FRFR / TS112A Volume Questions

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by leperclown, Apr 17, 2016.

  1. leperclown

    leperclown Member

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    Hi all, I posted this query on the Avid 11R users site as well, so apologies for the 'double up'.

    I am using an Eleven Rack plus 2 x Alto TS112A in a stereo configuration as backline, but I imagine these questions are relevant to all FRFR setups.

    1. I am planning to run a TRS line out from each of the powered speakers into our FOH pa. Is there a problem for the speaker (or 11R) if phantom power is switched on by the sound man (by mistake)?

    2. The Altos each are rated at 800 watts (approx. 400 RMS?), however, the volume doesn't seem that huge. Direct into the power amp on my Egnater Tweaker 88 (88 watts RMS) and two 2x12 Egnater Cabs seems to smoke the Altos for volume!!! I am running the 11R Master Volume around 7.5 and I have each rig running fairly hot (as metered) into the line outs, but without peaking at any stage, except occasionally. The Altos only have 1 volume control and the range for line level is up to 12 o'clock, with the mic level extending from 12 o'clock to max (5 o'clock). After all that detail (apologies!), I have three questions:

    i) Should I run the volume on the Altos past 12 o'clock or will it cause damage/distortion? (At 'home' volume levels, running past 12 o'clock doesn't seem to cause distortion).
    ii) Is there a reason (Fletcher Munson for example) that the Altos don't seem as 'loud' as I thought they should?
    iii) Is there a problem with running the Master Volume on the 11R on 10, if the metered output levels are not peaking (except for occasionally)?

    Also, weirdly, 2 powered speakers don't sound much 'louder' than 1. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

    BTW, the 11R + Altos, with my 7 core 'custom' tones (clean, grit, crunch 1, crunch 2, distortion, Lead 1, Lead 2) sounds fantastic, especially in 'big stereo'!

    Many thanks in advance.

    Cheers!

    Paul
     
  2. mattball826

    mattball826 Member

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    Some mfg's exaggerate the hell out of their power numbers. It may say 800 watts, but that is total bull how they come up with the numbers. Peak watts at x freq at x meters for 1msec before they blew.... lol. Most of these powered speakers use components and IC's that are rated 120 to 150w max. So, you have one for each driver and even combining the power of both hf and lf amps you won't get 400 wrms.

    My 50w Marshall and 412 cab will defeat my QSC's in terms of power and projection. Wattage numbers don't mean much these days so don't get caught up in it.

    As far as 2 not sounding much louder, you can get the same effect with traditional cabs. They push the same power but with any real separation on stage, the perceived loudness won't change much, but it fills the area more. If you put them side by side, the perceived volume would be somewhat higher.
     
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  3. mojah

    mojah Member

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    Most of those powered speakers have a db rating. Usually continuous and or peak db in the specs. That will tell you how loud to expect the cab. My alto ts110 is 120db continuous 123db peak at 1M. My jbl prx612m's are 133db peak. The jbl's as the spec says and in practice are a hell of a lot louder. An extra cab will only give you a few db extra volume. The older Alto's like mine had a history of burning drivers when pushed too hard. Most played it safe and kept the volume at 12 o'clock. Don't know about the new ones. That said Mattball is correct in the components in these things are under spec. I wouldn't push them too hard. Hard to beat a 4X12 or even a 2x12.. Don't know about the phantom power.
     
  4. DunedinDragon

    DunedinDragon Member

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    I tend to not run powered monitors above 50%. Depending on the speaker you can cheat a bit as most modern speakers have protection circuits and indicators that show when they're being overdriven or when the limiter kicks in. I also keep the master volume on my unit (HD500X) at 50 to 55% which produces an output level of around 80db as measured by my sound meter phone app. Any indicator of peaking is never a good thing as, best case, a limiter is engaging and will affect your tone. Worst case it will clip and potentially cause damage.

    The reason there is an apparent loudness difference (especially if you're used to having a traditional cabinet) could be for many reasons. Speaker cabinets don't project sound energy in the same way as cabinets. Cabinets send sound energy 180 degrees in all directions in a cone-like pattern. By design modern powered speakers are much more directional sending sound energy in rectangular pattern so as to not waste energy sending it into the ceiling or floor, and to get better distance projection. The downside to this is that if speakers are used as floor monitors in a horizontal position, you're losing a lot of that sound energy into the floor and they won't seem as loud. To test this, turn a monitor to it's vertical position at face height and you'll hear an immediate perceived loudness difference. Typically this isn't a problem because most modern speakers equipped with high end DSL circuits and compression drivers provide MUCH more clarity and articulation. And as the old saying goes, if you have clarity, you don't need volume. But if your ears are trained to hear volume, it will sound different. However the clarity cuts through the mix much better than sheer volume.
     
  5. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc Member

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    With my QSC K10's I run the gains pretty high. If I run them at half I really have to push my mixer. As others have said you need to take those numbers with a grain of salt as all these powered speakers tend to tout big impressive wattage ratings which are meaningless. It's the SPL that matters. I'm not surprised that the OP's two 212 guitar cabs and tube power amp was louder though he may have more volume available with the Alto's than he thinks. My K10's are really wimpy if I only run the gains at noon.

    My question to the OP is are the Alto's facing you like monitors? If you have them facing forward toward the audience and are also sending the signal to the PA you could encounter some phase cancellation in a small venue.

    What I find with the powered speakers like the K10's is that the sound is not always consistent at different volume levels and where they are positioned. I have the same problem with them whether I'm running direct electric guitar or using my acoustic I guess it depends what you're trying to accomplish going the modeler route but usually the concept is to avoid the decibel level you would get driving an 80 watt tube amp and four 12 inch speakers and let the PA system do the heavy lifting.
     
  6. leperclown

    leperclown Member

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    Thank you for the responses and the very helpful advice. I always knew there was a discrepancy between 'tube watts' and 'SS watts' but I have seriously underestimated the difference.

    Previously I have used the Altos as 'backline' with no feed to the PA (lying down like monitor or standing upright on stands at waist height - the best option so far).

    In future I will try running a line from the speakers to the FOH PA and worry only about stage volumes. From the comments, it appears I have the opportunity to go higher than 12 o'clock, and this will definitely create more volume (I'll keep an eye on the overload indicator).

    Cheers & thanks!
    Paul
     
  7. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc Member

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    A watt is a watt, solid state, tube or digital. You are talking about "perceived" volume. If you were to put any amp on the bench and put a 500 Hz sine wave into the amplifier AND run the output to the SAME speaker system AND the amplifiers are not distorting the volume should be the same. Guitar cabs are very midrange forward and those frequencies tend to be perceived by our ears as louder. This is why a guy with a 300 watt bass amp can play louder than a guitarist with a 100 watt amp and everyone tells the guitarist to turn down. Those mid heavy guitar frequencies will beam and be perceived as harsh to someone sitting in front of the guitar cab whereas the less offensive bass frequencies being omni directional won't bother a listener to the same degree.
     
  8. therealjoeblow

    therealjoeblow Member

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    There is something different about tube vs ss, although I don't know what it is exactly... My Marshall JCM 2000 DSL50 running at 5 on the master into a 4x12 with G12T75's in my normal practice space which is a furnished finished basement, is so loud that you truly feel you are going to do permanent hearing damage. My Peavey Bandit is rated at 80w into 8 ohms or 100 watts into 4 ohms. Run into the same 4x12 cab with the volume maxed on the Bandit is very loud, but nowhere near where you feel your ears are about to shatter like the Marshall on 5. You can truly percieve the difference.

    Best to ignore the watt ratings completely and as suggested above and rely on the dB ratings. A 3 dB increase is supposed to be equivalent to a preceived doubling of volume. So something that runs at 120 dB will feel half as loud to you as another speaker that puts out 123 dB, which will feel half as loud as something at 126 dB.

    Cheers
    TRJB
     

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