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One of my smaller systems I call the van system was put together from some stuff I got in a buyout. I used it on an outdoor show 5 years ago and was so impressed I now use it more than my EAW system and refuse to break the system up because it is such a great combo. It's 4 Yorkville LS 608s and two Peavey SP4Xs powered by 2 Peavey GPS 2600s and an old Peavey VSX crossover, it's quite impressive for what it is. The 4 subs cost me 900 used and the SP4Xs which I planned on selling many times, cost next to nothing. If one needed much more than this simple system provides the next step is Pro, EAW etc.

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I'd bet they got more than we did, and I know that it was hired sound - it was a full festival rig set up for a 3-day weekend. I won't be spending enough to keep up with a "big rig" - just enough so that we can sound as we should for these outdoor deals and large ballrooms.




I don't want to get into too much detail, but suffice it to say that I can justify $10K additional based on what we're getting paid. Corporate events, weddings, festivals, occasional club gigs - decent-paying venues pretty much all the way around.




Good thought! That would certainly make adding amps/stacks a LOT easier.

 

 

Yep, we're in a similar situation with private events. We do mainly weddings with some country clubs, community and corporate events. Then during the winter it's a few neighborhood bars. Anyway, if you have those kind of gigs, graduating to the next rung or two up the ladder is probably a good move. I chose an all RCF FOH and monitor system and it's served us well for several years now. For the occasional large outdoor events I can double up with similar, but not exact, FOH.

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It depends IMHO.


If you play more often for 150-250 inside than you do for 250-500 outside, then a good powered PRX system (2xPRX612 over 2xPRX618sS-XLF's) is a great setup and likely rent-able locally if you want to double up on larger gigs.


If you play more larger outside shows, I would go with 4xSRX722 over 2 SRX728.


There is a HUGE difference in size between these two rigs (and price), but then, there is a HUGE difference between covering 250 people inside vs 500 people outside.

 

 

 

+1

 

I run both of these systems and each serves it's purpose well. I opted for the 712's and 715's. They are scalable, work well side by side and can be set up for delay/front fills if needed. For the majority of my indoor gigs

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"If you play more larger outside shows, I would go with 4xSRX722 over 2 SRX728."

I would kill to have a SRX rig and agree with you but with an exception. Ten years ago that would be enough. Today you'd want 4 or 6 of the 728's with 4 722's. Seems like everyone wants a 5 string bass (or 6) and a B3 with a Leslie in the band.

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Without knowing what the op's mains actually are its hard to recommend anything. Here are some random thoughts on the situation:

No cheap speakers, for small Or for large gigs they just don't sound good, especially when pushed.

 

How many of these outdoor gigs do you do, realistically? Honestly? It isnt about buying way more gear its also about transporting and storing it for a long time between gigs.

 

The promoter should have hired sound for you, if not you shoulda hired "racks and stacks", just mains and you bring the rest. Way more cost effective.

 

I bring a pa for my band that is proportional to the $ I get paid. If its a bar gig (and there are very few) its a very basic system with decent but not expensive gear. Wedding and corporate gets a bigger show.

 

70ft wide stage? On big stages one mistake is everyone spreads out. It causes people to not hear each other as well. the all the players will play louder to overcompensate, stage volume gets too loud and the foh mix suffers. Keep the band physically close,even bring the stacks in too. The main thing is to keep the band feeling comfortable, when they get squirmy then their volume goes up.

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How many of these outdoor gigs do you do, realistically? Honestly? It isnt about buying way more gear its also about transporting and storing it for a long time between gigs.

 

It's not just the outdoor gigs, it's also the large indoor ballrooms. In the summer, we do a decent number of outside shows - three more in the next 6 weeks booked at the moment. We also have a fairly regular gig (every 6-8 weeks) that is either in a largish indoor space or outdoor based on weather. That's a dinner-style venue, so volume is decidedly not the goal, but even coverage and sound quality is important.

 

The promoter should have hired sound for you,

 

100% agreed. Not happy about the way this one went down, but sometimes you get stuck.

 

if not you shoulda hired "racks and stacks", just mains and you bring the rest. Way more cost effective.

 

Hindsight is always 20/20, right?

 

I bring a pa for my band that is proportional to the $ I get paid. If its a bar gig (and there are very few) its a very basic system with decent but not expensive gear. Wedding and corporate gets a bigger show.

 

We're more corporate/wedding than club. What I've been using is Yamaha Club S115Vs over JRX 18" subs (junk). OK for the smaller rooms, but starting to wear a bit thin, and certainly can't keep up when we hit larger spaces or outdoors.

 

70ft wide stage?

 

Tent was 70x120; stage was more like 35-40' - still fairly wide.

 

On big stages one mistake is everyone spreads out. It causes people to not hear each other as well. the all the players will play louder to overcompensate, stage volume gets too loud and the foh mix suffers. Keep the band physically close,even bring the stacks in too. The main thing is to keep the band feeling comfortable, when they get squirmy then their volume goes up.

 

We run pretty good monitors (5 total mixes), so this isn't generally much of a problem. Frankly, it's easier for me to run quieter when I don't have a trumpet or trombone playing right in my ear.

 

One comment I got from an audience member was that he couldn't hear my guitar as much as he would have liked.....that's not the normal outcome from a volume war.;)

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I'd look into the powered JBLs. Power to sound to weight, they are some of the better units available for bands and small sound companies. The guy I work for on occassion has 2 of the 12s and 2 of the 15s and the 15s are as light or lighter than my old Yammy SM12IVs. Mostly used for monitors but great for smaller gigs. Just yesterday used the 12 as monitors and the 15s as SOS for an outdoor 6pc jazz gig. For the larger indoor and outdoors gigs, our (his ;>) stacks are either two JBL SRX718s with either 2 of the powered QSC tops (12 or 15 2-ways) or for the bigger gigs outdoors, 3 SRX718s with all four tops with the 2 15 QSCs on the outside and the 2 12s in the center stacked for a 4 top unit. With the 2 pairs of QSCs and the 6 subs, this is very scalable. The subs are powered with 1 or 2 QSC 1804s, depending. Part of the outdoor rig is getting the speakers at the right height. Scaffolding for the tops when it's 4 tops a side, sometimes using some custom folding platforms that fit over the subs but can also hold their weight, with some straped down Husky X-workstands for non-scaffolding gigs. Those platforms and stands make a big difference.

 

Boomerweps

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Sounds like you do very similar gigs to what I do. Upgrade the mains for sure, look at JBL MRX or even SRX, the 712/718 combo would be a great match and you can double up if needed. I'd even do the 715 over 1 or 2 718's per side and don't double up for outdoor stuff since it's plenty. All the cool kids are getting the VRX912's but I'm not cool and I don't even want to be cool. Power them with something like a pair of XTi4000's or QSC GX7's (one for mid/high and one for sub) and use a DBX 223XL crossover. Stereo biamp basically.

 

I wouldnt overthink this a whole lot, everyone on here has an opinion especially when it isn't their $ to spend.

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I would suggest (4) ZXa5 60s with (4) LS801P subs. I used half of that this past weekend outdoors and it worked fairly well. Wish I had had two more tops and subs....that would have been just about perfect for what we were doing.

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True, with an MRX system you should look at GX5 because the sub is a 4 ohm box.

 

This last weekend I had 3 private parties with my band ECT, the main system was EV SX200 over JBL MRX518 1 per side powered by a Yamaha P5000 using the internal crossover filters. 1st gig was a golf tournament party outdoors to about 100 people, 2nd gig was a high end birthday party indoors to about 125, 3rd gig was a wedding for about 150 indoors. All 3 gigs it was the right size rig, even had to throttle back a litte for the last 2. In the future I'd have prefered the SX300s or something that asthetically looked less beat up, all in all it was the right size.

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I'd look into the powered JBLs.

 

 

Trouble with powered cabinets:

 

1) I already have all of my amps, crossovers, and speaker cables - marked and color-coded.

2) I don't have a bunch of power cables.

3) I already have the band trained to help set up and hook up a passive system.

 

Simply put, I'm looking for the simplest upgrade I can find - switching from passive to powered cabinets adds a whole new level of changes that I'd really rather not address, either in process or cost.

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Sounds like you do very similar gigs to what I do. Upgrade the mains for sure, look at JBL MRX or even SRX, the 712/718 combo would be a great match and you can double up if needed. I'd even do the 715 over 1 or 2 718's per side and don't double up for outdoor stuff since it's plenty. All the cool kids are getting the VRX912's but I'm not cool and I don't even want to be cool. Power them with something like a pair of XTi4000's or QSC GX7's (one for mid/high and one for sub) and use a DBX 223XL crossover. Stereo biamp basically.


I wouldnt overthink this a whole lot, everyone on here has an opinion especially when it isn't their $ to spend.

 

 

That's what I'm looking for. Already have amps/EQs/crossover (223 XL), and I'm already running stereo bi-amp.

 

Current amps are Crown XLS; (3) 402s, a 602, one 1500 for a pair of monitors). What's the minimum swap-out or add-on I could do in the amp rack to accomodate the MRXs?

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I would suggest (4) ZXa5 60s with (4) LS801P subs. I used half of that this past weekend outdoors and it worked fairly well. Wish I had had two more tops and subs....that would have been just about perfect for what we were doing.

 

 

Excuse my ignorance - but which manufacturer are those?

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Well, I took a knife to a gunfight last night, and I don't want to get stuck in this situation again. Played an outdoor festival with my band (8-piece horn group); large covered area, 70'x120', open sides. Unfortunately, the guy who booked the show and said we would bring PA didn't understand the capabilities of my club rig; to make a long story short, I show up with a pair of basic JBL 1x18" subs and Yamaha Club series mid/high cabs on poles for a gig that needed 4-5x that much. Not even close to having enough for the space. We survived the night and the promoter seemed satisfied, but the band on the other stage just made us look like amateurs in comparison.

 

 

How many people were at this gig? What system did the "other band" have?

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That's what I'm looking for. Already have amps/EQs/crossover (223 XL), and I'm already running stereo bi-amp.


Current amps are Crown XLS; (3) 402s, a 602, one 1500 for a pair of monitors). What's the minimum swap-out or add-on I could do in the amp rack to accomodate the MRXs?

 

 

 

 

It would be a bit of a challenge to power a SRX 712/718 combo with those amps. If one had too, he could bridge them and run them all 8 ohms bridged to each box. Personally I wouldn't want to do that. Plenty of decent used amps like QSC PLX3402's and 3602's if the budget couldn't support new speakers and amps.

 

I will say though that the SRX combo is a really nice sounding system! Also pretty easy to move around too. If you want the lighter SRX or even MRX you will have to move quickly as these boxes are being fased out and replaced with ferrite magnet woofers.

MRX replacements are call PRX400 series, SRX replacements are call STX. The STX series are now starting to show up.

 

Myself I would rather have the SRX over the STX because of the weigh or lack of it. The tops are not to bad but the sub jumped 20 pounds.

 

For some other lines to check out, EV has some nice stuff too. QRX and passive ZX3 or ZX5. EAW JF260 or 290 sound nice and have several sub choices to choose from. My issues with any of these others is only the physical size or weight of the box.

 

Pretty much any of these speakers will be an upgrade (not so sure about the MRX/PRX) to what you have. Any of these will most likely require a amp swap too over your current crop. Again, there are some decent used amps out there too.

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Hmm, XLS402s make nice monitor amps so I'd leave them in place.

I'm not sure what a 1500 is, is that the newer XLS1500?

 

So the 1500 is rated 300/575 @ 4, the 602 IIRC is 400/600. Put the 1500 on tops and the 602 on subs.

 

Personally if you're going to upgrade this would be a good time to loose the amp rack wieght, one option is to go all PRX which is great. Another is to replace all your heavy amps with light ones. Sell off the 402s and replace with 1 carvin DCM2004L 4 channel amp (I have one, love it, 10lbs and 4ch of 300w @ 8). That looses 70lbs right there. Use the remaining XLS1500 as mon 5/6.

 

Sell the 602 and buy 1 or 2 XLS2500s, use these for subs ch1 and tops ch2. With this setup you can easily drive 1 over 1 or 2 over 2 per side. Total wieght loss will be astounding.

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How many people were at this gig? What system did the "other band" have?

 

 

Thousands in total - it was a large festival on Lake Michigan.

 

The "other" system was a full pro touring rig - 8 or 10 2x18 folded horn subs plus a three nicely flown mid-high arrays, or so it appeared from where I was.

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Hmm, XLS402s make nice monitor amps so I'd leave them in place.

 

 

Agreed - one is doing that right now, and seems just about perfect. The pair gives me four wedge mixes - anything more is in-ear.

 

 

I'm not sure what a 1500 is, is that the newer XLS1500?

 

 

Yes.

 

 

Put the 1500 on tops and the 602 on subs.


[...]


Sell the 602 and buy 1 or 2 XLS2500s, use these for subs ch1 and tops ch2. With this setup you can easily drive 1 over 1 or 2 over 2 per side. Total wieght loss will be astounding.

 

 

Makes sense.

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