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QSC HPR 122i vs JBL PRX 515 Powered Speakers???

Adam I

Hi there. I'm new to this forum.
I am looking to purchase new main PA speakers for my Top 40/Rock band, (weddings, corporate parties, etc.) which will also double as speakers when I DJ as well.
I have always used Mackie SRM450's and loved them, but I'm looking to upgrade, and use my 450's as monitors now.
Weight is a major consideration for me, as I lug things around by myself. I have narrowed my search down to two possiblilities- QSC HPR 122i's OR a pair of JBL PRX 515's. Problem is both are pretty new.
The 15 inch QSC HPR is not an option for me because of the weight (100lbs). I thought I had made up my mind when I saw the new QSC 122i's but then today I listened to (and LIFTED) a pair of JBL PRX 515's. Those have a 15 inch cone and seem (at least on paper) to extend down 10 Hz lower (52 Hz- 20Khz).
Amazingly, those JBL's are LIGHTER than the QSC 122i's! Even though they have a 15" driver, they are only 57 pounds! I didn't listen for long, but they sounded about the same (with CD playback music- of course live material is a different story). I will say this- I compared the subwoofers, and QSC wins there hands down! The QSC HPR 15 inch Sub was COMPLETELY better than the JBL 18 inch sub! Louder, punchier, clearer, more focused, just awesome. So, now I know which sub to get, if I decide to get one. BUT, the audible difference of the main speakers was less obvious- to be fair I was comparing an HPR 152i to the JBL, because the store didn't have any 122i's. Even so, the JBL seemed to have more bottom (without the sub on- so I guess this would be even more the case comparing it to a 122i). Otherwise, the specs are similar, (biamped, watts and SPL) except the JBL has a "Class D" amplifier with some sort of "digital chip" front end, and the QSC utilizes a "class H" amplifier for the low and class A+AB for the high. Also, the QSC I believe is fully wood, while the JBL is mostly polymer plastic (like the mackie).
Bottom line- It's remarkable how light the JBL PRX 515 is for a box with a 15 inch cone, but is it a better speaker than the QSC- soundwise, volume-wise, reliability-wise and rugged-wise (roadworthy)? Can anyone offer some objective advice on this dilemna? Again, I can't carry a 152i- just too heavy. I've gotta keep the speakers around 60 pounds- especially if I opt for a sub- which as I said would DEFINITELY be the QSC, because it rocked. But for my mains, it's down to the QSC 122i's vs. JBL PRX 515's!
I'm confused about which to get- any advice?
January 27, 2007 @02:24am
JeffBarnett

I spent a good bit of time last week putting these speakers through their paces, both with and without the sub. I was blown away by the amount of low end these things put out, and how good they sound, especially considering their weight. I don't get impressed too easily, but I was very impressed with the new PRK 115s.
The QSC's also sound great. I was pretty impressed by them, as well. But the bottom end and lighter weight of the PRX 115's definitely would make me lean that direction if I had to pick a speaker to lug around to gigs.
-JB
January 29, 2007 @01:57pm
Hockeymetz

Hey There - saw your thread and wanted to post a quickie for ya. I purchased the QSC 122i in October, used them for 3 or 4 corporate events over the holidays (I'm a mobile DJ), at my December 14th event the "tweeters" burned up and went out. Fortunatly I had a pair of backup speakers in my travel trailer. I can tell you that I was playing for an audence of 1200 and I was pushing the QSC's very hard (along with subs). But that one occurance has caused me to bail on the QSC speakers and I just purchased the JBL 515's based on a reccemendation last week. I've had them playing in my garage but they have not yet been on the road with me. I'm happy to post again once I've used/abused them. But, I was dissapointed that the QSC's failed me. I've used QSC amps for years and love them, but I can't have speaker failer on the job so I'll likely not go back to QSC speakers.
February 12, 2008 @05:42pm
TimmyP1955

Hey There - saw your thread and wanted to post a quickie for ya. I purchased the QSC 122i in October, used them for 3 or 4 corporate events over the holidays (I'm a mobile DJ), at my December 14th event the "tweeters" burned up and went out. Fortunatly I had a pair of backup speakers in my travel trailer. I can tell you that I was playing for an audence of 1200 and I was pushing the QSC's very hard (along with subs). But that one occurance has caused me to bail on the QSC speakers and I just purchased the JBL 515's based on a reccemendation last week. I've had them playing in my garage but they have not yet been on the road with me. I'm happy to post again once I've used/abused them. But, I was dissapointed that the QSC's failed me. I've used QSC amps for years and love them, but I can't have speaker failer on the job so I'll likely not go back to QSC speakers.

I'm betting that something in the signal chain was clipping, either do to poor gain structure, not enough amp, or just asking too much of the rig.
February 14, 2008 @12:10pm
87PRS

I had to look to find the QSC speakers HPR122i, and to drive 2 of these cabs at 500 watts each to cover an audience of 1200, I'd have them cranked to the max. The JBL PRX515 wouldn't be any different at 500 watts each. A 1,000 watts isn't much power for a live show at a large venue, even for disco music. These speakers are only a 100 watts more than the Mackie SRM 450's. So I really don't get it. If you want more power, more speaker coverage then you'll probably have more weight (bigger cabs) OR more speakers OR seperate components... btw the "D" in the JBL power stands for digital, it is probably some of the dsp from the Crown XTi series amps. Gear weight is always a problem for me, and I usually have to suffer with more weight to get the sound. jmo '87
February 15, 2008 @10:26am
TimmyP1955

For an audience of 1000, something like a pair of KF650Z per side (with at least that many double 18s) would be more appropriate I think. And a lot of power of course. A single 12 top per side (with subs) would be ok for 100 people.
February 15, 2008 @11:02am
GZsound

I am not so sure about this...
A rock band playing for weddings and corporate events rarely needs to get ear shattering levels..
My classic rock show band plays for weddings and corporate events frequently and volume is always a concern at those kinds of events.
Unless the corporate event or wedding consists of a couple thousand people, I simply bring my Peavey SP5 speakers on sticks on each side, run 350 watts max into each speaker and we have never had a problem.
They weigh under 60 pounds, cost under $400 each and have served me well for years.
We do a concert every year that draws 4,000 people and the sound guy has always used a couple Yorkville single 15 boxes and a couple Peavey 118 subs..and everyone always seems really happy with the sound.
The Peavey SP5's blow away the SRM450 Mackies..
I have used a couple JBL MRX512 12 inch tops with a single 18" sub on either side with great results too..
I guess it depends on how loud you really need to be and how much money you have to throw at the problem.
February 25, 2008 @08:03am
fplava

I just picked up the HPR122i's. First live test will be this weekend. They are replacing 2 JBL415MPro's (57lbs each) and a QSC PLX3402 soley because I wanted to go with powered speaks and QSC is #1 in reliability. They just never die. I was suprised to hear of this speaker going. Wouild agree that you may have pushed them too hard...the protection shpould have kicked in....?
The risk to me was the quality of the sound and quite frankly they put my JBL's to shame. Can't wait to see how QSC gets the PLX technology in them so they weigh 30 lbs intead of 60.....Did anybody invest in the covers given the amp is exposed?
March 13, 2008 @07:14pm
fplava

They were awesome. Pushed them hard and they worked flawlessly in a very large room. Only headache is routing the extra power cords back to my power conditioners:)
March 18, 2008 @03:11pm
Tooltester

Hello to all those who are intersted in the QSC HPR series Active Speakers.
I pesonaly own one pair each of these models; 122i's, 153i's and 181i's and Love them very much. I personaly have tested these against all speakers that G.C. sells and believe the the HPR's RULE... Sorry I did not buy at G.C. though... If your worried about their weight, you should consider using a hand truck/Dolly? They work very well and will save your back and Equipment/Gear, the 181i's have 3" casters on the back for easy transpot. I've used my HPR's in all types of venus a KJ/DJ would dare go...from local Bars and Lounges to Medium size Convention Centers which hold aprox. 800 people sitting/dining. The gain on the the HPR's (153i's as mains & 181i's as subs) were set strait-up at #10 and were plenty loud for the occasions at hand. A note to the person who lost His Hi frequeny drivers, How old were you 122i's? The 122i's are fairly new to the line-up and I'm sure with their 6-year Warranty, QSC would have made Good on the Repairs... I take pride in my equipment and made sure I bought the covers for all six of my speakers to keep them safe...$6,000.00 plus is alot of money for a KJ/DJ to spend on a speaker system... I hope this info helped, for those looking for QSC HPR series speakers.
April 16, 2008 @08:00am
acdickerson14

I had to look to find the QSC speakers HPR122i, and to drive 2 of these cabs at 500 watts each to cover an audience of 1200, I'd have them cranked to the max. The JBL PRX515 wouldn't be any different at 500 watts each. A 1,000 watts isn't much power for a live show at a large venue, even for disco music. These speakers are only a 100 watts more than the Mackie SRM 450's. So I really don't get it. If you want more power, more speaker coverage then you'll probably have more weight (bigger cabs) OR more speakers OR seperate components... btw the "D" in the JBL power stands for digital, it is probably some of the dsp from the Crown XTi series amps. Gear weight is always a problem for me, and I usually have to suffer with more weight to get the sound. jmo '87

Actually the JBL PRX515's are 500watts RMS/1000watts Peak....JBL rates their speakers in RMS, Mackie rates them in Peak. The JBL's are really 600 watts more than the mackies. I had a pair of the mackies...and took them back after a couple of days because they were cracking and bought the JBL PRX515's and they are AWESOME! I say go with the JBL's
April 25, 2010 @06:59am
LiveSoundAudio

Re: the QSC's melting down, I'll bet the red lights were on for a while before the tweets failed. I've used about 12 of the HPR's and have not had a failure. You were asking them to do a lot for sure. That would be the same for any speaker. Are there any places you can go in your city to listen to the speakers you're considering buying? Ask the guy at the store if he knows of someone who just bought them and is using them... Go listen..
April 26, 2010 @05:37pm
daddygreene

Would the QSC HPR's (one 153i and one 181i) be enough to push a rock band for a crowd of up to 200 with plenty of volume, clarity and punch?
Would the same set up work for a small outdoor parking lot venue for up to 200 people or do you think it would be necessary to add another 181i to each side?
Does the QSC HPR stack up against the Yorkville Unity or Elite series stuff in clarity, volume and punch?
I want to try to stay with the active stuff and under a budget of $7500 or less. Still gotta add cases and lights... WHEW!!!
Thanks.
April 29, 2010 @03:32pm
PortlandProduct

I'm not sure that the HPR 122i can be compared with a JBL PRX 515. Other than being sold together at guitar center... well that is where the similarity ends. The JBL is made of the cheapest available components on the prosumer market, and carries very little warranty.
Now, to be fair and balanced, I'm a QSC dealer. I have a huge mixture of gear in my warehouse, including JBL and others, but I DJ as well. Which rig do you think I use?
I have had to warranty my QSC 122i's THREE TIMES NOW. Can anyone guess how much that cost me? Nothing. Zero dollars and zero cents. Why did they blow? Because I left my soundcraft or tascam at home and used my backup Behringer 2 channel, or Mackie 4 channel. Oops.
Cons: They are heavy for what they are. They scratch easier than other cabinets and require a little paint every once in a while. They need custom slip covers (the stock QSC covers do not protect the base). If this is your primary concern, I would actually go with the poster who mentioned dollys or hand trucks. Work smarter not harder. If you get a QSC 18, and get the case for it, you can stack 2 QSC 122i cabinets on it sideways perfectly and roll the whole thing in...
Pros: They put out more clean sound than any other 12 in the $0 - $1500/cabinet range. They have a 6 year warranty that is easy for anyone in any city of 500,000 or more to get the cabinet taken care of. They run 20 hours straight without distortion - providing that your aren't sending a distorted, clipping, or otherwise nasty signal.
November 28, 2010 @09:33pm