Matching speaker brands on a PA system
I am a drummer with an electronic kit and am looking for a PA to use for my drums and the rest of the band. I am considering a Bag End P-S18E-I powered subwoofer. My question relates to the speakers. Is it recommended to use the same brand on top? Will there be time-align problems and if so, how do I correct them? Will any brand give good results? What do you look for when matching a sub to speakers? Thanks.
Some manufacturers (Mackie!) Will say your system will only work properly with matched products, but this is (imo) almost always false. Especially with the Sub you are choosing, the real "matching" is done in the Corssovers and EQ setup. More importantly, you may want to be sure the sensitivity ratings are in an equal range as well as power handling, and SPL of whatever brand of loudspeaker you may choose. Time align problems certainly won't be caused be the manufacturer name, but they can occur. You will probably have a 180 Phase flip, which should in most cases be enough along with proper speaker placement to battle any obvious cancellation.
My 2 cents
My 2 cents
Not sure what size venues you plan on playing, or how often you gig. But, I've been the "sound guy" for a local band for the past three years. At first, I bought JBL tops with two HUGE bass bins. Needless to say, after a year, lugging that giant system around was getting old (and painful). So, I switched to Mackie SA1521's. Granted they're not light at about 100 lbs a piece, but no amp rack to lug - only speaker poles. Look into these as they have a tremendous sound. Crisp highs and a great low-end. They were designed by EAW and now have an "HD" version which I have yet to hear. You wil want to take that into account, though, unless you have roadies to lend a hand it can get pretty tiring.
The only reason I can think of to "match" the tops and subs is if yor are using an internal non-adjustable crossover in the powered subs to feed the mains. I prefer the control of an external crossover that allows me to tweak the crossover frequency and the type and slope of shelves. But I have to admit, once I make a choice for a system, I usually stick with it - it doesn't change from room to room. If you are going to use an internal crossover, I guess I'd try the "matching" tops first. but I wouldn't stop there.