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Using a Driverack PA+ with powered speakers

Tom99Tom99 Posts: 18
edited February 2014 in PA Connectivity
Hello, hope you can help me please.
I have been using the DRPA+ for a while with my passive speakers and amp and love it.

I have now decided to purchase powered speakers - two Electrovoice ZXA1 tops and two Electrovoice ZXA1-Subs which go together beautifully. Can I use the DRPA with these or should I buy a PX? I can press a 100Hz low-cut button on the ZXA1 that keeps the bass in the subs when they are joined together. I just wondered if I actually need to use the DRPA anymore with the powered speakers, or would the DRPA make a huge difference in sound quality? If so, can you help me please? I am not sure what to do.


  • DraDra Posts: 3,777
    Do not downgrade to a PX. Yes use the PA. Don't use the 100hz filter on the speaker. Use the x-over in the DRPA. 100hz LR24 (division between tops and subs) is a good point to try.

  • Tom99Tom99 Posts: 18
    Thank you - I had not released that going to a PX would be downgrading. I am not sure how to use powered speakers with the DRPA. Should I set the speaker volume on 0 when auto levelling? I am also not sure which preset to use as I intend to use either one or two powered subs when needed. Could you explain more about where on the crossover settings I should set 100hz LR24 please. Thank you for your help.
  • Tom99Tom99 Posts: 18
    Oops, I forgot to put the specs of the speakers on here for you:

    Electrovoice ZXA1 tops:

    Amplifier Power 800 Watts (RMS)
    Input Connections XLR and TRS Combo; XLR with Independent Gain
    Power Requirement 120V: 95V - 132V, 50 - 60 Hz, 0.6A 230V:190V - 264V, 50 - 60 Hz, 0.4A
    Speaker Type Full-range, powered monitors, powered speakers, two-way, wedges
    Frequency Response (-3 dB) 60 - 20000 Hz Full Range Mode
    Frequency Response (-10 dB) 48 - 20000 Hz Full Range Mode
    Recommended High-Pass Frequency 36 Hz User Selectable
    Max. SPL/1m (calc) 126 dB
    Coverage (Nominal -6 dB) H 90 ° Rotatable
    Coverage (Nominal -6 dB) V 50 ° Rotatable
    LF Transducer 8-inch EV8L
    HF Transducer 1.25-inch DH2005
    Crossover Frequency 1800 Hz

    Electrovoice ZXA1-Subs:
    Amplifier Power 800 Watts (RMS)
    Coverage (Nominal -6 dB) Omnidirectional
    Input Connections (2) XLR Stereo Input, (2) XLR Stereo Output
    Power Requirement 120V: 90V-132v, 1.0 A, 50-60Hz 230V: 190V-264V, 0.6A, 50-60Hz
    Speaker Type Powered Subwoofer
    Frequency Response (-3 dB) 53–93 Hz Half Space
    Frequency Response (-10 dB) 44–118 Hz Half Space
    Max. SPL/1m (calc) 126 dB Half Space
    System Power Handling (Continuous/Program/Peak) 700 Watts
    LF Transducer (1) EVS-12S, 305mm (12�) Woofer
    Crossover Frequency 100 Hz

    The reason I want this system is because the tops are so small and light - great for my poor old back. May I have your expert opinion about this system? Hope I am not doing the wrong thing now I have read about some speakers like JBL and Bose being made elsewhere and not being so good. Thanks.
  • DraDra Posts: 3,777
    Use the DRPA with powered speakers just like you would do with an amp and speakers. Typically you will set the gain on the speaker to unity.
    You use preset if you wish and the modify it, but it is really just as easy to use the wizard and start from scratch. I like to set up a program for each config set-up. For example, 1 for two tops (full range), 1 for 2 tops and subs, etc. The x-over freq and type are done in the x-over module. You have to set the filter for each output band.

    Typical powered (with internal processing) sub setting - 30hz BW18 - 100hz LR24. Be sure to set the sub's (if adjustable) x-over filter to max (high) to get it out of the way.
    Typical top setting - 100hz LR24 (or matching to the freq chosen.

  • Tom99Tom99 Posts: 18
    Dra, thank you very much for your reply. I cannot adjust the sub's crossover filter - there is no switch to allow that. Is that a problem?

    Also, the manual says:
    frequency response Frequency Response (-3 dB) 53–93 Hz Half Space
    Frequency Response (-10 dB) 44–118 Hz Half Space

    I don't know what that all means but I'd be interested to know why you recommend the sub setting at 30hz LR 24? Isn't that much lower than the speaker can handle?

    Thank you for your valuable help.
  • DraDra Posts: 3,777
    I have a new recommendation for you. After looking at the manual for the EV's You should still use the DRPA, but set it up as a simple full range output. In the wizard, you will select a stereo GEQ (common filter control), select custom - passive speakers,, no sub, and custom amp. You will use the high outputs (only).
    XLR out to sub input, out sub to speaker input (follow manual). Set the top's to the sub setting.
    Set the HPF to 40hz BW18. You'll still have full graphic EQ, AFS, limiter, and 3 PEQs for tonal control.

  • Tom99Tom99 Posts: 18
    Thank you for the new recommendation, DRA. May I ask you why you recommend this way rather than take a high and low out of the DRPA to the subs and tops? When you say to "set the tops to the sub setting", do you mean I should push in the 100Hz low cut filter on the tops? Would this way sound as nice as your previous recommendation?

    Once again, thank you. You don't know how much I appreciate your help.
  • Tom99Tom99 Posts: 18
    PS If I have bought an EV system that is not adequate for using the DRPA to its full potential I can return it within 14 days. What is your expert opinion please? I use 2 vocals, electric piano, drum machine and backing discs. Venues are fairly small (weddings, pubs etc). Mainly swing, big band, Astaire sort of music. Thank you.
  • DraDra Posts: 3,777
    The sub has a fixed filter, so it can't go higher. The 8" top is not capable of going lower (and perform). If the system sounds good doing what you need it to do... then it is what you need.
  • Tom99Tom99 Posts: 18
    Thank you Dra.
    May I ask a couple of more things please? If I am using a pair of EV ZXA1's by themselves as a full range speaker (without a sub), what would the setting for the x-over be please? I also plan to use a pair of them as stage monitors this evening and I don't think I would need to use them full range. Could you recommend a setting for monitoring purposes too please?

    Thank you and Happy Christmas.
  • DraDra Posts: 3,777
    try the 100hz switch.
  • Tom99Tom99 Posts: 18
    I was going to set up a preset on the DRPA for it. Is sending a full range signal to the ZXA-1 and pressing the button at 100Hz better than sending it a signal that has already been processed on the DRPA? Thanks.
  • DraDra Posts: 3,777
    A high pass filter is a high pass filter. If you want to play around with the freqency then, use the DRPA's.

  • Tom99Tom99 Posts: 18
    edited January 2014
    Thank you.

    May I ask you another gain-structure related question please? This is regarding setting up gain structure on my reverb unit (TC Electronic M350) and I am not sure if I am doing this correctly.

    1. I run a signal through the mixer and look at the post-fader Aux Send meters (to the reverb) and put them just under clipping.
    2. I set the input of the reverb unit to just under clipping.
    3. I set the return channel to just under clipping...

    The problem is, the level going to the reverb unit is dry and the return from the reverb back to the mixer is 100% wet. This is going to send a much smaller wet level back to the mixer and ruin the gain structure. How do I do this properly please? It is the only thing in my system that is not gain structured.

    Hope you can help.
  • DraDra Posts: 3,777
    Doing a gain structure on powered speakers is not possible. The best way is to set them at the Unity mark, if there is one. If not, set them to about 12 O'clock.

    I think you can simply skip the auto level.

  • Tom99Tom99 Posts: 18
    Anyone know the answer to my previous question re: gain structuring reverb please?
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