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Active sub help


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As a solo singer with backing tracks, I have been using the same system for a while. MackieDFX6 - CrownXS700 and a pair of SX300 EV's. As I am starting to do larger gigs I have been looking at investing in some active subs.

Firstly I 'inherited' by doing a deal on some old par cans, an RCL ASPM15B active sub. This is a discontinued sub, and I have been unable to get any info on it on the internet or from RCL (They said they no longer had any info for it???). I have used it once, by going from the mackie into both inputs and then out of the 'high pass' outputs into the crown to feed my EV's.

Whilst it sounded 'ok', there was not much increase in volume into the room, and there were also two parts to the sub I did not understand.

Firstly, a light on the back started flashing even though I only had the gain on the back turned up about 1/3rd. The light was called 'AASS', which I have no idea what this meant, but as it was red I assumed it was not meant to be flashing, even though there was no distortion. I turned down the bass on the mackie a bit, but it still flashed.

Also, there was also a button on the back which if I pressed it in, said it would 'lift'? This seemed to make no difference.


The other other dilemma I have is I have seen another one in a local music shop second hand going for 150 quid. If I were to buy this, and then be only running left or right into each sub, would this stop the light coming on?

I am aware that compared to my EVs the RCLs are very bottom of the range speakers, so was not sure if I would be better saving my cash and buying some better ones. Any suggestions welcome. Money is tight as always!!!

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I'd be inclined to sell the RCL, (hopefully for £150!) and buy a pair of EV SB 121 plus an amp, or powered EV SB2As


Thanks Simon. I have looked at them on the web, and they look nice and compact. On the powered ones, I am a bit confused by the dual amplifier? Does this mean that it has an amp to power itself and then also a 350w amp to power one of my SX300's. (Would then use one sub for each top). If so then, I assume I could then not use my crpwn amp? I always thought the amp needed to be around twice the power of the speakers, and therefore the 350w would be too small to power a SX300?

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The idea is that the powered LF box can either drive a second passive sub cabinet or a top cabinet. With a pair of such powered bins, you wouldn't need the external amp, (or you could use it for wedges etc.).


The "double the power" maxim is a good rule of thumb, but it represents only 3dB of headroom and isn't often applied in powered loudspeakers. This is for several reasons... a) the extra power usually represents more money, more heat to dissipate and more weight and b) integrating the amp, speaker and control electronics means that it is much easier to exactly match these items to each other and to put quite good protection measures in place, that is harder to achieve when using third party external amps and processing. Whether this applies quite so readily to an eternally connected box, I'm not sure, but if you can find a friendly EV dealer to demonstrate these boxes to you, I'd suspect the overall system would be more fully integrated than your present solution.


You should note that the frequency range that the top box is being fed goes down to about 66Hz, so you are still asking it to reproduce bass.



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