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sound system for a boat

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sound system for a boat

Postby Fallenstar » Mon Aug 18, 2014 12:38 am


I'm moving onto a narrow boat, and need sound output for a bass guitar, electric guitar, stage piano, tv and laptop. I'll be saying goodbye to my beloved Peavey guitar amp, Ashdown bass and Peavey/Laney PA system (enormous, old and underpowered), plus the stereo, and hopefully getting just one system for all of it.

There are several considerations, namely power output, power input and sound quality.

I *think* I don't need 2 separate sound systems to get the high quality for tv/laptop and brute force for the guitars and piano. It is only a small space, so it won't need that much power.

The PA will be converted to DC and remain on the boat forever more, not used for gigging.

There's nowhere even remotely nearby that stocks the yamaha stagepas to test it in person.


Would a yamaha stagepas 300 (2 x 150w speakers) run the bass, guitar, piano and a mic simultaneously?

Is that enough power output for a decent sound? We must take into consideration that the boat is lined with wood and is going to reverberate like nothing has ever reverberated before, reducing the possible output further.

How low would the quality be from the small PA? could I use it for my tv to boost the bass, while using the tv for treble? that's what i basically do right now with an antiquated sharp stereo system that lost it's treble some years ago. Just wondering if it is likely to be clear enough, with at least some definition on the higher end. I already put my laptop through the tv then out to the stereo, so that's fine for music.

Can a mini-me PA System handle being the main practice amp for a bass?

Sorry for bombarding you with questions, I am honestly pretty lost here! I don't want to waste a company's time and money (plus my money) having to send something back that was unsuitable if I could have just asked some questions first.

Thanks so much!

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Re: sound system for a boat

Postby tacitus » Mon Aug 18, 2014 6:10 am

I don't have direct experience of the Stagepass though I have used a Fender Passport quite a bit - same concept. You can put all your stuff through something like that and depending on the quality of the gear itself, it should sound fine. What you won't get is the sort of bass you'll get from a proper bass amp, so you'd need to add a sub of some sort or re-align your expectations; one or the other.

Given the small space you have to fill, you might do better going from the domestic audio side and getting a reasonable sub and two satellite system and putting everything through that. I sometimes use the Bose system at home which normally powers the telly and Sonos systems to play my organ; it handles the bass fairly well and fills our 25'x15' drawing-room quite nicely. Something a little more cost effective than the Bose could be just the job. Can't help with exact models, since although the Bose isn't the best kit in the world, we've had ours for years and years, it's been repaired for next to nothing and still plods on so I haven't been looking at alternatives ...
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Re: sound system for a boat

Postby ef37a » Mon Aug 18, 2014 6:16 am

I read "boat" and think "twelve volts?"
Which gets me to ICE, cars. There is a huge market for seriously loud car audio!

Then, space must be at a premium and those Yamahas are pretty bulky. For the main stereo/TV sound system can you not fit car speakers in various panels?

Bass guitar I would give its own, dedicated system. Again, you can get some pretty heavy 12" 4Ohm woofers for cars. Is there a linen cupboard you could press into service?

Then, "running the amps on DC"?? Why not simply use an inverter? They are pretty cheap at Maplins.

As for the acoustics of a boat? Can't be any worse than a tin box on wheels!

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Re: sound system for a boat

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Aug 18, 2014 9:21 pm

An inverter powered PA will work fine, though my preference would be for a 1KVA suitcase genny (Honda EU10 or Kippor IG1000), I've used both on gigs. Small powered PA speakers will do a very reasonable job on the TV (compared to most domestic systems) one way, if space allows (which I doubt TBH), would be a pair of Alto TS110As, more expensive but smaller Yamaha DXR8s might just fit in. Both will handle all you ask for at modest levels and draw only a couple of amps at 230V, not taxing a 500 VA inverter.

BTW if you need a separate bass amp the Phil Jones Briefcase is amazing and comes 12V as standard.

I'd still buy an Epiphone Valve Junior for the electric guitar though :)
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Re: sound system for a boat

Postby zenguitar » Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:28 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:
BTW if you need a separate bass amp the Phil Jones Briefcase is amazing and comes 12V as standard.

I was going to suggest a Phil Jones as well. Also works well with keyboards, acoustic guitar, and with electric guitar if you have a modelling pedal/Pod. A pair of them work nicely with a small mixer too if you fancy stereo.

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