dbx DriveRack PA+ Reviews4.3/5.0 based on 16 customer reviews
The DBX DriveRack is the secret weapon that you have been looking for to get the most out of your sound system! No matter what speakers you are using, the DriveRack not only makes them sound better, but also works in harmony with your room - providing diagnostic tools for fixing acoustic problems, crossover management, and feedback elimination! Better still, most all of this can be done with the onboard set up wizard! A few minutes and your PA will sound amazing!! The DriveRack is a MUST-have in any setup!
from new york
January 28, 2013Music Background:
dbx DriveRack PA+is an excellent sound system, I recommend it, both as a hobby or professionally.
September 4, 2012Music Background:
EasySimple as plug and play. You can go deeper in the controls if you need to or want, but for us so far plug in, run the setup and play. Need I say more.
from Southern California
July 24, 2012Music Background:
Singer, guitarist, songwriter. Now-a-days, live sound and technical production.
dbx DriveRack +A coule of years ago, or so, I bought one of these. I was the last sound engineer I know to buy one.
I run sound for all sorts of events, and have different setups, outdoors with subs, to small indoors with to mains on sticks. I also travel around with a band, as their sound guy.
I ran into quite a few contract systems with driveracks in them, and I didn't like them. One day a another sound company asked me to come mix for them. Saw the driverack in the FOH rack.
The 1st thing I noticed, was that the rig sounded pretty good. I started to fine tune the system, and noticed that the right and left EQs were linked. The other ones I had worked with, either couldn't do that, or the owners didn't know how. I had never bothered to find out. I liked the way that performed so much, that I called the sound company the next day to find out brand and model number, and ordered one. It was a dbx DriveRack plus.
The 1st time I used it was with four JBL G2s, over a couple of SLS 18s.
The change in my rig was wonderful. The enhanced clarity was huge.
The time align feature was a good thing to have, for the mains.
I don't usually comp/limit from the main outputs of the console, but started playing around with, and found a soft knee setting that was pretty transparent. My SLS mains have ribbon diaphragms in the horns. The ability to limit high, mids, and lows individually, has taken alot of stress of the job. For me, the highs only ,are slightly limited. When I have a guest engineer come in with a band, I limit them more, and set a limit on the mids and lows as well.
Saved settings for each system configuration, and each location, give a very close starting point, and saves time at setup.
The AFS comes in handy for speaking engagements and loud bands, in small rooms.
I discovered something very cool, that I didn't in the manual. All six outputs are full range, when in full range mode, and it looks like the can be delayed individually. I haven't tried the delay feature in full range yet, so I can't say for sure how much time you can get, but I suspect it will be enough.
Three weeks ago, my truck was stolen, and recovered empty. The day after that, the 1st piece of gear that I bought, was the dbx DriveRack.
If you're thinking about getting one, but aren't sure, rent one for a gig or two, and you'll be convinced.
May 11, 2012Music Background:
engineer and den some
this thing is freakin awesomeWhen I built up my monitors for the home theater the first time, we lived across town in a fairly modern home with high, lofty vaulted ceilings and wonderful acoustics. I designed my mains for this large air space with 2-15” diameter, 4” Voicecoil drivers, a wonderful high/mid cluster at ear height with a 10” instrument speaker, an afterburner for the ultra highs, and a 1” exit horn for the highs. GREAT STUFF. The surrounds were all 12” coaxial drivers with horns and 10” instrument speakers for the mids. I won’t get into crossover points, damping, etc, but let’s just say that I’m both well-read and well-practiced on the subject and a student of the works of Jimmy B Lansing, Nelson Pass, and John Eargle. The Center and Sub were along similar scale. The center has 2-10” diameter instrument speakers and a 1” exit horn. The Sub has a pair of 15” bass drivers.
To further mitigate the pukes that are visualizing some teenie-weenie magical satellite box hanging on a #6 conical anchor in 3/8” drywall that ‘sounds great’ and ‘does everything’, let me say this: There are 14 voice coils in my home theater system that are over 2.9” diameter and 8 that are over 3.9” diameter. The whole array weighs more than my pickup truck. The efficiency is 99dB/W/m and the compression point is enough to make your head explode…..and that’s just where the nonlinearity starts! I designed, built and engineered this stuff from the best components available on earth.
So then, as time marched on we moved…..my home theater is now in a well finished basement with a layout that is acoustically imperfect compared to where everything was designed to go. A sub optimal bummer that pretty much sucked the wind out of my high spl sails. And that’s when a daydream lead me to your awesome box. I wanted a box that could run RTA, force equalization, setup crossover points for a bi-amped system (yup, time to eliminate that phase delay in the bass driver LPF and get it time aligned with the sub….). A limiter would be nice for when the kids get older and rock the volume knob a little hard…
And then I saw it. We were installing a Renkus Heinz array in a church with some SLS monitors for the sides. I knew we needed to pink the room…there was clearly some midrange deadspots…..and my buddy, whom I have now dubbed the best sound man on [my] earth opened up a DBX Drive Rack PA+. I told him of my home theater (and by comparison I had more stuff than the church…..). He handed it to me and suggested I give it a spin.
HOLY SHIT is that unit amazing. I’ll admit, I redid the +/-Vcc rails to the op amps. Having spent decades in the pro audio repair, design, optimization world, I don’t like linear regulator IC’s on their own. They are noisy and the op amps don’t reject that type of noise that well. I also redid the op amps with my own special sauce and stability tricks. This comes from decades of experience and tens of thousands of repairs and refurbs and redesigns that came in under the question “can you make this sound better?”. From a Dynaco PAT4 pre-amp that left with long tail diff pairs and polypropylene caps to countless pro audio and recording studio equipments….I know this subject well. Very well.
So, after a few minutes on the bench and some hotrodding with lead, HELL YEAH, LEAD solder, I put the unit online and set up a basic biamp. Surprisingly EXCELLENT performance from the DSP’s. I didn’t hear any clock jitter, roundoff errors, aliasing, or ‘digital muck’. Great noisefloor, awesome dynamic range, tight solid bass and even at the limits it stays together and sounds decent. I dragged in an O-scope and some earmuffs, found the clipping points and set up a nice limit….no compression though….sorry man, too many years compressing the snot out of the send-end of an FM transmitter to have the highs and lows sound pretty on a ½” voicecoil 6x9 on the back deck of a toyota….just can’t do it!! (don’t need it either….no live vocals….live drums, etc).
I then ran RTA with my standards, found some holes that my ears didn’t recognize in the lower midbass, then I ran the auto EQ with my old reference mic. AWESOME. I mean damned unbelievable. This low ceiling, straight cross section finished basement now sounds BETTER than what I had designed the equipment for one house ago.
I guess John Eargle and Jimmy B Lansing aren’t around anymore….and that’s a shame, but if I brought them into my home theater, I’m pretty sure I’d get a gleeful nod about halfway through supertramp ‘bloody well right’ or steppenwolf "magic carpet ride". After hotrodding the unit, installing it, and setting it up, I bought bill another one for the church. Probably should have done that up front, but you know how it is when you get into something. I never thought I’d say it to the ‘dsp geeks’ but THANKS DUDES! That drive rack is one hell of a box. I’ll be buying one for my system in the shop as well as my ‘lend out, party hard’ PA. I’ll say it again for emphasis….and I got the equipment , experience and skills to back it up…..That unit is AWESOME! Accept no substitutes ladies and gents.
March 23, 2012Music Background:
Hobbyist and southern gospel bass singer
Love It!What a difference the dbx DriveRack PA+ has made in our sound!! I was amazed by the difference before and after the PA +. Easy and intuitive to use. Love the auto EQ and feedback suppression. Give it a try! You WILL NOT regret it!
from Bel Air, MD
February 22, 2012Music Background:
Awesome soundI use the dbx DriveRack PA+ with my "home theater". I have 2 600 watt Peavey speakers, 1 1600 watt Carvin sub, Peavey power amp, and Carvin power amp. The DriveRack PA+ makes the sound A+++. I am a hardcore audio person. I have a general setting that works well for almost any mix. But when I'm feeling like hearing perfection, I can make adjustments and save the setting for a particular DVD, Blue-ray, album, etc.
I use the limiter to prevent square waves from hitting the speakers at loud volumes.
A loudspeaker management system is key to getting the best out of your PA or Home Theater.
from Augusta, Ga
September 6, 2011Music Background:
Worship Leader/Choir Director/Keyboard Player
Brain in a box!This product made a complicated process amazingly simple! It made an immediate, obvious, huge improvement in our sanctuary sound. Even the folks who constantly complain had good things to say.
from Ocala, FL
August 23, 2011Music Background:
Musician/Audio engineer for both Studio and pro level live sound,
Not for the amateur...but perhaps is should be?This is truly an amazing unit that does EVERYTHING short of bringing you coffee. If manages EVERY ASPECT of the Front of House system!!! If you are using high end brand name products, it even has presets designed specifically for those speakers, amps, powered, unpowered, etc. The list is quite extensive. I brought this unit into a situation where the acoustice were the equivelent of a bomb shelter. I started with the Pink Noise and RTA mic, then just went from there folling the "atuo" settings to start and after all settings the unit had me run through were set up, I hoinestly did not have to change a thing and it "magically" made a HORRIBLE sounding room sound GREAT with the PA I had. THAT is why I give this unit such a high rating. If you run either permanent installed systems, or systems large or small that you set up inside at various venues, or outside. It even STORES those settings, so once you've run through a the set up for a venue, you can recall it anytime you come back!! Worth every penny!!!
from Rhode Island USA
September 12, 2010Music Background:
Simply Amazing!Wanting to eliminate all the outboarg gear I decided to give this a try on a friends recomondation. I am blown away at the tools this box box has to shape my bands sounds! the Auto EQ Is amazing, it works in seconds! The crossover is fantastic, it has delay, it has subharmonic synth, The kick drum sounds amazing and really punches you in the chest ! it has built in completely adjustable Compression and Limiters! Buy this and its all you need between your mixer and speakers! A load of Rack gear in one unit! its built very well and its all DBX Quality, Just buy this ans be done with it!
from Cheyenne, WY
March 8, 2010Music Background:
20+ year live musician, church sound tech, worship leader
A rack unit you can't live without.My first driverack and I purchased it on recommendations from the Sweetwater Forums. I cannot believe the difference in sound and it doesn't matter if your venue is a 100 person bar or a 500 person ballroom. The dbx Driverack PA+ is easy to set up and walk through and you can store your venues for future use. Even my biggest critic (my lovely wife) is stunned at the quality of the music now and she has been listening to us for four years. Why did it take me so long to find this product? Of course, the JBL SRX 715's and 718 Subs have a little something to do with it. :)
from United States
April 11, 2013Music Background:
Recording Engineer, Pro Musician, Live Sound Engineer
noticeable and EASYThe manual could use some fine tuning, and, at this point, no digital gear should be without a good-sized, hi-rez display. Beyond that, the Wizard is as the Wizard does. Fine-tuning is for pros, but anyone who can plug up a proper signal path, nit one button, and follow directions can operate this thing, and it sounds good. Quiet, effective.
October 10, 2012Music Background:
DBX DriveRack PA+ in the Home Studio/DAWDBX DriveRack; why you may ask? For me reference accuracy and stability are paramount even in the home studio. In a digital world it all comes down to the final benchmark, the human ear. Speaker reproduction is as crucial to audio as the display monitor is to digital photography, it is the last link of bridging the human element (to
what is truth). Sure, I’m old schooled (crossovers, Para-EQ) but I’m done setting up knobs only to have someone play with them and whack it all out of shape. With the DRPA+, digital setup, 'lock it out' and it's repeatable. Some details: the DRPA+ will let you tweak the settings after the Auto-Setup and EQ. Can also do Custom Preset Auto-EQ (worked fine for me in custom mode) or full manual setup; has Mute Buttons for all outputs and the DRPA+ has Live RTA with the RTA-M mic (thu the display is not very detailed).
Like to make an OEM request though; the USB port should support download of Preset Settings and remote management (unit LCD display isn’t very refined, more details can be presented in software on a laptop). At present, USB is only for Firmware Updates and the only way to record setting off the DRPA+ is to hand write them down.
Playback Monitoring System was thru my custom collaboration of TBI HDSS speakers powered by two Hafler Trans.Ana (mono, discrete channel) amplifiers with Sunfire
1,000 watt pwr. sub-woofer. Also considering KS Digital monitors (don't have a favorite amp, bi-amped active monitors are the alternative).
from Indianapolis, IN
April 20, 2011Music Background:
Live Sound Engineer & Bassist
Great additionA great addition to my setup, but not a fool-proof solution. The RTA & Auto-EQ functions will get you about 90% of the way, but you'll need to use your ear to fine tune the deal. Also, in highly reverberant rooms, it will tend to spike a few frequencies (i.e. the auto-eq will push a band all the way up, or all the way down) and you'll have to compensate for that manually. Otherwise I find that all the other functions work as advertised and I continue to use it nearly every show.
from St. Louis
October 22, 2012Music Background:
25+ years live sound, commercial/corporate/HoW installs.
Value for the money, with some caveatsBought this for use with a portable pa in corporate environment. The intent was to replace a graphic eq, and all the other features would be a bonus. It is quite awkward to try to grab a filter on an eq in a live mix scenario- too many pushes and turns involved. This is definitely an install piece. You cannot change the position of the various processes (eq, comp etc) in the signal path. These are fixed. The parametric eq is "stereo". You are stuck with the same filter on both outputs (if i remember correctly, there are separate PEQ's for L,M,H, though).This is a huge downfall on this piece. I want to do some zone control, not necessarily a L-R stereo PA, and I don't want the same filter on each zone. Also, the output delay is only 10ms max. Only enough to align cabinet drivers, not enough to set up some Haas effect on a delay line, which is really the market that this piece is more geared towards (self powered boxes, carpet boxes) If you're time aligning your CD horns and drivers, you're going to spend more than $400 on DSP. I must stress, there is value here for the money. Just remember, you get what you pay for and this unit is very economical.
May 28, 2012Music Background:
I Loved it! until it quit.I’m a guitar player ( cretin ) and singer ( megalomaniac ) I have owned a driverack PA for 3 years now. At first it was awesome. Everything sounded so good, people would compliment us on our sound. I liked that.
Then one fine day during setup for a show the screen was still backlit but you couldn’t actually read it. I restarted it a few times and it finally booted correctly. It worked for the show and then had no problems for a while. The short version is that it is in permanent on but useless mode and it looks like I will have to buy another.
Honestly I’m reluctant to buy another driverack. This is the only piece of gear I’ve had in my PA that has failed.
It really hasn’t seen that much use. We practice through the board with wireless monitors so the driverack and poweramps don’t run needlessly.
My $.02 worth anyway.
from Houston, TX
March 11, 2011Music Background:
Live Sound Engineer. 10 Years experience.
Piece of crapI have been using this unit in my PA setup for years and it has let me down right in the middle of professional paying gigs many times only to embarrass me as an audio engineer and make it look like I can't do my job right. I contribute this to bad manufacturing. DBX probably makes these things for cheap and then sells them for big bucks. Totally lame.