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Author Topic: Best speakers and mixer on a $4000 budget  (Read 3506 times)

John Rosborough

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Best speakers and mixer on a $4000 budget
« on: April 23, 2011, 06:20:45 am »

I am budget for $4000 to buy a mixer, subs ,and some tops for gospel concerts and youth rally's.

Other equipment has been bought: mics, mic stands, cd player and recorder, snakes. I have a different budget for the amps. But I looking at the Crowns XTi 4k or 6k, depending on which speakers is recommended.

Style of music is Gospel, Bluegrass, and sometimes Hip hop. The crowd size will be outside around 100-200, for the most part; but I expect about 300 on a few times.

The stage will be 8 x 20. The musicians will be keys, drums (miked), bass (amp micked), guitar (amp micked), some brass at times (micked). There will be up to 2 solist, up to 8 praise singers; no choir, ever.

I really want the right speakers for the event within my budget, $4000; well about $1000 is for the mixer. I will need at least a 24 input due to how many sources will be micked.

Seeking practical advice.
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John Livings

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Re: Best speakers and mixer on a $4000 budget
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2011, 01:53:20 pm »

Hi John,

The Rig I use most is;

Mixer-  Soundcraft GB2R 16   Used/ New $700.00-  $1000.00

Speakers- Peavey QW-4 (Pair) Used/New  $1300.00-$2400.00

Amp- QSC PL 6.0.II (6,000W) Used/New  $1250.00-$4000.00

The Mixer and Amp can be racked and run off 1-20 Amp Circuit (30 Amp Recommended)(I have run all mine off 1-20 Amp Circuit), The QW-4s won't require Subs for most Set-Ups.

For my own rig I would have gone with A Yamaha 01V-96(If I had been aware of it's usefulness). Lots of ways to expand, and built in effects.
$1000.00- $1500.00 used,  $2300.00 new.

Consider reducing the "Drum Load" on your system, That way you can get by with Far less channels.
Opinion; Many Drummers sound better with no mics or 1 or 2 Mics in smaller venues.

I have an extra pair of QW-4s For Sale, If you are in Los Angeles for Pick-up.

I have installed 3 of the above setups in Schools, And I travel with the same setup.

An upgrade would be to buy a cross over, cables and Bi-Amp the QW-4 instead of running them Full-Range.

Regards,  John
« Last Edit: April 23, 2011, 03:58:45 pm by John Livings »
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Re: Best speakers and mixer on a $4000 budget
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2011, 04:12:19 pm »

I am budget for $4000 to buy a mixer, subs ,and some tops for gospel concerts and youth rally's.


Style of music is Gospel, Bluegrass, and sometimes Hip hop. The crowd size will be outside around 100-200, for the most part; but I expect about 300 on a few times.

Seeking practical advice.

It depends on the level of sound you wish to achieve over the area in which the listeners congregate.  Basing your needs on the # of people outdoors does not work as both the sound and the audience are literally unbounded.  There will seldom be any boundaries (building walls, etc) which will help "keep the sound in" and the concentration of the audience can vary from a "mosh pit" in front of the stage to picnic people spread out on blankets.

Generally speaking you would need 2x to 4x the PA outdoors to achieve the average SPL you would get indoors with a given system.  The thing that raises a red flag with me is your description of the music ranging from bluegrass to hip hop.  Bluegrass and such traditional music can most often be done well without subs, simply using decent full range systems, either full range or bi- or tri-amped depending on the cabinets you have.  When you get to hip hop you'll need subs.......LOTS of them.......so specifying a system for both genres is a bit impractical.  I'd say get the bluegrass system and rent subs for anything else.  If you decide to get any subbage for the basic system, choose subs which will allow you to rent matching subs for the programs which require a heavy bass output.  Mixing subs is not generally recommended or effective without a TON of experience and know-how.

As a rule of thumb, figure any good cabinets you get will give you a 75' deep sound field outdoors.  Beyond that you're talking about an investment where your speakers are going to cost your entire budget for a pair of cabinets, and you'll need much more than a pair.......
The width of the area to be covered will of course vary and can be increased by deploying and splaying matching cabinets to cover up to 180 degrees (and more), but your depth of coverage will still be 75' or so depending on your chosen level of sound.

DR 
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John Rosborough

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Re: Best speakers and mixer on a $4000 budget
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2011, 06:31:44 pm »

The Mixer and Amp can be racked and run off 1-20 Amp Circuit (30 Amp Recommended)(I have run all mine off 1-20 Amp Circuit), The QW-4s won't require Subs for most Set-Ups.

Consider reducing the "Drum Load" on your system, That way you can get by with Far less channels.
Opinion; Many Drummers sound better with no mics or 1 or 2 Mics in smaller venues.

Generally speaking you would need 2x to 4x the PA outdoors to achieve the average SPL you would get indoors with a given system.  The thing that raises a red flag with me is your description of the music ranging from bluegrass to hip hop.  Bluegrass and such traditional music can most often be done well without subs, simply using decent full range systems, either full range or bi- or tri-amped depending on the cabinets you have.  When you get to hip hop you'll need subs.......LOTS of them.......so specifying a system for both genres is a bit impractical. 

DR

Welcome to my world... an African American church with varied music genres: R&B, Gospel, Bluegrass, Hip Hop, and some Contemporary Rock at times.

And I found out the hard way about having subs for Hip Hop. I did an event at a plaza, with a crowd size of about 150, and a female hip hop performer came on. I didn't know she was going to performed. I had a real vanilla setup with 2 fullrange 12's... man I almost got lynched during her performence... no bass, no volume, no nothing, but I got a lot of stares and finger pointing. I was not prepared.

Anyway, man, your responses are always right on target and beefy. As forums go, I will probably just ask any questions in this one; in other forums it seems moderators get in their own way trying to help people out.

Once again I will take a hard look at what I really can spend, and if I can increase it a bit maybe I will just buy some subs, because the Hip Hop style music is performed about 20 percent of the time, BUT there are periods when that's all that's performed.

John thanks for the drum load advice.

But question: If I'm setup in my church parking lot, I guess I would need a generator. Because aren't most commercial buildings running 20 amp circuits (asking only if 30 amp will be require)?

Great help John and DR!
« Last Edit: April 23, 2011, 06:49:54 pm by John Rosborough »
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John Rosborough

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Re: Best speakers and mixer on a $4000 budget
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2011, 06:40:27 pm »

Mixer-  Soundcraft GB2R 16   Used/ New $700.00-  $1000.00

Man, I'm glad you said this. I have been looking at the Soundcraft mixers for a while. But I usaully do events on Mackies, and I have NOT been too impressed with their mic pre's. I know A&H have good ones, but didn't know too much about Soundcraft mixers (never used one, nor tinkered with one).

Thanks!
« Last Edit: April 23, 2011, 06:42:25 pm by John Rosborough »
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: Best speakers and mixer on a $4000 budget
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2011, 07:57:10 pm »



Once again I will take a hard look at what I really can spend, and if I can increase it a bit maybe I will just buy some subs,

Please consider this:

Buying what you can fit in a predetermined budget may or may not work......most likely not.

Determining what WILL work for you, then finding the money, is guaranteed to work.

Think again about what I said about buying a brand and model of sub which can also be rented in your area.  That will give you a certain scalability/flexibility in providing for the different requirements of the varying types of music with which you are dealing without the burden of investing in the excessive amount of subbage necessary for the more modern music.

As to the amperage required:  you should be able to configure your system such that you won't need any 30 amp circuits......just multiple 20 amp circuits.  5-6 20 amp circuits will do you for a long time if you don't have to run lighting.  I won't get into generators yet as that is another thing entirely.

Good luck
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John Livings

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Re: Best speakers and mixer on a $4000 budget
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2011, 10:59:58 pm »

Man, I'm glad you said this. I have been looking at the Soundcraft mixers for a while. But I usaully do events on Mackies, and I have NOT been too impressed with their mic pre's. I know A&H have good ones, but didn't know too much about Soundcraft mixers (never used one, nor tinkered with one).

Thanks!

John, Everything is a compromise, Money, transportation, Boards, Power, Everything.

In Addition to Dicks good advice, I will clarify a couple of points.

I bought several used QSC PL 6.0.II Amps, They come from the factory with a 30 Amp Plug, And to my memory, the factory recommends a 30 Amp Circuit.

I adapted all mine to a 20 Amp Plug and every thing works fine, We draw less than 10 amps for the QSC Amps.

Two of my goals is to Provide a reasonable level of Sound while running Everything off One (1) 20 Amp Circuit.

I am guessing that if you go to Tops and Subs you might need 2-20 Amp Circuits.

I also need to be able to rack everything for easy transportation and quick set-up/break-down.

The Soundcraft Mixers were also a compromise; Ease of use, Aux Sends, 16 Direct outs (I record to a 24 Channel (HD 24 XR) recorder.

I liked the mixer for many reasons I bought 3 new ones for the Schools. all the other equipment was used.
If I could have bought the Mixers used, I would have.

The schools seat between 300-500 people and outside about the same size crowd.

The rig I suggested is something we (The Schools) could afford, And run off 1 extension cord.

The items I suggested should provide good Bang for the Buck.  Perfect? No.

Regards,  John
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Brad Weber

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Re: Best speakers and mixer on a $4000 budget
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2011, 11:23:58 pm »

I am budget for $4000 to buy a mixer, subs ,and some tops for gospel concerts and youth rally's.
I really want the right speakers for the event within my budget, $4000; well about $1000 is for the mixer. I will need at least a 24 input due to how many sources will be micked.
Around $1,000 for a 24 channel mixer pretty much means Behringer or used, although the A&H ZED24 may meet the 24 channel count you need depending on the mix of channels you have (it has 24 channels but they are 16 mono and 4 stereo).  If you pushed the budget a little higher you start getting into Yamaha MG24/14FX and Peavey 24FX.  However, it sounds like this system would need to be fairly portable so whatever mixer you get, you'd probably also want to get a road case for it and maybe some type of stand, which could be an additional $300 to $500 or even more.
 
That also gets into a whole area of the ancillary equipment that may be part of a portable system.  Road case and stand for the mixer.  Cases for cables and power cords (and spare cables and cords).  Racks for the amps and any processing.  Tarps to cover everything if it rains.  While the XTi amps have internal processing to address the sub to main crossover and basic processing, it is not readily accessible unless you have a computer at the mix position connected to the amps, thus it may also be a good idea to have some external processing, at least EQ, at the mix position so that some adjustments can be made by the operator.
You may even want a canopy for the mix position and so on.  Also, while you mentioned tops and subs, what about monitors?  That would be more speakers, more amps, more cables, etc.
 
Maybe you already have some of these things or maybe they're in another budget or maybe they aren't needed, but don't overlook them as they can start to add up.
 
 
On speakers, I might look at the EV LiveX products, however as Dick has pointed out, figuring out what to buy based on a budget that was defined before assessing what was needed is rarely a good approach.  If the system does not provide the results desired then it doesn't really matter that you were within that budget as you will have essentially wasted what you did spend.
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Re: Best speakers and mixer on a $4000 budget
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2011, 11:23:58 pm »


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