The adventure to active speaker amplification and crossover networks

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colinmcafee1
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The adventure to active speaker amplification and crossover networks

#1 Post by colinmcafee1 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 2:11 am

Hello,
I have been a sound tech for a number of years and am just now getting into speaker design and construction. I am in the progress of building some Titans, DR300's, and some wedge horns to extend and supplement my QSC sound system for acts such as rap/hip hop events, working with bands, and moving into larger scale sound from a mostly mobile event background. I am very used to using QSC amplifiers and DBX DSP/crossovers, however with the construction of these new speakers I am interested in finding options to upgrade the system to be fully active both in amplification and in crossover networks. I have seen things such as the Sure amplifers from parts express however I cannot see any proof of these having been tested in a proaudio setting and if they can perform under the loads necessary to run the speakers above. I have seen OEM solutions from brands like powersoft however there is very little information on their pricing if it is anything as high as what their other amplifiers run for. Wanted to know if anyone has gone this route and has any ideas/tips or if I should simply drop the project and use the normal passive setup with these new speakers. Also if anyone knows anything about the Sure amplifiers for sale on all the parts websites.
Thanks!
-Colin

Grant Bunter
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Re: The adventure to active speaker amplification and crossover networks

#2 Post by Grant Bunter » Wed Feb 03, 2016 4:02 am

G'day Colin,
Welcome to the forum :)

I'm going to ask some q's and make a couple of comments.

Why DR300's?

I can understand if you're gigging for a couple of thou peeps every night.
If that's not the case, did you see this?
DR300s are narrow dispersion long throw cabinets and are not recommended for use when the minimum speaker to audience distance is less than thirty feet, nor for venues with less than 800 seats.
on this page:
http://www.billfitzmaurice.com/DR300.html

Also, did you see this (same page)?
Its long term low-frequency output capability of 135dB is 7dB higher than that of the KF760, yet it only needs an 800 watt amp
I only ask because my initial thoughts with trying to make the DR300's active is:
1. I can't imagine what it's going to cost you to find a suitable amp, on a per cab basis, that would make it justifiable.
2. Said amp would need to be in an additional modification to the cab (presumably to the rear), as the amp cannot alter the intrinsic design/path. That would change centre of gravity.
3. Going active means a signal cable and power cable for every cab, If the amp goes down, so does that cab. At least with racked amps, you can repatch on the fly.

By and large, most people here don't go active in pro sound.
Stick with well known reliable amp brands, for pro sound, like your QSC amps.

As far as I am aware at least, the DBX driverack series crossover section is active.

Similarly, the same goes for making Titan subs active as well.

Are you only using QSC amps, or do you have cabs as well?
If you have cabs as well, and they are Direct radiator designs, then Titans and DR series tops/mains won't play nicely with them.
There will be phase issues at least...
Built:
DR 250: x 2 (melded array) with March 2012 plans.
T39's: 4 x 20" BP102 , 2 x 28" 3012lf.
WH8: x 3 with melded array.
Bunter's Audio and Lighting "like"s would be most appreciated...

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LelandCrooks
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Re: The adventure to active speaker amplification and crossover networks

#3 Post by LelandCrooks » Wed Feb 03, 2016 7:56 am

https://www.minidsp.com/products/plate- ... pwr-ice250

I'll echo Grant's question. Why 300's? They're pretty rare, and even more rarely what's actually needed.
If it's too loud, you're even older than me! Like me.
http://www.speakerhardware.com

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dswpro
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Re: The adventure to active speaker amplification and crossover networks

#4 Post by dswpro » Wed Feb 03, 2016 1:26 pm

Just to add my 2 cents as a T39 owner, --
If you are serving up hip-hop I would strongly consider the T48. They go a little lower than the T39.
They are bigger to move around, but if you were looking at the DR300 you must have some pack space at your disposal. If you've never heard or built a BFM cabinet I would also strongly consider the Otop12 PA top. These are relatively easy to build and are really very loud. the DR series get a little louder but compared to other commercial speakers out there, the Otop does a great job.

As for active speakers, I don't go there for a couple reasons:
If your amp dies your speaker does, too. with an amp rack or two you have more flexibility in the face of failure.
You have redundancy in your rig and all it takes is a little re-wiring. If you don't want to have long speaker cables put a rack on each side of stage, not in each speaker box.

colinmcafee1
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Re: The adventure to active speaker amplification and crossover networks

#5 Post by colinmcafee1 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:46 pm

I should have specified that I am only really planning on making the wedgehorns active and that is so that they will be more compatible with our active Electro-voice and QSC monitors. I like being able to use DSP and separate gains without having to to rack an amplifier for every two monitors or for the smaller events so we don't have to lug around large racks to use only one or two monitors.
dswpro wrote:If you are serving up hip-hop I would strongly consider the T48. They go a little lower than the T39.
Thanks for the tip! the plans I ordered are for the titan 48's. We already have some single 18" subwoofers that we have been using but I'm looking for some subwoofers that can really push and have the high spl's in outdoor and large indoor venues that can hit those hip hop base lines.
Grant Bunter wrote:G'day Colin,
Why DR300's?

I can understand if you're gigging for a couple of thou peeps every night.
If that's not the case, did you see this?
DR300s are narrow dispersion long throw cabinets and are not recommended for use when the minimum speaker to audience distance is less than thirty feet, nor for venues with less than 800 seats.
.
I should have probably asked on the forum first but my thought in getting the DR's was to fill in the space in our speaker inventory for far field narrow dispersion speakers that can be used in large outdoor fields like foot ball fields or parks. We will be playing in areas during the day where a sound permit would be needed and near residential zones where it would be nice to control the dispersion around the stage. Also there will be some cases where the crowd is not necessary close to the stage so rather than running some delayed speakers futher up it would be nice to just have some far field speakers with high output in my tool box. I am by no means a veteran sound engineer and am still learning so please correct me if I am wrong about any of my assumptions or decisions.

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Tom Smit
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Re: The adventure to active speaker amplification and crossover networks

#6 Post by Tom Smit » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:29 pm

Hi, and welcome to the forum!

May I suggest that you drop down to 4 of the DR250, or 6 of the OT12. Your coverage will be plenty, and your smaller boxes will be more manageable and versatile.
TomS

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Re: The adventure to active speaker amplification and crossover networks

#7 Post by chris_c_ » Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:50 pm

@colinmcafee1
17 months later! Enquiring minds want to know...
What did you end up building ?
Newest mix 8) https://facebook.com/BEATJACKERmusic "Like" appreciated :D

Grant Bunter
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Re: The adventure to active speaker amplification and crossover networks

#8 Post by Grant Bunter » Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:07 pm

chris_c_ wrote:@colinmcafee1
17 months later! Enquiring minds want to know...
What did you end up building ?
Given the OP's last post was 17 months ago, and the total post count from the OP is 2, I'd say he went with non BFM active stuff...
Built:
DR 250: x 2 (melded array) with March 2012 plans.
T39's: 4 x 20" BP102 , 2 x 28" 3012lf.
WH8: x 3 with melded array.
Bunter's Audio and Lighting "like"s would be most appreciated...

chris_c_
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Location: Hartford, CT, US
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Re: The adventure to active speaker amplification and crossover networks

#9 Post by chris_c_ » Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:26 pm

Grant Bunter wrote:
chris_c_ wrote:@colinmcafee1
17 months later! Enquiring minds want to know...
What did you end up building ?
Given the OP's last post was 17 months ago, and the total post count from the OP is 2, I'd say he went with non BFM active stuff...
Maybe. Who knows?
Colin says he bought the plans and started building the Titan subs and DR300...?!
If he's anything like me, once start building a cabinet, got to finish it and hear what it sounds like...
Newest mix 8) https://facebook.com/BEATJACKERmusic "Like" appreciated :D

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