Lightweight speakers

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polarsounds

In Self-Imposed Exile
So, I've been out of the game for a few years now and am getting requests to come out of retirement. I'm thinking if (and for the moment it's still if) I start back up, I'm going to have to save what's left of my back with the most portable system possible.

What are the lightweight powered speakers of choice for events of, let's say, 75 people? 150 people? (For larger events, I'd bite the bullet and haul out the old EAW/QSC system...)

Eric Caldwell
Formerly of PolarSounds Entertainment
The Beautiful Island Paradise of Douglas, AK
 

NickyB

Gear and Equipment Moderator
At age 68 and with my L5 disk 90% worn away and my L4 disc 70% worn away, I use the new EV ZXA-1 system. The ZXA-1 tops are 8" tops at 800w weighing in at 19 lbs. The matching 12" sub is 700w weighing in at 46 lbs. My former system (that I still have) is a Dynacord D-Lite 2000 ...... that powered 15" sub is a beast at 106 lbs but it kicks serious butt.My last gig was a wedding ceremony and reception for 74 people ....... the ZXA-1 tops were all I used and the sound was amazing.

Another chocie would be the QSC K-8's or K-10's ...... slightly heavier but with very flexible input capabilities and a decent sound. Why did I choose EV over QSC ...... the sound was crisper and cleaner but the QSC did have more bottom end.
 

Mark Evans

Mobile Beat Moderator
Staff member
Whoa look what the penguin dragged in :) Wow this is your lucky day. They are EV's and it is a new line that just came out this week. Only heard them in vegas but they are the new ZLX series. http://www.electrovoice.com/zlx/powered.php The 15 inch only weighs 38lbs. Just bought the elx 15's last fall and those are 51lbs and they lift very easy. Probably gonna sell my Mackies now.
 

DJSTEVEZ

DJ Emeritus
I'm getting insanely low price quotes on both the powered 12" & 15" models from my super secret absolute lowest price resource.
I'll have to double check this. Both are coming in at under $500.00. I'm thinking this has to be a misprint. -Z-
 
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Mark Evans

Mobile Beat Moderator
Staff member
Yep I believe the "Z" speakers would be perfect for you Steve. MAP is $399.99 for the 12's and $499.99 for the 15's
 

Conanski

Active Member
I have not heard them yet... I wanna do a comparo with the ZLX when it hits the street, but the new Behringer 11xD and 11xMP3 powered speakers come in at 38lbs for the 15" model and are about $100 less than the EV.
 

bb

Well-Known Member
QSC K10 top with a Yamaha DXS12 sub is very sweet sounding and gets darn loud. Perhaps louder than the above Nicky EV combo by a fair amount. Haven't a/b the two setups side by side but would love to.
 

bb

Well-Known Member
I wonder if the 133db is real on the FBT. If so, they must play a lot louder than the K series. If they do and hold up all night and still sound strong and clear then the FBT would be a great box to consider.

Bill, or someone, when you get your hands on the new EVs please write a review. If they will knock out the K10 and K12 I may have to unload the QSC and get the EVs.
 

Conanski

Active Member
I wonder if the 133db is real on the FBT.
After looking at the full specs directly from FBT I'd say that 133db number is pure marketing BS. This is a 500w box with a real world long term output capability of about 126db which is still very good and higher than what the EX ZXa1 system is capable of.. though I don't know if it'll sound better.
 
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DJSkinnyGuy

Active Member
zxa1 setup for weight. but for a bit more oomph (with a bit more weight), i would try the yamaha powered speakers. personally, i don't think the ev zxa1 tops should be used without a sub for dancing levels...but the yamaha tops def could do the job for 75 people.
 

djtunes

Checking Reality
I wonder if the 133db is real on the FBT. If so, they must play a lot louder than the K series. If they do and hold up all night and still sound strong and clear then the FBT would be a great box to consider.

Bill, or someone, when you get your hands on the new EVs please write a review. If they will knock out the K10 and K12 I may have to unload the QSC and get the EVs.
I have the FBT HiMaxx 40a.

I use these with one QSC KW181, and have used them stand alone in a restaurant reception.

I turn up the KW all the way, with the FBTs at 9:00 (realistically that is not 1/4 volume) to balance the sound. I did a 200 person wedding with that combo last weekend, and I was on a stage with the dancefloor in the middle of the room about 30' away from the stage. The sub sat on the stage and the tops were set on tripods as low as the tripods would put them.

The FBTs are LOUD. I'd say you would need at least 4 KW181 subs to get the full potential from the FBTs as tops. Which makes sense mathematically if you want twice as much power in the subs as you have i the tops. Of course everyone has their own preference as to how they like to balance their sound.

I had then at 10:00 once for a small school dance but never had to near the top of the VU meter on my mixer. The principal look at me in doubt when he was complimenting the sound and talking about my speakers and the gain. So I walked over and slowly took the dial on one to about 1:00 and his eyes went as wide as half dollars. I believe it when they say they are 650rms, 1300 max, 2600 peak.

We're talking about a gain knob that starts at about 7:00 at zero, I turn them up to 9 or 10:00 max. When they say max, they mean MAX. I am not saying I'd put them against the EVZXA5 (especially for bass) and I'm sure there are a couple of other mainstream brand speakers that as loud or louder. To get a lot of bass, stand alone you have to tweak the on-board EQ.

When running with subs I attenuate the highs to about 10:00. Stand alone I send the bass to about 3:00 as well. It's a clean sounding on board EQ.

I turned them up all the way once at my apartment and it was a little scary.

All of the other suggestions have been good too. :)
 

DropZoneDJs

Member
Hutt... JBL has done a price drop on the EON 515XT's from 799 to 499. I have these and really enjoy having a 32lb 15" powered speaker.
 

djtunes

Checking Reality
I'll find someone with a DB meter. If I can, I'll let you know.

In reality nothing sounds good enough to me up on poles with no sub.

End of derail/
 

Conanski

Active Member
We're talking about a gain knob that starts at about 7:00 at zero, I turn them up to 9 or 10:00 max.
The problem with that is that the gain(volume) knob doesn't have absolute control over speaker output level.. you can achieve the same result with a higher input signal and lower setting or vise versa, and these speakers do have a higher sensitivity than most other comparable boxes.. 99db vs 95-96db for QSC, Yamaha, and EV, so the level settings aren't that useful in a direct comparison. It is very possible these boxes are capable of higher output than their competitors, the other guys seem to have targeted more bass response with their designs and to get that you have to give up overall sensitivity so user experience seems to agree with theory.
 

NickyB

Gear and Equipment Moderator
I have to ask .... how much sound do you really need at a wedding for 75 people, the majority over age 50, when only about 40-50 are actually dancing?

Keep in mind that "gain" knobs are analog not linear so the numeric markings are just a guide and not totally accurate. It might go from the 7 o'clock position to the 5 o'clock position but wide open could be at the 2 or 3 o'clock position.
 
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BillESC

Member
I have to ask .... how much sound do you really need at a wedding for 75 people, the majority over age 50, when only about 40-50 are actually dancing?
Smart statement.

My go to system is capable of 130 dB continuous, do I use it? Never. I'd venture to say during the average under 100 person reception volume will rarely exceed 110 dB.

The conversation should be about the quality of sound reproduction, not about the quantity.
 
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