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NukeDOC
01-13-2008, 07:36 AM
so my brother and i are saving up to get a PA system for performances where they dont have their own.

last night, at our friend's grandma's bday party, we used a 12 channel mixer hooked up to a fender 100w guitar amp as the powered speaker, and my little 15w amp as our monitor. while this worked just fine for the venue (large back yard), we still feel that a PA system will be a better setup. but putting everything together is proving to be quite confusing.

1. what is the difference between a powered mixed and a PA head unit?
2. is it better to set up with a mixer and powered speakers? or a powered head unit and passive speaker?
3. what brands should i stay away from?
4. any setups you would recommend with an $800 budget?

studentaccount1
01-13-2008, 08:34 AM
1. a powered mixer has the amplifier and mixer built in to one unit. I don't know what a PA head unit is, but the option if you don't have a powered mixer is a seperate mixer and amplifier.

I think the tradeoff is simplicity vs. extra features/output wattage.

2. I think it is just a matter of having less stuff to carry. The last system I used was a fender system. It had a mixer and two speakers that attached and formed one box to carry. (as opposed to a rack and individual speakers.) It was easy to carry but kind of underwhelming sound wise.


3. I know which brands are good but don't really know which ones are bad. Sorry. I can tell you have used systems with JBL and Mackie components that worked great.

4. How many channels are you going to need and how big are the places you will be playing at? also, mainly indoor or outdoor? Does the $800 include what you would spend on mics/cables/etc?

puremarkska
01-13-2008, 08:37 AM
back in high school days we used a yamaha system that never failed us. Picked it up from a local music store for around the price you're looking at. We usually ran three mics, two guitars, and an ukulele through the mixer and a bass through a separate bass amp - which was good enough for most small crowds. They've got a similar kit on musiciansfriend:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Yamaha-EMX212SBR10-PA-Package?sku=630198

You might want to buy some better mics though. some shures for sure. I dunno, you can't go wrong with yamaha imho.

NukeDOC
01-13-2008, 09:09 AM
im hoping for at least 8 channels. ive already got all the mics and cables and stuff. so all we are really in need of is some sort of mixer, power, and speaker(s).

so is it more beneficial to go powered mixer and passive speakers? or mixer and powered speakers?

a setup similar to the one ska posted up would be nice. but without all the extra stuff. just the head, stands, and speakers.

studentaccount1
01-13-2008, 09:26 AM
I'd probably go with powered mixer and passive speakers. Easier to get the speakers on stands with less weight on them. I would think that it is easier to upgrade the system down the road with passive speakers too.

E-Lo Roberts
01-14-2008, 06:34 AM
Nuke, I know it's out of your budget but spend your money one time dude so you don't have to upgrade your system in the future. Get yourself a pair of 15 " G2 JBL powered PA speakers for your mains (to the audience) and speaker stands. Pick up any used passive Mackie board you can find on ebay. A couple of Shure SM58 mics for vocals and a decent powered monitor with built in EQ on it. I use an old EON 15" JBL powered PA speaker for that.

I've owned and used it all and have lost thousands of $$ on the wrong equipment over the years. I still play professionally acoustic guitar/uke/vocal 3 times every week. This setup is a keeper... thanks, e..

NukeDOC
01-14-2008, 09:25 AM
Nuke, I know it's out of your budget but spend your money one time dude so you don't have to upgrade your system in the future. Get yourself a pair of 15 " G2 JBL powered PA speakers for your mains (to the audience) and speaker stands. Pick up any used passive Mackie board you can find on ebay. A couple of Shure SM58 mics for vocals and a decent powered monitor with built in EQ on it. I use an old EON 15" JBL powered PA speaker for that.

I've owned and used it all and have lost thousands of $$ on the wrong equipment over the years. I still play professionally acoustic guitar/uke/vocal 3 times every week. This setup is a keeper... thanks, e..

extremely well placed point, e-lo.

none of us are at the professional level yet, but that is no excuse for less than adequate equipment. been through that with so many hobies in the past. but for the record, i was going to try to stick with a mackie mixer as much as possible. i just wasnt sure about what format would be most beneficial.

i mean, i know the JBL's are very high quality, and i SHOULD never have to worry about it, but having three amps to potentially blow out seems like more of a PITA than just one pre-amp going out to the passive speakers.

at the same time, if we have two powered speakers, and usually only need one, then we've always got a spare so the show can still go on.

hay, im glad im getting this all out BEFORE im even ready to purchase the setup hahaha. ive actually got some time to think about all this.

E-Lo Roberts
01-14-2008, 10:24 AM
extremely well placed point, e-lo.

none of us are at the professional level yet, but that is no excuse for less than adequate equipment. been through that with so many hobies in the past. but for the record, i was going to try to stick with a mackie mixer as much as possible. i just wasnt sure about what format would be most beneficial.

i mean, i know the JBL's are very high quality, and i SHOULD never have to worry about it, but having three amps to potentially blow out seems like more of a PITA than just one pre-amp going out to the passive speakers.

at the same time, if we have two powered speakers, and usually only need one, then we've always got a spare so the show can still go on.

hay, im glad im getting this all out BEFORE im even ready to purchase the setup hahaha. ive actually got some time to think about all this.
Nuke, powered speakers for your type of application are just the way to go these days and is what I consider industry standard. They are so convenient it's ridiculous. Take a look at studio monitors. Totally being taken over by this concept. I have a beautiful crown power amp that just collects dust in my studio. Powered speaker make for a very easy setup. Also, it you are doing a solo guitar you can just take one, plug your instrument and mic directly into the speaker and play your gig because there is a small mixer and eq built just into the cabinet. You know, Mackie also has a nice powered speaker line. Same price as the JBL's. I've owned those too, the 12" version, which is their answer to JBL's G2 15" speakers. However, I was not happy with the low end output when pushed. Perhaps they have addressed that issue, but JBL G2's have an extra lower frequency response which can handle the push that is much needed at some gigs. You can simply check the Hz specs for each companies cabinet to compare. (Things you never think about at the time but soon learn the hard way later on.) Anyways, hope this helps....e-lo...

rayan
01-16-2008, 07:05 PM
Aldrine and I used a system very similar to this one when we were in high school.
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Yamaha-EMX512SCBR15-PA-Package?sku=630199

When we bought it, it costed around $800 I think. That's inflation for you... UK guys like deadeye and Iain are in much better shape than us right money wise.

NukeDOC
01-16-2008, 08:26 PM
hmm whats the general consensus on yamaha gear?

E-Lo Roberts
01-17-2008, 06:44 AM
Hey Nuke, how come you're a "senior" member and I'm still a mere "junior". hahaha! Who's car are you washing! Give me a sponge... e-lo...

NukeDOC
01-17-2008, 06:53 AM
hahaha i never even noticed that. may be because of my post count. ive got ten times as many posts as you...

on other boards we call that post-whoring

no offense to those with more posts than me though! hahaha :D