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View Full Version : More FRFR pondering ... only the fan free need apply.


Jim Soloway
01-24-2012, 08:03 PM
My FRFR experiments continue. The QSC K8 was nice but the fan drove me crazy. The Verve FBT 8ma sounds sweet at low volume and in standard tuning, but if I get loud or tune down then the low end starts to fart out. I checked out the Tech 21 PE 60. The concept was nice but it may as well have had a fan, given the noise level.

So I'm still looking for the right FRFR. It has to be quiet, fan free, light weight and have a strong, tight low end. I'm considering both active and passive. Candidates so far are the Wharfdale Titan series (perhaps an 8 or more likely a 12), the Carvin LM12A (they're discontinued but you can still get them), a Hermida ported cab with a coaxial speaker, tweeter and cross over (like the one Galo River uses) with a separate power amp (perhaps a Crate Power Block?).

Any other candidates?

Any comments?

Scott Peterson
01-24-2012, 08:10 PM
What is your budget?

AriBoiangiu
01-24-2012, 08:23 PM
I have the Carvin. It did NOT work for me. At all.

Jim Soloway
01-24-2012, 08:29 PM
What is your budget?

It's not as critical as the features (including the weight) but probably in the QSC/Verve range or below.

I have the Carvin. It did NOT work for me. At all.

What was the problem?

Roodboy
01-24-2012, 08:36 PM
I'm liking the ev elx112 active.
I've had a bunch incl hpr 122i, atomic active and verve 12ma. Its light and tight and if it has a fan I never heard it.

AriBoiangiu
01-24-2012, 09:19 PM
The Carvin has a ton of highs and boomy lows that cant be dialed out (at least not to me). Low-mid and mid-heavy preamps that I have (pod 2.0, Triaxis) love it, but it's almost like a solid state guitar amp in that sense. Throw highs at it and it kind of freaks out...

hobbystuff
01-24-2012, 09:20 PM
I just got an EV EXL112P and it sounds great.

AriBoiangiu
01-24-2012, 09:27 PM
I have a Mackie hd1221 that's pretty fantastic or everything but crazy high gain (but that may be cuz I can't program well enough). I gig with an art sla2 power amp and guitar cab though because it takes all the work out of getting the "amp in the room sound" for me....selling the Mackie cheap now...

mattball826
01-24-2012, 09:39 PM
hmmm maybe wait for jet city amps new frfr products coming. not sure if id like tweeters in amp cabs, but maybe i might.

MKB
01-25-2012, 05:57 AM
The market is wide open for a good sounding loud FRFR that is modeler friendly and easy to use. Most wedge solutions have drawbacks such as cost or frequency response or feel. I still find it hard to believe that someone doesn't make a combo style amp with a solid state power amp and a full range speaker (kind of like the PE60 but without the guitar speaker). I've been very pleased using a Peavey Bandit with a full range 12 with a HD-500 in Studio mode, EQ flat. It gets the most stuff right of any solution I've used so far. It also adds zero noise if you use the power amp input.

My latest experiment in this direction will be to use a Peavey Studio Pro 110, and modify it for a 12" speaker (don't know if it will fit yet). It might be as good as the Bandit, but at a lower power and lighter weight.

DarrenTD
01-25-2012, 06:56 AM
FWIW I use an RCF 310a & I love it!

Aaron Mayo
01-25-2012, 07:25 AM
I just got an EV EXL112P and it sounds great.

I agree, but it's heavier (I think it's 42 lbs.) than what Jim has mentioned and there is some hiss, though I'm not sure if it would be too much or not.

NorthCoast
01-25-2012, 07:31 AM
The market is wide open for a good sounding loud FRFR that is modeler friendly and easy to use.

Agree 100%! I'm hopeful the FRFR Jet City cabs fit the bill.

Gasp100
01-25-2012, 07:40 AM
I just got an EV EXL112P and it sounds great.

I want to try this one out bigtime. I think it might be my FRFR Huckleberry.

:p

How "bad" is the hiss if you are playing at lower to moderate volumes?

emux2
01-25-2012, 08:08 AM
I have the carvin LM12a and am quite happy with it. Patches translate well from it to my churches PA. It is very light. I play mostly carvin guitars that are known to be bright and don't have a problem dialing in my HD500. Before I bought it I tried mackie Thumps (three of them) and did not like the soulnd of the built in noise gate. I also tried a behringer 12' powered monitor. It sounded ok at low levels but was way too boomy for me when turned up.

3dognate
01-25-2012, 08:10 AM
I want to try this one out bigtime. I think it might be my FRFR Huckleberry.

:p

How "bad" is the hiss if you are playing at lower to moderate volumes?

You will NOT like the ELX112P with the HD500...

The cross over is 100hz which defeats the low end a little too much. (Which is OK for just monitoring, but not for backline like I think you want to use it Jim.) And without it the HD500 is just a blubbery mess.

Not the ELX112P's fault, it's a fantastic powered speaker... it's an HD500 thing.. Every other modeller sounds fantastic through it at full range. I've been bitchin about the HD500 not having a low frequency shelf or global EQ explicitly because of how it behaved with this speaker and a few others. The QSC KXX is the only one I know of that has a cross over around 80hz on it's normal setting that actually makes the HD500 sound right. Full on blame to Line 6 for dropping the ball on this... should have been a non issue on day one...

Gasp100
01-25-2012, 08:18 AM
You will NOT like the ELX112P with the HD500...

The cross over is 100hz which defeats the low end a little too much. (Which is OK for just monitoring, but not for backline like I think you want to use it Jim.) And without it the HD500 is just a blubbery mess.

Not the ELX112P's fault, it's a fantastic powered speaker... it's an HD500 thing.. Every other modeller sounds fantastic through it at full range. I've been bitchin about the HD500 not having a low frequency shelf or global EQ explicitly because of how it behaved with this speaker and a few others. The QSC KXX is the only one I know of that has a cross over around 80hz on it's normal setting that actually makes the HD500 sound right. Full on blame to Line 6 for dropping the ball on this... should have been a non issue on day one...

Is this some type of shelving swtich on the back that cuts below 100hz? My buddy was testing this with the HD500 and proclaimed that this switch definitely need to be switched ON (cut everything below 100Hz). In the end, he was not completely happy with it and returned it, but I don't know if that was because FRFR was not quite working for him or what.
I will be using this with other modelers.
You mentioned other modelers have worked well with this speaker - which ones?

3dognate
01-25-2012, 08:28 AM
Is this some type of shelving swtich on the back that cuts below 100hz? My buddy was testing this with the HD500 and proclaimed that this switch definitely need to be switched ON (cut everything below 100Hz). In the end, he was not completely happy with it and returned it, but I don't know if that was because FRFR was not quite working for him or what.
I will be using this with other modelers.
You mentioned other modelers have worked well with this speaker - which ones?

Yeah there's a "Full Range" or "With Sub" crossover switch that cut's low end below 100hz when set to "With Sub"

I've personally used the GSP1101, PodXT, (PodFarm, Amplitube, etc from the PC...) and have conversed with AxeFX and 11r guys about it. The HD500 is the lone turd in the punch bowl.

This whole this is not a big deal on most mixers because you can EQ it out or punch the Low Cut on the channel strip. But rears it's ugly head when you run driect from the HD500 to the wedge for a FRFR monitor/main.

Aaron Mayo
01-25-2012, 08:43 AM
I want to try this one out bigtime. I think it might be my FRFR Huckleberry.

:p

How "bad" is the hiss if you are playing at lower to moderate volumes?

Only reason I mentioned it is Jim said noise was an issue. It's there, but it's not a problem personally for me; I use it for playing w / bands and don't notice it in that context.

DRS
01-25-2012, 08:55 AM
Mackie Th12 or 15? I have the TH12. I roll odd the low end with the speakers onboard EQ.

Jim Soloway
01-25-2012, 10:06 AM
hmmm maybe wait for jet city amps new frfr products coming. not sure if id like tweeters in amp cabs, but maybe i might.

I spoke with Jet City yesterday and while they are interested in doing some smaller cabs, they aren't even on the drawing board yet. I made a decision long ago not to wait for products that may to show up for a long time. I'd rather make music now.

FWIW I use an RCF 310a & I love it!

Thanks for the tip. This one looks promising.

bluesdoc
01-25-2012, 10:10 AM
Jim, did you get my email reply to you a few months ago regarding this question? I never cease to be blown away by my FBT Maxx2a. I can't imagine it not meeting your requirements. They occasionally show up used. I also have the 4a but the 2a meets my needs 99% of the time.

jon

Jim Soloway
01-25-2012, 10:12 AM
Jim, did you get my email reply to you a few months ago regarding this question? I never cease to be blown away by my FBT Maxx2a. I can't imagine it not meeting your requirements. They occasionally show up used. I also have the 4a but the 2a meets my needs 99% of the time.

jon

I did Jon and it's still definitely on the list. I just want a few more candidates before I pull the trigger.

hobbystuff
01-25-2012, 10:45 AM
I want to try this one out bigtime. I think it might be my FRFR Huckleberry.

:p

How "bad" is the hiss if you are playing at lower to moderate volumes?

Coming from a tube amp world, I don't even notice any hiss. It seems awfully quiet to me.

I'll have to listen to it closer.....

Scott Peterson
01-25-2012, 10:51 AM
I want to suggest the RCF NX SMA-10.

It is a very serious, very professional level solution that is available now. Contact Mike Pyle for a competitive price that should be very close to your budget.

heretic
01-25-2012, 01:30 PM
have you tried the EV ZXA-1 ? It's kinda like a QSC minus fan and inputs mixer.

Geiri
01-25-2012, 01:43 PM
These sound awesome with modellers.

http://www.rolandus.com/products/productdetails.php?ProductId=583&ParentId=418

3dognate
01-25-2012, 02:41 PM
These sound awesome with modellers.

http://www.rolandus.com/products/productdetails.php?ProductId=583&ParentId=418

A lot of guys over in the V-Guitar Forum swear by the Traynor K4 also... but it's a JC-120 sized back breaker.

Geiri
01-25-2012, 03:32 PM
The kc 350 is light as a feather compared to same size tube amp. I've been pondering what to get for my digital rig and the criteria is loud, good sound portable and light. The kc 350 seems to be ticking all the boxes.

Jim Soloway
01-25-2012, 04:24 PM
Thanks all. I ordered a cab today based on a bunch of input and research. I'll let you lll know what and how well it works after it arrives. (And Scott, I did order it from Mike Pyle. Thanks for the tip. He was great to deal with).

Scott Peterson
01-25-2012, 05:18 PM
Thanks all. I ordered a cab today based on a bunch of input and research. I'll let you lll know what and how well it works after it arrives. (And Scott, I did order it from Mike Pyle. Thanks for the tip. He was great to deal with).

:aok

frantick
01-25-2012, 05:50 PM
I want to suggest the RCF NX SMA-10.

It is a very serious, very professional level solution that is available now. Contact Mike Pyle for a competitive price that should be very close to your budget.

Scott, I know Jim is looking for FRFR for mostly clean sounds and for that, and based on your video review, these look great, I hope one works for him. I'm looking for FRFR too and would consider this or the 12", but I do a couple songs with controlled feedback and the following snippet from their website below worries me. Can you get feedback from these things? -cp

COMPLETE ABSENCE OF FEEDBACK

The advantages of the coaxial transducers are the complete absence of feedback and, thanks to the coherent single spherical wave front with a perfect dispersion control, a perfect listening in every position.

Jay Mitchell
01-25-2012, 06:06 PM
Can you get feedback from these things? I'm not Scott, but I can help you here:

COMPLETE ABSENCE OF FEEDBACK

The advantages of the coaxial transducers are the complete absence of feedbackWrong. This really isn't a major issue with a modeler, since guitars are much less prone to uncontrolled feedback than mics, but no loudspeaker is even approximately "immune to feedback." It is possible to maximize gain before feedback with a well-designed loudspeaker, but, by itself, coaxial configuration does not guarantee this.

and, thanks to the coherent single spherical wave frontMarket-speak. A "spherical wavefront" is not only not possible with a real-world loudspeaker, it is not generally desirable. Producing a coherent wavefront necessitates a coaxial design, but it requires that other elements be addressed as well.

with a perfect dispersion control, a perfect listening in every position.That's more market-speak for a possible, but definitely not automatic, attribute of a coaxial design. Here's a link to brief article on some of the considerations involved in the design of coaxial loudspeakers: http://frazierspeakers.com/download/coax.pdf. You may find some useful information in this document.

Scott Peterson
01-25-2012, 06:46 PM
Scott, I know Jim is looking for FRFR for mostly clean sounds and for that, and based on your video review, these look great, I hope one works for him. I'm looking for FRFR too and would consider this or the 12", but I do a couple songs with controlled feedback and the following snippet from their website below worries me. Can you get feedback from these things? -cp

COMPLETE ABSENCE OF FEEDBACK

The advantages of the coaxial transducers are the complete absence of feedback and, thanks to the coherent single spherical wave front with a perfect dispersion control, a perfect listening in every position.

I'm not Scott, but I can help you here:

Wrong. This really isn't a major issue with a modeler, since guitars are much less prone to uncontrolled feedback than mics, but no loudspeaker is even approximately "immune to feedback." It is possible to maximize gain before feedback with a well-designed loudspeaker, but, by itself, coaxial configuration does not guarantee this.

Market-speak. A "spherical wavefront" is not only not possible with a real-world loudspeaker, it is not generally desirable. Producing a coherent wavefront necessitates a coaxial design, but it requires that other elements be addressed as well.

That's more market-speak for a possible, but definitely not automatic, attribute of a coaxial design. Here's a link to brief article on some of the considerations involved in the design of coaxial loudspeakers: http://frazierspeakers.com/download/coax.pdf. You may find some useful information in this document.

Jay did the heavy lifting for me.

I have been a professional in the advertising industry for over 25 years... I am not interested in ad-speak and marketing claims; and I am intimately and instantly familiar with it when I see it.

I am a pretty straightforward guy - I need to hear, use, work with something before I give it an opinion. Somethings I dig and will babble on about, somethings I feel are crap. I post the truth as I hear it; but I only do that with gear I have firsthand knowledge of.

Remember that all the powered wedges, save for the Atomic, have been designed NOT with modeling guitarists looking for FRFR solutions... but for vocalists that fight stage feedback from their mic. What RCF is talking about - as Jay notes - is maximum gain BEFORE feedback. The NX series are midline products; some would argue entry level/low end professional level. Just truth. They feedback with a guitar very easily, just as you'd want it to... depending of course on your guitar, preset, gain, volume, etc.. Simple physics. The RCF does *not* have any sort of digital hocus-pocus feedback filter in it, which might be what you are assuming it does. Not so. It simply allows you maximum volume because it focuses the sound from a coaxial speaker instead of a separate horn.... and the separate horns create feedback hell for vocalists far easier than a coaxial speaker does. In other words, don't sweat it as a guitarists cranking your modeler through it. :D

frantick
01-25-2012, 07:20 PM
Thanks Jay & Scott, I may have to look into one. -cp

dspellman
01-26-2012, 09:22 AM
Mackie Th12 or 15? I have the TH12. I roll odd the low end with the speakers onboard EQ.

I see these speakers as underpowered for the money.

dspellman
01-26-2012, 09:34 AM
The Carvin has a ton of highs and boomy lows that cant be dialed out (at least not to me). Low-mid and mid-heavy preamps that I have (pod 2.0, Triaxis) love it, but it's almost like a solid state guitar amp in that sense. Throw highs at it and it kind of freaks out...

Conversely, I've had little problem getting these things dialed in with an LM12A. I have a 31-band EQ and an RTA to work with, but I really haven't noticed anything like what you're talking about *unless* I lay the thing down on the hardwood floor of a medium-sized room. And then it's the room acoustics at work, not the fault of the Carvin. Hard walls and floors emphasize the highs and distort them, and both mechanical and acoustic coupling will produce the boomy lows you describe. Up on a stand that hasn't been the case at all.

I've got a Triaxis and a Quad-X, though -- I'll have to try them with the LM12As. I'd nearly retired both preamps by the time I got the LM12As in favor of modelers (Pods), and those had mostly been used with tube power amps (Mesa, TS-100).

DRS
01-26-2012, 10:02 AM
I see these speakers as underpowered for the money.
What's a more powerful speaker for $300?

Jim Soloway
01-26-2012, 10:05 AM
For anyone interested in the Carvin LM12A, they've been discontinued (probably because of the price fluctuations in neodymium) but Carvin is liquidating the last of them on eBay for about $400 including shipping.

3dognate
01-26-2012, 10:08 AM
What's a more powerful speaker for $300?

Behringer B12D, B15D < I'd take these over the Thumps... Actual SPL is much greater than the Thumps... Freaking things are quite loud in actual use... But either way these are both DJ speakers with really exagerated EQ (EQ them Flat with a DriveRack + RTA mic sometime compared to something flatter like a JBL PRX. The resulting EQ is quite radical with them)... not even good PA mains or Monitors. Good for a starter house party P.A. though. Jim is a lot more serious about sound than these things.

daacrusher2001
01-29-2012, 08:35 AM
I'm interested in keeping this topic going for a bit...

I almost ordered a Carvin LM12-A - you guys say they are being discontinued, do you know if Carvin is replacing them with anything?

I want something to use with my HD500, and also would like to plug my Taylor into it (414ce). I just want to be able to try the HD with our band, and have a way to amplify the Taylor.

Unlike many in TGP, I'm not a professional musician - just a guy that likes to play a gig or jam here and there (free, no one would pay to hear me), appreciates good sound and good gear.

The subtleties in sound that many of you guys discuss are lost on me...

I tried the QSC's - I thought they both were good, preferred the 12, but for me it's probably overkill price-wise.

I never saw that Roland KC-350 before. Think it would work for the Taylor?

dspellman
01-29-2012, 10:51 AM
What's a more powerful speaker for $300?

Behringer B12D, B15D < I'd take these over the Thumps... Actual SPL is much greater than the Thumps...I'm interested in keeping this topic going for a bit...

I almost ordered a Carvin LM12-A - you guys say they are being discontinued, do you know if Carvin is replacing them with anything?

The Carvin PM12A runs $299.
http://www.carvinguitars.com/products/single.php?product=PM12A

400W (RMS) amplifier.

The Mackies' amplifier is a 400W PEAK power amplifier.
From the Mackie spec sheet:

*400W of ultra-efficient Fast Recovery (TM) amplification:


LF 300W peak power (Class-D)
HF 100W peak power (Class A/B)


Under most rating systems, this will producing a rating at least 2-2.5X its actual RMS output (because it allows the system to go into as much as 10% THD), but since it's a higher number, it'll often be used in advertising. In the owner's manual, the Mackie will note that the power amplifier is rated at 150W into the LF side, 50W into the high end. It will also note that absolute peak output is 120 dB, whereas the Carvin is conservatively putting out 124 dB.

In short, the Carvin has at least twice the power of the Mackie for the same price. Both can be pole mounted, and the Carvin has fly points as well (dunno about the Mackie). Both are about the same weight (25.5-27 lbs), both can be used as a floor monitor. The Carvin's been drop tested to 8'.

The Behringers actually have 200W (150W + 50W) of amplification and aren't louder than the Mackies, but they do have more distortion (which could account for them *sounding* louder). In addition, they weigh 36 pounds. One review of them on the Fractal board: "I have a B12D PA speaker. It's ok (for the price) for vox at practice but that's about it. Axe-Fx sounds like dirty a$$ though it." The one time I've seen one, the bottom end didn't meet specs, but that could be a fluke. It is, however, cheaper than either the Mackie or the Carvin.

Strat
01-29-2012, 11:28 AM
used EV SxA250

3dognate
01-29-2012, 11:47 AM
The Behringers actually have 200W (150W + 50W) of amplification and aren't louder than the Mackies, but they do have more distortion (which could account for them *sounding* louder). In addition, they weigh 36 pounds. One review of them on the Fractal board: "I have a B12D PA speaker. It's ok (for the price) for vox at practice but that's about it. Axe-Fx sounds like dirty a$$ though it." The one time I've seen one, the bottom end didn't meet specs, but that could be a fluke. It is, however, cheaper than either the Mackie or the Carvin.

I'd pick the carvin out of the 3, if for nothing else, Carvin's amazing customer service. But I've owned both the B215D and the TH-15. They are so closely matched... But with both speakers eq'd flat with a driverack px, the B215D would produce higher spl before clipping. Any distortion differences may be measurable but audibly not so much. The B215D will carry a much longer room than the Mackie... Done it. But bass junkies like the Mackie and most of the reviews you read are from entry level DJs.

Jim Soloway
01-29-2012, 12:06 PM
I just took a look at the Phil Jones site. I see they have a bunch of new models, several of which look interesting. I wish I had made it by their booth at NAMM.

daacrusher2001
03-19-2012, 04:16 PM
Update...

I ended up buying a Carvin PM12a - using it for my Taylor, and a POD HD500. So, again, I'm not at the level of many of you pro musicians, but my 2cents is the Carvin is a great deal. For $299, I have a powered speaker, mini-mixer on the back with three inputs (mic/line, line, RCA), it's loud enough to use with a drummer, doesn't seem to color the sound of my Taylor.

I tried the PM15 and PM10 models as well. The guys at the Carvin store (Sunset Blvd) were super helpful. PM15 was too boomy and the PM10 a little thin sounding...the 12 seemed like the right fit

Nota
03-19-2012, 10:10 PM
Ditto on the FBT Maxx4a. It's not too heavy and sounds great. Quiet too.

I've owned the EV ZXA1. Very light, nice sound but constant low-volume hiss.

Right now I own the K8. I love that is has two inputs, is quiet (except when fan is on, but I can deal with that), and sounds good. Not too heavy!

dspellman
03-20-2012, 10:09 AM
Fans are the curse of any self-powered speaker, as is the specter of heat-related glitches. Most of these are designed for PA or personal monitor or DJ use, where a bit of fan noise is neither here nor there.

While self-powered speaker setups are convenient, those fans suggest that you might want to consider a setup where the power is separate. Power amps are amazingly light these days; a 1500W (RMS, bridged, 4 ohms) power amp from Carvin (the HD1500) is 9 lbs and $299 new. Their BX1500 bass amp (same level of power, but with an impressive array of active controls including three parametric EQs and an active 9-band graphic EQ) weighs just a pound more.

The nice thing about a "separates" rig, of course, is that you have the option of powering smaller speaker(s) for home use and larger for gig use without the purchase of a power amp with each speaker.