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Author Topic: I need a PA system  (Read 2729 times)

Cal Stone

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I need a PA system
« on: July 02, 2014, 01:28:55 pm »

This is my first post, so I'll ask all of you now to forgive my ignorance about live sound.

I have been a semi-pro bassist in blues bands for the past 18 years. My wife and I also own a company that for the past seven years books musicians for festivals and a club or two. We always use a really fine local sound company, Joe Heslip Audio, to handle all these events. Great guys with excellent gear and great ears -- and musicians love them.

I also play in one band that uses a Bose L1 II system. We use it for three vocals and once in a while, depending on the room size, I'll run the line out from my Ampeg B100R bass amp into the Bose. Ninety-five percent of the time, the Bose is fine for our gigs. The other five percent, we wish we had a little more juice.

For my second band, the drummer (same as first band) bought a JBL EON 210P. Cool concept but it doesn't have any balls.

I would like to get a system to use -- definitely for the second band, once in a while for the first band, and also possibly for small events that don't require our sound company.

I have been looking at powered speakers, but so far I've only listened to the EV ZLX series at Guitar Center. Since then, I've just been researching online and trying to figure out what would best fit my needs. That's when I stumbled upon this site.

Some other speakers that seem to fit the bill for me are the Yamaha DXR10 and the RCF 310. Would you recommend a sub with either of these? If so, is it best to stick with the same brand, like the Yamaha DXS15?

Also, would just one sub be adequate and then mount the tops on stands? Or is it better to get two subs and mount the tops on poles above them? Might be overkill for my needs though.

This system would be mainly for clubs and once in a while a small outdoor event under a tent.

As for mixers, I've been looking at the Allen & Heath ZED60-14FX and the Yamaha MG16XU. Compared to the Bose and the EON, these may seem like more channels than I need, but I don't want to run into a situation with a band or an event that requires more than I've got.

Budget-wise, I just opened a $2,500 line of credit with Sweetwater. A pair of DXR10s, one DXS15 sub and the Yamaha mixer would max those funds out. I definitely don't want to spend more than that, and I'm open to your thoughts on other gear that may be more suitable to my needs.

I know I haven't given a ton of info here, but hopefully you will ask for specifics that will help determine the system to purchase.

Thanks!

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dick rees

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Re: I need a PA system
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2014, 02:12:39 pm »

Don't even think about buying new gear with a budget.  With the advent of new speakers and digital doodads, used systems are easier to come by and will be better, more capable gear for your stated use. 

Why buy new, MI level gear when you can get good used pro gear for the money?  And very likely an entire system with well-matched components...

PS...

Your line of credit needs to be larger by a factor of 5-10x depending
« Last Edit: July 02, 2014, 02:19:28 pm by dick rees »
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Jerome Casinger

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Re: I need a PA system
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2014, 02:33:17 pm »

What Dick said....there is tons of used stuff that will get you way more rig for the gig for your buck.  Especially with the transferable warrantees some of these companys are offering you really shouldnt buy new in your case.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: I need a PA system
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2014, 02:57:03 pm »

Did you talk to Heslip about putting something together for you?  You never know what might be lurking in the back of the shop...
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Russ Davis

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Re: I need a PA system
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2014, 03:02:05 pm »

Quote from: Jerome Casinger
...there is tons of used stuff that will get you way more rig for the gig for your buck.

Depending on your proximity to Lansing or Detroit Craigslist can be your best friend, especially for items you don't want to buy through, say, eBay because they're too big to ship or you want hands-on testing.  If you see something tempting but want some LAB opinions, you can float the deal by here and we can advise (or mock) as appropriate.
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Ara Ayrassian

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Re: I need a PA system
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2014, 03:22:04 pm »

This is my first post, so I'll ask all of you now to forgive my ignorance about live sound.

I have been a semi-pro bassist in blues bands for the past 18 years. My wife and I also own a company that for the past seven years books musicians for festivals and a club or two. We always use a really fine local sound company, Joe Heslip Audio, to handle all these events. Great guys with excellent gear and great ears -- and musicians love them.

I also play in one band that uses a Bose L1 II system. We use it for three vocals and once in a while, depending on the room size, I'll run the line out from my Ampeg B100R bass amp into the Bose. Ninety-five percent of the time, the Bose is fine for our gigs. The other five percent, we wish we had a little more juice.

For my second band, the drummer (same as first band) bought a JBL EON 210P. Cool concept but it doesn't have any balls.

I would like to get a system to use -- definitely for the second band, once in a while for the first band, and also possibly for small events that don't require our sound company.

I have been looking at powered speakers, but so far I've only listened to the EV ZLX series at Guitar Center. Since then, I've just been researching online and trying to figure out what would best fit my needs. That's when I stumbled upon this site.

Some other speakers that seem to fit the bill for me are the Yamaha DXR10 and the RCF 310. Would you recommend a sub with either of these? If so, is it best to stick with the same brand, like the Yamaha DXS15?

Also, would just one sub be adequate and then mount the tops on stands? Or is it better to get two subs and mount the tops on poles above them? Might be overkill for my needs though.

This system would be mainly for clubs and once in a while a small outdoor event under a tent.

As for mixers, I've been looking at the Allen & Heath ZED60-14FX and the Yamaha MG16XU. Compared to the Bose and the EON, these may seem like more channels than I need, but I don't want to run into a situation with a band or an event that requires more than I've got.

Budget-wise, I just opened a $2,500 line of credit with Sweetwater. A pair of DXR10s, one DXS15 sub and the Yamaha mixer would max those funds out. I definitely don't want to spend more than that, and I'm open to your thoughts on other gear that may be more suitable to my needs.

I know I haven't given a ton of info here, but hopefully you will ask for specifics that will help determine the system to purchase.

Thanks!
If size isn't a issue the old Peavey FH-1 , MB-2 MF-1 system is still a very good system for live sound you would need amps and a processor . I had one of these systems and was very pleased with it.
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Brian Jojade

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Re: I need a PA system
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2014, 03:23:09 pm »

Why don't you just take the money you would be spending on gear and use the sound company that you already have a relationship with?  Quite honestly, $2500 won't go very far with new gear.  Also factor in cases, cables, transportation, storage, etc., and you're not gaining anything by buying it on your own.

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Rob Spence

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Re: I need a PA system
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2014, 03:29:16 pm »

One thing you did not address is what you want the PA to do?

Things like, what inputs do you expect to put in it?
What size places will you use it?
What style of music?
How loud?
What do you haul it with?

Also, you need to budget for all the accessories. Things like cables, cases, covers etc. otherwise your gear gets pretty beat up pretty quickly.  Heck, I have hundreds just in adapters.

I agree with getting better quality used gear. What gear depends a lot on the answers to above.


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Bob Leonard

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Re: I need a PA system
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2014, 05:18:56 pm »

Alright, I'll be the devils advocate.

Being that the OP has $2500 available for his use the worst thing in the world won't be spending it a Sweetwater. If that's all the OP has available right now, if there's no ready cash but he can afford a payment, then Sweetwater it is.

The ZED60 is an entry level 12 channel mixer with effects. I've never used one or heard one so you'll need to depend on the A&H rep, but at this level just about any reputable name mixer will give you good entry level sound.

However, being that most mixers in this dollar level are pretty much the same, with one exception, then you might try to save some nickels.


MIXER

Alternatives;

Soundcraft EPM12
Yamaha MW12CX

I'm going to recommend passive speakers because passive speakers can always be used for other duties with other amplifiers and in the end will generally cost less on a per speaker basis;

You have $2000 left to play with.

2ea. JBL PRX415M - $550ea.

You have $900 left to play with.

QSC GX7 amplifier, 725 watts per channel at 8ohms, $600

You have $300 left to play with.

At the very least you need 2ea. #12 50 foot speaker cables, 2ea. speaker tripod stands, a rack, and whatever mics and cables you can find cheap.

This would be my entry level PA. Great for vocals, the components will work together nicely, and all new. It's a start, and probably a better start than most IMO.


You can purchase subs in the future, upgrade any of the other components and still retain your original investment.

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Steve M Smith

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Re: I need a PA system
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2014, 05:28:12 pm »

The ZED60 is an entry level 12 channel mixer with effects. I've never used one or heard one so you'll need to depend on the A&H rep...............


MIXER

Alternatives;

Soundcraft EPM12
Yamaha MW12CX

The A & H ZED series are good.  One sound company here uses the larger ZED428 and it seems to be o.k.

The Soundcraft EPM12 is also a nice, compact mixer (I bought one this week for just 80 from a work colleague) however, it doesn't have built in effects like the A & H and Yamaha you suggested.

Soundcraft make a model MPMi12 which is similar but has Lexicon effects:

http://www.soundsliveshop.com/p/Soundcraft_MPMi12_Live_PA_Mixer/SCRAFT-MPMi12?CAWELAID=1830891890&CAGPSPN=pla&catargetid=1831862285&cadevice=c&gclid=CMLl_vPIp78CFYTLtAodlzEAkg

Also, make sure you have enough inputs.  Sometimes a mixer claiming to be 12 input has 8 mono channels with balanced mic inputs and makes up the other 4 with a couple of stereo channels - The A & H does that whereas the 12 channel Soundcrafts have twelve mono inputs plus a couple of stereo channels.


Steve.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2014, 05:39:03 pm by Steve M Smith »
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