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  • $10K challenge

    Having sold most of my existing sound gear, I am now looking at re-buying a new system as an upgrade. Total budget is $10K, excluding cables, mics, misc. I know that there are some really solid engineers on this site who can provide thoughtful input, so...:

    Venues: Largely theater stages, seating from 200-2000. Portability is a requirement, ease of set-up/load-out is important, but not the primary factor.

    Primary customer: Regional and community theater groups (musicals), with some band jobs (primarily 6-10 piece ensembles in smaller venues).

    Components covered by the budget :

    (2) stage boxes. One for the pit, one for offstage/mic receivers. Minimum 16 channels each (that may be a bit weak for the pit)
    Console. Open to suggestions, iPad/tablet control of a rack unit would be usable, though I have the old-school mentality that likes physical faders. X32 Core?
    (4) wedge monitors
    Subs / mains. Flyable would be nice, but may not fit the budget. (Lighting and rigging for this project is being handled by someone else, but can handle the weight).
    Amps, if cabinets are not powered.

    Is it possible to put something decent together for $10K that will hold up to fairly regular use? If not, what is the minimum budget to get something like this assembled?

    In the real world, how much acoustic output should I plan for to cover a 2,000 seat auditorium at a moderate volume (not pop/rock concert level, but "heavy" musical theater).

    Thanks in advance for any and all input.
    Last edited by SteinbergerHack; 08-05-2017, 11:03 AM.
    "The historical experience of socialist countries has sadly demonstrated that collectivism does not do away with alienation but rather increases it, adding to it a lack of basic necessities and economic inefficiency." ------------------ Pope John Paul II

  • #2
    No response yet, so I'm going to narrow it down a bit. If' I assume the X32 rack/iPad console and one S16 snake box, that leave me ~$8500 for powered cabinets. If I go with the same cabinet for mains and monitors it makes things a bit simpler, so I am assuming 7 mains cabinets and two subs. The choices that initially look good are:

    Turbosound TSP1222, iQ18B
    EV EKX-12P, EKX-18SP
    JBL PRX-812W, PRX-818XLFW
    Yamaha DSR112, DXS-18

    Are any of these flyable? Any good reason to go with or avoid any of these? I've had very good experiences with Yamaha and Turbosound in the recent past, but I don't want to ignore a good option for no good reason. Have I missed any other good options at this price point?
    "The historical experience of socialist countries has sadly demonstrated that collectivism does not do away with alienation but rather increases it, adding to it a lack of basic necessities and economic inefficiency." ------------------ Pope John Paul II

    Comment


    • #3
      Step up to the ETX-12P and ETX-18P. So much better than the EKX series.
      Thanks,
      Bill Cronheim
      Entertainment Systems Corporation
      Back stage since 1965
      Equipment specialist since 1973

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by SteinbergerHack View Post
        No response yet, so I'm going to narrow it down a bit. If' I assume the X32 rack/iPad console and one S16 snake box, that leave me ~$8500 for powered cabinets. If I go with the same cabinet for mains and monitors it makes things a bit simpler, so I am assuming 7 mains cabinets and two subs. The choices that initially look good are:

        Turbosound TSP1222, iQ18B
        EV EKX-12P, EKX-18SP
        JBL PRX-812W, PRX-818XLFW
        Yamaha DSR112, DXS-18

        Are any of these flyable? Any good reason to go with or avoid any of these? I've had very good experiences with Yamaha and Turbosound in the recent past, but I don't want to ignore a good option for no good reason. Have I missed any other good options at this price point?
        Hi SteinbergerHack,

        Your mixer is a good suggestion (and not just because I own one ). The X32 scene control is more powerful than any mixer at this price point, and many more than double this price point. In the future, you may want to consider another stage box since you can wire in any set of 32 microphones at a time and mix them (ie you can have 64 microphones hooked up in 2 S32 stage boxes, but only have one of them lined up to mix per scene. Using this method, you can really have lots of room for expansion.

        In the list you have, I prefer the Yamaha's for 2 reasons. The DSR112 top is the cleanest and most powerful top in the bunch by quite a margin (to my ears). I haven't heard the DXS myself yet, but people who have compared it directly to the 718XLF (not the 818) have sold their XLF's to go with the DXS18 (do a search on the web).

        Also, for spoken word, the DSR112 is the most articulate speaker in this price range.

        If you are willing to up your budget, the RCF745a's are a wonderful top as reported by people who I consider to be very knowledgeable.
        With Greater Knowledge Comes Greater Understanding

        Comment


        • #5
          With you doing many different bands,groups I'd want a real control surface with faders yet small. I have a Midas M32r and its a great mixer, Midas input preamps in/out and Pro series faders. Can be had much less than seen at general Big Box stores if you shop....

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HX3pg2f2ZCE
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c96sPk_Gqao
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=js-TBbColfw

          I like the turbosound tops but the subs... eh so/so.

          http://static1.1.sqspcdn.com/static/...M32+Review.pdf

          As it stands it has the same 16 xlr and 6 aux inputs as the X32 rack and can be used as a stand alone unit. To keep the same quality preamps you'd have to add a DL16 stage box but it would be worth it. It is rack mount ready as well. I use the M32 Pro Mixing station app. and mix in the room and have other tablets for the band members monitor adjustments. The "Pro" version is well worth the $5-6 dollars extra as you can configure it to work as you like and it has more features as well. 95 percent of the time I mix via tablet but I really like having the board setup side of stage to have available or out front when I'm doing a new band. I setup the user buttons for monitor mixing and effects via the layer function available in it.

          The wireless mixing of the M32 / X32 is handy but its still nice to have a board there when your doing a one off and are unsure of the bands requirements or get the "Hey we have 3 extra inputs and 2 more singers tonight" gigs.....

          Doug

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Dookietwo View Post
            With you doing many different bands,groups I'd want a real control surface with faders yet small. I have a Midas M32r and its a great mixer, Midas input preamps in/out and Pro series faders. Can be had much less than seen at general Big Box stores if you shop....
            That's where I started, and the budget pulled me back to where I ended up with the rack version. You make a good point, though, that some aggressive shopping might allow me to get a physical console. Honestly, I'm more comfortable with that approach to begin with....I'm a bit old school at heart.

            I like the turbosound tops but the subs... eh so/so.
            Thank you for the input - that's what I'm looking for.

            As it stands it has the same 16 xlr and 6 aux inputs as the X32 rack and can be used as a stand alone unit.
            Yes, though this would mean I have to run a physical snake, run all the wireless mic heads at the console, etc. Would get local inputs at the console for break/intro music, announcer mics, etc, too, though. There's both good and bad with this approach.

            I use the M32 Pro Mixing station app. and mix in the room and have other tablets for the band members monitor adjustments. The "Pro" version is well worth the $5-6 dollars extra as you can configure it to have available or out front when I'm doing a new band. I setup the user buttons for monitor mixing and effects via the layer function available in it.
            Hadn't thought about that. Could run the actual console at the stage, use a tablet at the house location....hmmm....that solves the snake and wireless mic range issues..hmm....

            Thanks - you've given me some good stuff to think about.
            "The historical experience of socialist countries has sadly demonstrated that collectivism does not do away with alienation but rather increases it, adding to it a lack of basic necessities and economic inefficiency." ------------------ Pope John Paul II

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by OneEng View Post
              In the list you have, I prefer the Yamaha's for 2 reasons. The DSR112 top is the cleanest and most powerful top in the bunch by quite a margin (to my ears). I haven't heard the DXS myself yet, but people who have compared it directly to the 718XLF (not the 818) have sold their XLF's to go with the DXS18 (do a search on the web).

              Also, for spoken word, the DSR112 is the most articulate speaker in this price range.

              If you are willing to up your budget, the RCF745a's are a wonderful top as reported by people who I consider to be very knowledgeable.
              The budget is probably fixed. In fact, it may have to drop a bit, as we lost one of our funding sources over the weekend.

              Thanks for the comment on the Yamahas. I've spent a lot of time with their club series, and they really do a great job for that price point, IMO. I need to step it up a it, though, for the gigs I'm starting to work.

              Thanks again!
              "The historical experience of socialist countries has sadly demonstrated that collectivism does not do away with alienation but rather increases it, adding to it a lack of basic necessities and economic inefficiency." ------------------ Pope John Paul II

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by BillESC View Post
                Step up to the ETX-12P and ETX-18P. So much better than the EKX series.
                I'd love to do that - and the integral lifting points is a great addition. Budget won't handle the upgrade, though, unless I change something fairly radically.
                "The historical experience of socialist countries has sadly demonstrated that collectivism does not do away with alienation but rather increases it, adding to it a lack of basic necessities and economic inefficiency." ------------------ Pope John Paul II

                Comment


                • #9
                  It wouldn't hurt to look at Yorkville products for your needs. I have *NO IDEA* what you need for a 2,000 person theatre, but I have been renting PS12Ps as FOH outdoors without subs for my rock band and have been very happy with the results at 200-300 people. Maybe the PS15P would do the trick for you? What I like about this series is the multiband limiter....the limiter can limit kick without destroying vocals.

                  For stage wedges, the NX55P is pretty hard to beat. They are durable as heck and flat as a rail.

                  5 * 850 + 2 * 1350 = $6,950

                  And yes, they can be flown. I would expect a set of PS15Ps to be comparable to the DSR112 + DXS18.

                  Their PSA1 (etc) might be more theatre-appropriate with the wider horizontal dispersion and ability to be flown in a line array, but I think that would be out of your budget.

                  Wes
                  Do daemons dream of electric sleep()?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SteinbergerHack View Post

                    Yes, though this would mean I have to run a physical snake, run all the wireless mic heads at the console, etc. Would get local inputs at the console for break/intro music, announcer mics, etc, too, though. There's both good and bad with this approach.

                    *** If music is played through the boards USB input and recorded at the same sample rate you are running the board at you can start and stop USB playback with the M32 Pro app without going on stage.*** Same with if your using the USB stick input to record the L/R as an example. You can start/stop recording as well****



                    Hadn't thought about that. Could run the actual console at the stage, use a tablet at the house location....hmmm....that solves the snake and wireless mic range issues..hmm....

                    *** I work side of stage with the desk 95 percent of the time. Makes it easy to do the monitor mixes and setup/tear down is a breeze as well. Kind of the best of both worlds. As with the other boards in this line you can always add stage boxes as needed and they would be close at hand.****

                    Thanks - you've given me some good stuff to think about.
                    I run a Yorkville system as well as EV SXA250's and the Midas makes them sound great!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      With bands and a lot of inputs, the control surface is essential IMO.
                      -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/FMIC/JAM Industries Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

                      Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        OP,

                        To be blunt, the budget difference for a sound system to meet your requirements for a 200 person theater versus a 2000 person theater is pretty big. For $10k, you can put together a competent system for 200-300 folks indoors, but more than that requires a great deal more budget.

                        In your shoes, I would have a $10k 'basic' system for smaller shows and then rent mains as needed for larger shows and venues.

                        My suggestion:
                        - 1 x X32 compact mixer - $1500
                        - 1 x S32 stagebox - $1000
                        - 2 x JBL PRX 818XLF - $2200
                        - 6 x JBL PRX 812 - $4500
                        - Case for mixer and stagebox
                        - Shielded Cat5e cable from mixer to stagebox

                        With some judicious shopping, you should be able to keep this well under $10k. Keeping the mains and monitors the same model gives you flexibility should something fail. Other option for tops/mons would be Yamaha DXR112 or DSR112. The DXR sounds great, I am told the DSR is even better.

                        If you do live music of any complexity - musical theater, for example - you will want to have a physical mixing surface,

                        Just my $0.02. Full disclosure, I work for a JBL and Behringer dealer and also own/use this same gear frequently, so I am just a tad biased.
                        Chief fader ape, wire monkey, mic macaque, and speaker chimp.

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