PA purchase questions

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by 64 Tele, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. 64 Tele

    64 Tele Member

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    Looking at buying powered mixer and a couple of 2 way speaker cabinets.

    Right now, have it narrowed down to Yamaha EMX312 or EMX512 and either
    BR12 or BR 15 cabinets.

    Looking for something to run vocal mike(s), Taylor acoustic/electric, drum machine and Roland VR09 thru (mainly practice in basement).

    If I never used anywhere else, I'd go for the EMX312 and the BR12 cabinets......just don't want to "wish" I'd gone for the EMX512 and BR15 cabinets the first opportunity to get together with other folks in a larger room.

    Your thoughts.....Done the smoky bars/drunks scene with 1500 watt tri-amped PV pa back in the 80's. Not wanting to go there..
     
  2. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    I've got a 512, and it's great for rehearsals/small gigs.

    Look for a pair of used Club Series Yamahas - way better performance.
     
  3. leonard d rock

    leonard d rock Member

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    get the bigger 512. at least you can use it for gigs in the future. we use an older model, and we use it on a venue as big as a basketball court. vocals, guitars, bass, keys, flute/sax. drums not mic'd in.
     
  4. 64 Tele

    64 Tele Member

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    Thanks for the input. I appreciate your help. Main concern was 12's vs. 15's with keyboard.
     
  5. TheoDog

    TheoDog Silver Supporting Member

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    Even with smaller systems, I think the work load is better shared with a Sub plus 2-way tops and in that case, 12's are fine.
    Graphic EQ FTW
     
  6. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    I think you're headed in the wrong direction. Those cabinets aren't very good and powered mixers are kind of limited. Most people are going passive mixer and powered cabinets for a good reason.
     
  7. Gas-man

    Gas-man Unrepentant Massaganist

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    Yup. CL is clogged with dudes trying to dump their huge, out-dated, heavy passive speakers and ridiculous racks of gear.

    It makes no sense to go passive in 2015 for the majority of applications.
     
  8. 335guy

    335guy Member

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    The answer depends on the intended use. The Yamaha EMX powered mixers have been around quite awhile and have proven to be reliable. For a few $$ more, the Peavey XR8600D is also a good performer in that class of gear. I got a buddy who uses the Peavey and it does sound pretty good and loud for what it is. It has a little more power than the EMX512. I'd echo what loudboy said about getting the Yamaha Clubs. EQ'd right, they are a better speaker than the BR series. But none of these speakers will give you a nice low end thump that you may want from the drum machine. It depends on your expectations and needs. I've played pre-recorded tracks and loops through the 15" Clubs and they are lacking in the bass dept. IMO. You can always add a subwoofer though, to compensate.

    This would make a simple and economical SR system for a small to average rehearsal space. It could work okay for a live performance in a smaller venue with a low to moderate volume.

    Personally, I wouldn't buy this stuff new because of what Gas-man said.

    If you're going to go the powered mixer with some passive speakers route, just buy it used locally. There IS a ton of it for pretty cheap ( at least there is in the more metropolitan areas ). I've seen pairs of 15" Clubs go for $200. And powered mixers for about $200-300. Then you don't have a lot of $$ wrapped up into antiquated designed gear.

    Another thought is to get a pair of active speakers and a small analog mixer. The sound quality is generally much better, if you get decent equipment and not that bottom of the barrel crap. The minimum quality I'd get personally ( for a practice space ) would be EV ZLX-12P's and a little 8-12 channel analog mixer with effects. Samson has some inexpensive ones, as does Mackie and Yamaha. There's also the ZED line of A&H mixers, but they run a bit more $$. And those have better features than the powered mixers do.

    I used some ZLX-12P's at a casino gig, running loops and tracks, and the bass response was much better than the Club speakers. Pretty tight and thumpy on the kick. You can compare them side by side to the Club's at a music store to decide first. Then try and find what you like best either new, on sale somewhere, or used.
     
  9. Guitardave

    Guitardave Supporting Member

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    Another thought (and what I'm doing now) is to get the smaller powered head/unpowered speakers for your practice space and if/when you start gigging then add in some powered 15" mains and use the 12's for monitors. Even the older Yamaha EMX series has both powered and unpowered outputs so it should work just fine. There are some screaming deals on CL for the older stuff and frankly it sounds just fine for most applications. Last thought for live use is to keep amplified instruments out of the PA if at all possible or at a very low level. Around here you can typically find a whole used PA setup of decent quality for $300-700 if you are willing to wait for the right deal. I just did a quick search on PA systems and here was one of the first results: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/pen/msg/4866526367.html
     
  10. 335guy

    335guy Member

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    That's a good observation, but I think the OP is getting a system to amplify the instruments, and that the instruments don't have their individual amplifiers. At least, that's how it sounded to me.

    64 Tele said:

    See, there ya go. I live in the SF Bay area as well, and these kinda deals on used PA gear crop up quite often. I was also one of the sellers on CL awhile back selling some of this stuff :D
     
  11. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    Those speakers are okay, but that mixer would be way too small for live use. That's a rehearsal system only.
     
  12. SackvilleDan

    SackvilleDan Member

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    I have a Peavery XR8600D with a pair of JBL JRX 115s and it was a great system. Should do everything you're looking for, and do it well. They are pretty cheap used as many people (myself included) are getting out of powered mixers and passive speakers. You should be able to get a mixer, mains and speaker cables for under $700 used, and likely a LOT cheaper!

    This is what I did. I sold my Peavey / JBL stuff and bought a couple mixers. I have a Soundcraft EFX12 for bigger events (12 XLR ins) and a Peavey PV6 (four XLR ins, but I have to use outboard effects) for smaller gigs and rehearsal. The beauty of this type of set up, for me, is the scalability.

    I started with one mixer and two mains (Yorkville NX55Ps) and then added another set of cabs for powered monitors or mains for a smaller gig (Yorkville NX25Ps) and bought a powered sub to throw in when I need more bottom end support (Yorkville LS720P). I can take one, two or four cabs plus the sub and have never been short for a gig. It's nice to do an acoustic gig and only have to bring a small mixer and one cab and not have to worry about lugging heavy power amps around!
     
  13. Yer Blues

    Yer Blues Member

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    That's what I ended up doing, but sort of by accident. Picked up a powered 16 channel Carvin mixer that got used a lot in bands with other guys non-powered speakers. Eventually, I got a powered FOH setup, but still use other people's non-powered monitors powered by the Carvin mixer. It has worked out pretty well.

    I do want to get a smaller, unpowered mixer in the near future to set up the stuff at home for jamming and listening to music. Long term, I'd like to get something like a Mixwizard and a pair of powered monitors.
     
  14. Guitardave

    Guitardave Supporting Member

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    That's exactly where I was going - the powered head with a pair of 12's is a great setup for practice and then you can add in powered mains if/when you need to for gigs.

    So much is dependent on the # of inputs needed, style of music and how large the venues you play are. Not sure there is one right answer. I personally wouldn't want the old rack full of power amps and effects (those things are frequently 100-150lbs). The powered 15" mains are frequently into the 60-70 lb. vs 30-40 lbs. for unpowered ones so I prefer to use the non-powered ones wherever possible. The compact powered mixers sound pretty decent and typically have enough inputs for what I use. Larger venues/festivals all seem to have their house PA so it's worked out fine and I have buddies who have big PA systems/sound companies if that's what's needed.

    I will give a serious +1 to the comments about using subs and smaller mains - in one of my bands the drummer has a full powered Mackie setup with subs, etc. etc. including the iPad mixing functionality. Seriously cool stuff and it sounds great. Fairly intensive setup time though and getting those in and out of their carrying bags is a PITA.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2015
  15. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    Those days are gone...

    I've got a Crown amp that gives 750 x 2 real RMS watts in a <12 lb. 2RU shallow form factor.

    Pair that w/2 of the SRX-712M cabs I run, throw in an active 618-XLF and one of the compact digital mixers and you've got a small system that would tear up a club, and fit in your car.

    Passive vs. active is just a choice, IMHO. Setup time and cabling are about the same, performance is similar. Just a matter of preference, at this point.
     
  16. modulusman

    modulusman Member

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    Really, examples?:confused: I would imagine that most are within 10 pounds or less of each other. The Electro voice ELX 115 weighs 51 pounds the powered version weighs 54. The powered JBL PRX 715 weighs 47.5 pounds the Unpowered PRX415 weighs in at about 46 pounds. With digital power amps the added weight is nothing when built into the cab.
     
  17. modulusman

    modulusman Member

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    Not sure I agree with this. Most decent Powered speakers are bi-amped while the unpowered versions are not. If you are trying to get similar performance you would need something like a drive rack and need more power amps and a rack By the time you figure in the cost of those additions and the weight powered is hands down better IMO.
     
  18. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    A good pair of passives, w/a beefy amp driving them can and do sound every bit as good as an active speaker, altho you probably need to know a little bit more about setup.

    Many amps now have digital processing and crossovers built in, if you want to bi-amp the tops or run subs.

    With Speakon NL4 cables, you're talking one cable from the amp for a top and a sub and one AC drop at the side of the stage to the rack. Not a big deal but still, a few minutes here and there can save a lot of time.

    You could go with a 4RU shallow rack that weighs 20lbs. and run tops, subs and 2 monitor mixes off it.

    Add a Studiolive or whatever and that's a pretty compact system.

    It's really not as clearcut as some would think.
     
  19. Guitardave

    Guitardave Supporting Member

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    Cool - I went away from the racks to powered mixers because it always seemed that by the time you had the rack, mixer, effects, power amp(s), etc. it quickly got way too heavy. Those old SKB Gig Rigs I think weighed nearly 50 lbs. unloaded. Last time I dealt with them was about 10 yrs. ago so I'm a bit out of date on the newer stuff.

    Yep - you are right. I stand corrected. I think I was going from memory of having lugged some of those early EON's around. They just SEEMED way heavier - could have just been the early bulky designs!
     
  20. Yer Blues

    Yer Blues Member

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    The PRX 512s I have are pretty light. Not sure on the weight, but I can easily transport one in each hand from my car to stage area. They are lighter than any of the guitar amps I gig with and the handle is in a great place. They're also lighter than the prior set of unpowered monitors we were using. The sub is a different story, although in a pinch I could move it if I have to.... but I usually get some help with it and with two people it is no problem at all.
     

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