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Am I silly to want a PA system for home use?


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I'm not extremely knowledgeable of the speaker/PA market, but I've got this crazy idea to get a PA system for home theater use (music listening, playing and TV/movies), and I can't figure out if it's stupid or not.

 

There's just something about a big PA system vs "normal" speakers that sounds so much more forceful/powerful, like they're not even breaking a sweat pumping out the sound, which I suppose is the point of a PA. I just love how music sounds through a PA. I also think it'd look pretty sweet having PA cabinets in front of the couch rather than some puny little boxes, but that's not the main reason.

 

Does anyone use a PA system for home use, or think I'm an idiot for wanting to? Do reasonably powerful (2x500kW or so) PA systems still sound nice when used at a fraction of their potential? Any advice on what brands to look at for speakers/amps for this purpose? From the research I've done so far I'm looking at JBL/Peavey for speakers, and maybe Beringer for a good value on an amp.

 

My band also sometimes needs a PA system and we are currently always having to borrow one from someone else so it wouldn't just be sitting in front of my couch all the time.

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Been there, done that.

 

I lived in the upper flat and brought the PA upstairs to build and tune up a few times back in the day. I moved it myself. 218 cabinets were the hardest. I had to flip them end over end to get them up the steps.

Once I got everything up there, it sounded great! The neighbors deserved it because they had a CB base station with a linear amp and reverb that got into all my stuff including the TV and telephone. He backed off the CB after that.

 

I don't think I ever want to do that again. That WAS stupid. Unless I had some powered stuff that was relatively small.

 

I have had my present PA in my living room not too long ago to repair stuff and tune it up. My wife was really upset while that was going on. You couldn't move around too well even though I have almost 800sf of space.

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First of all, the average bar-band grade of PA is not "audiophile quality" by any stretch of the imagination.

 

If you want a loud and powerful speaker system for a stereo - that's cool, but don't throw your money away on PA just for that. You could get some decent stereo speakers and add a couple of STEREO SYSTEM subs if you are after that impact from the use of a subwoofer. (I never could stand the 1 sub with "stereo voice coils", I prefer 2 separate subs in 2 separate cabinets.) Look into Audiophile speakers

 

 

Regarding your band needing a PA system. What kind of PA system does your band need for these gigs? In other words, what kind of music do you play, what are the number of people who turnout for your gigs when you need to borrow or rent PA, and how many of these gigs do you average each year?

 

If you only need to borrow PA for a few gigs per year- it's simply not worth the investment. You'll be better off writing off those gigs as "advertisement" gigs - and using the gig pay to pay or the PA rental and sound engineer.

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i dont see anything wrong with it. I had a neighbor -the old single party type dude got an inheritance and went out and bought a really nice pair of home speakers. ( I cant remember the name but he spent 3k) Well this guy just wanted to rock out with his 70's rock and ended up destroying his speakers and amplifier. I ended up selling him a couple of old sp-2's and a cs 800 for $400 and a new Audio source preamp ( he paid close to retail for that)

He was stoked he could hear his tunes whill he played golf ( he built a 3 hole golf course on the back acreage. Of course when he got a girlfriend out to the garage they went. i dont see anything wrong using PA speakers for your stereo but I would have a dedicated set.

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I'm not extremely knowledgeable of the speaker/PA market, but I've got this crazy idea to get a PA system for home theater use (music listening, playing and TV/movies), and I can't figure out if it's stupid or not.


There's just something about a big PA system vs "normal" speakers that sounds so much more forceful/powerful, like they're not even breaking a sweat pumping out the sound, which I suppose is the point of a PA. I just love how music sounds through a PA. I also think it'd look pretty sweet having PA cabinets in front of the couch rather than some puny little boxes, but that's not the main reason.


Does anyone use a PA system for home use, or think I'm an idiot for wanting to? Do reasonably powerful (2x500kW or so) PA systems still sound nice when used at a fraction of their potential? Any advice on what brands to look at for speakers/amps for this purpose? From the research I've done so far I'm looking at JBL/Peavey for speakers, and maybe Beringer for a good value on an amp.


My band also sometimes needs a PA system and we are currently always having to borrow one from someone else so it wouldn't just be sitting in front of my couch all the time.

 

 

The idea of a PA for home use is fine, and can be lots of fun, but there are a few thoughts to consider; "pro and con".

 

1. If you entertain (house parties/back-yard bar-b-q's/ jams with your buddies) a PA can see lots of practical use, as long as you don't alienate your neighbours.

2. A decent small PA system, is probably more affordable than a high-quality home entertainment audio system.

3. Home-theatre; you need to focus on vocal intelligibility. Excessive volume and distortion, are your enemies.

4. PA's are designed to spread sound over a large area, and cover lots of people. That might be cool for your parties/ band practice, but is it practical or necessary for your home-theatre needs?

5. Your band; a PA might be a no-brainer here. Depends on the venue size, attendance, type of music played, and whether or not you need the PA for vocals only, etc.

 

A buddy of mine had a 12 foot screen for his home theatre, and a pair of Altec-Lansing A7 "Voice-of-the-theatre" loudspeakers, in his livingroom. Total insanity.,,,,utter and complete insanity. Mind-blowing when you're watching fighter jets taking off on the deck of the aircraft carrier in "Top Gun". While he thought it was "cool", I thought it was simply awful. My ears hurt when I left, and it didn't take me long to get the hell outta there.

 

My home theatre audio system, consisted of a pair of satellite speakers, and a 350w Velodyne ULD-15 subwoofer, and it was delightful to listen to, whether I was watching a movie, or a concert.I was always very careful about setting to crossover, to perfectly blend the sub to the satellites in as natural a way as possible. Nothing I hate more than a cheap, boomy sub, or any sub that is overused or prominant.

 

For your stated needs, and unless your band specifically needs a pair of subs and 12" tops, I'd consider a DJ-type set-up,,,, something like this Yorkville eXcursion series.

 

http://www.yorkville.com/products.asp?type=29&cat=41

 

Bob

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Keep in mind that for surround you will need at least 5 speakers and the associated amps, either built ins in powered speakers or amp channels. If you plan on using the boxes for PA you will need to focus on the needs of the PA as home speakers rarely have the ability to reach and hold the SPL necessary for live music. Interfacing a PA to do surround gets expensive real quick as you will need a surround decoder that is 1/4" or XLR compatable. The other option is to use a stand alone home theater unit and a DI that converts RCA to balanced like the ART Cleanbox(times 3 to get all 5 channels.) It can be done but not cheaply! Rather than passive speakers, you might want to consider powered boxes. Any of the leading brands will do fine. Might want to add QSC HPR's to your list. Powered speakers have processing and limiters built in and would be easier to assemble/disassemble.

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i think one needs to look at the HF dispersion/pattern/throw of typical PA speakers and either deal with those advantages/disadvantages or buy home speakers.

 

right now i have a pair of clubs setup in my shop. they sound great in the next room through the doorway. seriously; 25' away they beat the hell out of the advents normally run in my shop. closer than 25' the advents win hands down. think about it.

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Here's some more thoughts to ponder.

 

PA speakers tend to be long throw: ie they sound good from a long distance, like in a field or a theatre. They also tend to be more efficient, and quite large.

 

Home audio speakers tend to be a medium throw: they sound best from several feet away. IME, home audio speakers also beat PA speakers at normal to loud in-home volumes. PA, of course, can get louder. My home audio system, in surround, gets plenty loud!

 

Recording monitors tend to be set for near field, they sound best from a few feet away. These, btw, make kick-ass computer speakers!

 

Cheers.

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I hate to encourage anything from Bose, but a home situation might be one place where a few of the L1's would sound pretty good.

 

 

On another note. Just for {censored}s & grins I hooked up a PLX3602 with 2 LS1208's on my home stereo. I used the Kenwood speakers that come with the stereo for the tops. It actually sounded pretty good. With a little DJ Magic Mike it only took 30 minutes for the cops to show up.

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I've been using PA gear for home stereo* and shop sound rig for approx. 3 decades.

 

That's part of the reason I live in an area where the population is approx. 2.3 ppl per sq. mile.

 

*I don't actually live in a dwelling that could be considered a house, so "home stereo" doesn't apply.

 

For about a decade Liz and I spent approx. 200 days a year on the road in a 40ft. coach, which was purpose built for Aerosmith... which sported an impressive playback system within the coach... but it wasn't PA gear... can't remember what it was... some exotic European system.

 

And... it doesn't seem like being bathed in concert level SPL for a few decades has taken any toll on my hearing since I have "remarkably good" hearing for a 53yo. But, I do believe the quality of the SPL is a significant factor. IOW: If you like your tunes at a real level, spend the money to get it real clean.

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purpose built for Aerosmith... which sported an impressive playback system within the coach... but it wasn't PA gear... can't remember what it was... some exotic European system.


 

 

Mark,

 

Were they Klein & Hummel speakers by any chance? or, electronics by FM-Acoustics, out of Switzerland??? Breath-taking stuff if it was.

 

Bob

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Mark,


Were they Klein & Hummel speakers by any chance? or, electronics by FM-Acoustics, out of Switzerland??? Breath-taking stuff if it was.


Bob

 

They weren't K&H for sure... I'd have remembered that... the N.A. K&H rep and I are long-standing Namm acquaintances.

 

What my vague memory recalls... it was Swiss-ish... with 'technik' in the name.

 

Whatever it was, I remember it was some exotic integrated "smart" type system... stupidly complex. Sounded GOOD though... if you could figure out where the play button was (took a 14yo. to figure that out for the first time).

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I'm not extremely knowledgeable of the speaker/PA market, but I've got this crazy idea to get a PA system for home theater use (music listening, playing and TV/movies), and I can't figure out if it's stupid or not.


There's just something about a big PA system vs "normal" speakers that sounds so much more forceful/powerful, like they're not even breaking a sweat pumping out the sound, which I suppose is the point of a PA. I just love how music sounds through a PA. I also think it'd look pretty sweet having PA cabinets in front of the couch rather than some puny little boxes, but that's not the main reason.


Does anyone use a PA system for home use, or think I'm an idiot for wanting to? Do reasonably powerful (2x500kW or so) PA systems still sound nice when used at a fraction of their potential? Any advice on what brands to look at for speakers/amps for this purpose? From the research I've done so far I'm looking at JBL/Peavey for speakers, and maybe Beringer for a good value on an amp.


My band also sometimes needs a PA system and we are currently always having to borrow one from someone else so it wouldn't just be sitting in front of my couch all the time.

 

 

 

Get a pair of LSR6332s, a decent power amp, and a single LSR6312P. Forget the PA application.

 

http://www.jblpro.com/catalog/General/ProductFamily.aspx?FId=6&MId=5

 

Rick

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In the end, it's all about money and priorities. JTR speakers seem to do a pretty good job handling home theater and pro sound with the same or similar products. Expensive though! I'm saving for some ZX1's but that's just my budget. I would probably buy the best monitoring system I could afford at this point if I were you and concentrate on playing. You can still listen to the TV or radio on it if you like. Nice video ! Good luck!

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Jumping in late here, but still jumping in...

 

About 8 years ago, I first got my first real PA system- a Samson SD8 (8-ch. mixer amp) and a pair of 12" wedge monitors. Kinda puny, but when I used it for pool and back yard parties, I got lots of complements about how great it sounded (both small bands and recorded music,) as compared to home audio systems or boom boxes used outdoors. I still have a 150-watt amp and pair of 12" wedges, and that still gets me complements in the same kind of use, as compared to home audio systems at what I am guessing is very optimistic power ratings of 200 to 500 watts.

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