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Where to start with purchasing new speakers

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Russ Buck:
I was asked to figure out what we need and come up with a price.  Here is the quote I got " We don't need "Cadillacs" but we don't want "Yugos" either.  Maybe a nice Oldsmobile" We are a smaller church maybe 120ish people each week and we meet in an 100+ old building with huge ceilings.  I know our board is thinking this should cost around $1000, I am hoping to figure something out for around $2000 I don't think they can justify anything more than this.  Currently we have a set of Yamaha club series (one of which has a blown woofer).  From what I have heard here and else where just buying a set of speakers and setting them on each side of the stage is not the best way of doing things.  I just don't know where to start.  Do some of the bigger music equipt. suppliers have people that help with this?  Should I look for a sound engineer to come and tell me what to get and where to place?  currently we have  the speakers about head height placed at each side of the room just in front of the stage, and angled them in.  Any help would be great.

Russ

sorry if I rambled on...

Dick Rees:
Russ Buck wrote on Tue, 23 February 2010 15:34
I was asked to figure out what we need and come up with a price.  Here is the quote I got " We don't need "Cadillacs" but we don't want "Yugos" either.  Maybe a nice Oldsmobile" We are a smaller church maybe 120ish people each week and we meet in an 100+ old building with huge ceilings.  I know our board is thinking this should cost around $1000, I am hoping to figure something out for around $2000 I don't think they can justify anything more than this.  Currently we have a set of Yamaha club series (one of which has a blown woofer).  From what I have heard here and else where just buying a set of speakers and setting them on each side of the stage is not the best way of doing things.  I just don't know where to start.  Do some of the bigger music equipt. suppliers have people that help with this?  Should I look for a sound engineer to come and tell me what to get and where to place? currently we have  the speakers about head height placed at each side of the room just in front of the stage, and angled them in.  Any help would be great.

Russ

sorry if I rambled on...


Russ....

Yes to the above highlighted portion of your message.  You will certainly be able to get a lot of good help here, but the amount of information needed to make the proper responses is sort of a ping-pong game with you posting something, someone else answering and asking for more info and back and forth....a lot.  And in the end an experienced person in the actual room listening to a service is invaluable.


The best solution I can think of is to first maximize what you can get out of what you have.  If there are any needs to be addressed above and beyond that, then proceed.  I hate to try to solve "problems" by throwing money at them.  Throw knowledge and experience at them first.

DR

Brad Weber:
Russ Buck wrote on Tue, 23 February 2010 15:34
  Here is the quote I got " We don't need "Cadillacs" but we don't want "Yugos" either.  Maybe a nice Oldsmobile"

Yugo has not been sold in the US for some time and Oldsmobile has been phased out entirely, so probably not the best analogy unless they are truly wanting speakers from a once great but no longer existing manufacturer (there are a few of those).

On a more serious note, are they saying they want an Oldsmobile or something they would consider to be like an Oldsmobile?  What defines being 'like and Oldsmobile' to them?  What model do they want?  What options?  It also needs to fit in with the rest of the existing conditions and goals, no fun to get home and find your new SUV doesn't fit in the garage or the coupe you just bought can't hold all the family and luggage for your regular trips to the beach.  Much better to define the goals and conditions before you start looking.

It's not just the brand name on the product or even the general level of price and quality, it is whether it is the right specific product for the application.  So what are your services like?  What sources might you run through the speaker system?  What is the rest of the audio system like?  Are there any practical options for speaker locations and mounting other than on stands to either side at the stage?  The more you can define your goals andexpecations, the existing conditions and any limitations on what can be done, the better.  But as Dick noted, in many cases nothing can beat actually being in the room and meeting with the people involved.

Tom Young:
I would add to what Dick and Brad have advised that you also must very carefully figure out what coverage pattern the new loudspeakers must provide which also involves whether the system is mono or stereo. This probably requires a sound system expert/designer.

Buying any level of loudspeaker system (Yugo, Buick, Cadillac, whatever), and especially for sound reinforcement, requires that you have DSP to optimize the system. This requires measurement (after the system has been installed) and the specialized skills needed to implement the proper processing. So this is all the more reason to bring in a specilaist who knows what they are doing.

One more factor: safety. If new loudspeakers are to be hung, you must ensure that this is done safely. A qualified sound system designer can help with this but a structural engineer or professional rigger may also be required.

A big red flag here is that someone came up with a number ($1000.00) which you then doubled. Deciding on a price before thoroughly evaluating the needs is a recipe for disappointment.

It is very unfortunate that churches (and some other institutions) *in general* treat sound systems in this manner while they would never arbitrarily set a price for a new roof, repaving the parking lot, buying new pews, replacing the heater or air conditioner, etc.

Russ Buck:
That's why I am here getting advice.  I Realize there is much more than just finding a speaker in my price range.  i was thrown the number ($1000) by someone that would of just looked in a catalog for speakers that "Looked Good" for the price.  There are other people involved that have the same approach, run to the local music store and buy some speakers within the price range, I am hoping to get the nessasary info to help them understand that we need to bring in an expert.  My hope it to find a few options and let them decide how they want to proceed.  I threw the prices out there to let everyone reading know where I am coming from.  If Hiring a professional is going to run in the $10000+ then I don't think we are at that point yet, and maybe we need to figure out something to "get us buy a few more years. But I have know idea what cost we are talking about.

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