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#2979270 - 03/08/19 09:05 AM subs
montunoman Offline
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Registered: 06/15/07
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Hi,

I've been using two Bose Compacts for years, and still like them, but I gotten several events coming up that I don't think they will handle well. We got booked for few quinceanera (15th birthday party) and some wedding (young couples) Some of the events we'll be alternating with a DJ, while others I"ll be playing recorded music during the breaks and special presentations (mostly very heavy bass material like hip hop)
I don't think my Bose Compacts will produce the sound that the young people are accustomed to.....

So, I'm thinking of using the Bose Compacts as monitors, and setting up behind pair of 12" powered speakers and and pair of 15" or 18" subs.

I already own a single Electro-Voice ZLX-12P 12", which sounds pretty good, so I thought I just get another one to complete the set.

Now, as for the subs, I'm not sure.... I've never used subs before. Not sure at all what to get or what size even. I know I'd like something under 70LBS. My budget is $2000.

Some more info that might be helpful: My band does mostly Latin (cumbia, bachata, salsa, merengue, nortena, raggaeton). Most of the music is coming from my arranger keyboard. We use a percussionist, sax, violin, lead singer, a few background vocals too. We don't have a drum set player or bassist, all the drums and bass are coming for my keyboard) Medium size rooms, crowds up to 300 max.

Any suggestions? Thanks!

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#2979276 - 03/08/19 09:50 AM Re: subs [Re: montunoman]
J. Dan Offline
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For bass, it's all about moving air, so larger speakers are always better - I'd go with 18's if you can.

Other features you probably want is built-in crossover with high-pass outputs for your top speakers, and integrated pole mount for the top speakers. Those EV's sound good but don't go all that loud so you shouldn't have trouble getting enough volume from most of the subs available, so pay more attention to frequency response and features.

A little over your weight limit at 74lbs each but within your budget:
Mackie SRM1850
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Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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#2979294 - 03/08/19 11:32 AM Re: subs [Re: J. Dan]
Bif_ Online   content
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Originally Posted By: J. Dan


A little over your weight limit at 74lbs each but within your budget:
Mackie SRM1850


I've used this Mackie before. It is formidable.
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#2979304 - 03/08/19 12:37 PM Re: subs [Re: Bif_]
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#2979315 - 03/08/19 01:06 PM Re: subs [Re: Bif_]
hardware Offline
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Loc: Nevada
Iím from the camp of punchiness per venue.
Quincaneras are too much fun. Usually 100 people max.
Iíd rather punch with 12s as Subs than getting boomier with bigger more expensive 15s or 18s.

Iíve got 5 different systems I use, all with the same mixer.
I can use QSC KW Array which is dual 15s over 18s.
Or 15s over 15Ē subs, etc, etc.

My point is I like 12s for 100 people venues.
The other cabs I canít drive because theyíre too powerful.

But my K12s with Behringer B1200D subs is punchy and fat.
I can drive the cabs harder and get more punch than trying to watch my volume with larger cabinets.

Plus a pair of B1200Ds costs 500 bucks, easy to move.

I use one with a pair of 8s for my live synth rig.
Sounds Great.
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#2979318 - 03/08/19 01:36 PM Re: subs [Re: hardware]
KeyMoe Offline
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We use a pair of the QSC KW181s which are powered 18 inch subs and a pair of the QSC K12s on top. (I actually own 4 of them but never had the need for 4 subs) I have used on occasion just 1 with 2 of the K12s on top for smaller rooms.
Now we are full 5pc country band and they work very well.

I would NOT recommend any the12 inch subs as they simply canít move enough air in large rooms and donít get punchy enough. I owned a pair of the QSC K-Subs for a while and never liked them for that reason.

Any of the powered 18 inch subs will probably do the job for you. Or even unpowered with good amps. The real key is having enough power. Under powered subs will not perform as you would want them or expect them to perform. Especially for the younger crowd.
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#2979321 - 03/08/19 01:49 PM Re: subs [Re: KeyMoe]
J. Dan Offline
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There is a lot more that affects how "tight" a sub sounds than the cone size. I'm sure your assumption is that higher moving mass of the larger cone is somehow not as "tight". The technical term here would be "group delay" and that has a lot to do with the enclosure size and tuning frequency along with the Thiele Small parameters of the speaker.

In fact, in order to get he same volume out of a 12" speaker as an 18" speaker, the 12" speaker would have to have a much longer linear excursion, which would have more of a negative impact than moving mass.

I've heard some extremely tight and punchy 18's.
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#2979333 - 03/08/19 02:43 PM Re: subs [Re: J. Dan]
hardware Offline
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Loc: Nevada
Of course itís not about cone size.
I audition cabinets with my mixer and an SE-01 and a KSM8 microphone.
I donít want a Cabinet if it doesnít punch, itís why I test out several at a retailer or even take a drive to a distributor like you need to do for RCFs.

My KW181s are punchy itís why I bought them, but they donít get the same sound I want unless Iím cranking up the KW153s.

Iím just saying you can get a nice punchy sound at lower volumes with my 12s than I can with larger cabinets.

But the B1200D was talked about here in the Spacestation Vrs. 3 thread so much I bought one and still impressed after 2 years of endless thumping how good they sound and theyíre dirt cheap.

I admit though the 12Ē system with IEMs is an indoor rig.
If I were doing 100 seats outdoors the 12Ēs wouldnít project the way I
Iike so the KWs would be used.
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#2979339 - 03/08/19 03:24 PM Re: subs [Re: hardware]
J. Dan Offline
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He said up to 300 people and specifically mentioned break music thumping the way the young folks want to hear it. I don't think 12's would cut it.
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Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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#2979347 - 03/08/19 04:19 PM Re: subs [Re: J. Dan]
cphollis Offline
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My suggestion would be to look at the new QSC KS212c.

*Dual* 12s -- think moving air. It's important, but there's more than one way to do it.

A nice 3600 (peak marketing) watts to handle bass transients, which I have learned can be important in getting a crisp bass. I think this is more important than SPL dB.

A cardioid design which projects forward, not back -- useful for live performances.

Also very transport-friendly -- for a honkin' sub that is.

I don't own one (yet) but have auditioned one and I came away impressed -- it definitely outperforms my current subs. Nice, crisp bass that you can feel. In an entirely different league than the Bose bass modules. It's on my future gear list.

As a bonus, you could probably get a good discount off advertised prices by calling around to DJ supply houses. I'm guessing you could score a pair for $1100 each.
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#2979370 - 03/08/19 06:59 PM Re: subs [Re: cphollis]
J. Dan Offline
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That was my first thought to recommend until I looked and saw them listed at $1499 each, which would put them well over his budget, and they weigh 90lbs each! Well over his weight limit of 70lbs.
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Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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#2979373 - 03/08/19 07:30 PM Re: subs [Re: J. Dan]
Bill H. Offline
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There's a place online that's selling B stock JBL PRX818XLFs for $749. I know because I've been thinking about picking up a pair myself. These are serious subs at an insane price. 81 pounds though.

After doing some research, people who have purchased B stock from this retailer have not been disappointed. Don't know how this would work if you are in Mexico though. I'd definitely call them and talk to them beforehand.

If you are playing reggaeton and hip-hop I wouldn't go smaller than 18s.

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#2979418 - 03/09/19 06:29 AM Re: subs [Re: Bill H.]
montunoman Offline
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Registered: 06/15/07
Posts: 789
Thanks for all the suggestions! It's sounds like 18' is the size I need (I wish I could get by with some 12") I am the one that has to schlep this stuff around mostly by myself so weight/size is an important factor. I'm in good shape and have a good back and I want to keep it that way!

With that in mind, these are the lightest 18' subs that I've found: EV ELX118P which is 63 pounds

https://www.electrovoice.com/product.php?id=1068

Has anyone has any experience with these?

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#2979455 - 03/09/19 10:53 AM Re: subs [Re: montunoman]
J. Dan Offline
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Note that it has a fixed crossover frequency of 100Hz and the parallel out is not crossed over, so you'll want to verify that there is a setting on your tops that filters the lows for use with a sub.
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Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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#2979516 - 03/09/19 07:16 PM Re: subs [Re: cphollis]
Tom Williams Offline
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Originally Posted By: cphollis
3600 (peak marketing) watts
Best phrase of the entire day. Mebbe the best for Q1 2019.
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#2979558 - 03/10/19 10:40 AM Re: subs [Re: Tom Williams]
Randelph Offline
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Registered: 06/30/09
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Loc: San Francisco, CA
Check out the way bass amps are setup. Many of them don't use huge 18" woofers, but instead use multiple smaller speakers, like 2-4 10" or 12" speakers. Apparently, using several smaller speakers in tandem can produce as much low end as a single larger woofer. Which is the idea behind the QSC KS212c using 2 12" speakers.

Here's a bass speaker with 4 10" woofers
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#2979580 - 03/10/19 01:52 PM Re: subs [Re: Randelph]
J. Dan Offline
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Bass guitar requires full range reproduction and larger speakers don't product the highs as well, so they get a better result using multiple smaller speakers. For a subwoofer application you don't need those frequencies. Using multiple speakers adds weight because heaviest part is the magnet.
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Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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#2979687 - 03/11/19 10:07 AM Re: subs [Re: J. Dan]
Music Bird Offline
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I think 18 would be good, especially for those kinds of music, and some of those songs would also use synth bass (certain cumbia & bachata songs and reggaetůn) too, which subs are important for. Also itís good because the bass in some songs is heavier.


Edited by Music Bird (03/11/19 10:08 AM)
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#2979715 - 03/11/19 02:35 PM Re: subs [Re: Music Bird]
montunoman Offline
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Registered: 06/15/07
Posts: 789
Hey guys, thanks so much for the suggestions. I'm giving careful consideration to all of them, and hopefully this week I will be able to try most of the suggested gear at the music stores. I'll report back on my decision.

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#2979717 - 03/11/19 02:50 PM Re: subs [Re: montunoman]
montunoman Offline
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Registered: 06/15/07
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Seems like most here favor 18' over the 12". Any thoughts on 15"?

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#2979719 - 03/11/19 03:17 PM Re: subs [Re: montunoman]
J. Dan Offline
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You'll save in size, but typically not save much in weight, but will have reduced max output at the low end - needing more cone excursion to move the same amount of air. Seems to me by the time you get to the size and weight of a 15, you may as well go to the 18 and get the extra low end output. That extra 3" gives you something like a 40-45% increase in the volume of air you can move.
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#2979827 - 03/12/19 08:47 AM Re: subs [Re: J. Dan]
Outkaster Offline
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Because of the kind of band we have I bought two QSCKW181's. My sound guy has another pair. They are great workhorses and really are easy to manage.
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#2979833 - 03/12/19 09:03 AM Re: subs [Re: Outkaster]
Barryjam Offline
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Guitel casters on the subs and a ramp to my minivan reduced my concern about weight. Two guys lift the sub from the riding on casters position to the playing position.
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#2979848 - 03/12/19 10:59 AM Re: subs [Re: Barryjam]
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For cafe, house, and restaurant gigs I use a Fender Rumble 10" 40 watt bass amp ($199, 18 lbs) and a Chinese "Fender Champ" clone with special tubes and a Weber 8" alnico. Sounds great with organ and Rhodes: warmth ,clarity, and punch.
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#2979852 - 03/12/19 11:08 AM Re: subs [Re: J. Dan]
montunoman Offline
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Originally Posted By: J. Dan
You'll save in size, but typically not save much in weight, but will have reduced max output at the low end - needing more cone excursion to move the same amount of air. Seems to me by the time you get to the size and weight of a 15, you may as well go to the 18 and get the extra low end output. That extra 3" gives you something like a 40-45% increase in the volume of air you can move.


Yeah, I did notice the weight was not reduced by much with the 15' compared to the 18".

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#2979854 - 03/12/19 11:10 AM Re: subs [Re: Outkaster]
montunoman Offline
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Registered: 06/15/07
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Originally Posted By: Outkaster
Because of the kind of band we have I bought two QSCKW181's. My sound guy has another pair. They are great workhorses and really are easy to manage.


I'm sure they kick some serious ass, but they're over my budget and weight limit. Most of the time I set up and tear down by myself.

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#2979861 - 03/12/19 11:58 AM Re: subs [Re: montunoman]
Bill H. Offline
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Montunoman I'm an older guy and certainly not that strong, but I move 18" or 21" subs all the time. Since the subs are on casters, it's actually harder to move and set up the tops! (and they're only 50 pounds each).

I even have ways of rolling those subs (end over end) up stairs if I have to. But usually I try to find someone to help in those situations...

I'd suggest pulling up Youtube videos to give you some ideas. Last time I looked there were plenty - just don't have the time to do it myself right now.


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#2979917 - 03/13/19 03:43 AM Re: subs [Re: Bill H.]
WesG Offline
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I, too, am in the camp of "weight doesn't matter much if it has wheels". I run a single sub, Yorkville PSA1S. It's dual 12s and it moves a LOT of air:
Max SPL: 129dB Continuous, 135dB Peak
Frequency Response +/-3db: 37Hz-100Hz

One reason I chose it was the compact form factor fits in the van. It's a heavy SOB, but I just avoid lifting it.

I prefer a single sub to a pair for sonic reasons - subs placed at either side of the stage will have constructive/destructive interference with each other that cause an uneven coverage pattern in the audience. When I am using a larger system, I will cluster the subs together.

I also don't worry too much about sub placement, particularly indoors. I just stand the sub on its end near out of the tops most of the time. Your brain can't figure out where the low frequencies are coming from.

And to repeat, wheels are so key, I would rather move this guy than a pair of JBL PRX718S-XLFs any day. Unless there were stairs involved.
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#2979932 - 03/13/19 06:45 AM Re: subs [Re: WesG]
Toano88 Offline
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That's the main issue I have with heavy subs even with casters. When they tell you to load in from the back and the back is unpaved, littered with puddles and the back door is up 10 steps from ground. Plus you can't park close to the door because of other vehicles. Happens to me more than just a couple times a year. I threw my back out once loading heavy gear in just that type of situation. At least the days of hauling racks of amps weighing a total of 250lbs are gone!

I too am the mindset of a single sub in the middle for sonic reasons. I had a system once where I tried moving both subs to the middle and it sounded much better. So then I disconnected one, and didn't hear much difference except maybe a little less boomy. After that I have always used just one sub.


Edited by Toano88 (03/13/19 06:46 AM)
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#2980001 - 03/13/19 02:31 PM Re: subs [Re: Toano88]
WesG Offline
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Keep an eye out for a used JBL PRX-618S-XLF. It was a massive upgrade from the 618S. It is the last speaker of that line to use drivers with Neodymium magnets.

Your observation wrt. 2 vs 1 is spot on: driving them equally hard, you're only losing 3dB, and maybe some resonance if the cabs were touching.

If you're short on power, put your sub right in a corner. I forget if you gain 6 or 9db. It's a lot.

Using a single sub, 90% of the time I try to get placement so that the audience hears the speaker unobstructed, but there is something heavy between the band and the speaker, to keep stage rumble down. Once you've given up on the visual symmetry, a whole range of options open up.
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#2980006 - 03/13/19 03:28 PM Re: subs [Re: WesG]
montunoman Offline
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Registered: 06/15/07
Posts: 789
Hi guys,

Last night we (my wife and singer) spent a few hours at Sam Ash, and got to try most of the recommend gear. We both really want to go with some 12' EV subs, but after comparing the 12", 15", and 18" we went with a pair of ELX 18" (EV's mid level) and a 12" EV ZLX (EV's entry level) After buying the poles,covers and cables we went over our budget... It's nice they have 24 month of interest free financing!

Interesting thing- I really wanted to like the EV ELX200 18SP because of it's lite weight, but thought that the 12" EV sub actually sounded better. But the mid level ELX 18" sub sounded the best by far. The subs will be shipped to my house soon. Today I set up the 12" ZLX tops, and they sounded really good, and I like how they can be easily eq and have some real nice presents like "club mode" which makes them sound deeper.

I'm kind of thinking that two 18' maybe overkill? Maybe I'll be fine with one? It's hard to say before I actually try them on some jobs...

I'm sure there's all sorts of subs and tops from the higher end lines from JBL, Yamaha, QSC that are more powerful, but budget, weight, and working with the one EV ZLX top that I already had figured in the equation.

The plan is to keep using the Bose Compact for small jobs, and the EV system for bigger jobs along with the Bose for stage monitors.


Thanks for the input!

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#2980014 - 03/13/19 04:52 PM Re: subs [Re: WesG]
Stephen S Offline
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Registered: 10/07/13
Posts: 52
Actually, 2 subs driven equally will give you 6 dB more output than a single sub (typically).
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#2980037 - 03/13/19 08:02 PM Re: subs [Re: Stephen S]
WesG Offline
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Registered: 02/16/13
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Loc: Inverary, ON, Canada
3dB is, by definition, doubling power.

As for "club mode" - if it's not changing the limiter algorithm, it's just an EQ. I prefer that done at my system processor.

Also, you don't really need those super deep frequencies in most performance environments. Feel free to start rolling off as high as 50Hz if you're after a nice, tight sound with no flabbiness. Remember, you're not doing home theatre.

(reading specs....in fact, your EV ZXA-1 has a -3dB point of 53Hz...is probably down 10dB at 44Hz...126dB SPL max, you're capping out around 80 people if you're playing rock)
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#2980099 - 03/14/19 10:06 AM Re: subs [Re: WesG]
Stephen S Offline
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Registered: 10/07/13
Posts: 52
Correct - 3 dB is doubling power, but if you combine 2 coherent sources then you get a 6 dB increase. Due to the long wavelengths, subs typically sum coherently (with some exceptions, depending on exact location of the sources and listeners).
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