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Chris Link
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I fell out of the habit of following this forum a while back but am wondering what people are loving these days.

 

My ancient Mackie SRM 450 crapped out mid gig yesterday. Outdoors on a warmish day, kept it covered until we started, but it shut down anyway. I have gone to IEMs most of the time, but outdoors I'm not so concerned with stage volume and like to use a single monitor.

 

The RCF TT08A would be perfect (lightweight, compact, high quality sound), but pricey. Any suggestions?

aka âmisterdregsâ

 

Nord Electro 5D 73

Yamaha P105

Kurzweil PC3LE7

Motion Sound KP200S

Schimmel 6-10LE

QSC CP-12

Westone AM Pro 30 IEMs

Rolls PM55P

 

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I fell out of the habit of following this forum a while back but am wondering what people are loving these days.

 

My ancient Mackie SRM 450 crapped out mid gig yesterday. Outdoors on a warmish day, kept it covered until we started, but it shut down anyway. I have gone to IEMs most of the time, but outdoors I'm not so concerned with stage volume and like to use a single monitor.

 

The RCF TT08A would be perfect (lightweight, compact, high quality sound), but pricey. Any suggestions?

 

Best bang for the buck would be the QSC K8.2, in my opinion. Great dispersion, a lot of bass for a small speaker, small, lightweight, and a lot less money. CPHollis may chime in, he has owned both and many other systems, and he would confirm that the RCF may be better, but not 5 times better-

 

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My recent experience is using my monitors as a small PA for keys, vocals and backing tracks off my laptop.

 

Been using the pair of my trust Yamaha DXR8s, and for these gigs added a small JBL studio 10" subwoofer I've had for years.

 

I just gotta say having the sub turns everything into a whole different experience. I'm not even picky about using the sub's built in hi-pass crossover. For one gig I just ran the through out of my DXRs into the sub. Having the added bottom, well, it just adds another dimension. While I'm a BIG fan of 8" powered PA for keys in a band, I'm contemplating bringing the sub even for full band gigs now. Just a thought.

..
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Still have a lot of love for a Yamaha DXR 12 I've had for about 10 years now. I needed a more flexible input-mixing section, so had been using a Line-6 L2t for the past four years. That worked well until a re-powering anomaly last summer blew its main control module. The repair process was a mess; ultimately gear insurance paid for a replacement. That money funded a Mackie SRM 212 - which has an onboard 3-channel mixer / iOS/Android app. Sounded great initially, but there have been two instances now of sudden power reduction and easily overdriven channels. Sweetwater and Mackie are looking into it; it's likely the unit itself.

 

If all works out with that, I could recommend the newer Mackie SRM series; great features and (hopefully) sound. The Line-6 L2t is a flexible workhorse that sounds excellent for keys. And Line 6 has apparently improved the durability of its main control module. The newer Yamaha DXR 12 has an improved input-mixing section; that's the powered monitor I can recommend wholeheartedly.

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.

 

We need a barfing cat emoticon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I went from SRM450s to QSC K8s almost 12 years ago - and my story is funny because I never intended to stop using the 450s. My original intention was to get smaller & lighter speakers for gigs that didn't need the power the 450s had, or gigs that had a heinous shlep. Little did I know how much the K8s would kick the 450s' ass. I retired the Mackies after my first gig with the QSCs.

 

Of course all the replies will be forum users here recommending what THEY have (I believe I just did that)! No question the RCFs and a few other top-shelf brands like Fulcrum or L-Acoustics are amazing speakers; if sound quality is at the top of your list and you have the cash, do it. Among the "lower-priced spreads", QSC now has the K8 "version 2" models as well as a lower-priced line (CP8 and CP12). EV and Yamaha also have several lines of powered speakers. These all use Chinese-sourced class-D power amp modules that are ubiquitous in many speakers these days, and explain some of the surprisingly low price vs features & power output you'll see. I recommended Alto TS308s to a community services organization I taught piano at. The pair was less than $500 and has performed well. None of these are RCF level though, and I don't know from where RCF sources their amp modules.

 

One thing I like about my QSCs is that I can connect my laptop's headphone output, or the output of any hardware keyboard, directly to it. The speaker has switchable gain (actually it's a pad) that can handle a wide range of input levels. The QSCs (and some other brands) also have multiple inputs in case you ever need to mix a second sound source. The RCFs have a single input with a volume control, and may require a mixer to give enough gain to drive the amp to its full level.

 

Anyway, I'm still happy with my 12-year old K8s. BTW the low-end response on my 8" K8s is better than the 450s ever had, and imo would be entirely adequate for any gig using bread & butter sounds, including left-hand bass. I'm not sure how the low end would do if I only used one speaker though - I've always been stereo. HTH and good luck!

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Little did I know how much the K8s would kick the 450s' ass.

...and the K8.2 is noticeably better than the K8!

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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'... the RCF may be better, but not 5 times better'

 

 

 

Well, not five times as much! I"ve seen them in the $1440 range.

 

Thanks for the suggestions. It looks like the QSC still get a lot of love.

aka âmisterdregsâ

 

Nord Electro 5D 73

Yamaha P105

Kurzweil PC3LE7

Motion Sound KP200S

Schimmel 6-10LE

QSC CP-12

Westone AM Pro 30 IEMs

Rolls PM55P

 

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Speaking of QSC... I'm also impressed with that 'lower-priced line'. Have a CP8 that's worked out well for smaller gigs and rehearsals. And with the boost feature on the B channel I'm guessing it could hold its own on a larger, outdoor stage.

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.

 

We need a barfing cat emoticon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi. My RCF TT08 units get a lot of use. They're great for intimate gigs (keys or PA), but also do well as a killer monitor in an electric situation. APs through them sound "right" to me ears -- all the nuance is there. I like the sound reproduction better than the various Bose sticks I own, it's still crystal clear and a tad warmer with almost no harsh overtones. Although the Bose wins for sound coverage.

 

I also own a pair of QSC K8.2s which also get a lot of use, either as keys monitors or as monitors for the singers. They also rock. They can get quite loud and still keep their s**t together. There are those that prefer 10s and 12s for keyboards. I don't do a lot of bass-heavy stuff, and the difference in schlep is noticaeble.

 

Yes, the RCFs are pricey. But after a short while, the front line musicians learned to tell the difference between the two, and started asking for the RCFs as monitors. In the bang-for-buck category, QSC is a strong contender. I haven't tried similar from Yamaha et. al. in the last several years so I can't compare. A few years back I was recommending the QSC K8.2s to everyone over on the Nord forum, and just about everyone was quite pleased with theirs.

 

Typical gig is the singers get the RCF monitors, everyone else gets the QSCs with the drummer getting a K12. I do outside gigs in Florida in full sun, zero heat issues so far with any of my gear (except my iPad!!).

Life is too short to be playing bad music.

 

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I am still quite happy with my EV ELX112P. It is a wood cabinet as opposed to the typical ABS, has a warmer tone yet is quite loud. plenty of bass, no sub needed. 37 pounds is manageable.

57 Hammond B3; 69 Hammond L100P; 68 Leslie 122; Kurzweil PC3; M-Audio Code 61; Voce V5+; Neo Vent; EV ELX112P; GSI Gemini & Burn

Dyin Breed Band

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Speaking of QSC... I'm also impressed with that 'lower-priced line'. Have a CP8 that's worked out well for smaller gigs and rehearsals. And with the boost feature on the B channel I'm guessing it could hold its own on a larger, outdoor stage.

 

Agreed. Even more bang-for-the-buck than the more pricey K8.2. I've seen local groups use them for PA (patio-type stuff), and they're pretty darn close to the K8.2s for less $$$. Actually, none of the units mentioned here are bad choices. Buying used or B-stock works for me because all of these units are near-indestructible.

Life is too short to be playing bad music.

 

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I am still happy with mine (ELX112P) too. I remember buying it now, what, 6 or 7 yrs ago, something ... after reading your recommendation and finding a killer deal on one. Warm yet bright, clear, strong low end. The newer EV"s look amazing.

 

I don"t like 10"s as much after I play thru this. I much preferred DXR10s to K10s, have not played thru the 10.2"s though

 

I always note how many love their 8"s - i just don"t care for 8"s for live performance. Maybe different tones with diff frequency envelopes. I have a lot of synths in my sets, 8s do not bring the balls required. As a personal monitor it can work fine if you don"t want to hear as much of your low end, i guess.

The baiting I do is purely for entertainment value. Please feel free to ignore it.
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I find the idea that the K8s lack low end puzzling. Maybe that's some kind of implied characteristic because bigger speakers move more air? In that case I suppose one might feel like there's more lows happening. On paper the three Ks' published low end response differ by only a few Hz. I've never done a direct A-B between my K8s and any speaker with a different-sized woofer. I do know one thing â I have never lacked for low end, ever. This includes when playing left hand bass and emulating a 6-string with a low B string. On my laptop setup I have a high-pass EQ right before the output and have to roll off lows or the piano sounds way too bassy â which it would, being close-miked samples and subject to a proximity effect. But my bass patch benefits from this high-pass filter too. Another consideration is that I'm pretty sure the QSC's DSP limits the woofer's excursion at high SPLs â meaning it rolls off low end as you get closer to that ceiling. I'll take a guess that the K8 will start to limit before the K10 or K12, but you have to be at ear-bleed volume for that to happen. I was done with those kinds of gigs years ago!
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On paper the three Ks' published low end response differ by only a few Hz...Another consideration is that I'm pretty sure the QSC's DSP limits the woofer's excursion at high SPLs â meaning it rolls off low end as you get closer to that ceiling.

Yes, it's a combination of things. The K12.2 is 6 dB down at 50 Hz vs that point being 59 Hz on the K8.2 (roughly a minor third difference). For reference, the low E of a 4-string bass is about 41 Hz (the subsequent open A string is 55 Hz). But also, the K12.2 goes 4 dB louder than the K8.2. And I suspect you're right that the low end is limited further as you push it. That said, I'm happy with the 8, and I have a separate Markbass bass amp I can bring if I'm doing LH bass at significant volume. More often, I roll off the bass off my piano anyway so as not to step on the bassist.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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On my logic of 8s vs 10s and 12s: good enough is good enough. As AnotherScott has yet again so helpfully pointed out, although 8s are no slouches, 10s and 12s do better at the deep margin. And sometimes that big ballsy sound way down low is important to you.

 

But back when I was playing bass-heavy synth stuff, the FOH subs let me hear plenty. Best part is I didn't have to carry them. There was one time I had to bring a small sub for my own sound to augment the 8s. I compare that with the umpteen gigs where I've showed up with one or two svelte 8" units and I think I'm ahead.

 

Even if you want to bring your own thump, I think you'd be better off with a small sub to offload your mains.

Life is too short to be playing bad music.

 

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My TTF pair can get very loud and the sound is still velvet. It's hard to explain, but I can detect no peaky hot spots at any volume, and it never starts gasping for headroom.

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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Yamaha DXR8 MKII or if you could deal with slightly larger, DXR10 MKIIs (or MK1 but those are harder to find now). I've used a related, discontinued Yamaha called the MSR100 for gigs since 2013 and it's awesome. The DXR8 is the closest thing to it.

Yamaha: Motif XF8, MODX7, YS200, MX61, CVP-305, CLP-130, YPG-235, PSR-295, PSS-470 | Roland: Fantom 7, JV-1000

Kurzweil: PC3-76, PC4 (88) | Korg: N1R, X5DR | Emu: Proteus/1 | Casio: CT-370 | Novation: Launchkey 37 MK3

Former: Emu Proformance Plus & Mo'Phatt, Korg Krome 61, Roland Fantom XR & JV-1010, Behringer CAT

Yamaha Pacifica 112V & APX600 | Washburn WI64 | Ibanez BTB-675 | Alesis SamplePad Pro | Assorted organs, accordions, other instruments

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Four or five years ago on this forum it would have been unthinkable for a thread such as this to run this long without someone mentioning the Spacestation.

 

As the OP stated, he's wondering what people are loving these days. Things do change.

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I'm in the same exact boat--I like to have a powered monitor for outdoor gigs, and certainly for those been run by a sound company (who I don't trust with an IEM mix).

 

I'll be interested to see what prevails. My band has some QSC 10.2s that I've used from time to time at practice, and they are one of the only speakers I've tried where piano actually sounds great! Piano is the litmus test IMO. If I get something I'm leaning 8.2 or 10.2, but because I don't use these often I wouldn't mind saving money if something cheaper is in the same ballpark.

 

I have two powered speakers that I got--together--for less than 300 bucks. Ebay specials I call them....they "work" but don't sound great, and despite their weight and size don't have a lot of headroom. They have to go!

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Four or five years ago on this forum it would have been unthinkable for a thread such as this to run this long without someone mentioning the Spacestation.

 

As the OP stated, he's wondering what people are loving these days. Things do change.

 

 

I'm still happily using my SS3. During pandemic backyard jam sessions, it has even served well as a modest-volume PA for the entire group.

 

Agreed that the fervor for the SS3 has calmed. That forum thread took on a life of its own!

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I"ve had the notion to replace my SSV3, but a BBE Sonic Maximizer has added new dimension to its range. I have added a sub and bass amp in the past, but for similar investment I could get a pair of RCF ART or Yamaha DXRs (can"t wrap my head around QSCs as I had a 10 once and thought the sound was too tubby - maybe 8"s are the key)...

____________________________________
Rod

victoria bc

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Four or five years ago on this forum it would have been unthinkable for a thread such as this to run this long without someone mentioning the Spacestation.

OTOH, if it's primarily for stage monitoring, and not with an organ focus, we're not really playing to that box's strengths here.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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I sent the Mackie SRM212 back to Sweetwater. While the random volume drops and tone changes might've been a single-unit issue, I decided for a couple other reasons to go a different route - footprint and bulk being the primary one. EV caught my attention, as one of their powered cabs was more compact and slightly lighter; then I discovered their PXM-12MP powered wedge. After reading a few reviews and checking specs, I had a demo unit sent out. Played my live rig through it last night with a variety of tones; so far I'm liking it alot. It offers a three channel mixer (Two XLR-1/4" combo, one stereo RCA) and four, basic sound modes; then coupled with EQ and mix settings allows five different scenes to be stored. The sound stayed clear and focused, even at maximum volume. Was almost expecting paint to start chipping off the basement wall, so I don't think it'll be a problem to hear myself on outdoor stages. At 30 lb. and possessing a compact footprint, this one appears to be a keeper.

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.

 

We need a barfing cat emoticon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I sent the Mackie SRM212 back to Sweetwater. While the random volume drops and tone changes might've been a single-unit issue, I decided for a couple other reasons to go a different route - footprint and bulk being the primary one. EV caught my attention, as one of their powered cabs was more compact and slightly lighter; then I discovered their PXM-12MP powered wedge. After reading a few reviews and checking specs, I had a demo unit sent out. Played my live rig through it last night with a variety of tones; so far I'm liking it alot. It offers a three channel mixer (Two XLR-1/4" combo, one stereo RCA) and four, basic sound modes; then coupled with EQ and mix settings allows five different scenes to be stored. The sound stayed clear and focused, even at maximum volume. Was almost expecting paint to start chipping off the basement wall, so I don't think it'll be a problem to hear myself on outdoor stages. At 30 lb. and possessing a compact footprint, this one appears to be a keeper.

 

That thing looks interesting! Very affordable and a better design for monitors vs those mostly designed for PA tops. With any wedge it's tough to get in the right spot when using keyboards as they tend to block the sound, so I like what I'm reading about it dispersing a bit better than many speakers due to the design.

 

How does piano fare on it? As I mentioned above, that's the sound that suffers most on amps and cheaper monitors.

 

Edit: google fooled me and the prices that popped up were for the much, much cheaper passive ZLXes :) So maybe not as screaming a deal as I first thought, but more in line with what I would have figured from the specs!

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Just going a bit farther afield here... does anyone have experience with these recent Cerwin Vega products? The brand used to be fairly widespread, but lately I've only noticed them selling at a Canadian retailer.

 

CVX-10

 

CVE-10

 

 

Interesting. They're on their website, but I've never seen them before. I think CV is owned by Gibson, so who knows what is going on with them? They look like QSC knockoffs...

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