Revel F12 vs QSC KW 153 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 65 Old 06-12-2012, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes i know this is a DIY forum, but i trust the opinion of people on here more than on non-DIY speaker forums. By the way i already asked this on Prosoundweb but they locked my thread, because their ego was too big to discuss applications that are not strictly prosound.

Ok so the setup is you have a living room, a flat screen TV plugged into a computer acting mainly as a computer monitor, but also as an actual TV and you need to put some speakers on the sides of this TV - mostly for music & music videos, but also movies, podcasts, various news programs, documentaries etc.

So i have narrowed it down to 2 options:

1 - QSC KW 153

2 - Revel F12 ( this option is cheaper, but i would need to buy an amp, whereas QSC is powered )

Obviously these are VERY different speakers, but also they have similarities. Both are 43" tall, both are 3-way. Both have roughly 50hz to 20khz response which means they can be used stand alone or with subwoofers for greater extension.

I would expect Revel to sound excellent at lower levels, but compressed at higher levels. I also expect QSC to sound less refined at lower levels but to really rock at higher levels. That's my guess though, nothing more.

So which way would you go ? And what amp would you use to power the Revel - Emotiva XPA-2 ?

ps: i don't have any subs now, but i could add them later - either DIY or commercial.

pps: i like both Vocal-Centric as well as Electronic-Bass-Centric music. i expect the speakers to be able to handle Vocals out "out of the box" so to speak, and Electronic Bass with subs. I also expect the speakers to be able to handle everything EXCEPT electronic bass without subs.

some videos to help you visualize the choice:

QSC: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27Qr_zQmDa8

Revel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJA-0APxEo8

ppps: the QSC is definitely much louder than i need, that is not in question. the question is whether Revel is loud enough for me. i never have and never will push a speaker beyond its comfort zone. i want the speaker's comfort zone to cover all my SPL needs.
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post #2 of 65 Old 06-12-2012, 05:37 PM
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I'm currently using the cheaper cousin to the f12, infinity beta 50's. My room downstairs isn't very big, I think around 14x22 with the rear a bit of an L shape around 18-19ft wide. Anyways, room treatments are still non-existent, so the extra reflection causes my speakers to be louder than what they really are. That said, typically I listen to movies between -20 and -30db, with the occasional increases to -10db. For me, the KW153 would be way overkill.

YID DIY
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post #3 of 65 Old 06-12-2012, 09:15 PM - Thread Starter
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i wanted Infinity too, but i think they're trying to kill that brand or something, and just rebranded them into Revel. i don't think those are available any more - right ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Looneybomber View Post

For me, the KW153 would be way overkill.

right, but that's not the question. the question is - when you use your Inifnity do you ever feel like you would like to go louder but you don't want to hurt the speaker ? do you ever feel like you might be endangering the tweeter for example ? or do you feel like the woofers are beginning to get over-extended ... or do you have them on high pass ?
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post #4 of 65 Old 06-12-2012, 10:10 PM
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Did you state how big your room is, and how far away you're listening? I think the Revel will do fine for most situations as long as you have a 4 ohm stable amp. Another option that might handle higher output a little better could be this JBL 590

http://www.jbl.com/estore/jbl/us/product/productDetails.jsp?pid=STUDIO%20590

Slightly more sensitive, with a compression driver.
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post #5 of 65 Old 06-12-2012, 10:49 PM - Thread Starter
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WOAH ! ! ! i was at that JBL page maybe 2 weeks ago and those speakers weren't there ! looks like there was some major reshuffling of the lineup - also a lot of the speakers that were there 2 weeks ago are no longer there !


i have to say - it looks real good ! The Revel by comparison looks too plain and dated - like any other speaker you might see in a Circuit City type store a decade ago.

on the performance side the JBL is larger - wider, deeper and taller, with bigger bass reflex ports.

not sure what the "40 khz" is going to do for me - probably nothing. also not sure which speaker would sound better - probably Revel.

very very interesting ... i will have to think about it smile.gif

oh yeah, my room is about 12 x 23 feet and extends into an L shaped small "dinette" plus wraps around into a kitchen and some corridors. the whole area that needs to be pressurized is roughly about 25 x 18 feet. the speakers would only be working across the 12 foot dimension though, so i would likely be about 5 feet from the speakers when standing up and 9 - 10 feet when sitting on the couch.
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post #6 of 65 Old 06-12-2012, 11:10 PM
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Those JBL's are from the Europe line, they've been available for a few months over here, but they did just make their way onto the US site. They're designed by the same guy that did the K2 series. With a 1500hz crossover this appears to be a controlled directivity design, which has become the popular thing recently due to the uniform power response. There's no reason the midrange should suffer as we all know JBL can make top notch drivers, and an 8" capable of 1500hz isn't that rare.
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post #7 of 65 Old 06-13-2012, 12:03 AM - Thread Starter
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yeah i'm listening on Mackie HF824 right now and they have a 8.75" working to 1.8 khz. they're pretty flat measuring speakers. of course off-axis they do get a massive midrange suckout ... but i was not expecting to beat these mackies in SQ department - just in SPL. i actually have JBL EON speakers that have a 15" woofer going to 2 khz and ironically midrange is the only thing they do well LOL.

this JBL 590 seems like a well designed speaker ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DLlj23QiYw

but best of all i like that JBL is NOT positioning it as an audiophile speaker. i like that this speaker is priced according with its size, weight and output and not some mythical audiophool properties that don't exist.

of course the price of Revel F12 is also shockingly reasonable given the brand name, but the 590 seems to be more powerful.
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post #8 of 65 Old 06-13-2012, 03:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok so let's say:

JBL Studio 590 vs QSC KW 153

Now the JBL solution is actually more expensive.

2 x JBL 590 + 1 x Emotiva XPA-2 = $2,800.

2 x QSC 153 ( powered ) = $2,600

QSC is cheaper, is about 6db louder at subwoofer XO frequency and about 10db louder at the tweeter. QSC will also have much flatter response ... behold the magic of DSP:

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y192/QSCBob/TechSupport/KWKfreqresp/kw153.png

even Revel F12 is not this flat ...

but that's also the downside with QSC - additional D/A and A/D conversion steps and a class D amplifier. but those are theoretical downsides - one probably will not be able to hear them except for possible hiss from the tweeter and amplifier fan noise ( fan is ON-DEMAND which means it is not spinning most of the time ).

on the other hand my family members will not be able to destroy the QSC with its steel grille and DSP protection. destroying the JBL should be a lot easier ... or is this just paranoia ?

obviously my family will think JBL looks better but to me they both look good - JBL looks more "the transporter" and QSC looks more "rambo" thats all smile.gif

ps: i would still consider Revel an option because it is much cheaper than JBL.

http://postfiles3.naver.net/20110117_2/tonmeistersu_129525475517521ASc_JPEG/P1030015.JPG?type=w2
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post #9 of 65 Old 06-13-2012, 08:52 AM
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I would look at the JBL Studio L890 as well. Cheaper than the 590 (look at J&R) and is a 4-way design.
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post #10 of 65 Old 06-13-2012, 10:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluestang View Post

I would look at the JBL Studio L890 as well. Cheaper than the 590 (look at J&R) and is a 4-way design.

i don't like how they look. i had Technics speakers that looked like that back in high school - they were 3-way dual 10" and i sold a pair for $100.

4-way design doesn't mean anything. 890 has 3 crossover points in wrong places whereas 590 has one in the right place. 5 khz is a laughable crossover point to the tweeter - that's exactly the crossover point my Technics had and why i got rid of them. few self respecting speakers crossover to the tweeter above 3.5 khz.
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post #11 of 65 Old 06-13-2012, 10:45 AM
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From a pure performance standpoint, the KW153 will be in a different league from the JBL 590 and Revel F12. I could go into detail, but I don't see a single area where the KW153 is deficient to the others. Of course, it is an ugly pro piece so that might be a deal killer. Directivity, dynamics, quality of drivers, low distortion, compression, etc etc. You also get built-in amps that will likely outclass anything you would use with the other speakers.

If you need something a little better looking the JBL Studio 890 would be a great option. It is a Greg Timbers design which says alot. It controls directivity whereas the Revel or JBL L-series don't (at least not with any significance).

If you can accept the ugly boxes and somewhat large size, I'm not sure you will find a better value @ $1300per. If these had nicely veneered cabs they would probably sell for $3-4k a piece if not more.

You might be able to buy them from a place like Guitar Center and return them for a refund, basically a demo.
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post #12 of 65 Old 06-13-2012, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluestang View Post

I would look at the JBL Studio L890 as well. Cheaper than the 590 (look at J&R) and is a 4-way design.

The L890 is a few notches below the Studio 590. They are half the price for a reason.
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post #13 of 65 Old 06-13-2012, 10:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coctostan View Post

If you need something a little better looking the JBL Studio 890 would be a great option. It is a Greg Timbers design which says alot.

you mean 590 ?
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post #14 of 65 Old 06-13-2012, 10:54 AM
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Crossover points...where else do you expect a ST to cross at? You also mentioned vocals being important, where are the mids in the 590 to handle those as precisely as you want? And I'll take sound and fuction over looks most of the time, but YMMV. Also, considering the QSC have built in amps, what if the amp fails? You asked for an opinion and someone mentioned the JBL 590. I just think the XPA-2 and L890 will love each other IMO.

Good luck and let us know what you choose.
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post #15 of 65 Old 06-13-2012, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coctostan View Post

The L890 is a few notches below the Studio 590. They are half the price for a reason.

Yes, because they have been out for a while and prices drop. The 590 just came out so prices are high. Price=Performance doesn't apply when comparing these two models.

And I believe both models benefit from a Timbers design.
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post #16 of 65 Old 06-13-2012, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coctostan View Post

From a pure performance standpoint, the KW153 will be in a different league from the JBL 590 and Revel F12. I could go into detail, but I don't see a single area where the KW153 is deficient to the others.

that's what i thought, but the folks at ProSoundWeb all told me that it would be stupid to use PA speakers at home. they all insisted that home hi-fi speakers will sound better at home than PA speakers ...

but i'm not sure i believe them wink.gif they tried to argue that home speakers have an advantage because they don't control directivity, and that directivity control is a horrible evil that is only necessary to make a PA speaker "throw" sound farther.

which again i didn't buy because most reputable studio monitors ( Genelec, Klein & Hummel and even JBL ) use waveguides. my position is that home speakers simply don't use waveguides because consumers don't know what they're for and business is all about profit - you can't have a product smarter than the customer unless you want to go bankrupt smile.gif
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post #17 of 65 Old 06-13-2012, 10:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluestang View Post

Yes, because they have been out for a while and prices drop. The 590 just came out so prices are high.

no. the 590 is simply more expensive to make. go ahead - try and build a clone and you will see wink.gif
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post #18 of 65 Old 06-13-2012, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluestang View Post

Crossover points...where else do you expect a ST to cross at?

JBL LSR 6332 costs twice as much as 890 and crosses at 250 hz and 2.2 khz. if the 890 cost $1,500 each it would also cross at the same points. higher crossover points are cheaper to implement due to lower values of components ( inductors etc ). if you look at Revel lineup in particular it is easy to see how with each step up in price their crossover points go lower.

890 is not a bad design - it is simply a cheap design. this is why all those car audio speakers are 5-way etc - because they are cheap.
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post #19 of 65 Old 06-13-2012, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g1981c View Post

Ok so let's say:
JBL Studio 590 vs QSC KW 153
Now the JBL solution is actually more expensive.
2 x JBL 590 + 1 x Emotiva XPA-2 = $2,800.
2 x QSC 153 ( powered ) = $2,600
QSC is cheaper, is about 6db louder at subwoofer XO frequency and about 10db louder at the tweeter. QSC will also have much flatter response ... behold the magic of DSP:
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y192/QSCBob/TechSupport/KWKfreqresp/kw153.png
even Revel F12 is not this flat ...
but that's also the downside with QSC - additional D/A and A/D conversion steps and a class D amplifier. but those are theoretical downsides - one probably will not be able to hear them except for possible hiss from the tweeter and amplifier fan noise ( fan is ON-DEMAND which means it is not spinning most of the time ).
on the other hand my family members will not be able to destroy the QSC with its steel grille and DSP protection. destroying the JBL should be a lot easier ... or is this just paranoia ?
obviously my family will think JBL looks better but to me they both look good - JBL looks more "the transporter" and QSC looks more "rambo" thats all smile.gif
ps: i would still consider Revel an option because it is much cheaper than JBL.
http://postfiles3.naver.net/20110117_2/tonmeistersu_129525475517521ASc_JPEG/P1030015.JPG?type=w2


You dont have to buy an $800 amp

http://www.amazon.com/OSD-Audio-AMP300-Dual-Source-Definition/dp/B0028VG8QE/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1339610855&sr=1-2&keywords=osd+audio+amp

If you really wanted to save money you could get an even cheaper pro amp.
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post #20 of 65 Old 06-13-2012, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

You dont have to buy an $800 amp
http://www.amazon.com/OSD-Audio-AMP300-Dual-Source-Definition/dp/B0028VG8QE/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1339610855&sr=1-2&keywords=osd+audio+amp
If you really wanted to save money you could get an even cheaper pro amp.

doesn't have XLR inputs. as for pro amps they have fans.
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post #21 of 65 Old 06-13-2012, 11:25 AM
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post #23 of 65 Old 06-13-2012, 11:41 AM
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Just curious as I didn't se you mention what are you using as your source....pre-pro, AVR, HTPC, etc.?
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post #24 of 65 Old 06-13-2012, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g1981c View Post

you mean 590 ?

Yeah, typo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluestang View Post

Crossover points...where else do you expect a ST to cross at? You also mentioned vocals being important, where are the mids in the 590 to handle those as precisely as you want? And I'll take sound and fuction over looks most of the time, but YMMV. Also, considering the QSC have built in amps, what if the amp fails? You asked for an opinion and someone mentioned the JBL 590. I just think the XPA-2 and L890 will love each other IMO.
Good luck and let us know what you choose.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluestang View Post

Yes, because they have been out for a while and prices drop. The 590 just came out so prices are high. Price=Performance doesn't apply when comparing these two models.
And I believe both models benefit from a Timbers design.

And why would a separate mid be needed for vocals? The 590 is a 2.5 way with superior drivers and design. The 890 might be a decent speaker for $500, but it won't be in the same league as the 590.

The 590 is specifically a Timbers design that is obviously a decendent of the Synthesis Array line.
Quote:
Originally Posted by g1981c View Post

that's what i thought, but the folks at ProSoundWeb all told me that it would be stupid to use PA speakers at home. they all insisted that home hi-fi speakers will sound better at home than PA speakers ...
but i'm not sure i believe them wink.gif they tried to argue that home speakers have an advantage because they don't control directivity, and that directivity control is a horrible evil that is only necessary to make a PA speaker "throw" sound farther.
which again i didn't buy because most reputable studio monitors ( Genelec, Klein & Hummel and even JBL ) use waveguides. my position is that home speakers simply don't use waveguides because consumers don't know what they're for and business is all about profit - you can't have a product smarter than the customer unless you want to go bankrupt smile.gif

Asking PA guys what would be good in a home can be a mistake. Look at JBL's Everest, K2 and Array, Klipsch highend, Gedlee, Danley, JTR, Seaton, Pi Speakers, etc. They all have relatively narrow directivity, some narrower than others. It is precisely what you want and what is missing from so many Hifi speakers.

Horns require wider speakers and increase the cost of components. This doesn't translate into profits in the consumer market.
Quote:
Originally Posted by g1981c View Post

JBL LSR 6332 costs twice as much as 890 and crosses at 250 hz and 2.2 khz. if the 890 cost $1,500 each it would also cross at the same points. higher crossover points are cheaper to implement due to lower values of components ( inductors etc ). if you look at Revel lineup in particular it is easy to see how with each step up in price their crossover points go lower.
890 is not a bad design - it is simply a cheap design. this is why all those car audio speakers are 5-way etc - because they are cheap.

The bigger reason the price goes up as crossover points go down is because of more capable drivers. The crossover components do factor in though.
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post #25 of 65 Old 06-13-2012, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluestang View Post

Just curious as I didn't se you mention what are you using as your source....pre-pro, AVR, HTPC, etc.?

i did mention it would be a PC.
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post #26 of 65 Old 06-13-2012, 01:06 PM
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I also saw that internal amp failure was brought up as a negative for the QSC. First, I'd say the likelihood of failure is lower than for most amps due to the high quality of QSC amps. Second, it would be under warranty. Third, it would be serviceable/replaceable with parts from QSC.

If comparing to Emotiva, I'd put money on QSC being around longer than Emotiva if there are warranty or service concerns. I'd also say that QSC has a better reliability reputation, although Emotiva amps seem to be fine. Comparing it to the Behringer A500 is laughable. They are known for reliability issues.

IMO, the QSC is the best value outside of DIY. The only downside is the big ugly cab. Its main competitors would be the JTR T8 and T12 which are great values in the non-DIY arena. The advantage of the JTRs is that they have nicer finishes and can be laid on their sides for center use.
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post #27 of 65 Old 06-13-2012, 01:28 PM
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Who said anything about comparing the Behringer amp to the QSC? Obviously a 15" 3way pro speaker is going to need very capable amps. The OP already said the QSC is complete overkill for his needs. The question is, is 150 watts give or take from the Behringer, with a 92db speaker enough for the OP's needs.
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post #28 of 65 Old 06-13-2012, 03:35 PM
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I had 3 QSC HPR153i's before for L C R duties and for movies they were great. I did do a Audyssey Pro calibration on them and after that they really sounded pretty good for music as well. If they had more of a home friendly look to them I probably would have kept them but they didn't fit into the plans I had and someone offered me more than I paid.

For music they wouldn't be my first choice but they wouldn't be my last either. I kept them for about 5 months as I really didn't want to get rid of them but didn't have a spot for them as well.

I know the HPR series is different from the KW series as it uses a differently shaped horn so I am not sure how they compare.

One thing to consider is they are big and bulky, one of the reasons I got rid of mine. Maybe consider the smaller KW? They still crank louder than you can stand.

"Half the world is looking for Jesus, and the other half is looking for more bass..."
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post #29 of 65 Old 06-13-2012, 04:14 PM
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A few things; I've heard many of the newer DSP contoured, active, small to mid size pro boxes. I'm in the middle of a several week demo of QSC K-8's,...as I ordered four of them (and their custom mounting yokes) for surround duty and prior to mounting them, I thought I'd give 'em a thorough listen. As a stereo pair they were amazingly powerful, reasonably smooth. So I implemented them temporarily into LCR duty as I've done with several loudspeakers before.

For starters, as a genre (carry-able, active, powerful), these things are an absolute steal. This marketplace has created an atmosphere whereby the value and bang for the buck is extraordinary. Yes, their measured FR could be better. But what they do well, in accurately track dynamic transients and program material in general is nothing short of amazing. The vast majority of HT enthusiasts really aren't fully aware of how compression drivers can entirely change the sound and overall capability of a HT sound system. Yes, their are exceptions, but most all dome tweeter based approaches are woefully inadequate for what we task them to do.

As to the above JBL boxes, how nice those look. I just now saw them for the first time, however they may be the best, most aesthetically appealing loudspeaker w/grill I've ever seen. Their motor topology is first rate as well, w/DiffDrive&SFM, etc,...their incredible R&D (no-one does what Harman does) should really pay off. I hope the cabinets are robust, and latent/stored energy is dealt with appropriately. They should make those products (at least offer them) in an active version with on-board Crown electronics. And no, there's nothing wrong with D class active speakers. Can you get better amplification? Sure,...but so many pitfalls are avoided via going active, dsp contoured, etc., it just really serves the HT enthusiast well.


I'd recommend the QSCs for the intended application, no question. As long as their visual component works for the room,...no question in my opinion.


Best of luck

------------------------------------
Flat, Deep, Clean, Linear, and Loud
------------------------------------
Active 16.8kw, 7.3 system
(3)Seaton Cat12C up front, (4)QSC K8 sides/rears
(2)Seaton SubM-HP, (4)18" IB
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post #30 of 65 Old 06-13-2012, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

Who said anything about comparing the Behringer amp to the QSC? Obviously a 15" 3way pro speaker is going to need very capable amps. The OP already said the QSC is complete overkill for his needs. The question is, is 150 watts give or take from the Behringer, with a 92db speaker enough for the OP's needs.

Actually, the pro 3-way needs less capable power because it will be far more sensitive. The A500 does about 100w/ch before clipping in 8ohm. That is probably enough, but hardly signficant headroom and not on par with the Emotiva and certainly not on par with the QSC. Yes, it is cheaper, but it is basically a piece of junk.
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