Before I spend the $: yea or nay on budget PA setup?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by R&B, Dec 24, 2014.

  1. R&B

    R&B Both kinds of music: Rhythm AND Blues! Supporting Member

    Five piece blues band, intermittent small/medium gigs. Drums, bass, guitars, 3 mics. Bandleader has a totally crappy sounding all-in-one PA (for vocals only) that distorts at gig volumes. No monitoring to speak of. Guitar and bass amps as backline. Drums are unamplified, not that they need it.

    However...I just got a Yamaha MG124CX board for a great price courtesy of MF. Tried it for mic preamp, mixing and effects, with line level signal going to his PA. Not terrible. Which got me thinking.

    I'm thinking:

    --Kustom KPC12P (x 2 with stands) @ $110 each + $30 per stand
    --Kustom KPC210MP wedge @ $149 -- yes, I could get two single wedges instead...more $ and more to schlep...
    --XLR + AC 25 foot combo cables @ $79 apiece? Or make my own with XLR-XLR, AC extension cord and zip ties?
    --1/4 - 1/4 TRS 25 foot cable @ $24

    MF may do even better on price given their coupon mania lately. (If I could afford Yamaha, JBL, EV, Peavey or Mackie powered tops I would go there. But silly to spend that for our modest needs.)

    Adequate for weekend warriors?
  2. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Let me jump in here before modulusman gets to you first................

    As someone who owns and uses a Kustom PA (only for really small gigs and backyard BBQ's), I would suggest getting the 15" cabs for mains and a couple 12" cabs for monitors. (My monitors are the 10" cabs and they sound fine but I wish I had the 12" cabs). That is if you are intent on getting the Kustom cabs. Bear in mind those cabs do not put out a lot of power. Mine are passive and I use a powered mixer. If you are ok with spending a little more money, you will get some recommendations from other TB members.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2014
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  3. R&B

    R&B Both kinds of music: Rhythm AND Blues! Supporting Member

    Thanks for the quick response. I looked at the 15" tops. Same power as the 12s (100W RMS) and quite a bit heftier. The 12"wedges are out of stock for a month.

    Alternatives in this price range would be Harbinger, Gem Sound etc. Definitely not QSC!
  4. Low Class

    Low Class

    Jul 4, 2005
  5. tjh


    Mar 22, 2006
    IF (I repeat), IF someone is considering passive speakers, I would strongly suggest looking used market, as with all the upgrading going on, there are some excellent 'bang for the buck' out there for the bargain crowd ... I am seeing Yamaha Club Series 115IV (and even V's) priced in the $100-150 range ... I have four, and had considered selling them, but with this market it is almost not worth it to sell them ...

    ... I also found three Yorkville 12" passive wedges for $50 ea, lots of passive deals out there on the used market for those short on funds ...

    JMHO ...
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2014
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  6. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    yeah.. anything Yammy 15" series (passive) is 1000% better than anything Kustom will give you. DO NOT skimp on your PA speakers.. garbage in is always garbage out, but great stuff in can still sound like garbage when pushed thru "budget" speakers...

    to the OP.. think about how Kustom can make/sell a powered 12" box for $100 ?? Ask yourself what's NOT in it!

    Buy once, cry once!!
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  7. modulusman

    modulusman Inactive

    Jan 18, 2004
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  8. R&B

    R&B Both kinds of music: Rhythm AND Blues! Supporting Member

    Consensus on various threads favors powered over passive, so that's the direction I've headed. Admittedly, Kustom PA gear is low end, though their bass gear is excellent.

    But if I were to go passive as tjh suggests...which power amp? And same power amp for mains and monitors, or one for each? Or powered monitors? Lots to schlep, no?

    Your opinions are much appreciated.
  9. vmabus


    Nov 1, 2013
    And you'll need a power amp...
  10. R&B

    R&B Both kinds of music: Rhythm AND Blues! Supporting Member

    Which one?
  11. modulusman

    modulusman Inactive

    Jan 18, 2004
    That would depend on what you get for speakers. You sound like you didn't want to be moving a bunch of gear, now you want to add a power amp? You would then probably need a rack to put it in. I think my Idea of one decent speaker to start with is your best bet. You could add another later. You might be able to use your BLs crap for a monitor for now.
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  12. BazzTard

    BazzTard Inactive

    THIS is the best solution. Spend the money on good foh speakers first, use old PA for monitoring for now.
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  13. R&B

    R&B Both kinds of music: Rhythm AND Blues! Supporting Member

    Awww, geez. I think you guys have got me looking at Yamaha after all. The reviews are great and the DBR10 boxes are 23 pounds. Now to search out a deal! I knew I could count on the TB brotherhood to give honest feedback. ☺️

    Re: cables, any opinions on the combos with XLR and AC in the same cable?

    Thanks for the posts and Merry Christmas to all.
  14. modulusman

    modulusman Inactive

    Jan 18, 2004
    WE have some that are really long but the only time they get used is when we supply a pair of powered speakers outside for a wedding ceremony. I Prefer to go separate. Makes more sense, the power at a venue could be a lot closer to the speaker than the mixer so you might not needa long cable. Just buy extra mic cables and have some power strips or ext. cords handy if you need them.
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  15. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    For the money, Kustom are not that bad. But lots of people are switching over to powered cabs. You should look used, and probably get a pair of 15 mains and some monitors.
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  16. hsech

    hsech Work hard. My Social Security needs a raise.

    Jun 27, 2012
    Central Iowa
    I always found used Peavey passive mains and monitors with a 6 channel powered head adequate when I was in a blues trio in Texas. It wouldn't play a big concert, but it would play all the small to medium clubs. If you can't find the used stuff on Cragslist, check Ebay but be prepared for expensive shipping or a little travel to pick it up.
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  17. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    I use a Kustom wedge for monitoring and it's fine for that - monitoring. I don't think I'd rely on them for mains.
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  18. R&B

    R&B Both kinds of music: Rhythm AND Blues! Supporting Member

    Not much on the L.A. CL right now. I do think I will go powered. It's the wave of the future.

    The Yamaha DBR10s are back-ordered in quite a few places. Speaks to their popularity I suppose. Peavey or EV could work too, if not too bulky or heavy. I'm pretty much convinced that the Kustoms would be relegated to monitor status sooner or later. I think sooner, if at all.

    Thanks again for all the solid advice.
  19. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    I'm your man for budget sound. I have been using two 15" Kustom passive monitors as my speakers for a jazz gig. We do have vocals now and then, and for talking, and its mostly crowds of less than 200 in restaurants, corporate settings and malls. If its's a music festival we have a sound man usually that the organizer provided for us. Crap shoot-ola on that one.

    Anyway, back to budget sound.

    I have been using the 2 15" Kustom monitors as Mains
    I use a Crown 250 amp

    and a Behringer Mixer.

    All of the cats I know in this town use that Behringer mixer (3 different bands) so I didn't even think about it and just bought it It does the job.

    The only thing I would change -- I wish I had a more powerful amplifier. I would go a step up from the amplifier I just quoted above. Mine is fine for most gigs, but I noticed it sounded quieter than I liked on near full volume at an outdoor gig recently. For indoor gigs, it seems more than OK.

    Here is the one I wish I had've bought:

    Remember, though, I'm a hack sound man. But no one is complaining. We run everything through the mixer (drums with kick and overhead mike, the bass, a microphone for sax or flute, guitar miked, and the keyboards) and it's working out just fine.

    Good luck!
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