Active Speakers - Which should I buy?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by Hemisphere, Sep 6, 2007.

  1. Hemisphere

    Hemisphere
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    Hi. I'm a student based in the UK, and I'm looking to build myself a small/medium rig for use in house parties, squat parties, outdoor raves etc.

    I don't have a great deal of expertise in the field of sound engineering (well, virtually none really), and I'm not too keen to learn just yet, so I think building an active system makes the most sense for me.

    I've done a lot of shopping around, looking at specs, prices, different brands etc, and the one brand that always seems like the most obvious choice to me is Mackie.

    I initially found a site where I can buy B-Stock SR1521zs for £320 each, and for a while they seemed like a good bet, with 130db SPL, a nice wide range of frequencies and generally positive reviews on the net. The cheapest I could find them elsewhere was £400 so £320 isn't a bad price.

    However, I'm looking to make a long term investment here (well, not so much an investment, but if I'm spending a lot of money on professional sound equipment, I don't intend to replace any of it for a LONG time). Mackie's SAz Series is very attractive, with SPL peaks around 136-138 (am I right in thinking that +3db equates to a percieved doubling in volume?), but it always seemed out of my league, as I hadn't once seen the SA1232z or the SA1532z for less than £950 a speaker, however two things made me seriously consider these as an option.

    I found a website selling brand new SA1232zs for £799 each(including VAT/shipping), and I found another website that not only guarentees to beat any price found elsewhere on any of their products, but also has a very attractive finance policy, which means if you spend over £1000, they give you 12 months to pay it, with no interest.

    I have several thousand worth of stuff I need to get around to selling, so I could comfortably buy a single SA1232z on finance (along with a few other items I need to make up the £1000 minimum), pay in the £700 I have to spend currently, leaving a comfortable 12 months to find the remaining £300, and all the time in the world to finish my rig, though hopefully I'll get my ass into gear and have it done in a few months :)

    Anyway I suppose my question is, am I making the right decision with the Mackies, or is their another route I've not considered that would be more favourable? Another brand perhaps, that can offer me more for less? The SA1232zs do seem to be just right for me - at 136 SPL peak (133 continuous), it's loud enough for the situations I'll be using it in, and from what I've read (and from the experience I've had listening to them personally) the bass response is so good that subs aren't a nescessity, which is good because I'll be building my rig piece by piece, and it'll be a while until I can afford subs to go with it.
     
  2. trevor g

    trevor g
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    hi, check out this months what hifi. avi adm9 £1,ooo per pair 5 star rated
    power output 2X350 watts. regards trevor.
     
  3. Hemisphere

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    Those are hifi speakers, I'm buying speakers for PA use, but thanks for the suggestion.
     
  4. Member 96948

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    So let me get this straight.

    You want to have your fun, when you feel like it, where ever you feel like it at precisely no consideration to anybody within earshot and who may not share your enthusiasm for your 'music'. At least that's what I understand by the use of the words 'squat', 'outdoor' and 'raves'.

    Normally I'd welcome a new forum member posting as eloquently as you have, however if I've read the above right, I can't.

    Russell
     
  5. Hemisphere

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    I'll try and clarify a little then:

    House parties - when I say this I don't in any way mean that I'd lug a rig into some residential area and crank it to full, I'm just talking about general use at friends' parties/functions where some degree of sound may be required, casual use basically.

    Squat parties - these never take place in residential areas - mostly we're talking about disused warehouses and the like. The same goes for outdoor locations - nobody's talking about having parties in gardens or parks - motorway overpasses and generally out-of-the-way areas are more common.

    I can understand your concerns about disturbing others, and please don't think that all people involved in the production of underground parties are ignorant beatniks who couldn't give a **** about anyone but themselves, this is totally untrue. There are some bad eggs for sure, but I certainly don't associate myself with them.

    The underground scene is incredibly important for new talent, especially for electronic music genres. Most new DJs, especially in the more obscure genres, have no other oppurtunities to play their music in front of a big audience, and I'm sure you know that. I can appreciate on some levels that you probably disapprove, but I think you'll find a large percentage of professionals in the av industry, particularly artists, have roots in some underground scene or other - especially in the UK, where parties like these are very common, and for the most part are tolerated by the authorities.

    Edit: Erm - please ignore my seemingly patronizing comments about "in the UK this and that" - for some reason I was under the impression this was an American forum!
     
  6. eviljohn2

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    For this genre of music, save up and buy a Funktion One PA. Bear in mind that one PA system is very unlikely to be appropriate for use in every location. :)
     
  7. Member 96948

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    Again, elloquently written, but I still struggle with the 'everbody has a right to everything they want to do' mindset. Thing is, I have seen first hand the results of such gatherings and the clear up is ALWAYS somebody elses problem. Still that's a discussion for the General Chat forum and not here.

    Listen to Eviljohn2. He knows this PA stuff inside out.;)

    American? AMERICAN! How very dare you.:mad:

    Russell
     
  8. Hemisphere

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    Funktion 1 are waaay out of my league. It's all very well to say "save up", but it's not like building a sound system is my soul priority in life - living costs and going out are more important :) and I need to learn to drive at some point.

    I just want to be able to help out mates who can't afford to hire out professionally, and have the gear nescessary to hold a few more private gatherings.
     
  9. Hemisphere

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    Wrong!

    It is OFTEN, but not always. Please do NOT group all underground scenes together. I only attend psytrance parties, which are mostly run/attended by what I guess could be called neo-hippies, and I think you will find that the majority of the organizers and attendees are more conscious of the environment and mess left behind, than your average man on the street, let alone your average party-goer.

    Watch this video from around the 50 second mark: http://youtube.com/watch?v=0wz7y6-A5R0 and from 2 minutes 30 also. This scene is typical of the end/clear-up operation at the end of a psytrance party (that's me there holding the carton of juice, btw :)).

    Again, I can understand your disapproval, though I think some of your judgements are probably ill-informed, and you're making assumptions based on past experiences, with probably a completely different type of scene.

    Edit: And honestly I don't really appreciate the level of judgement you've so quickly placed on myself and those I associate with - I shouldn't have to prove that I'm not an inconsiderate little **** :) Rather than preemptively condemning my actions, perhaps you should have asked about them instead.
     
  10. Crustyloafer

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    It would appear to me that the vast majority of people there that had attended the event are standing around doing bugger all to help clear up.
     
  11. Hemisphere

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    I think you'll find that 30 people can comfortably clear the mess of 300. That guy handing out the bin bags couldn't unroll them fast enough.

    I'd be interested to see how many punters help clear up at the end of your average licensed club night!
     
  12. mr jones

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    i cant really see why or how that video supports the arguement, seems to me that 99% of the people were cleaning up, everyone else was stood around doing very little (or in the case of the woman at the end clearly still tripping her brains off...) and the words of the park/forrest warden speak for themselves. i dont know how you can not expect us to condemn something that is unlicensed and illegal (under the words of the rave laws etc) hence the police presence. and in many situations takes place without the permission of the land/site owner


    just a few pence worth :/
     
  13. Hemisphere

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    The point the video makes is that the clear-up operation does not "always" end up becoming someone elses responsibility, as Russell suggested. That site was spotless when we left, and such efforts are par for the course.

    How can I expect you not to condemn it? I guess I can't *expect* you to, but hell, even the police have a more open minded attitude than some of you guys :) In fact often they'll leave with a smile and a nod to continue, or at the very least give the organizers several hours to wind down the party and pack up. The only reason this party was stopped so abruptly was due to that forest warden's nonsense about compacting roots.. and you can call me a cynic if you like, but that's the worst reason I've ever heard to shut down a party.

    The very notion that machines are brought in to allow certain "privaleged" trees enough air to their roots, while mere miles away, acres upon acres are felled for property development, is perhaps the pinnacle of industrial madness.

    At the end of the day, money talks. If you can pay enough to the right council, buy a TEN license, hire a recognized security firm and so forth, then you can party outdoors. If you can afford to hire a licensed club venue (and everything that goes with that), then you can party indoors. Not everyone can afford to do that, but it doesn't make their parties any less acceptable, *unless* they go about things irresponsibly.

    Unfortunately there are a lot of irresponsible people in the world.
     
  14. elvetost

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    Hello Hemisphere. I dont think that for what you want to do you need such expensive speakers have a look at these too. A friend that is producing music has been using these:

    http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/StudiophileBX5a-main.html
    For the money they sound excellent and should cover your needs nicely.

    I have also heard these:

    http://www.esi-pro.com/viewProduct.php?pid=46&page=2
    Also very good performers but do not know pricing in the UK.

    BTW USE THEM WISELY!!!! Respect people and enjoy your music!

    Now, Russell and the rest of the fellows, I also agree with you. I would however try to explain to the young lad things rather than point fingers, after all when you point the finger to somebody, three of your fingers point back at you and the other to god! Little love and understanding goes a long way in my book.:hiya:
     
  15. eviljohn2

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    WRT the first post, +10dB actually relates to a perceived doubling in volume whilst +3dB is an actual doubling in volume. This has much to do with logarithmic scales and how the human ear and brain relate.

    For entry-level generic PA speakers then the EV SX300 would be the industry standard although they're generally used as passive speakers. Stick on a decent amp and maybe a sub and you could be doing OK. It's also possible to daisy-chain the outputs if you need any more speakers at another point. Many small PA rental companies also have these in stock so adding more where necessary wouldn't too hard.

    I'd be wary of spending this kind of money to help all of your mates out and make you popular for about 4 or 5 times then end up with a big pile of kit redundant in the corner. :)
     
  16. Nobber22

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    I always recommend the Citronic CLX Live System (550WRMS) as a great starter system, with plenty of scope to daisy-chain extra subs and sats later.

    I've used it for a couple of weddings and house parties and it goes loud with no trouble at all. The sats in particular are very good, staying in control without drifting into harshness as the volume increases. Highly portable too. :)

    6th one down on this list:

    http://www.djkit.co.uk/acatalog/active_powered.html
     

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