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P.A. System?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by harley_ou812, Apr 13, 2002.

  1. Fist I am not sure if this is where to post it bu since it is about amps I thought here. Feel fre to stick this in Miscelaneous if thats where it should o and if thats the fact I apologise.

    I am looing to builsd a P.A. system for our band. I have a 16 channel mixer with 3 aux sends and 2 sets of mains. We are going to want to be able to run drums, vocals , Bass, 2 guitars and depending on the song another guitar,saxophone, bongos or harmonica through the PA. I would like to be prepared and be able to play Large clubs with this system, I really dont know how much Power would be Ideal in this situation. I looked at a set of Mackie powered mains that were 400 wats rms and 600 wats peak (I thinkthats what they were) and at nother store cabs that were 250 watts and a 600 watt power amp. I dont know if these will be enough to handle all of the band at high volumes. I looked in a carvin mag. and saw for the same price as the Mackies iI could get, 2 DCM2000 and 2 TR1502 15" 600 wattcabs and 2 18-01 18 inch cabs. but i cant find specs on the 18. Wich system do you think would be best? Or something lse altogether. I am really worried about how loud it will et and still sound good. Thanks.
  2. I vote carvins mostly because that rig would be the more flexable one. The Mackies sound good but it forces you to have to buy more amps to get more cabs. The carvin amps have a great reputation, and the cabs are good for alot of different venues.

    Personally I don't bring 18's to most clubs. I have moved towards 15's on the bottom (or really small enclosure 18's) and 12's for the rest of the sound. I did that because I think the short range (dance floor) sound is better and more controlable. The sound waves that seem to come out of 15's are great for projection in large clubs or outdoors.

    Now I will get off my soapbox and vote Carvin once again.
  3. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    In the past, we've played small rooms with a Mackie 1604 VLZ and one QSC 1500 MXa. We use one side of the amp to power either a pair of JBL MR 935 3-way 15-inch or JBL MR 915 2-way 15-inch. Then we run the four monitors off the other side (at 2 ohms!). We never run in stereo anyway, because people on different sides of the room hear different mixes, so this setup works fine for mono.

    This setup is plenty for small to medium indoor venues. For outdoors, we run one side of the QSC amp through a crossover to the MR 935 mains (everything above 100 hz), and the low end through the other side to a pair of JBL MR 918's. Then we use a separate power amp for the monitors.

    This setup is probably the bare minimum in power for the venues we play. If I hadn't just bought a pair of Mackie 1530 powered speakers, I'd buy another power amp (probably the same QSC) to properly power the mains and subs. The only problem with the QSC amps is that they are very deep, and won't fit in a standard SKB rack, so I put it in a Genz Benz heavy-duty wooden rack, and still had to move the front rails forward a half inch.

    If I were you, I would look into Mackie's new SR 1232 powered enclosures, possibly along with some of their 1500 subs. The danged 1232's have 1100 watts a side built in. WHOA! But they list at about $2,000 apiece.
  4. Well I have been looking some more and it seems for alot less i could get alot more power from the carvins then I could from the mackies. But I am curious as to if the carvin sound as good or near to as good as the Mackies. The Mackies are great sounding and very portable but if the Carvins are good sounding as well I will definatly sacrifice portability for money...
  5. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Carvins are not Mackies. Carvin sounds OK. Mackie sounds great. So how do you want to sound?

    I say pay the extra few hundred bucks and get professional equipment. A month from now, you'll have forgotten all about the difference in cost.
  6. SRSiegel

    SRSiegel Guest

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    our band uses A carvin PA. for the money, it was a good deal. We use two mains powered by a DCM2000 poweramp. the amp is top quality, and the speakers are defenitly good. The speakers are the ones with 2 15"s on the bottom, 2 8"s and a wide angle horn on top. The difference is incredible. Im not sure if the 15's are tuned differently, but they hit VERY hard. and the 8's handling the midrange help out a lot too. I never thought it would be necessary to have so many drivers in one box, but i honestly think it helps to divide the signal up as much as possible. my vote is for the carvin system i described, seeing as it is more affordable, and most people who are listening will be very happy with the sound. i think the speaker model number is 1588, but im not exactly sure. check it out, its the largest full range speaker they make. you might not even need to add a sub, but a single 215 sub would make it even better.

    sorry but my only experience is with the "standard" carvin PA stuff. but the TCS stuff. you might wanna check that out too though. they use eminence kilomax drivers for the woofers ive heard.
  7. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    For the money, Carvin is a good deal. Sooner or later, though, you're going to sell it for less than half what you paid for it so you can go out and buy Mackie. Why waste the money? Buy the Mackie now.
  8. rockindoc

    rockindoc Daily Lama

    Jan 26, 2002
    Bonham, Tx
    You won't be disappointed with the Carvin equipment. We've been playing through a Carvin PA similar to SRSiegel's for 6 years now and never had a complaint or a problem. We've got the 1584s as mains. They're 3 way cabs (a step below Siegel's 1588s, with fewer speakers), and I'm still amazed how good they sound. I'm happy with the 742 monitors, too. The TR Series are a step UP, so they SHOULD be even better. Carvin amps are, IMO, a sure thing. Lots of clean power at a reasonable price, and (fingers crossed) reliable. Carvin's service dept. gets mostly high ratings, but I've never needed to call them. Good luck with your decision. rd
  9. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    You could also check out Peavey PA gear. That is what we use, and it sounds great. We are currently running (for medium/large clubs and bars): (2) Peavey SP4G's, which are a 2X15+horn cabinet, and (2) Peavey SP118X's, which are 1X18 subs. We are using 4 CS800X Peavey amps to power them, so we are pushing a total of 4800 watts to the main speakers. We also have 5 1X15+horn monitors, which we are powering with Peavey CS400X's. Sounds pretty killer. For outdoor gigs where we have to provide the PA, we rent 2 more of each main cabinet, and the power to push them.

    We are using a Mackie 24 channel board, and of course various EQ's, effects processors, noise gates, etc.
  10. int


    Jan 21, 2002
    Phoenix, AZ
    If you decide you like the Mackies, also look at the Yamaha MS400 powered speakers. Yamaha discontinued them, but you can still find them new for less than $400 a piece. I bought a blem at Musician's Friend for 299 and a demo from GC for $280.

    I've used both brands in our prcatice space and prefer the Yamahas. ymmv.

    If you don't get powered speakers, I'd suggest a Carvin DCM amp and some JBL speakers.

    Our Carvin PA speaker blew after about 6 months of light use. Although my Carvin bass rig has held up for years without any problems. Save a little more cash for some better speaker cabs.
  11. mikemulcahy


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Abyss
    I have the PA ya need. PM me for details.

  12. monkeyfinger

    monkeyfinger Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    stay away from Carvin mixing boards. They sound like ass. Spend the money on a Mackie board or better. (Crest and Allen & Heath are excellent)

    Poor headroom in the inputs, and bad eq will ruin your sound and volume.
  13. I am really curious about the peavey PA. I didnt really think of them til you mentioned them. I have always been thrilled with Peavey gear never had a problem with any of it. Would Peavey cabs sound better then carvins. I know that generally people like peavey bas cabs better then carvin but I dont know about Pa cabs. I think I am going to want to go with seperate amps and cabs. Integrated is cool for ease of set up but If something goes then I am out an amp and a cab as opposed to one or the other. I was looing at amps. Would 1400 watts per side be enough or do you thik I should go up to a Peavey amp that I could get 1800 watts per side. I have heard nothing but good things about carvins power amps. Are peaveys as good as carvins? I havent really heard much about them.
  14. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    First: I am sold on Carvin for value for the bucks, no question. However, consider what MUNJIBUNGA said about resale. These things will work for a long time, but they do not have high resale value. So as a general rule, I would recommend individual ownership over "group ownership". That way, if the band breaks up, each person just comes away with what he owns, rather than having to liquidate the whole thing for dimes on the dollar.


    When considering power ratings, be sure to look at the resistance (ohms) rating of the amps and cabinets! Most power amps are rated (power output listed in the catalog) at 4 ohms. But freequently, they will be rated at maybe half the power at 8 ohms. Most speaker enclosures (especially PA cabs) are 8-ohm loads. So make sure you educate yourself on this matter before selecting your equipment!

    To put solid bass out into a big room, you are probably going to want 300 watts per side into 15" woofers. I would take that as an absolute minimum and go from there.
  15. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
  16. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    1400 watts into what?? Are you talking seperate subs and mid/high cabs?? If so, at 1400 per side, you would be running 700 to the subs and 700 to the mid/high cabs (keep in mind you will need a stereo crossover to do this right). I would think that this would be sufficient to start with, but if you can afford to get the bigger amps right away, I personally would go for it. It is better to have too much power and not need it than not enough and be clipping the amps.

    I have never personally used any Carvin power amps, but I have heard a lot of people say that they are pretty good. I have used quite a few Peavey amps in a few different bands, and have never had a lick of trouble with any of them. My current band, like I said, is running (4) CS800X's right now, which are 1200 watts mono bridged. They get ran pretty hard at times, and they keep working flawlessly every night. Other bands I have been in have been running the PV2000's, also the newer GPS series, and all have been great amps. I highly recommend them, even though I cannot compare them to Carvin, as I have never tried any.
  17. the 1400 watts per side would be running into cabs for full range until i got subs and power amps for them then they would be running 1400 watts per side with mids and highs and another 1400 for subs.
  18. I just noticed as I have been looking at cabs that most are stating peak and program wattage handling but there is no mention of RMS. I know RMS is what I want to know. I know what Peak is but what is program? Is it another word for RMS I dont think it is but i dont know. What is it used for? How can I figure out RMS when they just tell me peak and program? Thanks for all the help.
  19. jerry

    jerry Too old for a hiptrip Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    I have a bunch of hodge podge P.A. stuff that I ended up with over the years:D I can vouch that
    Peavey is bullet proof....same with Carvin power amps! I also have Mackie mixer and Mackie powered subwoofer.....and half owner of a powered Mackie mixer....all fine stuff for me*. But if I was going to build a P.A. new from the ground up.....I would get the powered subs and powered speakers....very efficient! BTW Acme lowB cabs make great moniters:D

    * I worry way more about my bass equipment, than P.A. stuff
  20. SRSiegel

    SRSiegel Guest

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    RMS means "root mean square"

    to get the root mean square, just divide the peak by squareroot(2)

    so RMS = peak/(sqrt(2))

    hope that helps

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