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Advice on inexpensive passive PA speakers?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Queg, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. Queg


    Nov 20, 2009
    SF Bay Area
    So my family is having a reunion gathering and I've been tasked with providing the sound system. As we have amateur musicians in the family, the request is for mics + pa for vocals, guitars, keyboard. This will also will be the playback system for karaoke/itunes/DJ/party music.

    I currently own: A crown xls 2500, a crappy behringer 4 channel mixer, and a couple of SM58's. So I'm looking to purchase a decent but inexpensive pair of passive portable PA speakers.

    I'm considering the Yorkville CX80's or Mackie C200's.. but I'm not sure which would provide the best value per the specs?..

    For example:
    the CX80 is spec'd at 60-20k with max 113db.

    The C200's are rated at 89-20k with max 118db.

    Sure, the C200's can go louder, and are rated to handle more wattage.. but are they really preferable, if the low-end is lacking? I really hate that canned high mid, brittle sound from tops that need bass reinforcement.

    Another option is to also bring my fEarful 12/6/1 and somehow use it as a sub... (If I had 2 of these, I'd just use em as the main monitors and call it a day.)

    Any suggestions are welcome..thanks!
  2. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    Don't spend too much time agonizing over specs. The numbers are misleading and usually misinterpreted. You don't truly learn about a speaker until you hear it and field test it.

    If you want a safe bet, the Yamaha Club series (S115V) boxes are the best budget-minded passive boxes IMO. The horn doesn't sound harsh and the low end is respectable (the matching subs aren't very expensive either when you're ready to expand). There are two versions: the S115V which is carpet covered and the C115V which has a black, paintable elastomer coating (think rhino-liner) and the grill covers the horn and the woofer.

  3. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Why not rent? For one gig it is much cheaper.... and you can try out speakers.
  4. The Peavey PV115 is a pretty decent sounding speaker for the money (66hz-17Khz @ +3 and 46-21 @ -10db), although if you can buy used, there are a lot of good values in older speakers out there. The Yamahas mentioned above are also a good bet.
  5. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I have a set of C200's. They rock! That box was one of the first things the EaW guys did after Mackie Loud acquired them. I've run them full range or as top boxes with subs below and as monitors. Really like 'em a lot.

    If you put them next to other boxes, you can hear the EAW guys in the crossover and the horn. Much smoother high end, very little bark.
  6. Queg


    Nov 20, 2009
    SF Bay Area
    Thanks for the informative the responses!
    Tempted to get the Yamaha club series, but too $$. The Mackies look like the best value on Amazon for my purposes, so I'm going for them. I intend to eventually use them in my band's rehearsal studio as vocal monitors.
  7. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Try american nusical suppy... I've used mine as monitors for vocals, percussion an acoustic guitar many times.
  8. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    ... several good suggestions above, and even better if we combine a few ... look for used Yamahas ... the S115IV is the earlier version before they went to the V ... the IV has nearly identical specs (FWIW) to the V, and around here they are usually often available (used) at half the price of a new/current S115V's ... many times you can get cables, etc thrown in also ... I got 4 of them (IV's used) with stands/cables for just slightly more than what I would have paid for 2 of the V's new, cabs only ...

    Just something to consider, but if you plan on adding subs, you may want to consider 12's instead of 15's ... there seem to be less available used, but there are S112IV's out there too for even less than 15's usually ...
  9. mcapote


    Sep 9, 2009
    Miami Florida
    carvin ls series sound pretty good
  10. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    +1. I've got the 2153's and their 12" monitors. As well as a powered sub from Carvin. Great sounding speakers.
  11. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Just bought a mint pair of S115v cabs and stands used for $400, total¬ówith long nice speaker connects. :D

    Very happy with them for reggae trio.
  12. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    Jim, you need to put that seller on your Christmas card list ...

    .. that is the current model, and not much over the current price for ONE ... and then you got $100+ worth of stands and cables and a second $350+ cab thrown
  13. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147

    I was very lucky. The seller was retiring from preaching, and needed to sell quickly. I told her the price was quite low, but she said they had not sold for weeks. I think it was because it was about an hour out of Dallas.

    BTW, these cabs sound great. I am driving them with a Crest CA6 and a 1989 Mackie 1202 VLZ mixer with a couple of Shure PG58s. A Roland Cube is our powered monitor until funds are available for a pair of decent USED floor monitors.

    Minimalist but covers most club/bar/party dates.

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