club pa for 900$

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by backup, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. there is this place i'm working at. it's a recently openend club and they only have one speaker. now the owner is searching for a passive pa around 700 units of saturnian currency which translates roughly into 900$. we are already looking on the used market which, unfortunately, is not very big around here. so do you have any idea? we need at least one box and one sub and an amplifier.

    ok thank you
  2. taurus1


    Sep 13, 2006
    Vancouver B.C.
    why passive? buy a pair of used Mackie SRM-450's, probably be about $300.00-$450.00 each. buy the best mixer you can with what's left over, Mackie, Behringer, Yorkville.
    or you could buy one powered monitor and a powered sub instead of two monitors.
  3. Bufalo

    Bufalo Funk in the Trunk Supporting Member

    Jan 6, 2005
    Harrisburg, PA
    Might have to pull something out of Uranus.
  4. 4Mal

    4Mal Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    OP - Where are you located ?
  5. will33


    May 22, 2006
    I'd stay away from powered speakers, they're gimmicky, like those all-in-one TV/VCR/DVD things, one part of it goes down and the whole thng is out of action. With separates, it's way easier and cheaper to expand on the system and/or replace only what might need replacing. I know powered stuff seems to be all the rage now, but mostly from a convenience aspect and portability. You're doing a permanent club install. You can get equal or better quality for less $$ sticking with regular stuff.

    What is the current speaker they do have? If it's quality, try to find another one. If not, sell it and buy a pair of something decent. 2 subs as as well. Go used on everything. Mixer, poweramp and dual 15-band EQ at a minimum. Plus a half decent compressor/limiter and reverb/multi-effects unit. Monitors, an amp for those, cabling, mics, stands, etc. and it'll be pretty easy to go over your budget, even going used medium quality stuff. Going used, this will all be $100-$200 stuff. Going with powered stuff, a mixer with enough channels and 2 speakers alone will send you over budget, and you're then at best half way there, not even that when you figure all the little extras.

    What sort of club is this? Live band venue? DJ's/recorded music? Size/audience capacity? Lots of variables here.
  6. modulusman

    modulusman Inactive

    Jan 18, 2004
    For $900.00 any PA they get is going to suck. AS far s powered speakers go there is nothing "gimmicky" about them. They will sound better than any passive speaker in their class. For the amount of money the OP wants to spend he would be more screwed with a passive set up if something fails because chances are they would not have a spare. If the power amp goes down you are SOL. At least with a powered speaker you could limp through the gig with just one.
  7. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Same could be said of a mixing board or any other piece of gear you only have one of. I don't know of too many systems that only have a single poweramp.

    "Gimmicky" may be a little strong a word but to me "powered mixer + passive speakers" and "passive mixer + powered speakers" = same thing really. The DSP is there like a preset eq to smooth response and filter off some bottom so you can run them louder. And likely some limiting to protect them at high volume. Move them in a room, everything changes and outboard processing is needed anyway. You can design passive speakers for smooth response and do the same thing with outboard processing. So, I see it mostly as a convenience factor, which doesn't come into play for a club install.

    Aside from the K-series and some Yamaha I don't know the model of, most powered speakers I've heard didn't sound good at all. Granted, that could've easily been the operator and not the gear. These were other bands using Mackies or Eon's, etc. I was just listening, not sitting down and turning knobs.

    Totally agreed, $900 isn't going to get you much whichever way you go.
  8. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Granted, the actives should've sounded clearer due to built in bi/tri amping, phase coherence, etc. They're more foolproof.

    You can do that the old fashioned way too, but it is more gear and more cost. Not to mention if somebody gets ahold of it that doesn't know what they're doing, the potential for bad sound and/or destroyed equipment goes up....a lot.
  9. Those Yorkville LS800p subs are defo not "gimicky"
  10. Joedog


    Jan 28, 2010
    Pensacola FL
    Brilliant! LOL!:D
  11. modulusman

    modulusman Inactive

    Jan 18, 2004
    Right but some powered speakers you can plug a mic directly into some even have a built in mixer. So if the board goes down you could maybe limp through the gig by doing that. I have some JBL PRX 512ms and 535s that sound very good. I also have some EAW NT powered speakers that sound better than anything you have probably ever owned.
  12. Wesley R

    Wesley R Gold Supporting Member

    Will $900 get anything great? No. Will $900 get a box or two and some reasonable power, certainly could, at least in this used market area.
    There are too many unknown parameters to make an educated guess. How big an area, What is the construction like, how tall of ceilings, seating capacity, reverberant field levels etc., what type of bands, what is the expected volume level, how many channels? They have a box or two, are they something that could be matched or sold off?
    Reasonable budget used power amp $250, or so, reasonable used 15”+ horn in a box, $250/pair, smallish mixer used $250, so $750-$900 all used could be done .If you want/need to add sub(s), EQ, effects, mikes, stands, cables, speaker stands, racks, cases, etc., well then $900 would probably require too much compromising. Separates are typically best, yet I have used powered mixers many a time with the expected “good enough” results. With separates, upgrading is easier.
  13. taurus1


    Sep 13, 2006
    Vancouver B.C.
    powered speakers 'gimmicky"?
    racks and stacks are from the dinosaur era or the bronze age at least.
    $900.00 is diddly squat and that's why I recommended the Mackie SRM-450, they're powerful enough, cheap enough used, and most importantly IDIOT proof.
    I've seen them pushed beyond they're limits and their shutdown circuitry saves the day everytime, they might shutdown for 20-30 seconds but they always come back to life.
    try that with passives, power amps, and no brickwall limiting.
  14. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Greetings from the Bronze Age. :D Whatever, not going to argue about it, enjoy your powered speakers.

    With the OP's budget, he's going to end up with a pair of tops and either a leadsled and a cheap mixer or a powered mixer, all old, all used, and if operated by someone who knows what they're doing, will sound just fine for the folks down at the local watering hole.
  15. jamminology101


    Aug 22, 2012
    Indianapolis In
    Endorsing Artist: Glockenklang
    Id stay clear of powered mixers....whatever a cabinets max power rating needs about twice that in power to sound good and not ****** and over driven. Not enough power is the death knell for bad sound. 900 bucks aint gonna cut it...2k would on some cheap used stuff. say at the MINIMUM.
  16. will33


    May 22, 2006
    True. A lot of them also have baked in highpassing to sound louder. Not what you want if there's kick drum involved. Coffeehouse big deal.
  17. Geddyfleaharris

    Geddyfleaharris Supporting Member

    Maybe powered stuff a few years ago wasn't great stuff but just consider that pretty much all top end concert systems are line array. And pretty much all the line array stuff I have seen has internal power.
  18. Geddyfleaharris

    Geddyfleaharris Supporting Member

    And that was brilliant.
  19. gareth dunster

    gareth dunster

    Dec 8, 2009
    It's an unreasonable budget so all bets are off. You're down to what you can pick up locally,used, with all its attendant fun and games.
  20. Hi.

    For a band, ~$900 will get You a nice system if you're willing to use/haul old lead-sleds and perhaps stretch the budget a bit.

    For a fixed location like a bar, going used isn't always an option for taxation reasons.
    If You can write the purchase off in 3 years for example and re-sell, what's the point in losing that opportunity?

    My "main" PA rig took forever to put together, but that's only because over here in Finland the used market was almost non-existant before the Behringer and alike "invasion" in the 90's. THAT dropped the prices on old quality gear for the benefit of those who care more about the quality than the weight and low price.

    2*EV TL505's 250€
    2*Ruski 18/12/2*1 mains 250€
    2*old power amps ~200€ ("free" actually, but that's roughly their value)
    Selection of mixing desks from 6 to 24 channels of different vintages, for different gig requirements ~200€ each.
    Alesis Midiverb II for the desks that don't have FX 50€
    Behringer 4 channel compressor ~100€
    Assorted cables ~200€

    In action (crappy fixed camcorder warning ;)):

    Has hold it's own outside as well.

    So, a hair more than $900, but in a location where beggars can't be choosers.
    I'm sure that in a location where the availability of used gear is better, one can buy the eqvivalent of my rig for less than $900.
    Since the OP is a comedian, we have no way of knowing what the situation in his location might or might not be.

    Now don't get me wrong, I would just LOVE a nice analog/digital (desk/control) setup with optical snakes, 5K active mains and 10K active cardioid subs, but with our current gigging needs, that would just be a huge waste of money.
    Not to mention the fact that I probably would not purchase a setup like that even if I had the money/need ;).