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Thread: Line arrays... JBL vs EAW

  1. #1

    Line arrays... JBL vs EAW

    Hello everyone,
    There are 2 local providers selling line arrays. I'm looking for a 6-8 hang to start things. Here is the break down of gear that's available.

    JBL Vertec 4887a - 12 boxes available, flybars.
    EAW - 8 kf 730s, 4 sb730, 8 sb 1000s, flybars.

    I have some jbl 728s and would get some more if I went this route. I would also purchase some more IT amps and use the V4 presets.
    The eaw's don't have a processor right now, but I would buy the UX8800. I would also power them up with IT amps.
    I know the eaw is a more complete kit and this might not be a fair question to ask, but, saying just a comparison between 730s and 4887a's, which would be a better rig in your opinion? V4 vs GF?
    Will this complete eaw rig do about 3000 people outdoors? I like the fact that the eaw's are a 16ohm box.

    Sorry for all the questions, but I don't have much experience with either box.

    Thanks
    Take care,

    Steve


  2. #2

    Re: Line arrays... JBL vs EAW

    Steve, I would recommend Macrotech i series for speakers with a dedicated, external processor. This way you don't have a pointless AD/DA stage and still retain the great limiters.

    And if you got the 4887s, I'd look into Itech HD, so you're ready for V5.

    I don't have much opinion on the boxes, but I've heard a lot of good things from Bill and Scott about the 730s. All I've heard about 87s is that they aren't a rock box.

    You might consider asking why they're selling these rigs, especially if they're competitors. Why would both vendors sell their small, corporate-friendly boxes at the same time?
    Last edited by Silas Pradetto; 04-25-2011 at 09:36 AM.
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  3. #3

    Re: Line arrays... JBL vs EAW

    The seller of the 87's is getting out of the business, he is also selling his 4888's, Labs, Midas etc..... I was considering trading my IT's for some HD's if I went with the 87's, or just keep the IT's for my srx rig and buy the HD's for the Vertecs.

    The seller of the 730's also has a 4888 rig and a McCauley M-Line rig, and the jbl's are seeing more work. Some of the McCauleys have been sold and the eaw's are just sitting there.

    You bring up a good point on the Macro's.

    Thanks Silas
    Take care,

    Steve


  4. #4

    Re: Line arrays... JBL vs EAW

    What’s the Price differences?

    With having the IT amps, I would look at the JBL as a primary choice as it’s much easier to integrate into the system. I’m not sure if the SRX728s would be able to keep up with the Vertecs.

    But the EAW comes as a complete system and you can use your IT’s to get you started and then later on add the UX8800 or Lab Gruppen PLMs or PowerSoft K-Series.
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    I'm using: RCF HD12A or JBL SRX722 over JBL SRX718s with Crown IT's and dB Technologies DVX DM12 & DM15 on monitors; all controlled by Yamaha LS9-32. I have a bunch of other stuff too.

  5. #5

    Re: Line arrays... JBL vs EAW

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Vivlamore View Post
    I’m not sure if the SRX728s would be able to keep up with the Vertecs.
    Vertec providers use SRX728s all the time with their rigs, they do a fine job in ground-stack situations. Also consider the 87s are almost the smallest Vertec box; they don't go that loud, they're more for jazz or corporate stuff than rock.

    But the EAW comes as a complete system and you can use your IT’s to get you started and then later on add the UX8800 or Lab Gruppen PLMs or PowerSoft K-Series.
    I would not consider the UX8800 to be optional with any EAW speakers these days. It is required to get specified performance; anything less is a compromise and will not maintain the performance expected of the system.
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  6. #6

    Re: Line arrays... JBL vs EAW

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Ferreira View Post
    The seller of the 87's is getting out of the business, he is also selling his 4888's, Labs, Midas etc..
    What about the VT4888 boxes? That's a far more 'varsity' box than the 4887 or the KF730 in terms of output and going down low. Are they for sale? Can your budget handle them? That would be my choice given the models you've laid out.

    Greg
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  7. #7
    Just This Guy, You Know? Bennett Prescott's Avatar
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    Re: Line arrays... JBL vs EAW

    Which one can you cross rent more of? Which one will someone likely cross rent from you? Of those two I prefer the sound quality of the 730s, although box for box they're probably equivalent output. 4 boxes a side does not a serious outdoor rig make, with flown SB730 or not (which are cool, but managing another bandpass in another location is the kind of stuff I get paid for). 8 SB1000s will do the trick in the LF, though!

    The v4 JBL presets are very good, and the whole line is very voicing and phase compatible. The v4 presets are doing some of the same things as the GF EAW presets, whether they're doing them as well I leave up to you.

    How JBL continues to "sell" (yes, they're free, provided you buy all new amps, and they're definitely a selling point for a provider when doing a bid) new processing for boxes that have been on the market for some time is very interesting to me. You can only fix so much in processing, but one wonders how nobody seems to balk at the fact that it took them 4 (and soon 5, although 4 is excellent) tries to get it "right".
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  8. #8
    Graduate Student Tim McCulloch's Avatar
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    Re: Line arrays... JBL vs EAW

    Quote Originally Posted by Bennett Prescott View Post
    Which one can you cross rent more of? Which one will someone likely cross rent from you? Of those two I prefer the sound quality of the 730s, although box for box they're probably equivalent output. 4 boxes a side does not a serious outdoor rig make, with flown SB730 or not (which are cool, but managing another bandpass in another location is the kind of stuff I get paid for). 8 SB1000s will do the trick in the LF, though!

    The v4 JBL presets are very good, and the whole line is very voicing and phase compatible. The v4 presets are doing some of the same things as the GF EAW presets, whether they're doing them as well I leave up to you.

    How JBL continues to "sell" (yes, they're free, provided you buy all new amps, and they're definitely a selling point for a provider when doing a bid) new processing for boxes that have been on the market for some time is very interesting to me. You can only fix so much in processing, but one wonders how nobody seems to balk at the fact that it took them 4 (and soon 5, although 4 is excellent) tries to get it "right".
    Based on conversations with JBL employees, I concluded that VerTec processing was a "hot potato" that moved between engineering teams for each preset version. Some of what resulted measured very well as single boxes; some were better at playing with each other but had horizontal coverage issues... Throw in system owners who felt that they were qualified to "fix" what they didn't like about JBL's work, and no 2 VerTec rigs sounded the same. Paul Bauman convinced JBL to "black box" V4. I'm told that V4 presets are simpler in terms of crossover filters but other tweakistry exists. Version 5 was developed on the BSS platform because it uses FIR filters (that are not available in the original I-tech amps or in Harman devices of yore).

    My crystal ball says V5 will be terminal, no V6. Instead you will see new products along the lines of the new Martin & Turbo offerings.

    Have fun, good luck.

    Tim Mc
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  9. #9
    Graduate Student Tim McCulloch's Avatar
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    Re: Line arrays... JBL vs EAW

    Hi Steve-

    When we first looked at buying Vertical the KF730 were on my list, as were VerTec 4888. We also compared the big brothers, KF760 and 4889. After much research, personal listening and consulting with BEs and other system owners we bought 4889s. Later we added 4887 and I'm not sure I miss the 4888. Even when the 4888 might make more sense, the 4889 works fine. In situations where I need a compact array, neither the 88s or 89s will do.

    With the 4887a, 6 per side does not a rock PA make. If you're not doing rock and the venue geometry / SPL expectations are in your favor, the 87s may well be the ticket. I would consider buying 4 more 4887a, too. JBL can do a custom preset load if you want to use your 728s, or you might find that the 4880 preset works sufficiently well (something I suspect many owners of Vertec over 728s use).

    Likewise, 4 KF730 do not make a line array and certainly not for 3000 outdoors. If you buy this rig you should IMMEDIATELY buy 4 more KF730. 6/side won't be rock and roll for 3000 outdoors, but you can probably do anything lighter. I'd put the SB730 on top of the array and ground stack the SB1000s. There is no processing less than the UX8800 that will suffice. If you don't purchase it and the extra tops you will find yourself as "the guy with ALMOST enough rig".

    The length of the line determines the LF pattern control, so 8/side of 4887 or 8/side of KF730 will not be the same; the 730 rig will be about 20" taller. The 730 rig will weigh 144# more, too. In the 4887's favor, it has calculated output 6dB greater than the 730 in the LF, 5dB more in the mid/HF. Both EAW and JBL call their long term peak outputs "calculated."

    What is your target market for this rig, and what is available in your general region if you want to cross-rent (either direction)?

    Have fun, good luck.

    Tim Mc
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  10. #10
    Just This Guy, You Know? Bennett Prescott's Avatar
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    Re: Line arrays... JBL vs EAW

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim McCulloch View Post
    The length of the line determines the LF pattern control
    Not only that, but the number of enclosures (and their vertical coverage) determines the amount of final angle you can use. If you need 40 degrees of vertical angle to cover all the seats (ignoring extra boxes to achieve even coverage) and your boxes are 7 degrees, you need at least six boxes. More like 8, really, to get the far seats and probably an under fill and front fills to go with it.
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  11. #11

    Re: Line arrays... JBL vs EAW

    Great replies so far guys. I will try and answer a few questions.

    I have done these 3000 people events with McCauley M-line 90s in the past, I used 8 boxes a side and was more then loud enough. I'm not doing a "rock" show, but it is with a band (drums, keys, elec gtr, acc gtr, vocals, bass....) and playback artists. The venue is an outdoor school yard, my throw distance is about 120' but the venue is wide, possibly 100'. The people are mainly standing up, but they also bring chairs to sit. The noise ordinace is normally 95db @ 150'. I don't have to throw that far and never aim the boxes there anyways. I think we did 105db @ foh last year and that was more then enough. I'm also limited with trim height and weight, we rent an SL100 for this event.

    I just went to speak with my sales guy and got a quote for 12x4887a, 6x 728s, bumpers, and 8x IT9000HDs. There are more JBL houses here then EAW, between 2 soundco's there are about 80 4888s available, but one of them doesn't stock 87a's and the other has 12 87a's. The rental market can be there if worked out properly. My sales guy is super cool and also gave me a lead of a national band that is looking to rent racks and stacks of 87a's for there smaller events. They have 6-8 dates right now that need a provider for.

    Thanks so far guys and keep it coming.
    Take care,

    Steve


  12. #12

    Smile Re: Line arrays... JBL vs EAW

    Steve - once you finally decide which way you are going to go - if it is NOT the EAW route, I'd appreciate your lead on the sound co that has them for sale... I need a few more boxes to make my "almost enough rig" complete... Also if you had pricing available, I'd appreciate that as well... Thanks
    SP

  13. #13
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    Re: Line arrays... JBL vs EAW

    Being that you're in Toronto, crossrentals shouldn't be a problem with either brand. The way I look at it, choose the one which makes best sense for the type of shows you do most often, and involves the least amount of cross renting necessary to make a complete system. You can add to it later. That said, the GF settings for the KF730 sound fantastic!
    Last edited by Arthur Skudra; 04-26-2011 at 02:04 PM.

  14. #14
    Just This Guy, You Know? Bennett Prescott's Avatar
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    Re: Line arrays... JBL vs EAW

    Steve,

    Covering 3,000 people is not the same as having 3,000 people in the place you are making noise! That said, 105dB (A? Slow?) At FOH is loud and definitely puts you in the big rig category... then again, if you only need it to be that loud at FOH and don't care about even audience coverage, that's probably easy. When you say 3K people to me and 120' throw I envision what I would need to have 6dB of level variation from the front to the back of the audience, and that's serious infrastructure. If you just need to put it up and go, and use whatever angles the software gives you, and maybe can't even fly that high, then we're talking a very different deal.

    If you regularly need to fly off SL100s there is a serious weight limit. If you have separate towers, great.
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  15. #15

    Re: Line arrays... JBL vs EAW

    Quote Originally Posted by Bennett Prescott View Post
    If you regularly need to fly off SL100s there is a serious weight limit.
    800lb points suck.
    800 is a highly optimistic figure on Stageline's part as the cylinders barely move loaded down close to capacity.

  16. #16

    Re: Line arrays... JBL vs EAW

    Bennett,
    I try to cover the area as best I can with what I have at my disposal. Hell I remember renting an Apogee 3x3 rig and doing 3 aside on scaff. I try and "gain shade" also. This event is for a Portuguese church, last outdoor gig in that community. Most of the people at the event are usually hanging around, chatting with friends they haven't seen in some time. Some don't even pay attention to what's happening on the stage.
    It looks like I'm also getting another gig this summer and my client wants to rent an SL100 also.

    Shane,
    I can give you their name, after I decide.....lol

    Out of curiosity, what would that eaw rig be worth more or less? If I do purchase the 730s I would need to buy atleast another 4 boxes for a 6 box hang.

    Thanks
    Take care,

    Steve


  17. #17

  18. #18

    Re: Line arrays... JBL vs EAW

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon G Romanowski View Post
    Realistically you run out of height before you hit the weight cap.
    Exhibit A
    That depends on the box. (some cool people have smaller boxes)

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  20. #20
    Just This Guy, You Know? Bennett Prescott's Avatar
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    Re: Line arrays... JBL vs EAW

    Phil,

    If you're talking about the L2821, it is actually taller by 2" than the EAW KF730 pictured. Brandon hung a nice long array, but gave up half a foot of trim height so it didn't have to get lifted by the stage, which is really the weight limit on those units. The two boxes weigh about the same, although the KF730 has a broader vertical pattern so you can get away with a little more in the near field. Once that bottom box is at head height it's all over but the shouting, anyway. The KF730 has about 4dB more output than the L2821, that's a really excellent solution for these little stages.
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