PA Speaker Advice For Band NEEDED!!

mikendzel

Member
Messages
921
My band is a 4 piece pop/reggae/hip hop/80's/jam band. I'm a guitar player and singer, NOT a sound guy, so I need help!! Our drummer uses Roland V Drums, so we have drums, keys, guitar, bass, and voices going through the system.

Current PA's:
#1 - Mackie SRM450 tops, Behringer 15" subs (model???)

#2 - B52 tops and subs, labeled as 1000 watts a piece

We are dissatisfied with our results, particularly the B52's. The #1 rig sounds pushed, and #2 rig sounds harsh and jumbled. Both rigs aren't able to achieve enough volume to use 30 watt guitar amps without 12db attenuation. We have a couple of venues where we really have trouble reaching beyond 40'-50' of dense crowd, and people wind up complaining that they can't hear us.

I really bought the Mackie SRM450's for monitors, and I like them as monitors, but they seem weak for mains.

We want something able to achieve large club volume while retaining clarity. Also, any ideas on how to reach deeper into the crowd without the "front row" suffering bleeding ears?

I was looking at the Mackie SRM 650's with the 1850 subs, and the QSC KW153's with 181 subs. I'll entertain any suggestions!!!!
 

Floyd Eye

Senior Member
Messages
13,865
I would pass on the Mackies. The B52s are junk. Anything Behringer ( PA speaker wise) is junk. Altos are ok for monitors but they aren't even in the same league as the other speakers we're talking about. SA is junk, Kustom is junk. You get what you pay for brother and cheaping out now will cost you a lot more later.

The QSC rig is solid.

Apparently you have a good budget for PA, which is good. Generally speaking I think most people, myself included, would recommend 12" tops when you are running 18" subs. And you do want 18"-21" subs. That said, the KW153 is a 3 way box and I assume a damn nice one. I have no experience with it though so you'll have to wait for someone else to come along.

I would look at Yamaha DSR12s. They are extremely loud, extremely clear, sound great and have a 7 year warranty. They sound awesome over my LS801Ps.

There are several very nice powered 18" subs on the market, the KW181 being one of them. EV ETX18, Yorkville LS801P, JBL has some nice ones too. For shear power it's gonna be hard to hang with the Yorkvilles, but people will argue over which ones sound better.

There are A LOT of threads in this forum regarding powered tops and powered subs. I suggest you get to reading and check as many of them out in person as you can.

As far as reaching deeper in the crowd while not killing the front row, unless you are outdoors or in a huge room, delay speakers aren't appropriate. I would suggest getting your tops higher in the air and angling them down a bit.
 

335guy

Member
Messages
5,232
I was looking at the Mackie SRM 650's with the 1850 subs, and the QSC KW153's with 181 subs. I'll entertain any suggestions!!!!
I see no point in getting main speakers with 15" drivers if you're going to use subs. Many feel a 12" driver main speaker handles vocals better, plus they're lighter and less expensive within the same product lineup.

And the problem with larger boxes, like the KW153 is you can't safely mount them on a tripod, even though QSC did install a pole socket. So that leaves standing them on top of your subs, which has two issues. One, you can't center cluster the subs and two, you can't get them high enough over the crowds heads. And again, no point in using a 15" driver when using subs. I think those would work best in a fixed installation where they could be flown.

Floyd's rec for the DSR12s is spot on. If you wanted all QSC products, the K12 is an alternative to the DSR12, although not quite as loud. If you wanted to look at comparable loud speakers to the DSR12s, EV has the ETX line. It's all USA designed and built. Their 12" powered model, ETX-12P, is rated at 135 db max spl. The Yamaha DSR12 is 134 db, so they're essentially the same output. The ETX-18SP is a quality sub, and beats out the Yamaha DSR118W sub in peak output and low end extension.
 

MLG Audio

Member
Messages
1,040
I have used a QSC rig of 2x181 and 1x153 per side and it is more than enough for pretty much any indoor even, and even small outdoor events. A buddy of mine doubles that up and puts on big festival type shows. However, I prefer to get the mains up as high as possible, even indoors. I really like two 181's per side and a pair of yamaha DXR 12's put up on a sub pole (angled down for smaller or boomy rooms). DXR10's make killer monitors also. I tend to spend a little more on stage monitors than most. Granted I'm a sound company and not a band, I figure the better sounding the monitors, the less work I need to do to please the client.
 

loudboy

Member
Messages
27,335
I would find a local sound provider and use him. It will give you consistent sound, no hassles, and I've never seen a situation with a serious band where every member didn't agree that it was worth it, on every front.

For $250-300/gig, you can get a system that will rock a decent-sized club, great monitors, cool lights and most importantly, an operator who can actually mix you - in reggae especially, timed delays and dub effects really can add a lot.

This is a local outfit:


To do reggae/hip hop at the volumes you need, especially with e-drums, will take a lot of PA.

It doesn't sound like any of the band are particularly interested in spending the time to learn how to set up/run a system and frankly, you should be concentrating on playing.
 

mikendzel

Member
Messages
921
I would find a local sound provider and use him. It will give you consistent sound, no hassles, and I've never seen a situation with a serious band where every member didn't agree that it was worth it, on every front.

For $250-300/gig, you can get a system that will rock a decent-sized club, great monitors, cool lights and most importantly, an operator who can actually mix you - in reggae especially, timed delays and dub effects really can add a lot.

This is a local outfit:


To do reggae/hip hop at the volumes you need, especially with e-drums, will take a lot of PA.

It doesn't sound like any of the band are particularly interested in spending the time to learn how to set up/run a system and frankly, you should be concentrating on playing.
We actually started out with a dedicated sound guy! But a local venue hired him away from us.

We are actively considering this as a solution.
 

MLG Audio

Member
Messages
1,040
I definitely second the sound company idea. The band I work steady for ran their own sound for years. The first couple times they hired me their fans told them it was like a whole new band. Since then they've sold their system and give me steady work year round. I know all of their music and even sit in sometimes, so I know the vocal mixes right off the bat, I know when the guitar solos are, I know many little details that make the show sound so much for professional. When you form a relationship with a soundman it can make the whole bend perform better.
 

sants

Member
Messages
2,288
Jbl srx835 is a better sounding speaker than the kw153 IMO . I've used both and the jbl is smoother and less fatiguing. Paired an srx828. If you look you get a set between 5-6k.

If you have the room to haul it the dual 18 is a more efficient buy.
 

335guy

Member
Messages
5,232
I'm curious, for small bars and clubs can you get away with one 18 inch sub and 2 12's?
For main speakers, I would say yes in most circumstances, assuming you're using quality gear and you aren't a super loud band onstage. You would still need a monitoring system, either wedges or IEMs.
 

B Money

Member
Messages
5,889
I'm curious, for small bars and clubs can you get away with one 18 inch sub and 2 12's?
For Hip Hop & Reggae using edrums, I'd say no. Those genres really required deep bass with a lot of punch, I wouldn't attempt it with only a single sub. The kick drum sample alone is going to eat a ton of power, and I assume your keyboard player is doing bass drops that will devour power like a fiend.
 

GCDEF

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
27,892
I see this is an old thread but, I know little about the B52s other than they don't have a good reputation. On the other hand, I played in a fairly loud bar band that used SRM450s for a couple of years. Like you, we ran everything through them and had no trouble at all getting sufficient volume out of them. Honestly, if they're not handling bar kind of volumes for you, you're doing something wrong.
 

RockoRecords

Member
Messages
38
My band is a 4 piece pop/reggae/hip hop/80's/jam band. I'm a guitar player and singer, NOT a sound guy, so I need help!! Our drummer uses Roland V Drums, so we have drums, keys, guitar, bass, and voices going through the system.

Current PA's:
#1 - Mackie SRM450 tops, Behringer 15" subs (model???)

#2 - B52 tops and subs, labeled as 1000 watts a piece

We are dissatisfied with our results, particularly the B52's. The #1 rig sounds pushed, and #2 rig sounds harsh and jumbled. Both rigs aren't able to achieve enough volume to use 30 watt guitar amps without 12db attenuation. We have a couple of venues where we really have trouble reaching beyond 40'-50' of dense crowd, and people wind up complaining that they can't hear us.

I really bought the Mackie SRM450's for monitors, and I like them as monitors, but they seem weak for mains.

We want something able to achieve large club volume while retaining clarity. Also, any ideas on how to reach deeper into the crowd without the "front row" suffering bleeding ears?

I was looking at the Mackie SRM 650's with the 1850 subs, and the QSC KW153's with 181 subs. I'll entertain any suggestions!!!!
Mikendzel,

I actually work in your area, I am a sound guy with a similar setup to your requested thread.
email me and maybe we can work out something.
www.rockorecords.com
 

mikendzel

Member
Messages
921
As a follow up here, we ended up going with the Mackie SRM 550 tops, and SRM 1850 subs. They've worked out REALLY well! They are way lighter, smaller than the B52's, and provide 650 more watts/9db more than the B52's. They are certainly louder, and more importantly WAY clearer than the old speakers!!! We are very happy.

Without re-reading my old posts, my band poses a slightly different challenge than most, in that our bass player prefers not to bring an amp (his is the antithesis of the average TGP'er, the less gear the better!) and our drummer uses V-Drums. We rely heavily on the system to provide bass. I'm not sure if that requirement means we use up power quicker than most bands, but I really had to strangle my amps, in order to not overpower the mains.
 

DunedinDragon

Member
Messages
947
As a follow up here, we ended up going with the Mackie SRM 550 tops, and SRM 1850 subs. They've worked out REALLY well! They are way lighter, smaller than the B52's, and provide 650 more watts/9db more than the B52's. They are certainly louder, and more importantly WAY clearer than the old speakers!!! We are very happy.

Without re-reading my old posts, my band poses a slightly different challenge than most, in that our bass player prefers not to bring an amp (his is the antithesis of the average TGP'er, the less gear the better!) and our drummer uses V-Drums. We rely heavily on the system to provide bass. I'm not sure if that requirement means we use up power quicker than most bands, but I really had to strangle my amps, in order to not overpower the mains.
Actually your drummer and your bass player are more in line with current trends than the rest of the band. There's a pretty significant movement in this direction with guitar players opting for Kemper's, AxeFX, Helix, Tech21, Amplifire, etc. and going direct in to the PA with in ear monitors, even in professional circles. It certainly provides a cleaner sound overall, but I even have problems buying into the whole "silent stage" movement.

I will say that going the route you're going you probably will need to develop better stage volume discipline using traditional amps. As in your situation, our group also uses V-drums. In our case the bass player has an amp but goes direct in to the mixer. The drummer has his own stage monitor (a Mackie thump) and sends one line to the monitor and one line to the mixer, I use a HD500X through a DXR12 on stage with one line from the HD500X direct into the board, and the rhythm guitar uses a mic'd Fender Mustang III. In this situation we still have a somewhat traditional stage sound which allows us to manage our on-stage mix. But it's at a relatively low volume and not meant to cover the room. It's solely for the purpose of blending our instruments together.
 

mikendzel

Member
Messages
921
Actually your drummer and your bass player are more in line with current trends than the rest of the band. There's a pretty significant movement in this direction with guitar players opting for Kemper's, AxeFX, Helix, Tech21, Amplifire, etc. and going direct in to the PA with in ear monitors, even in professional circles. It certainly provides a cleaner sound overall, but I even have problems buying into the whole "silent stage" movement.

I will say that going the route you're going you probably will need to develop better stage volume discipline using traditional amps. As in your situation, our group also uses V-drums. In our case the bass player has an amp but goes direct in to the mixer. The drummer has his own stage monitor (a Mackie thump) and sends one line to the monitor and one line to the mixer, I use a HD500X through a DXR12 on stage with one line from the HD500X direct into the board, and the rhythm guitar uses a mic'd Fender Mustang III. In this situation we still have a somewhat traditional stage sound which allows us to manage our on-stage mix. But it's at a relatively low volume and not meant to cover the room. It's solely for the purpose of blending our instruments together.
I appreciate what you're saying, but you're preaching to the choir about stage volume. Our drummer has had V drums for 10 years, and with that in mind, I've had attenuators on my amps. A THD Hot Plate at 12db cut on my Tone King Comet (40 watts) and now that I'm using 2 amps, I have an Ironman Mini at 11db cut on my Tone King Majesty (32 watts). As an aside, thank heaven for Mark Bartel putting the solo function on the Ironman Mini!!! Have you ever tried to get a solo boost on an amp that is attenuated to 12db?!?!? You simply can't do it. I also tried to do the silent stage thing, trying an 11R and a Line 6 HD, but I couldn't approximate the feel of my amps. We play mainly clean or slightly overdriven stuff, and I love the feel of my amps; it's the reason I own them. If I played rock stuff I probably could have lived with it.

I knew we had a problem when our B52's couldn't get loud enough to cover up the amp levels out front, with the amps on a 12db cut. The B52's are pretty old and well used at this point, we bought them in 2007 and played <>60 shows a year, with them. We stopped using them when we borrowed our keyboard player's wife's subs and using my Mackie SRM 450's as mains last year, and we were shocked when we had to go back to the B52's. I bought the SRM 450's to provide more sound coverage to our venues where the audience is on 3 sides of us, and they wound up being WAY better than the PA speakers we were using, so they became the mains. Right now they're being used as my monitor and the bass player's monitor, and the drummer and keyboard player are looking at moving to them as monitors also. They are using Behringer Something-or-others, that I never liked. I'd rather not have a monitor.
 




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