Monitor Wattage

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by wpawley, Mar 7, 2015.

  1. wpawley

    wpawley Member

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    How much power is too much for a stage monitor system? Right now, I have 600 watt power amps running stage monitors (that's 600 watts to every monitor, not total power). It's over-kill so I'm thinking about reducing the amount of amp wattage, say, down to about 130 watt's/monitor. Sure, I could just turn the power down but I'm looking at building another PA system for a smaller venue and want to try and use those big amps in it. I have been looking at the iNuke's and the ART SLA1's. Anyone using these in the monitor chain?
     
  2. MLG Audio

    MLG Audio Member

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    Lol I use 1000 watt powered speakers. And the musicians still complain they can't hear themselves :bkw
     
  3. modulusman

    modulusman Member

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    What speakers are you using?
     
  4. Valus

    Valus Member

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    Yeah, a lot depends on the speakers. At 130 watts, though, you're probably going to be running that system full-tilt all the time just to be able to hear yourselves at all. Even without knowing what speakers you're pumping that into, I'd say that's a no go.
     
  5. Motterpaul

    Motterpaul Tone is in the Ears

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    A lot depends on the speakers and how you have them connected (bridged mono, etc). Power wattage alone is not enough info - however, I tend to think you would be better off with more wattage (200-300). But it also helps to use good monitors.
     
  6. billyguitar

    billyguitar Member

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    Good efficient speakers help. Not big speakers. You will hear a single 10" monitor better than a 2 way 15"! I've compared and it's true!
     
  7. RCM78

    RCM78 Member

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    We use three 1500 watt PRX 712's as monitors. We keep the stage volume low so theres plenty of headroom left in these speakers. They sound clean and clear!!!
     
  8. 335guy

    335guy Member

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    As already mentioned, it is speaker dependent. On a large stage with larger quality stage monitors, like JBL SRX cabs, you'd want plenty of clean power and headroom. And some of the JBL SRX cabs can handle 600 watts RMS.

    But if your monitor speakers are rated at say, 200 watts RMS/continuous, then there's no point in using a 600 watt RMS amp to drive just one monitor. In theory, a single stereo power amp @ 600 watts per channel into 8 ohms could drive (4) 8 ohm stage monitors pretty easily. And if the amp was stable down to 2 ohms ( some are, some are not ), you might be able to drive (6) 8 ohm stage monitors, (3) per side in parallel.

    As for Behringer and ART amps, I don't trust them for reliability. There are plenty of quality power amps ( QSC, Crown, Peavey, Yamaha, etc. ) available for low cost, especially if you buy slightly used.
     
  9. Badside

    Badside Member

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    There is no such thing as too much power, until the breaker trips.
    More power = more clean volume, usually easier to get loud without feedback

    You can always turn it down a bit, but you can only turn it up so much
     
  10. wpawley

    wpawley Member

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    Right now I have (2) 10" Peavey, (2) 12" Peavey, and (2) "No Name" 15 wedges being pushed by (2) Crown XLS 2000 amps. It's really really LOUD on stage and we do not have the "I can't hear myself" problem. Board is a Presonus 16.4.2AI, Mains being pushed by (2) XLS 2000 amps into 2 Yamaha BR15's and (2) SA 18 Sub's (yeah, go ahead and tell me they are no good-they work just fine). My goal is to set up another system, smaller in size and weight to use in a smaller venue. Everything but the mixer and 2 of the amps were bought second hand (CHEAP).
     
  11. georgestrings

    georgestrings Senior Member

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    I typically have 300 watts available to each monitor, but never have to push them even close to that hard - works pretty well for me with JBL 12+horn wedges...


    - georgestrings
     
  12. georgestrings

    georgestrings Senior Member

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    Yeah, I use a pair of XLS1500 for my monitors, an XLS2000 for tops, and an XLS2500 for subs - no complaints here...


    - georgestrings
     
  13. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    Backline and drummer volume plays into it too. I doubt you'd be happy with 150 watts. As others have said, you really can't have too much power available.
     
  14. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    yep! wedges, even cheap ones, pushed by a bigger amp seem to just do better and need less EQ to get loud enough without fighting a bunch of feedback.

    just be sure to high-pass them at 100Hz or even higher, both to save the speakers and to keep the mud out.
     
  15. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    I'm scared of 600W into a Peavey passive 10" monitor...

    I run about 350W each into a pair of JBL SRX-712Ms and they'll kill you.
     
  16. wpawley

    wpawley Member

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    Okay, thanks folks. Guess what I might do is start looking through fleabay and CL ad's again, see if I can find some more amps and just go from there. Got lucky on most of the stuff I have gathered so far but it was a lot of looking and testing before handing over the cash. One of the venues we would like to get into has no "real" stage, just a corner cleared out to set up in. We are experimenting with an "ampless" setup for it, pushing everything through the Mixer (including V-Drums-Roland). We are not booked there yet but working on it.
     
  17. speakerjones

    speakerjones Member

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    We run 3600w into the low drivers and 1200w into the highs. EV XW15's. Just as a point of reference.
     
  18. bob-i

    bob-i Member

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    I like to use multiple monitors for the fullness of it. I need far less power and volume when using 2 monitors over 1. At the last few gigs I've run 2 150 watt powered monitors instead of one 500 watt nd was much happier with the mix.
     
  19. wpawley

    wpawley Member

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    That is what I want to do, get individual mix's in the monitors. I suggested going IEM but a couple of the guys just didn't like that idea because they just don't like ear-plugs of any type. So, I'll set up individual mix's in their monitors and being in a small venue, I don't want to be blasting 600w/monitor.
     
  20. 335guy

    335guy Member

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    With your (2) XLS 2000 amps, you can have (4) independent monitor mixes. You already have (6) monitor wedges. On a small stage, you may only have room for (4) wedges. Assuming the wedges are 8 ohms ea, you would be powering each wedge with one side of an XLS 2000, which puts out 375 watts ( continuous ) into 8 ohms, which is plenty for those speakers. Each player, assuming four band members, would get their own, individual monitor mix. Your Presonus mixer has the capacity for (6 ) aux/monitor sends, so no problem there. Don't see where you need to change anything, except maybe better quality monitor speakers.

    Of course, if you really wanted to change things out, then lose the power amps and get powered monitors/speakers.
     

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