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First PA suggestions?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by mingusitis, Aug 17, 2012.


  1. mingusitis

    mingusitis

    May 11, 2012
    Hello,

    I am in a band that consists of bass, drums, and two guitars with the two guitar players and the drummer singing. We need a PA as we are beginning to play a lot of parties and some small bars. I have no idea what to invest in. I was thinking about the Behringer PMP2000 14-Channel Powered Mixer (800 Watts) with 2 B212XL 12" 800W Passive Titanium PA Speakers but not sure if this is the right move. Suggestions??
     
  2. Barisaxman

    Barisaxman Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    Some guidance on your budget will help a bunch. In very broad concepts, however, it looks like you're thinking vocal pa only (no/minor guitars..no bass/drums). You best bet, however, would be a passive mixer and active speakers. I'm assuming you may want to play larger gigs down the road, and this will give a much better upgrade path, as powered mixers nearly always become a hinderance upon you PA capability.

    Get the best PA you can afford...listen to it before you buy it...and if you want to maximize your dollars, shop used. For example, a used Allen & Heath Mixwizard and two used Mackie SRM450's could be had for less than $1000 on the used market, and will sound EXPONENTIALLY better (and be expandable) than anything with a Behringer logo on it, and most like be more reliable in the long run. With a better idea of budget, future goals/needs, I could offer some other suggestions.
     
  3. DuraMorte

    DuraMorte

    Mar 3, 2011
    I have the smaller version of that Behringer powered mixer, and while the guy above me has a good point about future expandability, the thing sounds just fine. In fact, most Behringer stuff sounds fine. It may not hold up over the long haul, but the sound quality isn't as bad as the haters claim it to be.

    Budget is everything in PA; we need to know what you have to spend so we can tell you what options you have.
     
  4. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    Minnesota
    just a quick thought ... we have found expandability is important, especially if buying new ... you will take a big hit when it comes time to sell if you didn't plan for expansion ... for instance, if we were going to run subs, I would have opted for 12" tops ... we decided no subs for our 'club deal', and would just rent if we needed bigger, so I opted for 15" Yamaha Club Series cabs .. used, these were less than the Behringer tops new ... nothing against the Behringer, but there is a difference, and resale is better with the Yammies ... same money, better product .. the key word I picked out of your original post was 'invest', which means you are looking for something that holds its value ... that would be used, better than average quality ... JMHO

    Edit to add: ... there is a lot of very good quality passive gear out there right now, with folks switching to powered cabs and digital boards ... some good buys in the used market that have been harder to find in the past ... then again, if you have the funds, a powered cab deal may be the way to go, easy to expand on .. also, decide up front WHO is going to own the stuff .. you piece it together under different owners and you split up, nobody has a complete system ... just a thought
     
  5. Dantreige

    Dantreige

    Oct 22, 2009
    Wisconsin
    Please don't take this wrong, but if you have no idea what to invest in, you should not be invensting in anything until you do. I am assuming that you have no knowledge about running a p.a. so that knowledge needs to be learned first. It will save you thousands of dollars in the long run if you learn how to run sound.

    This would include, how sound works. (The science and physics of sound.) Then how to set up a basic p.a. and how to expand on it with additional gear.

    Before you buy anything, get an education on sound and sound reinforecement. This book is a good place to start: http://www.amazon.com/Sound-Reinforcement-Handbook-Gary-Davis/dp/0881889008

    There are many others good books that will give you a quick overview of the situation. Look for Sound for Dummies or something simmular. There are also many good places to get info on the web. One would be http://billfitzmaurice.net/. Lot's of good folks over there that can help you learn or explain things to you. You will need to do some work yourself though. No one will hold your hand.

    Good luck!
     
  6. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I personally would avoid the B brand. There is nothing worse than equipment failure on a gig. Their rep for reliability is what it is and the resale value is nil.

    There is a ton of used Pa gear available. Troll your local CL and list some of your finds. Folks here will be able to give you a thumbs up or down for the most part. I have a couple of different systems. My mid range 'bar band ' system is based on an old Yamaha EMX5000/12. I would highly recommend that board if you can find one used in decent shape. Has great i/o for expansion and really good mic pre/channel strips. Punches well beyond it's investment class IMO. Mine has been just a workhorse.
     
  7. personally i would agree with "4Mal" steer clear from behringer. its not the sound itself to be worried about...the noise floor on the gain preamps are horrible....second the quality isn't the greatest considering for a few dollars more you can get something considerably better...

    the number one thing i would suggest to do is go down to your local PA store, not to a pa store that sells instruments, and not a chain store. talk to the people that use the equipment. tell them what you are looking to spend, and work within it from there. there are tons of other options, just don't touch behringer get something reliable. and DON'T cheap out cos you don't have the cash right then and there. i suggest save and buy it right the first time. take the advice from someone who has wasted countless thousands of dollars....lol
     
  8. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    No Behringer. In fact, don't waste ANY of your money on a powered mixer at all. Eventually you will need to step up to an actual console. Right now there are at least 3 AH Mixwiz 16 channel boards for sale near me, all of them under $700. Start there, you won't regret it.
     
  9. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    I'm partial to Mackie and Carvin gear. But I did a gig last weekend where the sound guy had a Mackie board and Mackie powered speakers but Behringer monitors. Worked fine.
     
  10. mingusitis

    mingusitis

    May 11, 2012
    Ok, most I am looking to spend is about a thousand dollars. Reading that book, the sound reinforcement handbook is a great suggestion and I appreciate that. Something I will look into. What I am getting from you guys is that I need powered speakers and a mixer. Anything but Behringer. I appreciate the help and will start looking. Any suggestions for specific's I should be looking out for? I would like to myself purchase one thing such as the mixer just to get started in the process.
     
  11. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    This is likely to be an expense, not an investment. To minimize the expense, buy gear that you can re-sell for close to your purchase price. In general, that means look for used gear with good re-sale value. You can get some sense of the used market by watching ebay and your local CL for a while, to get a sense of what's selling at what price.

    When you're ready to buy, you might decide that you're willing to take some hit on resale in order to get gear that's lighter, louder, or fancier than what's available on your used local market. Even so, with only $1000 to spend, I'd suspect multiple powered speakers/subs/monitors, a StudioLive board, and a rack full of ultra-light 2-kilowatt power amps are not on your shopping list.

    Absolutely first thing, decide if you can use a vocals-only PA (good for house parties or small bars--covering up to ~100 people). If you don't need to mic instrument amps and run LOUD, everything about the PA changes. You use a much smaller mixer, you can use small cabs loaded with 10" woofers instead of big 15" loaded cabs and subwoofers, and you can get by with one power amp.

    For example, on the minimalist extreme, if you have only one or two singers and a reasonably quiet stage, you might in that scenario just run the mic(s) into the back of a single powered speaker. In that scenario, $1000 covers you in style.
     
  12. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    Minnesota
    Quite possibly the best passive board buy out there in this price range (in many peoples opinion) ... but with that said, on a 1K budget, you just shot half your wad and need to fill in the rest with the $500 balance, which isnt going to be realistic ...

    ... you really need to answer the questions above to determine if you need a board of that size/quality, and go from there ... if you do, you need a bigger budget .. period

    ... although we are probably saying the same thing, and just differ in the symantics of it, I happen to disagree with derrico, as any time I can buy quality used gear at a price that allows me to use it for my needs, and then recoup at or near the funds I paid for it, it is definitely an 'investment' in my book ... an expense to me is something you pay for with little or no regard to recapture of those funds down the road ...

    .. it hasnt been mentioned yet, but another train of thought is to try looking for a band on the break up type deal, where you can pick up the entire works in one shot ... even if it is a little less than optimal gear, it can save a lot of time and hassle if that is a concern ... decent chords, cases, stands, etc, etc can add up pretty quickly ... generally you buy a complete package, all the price of the little stuff isn't usually figured in ... just another thought to consider ...
     
  13. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    Yes, that's an investment for me, too: you get use out of gear you want and resell it for what you paid. For an OP looking at new Behringer gear, though, I think we'd agree that's not an investment. Ditto for a band needing a vocals-only PA but buying up a full club PA w/ subs, rack processing, etc. Chances are, someone buying a party PA without personal knowledge of PA systems, local markets, brands, etc is looking at an expense instead of an investment.

    This isn't to slag on the OP. You just tend to make better decisions if you frankly face what *kind* of decision you're making. (Not: "well, I'm investing $1200 in Behringer PA for my blues band, and I'll make that back easily when I resell it in like-new condition." Instead: "Well, PA is an expense for my band. On resale, I can lose half the $1000 I tie-up in a new off-brand PA, or maybe b/w $0-200 on the right combination of used Mackie/Yamaha/QSC/Carvin/Allen & Heath/etc., plus mics, cables, stands, and so on.")
     
  14. mingusitis

    mingusitis

    May 11, 2012
    Ok, so what do you think about this? Just as barisaxman said I found a Mixwizard and two used Mackie SRM450's for under 1000 dollars right in my area. Is this all I would need? The power speakers are good to go with just the mixer?
     
  15. mingusitis

    mingusitis

    May 11, 2012
    Excuse me for my ignorance.
     
  16. The mixer is very good, the speakers are passable. For 1000 bucks that is a very usable little PA.
     
  17. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    Minnesota
    mingus, absolutely no need for any kind of apology ... every one replying to your inquiry was exactly where you are at once upon a time ... and many did not have the info readily available on a message board, and learned the hard way ... :)

    I cant comment on the Mackie's that you have listed, no experience with them at all .. but again, there are other expenses/items to go along with your board and two FOH cabs ... monitors, power for them, cables, stands, mics, cases, etc, etc ... just do you homework as you are doing and again, write down all your expectations/needs, and then match them against your purchases/budget limitations with everything right there in front of you ...

    Edit to add: mingus, a completed profile can be your best friend when it comes to inquiries .. we have no idea where you are, or anything else with nothing filled out ... there is a chance that someone on here in your area may be willing/able to help you with gear finds or act as a local sounding board for your needs ... may even know where discounts are to be found in your area, or have unused quality components sitting just a few miles from you ... JMHO
     
  18. lazyone2

    lazyone2

    Jul 27, 2006
    new jersey shore
    For about $1,000 you can get a new Carvin 3way system, the XP1000l power mixer and the LX153 speakers, that should meet your needs for a long time.
     

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