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Author Topic: Outdoor Pyromusical/Fireworks PA System Recommendation  (Read 418 times)

Brian Anderson (KC)

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Outdoor Pyromusical/Fireworks PA System Recommendation
« on: September 29, 2019, 02:13:57 pm »

Looking to turn my yearly fireworks show into a pyromusical! There are usually around 150-200 people and we have the show on a couple of acres (wide open pasture). Some of my initial thoughts:
  • I would love to keep it to two large main speakers.
  • Most of the music will be classic rock and more modern rock/pop.
  • I will probably stick to powered speakers to keep things simple.
  • Bass is not super critical, but I would prefer a nice full-range sound.
  • I could probably spend about $1k per main without too much grief from the wife (more with some sound logic and time)!

Some of my initial research turned up a lot of Internet folks using/recommendating QSC or JBL 3-ways but any and all recommendations or nuggets of wisdom would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance for your time. :-)
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Taylor Hall

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Re: Outdoor Pyromusical/Fireworks PA System Recommendation
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2019, 03:05:29 pm »

With your budget it'd be hard to go wrong with a used/B-stock JBL SRX or Yamaha DSR/DXR setup if you're hellbent on going active (I'm sure Debbie Dunkley would cut you a deal on some of her SRX gear :P). The QSC K-series would also be a solid choice. DAS Audio has some potent little active cabinets as well that have been getting decent reviews. Whatever you go with, definitely try before you buy. All the options listed above should be available to listen to at Guitar Center and the like.

I also wouldn't rule out going with a passive setup as they require fewer long cables vs an active setup (passive only needs one cable per cabinet while active needs two) and can also save you a chunk of money getting the passive version over active. It does create a need for additional outboard gear (amps and crossover), so that might break your "simple" requirement and maybe budget as well.

Another option would be to simply rent it all. For a yearly event you'd easily go several years before you hit a break even point for buy vs rent. Food for thought.
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: Outdoor Pyromusical/Fireworks PA System Recommendation
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2019, 03:20:00 pm »

+1 for renting, if you're only looking at once or twice a year.
It also gives you an opportunity to audition the gear if you decide to purchase.
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Brian Jojade

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Re: Outdoor Pyromusical/Fireworks PA System Recommendation
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2019, 04:01:26 pm »

Definitely if the only use is for this once per year event, renting is the better way to go.

Covering a couple of acres with just a pair of speakers is asking a lot, no matter which brand/style you pick.
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Brian Anderson (KC)

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Re: Outdoor Pyromusical/Fireworks PA System Recommendation
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2019, 04:40:13 pm »

Thank you for your replies, I do plan on using them in my 1500 square foot shop the rest of the year.
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Outdoor Pyromusical/Fireworks PA System Recommendation
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2019, 07:08:03 pm »

Hi Brian, a few thoughts...

I do agree with the others in that youíre better off renting versus buying, but if youíll use them otherwise and donít mind spending the money then thereís nothing wrong with that.  You donít need anything special here - the majority of MI-level speakers will fill your needs.  Iím predominantly a QSC user but thereís a lot of love for the Yamaha DSR Series here.

Now, I think a bigger question that you need to address is how youíre going to synchronize the music with the fireworks so that it looks and sounds correct to the audience.  This usually involves specialized equipment that the average lounge-level rental house or weekend warrior wonít have in inventory.  Itís also usually preferred to distribute audio to multiple speakers spread throughout the vantage points versus one or two big ones - this minimizes the delay in audio to the viewers further away from the speakers that will make the fireworks look out of synch.  If youíre just setting off fireworks with music playing in the background than this is much less of an issue, whereas if this is a true pyromuscal itís a big deal.  Good luck!
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Brian Anderson (KC)

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Re: Outdoor Pyromusical/Fireworks PA System Recommendation
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2019, 07:43:11 pm »

Once again, I really appreciate the replies...

I am fortunate enough to already own some Cobra firing modules... a Cobra Audio Box will take care of the synchronization for me. I will run some XLR outputs into a Yamaha mixer. Cobra makes that part much easier. :-)

Considering my self-imposed limitations (no sub, only two mains, active setup, etc) I am curious if there is a sweet spot for me... for instance, would a two-way with twin 15's make more sense than a more well-rounded three-way setup?

By the way, the folks that attend the fireworks show end up spanning about 50 yards... just a couple of rows deep.
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: Outdoor Pyromusical/Fireworks PA System Recommendation
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2019, 01:45:38 am »

Once again, I really appreciate the replies...

I am fortunate enough to already own some Cobra firing modules... a Cobra Audio Box will take care of the synchronization for me. I will run some XLR outputs into a Yamaha mixer. Cobra makes that part much easier. :-)

Considering my self-imposed limitations (no sub, only two mains, active setup, etc) I am curious if there is a sweet spot for me... for instance, would a two-way with twin 15's make more sense than a more well-rounded three-way setup?

By the way, the folks that attend the fireworks show end up spanning about 50 yards... just a couple of rows deep.

DSR115s would give you more lows than the DSR112, which is designed to use a sub.
Also look at the new DZR line.
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Chris Grimshaw

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Re: Outdoor Pyromusical/Fireworks PA System Recommendation
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2019, 03:21:00 am »


Considering my self-imposed limitations (no sub, only two mains, active setup, etc) I am curious if there is a sweet spot for me... for instance, would a two-way with twin 15's make more sense than a more well-rounded three-way setup?

By the way, the folks that attend the fireworks show end up spanning about 50 yards... just a couple of rows deep.

A double-15" box will be the most bass you can get out of a single main speaker per side. One caveat, though - 15" drivers do not do well in the midrange. As a result, I'd recommend finding either a 2x15"/6"/1" box, or a 2x15"/2" box. The latter would need a beefy compression driver and a low crossover point, while the former relaxes the demands on the compression driver by adding a dedicated midrange unit.

A 2x15"/1" box is not an option IME.

Chris
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Geert Friedhof

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Re: Outdoor Pyromusical/Fireworks PA System Recommendation
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2019, 05:49:29 am »

If you need a 15" with a beefy driver RCF has your back. Art 735, Art 745, NX45, HD45, HD35 all have big drivers, and produce a decent amount of low frequencies.
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Re: Outdoor Pyromusical/Fireworks PA System Recommendation
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