04-04-2013 05:41 AM
I'm in a band, and our current PA is, well, useless and dying! Its pretty inadequate power-wise at only 400W, the 8 inch drivers are shot and really tinny, and every single volume pot is on the blink... I have a friend who works for an audio wholesaler and can get me a good price on a rig, but I have no idea what to go for! The list of PA packages available to me at a decent (ish) price is here: http://hblstore.co.uk/pa-sound-equipment/pa-packag
A bit of detail: We are a four piece; drums, guitar, bass, keyboard and 3 vocals, and rarely have to take our own PA out, but when we do we play to usually 200 odd people, max, though it would be nice to be able to play bigger rooms if necessary. Here's the band, in case you're interested: http://www.facebook.com/drunk00girls
Any help on power, tips for good amps, speaker set ups or a recommendation of a rig would be hugely welcomed, and if anyone knows of any other good deals on PA systems that would meet our needs elsewhere than that would be great too.
I know I'm new and it's a bit cheeky to come straight in and ask for advice off you guys without first contributing a bit, but I'm in a hurry to get sorted as our current rig is just becoming unusable!
Thank you in advance, and apologies for getting straight to the point!
04-04-2013 07:45 AM
Not that familiar with what's available where your are in the UK, but (since I think it's fun to research these things...), here's my "tuppence worth"...
Selection is limited at your buddy's wholesale shop, but the JBL PRX400 series passives with a good mixer and xover would be a good start. I see that they also carry the Wharfdale Titan powered cabs and Al Poulin from this forum is/was a fan... but I'm not seeing powered subs to put with them other than the Eons and I'm not a fan of those.
Just scanning your area I saw this in the used section over at http://www.proaudiosystems.co.uk/products/special-
I would think that you could get the RCF powered cabs pretty easily where you are and probably cheaper than we can over here... same goes for an A&H MixWiz... that'd be a good way to go.
04-04-2013 09:44 AM
Altergeist, we could all quickly get carried away designing wonderful and expensive systems for you, but it would be best if you could tell us what you want from a PA. How many instruments/singers will be going through the PA ? How much money can you afford to spend ? This could cost a lot, so please set some parameters for us to work to....
04-04-2013 12:25 PM
lol... was the OP's first post. Might have forgotten what site he posted it on...
FWIW - I'm a used deal hound and just love scrounging for gear... even if it's in the UK, apparently. ;-)
04-04-2013 05:30 PM
I assume you are going to have the guitar player use his guitar amp, leave the drums without mics, and then send bass and maybe the kick drum (with mic) thru the subwoofers.
Then use the 12" mains for vocals. And use 10' or 12" monitors (3) for three vocals. Maybe use a small mixer with 10 or 12 inputs to get a monitor mix for vocals.
I would suggest 12" for the vocal mains, since they are lighter than 15" and dont add bass to the vocals like 15" speakers do.
Cheapest route would be to use a big powered mixer and passive speakers, and powered subs or a power amp and passive subs. And add a small mixer to the powered mixer to add versatility.
A Soundcraft Gigrac 1000, or Yamaha EMX 512 or 5000, or Mackie 808, big Peavy or big Yorkville would work, especially for indoor use and smaller outdoor gigs. That gives you two mains and two monitors.
.. You might need to add one powered monitor. The problem is the amps have to be able to run at two ohms to run three monitors on the monitor channel.
Big powered mixers are Ok for outdoor gigs with the audience within 100 feet or so
Most powered mixers will only run at 4 ohms per channel. Most speakers are 8 ohm and if you put two 8 ohm speakers on a channel then the load is 4 ohms. So 4 speakers on a 1000 watt powered mixer.
Consider a dual 31 band eq to control feedback. I would also consider an outboard Lexicon reverb box..ie..MPX550, MPX110, MX200 ect.. for vocals, unless you get a mixer with built in Lexicon reverb (but an outboard Lexicon is best).
Or you could go all powered speakers, but more money.
Powered speakers are a step up in cost. Slightly louder. Not neccessarily better sound. Maybe better sound in some cases. A little heavier usually than passive speakers.
Requires more electrical outlets at venue.
It is going to cost a lot, lot more to play loud outdoors, as you need more watts power. Maybe 3 or 4-5 power amps. You would likely have to use a bunch of power amps to put the entire band thru the PA. Maybe hire a sound company for bigger outdoor gigs.
04-05-2013 01:12 AM
04-05-2013 01:16 AM - edited 04-05-2013 01:18 AM
monthlymixcd - Thanks for your reply! It is a bit of a limited selection really, but I'm by no means tied to getting it from there thankfully.
That KV2 looks very nice, and quite portable too. I may give them a call over the weekend and see if they can do anything payment wise.
I'll have a look at the JBLs. Someone recommended me the Titan12s too, don't know if anyone has any experience with those?
Anyway, thanks again for all you responses, I can tell I came to the right place for advice!
04-05-2013 01:21 AM
04-05-2013 05:54 AM - edited 04-05-2013 05:55 AM
Thank you all very kindly for your responses. I will take a look at the suggestions you've made over the weekend.
loco_p_man - Ideally I'm aiming to keep it below £1500
We have 3 vox, 1 guitar (ideally would be able to mic it up too), 1 bass (probably doesn't need to be DI'd) one keyboard and drums (would be nice to get kick and snare mic'd). We don't currently play huge venues (roughly 200-300 people tops), but it would be nice to be a bit future proof in case of larger venues.
Here's a starter for 10 that is within budget. I am going to assume you have all the mics, cables, stands etc that you need, and that we are just looking at a mixer, tops and subs. I am going to suggest you buy active speakers which means you don't need to worry about matching amps to speakers and can benefit from the digital sounds processing (limiters, eqs etc) that are built into the speakers. Most of what I am suggesting is new, but you can't buy a (new) quality PA with subs within your budget.
A budget - but decent - mixer is this Yamaha http://www.normans.co.uk/p-2060-yamaha-mg124cx-mix
3 vox, 1 guitar, 2 drums in the XLR, plus you could use jack inputs to handle keyboard and/or bass. Note that this has only got one Aux Send, which will limit you to one monitor mix, which you might feel is a problem.
For FOH speakers, go with these : http://www.decks.co.uk/products/speakers/rcf/art31
For Subs, you will need to look 2nd hand to stay within budget. You can probably start with one. This pair of RCF 705s failed to sell on ebay recently for £1000, so you are looking at roughly £500 for a decent (JBL, RCF) sub. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/RCF-705-Active-Subs-AS-P
So for your £1500 you can get a new mixer, new FOH speakers and have £600+ left to buy a sub. Alternatively, you could use the £600 to buy a couple of active monitors. If you go for the RCF 310As again, you have built-in backup in the case of a problem (not that this is likely, but nice to have in case).
If you go for everything used, you could look at an A&H Mixwiz 16:2 which has 16 XLR inputs and effects and at least 4 monitor mixes, plus you could possibly get a sub as well as 2 x FOH + 2 monitors. You'd be lucky to squeeze that all out of £1500 but with patience, you could get close.
(Edit to add link to subs)
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