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Some PA questions from a newb. EV content.

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by nogoodwithnames, Mar 25, 2014.

  1. Hello, let me preface by saying I have no experience putting together a PA. However, recently our drummer who happens to be a professional soundman had to quit due to time constraints. Needless to say, he had been providing the PA.
    So I have decided to step into the role of providing the sound reinforcement. So far I have decided on and purchased a Mixwiz 3 mixer as it seems to have a great rep. Haven't received it yet so no input there.

    My question is about the speakers themselves. I'm fairly certain I'm going to be going with 2 EV zlx12p powered mains and EV elx18p subs.
    What I'm curious about is do I "need" 2 subs or will 1 suffice for now? Id like to use the money saved on some decent monitors, then maybe add another sub later after recouping some of my investment. I have some old unpowered carvin monitors but they're certainly not anything to write home about. I know this may be impossible to answer, but I just want to hear opinions.

    Also any opinions on the ev speakers in general are welcome. I know they aren't great, but they aren't bottom of the barrel and they have great reviews. And any recommendations or ideas for stuff that I'm going to need but don't even know it yet? As stated, I've no experience at this. thanks!
  2. repoman


    Aug 11, 2011
    Kinderhook NY
    I'm also in the same boat as you...sort of tasked to build a decent sound system/PA set up for my band. I am very interested in what is going to be posted here, even if it is just links to previous threads about starting from scratch to build a PA for a band.
  3. ^ agreed. I welcome any tips or hints anyone is willing to share. I've tried search for just that you're of thing, but came up rather empty.
  4. dskissel


    Aug 16, 2013
    One tip with the monitors is try and get the same as the mains you will use since you want the ev zlx12p. That will make it much easier during a show because then if a main goes and you can't replace it right away you won't be stuck without a main for the show which would be very bad and makes replacing things much easier.
  5. Excellent point, and exactly the kind of advice I'm looking for because it makes great sense, but not something I would have thought about.
  6. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    I would try one sub and see if it does the job. If not you could get another one in the future. You can improve the amount of low end by paying attention to where you place the sub at a gig.
  7. If your choice is between having two subs and having all the monitors you need, I don't think there's any question: get the monitors. As Modulus says, you can always add the second one later.
  8. lakefx

    lakefx Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2012
    You haven't specified what you're running through the PA. If it is just vocals, you don't need a sub. If it's vocals, keys, and kick drum, then one sub should be good to start. If you run bass direct and a full miced drum kit, you'll need a bigger PA.

    I used to run sound professionally about 15 years ago for a top regional company with all custom cabs. I have a single ZLX-12P for rehearsal vocals and I've been quite happy with it.
  9. We play rock/alternative, everything from G n R to Volbeat with some halestorm and sublime sprinkled in. We had been running bass direct, mic'd guitar, 5 drum mics and vocals as well. I'd like to continue to do so, so what part of the pa is going to be incapable? All of it? Like I said I have no idea what we truly need.
  10. lakefx

    lakefx Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2012
    If you're playing at loud enough volume that you need to run the full drum set through the PA, then the system as a whole is undersized. I would probably want 2 subs and 4 tops as a minimum at that point. My single ZLX -12P is barely enough to keep up with an unmiced drum kit with just vocals running through it. When we tried to run the keys through it without a separate keyboard amp, it wasn't enough.

    If you have a bass amp instead of running direct you may get okay results. The sub generally should only handle frequencies below about 125hz. Most of the low mids that give your bass definition are above that and the excursion of the drivers will severely limit the volume you can get at those frequencies. I'm not saying that what you want to do won't work, but you're unlikely to be happy with the results.
  11. Session1969

    Session1969 Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2010
    Get the two and be done so it looks normal.
  12. I'm sorry, but it doesn't matter what kind of music you're playing or what your system is. You haven't told us what kind of room you are trying to fill. It isn't about the music. It isn't about style. It's about how many square/cubic feet you are filling and whether it's indoor or outdoor.

    No one here (including myself) has the slightest idea if the suggested equipment is not enough, just enough, or more than you need, if we don't know where you are going to be using it.
  13. mkmsound


    Mar 10, 2011
    Arnold MD
    Did your drummer/soundman leave on good terms? Ask his advice.

    What were you using before and was it adequate, overkill, or just right for your venues?

    Either or both of the above would be a good starting point.
  14. Tunaman


    Dec 26, 2004
  15. Ok, great stuff everyone, thanks for the replies. Tunaman, I like your motto that's why I want to get this right. If the ev stuff is junk I will steer clear for sure.

    To answer some questions, there are no plans to be playing any outdoor venues, but if we do I would simply look into renting whatever we need at that time. Basically playing small/med bars and clubs, 50-150 people so nothing crazy there.

    We had been using a pair of Yorkville elite ls800p subs and a pair of Yorkville 15" tops. Quite frankly I thought it was overkill for the places we play, but It sure sounded great!

    I am thinking we could probably do without micing the entire drum kit as well, maybe just mic the kick and get the guitar player to turn down. :) I have a capable bass rig, a gk700rb with 2 avatar 212's so I don't need to go direct, although its nice to have the bass in the subs.
  16. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2012
    Omaha, NE
    When you said "go direct" people thought you meant going direct into the PA with no bass amp on stage and just relying on the PA for your FOH sound and monitors for you stage sound. Did you just mean you run a direct out to the PA in addition to your amp?

    Our singer just bought a similar system - two ELX112P tops and one ELX118P sub (for now anyway). The sound company we bought from was steering us away from the ZLX speakers - but of course the ELX are $200 more each, so who knows their true motives. We are going to hook the system up for the first time at rehearsal tonight.
  17. You are correct, I had just run direct at one show where the stage was too small to fit all of our gear, but for the most part yes I was using my rig and using the di out of my amp to go to the board.

    Please do check back in here with your thoughts on that setup, I'd be very interested to hear. And yes, I had thought about the elx series too, but from what I've read the zlx sound great. Seems that the stores may be pushing the higher priced line a bit more.
  18. Joedog


    Jan 28, 2010
    Pensacola FL
    I don't know why you say "I know they aren't great...". I have no experience with the newer models, or powered speakers, but have had a couple pairs of older EV's, and they sounded GREAT. Awesome clean bass thump that would make your pant legs flap, with clean crisp highs. Also have an EV in a bass cab that also sounds great. They are well built workhorses. The only speaker we ever blew up was a Yorkville. EV's sounded way better to me. Last PA speakers I had were Yamahas. They were also excellent, but the EV's were cleaner with a tad better highs.
  19. Great input thank you. By saying they aren't great, I guess I just mean they aren't held in as high of regard as say qsc or jbl or what have you. That's just my uneducated and inexperienced opinion. I'm just going off of internet forum bias and opinions :)

    Honestly I've never heard an ev speaker in all my life, at least not knowingly. I have researched a lot however, and most all reviews are nothing but praise.
  20. Bufalo

    Bufalo Funk in the Trunk Supporting Member

    Jan 6, 2005
    Harrisburg, PA
    I think people get pretty carried away by what is needed for adequate live sound. You say medium bars for 150 people tops? A pair of powered 12" mains with a single sub will give you more than enough volume and power to do what you need. You can go bigger of course, but then the temptation is easy to blow the heads off of the people who came to see you. Mic the snare and the kick, mic the guitars, run vocals through it. You have a pretty stout bass rig that will carry a moderate room easily. The rest of an acoustic drum kit can carry pretty well. If you think you need more acoustic power from your mains to mic the toms and such, look at 15" mains - thoughmany prefer the sound of 12's.

    I listened to the ZLX12P's in comparison to a few other speakers not that long ago and was reasonably impressed. Better to my ear than the comparably priced Alto's, but not as powerful as the QSC K12's. At the same time, you can buy a pair of ZLX's for less than one K12 (at least based on MAP prices), and that matters a lot to many of us.

    You're looking at making a pretty considerable investment in real dollars, so it's worth whatever trip is required to find a retailer that will let you really listen to speakers for a while with some varying material, that's really the best thing you can do.

    A 3-piece main system will go a long way in the venues you want to play. You've got the right idea with renting bigger if you ever actually NEED bigger.