Peavey Versarray?

Eric Cagle

Senior
Jan 20, 2011
678
0
0
Atlanta, GA
Hi Guys,
I am considering a lightly used 8 box a side Versarray 112 rig with Genie ST-25 lifts. Just the tops and power. I have a truckload of subs already and Phil Graham available for hire locally to set up the system processing so those things are not an issue. I of course will listen first but I have never mixed on or even heard one of these systems. The application will be a second rig for mostly Classic Rock, Southern Rock, and Country municipal type outdoor shows. I need to be able to have headroom within the pattern of 110db peak or less out to 125 feet or so. I am not expecting a Vertec or better and am aware of the 2.5 degree maximum angle between the boxes, no "J" coverage. I have always done these particular shows with trap rigs in the past. My questions are to those who have owned, heard, or mixed on this system. How does it sound and will it work well for this application? Any issues? I have no plans for scaling this rig up, only down if needed and I seldom have rider requirements for these level shows. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks,
-Eric
 

Jack Keaton

Sophomore
Dec 6, 2011
136
0
0
Re: Peavey Versarray?

you are going to hear yes and no's on this, It really depends on what you need out of the rig. The question most will ask is how many people are you trying to cover? The music Evan mixes for I defiantly would not use these. Versarray to me is more of a jazz, blues, old school country type of sound. personally if I were moving into the array realm I would save up more money and get rider friendly more versatile box.
 
Jan 14, 2011
270
0
16
Laurel, MS
myspace.com
Re: Peavey Versarray?

Hi Eric, We've got 10 a side Versarray 112's and 4 a side VR218's and its killer. Just make absolutely sure that you use Peavey's VSX crossover and the correct presets! Since I have 10 a side I use 0 degrees on the first 6 to really get the sound out there and then use 2.5 on the last 4 down so I do have some what of a "J" and it works pretty well.

As far as riders, I've never had anyone refuse to use the system and we do several national acts per year in addition to local and regional stuff. In fact, most people who have never used it before are quite impressed with the sound. I don't know what kind of subs you are planning to use, but I would recommend the VR218 as the bottom end of many different systems. I have a friend that used VR218's under KF850's because he said the VR218 out performs the SB850 in a side by side comparison! :)

I have pics of the system on my company's facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Blakeney-Pro-Audio/130049367038520
 

Eric Cagle

Senior
Jan 20, 2011
678
0
0
Atlanta, GA
Re: Peavey Versarray?

The situation for me is that I can buy this rig for cash from February deposits from a number of municipal gigs this spring and summer. I am double and triple booked already for most of the holliday stuff and many Saturdays already. It will pay for itself this season. I had actually planned on a larger rig but the shows I will need it for this season don't require me to get that loud or cover quite that far. Overkill is always better so I might go with something I can grow with anyway. I might still not be happy with the Versarray if it has to be wide open and into the limiters to get the job done. My trap rigs are loud and clear. I often have 5000+ at shows but these are family oriented events, still Rock and Modern Country, but I am only supposed to provide concert level out to 150 feet or less. They want listening level beyond that where kids don't have to hold their hands over their ears and people can carry on a conversation with venders. It is specifically for this application. Can I stay at 105db with adequate headroom at 125 feet all day long with 8 boxes or am I going to blow up the ribbons? Could I do it with 10 or 12 boxes a side? That is all I need. If Evan comes through I would rent an appropriate rig and it wouldn't be at these events anyway. They would make us turn down, the fans would revolt, and the whole event would instantly be blacklisted on facebook. We know how that works :)
 

Tim McCulloch

Graduate Student
Jan 11, 2011
2,924
30
48
Wichita KS USA
Re: Peavey Versarray?

Hi Guys,
I am considering a lightly used 8 box a side Versarray 112 rig with Genie ST-25 lifts. Just the tops and power. I have a truckload of subs already and Phil Graham available for hire locally to set up the system processing so those things are not an issue. I of course will listen first but I have never mixed on or even heard one of these systems. The application will be a second rig for mostly Classic Rock, Southern Rock, and Country municipal type outdoor shows. I need to be able to have headroom within the pattern of 110db peak or less out to 125 feet or so. I am not expecting a Vertec or better and am aware of the 2.5 degree maximum angle between the boxes, no "J" coverage. I have always done these particular shows with trap rigs in the past. My questions are to those who have owned, heard, or mixed on this system. How does it sound and will it work well for this application? Any issues? I have no plans for scaling this rig up, only down if needed and I seldom have rider requirements for these level shows. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks,
-Eric
Arrrrg. Had a nice, detailed reply and my browser ate it. I hope Mo'zilla gets heartburn.

You really need to hear the VR in person to decide if you like it or not. It helps if you get to drive, but absent that if you can be at a gig from the opening of the truck until it's all packed away you will learn a great deal about it. If there isn't a portable VR rig in the Atlanta area, you might consider a trip to visit Blakeney's rig in Mississippi. If you can, play some pink noise on one side only of the rig (and no subs) and walk the horizontal coverage. Listen to the mids, particularly from 800Hz to about 3K. It reminds me of JBL VRX, except rather than being "constant curvature" the VR rig is "constant flat-ature"

For me the commercial inability* to build a J array greatly limited the array's versatility. If I can hit 60' - 180' nicely, what do I use to cover the first 60' and how do I make it play nice where the coverage is certain to overlap? *Not that it can't be done, but requires dedicated processing and power for each of the bottom 3 or 4 boxes in each hang. It's expensive to curve this array.

Really, though, this is a commercial decision. So I have some questions (you knew that was coming, right?).

Over all, is buying a vertical array a move-up or a lateral move for your company? Will it get you more money for the gigs your B rig is doing now? Will it help you get work that pays more than you get now? Will it save your firm a substantial amount of labor/storage/transportation costs? How will this expenditure pay for itself if it doesn't bring in new money?

That brings me back to the VR, my field observations of it and knowing what kind of work we do and hoped to get. The VR would have replaced our existing pSeudo4 rig in a few gigs, probably have been a sonic improvement in those cases, but would not have generated additional revenue. When the back of house expenses of packaging for transport, rigging, etc were factored it, it didn't make sufficient sense for us.

We started looking up the food chain and, after much research, purchased JBL VerTec, starting the 8/side 4889. It was a good decision, and the money we made with it paid for another 8 4889 and 16 4887, and a total of 20 4880 subs. In a recession. We're got a couple years left on the low-rate loan we got for the first purchase, but that turned out to be cheap opportunity cost. And I love that little 4887 rig. It's gotten us "black box" rentals from A/V shops as well as helped get more corporate work for our company.

In capitalism, 2 things that represent 100% expense are excess capacity and lateral moves. It's your money, but I'd either save it or use it to grow.

Tim Mc
 

Eric Cagle

Senior
Jan 20, 2011
678
0
0
Atlanta, GA
Re: Peavey Versarray?

Pretty much anything will outperform the SB850's!!:)
You could almost substitute "everything" and be correct. They actually make decent low mid boxes under KF850's if you have some real subs underneath. Anybody want to buy a few?

Thanks for the info Brandon,
I have heard the VR218's rock. I have 8 QMS horn loaded 18" and 4 QMS double 18" front loaded cabinets. Somewhat old school but pound hard with the upgraded drivers and sound good under SB850's.
 
Jan 14, 2011
270
0
16
Laurel, MS
myspace.com
Re: Peavey Versarray?

Eric, as far as SPL..I seem to remember that 6 boxes a side would do 115-120 C weighted comfortably (100 feet or so). Of course the Versarray's sound so clean that it often doesn't require as much spl to get the vocals out front like some compression drivers IMHO.
 

Adam Robinson

Sophomore
Jan 11, 2011
172
0
0
Chicago IL
Re: Peavey Versarray?

Arrrrg. Had a nice, detailed reply and my browser ate it. I hope Mo'zilla gets heartburn.

You really need to hear the VR in person to decide if you like it or not. It helps if you get to drive, but absent that if you can be at a gig from the opening of the truck until it's all packed away you will learn a great deal about it. If there isn't a portable VR rig in the Atlanta area, you might consider a trip to visit Blakeney's rig in Mississippi. If you can, play some pink noise on one side only of the rig (and no subs) and walk the horizontal coverage. Listen to the mids, particularly from 800Hz to about 3K. It reminds me of JBL VRX, except rather than being "constant curvature" the VR rig is "constant flat-ature"

For me the commercial inability* to build a J array greatly limited the array's versatility. If I can hit 60' - 180' nicely, what do I use to cover the first 60' and how do I make it play nice where the coverage is certain to overlap? *Not that it can't be done, but requires dedicated processing and power for each of the bottom 3 or 4 boxes in each hang. It's expensive to curve this array.

Really, though, this is a commercial decision. So I have some questions (you knew that was coming, right?).

Over all, is buying a vertical array a move-up or a lateral move for your company? Will it get you more money for the gigs your B rig is doing now? Will it help you get work that pays more than you get now? Will it save your firm a substantial amount of labor/storage/transportation costs? How will this expenditure pay for itself if it doesn't bring in new money?

That brings me back to the VR, my field observations of it and knowing what kind of work we do and hoped to get. The VR would have replaced our existing pSeudo4 rig in a few gigs, probably have been a sonic improvement in those cases, but would not have generated additional revenue. When the back of house expenses of packaging for transport, rigging, etc were factored it, it didn't make sufficient sense for us.

We started looking up the food chain and, after much research, purchased JBL VerTec, starting the 8/side 4889. It was a good decision, and the money we made with it paid for another 8 4889 and 16 4887, and a total of 20 4880 subs. In a recession. We're got a couple years left on the low-rate loan we got for the first purchase, but that turned out to be cheap opportunity cost. And I love that little 4887 rig. It's gotten us "black box" rentals from A/V shops as well as helped get more corporate work for our company.

In capitalism, 2 things that represent 100% expense are excess capacity and lateral moves. It's your money, but I'd either save it or use it to grow.

Tim Mc
+2. Tim always has great advice in this department.

From a business standpoint, some things to consider:
-Choose a box that you can cross-rent in your area if you need to expand your rig just a couple times a year

-Choose a system that will grow your business if you're on a growth trajectory

-Choose a system that's right for the business you do... just because Brandon doesn't get his Versarray rig turned down in Southern MS doesn't mean that the same might not apply in Atlanta where there are more major players in the game.

I worked for years for a band that has a huge "family" following and turned down many systems that providers thought would be "OK" for a kids' show just because the output needs weren't heavy. I typically spec'ed major name flown line arrays because when you're thinking about the sensitivity of our youngest concertgoers, I can't have a stack of trap boxes sitting by the stage blowing levels entirely too loud just so the people at the back can hear. Before large events, I'd get involved in the system design enough to at least spec that our goal was the most consistent SPL possible across the audience area and that line array predictions should try as much as possible to achieve this. Maybe your situation isn't quite as sensitive, but can the Versarray perform this task as well as the tour-grade line array systems? I can't answer that question because I don't know. I've had one experience with Versarray. I wasn't happy with it and thus do not allow it to be spec'ed for shows I do whenever I have the ability to be involved in such decisions.
 
Jan 10, 2011
903
2
18
Abingdon, MD
www.harfordsound.com
Re: Peavey Versarray?

I have 3 major issues with the Versarray:

-As Tim stated, as soon as you add any curvature into the array, the whole array changes. It's so amazingly inconsistent. Unless you're willing to buy a shit load of amps and processing, you just can't get a consistent sound. In order to fly the array high enough to hit 150'+ and then curve it down to the front few rows too, you'd need a shit load of DSP channels.

-The "rock and roll" preset on the VSX has an x-over point of like 8k between the 12 and ribbon to keep the ribbon driver "safe." Who in their right mind wants to run a 12" up to 8k? It gets beamy as hell! Even in the "normal" modes, 2-5k is very strange on those boxes... Inconsistent in the horizontal plane to say the least.

-The amount of boxes needed to get a "reasonable" SPL is stupid. I mixed an ACOUSTIC show on 6/side flown a few years ago. I was into the limiters trying to get the vocals on top of the mix. They had the VSX processor and Crest --02 amps powering the rig. A pair of pro trap boxes per side would smoke these things. 4/side stacked for a full band was unusable IMO. I would have rather had some MI dual 12" cabs instead.

The subs are great, but the mains are just awful. At the end of the day, save yourself the hassle, buy something like 4 EAW KF650's and be done with it. Your setup time will be halved, the sound quality will be better and you'll have way more SPL.



Evan
 

Jeff Babcock

Senior
Jan 11, 2011
973
7
18
Ontario, Canada
jeffbabcock.org
Re: Peavey Versarray?

Don't they have prediction software?
Ease Focus.

Eric, if you've got close access to Phil Graham he could easily assist you in rolling your own settings for these. If you weren't going to go that route, then get the VSX, but otherwise, those are a pain in the butt and there are lots of DSP's I'd rather see. I know a couple of other users that have done without the Peavey DSP but they took the time to make sure that the presets were translated well to their DSP of choice.

For their intended price point, I don't mind the Vray's. Others have already highlighted their limitations. 8 per side is probably enough for the types of usage you describe.

I guess it would come down to what type of $$ you're talking about for this rig. I wouldn't buy a new VRay rig these days, but if the used price is low enough I might give it some thought.
 
Last edited:

Jeff Babcock

Senior
Jan 11, 2011
973
7
18
Ontario, Canada
jeffbabcock.org
Re: Peavey Versarray?

I mixed an ACOUSTIC show on 6/side flown a few years ago. I was into the limiters trying to get the vocals on top of the mix. They had the VSX processor and Crest --02 amps powering the rig.
I suspect that the provider's gain staging may have been set up poorly. The VSX processor has some different (dumb IMHO) design choices in terms of input and output gain than a lot of other processors and could create the scenario you describe. The VRay's are not the most efficient boxes but 6 per side for an acoustic show not being enough tells me something is not right.
 

Eric Cagle

Senior
Jan 20, 2011
678
0
0
Atlanta, GA
Re: Peavey Versarray?

Thanks so much for all of the information guys. All of the points on both sides are very valid and I am weighing them. I had already searched this forum and PSW and read Tim's review there prior to posting with my application. I am going to give the rig a test drive in a couple of weeks and am actually taking one of my trap cabinets to have a reference. I will post the results. This situation is basically like an install for me because it will be tied up most of my busy season on a series of municipal concerts for this year and if all goes well, like in the past, it will be used the next several years as well. My ROI is figured on these concerts for this year only. Sure it would be nice to have some additional work but if the rig stays in the cases for the rest of the year the numbers still work. The other option I have considered in the same price range for this application that will work for me, as I had mentioned to Evan, is 4 KF650z's. I might actually use them during the off season for some of the smaller rooms and corporate type work I do during those months but most likely they will just be extras at that time also. A larger pro touring array won't make me any more money this year unless I change my marketing approach and I would still have the dilemma of not being able to have it available during most of the weekends from March through August. For what it is worth, the folks with the Versarray are selling it because they upgraded to a Vertec for many of the reasons mentioned.

-Eric
 

Eric Cagle

Senior
Jan 20, 2011
678
0
0
Atlanta, GA
Re: Peavey Versarray?

Ease Focus.

Eric, if you've got close access to Phil Graham he could easily assist you in rolling your own settings for these. If you weren't going to go that route, then get the VSX, but otherwise, those are a pain in the butt and there are lots of DSP's I'd rather see. I know a couple of other users that have done without the Peavey DSP but they took the time to make sure that the presets were translated well to their DSP of choice.

For their intended price point, I don't mind the Vray's. Others have already highlighted their limitations. 8 per side is probably enough for the types of usage you describe.

I guess it would come down to what type of $$ you're talking about for this rig. I wouldn't buy a new VRay rig these days, but if the used price is low enough I might give it some thought.
Hi Jeff,
Whatever I end up with will most likely be processed by Phil and a Xillica or two at this stage in the game. The price of this particular VRay and the fact that I wanted the ST-25's anyway make it an option.
-Eric
 
Jan 14, 2011
270
0
16
Laurel, MS
myspace.com
Re: Peavey Versarray?

-The amount of boxes needed to get a "reasonable" SPL is stupid. I mixed an ACOUSTIC show on 6/side flown a few years ago. I was into the limiters trying to get the vocals on top of the mix. They had the VSX processor and Crest --02 amps powering the rig. A pair of pro trap boxes per side would smoke these things. 4/side stacked for a full band was unusable IMO. I would have rather had some MI dual 12" cabs instead.

Evan
LMAO.....It sounds like somebody didn't have the crossovers set correctly. We ran 6 a side with 6 subs center clustered for a year before we got more boxes and we could hit 112-115 C weighted at FOH at unity...in fact I was told to turn it down on several occasions.

BTW there are two versions of the VR112....there is a MKII version that has a duracoat finish and a much beefier ribbon that is supposed to have 50% more power handling and a few dB more output.

It is curious that that the 12" is crossed over at 5K on the presets that we use, however, it still sounds much cleaner than any compression driver boxes that I have heard.

I have always thought that if Peavey had gone a more traditional route and put 44xts in their line arrays and sell them for about $1K a box, that they could not make them fast enough for the demand.