Which PA speakers?

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andyg_prsandyg_prs Frets: 57
edited April 9 in Live
Americana band - 3 singers, drummer, double bass (with pickup), multi-instrumentalist (violin, banjo, dobro, mandolin) and little ole me on the electric guitar.

It's only really small gigs where we'll need our own kit, larger venues typically have their own all the time, or hire it in.

I typically push my amp through a CaptorX into my own DXR10 projecting into the audience.

The main singer got some 2nd hand Gemini speaker system which I think was budget when new.  Was pretty rubbish at the last gig, and in rehearsals in his front room there seems to be some digital distortion and everything is just 'spongey'.

I think the speakers are the main issue.  In other (heavy rock) bands I've used a couple of really old Mackie SRM350s and they've done the job.

I've seen a few deals on  2nd hand pairs of SRM450 mkIIs.  Around the £450 mark for a pair.

What are your thoughts.....are these well thought of.  We can build up kit we need over time.....would we need other speakers too?

Thanks,
Andy
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Comments

  • ESBlondeESBlonde Frets: 3596
    Go modern, active and trusted brands. RCF, Yamaha, Turbosound, down to Mackie but avoid anything “affordable” when new.
    A good source of quality used gear is local pro sound hire companies who have good gear and turn it over regularly to keep it nice looking and latest iteration for cross hire projects.
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  • andyg_prsandyg_prs Frets: 57
    ESBlonde said:
    Go modern, active and trusted brands. RCF, Yamaha, Turbosound, down to Mackie but avoid anything “affordable” when new.
    A good source of quality used gear is local pro sound hire companies who have good gear and turn it over regularly to keep it nice looking and latest iteration for cross hire projects.
    Thanks - I'd assumed that stuff from local hire companies might have been used and abused....but you never can tell.  Bristol is the nearest big city to me but I don't know anything about sound hire companies.

    When you say 'down to Mackie' is that to say they are at the bottom of that pile?
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 8788
    edited April 12
    I use Mackie SRM450s, which I’ve had for about 20 years. If I were buying now I’d look at RCFs because their EQ is flatter. The thing to watch with SRMs is not pushing them too hard, and blowing a speaker circuit. 

    If you’re putting a drummer through the PA then it’s worth getting a Sub. More space in the car, and more weight to carry (I use a trolley nowadays), but you get the thump of the kick drum. A good sub should have a built-in cross-over which filters out the frequencies it wants, and sends the test to the main speakers. 

    Your instruments are all acoustic, so you should get away without monitors. 
    Tree recycler, and guitarist with  https://www.undercoversband.com/.
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  • maltingsaudiomaltingsaudio Frets: 3150
    Mackie SRM are good speakers though can overheat. Likewise so are the RCF and my favourite HK Linear. If you want a demo of the HK come down to the Bristol Guitar Show on Sunday I'm using them for the Live Bands.
    www.maltingsaudio.co.uk
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  • andyg_prsandyg_prs Frets: 57
    edited April 12
    Mackie SRM are good speakers though can overheat. Likewise so are the RCF and my favourite HK Linear. If you want a demo of the HK come down to the Bristol Guitar Show on Sunday I'm using them for the Live Bands.
    I am planning on going.....not sure if I'm seeing the bands, but how will I spot you....will we both wear yellow carnations? 
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  • maltingsaudiomaltingsaudio Frets: 3150
    andyg_prs said:
    Mackie SRM are good speakers though can overheat. Likewise so are the RCF and my favourite HK Linear. If you want a demo of the HK come down to the Bristol Guitar Show on Sunday I'm using them for the Live Bands.
    I am planning on going.....not sure if I'm seeing the bands, but how will I spot you....will we both wear yellow carnations? 
    I'll be behind the desk mixing the bands wearing a Maltings Audio polo shirt
    www.maltingsaudio.co.uk
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  • andyg_prsandyg_prs Frets: 57
    Cool, what's your name?  You can see I'm Andy :)

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  • maltingsaudiomaltingsaudio Frets: 3150
    andyg_prs said:
    Cool, what's your name?  You can see I'm Andy :)

    Doug
    www.maltingsaudio.co.uk
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  • rze99rze99 Frets: 2372
    I gotta pair of used Mackie Thumps for my band and they work really well
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  • Chris_JChris_J Frets: 140
    edited April 15
    Similar set up to us.

    3 piece band for the most part, playing esoteric acoustic covers (anything from trad, folk, americana, pop and rock, plus originals). We add in other musicians depending on the gig. 

    3x vox
    1x 6 string acoustic
    1x multi instrumentalist (6/12 string guitar, mandolin, banjo)
    1x percussion (usually drum kit, but occasionally more a cocktail kit type setup)

    Occasionally adding in a bass player and/or fiddle to suit the gig. 

    We've got a choice of either an RCF Evox system or RCF Art935 (+ RCF Sub8003 if required)

    Both PA's are great. Small venue the Evox is the easy choice. Sounds good and has enough oomph to put a bit of kick through it to fill out the sound. Would likely not put the bass guitar through it for a small venue and just rely on the bass amp, but don't doubt it could handle it especially as we're an acoustic band and not pushing the db's

    For larger gigs, think village/town halls, back of trailer shows, small festivals or similar we'd use the larger PA if we had to provide our own. Over kill for small venues and takes up too much space. I should add we sometimes play as a 6 piece with a some electric guitar, bass, keys, additional female vocalist for that we always use the larger PA or hire in a local sound company to provide PA and mix foh and monitors.

    I'd prob go down the 2x 12inch tops route. You can often get a decent deal on a pair, and then buy a 15 inch sub if you felt you were lacking at a later date.
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  • mrkbmrkb Frets: 6937
    edited April 13
    rze99 said:
    I gotta pair of used Mackie Thumps for my band and they work really well
    I’m sure that’s a comedy sketch!



    Karma......
    Ebay mark7777_1
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  • ESBlondeESBlonde Frets: 3596

    andyg_prs said:
    ESBlonde said:
    Go modern, active and trusted brands. RCF, Yamaha, Turbosound, down to Mackie but avoid anything “affordable” when new.
    A good source of quality used gear is local pro sound hire companies who have good gear and turn it over regularly to keep it nice looking and latest iteration for cross hire projects.
    Thanks - I'd assumed that stuff from local hire companies might have been used and abused....but you never can tell.  Bristol is the nearest big city to me but I don't know anything about sound hire companies.

    When you say 'down to Mackie' is that to say they are at the bottom of that pile?
    There are Professional brands and what are called MI or musician level products which extend down to the almost Home user level.
    Mackie and similar are classed as MI level (some of which are quite good and certainly usable). But if you can get the next step up you will find pro level is something better. Whether or not the drunks in your local appreciate it or not is a big question,  you will however have superior sound and less feedback fights. 

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  • JonathangusJonathangus Frets: 4622
    ESBlonde said:

    andyg_prs said:
    ESBlonde said:
    Go modern, active and trusted brands. RCF, Yamaha, Turbosound, down to Mackie but avoid anything “affordable” when new.
    A good source of quality used gear is local pro sound hire companies who have good gear and turn it over regularly to keep it nice looking and latest iteration for cross hire projects.
    Thanks - I'd assumed that stuff from local hire companies might have been used and abused....but you never can tell.  Bristol is the nearest big city to me but I don't know anything about sound hire companies.

    When you say 'down to Mackie' is that to say they are at the bottom of that pile?
    There are Professional brands and what are called MI or musician level products which extend down to the almost Home user level.
    Mackie and similar are classed as MI level (some of which are quite good and certainly usable). But if you can get the next step up you will find pro level is something better. Whether or not the drunks in your local appreciate it or not is a big question,  you will however have superior sound and less feedback fights. 

    So, I guess the question is - which brands to avoid?
    Trading feedback | How to embed images using Imgur

    As for "when am I ready?"  You'll never be ready.  It works in reverse, you become ready by doing it.  - pmbomb


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  • kelpbedskelpbeds Frets: 187
    Check out my Blues lessons channel at:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBTSHf5NqVQDz0LzW2PC1Lw
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  • ESBlondeESBlonde Frets: 3596
    @Jonathangus everything is relative to your needs and budget, but I’d stay away from alto, behringer and the like for powered speakers because they are generally poor. You do get what you pay for and like cars a second hand merc will be a better drive/ride than an unpronounceable Chinese shopping cart. Both get you from A to B but one is easier to use and better in its function.
    There are some slight exceptions to every “rule” but buying used pro quality sound gear will most likely pay dividends.
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  • JonathangusJonathangus Frets: 4622
    ESBlonde said:
    @Jonathangus everything is relative to your needs and budget, but I’d stay away from alto, behringer and the like for powered speakers because they are generally poor. You do get what you pay for and like cars a second hand merc will be a better drive/ride than an unpronounceable Chinese shopping cart. Both get you from A to B but one is easier to use and better in its function.
    There are some slight exceptions to every “rule” but buying used pro quality sound gear will most likely pay dividends.
    Good info, thanks.  Been keeping an eye on eBay and Facebook, and even a used set of Altos seems to be around the £500 mark.  Ouch!
    Trading feedback | How to embed images using Imgur

    As for "when am I ready?"  You'll never be ready.  It works in reverse, you become ready by doing it.  - pmbomb


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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 10477
    Unfortunately the brand doesn't mean a lot anymore. Some previous premium brands such as EV now buy in generic class D  modules and install them in generic plastic boxs with EV drivers and an EV badge. But the amp inside is no better than anything else you will find at the low end and the wattage rating is exaggerated. The ZLX 12" for example are only about 200 watts RMS but a lot of people think they are 500 watts or so.

    I've said this loads of times but all class D modern active speakers will fail eventually due to the stresses experienced by the capacitors. Even if it's a great circuit, like in an HK power amp module used in their tops and bins it will still fail as electrolytic caps have a finite life. So be careful of buying 2nd hand. It's very common for one speaker to fail. That gets repaired but then the speakers get sold as a working pair but one of them is about to fail shortly as generally, both tops have the same working hours on them. There's been many times I've repaired one top or a bin for a customer and told them this and they have just said "just fix the broken one so I can sell them"

    The older heavy Mackies SRM's with the linear supply are capable of lasting 3 times as long as the more modern class D versions. 

    Don't ignore a good ole power amp such as a PV-2600 and a set of passive speakers. Passive speakers are lighter than powered ones, only require a speaker cable rather than a mains cable too and are safer to use outdoors. 

    Older class AB amplifiers like the PV series are capable of running 10 nights a month for 20 years without any sign of failure at all because a class AB design is far less complex and stressy on the caps than a modern class D. 

    We have class AB amps and passive boxes hire stock that's been gigging for 30 years, stuff that had done 10 years before we brought it. Then we put 20 years on it. 

    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • andyg_prsandyg_prs Frets: 57
    @Danny1969 ; great info!  There's a pair of SRM350s that were left in my rehearsal space by a keyboard player.....they still go and must have a lot of mileage on them.  I bought a pair of SRM150s and one failed shortly after.....so I understand the concern about second hand.

    Longevity and lightness are both music to my ears!

    Two noobie questions - apologies.  

    1. I've only ever hooked up powered speakers to a PA/mixer.....what do you need to do differently when first going into a power amp such as the PV-2600?

    2.  What's a good starting point for second hand passive speakers to go with the PV-2600?

    Thanks,
    Andy

    PS - one nightmare thing about the SRM350s is that they have a line/mic press switch.  It's not clear from the accompanying picture which way is line and which is mic.....and I've lost count of the times somebody has pressed the switch by accident and the thing screams with feedback....bad for ears and probably bad for the speakers/insides of the monitor itself too!
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 8788
    SRM450s have several press switches. I’ve labelled them IN and OUT, and check them everytime I plug in an XLR.
    Tree recycler, and guitarist with  https://www.undercoversband.com/.
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  • shufflebeatshufflebeat Frets: 105
    andyg_prs said:.  

    1. I've only ever hooked up powered speakers to a PA/mixer.....what do you need to do differently when first going into a power amp such as the PV-2600?

    2.  What's a good starting point for second hand passive speakers to go with the PV-2600?

    1)

    2 screened cables, usually XLR mic cables between mixer and amp, one each for Left and Right, then two-core cable like mains cable between amp and speaker, usually with Speakon connectors either end

    2)

    EV sx300.
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