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  #1  
Old 12-09-2010, 04:23 PM
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Default can you help recommend a PA for my band?

my band already has a PA that we share with two other bands, but we want a new one. the one we share is too big and heavy to carry around conveniently. i'd like for us to get an easier to deal with PA that has good fidelity and is still loud enough to be heard above the band (especially me) yet is smaller and lighter than what we've been using (15" speaker cabinets). we play in small bars and clubs and we only need to amplify our vocals and maybe an acoustic guitar once in a while. we play mostly classic rock, blues, funk and things like that.

i was thinking of getting a powered mixer and two speaker cabinets. what would be a good wattage for that mixer? what would be a good size for the main speakers? (8, 10, 12 inches?) is there a brand that's particularly good?

thanks!
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Old 12-09-2010, 05:20 PM
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larryace larryace is offline
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Default Re: can you help recommend a PA for my band?

FWIW, I like the concept of powered speakers over the powered mixer simply because the power is closer to the speakers, optimized for the speakers, and crossed over according to the speakers requirements.

I like the powered Mackies or JBL's but I am in no way a PA guru.
If they make mixers w/ reverb built in (not sure)...that and a set of powered speakers should do the job nicely.

Mackie's SRM 450's will do the job for any small to medium sized bar, and the (powered) SRM 350's are good for monitors.
JBL has similar products if you prefer JBL.

Of course if you need delay and other effects, if they aren't built into the mixer, that means a seperate rack w/ effects.
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Old 12-09-2010, 05:40 PM
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Default Re: can you help recommend a PA for my band?

Get the biggest speaker you're willing to cart around. The bigger the speaker, the better the lower frequencies sound. If you get a 12" speaker or larger (and I wouldn't get anything smaller for mains), get 2-way cabinets, which is a speaker and a horn. Even just vocals and acoustic guitar will sound tinny through a 10" or smaller speaker, unless you go for one of those Bose towers.

I'm on the powered mixer boat, but that's because I got a great deal on a used powered mixer and passive speakers. It works great, and the speakers themselves are a lot lighter than powered speakers, if you're considering cartage as a major factor.
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Old 12-09-2010, 06:20 PM
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Default Re: can you help recommend a PA for my band?

I'd go with powered speakers simply because you know the speakers can handle the wattage that the amps put out, you've got a separate amp per driver so they're more efficient, and there's less to carry around. Plus you can daisy-chain extra speakers or bass bins almost indefinitely and not need to buy a new amp because they're built in to each one. Then there's stuff like the built in safety cutout if they get too hot...there are so many advantages.

+1 on the Mackie SRM450s, I've worked with them for a long time and they are perfectly adequate. Each speaker is 450 watts, so two of those would be more than enough for a small venue and they sound very good, plenty of low-end reproduction for vocals and acoustic guitar.
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Old 12-09-2010, 06:35 PM
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Default Re: can you help recommend a PA for my band?

Gotta say though...as much as I endorse the good quality, name brand powered 2 way speaker systems, you just can't get that "hit you in the chest" kick drum sound without some subs. They make some pretty small but powerful subwoofers these days. My one band has a nice sub and it's about the size of a 2' x 2' box. So for the killer sound you need subs too, especially outdoors.
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Old 12-09-2010, 06:47 PM
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Default Re: can you help recommend a PA for my band?

The nice thing about the SRM450s is that you can just a Mackie bass bin and plug an XLR into it, and that's the job done. They even delegate the frequencies automatically between the bass and treble speakers, I think.
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Old 12-09-2010, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: can you help recommend a PA for my band?

That's why I like them so much. They save you a ton of BS setting the PA up. Pretty much plug and play.
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Old 12-09-2010, 07:20 PM
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Default Re: can you help recommend a PA for my band?

we're not looking to mic drums, although i do that with our current system sometimes just because i can. i didn't mic them last weekend and when i listened to the recording i could hear the drums just fine, including the bass drum. the system we buy would be for vocals only.

so what i'm hearing from you knowledgeable types is that we should use at least 12" speakers and preferably powered speakers. is that right? i'm game to get the powered speakers but i don't want anything heavy. our bass player has a bad back and he complains all the time about having to lift heavy speakers.

thanks for the advice!
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