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landofunland

Helix LT connection to studio monitors and subwoofer

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Hello,

 

I've had my LT for a week and upon recommendations in this forum I am considering a set of monitors. Yesterday I was at my local GC listening to their offerings (music only) and liked the JBL LSR308s best. I found them noticeably clearer than the 2nd runner up, Rockit's 8" offering.

 

Concern: Although the 308s were crisp and clear, my ear is used to the bass roar of the 12" Celestian in my 1 x 12 Spider IV 75 - again, I was listening to music, but there was something missing that my ear is accustomed to in both my home stereo (with attached sub) and Spider IV. I think I will not be happy with the bass response after spending $500 for the pair.

 

Question:

Probably not, but is there any way to attach a sub woofer (unused JBL 1000 10" in my basement) with only terminal and RCA inputs to the Helix along with monitors? 

 

Am I alone in thinking studio monitors by themselves (even 8") lack something? If I do go the monitor route and want that depth, is the only way to get there by purchasing a sub that comes with 1/4" or XLR inputs?

 

Edit: I do not play out, only in my living room.

 

 

Thanks for your help!

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I'm assuming you're talking about the car stereo JBL1000?  That would be a very bad idea I think.

 

First, a lot of us play through PA systems equipped with very powerful subwoofers.  In most cases the crossover point on those speakers is well above anything other than kick drum and bass guitar or low register keyboards would send.  Actually the last thing in the world I want is more low end.  Most of the time people tend to use low cut filters at least around 100 or 120 hz to get rid of boominess.  So I doubt you're going to be missing anything.

 

But you aren't going to get the response of your amp because you're not producing the sound of an amp.  You're producing the sound of an amp in a studio that's been mic'd and is being listened to from the control room through studio flat response speakers.  If that's not what you want then get a FRFR cabinet like a Friedman.  Personally I get more than enough clean bass response from my Yamaha HS7's.

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If you put speakers on the floor you'll have extra bass. Also studio monitors are designed to be flat frequency response, unlike 'hifi'/computer/car speakers that have hyped bass and treble. You can compensate for this by using a typical 'loudness' EQ curve on the monitors if you prefer that sound at home. But, whatever you do, don't try to use that much bass on your guitar for a live performance or you'll get lost in the mix and sound like 'mud'.

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The JBL LSR308 are very good for near field use. However, they are not capable of producing the bigger, fuller and potentially lounder sound field of a pair of powered FRFR PA Speakers such as Yamaha DXR10, DBR10, QSC K10, Alto TS210A, etc. If you feel the audio field sensation from a pair of JBL LSR308 and your Helix is inadequate for the size of your living room, consider stepping up to larger higher powered FRFR PA Monitors.

 

JBL does have an LSR line Subwoofer. As impressive as that would be for Home Theatre and other pre-recorded material, for guitar it will not add much.

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As MusicLaw said, JBL makes a matching subwoofer for the LSR308's - LSR310S.

 

If you are considering going that route, you may want to consider going with LSR305's instead.  When I was researching, I saw several people say that the LSR305/LSR310S combination sounded "tighter"... which kinda makes sense: since the 308's have better bass response than the 305's, they could interfere a bit with the 310S's.

 

I'm no expert on this, just sharing the results of my research....

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Thanks to everyone for your responses, sorry it took a number of days to get back here...

 

DunedinDragon - not a car stereo system. The JBL 1000 I was referring to is a consumer based 10" sub woofer. After a bit of research, there'd be no way to incorporate this since it only has terminal and RCA inputs.

 

Jnysen - I do not play out (well rarely) - I'm just trying to get the best sound possible in my living room. Speakers on the floor will help the bass, but my question revolved around the bottom end of a 5 or 8" speaker vs. my 12" amp's (clean) celestian I am used to.

 

MusicLaw - I have not heard 10" studio monitors, even in a demo situation. I imagine they would sound significantly better than the 8" I have heard. My local GC and Sam (Cherry Hill, NJ) only have 8" and 5" models (JBL, Rockit, off brand) and no subs. Thanks for the tip that a sub would not add much to a 10" studio monitor, makes sense since the sub on those are typically also 10". I think 10" monitors is the solution. Finding them to hear is the issue. Great advice, thank you.

 

FlyingsCool - Good advice that the 5's with sub may sound better than the 8s also with. 

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To clarify, the 10" units I referred to are not Studio Monitors. They are Active FRFR PA Monitors. As such, they are not designed primarily for near field monitoring the way most 5" and 8" Studio Monitors are used. The PA Monitors are designed to project the sound further. They may certainly be used in studios, control rooms, rehearsals, and elsewhere. They sound best when there is a bit more breathing distance between the speakers and the listening position for the sound to properly bloom.

 

As for the JBL LSR10 Subwoofer, if I were going to use the system for more than electric guitar, the LSR305 plus subwoofer would be my prefererence too! That way the savings from the LSR308 could be applied to the LSR310 subwoofer. For solely, electic guitar (unless drop tuned or 7 string) there's very little frequency content for the Sub to handle, thus the LSR308 (or LSR305 when closer) should be adequate.

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So MusicLaw, what I am hearing is that I am not going to lose any bottom end by not adding a sub to 5 or 8 inch studio monitors. I guess what I've been hung up on is losing tone by going from a 12" amp speaker to 8" or 5". The cost difference between 5 and 8 is negligible – $100, so for peace of mind I think I'll go with 8" LSR308s. Sorry to have beaten this dead horse, chalk it up to OCD lol - many thanks for clarifying and belaying my fears that I do not need to add a sub to keep my cherished bottom end. Cheers!

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I think you're making a good choice going with 8" over 5". I have a pair of 5" for studio work and I've tried them using them for reheasals in my studio with other guys jamming out. I find them insufficient for that purpose; in fact I blew one of them once and haven't used them for that purpose since. I now have a pair of Stagesource L3t for rehearsals in the studio, but I'm sure your 8" pair will be fine for that.

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@landofunland, I thoroughly understand what you're getting at. Not beating a dead horse at all!

 

As outstanding as the JBL LSR308 are in their price range -- for near field monitoring -- they are best used in a semi protected position at ear level on a meter bridge, desk, on stands, etc. For full spectrum materiaI, they would, with a sub, sound even better.

 

If you are seeking to approach the 1x12 Amp in The Room (AITR) experience, the LSR308 will not deliver nor approach that unless you are sitting very close to them. Even then, with the Helix, as soon as you place an Amp+Cab Block or Cab Block or 3rd Party IR Block in Helix's Signal Path you will be hearing the sound of a mic'd cab! Unless, of course, you use the Helix as a front end FX system with your existing Amp and Cab.

 

If what you want is the chest filling fullness experience you enjoy from your 1x12 Guitar Amp, the way to go is with one, ideally two, 10" or 12 Active FRFR Monitors that can deliver a full frequency -- when desired, high sound pressure level -- with ample headroom.

 

The LSR308 get loud but not exceedingly so. I found that as much as I liked them, only when I got a pair of Yamaha DXR10, did I feel I had the system I preferred. These far exceed the LSR308's price range, and, for me, are far more useful and rugged. They are however, not near field monitors. I prefer to use them, either as floor wedges, or standing upright. They can also be used mounted, flown, suspended, etc., etc. And, even on stands if they're not too close.

 

I came to Helix after having used my Fender Mustang III v.2 1x12 100W and Fender Mustang IV v.2 2x12 150W Amps and a Yamaha THR10C Amp. The first two can get thounderous, and the latter is FRFR. The SPL's capable of being produced by the either of the Fender Amps far exceed what a pair of JBL LSR308 even with the JBL LSR10 Sub would provide. Nonetheless, when running the pair of Yamaha DXR10, the sound is better, fuller, and FRFR. My Fender Amps now get used as Dry (center) when I run W/D/W, or are used by friends, etc.

 

The best thing is to listen to as much as you can on as many different pieces of gear, and go with what suits your budget.

 

The Helix is so versatile and there are lots of configurations.

 

Keep the thread going if you have more questions, or with what gear you choose to go with.

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Hi MusicLaw,

Reviving this thread from last week…

I found a great deal on craigslist on a pair of low mileage DXR10s ($800) and bought them yesterday. I brought my helix and guitar to the person's house to try them out. They were attached to his mixing board and he first demoed them with music, which he was able to crank up very loud and they sounded excellent. He is a sound engineer and knew a lot about them and explain the various features on the back pane to mel. I played my guitar through them and the tones I was hearing were excellent, but I never cranked it up all the way as his family was home and I expected / assumed they could get as loud as the music I had heard.

When I got them home and plugged everything in using XLR, I found that even at top volume on both the speakers and the helix, the volume was barely acceptably loud enough. When I went into the individual presets and turned up their individual volumes from 7 to say, 9.5, it did bring up the volume up to an acceptable level. When I say the volume was barely acceptably loud, you would easily be able to talk in a loud voice over it at max volume (without changing volumes on the individual presets).

So am I doing something wrong? Should they be screaming plugged into my helix, or is this just how it is? Again, the music was significantly louder than the guitar was. Thoughts?

Thanks for your help!

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Make sure your XLR outputs and speaker inputs level settings are matched (e.g. both set to Line level).

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The Yamaha DXR10 are capable of thunderous SPLs with Helix's default (Amp, Cab, and Output) Block Parameter Values and Default Global Settings > I/O > XLR Main Outs (Line) and 1/4" Main Outs (Line).

 

I have my Helix Main Outs configured for Line Level, and my Yamaha DXR's Level Control in the 12 o'clock position and their MIC/LINE Switch set to LINE. Most of the time I don't need to increase my Helix Main Vol knob much beyond the 12 o'clock position. Nonetheless, the above config provides lots of headroom.

 

If you are not getting sufficiently loud SPLs from your Yamaha DXR10s, increase their Line Input 1 Level Controls. If these are fully clockwise, and still not loud enough, set them back to their 12 o'clock position, and set the Yamaha's DXR10s' MIC/LINE switches to "MIC".

 

Be sure you reduce Helix's Main Volume Knob so you don't startle and deafen yourself!

 

The Yamaha's Limit Indicator won't illumininate unless you really drive them hard. If the Limit Indicators illuminate, either reduce the Yamaha's Level Control slightly, or change Helix's Global Main Out Configuration to Mic Level.

 

Post back what you find works for you. How far are the DXR10s from you? What is the size of your room?

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I've had some good results with your suggestions. Slightly concerned things aren't working as they should on line\line settings, but boy do I ever have volume now. Holy crap.

The end game is, the speakers need to be set to Mic. When on Mic they are loud whether the Helix's XLR setting is set on Line or Mic. I'm going to leave the Helix on Line because it sounds slightly better (robust) to my ear than Mic. Also, when the speakers are set to noon volume and on Mic, there is a hum - not overbearing, but I wouldn't be able to tolerate it constantly in my living room. I don't think it's a 60 cycle hum though. In any case, when I back the speakers off to 3 o'clock the hum is less noticeable but still there. With the speakers set at 3, the perfect volume on my Helix is around 11 o'clock. The tone is really good. More crystally highs than my Spider, not sure if it's too much yet. 

BTW, the living room is small (972 sq ft house) - 14' x 12'.

Thanks SO much for your help MusicLaw. I was really struggling with what to purchase speaker-wise and you really gave me great advice. On Saturday I turned on my Spider 4 75 and it went belly up. All the lights on the front just blink on and off and it never completed its POST. I'm thinking a factory reset will fix this, that amp has done weird things in the past. In any case, within 5 minutes of it not coming up I was emailing the DXR guy on craigslist, It not booting up gave me all the rationalization I needed to pull the trigger on the [aor pf DXR10s. I'm not wishing I could hook them up to my Pioneer HDMI receiver, but it only outputs to speaker wire. I may have to go shopping for a different receiver next, lol. 

Thanks again for your guidance in helping me with this purchase and your support, troubleshooting and helpful suggestions too!

Kind regards,

-=gu=-

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@landofunland, the Yamaha DXR10 do have a Line 3 Input capable of accepting RCA Stereo (L&R) Plugs. Many Receivers still provide this type of connection format to other equipment. If you receiver has RCA Jacks you could use those to connect to your Yamaha DXR.

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