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AlexDelores

Pa System advice?

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Hi, just looking for a bit of advice.

currently looking into upgrading my bands PA system, we’re an acoustic duo with acoustic guitar, bass, and vocals. 

We’re looking at getting a couple of active speakers, more than likely one of these... 

https://www.gear4music.com/PA-DJ-and-Lighting/Alto-Truesonic-TS210-10-Active-PA-Speaker/1G05

https://www.gear4music.com/PA-DJ-and-Lighting/Mackie-Thump-12-Active-PA-Loudspeaker/ZPR

https://www.gear4music.com/PA-DJ-and-Lighting/Mackie-Thump12A-Active-PA-Speaker/23CP

The idea of the change is that we’ll be able to take just one speaker to our smaller shows, we’ll also be getting a set of in ear monitors rather than a floor monitor. Basically overall idea is to reduce the size of our kit for transport and also reduce our overall footprint at gigs (we get put in quite small corners of bars being were acoustic) we also like the idea of a bit more power for weddings etc. 

Now.. I also use a separate bass amp and the plan is to run everything through the PA so I’ll have it in my ear and again its less gear to transport. 

what are people’s thoughts on me running my bass through these speakers without the need of a Sub? I have always had it in my head that the pa wouldn’t handle bass without distorting however I also kind of feel that a Seperate sub will be major overkill? (We’re indie/ pop not dubstep 😂)

Also anyone any experience with any of the above speakers? 

excuse the long windedness (if that’s a word) and naivety of this post but any help anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated. 

Thanks

Alex

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They are all budget PA speakers. Not bad for vocals, but if you are intending to dispense with an onstage bass amp and run through the PA, I don't think budget PA cabs with 10" or 12" bass drivers will cut it in anything other than low volume situations. OK for the bars, but less so for weddings, etc.

Edited by Dan Dare

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New 1300W Amplifier with Bass Response Technology

:)

I'd take that with a giant shovel of salt

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5 minutes ago, Dan Dare said:

They are all budget PA speakers. Not bad for vocals, but if you are intending to dispense with an onstage bass amp and run through the PA, I don't think budget PA cabs with 10" or 12" bass drivers will cut it in anything other than low volume situations. OK for the bars, but less so for weddings, etc.

Yes sorry, I mean I am hoping to get rid of the bass amp completely and run direct into the PA. 

my initial thought was I should consider buying a Proper SUB to run through the set up (chain off one of the normal pa speakers) but wasn’t sure whether I would ‘get away’ with just normal pa speakers. 

Sounds like my thinking is about right

Thanks for your reply 👍

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My rule of thumb with non-English amp ratings.........

Halve it (to bring it to rms, sort of)

and halve again because they will be quoting peak music levels..............

so 1300watts becomes 325 real watts (across two boxes?)

 

:)

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5 minutes ago, fleabag said:

Sounds about right TH

Agreed. Re. the original question, a pair of those cabs plus a good quality powered sub might be just about OK, but avoid the subs that are aimed at the cheaper end of the disco market and that claim ridiculous power outputs, etc. They may make a fair amount of noise, but it's all boom and no notes and the sound falls apart when you push them (they often achieve volume via over-zealous porting to give a false impression of power). As with our bass rigs, clean, plentiful low end costs money.

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Just now, taunton-hobbit said:

I smell the word 'Barefaced' lurking around here somewhere.....

(yes I'm biased, I own two Dubsters)

o.O

Nooooooooooooooooooooooo. Other cabs are available...

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2 hours ago, Dan Dare said:

Agreed. Re. the original question, a pair of those cabs plus a good quality powered sub might be just about OK, but avoid the subs that are aimed at the cheaper end of the disco market and that claim ridiculous power outputs, etc. They may make a fair amount of noise, but it's all boom and no notes and the sound falls apart when you push them (they often achieve volume via over-zealous porting to give a false impression of power). As with our bass rigs, clean, plentiful low end costs money.

Thanks a lot, appreciate the help. 

I’m assuming if I have 2 speaker cabs + a sub I would need to daisy chain one of the speakers off another due to the available XLR connections on the mixer... which leads me to the question, would it be possible to use an active speaker connected to a passive mixer and then daisy chain my ashdown ABM 2x10 passive cab and go direct into the PA with my bass? As the cab would be getting power from the speaker? I know this wouldn’t be as ideal for handling the low end as a powered sub but would it be possible as a short term answer to having everything through the in ears?

Unfortunately as with everything budget comes into play here.

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With all due respect to TH, given the three options in the original post I’m guessing that a barefaced cab north of a grand is probably not going to be an option?

For what it’s worth, Alex, I have a TS210 which we use as a monitor in our pub band, where we use Yamaha DBR12s as mains and just put keys and vocals through the PA. A bit different from your situation, I know.  I was a bit disappointed with the Alto - the way I set it up (high pass filter taking out everything below about 100Hz, and compression to take out the peaks) it sounds okay, but it’s only just loud enough as a monitor for the keys player and his backing vocals, and the peak light is almost constantly on.  The Yamaha’s are barely ticking over at similar volume. I wouldn’t consider putting bass through it, though a pair for guitar and vocals as an acoustic duo would probably be fine.

I don’t think you’ll be able to daisy chain your bass cab from any of the common active speakers.  

What PA and bass gear do you use at the moment, and do you have a budget in mind?

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That’s great thanks for the info on the Alto stuff. 

Yeah I didn’t think I’d have much joy with the cab.

we currently use a Yamaha emx312sc powered mixer and x2 wharfedale evp x-15 passive speakers. I also use an Ashdown Abm 500 head and abm210 cab. 

As far as budget it really needs to be all in under £1k. We’re thinking we’ll probably end up with 1 active speaker (for now) a mixer, a set of the gear 4 music in ear monitors and probably an alto powered Sub, although we might end up with x2 speakers in a bundle and then look at the sub a later date and carry on with my seperate amp.

im wondering whether I could DI my bass amp into the mixer but keep the volume low on the front of house sound (assuming it has a seperate level control for the monitors) 

hmm lots to think about, all though I’m most definately over thinking it all 😂

really appreciate the feedback from here though 👍

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For my money, I see nothing wrong with your current Wharfedales. You'll need to spend a fair bit to get better than that. For what you describe as usage, I'd be happy enough putting the bass through them (at acoustic concert levels, and small-medium venues...) Not if you're playing death metal or such, but for an acoustic duo, look no further.

Just my tuppence-worth.

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12 hours ago, AlexDelores said:

Thanks a lot, appreciate the help. 

I’m assuming if I have 2 speaker cabs + a sub I would need to daisy chain one of the speakers off another due to the available XLR connections on the mixer... which leads me to the question, would it be possible to use an active speaker connected to a passive mixer and then daisy chain my ashdown ABM 2x10 passive cab and go direct into the PA with my bass? As the cab would be getting power from the speaker? I know this wouldn’t be as ideal for handling the low end as a powered sub but would it be possible as a short term answer to having everything through the in ears?

Unfortunately as with everything budget comes into play here.

I don't think that would work at all well. You would be feeding a full range signal to the Ashdown. Ideally, you need a crossover to remove the higher frequency content from the signal to the sub/bass cab and the low bass from the tops. Most important, you need to power a sub with its own amp. Even if they have an aux speaker output, those powered PA cabs you refer to will not drive it adequately (and you'd have to daisy chain it from one of them - you couldn't use both).

I see from your later post that you have a PA already and agree with Dad that what you are proposing to replace it with would be a sideways move, not an improvement. If you are looking to reduce the amount of kit you carry, dispense with backline and put the bass through the PA, I'd agree that you should keep your existing PA and suggest you add a  powered sub (but see my previous comments about getting a decent one). Dad's right that what you have would probably be adequate for bar gigs, but it won't cope at the weddings you refer to.

Edited by Dan Dare
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14 hours ago, AlexDelores said:

That’s great thanks for the info on the Alto stuff. 

Yeah I didn’t think I’d have much joy with the cab.

we currently use a Yamaha emx312sc powered mixer and x2 wharfedale evp x-15 passive speakers. I also use an Ashdown Abm 500 head and abm210 cab. 

As far as budget it really needs to be all in under £1k. We’re thinking we’ll probably end up with 1 active speaker (for now) a mixer, a set of the gear 4 music in ear monitors and probably an alto powered Sub, although we might end up with x2 speakers in a bundle and then look at the sub a later date and carry on with my seperate amp.

im wondering whether I could DI my bass amp into the mixer but keep the volume low on the front of house sound (assuming it has a seperate level control for the monitors) 

hmm lots to think about, all though I’m most definately over thinking it all 😂

really appreciate the feedback from here though 👍

Have a look in the market place under other musical items. Someone is selling a couple of Mackie active subs (says he will sell one or both). I don't know or have any connection with the seller, but one or both of those combined with your existing PA ought to do the job.

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Those Wharfedales will blow any of the other speakers you are looking at out of the water (both for sound levels and quality) and will take bass at semi acoustic duo levels all day. The Thumps are 6dB down on them in terms of sound output. The only problem is the weight (I use the active versions) and the need for a power amp but with an active desk you have that covered.

There really is no point in taking a sub to reduce weight or trips to the car, a dedicated bass amp for these medium levels is likely to be lighter and smaller as well as more versatile.

Save your money towards a better PA like RCF or QSC, until then the Wharfedales will do you proud.

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Thanks everyone for all the help. Really glad I decided to ask the question on here.

So working on the basis that I already have a couple of good speakers the issue is still that we need to reduce our footprint at some gigs so would need to run 1 speaker and preferable some form of monitor (in ear , again for reduced footprint) so we can put the speaker off to the side of us. Another option would be to buy a new , more powerful powered mixer such as ...

https://m.thomann.de/gb/yamaha_emx_5.htm?o=16&search=1514742097

currently With my mixer I’m getting approx 150-180watt through one speaker @8ohm (I think) 

my wharfedales quote on the back :

300watts continuous

600watts program

1200watts peak

impedance 8ohm.

Now does That mean I should be looking for powered mixers around 600w total to allow me 300w through one speaker at 8ohm (the Yamaha linked above states 2 x 460w @8ohm, so would this be too powerful?)

apologies again for the long windedness and I appreciate you all for sticking with me and bearing with my naivety. 

I beat sheet metal for a living and electrics blow my mind (slight pun intended) ... and the other member is more useless than me with it. 

Thanks

Alex

 

 

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Alex...

You seem to be suggesting that this 'reduced footprint' is because of the stage space allotted you at certain venues..? If this is the case, would it not also be the case that these same venues are, themselves, somewhat small..? Following this 'logic' further, and still bearing in mind the acoustic duo nature of your band, I would think that the power put out by your present powered mixer (150-180W into one 8 Ohm speaker...) should suffice. Many decades ago I played drums with Porpoise, a light folk-rock group of buddies. Our set was heavily biased towards vocal rendition, but even with drums (played lightly, and damped...) a bass, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, mandolin and violin, we never had PA problems in small halls, clubs and such, using a 200w amp turned up to about 1 (of 10...). Later, in France, I've played weddings in restaurants and small halls with drums and accordion, with pretty small Montarbo PAs, about shoe-box sized. It's true that we couldn't have turned up to 'deafening' if we'd tried, but we never lacked volume, nor 'punch'. For bigger venues (normal pubs..?) you'd be using both speakers, anyway, but one Wharfedale will do the trick, I'd say, even with your current mixer/amp. Any louder and you'd be running into feedback issues, in any case, I reckon. I could be wrong, but without spending quite a lot more than the budget announced, I'd say you've already got the best you need.

I'd add that, in those heady times described above, there was no question of IEM, or even foldback at all..! We just listened to what was going on, that's all..! ;)

Just my tuppence-worth; hope this helps. B|

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Dad's right. I'd use what you have until you're in a position to upgrade your whole PA, rather than buy things piecemeal. You may well decide to go for active cabs (once you get into the realms of better kit, many PA speakers are active), which would mean you'd be wasting your money buying powered mixer. Mixers, especially analogue ones now many are going over to digital, tend not to hold their value and you don't get a good resale price if you buy new (I have just sold a large Soundcraft, in mint condition, for a fraction of what it cost me). As a stopgap to provide extra power for larger jobs, I'd look at picking up a used power amplifier to drive the other speaker. If you really want a powered mixer, they often turn up used on the 'Bay. Stick with reputable makes such as Yamaha, Allen & Heath, Soundcraft, etc and you'll be fine.

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I'm sensing gas :P

I would suggest EITHER

As suggested wait until you can buy a whole system that will do the job

OR

Buy with an end goal in mind

So, if you must satisfying the GASGOD right now maybe look at getting one speaker.  Either use it as an extra monitor or just "reinforcement".   Something like a single RCF745 (Around £1000) or a RCF735 (around £700) would be my route of choice.  That way, when funds allow you could potentially just get one more of those and have a PA that can keep up with whatever you throw at it (I *think* for your situation the 735 could cope)

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34 minutes ago, stingrayPete1977 said:

The 735 would nail it, a pair without subs will do a full rock band including bass and kick drum in a typical pub or function room. 

Indeed, but 2800 W for an acoustic duo with a budget..? Excellent stuff, certainly, but overkill for the needs specified (unless rich as Crésus, of course...).

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6 minutes ago, Dad3353 said:

Indeed, but 2800 W for an acoustic duo with a budget..? Excellent stuff, certainly, but overkill for the needs specified (unless rich as Crésus, of course...).

Maybe, but if bass, kick, guitar and vocals are going through it how many watts are you "replacing"?

Also two 735s come in at around £400 over budget new.  So secondhand might be achievable.  Extra headroom is always preferable too :)

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5 minutes ago, Dad3353 said:

Indeed, but 2800 W for an acoustic duo with a budget..? Excellent stuff, certainly, but overkill for the needs specified (unless rich as Crésus, of course...).

That's peak. In reality, a lot less. The headroom will be useful for acoustic stuff, where you need clarity above all else. If the OP has a £1k budget, saving another £500 and getting a pair of 735s looks an excellent option to me and much better than buying budget kit that is no improvement on what he has.

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