file PA for live techno

3 years 8 months ago #24615 by VielZuLauf
PA for live techno was created by VielZuLauf
Hello everyone

I'm part of an small group of people in Zürich that loves electronic dance music mainly live electronic techno/ ambient. We have a strong DIY ethos and organize niche events.

So far we could use a PA system by RCF  4xTT2-A (1", 10") & 2x8006 (dual 18") which we liked and also played well with the room. We would like to take the events to new locations now and have the plan to build our own PA system. It is important to us to build the system since this is part of our creative outlet.

The system will be mostly used inside in a variate of different sized places. A room that we are going to use often is about 160m^2 and 3.5m height as a reference. We envision the system as a part of our events and do not want to hide it. As a result we would like to build the speakers visually impressive, preferably horn loaded (easier to style I think;) ). But in the end sound quality dictated the decision and not the appearance!

From my research so far I came up with the following configuration:

1 Mid/ Top Limmer Horn 308
2 Kick                Cubo Kick 15 or 12/ MKH-230
2-4      Sub                Dual 18" BR or 18" hybrid ala JM-sub118h or even Cubo Sub

I've heard the Limmer 308 and I really like it so this is the starting point. Since the 308 is not playing much below 200Hz (please correct me if I'm wrong) I thought of dividing the sub section into two paths.

Now comes the part where I'm unsure.

- Is the cubo kick 15 suitable to cross at around 200Hz to play nice with a 308? or should I rather go for the cubo kick 12? Is the MKH-230 a suitable alternative?
- What sub is playing well with whatever kick bass bin recommended? Is a horn/ hybrid horn to much for indoor applications?

I have experience building speakers, I build my own HiFi speakers (Granduetta) and I have some experience with acoustics. I used to work for a Swiss hearing aid manufacturer.

Material that is available:

- Everything for building speakers ;)
- A Gisen FP4.13 Lab clone (I know, I know)
- DBX RackDrive PA2 (6 exits so enough if subs are used in mono)

I'm looking forward to your input and am exited to start with this new project.


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3 years 8 months ago #24616 by Cubo15
Replied by Cubo15 on topic PA for live techno

I think a relatively neutral sound system would look like

1 Mid/ Top Limmer Horn 308
1 Cubo Kick 15
2 Cubo 18

1 x Cubo Kick on top of 2 x Cubo 18 does get the Limmer horn at least 186 cm from the ground, meaning both the mid and high driver are elevated above the crowd, that's good for sound quality. Coincidentally, the Limmer horn 308 is 62 cm high, which is the same height as both Cubo 18 and Kick, for an aesthetically pleasing look. Doubling up the Cubo Kick 15 will put emphasis on the kick, adding Cubo 18's will put the emphasis on the low end/ punch.

The JM-sub118h is best comparable with Cubo 18 and I suspect similar (size, output, frequency response), Cubo Sub is tuned considerably lower than both. For your intended music styles I'm not sure that such low end is needed, although it can add some nice growls to ambient that contains 30 - 40 Hz rumble. A Cubo 18 is typically between the performance of 2 x 18" BR (from 40 Hz and up) and a single 18" BR, although nearer 2 x 18" in perceived output.

I think the MKH-230 will work just as well as a Cubo Kick 15. Cubo Kick 12 doesn't go quite as low (unless you use a double) but extends well beyond 200 Hz, although I don't think the limmer 308 needs help beyond 180 - 220 Hz.

Unless your live crew likes to fiddle around with the stereo-image, typically everything below 200 Hz is kept mono in most tracks. If the subs would contain stereo imaging, that would mean at times only halve the subs would play and thus you would suddenly lose halve of the intensity during a gig.


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3 years 8 months ago #24618 by VielZuLauf
Replied by VielZuLauf on topic PA for live techno
Hi Cubo

thanks for the reply, I'm currently going over some old recordings and check if the 30-40Hz range is played. The thing with live techno/ electronic music is that there sometimes is a wide frequency range that is normally filtered out in released music. Some synths can create sounds below 20Hz that we filter with a sub sonic filter since our PA can not reproduce it anyway but on the recording I still have to content to analyze :)

Do you have driver recommendations for the Cubo 18? And an other (stupid) question, what is the difference between the Cubo 18 and 18 extended?

Since I'm sold on the Cubo Kick 15, I organized the wood and will start to build it the coming weekend.


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3 years 8 months ago - 3 years 8 months ago #24622 by Cubo15
Replied by Cubo15 on topic PA for live techno
Hi Lukas,

All right, it's worth checking out if it's there, it's also worth checking out if it adds something when it's there (those are not always the same).
Do you have something that drops that low?
As for a driver (and the fact that you like 18Sound), I tend to advise the 18NLW9400 a lot. I'd say it's optimized
for Cubo 18 Extended by 18Sound but it will also work well in Cubo Sub.

Standard vs Extended is an optimization towards the Qts/ Qes and Vas of a driver. Lower Qes drivers tend to work better in horns and lower Vas drivers work better in small chambers, therefore Extended increases horn length in exchange for a smaller chamber volume. As a rule of thumb look at the Qts x Vas product:

Qts x Vas > 120, Cubo Standard
Qts x Vas = 100 - 120, Cubo Extended or Standard
Qts x Vas < 100, Cubo Extended


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