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QSC vs Alto


Tripehound
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Playing an LT straight into the PA with an Alto TS212 (the older 550w model) as floor monitor in my covers outfit that plays pop, R&B, rock and disco, everyone direct and electronic drums. It does the job.

 

I've just joined a second (classic rock) band with 'proper' drums and one guitar-operator where at some point I'm going to need forward-facing amplification (hired rehearsal room has a rig).

 

Is it worth the considerable expense of getting a QSC K12.2 which seems to be a popular choice amongst the FRFR community?

 

Will it be noticeably better as a monitor and will it cope/sound good as a powered speaker for bass in a conventional rock band or will the Alto (or two Altos) do?

 

I'd really welcome any opinions, experience etc!

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Interested in this as I'm playing in a loud rock covers band and wanting to go IEM with an interim period of using a good floor monitor for my vocal and bass.  I presently use a Mackie srm350 for just vocals but would a QSC K series active cab or possibly even a ALTO 312 or Headrush FRFR do a better job?  

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The Alto and Headrush are built down to a price point to a greater degree than the QSC.

 

I think you'll find the QSC goes  louder (with a superior sound) than the headrush/alto 

 

Whether it provides enough of a difference to justify the outlay I can't say.

 

I've recently acquired a Yamaha DBR12 and it's phenomenal.

It provides everything I hoped for the money I had available.

I don't know how much better it is than an Alto or how much "worse" it is than a K12, but it may be worth a tester 

 

Additional edit:

 

I have just done a bit of googling and the Alto/headrush are basically the same price as the Yamaha.

The Alto appears very similar on paper spec wise so assuming they are basically the same then 2 Altos should be enough.

Edited by Woodwind
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19 minutes ago, Woodwind said:

The Alto and Headrush are built down to a price point to a greater degree than the QSC.

 

I think you'll find the QSC goes  louder (with a superior sound) than the headrush/alto 

 

Whether it provides enough of a difference to justify the outlay I can't say.

 

I've recently acquired a Yamaha DBR12 and it's phenomenal.

It provides everything I hoped for the money I had available.

I don't know how much better it is than an Alto or how much "worse" it is than a K12, but it may be worth a tester 

 

Additional edit:

 

I have just done a bit of googling and the Alto/headrush are basically the same price as the Yamaha.

The Alto appears very similar on paper spec wise so assuming they are basically the same then 2 Altos should be enough.

 

I've had Yamaha PA gear in the past and while it was rarely 'the best' it certainly lived up to price point... Yamahe / Alto / Headrush.  I may need to visit PMT or similar.

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I dj'd for years professionally and theres no real comparison between Alto and QSC for playing music. Depth, warmth, definition, volume, reliability. However, whether it would make such a big difference solely for bass guitar you would have to decide.

 

However, I still would never use just a 1x12. But again, that's personal preference 

Edited by la bam
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1 hour ago, skidder652003 said:

I'd look into RCF at that price point.

That was my initial thought as well, but having seen many RCF power modules go pop I looked at something with a good warranty and supposed better reliability.

 

That said, the sound of the cheaper RCF stuff I've come across has been superb

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On 23/02/2022 at 11:48, Tripehound said:

Playing an LT straight into the PA with an Alto TS212 (the older 550w model) as floor monitor in my covers outfit that plays pop, R&B, rock and disco, everyone direct and electronic drums. It does the job.

 

I've just joined a second (classic rock) band with 'proper' drums and one guitar-operator where at some point I'm going to need forward-facing amplification (hired rehearsal room has a rig).

 

Is it worth the considerable expense of getting a QSC K12.2 which seems to be a popular choice amongst the FRFR community?

 

Will it be noticeably better as a monitor and will it cope/sound good as a powered speaker for bass in a conventional rock band or will the Alto (or two Altos) do?

 

I'd really welcome any opinions, experience etc!

From a technical point of view it is no longer sensible to try and fill the room from backline amplification. To reach levels of 90db at the back of even a modest sized room you are going to have levels of well over 100db on stage. That is going to make it impossible to keep the sound out of the vocal mic(s) and you will always sound muddy. More importantly those levels will permanently damage your hearing after less than an hour and you will progressively lose more each time you gig. It makes much more sense to use modest sound levels on stage and use the PA in front of you to fill the room. In the long run it works out cheaper that way too and your equipment carrying will be easier on your backs. If this is a new venture it is worth having this conversation with the new band before you go down the 1970's route. If your drummer is unable to control their levels and your guitarist a bit of a dinosaur then I'd really strongly advise you to look to going in-ears. I now have huge hearing loss and tinnitus and I wish I had changed the approach earlier.

 

Speakers like the Alto are fantastic value for money and way better than cheap speakers used to be, unbelievable for the price but there are compromises that have to be made at the price. Generally the problem with the bass drivers in the cabs is that they have smaller magnet systems and so excursion is limited and the frequency response is compromised. I use QSC and RCF speakers and currently you can get better sound at the price from the RCF's but both are great speakers as are Yamahas. You get what you pay for at this price point but the choice is yours, the cheapest solution would be a second matching Alto. That should mean you can match the output of the drums. Whether you choose better speakers is your choice.

 

I'm surprised by the idea that RCF's are unreliable, mine have been faultless and I don't know of anyone who has had any trouble with them. They are nicely made. Obviously any product produced in the thousands can have the odd problem but this is the first I've heard of with RCF's.  If @Woodwindhas additional information I'd be interested to hear about it.

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2 hours ago, Phil Starr said:

From a technical point of view it is no longer sensible to try and fill the room from backline amplification. To reach levels of 90db at the back of even a modest sized room you are going to have levels of well over 100db on stage. That is going to make it impossible to keep the sound out of the vocal mic(s) and you will always sound muddy. More importantly those levels will permanently damage your hearing after less than an hour and you will progressively lose more each time you gig. It makes much more sense to use modest sound levels on stage and use the PA in front of you to fill the room. In the long run it works out cheaper that way too and your equipment carrying will be easier on your backs. If this is a new venture it is worth having this conversation with the new band before you go down the 1970's route. If your drummer is unable to control their levels and your guitarist a bit of a dinosaur then I'd really strongly advise you to look to going in-ears. I now have huge hearing loss and tinnitus and I wish I had changed the approach earlier.

 

Speakers like the Alto are fantastic value for money and way better than cheap speakers used to be, unbelievable for the price but there are compromises that have to be made at the price. Generally the problem with the bass drivers in the cabs is that they have smaller magnet systems and so excursion is limited and the frequency response is compromised. I use QSC and RCF speakers and currently you can get better sound at the price from the RCF's but both are great speakers as are Yamahas. You get what you pay for at this price point but the choice is yours, the cheapest solution would be a second matching Alto. That should mean you can match the output of the drums. Whether you choose better speakers is your choice.

 

I'm surprised by the idea that RCF's are unreliable, mine have been faultless and I don't know of anyone who has had any trouble with them. They are nicely made. Obviously any product produced in the thousands can have the odd problem but this is the first I've heard of with RCF's.  If @Woodwindhas additional information I'd be interested to hear about it.

 I've been at two gigs where an RCF has popped on power up (Both models in the ART range) Different venue, different band etc etc so no common user error.

 

In both cases the owners of the speakers when trying to get them repaired have found out this isn't unusual.

 

As I say the sound from all the RCFs I've heard has been phenomenal, but these issues were enough to dent my confidence.

 

I'm well aware that all equipment can fail though.

 

I was looking for reasons not to spend RCF money and allowed this to influence (cloud) my thinking.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Woodwind said:

 I've been at two gigs where an RCF has popped on power up (Both models in the ART range) Different venue, different band etc etc so no common user error.

 

In both cases the owners of the speakers when trying to get them repaired have found out this isn't unusual.

 

As I say the sound from all the RCFs I've heard has been phenomenal, but these issues were enough to dent my confidence.

 

I'm well aware that all equipment can fail though.

 

I was looking for reasons not to spend RCF money and allowed this to influence (cloud) my thinking.

 

 

 

Which models were they?

 

When we got our old 725 cabs the previous owner told us they'd been sent back to have a revised power amp installed as the original ones had a known issue causing some of them to blow.

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I've never been a great fan of plastic speaker cabinets. They've always had a certain sound signature - like they're playing in a bucket. I'm aware that the technology has improved somewhat recently but I'm not impressed by the fact that the top-of-the-range RCFs still need a wooden side-to-side brace to keep them quiet.

 

We did a direct comparison recently of the Basschat MkIII DIY cab with one of the 12" active plastic boxes mentioned above (no names, but there was a Q on the front of the box), and the difference in the quality of the bass at volume was marked. On the other hand, the midrange of the active cab was excellent with voice - which is what you'd expect from a PA cab. 

 

The other thing is that the drivers in these cabs are nowhere near what you find in a Barefaced or Vandkerkley unless you're prepared to spend well over a grand. And even with the superb top-of-the-range RCFS, you're spending your money unnecessarily on large-diameter compression drivers - which are great for voice but total overkill for bass guitar. Apologies to anyone using these as their backline. Even though I'm a huge fan of full range, flat response bass cabs, I'm sticking with cabs specifically designed for bass guitar, thank you.

Edited by stevie
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2 minutes ago, lemmywinks said:

 

Which models were they?

 

When we got our old 725 cabs the previous owner told us they'd been sent back to have a revised power amp installed as the original ones had a known issue causing some of them to blow.

One was definitely a 725, can't recall the other, but it didn't look exactly the same

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12 hours ago, Phil Starr said:

 If your drummer is unable to control their levels and your guitarist a bit of a dinosaur then I'd really strongly advise you to look to going in-ears. I now have huge hearing loss and tinnitus and I wish I had changed the approach earlier.

Ain't THIS the truth :(

9 hours ago, stevie said:

The other thing is that the drivers in these cabs are nowhere near what you find in a Barefaced or Vandkerkley unless you're prepared to spend well over a grand. And even with the superb top-of-the-range RCFS, you're spending your money unnecessarily on large-diameter compression drivers - which are great for voice but total overkill for bass guitar. Apologies to anyone using these as their backline. Even though I'm a huge fan of full range, flat response bass cabs, I'm sticking with cabs specifically designed for bass guitar, thank you.

I am happily running a QSC 10" wedge at the moment - having said that, my days of fighting with drummers or the Guitarmagreddon are over. But you are clealry part of a concerted effort to get me to buy the Powersoft and Greenboy setup the For Sale pages are offering me.

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