Let's talk floor monitors

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by powmetalbassist, Dec 12, 2013.


  1. powmetalbassist

    powmetalbassist Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2010
    Location:
    London, Ontario, Canada
    Alright, so I joined this hard rock band a few months ago (loud drummer, 2 guitarists, vocalist, and me) We practice once a week and they have a nice PA setup, minus floor monitors. We were talking about getting some so we could hear the vocalist better (Vocals are the only thing going through the PA right now) I just need some info on them.

    Powered? Non-Powered?

    How many Watts for a loud rock band?/How much sensitivity?

    What is a descent price for monitors (powered or on-powered)

    Any brands I should avoid?

    We're looking at spending up to around $300-350, but are somewhat flexible with that number.

    Lets talk about monitors for practice and live.
  2. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2002
    Media:
    1
    Location:
    Columbia River Gorge
    In my rig I have around 600 in each floor monitor... JBL PRX 612M, powered and they rock. ...that was buying used. For 300 to 350 probably something used and powered and hopefully not beat to death. If you have a spare channel of power in your PA the a used set of decent passive PA tops off Craigslist. Yamaha Club Series or similar. Not thrashed they seem to pull 400 a pair off the Portland, OR List...

    So... iMO you will need to pony up more dough or get very lucky.

    In general the powered stuff works better for my uses. My power cable system uses 2 cords with in-line outlets. 1 across the back for backline and 1 across the front for PA, 3 floor monitors, floor boards and LED lighting. That solves the myriad extension cord problem. As there is an outlet about every 6 feet.
  3. kikstand454

    kikstand454 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2012
    By contrast, my band does just fine with two homemade 12" wedges and the drummer has an old peavey bass amp that he lines out to.
    were all super happy with it.
  4. andawun

    andawun

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Peavey 112 TS or TM model unpowered. I think the TM monitors are lighter and still sound great. You can find them used between $50 and $100.. Seismic Audio has some great deals on ebay.
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  6. kikstand454

    kikstand454 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2012
    X2
    And seismic monitors are just fine for the OP's needs I believe.
    Good idea.
  7. bassmeknik

    bassmeknik

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    Location:
    Fair Haven, MI
    Years ago I bought a pair of Sonic brand wedges for $50, scrapped all the drivers (sold the ok stuff on CL) and crossovers and put in MCM woofers and tweeter horns and Parts-express crossover components. I now have 2 great wedges for small to medium stages that cost about $175 total. I bought a power amp (also from CL) for $125 and my monitor rig is also suitable for FOH in a small coffee house type gig. The full system (2 wedges and 1 stereo power amp) cost about $300 and works very well.

    I have also built several wedge monitors over the years and use one as my vocal monitor at my pop rock band's gigs. If you are not handy with tools buying a set of used wedges and upgrading the drivers is cheap and easy. You don't need expensive drivers for vocal wedges unless you are performing at excessive stage volumes. My MCM woofers in the Sonic wedges were $17.99 each and the tweeter horns (separate horn and driver) cost about $8.00 each. Crossovers cost more than the tweeters but together I have a good looking system that works well and cost little... YMMV
  8. bassmeknik

    bassmeknik

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    Location:
    Fair Haven, MI
    All my wedges (I have 4) use 12's for the woofer. It is a good size for a medium loud rock band on small stages IME.
  9. two fingers

    two fingers Loud Mouth Know It All Blowhard Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2005
    Wait. Before we go much further, are we talking $350 total for whatever system you end up with? Or $350 each?
  10. bassmeknik

    bassmeknik

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    Location:
    Fair Haven, MI
    The total for 2 wedges and a power amp. Used power amp and DIY wedges (or upgrade a used set of wedges. I got lucky and found a set of wedges that looked good but had blown drivers inside).
  11. bassmeknik

    bassmeknik

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    Location:
    Fair Haven, MI
    The entirely home made set I use have slightly upscale drivers that cost about $120 (wood, screws, paint, glue, drivers, and crossover) for each wedge ($240/pair). These will keep up with very loud stages no problem, but cost a bit more and still required woodworking skills to achieve that price (labor doesn't count when you DIY). These "better" wedges with a 1-12" will keep up with my guitarists 1-15" JBL powered monitor that cost about $400 for one wedge...
  12. bassmeknik

    bassmeknik

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    Location:
    Fair Haven, MI
    In fairness I achieved those prices by waiting several months and buying everything when on sale and with free shipping deals available during the holidays. This saved about 25% off the total cost. Also finding a good used power amp may be more difficult in some remote areas, or may cost more due to shipping fees if not available on CL. The price of good used power amps is plummeting in SE Michigan as there are lots of great new amps out there for about $300. This is driving the price of used units down under $150. Be patient and do your homework and I have no doubt you will reach your goals of a 2 wedge system with amp for $300-500.
  13. Biggbass

    Biggbass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2011
    Location:
    Planet Earth
    Floor wedges are a PITA for local bands running their own sound. Get a mixer that has enough AUX sends to support IEMS. No more feedback issues and you'll actually be able to hear your vocals, which will help your singers with pitch control and ease the strain on their voices.
  14. bassmeknik

    bassmeknik

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    Location:
    Fair Haven, MI
    While I agree in principle this is a costly option. IEM's are expensive and not realistic on your stated budget. There will be a learning curve when you start using vocal monitors competing with the instruments. Expect a few feedback issues till you figure out how to get the wedges dialed in properly and expect to do a basic monitor level test at every sound check. When we fire up our sound system after assembly the vocal monitors are set first then the levels noted then turned off to test the FOH mains alone. This includes each instruments' level in the mains. Then the monitors are brought to the previously established levels for the performance. Also very common for the guitarists to have to make adjustments for the sake of stage volume...
  15. BassCliff

    BassCliff

    Joined:
    May 17, 2012
    Location:
    So. Cal.
    Hi,

    What kind of amp(s) are you using for your current PA setup? Are you using a single amp/mixer and a pair of mains? You'll need at least one more amp to drive the monitors. How many monitors to you need? Do you all need your own monitor mix? Then you'll need and amp for each mix.

    Here's my little setup: I have a simple PA, a powered mixer (8 channels w/three 400w amps -- one for L/R mains and one for monitors), 2 main speakers, and 4 monitor wedges. We use only one monitor mix for simplicity sake. I bought these monitors years ago when they were on sale at Sam Ash for $100 each, Fender 1272XP model. They're not high-end but they sound good, get plenty loud, and are 16 ohm cabinets. When they are all connected together the amp sees a total load of 4 ohms.

    [​IMG]

    (Above image from GC used gear section, so it might disappear at any moment. ;))

    If you like, you can see pictures of my entire PA towards the end of THIS THREAD. <<Clicky.

    Thank you for your indulgence,

    BassCliff
  16. klokker

    klokker

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Steele City, NE
    We use a couple of old Peavey monitors as well. They're great especially if you are just running vocals. And you can't seem to be able to hurt them.

    I agree that floor monitors for a bar band doing their own sound are a PITA. In a small bar setting or some such, it seems we're usually better off without them.
  17. BassCliff

    BassCliff

    Joined:
    May 17, 2012
    Location:
    So. Cal.
    Hi,

    We've gone without monitors in very small, very quiet venues. We'll just turn the mains in toward us a bit. But the majority of the time monitors are pretty much a necessity if you really want to use your mains for mains and still hear your vocals. Once you've got the routine down, they're easy to setup and soundcheck.


    Thank you for your indulgence,

    BassCliff
  18. Fat Steve

    Fat Steve The poodle bites, the poodle chews it. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    Location:
    Ventura County
    This would of course be the dream scenario I assume, as IEMs are prohibitively expensive for all but the most elite of local bands. In fact, I always have a little laugh whenever I hear them suggested in a thread where the OP has already stated he could afford $300-350, which in IEM talk wouldn't even cover the in-ears, let alone the transmitters or receivers.

    OP: Find some used powered speakers. It will probably be the easiest option. If you are patient and look around, you should be able to find something to fit your budget.
  19. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Location:
    White Plains
    +1

    We're also using JBL PRX12's. We also use them as mains for really small venues, we normally run a pair of the PRX15's for mains. They are all really nice.

    I've heard good things about QSC K series stuff too.
  20. David Hayes

    David Hayes Guest

    IEMs or powered wedges.
  21. powmetalbassist

    powmetalbassist Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2010
    Location:
    London, Ontario, Canada
    I found a pair of custom made copy Yorkville Elite. They are loaded with Eminence 12" Woofer,+ ASD100 Hi driver xover 2500, 200w in 4oms

    I have basic knowledge and have looked this stuff up (I used to use Yorkville Bass amps) Any opinions on if this would fit my needs?

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