zxa1, Yamaha DXR10, qsc k8, qsc k10 ???

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djtunes

Checking Reality
This is a 2-part question. #1 is about tops, #2 is about subs.

I want any and all input.

Looking to lose the 40lb RMX amp feeding my zx1 passives by getting powered tops.

The option of buying a lighter amp to power the tops? ... I really just want to lose the 40lbs out of my amp rack, not just 20. My back is starting to talk to me.
I'll keep powering my 18" subs with the GX5.

Call it my new diet plan.

Something has me leaning toward the Yamahas. I like the versatility. The ZXA1 lacks options.

I was considering lightening by getting a single QSC KW181, powering the tops with the GX5, and leaving at least one of the other 2 subs at home. BUT, WHAT IF... the KW181 craps out in the middle of a packed dance floor?

Which leads me to question #2.
I use 2 PV118s powered by a QSC ZX5 amp. A lot of the time I try to couple them for bigger rooms, you know why. Smaller rooms/less demanding events I put them on either side of the table.
The question is: Do you think I'd get equal to or more out of the QSC KW181 than the Peaveys?
The qsc claims excess of 130db max output while the PVs claim 118max but I'd assume that's at max volume pushing max wattage to them which I am not. But then there's 2 of them, and I do get quite a lot out of them together.

Maybe some of you number geniuses know how that might work out.

So... which plan is best?

I can't get powered tops and sub right now.

Thanks for words.
 

Conanski

Active Member
I have to confess I'm a hugh Yamaha fan, I've owed and used a lot of their products over the years and they all flat out work as advertised and are super reliable. I currently own several of the newer 2U P series amplifiers and those things are outstanding, they're not a light as the current generation of digital amplifiers but they run very cool, are relatively light and sound very good. I'm also in the market for some higher output active speakers and I'm going to have a hard time not buying the Yamahas, and that's not to say the others speakers aren't good, they're very good but I think the Yamahas do it just a little bit better. Comparing the three brands you're interested in the Yamahas have a distinct advantage in output potential, long term(3db down from the listed peak) the Yamaha is capable of 129db while the QSC will only do 126db and the little ZXA1 is limited to 120db. Yamaha uses a more balanced distribution of amplifier power in their active speakers and that's why they'll generate more output, these boxes have 800w RMS available to the drivers while the QSC will only ever use about 600w of the 1000w that's built-in, and the EVs are also 800w but that little 8" woofer isn't as efficient as the larger drivers so it's just not as capable. But if size and weight are high on your list then the EV rules.. these things are tiny and a feather weight at 19lb, if you really don't need the output potential of the other two then the choice is obvious.

As for your subs question... those PVs are not high output boxes and a single KW181 will decisively out run both of them. Both PVs at full power will only generate 124db on paper but the drivers won't take anywhere near maximum power at the lowest frequencies so they're practically limited to a much lower output level. These new powered subs really are all that and a bag of chips, but your choices here come down to what you need. Is your current gear sufficient in terms of output level for the events you do? If it is then you could get by with just switching to the A1 tops, but if you're pushing the system more often then not then it wouldn't hurt to upgrade to more capable boxes because speakers always last longer when you're not asking them to produce every last ounce of output they're capable of producing, and you get better sound quality too.
 
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Sam Whitman

New Member
DJTunes check out my review of the DXR10's you can just search DXR10 on the forum and it will pop up. If you can't find it I can PM it to you I have it saved on my computer. The short of it is they are an excellent versatile speaker great for small to medium receptions (250 people max with the right sub). The ZXA1 is a great speaker but just not enough power to handle bigger events, not nearly as versatile. If you ever want to hear the DXR10's shoot me an email we aren't far from each other, I'm in Orlando, I'd be happy to demo them for you.
 

NickyB

Gear and Equipment Moderator
Agreed, you've got to fit your system to the largest majority of your gigs.I have a full ZXA1 system (2 tops, 2 subs) and it WILL NOT handle 250-300 people but it wasn't intended to do those larger audiences. That's why they make the ZXA5's, SXA-360's and SBA-760 subs. I do like the sound of the yamaha DXR/DXS combos. If you plan to use the tops standalone for small crowds, ceremonies etc, I suggest the 10" version. I A-B'd the EV ZXA1's against the QSC K8's and K10's. The EV's were clearer and crisper through most of the audio range but the QSC had a better bottom end. Let your preference be judged by your ears and not a bunch of paper specs .... different manufacturers interpret specs differently and most DJ's don't truly understand their meanings anyways. I wish they'd establish a standard and force them all to conform.
 

hippydog

wuz here when it was Red.
Let your preference be judged by your ears and not a bunch of paper specs .... different manufacturers interpret specs differently and most DJ's don't truly understand their meanings anyways. I wish they'd establish a standard and force them all to conform.
Amen! :)
 

djtunes

Checking Reality
Thanks to you all.

Paul, I especially appreciate the advice about the QSC sub giving me more volume than the 2 subs I am now using. It seems like a no brainer to just upgrade to the KW sub and lose weight AND lose one sub box too.

Does anyone else think the KW will out-do the 2 low end subs?

Any more opinions about the decision to go with the KW sub?

Right now I have been fairly happy with the sound of my subs combined with the zx1 tops. Just want to lose weight in the amp rack.

If I get the single KW sub it will leave the door open to add another one in the future. My other option to add more low end would have been to get 2 more matching peavey subs and another amp, so go figure.
 

-bp-

For Position Only
I wouldn't spend good money on Mackie right now. Just not worth it. And that's from a guy who just sold 4 450's and 2 1801's and bought EV and Yamaha to replace them.
 

Conanski

Active Member
I have some Mackie equipment right now and so far it's doing the job. I recently had to take advantage of the warranty coverage as a pair of TH12s died, as it turns out both woofers were blown but because I know these things were mercilessly overdriven for 6-8 hours on the last event I'm not that surprised they gave up. Now apparently they have "upgraded" drivers so maybe they'll be a bit more robust, but I'm not going to subject them to that kind of abuse again either, the event I sent these things out to cover really required a bit more capable speaker system.
Overall though my Mackie collection has performed well so I'm not sure what to make of some of the bad press the brand is getting online, in some cases the web can make a small number of individual failures look like a much bigger problem because it shows up in all kinds of searches. But that's not to dismiss real problems that other have had with these speakers, if you search you will find reports of failures for QSCs and JBLs too and not just abuse related issues I have read reports of DOA PRXs as well, so you just have to be carefull what you read into online postings. And just to be clear I do not consider Mackie to be on par with QSC, JBL, or Yamaha but they do perform well at their price point, and in my case this isn't personal use gear it a rental fleet so I have ROI and insurance costs to consider.
 
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djtunes

Checking Reality
I ordered the Kw181. Wish me luck.
A passive sub back up will be sitting in the van.
SteveZ seems to like his KW118
 

jturk1000

And WHERE is Alma MI ?!
KW181 is awesome, in my opinion - let us know yours. In standard mode, it doesn't go quite as low as I would want (judging by Nicky's sub test :D) but it pounds hard!
 

dboomer

Member
Yamahas have a distinct advantage in output potential, long term(3db down from the listed peak) the Yamaha is capable of 129db while the QSC will only do 126db and the little ZXA1 is limited to 120db.
I wouldn't put too much faith in these numbers. They really say what you might be able to get if you were using the speaker as a fire alarm and not for music.

First the Yamaha number with a delta of only 3 dB between peak and average is suspicious. This spec is usually considers a 6 dB delta between peak and average. Second these numbers are probably "calculated" and therefore could be more that 15 dB higher than what a typical user could ever generate using music as a source. Also these numbers don't say anything about the quality of the sound. Even if you could get these numbers, the sound would probably be so distorted as to be unusable.

Of course you could be right in your conclusions, I'm not disputing that .... just calling foul on these numbers being anywhere close to reality.
 

djtunes

Checking Reality
The KW181 arrived today. It's so small. I hooked it up briefly in the drive way. I had one of my ZX1s above it. I played just a part of a few songs. I Like The Way You Move - Outcast, Rough Boy - ZZ Top, Hotel California (Just because I like that song.)

I really need to get it to an event so I can open it up. In this neighborhood I felt like I was disturbing the peace at half throttle. I only played it a little loud for about 10 seconds. Then every dog started barking and I shut it down.

I'll be able to put it through the paces this weekend.

I have now removed the 40lb. RMX amp from the rack and I smile every time I pick it up. It will have to ride in the van, but no more load in with it. My ZX1s run off of a QSC GX5. I'm pretty sure this little set up will get a lot of mileage. I do mostly small and medium sized events.

It would be fun to take my 2 old subs, and set them up in a big room to compare them to the one QSC sub.
 

JazzyJoe

New Member
Can't wait to hear how you like it. I have to two K-Subs and been thinking about the leap to the 181's.

Keep us posted.

Thanks!
 

jturk1000

And WHERE is Alma MI ?!
Hey Jazzy - when I was looking at subs, I did a side-by-side with the Ksubs and KW181 - there is really no reasonable comparison - the 181 is FAR superior. Expensive, but superior. And let us know how it goes, Tunes.
 

Conanski

Active Member
I wouldn't put too much faith in these numbers. They really say what you might be able to get if you were using the speaker as a fire alarm and not for music.
True.. but these are the only numbers published by the manufacturers to compare output levels so you gotta use what's available when hands on comparisons aren't possible.

First the Yamaha number with a delta of only 3 dB between peak and average is suspicious. This spec is usually considers a 6 dB delta between peak and average.
Couple problems here. The crest factor for a pink noise test signal is typically 6db, but with a sine wave it's 3db. Then some manufacturers classify RMS and Continuous power as the same thing, some classify Program and Continuous as the same thing, while others differentiate between them with a 3db step, so Program is 3db above RMS and Peak is another 3db above Program. They don't make it easy.

Second these numbers are probably "calculated" and therefore could be more that 15 dB higher than what a typical user could ever generate using music as a source.
Yes that's certainly possible and especially if said user is measuring fullrange music with a handheld SPL meter, but it's not the manufacturers fault the end user doesn't understand the specs and is using the wrong tools for the job. Also the test method isn't spelled out but Yamaha uses the same test methods as any other reputable speaker manufacturer so there's no reason to believe the numbers are grossly misleading, this isn't Cerwin Vega we're talking about here.

Also these numbers don't say anything about the quality of the sound. Even if you could get these numbers, the sound would probably be so distorted as to be unusable.
Well sound quality is subjective but in real world listening tests these boxes are known to remain clean sounding when pushed to the limit, so they're winning fans in the live sound reinforcement ranks and they do get "very loud" as well.
 
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djtunes

Checking Reality
Thanks for your interest in my opinions about the sub. I'll report back to this thread on that.

Here's a tip, an idea that popped into my head.

The pole that comes with the KW181 seemed like a joke because it put the top box just about level with my chin. Not high enough to send sound across a room.

I have 2 On Stage Stands subwoofer speaker poles like the link below.
http://www.pssl.com/!zXw!3P1qs4XPe2j5IiDsqA!/On-Stage-SS7745-Adjustable-Speaker-Subwoofer-Pole

I took the extension pole out of the shaft and turned the shaft upside down onto the pole that came with the sub. It works perfectly to get my top box up above head level. The pole is the perfect size for my EV ZX1 passive speaker. It's a light speaker, so I'm not worried about the pole being too tall.

:)
 
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