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Author Topic: Should I spend more on speakers or mixer  (Read 27956 times)

Tony Shui

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Should I spend more on speakers or mixer
« on: August 17, 2013, 09:35:26 am »

My wife and I both loved singing since we were young. But after getting married and had kids we just didn't have time for it any more. Now kids are getting a little bit older we want to get back in the game. :-)

Our budget is $1200 and we will use $200 for hosting software & some new songs and $1000 for hardware. We will use the system in a 200 sf room. We have a two-year old laptop running Windows 7 and an old mic (http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/wired_mics/665bdf92967733dc/) we could use. Not sure if that mic is good for singing though as it was given to us by a relative who used it for recording. I also hope I could use my audioengine D1 DAC (http://audioengineusa.com/Store/Audioengine-D1) as well but I am not sure if it's suitable.

After a lot of reading on the internet including this great forum, I have come to the following two systems:

******************************

#1:

Speakers: Two Electro-Voice ZLX-12P $400x2

Mixer: Yamaha MG82CX $160

Stands: On-Stage SSP7900 $70

Cables: I have no clue here

Anything else I've missed?

******************************

#2:

Speakers: Two Alto TS112a $300x2

Mixer: Allen & Heath ZED 10fx $300

Others: same as plan #1

******************************

So if you guys are in the market today which setup would you pick? Or if you have better suggestions, even if it's a passive + amp combo, as long as the setup fits our budget. I am all ears.

We want to purchase the system during the labour day long weekend sale (if there is any). Or should we wait until Black Friday? Any specific dealer you prefer (sweetwater, americanmusical, zzounds & musiciansfriend)?

Any advice is greatly appreciated!
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Mike Sullivan

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Re: Should I spend more on speakers or mixer
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2013, 09:40:48 am »

My wife and I both loved singing since we were young. But after getting married and had kids we just didn't have time for it any more. Now kids are getting a little bit older we want to get back in the game. :-)

Our budget is $1200 and we will use $200 for hosting software & some new songs and $1000 for hardware. We will use the system in a 200 sf room. We have a two-year old laptop running Windows 7 and an old mic (http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/wired_mics/665bdf92967733dc/) we could use. Not sure if that mic is good for singing though as it was given to us by a relative who used it for recording. I also hope I could use my audioengine D1 DAC (http://audioengineusa.com/Store/Audioengine-D1) as well but I am not sure if it's suitable.

After a lot of reading on the internet including this great forum, I have come to the following two systems:

******************************

#1:

Speakers: Two Electro-Voice ZLX-12P $400x2

Mixer: Yamaha MG82CX $160

Stands: On-Stage SSP7900 $70

Cables: I have no clue here

Anything else I've missed?

******************************

#2:

Speakers: Two Alto TS112a $300x2

Mixer: Allen & Heath ZED 10fx $300

Others: same as plan #1

******************************

So if you guys are in the market today which setup would you pick? Or if you have better suggestions, even if it's a passive + amp combo, as long as the setup fits our budget. I am all ears.

We want to purchase the system during the labour day long weekend sale (if there is any). Or should we wait until Black Friday? Any specific dealer you prefer (sweetwater, americanmusical, zzounds & musiciansfriend)?

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Take a look at a couple dealers on this site.  They can help you save some money, which may give you a little more headroom on what you can buy.  Also keep an eye out for second hand boards.  That Yamaha will work fine for what you need, another option would be Allen & Heath.  If the ZLX series is anything like the ELX series, besides being a plastic box, they should suit you fine for small shows.  Hope that helps.

Oh, and as far as cables, I would recommend checking out Audiopile.net if you're on a budget.  Look for their SLMA line of mic cables.  Very robust cables, great worksmanship, and great cables all around.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Should I spend more on speakers or mixer
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2013, 10:14:49 am »

We will use the system in a 200 sf room.
Do you really need a mic in a 200sq foot room?  That is like 14'x14'.

Just use a decent home stereo and don't worry about a mic.

The "PA" speakers in your price range will not sound anywhere near as good as 'stereo" speakers in the same price range.  But they will get louder-but do they need to?

Unless there is something I am missing.
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Tony Shui

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Re: Should I spend more on speakers or mixer
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2013, 10:34:55 am »

Mike, thank you for the tip on the cables. I will definitely check them out.

Ivan, we might also use it for backyard parties or even in a much bigger basement that's why we plan to get a PA system. And I don't think stereo speakers we have would handle live vocal well.
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Tim Perry

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Re: Should I spend more on speakers or mixer
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2013, 10:44:14 am »

Do you really need a mic in a 200sq foot room?  That is like 14'x14'.

Just use a decent home stereo and don't worry about a mic.

The "PA" speakers in your price range will not sound anywhere near as good as 'stereo" speakers in the same price range.  But they will get louder-but do they need to?

Unless there is something I am missing.

Extrapolating: they want a small practice system that will also work for a small venue rig when they are ready to play out.

cables: Don't get the cheapest. I know it's tempting  but they just don't last long.

mixer:  I think you will be happy with the Zed.

Speakers:  The EV's will sound ok, work ok, and retain more of their value on the used market.

31 band EQ:  DOD, dbx, or similar
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Tony Shui

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Re: Should I spend more on speakers or mixer
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2013, 11:01:44 am »

Thank you Tim! Looks like it will push us over our budget but I would rather get it right the first time. :-)

And what cable would you recommend? How many of them will I need for my setup?
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Mark McFarlane

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Re: Should I spend more on speakers or mixer
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2013, 11:16:48 am »

It's hard to say if that mic is gonna sound good for vocals or not. Even thought it is XLR on one end, it is an unbalanced stereo mic. You can't use it with a normal mixer without having a custom cable made that splits the mic into 2 channels.  If you use a normal balanced mono XLR cable your probably just gonna get the left minus right signal (assuming L=pin 2, R=pin3 or vice versa), which will basically be almost no signal at all.  As an alternative to a custom cable you could cut pin 2 or pin 3 and just use one side of the mic.

Regrading speakers, personally I'd go for a single higher quality speaker or spend the money on something else like a great vocal mic.  It's unorthodox, but so am I.  You're not going to be singing in stereo.
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Mark McFarlane
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Tony Shui

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Re: Should I spend more on speakers or mixer
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2013, 11:40:36 am »

Thanks Mark. Looks like we'll have to save up for a pair of Shure SM58 or Shure Beta 58. Can't believe this is getting expensive so quickly. :-)
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Tim Perry

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Re: Should I spend more on speakers or mixer
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2013, 12:22:51 pm »

Thank you Tim! Looks like it will push us over our budget but I would rather get it right the first time. :-)

And what cable would you recommend? How many of them will I need for my setup?

Tony, I make my own or buy C.B.I. or whirlwind cables...  for example: http://www.cbicables.com/products/mln__performer_series.aspx

Only you can determine how many <g>  I have to have a tub full plus a drum snake.
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Corey Scogin

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Should I spend more on speakers or mixer
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2013, 12:45:31 pm »

Thanks Mark. Looks like we'll have to save up for a pair of Shure SM58 or Shure Beta 58. Can't believe this is getting expensive so quickly. :-)

Mics are a very person-dependent item. Meaning, one mic might sound great on one person but poor on another. If you have access to a big box music store, they may let you demo different mics. Try a condenser or two as well. They will give you a much more "airy" sound which may be what you're going for.  The AT2010 comes to mind as a low priced condenser.  Not all mics are  as tough as a SM58 but as long as you don't run over them, most hold up just fine.

*edit: you might be able to sell that stereo mic you own to offset the cost.
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Should I spend more on speakers or mixer
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2013, 12:45:31 pm »


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