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Drummerboy141



Joined: 27/09/09
Posts: 19
What PA? new
      #782428 - 27/10/09 10:13 PM
Hi All

I am just about to purchase a new PA for the band. We will be playing to around 100-250 people at weddings and functions etc. 4 piece plus clicktrack, playing party music pop and some rock (not heavy though).

Line up

Lead vox
Elec. guitar
Keys
Drums

Bass through the clicktrack and 2x backing vox. Minidisc player and drums miced up.

I am thinking we need around 1000 watts to acheive this.

Any suggestions?

I have been looking at the Behringer PMP3000 along with the B1220 Eurolive speakers and maybe a Behringer B1800X pro bin or possibly two. Our budget isn't huge (around £1200-1400 max.)

If anyone can comment on this set up or suggest anything else I'd be very glad to hear your views.

Cheers


Ian


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Sheriton



Joined: 27/01/03
Posts: 1555
Loc: Leicester, UK
Re: What PA? new [Re: Drummerboy141]
      #782436 - 27/10/09 11:00 PM
Do you already have all the mics, stands, cables etc. that you'll need? You could easily spend that entire budget just on those bits - the costs soon add up.

Looking at the second hand market is always a good idea when there's a limited budget. There's plenty of decent kit out there that will perform far better than behringer and hold its value better too. People here will be happy to advise on any particular makes / models you spot.

--------------------
There's nothing we can't face... Except for bunnies


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Drummerboy141



Joined: 27/09/09
Posts: 19
Re: What PA? new [Re: Drummerboy141]
      #782493 - 28/10/09 08:44 AM
Thanks for that Sheriton - what kit would you advise yourself?

Yes, have most of the other gear except the speaker cables -still have the old jack to jack for these, so will need replacing!
Can anyone suggest a good place to search for second hand gear? Have tried eBay with little success so far.Any advice on whcih makes to check out first, both speaker and mixer amp wise?


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TheChorltonWheelie



Joined: 22/09/09
Posts: 972
Re: What PA? new [Re: Drummerboy141]
      #782497 - 28/10/09 08:55 AM
Quote Drummerboy141:

I am thinking we need around 1000 watts to acheive this.

Any suggestions?

I have been looking at the Behringer PMP3000 along with the B1220 Eurolive speakers and maybe a Behringer B1800X pro bin or possibly two. Our budget isn't huge (around £1200-1400 max.)

If anyone can comment on this set up or suggest anything else I'd be very glad to hear your views.

Cheers


Ian




We use an HK Soundhouse One, with an additional sub, and that's rated at 1000w (genuine full-sized watt's too, unlike Behringer et al), and that cost us £650 secondhand (but in absolutely perfect condition). We use an Yamaha MG124CX mixer, 3 AKG D5's, a pair of Tapco Thumps as vocal monitors, we have a couple of TC M300's, and including the HK rig and all of the stands I'm almost 100% sure we had change from £1200.

I always thought that bigger boxes make bigger noises, but having used HK for a few years I can honestly say that it's absolute nonsense. Look for any review on HK rigs and they'll all say that they are absolutely superb, and that's not an exaggeration either.

You could also look at this Peavey rig, which I know sounds superb as I went to a Peavey demo a few months ago. Their kit is guaranteed for 5 years, it's all swap-out warranty, so that's a big bonus for a working band.

http://www.whybuynew.co.uk/Peavey-Pro-Subs-&-Pro-12-Active-Speaker-Pac kage.html

I far prefer active rigs, not least because there are no heavy amps, but also because there's no messing around with crossovers, you simply send a left and right from the desk to the subs and you're done; breaking down is so much simpler now!! :-)


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valves4ever
member


Joined: 26/01/03
Posts: 110
Re: What PA? new [Re: Drummerboy141]
      #782498 - 28/10/09 08:57 AM
I'd avoid Behringer gear as a general rule.....promises a lot for cheap money but doesn't deliver, you only get what you pay for...or less!....I was in a band a couple of years ago who had the top of the range Behringer powered mixer....used to be on max every night and not not very loud or clear. I'd look round for better quality s/h gear.....tons on Ebay......


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grab



Joined: 08/07/07
Posts: 2845
Loc: Cambridge, UK
Re: What PA? new [Re: Drummerboy141]
      #782512 - 28/10/09 10:02 AM
The EV SX range of speakers are also worth considering. They come up fairly regularly second-hand in the usual places, so worth keeping an eye out.

Re replacing your speaker cables, it's *way* cheaper to just chop the jack ends off your existing cables and replace them with Speakons (e.g. 20-0856 from the link below). It's a screw-terminal plug, so no soldering needed.

http://www.rapidonline.com/Cables-Connectors/Connectors-Audio-Video/Jack/S peakon-4-pole-loudspeaker-connectors/67751/kw/speakon


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James PerrettModerator



Joined: 10/09/01
Posts: 10452
Loc: The wilds of Hampshire
Re: What PA? new [Re: TheChorltonWheelie]
      #782521 - 28/10/09 10:22 AM
Quote RolandFantom:


You could also look at this Peavey rig, which I know sounds superb as I went to a Peavey demo a few months ago. Their kit is guaranteed for 5 years, it's all swap-out warranty, so that's a big bonus for a working band.

http://www.whybuynew.co.uk/Peavey-Pro-Subs-&-Pro-12-Active-Speaker-Package .html






I would respectfully disagree about that Peavey rig. I've heard the tops on their own and they're little better than the cheap 40 quid boxes you can buy from Maplins. There's no way that they even come close to HK (which, while acceptable, aren't my favourites either). Maybe we just hear things differently...

I'd echo the suggestion to look at the used market but if you want to go new I would look at the Studiospares Fortissimo range.

Cheers

James.

--------------------
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration.
http://www.jrpmusic.net


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Big Kev



Joined: 24/02/06
Posts: 190
Loc: Sunny Shropshire
Re: What PA? new [Re: James Perrett]
      #782528 - 28/10/09 11:00 AM
Quote:



I'd echo the suggestion to look at the used market but if you want to go new I would look at the Studiospares Fortissimo range.






Are the Fortissimo range really any good? They just seem to be too good to be true (for the price). I was thinking of getting some but was worried about the quality. Also if you were going to use them with a sub, is it worth getting the 12" tops rather than the 15" versions?

--------------------
I met a strange lady, she made me nervous; she took me in and gave me breakfast


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Mike Stranks
active member


Joined: 03/01/03
Posts: 3612
Loc: Oxford, UK
Re: What PA? new [Re: Big Kev]
      #782539 - 28/10/09 11:31 AM
Quote Big Kev:

Quote:



I'd echo the suggestion to look at the used market but if you want to go new I would look at the Studiospares Fortissimo range.






Are the Fortissimo range really any good? They just seem to be too good to be true (for the price). I was thinking of getting some but was worried about the quality. Also if you were going to use them with a sub, is it worth getting the 12" tops rather than the 15" versions?




Yes, they are very good for the money. A bit bass-heavy, but nothing that can't be well-sorted with a graphic. I've had several professional musos comment favourably on them and when they hear the price they head straight for the Studiospares website!

I'd also agree about the Peavey PR range. In my view, much inferior in sound to the Fortissimos. I've used a lot of Peavey gear in the past, but now think you can do very much better for only a little more money or better for about the same money!


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TheChorltonWheelie



Joined: 22/09/09
Posts: 972
Re: What PA? new [Re: James Perrett]
      #782624 - 28/10/09 03:21 PM
Quote James Perrett:

I'd echo the suggestion to look at the used market but if you want to go new I would look at the Studiospares Fortissimo range.




Ironically, these are used at our local rehearsal rooms and I think they're truly awful; I wouldn't use them to prop the toilet door open at a gig, let alone expect paying customers to listen to them.


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James PerrettModerator



Joined: 10/09/01
Posts: 10452
Loc: The wilds of Hampshire
Re: What PA? new [Re: TheChorltonWheelie]
      #782653 - 28/10/09 04:37 PM
Quote RolandFantom:

Quote James Perrett:

I'd echo the suggestion to look at the used market but if you want to go new I would look at the Studiospares Fortissimo range.




Ironically, these are used at our local rehearsal rooms and I think they're truly awful; I wouldn't use them to prop the toilet door open at a gig, let alone expect paying customers to listen to them.




Yep - we definitely have totally different ideas about what sounds good

The Studiospares speakers aren't the last word in quality but they offer good value for money in my opinion.

Cheers

James.

--------------------
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration.
http://www.jrpmusic.net


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Drummerboy141



Joined: 27/09/09
Posts: 19
Re: What PA? new [Re: James Perrett]
      #782754 - 28/10/09 10:34 PM
Thanks for all that info guys. It seems the Behringer gear is not the way to go. I am looking now at the HK stuff and EV. The tops look tiny on the HK gear - do they really sound so good? Very helpful for transportation though! Will go down the second hand route I think. Any more tips guys?


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Drummerboy141



Joined: 27/09/09
Posts: 19
Re: What PA? new [Re: Drummerboy141]
      #782763 - 28/10/09 10:47 PM
What do you guys think to LD systems gear? Powered mixer/speakers subs etc? Would you guys advocate active speakers or a powered mixer?

Edited by Drummerboy141 (28/10/09 10:55 PM)


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Mike Stranks
active member


Joined: 03/01/03
Posts: 3612
Loc: Oxford, UK
Re: What PA? new [Re: Drummerboy141]
      #782770 - 28/10/09 11:04 PM
Quote Drummerboy141:

What do you guys think to LD systems gear? Powered mixer/speakers subs etc? Would you guys advocate active speakers or a powered mixer?




Have a look at this:

Performing Musician Review - LD Dave 12+

... and at an attractive price here:

Soundsavers - LD Dave 12

I am not connected to this company in any way - just found this when browsing.

HTH


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Drummerboy141



Joined: 27/09/09
Posts: 19
Re: What PA? new [Re: Drummerboy141]
      #782836 - 29/10/09 09:22 AM
Thanks for that Mike. The system looks good but I fear are a litle small for our needs. We definitely do not require a huge 4K rig but around 1000-1200w will give us a little comfort zone. Had a look at the Peavey PRO15 & PROSUB system recommended here and it looks exceptional value at around £500-£600 for passive tops and bins. has anyone used these on a regular basis? Had a Peavey system years ago which used to perform well except for a tendency to hum - probably not the system but the cables. What makes do you guys recommend/use as for mixing? We may go down the active route yet though I'm still thinking passive cabs with a powered mixer. Any comments?


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James PerrettModerator



Joined: 10/09/01
Posts: 10452
Loc: The wilds of Hampshire
Re: What PA? new [Re: Drummerboy141]
      #782839 - 29/10/09 09:26 AM
I've never been a fan of powered mixers in any system larger than a small vocal PA. Amps belong in or near the speakers in order to keep speaker cables short. The mixer should be somewhere in front of the speakers (if you have someone to mix while you are playing) or somewhere easily accessable to whoever will be controlling sound.

If you are using passive speakers then I prefer to use amps separate from the mixer.

Cheers

James.

--------------------
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration.
http://www.jrpmusic.net


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Sheriton



Joined: 27/01/03
Posts: 1555
Loc: Leicester, UK
Re: What PA? new [Re: Drummerboy141]
      #782876 - 29/10/09 11:18 AM
Quote Drummerboy141:

We definitely do not require a huge 4K rig but around 1000-1200w will give us a little comfort zone.




To clear up a little bit of confusion here, the number of Watts that a speaker can handle before going up in smoke has absolutely no relation to the amount of sound that it will produce. The marketing people won't tell you this as it's far easier to produce an inefficient speaker that will tolerate 1000W than an efficient one that can manage 300W.

The figures to look at are the maximum SPL, or if that's not quoted, the sensitivity. If the manufacturer doesn't quote either of those, they have something to hide so avoid them.

By my maths, the Peavy Pro 15 you mention will manage a maximum SPL of 122dB, which is not great. The top cab in the HK soundhouse that was mentioned will coincidentally also manage 122dB (Its amp is only 150W but the cab is more efficient). See the problem with just looking at power ratings?

The EV SX300 mentioned quotes a calculated max SPL of 131dB. Note that that's calculated, not measured. My maths puts it more realistically at 123dB. (Personally I think they're horrible speakers - worse than fingernails on a blackboard but plenty of other people seem to like them).

As a comparison, a really good (expensive) cab such as a d&b Q7 is only 400W but manages 138dB as it's maximum SPL. That's getting on for three times as loud as the Peavy. To further confuse the issue, dB is a logarithmic scale; it takes ~10dB increase for a speaker to sound twice as loud. A 3dB increase consumes twice as much power and makes a negligible difference to the volume.

Ultimately, you need to listen to whichever systems you're considering. Paper figures will only ever tell part of the story. I've heard plenty of good things about HK and Fortissimo, although I've not used them myself.
Mixer wise, if you can get a good deal on an A&H PA12 (make sure it's the powered one), that would be a good buy, assuming it will always live on stage beside you, as James points out. If the speakers are powered, one of A&H's Zed range might be worth looking at.

--------------------
There's nothing we can't face... Except for bunnies


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TheChorltonWheelie



Joined: 22/09/09
Posts: 972
Re: What PA? new [Re: Drummerboy141]
      #782890 - 29/10/09 11:56 AM
Quote Drummerboy141:

Thanks for that Mike. The system looks good but I fear are a litle small for our needs. We definitely do not require a huge 4K rig but around 1000-1200w will give us a little comfort zone. Had a look at the Peavey PRO15 & PROSUB system recommended here and it looks exceptional value at around £500-£600 for passive tops and bins. has anyone used these on a regular basis? Had a Peavey system years ago which used to perform well except for a tendency to hum - probably not the system but the cables. What makes do you guys recommend/use as for mixing? We may go down the active route yet though I'm still thinking passive cabs with a powered mixer. Any comments?




I can honestly put my hand on my heart and say that the Peavey kit sounded good, and I'd point out that I've been playing live for 20 years (with various rigs, including one band that uses a Nexo) so I don't consider myself to be wet behind the ears. Having said that, and as James pointed out, sound is very subjective so you'd have to hear it for yourself to be sure it's what you want.

Don't be put off by small top speakers, the HK kit sounds superb and just about every review would qualify that comment.

I've just bought an active Wharfedale rig (that came in a job lot with some other items I really wanted) and being honest I think it sounded pretty good. It won't set Wembley alight, granted, but for a working band I'd say it's absolutely fine.

Remember, in a crowd of 100 people you'll have only 1 audiophile so don't worry too much about appealing to that 1 person.


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grab



Joined: 08/07/07
Posts: 2845
Loc: Cambridge, UK
Re: What PA? new [Re: Sheriton]
      #782901 - 29/10/09 12:28 PM
Quote:

My maths puts it more realistically at 123dB.




Depends on whether the "max SPL" figure uses the continuous RMS rating or peak rating - which is another potential source of fudging by manufacturers, I guess.

(Although even then, 1.2kW peak at 99dB sensitivity gives 129.6dB by my maths, not 131dB. Lies, damn lies and audio equipment statistics...)


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Drummerboy141



Joined: 27/09/09
Posts: 19
Re: What PA? new [Re: Drummerboy141]
      #782927 - 29/10/09 01:43 PM
Thanks for your ongoing help with my dilemma guys! I am, as you are all aware, rather in the dark with regard to all the technical stuff,although the stuff about the SPL makes a fair bit of sense.

Am I correct in thinking that, for a band as per the set up I outlined above, you guys would recommend a sub cab of some description? There are several manufacturers claiming that a pair 15" full range speakers (active or passive) will do the job and a woofer(s) may not be required. I was of the opiniion that at least one sub would be needed (drums all miced up) to achieve a good bass sound. However, it is a good few years since I had much to do with the actual PA side. It is obviously easier if you don't have a sub to worry about. However, I am more interested in getting the optimum sound for the budget rather than saving weight! What do you guys use?


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Ian Savage



Joined: 16/12/07
Posts: 611
Re: What PA? new [Re: Drummerboy141]
      #782946 - 29/10/09 02:43 PM
Quote Drummerboy141:

Am I correct in thinking that, for a band as per the set up I outlined above, you guys would recommend a sub cab of some description?




Personally, yes, particularly if you're mic-ing up drums and have the bass from a backing track going through the PA as well. The addition of a couple of extra cabs (i.e. the subwoofers) allows the system as a whole to 'push more air' and leaves the 12" or 15" mid-range drivers in your 'tops' to handle the all-important vocal frequencies without getting muddied by bass.

Do remember though that to get the best out of a system including subwoofers that you'll need an ACTIVE crossover and an extra amp, rather than relying on the passive crossovers built into many subwoofers. These passive filters don't do a great job of shifting the midrange and high end up to the speakers that're supposed to be handling them, and there's a waste of power there also from heating up components.

Personally I'd be looking at active speakers and a passive desk, as much to aviod lugging a heavy amp/crossover rackas anything else; you would probably get away with two 15" (12", at a push) tops and even a single subwoofer to begin with. There's buckets of cheap 'n' cheerful stuff about in this kinda area, but personally I'd look at Mackie SRMs, Studiomaster VPXs, dB Basic (or Opera if you can afford it)...I'd say LEM but my d400 went tits on me a while back and I can't get a reply from them about getting it fixed. There's more, I'm sure (Wharfedale have already been mentioned, I've been quite impressed by their powered monitors for the money)...I'll come back to this!


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Mike Stranks
active member


Joined: 03/01/03
Posts: 3612
Loc: Oxford, UK
Re: What PA? [Re: Ian Savage]
      #783022 - 29/10/09 05:39 PM
Quote Ian Savage:

... but personally I'd look at ... Studiomaster VPXs, ...




Which are identical to the Studiospares Fortsissimos, but cost more!


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