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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 3:55 pm 
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Greetings all:

I am planning on getting a pair of the new QSC K-Series Liteweight Powered Speakers (the K10 actually for $630 ea. shipped from nlfxpro after 10% coupon) based on the few but very positive reviews that I found online.

I've read from this board that a dbx DriveRack Speaker Optimizer would be a great complement to make the speaker system sound better. I've also read that the PX model is made specifically for powered speakers but I'm not too sure about the PA model.

- Are there any major differences or features between DriveRack PA vs. DriveRack PX?
- Can the PA work on powered speakers?
- Can the PX work on passive speakers?
- How many pairs of speaker can DriveRack handle (besides the QSC K10, can I use it with my Home Theatre stereo speakers too)?
- How about the BBE Sound DS48?

Note: DriveRack PA or PX - either can be had new at similar price range, around $350 shipped at various online stores.

What's your opinion and recommendation?


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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 4:32 pm 
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The difference between the Driverack PA and PX is that the PA version has crossover abilities and a time alignment feature where the PX doesn't. As far as the BBE unit I'm pretty sure it lacks an RTA auto setup which both the PA and the PX units process. I find the feature to be very useful. If you do a search on Driverack here you will find several discussions on it.
Quote:
Can the PA work on powered speakers?

Yes, that's what I use, but it is because that's what I had already and I do find the Crossover ability a plus even on powered speakers.
Quote:
Can the PX work on passive speakers?

I suppose you could, but they would have to be ran fullrange.
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How many pairs of speaker can DriveRack handle

As many as you care to daisy chain together
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can I use it with my Home Theatre stereo speakers too)?

Not very easily, it's not what it was designed for.
Quote:
How about the BBE Sound DS48?

I believe it lacks the RTA and auto setup
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What's your opinion and recommendation?

I use a the PA version and find it very usefull even with my powered speakers.

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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 6:36 pm 
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Here is an intertesting read on the PX. http://www.performing-musician.com/pm/o ... rackpx.htm

If you are running a sub(s) be sure and read the part about Sub control and how the PX allows for complete control of what is sent to your Tops and what is sent to your sub(s) although not a true crossover it does the job very nicely, and if your tops are biamped...better yet.

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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 8:53 pm 
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I just read on PSW that a refreshed version of the DriveRack PA, which I have seen called the PA+, is coming out soon or may already be available. The only thing I noticed in the discussion that interested me is the on/off "thump" is fixed. I think the delay buffer is increased for more time-delay on the outputs as well.

If you are looking at the same price for the PA or the PX, the simple answer is buy the PA. It is tri-amp capable, unlike the PX. This is nice if you want to bi-amp your full-range cabinets and still run subs.

I just bought a second DriveRack PA for my "B rig," so that should tell you I am happy with my first one. I use it in the "A rig" even though I have Crown XTi amps with basically similar DSP features, probably identical to the DriveRack software since they are both Harman brands. But the XTi is hard to use on the front panel, the DriveRack PA is user-friendly and has a ton of features for the price. I paid about $350 for both of mine, one a demo and the other one used.

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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 11:40 pm 
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Thanks everybody for the feedback.

I noticed that the DriveRack PA comes with two options:
- Basic without RTAM mic $350
- Complete with RTAM mic $450
Is the RTAM mic worth the $100 difference or I can live without it?

By the way, I found in other online forum posts that the BEH DCX2496 is also a good alternative to DriveRack.
What's your thought about the DCX2496?


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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 12:00 am 
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I bet if you buy the RTA mic, you will not use it. I have read negative comments about the auto-EQ / RTA function by some smart people on the PSW forum. The RTA is another thing that has been updated in the PA+ according to what I read, but I did not read about the change in detail. I do not use it.

The Behringer is .. well, if you want to put a Behringer A/D/A and DSP in your signal chain, go ahead. Be sure you send it a hot signal to avoid noise, e.g. don't turn the gain knobs on your amps all the way up and send them -20dB at peak, or you may hear some system noise, especially with the music off. I think it's an okay unit if you want to save some money though. I have seen a number of product reviews about failed units, but then I have a failing DriveRack PA too. Nothing is perfect. And the on/off thump of the DriveRack PA is enough to make by-standers jump. ;)

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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 12:18 am 
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I have the DCX2496 and it is very quiet and is an excellent unit. However it does not have the auto eq feature of the DBX. If you are buying decent powered speakers I question the need for a speaker management unit. Limiters etc I can understand but alignment to subs is about all you could do as the mid/hi crossover points and attenuation settings are preset inside of the box.

The dcx2496 has 3 inputs and six outputs and so I run mine as
Left mid
Left Hi
Right Mid
Right Hi
sub (mono L+R)
delayed mono (L+R) feed to the far distant house PA system.

It will do auto driver alignment with an additional measurement microphone such as the Behringer ECM8000 again no use for powered speakers.

The DBX PX is recommended by DBX for powered speaker applications.

I looked at the Driverack PA but decided on the DCX as is had more inputs/routing options.

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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 1:36 am 
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Quote:
Is the RTAM mic worth the $100 difference or I can live without it?

You can live without anything but not using the RTA section is a waste of a good tool to have in your arsenal.
Quote:
I bet if you buy the RTA mic, you will not use it. I have read negative comments about the auto-EQ / RTA function by some smart people on the PSW forum.

I'll tell you where to send the check, by the way I have heard some people are too smart for their own good. I don't know of anyone that relies on the RTA entirely, but it is an excellent reference point to work from.
Quote:
By the way, I found in other online forum posts that the BEH DCX2496 is also a good alternative to DriveRack.
What's your thought about the DCX2496?

After having trouble with the only two Behringer products I have ever owned in the past I just can't bring myself to trust anything they build from both the reliability or sound quality aspects.
Quote:
Limiters etc I can understand but alignment to subs is about all you could do as the mid/hi crossover points and attenuation settings are preset inside of the box.

My Yorkville subs have adjustable crossovers in them but I over-ride them with the DRPA's crossover and it really tightens up the bottom end.

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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 1:49 am 
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And the on/off thump of the DriveRack PA is enough to make by-standers jump.


Almost forgot this one, turn your amplifiers off first like your suppose to and mysteriously, the "pop" sound vanishes. Anything powered down upstream from a live amp is subject to make a "pop" sound, a mixer, effect, compressor, anything. Amplifiers, last thing on, first thing off.

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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 5:05 am 
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Hi All,

I'm also in the process of choosing between the PA and PX. Although I'm using powered tops so I thought better go for PX because it's meant to just for that. However, it's very difficult to find it here in Singapore. So I have a question to the PA users, if I only have a full range active speaker, can the PA switch off the Cross-over function? I understand it's gat a 3-way output, so where should I plus it in? I don;t see any full range output at the back :oops:

And when I get enough money and buy a sub, will it support 2-way?

Thanks loads!


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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 5:12 am 
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supremo68 @ Thu May 28, 2009 8:05 am wrote:
Hi All,

I'm also in the process of choosing between the PA and PX. Although I'm using powered tops so I thought better go for PX because it's meant to just for that. However, it's very difficult to find it here in Singapore. So I have a question to the PA users, if I only have a full range active speaker, can the PA switch off the Cross-over function? I understand it's gat a 3-way output, so where should I plus it in? I don;t see any full range output at the back :oops:

And when I get enough money and buy a sub, will it support 2-way?

Yes to all. I use it both as an eq for a pair of 15" speakers and an eq/crossover for 12" plus sub.

You just select one of the outputs as the target for the full-range signal going out. I think it uses M by default, but I can't remember.

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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 5:22 am 
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thanks! :D

If I still can't get hold of the PX by this week, I'll just pay the extra $ and get the PA then. Maybe in the future I'll have 3-way karaoke setup :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 6:04 am 
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As stated above, the DRPA is being discontinued with new prices $100-150 lower than before, so check around. If you don't need it immediately you might want to wait until the new model is actually out because they are going to fall even more.

My best story about the Driverack Pop happened a couple of Decembers ago during a fierce windstorm. At the time I had my full tri-amped band PA set up for karaoke, complete with quad 18" subs.

The power went out. Not only did the club immediately plunge into complete darkness, but to top it off there was this loud boom from the mains.

Got more screams than 6 Flags in July. :cool: I still hear about that one from anyone who was there.

This is not something to worry about BTW. If you have your gain structure properly configured a DRPA won't blow any drivers if the worst happens.


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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 6:11 am 
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thanks for thw advise bro. I probably could hold on for a while for it. but like the PX, which I think has been out for some months now is still very hard to find here in Singapore. My local shop says the local distibutor might be hoarding it for their own installation projects. :? so not sure how much more before the PA+ becomes available to actually affect the price of the PA. But point taken bro.

Anyway, I downloaded the manual and could not find the setting to change it to full range except for an option in the Program list #3 which says 'Full Range'. Is this the correct method for my application?


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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 6:23 am 
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I use the triamp configuration for everything and run the mid band all the way out if I'm only biamping. What that does is put the put the full range signal for the tops into my more powerful mid amp so I don't have to replumb.


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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 8:05 am 
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If you are planning on going with a sub in the future you would definitely want to go with the PA version. Being able to fine tune the crossover point between the sub and uppers is an infinitely better option than settling for the passive low pass in most subs. As far as two way goes, I'm pretty sure the default uses the low and the high. If you want to use the low and the mid you would have to do a custom setup which is no big deal. I've done it either way. If you experiment you will find that the DRPA can do things the manual doesn't even mention. It's a great bang for the buck speaker manager. I think the New DRPA + incorporates a few new features including a fulltime RTA which is a very nice tool to have.
http://www.dbxpro.com/PA%2B/

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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 9:29 am 
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It's probably not worth waiting for the PA+ vs the PA though. When I read the notes on the new product, the thing I was most interested in was that the on/off thump has been fixed. I have scared a few bar patrons with that, too, though not as dramatically as Bill H!

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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 9:53 pm 
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LondonLive @ Fri May 29, 2009 12:05 am wrote:
If you are planning on going with a sub in the future you would definitely want to go with the PA version. Being able to fine tune the crossover point between the sub and uppers is an infinitely better option than settling for the passive low pass in most subs. As far as two way goes, I'm pretty sure the default uses the low and the high. If you want to use the low and the mid you would have to do a custom setup which is no big deal. I've done it either way. If you experiment you will find that the DRPA can do things the manual doesn't even mention. It's a great bang for the buck speaker manager. I think the New DRPA + incorporates a few new features including a fulltime RTA which is a very nice tool to have.
http://www.dbxpro.com/PA%2B/


Hi LondonLive,

Thanks for the input. However, I thought that the PX also supports the SUB Out? If I use the PX, I wouldn't be ending up usign the passive low pass right?


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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 10:51 pm 
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The PX may have "sub outs" XLR's, but to the best of my knowledge it has no provision to adjust the frequency being sent to them. That would require a crossover network which the PX version does not contain. I don't own the PX version but I did glance through the manual and found nothing to suggest it had any frequency adjustment. I would assume that the "sub outs" depend on the passive low pass filters in the sub itself. My LS800's have adjustable low passes in them which I used for awhile. Seeing how I already owned a DRPA I decided to use it and experiment with my crossover point. The difference was very noticeable and resulted in a much tighter low end.

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 1:17 am 
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Once again, a big thanks :D

With that bit, i think it'll swing me more towards the PA or PA+ cause sometimes, my parties would request for the part to be dance music so really intending to add a sub in the future. My applications are mostly office or private parties so the program really depends on the organizer. Had several events where the I had to play dancing music and my Wharfedale EVPX15P did ok, but I would have been more relaxed if I had a sub :lol:

thanks again


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