Powered Speakers versus Non-Powered For Live Performance

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Dagwood Lee
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Powered Speakers versus Non-Powered For Live Performance

Post by Dagwood Lee »

Anyone got an opinion? This would be for the mains for a four-piece, acoustic-based band (upright bass and viola). I keep hearing people say that powered speakers are convenient but a little noisy and don't have as good of a tonal quality as passive speakers.

Thoughts?

Experiences?
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Post by =^-..-^= »

They are so danged convenient for us lazy musicians that they make up for any deficiency in sound quality. It is one less worry as you are setting up so you can concentrate on making music.
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Post by Jeff »

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Dagwood Lee
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Post by Dagwood Lee »

To run blanced lines I need what? A mixer? I would still use my Crate 800 power head to run monitors.

Thanks for the info.
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Post by Jeff »

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Post by Silencio »

"Tonal quality" is a matter of speaker cab and driver design, and ho well the amp controls those speakers. Truth is, good quality self-powered units sound better than most non-powered units in this regard, because you don't have to make a good match between amp and cab: the designer did it for you. Also, most of them are bi-amped, so you get less high-distortion caused by low-end interference. The good ones (Yamaha, JBL, Mackie) sound good.

The "noise problems" people talk about are not a matter of running unbalanced lines... they are referring to the lower quality of the amps in most self-powered units compared to pro PA amps: you might get a little more noise-to-signal than you would with a high-class Crown/Carver/QSC power amp.

Neither of these concerns would be a real issue in this application.
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Post by Cale »

I vote powered as well. I used to not like the idea of a powered speaker, but the convenience and cleanliness and ease of the setup is unmatched.
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Post by bassjones »

I didn't care for the jbl EONs very much, but our lead singer bought some Carvin PM15s that are absolutely amazing. I think he's actually selling them if you're interested. He's upgrading his monitor system - and still going with Carvin. Carvin sells direct so you save a ton of money and they're awesome. You should still be able to use your current mixer for everything. I'm guessing there are at least 2 speaker outputs that are not internally powered and then you can send the other speaker sends to your unpowered monitors.
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Post by Dagwood Lee »

Jones--

I would be interested. Hook me up to talk.
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Post by bassjones »

will do. I know he was talking to somebody else about them. Go check out Carvin's website. I'm telling you they blow the JBL stuff away for less money. They sell direct and they use standard, readily available parts - eminence speakers for instance - which results in lower prices to the consumer.
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Post by Sneaky »

I personally prefer passive speakers which I run all JBL JRX subs, mains, tops with crown amps - although the events (electronic music) I do are a little different application then for band use, I think you get a more punchy sound from passive speakers... I do run JBL Eon 15G2's for my monitors tho which I think are nice powered speakers... my 2 cents.
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Post by conley »

I also prefer good passive speakers with a load of power going to them versus self-amplified speakers.......You'd think that from a physics standpoint, the powered would sound better with the components being bi-amped & such; but, I've just never liked the tonal qualities of the powered ones I've heard over the years......it might just be that I've never heard any dialed in correctly.
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Post by Dagwood Lee »

Went with passive JBL's and am very happy. Thanks for the input from all.
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