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PA systems

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by jazzbo, Oct 30, 2000.


  1. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Hi,

    My band and I are looking for a good PA system, so I thought I'd get some advice. The basic requirements are: We're going to mostly be playing bars and clubs. So, I guess we're looking at around 150 people or so. We have one or two larger engagements lined up, specifically two company's Christmas parties. Those will probably be played in some type of slightly larger auditorium with a bit over 200 people.

    We checked out two Eon 15" speakers. With stands they were asking $950. I wasn't too comfortable with that.

    Does anybody have any advice for a good PA system. Obviously, price is an issue, but I will pay a little more if the product warrants it. We're rhythm guitar, bass, drums, lead guitar, and possibly a keyboardist later. We have one loud drummer. We have a lead vocalist, and three people do back up vocals.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Take a look at the Mackie page. They've got some mixers with on-board effects. To keep it simple, you could get one of those, maybe 16 channels (always get more channels than you "need"), then get a pair of their powered speakers. I've heard 'em, and even the 12's sound pretty bitchen.

    My band uses a Mackie 1604 VLZ with outboard effects, compression and EQ. Very clean, crisp sound, but lots to lug. I'd never buy any other brand of PA though.
     

  3. Mackie does make good stuff, personally I use the 16 channel powered head when playing small clubs, with a pair
    of (Used)JBL 15's and 2 12" monitors. It does the job, but it ain't cheap,The whole setup, including Mic's and Cables,
    cost me a little over 2K. But you get what you pay for. I have tried Carvin,Yamaha,Yorkville, Peavey,and Ramsa, but Mackie is by far the best.
     
  4. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    Again, I agree with Moogabooga:

    Whatever you do, make sure you get a board with 12 real mic channels. You will ALWAYS run out with only 8. In those 200-person clubs, you're gonna want to mic the kick and the snare and the toms, then someone shows up with an acoustic guitar and bingo, you're FULL. I have seen a trio of acoustic guitarists/singers run out of channels with an 8-channel board. It happens.

    Get 12.

     
  5. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Get 16. Trust me on this. The number of inputs expands to fit the channels available.
     
  6. I love the Mackie boards but for speakers, consider looking at the Elite speaker line (made by Yorkville Sound in Toronto). The Elite line is a very well respected high quality speaker that isn't super expensive. They also make some pretty small boxes that handle a ton of power and still sound great - like the E-600 cabinet - it's about the size of your typical 2X10 cab but handles 600W!

    They may be slightly more expensive than the other ones you were looking at though. Maybe you can find a used pair, or maybe check out one of the cheaper Yorkville lines like Pulse which are still pretty decent and about half the price.
     
  7. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Perhaps some JBLs. MR Series is good, SR better. TR, no.
     
  8. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Get ready for some sticker shock...most bands carry PA systems that are too small to do what they want and get poor sound as a result.

    The problem is mostly $$$$ and the ability to transport the gear. Once you go beyond amplifying the vocals (don't forget you'll want monitors, too) the demands on the system go up a LOT. If you plan on miking up the kick drum, patching some bass into the mains, etc. you'll need way more power amp wattage and larger speaker cabinets. You also have to buy mikes, mike stands, speaker stands, cables...

    Unfortunately PA aint cheap and it aint sexy. I know guys who'll own a half dozen basses but balk at investing a few grand into a PA. Well, no PA, no gigs.