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Recommendations for Budget Active Speakers? - Behringer, Mackie, Alto?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by peabody, Mar 20, 2014.

  1. peabody

    peabody Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2002
    La Crosse, WI

    I'm throwing together a small PA to use at my son's graduation party. I'm hoping to talk a couple of my friends into doing a little trio thing (guitar/vocals, bass, drums)...and inviting anyone else up who may want to jam. It will be outside, but probably no more than 50-75 people.

    I already have a litle Yamaha unpowered mixer, so I'm good there.

    I'm looking at getting a pair of powered speakers. I don't want to spend a lot of money, and while I'd love to buy some nice QSC's or JBL's, it's not happening. In fact I'll probably just turn around and sell everything once the party's over. Realistically I'm thinking $300-$500 for a pair....and I'm not opposed to used or reconditioned....and I prefer 15's

    While I've done a lot of research, nothing seems to jump out....and you can never know for sure if it's a real review or a "fake" one thrown in there to artificially praise or slam the product.

    I know, you get what you pay for, but I just thought I'd ask to see if anyone has any experience (good or bad) with any powered 15's.

    Here's what I've been looking at...
    Mackie Thump TH-15A's (I can get a brand new pair for $484)
    Behringer..probably either a pair of B215D or a B115D
    Alto TS115

    Any recommendations?
  2. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    If you're planning to sell right after the event, why not rent a small PA?

    Outside of that, look into Carvin, Peavey, Mackie... all have good price:quality ratios.

    Personally, I'd avoid Behringer as I've never been all that impressed by their quality or their sound, but for a one-off maybe it doesn't matter if it doesn't last....
  3. gard0300

    gard0300 Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    Vandalia, Ohio
    The EV ZLX series is really affordable and very versatile. Shoot an email to forums@musiciansfriend.com for special Talkbass forum pricing. Please don't post pricing online though. We don't want to ruin a good thing. :)
  4. peabody

    peabody Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2002
    La Crosse, WI
    I thought about renting, and to be honest, I could probably even borrow one. The truth is, I kind of enjoy the buying and selling thing...so that's my rationale (weak as it is) for buying.

    As far as the feedback on the Behringer, that is certainly some of the feedback I've read as well. The Alto gets similar comments about not lasting very long. The info I've read on the Mackie Thump is that is is underpowered, but I'm sure I won't even come close to maxing it out.

    I think most of the feedback I've read was done by DJ's, and I'm guessing they really push the limits of their equipment.

    Thanks for the feedback...
  5. gard0300

    gard0300 Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    Vandalia, Ohio
    I've used a preamp pedal and have used the ZLX as my bass rig before. It plenty powerful enough and only 40 something pounds. Nice units.
  6. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    Since you want to buy and flip (and don't want to rent), I'd look at whatever is reasonably priced on your local used market.

    Also consider that for 50-75 people, a single active speaker will probably cover you for mains.

    I'm assuming you won't have a ton of open mics on stage and that the small PA is essentially vocals-only. If the volume is low and the "stage" space allows, you might get away with having one speaker behind the band as a combined main/monitor. I still would go for used gear in your position (well, I'd rent; but if that's off the table...). However, if you feel you have to buy new gear, limiting the purchase to one speaker at least has you eating a smaller loss.
  7. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    I would strongly suggest Seismic Audio's PWS-15's with their discounts normally found on their site's opening page. I believe their site is being upgraded at the current time.
    I have 2 of them and they also have outputs to push another set of unpowered's. Wife and I are building up a DJ system with these and 18's. We have some of their 18 subs and I replaced an SWR 8x8 Henry with 2 of their 4x8 bass cabinets.

    A friend replaced an older system in a church he works with using their "white-boxed" unpowered version of these(flown) and is quite pleased with them also.

    In the picture below you can see they are also useful for working outdoors here in Boonieland Acres with an mp3 player. :D

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