Need help with purchasing some new gear, Peavey SP or carvin TRX
Hello everyone, I'm looking to upgrade my PA. I run sound for coffeehouses, small to mid sized outdoor events, churches, and schools. I'm looking to upgrade my amps and speakers. currently i'm using a biamped system. 2 PV118's and 2 PV115's powered by 2 mackie Fr2500 amps, one for the subs, and one for the tops. i want to upgrade to some beefier amps and speakers. I'm thinking about getting 2 sp218bx's and 2 sp2bx's and tri amping the system. the amps ill use will most likely be the behringer inukes. my question is this: Ive been looking into the carvin TRX line and they look like some serious cabinets, and they're cheaper. What do you all think? Should i go for the Carvin TRX or the peavey SP?
If you're going to truly upgrade and you're in the price range of the Peavey SP stuff, I'd skip over that, the Carvin, and the Behringer altogether and look at QSC KW, K, or JBL PRX600 self-powered cabinets.
The QSC and JBL are far better-sounding, recognized professional names (which if you're a sound company is not to be underestimated) and being self-powered, you have a lot less failure points and stuff to carry. Plus, they really sound quite nice. A pair of JBL PRX615's over a pair of PRX618S-XLF subs will cost about the same as the Peavey SP's with 3 amps and all the cabling. The JBL rig is smaller, better-sounding, and the tops are actually quite a bit louder. And even though the JBL subs are only single 18's, they go lower than the Peavey double 18's and keep up with the tops in terms of overall output quite well. You get triamplification, optimized processing, and built-in limiters.
And the whole thing draws a lot less power, which is a big deal for the typical school or coffee house gig. JBL's neodymium drivers help keep the box weight down. Did I mention it's a lot easier load-in and faster setup?
As far as SPL is concerned, do you think the single 18" JBL Sub or dual 12" k sub would be able to keep up with a dual 18" cabinet? I'm sure the tops would sound better in a small room, but i would like a system thats powerful enough to give you that punch from the kick drum in a large room, but also sound good in smaller rooms. I just want to make sure the smaller cabs like the prx and k series would do that.
I would skip the KSub for your applications. I've used it, and in small rooms it can be okay, but it's not really designed to get up and go and move a lot of air, and the bandpass design makes its response a little wonky.
No single 18" sub is ever going to be able to move as much or more air than a respectable double 18 due to simple physics, but the JBL PRX618S-XLF is one of the best performing subs in your market segment. It has far better flat frequency response than the Peavey (the Peavey SP218's frequency response is actually pretty bad for a sub, being flat only to 51 Hz). And it only gives up about 3dB of output to the double 18 Peavey. Of course, all these numbers say nothing about sound.
I think a better question is: do you need more output than that? All of the tops you're looking at top out at around 131-133 dB on peaks, which is about the same as the output of the single 18" subs. If you really want double 18's, you also really need more/bigger tops to keep up with them in terms of output.
And comparing the measured specs, this would make any one of these new top and single-18 combinations at least 3 times louder overall than your current PV-series setup in terms of output.