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PA setup for small bars

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  • #16
    how would something like this be: http://www.guitarcenter.com/Behringer-UB1222FX---B215D-PA-Package-485753-i1527132.gc

    Is behringer really that bad? There aren't too many full PA packages that have powered speakers, most of the packages just have powered mixers.


    Those PA packages are generally just someone throwing some stuff together. You want to choose a mixer that has the features you need and the powered speakers that will do the job you want them to do.

    The fact you said you may have the full band in the future means you're looking for a PA that can handle a full band. With your budget that's just not going to be possible. You can get powered speakers to use as mains now and monitors later so no extra money there, but you'll want a mixer capable of accepting all the inputs you're going to want and that's going to eat your $500 right there, and that's if you skimp on new or find a very good deal on something appropriate that's used.
    PA: JBL PRX712, PRX718XLF, RCF 522A, 310A, FBT Vertus, A&H Qu-16
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    • #17


      The fact you said you may have the full band in the future means you're looking for a PA that can handle a full band. With your budget that's just not going to be possible. You can get powered speakers to use as mains now and monitors later so no extra money there, but you'll want a mixer capable of accepting all the inputs you're going to want and that's going to eat your $500 right there, and that's if you skimp on new or find a very good deal on something appropriate that's used.


      This is the key point to keep in mind. A two man acoustic show has completely different PA requirements than a full band. The systems you're looking at would be adequate for a two man acoustic show, but really wouldn't have a place in a full band other than perhaps using the speakers as monitors.

      You need to decide if you're guying an acoustic show PA or a full band PA, or at least plan a good upgrade path if you're starting out small.

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      • #18
        I am looking to get a PA setup for me and my buddy playing at a local bar. Right now it will probably be just us acoustic, probably full band in the future. On craigslist there is a cheap PA setup but I don't know too much about them if anyone could give me some insight it would be appreciated.

        For about $500 I can get

        Behringer PMP 2000 800-watt 10-channel mixer ($350 new):

        2 Peavey PR 12 speakers ($170 each, new):

        Shure SM58 microphone ($100 new)

        and 2 speaker stands


        I am using one Roland KC-150 to support a 4 piece acoustic band in a small restaurant and a small unpowered mixer (4 channel). The band consists of an acoustic guitar, acoustic bass, small Pearl drum kit (with a very disciplined drummer), and a percussionist. Occasionally, we have a second singer come in, and all can be handled by this setup. I've been using this for a year-and-a-half, and it has worked fine. We don't use any effects. The KC-150 has four channels and accepts xlr output from the mixer (I inherited a Behringer UB1202 which still works well after 6 years). The mixer provides phantom power so the percussionist can use a condenser mic. Guitar and bass are active di'd to the board (LR Baggs Para Acoutic Di's). It is more than loud enough that the restaurant owner asks us to turn down once in a while so customers can talk. Everything is clear and rich sounding (I give credit to Roland - the KC serices are great keyboard amps that can be used for a lot of things). The voice mics we use are EV767's. If I would change anything about what we use, it would be to upgrade the mixer to a 6 or 8 channel mixer - maybe Yamaha. But I can't justify the expenditure. What we have works great, and we get asked to play in a lot of small venues. Did I mention the setup is very light an portable? I would not use this for large application, but in a small pub/bar/restaurant/home party environment, this setup works well.

        If you use your imagination, you can stretch you limited budget and get great results.

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        • #19
          how would something like this be: http://www.guitarcenter.com/Behringer-UB1222FX---B215D-PA-Package-485753-i1527132.gc

          Is behringer really that bad? There aren't too many full PA packages that have powered speakers, most of the packages just have powered mixers.


          You're not paying attention.



          You would be better off getting a small mixer and ONE decent powered speaker. Get the 2nd as funds allow.
          .....

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          • #20
            yea i think were going with one speaker, a mixer and 2 mics for now. For the speaker, i'm looking at the JBL EON, http://www.guitarcenter.com/JBL-EON315-15--280-Watt-Powered-PA-Speaker-105171854-i1430399.gc. If we don't have a subwoofer would a 15" speaker be the right way to go?

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            • #21
              I just bought a Soundcraft GigRac 1000st for $350 on eBay and I'm astounded at the power, fidelity and portability of this head.

              8 chan, 1000w stereo in its own 25 lb polycarbonate travel case.

              Soundcraft

              GigRac

              So far, i couldn't be happier... highly recommended for your purpose if you're looking for a powered head/passive speaker setup

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              • #22
                +1 to what CraigV said... small mixer, 1 good powered speaker... a solid plan for growth if the need arises...

                FWIW - I know a local duo that runs with a powered floor monitor, small mixer, and a Bose L1 Compact as their PA and they always sound great... but they never need to play very loud. They started with the mixer and the monitor.
                Where the Mississippi River runs west...

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                • #23
                  msbhendrixxx,

                  No matter which way you look at it, your budget is simply not realistic. Even if you do only the "acoustic" thing for now, it's not realistic. If you go "used",,,, maybe. Let's look at what you need for a barebones acoustic duo. For now, let's just forget about the "possibly for a future band " scenario.

                  Ok, you need at the very least, one vocal mic (that two can share/harmony), a stand, and a mic cable. I presume your guitars are acoustic electric; are they? You could get by without FX, but do you want to? Usually, plugging straight into a powered speaker, means no FX, so you need a small mixer with FX, and believe you me, you want those FX to be useful for an acoustic act.(delay and/or reverb for vocals) Then of course, you need a powered speaker. So here is your bare-bones list;

                  one powered speaker
                  one speaker stand
                  one extension power-cord for speaker and mixer
                  one small mixer w/FX
                  one XLR cable from mixer output to powered speaker
                  mic
                  mic stand
                  mic cable

                  Now, just try and split that list into a $500. budget, and still sound decent, while retaining some semblance of reliability. It just not realistic.

                  My minimum "acoustic act" system would probably look something like this;

                  one Yorkville NX25p loudspeaker w/stand
                  one Shure SM59 vocal mic
                  one mic stand
                  Soundcraft Notepad 124FX mixer
                  a couple of XLR cables from EWI (mic, and from mixer to speaker)
                  add a power cord, and you're looking at roughly $800. new

                  What will you have for that money? Well, plenty of power for the small acoustic gigs, and you can later use that powered speaker as a monitor, for your "future band". Buy a decent speaker stand, that can support a 40-50 lb speaker (important). For now, you can probably get by with placing the speaker on a chair.

                  The mic is an industry standard, so your future application is covered. The EWI cables are excellent, especially considering the price. The little Soundcraft mixer only has 4 XLR/mono channels, so the future band scenario will probably require another mixer. In a small room however, you could use it for four vocal mics, if you can carry the venue with the backline only (stage amps) That mixer also can handle up to four stereo inputs, and there's a -10dBv/+4dBv switch on each of those channels, which allows you to use "pro level" sources (+4dBv), or "consumer level" gear (-10dBv) The Soundcraft mixers also sound very sweet/transparent. Super-compact as well (9"x9").

                  Good luck, and have fun gigging.
                  Veni, Vidi, Velcro;

                  (I came, I saw, I stuck around)

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                  • #24
                    Thanks for the input. We ended up going with a JBL EON 315, a Mackie 1202-VLZ3 12 channel mixer, and a shure sm58. My buddy hooked us up with free cables/stands. I got a vox tonelab so i'll run guitar effects through that. Anyone know any good links to tips on utilizing the mixer?

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                    • #25
                      Here's what I've used in the past but I've always used subs with it but if your doing an acoustic show you can go with this a Yamaha EMX-512 powered mixer and 2 Yamaha club 115-V speakers on a stick. Very simple and as long as its a small bar or venue you should be fine.

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                      • #26
                        Thanks for the input. We ended up going with a JBL EON 315, a Mackie 1202-VLZ3 12 channel mixer, and a shure sm58. My buddy hooked us up with free cables/stands. I got a vox tonelab so i'll run guitar effects through that. Anyone know any good links to tips on utilizing the mixer?


                        That's a very reasonable start. Mackie has the owner's manual online, and it has enough info to get you started. Use as little EQ as possible, just keep feedback under control. Use a DI if you run acoustic-electrics straight into the mixer.
                        .....

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