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I blew my PA head, should I get a new one or start from scratch?

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I blew my PA head, should I get a new one or start from scratch?

Postby JohnQDodo » Thu Dec 31, 2020 7:32 pm

So I got a little buzzed and thought it was a good idea to connect my PA to my gf's TV and watch a movie. I forgot to check the levels and immediately blew the head. It was just an old 300 Watt Peavey head that I've previously repaired but now it won't stop blowing fuses so I suspect that the transistors are bad.

My speakers are still good and relatively new so my question is, should I replace the powered mixer or just start from scratch? I have a 3 piece punk band and we use it for practice and smaller gigs so I don't need anything too crazy but I have to admit that I'm quite envious of my friend who has a modern QSC setup with powered speakers.

Ideally I'd like to keep cost under $1000. I've found several heads that would be equal or greater in power as my old Peavey in the $500-700 range but if I'm going to spend that much, should I just update and get a digital mixer and powered speakers? Is that even possible with my budget? I would definitely appreciate any feedback you guys have.

Thanks in advance :headbang:
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Re: I blew my PA head, should I get a new one or start from scratch?

Postby shufflebeat » Thu Dec 31, 2020 9:14 pm

I recently parted with one of these:

Image

It was paired with 2/4 EV sx300's and paid for itself many times over. Minimal upkeep and minimal cabling.

I swapped it in order to better integrate my small setup with my bigger setup so small digital desk and Yamaha dxr12's.

The general trend towards powered speakers does make some sense - but:

Cheap powered speakers can be fragile (less so now but, grrrr!) and uneconomic to repair. Traditional powered heads are often easier to get repaired with easily available parts.

The "convenience" of having built in amps is tempered by the requirement for power cables everywhere instead of some high quality but not too expensive Speakons.

Powered speakers are normally well matched with their built in amps which is important but when something does go wrong the whole unit is goosed. With a mixer/passive a spare amp can be employed to drive speakers.

If I were in your place I would look out for a good quality and well maintained used head. There should be plenty around as everyone heads towards powered.
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Re: I blew my PA head, should I get a new one or start from scratch?

Postby Funkyflash5 » Thu Dec 31, 2020 9:50 pm

In that particular case I would go with a digital mixer feeding a power amp or two feeding your current speakers. Not sure of exact prices where you are, but around here I'd be able to find an xr18 and a couple used 500 watt stereo power amps for that kind of money. Makes future upgrades easy, could even do the move to powered speakers one pair at a time.
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Re: I blew my PA head, should I get a new one or start from scratch?

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Dec 31, 2020 11:11 pm

I too would go for a couple of DXR12s and an XR18 if you could stretch the budget a little. I don't disagree with shufflebeat's assessment of the disadvantages of powered speakers but for me the advantages are enough to make it an easy decision should I have to do it again. If the budget is tight then funkyflash5's suggestion has merit.
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Re: I blew my PA head, should I get a new one or start from scratch?

Postby JohnQDodo » Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:04 am

Thank you so much for your advice everyone!

Shufflebeat, your solution does sound the least painful and easiest/cheapest but I'm also interested in what funkyflash was talking about. Obviously Sam's solution sounds the best but it's also twice my budget lol. I found a new xr18 for about $600, which doesn't sound bad to me but the dxr12's are $700 each.

What kind of power amps would you suggest shufflebeat? I feel like that would still put me over budget but at least it wouldn't be double so it's definitely something to consider. Although, I found a used Mackie 808s on music go round for $400 shipped to my door and that does sound pretty appealing.

Thanks again guys
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Re: I blew my PA head, should I get a new one or start from scratch?

Postby shufflebeat » Fri Jan 01, 2021 1:40 am

It's not often I would recommend Behringer gear but the iNuke amps have filled a few gaps for me in the past. I'm told not to take their professed power ratings at face value but otherwise fit for purpose.

I'm not a technobod so can only discuss my own experience, not internal design principles.

What are your speakers?
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Re: I blew my PA head, should I get a new one or start from scratch?

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:25 pm

You'd need a mixer but you will only need a single stereo power amp to replace the one in the Peavey, I would consider the XR18 as the basis for a future upgrade if you have a suitable tablet/iPad and are happy to move to iPad mixing (I am for smaller channel counts, say up to about 16 but happier with faders above that).
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Re: I blew my PA head, should I get a new one or start from scratch?

Postby Murray B » Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:50 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:You'd need a mixer but you will only need a single stereo power amp to replace the one in the Peavey, I would consider the XR18 as the basis for a future upgrade if you have a suitable tablet/iPad and are happy to move to iPad mixing (I am for smaller channel counts, say up to about 16 but happier with faders above that).


This looks like a good plan for me, if your speakers are still good - get a digital mixer and a power amp. Should be workable on your budget. Then you can choose to save up for some powered speakers as and when you choose and also have to option to run some passive monitors or mains with you power amp in the future.

Also there is the added bonus of getting a rather useful recording interface in the XR18 if you choose to get one of those. There might be a bit of a learning curve with a digital + tablet controlled mixer but the option to use very flexible eq's and limiting on your main outputs will hopefully allow you to get the best out of your current speakers.
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