is mixer->crossover->amp-> speakers. though with your active speakers the amp is built in. Crossovers may be built into your tops subs or separate like the Behringer. Some mixers even have a crossover built in, not yours, it's the same one I use. The crossover for a sub will work somewhere in the 100-150Hz range. Irritatingly your iNuke has a crossover built in, but no sockets to connect it to your tops.

Without the crossover your tops will have all the bass going through them and the subs as well, that means the bass potentially will overload them at high levels and the sound probably won't improve, it may even be worse with the subs in place. The simplest solution is to buy a standalone crossover like the Behringer. you could go for an amp like the Peavey IPR1600 which has a full crossover for the subs or the best solution buy an active sub with the crossover built in so you can feed one lead to the subs and then on to the tops, which cuts down the spaghetti on stage.

#18 FuNkShUi

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 02:37 PM

Thanks Phil. Lots to think about.

#19 pete.young

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 11:16 AM

If you're not going to use a crossover, I'd also try using one of the group buses for the sub, rather than from one of the Aux mixes, which would then need to go through a power amp. You'll get a full range signal either way but the subs wont care, and you won't use up one of your Aux mixes.
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#20 MoJoKe

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 07:32 AM

If smaller/lighter but uncompromising is your quest, build up your funds for a few more gigs and buy some of these. I used some in a very large pub for a 6 piece band who don't use any backline a couple of weeks ago. Full range (ditch your crossover ideas), with a warm musical sound, 1000w RMS a side, they weigh nothing (the subs are 23kg, the satellites just 6kg!) and looked tiny, but massive bass, averaged 94db and still had plenty of headroom...

http://www.markaudio...il/ac-system-2/

New to the world from the makers of Markbass, and pretty epic!

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#21 41.2Hz

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 04:07 PM

My band went in a similar direction to the one MoJoke suggests. Having got thoroughly fed up of lugging around the flightcased mixer/power amps (yep, 2 of the buggers) behometh we went for a pair of Mackie Thump 12 powered full-range speakers.

http://mackie.com/products/thump

We only use PA for vocals, so this option may not of course work if you're using the PA to support bass and/or kick.

We've ditched the power amps altogether; we've got powered monitors as well
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#22 JamesBass

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Posted Yesterday, 07:45 AM

 FuNkShUi, on 12 September 2017 - 10:11 AM, said:

Think this would be the right forum for this? Feel free to move.

Currently we have a non powered desk (Yamaha MG16xu), powered by a Behringer iNuke, then this powers passive tops, that we link to subs underneath. The subs have a built in crossover in them.

I've convinced the band to go for active tops, and as such we are looking at either RCF 322s (second hand) or some DB opera 12s, or some Alto TS 212s.

My question is, what would be the best way to set this new system up? Because the tops will be powered, we obviously wont be running the power amp to them. So what would you do? Whats the best way to link everything? I'm not a expert on PA's so any advice is appreciated, even if you think it may be obvious.

The mixer has 4 auxs' and 2 monitor outs. At the minute we run our monitors from the aux outs, so they can have individual mixes to them. So my thoughts were to run the tops as normal, then instead of linking the subs to them, run the subs from a aux via the power amp , and manually mix in the channels we want to come through them. Or would you still link the subs to the tops in series , and do away with the power amp?
Personally the easiest and simplest option is all powered or all passive. Mixing both is a ball ache. The modern active speaker offerings are light, powerful and full response so it may be that you don't need subs. It all depends how you set your sound up and what you are micing up.

What sort of size gigs are you guys doing and what sort of backline do you have and what sort of music?
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#23 MoJoKe

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Posted Yesterday, 01:10 PM

View PostJamesBass, on 20 September 2017 - 07:45 AM, said:

Personally the easiest and simplest option is all powered or all passive. Mixing both is a ball ache...

Yes, no question. I have one of each. The passive rig is conservatively 8000w, and the amp has a built in crossover (and Dante... very neat, but not cheap). I can do anything up to small festivals with this rig. The smaller rig is the MarkAudio Audio Chain, as per link above. I have 2 x System 2's, which, by comparison to my big rig (and most "sub-pole-top" type active systems too) it disappears on stage, but each is rated at 1000w RMS or 2000w Peak (bearing in mind they are the same MPT power amps in Markbass gear, these ratings are almost certainly a real-world underestimation!) and they are very loud, but still very musical.

Don't risk being misled by claims of wattage and SPL figures. It is known that the majority of the industry is a joke when it comes to these published figures. Nearly all the cheap/budget manufacturers will quote peak wattage (until you dive into the small print! 2000w peak but 150w RMS is not uncommon on ebay!), which means absolutely bugger all in the real world, and claims for SPL (Sound Pressure Level), may well be accurate in a lab, at a specific peak frequency, for 10 seconds before the drivers pop out of their cages, but again, don't give any idea how loud or musical they really are in the real world. You need to give several options a proper listen. The AC2's are louder, more musical and don't sound compressed when compared to a full set of Bose F1 tops and subs (I was able to A/B them in a music shop), which are often seen as a benchmark for this class of gear. I also listened to their ERGO system, which still wallops 1400w RMS a pair and sound as nice, but less headroom if you need lots of power, but fine for a band who just want to put vocals and a kick drum through the PA

Getting back to the original point above! Most active PA systems have reasonable DSP and crossovers built into them, and are designed to work and play well together in a top/sub combination, and you simply send them a single XLR feed for each. Trying to do it with a mix of different gear is going to be very complicated. If you have a digital desk with matrix sends, you may be able to do the crossovers on the desk then use 2 x outputs for the subs and 2 x outputs for the tops (though I would probably recommend making your life simpler by running the subs as mono, as these frequencies don't provide stereo imagery at all well, and having each one do slightly different things is gonna give you a world of muddiness), though this is hungry on aux outputs. Alternatively an outboard crossover will do this as long as it has some decent EQ-ing options as you will need this to match your gear to get the best frequencies from the speakers you have. And this is all very well with the gear in a nice dead sounding marquee at a wedding, until the next gig is in a small stone barn with a 90db room limiter on the power supply, in which case you'll have to start from scratch!

If you are still heading down the crossover route, see if you can pick yourself up a XTA DP424. Expensive but will certainly be the best chance to take all your headaches away.

If you want a simpler (and more reliably musical!) life, sell what you have and re-invest in a full active system, or a full passive one.

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#24 JamesBass

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Posted Yesterday, 05:12 PM

 MoJoKe, on 20 September 2017 - 01:10 PM, said:



Yes, no question. I have one of each. The passive rig is conservatively 8000w, and the amp has a built in crossover (and Dante... very neat, but not cheap). I can do anything up to small festivals with this rig. The smaller rig is the MarkAudio Audio Chain, as per link above. I have 2 x System 2's, which, by comparison to my big rig (and most "sub-pole-top" type active systems too) it disappears on stage, but each is rated at 1000w RMS or 2000w Peak (bearing in mind they are the same MPT power amps in Markbass gear, these ratings are almost certainly a real-world underestimation!) and they are very loud, but still very musical.

Don't risk being misled by claims of wattage and SPL figures. It is known that the majority of the industry is a joke when it comes to these published figures. Nearly all the cheap/budget manufacturers will quote peak wattage (until you dive into the small print! 2000w peak but 150w RMS is not uncommon on ebay!), which means absolutely bugger all in the real world, and claims for SPL (Sound Pressure Level), may well be accurate in a lab, at a specific peak frequency, for 10 seconds before the drivers pop out of their cages, but again, don't give any idea how loud or musical they really are in the real world. You need to give several options a proper listen. The AC2's are louder, more musical and don't sound compressed when compared to a full set of Bose F1 tops and subs (I was able to A/B them in a music shop), which are often seen as a benchmark for this class of gear. I also listened to their ERGO system, which still wallops 1400w RMS a pair and sound as nice, but less headroom if you need lots of power, but fine for a band who just want to put vocals and a kick drum through the PA

Getting back to the original point above! Most active PA systems have reasonable DSP and crossovers built into them, and are designed to work and play well together in a top/sub combination, and you simply send them a single XLR feed for each. Trying to do it with a mix of different gear is going to be very complicated. If you have a digital desk with matrix sends, you may be able to do the crossovers on the desk then use 2 x outputs for the subs and 2 x outputs for the tops (though I would probably recommend making your life simpler by running the subs as mono, as these frequencies don't provide stereo imagery at all well, and having each one do slightly different things is gonna give you a world of muddiness), though this is hungry on aux outputs. Alternatively an outboard crossover will do this as long as it has some decent EQ-ing options as you will need this to match your gear to get the best frequencies from the speakers you have. And this is all very well with the gear in a nice dead sounding marquee at a wedding, until the next gig is in a small stone barn with a 90db room limiter on the power supply, in which case you'll have to start from scratch!

If you are still heading down the crossover route, see if you can pick yourself up a XTA DP424. Expensive but will certainly be the best chance to take all your headaches away.

If you want a simpler (and more reliably musical!) life, sell what you have and re-invest in a full active system, or a full passive one.
Can't disagree with any of that!

Like you say one or the other is best/easiest as mixed gives HEADACHES!

Having never needed to own festival capable speakers and rig I'm a HUGE fan of going for active. The Alto TS212s the OP is look at are phenomenal and blow the Mackie SRM series well out the water! I find them to be nice and rounded as well as being very loud and punchy. As always the best thing to do is to hear them and experience them as much as possible.

Haha, you've nailed the illusion of manufacturer stats! Far too many stats are purely marketing crap!

OP, currently Yamaha are making VERY good speakers at an affordable cost, Alto's TS2 series are great, RCF, dB, EV, the more expensive JBL actives are good, and the MarkBass AC2 sound interesting!

Good luck OP!
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