Two 12" powered speakers with sub versus one 15" 3 way speaker


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I play for ballroom dancing using my Roland BK-9 arranger keyboard with two Behringer B112W (1,000 watt each) powered speakers. The sound is OK but not as good as playing through my home stereo system: Cambridge Azur 640A and Klipsch 3 way speakers.

To improve the sound when out on a gig should I purchase a sub-woofer to go with the two 12” Behringer speakers. Or, should I ditch the Behringer speakers and get one decent 15 inch 3 way powered speaker?
 
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Not sure what you don't like about the sound; I can't interpret what "..not as good as playing through my home stereo system.." means. Is it the lack of bass response? Treble? Midrange? All of the above? If it just bottom end then go the subwoofer route. If it is overall sound then upgrading from the Behringer might be the ultimate answer. One speaker means mono; sounds as though you are currently running stereo, so are you OK with moving from stereo to mono? Perhaps two EV_ZLX12P is your answer. Certainly of better quality than the Behringer and not all that expensive. QSC makes the 8.2 now, two of those would suffice but the investment is large (IMHO) as compared to the EV's and the additional sound clarity of that investment over the EV's is probably minimal.
 

happyrat1

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I own a set of Klipsch Home Speakers A couple of bookshelves and an 8" sub.

I DO understand what he's talking about.

There are very few reference monitors that match these for range and fidelity.

Honestly you're looking for something with ultra-rigid cones and super responsive voice coils.

For ballroom dancing you must be playing a lot of old time swing and salsa and I think you have to do some serious homework on stage monitors and powered speakers and even a separate power amp and reference speakers looking for lowest distortion specs and radiated sound pressure levels to suit the venues you normally play at.

Your best bet may be a set of an amp head and some actual klipsch monitors. You'd have to handle them with kid gloves at live venues though.

Gary ;)
 
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Many thanks, Delaware Dave, I should have been more specific. The problem is with both factors: the overall sound, and the bass. The overall sound can best be described as listening to a track that has been ripped at a low bit rate instead of in a lossless format.

The bass is that, plus a bit more.

A low frequency note sounds more of a ‘thump’ than a true note. The fundamental is not as clear as I would like. Whereas through the home system it sounds beautiful.

Perhaps I may be expecting more from the Behringers than they can deliver.
 
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Thank you Gary (happyrat1) for affirming my dilemma! I have had to strip my keyboard presets of a lot of the nice enhancements (the ones that make you sound like a million dollars) because the speakers can’t handle them. What should give ‘atmosphere’ to your playing ends up sounding more like irritating ‘sizzle’.
 
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From one who started with Alto 10inch powered, then migrated to Yamaha 10 inch powered, I can testify to the different in the move up in quality. There are plenty of comparable “move-up” options (QSC, JBL, EV, etc) - just saying there’s a difference. Other comments regarding noting what you miss from Klipsch are dead-on - good luck!
 
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I’m using a Hammond Xk-3c and Roland Bk-7 backing module for non-organ sounds. I was running these through a Leslie Studio 12 and Behringer KXD12. I wasn’t getting the rich lower end I like (such as with my B3/Leslie 122RV). I added a Behringer VQ1800D sub and the 18 inch really helped. After being overshadowed one time too many by guitars, I picked up a BassBoss DV-12 Micro Main and found not only the extra dB but the lower Hz I wanted. So, I added the sub to my PA And use the Behringer as a monitor.
 
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I’m using a Hammond Xk-3c and Roland Bk-7 backing module for non-organ sounds. I was running these through a Leslie Studio 12 and Behringer KXD12. I wasn’t getting the rich lower end I like (such as with my B3/Leslie 122RV). I added a Behringer VQ1800D sub and the 18 inch really helped. After being overshadowed one time too many by guitars, I picked up a BassBoss DV-12 Micro Main and found not only the extra dB but the lower Hz I wanted. So, I added the sub to my PA And use the Behringer as a monitor.
Thanks Hank. Consider the scenario of using a sub plus a powered speaker (in my case the Behringer 12 inch). Assume yout configuration is to send the signal to the sub. The sub amplifies the lows and passes the rest of the signal to the powered Behringer speaker. Logic says the sub will do a better job with the lows. But does the quality of the mids also improve because the Behringer hasn't had to deal with the lows?
 
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Thanks Hank. Consider the scenario of using a sub plus a powered speaker (in my case the Behringer 12 inch). Assume yout configuration is to send the signal to the sub. The sub amplifies the lows and passes the rest of the signal to the powered Behringer speaker. Logic says the sub will do a better job with the lows. But does the quality of the mids also improve because the Behringer hasn't had to deal with the lows?
Correct, but in my case I felt my mids were ok. For example I tend to EQ using a V configuration So maybe that is just me.
 
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Due to the availability of high output power amps, most speaker companies don't make super efficient cabinets anymore.
. . .
In the realm of speaker design, you can have only 2 of 3 features : __ loud __ efficient __ small.
A very efficient speaker cabinet will make a modest speaker LOUD.
The most efficient speaker cabinet enclosures are usually folded horns, which are not cheap. And rarely used for full range speaker cabinets.
If you're into DIY, Bill Fitzmaurice has several designs.
One of my favorite combinations is the DR200 (8" woofer + Piezo) coupled with a Titan 39 (10" woofer). You can blast SPL for minimal power input.
[P.A. system 300W (stereo) :: (2) DR200s; (2 or more) Titan39s]
But if you don't mind "burning kilowatts" - go with the standard stuff.
. . . .

Reaction to a T39 subwoofer "pump" (camera mics can't really handle the subwoofer's output)
. . . .
Here's a small linear array (SLA) cabinet with a nice selection of digital audio examples.

 
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I play for ballroom dancing using my Roland BK-9 arranger keyboard with two Behringer B112W (1,000 watt each) powered speakers. The sound is OK but not as good as playing through my home stereo system: Cambridge Azur 640A and Klipsch 3 way speakers.

To improve the sound when out on a gig should I purchase a sub-woofer to go with the two 12” Behringer speakers. Or, should I ditch the Behringer speakers and get one decent 15 inch 3 way powered speaker?

Wall of Text Warning:

I'm using a fEARless F112 and an F115. Here are the specs on the F115 http://greenboy.us/cabs/view.php?model=FEARLESS F115
These are three-way cabinets that will handle up to 900W each and are full-range cabs that were originally designed for bass (they'll easily support the fundamental of the low B on a five-string). The sound quality on each (the F112 has a 12" driver) is identical, including in the low end; the only difference there is that the 15" will be louder. Both use a FaitalPro M5N12-80 5" mids driver and, I believe (mind is going) a 1" JBL tweeter. In both cases the LF driver is an Eminence Kappalite 3015LF (or 3012LF). These are not inexpensive cabinets.

Both cabinets have a "wedge" cut on one corner to allow them to be used as a floor monitor, and you can order them with a tophat for putting them on a speaker stand. The design is highly braced, but these are lightweight; my F112 weighs 34 lbs, the F115 weighs in at 43 (done in Okoume plywood), and the bass never farts out. I wanted something powerful and full-range that could be single-handed into a venue.

I'm running these with an external 1500W (RMS) stereo power amp that puts out 800W, bridged, mono, at 8 ohms (one cabinet) and 1500W at 4 ohms (both). When stacked, the two mids drivers reinforce one another, but I'll usually L-pad the bottom cabinet's tweeter.

I have a few comments about the Behringer B112W -- it's not a bad speaker setup, but they are built to a budget. Behringer doesn't publish RMS output for the amps (1000W is likely peak or music power). Frequency response is not published with a plus or minus dB rating (or plot). If you're experiencing a lack of fundamentals or wimpy bottom end, you'll definitely want to audition a subwoofer if you're going to continue using the Behringers. The bad news is that this is going to leave you with a three-speaker rig to carry into a gig. You may also want to consider a good 1/3-octave EQ and test the resulting rig with a good meter to find the peaks and valleys in the response.
 
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Every time I have seen a sub properly added to a system, clarity in the mids and highs improve. Make sure you are using some kind of high pass filter to the Behringers so their bandwidth (speaker and amp) are fully allocated to those frequencies. That’s where the additional clarity comes from. And thn, the sub does what its supposed to do. Don’t try and utilize home stereo equipment in a love performance environment. You will end up damaging it.
 

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