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PA Questions & Suggestions

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Yamarc, Jan 21, 2006.

  1. Yamarc

    Yamarc Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    Northville, MI
    Hey Guys,
    I am in a worship band who is starting to play out in a local pub a few times a month for about 100 people or so. The pub itself doesn't have a sound system, so we have to price one up and make a proposal to our church...

    We are looking at getting a basic gigging PA system, probably a powered mixer, 2 115 mains and 2 or 3 monitors.

    We've got some decent mics and cables lying around, but I was wondering what you guys might suggest for around 1500.00 bucks give or take a little.

    We are trying to decide between 3 mixers (Mackie 808, Yamaha EMX5000, and maybe an Allen and Heath PA12CP)
    Any suggestions or recommendations on any of these over another? How many watts should we shoot for? I like the table top mixer better, but will be flexible for good sound/quality...

    We are looking at 2 115 speakers for the mains (JBLs and Yamaha Club Series) Not sure which JBLs yet, any ideas? How do they compare with one another? Any other suggestions?

    How about monitors? (JBL, Yamaha, etc?) What do you guys suggest here? Should we get wedge monitors that match the mains? Does this make a difference when EQing?

    Thanks for all of your help and feel free to add anything you might think is helpful!
  2. ESP-LTD


    Sep 9, 2001
    We have been using the Yamaha with 15" Yamaha mains for a year or so, no complaints. Very nice stuff. We also looked at the Mackie, which is good stuff as well.

    For monitors I have some cheapie Fender 16 ohm wedges; not very good but very cheap (I think I paid $100 each for them).
  3. BbbyBld


    Oct 13, 2005
    Meridian, MS
    I used the Yamaha 115 Club Series monitors a lot when I used to run sound. I thought they sounded pretty good. We sometimes put them on poles and used them for mains, and they were good at that too.
  4. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    Check out the Yorkville Sound line of PA equipment. Very good stuff and fairly priced. Just about every club around here uses their PAs and they have it in different price levels. They have some good high powered mixers as well as mains and monitors. It's all made in Canada.
  5. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    We have several set ups for diffrent gigs, but our 'small rig was always several little heads strung together for front end and monitors...until I bought one of these over the summer:


    It's nice. 1K watts out front, or split 500 for front end and 500 for monitors. Split its perfect for vocals for smaller gigs. For small/medium stuff use it for front end and run the monitors to another amp.

    It doesn't feel as hardy as my ol' peavey powered mixer, but it's 700w stronger and it has more flexability. Its light and easily moveable and also comes in it's own 'shell'. I paid 400 bucks for mine new.

    We use 12's with horns on stands for shows where we have vocals though the pa only (with 12's w/horns for monitors) and when we need something bigger we use 15's out front. If we need really big, we have 15's and 18's out front.
  6. My band uses the Yamaha EMX 5000 along with Club Series 15horns as mains the the cheaper BR series 12horns for monitors. The rig has plenty of power and Yamaha has a circuit that matches up the mixer to the speakers very nicely. Super flat response. You should be able to stay on budjet going that route if you already have mics and cables.
  7. pbd

    pbd Commercial User

    Jul 17, 2003
    Metro Detroit
    owner Procables N Sound
    Just like a car you have to also look at, "will it grow with you if you add more players?" and "does it have a good resale value if you decide to upgrade?"
    I like the Yamaha products because they feel and look as durable as they are. The Soundcraft and Mackie's are light weight and I'm always afraid they'll break though they have great options and work well.

    My $.02
  8. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    We're using a Mackie 808 with a QSC power amp to power up two 15 and horn combos, and a pair of 18s, and it's working out pretty well... I'll add that we're a metal band that's pretty loud - so I think the 808 by itself would probably work OK for your stated purposes...

    - georgestrings
  9. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    why 15"s in the mains? if you're just putting vocals and acoustic guitar thru the pa 12" mains are fine and usually sound a bit better.

    also 3 monitors is a tall order, most of those powered mixers will only let you have a min 4 ohm load per side which means 2 8 ohm mains and 2 8 ohm monitors maximum. I know from experience that praise/worship groups are notorious for wanting 27 monitors, but i don't think it's gonna happen.

    you dont need to match mains to monitors, you'll want to eq them differently anyway as eq'ing monitors is about eliminating feedback while maintaing intelligibility, whereas eqing mains is about eliminating room anomalies

    try to keep it simple. remember, when you get a powered mixer, mains, stands for the mains, and 2 monitors, you still havent bought microphones (sure sm-58s are the standard and are mid priced at 100 bucks a pop), speaker cables for the mains and the monitors and make sure they're long enough, mic cables for all the mics, mic stands for all the mics, and a case or something to hold all those mics and cables. Oh and don't forget an extension cord for the PA because the power might be all the way across the pub.

    keep it simple as possible or you'll be unhappy, and the church will wonder where all the money is going. Oh, and DO NOT depend upon each member to supply and remember to bring his or her own mic, cable and stand - that's a recipie for strife and bad blood because they won't. :smug:
  10. Yamarc

    Yamarc Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    Northville, MI
    Thanks for all of your replies, we have some decent mics and cables so it looks like the powered mixer, mains and monitors are all we really need. It sounds like the Yamaha is the favorite choice so far, surprising I thought it would be te mackie/JBL stuff...anybody else? Thanks
  11. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    Simplicity was my goal. I provide the PA for both of my bands (go figure - I don't sing and am the only one with a proper vehicle). My system is this:

    2 JBL EON 15 G2s - I like powered mains because it reduces the amount of outboard gear I need to put in my PA case

    1 JBL JRX118SP - not the best powered 18 sub in the world, but easy to haul around and it is efficient with the EONs in a small-to-medium room

    PA case with the following:

    Yamaha MG 16/6 board
    BBE Sonic Maximizer
    Yamaha SPX-90 (I still love this unit and It has 20 years of use)
    Rackmount CD player
    1 QSC PLX 2402 for monitors

    We run either 2 or 4 monitors (we have four ancient, but really reliable EV 1202s)

    This rig is good for small-to-medium rooms, and for smaller rooms we just leave the sub at home. You can get a mild kick through the EONS. It's portable and easy to set up.
  12. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    $1500 is not much in the real world of giggable PA, even if you aready own mikes, cables, stands, etc.

    I second the GigRac, given your stated budget. Take a look at the CGM ARM-112H monitors, which served me well with many extremely picky, high profile acts over the years. Ignore the CGM 15 monitors and any of the more expensive 12" variants, they aren't nearly as nice. The ARM-112H runs ~ $150 USD street price. The comparable JBL or Yammie monitors are way out of your league price wise.

    For FOH, listen to the JBL Eons, E-V Eliminators, Yammie Club Series, Mackie passives, and Yorkville Performance Series. They all have their ups and downs, but I've had OK results with all of 'em at once time or another.

    I assume buying used isn't an option in this case? Used PA gear tends to depreciate really hard, and would be my first choice in many cases for sure.

    Edit: The A&H PA Series is a huge step up from the other boards you mentioned, in my experience. I mix on the 28 channel one quite often, and it's been trouble free so far in a year of hard club use (permanently installed, running at least 4 nights a week). I haven't tried the powered ones yet, but if budget allows I bet that'd be a good investment.
  13. $1500 is plenty of dough for that size venue. We usually run a Yamaha EMX-5000/12 into two Yamaha Club series 15 mains and two Yamaha Club series 15 monitors. This can be had brand new for $1500 and all you need are mikes, cables, stands, and maybe a couple DIs.
  14. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Looks like a good solution for that price point! I got closer to $1900 when I just ran a quick search on those pieces, but I don't doubt that better deals are out there. I'd add two 31 band EQs right off though, if feasible. The ART ones are cheap and work well. Also, mikes, stands, cables, cases or covers, and DI could easily run another $500-$1000 depending on how many pieces you have. You could maybe save a bit by going with 12s instead of 15s too, as IM said. 12s tend to sound better for vocals-only PA duty with two way cabs in many cases.
  15. Yamarc

    Yamarc Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    Northville, MI
    Baba, I think we are going to go with the setup you suggested, except with the Yamaha club series 12" monitors...

    The best price I have gotten from Guitar Center is 1695.00 for 1 EMX 5000 powered mixer, 2 Yamaha Club series 15 mains, and 2 Yamaha Club Series 12 monitors...the jury is still out on the Allen and Heath mixer,,we will see what the Church allows (although it is only about 250 bucks more!)
  16. sb69coupe


    Aug 9, 2004
    Raleigh NC
    We started out with the same PA that you are considering. We had the 12 channel EMX5000 and the same speakers, 15's for mains, 12's for monitors. We've since added on quite a bit, separate power amps for mains, added subs and a dedicated amp for them, some outboard EQ's and dbx DriveRackPA unit. We're still using the internal poweramp to drive the monitors.

    One thing that I wish we would have done from the start is to have bought the 20 channel mixer instead of the 12. We're having to use a small 4 channel board for the drum mics, and run them into a stereo sub input on the EMX5000-12 since we're out of available channel strips. So my advice is to spend the extra $200 or so and upgrade to the 20 channel board, if you can swing the $$$. It's easy to add outboard gear, more amps, etc, but you'll be stuck with 12 channels with this board. Keep in mind that there are really only 8 channels for mics, 9/10 and 11/12 are stereo pairs that have only one slider and more limited EQ per pair.
  17. Good choice! I would recommend searching your a$$ off on the internet for the best price on each item. Then take those printed prices to your local Guitar Center and they will match it. This is what I did and significantly reduced the cost.
  18. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    That Yami's a great board. One thing I like about it is that the built-in limiters are musical-sounding (in other words, you can actually USE them 'on-purpose'), and are switchable for 100W, 300W or 500W per-side - very nice.

    I use one every Saturday that I'm not bass-gigging, where I'm in charge of house sound for a pretty large music-centered coffee house. We run long speaker cables to the front (I know...), and have a 31-band and quad compressor inserted between the main buss and the built-in power amp (the other two channels are for monitors, and one channel insert - usually the lead singer) - then it's off to the Peavey 15" mains on poles. I use the 300W-setting on the limiters, and set the outboard compression to just tickle the onboard limiters for max-power.

    I really like the board, and it's given us no trouble.

  19. Yamarc

    Yamarc Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    Northville, MI
    My boss just submitted the estimate for the system I mentioned above, but with the Allen and Heath powered mixer instead of the Yamaha...sweet!
  20. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics

    I really liked the A&H Mix Wizard I used to own, and the PA series seems like a winner too, judging from my experiences.