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Interesting FRFR story..

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I'm reminded of how Trace Elliot came to exist. they build PA systems and moved that approach into building highly capable bass rigs.

It's not their fault that everyone abused the pre shape and graphic.

That's when that whole hifi bass sound came from.

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On 29/05/2019 at 16:03, Greg Edwards69 said:

Update. Finally had the chance to use my Headrush FRFR-112 at a band rehearsal at the weekend with the Helix LT.  Result? Very happy.

It was just a 'technical' rehearsal with three of us as one of the guitarist and both vocalists weren't available.  So just guitarist, drums and me. The drummer had a new toy he wanted to try out too (roland drum pad and sampler thing). I needed to check the headrush was going to work, so seemed like an ideal opportunity to try these things out without interference.

I've mentioned before, we're not a loud band, and I previously used a single markbass 1x12 with a Carvin head running at [email protected]  Before the Helix arrived I had issues with boom and mud I just couldn't dial out.  It was much better with the helix's hpf engaged, but now with the headrush, much better. The low end is controlled, still fat and deep enough even at high volume. I had it set a volume I felt I would normally gig at and it was fine - didn't even break a sweat. As an experiment I turned up the wick to a sort of volume I'd never play at, and where my previous rig would get 'woolly'.  Again, absolutely fine.  The natural roll-off around 50hz really helped.  In fact, I was able to turn the hpf on the Helix (which I also had set at 50hz from before) off without negatively affecting the tone.

I found I prefer the tone of the Helix amp sims without a cab sim. To my ears, they just seem to kill the tone too much and don't 'feel' right (amp in the room syndrome perhaps).  The key is a high cut instead around 3-4khz to simulate a real bass cab roll off.  This, for me, more closely represents a DI from an amp going straight to the desk. Hopefully, this will translate nicely to FOH when we try that.

FWIW, I also tried my backup preamp, a Valetone Dapper Bass straight into the headrush.  Sounded fine. Sure, it's not as refined as the Helix, but it simulates a bass amp with 3 band eq and I'm sure it will get me out of a jam if need be. It may even suffice for the odd small gig with a short set where I need to travel light.

Both of the guitarists use a Helix as well, each through a Yamaha DXR10, so I tried my bass through that as well.  Not quite as deep but again, will get me out of a jam if the headrush fails. Likewise, my Headrush will be more than adequate to share as a backup to one of the Yamahas.

Lastly, as another experiment. I remembered the smaller headrush FRFR-108 rolls of the low end around 70hz, so I set the hpf to that frequency. More than adequate for rehearsal, so I'm almost tempted to pick one up for rehearsals and small low volume gigs.

Managed to find a secondhand headrush about 10 minutes drive away. Happy  now, will have to try with the ZOOM B1 Four. 

My new compact rig, bass + multi effect + headrush 🙂

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Posted (edited)

Okay, so assume I'm sold on the idea of getting a more PA-suited speaker to use as backline, and then to transition that single PA speaker into two, while moving to in-ears. What I haven't seen discussed in this thread is if the more budget offerings from, say, RCF and QSC (or maybe dB Technologies) hold up to that. The likes of the QSC CP12, RCF ART712, HD10, and the dB Technologies Opera 12 is considerably closer to my price range, does anyone have thoughts on how those, and those like them, might perform?

Edited by Ekolide

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Posted (edited)

My indie-rock type band uses the 712s, and whilst they're decent PA speakers they don't hold a candle to my Barefaced FR800 in terms of either output or bass response. I did a quick shootout once in a rehearsal room and I feel that they'd be great for guitar or something but they couldn't carry bass in a room IME.

 

I haven't used the 732 but by all accounts they're much more capable, with RCF at least I'd say you need the not-budget ones. On the basis that the 735s are largely overkill and the 712s aren't really enough the 732 seem to be the sweet spot. Of course, you may have a different definition of 'loud enough' to me.

Edited by Jack
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32 minutes ago, Ekolide said:

Okay, so assume I'm sold on the idea of getting a more PA-suited speaker to use as backline, and then to transition that single PA speaker into two, while moving to in-ears. What I haven't seen discussed in this thread is if the more budget offerings from, say, RCF and QSC (or maybe dB Technologies) hold up to that. The likes of the QSC CP12, RCF ART712, HD10, and the dB Technologies Opera 12 is considerably closer to my price range, does anyone have thoughts on how those, and those like them, might perform?

I'm playing upright and five-string bass guitar.  I had HD10 and for me it was enough most of the time... but I felt I was sometimes getting to its limits.

Then I bought a second HD10 and that was really good... but I didn't like carrying around and setting up two things instead of one.

So I now have a 732A and very happy.
 

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47 minutes ago, Ekolide said:

 getting a more PA-suited speaker to use as backline, and then to transition that single PA speaker into two, while moving to in-ears. 

Do you mean you will ultimately use them for FOH, when you've moved to in-ears?  I think that might change things just because the best speaker for backline/monitoring might be different from the best FOH speaker.  E.g. in my band we have QSC K8 for FOH which seem to work well - but I wouldn't want to use that as a monitor.  NB we have subs too with those.

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Funny reading this.  As a guitarist who's used FRFR with a Helix live for the past 3 years I've recently got more in to bass (played bass in bands years ago) and love the simplicity, and 'realness' of a head/cab for bass.  Agree that with the way PA's are moving forward in 20 years no-one will be using proper amps any more, but I'm enjoying using them while I can

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, jrixn1 said:

Do you mean you will ultimately use them for FOH, when you've moved to in-ears?  I think that might change things just because the best speaker for backline/monitoring might be different from the best FOH speaker.  E.g. in my band we have QSC K8 for FOH which seem to work well - but I wouldn't want to use that as a monitor.  NB we have subs too with those.

Yes, that's the plan. The worst part is the step up in price for the HD12, because that seems to be just about right for this use. In my mind, subs are an assumed part of the upgrade process. But, as I recall early in the thread, the idea was switching to two 735's as tops without subs because they can handle that amount of low end. Which also made them suitable for backline situations, while also being a dead-simple setup.

Thank you both for your thoughts. The one takeaway from this thread seems to be to try it out in person, and buy used. Bring over my rig, and some recorded music. Because really, especially with QSC's recent marketing moves, every PA company wants to make it seem like their speakers do more of everything than ever before. My core concerns are, as I think for many people here, weight and sound quality. Which, as I'm beginning to understands forms two parts of the "good, fast, cheap; pick two" saying. And cheap seems to be the excluded factor in my priorities.

Really, I'm in no rush to get this formed, just scouring to see if other people have made more budget options work. That's one half-solid recommendation for the HD10's in a context where upright was used, so I'm guessing few heavy-handed rock drummers were involved. But of course, finding another speaker that works in both contexts at around the €500-€600 price range instead.

Which all, funnily enough, would probably cost as much as just buying the 735's (or 732) from the get-go, just as all the other cost-analysis from the early days of this thread. Darn, this just keeps looping around. Maybe the answer is to just wait.

If someone else has any experiences at all in a more budget setting, please do share.

Edited by Ekolide

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Remember - playing recorded music through a PA isn’t representative of a band playing through it. One has been through compressors/limiters/mastering... the other... not. You can apply some processing - but not like a studio.

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2 hours ago, EBS_freak said:

Remember - playing recorded music through a PA isn’t representative of a band playing through it. One has been through compressors/limiters/mastering... the other... not. You can apply some processing - but not like a studio.

Yeah, I was thinking more raw takes or "from the live mixing desk"-takes of my own music or my band's music, no worries.

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56 minutes ago, Ekolide said:

Yeah, I was thinking more raw takes or "from the live mixing desk"-takes of my own music or my band's music, no worries.

Perfect

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13 hours ago, EBS_freak said:

Remember - playing recorded music through a PA isn’t representative of a band playing through it. One has been through compressors/limiters/mastering... the other... not. You can apply some processing - but not like a studio.

So true. I have lost count of the times I have heard recorded music through a PA sounding good/OK then the sound is poor when the band come on. 

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7 hours ago, Chienmortbb said:

So true. I have lost count of the times I have heard recorded music through a PA sounding good/OK then the sound is poor when the band come on. 

There’s several more variables in there than the quality of the PA!!!

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13 minutes ago, LukeFRC said:

There’s several more variables in there than the quality of the PA!!!

I think the biggest one is the person behind the desk! :o

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1 hour ago, EBS_freak said:

I think the biggest one is the person behind the desk! :o

Having played bass and ran the desk at a few different churches down the years, I would agree. You can set it all up in a school hall the hour before, or you can have an install using much higher range stuff than the gear we’re talking about in this thread ... and it makes no difference at all if the person behind the desk doesn’t know what they are doing. 

The main problem I see is that people (esp guys IME) approach it as a gear thing, spend hours and hours working out the gear, moan cos they could only afford desk X rather than desk Y, know all the ins and outs of if the K12 would be better than the RCF equivalent.... but have utterly no expectations that mixing is a skill like playing an instrument that takes skill, attention, some discipline and most of all ears to learn... 

anyway rant over

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22 hours ago, LukeFRC said:

Having played bass and ran the desk at a few different churches down the years, I would agree. You can set it all up in a school hall the hour before, or you can have an install using much higher range stuff than the gear we’re talking about in this thread ... and it makes no difference at all if the person behind the desk doesn’t know what they are doing. 

The main problem I see is that people (esp guys IME) approach it as a gear thing, spend hours and hours working out the gear, moan cos they could only afford desk X rather than desk Y, know all the ins and outs of if the K12 would be better than the RCF equivalent.... but have utterly no expectations that mixing is a skill like playing an instrument that takes skill, attention, some discipline and most of all ears to learn... 

anyway rant over

👍 

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And now Kemper have (finally) released a floorboard format of the profiler. £1450. That's a few hundred quids saving of the traditional rack/toaster and pedalboard setup. Few hundred quid more than the full fat Helix. Interesting times ahead.

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I'm ex-Kemper, so I know it doesn't quite suit me and yet I still really want one. That's a cool, futuristic piece of gear right there.

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2 minutes ago, Jack said:

I'm ex-Kemper, so I know it doesn't quite suit me and yet I still really want one. That's a cool, futuristic piece of gear right there.

The userbase asked for it and got what they wanted...

 

...and now the wait continues for the official editor!

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Recently been taking a monitor mix from the desk and having a bit of vocal and keys in my QSC  instead of just using it as a bass rig - sounds great and makes sense using it like a traditional monitor, also we don't have to take a separate floor monitor any more. Drummer is on in ears now so the stage volume is back to being quiet(ish), makes a world of difference and everything is crystal clear.

 

100% would not go back to using an amp.

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5 hours ago, lemmywinks said:

Recently been taking a monitor mix from the desk and having a bit of vocal and keys in my QSC  instead of just using it as a bass rig - sounds great and makes sense using it like a traditional monitor, also we don't have to take a separate floor monitor any more. Drummer is on in ears now so the stage volume is back to being quiet(ish), makes a world of difference and everything is crystal clear.

 

100% would not go back to using an amp.

Winning!

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Update on the Headrush FRFR-112

We had a party at the weekend for my wife's birthday.  Hired out a bar, 80s theme, costumes.... the works!  We had carefully curated 5 hours worth of classic 80s pop which I planned to play from my ipad straight into the headrush using a stereo to mono adaptor.

Sat the headrush in a corner on a table, engaged the contour switch for little more bass and treble excitement and...

Wow!. 

The sound and clarity from such an inexpensive speaker.  Yes, I know that it's basically a PA speaker, but I was quite honestly stunned.  Bags of volume and punchy room-filling sound (enough to make the mother-in-law ask me to turn it down - I, of course, said no, it's a party, move away from the speaker!) and the low end kept up without a struggle and without getting muddy.  A few guests asked me about the speaker and were surprised at the low cost - one of them even started looking on ebay there and then, haha.

If were in a place to recommend an inexpensive PA system to band I'd have no hesitation in telling them to get a couple of alto tops and sub if they need one. My brother, who's part of an am-dram group is also thinking about recommending Alto as an upgrade to their sound system on the strength of the headrush.

--------

PS - gigged it a few times now for bass, very happy.  Our drummer uses the spare channel for his Roland TM-1 trigger module - sounds fab.

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This is something I keep coming back to. Having thought about using a TC head and passive RCF cabinet, I`m back to maybe using an active cab.

I was in Glasgow today and jumped into Guitarguitar to see what they had. I have a limited budget of up to around £400 and am looking to get a 15" speaker so I can use it on it`s own on small gigs without pa support.

The only one they had was the Alto TS315 at £289. I told the guy what I wanted it for and asked if he had sold many for this purpose. Yes but mostly to guitar players. He went and got a bass for me, a Fender Mustang and plugged it in direct, no pre amp. It sounded ok, volume full on the bass and the volume control on the cab at 12 0`clock. Not a very good way to test the cab. He didn`t really seem to know much and didn`t offer any advice.

I asked if they sold RCF`s? No he said they keep breaking down and need repaired unlike the Alto which rarely fail. He could be right but I think it was the fact that they don`t stock them!

I`m thinking that if I go down the powered cab route, I will get something like the RCF ART 316 A mark 4. 

https://www.thomann.de/gb/rcf_art_315_a_mk_iv.htm

Any opinions?

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After searching for a combo, I then went and read all 55 pages of this thread and finally, tonight’s the night that I take my Fender Downtown Express Pedal and QSC10.2 out to rehearsals. 

Depending on the outcome, I may even take it with me to the gig on Saturday. Not sure what to expect as far as PA quality / venue size, etc but my thinking is that it will either act as backline if the venue is not too big or as my monitor if I DI into the FoH. (Might keep my amp + cab in the car just in case until i get a little braver!

 

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3 hours ago, Floyd Pepper said:

After searching for a combo, I then went and read all 55 pages of this thread and finally, tonight’s the night that I take my Fender Downtown Express Pedal and QSC10.2 out to rehearsals. 

Depending on the outcome, I may even take it with me to the gig on Saturday. Not sure what to expect as far as PA quality / venue size, etc but my thinking is that it will either act as backline if the venue is not too big or as my monitor if I DI into the FoH. (Might keep my amp + cab in the car just in case until i get a little braver!

Welcome to the enlightenment.

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