AXIS 12 question

Hi, I have a set of the AXIS 12 speakers, along with the 12s Subs, I DJ mostly weddings, and drive them with a MC4000 controller. would anyone at denon be able to assist with this quesion. What level should i set the speakers to? should i set them to 12 o’clock both tops and subs? I notice that the limiter light comes on very quickly when set like this, so i put the volume to 9 o’clock and that allows me to turn the MC4000 master output up to almost unity but I’m still seeing the limiter light flickering quite a bit. I had a pair of Alto TSL115s before this and never had the limit light come on, i could drive them with the MC4000 hard and not see or have the limiter come on. Some guidance from anyone who has these or knows what is best practice with these speakers.

Thanks!! Sam King

Never go with Your master from a console to a full if not really needed. Lower the master volume, check Your master VU meter. Stay under 0dB on master out. Adjust the speakers accordingly to the needs of venue. Mostly if very loud needed, 75% is enough. Then use the master knob to adjust but never go above 0dB. If need more juce, let the speakers at max volume and adjust on the MC4000 to stay under 0dB. Limiter is always on when You send too loud signal to Your speaker, in other words - internal electronics is protecting the speaker/amp module from too high volume.

12 o’clock is probably the amp inputs wide-open if it says zero on it there. If so, you would need the MC4000 (your front-end) master turned way down to put the powered speaker volumes at that spot. The metering on the front-end is for the benefit of running the front-end properly; it doesn’t magically prevent all additional clipping or limiting in gear later down the chain. Each piece in the chain needs its own input trim levels set appropriately.

I’d recommend you do put your master at unity on the output of the MC4000 front-end and then the powered speakers’ volume lower, as this maximizes signal-to-noise ratio on both the front-end and the transmission line, as well as prevents users of the front-end from cranking up that master and stupidly crushing into the powered speaker amp limiter dangerously.

Having to put a powered speaker’s volume at 9 o’clock or less is not unusual with a hot pro nominal balanced input signal as you’re going to see running the MC4000 master out at unity and nice proper levels elsewhere on it.

You also might want to ensure the tops are being crossed effectively and not receiving the entire frequency range, as low frequencies hog a lot of power and you want those going to the subs… unless you’re running the tops really quiet, in which case there are ways of more gently crossing the subs at an even lower corner frequency and running the tops full-range (with their natural, inherent roll-off) for less gear in the path. That’s audiophile stuff, though, not PA stuff. You need higher output and gear safety for PA stuff.

If everything else is taken care of and you still see the limiter on the powered cabs flickering, back off their volume knobs substantially from that point so that only in the most extreme overdriving on the front-end would you ever see the powered cab’s own limiter flickering. You don’t want the amplifier limiters kicking in when there’s nothing limiting or clipping on the front-end; that way you have some safe headroom on both the front-end and the powered speakers.

Most importantly, though, listen to the speakers. If they sound like they’re stressing something, you might be doing thermal damage to them even without amp peak limiters on them kicking in. A lot of these class-D amps now will even fail before the drivers will, and the risk to drivers is mostly thermal, too. So definitely don’t put the drivers or the amps into too much stress.

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I agree completely with @Reticuli and would just add one thing. When you say that you put the MC4000 at unity, is it at unity or do you mean you put the master at full? I don’t know the units, but it might not be the same thing. My Ecler mixer, for instance, is at unity when the master is at full so if the gains are set properly for the input signal I know that with the channel fader up and the master out fully up, the output VU’s will match the input VU’s. (My “output” VU’s are actually mix VU’s as they are pre-master out). This is relatively rare though; a lot of mixers will be adding something (sometimes quite a lot) when the master is at full. If you’re sending too hot a signal to the amps, that could cause the limiter to kick in. The flip side is, if you’ve set proper gain structure on the mixer with both the input and output just hitting 0db, your amps shouldn’t be hitting the limiter with its gains at 9 o’clock unless something’s wrong - either a fault or badly designed.

Really completely unrelated stuff. Input sensitivity (class D often has an ADC stage), wattage of the amp, and curve on those pots dictate where that amp knob should be with a given signal, and it may be intended able to get loud with alternatively very weak signals, too, hence lots of room to have it wide open if needed. Now, if the limiter were on the input stage for the ADC and no position low enough on the knob prevents it from triggering with a hot pro nominal signal, then that’s another matter. Otherwise, put it low enough that only with the controller overly saturated does the amp limit, if ever. I’d personally put it even below that. If then the cabs are not loud enough, check specs vs your intended use, then inquire with InMusic if something doesn’t jive.

Also, turn off built-in EQs and ensure you are on Line and not Mic.