Jump to content

PA advice - active mains/subs for a 5 piece working coverband

Recommended Posts

  • Members

I promise I've searched a bit for answers to a lot of this. I'm a somewhat gear savvy guitar player who knows a little bit about PA gear but nothing crazy. I'll try to keep the details straight forward.




five piece cover band, 2 guitar rhythm section and a lead singer, plus two backups for harmonies. Some loud songs, hard rock like ACDC and other bar band money maker and lots of bass heavy disco and funk, but we're all semi-pro at least and keep our volume under control. Size of the venues vary but at usually as much as half of the shows, even the small ones have sound provided. We need a portable PA to power the 100-200 people bars and clubs that we still have to bring our own sound to %50-%60 of the time. We hardly ever play outdoors. We don't do a lot of corporate or private gigs yet but we'd like to. We work steady and play twice a month or more and bank between $500-$600 gig, nothing too crazy...


Here's what we have now:




Any ideas?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

The bass-heavy stuff makes me a bit nervous. I would try adding subs first, they will take a load off your hi-paks.

I would be interested to know what your JBL's are, unless they are very old, or SF, T something or JRX, those EV's may not be a step up. Model numbers on those and your amps would help.


You may try renting a x-over and a pair of subs and keep what you have for now.


FWIW, these get pretty good reviews.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I use the PRX 512s and 518subs. They work great for the types of gigs you describe. And they are cheap now as they've been discontinued and replaced by the PRX 600 series.


The subs aren't going to give you super dance-club style thump. If you need that much thump you might want to look at the 718 sub which is 1000 watts, IIRC. But based on what you described--which sounds very much like what my band does--, the 518s are probably going to be enough.


I don't think a 12" speaker on the tops is too small. In fact, when I purchased the PRXs, I looked at using the 515s for the tops (with a 15" speaker) and I thought the sound was a bit muddy when paired with the subs.


But the PRXs are lightweight and efficient and sound very good. I don't see how you can do much better, especially at the prices you can get them for right now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

1.If you are using subs then 12 inch mains are a good option.

2.Your budget is fine.

3. The specs to look for are frequency response at plus/minus 3db and SPL The link you posted for the EV sub isn't right. I don't have any experience with EV powered speakers but if you post on the live sound forum someone there will. I have the PRX512ms you mentioned and they are a great speaker for the money. Since they are being discontinued you could probably get some good deals if you can find some. If you could find some PRX718 subs they would be a good match. The newer 600 series from JBL are getting good reviews http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/PRX612M/ http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/PRX618S/ QSC also makes a good powered speaker in your price range. If you can find some HPR series 122 and either the 151 or 181 sub.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Repost your post over in Live Sound. There are a bunch of guys that hang there that can help.


We use PRX512s over MRX518s and we are very happy with the sound quality and volume. We are a loud, bass heavy trio and can cover 200 without a problem.


Subs should be the first thing you look for. They will help the tops but eliminating the lows (crossover required). Are your JBLs JRX series by any chance?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Have you thought about Yorkville? Lots of people swear by the LS700P and LS800P


I have a total yorkville setup based around that...


Here's my current PA setup...


Front End/Monitors

2 -Yorkville Unity15 top cabinets

2 - LS800P subs

4 - YX12 monitors


12 lights across the back with truss' and stands, 2 lights at the front...




4 - SM58's

3 - SM57's

3 - SM81's


Yorkville Powermax16 mixer/FX Rack/150' snake


Peavey 31 band EX with FLS

Peavey 2 x 15 band EQ

Alesis Quadraverb (Old school)

Rocktron 2 channel compressor (holy old school)

Yorkville Unity Processor (crossover)

Peavey 31 band EQ with FLS

Peavey 31 band EQ with FLS

Peavey 2 x 15band EQ with FLS

Yorkville AP800W Power amp for monitors


(Everything above the Crossover, is for insert channels)




The board sends 800W to each of the Unity15's, each sub has 1500W of power, and the 800W power amp is for the monitors. I do a 2 channel mix for monitors. Bass/drums share the same mix, and the other 2 share a mix.


Now this is all a hobby/weekend thing, I do sound for bands at a couple watering holes, mainly to support the live music scene. I'm definitely not getting rich by any means. ($200 - $350/night depending on travel) It works our really well, and it's been more than enough gear for any situation in the past 7 years.


I'm upgrading the drums from a trigger setup to a Sennheiser E604 Drum Pack tomorrow:




This includes:


1 x E602, Kick mic

4 x E604, Tom mics

2 x E614 Overhear Condensor mics


Just under $1000 with cords and tax. Cheaper options are available, as are more expensive. I just want to do the best job I can, and have great sound. Nothing makes me happier than to receive great compliments from the band when they finish their set, in how they can hear everything perfectly onstage. I can't remember the last time I've had an instance of feedback, and I can blow the doors off any bar under 500 people.


It cost a bit, but the work is pretty regular, and like I said, I've always been of the motto, if you're going to do it, do it right. I love that thump of the bass drum, and rock n roll really needs that ballsy low end.


Surprisingly, it all (not counting the lights) loads up into my truck (Dakota quad cab), and I still have the passenger seat free.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I second on the Yorkville comment. I can't say enough great things about them. For close to 5 years we've been using 2-EF800P tops and LS800P subs. We use an Allen and Heath 16:2 MixWiz. Over 350 gigs and only two easy repairs. It is powerful (4600 watts entire system), loud, powerful... and very clear sounding. Certainly a great value but maybe out of your budget (They go for $1100 per box). My second choice would be QSC's K12's. Great speakers and very affordable ($1600 for a pair).

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...