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Need Advice for Full Band PA

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by ThirstyMonkey, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. ThirstyMonkey


    Jun 27, 2011
    We're a six piece cover band--2 guitars, keyboard, bass, and electric drums, 1 female lead vocalist. We want/need a PA for rehearsals and small venue gigs. We play classic and more modern rock songs.

    Our lead guitarist is ready to purchase this: Carvin.com :: C1648P-2153. I've never used Carvin gear, but from searching these and other forums they seem to be an acceptable quality system based on cost/performance.

    I'm thinking of suggesting this system: P.A.. Obviously it's used and the mixer sucks, but out KB player has the Studio Live (24 channel), which I think is a great board and I've had great experience with JBL cabs. I'm also a big fan of buying used gear and saving money.

    I haven't gigged in over a decade so I'm a little hesitant to put my .02 into the mix and that's why I'd like some advice. If it was your band, what would you suggest?

  2. Who'll be keeping the gear when the band breaks up?
  3. Yamaha, and several other brands make great powered mixers that allow you to run seperate amps for bass cabs and monitors right off the board. An unpowered board with powered speakers is another option. Our PA is a powered board with 500 watts to each side in stereo, a 1000watt stereo power amp for bass bins, a power amp that can run up to four monitors, and two powered monitors. Everything is controlled right from the board.
  4. ThirstyMonkey


    Jun 27, 2011
    The PA will belong to the guitarist, so he obviously has the final say on wherenhis money gets spent. But he has asked for my input. I was a music minor in college with an emphasis on recording/sound reinforcemen. That being said, things have changed in the last decade and half.

    I really need input from thosse of you that d this on a regular basis.
  5. ThirstyMonkey


    Jun 27, 2011
    The carvin board is powered, one of the reasons he finds it attractive. My concern using plwered mkxers and soeakers is two fold: 1. If there's ever a problem with the board we're out mixer and amp, same for speakers 2. Seperate components make it easier to upgrade.

    I also really don't want to loose the studio live.
  6. If you have a StudioLive 24 available you want to be using that. They work great.

    This guy:
    PA Equipment for sale
    has a pair of Turbosound tops available for 500 bucks each that will sound not just a little but a lot better than anything else you are going to get for a grand.

    Here's a Crest 8001 for 650 bucks: Crest 8001 QSC 1500 - 700

    That's about what you would spend on the Carvin but without a mixer, you'd need to use the Presonus. I think you'd want to anyway.

    Presonus 24:4 -> Crest 8001 -> Turbosound TXD252's would be a pretty awesome PA. Not just a little but a lot nicer than the Carvin rig you are looking at. Like, a real lot.
  7. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    If it was me I would stay away from cheap dual 15 inch cabs. I would try and talk the guitar player into buying a pair of powered speakers and using the studiolive board. The stuff you linked is all vintage and might be hard to repair.
  8. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    Just use the studiolive and get a couple of powered mains. Mackie SRM450's would be a good choice.
  9. K12 or EVX

    Just get a few powred mains...


    If you setup your board correctly, you can then be a "premixed" band and only feed a venue a single premixed cable to run to their house system.

    Your powred mains then become your band's monitors.
  10. The Carvin board should be fine. I have owned the smaller 12 channel version both in powered and unpowered and never had an issue. That said I have a Studio Live 16.0.2 mixer and I really like the recall feature. We use it for rehearsal and our IEM mix live when we have FOH. When we don't have FOH it serves as our main mixer and Aux 1 and 2 feed our IEM in stereo and Aux 3 feeds the drummers IEM in mono. Bless him for using IEM.

    Finally I understand that dual 15" cabs tend to defeat one another.
  11. ThirstyMonkey


    Jun 27, 2011
    Thanks for all the replies. I agree that powered mains would be the way to go. I'm researching the recommendations now. I'm surprised no one suggested QSC. DO they have a bad rep? [Edit: I just discovered that the K12 above is a QSC. Next time I'll google before I post.]

    Musicman, can you elaborate on the dual 15 issue? I would imagine that some people might think two 15s would eliminate the need for dedicated subwoofers (not my experience btw), but I don't know about another other issues.
  12. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    I really liked how the QSC KWs sound. Even the KW153's required a dedicated sub for us though. I thought the JBLs in the same class also sounded good. I like the Yorkville U15s the best (powered is available too). All are over $1000/box. That's a good deal of change for one person to buy unless you play every week. If you don't get stupid loud, you would be surprised how far you can get with a pair of Yamaha club series 1x12s.
  13. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    I'll catch some flack here, but we actually went with 4 yamaha C112V cabs, two a side vertically stacked with the horns together (one cab inverted). It isn't what most people would recommend, but it solved some issues modularity/price/setup issues we were facing, and we have always found the club series to sound pretty musical. These cabs are made of good materials now, and the horns are pretty decent, and aren't harsh sounding when you turn them up. With 2 of them, efficiency went up 6dB, and the sweet spot is huge compared to one. We ratchet them down to the subs. Our subs are Yorkville LS1208s (HUGE horn loaded cabs that sound fantastic and are cheap). They are so big that you really can't center cluster them, even on their sides, so we tend to use them on each side of the stage and stack the yamahas on top of them (yes, there are noticible dead spots in certain spots of the room). We got the Yamahas for $250 each/shipped, which was the deciding factor after almost going the active cab route. We retained our modularity for smaller shows, but we also have a good amount of sound capability as well. It's been a win for us. We run them 4 ohm stereo on a PLX 3402. Headroom was a noticable upgrade for sure. If you can get these for a deal, they are fantastic for $250.
  14. Stay away from those TR-225s in the CL ad! IMHO the TR-series were the worst cabinets ever made by JBL, and an embarrassment to the brand's image (sadly, the JRX-series replacements weren't much better). I've seen sound guys far better than me try in vain to help the boxes' hapless owners coax decent sound out out of them, but no amount of EQ or speaker management trickery could get them to sound better than muffled shoe boxes loaded with boom box speakers - honky bass and brittle highs. Issues include shoddy OSB cabinet construction, and a dinky horn that's integrated with the front baffle. Pure dog food vs. the rest of JBL. End of rant...
  15. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    They are designed to appeal to the bigger is better crowd. The problem is they are too heavy to mount on stands. If you set them on the floor you can't hear the horns. A dedicated subwoofer with a single speaker-horn top will almost always sound better unless you have some really nice 215 cabs.
  16. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    I used a Carvin 16 channel 500 watt head for mains and monitors for clubs up to about 300 people for about eight years. My nephew then used it for his DJ business for another 8 years. Never had a problem with it. It was the best investment ever. It was small, light, easy to use and sounded good.
  17. The Studiolive is an AWESOME board! I would use that.. pair it with a pair of QSC K12 for tops and some KW118 for bottoms and you got a moster of a PA rig. I use this rig in my new band (but with the Studiolive 16) and it kills in any size room.

    The only question would be monitoring. In my band, we all have in-ears. We like the stage clean. If you want floor wedges, grab some QSC K10's. Compact, loud, and sound great.
  18. my two cents.
    1- get the "plastic" mains and monitors. Usually about a third lighter than wood ones and more durable. and your singer can carry one...
    2- get class D amps- 2000 watts and 7 lbs of weight.
    3- for mains, and this is my preference - nothing makes a band sound bigger than 4 - 15's (or more) up front. We once ran 1-15" on poles with a 1-18" powered sub, and while that had more low end, the 4- 15's we now use make the band sound bigger / fuller.
    4- we have a board with 2 built in power amps, anti feedback, FX and a separate EQ for main and monitor, with aux outs for main and monitor. And two monitor gain controls for each channel. CD, in too, and outs for recording. We use the one internal monitor power amp for the front of stage monitors, and they other for the E-drums. He's using two 1-15", stacked. The mains are run by a separate power amp. The board also has a separate out that we used to use to run the sub feed, to allow control of the sub from the board. And when we do small gigs, we leave behind half of the PA and just run it all from the board.

    PS- if you get a pair of subs, don't put them on either side of the stage under the mains - put them together in the middle
  19. QSC12s are nice but a little bit pricy. Then again easy to sell later in case you need to sell them.
  20. Medford Bassman

    Medford Bassman Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2007
    Medford, Wisconsin
    I would like an all powered system. Unfortunately $$ dictates I must work with what I got.

    90% of our gigs we use the following:

    2- MAckie SRM450 v1 and (2) EV T-18 subs powered by a Crown xTi4000.

    While not as nice as QSC, RCM or Yorkville, they get the job done gig after gig. Purchased the Mackies used. For outdoor gigs or very BIG halls, we add (2) Yamaha 2x15 cabs powered by a Yamaha poweramp 1100 watts a side. Has always worked very well for us.

    We did spend some $$ and got a A&H MizWiz board. 6 Auxes, very nice and easy to give everyone a custom monitor mix.

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