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I need a PA primer for duo


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I am posting this here, because I will be half of an acoustic duo, playing restaurants, restaurant, bar, and winery outdoor patios. 
Id prefer to spend under $1000 on a PA system. I have made myself dizzy looking at every column array or small traditional PA. I’ve asked two of the online stores about various array systems, with a peak wattage of 800-1400 watts. The salespeople at both stores told me I would probably need 2 (!) of them. What do you think? Why would I need two? 
Small traditional PAs, mixer and two speakers on a stick, wattage seems to be from 400-600watts. 
for an outdoor event with 100 people, what would you use?

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I've have great results with a Turbosound IP-2000. It's quite loud and sounds excellent with a balanced sound for my show, using tracks, guitar and vocals. I added a mixer to have reverb for my voice and acoustic guitar but it's worked quite well. I doubt you need two systems. I run mine mono and it sounds terrific on all my gigs. It works well for crowds up to 200-300 people. I might steer clear of the IP 3000 as it sounds problematic. A friend who does a similar act in Georgia likes the new E V system although it's not cheap. I prefer a system with a sub over a pair of full range speakers for better projection with low end bass, drums, etc.

 

Riley Wilson

www.guitarmadesimpler.com

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Posted (edited)

Thanks! I talked with salesmen at Sweetwater and MF, and both told me I needed 2 of those to reach 100 people in close setting outdoors. I realize I need more outdoors (restaurant patio or winery type venue,) but I didn’t think I needed two. 
Riley, what sold the ip 2000 to you? I think the wattage on the ip1000 is the same, and the spl on the 2000 is just a few decibels above the 1000.

I should add, we are two guitars and two voices.
 

Edited by wkendhacker
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I faced this issue a number of years ago...and now I have three sets of powered speakers [all Alto...lower power than the 'big names' but clear and easy to handle] and a Fishman SoloAmp [the older version, the newer one has more wattage]...the Fishman, aka the Fish-stick, was my first shot at a solo/duo PA...it is great for small venues and small outdoor gigs. It is optimized for vocal/guitar, but only has 2 channels, and not much bottom end if you want to pump techno on your breaks :rolleyes2:

But larger outdoor gigs and duo work got me into 2 powered 10" speakers and a little Yamaha 4 channel mixer.. I then decided I needed monitoring, and bought a pair of powered 8"...these are actually very good for some outdoor work as well, but woefully weak for bass. Then, as I prepared to expand my solo work early last year [and branch into duo and later a full combo[, I added a pair of powered 15" and airlift stands....and then the pandemic hit.

You should not need two linear arrays...never trust salespeople!

For a duo, you are looking at 2 instruments and 2 mics, plus a channel for 'break music' off your phone or iPad.

You really do not need 1400 watts [oh, I'm sure the 'clean headroom nazis' will be in here shortly😜]; 600-1000 watts is more than enough. Find two powered 10" [or 12"] speakers with ~500W each...actually 300W each is probably plenty [that is what I run]. A good 6 channel mixer [Allen and Heath, Yamaha, Mackie, etc] with some DSP fx [reverb and maybe some chorus for the guitars], 2 cables, 2 stands and there you are.

You should be able to assemble a rig like that for under $1000...much less if you buy used.

Some of the newer linear arrays have excellent mixing capabilities...and some do not.

 

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I gave up gigging a few years ago because I was burned out, but partly because set up and tear down took so much time. I’m lazy and like to get to bed before 3am. 
The column is awfully seductive to me. Still, I don’t want to have to sell an insufficient stick and get a more traditional set up later. I’d prefer to do this once. 

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1 hour ago, modulusman said:

You might check out the Electro voice evolve 30m. Electro-Voice Evolve 30M Powered Column Loudspeaker System - Black | Sweetwater It has a built in mixer. Sounds great!  I have one but just use it to play music at home. My band is planning on using 2 evolve 50s at a guest ranch gig that starts next month.

that is a great unit, but hard to find used, and 'new' it runs above the OPs budget....

LD Systems Maui line and the Harbinger Array are worth a look...

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Posted (edited)

I got the IP-2000 after reading all the reviews and seeing a friend here in DFW with the same unit raving about it. I had a Bose L1 Model II with Tone Match before and I did an indoor dance with about 150 people and heard complaints it wasn't very loud. The Bose sounds good but it really doesn't cut through like a conventional speaker. The 2000 has a 12" sub and it sounds musical while moving a lot of air. It's smooth when played at almost all levels and it's quite loud when it needs to be. I've had Yamaha MS 400's, JBL 315's, the Bose, Line 6 Stagematch L2T and even a Fender Passport for my gigs during the past two decades. If you aren't running a drum machine or tracks and don't plan on it, the 1000 will probably work well, too. 

   One more thing- when running tracks, I prefer the bass to be below ear level. Like many who have been playing for decades, I tend to get louder as the gig wears on. With a sub on the floor, my ears tire a bit slower. The L2T was wonderful but on a stand, it was right at ear level and tough to take after a couple hours.

 

Edited by Gigmeister-8YMGf
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Thanks to all for the great advice and suggestions. 
I THINK I have it narrowed down to the Maui 11 G2, or the Bose L1 Pro 8. 
All things being equal, I would most likely buy the Bose, but I can’t be sure that the Bose will be loud enough cover 60-100 people sitting on a restaurant patio. 
the specs say it produces a max of 118dB to the Maui’s 124, but who knows whether that is accurate or not. 

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I just bought a Harbinger m200 bt PA. Inexpensive at $350. from GC. Its loud but not wall shaking and in my experience has a clean sound and the mixer and assignable outputs with the choice of a stage monitor/PA mode and a PA mode work for my needs. I'm currently running it with 2 combo amps controlled by the mixer and 2 MFX processors in different channels or both MFX through a single channel.  It seems to be a really versatile unit and for a Po boy like me an alternative to the pricey, and great Bose equipment.

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13 hours ago, wkendhacker said:

Thanks to all for the great advice and suggestions. 
I THINK I have it narrowed down to the Maui 11 G2, or the Bose L1 Pro 8. 
All things being equal, I would most likely buy the Bose, but I can’t be sure that the Bose will be loud enough cover 60-100 people sitting on a restaurant patio. 
the specs say it produces a max of 118dB to the Maui’s 124, but who knows whether that is accurate or not. 

The electro voice evolve 30 I mentioned earlier is on sale for the same price as the bose pro 8. It has a better mixer and and has a max spl of 123 db. The bose doesn't list the spl because it probably sucks. 

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