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10 hours ago, BassAdder27 said:

Our newly formed rock covers band needs to find a PA system for our female vocalist 

It will at this stage only be used for vocals at small to medium pub / club gigs 

Any advice on kind of wattage we should aim for as a system 

Our singer has a powerful voice if that helps but we don’t want to be under powered in the vocal department!!

Was thinking two stand mounted PA speakers ( no subs ) such as 10 or 12” tops and a small mixer either powered or not depending on if active cabs or passive 

Will only need around four channels at this stage 

Advice ? 

Think about who is going to pay for it. If you're planning to split the cost between the individual band members, it's a good idea to work out up front what you're going to do when someone leaves, and be completely honest and transparent about it.

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2 hours ago, Happy Jack said:

I don't mean to go off at a tangent, but if you're new to buying PA gear then please please pretty please

DON'T BUY NEW!

Few things go down in value quite as much or as quickly as low to mid-range PA gear, and the best way to find out what you really need is to buy a simple system, try it, and work out what (if anything) is lacking.

I just did a quick'n'dirty search on eBay for "PA system" + Used + Buy It Now + UK Only.

If I set the Budget at "Up to £200" I get 370 results, and whilst much of it is dross there's at least a hundred rigs there that I'd be happy to gig with as my first rig.

 

A previous (loud rock) band gigged pubs & clubs for years with a small Yamaha EMX powered mixer and a pair of Yamaha passive tops, all bought used with the initial intentention of getting something better further down the road. Apart from adding a monitor, we never felt the need to change...

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A pair of Yamaha DXR10 should be just about in your budget. We use a pair over a pair of DXS12 subs when putting most of the band through it but a pair of the 10s would be more than enough for just vocals. I’ve never managed to get them to limit yet and they can go ridiculously loud.

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Like others have said, vocals only and  a wee pair of ton’s would be fine. Cheap powered cabs with a wee desk ( something with a couple of effects, or a Helicon for just the lead vocals ) would be fine. Ridiculously cheap, to see if things work out are;

https://www.guitarguitar.co.uk/product/191021350125008-5041785--behringer-dr110dsp-ex-demo-9193

 As soon as you start adding other stuff through the PA, you will eventually progress to 12’s. Then eventually for bigger venues, you’ll add subs. 

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1 hour ago, barkin said:

A previous (loud rock) band gigged pubs & clubs for years with a small Yamaha EMX powered mixer and a pair of Yamaha passive tops, all bought used with the initial intentention of getting something better further down the road. Apart from adding a monitor, we never felt the need to change...

Absolutely this ^^^^

Due to powered cabs being so popular, good powered mixer amps can be picked up for little money s/h, and the Yamaha EMX stuff is brilliant. I have an EMX512SC, 500 watts x2 , 8 channels and lots of features. Can be found for around £150 ish s/h, add a couple of decent passive cabs (also cheap s/h) and you’re good to go, with cash to spare for a monitor for your singist too. 😀

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Posted (edited)

https://www.cashconverters.co.uk/shop/product/yamaha-stagepass-500-speakers-and-mixer/1096445?list=Search result

Great Speakers these for the money and you will easily get your money back if you ever need to upgrade.

The blurb on the page is for the 600 but this is the spec-

https://www.yamahamusiclondon.com/STAGEPAS-500-Complete-PA-System/pidYAM-STAGEPAS500

Edited by Geddys nose
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13 hours ago, NoRhino said:

Take the singer with you when looking to buy to make sure she's comfortable helping to carry it in and out of venues.

😶

Also ensure the singer takes a cash/credit with them, remember the rest of the band have probably invested quite heavily in their own gear already. 🤔

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14 hours ago, BassAdder27 said:

what about Alto TS312 cabs x 2 

Are they any good as a starter?? 

From a personal experience, yes. 

If you're running just vocals through them, they should be more than adequate. If using the whole band, you'd need to pair them with subs (or a single sub). To make sure you're not trying to do too much with them. RCF is great, but more expensive and Wharfedale is good as well, although I don't have any experience with their active range.

If you're looking at analogue mixers, they're available for pennies (slight exaggeration) but if you're buying with a view to expansion, make sure there are enough groups, or aux sends to handle the entire band if you want to go the way of IEM's or individual monitor mixes.

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19 hours ago, NoRhino said:

Take the singer with you when looking to buy to make sure she's comfortable helping to carry it in and out of venues.

😶

While no doubt your typical vocalist is a gear hauling absentee, in my experience some of the females put the guitarist to absolute shame.

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Posted (edited)

I would add that there is no good reason  NOT to go down the passive speaker/powered mixer route. the one caveat is that powered mixers are not usually as flexible as non powered mixers.

A second point, if you are just buying for  female vocals a good 10 will work as well/or better than a mediocre 12. There is a band  (5 or 6 piece)in Hampshire, Chicago 9 that use a pair of passive Electrovoice (EV) PA tops with a powered mixer. All instruments including the Harmonica use backline and they set the adjust at sound check and forget. They have the best onstage sound I have ever heard.

Edited by Chienmortbb
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52 minutes ago, Chienmortbb said:

I would add that there is no good reason  NOT to go down the passive speaker/powered mixer route. the one caveat is that powered mixers are not usually as flexible as non powered mixers.

We played for years with a powered mixer and passive speakers with no problems whatsoever but when we changed to the powered Electrovoice speakers and subs...what a difference! Much more control and much more power. Im sure whatever suits. I mean most of the places we were playing didn't need 15" inch tops and 18" subs with drums mic'd up etc, but we enjoyed it. 😉

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I play in a loud 3 piece band. We play almost exclusively in small to medium pubs and used a Yamaha stagepas 600 just for vocals successfully for many years. Great price and portability.
We have now upgraded to a pair of Yamaha dxr10s and a Mackie mixer, mainly because we have started to play bigger places. This gives us more headroom, slightly better clarity of sound and better eq/feedback/floor monitor control. 2nd hand should be within your budget. 

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Posted (edited)

Our drummer owns the PA but he plays in 2 bands plus he had friends in the business to get him a great deal on it.

He went for QSC but bought to cover all types of events that he might be playing. All have internal class D 1000W power amps.

At very least 12" speakers and a good quality desk. Someone mentioned the Yamaha desk which i like and not horrendously expensive. We looked at Mackie and RCF PA cabs as well but QSC came out tops for what he wanted.

If you go for 15 3 ways they will do for slightly bigger venues or when band decides to put bass drum thru PA for a bit more depth in band sound.

My other band uses an Alto PA rig that weren't hugely expensive. Think its 15 tops with 15 subs. Think the desk is an Alto 12 channel too. Its ok but not the best quality of sound compared to the QSC in my main band but you get what you pay for i guess.

Dave

Edited by dmccombe7

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HH have some very good deals from their eBay shop at the moment.  You can get 1600w powered cabs (12 or 15) with anti feedback and a 16 channel mixer with effects for your budget.   I bought a whole set at the beginning of lockdown. Sound great at house volumes, but not pushed them yet - can't wait to gig with them!

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/HH-1600W-12-Active-Audio-Speaker-Home-Monitor-Live-Stage-Anti-Feedback-53-OFF-/233663062229?_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49286

 

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3 hours ago, MattW said:

HH have some very good deals from their eBay shop at the moment.  You can get 1600w powered cabs (12 or 15) with anti feedback and a 16 channel mixer with effects for your budget.   I bought a whole set at the beginning of lockdown. Sound great at house volumes, but not pushed them yet - can't wait to gig with them!

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/HH-1600W-12-Active-Audio-Speaker-Home-Monitor-Live-Stage-Anti-Feedback-53-OFF-/233663062229?_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49286

 

They look very good indeed for £400 a pair. Impressive when SoS reviewed them favourably at more than twice that price. Were I in BassAdder27's shoes, I'd think very seriously about getting them.

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I haven't read all the comments. I suggest you invest in a wi fi based PA for the whole band instead of just the lead vocals. Even for small bar and pub gigs the band will sound better with everyone mixed through the same PA.

Blue

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1 hour ago, Bluewine said:

I haven't read all the comments. I suggest you invest in a wi fi based PA for the whole band instead of just the lead vocals. Even for small bar and pub gigs the band will sound better with everyone mixed through the same PA.

Blue

Given that OP is attempting to set up a first PA on a limited budget, that's probably not feasible. We are trying to suggest options which give him an upgrade route without his needing to throw it all away and start again if he needs to improve it. 

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9 hours ago, MattW said:

HH have some very good deals from their eBay shop at the moment.  You can get 1600w powered cabs (12 or 15) with anti feedback and a 16 channel mixer with effects for your budget.   I bought a whole set at the beginning of lockdown. Sound great at house volumes, but not pushed them yet - can't wait to gig with them!

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/HH-1600W-12-Active-Audio-Speaker-Home-Monitor-Live-Stage-Anti-Feedback-53-OFF-/233663062229?_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49286

 

This looks like the deal to beat I reckon - great value for money.

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That’s correct 👍... it’s a new band with a limited budget and ideally trying to keep costs sensible and get us going for small / medium gigs and most importantly rehearsals .. some good tips and links thanks guys 

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2 minutes ago, Dan Dare said:

Given that OP is attempting to set up a first PA on a limited budget, that's probably not feasible. We are trying to suggest options which give him an upgrade route without his needing to throw it all away and start again if he needs to improve it. 

Yes. More sophisticated solutions will give better results, but demand considerably more skill in operation. I have been a pro live sound engineer, but I rarely suggest pa gear on here as I don’t have hands-on experience with the inexpensive kit that would be appropriate for band use.

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1 hour ago, Bluewine said:

...Even for small bar and pub gigs...

Perhaps the definition of 'small' is a bit different, stateside..? :scratch_one-s_head: In a local pub we sometimes play in, the band takes up more room than the audience space, and we're a simple four-piece plus singer. xD

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For a lot of bands its a bit of trial and error with a first PA and someone needs to take charge of it. Hopefully one person sets it up and keeps control otherwise too many fingers in the pot just create issues.

If new to PA's then perhaps do a bit of youtube research to get started might help. I'm no expert with PA's and no formal training. I've just picked it up over a lot of years and running a PA hire company where  mate did the actual desk control and i did the set up and any repairs. That was back in the day of big heavy cabs and power amps. 

I can find my way around a desk but haven't controlled a full band from FOH before. It takes a fair bit of skill to get it right.

Dave

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If you go for the H/H kit and decide at a later date you need something bigger you can always use the H/H cabs as monitors.

Dave

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For what the OP has specified, I'd say that a Yamaha Stagepass or equivalent would be fine. There have been some interesting posts with similar gear: a pair of 10 or 12 boxes on stands and a small mixer. When (if...) things develop, it's easy to upgrade depending on future needs, but these needs are, as yet, unknB|own, so... Yamaha, Wharfedale, HH... These are all suitable. 

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