Reply To: passive v active speakers for gigging band

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Yeah the active/passive question has kinda got clouded by the ‘ole watts issue.
Watts alone get you nowhere without other data such as sensitivity, peak SPL etc as has already been pointed out. It’s just one part of a more complex equation.
To use your motor analogy, watts only tells part of the story, once you take RPM, torque etc. into account one 1000W motor is not the same as another. Every part of the equation needs to be taken into consideration to come to an answer as to if your chosen speaker (and amp if passive) will perform how you’d like it to, watts alone won’t cut it.
We’re trying to help by getting people away from the mistaken idea that watts = loudness or volume, it just aint so.
I have a pair of QSC K8 active speakers that are rated at 1000W each, by your table above I’d be able to do a medium sized auditorium or small outdoor festival with those alone but if I tried that I’d be firmly into the realms of “not enough rig for the gig”.
They’re nice speakers and go incredibly loud for their size but they’re not right for a full on rock band even in a small venue if you’ve got Animal on the drums and a guitarist who goes to 11, in spite of being “2000W”.

That table comes from an article on the Crown website which if read in full, references some of the other required characteristics of a speaker/amp system in the assumptions listed prior to the table. Don’t take the table as gospel, it relies on the assumptions which may or may not be correct for your situation. Again it’s just one part of the equation, all parts of which must be evaluated to get an answer. The article in it’s entirety should give you a pretty good idea of how to work things out.
More important tables come further down where it talks about distance from source to listener and desired SPL.

If I was buying afresh I’d go active every time for your application.
The manufacturer should have done all of the hard work with built in DSP, limiters, even the dreaded watts are sorted for you.
All you need do is pick a box that goes loud enough for you and is of sufficient quality for your budget.

Extra cabling is a non-issue, you’ll gain with easier to handle cables plus no amp rack to lug around and cable up.

The Yamaha DSR112 seems to be flavour of the month right now, Nexo technology in a Yamaha package.
Haven’t heard them myself but they’re getting a lot of good reviews.