Powersoft K3


Hello to the sound Gurus! I have spent much more time in the last decade as a lampie and am coming to you for some advice. I am working with my Admin to make some upgrades to our heavily aged and poorly planned audio system. I am working with a great Sound Contractor who is specing some equipment I have not worked with and vendors whose reputation I know only from my google searches.

Replacing our mains (2x JBL JRX115 and 2x Yamaha sm115v) which are sitting on our catwalk with a 2x10 under the back edge to direct the sound down a little powered by QSC RMX 850s (200w @ 8ohm). They are recommending VUE Audiotecnik A-12s with an A-8 for a small center fill (bad hanging angles and worse space layout leads to a dead zone in the Down House Center seating) and a pair of As-115 Subs being driven by a pair of Powersource K3s and one Powersoft m30D.

Have any of you worked with the K3 or any other Powersource amps? I am struggling to justify the premium (3000 for 2 channels vs 2000 for 4 channels) on a 2x2800 amp over something like a QSC PLD 4.5 (4x1250) both with built in DSP and a 2u footprint when the mains would be 450/900w and the fill 300/600.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.


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In projects I've worked on, both as a designer of the project and in other projects where I've been installed someone else's design, Powersoft is usually reserved for the higher power output uses, or for backstage 70V systems where you need a lot of more driven across large zones of 70V speakers at higher tap settings than your average paging speaker.

In general, Powersoft makes a rock solid product. They're a good go-to for high power-handling requirements. Your application isn't what I would consider high power-handling. When I think of Powersoft, I think of a product meant built like a tank, meant to power a city block, and ready to be bounced across the country in the back of a truck. Installation amplifiers do not need this kind of robust construction. For that matter, installation amplifiers don't even need XLR or NL4 connectors on the back of them.

It is possible that the Powersoft amplifiers have some characteristic that makes them a good match for the VUE cabinets. For example, if you want to use FIR filtering in the JBL Vertec line, you need to be using BSS DSP's feeding Crown ITHD amplifiers. This is a subtly that exists because BSS, Crown, and JBL are all owned by Harman, therefore you get some extra bells and whistles if you use all of their products together that are much harder to come by if you stray outside of their product line for parts of your system. I am not familiar with this sort of relationship between VUE and Powersoft, but it is not outside of the realm of possibility that your vendor had some reason that they spec'd those models.

I can say that as a vendor myself, we have entire brands on our internal blacklist, certain products that are our mission-critical-tough-as-nails go-to, and certain brands that have treated us very well but have specific products we refuse to use. Any number of factors come into play in deciding what we use and specify. This includes the PITB factor (pain-in-the-butt) factor for setup. Certain system configurations fall into place like butter onto bread. Others have you on the phone with the manufacturer for 6 hours trying to convince them that it is in fact their product that is defunct. Some manufacturers are rock solid. Others will issue a product recall and send you new hardware, expect you to go install it at 15 sites across the country you've installed their product in, not reimburse you for time, and then backcharge you on the new hardware for not shipping the old hardware back to them soon enough (you may grimace, but it's happened).

My preference is doing a QSC Q-SYS 110F or Core 250i for DSP, then using the CXD4.xQ-series amplifiers. They are similar to the PLD's, but you only pay for the DSP in the Q-Sys instead of in each amplifier. It's also much friendlier to program in the tuning in a consolidated DSP. The CXDQ's also offer the ability to do power sequencing through the DSP, eliminating the need for a power sequencing system to power your amplifiers.

For whatever it's worth to you, QSC has been rock-solid for us. It doesn't have the touring production name recognition of d&b Audiotechnik, Alcons, L'acoustics, Meyer, or such, but as a mid-range installation product it's been excellent to use. We've installed and specified Q-Sys DSP's, CX amps, and CXD4.xQ's in several dozen projects over the last 10 years and I can only remember ever stumbling into one Q-Sys Core that had a faulty power supply. This is not to say that QSC is an acceptable replacement for your Powersofts as much as it is to say that QSC does offer a solid product line if you have no compelling reasons to use Powersoft.


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I am struggling to justify the premium (3000 for 2 channels vs 2000 for 4 channels) on a 2x2800 amp over something like a QSC PLD 4.5 (4x1250) both with built in DSP and a 2u footprint when the mains would be 450/900w and the fill 300/600.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

When in doubt and about to spend a lot of money on a long-term facilities investment, see if a demo is at all possible. I would also consider checking in to whether or not they are dealers of the brands they are trying to sell you. If they are dealers, make them shoot out competing brands to see if you like anything better. Don't let a dealer sell you on something expensive when you probably have more inexpensive options, or might get just as good a system used.

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