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Powered Monitors? Powered Mains? help!

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by jamrat, May 23, 2011.

  1. jamrat

    jamrat Member

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    Need some advise. Im a bandleader of a 5 piece: Drums, Percussionist (washboard), bass, guitar, accordion. 3 vocals. Zydeco band.
    We've been running the following setup, but have had some issues with monitors' poor sound quality, breakup, and dropping out:
    Peavey Powered mixer 6 channel 400 W (200 watt to each mains (or monitors if we assigned it)
    PA Mains: Yamaha passive 12" monitor speakers (yea, I know they're monitor speakers, designed for near field projection, but they've been working pretty well as mains)
    Monitors: Fender 2 127OP 100W powered monitors (tiny little powered monitors, small, light, convienient)

    The PA is designed to be loud enough for bars and small outside parties but be light and small. Read: I don't want subs. I don't have a power amp. I don't want 50lb speaker cabs.Etc. Im a wimp, because I set it all up myself. Its also been cheap.

    We run thru the PA: 3 vocals (including our drummer, which picks up snare), Accordion line out of accordion amp, kick drum, and sometimes a DI Fiddle).
    The monitors on some gigs have struggled to keep up with our loud drummer (and thus loud band) and recently one of them died in a gig. Busted input jack. It will cost at least $100 to repair, if not more, cuz its a wierd jack.

    I could get it fixed and go status quo. Which has worked more or less ok for 3 years
    Im considering:
    upgrading powered monitors. What kind should I get? Ill consider used. QSC K10s sound good, but expensive and heavy!
    Mackie 350s sound good but good. And is there an issue with them being on their side and overheating?

    Should I use my Yamaha PA mains (which are actually passive Monitors) and go for powered Mains (Mackie 350 or 450's)?

    Running power to monitors is convient, but running power to mains means a lot more extention chords.

    Thanks so much!
     
  2. mixwiz

    mixwiz Member

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    k10s are only 32 lbs and sound a ton better than the mackies. They are more money however. As for the yami's as monitors (not sure what model you have), they should be a big improvment especially if they are the club series.
     
  3. strumminsix

    strumminsix Supporting Member

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    I like having mains and mons of the same maker/series so there is no EQing required.

    The Yamaha club and PRX6 series are all very nice. I think the Yam BR are close to what you have now.
     
  4. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    That makes no sense.
     
  5. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    Get the K10s and use the for FOH. Don't run kick thru them, tho.

    Use the Yammie Clubs for monitors, run them off your powered mixer.
     
  6. jamrat

    jamrat Member

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    Helpful comments!

    Mixwiz: My Yamaha 's are the Club Series 12" passive.
    I could run them as monitors, but man, I wish my monitors were powered and my mains were passive.
    It Sounds like yall are saying I have to suck it up and use active mains. I doubt my little powered mixer has enough juice (400 W, 200 watts each side) to power a set of passive mains and the passive Yamaha monitors.
    I understaind what Strumminsix is trying to say: if the monitors and mains are the same company and series, mostprobably the EQing will be less confusing than if Im mixing and matching. (Same argument with all vocal mics should be the same model vocal mic on a bandstand, so that EQing is easier.)

    Loudboy: K10's cant take kick. Can the K12s?
    I've gotta run at least a little kick... and the accordion has some pretty low frequencies too. (think keyboard). The Yamahas 12" (club series monitors) have handled what kick and accordion weve sent thru em.
     
  7. mixwiz

    mixwiz Member

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    You're probably right in that the rig is underpowered for mains and mons. Have you figured out your budget? The K series are great but at 700 a each, it does ad up. You could get a pair of used Yami clubs (just like what you have) a decent 12 channel board and a single power amps (peavey IPR 3000 would work) and you'd come in under that figure.
    The only thing you haven't accomplished is light weight. The yami clubs are great (I use 5 for mons) but they aren't the lightest box in the world.

    With lot's of people going to powered boxes, there seems to be a fair ammount of club stuff on ebay, craigs and guit center used. If your patient, you can pick up the 12's for 150 each or less.
     
  8. strumminsix

    strumminsix Supporting Member

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    What's so hard to understand? You try to pair, say, of Yamaha Club main with a say a low end Mackie set of monitors and you'll definitely want to have a different EQ for the mains vs monitors.
     
  9. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    You're likely to want different eq on the mains and monitors anyway. They won't have the same mix in them, they won't be positioned the same way, you'll be mixing against the stage and stage instruments, vs. the house and people, and unless you have identical speakers, they won't sound the same anyway.

    Assuming monitors and house mix will share the same eq just because the speakers are made by the same company is kind of wonky.
     
  10. strumminsix

    strumminsix Supporting Member

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    You contradicted yourself.

    For years I've run the same brand/series mains and monitors with great results and no add'l EQ'ing required. From the board I either send a duplicate mix w/diff total volume or subs or Auxs, whatever. Point is no add'l eq'ing required. I've done sound for many other bands who do this and worked with many clubs that do this.

    Not sure why you call this wonky. Mixing speaking brands seems wonky and needing double eq's etc...
     
  11. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    No I didn't. I said, or at least meant, different models by the same company will sound different, and that alone disqualifies the same eq for the same brand statement. Even if they did sound the same, all the other factors I mentioned would also disqualify the same eq statement.

    I call it wonky for all the reasons I mentioned. The same mix and the same eq for monitors and house is, well, wonky. There's no other way to put it.
     
  12. speakerjones

    speakerjones Member

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    Mains and monitors should be thought of as two different systems regardless of make and model, and should receive separate mixes, EQ, and power. In rock and roll (or zydeco), monitors are EQ'ed for maximum gain before feedback and to cut through a loud stage, while mains are EQ'ed to sound pleasing and relatively flat in the room. Mixing speaker brands between mains and monitors (and with certain applications, within the monitors or mains themselves) is more common than not on most professional stages.

    To address the OP, I agree with Loudboy. Get a pair of K10's or 12's and switch the Yami's over to monitor duty. If you high pass the kick drum, you can put it through the mains, but IMO, there's little point in that. If you want bass, get a sub.
     
  13. strumminsix

    strumminsix Supporting Member

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    Sure, jalford, if you are talking about a 10,00 watt system with a dedicated sound guy but I made, what I consider highly likely, an assumption that the OP is newer to the live sound world and running sound on their own. Those 2 things require simplicity.

    Running back and forth from the stage 50 times and running a secondary outboard eq seems overkill for a guy with a moderate PA who wants to maximize.

    If you match the mains and monitors the only EQ needed is on the board's channel then just levels need adjusting. This is the standard of most bar bands around here and until you have a soundguy who really knows his stuff seems the most logical.

    RE: Kick, high pass it and give it a boost around 2.5k, you'll sacrifice THUD for pud but it will be very clear and present through the house.
     
  14. cbguy

    cbguy Green & Gold Supporter

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    Though I haven't used them, for monitors I wonder if the Mackie 12" Thumps would be good. It would allow for eperate EQing and volume on each monitor and probably have enough poop for anything they could throw through it (for monitors, at least). Plus, they're like 26 lbs each.

    For mains you might consider the JBL prx 612's. 34 lbs, 1000 w, about the same price as the QSC K10s but with a little more low-end.
     
  15. billyguitar

    billyguitar Member

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    I think you're overlooking something. Are you running one Yamaha speaker per side of the Peavey head? You need to hook up both Yamahas to the same output of the head so the head sees 4 ohms. If you're separating them you're only getting about 100 watts to each speaker.
    Are both of the Fender speakers powered? So long as each raw speaker has an 8 ohm rating you could take the amps out of them and just use them passively thru the other output channel of the Peavey head, saving you the $100 repair bill.
     
  16. jamrat

    jamrat Member

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    Excellent insights.
    Its a tough question because there's a number of ways to skin the cat.

    1. If I feel like dumping a ton of money I can get QSC K12s for mains, and switch my Yamaha's to monitor duty. That works well, but $1500 and gets me powered mains and passive monitors, which is less than ideal.

    Or I can get passive 12" mains, something light weight and used and fairly good quality, see if my little 400W powered mixer can power it all, and if not, get the Peavey Amp, or something like that, and a mixer board. And probably spend less than $1000.

    Im thinking #2 is the route... but I gotta learn myself now on
    passive mains,
    power amp (Peavey IPR 3000 looks straighforward enough,
    10 -12 channel mixer board and
    a case that convienently holds the power amp and the board.

    Isn't there a case that will hold the power amp and board, and the lid will open up to reveal the mixer board?
     
  17. strumminsix

    strumminsix Supporting Member

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    Yes, they sell many cases like that. But they are about 50 pounds before adding components! YIKES!
     
  18. speakerjones

    speakerjones Member

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    Setting up this way makes you compromise your FOH sound to fit your needs for monitors, and visa versa. Seems to me, just getting the correct tools for the job in the first place will give you better results, and force you to learn to do it the correct way.
     
  19. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    You'd need to add in an EQ, also.

    If you go this route, get a 4RU shallow rack and put the Peavey Power amp and a used dBX 231 EQ in it. Get a soft case for the mixer and just set it on top.
     
  20. cbguy

    cbguy Green & Gold Supporter

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    2 - JBL PRX612's @ $ 700 ea. = $1,400
    2 - Mackie TH12A Thumps @ $300 ea. = $600
    1 - Mackie ProFX12 @ $280
    -----------------------------------------------
    Total $2,280

    rationale:
    Mains: The JBL's could handle the kick
    Monitors: It sounds like you're using 2 monitors (I may be wrong) but, as I said earlier, the Thumps have onboard 3-band EQ with sweepable mids and seperate volumes.
    Mixer: Onboard 7-band EQ for mains, 6 preamps to handle 3 vox mics, 1 kick mic, and 2 extras; plus 2 dedicated channels for DI's on accordian and fiddle; bonus of onboard effects if desired plus 2-track USB recording to PC w/ free software.

    Just a thought. Sell your other gear; upgrade with warranty on newer equipment; no seperate amp(s). Quality mains. Upgrade on mons. Again, just a thought.
     

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