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Opinions on Peavey SP1 and Mark IV

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Hey guys,

I have a band, and we are currently looking for a good PA setup to start doing some shows. I want one we'll be able to keep for a while, so it needs to be powerful enough to be able to run larger shows with ease.

I have an opportunity to buy a used Peavey Mark IV 16 channel mixer with a couple Peavey SP1 speakers.

Are the speakers powerful enough to run some larger shows? Does the mixer have enough power? (I'm assuming it's a powered mixer because there is no power amp included) Also, would I be able to run monitors straight from the mixer? Or would I need some sort of amp setup to do that?

Thank you much for all of your help. I'm new at this band thing, but I've always wanted to do it and any help would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks!

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Hey guys,

I have a band, and we are currently looking for a good PA setup to start doing some shows. I want one we'll be able to keep for a while, so it needs to be powerful enough to be able to run larger shows with ease.

I have an opportunity to buy a used Peavey Mark IV 16 channel mixer with a couple Peavey SP1 speakers.

Are the speakers powerful enough to run some larger shows? Does the mixer have enough power? (I'm assuming it's a powered mixer because there is no power amp included) Also, would I be able to run monitors straight from the mixer? Or would I need some sort of amp setup to do that?

Thank you much for all of your help. I'm new at this band thing, but I've always wanted to do it and any help would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks!

 

As somebody who owned both of those during the 80s, I will tell you - don't do it. The SP1 is a huge, horn-loaded monstrosity that is virtually useless in clubs - it's good for outdoor things and it has a fairly long throw.

We had 4 SP1's and I hate the things. it was bad enough to have 1 pair of them, then our band acquired a second set.:rolleyes:

 

The Mk IV is not a powered mixer - they just aren't selling you amplification.

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sounds like you are looking at relics and you will never be happy with how large, old, heavy and underwhelming they are.

 

if its what i think it is they were old in the early 90's and need amps.

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I too had a set of SP1's with the added 12' horn driver cabinet back in the 80's. it was more than fantastic and even better when all the speakers were replaced with Electro Voice EVM's. tri-amped xover mono with 1 CS800 low end and 2 cs400's mid and high. had the Mark 4 board as well. the prior comment about it being no good in small clubs is not correct, we used them everywhere " bi-amp them straight up stock and you will be amazed too, the x-over on a full range system screws up the sound pretty bad.

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I'm sure those SP-1 frankensteins sounded great... But if they did sound so great how come nobody's using them and how come Peavey doesn't make them any more. Ahhh, the good old days weren't as good as you may remember. ;) Today's modern speakers (including Peavey's own) are lightyears ahead of the SP-1.

 

The Mark IV board was Peavey's best attempt but had all kinds of problems due to the style of construction and they were pretty clunky too. Way better than the Mark III which was an embarrassment to the audio world. The Mark VIII was a pretty good board, but not viable at the price point and reputation Peavey earned at that time.

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The Mark IV board was Peavey's best attempt but had all kinds of problems due to the style of construction and they were pretty clunky too. Way better than the Mark III which was an embarrassment to the audio world. The Mark VIII was a pretty good board, but not viable at the price point and reputation Peavey earned at that time.

I've gotta pull the Mark II MC-16 out of the barn some day and see if it still works. I remember it being stupid big&heavy (or at least the case is) but quiet and reliable - gotta love that spring reverb :lol:!

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Quiet is a word I wouldn't use for any of those boards.

We also had a mixer for the 8 track Tascam that was way noisier - I remember it as a Carver but could have been a Carvin or something else - it was an 8 bus mixer made specifically for 8 track recording. Any of you "experienced" guys remember a mixer like that? The Peavey has transformer inputs and outputs if i remember correctly. The "recording mixer" had op-amp inputs that were really noisy :freak:.

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Only the monitor console had transformers on the split out IIRC. Good attempt but only fair execution.

 

Carvin made an 8 track mixer for recording. Ugh.

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I too had a set of SP1's with the added 12' horn driver cabinet back in the 80's. it was more than fantastic and even better when all the speakers were replaced with Electro Voice EVM's. tri-amped xover mono with 1 CS800 low end and 2 cs400's mid and high. had the Mark 4 board as well. the prior comment about it being no good in small clubs is not correct, we used them everywhere " bi-amp them straight up stock and you will be amazed too, the x-over on a full range system screws up the sound pretty bad.

 

 

Then your idea of what quality sound in a smaller club should be, is quite different from mine. Horn loaded boxes are rotten in places where the back wall is less than 50' away from the stage. The bass always sounded muddy, it didn't go very low - the 15" Horn loaded segment of the SP1/FH1 was HORRIBLE (so in effect, what you had was a modified version of the Project II - which we had as well at one point) and it was definitely was NOT a "Sub". Sure it would pound, but it just wasn't a pleasant sound.

Now, maybe because you replaced the speakers with EV's you had better luck with it, but I was using the stock Black Widow's that came in them, and it simply was not a pleasing sound at all to me. In fact, that rig completely turned me against horn loaded cabinets - I thought it was so bad that I would never even consider horn-loaded cabinets again.

 

Give me a front-loaded rig every time!

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I'm sure those SP-1 frankensteins sounded great... But if they did sound so great how come nobody's using them and how come Peavey doesn't make them any more. Ahhh, the good old days weren't as good as you may remember.
;)
Today's modern speakers (including Peavey's own) are lightyears ahead of the SP-1.


The Mark IV board was Peavey's best attempt but had all kinds of problems due to the style of construction and they were pretty clunky too. Way better than the Mark III which was an embarrassment to the audio world. The Mark VIII was a pretty good board, but not viable at the price point and reputation Peavey earned at that time.

_________________________________________________________

they were way too heavy even back then, with the girley men nowadays, it would surely take at least 2 to move one just cabinet now. if you can find the spec's on the stock cabinet with the additional MB2 mid range I'd be surprised to compare the spectrum stats and db output etc.. not much has changed as far as speaker technology in 30 years.

:D

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Then your idea of what quality sound in a smaller club should be, is quite different from mine. Horn loaded boxes are rotten in places where the back wall is less than 50' away from the stage. The bass always sounded muddy, it didn't go very low - the 15" Horn loaded segment of the SP1/FH1 was HORRIBLE (so in effect, what you had was a modified version of the Project II - which we had as well at one point) and it was definitely was NOT a "Sub". Sure it would pound, but it just wasn't a pleasant sound.

Now, maybe because you replaced the speakers with EV's you had better luck with it, but I was using the stock Black Widow's that came in them, and it simply was not a pleasing sound at all to me. In fact, that rig completely turned me against horn loaded cabinets - I thought it was so bad that I would never even consider horn-loaded cabinets again.


Give me a front-loaded rig every time!

 

right sound man, right use for the gear, (sp1 was never intended or meant to be a sub woofer) = the right outcome.

 

currently have 4 Yamaha S115v's with 2 mackie 1400 watt power amps, no sub woofer, the 4 speakers do not come close to what the Peavey's did.

 

Not go horn loaded again? since you mention the "sub sounds" most of the high end and professional gear today use the folded horn or port design, rarely are they direct radiating. hmmm...

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Not go horn loaded again? since you mention the "sub sounds" most of the high end and professional gear today use the folded horn or port design,...

 

 

Such as?

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Sure most apeakers today are direct radiating... that's what ported speakers are.

 

They are not "acoustic suspension" or "infinite baffle" if that's what you ment.

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Such as?

 

______________________________________

Cerwin-Vega AB-36C Afterburner 18" Folded Horn Subwoofer Speaker

Cerwin-Vega TS-42 21" Folded Horn Subwoofer

Cerwin-Vega EL-36C 18" Folded Horn Subwoofer

Mackie SWA1501 Active High Output 15-Inch Subwoofer System (uses the floor as a virtual reflective horn)

EAW LA400 Bent Bass Horn Subwoofer

Viking Audio B36X 18" folded bass horn subwoofer

PEAVEY PVDJ DJS-SUB 18-Inch Subwoofer - Folded Horn

 

Redacted from an online article

"A horn loaded speaker can have a sensitivity as high as 110 dB at 2.83 volts (1 watt at 8 ohms) at 1 meter. This is a hundredfold increase in output compared to a speaker rated at 90 dB sensitivity, and is invaluable in applications where high sound levels are required or amplifier power is limited."

 

Hence my initial comment about the Peavey SP1 Bottom speaker which we had installed the Electro Voice EVM15's bare speaker, that had a maximum db level of 135db at 300 watts could technically put out 150db out of the horn. Running a "clean" dedicated 400 watts frequency spectrum defined and dedicated power to the low end 200 -2000hz (not sub sonic) (again I said I ran an active x-over tri-amp system) per folded horn was very efficient, very clean and very loud. :)

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Sure most apeakers today are direct radiating... that's what ported speakers are.


They are not "acoustic suspension" or "infinite baffle" if that's what you ment.

 

Yes you are right, the direct radiating speakers of all uses, high to sub have the majority of the market, probably 95%+ the fine art of making the cabinet enhance the speakers output has dimished greatly. Bose being probably the one of the last holdouts to use the fold in its mainstream designs.

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Redacted from an online article

"A horn loaded speaker can have a sensitivity as high as 110 dB at 2.83 volts (1 watt at 8 ohms) at 1 meter. This is a hundredfold increase in output compared to a speaker rated at 90 dB sensitivity, and is invaluable in applications where high sound levels are required or amplifier power is limited."


Hence my initial comment about the Peavey SP1 Bottom speaker which we had installed the Electro Voice EVM15's bare speaker, that had a maximum db level of 135db at 300 watts could technically put out 150db out of the horn. Running a "clean" dedicated 400 watts frequency spectrum defined and dedicated power to the low end 200 -2000hz (not sub sonic) (again I said I ran an active x-over tri-amp system) per folded horn was very efficient, very clean and very loud.
:)

 

I think your numbers are so optimistic as to be out of this universe. They are complely unrealistic.

 

You are also neglecting the fact that the SP1 low frequency extension was terrible. It's most efficient around 50-70Hz.

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______________________________________

Cerwin-Vega AB-36C Afterburner 18" Folded Horn Subwoofer Speaker

Cerwin-Vega TS-42 21" Folded Horn Subwoofer

Cerwin-Vega EL-36C 18" Folded Horn Subwoofer

Mackie SWA1501 Active High Output 15-Inch Subwoofer System (uses the floor as a virtual reflective horn)

EAW LA400 Bent Bass Horn Subwoofer

Viking Audio B36X 18" folded bass horn subwoofer

PEAVEY PVDJ DJS-SUB 18-Inch Subwoofer - Folded Horn

 

I thought you wrote, "high end and professional". The EAW example is about the only box in this list that could fit that description. ;)

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I think your numbers are so optimistic as to be out of this universe. They are complely unrealistic.


You are also neglecting the fact that the SP1 low frequency extension was terrible. It's most efficient around 50-70Hz.

 

___________________________

speaker facts:

http://archives.telex.com/archives/EV/Speakers/EDS/EVM-15B%20Pro-line%20EDS.pdf

I did overstate the speaker its 126.5 db @ 4' 400watts not 135db. range 50-5000 hz according to EV (the amplified sound from the horn was cut and pasted from an article on the web based on sound physics). where did you figure the efficiency range of (40-70 hz?) who the heck would buy a speaker with an efficiency range spread of 20hz ?? that would be insane.:poke:

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___________________________

speaker facts:

http://archives.telex.com/archives/EV/Speakers/EDS/EVM-15B%20Pro-line%20EDS.pdf

I did overstate the speaker its 126.5 db @ 4' 400watts not 135db. range 50-5000 hz according to EV (the amplified sound from the horn was cut and pasted from an article on the web based on sound physics). where did you figure the efficiency range of (40-70 hz?) who the heck would buy a speaker with an efficiency range spread of 20hz ?? that would be insane.:poke:

 

In all fairness, do you realize you're trying to argue technical deets with an EE who designs this stuff for a living? Agedhorse has likely forgotten more than either you or I will ever know about the subject.

 

The online info you posted has little if anything to do with the SP1 or the EV speaker you're discussing. It's taken out of context and without any way to verify its veracity (a link would help here).

 

To clarify the point you seem to be making here, Agedhorse isn't claiming the SP1's response range is only 20Hz wide. Read his post. He was stating that the SP1 is most efficient in that narrow 50-70Hz band. The box (as with most folded horns) is peaky, and response drops off rapidly below and above this relatively narrow band.

 

To make a horn cabinet work in a wide band at such low frequencies demands a box even larger than the SP1. The LAB is a design that comes to mind in this regard. They are enormous, and also work best in multiples. Not many people want to or can invest that much space and weight into their rig. When there are so many light(er) speakers readily available, there's little wonder why the giant horns are relegated to museums and oddball DIY sites.

 

So while for its time the SP1 was decent if not spectacular, in today's market, a huge box would need to have much better performance than this to be considered viable.

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___________________________

speaker facts:

http://archives.telex.com/archives/EV/Speakers/EDS/EVM-15B%20Pro-line%20EDS.pdf

I did overstate the speaker its 126.5 db @ 4' 400watts not 135db. range 50-5000 hz according to EV (the amplified sound from the horn was cut and pasted from an article on the web based on sound physics). where did you figure the efficiency range of (40-70 hz?) who the heck would buy a speaker with an efficiency range spread of 20hz ?? that would be insane.:poke:

 

Thanks for completely confirming my observations.

 

The difference between 126.5dB and 135dB is literally out of the universe. That's a power factor difference of 8X... so big that of course it jumped off the page at me because I know what it possible with these products down to some pretty minute details.

 

Your comment about efficiency of the subs confirms my hunch that you really don't have the slightest idea what you are arguing. The efficiency of any speaker is the ratio of Acoustic power (SPL) out to electrical power in. This is different for every point within the frequency spectrum and for folded horns, and that one specifically, there is a hugh tradeoff in the bandwidth (the range of frequencies) and the efficiency. The premise of most folded horns is to trade off the very low frequencies for better efficiencies at a higher frequency. Specifically in the SP-1, the 20-45Hz efficiency it traded off for better efficiency in the 45-100Hz area. Otherwise, the cabinet would get too big and heavy and costly to be practical.

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My band back in the 80's had the full rig on both sides, FB-01 bottom speaker (2 15' Black Widows each), SP-1,  MB-1 mid speaker, tweeter horn and high frequency radiator on top (looked like a TV UHF antennae!).  Sounded good to us but...Took 2 vans just to move the PA.  Also had Carvin mixer and 8 Carvin amps.  The weight of it all and the "killer" handles, ahhh!!!  Sold all but the SP-1's in the 90's, SP-1's sat in my garage until 2010, sold to a Church.  Peavey stopped making them as everything going smaller and more efficient.  Only thing is nothing today beats those two mountains of speakers on each side of the stage!  We looked like we knew what we were doing!  Miss the day and music, but not 1 ton of PA!

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I never actually owned the sp1 but I had the fh1 boxes (the lower 1/2, pretty much a standard w-bin),and i owned a MK 4

the MK-4 was the generic club mixer of the 80's, It was OK, wasnt great but you could get decent sound out of it ( saw a lot of tapcos' and biamps- the biamp might actually be worth having). Having said that, a mackie 24. 4 or 1604 sounded better ( it was like pulling a blanket off the mix) and can be had for $300 or less

i did use a set of sp-1's a couple of times, I never cared for them, I would go so far to say  terrible, the Fh-1 was OK got loud and made noise but really had to be crossed @ 250 and wasnt a sub, but was fine as part of a 3 way system. 

in either case I wouldnt pay more than $100 for the whole kit

. It would be a cheap way to get started but the Sp2 and 3 sounded better and I have seen a lot of better kit going for not much money. EV 1502's or 1512's are from the same era actually sound good and can be had for around 300 the pair. Old JBL MR and SR boxes are starting to go for $300 to $500 for the pair.

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