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I know there are a few threads on this but they get quite detailed and it is hard to pick out the details that are relevant to your own position.

I have a band, Guitar, Bass, Drums, Keys, Sax, 3 Vocals. The bass doesn't go through the PA, everything else does (the guitar has its own amp but some part in the PA). This is currently handled by 2 x Alto TS312. The drummer is reasonably loud, when we play at an average pub gig, the red lights on the back of the pa will occasionally flicker. The singer isn't always very clear, although odly I am. Sometimes we get great sound, sometimes less than great. It is all controled by me via an ipad and X-Air, while playing bass, no separate sound guy. I also have another band that is not yet gigging but will be.

So basically it all works but I feel it is constantly on the edge. And I get nagged a bit by it.

I bought a column PA from G4M, because it was on discount, an 8 inch column speaker. I didn't think it would be loud enough but it was a bargain! Tried it out with both bands yesterday and day before, and it just overloads at the volume I want so it is going to go back. My wife was monitoring through it, but then went for the bose S1 and it was so clear.

I know on these threads someone will come up with 'oh you can get this and that RCF or whatever for only £2000', but I have no real budget for this. However, I already put £300 in, I figure if I stretched to another £300 at absolute max, I could get something like the RCF EVOX J8 which looks good, and maybe replace one of my Altos, leaving the same for me to carry but maybe improve my clarity. The pair of altos and stands and cables cost me £300 on ebay marketplace.

If you were in this situation, and had the demands of

1. Really can't go past £600 at max

2. Really don't have much room left in the car for additional things, or storage at home so a sub is out.

what would you do, or would you just stick with what you have?

 

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Would not go for the Bose system. They can’t really cut it in a band situation and are designed for recorded music and voice, professional karaoke. By professional karaoke I mean those singers that just sing all night to backing tracks. 
 

I would go for a matching subwoofer, those Alto tips are not bad but with so much going through them they need help. Remember subs are not as directional as tops do you can use one (remember to run the system in mono).” The Subwoofer that  goes with tops  is the TS312 https://www.gear4music.com/PA-DJ-and-Lighting/Alto-TS312S-Active-Subwoofer/2YEB

This will stop LF going to the tops and substantially increase the headroom. output from the mixer to the sub, then one feeed out from the subwoofer to rad of the TS 312s. Hopefully that will do the trick and they are £349 at G4M. You can add another later if need be. The diagram below is for the 15s but the wiring is the same. 

 



 

E8A6A296-7CC5-4487-8717-C1DD5BB1EDA1.png

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I'm not really sure that you can do better than your two Altos for £600 total. Could you sell the Altos for the same £300 or so ad have a £900 budget? 'Cos there are a pair of RCF HD12 on here and ebay for £900, and that would be HUGE upgrade. Ok, ok, now I'm that guy that you mentioned! Sorry.

 

Long story short, if you want to go louder in roughly the same size and weight you will be needing more money. If you CAN get a sub, then the above suggestion would work.

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Turns out I have 212s not 312s, although the rest is the same. Seems to be just a bit of a power difference.

So a sub, that is where I started ages ago thinking about that. So would a TS312S make that much of a difference to the clarity of vocals - I presume removing the lower frequencies lets the tops work better. Is there much between a TS312 or 315?

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Posted (edited)

The matching subs for those are the TS212S and they are £245 from G4M. They have  a 30 day returns policy so it might be worth a punt on one/two. 

Edited by Chienmortbb

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Posted (edited)

So you would recommend getting the 212s rather than the 312s because they match better?

edit - do you have a link for that? I only see the TS312s and the TX212

Edited by Woodinblack

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The 312s have a better specs  and one may well do as better job but the 312 series are designed to work together. 

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BTW- in the original post I wasn't talking about the bose L1 system - that is either out of my price range or not powerful enough, I only mentioned the bose as I have an S1, as a standalone thing, I just use that as a personal amp for the stick and my wife uses it as a monitor.

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The S1 looks more conventional than most Bose products and ideal for your wife’s use.  I must admit that I was thinking of the L1 type systems.

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10 hours ago, Woodinblack said:

So you would recommend getting the 212s rather than the 312s because they match better?

edit - do you have a link for that? I only see the TS312s and the TX212

Sorry I was caught out by Alto’s numbering system. It is Tx212S. As you can see from the picture, it has a DSP setting for the 212 tops. 
https://www.gear4music.com/PA-DJ-and-Lighting/Alto-TX212S-Active-Subwoofer/34ZN

28BC79DE-0DDC-4F70-A913-CA2A223BF0F8.png

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we use a similar setup, 2 tops and a sub (ok so they're RCF's!) plus 2 rcf tops as monitors (they're wedge shaped). That Alto setup you're using with an additional sub should sound fine. As an aside what mics are you all using? We upgraded from AKG's and Shure 58's to sennheisers and it make a big difference to vocals. We also had the X air 18 and tablet setup but quickly ditched it in favour of an analogue (RCF!) desk, the X air was far too tricky and far too many options, we lost the fundamentals of getting a good sound which is to keep things simple.

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I have no problem with the x18, that bit is like a breath of fresh air, wouldn’t go back to an analogue desk if I could help it. Mics are an interesting one, and vocals have been part of the issue. I have a tc helicon MP76 and my vocals are never a problem. The singer has a pg58 shure and is muffled. My wife (in another group) uses the same (type) mic and she is clear as a bell. We briefly swapped mics at last practice, he had more treble BT not much more clarity. I think he is just muffled

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FWIW I'm in two bands, one with 2x RCF 312 tops plus a single 705 sub and the other with 2 Alto TS115 tops and 2 TSsub18 subs. The RCFs are quite clearly better in many ways, but the Altos are no slouch, punch well above their weight and sound just fine.

 

It's like on here when people talk how an MIA Jazz is so much better than a MIM one. True, but the MIM works just fine. Alto make some great stuff and adding adequate subs to your system will help a great deal with achieving what you want.

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A pair of subs in your average pub type gig could have phase cancellation issues, you might be better going for a single sub of good quality over a pair of lesser quality... negated if you stack the subs of course.

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18 minutes ago, warwickhunt said:

A pair of subs in your average pub type gig could have phase cancellation issues, you might be better going for a single sub of good quality over a pair of lesser quality... negated if you stack the subs of course.

I agree and the reason I suggested the Alto subs is that they have the DSP settings to match the Tops.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Chienmortbb said:

Sorry I was caught out by Alto’s numbering system. It is Tx212S. As you can see from the picture, it has a DSP setting for the 212 tops. 
https://www.gear4music.com/PA-DJ-and-Lighting/Alto-TX212S-Active-Subwoofer/34ZN

 

No, there are three models - TS212, TS312 and TX212. The TS212S I assume is to go with the TS212 speakers (which I have), and the TX212S I assume goes with the TX212 (which I don't have). I am not sure what the differences between the TX and the TS (other than TS stands for truesonic), but the TX212 and the TS312 are both current, whereas the TS2x is the old model of the TS3x.

I think i might go for the TS312S sub (or maybe the TS315?) and maybe later on upgrade my 212's to the 312. Seems you can only get the TS212S second hand anyway now.

Edited by Woodinblack

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The TX is Alto's cheaper line.

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Posted (edited)

If you wanted an upgrade then for £600 you could go for the RCF ART 312's https://www.thomann.de/gb/rcf_art_312_a_mk_iv_bundle.htm. I've auditioned the mk3 versions and they sounded great for the money and definitely a step up from the Alto's. the vocals were particularly well done. Having said that nothing wrong with the Alto's and they are great value. 

Buying subs will help but it's a lot to carry for a pub gig. Unless you put bass and kick drums through you won't necessarily need those IME. 

I'd certainly look at replacing your other vocalist's mic something like an AKG D5 is a great sounding mic though it's tight pickup pattern (great for feedback reduction) makes it less suitable for someone who moves around a lot and has poor mic technique. They are only £50ea at the moment too. If you think their mic technique is a bit less than good the SM58 (£80) is a very forgiving mic, it doesn't sound as good as the AKG but will be like lifting a veil from his current Shure cheapy.

Edited by Phil Starr

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11 hours ago, Phil Starr said:

If you wanted an upgrade then for £600 you could go for the RCF ART 312's https://www.thomann.de/gb/rcf_art_312_a_mk_iv_bundle.htm. I've auditioned the mk3 versions and they sounded great for the money and definitely a step up from the Alto's. the vocals were particularly well done. Having said that nothing wrong with the Alto's and they are great value. 

Buying subs will help but it's a lot to carry for a pub gig. Unless you put bass and kick drums through you won't necessarily need those IME. 

I'd certainly look at replacing your other vocalist's mic something like an AKG D5 is a great sounding mic though it's tight pickup pattern (great for feedback reduction) makes it less suitable for someone who moves around a lot and has poor mic technique. They are only £50ea at the moment too. If you think their mic technique is a bit less than good the SM58 (£80) is a very forgiving mic, it doesn't sound as good as the AKG but will be like lifting a veil from his current Shure cheapy.

I do agree about the mics Phil. I missed the fact that the singer was using a cheap Shure. That may be the best and cheapest upgarde initially

I am now using the Solo from Sontronics. It is cheaper than the SM58 and made in Dorset. AKG and Sennheisers are also worth looking at. In fact I try to avoid the SM58 as it is OK, but IMHO is a very old design that is bettered by many less expensive mics these days.

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If we're doing mic recommendations then I've converted 4 people to the Prodipe TT1 Pro Lanen now. £35 or so and they're outstanding. Having said that, I might be tempted by that AKG D5 above...

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Posted (edited)

My band added a single Alto 12" sub to our (15") tops and the improvement in sound was very marked. I even DI the bass now so we can have a lower sound level on stage.

Going through the PA are vox, guitar, bass and keys. Very happy with the sound. We use the DSP 15 setting even though ours are the older version. Quite a weighty beast (even though active) but adds enormously to the sound.

Edited by Steve Browning
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Think I am fairly convinced on this. When they take the returned column speaker back I will get the TS312S (and a padded cover - why do some of the same shops not offer that?).

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Well, I just got a refund on the column, so the plan is to now get the TS312S and cover.

But at the moment, with the gigging oportunities looking a bit unlikely in the short term, I think I will leave the money in my account until I know when / if we are going to be gigging again!

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The TS212  should be fine for pub gigs. Adding a sub (any sub) will make the difference, especially  if you are micing your kick drum. You can try things like adding low pass filters on all you mic channels (except kick, although even a 40 Hz high pass is not a bad idea here) - we set ours at 120Hz for vocals, and 80Hz for guitars. It helps keep low freq mud out of the PA.  This will let your 12 inch cabinets do what they do best - mids and highs.

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Posted (edited)

Yep, almost evererything has a high pass filter on it (except the bass drum when we mic that up). The bass doesn't go in the PA (well, it does but only for IEMs, not for the speakers).

I think the guitar would sound better if I set the high pass filter higher than 80Hz. I was thinking maybe 15kHz :D

 

Edited by Woodinblack

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