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Best PA ~$500 for 15'x15' rock band rehearsal?

Astounding

Member
Messages
142
I need a setup for practice in a 15'x15' room.

Primary use would be playing with backing tracks and vocals as well as rehearsing with a rock/blues band(2x guitar, vocals, bass, drums). The drummer has decent dynamics and the amps although 2x12 and 4x10 will be kept at reasonable volume levels for the space(below hearing damage). Even at these reasonable volume levels I'd like the PA to sound full in comparison especially when being used without a drummer or bassist for backing track playback. The studio monitors I'm using right now can't keep up at all.

The ability to perform as a PA for small gigs as well would be a bonus.

Would a pair of 210s or 212s be the better option? And is there anything better for the money than the Alto TS series?

I saw the USA made Carvin XP800L-PM12 system for $550 shipped on sale right now. The wattage is significantly lower though, and I can't find any comparisons. I wouldn't need to purchase a mixer with this option. This option although lower powered is appealing with the included 48v phantom power, two mics, and the mixer.

With coupons the price of the 2x Altos + mixer is about the same as the Carvin setup.

If I go the powered speaker route like the Alto TS I would also purchase something like the behringer 8x xenyx mixer to go with them.

http://carvinaudio.com/collections/xpsytems/products/xp800l-pm12-6-channel-pa-system

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/alto-truesonic-ts212-12-2-way-powered-speaker

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/1202FX

Thanks for any advice.
 
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tribedescribe

Member
Messages
698
Alto sells manufacture refurbished pairs of ts 212's on ebay for $458 (free ship). Few years back I bought pair of ts110a's refurbished on ebay and they have been steller. For your situation I would get the 212's. My school owns the 212's and they are very loud and project well.

For a small format analog mixers the behringer ones seem to break down alot. My school bought the alto 802 mixer and it has some great features, Ebay has them refurbed for $169. On the used market you could score a allen heath zed 10 for around $150.
 

MoPho

Formerly tripp2k
Messages
5,663
The beauty of Craigslist is there is always someone trying to dump PA or DJ equipment for pennies on the dollar. If you can, get the seller to throw in the speaker cables as these add up as mentioned above. I can put together a pretty decent system (for your requirements) from my local Craigslist including Yamaha passive mains (Club series), Crown/QSC amp and 8 channel Mackie Mixer for under $500. Most of this gear is filling up space at someone's house and they just want it gone.
 

Floyd Eye

Senior Member
Messages
13,838
I got nothing. If I gave my recommendations 5 guys would come in here griping about how I am always hyping DSRs.
 

Astounding

Member
Messages
142
$500 isn't going to get you much of anything. Do you need mics, cables, stands? What about speaker cables?
Is this implying the complete USA made Carvin rig is not a good deal at $550? It includes all cables and two mics as well as powered mixer and the two 12s. I do have mics though, so these would be an extra bonus.

I've been looking also at a pair of Alto 212s for about $500, plus a mixer which I can swing a little bit more for. I'm concerned the Altos might be poor sound quality, based on some of the reviews using them for guitar modeling (although that's not my use).

Additionally, I'm still somewhat confused about 10" vs 12" vs 15" for my needs.

Thanks for the replies.
 
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tribedescribe

Member
Messages
698
The Carvin rig will be loud enough for a rehearsal but will not cut it for a live band performance with a drummer. It only puts out 250w at 4ohms, so if you hook up 4 speakers thats about 125w each. For comparison sake I used to run a emx512sc which puts out twice that 500w at 4ohms. Also a powered rig will be much more versatile and you can add speakers as needed.

10' speakers are great for monitors and solo/duos. Might not be full enough for mains once you add keys/guitars. Although with subs they are great.
12" speakers are great for foh mains. Vocals sound clear and full enough to run keys/guitars.
15" speakers are great for dj's. For a typical rock band I find them muddy and end up eq'ing them to sound like the 12's.
 

Astounding

Member
Messages
142
The Carvin rig will be loud enough for a rehearsal but will not cut it for a live band performance with a drummer. It only puts out 250w at 4ohms, so if you hook up 4 speakers thats about 125w each. For comparison sake I used to run a emx512sc which puts out twice that 500w at 4ohms. Also a powered rig will be much more versatile and you can add speakers as needed.

10' speakers are great for monitors and solo/duos. Might not be full enough for mains once you add keys/guitars. Although with subs they are great.
12" speakers are great for foh mains. Vocals sound clear and full enough to run keys/guitars.
15" speakers are great for dj's. For a typical rock band I find them muddy and end up eq'ing them to sound like the 12's.
Thanks for the reply, this really helps clear things up.

Are you saying powered speakers are the better way to go, or the used powered mixer route as suggested above?

If I go new, do you have a recommendation for a pair of 12s? I could push the budget if I need to for quality.
 

Astounding

Member
Messages
142
Alto sells manufacture refurbished pairs of ts 212's on ebay for $458 (free ship). Few years back I bought pair of ts110a's refurbished on ebay and they have been steller. For your situation I would get the 212's. My school owns the 212's and they are very loud and project well.

For a small format analog mixers the behringer ones seem to break down alot. My school bought the alto 802 mixer and it has some great features, Ebay has them refurbed for $169. On the used market you could score a allen heath zed 10 for around $150.
Thanks for the info. Can you compare the 212s to a powered mixer and unpowered cab used option? The price would be similar with that refurbished deal.

I'll avoid the behringer mixer, some research just confirmed others have had the same issue.
 

smolder

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,507
An A&H zed 10fx used, and a pair of used powered monitors. You're probably at $600-800, but if you buy quality you can add to your main PA in a pinch.
 

tribedescribe

Member
Messages
698
Go for powered speakers over passive. Bang for buck and flexibility is better with powered speakers. Also go for the 12's. Alto 212's are great for the money. Next step up is the yamaha dxr series.
 

-alex

Member
Messages
1,113
I bought a 10 year old Mackie 808m and unpowered speakers C300s for mains and a similar Yamaha speaker for a monitor.
It is overkill for rehearsal in some ways, but used gear is really inexpensive.

It'll be tough to get what you want for $500, but I bet you can get a perfectly functional semi-vintage setup for that amount.
The little items add up fast, speaker stands, a cable snake, and all that can be a couple hundred dollars in no time.

If I were to start over, i'd probably take the powered speaker route and gradually add gear as it is needed.
 

HoboMan

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
17,954
I need a setup for practice in a 15'x15' room.

Primary use would be playing with backing tracks and vocals as well as rehearsing with a rock/blues band(2x guitar, vocals, bass, drums). The drummer has decent dynamics and the amps although 2x12 and 4x10 will be kept at reasonable volume levels for the space(below hearing damage). Even at these reasonable volume levels I'd like the PA to sound full in comparison especially when being used without a drummer or bassist for backing track playback. The studio monitors I'm using right now can't keep up at all.

The ability to perform as a PA for small gigs as well would be a bonus.

Would a pair of 210s or 212s be the better option? And is there anything better for the money than the Alto TS series?

I saw the USA made Carvin XP800L-PM12 system for $550 shipped on sale right now. The wattage is significantly lower though, and I can't find any comparisons. I wouldn't need to purchase a mixer with this option. This option although lower powered is appealing with the included 48v phantom power, two mics, and the mixer.

With coupons the price of the 2x Altos + mixer is about the same as the Carvin setup.

If I go the powered speaker route like the Alto TS I would also purchase something like the behringer 8x xenyx mixer to go with them.

http://carvinaudio.com/collections/xpsytems/products/xp800l-pm12-6-channel-pa-system

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/alto-truesonic-ts212-12-2-way-powered-speaker

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/1202FX

Thanks for any advice.
$500 budget can be tough.

Not familiar with those Alto speakers but I do have experience with Carvin speakers. My PA consists of Carvin subs, mains & monitors. Carvin doesn't get a lot of love around hear but I can tell you that I've had lots of compliments on the sound of my system.
That being said, I spent a lot more than $500.

If you search "Carvin Refurbished" under the music gear section of EBAY you'll see great deals on Carvin stuff being sold directly from Carvin. I picked up a pair for 12" powered speakers for $188 each shipped. That included the 5-year warranty.
I see they have another one up for even cheaper: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Carvin-PM12...361403?hash=item2a76d5fb3b:g:EeMAAOSwbcJXPh83
It's a very versatile speaker. You can plug a MP3 player directly into the back. You can also plug in an instrument or an XLR microphone. It has built-in EQ controls. Basically a portable mini PA.


Somebody else mentioned looking for used Yamaha Club series. They can be found at great prices on craigslist and they sound great. I had a pair of 15" mains and still have a pair of 12" monitors/mains. My problem with them was the weight. I also use my gear for DJ,ing and trying to hoist a 75 lb Yamaha 15 speaker onto a stand by myself was not fun.
I kept the 12" yamahas and still use them as monitors. I have used them as mains and they sounded great at smaller clubs.
 
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335guy

Member
Messages
5,229
My problem with them was the weight. I also use my gear for DJ,ing and trying to hoist a 75 lb Yamaha 15 speaker onto a stand by myself was not fun.
They are heavy, especially the 15" models. That's mainly because the cabinets are built from 3/4" particle board. The drivers do add some weight as well since the 15's are cast frames with larger magnets. But the weight is 62 lbs, not 75 lbs. Pretty old school design compared to many modern active speakers. They sound good for the price, and I rarely hesitate to recommend them for inexpensive, passive, bullet proof speakers.

There is a "trick" to mounting them on stands. Simply put the speaker on the stand while the speaker and stand are lying on the floor, with the stand's legs spread apart. Then simply lift the whole assembly in the upright position. Take them down the same way.
 

musekatcher

Member
Messages
2,735
Yamaha Stagepas or Fender Passport?
We had a major failure with our main PA system and half our rigs at a wedding gig right before the reception and 1st dance! Luckily, we had spare amps, a spare bass combo, but had to borrow the Passport system used during the ceremony, to use for our vocals. We got thru it, and were surprised. It was no match for the full pa sound, and we had no monitors (eek), but based on that, I'd think something that size could work for a practice space.
 






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