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You just hate to see it - rookie mistake


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I have a younger friend who is just starting out playing in a band. A couple of months ago he approached me and asked me about putting together a very basic PA. I made some classic suggestions, including the QSC HPR, K series, JBL PRX or MRX with a IPR1600 or GX3 amp. Now even though he looks up to me as a bass player and theoretically about my knowledge of PA system he's now convinced the way to go is two JRX125's (I blame the idiots at guitar center). He keeps telling me what a deal it is to get two for less than $1k.

 

Now I've talked with him about the advantages of powered speakers as well as the drawbacks of dual 15"s, especially cheap dual 15"s (weight, no-pole mount, sound quality), advantages of sub/top combos, why it's important to get the best speakers possible and the buy once/cry once principle. After all this he's still looking at the JRX125. :cry: Any suggestions? Is it time to just let him learn via his own mistakes? :confused:

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I dunno ... in the big scheme of things I think it's reasonable easy to understand. Looking at Sweetwater pricing ....the HPRs, PRXs, K Series powered speakers are all priced around $899 each ($1798 for a pair). The JRX125 are $479 each ... toss in a $300 amp ... and for $1250 you've got something capable of making noise.

 

I can easily understand how a young guy (possibly living paycheck to paycheck as he tries to cover the basics of rent, room & board, etc. - and whoo doesn't own ANY speakers at the present ... and for whom scraping up the $1250 that's burning a hole in his pocket was a stretch to begin with .. keeps coming back to a pair of speakers that will make noise for him TODAY.

 

That doesn't make the JRX speakers a great choice. It certainly will give him the chance to appreciate what buy once, cry once means - the hard way. It's simply easy to understand why they sell so many JXR cabinets.

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I dunno ... in the big scheme of things I think it's reasonable easy to understand. Looking at Sweetwater pricing ....the HPRs, PRXs, K Series powered speakers are all priced around $899 each ($1798 for a pair). The JRX125 are $479 each ... toss in a $300 amp ... and for $1250 you've got
something
capable of making noise.


I can easily understand how a young guy (possibly living paycheck to paycheck as he tries to cover the basics of rent, room & board, etc. - and whoo doesn't own ANY speakers at the present ... and for whom scraping up the $1250 that's burning a hole in his pocket was a stretch to begin with .. keeps coming back to a pair of speakers that will make noise for him TODAY.


That doesn't make the JRX speakers a great choice. It certainly will give him the chance to appreciate what buy once, cry once means - the hard way. It's simply easy to understand why they sell so many JXR cabinets.

 

 

For the price of the JRX125s he could buy something better. Peavey SP-5 or Yamaha clubs come to mind. The guy is falling for the "bigger is better" idea.

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...(I blame the idiots at guitar center). ...

 

 

I bought a Radial Pro DI at Guitar Center. It's Radial's entry-level passive DI, and the salesman was the pro-audio department manager. As he was ringing-up the sale, I asked (as a jest) if the piece came with a power-supply. I was expecting to get a mild chuckle or a knowing smile in response. But before I could say, "Just kidding", the poor guy actually went to the stockroom to see if the packaging was incomplete. I didn't want to humiliate him in front of his staff, so I didn't say anything about the way a passive device works, but the experience did teach me a little about audio retail.

 

Now I see that a different retailer leads off their blurb about the JRX125 with, "...the increasing market demand for dual 15" full-range configurations..." Dual 12s I could maybe understand (never buy, mind you, but at least understand) but dual 15s in an entry-level full-range box? Why, why, why?

 

best,

 

john

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Additional side-note left out for brevity. He does currently have some old Peavey speakers and a very old powered mixer. I haven't seen the speakers in question, but my gut feel is the JRX will at best a lateral move....

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If he wants dual 15s, can you convince him to get the Yamaha clubs. They are 1200 a pair on MF.

 

You know, I think i'd just as soon keep my mouth shut then be tied to a recommendation for cheap dual 15"s. Even though I agree that the clubs are better than the JRX, they aren't better enough that I want to be tied to them :evil:

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In addition to the good points already...

 

Perhaps you could turn him on to some better used gear at the same price point. At least when you buy used, you can usually resell it and not lose much.

 

Make sure he listens to demos!

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In addition to the good points already...


Perhaps you could turn him on to some better used gear at the same price point. At least when you buy used, you can usually resell it and not lose much.


Make sure he listens to demos!

 

 

Good points. Given a strong back I bet you could get some nice older touring stuff for pennies on the dollar. The real bummer is that I don't think he necessarily knows what is "good" at this point. JRX do sound "loud" even though this is most a side-effect of bad high end distortion. When we upgraded from JRX to the U15P's at our church the pastor came up and told me it was the first time the sound hadn't hurt his ears! I guess you don't know what you don't know .. c'est la vie.

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My favorite part of that video is you can hear how harsh the horns are on a youtube video.... A YOUTUBE VIDEO!!

 

I thought the same thing, although I've never heard any JRX speakers in person so I didn't know if it was an after effect of the audio/video encoding.

 

I feel for the original poster's plight. I'm glad I was warned off cheap crap before purchasing anything. I remember wanting to buy a pair of 12/horn cabs that were "just as good as brands costing four times as much." They were carpet covered MDF with a generic chinese 12" woofer with a lousy piezo horn paralleled off it. I can't remember what they were called, but similar stuff is still foisted upon the entry-level pro audio and DJ enthusiast.

 

A friend's band bought a pair of those crappy $99 Nady wedges back when they first came out. They weren't as peaky or harsh as I'd thought (maybe the piezos were blown?) but they were horribly inefficient. Ugh.

 

Speakers of acceptable quality can be had for cheap if you just look around and are willing to buy older gear. A few years ago I bought four EV FM1202 wedges for $100 each. They all had original components with nothing blown, although they did show their age. They were very heavy for 12+horn wedges, but they were efficient and sounded quite good. I later sold all four of them for five hundred bucks.

 

I also bought a pair of Peavey SP2xt's from the early/mid 90's (not the really old ones) for $150. One of them had a blown horn, but a $30 OEM replacement later I was back in business.

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My back-up PA is a JRX 115 and powered Yamaha mixer. It lives in our bedroom with the pc connected to it for entertainment. Makes a hell of a bedroom system and those JRX's look super sexy with my alarm clock and my partners jewelry all over them....I digress..

 

Actually I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the JRX boxes actually sound pretty fkn good for their price - once you've blown the crap JBL horn and upgraded it to an after market horn ;)

 

After I did that I couldn't believe how much better they sounded - it really was night and day and I think they sound as good as the EONs and speakers in that price range once they've had a horn upgrade.

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