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Author Topic: "Best" Budget powered speakers  (Read 3211 times)

Brian Bolly

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Re: "Best" Budget powered speakers
« Reply #20 on: June 02, 2021, 03:05:11 AM »

Both Brian and Scott nail the points that I've subscribed to for over a decade (and wish I knew/realized earlier).

What is your purpose? Is this adding more inventory to your collection? If so, I'd say pick a model and make ALL of your inventory the same.  In the end, the savings of getting a cheaper box today doesn't really translate to much savings in the long run, and it's more of a hassle to deal with different speakers that behave differently.

THEOREM - System, system, system.  If all of your boxes play nice together, building a SYSTEM out of what is in your inventory is easy.  Bigger speakers are mains, subs scale up and down depending on size, smaller speakers become fills on larger systems or standalone for compact systems.  But timbre/phase is similar across the board, and any speaker will play nice with any other speaker.

Lastly, this rambling post is meant to show that in the $500 $25.00/ea rental it really doesn't matter, you could get a pile of Alto's and Behringers and make the same money.  How many are you looking to purchase?  I try and have 1 spare for each 8 in inventory.

COROLLARY - Buy the best tool possible for the job, or the cheapest piece of crap to get you through the gig.  But recognize that there is a billing price point at which the Client does not care about the product or method used so long as Sound Comes Out your work is done. 

PSW porism: Buy Once, Cry Once (Lowum, et. al.)


Matt,

If the end goal is cheap boxes that you don't care if beer get dumped into on wedge duty, but can also double as speaker-on-stick for an "I need sound here" situation, there are a myriad of MI level boxes that will do the trick, and also have a mic input or two on the back.  If you are now a JBL shop, even the EON range is "pretty cheap" and may do the job.  Personally I wouldn't necessarily be looking at the absolute cheapest box here, but more one with a good warranty that may actually sound good.

We have a handful of boxes that do not fit with the "System" mindset that are of the last-ditch, don't-really-care-what-happens-to-them category.  I consider them borderline disposable, and as soon as one stops working it will get parted out for any value left and disposed of accordingly.  But that's exactly what they were purchased for and designed to do.
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Matt Vivlamore

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Re: "Best" Budget powered speakers
« Reply #21 on: June 02, 2021, 11:04:24 AM »

Both Brian and Scott nail the points that I've subscribed to for over a decade (and wish I knew/realized earlier).

THEOREM - System, system, system.  If all of your boxes play nice together, building a SYSTEM out of what is in your inventory is easy.  Bigger speakers are mains, subs scale up and down depending on size, smaller speakers become fills on larger systems or standalone for compact systems.  But timbre/phase is similar across the board, and any speaker will play nice with any other speaker.

COROLLARY - Buy the best tool possible for the job, or the cheapest piece of crap to get you through the gig.  But recognize that there is a billing price point at which the Client does not care about the product or method used so long as Sound Comes Out your work is done. 

PSW porism: Buy Once, Cry Once (Lowum, et. al.)


Matt,

If the end goal is cheap boxes that you don't care if beer get dumped into on wedge duty, but can also double as speaker-on-stick for an "I need sound here" situation, there are a myriad of MI level boxes that will do the trick, and also have a mic input or two on the back.  If you are now a JBL shop, even the EON range is "pretty cheap" and may do the job.  Personally I wouldn't necessarily be looking at the absolute cheapest box here, but more one with a good warranty that may actually sound good.

We have a handful of boxes that do not fit with the "System" mindset that are of the last-ditch, don't-really-care-what-happens-to-them category.  I consider them borderline disposable, and as soon as one stops working it will get parted out for any value left and disposed of accordingly.  But that's exactly what they were purchased for and designed to do.

I'm rebuilding on a budget and have been trying to buy lightly used gear to get the system up and running.  Trying to find used monitors has been unsuccessful.  And all the local stores in my area are still in COVID limits, so it's hard to demo/compare boxes before buying. 

But for the jobs I'm going to invest in, you can't piece part the invoice, and it's more of I can do the job(s) for $#### and I'll bring X# of wedges to support the "headlining" band and most bands for the day.  Anything more, I have a good relationship with the regional companies and can sub-rent gear.

I understand the Buy Once, Cry Once philosophy... while that is a good slogan, budget comes into effect when buying 5x speakers at $450 ($2250) vs $800 ($4000) vs $1400 ($7000).

I'm just trying to find that "best bang for the buck" speaker that can be throw in multiple situation.
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scottstephens

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Re: "Best" Budget powered speakers
« Reply #22 on: June 02, 2021, 01:24:38 PM »

Matt,

If you are used to the JBL sound, why don't you just stick with it. Saying that because I too have a JBL system and I picked up several of the PRX 812's and they have been rock solid except one needed the volume knob exercised. After that it was all good. They sound decent, are wooden boxes, are relatively light weight, and get loud. They don't sound like a Meyer or even a top-end JBL. But they aren't bad and they cost way less than either of those. And let's face it, we have eq's to fix most of what we do not like.  I picked mine up ( had them shipped to me) at NSL in Pittsburgh for a pretty good price. And also, who at the level you will be using them at is going to notice that they are "only prx's"?  NOBODY.

Good shopping and Mixing. 

Scott
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Brian Bolly

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Re: "Best" Budget powered speakers
« Reply #23 on: June 03, 2021, 05:22:02 AM »

I'm rebuilding on a budget and have been trying to buy lightly used gear to get the system up and running.  Trying to find used monitors has been unsuccessful.  And all the local stores in my area are still in COVID limits, so it's hard to demo/compare boxes before buying. 

But for the jobs I'm going to invest in, you can't piece part the invoice, and it's more of I can do the job(s) for $#### and I'll bring X# of wedges to support the "headlining" band and most bands for the day.  Anything more, I have a good relationship with the regional companies and can sub-rent gear.

I understand the Buy Once, Cry Once philosophy... while that is a good slogan, budget comes into effect when buying 5x speakers at $450 ($2250) vs $800 ($4000) vs $1400 ($7000).

I'm just trying to find that "best bang for the buck" speaker that can be throw in multiple situation.

I believe Chuck's is open - that may be a good one-stop to at least audition a few models at the same time.

It sounds like if you only need to provide wedges/speakers (no rider acceptance), then the "cheap plastic box" may be the best budget solution here, especially if you can cross name brand pro wedges from other local companies. 

FWIW, you can easily get into used pro-level (discontinued) boxes for <$900/box, not including power.
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Brian Jojade

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Re: "Best" Budget powered speakers
« Reply #24 on: June 03, 2021, 03:10:06 PM »

I'm rebuilding on a budget and have been trying to buy lightly used gear to get the system up and running.  Trying to find used monitors has been unsuccessful.  And all the local stores in my area are still in COVID limits, so it's hard to demo/compare boxes before buying.

I understand the Buy Once, Cry Once philosophy... while that is a good slogan, budget comes into effect when buying 5x speakers at $450 ($2250) vs $800 ($4000) vs $1400 ($7000).

I'm just trying to find that "best bang for the buck" speaker that can be throw in multiple situation.

Monitors are one of those  things that's tough to find 'lightly used' unless you get lucky.  Generally, you can buy new, or you buy stuff that's been beat up and destroyed. The exceptions to the rule are those that bought cheap monitors and realized they suck, then upgraded to quality stuff quickly.  But on the cheap end, the savings of used often aren't worth the potential headaches.

Yeah, I get that buying better stuff requires more cash outlay up front. But over time, that amount of cash is really small peanuts.  Having quality gear means you get to play in the bigger pool too, meaning you can make that price difference up easier.  There's nothing stopping you from using better gear at lower end events (although, not as profitable) but if you don't have the better gear, then you can forget about getting the bigger events.  Once you put all of the math together, buying the cheap stuff quickly becomes something you'll pass on.
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Brian Jojade

Mal Brown

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Re: "Best" Budget powered speakers
« Reply #25 on: June 03, 2021, 04:36:41 PM »

FWIW - an associate up in Seattle just fixed his alto inventory.  by pulling the amps, installing passive crossovers and sealing the box up again...

have heard positive things about QSC CP but have no experience with them.  I have 4 DSR 112 that make fine monitors and tops.  They usually go out as floormonitors with K or KW mains.  I say put the best you have on the band.  Happy bands deliver better performances.  The punters won't really hear the difference...
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Doug Fowler

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Re: "Best" Budget powered speakers
« Reply #26 on: June 03, 2021, 07:37:07 PM »

The punters won't really hear the difference...

THIS
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Scott Bolt

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Re: "Best" Budget powered speakers
« Reply #27 on: June 03, 2021, 09:04:30 PM »

The punters won't really hear the difference...
That is soooo pitiful .... and sadly true.

Of course, there are the odd audiophile and/or BE out there that occasionally shows up in the audience .... but really, most people can only hear the difference between a really good system, and a particularly bad one..... and it is likely they would simply attribute the sound to the band, not the equipment.... as would most bands.
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Doug Fowler

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Re: "Best" Budget powered speakers
« Reply #28 on: June 03, 2021, 09:10:26 PM »

That is soooo pitiful .... and sadly true.

Of course, there are the odd audiophile and/or BE out there that occasionally shows up in the audience .... but really, most people can only hear the difference between a really good system, and a particularly bad one..... and it is likely they would simply attribute the sound to the band, not the equipment.... as would most bands.

As long as average punters can hear the vocals it's all good (in their world).
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Matt Vivlamore

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Re: "Best" Budget powered speakers
« Reply #29 on: June 04, 2021, 09:51:48 AM »

Well, after I posted something on FB asking if someone was selling some speakers.  I am picking up some lightly used RCF NX12SMA within my 'high' budget.
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Re: "Best" Budget powered speakers
« Reply #29 on: June 04, 2021, 09:51:48 AM »


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