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Sanity Check - 2x153 and 1x181?
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mwright137
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Long story short: Will 2 QSC KW153 and 1 QSC KW181 get me by until I can pick up a second 181?

The bands I was previously in had their own PA so I had to work with what we had. Now it's time to buy my own. I really like the QSC stuff and want 2 153's and 2 181's for the mains and maybe another pair of 181's in the future for outdoor gigs. That's the plan. Right now I only have $4000 to work with, so I'm contemplating getting the 2 153's and 1 181 for now and add the additional subs as I get more to spend.

Any thoughts? I actually considered going with the K122 and KSUB setup but I'm not sure that would work. The main band I will use this for is a classic rock cover band playing in local bars. Drums, bass, keys, 2 guitars, harmonica, maybe 5 vocals.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 12/08/2012 03:56:50

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Monolithent
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Honestly I think you'd be money ahead with the 122's and a pair of 181's.

You'll have a really heavy bottom end with 153 and 181 combo. Just opinion though. No real evidence to back that up.

However from personal dealings, the 122 and 181 combo will surprise you.
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Tallest guy in the Mod Squad with all his hair still on his head.

No I'm not a freaking pilot!! The Air Force won't let me have a suit with a zipper...or sometimes shoestrings.

My advice and suggestions should never be considered advice or suggestions. These are mostly insane ramblings of a poor aircraft mechanic who can, strangely enough, still hear.

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gadget69
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I did a an outdoor gig recently, and the band had 4 KW153's and 2 181's. I brought 4 of my manifold subs and one Digam 7000 amp. The music was horn heavy, Chicago, Peter Gabriel, Blues, and soul, 12 pieces (with vox) With my subs, the system sounded very good, clean and full. I was able to achieve about 103dB weighted @ about 60 feet just starting to hit the limiters Driverack 260 crossed @ 100hz BW18 with the 153's set flat.

My impression of the 181's is that it's probably a good match at 2:1 with the 181 subs. My subs were much more powerful, especially with the Digam 7000 amp behind them. My tops are either Yorkville Elite 2204's or O.A.P T121's and they have 40X60 X2" exit horns and project MUCH farther and get far louder but are perhaps a little lacking in the 16yK+ area. The Yorkies are not as midrange smooth but have FAR more low mid punch... but with 2 15's one might expect that.

My impression of the 181's is that for a powered sub they are pretty impressive, not as loud or deep as mine but then mine are proprietary, and have a much beefier driver and with the 7000 BIG power over the 181's, so it is to be expected.

One of the things I found troubling about the KW153's was the combination plug on the back of the speakers. The XLR plugs would vibrate out of the backs and we would loose the coverage of that speaker. I had to constantly monitor them and push the plugs back in diverting my attention from the mix.

As someone already said here recently, the HF amps started to break up before the mids which I found interesting, but not surprising at this price point. A slight shelf cut on the 2K up solved that problem.

The rave reviews for the show are a testament to the bands performance and the quality of the 153's. A bit of stretch for more than a few hundred coverage and don't look for a long throw from them but they equated themselves well...

NOTE: If your having an issue, open a tech support ticket and bring the number here if you want help!
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gadget69
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I too liked the 122's Jon, The 153's were a bit smoother in the midrange, and I don't think they really are that low end heavy with the power they have, that's why I crossed them at 100hz... they ran out of gas (headroom wise) pretty quickly, and if crossed lower would run out even faster.

I think think the HF section in the 122's is stouter.
NOTE: If your having an issue, open a tech support ticket and bring the number here if you want help!
http://support.presonus.com

Tools:
OHCI tool and Latency mon:
http://forums.presonus.com/posts/list/11348.page

We, the few, that have done so much, for so long that now we can do everyything with nothing

dbx forum moderator

Lenova Ideapad Z565
Best connectivity Express card/firewire 2 port (400) that does NOT suggest having the TI chipset. (always worked great)
BYTECC Express card (400/800)07150358281

Asus/AMD processor tower. This setups just works on all firewire devices.

Belkin N450 dual band router, works with SL and Ai mixers
Studiolive 16:4:2
SL Ai24.4.2
ABUSB 1818VSL
Faderport
USB pre interface
Studio one Pro V2
LABsubs

loads of audio, and studio gear, and audiophile sound gear (gearslut)
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Monolithent
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I'll give you that about the midrange, I've rarely heard a three way that didn't sound better than a 2. My thought is that if the 122 are crossed at about 150 they shouldn't have a lot of resonant frequency problems and will clean the mid low up pretty nicely and then there's a pair of 18's to handle everything below that.
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Tallest guy in the Mod Squad with all his hair still on his head.

No I'm not a freaking pilot!! The Air Force won't let me have a suit with a zipper...or sometimes shoestrings.

My advice and suggestions should never be considered advice or suggestions. These are mostly insane ramblings of a poor aircraft mechanic who can, strangely enough, still hear.

StudioLive 16.4.2, AudioBox 1818VSL, AudioBox 44VSL, Faderport, Digimax FS,, M-Audio Firewire 410
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mwright137
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Let me clarify my original post. I hadn't considered the KW122 as much as I considered the K12 and KSUB combo. I figured go with KW or K series for both speakers.

I appreciate all the responses. With your suggestions I am seriously considering starting with two KW122's and the single KW181 and adding covers for all 3. I couldn't have gotten the covers at my $4000 price point with my original plan.

So my question then changes to this: Will one KW122 per side with two KW181's per side provide enough coverage for an outside gig?
I am Sir Melvis Bacon, Knight of BaconHam Palace.

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Monolithent
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If its a smaller gig. I wouldnt try to feed it to more than about 3-400 people. It just won't have the coverage.

What kind of areas do you play most often? If they're mostly indoor things then you'll be fine for most of your business. Outdoor stuff comes once in a while for most independents. For those I rent bigger toys and charge appropriately.

If you ever have a need you're not that far from me, I have a compact line array set that will eat a pair of 153's for breakfast. You're welcome to it anytime. Outdoors its good for probably 800-1000 people. I use it mostly for hangar events and outdoor military ceremonies so it doesn't really get its moneys worth all year.
http://support.presonus.com

Tallest guy in the Mod Squad with all his hair still on his head.

No I'm not a freaking pilot!! The Air Force won't let me have a suit with a zipper...or sometimes shoestrings.

My advice and suggestions should never be considered advice or suggestions. These are mostly insane ramblings of a poor aircraft mechanic who can, strangely enough, still hear.

StudioLive 16.4.2, AudioBox 1818VSL, AudioBox 44VSL, Faderport, Digimax FS,, M-Audio Firewire 410
--MultiBoot System--
Win Vista 64/XP Pro/7 x86/7 x64 - Mac OSX Snow Leopard/Lion
Gigabyte motherboard--SYBA TI Firewire XIO2200A--i7 2600k Quad Core--16 GB DDR III--Custom 2U Rackmount--4 TB Raid (all internal SATA II)--19" Samsung HDMI LCD on pivoting VESA 1U Mount
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mwright137
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I don't envision us ever playing for more than 400 people outside or inside. I'm too old to think I'll ever be a star. We're going to play local bars and clubs mostly. Anything larger and we would probably hire out to a sound company. This rig will be for me to mix from stage with my StudioLive and maybe have my wife do some iPad mixing from her seat if need be.
I am Sir Melvis Bacon, Knight of BaconHam Palace.

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StudioLive 16.4.2; StudioLive 328AI (x2)
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I use Gobbler to back up my projects.
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mwright137
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And thanks for the offer of the compact line array. I may take you up on that if we ever need it...
I am Sir Melvis Bacon, Knight of BaconHam Palace.

MacBook Pro 13. OS X Mavericks - version 10.9.3
StudioLive 16.4.2; StudioLive 328AI (x2)
AudioBox 22 VSL; BlueTube DP V2; FaderPort; Monitor Station; FireStudio Project (x2)
Studio One 2 Pro 2.6.2 (64 bit)
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Monolithent
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Anytime you need em they're likely gonna be available. Just let me know.

And I think if you're doing mostly bar gigs your back will thank you on the 122 and 181 setup. I'd personally steer clear of the ksubs. They just don't have any legs. They sound great but just don't have a lot of coverage.
http://support.presonus.com

Tallest guy in the Mod Squad with all his hair still on his head.

No I'm not a freaking pilot!! The Air Force won't let me have a suit with a zipper...or sometimes shoestrings.

My advice and suggestions should never be considered advice or suggestions. These are mostly insane ramblings of a poor aircraft mechanic who can, strangely enough, still hear.

StudioLive 16.4.2, AudioBox 1818VSL, AudioBox 44VSL, Faderport, Digimax FS,, M-Audio Firewire 410
--MultiBoot System--
Win Vista 64/XP Pro/7 x86/7 x64 - Mac OSX Snow Leopard/Lion
Gigabyte motherboard--SYBA TI Firewire XIO2200A--i7 2600k Quad Core--16 GB DDR III--Custom 2U Rackmount--4 TB Raid (all internal SATA II)--19" Samsung HDMI LCD on pivoting VESA 1U Mount
Studio One v1 Pro x64
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mwright137
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Thanks. I was worried about the KSUBs not covering well.

Back to my original question, will a single KW181 get me by with the two KW122's until I can afford the second sub? Again, 90% of our gigs will be in small local bars...
I am Sir Melvis Bacon, Knight of BaconHam Palace.

MacBook Pro 13. OS X Mavericks - version 10.9.3
StudioLive 16.4.2; StudioLive 328AI (x2)
AudioBox 22 VSL; BlueTube DP V2; FaderPort; Monitor Station; FireStudio Project (x2)
Studio One 2 Pro 2.6.2 (64 bit)
I use Gobbler to back up my projects.
[WWW]
Monolithent
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Gotta be honest, I just don't know. I've never in my career run a single sub. It's always been a pair of them so I honestly couldn't tell you. Now if it were something like a LAB Sub then I'd say no problem to you'll likely need more top speakers but this isn't that and I've never heard the balance on a single 181 vs a pair of 122
http://support.presonus.com

Tallest guy in the Mod Squad with all his hair still on his head.

No I'm not a freaking pilot!! The Air Force won't let me have a suit with a zipper...or sometimes shoestrings.

My advice and suggestions should never be considered advice or suggestions. These are mostly insane ramblings of a poor aircraft mechanic who can, strangely enough, still hear.

StudioLive 16.4.2, AudioBox 1818VSL, AudioBox 44VSL, Faderport, Digimax FS,, M-Audio Firewire 410
--MultiBoot System--
Win Vista 64/XP Pro/7 x86/7 x64 - Mac OSX Snow Leopard/Lion
Gigabyte motherboard--SYBA TI Firewire XIO2200A--i7 2600k Quad Core--16 GB DDR III--Custom 2U Rackmount--4 TB Raid (all internal SATA II)--19" Samsung HDMI LCD on pivoting VESA 1U Mount
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rockstardave
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for indoor stuff you'll probably be fine with the 153 pair and a single 181.

back in march i made the jump from K12s with Ksubs, up to a pair of 153s over a pair of 181s. what a huge difference.

if you plan on going outdoors you absolutely want the 3way speakers. it's a better sounding speaker and moves more air. it's only a matter of $150-200 per box, and if you're spending $4000 already, just do it.

here's a few things to note:

1) if you get 153 speakers, get a nice heavy duty hand cart. i got one from Harbor Freight for $40. well worth it.
2) a pair of 153s over a pair of 181s sound pretty good. but a pair of 153s over (4) subs is a totally different system. amazing for small-medium outdoor events. that' what i've been doing this summer.
3) get the covers for your speakers!

and -let us know where you're located !
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mwright137
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You guys are driving me crazy! Lol

I already have a cart. Won't need that. If I get the 153's I can't afford the covers right away. I guess I have until Friday to decide...
I am Sir Melvis Bacon, Knight of BaconHam Palace.

MacBook Pro 13. OS X Mavericks - version 10.9.3
StudioLive 16.4.2; StudioLive 328AI (x2)
AudioBox 22 VSL; BlueTube DP V2; FaderPort; Monitor Station; FireStudio Project (x2)
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bjcb
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I ran two KW153's over two KW181's for the first time last night. This was set up in a friend's pole barn for a small party. The KW153's replaced the K12 mains that we were using. First, I love the KW153's. The vocals are great. I am glad we switched. But, while the KW181's were great with the K12's as mains, my feeling is that the KW153's overpower the KW181's.

We had two electrics, one acoustic, bass, keys, drums and three vocals running last night. The rig sounded excellent, but lacked the low end punch that we like. Granted the "venue" wasn't an ideal place for a test, I do think that we will be in the market for another set of KW181's in the near future to bring the low end back where we want it.

We are going to need a bigger trailer!!

Chad
2009 15" Macbook Pro OS Lion
StudioLive 16.4.2 UC 1.6
PA: QSC KW153 Mains, KW181 Subs, K12 Monitors along with Shure PSM 200's
www.brentjamesmusic.com
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