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Author Topic: Bare Bones PA System  (Read 7396 times)

Jim Academy

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Bare Bones PA System
« on: June 29, 2012, 11:28:30 am »

First post on this forum.

We are a small manufacturer of church furniture including pulpits and lecterns.

We are looking for a PA system that can be incorporated into our products.

Simplicity is the key, turn on and volume are about all the features we require. A rack or shelf mounted amplifier. A wired microphone that can be desk mounted and speaker units that we can install into our own cabinetry.

The system must be capable of filling a small church or community hall.

Any enthusiasts or DJs out there that have assembled such a set-up that can point us in the right direction?
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Scott Carneval

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Re: Bare Bones PA System
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2012, 01:27:22 pm »



The system must be capable of filling a small church or community hall.

Is this for spoken word only, or will you need to incorporate music playback?  That is going to be the game changer.  Spoken word you can accomplish with a good 10" or 12" driver and a horn.  Music will need to add a sub and an appropriately sized cabinet to get the necessary LF extension.   

You can certainly make this 'work', but there are many reasons why is isn't a good idea.  You'll have issues with even coverage, you probably won't be able to get the lectern above the audiences heads unless it's a really tall stage AKA large venue, in which case your system won't be enough.  A horn with a wide enough dispersion to cover the entire front row won't have enough 'throw' to reach the back.  If, for any reason, the lectern is set to the side of the stage (like for video playback) the sound coverage will be impacted. 

There is at least one other company who made a lectern with a speaker built in, I can't recall the name but I'm sure you can google it.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2012, 01:33:07 pm by Scott Carneval »
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Samuel Rees

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Bare Bones PA System
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2012, 01:47:02 pm »

You are going to need to change your user name to your real full name ASAP or your thread will be locked.
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Brad Weber

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Re: Bare Bones PA System
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2012, 02:34:08 pm »

First post on this forum.
As noted, also possibly your last unless you follow the forum rules and use your real name.  8)

We are a small manufacturer of church furniture including pulpits and lecterns.

We are looking for a PA system that can be incorporated into our products.
So something similar to the products offered by Sound-Craft, Anchor Audio, Marshall Furniture and so forth?

Simplicity is the key, turn on and volume are about all the features we require. A rack or shelf mounted amplifier. A wired microphone that can be desk mounted and speaker units that we can install into our own cabinetry.
No music sources or inputs for such sources and no wireless microphone option, just the one wired microphone?

The system must be capable of filling a small church or community hall.
How large are your pulpits and lecterns?  What open space is available?  That may dictate what is feasible in terms of speakers.  And it has been an issue in several of my recent projects as people seem to currently all want slim, low profile furniture and that often has very limited available space.
 
Any enthusiasts or DJs out there that have assembled such a set-up that can point us in the right direction?
This is posted in the "Installed Sound/Contracting" foum of "ProSoundWeb - News and Information for the Audio Professional" so if you really want input from DJs and enthusiasts then this may not be the most effective place to get that.
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Jim Academy

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Re: Bare Bones PA System
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2012, 07:32:59 am »

First – name added...

Thanks for your responses.

Scott
Yes spoken word only – However, you bring up a good point about a music input, useful between sermons and while waiting, worth considering.

Most of our products are currently used without amplification. The speakers can be very vocal when it comes to getting their messages across. However we are getting a few requests for this sort of product

We thought of the possibility for larger rooms having plug-in extension speakers finished in a similar material to the speakers stand.

Also, This is popular in Europe, mainly Germany, where we are opening a sales office which is why we are considering the upgrade.

Brad
Thanks for the warning

I will check out the companies you have listed. Thanks

The lecterns vary from the slim where only a microphone and amp could be mounted to the large where inbuilt speakers should not be a problem – Also external speakers as mentioned above.

It is hard to know where to get good advice when you are outside an industry – so apologies if my post is not best directed.

But nevertheless going to the professionals is best practice.
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Brad Weber

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Re: Bare Bones PA System
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2012, 08:27:37 am »

I will check out the companies you have listed.
You might note that they seem to use two different approaches.  Some make the audio an integral part of the furniture while others include provisions to support packaged sound systems.  They each have their pros and cons.
 
One thing to keep in mind with speakers integrated into a lectern or pulpit is that unless the lectern or pulpit is on a raised stage then the speakers are usually below ear level for the listeners.  That may be fine for the closest listeners but may mean that folks further away have the direct sound blocked by those seated or standing in front of them and that much of what they hear may be indirect sound reflecting off the walls and ceiling, which in turn means lower intelligibility or more difficulty understanding what is said.  Satellite speakers that can be on stands and possibly even raised and aimed down may provide much better results for larger audiences.
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George Friedman-Jimenez

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Re: Bare Bones PA System
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2012, 10:15:06 am »

Good furniture has a much longer useful lifetime than a good sound system. Especially given the rapid progress of the digital world of sound reinforcement, mixers and signal processing equipment (and possibly even amplifiers and speakers) will be obsolete before it is even time to refinish your furniture for its next decade of faithful service. Others may have more inside info than I do about how much longer the standard 19" wide rack convention will be with us, but it might make more sense to build in mounting hardware, shelves, wire holes, etc than to actually integrate a specific set of sound reinforcement hardware that may become a dinosaur in 10 years or less.
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Bare Bones PA System
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2012, 10:19:49 am »

Some major install product manufacturers sell dedicated church product lines. It is a huge industry so there are already many products.

You may be able to private label some versions of their existing mixer/amplifier products to fit in convenient cubbyholes. Speakers will obviously be separate and free standing.

JR

PS: The list is incomplete, perhaps pick up a few church magazines and look at the ads, to see how many other manufacturers target that market.

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Jim Academy

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Re: Bare Bones PA System
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2012, 10:25:46 am »

many thanks again...

From the above I am beginning to like the idea of a packaged system where the speakers can be housed within the body of the lectern for storage and wheeled out, possibly on stands when required. Just need to identify the right combo.

Should it be a  concern that feedback could be a problem with speakers and microphone being mounted on the same cabinetry or has technology eliminated this?
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Bare Bones PA System
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2012, 11:11:27 am »

many thanks again...

From the above I am beginning to like the idea of a packaged system where the speakers can be housed within the body of the lectern for storage and wheeled out, possibly on stands when required. Just need to identify the right combo.

Should it be a  concern that feedback could be a problem with speakers and microphone being mounted on the same cabinetry or has technology eliminated this?

Hi Jim-

Is feedback a possibility?  Absolutely.  The proximity of the microphone and loudspeaker contribute to this and the variety of presenter techniques is a significant factor.

My experience with lecterns containing sound systems is that the average "modern" cleric can speak/shout/wail louder than the sound system.  Presenters that use a quiet, contemplative voice will benefit only up to the point at which feedback occurs.

Feedback happens when a "loop" of acoustic information is created.  The sound comes out of the loudspeaker and is "heard" by the microphone; with enough level feedback will happen.  Mechanical transmission of sound (from the lectern cabinet, through the microphone mounting and then to the mic itself) is also common and can result in feedback although this is less common.

How much customer demand is there for such a product and how much is your firm willing to invest to make a product that is functionally competitive with, or exceeds, existing products?  I suggest you find and try the existing models out there and decide if you can do as well or better AND decide if, in fact, such products actually solve a real need.  My guess is that houses of worship and similar facilities are buying aesthetics or convenience... what they do NOT receive is a sound system capable of amplifying voice for an audience of more than 25-50 people.
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Bare Bones PA System
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2012, 12:07:48 pm »

many thanks again...

From the above I am beginning to like the idea of a packaged system where the speakers can be housed within the body of the lectern for storage and wheeled out, possibly on stands when required. Just need to identify the right combo.

Should it be a  concern that feedback could be a problem with speakers and microphone being mounted on the same cabinetry or has technology eliminated this?
Yes... be concerned.

You might want to research similar existing systems (anchor? etc).

It depends on how technically capable you are. A few general comments about feedback.

-The path length (loop time delay) defines where feedback can occur. The shorter the distance from speaker to microphone, the higher, the lowest feedback node. There are some monitors that take advantage of this by putting speakers very close to the mic so feedback only occurs at higher frequencies.

-If you have a fixed system, i.e. speakers and mics don't change, you can permanently dial in the system for best GBF (gain before feedback). The known feedback nodes can be EQ'd out or otherwise compensated for. 

JR
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George Friedman-Jimenez

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Re: Bare Bones PA System
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2012, 01:49:17 pm »

The sound can be conducted from speaker to mic both through the air and through the wood/metal/plastic structure. Either or both pathways can lead to feedback, frequencies of feedback depend on many factors. Effective isolation of the speaker and/or mic from the sound conducting furniture structure is pretty low tech and should be easily doable with a little thought and experimentation. I think Tim's concern re: is there an unmet need is the central issue here.
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: Bare Bones PA System
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2012, 02:34:30 pm »


My experience with lecterns containing sound systems is that the average "modern" cleric can speak/shout/wail louder than the sound system.  Presenters that use a quiet, contemplative voice will benefit only up to the point at which feedback occurs.

How much customer demand is there for such a product and how much is your firm willing to invest to make a product that is functionally competitive with, or exceeds, existing products?  I suggest you find and try the existing models out there and decide if you can do as well or better AND decide if, in fact, such products actually solve a real need.  My guess is that houses of worship and similar facilities are buying aesthetics or convenience... what they do NOT receive is a sound system capable of amplifying voice for an audience of more than 25-50 people.

These are the salient points.

As has been mentioned additionally, the effectiveness of the system and the enhanced intelligibility which is apparently the objective will be best accomplished by outboard speakers which can be driven from the mixer/amp module located in the lectern.  Having the speaker(s) mounted high enough to be above the heads of the listeners is the simplest way to get to your goal.

Besides looking at similar "built-in" or self-contained lectern systems, I'd encourage you to look at small "user-friendly" systems such as the Fender Passport or the Peavey Messenger or Escort packages to get some ideas of small, practical PA's.
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Cosmo

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Re: Bare Bones PA System
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2012, 04:43:01 pm »


I wholeheartedly second the motion to incorporate a 19" rack mount provision for the electronics, about 4 or 5 spaces should do.  You can choose one brand of head unit and amp to sell with the lectern to customers who don't know how/want to deal with gear, or sell it empty to those who do. And as someone who has spent a lifetime fixing things, I implore you to PLEASE make the working parts accessible.  Too many time I have had to use destructive methods just to get to the part that needs fixin' and THEN had to repair the destruction.

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Jim Academy

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Re: Bare Bones PA System
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2012, 05:56:51 pm »

Many thanks to all for your valuable advice.

What I am taking away from this discussion is to have a system where the amp is a commercially available,  off the shelf,  19” rack-mount model so both accessible/upgradable.

The speaker cabinets can be made by us from commercially available driver kits matched to the power of the chosen amp. The speakers should be separate from the lectern  and if possible have stands to position above the audience’s head’s but housed in the body of the lecterns for storage/ safe keeping when not in use.

And above all find a partner/supplier who can steer us in choosing appropriate equipment –

Finally --  yes, I agree our users typically don’t need amplification but I couldn’t possibly comment!!!

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Glen Kelley

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Re: Bare Bones PA System
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2012, 11:23:49 am »


What I am taking away from this discussion is to have a system where the amp is a commercially available,  off the shelf,  19” rack-mount model so both accessible/upgradable.


Middle Atlantic now makes a half width rack that might work very well for your application. Of course, it will limit your equipment choices quite a bit.

http://www.middleatlantic.com/enclosure/sa/hrf.htm

I think a nice complement of equipment for this would be an Extron DMP-64 audio processor (half-rack), combined with an Extron XPA-1002 power amplifier (half-rack) feeding whatever speaker you can shoe-horn into the cabinet carcass.

This is not an inexpensive system and goes a bit beyond your "on/off + talk" concept, but would provide superior EQ, feedback reduction, and limiting, as well as enough power for a small speaker. 
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Charlie Zureki

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Re: Bare Bones PA System
« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2012, 01:34:54 pm »

Many thanks to all for your valuable advice.

What I am taking away from this discussion is to have a system where the amp is a commercially available,  off the shelf,  19” rack-mount model so both accessible/upgradable.

The speaker cabinets can be made by us from commercially available driver kits matched to the power of the chosen amp. The speakers should be separate from the lectern  and if possible have stands to position above the audience’s head’s but housed in the body of the lecterns for storage/ safe keeping when not in use.

And above all find a partner/supplier who can steer us in choosing appropriate equipment –

Finally --  yes, I agree our users typically don’t need amplification but I couldn’t possibly comment!!!


  Hello,

   I think many Manufacturers would be happy to steer you, but, I'd look for some practical advice, from someone that specs gear as a consultant.  Depending on where you are located, there's some responsible and qualified people/companies on this board.  Look for someone that has installation business, and a good reputation.   Pay them a fee as a consultant.   Have them help you design the hardware and signal/electrical cabling runs/layout.   Try to make the hardware universal so that gear changes can be made with minimal effort.

   Good Luck,
    Hammer
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Gary Creely

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Re: Bare Bones PA System
« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2012, 12:02:42 am »

I would just use a QSC K8 with the remote gain control that can also put the speaker into standby. Problem solved with one product.
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Re: Bare Bones PA System
« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2012, 12:02:42 am »


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