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Will two 50 Watt Powerwerks PW 50 powered-speakers work as a practice PA for a rock band?

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Will two 50 Watt Powerwerks PW 50 powered-speakers work as a practice PA for a rock band?

Postby Dolmetscher007 » Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:45 pm

I am in a really bad cash crunch right now, and will be for the foreseeable future. But I am dying to get my band up and practicing. I have the microphones, but I do not have a PA system, so right now, we cannot really rehearse with any vocals. I have been online wracking my brain trying to figure out what is the best route to go with... and all-in-one package like a Fender Passport or to try and get a mixer, speakers, and an amp all separate. And then, of course comes the ole, powered mixer and passive speakers, mixer with powered speakers, or truly get all three.

I finally arrived at the conclusion that... no matter what I research or how many Buying Guides and spec sheets I read, any of the aforementioned solutions are going to start out close to $1,000, which is about $850 more than I will have to spend for quite some time. And then... like deus ex machina... I realized that I own a Powerwerks PW50, tiny tiny little 50 Watt powered PA speaker. Here's a link: https://www.amazon.com/Powerwerks-PW50-PA-System/dp/B004VQDAQK?ref_=bl_dp_s_web_3122614011. I got it from a family member that just gave it to me. They were using it as a keyboard speaker but gave it up, because they needed the space. I am pretty sure that this little guy will not be loud enough to use over a drum set, bass, and my distorted guitar. But... you can daisy chain them together, and for $99 I can buy a second one. For $199, the same company sells a 100 Watt larger version that can also be connected to the one I already have. None of them have onboard effects of any kind, but I use Apple's MainStage through a Focusrite preamp/interface... so... I don't need them. I'm just wondering if any of you guys that have any actual experience can definitively say... y/n on whether or not you think my $200 PA idea would be loud enough... of if it would be a $200 waste of money/time?
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Re: Will two 50 Watt Powerwerks PW 50 powered-speakers work as a practice PA for a rock band?

Postby hobbyist » Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:24 am

Depends.

Where are you going to use it?
In your basement or outdoors somewhere?

What is the point of it anyway? For you or some audience?
Do you want mono or stereo?

What SPL level are you trying to achieve?
Do you care if you go deaf ? Or get tinnitus or worse?

Keyboard speaker? Overkill all around.
I get my PC speakers for 20usd for a stereo pair, not use a PA type.
Except for some bad utoob vids it is plenty loud enough for a PC.

If I used the powerwerx in my apartment I would turn the volume way down or wear earplugs. But if you are outside then it might not be enough depending how big an area you need to cover.

IMHO you should try the one you have and see if it works for your needs.
Then decide if you want another one or its big brother for more SPL.
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Re: Will two 50 Watt Powerwerks PW 50 powered-speakers work as a practice PA for a rock band?

Postby ef37a » Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:47 am

Fifty watts is about one tenth the power of a fairly common band PA but that does not mean 50W will sound ten times quieter!

The spec for the speakers does not give a figure for SPL at 1mtr but guessing the drive units have a sensitivity of 90dB/W/mtr the boxes should deliver around 106dB at a mtr. That would be fine for an acoustic folk band sans drummer but I doubt it will cut it even in a small venue with a typical rock band line up.

But I AM guessing the SPL output and they could be little demons for all I know! If you do get two, don't go fancy with "stereo". Make up a mount so they can stack one atop the other but with tweeters together.

That configuration will approximate a "line source" speaker at least for low mids frequencies and above and give you about another 3dB of level.

"Back in the day" We all came out of one 50W Carlsbro combo on the floor..GOT to be better than that!

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Re: Will two 50 Watt Powerwerks PW 50 powered-speakers work as a practice PA for a rock band?

Postby James Perrett » Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:04 pm

Look for something big, used and old (but still working). Nowadays everyone wants something small and light so you can pick up old fashioned PA gear for very little.

The ones you link to claim to use Eminence drivers and the only spec that I could find for a 4" Eminence driver was the Alpha 4 at 88dB/W so their maximum level will be lower than Dave's estimate. My smallest PA speakers (dB Technologies Basic 110) have around 10dB more output than those and they are still only just enough for a band with a quiet drummer.
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Re: Will two 50 Watt Powerwerks PW 50 powered-speakers work as a practice PA for a rock band?

Postby AlecSp » Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:13 pm

None of us can answer your question, as there's no clue given as to whether you want this for playing to 5 people in a small room or 1,000 outdoors. Also, whether you're stupid loud, or have the stagecraft to control levels.

The speaker is obviously an underpowered and poor quality piece of junk. However, it may do a job if not overwhelmed by demands and the noise you're creating around it.

Though I suspect you're a noisy boy and it doesn't stand a chance.

What's stopping you from trying it out? That'd give you a far better answer than anyone on a forum can give you.

Fine if it was a freebie, but I wouldn't recommend buying another. Save up until you can afford what you need, ideally second-hand.
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Re: Will two 50 Watt Powerwerks PW 50 powered-speakers work as a practice PA for a rock band?

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:10 pm

You say this is for rehearsing?

Dolmetscher007 wrote:I am in a really bad cash crunch right now, and will be for the foreseeable future. But I am dying to get my band up and practicing.

If so then give it a try, you don't need luxuries like reverb and eq, you just need your voice to be heard. So try it and if it won't go loud enough then get the band to play quieter (drummer with light sticks/hotrods/brushes, guitar player in the car park..... of the pub down the road.... etc ;) ). It's all doable, even rehearsing a rock band with the drummer playing a cardboard suitcase and you singing with no PA can be very revealing and valuable practice.
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Re: Will two 50 Watt Powerwerks PW 50 powered-speakers work as a practice PA for a rock band?

Postby Mike Stranks » Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:12 pm

The OP used the phrase 'get my band up and practising'. I'm therefore assuming this is a practice rather than performance set-up.

... and I agree with Sam... sows' ears are fine for making sure that you're all on the same page and know what you're doing before you stand in fron of an audience...
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Re: Will two 50 Watt Powerwerks PW 50 powered-speakers work as a practice PA for a rock band?

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:33 pm

The OP even says "Practice PA" in the thread title. ;)
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Re: Will two 50 Watt Powerwerks PW 50 powered-speakers work as a practice PA for a rock band?

Postby AlecSp » Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:46 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:It's all doable, even rehearsing a rock band with the drummer playing a cardboard suitcase and you singing with no PA can be very revealing and valuable practice.
Honestly, it can be one of the most productive practise techniques ever.
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Re: Will two 50 Watt Powerwerks PW 50 powered-speakers work as a practice PA for a rock band?

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:48 pm

:thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
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