Bruce Weldy wrote:
Well, it's a slow Easter Sunday here on the forum.....so, I though I'd start a little discussion.
First, an observation concerning different speakers in the same room. I have run sound in a particular venue here in town several times - pretty evenly split between a rented system that a provider brings in and the one that the band I work with owns.
I was in there last night with the same band on their system and both the owner and his son were gushing about how good the vocals sounded - and they sounded damn good to me too.
The rented system is powered JBL PRX 725 mains. The band system is 25 yr old Peavey mains.
I used both systems with the same band (a really good singer with a great voice). The new JBLs don't hold a candle to the ancient Peaveys. Why? I think it all boils down to crossover points. The JBLs are crossed at 2.4k, the Peaveys are 1.2k. The lower crossover point in the old Peaveys really lets the vocals get clean, crisp, and present. The JBLs are harsh when you hit 'em with any volume...my guess is that it's due to the lack of higher frequencies expected to be covered by the 15 inch drivers.
If crossing that high was a decision made for better sound, then why are the SRX series equipped with better drivers and crossed at 1.2k? Well, obviously it is a matter of price. Cheaper boxes use cheaper HF drivers that can't go as low and that equals crappy sound.
Now, how does this relate to our world? The melded array is crossed at 2k, but really jumps up at the 2.5k mark. That's the reason that Bill requires that you use a low frequency driver that has rising mids - this helps fill that gap. The CD option with a good driver (the NSD2005 or better) lets you cross at 1.2k. The ASD drivers use a 2k crossover like the piezos.
Having used both the melded array and the NSD2005 - while I've always been impressed with the horizontal dispersion of the melded array, the CD horn just flat sounds better. I'm convinced that it's because of the lower crossover point.
I currently stack a CD-equipped OT12 on top of a melded box - they sound good together....kind'a best of both worlds and I'll continue doing this. But personally, if I build more - I will opt for the lower crossover point and give up some of the dispersion.
Now, if I'm comparing the melded array vs. those same JBLs, I'd definitely say that the melded wins because of the rising midrange of the woofer.
In summation - my point here is that the decision to pick the melded over the CD horn (only the better driver - the ASD is crossed at the same place as the melded, so there's no advantage) can be based on a variety of factors. The melded array is a great low-cost tweeter and it sounds good.....hell, it sounds better than most of the off-the-shelf stuff that's out there. But, if you are looking for the best quality, especially in live sound, the CD horn is the hands down winner for clarity - and it competes with the higher-end boxes that cost a lot more and also use a 1.2k crossover.
And if you are going to buy off-the-shelf, then pay attention to the specs and buy a box with a lower crossover point - it will sound better.
Any chance you could run either an iphone/android RTA app ( https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/rta/id298839433?mt=8
) or PC RTA app (REW: http://www.roomeqwizard.com/index.html
) with input from a phantom powered flat condenser measurement mic (ECM8000 or similar) on
1. that rented JBL PRX 725 mains system,
2. on your CD-equipped OT12 system,
3. on your melded tweeter array OT12 system,
4. on your friend's band's 25 year old Peavey system.
This would be truly great to see!