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Ditching the RCF subs?!


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My wedding band are all electronic now with iem & electric kit...no backline. 

 

We're currently using 2 x RCF 732a tops and 1 x RCF 8003 II sub. Unfortunately transport is getting tight and we need to ditch the sub and run everything through the tops. 

 

Been looking at the new RCF 935's. Think that would be decent for weddings/functions as stand alones? 

 

Thanks 

 

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We were in a similar position and our soundman (John) bought a pair of Yamaha DXR 15s (mk2). Very similar stats to the RCF 935 apart from the wattage rating which is roughly double on the RCFs, but they're bi-amped which is possibly the reason for that figure, same SPL figures. 

We found they were excellent for average pub gigs, he's kept the subs for bigger gigs but due to Covid happening not long after getting them we haven't tried them in a larger setting, so they might be fine. 

Obviously a different speaker to the RCF but the Yamaha definitely coped fine with the whole band through them (drums/bass/electric guitar/acoustic 12 string/vocals). 

 

At the first gig where we tried them, John was nervous (he gets that way) so I said I'd bring my amp and set it up but keep the volume off, then if the Yamahas didn't cope I could just turn it up. When I got there he'd also set up the subs in case (as I said, he gets panicky). 

Anyway towards the end he brings a punter up on stage behind me. Afterwards I ask who he was. He was someone in a another band who had commented to our John what a great sound we had, best he'd heard for a long time. John had told him it was all through the tops, no subs or backline. He had to show him my volume was completely off for him to believe it was all out of the Yamaha DXRs. 

 

As I said, different, but comparable speakers, so might be of help, and going by popularity and specs, I'd guess the RCFs would be even better. 

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The best sound I ever got was through a couple of d&b Audio 12" cabs. It was astonishing. Headroom for days. We pushed them harder and they just got louder. I was hammering my bottom B on my DB. Now, for the money they cost, they should sound good. But this was 17 years ago, so the middle end of the market has to have caught up with what the grown ups were doing 17 years agao.

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37 minutes ago, Owen said:

The best sound I ever got was through a couple of d&b Audio 12" cabs. It was astonishing. Headroom for days. We pushed them harder and they just got louder. I was hammering my bottom B on my DB. Now, for the money they cost, they should sound good. But this was 17 years ago, so the middle end of the market has to have caught up with what the grown ups were doing 17 years ago.

 

Middle market stuff has certainly improved, but there is still an enormous gulf between it and companies such as D&B. Mid range and especially budget gear is built down to a price. You can only squeeze so much out of a pint pot. 

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29 minutes ago, Dan Dare said:

 

Middle market stuff has certainly improved, but there is still an enormous gulf between it and companies such as D&B. Mid range and especially budget gear is built down to a price. You can only squeeze so much out of a pint pot. 

Oh, absolutely, but back in the day D&B were using DSP, and Mackie where whacking drivers and amps into cabs. Now DSP is the norm. If you handed present day mid range stuff to bods in the early year of this century then there would be jaws dropping right left and center. I am not saying that today's £1k 15"+horns are right up there, but they have to be 80% of the way there. 

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I've had systems with subs for years 'just in case'. I only take them out when I know there is a need and have used them once a year or maybe less. Essentially they've only gone out for open air gigs with no hired PA or indoor gigs where they've been there as robust stands to stop people knocking over the PA. How often do you play functions with 500+ guests I wonder? This is all with 12" tops 15's will give you a little more so the times when you'd 'need' subs are going to be very limited. 

 

I'm thinking of upgrading our PA if we get back to regular gigging again, I'm seriously looking at some of the RCF Evox type systems, these would solve your space issues for transport and to my mind look really professional for a function band compared with the look of 15's on stands.

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I joined a covers band, 1st gig was at short notice, they said they had a new PA but were confident about using it as the sound man was good. Gig turned out to be a small pub, PA turned out to be an active Yamaha, 15 tops and 2 x 18 bins. The windows of the place nearly popped out their frames, accompanied by quite impressive bass feedback all night which I'd never experienced before. Future pub gigs were done with just the 15 tops which were amply up to the job all round and the 18 subs only got wheeled out for the big occasions. 

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21 hours ago, Phil Starr said:

I'm thinking of upgrading our PA if we get back to regular gigging again, I'm seriously looking at some of the RCF Evox type systems, these would solve your space issues for transport and to my mind look really professional for a function band compared with the look of 15's on stands.

 

They are a whole lot easier to set up, too, as the heavy bit is on the floor not perched on to of a tripod.

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21 hours ago, Phil Starr said:

I've had systems with subs for years 'just in case'. I only take them out when I know there is a need and have used them once a year or maybe less. Essentially they've only gone out for open air gigs with no hired PA or indoor gigs where they've been there as robust stands to stop people knocking over the PA. How often do you play functions with 500+ guests I wonder? This is all with 12" tops 15's will give you a little more so the times when you'd 'need' subs are going to be very limited. 

 

I'm thinking of upgrading our PA if we get back to regular gigging again, I'm seriously looking at some of the RCF Evox type systems, these would solve your space issues for transport and to my mind look really professional for a function band compared with the look of 15's on stands.

The Evox 12 looks lovely. Pricey though! 

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2 hours ago, bassmansam said:

The Evox 12 looks lovely. Pricey though! 

I guess it depends upon how you see it and of course how it works out in practice. A pair of 932's are around £1500 and a single RCF sub around £1000 depending upon which you choose. That's £2500 vs £3200 for a pair of Evox 12's. If you wanted two subs then the conventional system would be £3500. The column then sits in the middle price wise. Then it comes down to performance and practicality.

 

Performance wise the conventional system is a better known system for me and with two subs will probably exceed the maximum output of the Evox. In practice I'm not likely to use the subs very often on past performance. The practicality of the Evox is that I'd be using the same system for every gig and it has a smaller footprint than speaker stands so is actually going to be better for smaller venues. The directional properties are appealing too, a broad flat fan of sound so most of the audience get the same sound and less spilling back onto the stage all sounds good. Moving the crossover out of the midrange is appealing too and could mean a better presentation of vocals. That's all promise though and it's how it will work out in ever changing venues each with different acoustics that remains to be discovered.

 

As you say it's a lot of money. I'm not one of life's natural early adopters either but it's still an intriguing prospect.

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47 minutes ago, Phil Starr said:

I guess it depends upon how you see it and of course how it works out in practice. A pair of 932's are around £1500 and a single RCF sub around £1000 depending upon which you choose. That's £2500 vs £3200 for a pair of Evox 12's. If you wanted two subs then the conventional system would be £3500. The column then sits in the middle price wise. Then it comes down to performance and practicality.

 

Performance wise the conventional system is a better known system for me and with two subs will probably exceed the maximum output of the Evox. In practice I'm not likely to use the subs very often on past performance. The practicality of the Evox is that I'd be using the same system for every gig and it has a smaller footprint than speaker stands so is actually going to be better for smaller venues. The directional properties are appealing too, a broad flat fan of sound so most of the audience get the same sound and less spilling back onto the stage all sounds good. Moving the crossover out of the midrange is appealing too and could mean a better presentation of vocals. That's all promise though and it's how it will work out in ever changing venues each with different acoustics that remains to be discovered.

 

As you say it's a lot of money. I'm not one of life's natural early adopters either but it's still an intriguing prospect.

 

I think for us we'll struggle to transport even the evox 12s. I think it will be either 935s or a pair of 745s without subs which seem to pop up from time to time. 

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After a try-out in the local PMT I bought 2 x Evox 8 for my band - thought anything bigger was too much -  and and they handle the low stuff really well.  Also not short of volume.  For the loudest gig we've had to do we had the amp volume on the back of the unit at around 1/2, on the desk if the sliders for the channel and master are around 0 I only need to turn up the gain to around 1/4.  Plenty of headroom all round.

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The advantage of a sub (or subs) is that you do not need large top boxes. Anything more than 10s is overkill, really, unless the venue is massive. Subs really need to be of high quality. Budget offerings are prone to suffer from poor definition, overhang and the dreaded one note bass. It's better to have one good 'un (low frequencies don't need to be in stereo) than multiple cheapies. One of the best sounding compact rigs I ever heard was a little Nexo PA, comprising two 10" + horn tops and a single 12" sub. It didn't sound in any way small. It did, however, have some pretty serious amplification (made by Yamaha, which owns Nexo). Size doesn't always matter.

Edited by Dan Dare
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44 minutes ago, Dan Dare said:

The advantage of a sub (or subs) is that you do not need large top boxes. Anything more than 10s is overkill, really, unless the venue is massive. Subs really need to be of high quality. Budget offerings are prone to suffer from poor definition, overhang and the dreaded one note bass. It's better to have one good 'un (low frequencies don't need to be in stereo) than multiple cheapies. One of the best sounding compact rigs I ever heard was a little Nexo PA, comprising two 10" + horn tops and a single 12" sub. It didn't sound in any way small. It did, however, have some pretty serious amplification (made by Yamaha, which owns Nexo). Size doesn't always matter.

 

I think you're right and our current rig sounds great (732as + 8003 AS Sub) however as I've said we're now facing a transport issue which means we'll only be able to take tops with us...So either RCF 735s/745s or the new 935s/945's to put the whole band through. 

Edited by bassmansam
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14 hours ago, bassmansam said:

 

I think you're right and our current rig sounds great (732as + 8003 AS Sub) however as I've said we're now facing a transport issue which means we'll only be able to take tops with us...So either RCF 735s/745s or the new 935s/945's to put the whole band through. 

You would actually do well to downsize the tops and keep running a good sub which you can put next to a wall for a handy bump.

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The big difference between the 735's and the 745's are in the horn driver. the 3 is the diameter of the voice coil in the 735 and the 745 has the 4" coil driver. Your 732 has the same 3" driver. 

 

Having the bigger compression driver means the crossover is lower down the frequency range and this moves it away form the critical vocal midrange so it will sweeten up the vocals and any instruments that use those frequencies, you also get better dispersion in those frequencies. The bass driver is also improved but I don't think you would necessarily notice that so much. The bigger voice coil also handles more power so you get a couple of db's more at full power.

 

Since you have the 732 you already know how good the RCF's are. Do you need improvement on that? Actually have you tried the 732's without the subs? We use K12-2's without subs and they are similar specs to what you have. They will handle kick and bass at quite high levels, completely capable for any pub gig we've done. Indoors with wall /floor reinforcement I don't think we'd need the little bit extra bass we'd get by using 15's and you might not either.

 

Just an aside as it's an expensive choice; the 745's are the same size as the subs in the EVox's just a different shape, the tops not much bigger than a couple of speaker stands.

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23 hours ago, Phil Starr said:

I guess it depends upon how you see it and of course how it works out in practice. A pair of 932's are around £1500 and a single RCF sub around £1000 depending upon which you choose. That's £2500 vs £3200 for a pair of Evox 12's. If you wanted two subs then the conventional system would be £3500. The column then sits in the middle price wise. Then it comes down to performance and practicality.

 

Performance wise the conventional system is a better known system for me and with two subs will probably exceed the maximum output of the Evox. In practice I'm not likely to use the subs very often on past performance. The practicality of the Evox is that I'd be using the same system for every gig and it has a smaller footprint than speaker stands so is actually going to be better for smaller venues. The directional properties are appealing too, a broad flat fan of sound so most of the audience get the same sound and less spilling back onto the stage all sounds good. Moving the crossover out of the midrange is appealing too and could mean a better presentation of vocals. That's all promise though and it's how it will work out in ever changing venues each with different acoustics that remains to be discovered.

 

As you say it's a lot of money. I'm not one of life's natural early adopters either but it's still an intriguing prospect.

For that sort of money you could get a Blue Acoustics system. They are a class apart in my opinion. All Powersoft Amps and Faital Pro drivers. They sound so good. All made in Welsh Wales. 

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5 hours ago, Chienmortbb said:

For that sort of money you could get a Blue Acoustics system. They are a class apart in my opinion. All Powersoft Amps and Faital Pro drivers. They sound so good. All made in Welsh Wales. 

They don't seem to be offering any prices on their websites

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Sorry for thed delay. I contacted Blue Acoiustics and was told that as a small company they build to order. They  found that every order is different so they have stopped producing a price List. However they are happy to quote by phone or just take verbal abuse if that is your wont. Talk to Ken Hughes, his mobile number is on the website.

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Good timing of this thread.

 

Running 2x mackie srm 12” tops and recently bought a 15”sub so I can not bring my bass cabs, also planning on going to IEMs to save space on monitors also. 
 

Also having issues with cars to gigs recently so would love to get rid of the sub at some point and just run tops. We tried the mackie thump 15s but seems too muddy. 
 

I know the mackies aren’t the greatest so would love to upgrade at some point. 

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On 29/01/2022 at 12:58, Paul S said:

After a try-out in the local PMT I bought 2 x Evox 8 for my band - thought anything bigger was too much -  and and they handle the low stuff really well.  Also not short of volume.  For the loudest gig we've had to do we had the amp volume on the back of the unit at around 1/2, on the desk if the sliders for the channel and master are around 0 I only need to turn up the gain to around 1/4.  Plenty of headroom all round.

 

Paul, really interested in how this pans out for you. Are you putting your bass through this or using separate backline?

Edited by Al Krow
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On 05/02/2022 at 19:52, Al Krow said:

 

Paul, really interested in how this pans out for you. Are you putting your bass through this or using separate backline?

 

We bought it a couple of years ago and have been using it, as far as lockdowns have allowed, ever since and couldn't be happier with the sound.  At the moment we use it for vocals, bass and occasionally drums.  Probably drums more often in future as our drummer got a guy in to set it all up properly last week.  Guitar doesn't go through because guitarist thinks it sounds better cranked through his Fender twin :)  I am sure if we knew how to set it up properly it would come out of the pa exactly how it went in but there we are :D  But it is totally liberating.  No more constant GAS about this amp or that cab and setting up is uber fast.  I don't use many effects, just plug into a TC Spectradrive for tone shaping, job done. 

 

You could come and check it out one time, Bas.  Mostly we gig in Suffolk but we have a couple booked in Old Leigh, one in April, not too far east from you. 

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