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What's your budget friendly live sound rig?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Big Hoss, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    Long story short, budget is super tight, the one guitarist that was making any decent money, well isn't right now due to oil prices being so low (layoffs). I had to sell off my TS115As to get some right now money to help out a family member in a bad situation. So right now my PA is 2 Harbinger V2112s, my X2442USB mixer, 12x4 snake, box of Nady SP5 mics.

    The family member that needed the financial help is back and able to replace the speakers, and willing to buy new, or at least the value of new TS115As. So the question I have is, given that either I am clueless how to effectively search my local Craigslist, or my local market stinks as far as used music equipment is concerned, what are some good low cost powered speakers? I know I can get effective performance out of the Harbingers, at least the new Vari series... But looking for something better. What have you seen that is good, loud, and can be had for $700.00 or less for a pair?
  2. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    So about $700? For that you're pretty much limited to the Alto's, Behringer's, or Mackie Thumps. Used fairly new (AKA lightweight) powered speakers are kindof rare...
  3. MakoMan


    Oct 17, 2011
    Ottawa, Canada
    I picked up a pair of Electro-Voice ZLX-12P a couple of months ago when they were on sale for $350 each new. I am very happy with them. They are back up to $399 now, but you may be be able to still find a deal.
    Big Hoss and RoadRanger like this.
  4. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    Might cough up the extra for the EVs... those do sound good..
    MakoMan likes this.
  5. samson3382


    Apr 26, 2009
    Boise, Idaho
    My cover band has a pair of peavey PVXPs that are $350 a piece new.
    I'm not at all familiar, but peavey also just released a new line, dark matter I believe, that are $299 a piece.
  6. Bufalo

    Bufalo Funk in the Trunk Supporting Member

    Jan 6, 2005
    Harrisburg, PA
    Slightly different thinking, but a single Yamaha DXR15 could be had for around $700, and would outgun a pair of lesser expensive speakers, especially in an indoor smallish venue. The EV ZLX's are pretty decent, if you need to cover a wider area.

    As I think more, even a single Yamaha DBR15 would really carry the load, and those are $600 everywhere all day long.
    moody likes this.
  7. Bullitt5135


    Nov 16, 2010
    SE Michigan
    There are a bunch of used Alto TS115a on the Guitar Center Used site for around $200 ea., a few TS112a for only $159; EV ZLX-12p used for $299.
  8. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    Doesn't GC charge a pretty hefty fee to transfer items to store or ship them?
  9. Bullitt5135


    Nov 16, 2010
    SE Michigan
    I don't remember what I paid for shipping when I bought a pair of 15's off GC used -- maybe $25 each. I'm sure they can quote you shipping if you call or inquire online.
  10. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    My local GC doesn't.. will ship from wherever if you are buying it.
    if bought online they will ship it to home or store.. for a fee!
  11. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    I keep looking at those EVs. Think I am going to try to gather the coin for some 15s.
  12. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    I hear you on budget issues.. however, if there's one thing I've learnt over 20+ yrs of running and owning PA gear - CHEAP gets you nowhere. It doesn't last, it fills a gap, and a lot of it ends up worthless resale, or junk.
    The prosound web (pro audio and weekend warrior) guys have a motto "Buy once, cry once!"
    It took me a lot of years of buying lower-grade "cheap" MI gear ['cus I needed/wanted it now], before finally growing into quality stuff and realizing they were right!
    It applies to PA, guitar/bass, amp, IEM's, wired/wireless gear I have owned/gone thru.
    I finally figured out that I have spent over FOUR times the amount on gear - getting to that point - versus saving up for it the first time!

    To be sure, budget is ALWAYS a factor, but that's $0.02 [FWIW], YMMV. :)

    Slough Feg Bass likes this.
  13. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    That's why I am asking. Of course you cry repeatedly if you pay big coin for certain gear, and play risky environments due to theft, or in the case of where we play, environmental damage. And at least for some of us, we have realistic expectations of how far we are going to go with this music thing... I guess it is an age thing. I don't have stars in my eyes and dreams of grandeur. Rather I simply want to play music, have fun, and be a part of people enjoying a night out with friends. I am also having been in marketing in a previous career position, PAINFULLY aware of how much of the premium upcharge for premium branded items is simply paying for a name.

    A primary example would be comparing say a 2006 Jaguar XJ-6 sedan to my 2006 Chevrolet Malibu. Now nobody on the planet is going to claim the Chevy is a nicer car than the Jag, but I've driven those XJ-6s in the past. They really aren't all that special. Handling is mediocre for a European sport sedan, all too similar to the Chevy (The Ford Fusion actually drives nicer to me than both, but I got a great deal on the Chevy...). The Jag has a severely cramped interior by comparison, and I don't know too many people that buy Jaguars because of their reputation for wold class reliability. People buy Jaguars to impress other people. To flaunt wealth. Perhaps it is my family background, or the way I was raised, or whatever, but even if I was one of the folks that had won that over a billion dollar powerball jackpot, I would in no way, shape or form be interested in replacing my Chevy with any sort of Jaguar. On the contrary, i would probably be looking to buy and totally restore a late 1970s International Harvester Scout II 345 V-8 / Auto. I would update things a bit with more modern safety and performance features, but keep the basics the same. I am all about bang for the buck. And I know from first hand experience that spending more doesn't always buy you more. Conversely like you have observed, spending less initially doesn't always save you money. It's a balance of trying to find the item, whatever it is, that has the features you want, and offers the highest ROI in performance, reliability, and if need be, resale value...

    Honestly, with my gear, I rarely buy gear with the intention to resell it. Instead I fully intend to use every last mm of useful life out of it. By the time I get rid of cars for example, they look somewhat like the automotive equivalent of Keith Richards after a hard weekend... I am on my 3rd table saw, including one 1970s Rockwell Unisaw that I actually managed to break the trunion (don't ask, nobody was hurt thankfully), and 2 Ryobis. I am still using my old Ryobi BT3100 although I REALLY want a SawStop...

    And the SawStop is a prime example of being willing to pay more for a premium whatever, due to actual desireable premium features (the blade brake). Last time I looked at one, a Saw Stop 3HP Professional Cabinet saw (The next to the top of their line) with a 52" fence ran just north of $3,000.00. My Ryobi I bought used for $150.00. Obviously due to budget constraints I don't have a SawStop yet...
    MakoMan and s0c9 like this.
  14. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    I should mention a couple of things about PA gear. I got introduced for good or bad, to Behringer long before I came to Talkbass by a friend of mine that has been using their stuff for years. Quality has improved over the years, and IMHO, compares favorably against competitors on the low, to low mid price points. The musical Chevy price point as it were. Just like Hyundai is building MUCH better cars now than they did say in the 80s, the same is true of many companies in many market segments...

    The Altos that got sold actually sounded really good, were stinking loud, and really didn't leave me wanting for anything other than the following.

    #1. Odd volume control. Turn one way for line level, turn the other for mic level input. ***? Even my Harbingers have a button for that!
    #2. Questionable longevity. There was however, absolutely nothing to the fit, finish, user exposed materials, or performance of these to indicate that there would be any issues with longevity. Unlike the Harbingers, and the just released Alto TS215s, the controls on the back of the speaker are very well protected, so no worries there even!

    My V2112s, which were purchased to use as monitors, and they work really well for that, or for carrying vocals in. But remember, we have no drummer, we use a drum synth for now... I am now down to using these as mains, which means that drum synth is sent to the Harbingers. Now I paid $129.99 on Black Friday sale per piece on these. I am a bit concerned they might not like the abuse the kick can dish out... Assuming it would last paired with a good subwoofer with a crossover, these do carry vocals quite well... I do realize they are considered to be Hyundai level powered speakers, but have you checked out the latest Hyundai Genesis? I would love to own one of those!
  15. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    To be fair, comparing those speakers to a Hyundai Genesis is like comparing a Yugo to a Rolls! not even in the same league, but htey DO have 4 wheels in common, LOL :thumbsup:
    And Hyundai didn't get there overnight!
    Have you looked at the Hyundai Equus ??
  16. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    I might agree with the APS12 / APS15s I have heard. Very much not impressed. But even with the dirt cheap price tag on the V2112 on sale, it sounded pretty good. Again the concern is going to be reliability...

    And no I haven't actually checked out the Equis, but I hear they are pretty nice...
  17. While I don't know the specific speaker I agree that a single higher quality main will do better than two lesser speakers at less than twice the cost. Dispersion is less of an issue than you may think.

    And if you need some kick please get at least a basic sub and keep the mains a smaller easier 12" rather than a 15" that is never going to do either job as well.
  18. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
  19. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    I keep my eyes peeled pretty much constantly on the local Craigslist postings. As well as stuff on various rehearsal space bulletin boards near me, and through my own local grapevine as it were... Those EVs that Justice posted up, well I like ElectroVoice for sure, but I can find very little in the way of specs on them... They look like floor wedges through, not mains. Not sure if they have the pole socket for a stand or not... So I keep looking...

    Heck for my application, I might just be best off adding a sub to what I have, holding off and monitoring as best we can off the mains. Mostly annoy the lead guitar / singer, but he can fork over for an IEM rig if he wants... That way we can keep moving forward, and just plunk cash into a savings for what we really would like. A pair of good subs, and mains, and relegate the Harbingers to monitors if they live that long, if not, use them for target practice... and keep saving up for proper monitors.

    Keep the eyes open for just the right deal on just the right gear.

    Part of the issue is with our rhythm guitarist being the youngest of us at 43, we aren't exactly young dudes, aging backs are a concern. So we are wanting newer class D powered stuff.

    A good start would be perhaps to add an Electro Voice ELX118P 18" Subwoofer to the existing rig ($799.00 presently, ugh... but just save up gig money and get it done). Run to a second one as budget allows if we decide it needs one, another $799.00, and then save up again, until we get the coin for a pair of Electro Voice ZLX-12Ps. Might was well just call that another $800.00 for the pair.

    The subs would HAVE to go on a hand truck as soon as they hit the tailgate of the truck, and hopefully we don't deal with too many stairs... Or we need to work a better system out with schlepping so one guy doesn't have to handle too much weight.

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