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Rehearsal PA spec

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Rehearsal PA spec

Postby mbegg » Sat Sep 14, 2019 5:03 pm

Hi All,
I am trying to find ideas about what would be an appropriate PA system for rehearsing an ensemble mixing electronics and acoustic instruments - so, a couple of folk on laptop/synths, and a range of mics on string instruments.

Money is tight and I have been looking at things around the £500-£600 mark.

I seem to be drifting towards active rather than passive monitors, and am (i think) reasonably convinced that I need to go for 15" bass speakers. Mackie Thumps, Alto Truesonic, and even the Studiospares own Auditorium MkIII all get reasonable write ups - and off the top end of my budget the Yamaha DRB 15s look tasty...

But these all seem to be reviewed and tested for rock/dance/vox - which is not the sound profile I am needing to cover.

But am I looking at this the right way? This is for rehearsals, and I am needing something to give voice to the electronics whilst lifting the natural volume of the acoustic instruments to allow some aux send processing .

What can I get away with - or what should I really be aiming for? Suggestions welcome :-)
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Re: Rehearsal PA spec

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Sep 14, 2019 6:53 pm

Why not just reduce the volume of the electronic instruments to match the acoustic instruments, it's for rehearsal after all?
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Re: Rehearsal PA spec

Postby mbegg » Sat Sep 14, 2019 6:55 pm

Hi Sam, and thanks for the response. The acoustic instruments are to be mic-ed up because their output will be entered into FX/processing chains
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Re: Rehearsal PA spec

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:52 pm

Ok, do the players have their own fx? And practice amps (this is how I do it)? And are there any vocals?

If you are set on buying a PA and only have £500-600 to spend then you are pretty limited (do you have a mixer already BTW, and mics?). There were some RCF722s on ebay a few days ago, £300 each, a absolute bargain. Failing that a couple of Alto TS110As or TS112As might squeeze in budget and are good value (10" and 12" speakers usually sound better than 15", especially for vocals).

HTH
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Re: Rehearsal PA spec

Postby mbegg » Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:28 am

Hi,
Vox are not a priority, and I have mixer/mics and FX - this is purely about finding the best solution for speakers that will best represent the mix of instruments. ie powerful enough to accommodate the ensemble and no disco smile eq profiles with too much emphasis on bottom and top ends
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Re: Rehearsal PA spec

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:28 pm

Is there much sub-bass in the synth parts? is not then a couple of 10"s or 12" will do the job fine. Yamaha DXR10s would probably work well and have plenty of low end at moderate volume. But they will cost almost double your budget new. They have a switchable eq with a smile or HPF curve which can be bypassed, set flat they have a very balanced sound (and they will definitely sound more 'natural' than a 15"). I wouldn't, personally, go for anything cheaper.

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Re: Rehearsal PA spec

Postby Wonks » Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:44 pm

Dave B has noted that in comparison to the Yamahas, the Altos do have that general 'smile' curve sound, with subdued mids/boosted bass and treble.
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Re: Rehearsal PA spec

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Sep 15, 2019 2:39 pm

Yamaha DXR10s are currently £399 the DBR15 is the same price. The spec's on paper are very similar but I would go for the DXR10 over the DBR15 for various reasons (in fact I did, I have 3 and have been very happy with them).
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Re: Rehearsal PA spec

Postby DanR » Sun Sep 15, 2019 2:56 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Is there much sub-bass in the synth parts?

Yes, this needs to be considered.
If buying new then a pair of Alto TS312s would probably be the best bet to keep within budget.
If you can stretch to it, there’s the RCF ART 312a mkiv for a little more.

Yamaha DXR and RCF ART 7 series / HD line are a step up in power and sound quality.
I have Yamaha DXR10s, RCF HD12s and Alto TS210 and TX10.
I’m impressed with the Alto speakers. Nice, clear sound but SPL is quite low understandably compared to the more expensive options.
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Re: Rehearsal PA spec

Postby Dave B » Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:17 pm

If it's for rehearsal only, and budget is tight, I would suggest going for a pair of the Alto TXs - 212 or 215 (probably the latter). I use a TX212 for live work with my (modern digital) Hammond and it has plenty enough oomph for me to be heard over drums / two guitarists. (In fact, I was asked - by a _guitarist_ - to turn down a couple of gigs ago). It is fairly basic in features, but sound ok and has a 'smile' curve button that can be cut in you like that. And they are cheap enough for a pair to come in under budget.

If I were less worried about the cost, I'd probably look at the Yamaha DBR12s - they share a similar voice to the DXR range which are great. Brutal ... but great. (So definitely no smiley curve here).

I picked up a pair of EV ZLX12Ps a while back to use as a 'b' rig when the DXRs weren't available and got a good deal - a pair with bags for 400quid s/h. They are ok ... but a little 'soft' sounding which may well be what you are looking for.

Picking up again on the sub bass point, we are talking 'sub' here - if you want that 'bowel loosening Moog bass' thing, then you might have to think about a sub in future. But if you just want normal bass extension (no clothes flapping when you can't hear much), then just a set of tops should be fine.
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Re: Rehearsal PA spec

Postby zenguitar » Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:46 pm

Seems to me that a single speaker would be a better solution with such a tight budget. A good 12 or 15 second hand offers a lot of bang for your buck.

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Rehearsal PA spec

Postby mbegg » Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:20 am

Thanks for all your thoughts.
I've just arranged to pick up a pair of Yamaha DXR 12s for £700

:-)
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Re: Rehearsal PA spec

Postby Wonks » Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:23 am

You should be very happy with them. All the best! :thumbup:
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Re: Rehearsal PA spec

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Sep 16, 2019 10:11 am

Good choice (and a good price) :thumbup:
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Re: Rehearsal PA spec

Postby DanR » Mon Sep 16, 2019 11:32 am

mbegg wrote:I've just arranged to pick up a pair of Yamaha DXR 12s for £700

:-)

Nice. Very good price too if they’ve been looked after.
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