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Author Topic: DIY PA advice/troubleshooting  (Read 879 times)

Sam Roberts

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DIY PA advice/troubleshooting
« on: May 26, 2018, 10:05:47 am »

Hi, thanks in advance for your time reading my long af post. I have done some research both on this forum and in articles... but basically I'm totally ignorant on these matters and my friends are giving me mixed messages so I want advice from a person who can hopefully set me straight without me having to reread and attempt to slowly digest info on how components interact...

I am in charge of a house show/DIY space and while I am totally capable of booking and curating the calendar here, I have recently found myself in charge of buying and setting up a new PA system for the space, which I am really not at all qualified to do. There are some funds set aside, but a tight budget is ideal as to reserve some funds for future needs.

Originally I had thought to buy powered speakers and a mixer as I thought this would be straightforward and fool-proof but in the name of bang for buck, and after consulting with a friend, I decided to go with power amp/powered mixer/passive speaker combo. I bought a power amp (specs here: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/CS2000--peavey-cs-2000)

I had not yet procured the rest of my set up so I borrowed some components from friends to pair with my power amp for a show we had the other night.... a 4 channel mixer and these speakers (https://www.artsound.gr/catalog/peavey-2way-speakers-300w-pair-p-34858.html?language=en)

long story short the speakers seem to have fried during the show (not making ANY sound from either and there was a plasticy smell, all other components and wires/cables tested and are totally fine). I'm feeling pretty guilty for not being more diligent in my research before letting this set up be used but I was assured it "should definitely be fine" by both a friend (who is a big guitar/bass amp gearhead) and roommate (who has some recording school) so they both seemingly know more than me.

the performer was an electronic/noise duo with a very wild set up that they plugged into the mixer.... so my question is;
A) am I to blame for horribly mismatching components and my amp destroyed these speakers?
B) is the performer possibly the blame for doing a crazy enough signal through his gear to blow them? (I know this is very vague but is that even remotely possible?)
C) is it possible that the speakers were just old and neglected and were likely ready to go? (they definitely were old and possibly neglected, as my friend got them for free, though they had been reliable in the recent past)


and further more I plan on completing my set up with the above mentioned/linked power amp plus these speakers (https://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/peavey-pvi-10-10-pa-speaker-cabinet-pair) and this mixer (https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ProFX12v2--mackie-profx12v2-mixer-with-usb-and-effects). Will this set up work well? and if so, is there anything I need to be aware of when running this set up?

thanks again for any and all replies/information!!
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Paul G. OBrien

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Re: DIY PA advice/troubleshooting
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2018, 11:17:03 am »

Hi there Sam.. that is a famous name you got there.  The short answer to your venue questions is.. you probably should have bought powered speakers.

The longer answer is a lot more involved. My gut feeling is I think you and your friends may have grossly underestimated the system requirements and budget necessary for this type of application, but to know if that is the case we need details on the size of the venue, crowd capacity, type of music, expected SPL(cocktail lounge/restaurant... road house/night club), and budget. I'll wait for your response but I think based on the results of your previous event that you will have to add some zeros to the budget to get a reliable and capable sound system in this venue.


the performer was an electronic/noise duo with a very wild set up that they plugged into the mixer.... so my question is;
A) am I to blame for horribly mismatching components and my amp destroyed these speakers?
Quite possibly yes.
B) is the performer possibly the blame for doing a crazy enough signal through his gear to blow them? (I know this is very vague but is that even remotely possible?)
If he had total control of the system he can share some blame, but a venue would have to be very naive to give visiting performers complete control of the house PA.
C) is it possible that the speakers were just old and neglected and were likely ready to go? (they definitely were old and possibly neglected, as my friend got them for free, though they had been reliable in the recent past)
Anything is possible but if they worked initially then it's more likely they simply were not suitable for your application and you pushed them beyond their limits.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2018, 11:35:27 am by Paul G. OBrien »
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Sam Roberts

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Re: DIY PA advice/troubleshooting
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2018, 11:58:09 am »

Hi thanks for your input!

to clarify, this is a house show space as in literally in the living room of my house where I live. so not a venue perse. Think of this application as if you wanted to see a band perform in your living room or perhaps getting a PA for a small venue or practice space is also comparable (amps turned up to drums and usually 1-3 vocals mic'd to be above the instruments, occasionally a horn mic'd and occasionally an electronics rig plugged in through the mixer) typically loud rock... does that give you a better idea of the room/application? sorry for any confusion in my op

the performer did not have total control over our PA but was plugged through our mixer which was at 3/4s volume and the power amp was at 1/3 on it's db knob....

"adding some zeroes to the budget" is absolutely not possible and I reckon not needed either.

so i have this power amp, is it possible to get two PA speakers and a mixer that will be compatible for my application? part of the reason I got the power amp is because we use one in my practice space for one of my bands and it's very clear sounding. if using a power amp for a two speaker basic PA set up is wildly inappropriate then I guess I will have to resell my recently acquired amp but would prefer to find components to match with it.
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Lee Douglas

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Re: DIY PA advice/troubleshooting
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2018, 12:30:56 pm »

Return the power amp and purchase a pair of good name brand powered speakers.  These should have features to help protect them.  Your amp is probably fine, but until you are willing to invest the knowledge and funds into getting the equipment to allow it to work properly and safely, powered speakers are as close to "no-brainer" you're going to get.  Add a mixer that covers you input needs and go to town.  Keep in mind that although most properly designed powered speakers are idiot resistant, none are idiot proof.  Deliberate abuse by you or your performers can still destroy them.  Now, for recommendations, a budget would be in order...
« Last Edit: May 26, 2018, 12:33:15 pm by Lee Douglas »
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Paul G. OBrien

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Re: DIY PA advice/troubleshooting
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2018, 01:19:36 pm »


to clarify, this is a house show space as in literally in the living room of my house where I live. so not a venue perse. Think of this application as if you wanted to see a band perform in your living room or perhaps getting a PA for a small venue or practice space is also comparable (amps turned up to drums and usually 1-3 vocals mic'd to be above the instruments, occasionally a horn mic'd and occasionally an electronics rig plugged in through the mixer) typically loud rock... does that give you a better idea of the room/application?

Yes it does thanks and it confirms my initial suspicions.. the speakers you borrowed and the ones you are contemplating buying are woefully inadequate. I'm going to agree with Lee in suggesting you return the amp and buy powered speakers as they will give you the best sound and most reliability given your lack of experience, but you will suffer some sticker shock I'm sure at specific models I'm going to suggest. The bare minimum here would be a pair of Yamaha DXR15's or similar, if you were just reinforcing vocals you could get away with 12's but throwing the electronic music performer in there ups the lowend output requirement significantly. Ideally this speaker system would include at least 1 sub and a pair of 12's with a 15" sub would sound and perform better than the 15's without so consider that too. You might think this is overkill but the reality is if you want equipment that will last indefinitely you need headroom, that is excess capacity that doesn't get used for the most part.

People get this with cars, they usually opt for the bigger engine and a bigger vehicle so they can carry more people/cargo on occasion with ease, but the same people are surprised that the speaker equivalent of an econobox sub compact car can't run at redline for hours on end towing a big trailer.

So yeah you need to spend $1500-$2500 to get a decent system and even then it's just adequate, you could spend double that on some JBL SRX series boxes and you would notice increased clarity particularly in the vocal range at higher volumes so it's not money wasted. But if you spend less than the $1500 the DXR15s cost I'm afraid you will be exploring the products warranty coverage quite soon and/or spending more good money on yet another set of speakers.

« Last Edit: May 26, 2018, 01:23:47 pm by Paul G. OBrien »
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: DIY PA advice/troubleshooting
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2018, 02:07:41 pm »


Originally I had thought to buy powered speakers and a mixer as I thought this would be straightforward and fool-proof but in the name of bang for buck, and after consulting with a friend, I decided to go with power amp/powered mixer/passive speaker combo. I bought a power amp (specs here: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/CS2000--peavey-cs-2000)


You  should have gone with your first thought. Powered speakers give you far more protection from potential abuse, more features and configurability probably too. Add that to the ease of set up and you should take everyone's advice and return the power amp. Also those Peavey speakers you linked to won't get you close to the sound quality of a pair of powered DXR's. I realize budget is important but you might need to apply the 'buy once cry once' logic here.
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Luke Geis

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Re: DIY PA advice/troubleshooting
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2018, 02:14:35 pm »

So you bought an amp that is no longer available and is discontinued as per the link you provided. To top it off you have no idea how a PA works and you decided to go the most complicated and actually most expensive way. Your friends must have something to sell you, or are as naive as you are?

A passive systems costs more than any comparable powered system to build. The interconnect cables and peripherals such as crossovers, and system DSP all add to the cost. With a powered speaker, 95% of that work is done already, all you simply need to do is connect a signal cable and power. If you buy a powered speaker with some built in DSP / EQ features, you can stave off even more peripheral gear.

The buy once, cry once term comes to mind. If you want cheap crap, you get cheap crap. If you actually want something to work, you buy stuff that you know will work. Not knowing what your budget is, we can't even begin to assume what to steer you towards. A cheap system to me starts at $500 per speaker and that is what I consider to be as low as I could possibly accept to go. For $500 a speaker you can build a pretty serious PA. That is also factoring a powered speaker for that $500. You CANNOT beat a powered speaker these days. They have all the dumb dumb work done for you. The only way to blow them up is to straight up abuse them.

A passive system requires an amp, the interconnect cables ( speaker cables are roughly $1 per ft. So plan on $100 for two cables ) and amps that have some or all the DSP in them are not cheap, often costing around $600+. The truth is that by the time you build a passive system, it will often cost more than a similar self powered one and all of the complicated work is left for you to do. So in your case, self powered anything will be better than what you have.

To address the actual questions:

1. Yes, you are. You are the operator.

2. Yes and no. His wanton disregard to the likely ugly sound and burning smell, red lights etc. was a factor, but revert to point 1.

3. Possibly, but I am leaning towards not really. Tired speakers may have reduced performance, but not necessarily are on a timer. If they are abused before blowing up, they will still work fairly normally until abused again, in which case they may give up the ghost then.

A speaker that has never been abused can essentially work forever provided it's still in one piece and doesn't crumble apart when used. A speaker is not a very complicated thing. It is literally a coil of wire around a tube / former that is supported by the spider and the cone with the coil of wire inside a gap that has a magnet around it. There are only two things that can go wrong. The coil burns up from abuse, delaminates from its former and subsequently rubs inside the gap, causing a break in the coil to which no connection = no worky. The next issue is simply that the coil / leads breaks at some point or another and there is no longer a connection, so it no longer works.

My advise: Give us a budget ( a real one ) and a goal. You have outlined your goal already, so that helps a lot. You need a PA that will beat a band in a small room. You need a real PA that is capable of roughly 130db peak or more to do that without stressing it too much. This ability will start around the $500 mark new and possibly close to the $250 mark used per speaker. The mixer you are looking at is fine, actually any mixer at all is going to work fine. I would use the PA for unamplified instruments only, like vocals, acoustic guitars or keys, if they don't have a keyboard amp. Keep it simple, as simple as you can.

The lowest I would go is the $350 mark. The EON 612 is a little low in output at 126db, but loud enough and is only $450 new! It has features that really will help such as onboard EQ and Bluetooth. The next step up that still has some EQ and is feature filled is the Electro Voice ELX112P. It goes for about the $550-$600 mark new and is a killer speaker. The EV ZLX-12P is an on par speaker to the JBL EON and is even cheaper still at $350 new and has EQ as well. I wouldn't go any lower in cost than that. Finding a used unit of these will be difficult mostly because these units are good enough that most are not looking to offload them, but there are several used ZLX's on ebay for less than $600 for a pair! The ELX ( the one I would go for ) can be found used for around $800 a pair.
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Sam Roberts

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Re: DIY PA advice/troubleshooting
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2018, 02:25:51 pm »

Thanks so much to all for reading my situation and replying! I am pretty annoyed at my friend and roommate who each talked me out of my original idea of powered speakers into this idea to ostensibly save a few bucks (their hearts were in the right place but they were WRONG and I was RIGHT haha).. perhaps needless to say I have lost some (or all) faith in their knowledge of working a power amp PA. Like I said we do use one in our practice space.

definitely bummed to have wrecked my friends speakers too but we're going to figure that out and hopefully get them repaired...

so I'm thinking of buying two of these as they are (barely ) in budget http://www.proaudiostar.com/jbl-eon610.html

thoughts? keep in mind it's a very small room

and yeah budget is, unfortunately, going to be $7-800 max including mixer. so, not ideal, I know, and I think used  or the above will be the way to go.

Luke Geis you're right! me and my friends are total amateurs, trying to share music with our community, and totally open to advice and new info. so no need to insult and belittle, but whatever makes you feel better about yourself  :)
« Last Edit: May 26, 2018, 02:37:42 pm by Sam Roberts »
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Paul G. OBrien

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Re: DIY PA advice/troubleshooting
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2018, 02:39:21 pm »

so I'm thinking of buying two of these as they are (barely ) in budget http://www.proaudiostar.com/jbl-eon610.html

thoughts? keep in mind it's a very small room
Barely adequate for vocals only with accoustic instruments and poor sounding at that. They're still overpriced at that sale price IMO.

and yeah budget is, unfortunately, going to be $7-800 max including mixer.
Then buy 1 good(Yamaha DXR, JBL PRX) powered 12" or 15" speaker and a cheap desktop mixer. You have to realize the smaller PA speakers(8's and 10's) generally produce very little bass and even some of the 12's are weak in this regard, so any of these are going to be anywhere from marginal to no good at all for fullrange electronic music.
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Sam Roberts

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Re: DIY PA advice/troubleshooting
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2018, 02:50:55 pm »

ok I'm thinking you guys are maybe too high in your standards for what I'm operating. Gonna just got with the JBL EONs maybe a 15" that I found used for a good price instead... but no I can't afford 2 $500 speakers!
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Kevin McDonough

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Re: DIY PA advice/troubleshooting
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2018, 03:05:07 pm »

hey

Like everyone else, I have to agree that the speakers were probably inadequate for the job.

In terms of providing vocal reproduction for a loud rock band such as you describe, the speakers would probably be a bit small anyway and you'd really struggle to get even vocals up above a loud band sufficiently, but I don't think in that case they'd have broken in the same way.

I think the problem in this case was probably low frequency and clipping.

Every speaker, without exception, needs a filter to take out the lowest frequencies. For subwoofers this can be somewhere around 30-40Hz, for top speakers anything from 60- 100Hz. Playing frequencies below the limit that the speaker can handle can very quickly cause the speaker cone to overexcurse (move in and out much more than it should) to the point where it can cause damage.  Again, simple vocals wouldn't have caused this too much, there isn't a massive amount of low frequency. But electronic is unfortunately famous for its low frequency content, much more than other types of music.

Quote
the performer did not have total control over our PA but was plugged through our mixer which was at 3/4s volume and the power amp was at 1/3 on it's db knob....

Secondly, I think this is a huge problem, but something that is often a little counter-intuitive without some experience or sound knowledge.

When putting together a PA system, it's always recommended that you buy a power amp that is around 1.5 or 2x the power rating of your speakers. Some people initially baulk at this, wondering why you don't buy a power amp that has the same rating as the speakers, but headroom is the key.

If the amp is the same power rating as the speakers, then usually to get the volume you'd like you end up running the amp close to it's limits, which results in distortion and clipping being added into the signal being sent to the speakers.

Alternatively, if you have a power amp 1.5-2x the size of the speakers, and run them at sensible power levels, you know that the amplifier is running comfortably within its limits you are providing CLEAN, undistorted power to the speakers. While, with the bigger amp, some spikes or loud parts of the music may be a little over the power rating of the speakers, as long as it's clean signal (that's high passed properly as in the other point) it'll handle these fine.  Even at a lower volume, a distorted signal will cause a massive heat build up in the voice coil and be much more damaging.

Most professional sound engineers would have amplifiers fully turned up for the most part (unless the had a reason not to) and would have just controlled the volume with the mixer. But by only turning the amplifier up to 1/3 of its volume you may have artificially put yourself in the position where the amp was clipping it's signal as the DJ's/musicians turned things up at their end to try and get the appropriate volume, and so burned out the voice coils.

(DJ's can also be equally guilty of clipping things at their own mixer and control surface, the often run things into the red, and this would have had much the same effect, and been compounded by you having your amp set too low.)


In any case, I echo everyone else's advice in that powered speakers have all of this taken care of. The have appropriate filters and EQ built in and are largely idiot proof. While of course poor handling can physically damage them, at least in terms of the music signal sent to them you need to do something especially silly to blow or damage them.
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David Pedd

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Re: DIY PA advice/troubleshooting
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2018, 03:06:03 pm »

ok I'm thinking you guys are maybe too high in your standards...

LOL!  Amen!  That's why I love coming here and reading/learning.  These guys/gals know their stuff.
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Paul G. OBrien

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Re: DIY PA advice/troubleshooting
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2018, 03:25:08 pm »

ok I'm thinking you guys are maybe too high in your standards for what I'm operating. Gonna just got with the JBL EONs maybe a 15" that I found used for a good price instead... but no I can't afford 2 $500 speakers!

Well OK.. good luck with your venture and I mean that sincerely. You are setting off on a path that many of us have traveled and have witnesses numerous times so even though you don't believe it now our standards are not too high. You say you can't afford to buy two $500 speakers but after you repair the borrowed speakers and buy some of your own you will be well on your way to spending that much anyway, and given that the speakers you are buying are roughly equivalent to those you blew to smithereens on the last gig the school of hard knocks says you will spend at least that much before you arrive at a long lasting solution.
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: DIY PA advice/troubleshooting
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2018, 03:48:54 pm »

And as Paul said - buy 1 good powered speaker - not 2 sub par ones...much better idea.  That way you get decent quality to start with  and can add another speaker  down the road if you want to. Just make sure to get a current model and not something being phased out.
 You don't HAVE to use 2 speakers for PA.
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Matthias McCready

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Re: DIY PA advice/troubleshooting
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2018, 04:02:41 pm »

Hi thanks for your input!

to clarify, this is a house show space as in literally in the living room of my house where I live. so not a venue perse. Think of this application as if you wanted to see a band perform in your living room or perhaps getting a PA for a small venue or practice space is also comparable (amps turned up to drums and usually 1-3 vocals mic'd to be above the instruments, occasionally a horn mic'd and occasionally an electronics rig plugged in through the mixer) typically loud rock... does that give you a better idea of the room/application? sorry for any confusion in my op

This sounds like more of jam and hang out space too me. I think for a living room, to get around drum level (sure the drums will overpower some) that some cheaper PA speakers would be ok. Will they sound great? No. Will they get insanely loud? No. Obviously, though the main goals appear to be price and that it works, not maximum fidelity or volume.

If you want some low-end, many speakers with a 15" should provide a more than adequate amount for a living room.

I often see Mackie TH-15A's for pennies on the dollar. Yes, they sound horrible, but they do have quite a bit of oomph for a cheap speaker (should work for a DJ in a living room).

JBL Eons would work, although I hate them equally as much....

What area do you live in? Perhaps there is something on Craigslist or reverb nearby for a good price. Look for powered stuff by EV, JBL, Mackie, and Yamaha. Avoid Behringer, Samson, and other small brands. Finding something by the four mentioned brands for ridiculously cheap should not be impossible. As long as your expectations are appropriate to the limited budget they will provide adequate results. If you use the speakers as intended they should last.

EDIT: By all means buy one good speaker over two crap ones, if it comes down to that.
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Luke Geis

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Re: DIY PA advice/troubleshooting
« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2018, 06:31:15 pm »

I hardly feel calling you naive is belittling or insulting, but I feel better knowing I gave you solid information. Lets call it hard love. If I was gentle and said you can do what you want on a zero budget, you would go and get the cheapest speaker you could find. Then when it didn't work I would be teh asshole who had you go out and spend money on absolute junk. Now that would be a dick move.

I think the JBL EON 610 is a little too small for what you are looking to do. You will need the 12" or bigger. If cost is really that big of a deal, then I know you could afford the EV ZLX-112p which can be found on the same site for $350. That is $50 cheaper than the JBL and is a 12" model. I think the EV ZLX will be just a superior  option.

We are trying to save you from yourself. Experience and let's face it, a little bit of math, tells us what is capable or not. There are things that money will buy. In this case, quality and capability are what that money gets. Not all cheap speakers are alike. You could save a few bucks more and go get a Harbinger unit, it may get loud enough, but it has no features, sounds like absolute hell and may not last 2 shows doing what you are looking to do. We suggest a safer path by getting higher end names because they typically sound better, have at least some features and the warranty is usually better too.

If we go soft on you, you will defy the logic and you will race to the bottom. If we say you must spend at least $500 to get the results you want, it is probably true. If we say you can get away with spending less, but it's going to be close, then we haven't done you any service at all. Becuase telling you that will make you shot right for it. Case in point, I prescribed all 12" models and provided the model numbers and costs for you. You decided to go with one that wasn't even on my list ( while still in the same model range at least )!!!! This Is why we are so dickish about what to get.We say get this and you / others go and get that instead.

We are no snobs about gear because it suits us. We are informed, educated and experienced enough to know what will get you the results you wish to acquire. No more, no less. So you can take a little bit of criticism and run with it, or you can say that we are snoby, rude dickheads that just want to pick on newbs. Either way you are getting gold here. It's a matter of perspective. We aren't dicks because it behooves us, it's because it behooves you.

While the JBL EON 600 series isn't my first choice, it is far from the last. It doesn't sound that bad considering its price. It is a real entry level powered speaker. It isn't going to make you scream hell yeah, but it didn't break the bank either. I honestly think the EV ZLX-112P is probably the best cheap option available.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2018, 11:05:14 pm by Luke Geis »
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Callan Browne

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Re: DIY PA advice/troubleshooting
« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2018, 07:39:30 pm »

Sure, rush in and buy the eon's because they match your budget - I did exactly the same thing when I first got into owning a pa.

So next year when you want to "upgrade", budget that your almost new eon speakers are worth less than half what you'll pay this weekend so you'll be basically starting over.

PS : just buy one dxr15 and you'll be fine.
I've done many gigs using just a single speaker. It really does work great for small and/or narrow rooms.

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Matthias McCready

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Re: DIY PA advice/troubleshooting
« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2018, 10:21:26 pm »

Sure, rush in and buy the eon's because they match your budget - I did exactly the same thing when I first got into owning a pa.

So next year when you want to "upgrade", budget that your almost new eon speakers are worth less than half what you'll pay this weekend so you'll be basically starting over.

PS : just buy one dxr15 and you'll be fine.
I've done many gigs using just a single speaker. It really does work great for small and/or narrow rooms.

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

The question is does he really want to "own" a PA. Personally, I would set the bar of need and quality before considering budget, such as you point out, that does not seem to the be the natural disposition of the OP. If he plans on growing the system and becoming more "professional", the intended direction of these forums, then by all means to settle would be a costly mistake. I think most of us here are well endeared to the mantra of "buy once cry once."

However, if is he is simply looking for essentially a large stereo system for a hangout space which will be used only for living room jams, I think there are many cheaper products which would adequately do the job, albeit with no standard of professionalism (I stress not with fidelity, clarity, or volume). At the end of the day, a name brand and inexpensive powered speaker will work in this role for years to come if used within its limits, and even such a cheap speaker would be far better than many practice room systems (at least the ones I ran into in my early formative years).

From my perspective, and perhaps I am wrong, the desires of the OP seem more akin to "lets amplify some vocals along with the guitar and drums" or "what would be ok for a DJ to use for a small living room concert/get together." I don't think the OP is asking for professional advice, and is perhaps on the wrong forum.

For better or worse he is enamored with the idea of PA speaker, maybe a cheap one would suit those needs fine, or maybe he will get the bug and it would be a complete waste of money. His inclination should reasonably define the approach.
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Lee Douglas

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Re: DIY PA advice/troubleshooting
« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2018, 12:22:31 am »

At this point in the thread, the suggestions being made are not about fidelity, clarity or volume.  It's about encouraging the OP to purchase something that stands a chance of making it through, or even to a second gig. 

To the OP: Are these shows for profit or even a break even proposition?  If so, you might try using a sound company to bring the appropriate rig for the gig and a tech to run it for a show, so you can see where you want to be with this whole enterprise. You may find that your expectations are higher when you know what's possible.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2018, 05:31:16 am by Lee Douglas »
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Just "Good Enough" isn't...

Callan Browne

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Re: DIY PA advice/troubleshooting
« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2018, 05:42:06 am »

The question is does he really want to "own" a PA. Personally, I would set the bar of need and quality before considering budget, such as you point out, that does not seem to the be the natural disposition of the OP. If he plans on growing the system and becoming more "professional", the intended direction of these forums, then by all means to settle would be a costly mistake. I think most of us here are well endeared to the mantra of "buy once cry once."

However, if is he is simply looking for essentially a large stereo system for a hangout space which will be used only for living room jams, I think there are many cheaper products which would adequately do the job, albeit with no standard of professionalism (I stress not with fidelity, clarity, or volume). At the end of the day, a name brand and inexpensive powered speaker will work in this role for years to come if used within its limits, and even such a cheap speaker would be far better than many practice room systems (at least the ones I ran into in my early formative years).

From my perspective, and perhaps I am wrong, the desires of the OP seem more akin to "lets amplify some vocals along with the guitar and drums" or "what would be ok for a DJ to use for a small living room concert/get together." I don't think the OP is asking for professional advice, and is perhaps on the wrong forum.

For better or worse he is enamored with the idea of PA speaker, maybe a cheap one would suit those needs fine, or maybe he will get the bug and it would be a complete waste of money. His inclination should reasonably define the approach.
Yep, just trying to lead the horse to water.

Sure the Yamaha is $0.01 dearer than a pair of eons at the candy shop, but it has a $100 rebate.
If nothing else I'm trying to save the op money (short and long term) and put a smile on their face.

The op has already blown speakers, made a regret purchase and has come here for help. So far the help offered hasn't been what the op wanted to hear. We can only hope they at least sleep on the decision and take on the advice offered.

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

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Melbourne Cover band: Party Time!

Dave Scarlett

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Re: DIY PA advice/troubleshooting
« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2018, 10:38:16 pm »

If you're not in a big hurry to spend your money keep a watch on the "deal of the day" with the major on line retailers.

https://www.musiciansfriend.com/stupid
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/find/dealZone.jsp

Right now look here at Sweetwater: https://www.sweetwater.com/dealzone/c134--PA_Speakers-deals

EV ZLX-15 for $359 ea, JBL PRX412M for $404 ea, even Peavey PVx 15 for $224 ea. But some of the powered speaker deals are again your best bang for the buck. About a month ago there were some Alto powered box a few of us which we had bought just because they were such a great price.



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Stephen Kirby

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Re: DIY PA advice/troubleshooting
« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2018, 06:33:22 pm »

One constant here is people coming in with limited budget and larger aspirations.  There is no magic bullet that combines loud, sound quality, small/light, reliable, and low cost.  When that gets pointed out there is invariably resistance.  People are attached to marketing hype.  Either to size for the price like some cheap 15" plastic boxes.  Or some inference of superior technology like the things masquerading as "line sources".  Everyone has a friend who reads all the Musician's Friend and Guitar Center flyers and "knows all about this stuff".
Some good advice being doled out here, like using just one DXR15.  That unfortunately flies in the face of conventional wisdom.  But conventional wisdom is a term coined by economist John Kenneth Gallbraith for people who adhere to past understandings as if they were a religion, obfuscating with their special insider knowledge to maintain their aura of expertise.
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