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OK, Just purchased a helix but it is on backorder.  Any suggestions on a starter FRFR? Cannot afford anything pricy untilI I pay off the helix.  Thanks

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They're all on backorder. Hurry up and wait, lol. ;)

 

"Pricey" has many definitions, and the number of FRFR options continues to grow, too. How much do you want to spend?

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I am using 2 ALTO TS110a's.  They sound ok.  For the cost, I believe they are the best (my opinion.)  Many will say save your money and get something better, but I find they are great for vocal monitors etc. we never seem to have enough stage monitors, so they can be repurposed easily. 

 

They are technically not true FRFR.  I A/B'd them to my Mackie studio monitors - with a sub, and had to eq a tone of mud out of the 200 to 450 Hz range (like -9db).  I was finding that when I made tones on the TS's, they were so brittle in the FOH PA systems.

 

The moral of the story is almost any monitor can do FRFR if you take the time and have a system to A/B and then EQ the S_&% out of them. 

 

 

 

 

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While it was quite bass heavy  played on its own, when I cranked it in rehearsal the Friedman ASM was killer. And it's not very expensive. But you have to cope with the weight.

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While it was quite bass heavy  played on its own, when I cranked it in rehearsal the Friedman ASM was killer. And it's not very expensive. But you have to cope with the weight.

beware of the Friedman ASM.  i bought one and when i took the speaker grill off i noticed that the tweeter body had two huge cracks in it from some dope on the assembly line over-tightening the screws that hold it in.  they also did the same thing to the regular paper-coned speaker, causing the speaker basket to warp slightly.  returned mine to sweetwater for an exchange.   got the new on a week later...SAME PROBLEM.  returned for refund at that poing.  now i'm trying to find an alternative.  was considering a QSC K12.  the Atomic stuff looks nice but seems way over priced.  i have a feeling they're made in china too because i've emailed Atomic twice to find out and they never answer me.

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I've chimed in on pretty much every topic that brings up FRFR monitors, and I've got to say (again) that I'm absolutely thrilled with my Samson RSXM12A powered monitor wedges. They're only $350 each and I've got a stereo pair of them and they sound incredible.

 

Plenty of volume and they truly provide a very flat response and with their coaxial speaker design are also full-range. I was skeptical when I bought the first one, but have been absolutely blown away by how great they sound. I ordered through Sam Ash so I could use the return policy if they didn't work out for me. Well, I ended up ordering a second one and I've got a great looking and, more importantly, a GREAT SOUNDING, pair of FRFR monitors that I can gig with anywhere!

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I use a L2T...  it sounds great with Helix in PA mode.. if you want, you can switch to amp mode.. the best part is I can use it as a acoustic guitar amp... it sounds like an acoustic amp especially with acoustic dsp...

 

With digital connection between Helix and L2t, you don't worry about cable quality as along the cable meets the specs.

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Mission Engineering Gemini Series powered FRFR cabs....fantastic sounding and built from the ground up for modelers....if you are using in a studio most of the time get the Studio Edition so there is no fan noise....the Live version does have an audible fan if used in a studio...live, you'd never hear it....they aren't cheap though, but you get what you pay for....

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beware of the Friedman ASM.  i bought one and when i took the speaker grill off i noticed that the tweeter body had two huge cracks in it from some dope on the assembly line over-tightening the screws that hold it in.  they also did the same thing to the regular paper-coned speaker, causing the speaker basket to warp slightly.  returned mine to sweetwater for an exchange.   got the new on a week later...SAME PROBLEM.  returned for refund at that poing.  now i'm trying to find an alternative.  was considering a QSC K12.  the Atomic stuff looks nice but seems way over priced.  i have a feeling they're made in china too because i've emailed Atomic twice to find out and they never answer me.

 

bear in mind - being made in China isn't the issue. Its the QC in the factories. Iv seen plenty of really nice gear come out of Chinese factories where the QC is carefully monitored :) So don't be put off by the label "made in China" - be put off by the reviews and I guess in your case, the experience!

Man that really does suck about the ASM though :/ was quite interested in that

 

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bear in mind - being made in China isn't the issue. Its the QC in the factories. Iv seen plenty of really nice gear come out of Chinese factories where the QC is carefully monitored :) So don't be put off by the label "made in China" - be put off by the reviews and I guess in your case, the experience!

Man that really does suck about the ASM though :/ was quite interested in that

 

agreed.  the only time i have a problem with "made in china" is when they charge as if it were made in USA.  the (i'm assuming) made in china Atomic amp shouldn't cost $300 more than an american-made Friedman.  i still may give the Friedman another shot in a couple of months.  it's an easy fix for them- either fire or train the person over-tightening the screws.  they were made aware of the problem and my sweetwater rep told me the problems i had caused a big "to do" at Friedman.  they immediately started pulling ASM's off the line and re-inspecting them so i was told.

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I use both of these and love them. They have bass and treble controls

 

SAX-15M-PW - Powered Compact 15 Inch 2 Way Coaxial Floor / Stage Monitor with Titanium Horn

http://www.seismicaudiospeakers.com/powered-15-inch-coaxial-monitor/p/SAX-15M-PW

 

 

SAX-12M-PW - Powered Compact 12 Inch 2 Way Coaxial Floor / Stage Monitor with Titanium Horn

http://www.seismicaudiospeakers.com/powered-12-inch-coaxial-monitor/p/SAX-12M-PW

 

Had no troubles with either one. I prefer the 15" model. A hair warmer and a little more power.

Don't get me wrong, the 12" one has plenty of juice.

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the best thing might be something that is as much like what you are going to use as mains as you can find.

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I have been holding off on getting a pair of QSC K12's.  I like the idea that I can use them for PA or wedges if I want to as well.  But it seems more and more folks are coming out with FRFR speakers (which they ALL should be in the first place) so I think I'll keep looking at this point.   

 

I was at NAMM a few weeks ago and I will say... SEVERAL vendors not related to QSC were using QSC K12's to show off their mic's, amps' and other widgets.  That's one of my tried and true methods of making choices when possible.  If people are using a particular product to show off their widget, that sais a lot about it.

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I have been holding off on getting a pair of QSC K12's.  I like the idea that I can use them for PA or wedges if I want to as well.  But it seems more and more folks are coming out with FRFR speakers (which they ALL should be in the first place) so I think I'll keep looking at this point.   

 

I was at NAMM a few weeks ago and I will say... SEVERAL vendors not related to QSC were using QSC K12's to show off their mic's, amps' and other widgets.  That's one of my tried and true methods of making choices when possible.  If people are using a particular product to show off their widget, that sais a lot about it.

 

A very helpful and often true observation although sometimes it says more about the relationship vendors have with other vendors or the discounts or even free equipment one vendor may offer to another to show off their wares (cross-promotion).

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A very helpful and often true observation although sometimes it says more about the relationship vendors have with other vendors or the discounts or even free equipment one vendor may offer to another to show off their wares (cross-promotion).

 

Yes, I am always aware of those kinds of relationships.  I don't recall all of the players in this circumstance, but there was a tube simulation effect pedal, a kareoke setup, a couple of the "demo" booths using them for actual PA's, someone else with "sampler" disks.  It was pretty obvious there was no "connection" to QSC nor was there a "vendor deal" for participants either.    At least not in this case.  Most of the NAMM participants seem to be pretty self contained, and frankly some of them really SHOULD consider using better mediums to show off their wares.   But yes... good to point out the possibility.  

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Another note on the seismic audio coaxial monitors. There was a guy or two on the Fractal forum that actually put them side by side for comparison with an Atomic CLR and said they gave it a dang good run without even bringing the major money savings into consideration.

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I, too, can vouch for the Mission Engineering Gemini. I use the Gemini 1, which is a mono version of the Gemini 2, but it has a pass through for stereo if I want it.

 

I was playing bass with a band the other day:

 

Bass -> Helix -> Gemini 1

 

Sounds straight-up amazing. I dialed in my tone with a pair of studio headphones beforehand. At the practice space, I didn't have to modify anything. Sounded exactly as I wanted it. Fat, solid, and clean at all volume levels.

 

Gemini 1 is plenty loud as well. I had its volume at about 3:00, and was playing over two guitars, a drumset, and a singer.

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I am very pleased using a single FRFR powered speaker, a Mackie Thump12, placed on the floor like a monitor wedge, at a two-o'clock position. My powered speaker is connected to the 1/4-inch output and I connect the XLR output to the front-of-house mixer.

 

My band has an unfortunately loud stage volume, but this size of powered speaker easily gives me the ability to hear myself as loud as I need to with a consistant tone without relying on the tone and mix of the front-of-house monitors. If the rest of the band needs to hear more of me, they can get my signal through their front-of-house monitors. I also have a front-of-house monitor on the floor in front of me.

 

I used to put my powered speaker on a tripod stand behind me, but the sound guy said it was too loud that way. With my powered speaker on the floor, I can run it loud as I need to without bothering the rest of the band and without overpowering the main speakers.

 

I used to run two speakers in stereo, but I have come to realize that playing bars and private parties it is impossible for most of the audience to get any kind of wet-dry stereo effect, and I prefer the simplicity of mono cabling, amps, and speakers.

 

I really like FRFR because I can have one single output (split into my powered speaker and the front-of-house mixer) for all my instruments, effects, and modelled amps and cabs. I run electric guitars though effects and modeled amps and cabs as well as acoustic guitars and keyboards through different effects without the coloration of a guitar amp and cab. I miss the feel of a real tube amp and cab, but it's an acceptable compromise to simplify my multi-instrument setup and to hear very close to what the audience hears from me.

 

Still, it's weird not having an amp behind me like I've had for 35 years. I'll have to do like Rush and put something else behind me, like a chicken rotisserie, washing machine, or time machine.

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http://baltimorepostexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/aaa.jpg

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Hey everyone, there are a couple additional options that you should give some serious thought about using. Obviously, any speaker playback system needs to have the absolute "flattest" frequency response when dealing with the playback of audio from, CDs, DVDs, Studio Recording and especially guitar amp/fx modeling (hardware or software). There are basically just a few ways to go about obtaining an FRFR playback system:

 

1) go out and find a speaker system that has been "designed" to be FRFR.

2) go out and find a speaker system that "has not been designed" to be FRFR...but sounds pretty flat to your ears and you like what you hear.

3) go out and find a speaker system that you can afford and use an outboard equalizer to try and fine-tune the frequency response by ear.

4) and then there is probably the best way...having one piece of outboard gear that allows you to turn any speaker system into a FRFR.

 

I say this because I own the gear, I have been using it for years, and I know it works with great results. What am I talking about? That would be, the dBX DriveRack PA+. Here's a condensed product description directly from the dbx website:

 

"The DriveRack PA+ is loaded with functions and features, it is easy to set-up and use. The dbx exclusive Set Up Wizards walk you through system set up with easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions. Just pick your speakers and amps from the built-in list on the PA+, and then let the Auto Level Wizard fine tune the level settings of each speaker. You can then let the Auto EQ Wizard help you further optimize your sound. Finish up by using the AFS Wizard, which automatically sets filters to eliminate any feedback during performances. Within minutes, your PA system will sound like it was tuned by a pro! No experience required.

 

As you can see, the DriveRack PA+ uses "Set Up Wizards" to automatically adjust the volume levels of all the connected speakers, it automatically adjusts the EQ for the flattest Frequency Response (or a user selected Frequency Response Preset), and it can automatically set EQ Filters to eliminate feedback. This is all accomplished by using a Pink Noise Generator (blasting Pink Noise through the speakers) so that a calibrated measurement microphone can listen to your speakers playback of the Pink Noise and then automatically adjust Levels and EQ. And not to mention, you can do all of this manually as well and not use the Auto Wizard...but using the Wizard makes things a lot simpler. And when the Auto Wizard is done doing its thing, you can still go in and manually make tweaks. When your system sounds like you want it to, you can then SAVE the settings as a Preset. There are already several Factory Presets but think about it, you could use the DriveRack PA+ to adjust multiple speaker systems and save each PA system as a dedicated Preset.

 

Below is the link to the product page for the DriveRack PA+, check it out. In addition, dbx has more than one model with more or less features and the price changes accordingly.

 

http://dbxpro.com/en-US/products/driverack-pa

 

One other dbx product you may want to investigate is the newly released dbx goRack Portable Performance Processor. I own one of these as well and it'd pretty useful for the price...It's only $100.00. The only issue with this unit is that it's mostly set-and-forget. It gives you 16 Factory EQ Presets (the individual frequency bands are NOT adjustable). The Compression only has one adjustable parameter as well as some of the other parameters. Go buy one from Guitar Center to take home and try out, and if you don't like it return and get your money back. It's definitely a piece of hardware that is worth exploring. Below is the link to the product page:

 

http://dbxpro.com/en-US/products/gorack

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Believe it or not, but I get good results from a Roland AC90 for smaller venues. I go into the stereo line inputs in the back. Its essentially my on-stage guitar monitor, and I like to have it behind me. 

 

The only issue with this is that for some reason Roland did not route those stereo line inputs out the XLR outputs. All the circuits are there to support it, but they're not connected. Must have been some design decision, but it escapes me.

 

With all the I/O capabilities of Helix this isn't really an issue. If I need to feed something to the PA, I just use the Helix XLR outputs.

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