Do you have any guidelines for buying used PA (digital mixer & speakers)?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by geoangus, Apr 6, 2015.

  1. geoangus

    geoangus Member

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    As we look into upgrading our PA, it is clear that we don't (at least I don't) have the funds to buy new. So I'm looking at some used gear (Prosonus, JBL, QSC). Of course, with the speakers, it's difficult to know how hard they've been run, and as they're powered, there is risk. But how about digital mixers? As long as all features appear to function, everything slides, fades, lights ups, turns off, are there tells that would say walk away?

    Thanks.
     
  2. wpawley

    wpawley Member

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    As in buying anything "used", there is a risk since there normally would not be any warranty. First thing is: Do you know how the gear operates? Do you know what does what and when. Buying speakers (powered or not) can be a hit or miss deal. I have looked at used speakers (PA) that just playing back a pre-recorded CD sounded great. It wasn't until firing it up in a GIG that the problems showed up. So, getting a demo of speakers should be done at expected power/volume in hopes of not finding out there are problems. Mixers: Twist every dial, run Fader's up and down, put a signal through every channel/pre-amp, and line-in. Plug headphones in and give every channel a close listen for snap, crackle, and pops. Almost all the time, if you hear something odd, it will most likely just be a dirty contact and fixed easy enough. Power Amps: If possible, let them run for at least a couple hours. I have been bit a time or two by this. Amp first turned on, would run just fine, sound right. But after a couple hours of use, it failed. One I fixed quick because all it was, was a cold solder joint. Another, it took a good while to find a Cap going bad. (HINT: Don't be poking around in a LIVE amp-shocking results may happen). Again, buying anything (even NEW) should be demo'd using as near to live power outputs, and inputs as close to expected use as possible.

    Finally(?), know what your budget is and do your best to stay at or below it. You may have to compromise a bit but that will remedy itself as you move along, hopefully, making money with your investment and those compromises can be upgraded to what you really want.
     
  3. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Member

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    I wouldn't buy any used powered speakers without trying them in a realistic situation first.
     
  4. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    Proaudiostar on eBay. Almost every B stock I have purchased they touch base and ask about upgrade to new for a nominal fee. Even the B stock Line 6 Variax I just bought is amazing and mint.
    I'm selling a Mackie DL1608 if your looking to go digital for a good price. Non filled warranty, etc...
     
  5. geoangus

    geoangus Member

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    Thanks all. After a night of discussion with several friends, I've been convinced to either go new or open box. While I feel digital gear is most susceptible to mortality within the first 90 days, the unknown of other supply voltage "phenomenon", as well as how hard used speakers have been driven, I guess I'll look for the best fully warranted deal.
     
  6. wpawley

    wpawley Member

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    Yep, if you can afford to go "New" or "Open Box", that's the way to go. Get that warranty. But if you do go "used", (or "New" even) especially on a Digital Board (or Digital anything), do yourself a favor and get something to protect it's input power. The best warranty in the world isn't going to do you a bit of good if you are at a gig and your one and only mixer/digital system blows up because you have bad input power. Best thing to do is ask around and find out what the "Local Pro's" use to keep their units up and running (Surge Protectors, UPS units, etc).
     
  7. Uncle Pat

    Uncle Pat Member

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    :aok
    These guys are really hard to beat. If you see a good price on a b-stock item, give them a call. They'll very likely give you a great price on brand new and incl free shipping.
     

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