question-circle PA top to match mth30, for live band, I'm confused!

3 years 2 days ago #24700 by buskerpan

We play ska and reggae in mainly small venues (pubs), usually audience packed in we have little space! Low ceilings and wide horizontal coverage needed, 7 piece band, everything through PA.

Can you help me with a few, probably dumb,! Questions?

We run an MTH30 for sub off crown XTi1500 and love it, it's small and pack size is critical, small car!

Tops are, mehhhh, small 12s with fane 250tc and eminence APT150, OK, but harsh, tried crossing over at 3.5 and 5khz, but not great, just off other side of crown amp or sometimes separate amp 1400w Thomanns if we need it.

I'm wanting to change tops, can't do a column as drunk Brits will knock em over ,....

Was thinking of Bfm omnitop8 with compression drivers maybe? They are narrow enough to work...I was hoping off axis response would be useable and high frequency dispersion wide enough for pubs... Sometimes rooms wide...

BUT, ports on the side? Isn't that feedback issue? Anyone tried them or other design with ports on side? 

Otherwise thought a thin, maybe, 3 way cab... 

Don't have a shit load of cash as gigging and covid means no dosh, but was hoping the experienced people here could advise.

We're in our 50s so big heavy boxes are not possible anymore 

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3 years 2 days ago #24701 by buskerpan
...also...forgot to say! Not looking at changing to powered tops, mains cables and beer flying everywhere just freaks me out!

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2 years 11 months ago #24704 by Cubo15
Are those ports on the side or diy-handles? Perhaps both, in any case the sound omitted by the ports propagates omni-directional, because the port is too small to give it any directivity.  If you use sufficient damping inside the chamber, high frequencies will not escape from the port. The Omnitop is marketed as line array, which is typically what you're not looking for, you're looking for wide dispersion not narrowed in any way. The easiest way to get wide dispersion imo is using a reflex top, preferably with a decent compression driver. You currently have a 12" / 1" combo of mehhh-quality, I think you'll be surprised how much of an upgrade decent quality components will get you.

I would recommend using a 12"/ 1" PA top, like the one from 18Sound, or perhaps you can find the passive variant of the RCF art 312. The 1" compression driver from the art has a 1.5" voice coil, which is decent, the 18Sound has a 1.75" VC which is very decent.

Even the omnitop weighs around 40 lbs, just like the art 312. However, with the correct technique/ setup you don't have to lift a top ever, there's cheap ways around this.

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2 years 11 months ago #24711 by buskerpan
Hi Cubo, cheers for the advice. Looked long and hard at what we could do, and have now hit on the idea of making column speakers instead ( we play small pubs in UK and they are weird shapes, so sometimes would need to fire sound to separate areas of pub, so using 4 cabs with 4 inch faitalpro fe32 in each, gives a chance to spread sound when needed. This is an idea Frans at WAE audio uses, for a few years now , and reckons works out well. Bonus is get to reuse the fane 250tc as stage monitors. ( Just as is no tweeter). So I do think what you suggest is a very good idea I think I can get a smaller solution that would allow people to hear and see band more easily... Only pain is sub, the columns can only get to 180Hz, so I'd be asking the tapped horn to get to around there to crossover. I'm guessing that's a big ask! Otherwise it means  a kick cabinet like your Cubo 12, which I'm sure would sound great, but then need more amps and another space in car.. Doh!!!! Maybe in retrospect should have started with reflex sub!! Oh well, will try it out and see....

Do you think, if I needed a smaller kick cabinet it's possible to go, err.. Cubo 10?? Cheers, Al

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2 years 11 months ago #24712 by Cubo15
If you're a band that mostly caters to providing background music I suppose it will work. If you're the main act that people dance to, a good kick cabinet becomes detrimental in that setup and you might want to cross it a bit higher as well, say 180 - 250 Hz. Crossing that high can mean a separation is beginning to start, where you can hear the sound from the kick cabinet and the 4" drivers as different sources (it doesn't sound good) so you'll have to keep the kicks reasonably close to the 4" drivers. If that's not a problem I recommend Cubo Kick 12 over Cubo 12 simply because Cubo 12 is not a kick cabinet.

Looking from a perspective of Sd (driver effective surface area) a typical 4" has a Sd of 55 cm2, a 12" has a Sd of 550 cm2, so you'll need about 10 x 4" drivers to produce the same output below 200 Hz as a single 12" driver. A Cubo Kick 12 will easily trump both but that's because of cabinet size, if you start to cut in size you're talking about a complete redesign.

The smallest I would go is 4 x 10"/1" reflex tops if you're looking to gain some output, quality and spread, or some good 2 x 12" reflex tops if you're looking at just more output and quality now. Combined with a kick cabinet the 4 x 4 x 4" will probably take up more space.

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