Are you outgrowing your point-source PA? Meet the SRX900 Series, which brings JBL’s professional line array technologies to affordable, easy-to-use systems that can easily grow with customers’ needs.
When it comes to performance, the SRX900 Series checks all of the boxes: custom-engineered driver systems with precision waveguides provide superior fidelity, coverage, and pattern control, and sophisticated yet intuitive DSP and software-management tools make system design, deployment, and optimization a breeze. Versatile rigging accessories let customers scale systems for any scenario.
We sat down with Chris Gavin, Product Specialist on HARMAN Professional’s Performance Audio team, for a deep dive discussion to understand how the Series addresses the growing need for affordable, scalable professional sound-reinforcement solutions that are purpose-built for rental companies, fixed installations, and musicians.
How does the SRX900 Series fit into the JBL family of PAs?
This Series was designed to be an entry into the professional line array product class. All SRX products, including this lineup and our popular SRX800 Series point-source models, are developed with the same principles in mind: to provide excellent value, but also best-in-class acoustic performance.
What need does the SRX900 Series fill?
We had a large market gap of unaddressed customers who were moving from smaller point-source systems to larger systems. As their needs grew, they didn’t really have the opportunity to take the next step up within our existing product portfolio. The SRX900 Series continues the SRX mission of delivering affordable, quality, entry-level professional line-source solutions.
If customers needed to step up from a point source solution to a line source, their next step would be looking at our top-tier VTX products. The VTX line is amazing but may not be the ideal solution for every customer, or smaller sound companies moving from a point-source inventory to their first line array or even their first ground-stacked system. It was just a fantastic opportunity for us to provide our customers with that stepping stone to grow their business and stay within the JBL ecosystem.
Who is that customer?
The system targets a pretty wide audience—anybody from small- to medium-sized sound production companies to local bands or DJs. SRX900 was designed to provide very affordable but also very scalable system solutions capable of covering a really diverse set of sound reinforcement requirements.
What were your priorities in bringing line array technologies to these systems?
The goal was to create a system that bridged the gap for customers who are experienced in running smaller portable PA systems but need the functionality and capability of a modern line array solution.
Take a Tour of the JBL SRX900 Series with the Technical Overview
To do this, we focused on features that are easy to use and understand but made the system capable enough that a professional PA company would be able to achieve mechanical and acoustical results that it would expect from a higher-end, modern system.
We wanted to keep the system very light so we used ultra-durable and reliable composite materials in the cabinets. We created a mechanically-simple three-point rigging system, something that is very scalable, very functional, easy to learn, and still maintains the VTX A-Series-style workflow that we are known for: single-pin angle selection. Then we developed a significant number of support accessories to make the system extremely versatile, scalable, and applicable for just about any situation.
We also wanted to ensure that deployment of these systems was a breeze so we developed the JBL Performance app, which includes an intuitive drag-and-drop interface. We designed an IP control protocol that uses standard networking protocols, so it communicates using affordable and readily available off-the-shelf hardware.
All these features and more work together to keep costs down, and to maintain the simplicity of the system, but come together to provide the performance required for the product to be successful in its market and at its competitive price point.
What about customers who might feel a bit daunted by the prospect of managing these features?
Many of these users are already coming from powered solutions, so they’re familiar with the idea of providing power, signal and network access to a speaker.
Something about these products that’s really convenient – many of the DSP features are controllable using the LCD screen on the back of the device. If you were deploying a very small setup—maybe a DJ who might have just two SRX906s on a pole, over a sub—that speaker can be set up and completely configured from the rear LCD screen. Just a few clicks recall the correct preset, which is baked right into the box, and they can just provide analog source audio and be up and running.
As they get more and more comfortable with that system, they can go online and find our super in-depth, remarkably easy tutorials that walk them through using our software, how to grow into larger systems and how to become comfortable networking the system with performance control software.
Also, as they start to play around with the options, they’ll become familiar with additional capabilities, like our calibration toolset and our EQ functionality.
It sounds like the Series can scale with you—not just the system, but the experience.
The SRX900 Series is powered. What are some of the biggest advantages of powered technology?
SRX900’s built-in amplification brings the simplicity of not having to invest in or manage amp racks and speaker cables. The nice thing is, an integrated amplifier system takes any guesswork out of what amplification is required and allows the entire speaker system to be self-contained, highly optimized, and extraordinarily straightforward to use.
How have the drivers been optimized for this system?
The SRX900’s outstanding sonic performance is based on time-tested JBL driver technologies. Its custom-engineered and manufactured high-power-handling transducers deliver extremely low distortion, high fidelity, and class-leading output to all four models in the series.
The compression driver used in both the SRX906LA and the SRX910LA features a neodymium magnet structure, a 3-inch titanium diaphragm, and an inch-and-a-half exit which creates crisp transients, superior dynamic range, and extended sensitivity beyond 10 kHz, adding up to a truly linear high-frequency response.
The 6-inch, 10-inch and 18-inch woofers that make up the SRX900 series are based on our Differential Drive, dual-voice coil, dual-gap arrangement design, which delivers better heat dissipation, lower power compression, and a much wider dynamic range than conventional single-coil designs could ever do. These transducers feature neodymium magnet structures, and the heat sinks are integrated into driver frames as well.
What does that translate to in terms of real-world benefits?
It’s really the whole system: When you couple our driver technology with our horn technology, which we call the RBI, or Radiation Boundary Integrator, we are able to deliver an extraordinarily linear acoustic response with industry-leading horizontal directivity control – all in a lightweight, versatile system.
The result is a uniform listening experience for everyone in the audience and minimal stage noise from the array.
The SRX900 Series features a pretty comprehensive DSP package. Can you share some highlights?
When it came to DSP, we wanted to create something class-leading for this category. After analyzing what the market currently offered users, we decided to implement many of the array optimization technologies that are influenced by or translated from our VTX Series, like array-sized and throw distance compensation filters, along with parametric filter capabilities and level max limiting from the Crown I-Tech HD Series of amplifiers.
We wanted to give users all the tuning and optimization tools they’re accustomed to with our professional tour sound lines. With built-in system presets for rapidly implementing cardioid subwoofer arrays or optimizing front fills, the DSP in the SRX900 is far and away more capable than anything in this category. When you pair it with the JBL Performance application’s ability to auto-group and its graphical system interface, using these DSP features is incredibly fast and easy.
Can you walk me through the system prediction and management tools?
There are three pieces of software that a user might use to deploy the SRX900 series: Line Array Calculator, or LAC; Array Link; and JBL Performance.
Line Array Calculator is a simulation tool for the mechanical design and acoustic prediction of SRX900 systems. Users are able to input the geometry of the space they need the system to cover, and LAC will automatically generate splay angles between the cabinets to acoustically cover that space.
LAC has a very simple user interface that makes designing new SRX systems straightforward and quick. You basically just put in venue geometry and system components, click the Auto Splay button and boom, it’s going to splay that system across the venue for optimum coverage.
The acoustic prediction engine within LAC then allows users to visualize the response of the array and refine it if necessary. LAC also has an advanced mechanical engine that informs users if the design is beyond the rated capacity of an accessory, or unsafe in any way.
Once the design is complete, LAC generates a QR code. That QR code can be scanned with the Array Link app, which provides a simplified view of the mechanical details of that array. Array Link is meant to be used by teams in the field, who are deploying the system. All the information about your array is in that QR code, so users can pass it around to each other.
So LAC and Array Link work together, hand in hand, to get systems designed and deployed in the air.
Once the system has been put together and hung, we move to JBL Performance, a full-featured application that’s designed to configure, control and monitor SRX900 Series systems in live applications.
Performance is designed to be extremely user-friendly. It graphically guides users through a workflow-based approach to system design, and it’s very intuitive. A drag-and-drop interface creates system groups that make it easy to leverage on-device signal processing, which includes gain, delay, EQ and array calibration, and it provides an efficient tuning and optimization process.
The beautiful thing about Performance, and this is inspired from Performance Manager, our VTX control solution, is it’s very graphical. Users get to build this precise image of the exact PA that they’re going to deploy. All the information about that system is overlaid right onto the speakers themselves, so users know exactly what they’re looking at.
It’s one of the easiest pieces of our software to get up and running. But it’s extremely in-depth if you want it to be. You have all of these great calibration tools and DSP control available and it’s organized graphically to be easy to visualize. And you’re never stuck in endless menus, it’s right there in front of you as it should be.
And if users want help getting up to speed, JBL offers a lot of online resources.
We have developed a really in-depth training series that’s available on our YouTube channel, and also on our HARMAN training portal, which can help users master these applications super quickly.
Can you give me an idea of how scalable the system is?
Let’s say I’m starting a small production company. I buy two SRX918 subs, and on them, I have a pole and a base plate. On top of that base plate, I have two SRX906LAs per side. Now I have a nice entry-level PA with the SRX900 series, and things are going great for me.
I’m gigging, and my business is growing. It’s time for me to get a larger system. I’m throwing further, larger rooms and I just need a little bit more oomph. I can add two more 906s per side, and maybe another sub, and now I have a full ground-stacked solution.
I get rid of my poles that were originally pole-mounting my SRX906s, and now I can do a stack of two SRX918s and four SRX906s on top. I already owned the base plate from the pole mount, so I already have the accessory I need. All I’ve got to do is add a few more cabinets and grow the system. I already know how the software works, and now I will just be scaling up my system by adding a few more boxes to my design file.
Let’s say my business continues to grow. The rigging that’s holding the system up in its ground-stacked form, on the back of the SRX906 or 910 cabinets, is the same rigging that I’m going to use to ultimately fly the system. I can add a few more boxes and grab an array frame, and that same PA has now grown into a large line array.
So, it’s an extraordinarily expandable system. We tried to really minimize the amount of accessories you need to maximize the versatility of this system.
How does JBL make sure these systems are ready for the real world?
We have in-house test engineers in our Northridge, California facility to ensure we send all our products through a barrage of in-depth testing.
Some of our many test protocols include two in-house shaker tables that simulate continuous 1G shock loads in the X, Y and Z dimensions of our speaker boxes. That’s basically simulating the worst-case scenario in transporting the product.
Additionally, we cycle the products through numerous days of environmental simulations that span from a high-temperature, low-humidity environment to a low-temperature, high-humidity environment. This simulates changing seasons and ensures the components will continue to perform as expected in harsh environmental conditions, year after year.
We also do UV testing on all finishes as well as product drop testing, because accidents happen and that shouldn’t be the end of your product. To verify we don’t have any rust issues with grills and other steel parts, we do extensive salt spray testing.
Most importantly, we acoustically test the products before and after putting them through these tests, to verify that the system continues to function exceptionally.
The end result is an investment in a system that will continue to deliver remarkable performance and reliability throughout the lifetime of the product.
- SRX906LA Dual 6.5-inch Powered Line Array Loudspeaker
- SRX910LA Dual 10-inch Powered Line Array Loudspeaker
- SRX918S Single 18-inch Powered Subwoofer
- SRX928S Dual 18-inch Powered Subwoofer
- Performance Audio Software Applications
- SRX900 Technical Overview and Demonstration Videos
- Subscribe to receive the latest SRX900 product news and updates
If you’d like to speak to a JBL Pro solutions expert, just fill out this quick form and we’ll have someone contact you.