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Entry level PA opinions

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Depth_Charge, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. Hi Guys,

    I'm looking at an entry level PA so that I can host rehearsals at home as well as start building a system that can go on the road and play gigs in bars and clubs, 300-400 people max, both indoors and out. Lineup is drums, bass, guitar and lead vocals with 2 backups.

    A couple of recommendations I got included these 2 systems which are within my (small) budget, just wondering what people's thoughts are on them:

    http://www.theacousticinn.com/PAs_a...1/- PA Package - EMX 312SC & A15 Loudspeakers

    http://www.musicpark.com.au/PAPkge.html (The Peavey PA power pack with the 215's).

    The guy at the Acoustic Inn reckons the Yamaha would be ideal and that I can add a powered and non-powered monitor to that rig later for on-stage reinforcement.

    Anyone have experience with either of these systems?

  2. Vinny D

    Vinny D

    Jan 9, 2007
    Warwick, RI
    I would suggest going to the venues you plan on playing at and seeing what other bands are using to cover the same size crowds.
    I could only see the Peavey system you had listed and I am not a Peavey basher but that system will come up short for 3-400 people trying to acheive rock level volume performance.
    Will it work.....possibly to get you started but it may cost you more in the long run trying to get that system to fill your needs in the venues you are looking to play at.
    Check your local used market as your money generally will go much further there...and probably will get you better equipment.
  3. aggieactuary


    Mar 31, 2010
    I second Vinny's suggestion to check the used market.

    I saw those Peavey PV215 and a similar amp used, recently for about about a third of what's shown in that link.
  4. Vinny D

    Vinny D

    Jan 9, 2007
    Warwick, RI
    Location location location :D
  5. dalkowski

    dalkowski Supporting Member

    May 20, 2009
    Massachusetts USofA
    Peavey: Bombproof and affordable.
  6. modulusman

    modulusman Inactive

    Jan 18, 2004
    Those Peavey speakers the OP is looking at are pretty bad. I would go with some Peavey SP-2s instead.
  7. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    I recommend the Yamaha, but move up to the club series. The horn in those is worth every penny. That mixer amp will get you going, but it's really not enough power.

    We gig with pretty much a budget system. 2 Yamaha Club Series S112IVs on poles and 2 JBL Mpro 418S single 18" subs. We throw big power at it (QSC PLX3602). Use the built in xover. A behinger 31 band EQ that we have had for years. This won't put out enough volume to crush 400 people bars, but it is super clean and is as loud as the bar and patrons really want you to be...
  8. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    What's your "small" budget?

  9. Carvin has lots of good PA equipment for any size venue or budget. LS 1503 are very good three way cabs for $279 each, and you can combine them with any number of mixers, power amps, or powered mixers. http://www.carvinguitars.com/proaudio/
  10. I agree with the above the Peavey amp will do fine (better second hand tho) if you are only putting vocals / accoustic stuff through it, I'm not a fan of the Peavey speakers though they seem alot of bang for buck but are poor quality, try for mid range second hand JBL's (MRX 515's)
  11. HUnt49


    Jan 14, 2008
    +1 on the LS1503's -- I have a pair and they are really great. I have DJ'ed wedding receptions with them, used them as PA mains, and used them as a bass rig. They handle all with aplomb.

    I have been running them with a Behringer (I know) EP1500, which has been a surprisingly top-notch and trouble-free amp.

    Pair them with a sub and you'll have plenty of lows - but if you want to start out budget and don't want a sub at first, these will handle the full-range lows including the kick. Sub is always better, but you can grow into it.
  12. HUnt49


    Jan 14, 2008
    Another thought if you can find them cheap used - ElectroVoice Force speakers. They'll need to be paired with a sub, but they have a really nice sound to them, even for EV's cheap offering. I use mine in the house, and they sound smooth in close proximity (where my LS1503's might sound a bit harsh in the highs) but carry through the whole 2 story house very well. Good characteristics for a bar (close and distant crowd).
  13. I have been. At the moment I'm not being spoilt for choice :) I have started calling PA Hire companies and getting some good advice, as well as sniffing around for bargains as well as lurking Ebay and Gumtree. The advice I'm mainly getting is raise my budget :) :) :)

    Around the $1500AUD mark initially, but unless I stumble across a sweet second hand bargain somewhere, that ain't much to play with it seems, even with the current fiscal climate.

    Thanks guys!
  14. Bassdirty

    Bassdirty Supporting Member

    Jul 23, 2010
    If your lookin entry level..(but something to build up later..)

    I suggest, for mains: the yamaha 115s (can never remember the model..but they are NOT the cheaper ones)and a powered mixer.
    I fact for the $ of that peavey, you cld get a power amp and subs too.

    Go with 2 115mains ...powered mixer. a power amp and a coupla Inexpensive subs.

    You'll get a MUCH better sound with the single 15s and subs than you will with just the dual 15 mains.

    DO NOT skimp on the main speakers, as they will most likely be with you regardless of what you add later..power amps/bigger boards/subs/more mains.

    And used is okay too.
    (but do the homework on whatever you find used)

  15. Bassdirty

    Bassdirty Supporting Member

    Jul 23, 2010

    Thats the ones ;)
  16. kraigo


    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    Small budget PA and crowd of 300-400 people are not compatible. I'm happy with my Yamaha EMX 66M. It's done block parties and lots of rehearsals. This is not to say that similar alternative powered mixers won't do the same.

    At that price/performance range it's unrealistic to put much more than vocals into the PA.

    If you need a real PA for 300-400 people in the audience and instruments in the mix consider renting. I've owned more PA and it opens up a whole can of worms I'd rather not open. You have to maintain it, store it, transport it, schlep it, trouble shoot it and pay for it. You have to decide whether you really want that kind of complication in your life. It's a significant complication, a lot more effort than just a bass and amp. It's not worth it unless you are hitting 300 - 400 people regularly.

    For rehearsals and small gigs a powered mixer and a couple of mains and monitors (I have four mains and a pair of these [http://accessories.musiciansfriend....s-Gear-Folding-Tiltback-Amp-Stand?sku=450727] to "turn them into monitors" when I want that) is a great thing to own. I'm glad I've got it. I don't want anything more.

    For a "real PA" you might want to take out financing for the basic system. The modularity is nice, but there are a lot of issues I'm not sure you're considering. If you're playing locally regularly and the venues don't provide PA, consider financing and definitely charge your band mates rent to help make up for it. Watch the local musician's ads for the inevitable "Band broke up, must sell PA" ads. If nothing else, they're great entertainment.

  17. We use the Yamaha EMX 512SC for practices and not-too-big venues.
    It's like the EMX 312SC but has 2x500W instead of 2x300W. Overall, it
    works great. It sure does beat lugging in and setting up our big mixer
    board and amp rack.

    We use it with two main speakers (15" - forget the brand) and two
    floor monitors.

    There is one thing you should know about the Yamaha: we had a problem
    with the effects channel being weak. There is a solution (reduce the
    input gains and raise the output gains) but the solution can screw up all
    of your settings so you need to get the levels figured out ahead of time;
    you don't want to be doing this at your sound check.
  18. RenoEvan


    Mar 11, 2007
    Reno, NV
    Go used if you can - not only for price, but for not being in as big a hole if you decide you want something else - you ought to be able to resell for close to what you bought it for, unlike with new gear.
    Best way to make a budget PA go far IME: Keep the Bass out of it, and use your own big bass rig!
    You can get decent vocal and guitar sound out of lots of affordable PA setups. What tends to set the expensive ones apart is the ability to handle lots of watts and low frequencies. Using the guts in your bass rig the way you'd like to anyhow means your PA's job is a lot easier.
    Also, use good mics (like SM58's) to combat feedback issues. Those two factors make your PA selection much more forgiving.
  19. Thanks for the info guys! Stumbo thats some serious reading there :)

    I scrounged around some shops and did some talking with some guys and found a system which comes in under budget that includes:

    Wharfedale SPX815 mixer - http://www.wharfedalepro.com/Home/Products/MIXERS/SPXSERIES/SPX815/tabid/296/Default.aspx

    And for speakers I'm considering a pair of these:
    Wharfedale EVPX12 - http://www.wharfedalepro.com/Home/P...KERS/EVPXSERIES/EVPX12/tabid/117/Default.aspx

    Or these:

    They also have unpowered wharfedale monitors going cheap, which would push me out of budget a bit...

    And if I want to totally blow my budget (which I can afford), I'm thinking these might work too:

    Wharfedale EVP15 sub - http://www.wharfedalepro.com/Home/P...S/EVPXPSERIES/EVPX15PB/tabid/167/Default.aspx

    Would a setup like this be heading more in the right direction?


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