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would it be cheaper to buy your own pa sytem??

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by billybo, Jan 20, 2003.

  1. billybo


    Jul 18, 2002
    would it be cheaper to buy your own system and make other bands pay to use it..? and if so..how much does a good/decent pa syatem cost....moniotrs, speakers, pa bord, all that stuff....
  2. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    My opinion, its almost always a better call to rent the PA than to own it.

    Initial purchase cost, maintenance/repair/replacement of damaged pieces, you'll need a truck (w/ insurance and gas) not to mention having to get to the gig very early to haul it all in, set it all up, then after a long night of performance, have to tear it all down, load it all back up, etc. etc. Plus, you will need to hire someone to run it all while you're playing anyway.

    That, and if you purchase it "as a band", there will be the inevitable conflict of what to do everytime a member quits, if the band breaks up, arguments over who is or is not carrying their fair share of the hauling burden, etc.

    Cost depends on what you need. The clubs I typically play, I'd need to spend about $20,000 for PA and lights, plus purchase or rent an equipment truck.

    Or, I can just rent a system for $200, its set up when I get there, somebody is there to run it, and I can leave as soon as I get paid at the end of the night.

    You make the call.
  3. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Amen brother, not to mention we usually blow something up damn near every time we play....good thing it's a rented system! Good gear, but the owner isn't afraid to push it to make us sound good.....glad I'm not footing the bill.
  4. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Not trying to discredit you or anything dude, but damn, you would have to spend 20 grand on a PA.

  5. Its good to have something at your practice space so you can practice vocals. You dont need to have a nice one for taking to shows though.
  6. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I've dabbled in PA over the years. If something ever happened that stopped me from playing Bass, I'd buy a PA and do that. But you wouldn't want to do both. You can't split your concentration 50/50 and expect to do well at either.....

    9 times out of 10 when I gig with guys who have spend hours setting up a PA, they're so worked up that they play everything too fast and make too many mistakes. Then they hit the wall and play the second half of the show like they've finished a marathon earlier that day.

    Plus it's hard to pull a decent mix from the stage coz you can't hear what's happening out front.

    Do one or the other. If you do decide to do PA, remember that the re-bookings are in the quality of the monitor sound, not the FOH. Backwards but true.
  7. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    It totally depends on what kind of venues you play. Small clubs and parties, I say buy your own. For bigger places, shop around and see what deals the sound companies will offer. I dunno who Eric knows that'll rent him a $20,000 pa & lights w/ soundguy for $200. That is unheard of in every market I've worked in.
  8. Three of the 4 members of our band own some PA equipment, and 3 of us own trucks to haul gear. Together, our system is more than adequate for large rooms and outdoor shows. The above posts do a pretty good job of listing advantages and disadvantages....

    Two advantages that we, as a band, enjoy:

    1) When we get paid for the gig, it's ALL profit, every cent (nothing to pay for PA rental / soundman, because we run our own show).

    2) We are the best sounding club band in town (so we've heard), because we know our system intimately and take more pride in the result than the average sound tech would.

    Some disadvantages:

    1) Long setup / teardown…..

    2) If something breaks, we foot the bill (obviously,we take exceptional care of the gear because we own it.)

    It would cost about $15 k for the complete PA and monitor system, and probably another $1 k for the lights.


  9. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Actually, it just recently went up to $225. ;)

    Being booked at least twice a week for six months in advance, and promising the same sound company all of your business, enables one to negotate a lower rate.
  10. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    The guitar player in my band owns a relatively cheap 400W powered mixer and as a band we bought a couple 12" wedges. I'm not a fan of buying stuff as a band, but we really needed something at the time and none of us wanted to put up all the money at once. We use these for practice and sometimes as monitors at gigs. Lucky for us, my friend owns a small PA and we always get him to run sound for us. His PA isn't anything spectacular, but it's good enough for our gigs, which are mostly frat parties. We pay my friend $50 for his services, and we usually get paid $400 to $600, so in the end we still take home a decent amount of money. Personally, I find it a lot easier and even cheaper to just pay my friend to run sound. I don't want to spend the extra time required to run a PA. If you add up all the money we've lost as a band paying for a soundguy/PA, we still come out on top compared to buying our own PA.
  11. it all depends on what kind of shows your playing. because if your playing smaller venues you dont even really need monitors(IMO), so you can pick up a cheaper little powered mixer with like 10 channels, and 2 big loud speakers. your set for bars and clubs, small halls, and what not. for bigger things, rent.
  12. I just had to jump in here cus I'm also forming a small sound company (very very slowly). What FeTiS says is totally true. How often you play and the size of your typical gig really determines if investing in PA is worth it. Small places aren't too bad to try to do on your own but by the time you start looking at doing a descent sized club, well your looking at a monstorous investment. Renting PA out can be tricky. First off, you have to be real compfortable with the people you rent it out too. They need to know the ins and outs to your system perfectly. Larger systems become even harder because most contracted bands have "riders" (system requirements that they must have in order to fullfill a contract). Now getting a PA that can do fullfill riders becomes a filthy expensive game to play. These folks need stuff like 8 monitors on seperate mixes, each on seperate EQ. They aren't fond of certain brands (Carvin, Peavey, and even Mackie are frowned upon in many levels the pro level communitiy). Anyway, I guess my point is it gets stupid expensive really fast. Look at what your really trying to accomplish and how much you will need do it. Find out what other folks in your area are doing as far as this stuff. Learn who rents in town (also if you pay for their guys to set up and work it), and how much they charge before you start anything. Otherwise have fun, I love that stuff.

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