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Author Topic: questions on building my first PA system setup  (Read 8504 times)

Phil Johnson

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questions on building my first PA system setup
« on: January 17, 2012, 01:23:49 pm »

I'm new to all of this, although I'm not new to pro audio itself, I have only ever helped setup or just used an already installed club system.  never had my own stuff.  I bought some things that were recommended to me through a few friends, I'd like your opinions and what you might do for a set of passive speakers.  this is a list of my current haves

3 wireless samson mics
Behringer X1832USB mixer
2 JBL Eon 315 (powered speakers)
1 Seismic Audio 18" powered subwoofer (1000 RMS)
2 Peavey CS2000H amplifiers in perfect condition (note this is the older H and not just a CS2000)
DBX 2 channel Equalizer
assorted cables of course


looking for opinions and thoughts on current equipment, additions and what to use for some passive speakers for the CS2000H's.  I was told I should use one to power a sub or two, and the other for some others. 

particularly interested in anything you guys have to say about seismic audio gear.  I took a risk and bought the enforcer and thus far am pretty happy with it.  it's not earth shattering bass, but it's pretty good for the price. 
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Brad Weber

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Re: questions on building my first PA system setup
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2012, 10:21:15 am »

Probably the first thing is to tell us a little about the application.  One can assume a club application from your post but is this for background music, DJ, live band, etc.?  What genres of music and what types of bands?  What size venues and audiences?

As far as passive speakers, you have the EON 315s, why are you looking for other speakers?  Is there something specific you are trying to change or improve?  Would the EONs move to monitor duty or anything like that?

The Seismic Enforcer seems to have an adjustable low pass filter for the sub but no high pass filtered output for the mains, so how are you high passing the EONs?
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Chris Chambers

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Re: questions on building my first PA system setup
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2012, 10:21:55 pm »

I'm new to all of this, although I'm not new to pro audio itself, I have only ever helped setup or just used an already installed club system.  never had my own stuff.  I bought some things that were recommended to me through a few friends, I'd like your opinions and what you might do for a set of passive speakers.  this is a list of my current haves

3 wireless samson mics
Behringer X1832USB mixer
2 JBL Eon 315 (powered speakers)
1 Seismic Audio 18" powered subwoofer (1000 RMS)
2 Peavey CS2000H amplifiers in perfect condition (note this is the older H and not just a CS2000)
DBX 2 channel Equalizer
assorted cables of course


looking for opinions and thoughts on current equipment, additions and what to use for some passive speakers for the CS2000H's.  I was told I should use one to power a sub or two, and the other for some others. 

particularly interested in anything you guys have to say about seismic audio gear.  I took a risk and bought the enforcer and thus far am pretty happy with it.  it's not earth shattering bass, but it's pretty good for the price.

Well if your looking at some new passive speakers i'd say go have a look at Myer or EAW or l-acoustic... however i don't think you can afford that much so how much have you got to work with?

What country are you in also? USA? Australia?

Stu McDoniel

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Re: questions on building my first PA system setup
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2012, 11:29:45 pm »

I'm new to all of this, although I'm not new to pro audio itself, I have only ever helped setup or just used an already installed club system.  never had my own stuff.  I bought some things that were recommended to me through a few friends, I'd like your opinions and what you might do for a set of passive speakers.  this is a list of my current haves

3 wireless samson mics
Behringer X1832USB mixer
2 JBL Eon 315 (powered speakers)
1 Seismic Audio 18" powered subwoofer (1000 RMS)
2 Peavey CS2000H amplifiers in perfect condition (note this is the older H and not just a CS2000)
DBX 2 channel Equalizer
assorted cables of course


looking for opinions and thoughts on current equipment, additions and what to use for some passive speakers for the CS2000H's.  I was told I should use one to power a sub or two, and the other for some others. 

particularly interested in anything you guys have to say about seismic audio gear.  I took a risk and bought the enforcer and thus far am pretty happy with it.  it's not earth shattering bass, but it's pretty good for the price.
Looks like your needing subs and monitors.  How much you want to spend?  Get the idea?
Add another powered sub and use the internal xover in the sub/s for the mains.  Get some passive stage monitors and power them with your amps.  Get more microphones and stands and cables.   If you are planning on running this off stage you need a snake.   If your running it on stage you need a rack to put it all in.   You see the expenses piling up here?  Shop wisely and get stuff at least in
the quality range of the entry JBL stuff you have
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chuck clark

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Re: questions on building my first PA system setup
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2012, 08:50:53 am »

That's a dandy little system for a couple acoustic guitar players or perhaps music playback in smaller rooms with crowds of no more than 100 people or so.

You haven't told us what your application is...?

Generally +1 what Mr. McDoniel said. Modern music is deep bass heavy so your probly going to want more subs. If I were you I'd get another sub immediately and eventually end up w/ 4 total. 2 per side. (makes it easy to stack the tops on without having to put em on a stick)

I started over 25 years ago w/ a pair of peavey SP 2's and  4 single 15" peavey FH-1 subs. I now own a regional sound co. and have more $$$ invested in mic cords than your entire system. Yikes! -Best of luck!
Chuck

PS: Seismic gear has been kicked around a lot on here. The concensus seems to be: Their top of the line 18" subs and cabling are ok, but I would stay away from all else.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: questions on building my first PA system setup
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2012, 03:54:54 pm »

I'm new to all of this, although I'm not new to pro audio itself, I have only ever helped setup or just used an already installed club system.  never had my own stuff.  I bought some things that were recommended to me through a few friends, I'd like your opinions and what you might do for a set of passive speakers.  this is a list of my current haves

3 wireless samson mics
Behringer X1832USB mixer
2 JBL Eon 315 (powered speakers)
1 Seismic Audio 18" powered subwoofer (1000 RMS)
2 Peavey CS2000H amplifiers in perfect condition (note this is the older H and not just a CS2000)
DBX 2 channel Equalizer
assorted cables of course


looking for opinions and thoughts on current equipment, additions and what to use for some passive speakers for the CS2000H's.  I was told I should use one to power a sub or two, and the other for some others. 

particularly interested in anything you guys have to say about seismic audio gear.  I took a risk and bought the enforcer and thus far am pretty happy with it.  it's not earth shattering bass, but it's pretty good for the price.

What kind of program material, how much *area* do you need to cover, how loud does it need to be, what are the quality expectations?
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: questions on building my first PA system setup
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2012, 11:18:09 pm »

What country are you in also? USA? Australia?

You know that south of the equator, everything has to be connected in reverse polarity, right?
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JUST KIDDING!
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Jean-Pierre Coetzee

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Re: questions on building my first PA system setup
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2012, 07:24:02 am »

Well if your looking at some new passive speakers i'd say go have a look at Myer or EAW or l-acoustic... however i don't think you can afford that much so how much have you got to work with?

What country are you in also? USA? Australia?

I agree with wanting to know which country but really, EAW, L-Acoustic? Passive Meyer, where did you find those, to my knowledge eyer only makes active boxes?
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Brad Weber

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Re: questions on building my first PA system setup
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2012, 07:31:30 am »

Add another powered sub and use the internal xover in the sub/s for the mains.
That assumes the subs have internal crossovers and as far as I can tell from the very limited information Seismic provides, none of their subwoofers have integral crossovers.  The powered Enforcer seems to have a variable 45Hz-800Hz low pass for the its signal, which seems a bit of a ridiculous range, but the output seems to be a simple loop intended to daisy-chain other subs rather than being a high passed output for mains.
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Phil Johnson

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Re: questions on building my first PA system setup
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2012, 08:07:31 am »

That assumes the subs have internal crossovers and as far as I can tell from the very limited information Seismic provides, none of their subwoofers have integral crossovers.  The powered Enforcer seems to have a variable 45Hz-800Hz low pass for the its signal, which seems a bit of a ridiculous range, but the output seems to be a simple loop intended to daisy-chain other subs rather than being a high passed output for mains.

correct.  currently I control this through my mixer, basically I use a Sub 1 output to control my subwoofers independently and I'm utilizing that DBX as my equalizer to cut some of the heavy bass from hitting the eon's presently.  we are looking at no more than 200-300 people maximum in a smaller indoor club environment.  I agree the controls on the enforcer are a little lacking, however they aren't too horrible considerin.  it would typically be hip-hop, R&B, Rock, and the occasional Dubstep/techno style that seems to be growing as a major genre.  would need to be pretty loud, and bass would be important.  the Eon's were really more of an ultra portable good PA for outside at relatively decent sound levels for smaller outdoor country parties.  they did the job well. 

budget is small at the moment.  I'm thinking no more than 700 per speaker as of now.
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Brad Weber

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Re: questions on building my first PA system setup
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2012, 11:04:32 am »

correct.  currently I control this through my mixer, basically I use a Sub 1 output to control my subwoofers independently and I'm utilizing that DBX as my equalizer to cut some of the heavy bass from hitting the eon's presently.
The integrated crossover function of the CS2000H might be much better for that purpose however you might want to consider a system processor.

I agree the controls on the enforcer are a little lacking, however they aren't too horrible considerin.
My point was really that it would be sort of pointless to low pass those subs at 45Hz and you don't low pass "subwoofers" at 800Hz (although that does let you effectively take the internal filter out of consideration if you use an external crossover) so it looks like they probably stuck a readily available and inexpensive variable low pass filter in the box rather than one really designed specifically for it.  That also addresses the above point as Seismic recommends an external crossover for their subs.

it would typically be hip-hop, R&B, Rock, and the occasional Dubstep/techno style that seems to be growing as a major genre.  would need to be pretty loud, and bass would be important.  the Eon's were really more of an ultra portable good PA for outside at relatively decent sound levels for smaller outdoor country parties.  they did the job well. 

budget is small at the moment.  I'm thinking no more than 700 per speaker as of now.
What improvement are you expecting over the EONs?  The CS2000H is rated at 425W/ch into 8 Ohms and 700W/ch into 4 Ohms, but those are 1kHz ratings so expect maybe around 350W/ch @ 8 Ohms and 600W/ch into 4 Ohms for subs or mains duty.  With that power and a $700 per speaker budget, I'm not sure you may indeed be able to get some improvement over the EON 315s, but perhaps not as significant an improvement as you might hope.  Given you needs and budget you might be better to focus on adding another sub.
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Phil Johnson

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Re: questions on building my first PA system setup
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2012, 01:46:10 pm »

The integrated crossover function of the CS2000H might be much better for that purpose however you might want to consider a system processor.
My point was really that it would be sort of pointless to low pass those subs at 45Hz and you don't low pass "subwoofers" at 800Hz (although that does let you effectively take the internal filter out of consideration if you use an external crossover) so it looks like they probably stuck a readily available and inexpensive variable low pass filter in the box rather than one really designed specifically for it.  That also addresses the above point as Seismic recommends an external crossover for their subs.
What improvement are you expecting over the EONs?  The CS2000H is rated at 425W/ch into 8 Ohms and 700W/ch into 4 Ohms, but those are 1kHz ratings so expect maybe around 350W/ch @ 8 Ohms and 600W/ch into 4 Ohms for subs or mains duty.  With that power and a $700 per speaker budget, I'm not sure you may indeed be able to get some improvement over the EON 315s, but perhaps not as significant an improvement as you might hope.  Given you needs and budget you might be better to focus on adding another sub.

I was always told the watts an amp puts out is par to meaningless as it is how well that amp compliments a speaker.  considering these were about 1000$ amps back in the day, I cannot imagine that they don't make a single speaker for less than 700 dollars for one speaker that would sound better and blast better than a single eon 315. 
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Brad Weber

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Re: questions on building my first PA system setup
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2012, 03:21:15 pm »

I was always told the watts an amp puts out is par to meaningless as it is how well that amp compliments a speaker.  considering these were about 1000$ amps back in the day, I cannot imagine that they don't make a single speaker for less than 700 dollars for one speaker that would sound better and blast better than a single eon 315.
Is it your friends that suggested you buy Samson wireless mics and a Behringer mixer the ones that told you that the amp rating has no relevance to how well it matches a speaker?  And are they the ones suggesting that you spend your money on replacements for the EONs?

For $700 then unless you go used you are looking at something like the JBL JRX515 or MRX512M, the Yamaha S112V or S215V or the EV Sx300e or Zx4.  Those combined with the Peavey amps may sound better than the EON 315s but there may not be as much difference as you think.   On the other hand, that same money used to get another sub and a processor with a crossover, a high pass for the sub and some parametric EQ may make a more noticeable difference, especially for some of the bass heavy applications.

I'd guess that your sub is actually a limiting factor even with the EONs, especially with your processing.  The specs for the Seismic Audio Enforcer are a bit questionable.  They 're rated at 1000W RMS and 2000W Peak, so the "RMS" rating is probably a Program rating and the continuous or long term rating would actually be 500W.  The frequency response is specified as 45Hz to 2kHz, but no limits are given so those are probably -10dB points or something like that rather than a +/-3dB response.  And there is no response chart so there is no way to tell if the stated 101dB sensitivity applies to the full response, it could well apply to the response at 2kHz with the sensitivity at the frequencies where you'd use it being much less.  The net result is that the sub is likely to be capable of much less in real use than the specs may suggest.  So add a second sub, high pass it to keep out very low frequency junk and properly cross it over to your mains at maybe 100-120Hz and you may get more out of your system than adding new mains without addressing the subwoofer or processing.
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: questions on building my first PA system setup
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2012, 03:48:21 pm »

The ..........Seismic Audio Enforcer.........  low frequency junk

Edited for clarity......... :-[

These things are made out of "particle board", for heaven's sake.  I believe they do claim that the front panel is plywood, though.  A complete waste of funds that could be spent on something built of proper and durable components.
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Phil Johnson

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Re: questions on building my first PA system setup
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2012, 07:37:14 am »

Is it your friends that suggested you buy Samson wireless mics and a Behringer mixer the ones that told you that the amp rating has no relevance to how well it matches a speaker?  And are they the ones suggesting that you spend your money on replacements for the EONs?

For $700 then unless you go used you are looking at something like the JBL JRX515 or MRX512M, the Yamaha S112V or S215V or the EV Sx300e or Zx4.  Those combined with the Peavey amps may sound better than the EON 315s but there may not be as much difference as you think.   On the other hand, that same money used to get another sub and a processor with a crossover, a high pass for the sub and some parametric EQ may make a more noticeable difference, especially for some of the bass heavy applications.

I'd guess that your sub is actually a limiting factor even with the EONs, especially with your processing.  The specs for the Seismic Audio Enforcer are a bit questionable.  They 're rated at 1000W RMS and 2000W Peak, so the "RMS" rating is probably a Program rating and the continuous or long term rating would actually be 500W.  The frequency response is specified as 45Hz to 2kHz, but no limits are given so those are probably -10dB points or something like that rather than a +/-3dB response.  And there is no response chart so there is no way to tell if the stated 101dB sensitivity applies to the full response, it could well apply to the response at 2kHz with the sensitivity at the frequencies where you'd use it being much less.  The net result is that the sub is likely to be capable of much less in real use than the specs may suggest.  So add a second sub, high pass it to keep out very low frequency junk and properly cross it over to your mains at maybe 100-120Hz and you may get more out of your system than adding new mains without addressing the subwoofer or processing.

OK brad, so you are telling me my mixer is crap.  thus far I love this mixer and have no complaints at all.  my budget is very low for the moment. 

yes I know the seismic was cheap and a piece.  I'd rather have a pair of dual 18 yamaha club subwoofers, problem is I don't have an amp that would power them I don't think. or the money really. or do you think these 2 CS2000H's will do the trick at least close to anyway.  on top of that you are saying go with yamaha dual 15 speakers, is that also correct?
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Jean-Pierre Coetzee

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Re: questions on building my first PA system setup
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2012, 07:57:40 am »

OK brad, so you are telling me my mixer is crap.  thus far I love this mixer and have no complaints at all.  my budget is very low for the moment. 

yes I know the seismic was cheap and a piece.  I'd rather have a pair of dual 18 yamaha club subwoofers, problem is I don't have an amp that would power them I don't think. or the money really. or do you think these 2 CS2000H's will do the trick at least close to anyway.  on top of that you are saying go with yamaha dual 15 speakers, is that also correct?

If the sensitivity of the yamaha subs are greater than the sub you have now the amp you have will power them and you will get more sub(and better sounding) than what you have currently. For such a wide range of genre I'm pretty sure a dual 15 cab will help but I'm no fan of 15's at all.

Get an array-able 12 that has the sensitivity to do what you need it to do until then work with what you have. 15 and larger is for subs imo and get a different sub, you can power it with whatever amp you have now and it will probably outperform what you have now.
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Brad Weber

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Re: questions on building my first PA system setup
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2012, 08:21:04 am »

OK brad, so you are telling me my mixer is crap.  thus far I love this mixer and have no complaints at all.  my budget is very low for the moment. 

yes I know the seismic was cheap and a piece.  I'd rather have a pair of dual 18 yamaha club subwoofers, problem is I don't have an amp that would power them I don't think. or the money really. or do you think these 2 CS2000H's will do the trick at least close to anyway.  on top of that you are saying go with yamaha dual 15 speakers, is that also correct?
Not at all.  What I was suggesting is that with some of the types of music you noted and your tight budget you may be better off to look at spending the money you have on subs and processing rather than on new mains.  The EONs may not be the best, but the single Seismic sub and lack of any crossover are most likely to be the limiting factors with what you apparently currently have.  Get an actual crossover or processor with a crossover and maybe look at some subs that you could power with the Peavey amps you have.
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Re: questions on building my first PA system setup
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2012, 08:21:04 am »


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