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#587612 - 02/17/08 07:16 PM Best Small Subwoofer for live sound  
Joined: Nov 2006
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Richard Maclemale Offline
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Richard Maclemale  Offline
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New Port Richey, FL, USA
What is the best small subwoofer for live sound? So far the best thing I've seen is the EV SB122. It has one heavy duty 12 and handles 400 watts. It weighs 33 pounds. The sound is tight and you can definitely feel it.

Anyone had any experiences with these, or maybe something else that is small and light and sounds good?


Richard MacLemale
Music = http://www.richardmac.com
#587713 - 02/18/08 12:16 AM Re: Best Small Subwoofer for live sound [Re: Richard Maclemale]  
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
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http://www.mackie.com/products/swa1501/

Mackie SWA1501. we have two. EV are good my keyboard player used to have them till he heard the Mackies. I do not know about price caomparison but even if they are more expensive I would always go with Mackies over EV or just about anything else any day.
However unless you intend to play really large halls with a full setup you should not need a bass bin. The Mackie SRM450 produces a full meaty sound without the need for subwoofers.

If money is no problem then Bose do a new system column with a tiny bass bin. We are just getting to grips with this new setup for small venues. I still secretly prefer the Mackies but this thing is featherlight in comparison and takes seconds to set up with the new sound generator package it has preset eq all stored in.

#587722 - 02/18/08 12:58 AM Re: Best Small Subwoofer for live sound [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Ray E. Strode Offline
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I haven't looked at any equipment lately but I would agree with Big Jim that you probably don't need a sub-woofer wherever you are playing. In a small venue any good basic system should provide all the bass you need. In a large setting if you have a bass player using a bass amp it should be more than adequate.

If a system isn't providing enough bass you may need to upgrade the system to something that provides more volume.

A music store can give you good information on systems.


Ray E. Strode
#587808 - 02/18/08 08:41 AM Re: Best Small Subwoofer for live sound [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
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I have to clarify what I mean by small and large. Small for us is 100-200 people. Large is a theatre seating several hundred. From what I can gather Richard you are referring to playing venues under fifty people. In that case one SRM450 will give you full range sound with plenty in reserve.

#587912 - 02/18/08 06:00 PM Re: Best Small Subwoofer for live sound [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Richard Maclemale Offline
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Well, I've been reluctant to go with 15's because of the size of the things. My thought was maybe I go with small speakers on poles and one 15 sub to give me the low end I need. Carting around two 15's isn't as much fun - though to be perfectly honest, there's probably enough room in my car for, say, the SRM450's. They're fairly small for their size.

OK, I'll audition some two way 15 systems and see what I think...


Richard MacLemale
Music = http://www.richardmac.com
#588032 - 02/19/08 12:27 AM Re: Best Small Subwoofer for live sound [Re: Richard Maclemale]  
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
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I repeat unless you are planning on doing really big venues you do not need subs. For audiences up to about 200 I can get away with two SRM450 which produce a quality full range sound with as much low end as you could want and still have plenty oomph to spare. Remember we play quite loud rock. I have used the same at open mics and the acoustic boys are very happy with the sound. Keyboard players cannot believe the sound for the size of speakers. Audition Mackies and you will be hooked.

#589432 - 02/23/08 08:35 PM Re: Best Small Subwoofer for live sound [Re: Richard Maclemale]  
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Noiseboy Offline
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Originally Posted by Richard Maclemale
What is the best small subwoofer for live sound?



I am going to withhold my opinion of "what's best", due to lack of context.

Could you answer a few questions?

What are you reinforcing? What type of music?

Where do you perform?

What equipment will this subwoofer have to mate with?

What is your budget?





#589666 - 02/24/08 06:06 PM Re: Best Small Subwoofer for live sound [Re: Noiseboy]  
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Richard Maclemale Offline
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Getting back to this thread after a little while. Here's where I'm at.

I do NOT want to buy two way 15's. They're too big for my car and too heavy for my back. So that's out.

Noiseboy, here's some more info.

I'm a solo singer/songwriter who is performing at coffee houses and once in a while a small outdoor gathering. I sing and play acoustic guitar on some songs, and sing and play digital piano on other songs. My keyboard setup is an M-Audio 88 key MIDI controller connected to either an Intel iMac or a MacBook Pro, running Logic. So I've already got the computer in place to add backing tracks if I want to.

My current system is a small mixing board, a Mackie power amp that is about 200 watts per channel (into 8 ohms,) and two Peavey PR12's mounted on poles. My mic is an EV ND767A and I absolutely LOVE the way it sounds, even through the PR12's. The setup actually sounds pretty good, but there's no low end. For the piano, you really notice it.

Additionally, I'm toying with the idea of adding background tracks to some of my tunes. But when I try to do that, the lack of low end on the PR12's really shows up and it sounds bad.

So whether I stick with just piano or guitar, or I add background tracks, I feel like I need more low end. Not a ton - I play adult contemporary. When I play covers, it's stuff like Elton John. But I need more low end!

Now, the constraints. Anything I buy needs to be able to fit in my car with all the rest of my gear. And it can't weigh a ton and a half. And it can't cost more than $400.

There are two that I've found that sort of meet that description - Peavey makes a sub 15 for $200 in the PR series, and it's not too heavy, but it is a little large. EV makes a sub 12, the SB122, and it's smaller than the Peavey, and it's under $400. It's probably what I'll end up buying.

The long term goal I have is to have a pair of EV ZX1's, and a pair of SB122 subs. I've auditioned this system many times and it sounds fantastic for it's size. But if I were to buy it all at once, it'd be like $1,400, and that's without the amp, and I'd need a bigger amp to power the whole deal, so the entire price tag would be $2,000. But in my opinion it is the best small (ie can fit in car) sound system you can buy for that amount. You can buy systems in that price range that sound better, but they're not fitting in a Ford Taurus. smile

So my plan, at this time, is to just start buying the pieces to my dream system, one at a time. After I buy the sub, I'll start saving for a pair of ZX1's, and then I'll dump my PR12's and get the ZX1's. After that, I'll start saving for a bigger power amp. After that, I'll add another subwoofer, and I'll be done. I have to do this bit by bit because my short term budget is small, but over the long term I'm willing to drop bucks into this.

So that's where I'm at.




















Richard MacLemale
Music = http://www.richardmac.com
#589704 - 02/24/08 10:09 PM Re: Best Small Subwoofer for live sound [Re: Richard Maclemale]  
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
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Richard I cannot get my head around your prob. What you are using if set up correctly should produce a good bottom end. Maybe your mixer is the prob.

#589746 - 02/25/08 02:46 AM Re: Best Small Subwoofer for live sound [Re: Richard Maclemale]  
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Noiseboy Offline
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Ellicott City MD
Quote
I do NOT want to buy two way 15's. They're too big for my car and too heavy for my back. So that's out.


I am with you there. The problem with 15's, aside from the weight and bulk, is that midrange coverage suffers.

Quote

My current system is a small mixing board, a Mackie power amp that is about 200 watts per channel (into 8 ohms,) and two Peavey PR12's mounted on poles. My mic is an EV ND767A and I absolutely LOVE the way it sounds, even through the PR12's. The setup actually sounds pretty good, but there's no low end. For the piano, you really notice it.


Given that you are happy with the sound of the PR12's, I understand and agree with your inclination to use a subwoofer to augment these speakers. The speaker system isn't broken, it just needs some help on the bottom.

Quote
There are two that I've found that sort of meet that description - Peavey makes a sub 15 for $200 in the PR series, and it's not too heavy, but it is a little large. EV makes a sub 12, the SB122, and it's smaller than the Peavey, and it's under $400. It's probably what I'll end up buying.



I don't have first hand familiarity with either product. I know a bit more about EV, than Peavey, and am well versed in spec sheet.

I looked up the EV SB122. Yes, it is a passive sub. While it is inexpensive and compact, the performance is hardly stellar.

Given that you will be driving it with your (200 watt)powered mixer, I am not optimistic about the outcome.

With $400 to spend, there isn't much to choose from. However, if you can find the means to increase your budget, have a listen to the EV SB2A. It is the powered version of the SB122, and is capable of driving an aux sub or full range speaker.

While it is a hair over twice your budget, it won't overtax your powered mixer, and will outperform the passive version.

In any case, a compact sub sounds like a good addition. Good luck.



#589893 - 02/25/08 04:27 PM Re: Best Small Subwoofer for live sound [Re: Noiseboy]  
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Richard Maclemale Offline
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Richard Maclemale  Offline
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The SB2A is the same speaker as the SB122, only with an amp in it. Same 12 inch driver.

In the short term, I'm planning on driving the two PR12's with one side of the amp and the SB122 with the other side. Not ideal, but it will only be for a few months. Eventually I'll either trade in my amp for a more powerful one, OR buy a second amp and bi-amp it, OR trade it in and get one of those 600 wpc combo mixer/amps.

I'm OK with the PR12's in the short run, but in the long run I'm planning on getting the ZX1's.

Jim,
The Peavey PR12's don't give very good bass - even in the store. They're inexpensive, light speakers for musicians on a "budget."




Richard MacLemale
Music = http://www.richardmac.com
#589897 - 02/25/08 04:35 PM Re: Best Small Subwoofer for live sound [Re: Richard Maclemale]  
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
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Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
You should bite the bullet and buy decent Mackies they do a smaller full range A BABY BRO OF THE SRM450. Awsome sound worth paying extra and no need for powe amp.

#590191 - 02/26/08 12:43 PM Re: Best Small Subwoofer for live sound [Re: Richard Maclemale]  
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Noiseboy Offline
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Ellicott City MD
Originally Posted by Richard Maclemale
The SB2A is the same speaker as the SB122, only with an amp in it. Same 12 inch driver.


Jim,

I stand corrected, these are nearly identical speakers, save the active crossover and power amplifier in the SB2A.

At first glance of the cut sheets, it appeared that the SB122 rolled off faster at the bottom, than the SB2A.

That said, I still favor active devices for simplicities sake.




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