Harmony Central Forums
Announcement Announcement Module
No announcement yet.

What I Run, Why I Run It, and What I Think of It

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse

This is a sticky topic.
Conversation Detail Module
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • What I Run, Why I Run It, and What I Think of It

    CraigV here. Just posting to set expectations for this thread, really just reiterating what Mark listed below to make it 'official'.

    Please do not engage in discussion of systems here. Open a new thread in the forum proper and paste or link to the post you'd like to comment about. I think this will spark more interest in your comments, as it's likely to be viewed a lot more in the forum. This will also help keep this thread on-topic and less cluttered.

    As an added-value service, rather than editing your post as you update the system, add a new post and delete the old. This will refresh the post and draw attention...merely editing your posts doesn't do this. I'd be happy to delete old posts if you experience any trouble with this...just PM me.

    This thread is intended to address the never ending, seldom resolved questions of "What PA for my band? Rather than the on-going shotgun approach of questions and answers, I believe it might serve the gentle readers with an offering of what real life users actually own and operate, and why.

    I suggest this to be a resource for those posing the question of: "What PA should I buy?", where they can read the thread to see what other folks ARE actually running... and then decide for themselves.

    I suggest the rules of conduct could be:

    1) Post the gear.

    2) Post the application.

    3) Offer a brutally honest assessment of the suitability of the tools for the job at hand. Just humble and honest assessments.

    4) Frame your report/critique with a brief description of your experience... so we know where you're coming from.

    5) Nobody cuts you down or belittles you for your equipment decisions, your applications, or your assessments. No armchair quarterbacks here.

    Just keep the resource at this level: Here's the gear I (or we, or my employer) own and operate, here's the application, here's why I (we, they) made the decisions I (we, they) made, and here's my assessments. Peroid.

    I'm thinking for this thread that editing our origional posts to add details would be the best management proceedure. I intend to keep revising my origional post as my system changes.

    And, I'm thinking "we" should deleat our posts that are not long-term "necessary" (I don't know if "necessary" is the right word) to keep the clutter at a minimum. Good housekeeping rules I think would serve the resource well.

    I think it would be of great service to hear from all walks of SR folks. I'll see if I can get my nephew to post about his rig, which is a box mixer, a slave amp, a couple SP-3's and a couple CGM wedges. He plays in a metal band.


    W. Mark Hellinger

    The time you spend creating music is not deducted from your lifespan.

  • #2
    looks ok--are you happy with it? i would run much more power on everything(watts)


    • #3
      About me:

      I'm 50 years old. I put together my first PA in 1976. I was a local, then regional sound and lighting contractor for a little more than 20 years. Now I do sound and lighting work somewhat as a research project, and to get out of the shop once-in-awhile. I'm a mediocre non-singing bassplayer... which in it'self is not particurally in demand... but a mediocre non-singing bassplayer who has a PA and van to haul it in is always a popular person. My day job is as the owner/operator of a small SR equipment manufacturing/distributing company.

      The gear:

      I have basically two different sound rigs I use, but I'll just explain the first one here for now:

      1) My "band in a van system". The idea with this rig is: cheap and portable. This rig is an on-going R&D project to find various diminishing points of returns on cheap and portable, but still delivering some monicome of acceptable performance. This rig consists of:

      A) FOH speakers: GRF bi-amped three way system. GRF is a Chinese speaker manufacture. I picked these speakers up at the NAMM tradeshow as samples to consider. The system is single 18" subs (2 ea.) and 15" & 1.5" mid-highs trap boxes (2 ea. passively crossed over).

      Comments: These were represented to me to be "upper crust" Chinese speakers... and I bought them pretty cheap. The compression drivers are robust but very harsh. The 15's are ok, but I think 12's would be a better choice in the M/H cabs. The 18's are a good box, but the drivers were cheese... I promptly blew up the 400w rated (RMS) 18's with a 400w amp... way before getting anywhere near clip. The cabinets are fine.... nice size and fairly good plywood construction. I doubt I'll keep these cabinets for long though cause they're just not very smooth or punchy. I expect to replace them with some EAW's, or Meyers, or similar. I figure if I gotta listen to it and pack it around, something better is worth it to me.

      B) Power: E&W, consisting of a PS-1000 (350w stereo 8 ohms) for the mid-highs and an AL-1600 (400w stereo 8 ohms) for the subs, and PS-1000 for monitor power.

      Comments: They're fine amps as far as I'm concerned, but they're my house brand (I sell them and I know how to fix them). I bought them and run them cause I run what I sell, and if I wouldn't run them and wasn't satisfied with them, then I wouldn't sell them.

      C) Board: Usually a Soundcraft Spirit Racpac 10 & 4

      Comments: This board I bought on eBay used for about $50 (delivered). It was non-functioning when I bought it, but was easily repaired (loose/broken power supply goodies inside from being dropped I suspect). I like the board. It sounds good, it works good, and the EQ is sweet. I bought the Racpac so it could be mounted in a rack case along with the amps. Typically, all I need is 10 or less mic inputs and a place to plug in the CD player when I take this rig out. This Racpac board fills the bill. I wish the Racpac had more than 1 prefader aux send... cause it has only 1 prefader aux and 3 more post fader auxes. I wish it had master volume controls for the auxes too. The metering is lame too. Actually, I wish it had a lot more stuff, but my sister wanted a pony too...

      When more inputs or monitor mixes are needed and/or a soundperson is in the mix, then I throw in a Soundcraft Spirit 24 and a 24 x 8 reel snake.

      D) FX & processing: White 4650 mono 1/3 oct EQ, GRF stereo 2 way FOH crossover, GRF stereo 1/3 oct monitor EQ.

      Comments: The White FOH EQ is fine. It works good, sounds real good, and the controls are very effective. I bought it on eBay for about $100. I'm happy with it.

      The GRF crossover and EQ are typical cheap pieces. I'm not all that happy with either one, but for the price (probably retail somewhere in the $100 to $150 ea. range), they're tolerable till I replace them with something better.

      E) Monitors: 4 ea. JBL Cabaret 4602 (12" & bullet, passive).

      Comments: I bought these on eBay for about $100 ea. They all worked when I got them, and other than loading them with Speakon NL4MP jacks, I haven't done anything to them. The HF is beamy. The cabs have no low freq. oomph... but they'll punch vocals and lead instruments out fine. They're 200w rated cabs. I run them with a 350w amp and pound them... and they just keep running. They're kind-of heavy... but other than that, for being old passive wedges... which were fairly cheap... I'm happy with them. I don't expect to replace them.

      F) Racks and cabling: EWI C14U slant top mixer/amp rack. Cabling is all EWI 13-4 with NL4FC ends.

      Comments: I market these racks and build/market the cables. Again, I run this stuff cause it's what I sell, and it does the job fine. The slant top mixer rack works fine with this system cause the board, processing, amps, and patchbay are all in one case. It's a heavy case though with everything in it... I'd guess about 180 lbs. I don't think I'll do anything differently though.

      I run all 4 conductor 13 ga. cabling with NL4FC ends cause those cables will work for any of my amp/speaker cabinets combos with this rig.

      System analysis:

      1) This is a cheap little throw-and-go system. I have about $3.5K invested in this system as-is, not counting AC cabling, mics, and mic stands. That's pretty cheap.

      2) This system easily fits in a full sized Chevy van, along with drums, bass and guitar amps, and instruments. That's pretty small.

      3) The system goes up easy. With a helper, I can set this sytem up in about 20 minutes to 1/2 hour (including mics) barring venue or band complications. Also, I ran this system last weekend on one 15A or 20A outlet/circuit, including the bass and guitar amps. That's pretty efficent.

      4) This system seems suitable for basic fossil rock for crowds of up-to about 100 folks. It's an a-ok-fine rig for entry level work... with minimal expectations and a minimal budget.

      5) The current FOH speakers are the weak link in this system... and they don't sound all that good IMO. With better FOH speakers the system would probably cover 150 to maybe 200 in-doors if the genra was not too demanding. Also, better FOH speakers will sound better, and make my work more enjoyable. However, I realize that significantly better FOH speakers could easily double my investment cost in this system which is probably worth it. I think I've found what really cheap gets me, and as far as the FOH speakers go, it isn't good enough (or worth consuming a whole weekend and a bunch of work for that mediocre of sound).


      • #4
        Ok I'll play too.

        I'm a 43 yo working as a Major Accounts Exed for a large Telecom manufacturer coming from a strong technical background with a BS in computer science; I'm very much a geek as well!!

        I was a happy family guy 'till my early 30's when my ex-wife decided she needed a change...me. Anyway to make a long story short, I had always had a love for music and during the next several years of seperation and divorce, I got into the local music scene and met my wife and musical partner.

        I'm also a pretty decent singer (as is my wife) so together we started a band and I took on the challenge of assembling the PA.

        My first PA had:


        - Mackie 1604 VLZ

        PROS: 16 channels, rack mounted with 4 Subgroups.

        CONS: I had ribbon cable problems and the channel EQ is subpar. No inserts on the Subgroups and no Direct outs on half the channels.


        - All QSC (RMX 2450 for subs, 1850 for tops and 1450 for monitors)

        PROS: Inexpensive, full featured, reliable

        CONS: Heavy and they draw a lot of power causing problems in most of the clubs I work.


        Yamaha CLUB 15 tops and Peavey SP118 subs.

        PROS: They were barely adequate for what I wanted. The Yammies are harsh when driven hard and the Peavey SP118's are just OK.

        CONS: Neither cabinet offered the quality of sound I was looking for.


        Bullfrog 12's and 15's (added NL4FC)

        PROS: Cheap, decent

        CONS: Heavy, average sounding


        Lexicon MP100

        PROS: Cheap, Adequate

        CONS: Cumbersome interface

        OK, after a couple years of gigging with the above system and not being very happy with the sound, I made upgrades the brought me to the following:


        A&H Mixwiz3

        PROS: Great sounding, intuitive board. Built-in effects that are decent. Six aux sends. Dual mid-sweep EQ's that really work. Direct outs on all channels. A reasonably priced board. Rack mountable. 100mm faders.

        CONS: I'm hardpressed to find any.


        E&W PS2000 for the mains

        PROS: Good value. I know the service company (audiopile) and it is lightweight and effiecient on power. It has been a no-problem steady performer!

        CONS: It lacks hi-pass filters and limiting that other value brands provide.

        Lab Gruppen FP3400 for my subs;

        PROS: Great AMP. Light weight (23lbs). Full featured. Very efficient on power.

        CONS: This puppy was expensive!!!


        Mains - Yorkville EF508 (x4)

        PROS: a smooth, reliable, biampable, great sounding speaker. Arrays well with the 60 degree horn.

        CONS: Heavy (85lbs) and has Rat Fur covering.

        SUBS: JBL MPRO418 (X4)

        PROS: Good punchy lightweight subs. Rugged coating.

        CONS: I need 4 subs to get the concert sound I want and at times in the larger clubs 250+, I could use another pair.


        TC Electronics M-one and D-TWO

        PROS: Very good sounding, lot's of presets and a good interface.

        CONS: They are twice the price of the budget brands but are definitely nicer units.l Not much of a complaint but a factor that needs to be considered in putting together a system.


        Peavy QF 431 on the mains and Peavey Feedback Ferret's on the monitors.

        PROS: Good Sounding Good value;

        CONS: None. I've not experimented with a lot of different FOH eq's but the Peavey sounds good and is reponsive when I move a fader.

        Overall, I really like the system I've assembled with respect to sound, and power efficiency.


        • #5
          I'm a Systems Engineer for a network hardware manufacturer. You can be certain that you used our products to get to this web site and every other web site you visited today.

          My opinions on my club rig:


          - 4 x JBL SR4719X subs

          These have served me well, they're basically idiot proof. A bit heavy and tippy towards the front so I strap them down to a 4x4 foot piece of plywood they sit on with holes in it for the feet.

          - 4 x JBL SR4732X tops

          Harsh arond 2.7 Khz, I've got that sort of under control in the speaker processor. Unsuitable for arraying from JBL, I've replaced the original horns with 60 degree versions. Now they throw much further than stock and array better though I suspect any pro level cabinet would be much better.

          Speaker Processor:

          - dbx Driverack 260. It has been fine though I have experienced bugs in the Driveware software. I'd like a Xilica 4080HD. I run no analog graphic equalizer, I use the EQ in the 260.


          - 4 x QSC PLX3402 on subs, one bridged per cabinet. These are limited so as to hopefully not blow up the SR4719Xs.

          - 1 x QSC PLX3402 on mids, two cabs per channel.

          - 1 x QSC PLX1602 on highs, two cabs per channel.

          All the QSC has been absolutely reliable and I would buy them all again.

          FOH Mixer:

          - Yamaha 02R (not an O2R96, an original O2R). I love the 02R and I will never return to analog. I think in 5 years the available market for new mixers will be half digital and half analog, in 10 years analog will be relatively rare high end boutique products. I have Digimax LT external preamps into ADAT cards on the 02R for channels 25-40.


          - Anvil shock ATA racks. They're too expensive. I have some Audiopile cases, haven't actually used them yet but soon.


          - 2 x Yamaha 02R internal effects, one set up for snare and one set up for toms.

          - TC Electronic M-One XL, this is set to a Short Double Reverb for vocals

          - TC Electronic D-Two, this is set to a Chorused Delay for vocals.

          The M-One is more or less a standard at this level. I really like the D-Two. It sounds great.

          Dynamics processing:

          - Yamaha 02R internal comps and gates. The only drawback here is there's one per channel. You can't have a gate before a comp. For the things that require that:

          - dbx 1066, I have one of these for snare and kick.


          - Sony CDRW-66, this allows us to record all the shows to CDR to listen to the mistakes later. I run it off the AES out on the 02R so it's digital to the CDR. It gets kind of hot but has worked well.


          - 100 foot Proco Roadmaster something or other, this has been too short and from Proco they didn't tighten all the XLRs on the fan sufficiently so the jackets pulled out over time and I had to redo a lot of them. That sucked. The connectors on the stage box are also of a pushbutton release variety that everyone complains are too hard to release. I have other fan to fan drive snakes Proco and the ends are slightly different lengths that don't line up. I've been buying Audiopile's short fan to fan snakes lately and they seem much better so far but time will tell.

          Other cables:

          - Proco mic cords, no complaints

          - Fan to fan snakes from FOH FX rack to FOH mixer, Audiopile stuff. No complaints so far.

          - Speaker cables, Neutrik NL4s from Full Compass and 12/2 or 12/4 electrical cable from the local electrical supplier. I solder them, I think it's best when people who aren't careful are jerking cables with big connectors that catch on everything around tables and other stuff at the end of the night.


          - All in-ears, I had Shure PSM400s and I believe they have a design defect that you could search for and read about over on Prosoundweb if you wanted to. I have switched everything to Sennheiser EW-300 IEM G2 and the musicians have stopped complaining about RF dropouts and they say the audio quality is better. When you hit peak on them the backlight on the LCD display changes from green to red and you can see it from across the room. It looks cool and the first time I saw them do that I think I heard angels sing. I mix monitors from FOH though I'll be moving to an O1V96V2 at the stage soon.


          - Pretty much all Shure, SM-58s and Beta 58s for vocals, SM-57s and Beta 57s for instruments, SM81s for hat and ride, Beta 56A for snare because the mount is convenient to stick it between the toms up high pointing down at the snare. Beta 98s on Toms. For Kick I have a Beta 91 and a Beta 52 but I have moved away from them to an Audix D6 (boom) and an Audix D1 (tick) for kick. I use a Crown CM311 for the drummer. I tried an Audix OM5 on on musician that was muddy on a Beta 58 but it had a high mid gritty sound that I didn't like. I also have one of those EV ND/whatevers that a lot of people have, I bought it on a recommendation from someone but haven't used it yet.


          - Atlas with the heavy base, they haven't fallen over much so I guess they're okay. It'd be nice if they stacked somehow because carrying mic stands is a PITA but I think the ones that stack have lighter bases and that concerns me.


          - I use a distributed distro system that I built where we tie in with tails or a NEMA 14-50R and then two very small 6 circuit 120 amp panels are located at the back corners of the stage. Every circuit is served with 20 amp GFCI outlets. We need that many circuits because lighting is on that too but you didn't ask about that.

          Break music playback:

          - IBM Thinkpad T23, this also runs SmaartLive which has been *very* useful. I use an Edirol UA-5 for SmaartLive in and for break music out. It's fine but the wall wart power supply is huge.

          This is what's required to compete near the top of the market for a cover band in Madison, Wisconsin. Some guys around here have JBL SRX, some have Turbosound Flashlight. The norm here is the band hires or carries complete production. Production skills vary widely, the crowds don't seem to notice much after 15 or 20 beers. We're in festival season now and this rig covers beer tent type engagements well too. All in all I'd say it has served me well though I'd like things that were more of a pro level. If some money fell out of the sky and hit me on the head I'd like KF650s and some other sub, I think many of EAWs sub offerings are of a poor form factor for efficient packing at this level. I see the guys with the Turbosound Flashlight stuff and I like how it packs easily and is very stable but TFL-760s are so commonplace it makes me want something else.




          • #6
            I'm an electrical engineering student at Villanova University, as equiptment manager I will post for the VU tech crew, even though there are others that post here regularly.


            -Community XLT-E, 4 x XLTE46 (15"+5"+1"), 4 x XLTE55 (dual 15")

            These work for our purposes, the subs can be lacking and we often have issues with the poor quality drivers. I would not recomend these to anyone buying new, maybe used at a good price though.

            -Generic (community maybe?), 4 x single 18" subwoofer, eminence kilomax loaded.

            We droped some kilomaxes into some boxes, didn't tune them. We blew one to hell pretty quickly. They will be tuned in the future hopefully.

            -JBL JRX monitors (12" + 1") x 4

            I don't like these at all. Not loud enough.

            -JBL TR wedges.

            Not fantastic, not too bad.


            -Crown microtech 1200 x 6, microtech 2400 x 4

            Don't sound bad, haven't broken. I don't put a lot of faith in them, but pretty much everyone else in the organization does.


            -A&H MixWiz 14:4:2

            Is broken, we never get around to using it because we really don't ever need it, so it hasn't been fixed. From prior expirience I can tell you that it is great. For our needs though it is too big for the small stuff and too small for the big stuff, so it never gets taken out. I wish we had the 16 channel.

            -Mackie SR32

            Is decent, but features and construction aren't that great.

            -Mackie 1402

            Nice little mixer for little gigs. **************************** DJ spilled orange juice in ours, circuit board was machine riveted to the front panel so there was no getting in there to clean it. from the sides it looked as if the board was clean though. I was dissapointed in the riveting.


            -Ashley 4x8 speaker proccessor

            probablly almost the same as a driverack, a little older though. i like it and would probablly buy one for my own system one day.

            -Ashley Protea 4 channel EQ

            it's digital, but other than interface issues (buttons to control an eq?) it's good.

            -PreSounus SCP-88 8 channel compressor/gate x 2

            i like these alot, they sound good and look good.

            Other stuff:

            -Proco 24x4 stagemaster snake

            isn't great IMO. we have a broken one hanging on the wall, no idea why someone would replace something that broke with the same brand and construction. is doing ok right now

            -audiopile cables and racks.

            what can i say, great all around. im comtemplating adapting one of his cases to become the ultimate in portable/disguised beverage refigeration. i wonder if i could get the inards of a minifridge to do this.

            we have other stuff but this is what we use most.
            Originally posted by Old Steve Ok, so you're a friggin' ninja....that'll make this all the more simple.


            • #7
              I am a bass player that plays the local club circuit in my area, average room is approx. 200 person capacity.

              My system I put together is simple enough for me to run from stage while playing, it is a big plus that everyone I play with is a great player and has a good sound. This makes mixing from stage a LOT easier.

              We play R&R from Classic to current.

              Here is what I got,


              (4) Yamaha CM15V monitors

              (2) QSC PLX2402 power amps

              (2) DBX 1231 EQ's

              (1) SKB 12-space rack

              (1) Furman PL-Plus power conditioner

              PROS: sounds very nice, clean and clear.

              CON's: Monitors are heavy


              (2) Carvin TRX153 <3-way mains>

              (2) Yamaha CW218V <2x18 subs>

              (2) QSC PLX3002 power amps

              (1) DBX 2031 Eq

              (1) DBX 266xl compressor

              (1) Lexicon MPX200 fx processor

              (1) Ashly XR1001 X-over

              (1) SKB 12-space rack

              (1) Furman PL-Plus power conditioner

              (1) A&H MixWiz3 16:2

              PRO's: Simple setup, good sound, easy to control

              CON's: The cabs are heavy

              I run (4) seperate monitor mixes, this way everyone gets who, what, and how much in there monitor. The 31 band EQ's make tweaking for feedback very simple. The FOH system seems to be pretty potent for how it is powered, each sub gets 900 watts and each TRX153 gets 550 watts. I may end up bridging the power amp on the TRX153 cabs if I find I am pushing them too hard, then I will just have to watch how much gas I give them.

              This entire setup can be up and running in twenty minutes, all racks are easily connected with a few cables, and as fast as it sets up it equally as fast breaks down for a quick load out at the end of a night.

              All band members have there own mic's, cables, stands, etc. whatever they need to connect to the system (I bought enough) I would like to add a quad gate to use with the drum kit and that will be about it.



              • #8

                Originally posted by Vinny D

                I may end up bridging the power amp on the TRX153 cabs if I find I am pushing them too hard, then I will just have to watch how much gas I give them.

                If you are pushing them too hard w/ 550 watts... what do you think will happen if you bridge . Classic example of where more cabinets AND power is a better choice.
                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


                • #9
                  No matter what I post on this forum something I do is always wrong or not good enough for all you so called ****************ing pro's.

                  Someday I wish to be perfect like all of you

                  So long!


                  • #10
                    Ooh...Ooh....Let me play!

                    I'm a house tech for a bar, but the PA is owned by the company that I contract through, which means that I have NO money invested in the PA, which is very very nice.

                    FOH Console:

                    A&H GL3300-40

                    Good: Not a bad sounding board, it's pretty much the Ford Taurus of middle-level consoles - rarely the coolest thing to drive, but everyone knows how to work it and it'll get you from point A to point B reliably. Good EQ and flexible routing.

                    Bad: The faders seem to attract dust and smoke more than the Soundcraft K2 that used to be our FOH console. Preamps really like to be run relatively hot (+2-+4 dBu).

                    Monitor Console:

                    Peavey Mark VIII 32 Channel

                    Good: 32 Channels, 8 Auxes, quite a bit of headroom, haven't had it fail in 15 years of service.

                    Bad: It isn't the best sounding board and by now, the pots have started to get a bit scratchy. When our power supply died a while back, it took the Mute and Signal LEDs with it, so we only have PFLs to make sure things are working.

                    FOH Processing:

                    Presonus DEQ 624 EQ

                    DBX DriveRack PA

                    2 x Behringer Quad Comp

                    2 x Behringer Quad Gate

                    1 x DBX 166A

                    2 x TCE M-One

                    Good: I like the M-One as a mid-level FX unit, and the fact that we've got 2 verbs and 2 delays in 2 rack spaces is really nice. The Behringer stuff is all older Behringer, and it's not really that bad. Just don't use it on anything really critical (like voice). I use the 166A for lead vocal and bass guitar, so that I have good compression on both.

                    Bad: The DriveRack EQ sounds sterile, and the Presonus isn't much better. For me, the key is to use as few cuts as possible.


                    Lows - Crest 10001

                    Mids - 2 x Crest VS1100

                    Highs - Ashley MOSFET

                    Center Fill - Crest VS900

                    The lows in this room stomp, and that 100 lb battle tank of an amp helps that along. Crest amps seem to be plenty reliable, and we've got more headroom than we really need.


                    Mids/Highs - 2 x Peavey DTH4s loaded with Black Widows/side

                    Lows - 2 x Custom built double scoops from the JBL design (Dual 15" in a semi-horn load per cab)/side

                    Good: The DTH has a very nice midrange character to it and the double scoops are perfect for the room we're in, as a front load would kill the people up front and a horn load would kill the people in the back.

                    Bad: I don't like having a 15' speaker reproducing both mids and lows, but it's nothing a quick cut on the EQ can't take care of.

                    Overall, this PA is great for what it's intended to do (install in a 550 person bar). There are little things I'd like to do, but working within the budget that we've got, it's an easy enough PA to run and I've never blamed the PA for a bad mix.
                    Member of the HCAF Homebrews Club

                    Currently in transition.

                    http://www.myspace.com/michaelkentmusic New songs up!!

                    Good Transactions With: Moodbender, Chrisjd, GRIFF10672 (x2), Killing Nevada, Cibyl, Steveanders86, drs448, Valtiel, StratoSlacker

                    Originally Posted by newholland

                    good sense NEVER makes good sense when yer movin a mountain of stupid...

                    Originally Posted by mseriously30

                    I think some people have the "suck" knob on full bore.

                    Mah ampbuild thread: http://acapella.harmony-central.com/...8#post39421848


                    • #11

                      Originally posted by Vinny D

                      No matter what I post on this forum something I do is always wrong or not good enough for all you so called ****************ing pro's.

                      Someday I wish to be perfect like all of you

                      So long!

                      Wow, this is a refreshing attitude

                      I was just pointing out something you obviously haven't thought through I guess.

                      Since I have a recone shop, and see this kind of stuff all the time, I was offering advice from a ****************in' professional's point of view but since you already know it all than maybe you will be happier on another forum?
                      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


                      • #12
                        I'm a 50 year old computer programmer who has been gigging for most of the last 15 years or so. I have a blues band consisting of two guitarist/vocalists, harmonica, bass & drums. Typical gigs are playing to 100 people or less, though we occasionally play a festival with sound provided by a "real" sound company (or a reasonable fascimile thereof). The only thing we run through the PA is vocals and a mic on the harmonica amp, so I'm much lighter on equipment than all the posts so far. I have an EV 457 and a 457a for the vocals, and I used to mic the harp amp with a Shure SM57 but recently started using a Sennheiser E609 that I use on my Pro Jr. for another gig. I have a Soundtech Megamix powered mixer that supposedly puts out a bit over 400 watts at 4 ohms, and a Soundtech PL602M monitor amp with 9 band eq that puts out slightly more. The mains are Yamaha Club IV 112s and the monitors are PV TLM 112s.

                        PROS: Not much money invested, easy to setup and breakdown, and people tell us we sound "awesome".

                        CONS: - I can hear a bit of harshness when we have to push and would love to upgrade speakers sometime, but I would prefer not to have any items heavier than 45 lbs, which is the case with my current gear. I also am intrigued by the thought of a powered sub and micing the bass drum, but we seem to get plenty of dancers with the current setup.


                        • #13

                          These posts could turn out to be an informative thread. I'm a 43 year old medical professional weekend warrior audio guy. Here's my little bar rig:

                          FOH cabs EV QRx 153/75 (2), EV QRx 218s (2).

                          After much research and listening tests, I chose the QRx based on size, price, sound quality, and rider acceptability. Most of the rooms I do are long/narrow rooms with capacity of less than 500, so the 75 degree horizontal dispersion of the 153/75's work well. The 35 degree down angle/15 degree up angle on the HF helps when ceiling height is an issue. The horn-loaded MF seems to throw pretty hard, and is very clear. Vocals are full, clear, and crisp, without harshness. EV did a decent job with the internal HF/MF crossover. The LF section of the 153/75 has a bit of trouble keeping up with the HF/MF, but a bit of corrective PEQ and a bit more power than the specs indicate seems to clear the issue. The 153/75's are light enough to move comfortably. The "Futura finish" will mar easily, and outright peel off if one is not careful when moving/transporting the cabs. The grilles will deform with even the slightest pressure during transport. Covers are a must-have item. The 218s sub is a "compromise" sub. I have strict size requirements due to truck pack issues, and the 218s' fit the bill perfectly. The performance of the subs are pretty good, but a bit of corrective PEQ is required to get decent extension in the lower frequencies. The 218s seems to perform well without requiring tremendous power, although I sometimes jones for a bit more "push" when the system is run hard. The finish/grille issue is the same as the 153/75's. The built-in wheels are conveinent, but could stand to be a bit larger. Overall, I am happy with the FOH cabs for the money spent. I plan on purchasing two more of each cab within the next few months to gain coverage for the larger rooms.

                          FOH processing dbx DR260

                          The DR260 is a good unit. If the unit had a third input and multiple DR260's could be run within one instance of Driveware, the DR260 would be much more flexible. Complaints aside, the DR260 works well. I have the DR located with the FOH amps, and a control line returns through the snake to access the processor via laptop.

                          FOH amplification Crown MacroTech

                          HF/MF: MA-2400, stereo, 12 ohms, approx 350w/ch

                          LF: MA-3600, stereo, 8 ohms, 1120w/ch

                          SUBF: MA-3600, stereo, 4 ohms, 1565w/ch

                          I'm happy with the performance of the MA's, although the weight of the amps is a strain. Power draw is an issue occasionally. Proper cleaning of the filters at regular intervals is a "must".

                          Monitor wedges Radian RMW1122 Microwedge (4)

                          Of all of the gear I have aquired over the years, the Microwedges have proved to be the best purchase in terms of quality, reliability, and performance. The coaxial design seems to eliminate a lot of the smear experienced with traditional wedges, and allows increased GBF. They do seems to require a bit more power than the specs indicate. The bass port at the "toe end" of the wedge doubles as a handle and allows for the NL4 connections to be recessed, preventing cable/jack damage. The wedge is a bit heavy, but the weight is evenly distributed, allowing a center of gravity that works well with the handle design. The Duradian finish is among the best I have seen. The grille is bullet-proof. You can stand on it, jump up and down on it, whatever, and it doesn't affect the grille. The design allows the wedge to shoot the signal in an "upwards" fashion. This allows the wedge to be placed in null areas easier without compromising the artist's ability to hear them. They are small and unobtrusive, and don't interfere with sight lines. They are the first wedges I've owned that musicians will consistently ask for the foldback to be reduced. The only complaint I have with them is that they have a 90 degree conical dispersion. This can sometimes be problematic when trying to control monitor bleed into various microphones on stage, as well as negative interaction with FOH, if monitor placement causes phase cancellation. However, the 90 degree dispersion is also an asset at times when trying to cover a large number of musicians on a large stage, so YMMV, application dependent.

                          Monitor processing Sabine Graphi-Q

                          EQ-wise, the units sound great, and are very smooth, without a lot of phase shift. I use Sabine's software to control the EQ's, as using the software enables the use of the FBX filters as dedicated, adjustable parametric EQ's (twelve of them, per mix). Having that much parametric control, along with adustable slope HP & LP filters, a graphic, and delay makes for a comprehensive set of tools. The comp/limiters are not to my liking. The units do not allow simultaneous front panel and software control, so it's an "either-or" sort of thing. Settings made to the units parametric filters cannot be saved to the unit and then the unit reverted to front panel control.

                          Monitor amplification Behringer EP 2500 (4)

                          I run four EP2500's in bridge-mono @ 8 ohms, 1300 watts, one per wedge. Many people have reported issues with these amps, I have had none save the clip lights being lit on power-up, and they go out as soon as signal is applied. They are heavy. I recently bought a Crown XTi 4000 and I have used it to drive a pair of Microwedges, one wedge per channel. XTi's may replace the EP's.

                          FOH console Yamaha O1v96v2

                          The Yamaha is one impressive little console. I have a 16 channel ADAT card installed, along with some Behringer ADA8000's. These low cost additions enable me to address 32 incoming channels, while allowing an adequate number of outputs for FOH, monitoring, and multitrack and/or two-track recording. I installed the REV-X plug-in and it is a winner. It also has VCA-like capability (DCA?) to control groups of faders (very useful). I tend to live in the user defined layer most of the time. The board is well though out and very easy to operate. The sound is very clean and defined. Shows can be set up in advance, either on the console itself, or using the Studio Manager software. A very handy feature when doing multiple bands. Niggles include no matrixes, and the lack of a built-in cappuchino machine. I wish the gates were frequency adjustable, but they are functional. The O1v96 is a wonderful alternative to a huge, heavy analog console and racks of outboard/cabling, and is very cost effective.

                          Outboard gear Alesis HD24, Alesis Masterlink, Toshiba laptop

                          The Alesis units allow multitrack and two-track recording. Both are sturdy, easy to operate units that sound very good. I have various test tones/files stored on the Masterlink HDD, as well as about 3 hours of "background noise" music. The laptop serves as a file server (MP3's etc), a manual library, technical document library, etc, and allows control of the console, FOH DSP, and monitor DSP.


                          Mics consist of varying numbers of the following, both wired and wireless: AT 4050, Audix D4, Audix OM5, CAD M39, CAD CM217, CAD KM212, CAD SN210, CAD TM211, EV RE20, Octavia MC012, Rode NT2, Sennheiser E865, Sennheiser MD405S, Shure B57A, Shure B91, Shure SM57, Shure SM58, Shure SM81, Shure WCM16, Shure WH20

                          DI's consist of varying numbers of the following:

                          Radial JDI, Radial J48, Whirlwind IMP2

                          The mics I have were bought with varying purposes in mind. I love mics and will probably never have enough. Each of the mics listed have strengths/weaknesses. What mics I carry are gig-dependent, with a few spares/alternates. Some are there to be destroyed occasionally (the CAD drum mics). The Radial DI's are great, but the IMP2's are appropriate sometimes (along with the CAD drum mics).


                          XLR stuff is Whirlwind or Rapco. Too many to count.

                          NL4 stuff is Rapco. I'm gonna try some EWI when I have a need.

                          32x8 150' Whirlwind Medusa snake, 16x4 100' ProCo snake, 8x4 100' Rapco snake, 12 pair 30' EWI dual fan end drop snake (drums), 8 pair 15' Rapco dual fan end drop snake (amp rack/main snake interconnect). Whirlwind turnarounds, lifts, etc. I plan on trying some of the EWI offerings here as well. TrikTags amp rack interconnect, one per rack. They include multiple Powercon, Speakon, and XLR per panel. Each connector has a clear lexan tag that identifies the purpose of the connector. Highly recommended. Power cabling is all SO 12/3 and SO 14/3, black, with appropriate ends. I bought a case (8) of 16/3 SJ (?) 15' extension cords, black, from Home Depot to handle backline.


                          Amp racks are EWI 12 space shock racks (2). Excellent gear.

                          FOH rack is an extra deep Cadence slant top/12 space below carpeted case. I hate this rack. I plan on having R&R Cases build me a pullover rack to specs.

                          EWI medium road trunk houses all cabling/snaking, etc. Great kit. Heavy as hell when loaded.

                          EWI mic case. I need a few more...


                          Folding hand truck/cart with pneumatic wheels. Mine is extruded aluminum, very lightweight, and gets used more than anything else. I wouldn't be without it.

                          Sony MD 7506 cans. I have six pairs. They are decent headphones, but the leatherette padding on the cushions flakes off at an alarming rate, leaving bare foam.


                          Tablet PC, UBox usb/lan, decent WAP. More $$$.

                          So that's my small slice of the live audio world. It isn't the best, it isn't the biggest, but it's mine. I can unload it/set it up by myself in less than an hour and strike it in less. I like it and so do my clients, and if I need more, I can rent the exact items I need from a local regional. If I were to give advice to "what PA ?", it would be to get the best mics, FOH enclosures, and monitors that you can possibly afford, and make sure the system is upgradable. Fill in the rest as cash flow allows, preventing the nasty and needless upgrade cycle. Would I do it differently if I had all of the cash invested back today? Probably. I'd buy a house and rent gear



                          • #14

                            Originally posted by Adam Mottley

                            So that's my small slice of the live audio world. It isn't the best, it isn't the biggest, but it's mine.


                            Good review. Your rig sounds very well thought-out.

                            For the few times I have to do wedges I'd love to be able to justify the Radians, the reviews I've seen in various places are all fantastic from a GBF perspective.




                            • #15
                              Here's my humble offereings:

                              I'm 40 and have been primarily a guitarist playing in bands for 26 years and am a partner in a small music store.

                              We needed something compact, easy to set up /tear down with good sound for small / medium clubs. Wanting to have as much stuff prewired as possible a rack mounted mixer with all our FOH stuff in it seemed the way to go. We play rock and I do sound gigs once in awhile for other bands.

                              Mixer:Mackie 1604VLZ. I got this used from a friend. It had the right amount of channels and features. Looking to upgrade it in the near future.

                              PROS: Rackmountable, subgroups and easy to use.

                              CONS: Periodically have to dissassemble the mixer and clean, tighten the ribbon connectors. The EQ isn't very useful and the mic pres don't have alot of headroom like they claim. Only two montior mixes.

                              Crossover/FX stuff: Mostly budget stuff.

                              DBX Driverack PA. It works for what we need (x-over, main eq, anti-feedback).

                              CONS: wish it had a mono out

                              SAMSON 4 channel comp/gate: Use it for drums and it works.

                              Behringer Multicomp and Multigate: Used these before getting the Samson. The gate really isn't very good (audible clicking when opening/closing). The comp is ok, it works thats about it.

                              Digitech TSR 24: Use it for vocal fx. We know how to use it and it does ok for what we need.

                              Alesis Quadraverb: Use it for backing vocals mostly.

                              Alesis Midiverb: Preset 05 for drums!

                              Peavey Deltafex: For a basic fx unit, it does ok.

                              Mains: 2 Yorkville EF500PB. Great cabs! Very smooth and clear sounding. would like to have another pair.

                              CONS: They are heavy.

                              SUBS: 2 Yorkville LS800PB. Great subs! We never run out of gas with these. We previously had a pair of JBL MP418SP then moved up to a pair PV SP218X's. It was always a fight for low end, now its never a problem!

                              Monitors: 2 JBL MP412 for fronts and 1 JBL MP215 for drums. The 412's sound really good and go LOUD when needed.

                              1 CS800S power amp for monitors. One channel for MP412's and the other for the MP215.

                              Ashley 31 band eq for MP412's

                              2 Peavey Feedback Ferrets: One for each monitor mix. They work great.

                              That's what we run. I like the powered cabs, we get alot of output and clean sound for its size. We can set up the system in about 45 minutes, it fits in a van and I am happy. In rooms that are wider than long, it would be nice to have another set of tops.

                              Probably going to get a MixWiz soon.
                              My Bands


                              Judas Rising Judas Priest tribute band

                              Jaded Modern Rock cover band

                              Guitar Ranch My store......carrying FRYETTE and WIZARD amps along with lots of other cool stuff.....