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Author Topic: Best upgrade to current "bar band" system for under $1000?  (Read 26546 times)

jesseweiss

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So my band uses 2 Behringer 212A's, 2 Mackie TH-15's, SM58's, and a Behringer UB2442FX mixer.  It works for us, has enough channels, and is a big improvement over the old 80's stuff we used since the 80's.  We used to do only vocals through the PA, but we put a bit of everything in the mix now if the venue is big enough to warrant it.  Helps us manage levels (guitarists!).

Band is a 4 piece rock band that plays a mix of pop/rock/hard rock, etc....  bass, 2 guitars, drums, and we all sing.  We play small bars, outdoor stuff (town fairs, etc...) and some charity stuff (Relay for Life time events).

We've had the stuff for several years now and I'm thinking of a small upgrade.  My question is which upgrade would be a better use of funds, getting new speakers or upgrading the mixer?

The Behringer's actually sound decent and are pretty loud, the Mackie's sound quality is ok but don't push out the volume the Behringer's do.  Given that, we use the B's as mains and the Mackie's as monitors.  I was thinking of trying to get some SRM450's or some RCF's, hopefully used to save $, to upgrade to use as mains and then just use the other 4 as monitors, or maybe even sell the Mackies.

In terms of features, number of XLR inputs, etc... the mixer isn't bad, but I never feel like we get the level out of it we should.  As I'm learning more about sound, I'm starting to think that a better mixer would make better use of the speakers, even if they are entry level.

Thoughts?  Recommendations?
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: Best upgrade to current "bar band" system for under $1000?
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2013, 03:17:42 pm »

So my band uses 2 Behringer 212A's, 2 Mackie TH-15's, SM58's, and a Behringer UB2442FX mixer.  It works for us, has enough channels, and is a big improvement over the old 80's stuff we used since the 80's.  We used to do only vocals through the PA, but we put a bit of everything in the mix now if the venue is big enough to warrant it.  Helps us manage levels (guitarists!).

Band is a 4 piece rock band that plays a mix of pop/rock/hard rock, etc....  bass, 2 guitars, drums, and we all sing.  We play small bars, outdoor stuff (town fairs, etc...) and some charity stuff (Relay for Life time events).

We've had the stuff for several years now and I'm thinking of a small upgrade.  My question is which upgrade would be a better use of funds, getting new speakers or upgrading the mixer?

The Behringer's actually sound decent and are pretty loud, the Mackie's sound quality is ok but don't push out the volume the Behringer's do.  Given that, we use the B's as mains and the Mackie's as monitors.  I was thinking of trying to get some SRM450's or some RCF's, hopefully used to save $, to upgrade to use as mains and then just use the other 4 as monitors, or maybe even sell the Mackies.

In terms of features, number of XLR inputs, etc... the mixer isn't bad, but I never feel like we get the level out of it we should.  As I'm learning more about sound, I'm starting to think that a better mixer would make better use of the speakers, even if they are entry level.

Thoughts?  Recommendations?

Tip the bartender and the waitresses........
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Caleb Dueck

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Re: Best upgrade to current "bar band" system for under $1000?
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2013, 03:45:02 pm »

Lowering stage levels, good mains, and good subs are all worth considering - if it gets you more business or allows you to charge more.  It'll take more than $1k though..... Likely a lot more.
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Mark McFarlane

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Re: Best upgrade to current "bar band" system for under $1000?
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2013, 04:56:56 pm »

I'd recommend saving your money until you have closer to $2K, then buy new powered mains.  You'll have several good choices around $1K per speaker.  You'll likely regret buying $500 speakers, you'll just want to replace them next year and will have wasted money.  Been there, done that. 

As long as the mixer is functioning to spec you will probably get a more noticeable improvement for your dollar with new speakers.  If the mixer has noise problems, or the EQ isn't doing what you need it to do, that's another story. I haven't used that particular mixer.

What do you mean by "the mixer isn't bad, but I never feel like we get the level out of it we should"?

If you live in a big city you should be able to take your mixer to a music store (on an off day) and audition some speakers and other mixers and see for yourself.
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Scott Bolt

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Re: Best upgrade to current "bar band" system for under $1000?
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2013, 06:24:52 pm »

So my band uses 2 Behringer 212A's, 2 Mackie TH-15's, SM58's, and a Behringer UB2442FX mixer.  It works for us, has enough channels, and is a big improvement over the old 80's stuff we used since the 80's.  We used to do only vocals through the PA, but we put a bit of everything in the mix now if the venue is big enough to warrant it.  Helps us manage levels (guitarists!).

Band is a 4 piece rock band that plays a mix of pop/rock/hard rock, etc....  bass, 2 guitars, drums, and we all sing.  We play small bars, outdoor stuff (town fairs, etc...) and some charity stuff (Relay for Life time events).

We've had the stuff for several years now and I'm thinking of a small upgrade.  My question is which upgrade would be a better use of funds, getting new speakers or upgrading the mixer?

The Behringer's actually sound decent and are pretty loud, the Mackie's sound quality is ok but don't push out the volume the Behringer's do.  Given that, we use the B's as mains and the Mackie's as monitors.  I was thinking of trying to get some SRM450's or some RCF's, hopefully used to save $, to upgrade to use as mains and then just use the other 4 as monitors, or maybe even sell the Mackies.

In terms of features, number of XLR inputs, etc... the mixer isn't bad, but I never feel like we get the level out of it we should.  As I'm learning more about sound, I'm starting to think that a better mixer would make better use of the speakers, even if they are entry level.

Thoughts?  Recommendations?

Jesse,

The mixer has nothing to do with how loud your rig will go, and is far from the weakest link in your rig IMHO.

My first thought is for you to purchase 1 good sub.  You can get a JBL PRX618S-XLF right now for $1K.  This sub is light (81lbs), and powerful (more than enough for your existing Berhringer 212 tops).

The XLF has a built in cross-over.  All you have to do is put stereo signals into it and run them out to your tops with the cross-over engaged and you will be in business.

You will find that with the sub doing all the <90Hz thumping, your tops will go MUCH louder before running out of gas.

Now, having such a great sub with such .... well, not so great tops is nearly against the law in most states ;)

When you can get another 1K together, a pair of RCF312a's will absolutely blow you away with what they are able to do.

Hope this helps!
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Gus Housen

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Re: Best upgrade to current "bar band" system for under $1000?
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2013, 07:34:49 pm »

although the mixer has nothing to do with volume, it does have to do with tonality and functionality. Althought what you have for a mixer is fine for what you are doing and what you are using.

I had the same mixer I bought as a utility mixer for auctions and real small band set-ups and although it was fine, when I replaced it with a allen and heath mixwizard I found it easier to get  what i wanted out of it. It wasnt drastic, it was kinda subltle but I  wasnt using any thing much better than you are some behringer passive mains and some old stewart amplifiers.

Another option is upgrading the mics you have, I dont know what you are using, but that is typically a good way to start.
 
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Scott Bolt

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Re: Best upgrade to current "bar band" system for under $1000?
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2013, 08:45:38 pm »

Mic's are a good idea too.

My ordering of upgrades would be as follows:

1) Add a good sub $1000.00 (PRX618S-XLF)
2) Get good tops $1000.00 (RCF312a)
3) Get good vocal mics $300.00 for 3 of them
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Josh Billings

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Re: Best upgrade to current "bar band" system for under $1000?
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2013, 09:03:27 pm »

I think a good subwoofer (Like the PRX618S-XLF as mentioned before) is a good first step. Keep an eye out on the used market. You may be able to find one cheap. Also the QSC single 18" subwoofer is great too, although generally more expensive.

Better tops will serve you well too, but that's second in line to me. I think the Yamaha DSR115s are a great sounding speaker and they can be had for $1,400 a pair if you shop around.

Your mixer is fine and should be upgraded when it no longer works, or no longer does what you need it to do.

Another thing I would do is minimize any processing you may have (Sonic Maximizers, Exciters, Subharmonic synths, etc).

The SM58s are great mics and you don't need to spend any more money there.

Josh Billings
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Paul G. OBrien

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Re: Best upgrade to current "bar band" system for under $1000?
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2013, 10:01:10 pm »

I have similar Behringer speakers and Thumps :( and I'd have to agree with the others you need to set your sights a little higher to get a meaningful upgrade. The SRM450 is a sideways step from the B212 at best and is old technology now.. you can have significantly higher performance in a lighter package in most cases with some of the newer offerings from RCF, Yamaha, QSC, EV and the like.
Subs also make a significant difference, even if you don't get much increase in overall level you will gain clarity in everything else by removing the low frequency load from the mains.
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Tim Perry

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Re: Best upgrade to current "bar band" system for under $1000?
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2013, 11:52:49 pm »

Tip the bartender and the waitresses........

always a good plan...

... but another plan might be http://www.soundbroker.com/SPEAKERS/
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Best upgrade to current "bar band" system for under $1000?
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2013, 11:52:49 pm »


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