Best bang for buck Live speakers in extreme conditions ?

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by mikeote, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. mikeote

    mikeote Guest


    I need good live speakers for producing a powerfull and clear reproduction of live vocals & keyboards, With Drums/Guitar/Bass being played very loud (heavy metal) in a 7 meters X 4 meters unsoundproofed room.

    As I now have a Phonic 24MKII I asked Phonic, they recommended (ofcourse they would recommend Phonic), IMP15 speakers and a MAX2500 Power amplifier, how do they sound ?

    Cheers !
  2. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Let's see..
    You did not specify a budget. And if you have Phonic in mind, you are very much in the bottom-of-the-basement, budgetwise. Phonic is cheaply-priced, cheaply-built gear. ESPECIALLY their power amps and speakers.
    Even Peavey's cheaper lines are a step up. And since you didn't bother to fill out the info telling us what part of the world you are in, we have no idea as to what alternatives you have, but let's see what's out there.

    "Powerful and clear sound" requires HEADROOM from the amplifier and EFFICIENCY from the speaker(s). NOTHING Phonic makes have this capability. I would look at YAMAHA gear if you are on that tight a budget.
    Their "Club" series speakers are made in the US and feature heavy-duty Eminence speakers and drivers, designed to reproduce live sound "loud and proud". Try to find speakers that are made of real PLYWOOD, NOT MDS or particleboard. Plywood is lighter to carry and will not crumble or come apart when carried around. There are some models that are now made of high-impact plastics, and these, too, are lighter and tougher to break. Mackie makes some decent-sounding self-contained powered speakers that would do OK in your scenario. As far as power amps are concerned, Carvin makes some decent models that hold up OK on a budget. Ditto with Yamaha. It all depends on your budget.
  3. mikeote

    mikeote Guest

    Thanks for your reply moonbaby, my budget can be from £100 - £400 gbp ($200 - $800 usd), I have a friend who can send me stuff from the US if I need him to though am in the UK.

    I'de like bang for buck really, the first set of speakers which is really good at producing clear and powerfull sound, if it's £200 or £400.

  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member


    To back up Moonbaby's remarks, I would steer well clear of the Phonic loudspeakers and power amps.

    Much as I dislike the sound from plastic cabinet loudspeakers, the Mackie SRM450 or the JBL EON15 ranges of powered PA loudspeakers would work for your situation.

    When using powered loudspeakers, you don't need separate power amps, but they do need mains. Just run standard XLR cables from your mixer L-R outputs to the loudspeakers.

    On a separate note, I think you may be in for some acoustic problems in the untreated room you mention. Have you really got a Heavy Metal group going full chat in a room no bigger than a large domestic lounge? How high is the ceiling?
  5. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    I'm a big fan of plastic cabinet powered speakers for someone starting to build a PA. They are sort of a swiss army knife sound support tool - not the best tool available for any job, but they do a lot of jobs pretty well. Even when you move up to a better PA, you can fit them in a lot of places as individual monitors for, say, keys. Easy to use as a PA in a practice room, etc. Not too expensive. Durable. Easy to carry. Easy to set up. I've used both JBls and Mackies. The JBLs have a little more "scooped" sound. Might be better for a metal band, but its a matter of taste.
  6. mikeote

    mikeote Guest

    Thanks for the suggestions guys.

    I've decided on what's available to me second hand, no powered speakers as i've heard they are far less reliable than passive ones, and I need reliability as i'm buying them second hand, i'll buy a new power amp:

    Primarilly I may be able to get some JBL MS112s at agreat price.
    If not those than some:
    15" Eons,
    Or the JBL 1350P Limited Edition Sound Power Series,
    or some Yamaha stage V's.

    I've been discussing sound treatment in another 2 forums, the room is my lounge (great guess) of a detached house, so it has to be girlfriend approved.

    Here's what we've been talking about:

    "Heh yeah great idea soul-x, i've been showing my girlfriend some nice tapestries I found on google to cover up most of the most reflective wall (A 100% mirror wall behind the drumkit, with wallpaper over most of it), we've decided on book cases filled with books for the corners as well as bass traps under a couple of tables which are in the corners at the moment.

    We already have a big couch in there and rugs on the floor. She likes the idea of thick curtains with folds as well.

    Would bass traps on the ceiling corners make a big difference as well ? If I can find some cream ones they are a possbility, or a way to colour them cream with out losing the sound absorbing property."

    Cheers !
  7. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    We have powered speakers everywhere and rarely do I get a call to swap an amp module; not to mention that I've got about 30 Eons that along with being about 10 years old and getting beaten up, dropped & soaked with rain, are seldom in need of repair - they take a lickin' and keep on tickin'.

    I just replaced all of my passive EAW SM400 and 500 monitor wedges with UM-1Ps; the EAWs served us well, but the industry is changing - powered speakers can be found all over the place - they make load-in a hell of a lot easier. I'd hardly call them unreliable.

    A few months ago I had to replace a HF driver in one of my L-Acoustic ARCS cabinets - passive box, talk about fun, it's like changing out the headgasket on a car.

    Good luck!
  8. mikeote

    mikeote Guest

    Thanks for the info Bent.
    30 ? wow, I trust you know Eons pretty well than, if any second hand powered Eons come up for sale i'll definately consider them.

  9. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Eons are what they are. We use them for quick and easy BGM setups, and on a few stages we use them for stage monitors.

    The EON15G2 is a decent little cabinet. If you can get your hands on a few of them then you'll be doing allright.
  10. ampmaster

    ampmaster Guest

    Hello Mikeote;
    Had to pipe in on this one too,.
    I too have a Phonic Helix 24 , nice little board.
    Although 3 eq's per ch isn't much , they have done a good job of actually giving you some range on these controls.
    First thing , THe Phonic MAX 2500's are the best bang for the buck out there , just make sure that you use proper wire.
    Next of all the Plastic Powered I strongly recomend either the 450 watt mackies (which aren;t cheap) or Yorkville , everything else sounds like crap or is even more money.
    I would strongly recomend that you re-think your speaker budget especially for heavy metal .
    frankly the biggest problem with HV bands is that they play way too loud on stage for any sound systems to work properly (no laughs) if everyone can restrain themselves on stage dB wise youd be amazed at how much more that'll get you out front.
    compressors are going to be necessary , so are gates on drums if acoustic.
    I currently have a little system that ROcks , a couple of 1600 watt Selenium 18's in EV bins and next I found some TX2 yorkville wedge monitors IM using for mid high's that'll tear your face off powered by 3 MAX 2500 phonics.
    Like I said for heavy metal or any live sound situation start re-thinking your PA budget ingeneral.
    The best thing you can do if you want to get better gigs is hire a professional sound company to do the gig with you , even if you have to pay them everything you make the first dozen places you play , and listen to the sound guy , if he's trully a pro he'll probably be older like me and have real gear. (IE Big AMps , Big heavy speakers ,usually pro stuff , not the standard commercial crap thats available in most music stores ) . But building a PA can be challenging and rewarding , spending more money on good stuff first eliminates respending money on all the other stuff thats going to fall apart, blow up or just plain sound like crap.
    For a decent small PA you should re-think your budget to around $5000 -$10K to start.
    I lucked out with my TX2 mid-high cabs , got them at a pawn shop for dirt cheap , the 12's where gone , but the high compression in those will kill anything (Using a B&C 3" titanium D750 driver).
    research my son and look for higher quality used.
    If you want to look and sound cheap them stick with your original budget.
    The Max 2500's with some decent double 15's with horns would also work (maybe used EV's /Peaveys/Yorkville or JBL), but if you want bottom end double 18's are the only way to go . especially if your at higher altitudes like I am , my city at 3900 ft above sea level , YES this effects the sound too.
    Sound is slower as the air gets thiner.
    Check all the local pawns , make a list , then come publish on this forum , and we'll help you make some decent choices. OH yeah staw away from Yorkville amps , the speaker are good but the amps have issues. Staw with Crown , QSC, Phonics MAX2500's , Even the Behringer EP2500's are oK , guess who makes them PHonics does.
    Phonic is actually a contract manufacturer in Tiawan thats been building other companys stuff for about 20+ yrs. , the only problem is thier warrantee return situation in the US is not very good. SO don't blown it up.
    Next too little power not too much is what usually blows up speakers , next is cheap speakers , next is poor AC power , always use good quality heavy 14ga min power cords 12ga is better but usually expensive , same goes with speaker wire always use at least 12 ga not anything smaller ie 14,16,18ga. puts less strang on amps and sounds better , use only OFC (Oxygen free Copper) cable the higher the strand count the better ie (12GA shouldhvae at least 180 strands of 36ga copper wire) YEs this makes a difference. The cheapest way Ive seen is the heavy gauge stuff thier using for power in car audio , you can usually get this in 12 ga for a quarter or so a foot , just buy red and black for positive and negative and strap them together .
    Mike cable same deal the cheap crap is that its cheap and its crap . Reasons; wont' last , wires come loose , cheap XLR's break or worse. Best way is find a sound company thats liquidating and buy at 10cents on the dollar , you'll get better stuff.
    Chears and have fun ...ampmaster.
  11. ampmaster

    ampmaster Guest

    In response to moon baby about Phonic.
    Gues what Phonic as a contract manufacturer builds or has built for the following companies.
    Mackie , Yamaha , JBL , QSC , Peavey, and a long list of others.
    Thier speakers I would stay away from cause I don't know who manufactures the drivers. But the mixers are as good as mackie with usually a few less bells and whistles. Behringer started with Phonic as did Mackie but now build most of thier own in thier own chinese plants unfortunately not all they do is that good. But the MAX2500's are very good better built than either the Beh or Mackie amps and look suspiciously similar to both the Euro2500 Beh and the RMX2450 by QSC . Interesting EH .
    I know about this stuff cause I've been in the electronics industry for over 25 years.
  12. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Better than which line of Mackie...ONYX? BS. Yes, I realize that Phonic is a contracted manufacturer to companies like Yamaha, and that they build to the customers' spec. That doesn't mean that they're any better. Some of the cheesiest gear on the market now carries the JBL logo, and I have no doubt that Phonic is involved in their manufacturing.
    I recently tried out a Phonic-built Yamaha MG 32-channel board for a church's youth group. All sorts of features. No headroom at all. It couldn't hold a candle to the Mackie Onyx 4-bus they ended up getting. Smeared sound that got worse when you started stacking inputs. And no amount of EQ will fix that...
    BTW, Beh started out being built by Samson (the manufacturing division of Sam Ash) in Taiwan. They had a falling out after Beh%^$r kept getting sued. And I've been the co-owner of a local sound rental/repair biz for many years now. The standards of many of the companies that claim to make "pro audio" gear are continously dropping, thanks to the cheapass gear that companies like Phonic are turning out.
  13. mikeote

    mikeote Guest

    Thanks for your replies guys !
    I'll def consider the phonic Max 2500's.
    We play loud but not excessive, think dream theater more than slayer, i've never broken a cymbal in my life, and am not a hihat smasher like most metal drummers.

    I'm not going to buy a proper live sound rig, the band is based in London UK, near Camden town, there are LOADS venues with professional sound.

    The speaker/s I want to get are just for converting my living room 5X3 meters to a rehearsal room, i'm using 60KG dense 100MM thick mineral wool / acoustically transparent fabric absorbers covering most of the walls, and for bass traps.

    I have already ordered my Van Damme / Neutrik mic cables.

    So, considering the situation above do you think for example, a single 12" Yamaha club V will do it?

    I've been checking out Mackie / Yorkville speakers, these are the options i've found:

    Which would you go for ? I can spend up to £600 GBP for a fantastic 2 powered 15" + subwoofer + stands, but would prefer to spend £100-200 for some thing good.

  14. sheet

    sheet Well-Known Member

    Phonic is an OEM, BUT, you are only telling half of the story. Phonic can not release anything comparable to what they manufacture for other companies. Being a manufacturer does not make you a great designer/engineer.

    I know far too many churches with Phonic consoles that have absolutely no RF rejection built in. Come on. One chhurch I know of had to buy chokes for a 24 channel console. By the time they were done, they spent more money on the chokes than the console itself.

    QSC has been copied by Behringer and QSC went after them. They made some changes. For a while, it was a pretty close reproduction. Don't make assumptions based on who looks like who. The Chinese are mimmicking EVERYTHING, even line arrays (which are proving to be incorrect and unsafe!).

    I don't think Phonic is building for Mackie. I could be wrong. They were using RCF at one point for speakers. I will check it out.

Share This Page