Need a rec for a good small PA system to bring to gigs that don't have one

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Balkan, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. Balkan


    Aug 8, 2005
    New York, NY
    Hi -

    I'm playing some with a great singer songwriter who gigs a fair amount in NYC. He plays at a lot of places that have great PA systems, but every once in a while there's the odd bar or cafe that has no PA at all, and then he just sings through his amp which sounds kind of muddy.

    He is not very gear saavy, so I wondering whether there is a good portable, affordable solution I could recommend to him? This would only be for vocals and maybe acoustic guitar. I think we're talking small venues and low volume. There is a drummer, but he plays quietly as well.
  2. Skywalker83

    Skywalker83 Guest

    Oct 19, 2008
    Tampere, Finland
    Ive heard a few pepole going on about the carvin LM series. here's a link to one version of them. the 15" version. they are powered speakers (built in amp) and have a small built in mixer facilty, with EQ.

    To keep it simple and minimal i would go down the power speaker route. You could eaither go for the Carvins or some other powered speaker and one a the tiny little behringer or mackie mixers, i think the is a 4 channel version of each. Plug your vocal mic and guitar into the mixer and then go from the mixer to the input of the speaker,power on, set levels, and thats you!

    If you're going to buy second hand, then i recommend you try out whatever your going to buy.
  3. 2x4strgkramers

    2x4strgkramers Guest

    Dec 15, 2008
    Check out your local bars with Karaoke. Alot of these smaller venues use powered cabinets for ease and simplicity. See which ones deliver the sound and voloume your looking for. If you want some quality EV makes some nice small cabinets.
  4. Jay Corwin

    Jay Corwin Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
  5. Jehos


    Mar 22, 2006
    DFW, TX
    I believe Fender makes a similar product. I would recommend something like this--the whole thing packs up to suitcase size, perfect for taking on the subway. You'd just have to carry a guitar case and the PA, and maybe a mic stand.
  6. F-Clef-Jef


    Nov 13, 2006
    Neenah, WI
  7. Deacon_Blues


    Feb 11, 2007
    (post written while most of the posts above were written...)

    Well... the absolute minimum for that would be a small mixer and one active speaker. You can find a decent small mixer for almost no money (behringer makes decent mixers actually), and if it doesn't have built-in fx, you can probably find an old but functioning reverb unit very cheap too.

    I wouldn't recommend to go very cheap on the active speaker though, but I think you can find a used monitor of a nice brand for a few hundred bucks. Don't buy a powerful Behringer if you can find one of a better brand for the same money although with less power.

    This system is the easiest possible IMO. A second speaker would of course be nice, but you probably manage with only one too if you can't afford two.

    Perhaps it would be cheaper to go with a power amp and passive speakers, but it might be more difficult to find a good pair, where you get the most out of both your amp and the speakers. A third alternative would be a powered mixer and passive speakers. Just investigate the options and find one that works for you.
  8. Balkan


    Aug 8, 2005
    New York, NY
    Thanks everyone I'll look into these options. Deacon - I actually don't know what the better brands are. Any examples?
  9. Jehos


    Mar 22, 2006
    DFW, TX
    Mackie, JBL, Yamaha are the ones that come to mind. EV if you really want to spend some money I guess.
  10. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    I have one of these:


    The Carvin AG100D has three separate inputs and is perfect for acoustic guitar plus vocals (and keys, bass, CD player or something else). It's portable and has two separate digital effects built in.

    I even play electric bass through mine and it sounds great with the 12" and a tweeter. Simple to use - just plug in, turn on and start playing.
  11. Deacon_Blues


    Feb 11, 2007
    RCF is a great brand as well.
  12. kalle74


    Aug 27, 2004
    if you´re professional, I´d invest in some quality, hence....

    Nexo (PS8 system)
    etc. etc.
  13. SteveC


    Nov 12, 2004
    NE ND
    Yamaha makes great stuff that's pretty affordable. My band uses a powered mixer and 2 2-way 15" on sticks. We run keys, bass, guitar, drums, vocals, everything through it and it works really well.