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Post subject: Re: Fender Expo systems?
Posted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 2:27 am
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Post subject: Re: Fender Expo systems?
Posted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:07 pm
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I posted this in the Fender lounge, but just for anyone that looks here and not there.

Time for my review. Thanx for waiting.

First off, the setup with these things, incredibly easy and fast. Based on what I researched about the Bose comparable systems this can't be beat. One line from the board to the first expo, one XLR to the next and you're good to go.

So now we had some sound but had to tinker with the board. First thing I noticed is that the mix from our board, as it was, was pretty muddy so I had to play with that. Now for positioning we put one of these just to the side and behind our drummer, trying to duplicate the setup as it would be live. The room we were in was a "gym/fellowship" hall for our drummers church, imagine a full size gym with a suspended ceiling and carpet 1/2 way up the walls all around, great spot. Once we had the eq's set up on the channels as we liked them we kept slowing bringing up the gains. And miracle of miracles, this thing never got feedback. I still can't wrap my brain around how that works. They were maybe 7-8 ft behind us and we were turning it up and nothing squealed, pretty cool.

Now we started running through some songs, all of except the drummer of course, have wireless so we were able to get out in front while playing. But guess what, you don't need to get out in front because from our mic to 20 ft in front of our mic's the sound level was about the same with little noticeable dropoff.

The only "con" is that the kick drum isn't quite as punchy as our old subs, it's there and not bad but not quite the same. It was quickly decided that what we were getting was still acceptable and since it's new we will only get better at eq'ing the mix to improve things.

The only real complaint from a band member was from our drummer. He is used to our old monitor mix in which there was nothing but vocals. The guitarist and I put our amps next to him so he had that stage volume only, and we kept the monitors pretty clean. Now he was hearing everything and he thought that because of the increased volume he was playing "harder" and he didn't care for that.

Once it was time to discuss/vote, it was unanimous to keep these things. In fact, in reference to what the drummer said I bought a 3rd set today. Now we can put one back by the drummer and the other two further out to the wings and a little forward. In this way he can adjust that middle one down slightly. so yes we spent $899 /pc 3 times but we have two complete PA's now so we have a bunch of stuff to sell and raise some $$. Plus we're all around 50 and just tired of lugging the bigger stuff around and putzing with it.

One very strange thing is the "spatial" aspect of these being behind you. Instead of a floor monitor blasting up at you and hearing the mains, all in front, now it's all behind you. The first couple songs it was like we were all a little drunk and couldn't stay together, but we got over that after just playing through it. Strange how that location alone can affect your playing.

So we're fans of these, the 3rd one should be in by Wed 11/26 or Friday 11/28 so we'll be using these next Sat night for a first gig. Really glad we got to simulate a live room in that way last night.

Hope all this makes sense. Now to come up with some cases for these. I did read many reviews and it's almost universal that people think the cases you can purchase are pretty "chinzy." I'm thinking PVC tubes with some packing blankets for the towers, not sure about the bass bins yet.


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Post subject: Re: Fender Expo systems?
Posted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 6:52 am
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If the mixer you are using can handle it, you might want to get a subwoofer to get that thump back. You'll only need one. A subwoofer doesn't really improve the "sound" of the bass. It mostly boosts the notes that you feel more than you hear. It makes ripples in your beer inside the bottle.

You only need one subwoofer because that kind of bass is not directional. These are the notes that you hear from a loud car stereo before you can see or otherwise hear the car; the stuff that makes the mirrors blurry inside that car.

You'll probably need two guys or a hand truck to haul the subwoofer. I use a hand truck for mine.

Mine has a vent in the back, and I've learned to aim that vent at a sacrificial corner where the sound will suck. Painful noise. But everywhere else in the room, it sounds great.

Meanwhile, the Expo sounds great. I'll start saving up now. If I can just find someone to buy my two Passports...


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Post subject: Re: Fender Expo systems?
Posted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 10:43 am
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Interesting report no doubt, what kind of audiences are you catering to --100-200-300 hundred or more??. So your running 3 sets of the Expo's? Well they must have some thing going for them if Contra is getting them cause he was pretty hard core on the Passports. I'll keep watching here for further reports.


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Post subject: Re: Fender Expo systems?
Posted: Sun Dec 14, 2014 1:19 am
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Louis8 wrote:
Interesting report no doubt, what kind of audiences are you catering to --100-200-300 hundred or more??. So your running 3 sets of the Expo's? Well they must have some thing going for them if Contra is getting them cause he was pretty hard core on the Passports. I'll keep watching here for further reports.


Yes, we are using 3 of the systems. 75-100 is average, clubs bars, probably had closer to 200 at the wedding we played last weekend. But I think the huge room it was in with wood floors and tall ceilings aided in the sounds system's output.

I'm still learning how to eq the individual channels on the board for the best output, but time is on our side there.

See the other Fender Expo thread here, I'll put a picture or two on there to clarify how we're using them.


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Post subject: Re: Fender Expo systems?
Posted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:45 am
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I realize every musician, every group, etc is individual and different. But this kind of stuff makes me laugh.

If you look at my review and photos in the "no feedback on expo's" thread you'll see our setup with the Expo's and the size of this one HUGE room we played for a wedding. Great luck with them so far. But then I come across the review posted below, funny how different the experience can be from one person to another.

Quote:


Fender Expo-Not Loud Enough

by **** ****from Seattle
Music Background: musician
October 21, 2014

Two of these units do not cover a room 8 X 14 for vocals in an oldies rock-n-roll band! They do have a nice clean sound for low volumes and the subs are pretty good. But the overall power just does not cut through for a rehearsal-let alone a gig with 300? Give me a break Fender! close



Wierd


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Post subject: Re: Fender Expo systems?
Posted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 6:37 pm
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There are a lot of Fender haters out there that just make up lies and post them as reviews. The trouble is that someone might read that and dismiss the Expo out of hand. If you can report that review, I would.

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One day they shall name a GREAT city after me, and they shall call it LINNINGRAD


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Post subject: Re: Fender Expo systems?
Posted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 11:42 am
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linnin wrote:
There are a lot of Fender haters out there that just make up lies and post them as reviews. The trouble is that someone might read that and dismiss the Expo out of hand. If you can report that review, I would.


Never thought about reporting it until you mentioned it. I sent a message to the site about it.


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Post subject: Re: Fender Expo systems?
Posted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 8:20 am
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I don't know that we can just discount them as Fender haters just because they don't like the product. The system apparently comes in under 400 watts RMS. That's great for acoustic music in a basketball-court-sized room. If you are into heavy metal, it's probably not enough. If you've been banging out rock until you've lost significant hearing, that's not enough.
If you are playing a wedding, or an average contra dance, or a church event (I don't do church, but hey, they use sound systems), or you are a singer/songwriter doing gigs in bars and restaurants, this thing is probably The Thing You Want. It's aimed at the same crowd as the other Passport units, except instead of building in the mixer, they let you use an external mixer so you can do stuff the other Passports can't do, like offer different monitor mixes to different performers, or record separate tracks for each input track instead of mixing down to stereo, or to delay sound to mid-hall speakers to decrease the echo sound in the room, or use parametric EQ on each input track, etc. etc. Stuff other mixers can do and Passports can't.
Then they give you anti-feedback built in, and they do this trick so it doesn't deafen people near it or fail to deliver sound to people far away. And you don't need speaker stands, and the stack is stable because the heavy thing is on the floor and the light thing is up high. Easy to store, transport and set up.
So, it has a market. It's not for everybody. People can love other Fender products and hate this thing. Then again, some people can hate other Fender products and LOVE this thing.
There's room at the table for all kinds.
Me? I really want to hear one. There aren't any in my town. Today, I search the state capital.


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Post subject: Re: Fender Expo systems?
Posted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:00 am
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ContraCaller wrote:
I don't know that we can just discount them as Fender haters just because they don't like the product. The system apparently comes in under 400 watts RMS. That's great for acoustic music in a basketball-court-sized room. If you are into heavy metal, it's probably not enough. If you've been banging out rock until you've lost significant hearing, that's not enough.
If you are playing a wedding, or an average contra dance, or a church event (I don't do church, but hey, they use sound systems), or you are a singer/songwriter doing gigs in bars and restaurants, this thing is probably The Thing You Want. It's aimed at the same crowd as the other Passport units, except instead of building in the mixer, they let you use an external mixer so you can do stuff the other Passports can't do, like offer different monitor mixes to different performers, or record separate tracks for each input track instead of mixing down to stereo, or to delay sound to mid-hall speakers to decrease the echo sound in the room, or use parametric EQ on each input track, etc. etc. Stuff other mixers can do and Passports can't.
Then they give you anti-feedback built in, and they do this trick so it doesn't deafen people near it or fail to deliver sound to people far away. And you don't need speaker stands, and the stack is stable because the heavy thing is on the floor and the light thing is up high. Easy to store, transport and set up.
So, it has a market. It's not for everybody. People can love other Fender products and hate this thing. Then again, some people can hate other Fender products and LOVE this thing.
There's room at the table for all kinds.
Me? I really want to hear one. There aren't any in my town. Today, I search the state capital.



All good points Contra, it's not for everyone. In my case we use 3 of them for our band and only one for an acoustic trio. And as great as they are for the band, acoustics just sing out of these things. I think so anyway, your impressions may be different. 8)


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Post subject: Re: Fender Expo systems?
Posted: Thu Dec 25, 2014 5:55 pm
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Okay, so I just bought two of them.

I called around. None in town. A place 60 miles away found two at another branch 85 miles away. One that they had on display, and one in the box. Add that they had them on clearance for $200 off. You heard me right. Clearance. Brand, spanking new model of device, on clearance.

So, I drove 85 miles, brought along my iPod Touch and an adapter cable to plug into the RCA jacks. Cranked up pretty loud, standing next to it, it wasn't all that loud in a weird kind of way. The tweeter was pretty loud, over my head. The woofer was pretty loud down around my knees. I had no directional awareness of the midrange. The sound was just, well, everywhere. No specific location, and not particularly loud. It was as if that sound was coming from somewhere else.

So, I walked the full length of the store and listened from as far away as I could get, and it sounded a lot like it did when I was right up next to it. The sound has a stronger sense of location from that distance. It was a clean sound. They call the bass "subwoofer", but I'd just call it "woofer". It has a great, clear bass sound. If you want to feel the thump of the kick drum in your chest, you still need a subwoofer, and I have one, though I don't use it for the acoustic music I provide sound for most of the time.

I also brought along a tiny mixer and a microphone plugged into it to test for feedback. It does not have electronic anti-feedback features. The array speakers have, as a side-effect, a tendency to not feed back.

With the mic cranked ridiculously hot, I could aim it at the midrange tower and it didn't feed back. Aiming it at the tweeter, it had a remarkably clear whistle-like, high-pitched feedback. Aiming at the woofer, it had a remarkably clear low tone as feedback. The weird part of the feedback was that it didn't grow or fade while holding the mic still. I could play the feedback with the mic like a Victor Theremin synthesizer. I was totally in control of the sound with distance and angle.

I'm pretty sure that the way I'll use it, it will never feed back.

But the store and I did a stupid thing. They brought out the other speaker in a box. One box. One box proportioned like the base of the system... A box that was too short to possibly hold the array tower.

I could complain about how stupid the store was to not bring me the two boxes that the system apparently comes in, but it's more like there was a stupid committee and I was on it, fully participating. So, now, I have to call the store and ask them to ship me the part they forgot to give me and I forgot to check to make sure I needed. I don't really want to drive the 170 mile round trip again to pick it up, and it is paid for.

I'll report more as I know more.


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Post subject: Re: Fender Expo systems?
Posted: Thu Dec 25, 2014 6:32 pm
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Okay, so I just hooked up my one complete Expo. I have one and a half.

I like that I can play the iPod at full volume and control the Expo volume from silence, smoothly up to damned loud. Like, "Ow" loud. In my house, anyway. I'll need that for bigger rooms.

So, it occurs to me that I like this sound better than my home music system. Gee, maybe it'll do double duty. I'll get more use out of them this way, and it's kind of a conversation starter standing there like pretty furniture.

The box says, "All Weather Finish". Are you kidding me? Like I'm going to put this out in the rain to test that, with electrical connectors on the top. Sometimes, marketing people are strange.

Anyway, when I get the other half of my other Expo, I realize I'm going to need two long, single-cable RCA cables to connect it to my stereo. The one provided won't do the trick unless I peel it back into two cables.

But this is a small thing.

New discovery: The upper four mid-range speakers play higher treble than the lower mid-range speakers. There's a definite EQ shift between the two. The speakers look the same, but sound quite different.

There's clearly more stuff going on in this system than I understand yet. Here's to discovery...

Anybody want to buy a gently used Passport 500 Pro and/or 300Pro? I have one of each that's otherwise on its way to eBay...


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Post subject: Re: Fender Expo systems?
Posted: Sun Feb 08, 2015 4:58 pm
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Just found these threads on here about the Expo. I have been a Bose user for several years now, so I am hip to the whole line array thing. Needless to say, the price point on the Expo's is very attractive.
So far, so good with mine. Wanted to touch on the more negative review that was posted above. Everything has its place. I suppose if you are a guitar player that has to play through a, 100 watt Marshall stack for example, than you may find yourself in a band with a bass player that is playing through 300 watt tube head and 8x10 cab. Over course the Expo is not gonna keep up with this. But, if I was in a band playing through this kind of gear, I would only be playing places that have their own house systems. No need to lug along a PA.
I am one of them guys (like the saying goes) loading $5000 worth of gear into my $500 ride to go make $50. Not really, I usually make a $100. In any case, everything has its place. As far as the line array stuff goes. I have sold off all of my traditional PA stuff for this. I love it, my back loves it and the rest of the band loves it.
We are still staying busy, with less clutter on stage. I played Friday night at a pub. I went back in Saturday to check out the band. The doorman made a comment to me, saying "these guys have so much more stuff then you guys did, but I heard you guys better". Needles to say, it put a smile on my face, and another feather in the cap.
I like my Expo, only time will tell, on how long it stands the test of time. Would like to get a second one at some point. I was not happy with the bags that I had to purchase for them, but better then not having any. Also was not to fond of how the array mounts on the lower unit. Not so stable. I just would feel a little more comfortable some kind of bracket for support, and I have something in mind, that I may have put together at a later date.


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Post subject: Re: Fender Expo systems?
Posted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:27 am
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Macheted01, it was cool to read your reviews and experience with the Expo. Our band has had them since November, played about 5 gigs with the rock band and two gigs with our acoustic group and the Expo's have been great. So much less weight and bulk to haul around.

My ONLY contention is that I'd like to see our drummer get a subwoofer to put on his kick drum, it can be heard but just to add that "feel" would make a difference. But that's a small issue, we just played last Sunday at a bar that when we last played it we had our old PA setup. The bartenders were asking "where's all your stuff?" But when we took a break they were telling us how much clearer the sound was then before, vocals are very crisp and clean.

No buyer's remorse with these things as far as I'm concerned.


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Post subject: Re: Fender Expo systems?
Posted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 6:31 pm
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Very cool to hear. As far as powered subs go, I had two different ones that I have finally sold. I had a Yorkeville NX200S and a JBL 118Sp. Both great subs. The NX200S had a single 10" but was very surprising and I used to use it to supplement my L1 before I bought the second B1 to add to it. I don't feel that I need another sub, but the Fender PS512 seems very interesting. Size and weight seems great.


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