Researching A/V Equipment for SVPB - Sound System Speakers

15 minute read

This article is part of multipart series: Researching A/V Equipment for the Silicon Valley Prayer Breakfast (SVPB).



See Bose L1 - Speaker Sound System.


# Item Price Qty Total Description
1 JBL EON615 15” 1000W Speakers $599.95 4 - 6 $2,399.80 - $3,599.70 Comes with Gas Assist Tripod Kit; 2 x Balanced XLR-1/4” combination inputs; 1 x male XLR loop thru out; requires AC power (1/3rd Power – 2.03A (Max))
2 JBL EON615-Bag-W Deluxe Carry Bag with Wheels $179.99 4 - 6 $719.96 - $1,079.94  
3 Kopul Studio Elite 4000 Series XLR M to XLR F 50’ $21.49 4 - 6 $85.96 - $128.94 Extra long cables for chaining speakers
4 Kopul Studio Elite 4000 Series XLR M to XLR F 100’ $29.95 2 - 4 $59.90 - $119.80 Extra long cables for linking audio board to speakers
5 Watson 100 ft AC Power Extension Cord 14 AWG $49.95 2 $99.90  
6 Watson 50 ft AC Power Extension Cord 14 AWG $29.95 6 - 8 $179.70 - $239.60  
7 Furman PL-8 C Power Conditioner $158.97 2 $317.94 Ensures that each speaker gets the correct voltage and current needed
  Subtotal     $3,863.16 - $5,585.82  
  Tax 8.75%   $338.03 - $488.76  
  Total     $4,201.18 - $6,074.52 6 speakers = +$1,873.34

An XLR cable can run a couple hundred feet as long as it’s balanced and properly shielded.

If you’re looking for enterprise multimedia services, please contact us at If you’re looking for personal, family, and wedding multimedia services, please contact us at


See Three Portable Church Sound Systems for Every Budget:

Avoid purchasing used equipment. Used equipment means you’re rolling the dice. As tempting as it is to purchase, keep in mind that NEW equipment comes with warranties and you’ll definitely want those.

Try to keep the speaker manufacturers the same and better still keep the models the same, especially for powered models. They have built-in crossovers and amps that are specifically matched to the output characteristics of the sub.


# Item Price Qty Total Amplification (Overall/LF/HF) Freq. Range Freq. Response Coverage (HxV) Height Range
1 JBL EON G2 15” 1000W (discontinued) $499.95 6 $2,999.70 1000/500/500 46.8 Hz - 20 kHz, (-10 dB) 50.8 Hz - 20 kHz, (±3 dB) 90° x 50° 46 - 76”
2 JBL EON615 15” 1000W (bluetooth control) $499.95 6 $2,999.70 1000/500/500 46.8 Hz - 20 kHz, (-10 dB) 50.8 Hz - 20 kHz, (±3 dB) 90° x 50° 46 - 76”
3 Mackie SRM450 12” 1000W $519.99 6 $3,119.94 1000/800/200 42 Hz - 23 kHz (-10 dB) 47 Hz - 20 kHz (-3 dB) 90˚ x 45˚ 46 - 76”
4 QSC K12 10” 1000W (w/o stand) $699.99 6 $4,199.94 1000/500/500 ? 60 Hz - 18 kHz (-6 dB) 75º x 75º ?
5 JBL EON One All-In-One 10” subwoofer $999.00 6 $5,994 380/250/130 37.5 Hz to 18.5 kHz 45 Hz to 18 kHz 100º x 50º 23.3”
6 RCF Evox 5 Compact w/ 10” subwoofer $999.00 6 $5,994 800/600/200 ? 45 Hz to 20 kHz 120° x 30° 12.83”
7 RCF Evox 12 w/ 15” subwoofer $2,499.00 4 $9,996 1400/1000/400 40 Hz to 20 kHz (±3 dB) ? 90° x 30° 84.4”
7 Bose L1 Model 2 w/ B1 Bass $2,499.00 ? ? 500/250/250 40 Hz - 12 kHz (±3 dB) 32 Hz - 14 kHz (-10 dB) 195° x 0° 84”
8 Bose L1 Model 2 w/ B2 Bass $2,699.00 - - 500/250/250 40 Hz - 12 kHz (±3 dB) 32 Hz - 14 kHz (-10 dB) 195° x 0° 84”

JBL 15” Eon G2 Speaker

Evox 12:

2 Evox 12 will easily do 350 guest. I have used 1 for 100 or less. (

Active or Passive

See Live sound speakers buying guide:

Active vs. Passive: You’ll see those terms frequently when you’re shopping for PA speakers. An active, or powered, speaker has a built-in amplifier, so you can connect it directly to a mixing board. A passive, or unpowered, speaker does not, so you’ll need to plug it into an external amp. Which type to choose depends mostly on:

  1. How you’ll be using the speakers
  2. Whether you already have amplifiers or other gear

Active Speakers

Active speakers have power amplifiers, crossovers, and other signal processors built into their cabinets. This simplifies set up tremendously, especially for portable systems.

The convenience factor shows up best when a single powered speaker serves as the whole PA — all you need to do is plug in a source of sound, like a microphone or any music player’s output, and you’re set.

Passive Speakers

Passive speakers are powered by outboard amplifiers. They’re an outstanding choice for permanent placements, such as a church, school, or live music venue.

If you’re building a large system, unpowered speakers will give you both versatility and room to grow. And they tend to be lighter and less expensive than their amped-up cousins.

Passive speakers are good for hanging or wall mounting because you don’t have to run AC power to them, and you won’t have to climb a ladder to make an adjustment.

Passive speakers need at least as much power as their “program power rating.” Most manufacturers suggest giving them up to twice that amount of power for optimum performance.

Subwoofer for Bass

When it comes to low tones like bass guitar and kick drums, live sound subwoofers are essential. Bass takes a lot of power, so having a sub to handle that responsibility leaves the other speakers to focus on the mids and highs. That makes them sound louder and cleaner.


  • If you’re looking for portable gear for an acoustic guitar duo, you don’t really need a subwoofer.
  • A chamber music quartet in a small room needs a lot less bass than a rockabilly band in a roadhouse.
  • And those rockabilly cats need a lot less bass than the rap-metal band coming to town on Friday night. But both of these guys need the added bass power.

Powered or Unpowered?

As with regular speakers, subs are either powered or unpowered. Which way to go depends on your system. Powered subs are easier to add to existing systems because you don’t have to re-configure your amps. On the other hand, if you have an unused channel or two on your amplifier, an unpowered sub will be less expensive.

All-in-one Systems

If you need a compact, versatile sound solution, an all-in-one PA system is an excellent choice.

HF and LF

HF and LF stands for High Frequeny (Tweeter) and Low Frequency (Woofer).

Watts of Amplification

350 - smaller events

1000 - medium events


Acronym for Root Mean Square.

RMS is the process used to determine the average power outputof the speakers over a long period of time.

The alternative to RMS is PMPO(peak momentary power output) which represents peak output measured in microseconds rather than over a long period of time.

Frequency Response

The frequency response is used to describe the audible frequency range that a loudspeaker can reproduce. Audio frequencies are measured in Hertz (Hz) and the theoretical range of human hearing is generally regarded as being from about 20 Hz (the very lowest bass tones) through 20 kHz (the very highest treble notes). ( Understanding Speaker Specifications and Frequency Response.)

Sound Pressure Level (SPL)

A common specification for microphones, max SPL indicates the highest sound pressure level a mic’s electronics can handle before the onset of distortion. Normally, this spec is referenced to 0.5% distortion at 1 kHz… Keep in mind that the presence of an attenuator switch on the mic may allow an increase in the volume level the mic can absorb before distorting. ( Maximum SPL (Sound Pressure Level).)

Speaker Stands

JBL Gas Assist Speaker Tripod (3’8” to 6’7”)

Designed for supporting JBL JRX200, PRX400, STX800, EONH, PRX700, and VRX900 speaker models. The stand uses an internal air-powered shock to assist in lifting the PA speaker to an adjustable height between 3’8” and 6’7” off the ground.

The Physics of Sound


See How Far Will That Loudspeaker “Throw”?

Wondering how far will that loudspeaker “throw”? A far better question to ask is what sound pressure level (SPL) can be achieved at “X” distance with this system and at what input power level?

Sound Attenuation

Attenuation is a general term that refers to any reduction in the strength of a signal. Attenuation occurs with any type of signal, whether digital or analog. Sometimes called loss, attenuation is a natural consequence of signal transmission over long distances.

[See] graph of the attenuation of sound at difference frequencies (accounting for atmospheric pressure and humidity)

As you can see, low frequencies are not absorbed as well. This means low frequencies will travel farther.

Another effect that affects sound propagation, especially through walls, headphones, and other relative hard surfaces is reflection. Reflection is also frequency dependent. High frequencies are better reflected whereas low frequencies are able to pass through the barrier


Do low frequencies carry farther than high frequencies? Yes. The reason has to do with what’s stopping the sound. If it weren’t for attenuation (absorption) sound would follow an inverse square law.

Remember, sound is a pressure wave vibration of molecules. Whenever you give molecules a “push” you’re going to lose some energy to heat. Because of this, sound is lost to heating of the medium it is propagating through. The attenuation of sound waves is frequency dependent in most materials. See Wikipedia for the technical details and formulas of acoustic attenuation.

Power Cords

Just make sure you don’t buy the BRIGHT ORANGE cords, always use black.

See comment by MusicMeister on

First and foremost, loading on a circuit needs to be based on REAL and ACTUAL values.

There are people putting up to 4 Bose L1’s on a single circuit with playback equipment as well and not tripping a breaker. The Bose L1’s are 750 watts each, or a total of 3000 watts plus the current draw from the computer, etc.

While equipment is rated to deliver these high wattage levels, it’s extremely rare that you will get to even half of those levels. Most certainly, you won’t be seeing 75%. If you are, you probably should consider adding more sound reinforcement to avoid clipping rather than just pushing the levels higher.

As for cords, you can make them yourself, get them pre-made, or have them made for you. If you make them yourself, I recommend testing the outlet, then plugging in the cord and testing the cord - all with a circuit tester. This will let you know that you have it all wired correctly. Depending on the ends you select, I recommend checking them occasionally to insure nothing has come undone.

Now wire size. Most equipment uses a 14 guage IEC power cable. It makes no sense to use 12guage if part of it is 14 gugage unless you’re dealing with extremly long runs. ‘Normal’ runs of up to 50 feet or so are perfectly acceptable with 14 guage cable. As you reach runs of 100 feet or more you need to consider 12guage, not because of the load, but because of the potential voltage drop from using the lower guage may be significant.

Yes, power cords are an investment, and you should invest in good equipment, but why would you purchase a 10ft. 12 guage cord? You wouldnt’. If you’re buying a long cable then by all means go to a proper guage to handle a fully loaded circuit. But on the flip side, there’s no reason to purchase 000 gauge 50ft cables just to power a small sound rig. That’s completely different if you’re wiring directly into the 200 amp service at the electrical panel and running 10,000 or 20,000 watts for concert sound.

In other words, know what you REALLY need. Take the time to educate yourself on the limitations and why they exist and THEN make a buying decision.

See How To Choose Extension Cords:

Indoor vs Outdoor Extension Cords

Outdoor extension cords have tough covers made from rubber, plastic or vinyl. Using indoor extension cords outside can lead to overheating.

Plug Type

The third prong in the extension cord provides a path to the ground wire in a household electrical circuit. This ground wire greatly reduces the risk of electrical shock and fires. The three-prong cord itself should only be used with properly grounded three-slot outlets.

Amperage, Gauge & Cord Length

Each extension cord has a maximum amperage — the limit on the current it can conduct safely. Connecting devices with a higher current, may cause overheating.

If you plan to connect multiple devices to the cord at the same time, add up the current requirements for each device. The power requirements for some devices are listed in watts, rather than amps. Use this formula to convert the rating to amps: Amps = watts/110.

If an extension cord doesn’t include a maximum amperage rating, you can figure out its capacity by looking at its American Wire Gauge (AWG) rating. A lower AWG number indicates a thicker wire and a higher capacity, so the lower the number, the higher the cord’s capacity to deliver power.

Gauge is typically listed along with the number of conducting wires in the cord. For example, a 14/3 cord contains 14-gauge wire and has three conductions inside.

To determine the cord’s capacity, consider the cord length along with the wire gauge. Every extra foot of cord increases the electrical resistance, which decreases the power the cord can deliver to connected devices. Because of this, it’s best to use a cord that is only as long as you need.

# Cord Length Device Amperage Rating Good for use with Minimum Wire Gauge
1 25 Feet 1 – 13 Amps Christmas lights, work lights, portable fans, hedge trimmers 16 Gauge (Light Duty)
2 25 Feet 14 - 15 Amps Lawn mowers, power drills, table saws 14 Gauge (Medium Duty)
3 25 Feet 16 - 20 Amps Chain saws, circular saws, shop vacs, air compressors 12 Gauge (Heavy Duty)
4 50 Feet 1 - 13 Amps Christmas lights, work lights, portable fans, hedge trimmers 16 Gauge (Light Duty)
5 50 Feet 14 - 15 Amps Lawn mowers, power drills, table saws 14 Gauge (Medium Duty)
6 50 Feet 16 - 20 Amps Chain saws, circular saws, shop vacs 12 Gauge (Heavy Duty) or 10 Gauge (Extra Heavy Duty)
7 100 Feet 1 - 10 Amps Christmas lights, work lights, portable fans, hedge trimmers 16 Gauge (Light Duty)
8 100 Feet 11 - 13 Amps Lawn mowers, power drills, table saws 14 Gauge (Medium Gauge)
9 100 Feet 14 - 15 Amps Chain saws, circular saws, shop vacs 12 Gauge (Heavy Duty)
10 150 Feet 1 - 7 Amps Christmas lights, work lights, portable fans 14 Gauge (Medium Gauge)
11 150 Feet 8 - 10 Amps Lawn mowers, power drills 12 Gauge (Heavy Duty)
12 150 Feet 11 - 15 Amps Table saws, Chain saws, circular saws, shop vacs 10 Gauge (Extra Heavy Duty)

See B&H Chat Transcript:

Opening Question: Trying to determine power requirements for JBL EON615 1000W 15” 2-way powered speaker; what guage power cord is required for 50 ft - 100 ft runs? Product:

Jordan K: Hello Justin. My name is Jordan. Please give me a moment to begin working on your inquiry.Me: ThanksJordan K: A 12 or 14 gauge cable like this will be fine, but you may want to use this with a good power converter for the best performance and safety. I’ll look into power converters, thanks.Me: Can you help me understand the Power Consumption on the official spec sheet: AC Power Consumption (120V~): 1/8th Power – 1.14A (Max), 1/4th Power – 1.71A (Max), 1/3rd Power – 2.03A (Max)Me: It only lists up to 1/3rd Power - what would you say is a normal operating power level for a large conference hall in a hotel?Me: The reason I ask is because we need 6 of these JBL speakers and I’m trying to figure out if we can run all of them off on extension cord from the wall, or should would you recommend running at least 2 (or more) cords for a certain number of speakers?Me: run all of them off one extension cord*Me: The conference hall is 100 ft x 100 ftJordan K: This is referring to the current draw. If it goes above 1/3 power, it is usually for less than a second, and won’t be something you need to worry about.Me: (we’re assuming we need 6, but perhaps 4 is enough??)Jordan K: I would recommend running all of the speakers from something like this: K: For 1000 sq feet. I think 6 speakers will probably be more than you need.Me: Okay, thanks. So if we use 4 speakers, should we just run one 100-ft 14 gauge extension cord out to the Furman PL-8 C Power Conditioner, and then run 50-100 ft cords for each speaker from this Power Conditioner?Me: (if we place the Power Conditioner in a central location)Jordan K: That would work. This power conditioner is commonly mounted in a rack cabinet, or case together with any sound processing units, or wireless mic receivers you might use. If you will be using other equipment like that, a rack to accomodate them would be a good idea.Me: Right, okay.Me: Now back to the power consumption - were you implying that the speakers will normally not go above 1/3rd power consumption?Me: I’m just trying to figure out how many max total amps to plan for with 4 or 6 of these speakersJordan K: The speakers you asked me about are self powered, and don’t require an external amplifier.Me: Right… What I meant is:Me: The Extension Cord you set allows “Up to 13A Current Draw”Me: What will be the max total current draw of these speakers?Me: I mean, you did say the setup above would work for the 4-6 speakers, right? (i.e. 1x 100 ft 14 Gauge extension cord powering all 4-6 speakers)Jordan K: The power conditioner would ensure that each speaker gets the correct voltage and current needed.

If each speaker is drawing about 1-2 Amperes, 13 Amperes would definitely be sufficient.Me: ah, I see, thanks for explaining that!