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Suggestions Needed for Future Subs, then Tops


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I have a four-piece classic-rock cover band that plays in bars that can handle up to about 200 people. Most of the time, we are around 50-100 people at any given time. We are always getting compliments on how clean our sound is.

 

We have: guitar/singer, bassist/singer, keyboardist/singer, drummer (acoustic kit). We are not bass-heavy like hip-hop crap, but I do like a lot of bottom end from the bass and, especially, some kick thump.

 

We are ampless, running direct into the mixer. Everyone uses IEMs.

 

Our bassist left the band and took his QSC HPR151i sub. I own everything else as far as PA equipment. My current PA system includes:

 

PreSonus StudioLive 1642 Mixer

(1) QSC HPR151i sub

(2) Behringer B212 tops

(2) Behringer B215 tops (used only for practice)

 

Looking to the future...

 

Now that the bassist took his sub, I need to make a decision on what to buy. Even though the HPR series is discontinued, I can find new/demo subs on the internets.

 

However, I keep hearing suggestions about the JBL PRX line. My wife (keyboardist/singer) said to just plan on buying the best of what we need and be done with it. (I love her!)

 

So, here are my three current options (pricing from AMS):

 

1. QSC

(2) KW 18" subs at $1,399 x 2 = $2,798

(2) KW 12" tops at $1,099 x 2 = $2,198

Total: $4,996

 

2. JBL

(2) PRX618SXLF subs at $1,299 x 2 = $2,598

(2) PRX612M tops at $699 x 2 = $1,398

Total: $3,996

 

3. QSC

(1) HPR151i sub ~$800-$1000 (which puts me back where I was with two HPR subs)

 

Regarding options 1 and 2, that's a $1000 difference in price for similar speakers. I'm going to have to make some baby steps, for now, until the bookings pick up. So, I'll probably keep my HPR151i and add another of any brand, unless there is a great firecracker sale for July 4.

 

The least-expensive solution is to buy another HPR151i, but I'm looking for long-term suggestions.

 

Is there really a $1000 difference in sound from the QSC down to the JBL? (I've never really loved JBL because I thought they were harsh in the upper-mids. However, I'm sure I can EQ that problem out of existence.)

 

Is there a problem using my HPR151i with a PRX618SXLF on the other side of the stage?

 

Is there a reason to keep the QSC and run three subs during a gig? Or would it cause too many other problems?

 

If I start with the PRX subs, will the PRX series be decommissioned before I can purchase the PRX tops in about six months?

 

Thanks for any help you can provide.

Mike

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If you're looking for bang for buck and lightest weight, the JBL is the ticket. I've not heard the XLF subs first hand, but it's what I'd prefer to have over my current, or really any other sub in the price range. Also, JBL stuff can regularly be gotten for at least 10% off the prices you listed. QSC seems to be harder to get a discount for as the company is more restrictive on who they let sell and at what price. I'm sure it's possible to negotiate, but it's certainly not advertised publicly like JBL discounts are.

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The PRX line isn't going anywhere anytime soon, it's only a couple years old and JBL seems to keep most things around for a good long time. While I like the QSC tops I've heard, the subs didn't do much for me. The PRX 618XLF is lighter, goes quite a bit lower and costs less so it seems like the obvious choice of the two and while I think I like the sound of the KW tops a little bit better, they are both very nice products but once again the lower weight, lower cost and dual angle pole mount of the PRX would probably win out for me.

 

You could always run the PRX subs with KW tops if you prefer.

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Im in the PRX crowd too I guess even though I havent heard them (subs) but I have used the passive SRX718 quite a bit as well as a few stints with the VRX918SP. both the PRX and VRX share the same driver. Different box and amp mod. but probably very close in performance.

I dont have any issues with any of the QSC products, love the amps and have a pair of K10's the subs and the HPR line was just to heavy for my ole back. The new KW line is much lighter and wouldnt mind trying them out someday Im just not crazy about the lack of a highpass out. Thats more of a personal-minor (if any) of an issue.

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Regarding options 1 and 2, that's a $1000 difference in price for similar speakers.

Yeah I think you're on to something there ;) not to mention that JBLs have greater brand name status, better resale value, blah blah...

JBL is raising their prices (soon!) so I'd pick up those tops ASAP. I think the subs are staying the same. This was all discussed in this thread recently if you're interested:

 

http://acapella.harmony-central.com/showthread.php?2792227-JBL-PRX-Price-Increase

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Yah, if you can afford it sell that old sub and buy a pair of XLF's. While I'm the exception here as to my opinion of the usability of them B212 (A's?) as tops get the PRX612m's when you can as they are at least two notches up the foodchain. The B212A's (and B215A's) are quite usable as monitors if you don't already have something better.

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I am basically running your #2 option (right down to the 16.4.2). Most often I run hard rock and metal bands. The PRX 6xx line is the next generation (improvement) over the 5xx line and has only been released for

 

The XLF boxes will deffinately give your kick some.. well Kick! The output on these is impressive. Many see them as the step between the 518 and the 718 performance-wise. I would put them much closer to the 718. I highly recommend these boxes.

 

I know a few that are not in love with the 612s for tops, most are DJs. I really like them. In a band situation, they are very articulate and smooth. But I also like the KWs. Either would work very well with the XLFs. Personally I went with the 612s knowing that, as a system with the XLFs, they would be very well balanced and matched.

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as the step between the 518 and the 718 performance-wise. I would put them much closer to the 718. I highly recommend these boxes.

AFAIK and IMO they are powered SRX718's and as loud as any non-abused 718 should get :cool:. I suspect anybody who rates them as "in between" spends a fair mount of money at their local recone shop :freak:. Them boxes kick HARD.

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Thanks, everyone, for the great information. It looks like I'm going to choose the JBL route for so many reasons.

 

In our noisy bar environment, most people, including myself, probably won't notice the difference between the JBL and QSC tops. So, I don't see spending the extra hundreds of dollars that will probably go unnoticed.

 

I was a bit disappointed with the output of the HPR subs regarding the kick drum. I place the blame on the drummer's D112 mic, however. ;^)

 

One thing I like about the HPR151i is that each channel has both a 100Hz high-pass and full-range pass-through. Since I run mono (one cable from the mixer to the first sub), I can just daisy chain my HPR sub into the other one while splitting off the high-pass to the tops. Now, it appears that the JBLs will require a home run to the mixer.

 

I don't mind the 99lb weight of the HPRs since we mainly use a dolly, but if I can save 20lbs going to the PRX, that's even better.

 

Now, to sit back and wait for payday which happens right before the 4th of July sales!

 

Thanks again.

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One thing I like about the HPR151i is that each channel has both a 100Hz high-pass and full-range pass-through. Since I run mono (one cable from the mixer to the first sub), I can just daisy chain my HPR sub into the other one while splitting off the high-pass to the tops. Now, it appears that the JBLs will require a home run to the mixer.

Add a full pass thru yourself with a "two-fer":

http://audiopile.net/products/Mic_Instr_Cables/MP_Adaptor_Cbls/Two-fers/YFMM_and_YMFF/YFMM_and_YMFF_cutsheet.shtml

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It's the right tool for the job.

Yep - any self respecting soundguy ought to own a couple. Note that they come in FMM and MFF - make sure you get the right one (FMM - or better yet at least one of each :thu:) or have a turnaround adapter for one of the "duplicate" legs :cool: . They say you can never have too many adapters but my collection has taken over a whole duffel bag by themselves :freak:.

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