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dmccombe7

PA advice needed

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Starting with a new band from scratch doing our own material similar to Foo Fighters / Pearl Jam style.
Going to be a 3 piece with gtr doing main vox with bass and drums covering backing vox.
Any suggestions on PA's without going daft money.
Budget anywhere from £500 - £1000 2nd hand. (is that a reasonable assumption on budget ?)
Looking at using it for smaller to medium sized pub venues.
Most Rock bands i've been in have used venue PA's but as this is a new project with no live recognition as yet we think best to have some kind of PA ourselves.
Last time i looked at PA's was in 80's and a little out of touch with it to be honest.
Any advice welcome.

Dave

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You'd be better off (for your budget) looking at passive cabs such as Peaveys, Power amp can be any make but go for 1000w+, Yamaha do a very good desk MG16cx I think it is. You'd get all of these used within your budget.

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I shall be putting a number of PA items up for sale later this week, Yamaha and Electrovoice, when I get time to take some photos. You are however a long way from the Midlands and postage is expensive.

Well within your budget, you might like to look at a new Yamaha Stagepas 600i. I bought one earlier this year and am very pleased. A very easy carry and setup. Together with a pair of stands + covers the lot would be about £750. Edited by grandad

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RCF 710's plus as good a mixer as you can get with the balance of about £250.
Soundcraft or something similar

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To be fair, I've just noted your upper budget is £1000... my suggestion was aimed more at your lower end budget! :)

One point of note is that stuff like speaker/mic stands and all of the various leads need to be budgeted for because they eat up budgets.

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Yep, stands, leads and mics will take up 20-30% of your budget.

Samson Q7's are really good vocal mics in the £20-£30 range and their Q4's (£20-£25) are good for mic'ing guitar amps, drum over-heads and snare. I use them to mix up my band and they work perfectly well. Never had any distortion problems and they have a nice high-mid hump.

Don't be tempted to go cheap on stands; really not worth it as you'll end up buying again in a years time. Spend at least £25 per stand and they'll last for years. I like Quiklok because they're good value and well made.

Mackie SRM450's are well thought of and easy to come by second hand. You could get a pair for £400-500 depending on condition. They'll easily handle all the vox, a touch of guitar and touch of kick drum. Perfectly suitable for pubs and clubs. I've used my own pair for a while and I like their sound and volume capabilities. Some people think they sound brittle, but I prefer to think of it as glassy and vocals cut through really well.

Behringer mixers are well thought of and can be had for not much money. I'm sure I saw a 12 channel one go for £120 on eBay recently? That would be perfect; small, light and plenty of functionality (effects and plenty of aux-outs for monitors and suchlike).

As for cables, see if you can find a job lot of XLRs on eBay or something. Good cables will be at least £20 each! Get a spread of lengths. Sometimes you'll want 5x10m cables and sometimes you'll only need some 5m cables.

Best of luck!

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Thanks guys. Band is only just together and not yet at 1st rehearsal so its early days and i have few weeks maybe months to sort out PA.
Some good options there. I prefer everything via the PA to give more control over FOH sound but obviously small gigs that isn't always possible and drums will determine actual volumes.
I hadn't thought about mics and leads so that was an excellent reminder.
Any other suggestions are very welcome.

Dave

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Before you go spending any money check whether you really do need your own PA.

Almost every venue that I have played at in the past 6 years that puts on bands playing their own material has had its own PA and sound engineer. I can only think of two occasions where we had to supply a PA and both were venues that didn't normally do live music that was more than a singer with a guitar. In both cases we hired a PA for the evening.

It may be that things are different in your part of the country, but we play all over the UK and have yet to be asked to a venue where there was not a house system installed.

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I've written an introductory guide in another forum http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?p=31138246#post31138246 hope it is useful.

My advice would be to start off with something relatively simple that will just do your vocals, then add as you go along. As well as mics/leads/stands you'll probably need some sort of vocal monitor so your singer will hear themselves over the band, you did say Foo Fighters didn't you ?!

Best bet is probably a fairly cheap mixer and powered speakers to start. Probably 12"+horns The Behringer mixer is OK (I've used the 1204) but the Yamaha MG series mixers sound a bit better. The Mackie SRM's are OK but Yamaha,EV,JBL and Wharfedale are just as good. RCF and QSC are a step up. The Peaveys are cheap and reliable but the sound of old Peaveys is not up to modern standards. If you don't mind fiddling with separate amps and a few extra cables there's a lot of old passive speakers up for sale with a good sound for little money. I was using Yamaha S112V's until recently and they sound as good as pretty much any other pub band, we got a lot of encouraging comments about our vocal sound.


We started with the Samson Q7 a few years back and they do the job at a bargain price but I'd recommend the AKG D5 at it's current price as a vocal mic. Bargain.

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[quote name='Phil Starr' timestamp='1451943311' post='2944946']
I've written an introductory guide in another forum [url="http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?p=31138246#post31138246"]http://www.ultimate-...46#post31138246[/url] hope it is useful.

My advice would be to start off with something relatively simple that will just do your vocals, then add as you go along. As well as mics/leads/stands you'll probably need some sort of vocal monitor so your singer will hear themselves over the band, you did say Foo Fighters didn't you ?!

Best bet is probably a fairly cheap mixer and powered speakers to start. Probably 12"+horns The Behringer mixer is OK (I've used the 1204) but the Yamaha MG series mixers sound a bit better. The Mackie SRM's are OK but Yamaha,EV,JBL and Wharfedale are just as good. RCF and QSC are a step up. The Peaveys are cheap and reliable but the sound of old Peaveys is not up to modern standards. If you don't mind fiddling with separate amps and a few extra cables there's a lot of old passive speakers up for sale with a good sound for little money. I was using Yamaha S112V's until recently and they sound as good as pretty much any other pub band, we got a lot of encouraging comments about our vocal sound.


We started with the Samson Q7 a few years back and they do the job at a bargain price but I'd recommend the AKG D5 at it's current price as a vocal mic. Bargain.
[/quote]
Thanks Phil this was a great help and i'll get a look at your link too.
Dave

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Pair of Mackie thump 15" and a small Yammaha mixer with on-board effects done.

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If you're just putting the vocals and a bit of guitar through, you could pick up some decent powered 12 inch speakers and a mixer for that money. Then you could add subs in the future to become a full band PA. Check out the Yamaha DXR12 or RCF equivalent. I picked up a pair of DXR15s a couple of years back for £850 + Allen and Heath mixer for £200 and the whole band goes through that no problem for pub gigs and small to medium parties and weddings. We're not a loud rock band though, more pop and soul/Funk type stuff.

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I can't recommend the Alto stuff enough. I'm quite snobby when it comes to gear sometimes and my band just aren't. They wouldn't fork out for any of the 'brand name' stuff and I wouldn't let them scrape the barrel so we settled on Alto and you know what? It's bloody brilliant!

We have two of the TS115 tops and two TS Sub 15 subs.

Regardless of which brand and models you go for, my advice would be to start with two powered tops and a mixer. You can then add subs, outboard and monitors as you start gigging and work out what you really need. One thing that's often overlooked in cheap PAs is a delay unit. If you can stagger the PA a few milliseconds to match the backline the results are enormous.

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We started with a Yamaha Stagepas and they are very good but we found they struggle a bit with the larger venues we play at (ie, middle size pubs and clubs) and the speakers, though great quality, aren't really man enough for the bass without affecting the sound of the rest of the mix.
We then moved to a Behringer powered mixer (2x800w) driving a couple of Behringer 15" speakers. Although very good price, we have found it very reliable and, because it is running well within its output capability at the lower volume levels required for the small to medium venues, the sound quality is excellent, even when Pete our bassist turns up his bass boost to max! The bonus is that we now use the Stagepas as monitors where necessary.

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[quote name='Jack' timestamp='1490091644' post='3262031']
I can't recommend the Alto stuff enough. I'm quite snobby when it comes to gear sometimes and my band just aren't. They wouldn't fork out for any of the 'brand name' stuff and I wouldn't let them scrape the barrel so we settled on Alto and you know what? It's bloody brilliant!
[/quote]

I have the Alto Live 802 mixer and it's a cracking bit of kit.

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It's a good idea for a band not to own a PA jointly, but for band members to own individual parts of it. That way, if you split or someone leaves, people just take whatever it is they own. No arguments about buying people out, newcomers buying in (they just replace whatever it is the person leaving took with them), etc. Saves a lot of grief. Of course, if you're buying it your self, this doesn't apply.

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