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mykejb

Suggestions for LIGHTWEIGHT FRFR combo to use with the Helix

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Seems most of the FRFR combo amps are pretty heavy - anyone know of a decent lightweight alternative?  I looked at the Firehawk as a possibility but that's almost 30kg.  The Roland JC120 is about 30kg, and the Traynor K4 is a about the same again. I have a couple of db Opera 605 speakers with neo drivers which are only about 13kg each that I could use, but they're not exactly rock and roll looking  B) plus they're not the easiest things site on stage without a stand.

 

Mike

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I got a pair of Alesis Alpha 112 powered speakers off ebay last year, they're 31 lbs ea. Haven't gigged them or used them a ton at home, but they seem pretty good, reasonably roadworthy, and a great value. Only the 15" version is on ebay now, you might be able to find them somewhere, maybe used. There was a similar model from Alto, a little bit lower power, smaller drivers, etc., also not current production I think.

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Line 6 L2M is working well for me, and has a nice soft case with wheels & luggage style handle too.

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not a suggestion for a buy but perhaps helpful:

As i wanted to have a frfr for guitar and bass in wedge design AND all controls in front, i created a combo with 15" Neo  + 1" with a neutral markbass amp integrated, 22 kg all together. So i have real 300 watts withj a lot of headroom for clean sounds and real 500 watts if i add a second speaker. Should be enough for the most things and is very flexible in usage.

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The FX150 looks a bit on the small side, I don't generally run through the PA so need something that'll cut through a band. The Behringer one looks interesting, although there's still that "Behringer" name thing ... I know they've improved such a lot but I remember the early days  :unsure:   The StageSound L2 looks good but not sure about the 10" speaker and how much volume I'd get from it. I'm used to a Marshall JVM205 which has volume to spare, but still really heavy to cart around when I'm trying to cut down on weight.

 

Mike

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The StageSound L2 looks good but not sure about the 10" speaker and how much volume I'd get from it.

It's loud as f#/!...

 

Unless you guys are trying to set a new Guinness record for dB every night, if you put an L2T on a stand be behind you, it should be plenty.

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The FX150 looks a bit on the small side, I don't generally run through the PA so need something that'll cut through a band. The Behringer one looks interesting, although there's still that "Behringer" name thing ... I know they've improved such a lot but I remember the early days  :unsure:   The StageSound L2 looks good but not sure about the 10" speaker and how much volume I'd get from it. I'm used to a Marshall JVM205 which has volume to spare, but still really heavy to cart around when I'm trying to cut down on weight.

 

Mike

Pick yer poison...  :P  Light weight or heavy and loud! lol... Im gonna use the Firehawk 1500 and a dolly....

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QSC K8! Very happy with it and have used it with a variety of modelers over the years. I've used it as my sole guitar rig (even when not running into the PA) and it has always cut through.

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I would go against the tide here and recommend you don't do it for backline

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If weight is of the utmost importance, Matrix FRFRs are incredibly lightweight. Almost comically so (in a good way).

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I would go against the tide here and recommend you don't do it for backline

 

You mean don't use FRFR at all for backline?

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You mean don't use FRFR at all for backline?

Not for Guitar

I prefer the sound of NRNR gold old valves into an alnico blue

It just sounds and feels more natural for me

Happy to use FRFR out front though

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Not for Guitar

I prefer the sound of NRNR gold old valves into an alnico blue

It just sounds and feels more natural for me

Happy to use FRFR out front though

 

 

ok ... time to look dumb ... NRNR?   Interesting point of view though, most people say running into FRFR is always a better idea. Once I get the Helix I think I'll end up doing a lot of comparisons!!

 

Mike

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ok ... time to look dumb ... NRNR? Interesting point of view though, most people say running into FRFR is always a better idea. Once I get the Helix I think I'll end up doing a lot of comparisons!!

 

Mike

Don't worry I made that up

Narrow range narrow response (i.e. a normal guitar cab)

Most people will tell you FRFR is the new best thing but personally I don't see the point of it (apart from FOH)

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Typical guitar speaker rigs are handy for personal monitoring for the simple reason that their tone can be effectively equalised simply by changing position relative to the speaker's projection axis. Down the beam and you get lots of frequencies 1kHz+ up to the natural speaker roll-off. Move out 15 degrees off axis and those 1kHz+ tones start to roll off much faster than the sub 1kHz tones. Most guitarists like to stand 45 degrees off axis, which is nice 'mid' position.

 

That's also why guitar speaker rigs aren't good for FOH coverage. You get different sections of the audience hearing vastly different guitar tone. 4x12 and 2x12 horizontal are the worst offenders. Micing up a guitar cab presents similar problems, and that is why mic position is so critical to get right for FOH. Compounding the problem is the speaker responds differently in the near and far fields, so a close mic at 45 degrees off axis doesn't sound the same as standing 6 foot away at the same off axis angle.

 

Player foldback and FOH are also two different requirements. The guitarists needs to hear and 'feel' their tone appropriately otherwise the player is endlessly changing their style / hand technique trying to get 'Their Tone'. What the audience hears is a full band mix plus room and crowd response, and the guitar tone will need to be EQed and other fun things done to keep it sitting properly in the mix.

 

Practicing with a FRFR (or IEMs) helps greatly to re-tune your ear to what you're expecting to hear coming out of the gear mix. That feed can then be further EQed and compressed for the FOH mix. But, like IEMs, a good FRFR box won't tonally change much by moving around it, so you need to get the tone (and mic sim position) right in the modeller or it won't "sound right" - especially if you're used to hearing a subdued 45 degrees off axis to your speaker while the FOH gets a nice bright mic'd signal.

 

With praise & worship live music (and probably every other kind of live music), nearly all guitarists (and singers) complain the first few times they are introduced to a "silent stage" & IEMs. The fact is that their tones sound much much better in the FOH of the same venue than they ever did before. Just not to them - and that is half the problem.

 

So how to get the player happy with their own tone? The first is to understand the varying EQ and mix requirements and adjust them so the player hears something much closer to what they were used to when using a regular 12" speaker guitar cab on stage. The second is from the players point of view, and is really an adjustment in expectations of what they want/need to be hearing. Old school veterans will probably have more trouble with the second part than newer players. 

 

I know this may not sound like an ideal solution for a lot of players out there, but the above is what I've found to happen when people move to FRFR and silent stages. It should also give a clue as to why things can't sound exactly the same to the player as an old school live stage with acoustic drums, loud amps, and cumulative ear damage. And, yes, there is definitely some magic about being inside that wall of sound when playing on a loud stage and both feeling and hearing the thump of the instruments.

 

BTW, sorry for the long post.

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It's a good post though

It points out the difference in requirements as well

I'm a sleazy bar loud rock guitarist

My backline has to punch over a John Bonham esque drummer and a Precision bass with pleccy and provide them with guitar

My attempts to do that via FRFR have been predictably fruitless

But other people say on massive stages or on silent stages don't have the same requirement

I think it's important when looking at FRFR at what you are trying to achieve

Thanks

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Don't worry I made that up

Narrow range narrow response (i.e. a normal guitar cab)

Most people will tell you FRFR is the new best thing but personally I don't see the point of it (apart from FOH)

 

One point of it is so that any amp and cab IR  combination wouldn't sound like dung,  thru a colored sounding guitar cabinet . So that a Fender would sound "Fenderish", and a Marshall would sound like, well you know, without actually owning a Fender, or a Marshall.

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One point of it is so that any amp and cab IR combination wouldn't sound like dung, thru a colored sounding guitar cabinet . So that a Fender would sound "Fenderish", and a Marshall would sound like, well you know, without actually owning a Fender, or a Marshall.

It's the Cab Ir combination rather than the amp themselves

In my setup I bypass the cab IRs for my onstage sound because I'm running actual cabs

True amp

Models still sound different

I guess if you wanted to hear the difference in stage between a modelled2x12 and a modelled 4x12 then that would be a use

But as I've said previously .. If your me you wont get any of that over the drums

But it depends what your looking for out of your own rig

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i can confirm the line 6 L2M / L2T is extremely loud and is fine for backline and in a smaller gig with a vocal only PA, would provide plenty enough volume.  I used it last week running it at half volume and the stage sound was huge.

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I just wonder why a "true guitar speaker" and a corresponding frfr speaker with modelled cab characteristics should be so different on stage if they both have the same efficiency?

You can easily (ok, it's not soo easy but you can do it) build a frfr system with a guitar speaker (or a dedicated bass driver) plus a tweeter - just requires a bit more brain and work in the crossover.

In this way, the most important difference between both systems will be the angle dissipation, as regulary the tweeter has a far wider spread at higher frequencies than a 12" cone.

Seriously - i don't want to have a angle depending sound on stage, not as backline, monitor or for the guests, so i'm happy to minimize this effect with a good frfr.

 

Just for myself, i prefer since about two weeks (since i have the Helix) rather a frfr system as i don't have to tweak patches or globel EQ or whatever when i change between live and recording. So it's a matter of conveience (yes, i'm lazy) and gives me a bit more flexibility, as the live sound is'nt always colored by the characteristics of a certain (guitar) speaker wich is hard to eliminate when you don't have a lot of time.

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Its the difference between hearing your guitar and hearing a recording of your guitar

it just reacts differently 

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I'm happy with a Mackie Thump12 weighing 29 pounds and costing $300. Just turn the built-in bass knob almost all the way down to get it closer to FRFR. Work well on the floor on a pole. It's plenty loud, even with a loud drummer and another guitar player's tube 100 W 4x12 cranked.

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Typical guitar speaker rigs are handy for personal monitoring for the simple reason that their tone can be effectively equalised simply by changing position relative to the speaker's projection axis. Down the beam and you get lots of frequencies 1kHz+ up to the natural speaker roll-off. Move out 15 degrees off axis and those 1kHz+ tones start to roll off much faster than the sub 1kHz tones. Most guitarists like to stand 45 degrees off axis, which is nice 'mid' position.

 

That's also why guitar speaker rigs aren't good for FOH coverage. You get different sections of the audience hearing vastly different guitar tone. 4x12 and 2x12 horizontal are the worst offenders. Micing up a guitar cab presents similar problems, and that is why mic position is so critical to get right for FOH. Compounding the problem is the speaker responds differently in the near and far fields, so a close mic at 45 degrees off axis doesn't sound the same as standing 6 foot away at the same off axis angle.

 

Player foldback and FOH are also two different requirements. The guitarists needs to hear and 'feel' their tone appropriately otherwise the player is endlessly changing their style / hand technique trying to get 'Their Tone'. What the audience hears is a full band mix plus room and crowd response, and the guitar tone will need to be EQed and other fun things done to keep it sitting properly in the mix.

 

Practicing with a FRFR (or IEMs) helps greatly to re-tune your ear to what you're expecting to hear coming out of the gear mix. That feed can then be further EQed and compressed for the FOH mix. But, like IEMs, a good FRFR box won't tonally change much by moving around it, so you need to get the tone (and mic sim position) right in the modeller or it won't "sound right" - especially if you're used to hearing a subdued 45 degrees off axis to your speaker while the FOH gets a nice bright mic'd signal.

 

With praise & worship live music (and probably every other kind of live music), nearly all guitarists (and singers) complain the first few times they are introduced to a "silent stage" & IEMs. The fact is that their tones sound much much better in the FOH of the same venue than they ever did before. Just not to them - and that is half the problem.

 

So how to get the player happy with their own tone? The first is to understand the varying EQ and mix requirements and adjust them so the player hears something much closer to what they were used to when using a regular 12" speaker guitar cab on stage. The second is from the players point of view, and is really an adjustment in expectations of what they want/need to be hearing. Old school veterans will probably have more trouble with the second part than newer players. 

 

I know this may not sound like an ideal solution for a lot of players out there, but the above is what I've found to happen when people move to FRFR and silent stages. It should also give a clue as to why things can't sound exactly the same to the player as an old school live stage with acoustic drums, loud amps, and cumulative ear damage. And, yes, there is definitely some magic about being inside that wall of sound when playing on a loud stage and both feeling and hearing the thump of the instruments.

 

BTW, sorry for the long post.

 

Great post and I echo the sentiment that unless you design your presets with a PA speaker or FRFR they probably won't sound remotely similar to the audience who will be hearing them through the FOH setup. Setting up presets through your favorite amp may sound great but just does not accurately represent the sound delivered direct through the PA. If you set up your presets through a guitar amp there is a good chance that the guitar speaker's steep drop off at 5k will mean that your sound through the PA may be too bright and spikey unless you EQ'd your preset to cut the high end, a high end that you have not been hearing through your guitar amp's speaker.  Even then you will still be missing some of the more subtle EQ adjustments. If your PA has subs or is EQ'd for good bass response there may be too much low end out in the audience as well. If you are going to use your guitar amp to design presets you are probably best off miking your amp or blending the miked amp with the direct sound from the Helix than just going direct to the mixer from the Helix with presets designed and intended for an amp. I use an L2m for dialing in my presets and it is much closer to what I hear FOH.

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