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Active wedge as small, basic PA system?

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Active wedge as small, basic PA system?

Postby gingertimmins » Wed Jul 31, 2019 6:31 pm

Not truly a live sound question here but the gear is live sound related so here goes....

My band have just moved into a new studio which is really small but sounds good for our needs and we just about fit.
There is a lot of gear sharing and unfortunately the band that owned the small pa has moved out and taken it with them. I generally found the PA system a bit much for the room anyway and last week we used a keyboard amp for the vocals (Roland Jc-350) and it sounded great in the tiny room. Unfortunately the owner of that amp is moving out too so we’re looking for a budget solution. I say budget because we are all broke!
I’ve
looked at small PA systems and portable pa’s online and I think within our budget there’s nothing good to be had, just generic Chinese made no name stuff sold on eBay etc. So it got me thinking about using a powered stage monitor and my alesis mixer that I have laying around. I’ve no doubt that a wedge will be loud enough for the room but will it provide enough clarity for lead vocals?

Does anyone have any suggestions on what we could use?
Budget would be 200 max which I know is nothing but as I said.... we’re broke!

The room is about 4x5m and is quite well treated although obviously it’s too small to have bass trapping, just the usual absorbing/diffusing foam stuck around.
It’s primarily for rehearsal where we can eq to the room but we took it in with a view to doing a bit of recording in there.

Cheers,
Chris
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Re: Active wedge as small, basic PA system?

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Jul 31, 2019 7:29 pm

I use a single Alto TS110A in my 4x4m studio for vox (and keys and acoustic when required) during rehearsals and it is fine. The difficulty is not the cab lacking clarity or volume but hitting the 'gain before feedback wall' as drummers and occasionally lead guitarists (ok, that'll be me :blush: ) get a bit loud. Retail new is not much over £200 for the current version and if that's still too much similar things turn up secondhand. Failing that the Berry B210D active PA speaker is only around £150. They all have cabs shaped to work as wedges too so multi purpose.
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Re: Active wedge as small, basic PA system?

Postby Mike Stranks » Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:06 pm

I have a friend who uses two of these:

https://www.thomann.de/gb/the_box_ma82_cl.htm

for acoustic gigs for audiences of up to about 120. Tells me it works fine and is uber-portable if the venue can't supply a sound-system.

I used to have some of these (4) solely for monitor purposes. Surprisingly good... although the weak pound/euro has pushed the price up. Mine were about £70 each...
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Re: Active wedge as small, basic PA system?

Postby gingertimmins » Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:34 pm

Thanks for the replies guys!
I’d looked at “the box” as a real budget option but assumed that it wouldn’t be much copp.
How would I connect it to my mixer? I assume just from one of the 1/4” main outs?
Am I right I’m thinking that at a later date I could buy another and run them in stereo?
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Re: Active wedge as small, basic PA system?

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:15 pm

Yup, it's as simple as that.
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Re: Active wedge as small, basic PA system?

Postby MarkPAman » Thu Aug 01, 2019 10:01 am

gingertimmins wrote:Thanks for the replies guys!
I’d looked at “the box” as a real budget option but assumed that it wouldn’t be much copp.

"The Box" are not terrible, but "The Box Pro" range is quite a step up in quality IMO.

I know this one sounds good, which they have as B stock within your budget. It will pole mount too if you ever want to use it as a PA speaker.
https://www.thomann.de/gb/the_box_pro_mon_a10_b_stock.htm

More info on the page for the full priced one:
https://www.thomann.de/gb/the_box_pro_mon_a10.htm
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Re: Active wedge as small, basic PA system?

Postby Music Wolf » Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:04 pm

I have a Box Pro 10A as per the previous link, it's very good for the money.

The design is such that it actually points at your head rather than your waist (as with a lot of budget monitors). I also have an Alto TS210 which I use as a 'backline' for use with my Helix. We had a rehearsal last night and, because we didn't want to drag all the gear in and out, I just put my guitar and 2 vocals through the Alto (mounted on a stand). No monitors, Alto competing with a drummer, bass and one other guitar (which was through a 20w valve amp).

No problems at all and we could have gone louder if need be.
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Re: Active wedge as small, basic PA system?

Postby Wonks » Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:56 pm

Your real issue with a wedge as the only sound source is that of directivity and others, apart from the vocalist, struggling to hear as a result.

As Music Wolf says, the sound will be mainly pointing upwards toward the vocalist, so if you are either side or behind them, then you won't hear anything like as well as if you had a couple of normal speakers pointing back at the band. Of course, the more monitors you have, the better the sound coverage will be.
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Re: Active wedge as small, basic PA system?

Postby gingertimmins » Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:08 pm

Wonks wrote:Your real issue with a wedge as the only sound source is that of directivity and others, apart from the vocalist, struggling to hear as a result.

As Music Wolf says, the sound will be mainly pointing upwards toward the vocalist, so if you are either side or behind them, then you won't hear anything like as well as if you had a couple of normal speakers pointing back at the band. Of course, the more monitors you have, the better the sound coverage will be.

This was my main worry to be honest but with the the keyboard amp it sounded really clear to everyone so I’m hoping that the room is so small that just one speaker will suffice.
I’m seriously interested in the box thing that mike linked to which will allow a stereo setup down the line without having too big an impact on space.
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Re: Active wedge as small, basic PA system?

Postby AlecSp » Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:22 pm

MarkPAman wrote:
gingertimmins wrote:Thanks for the replies guys!
"The Box" are not terrible, but "The Box Pro" range is quite a step up in quality IMO.
In The Box Pro range, I'd also recommend these which are more of a dual purpose cab:
the box pro Achat 110MA
Fractionally more expensive than Mark's other box, as there are (currently) no B-stock.

Last year I got both of these speakers, albeit the passive versions, for comparison. Our final view was that both were great, the Mon A10 sounded slightly more full range, but in the end, we all ended up loving the Achat 110 much more. If looking for FOH use later, the Achat looks more sensible when on a stand, whereas the Mon A10 ends up with all the cabling going into the top of the cab. The Achat had a more resilient feeling finish - neither will be perfect, but the Achat is not looking too shabby after 9 months weekly use, I suspect the Mon A10 would be rather more chipped.

But definitely, The Box Pro are not to be sneezed at. And Thomann's return service is genuine. I bought two and returned (without charge) the one I didn't want.
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Re: Active wedge as small, basic PA system?

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:29 pm

In my room floor space is at a premium so I use my single rehearsal speaker on a stand, many monitor wedges also have a stand socket so could be used in either format, equally most small active FOH cabs have an angle built into the cab so they can be used as wedges.
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Re: Active wedge as small, basic PA system?

Postby Dave B » Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:51 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:... Berry B210D active PA speaker is only around £150. They all have cabs shaped to work as wedges too so multi purpose.

Yep - I've just picked up a pair off evilBay to use as wedges after a couple of bands I know (same FOH for both) have started using them. Also fine for a small room PA.

The Alto stuff is fine as well. I use a TX for a keyboard amp for my Hammond and was recently asked by a guitarist (!!!!) to turn down a bit...

:)
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