Need advice in buying excellent sound system for large hall

Discussion in 'Live Sound' started by karotto, Jul 7, 2006.

  1. karotto

    karotto Guest

    Hi there,
    I am trying to buy an excellent sound system for a dance hall
    of about 300 sq meters (3200 sq. feet). First I thought that I would get 4
    speakers because it really takes 4 speakers to fill a space that large but
    then I was thinking that it might be nice to only have 2 speakers (and a
    subwoofer of course) so people could have a choice to have the music real loud or not as loud (and it would save money too). Or maybe in the far end of the room I could have two smaller speakers at a lower volume so that the sound would still be nice and clear yet not as loud. Sound quality is of great importance to me. I know that any medium size self-powered speaker could do the trick and most people would not know the
    difference but I can tell the difference. I consider myself an audiophile
    and I hate cheap sound systems. With a good one you don’t have to have the volume up really high and the music still sounds rich and full and it does not hurt your ears. I will also line the room with sound absorbing material to further improve on the sound quality. I want excellent sound quality without buzz or hum, without hiss and where even the brass instruments of a classical music piece sound like you are sitting in a live concert hall. So here is my question: What brand and model of speakers, sub-woofer and amp do you recommend. I know that this question is somewhat subjective but surely there must be some common sense of what is good and what not. Budget up to $10000. Thank you very much for any suggestions.
  2. ZZTop

    ZZTop Guest

    I'm very happy with my Mackie SRM450's, they are powered 15" active monitors. The best part is they do not need an amp. Because they have one built in. And they also have an input XLR connection AND a output XLR, so you can go into one speaker and feed the rest of the speakers from the same output XLR. Very easy setup

    I really do like the Mackie loud speakers. They are worth every penny. I think they run like $699 new or so. I remember buying my set of two and they were not more than $1500 or so. And no need to spend extra cash on a seperate PA amp.

    FWIW two nights ago I was invited to a party and they had a DJ. His setup was a Crown amp and some JBL's. I talked to him for 15 mins or so, and he told me what he paid for all his gear. It was WAY more than I had paid for my gear, and after listening to the setup for 4 hours, I am certain I got a nicer setup. Reguardless of price.

    IMHO the JBL's were bottom heavy, and the loudest part was the low end, consisting of almost all kick drum & bass notes from the bass guitar. Maybe that's the whole thing about "dance" speakers. People who dance to music dont really care about the best sound possible. They want a loud drum beat, and some simple chorus to sing.

    I for one, like detail in the mix. For instance, when he played Journey's "Who's crying now" I could barely hear N. Schon on guitar. And he is the main reason I like Journey. So I had to listen really hard to hear the guitar solos. :x

    IMO the JBL's with the Crown amp had some nice qualities. But I know a good sounding speaker when I hear one. The JBL's didn't suck, they just were not my thing.
    Best of luck
  3. dementedchord

    dementedchord Well-Known Member

    May 11, 2006
    $ .02

    your in a unique and enviable position..... a great budget and a permanent install.... if i weere you although you can gleen a good deal of info here i'ld be talking to an actuall systems intergrator.... he/she could kepp you from having to fix it later by dealing with room anomolies and such... most of what your going to find here is geared towards home studios and local bands travelling with a rig...(be it small or large) and as such not applicable to you.... personally ive always tended towards zoned systems (multiple areas covered by their own speakers) as this will alow you to for instance have the dance floor hot while the bar or given seatting area can be down some alowing clients to talk.... do yourself a favor and stay away from most of the selfcontained amp/speaker packages as they (in most cases) are a compromise of quality/sound/cost/portability personally i have crown/jbl/dbx in my live rig and will put them up against the mackies ANYDAY
  4. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Moderator

    Feb 23, 2005
    OK. Is this system going to be used for JUST pre-recorded music (DJ'ing rig), or will you have to do live acts as well? $10K seems like a lot of dough (it's more than I have in both pockets!), but if you are expected to put together a sound system that can handle live performing artists as well as playing back CD's/MP3's, you better start saving more $$$ !
    Anyway, you need to find a true pro audio consultant in your area. NOT the local Guitar Center that wants to sell you a couple of Mackies (or Peaveys, or whatever) and a sub. "Audiophile" quality sound is generally NOT going to come out of those types of systems. They're designed for portable, rugged, loud sound that even a stoned drummer can operate.

    And the hi-end stereo stuff out there is, most likely, a rip-off due to it's whimpy construction and esoteric marketing. What you need to find is a JBL PRO dealer familiar with installed venues. If not JBL, there are some great E-V, OAP, Radian, and EAW systems out there that are properly represented by reputable dealers. Do some research. Get references and check them out. I am a JBL dealer. Their product goes from cheap crap to some of the very best know to man. And that is reflected in the $$$. I also sell Radian. Very smooth, very controlled patterns that make difficult rooms decent. $10k would buy you a couple of mid/HF cabs, a sub, and a power amp...OUCH! And for installations, I would stay clear of the "active-powered" boxes out there these days. Putting all of your eggs in 1 basket will bite you when something breaks down....especially if that "something" is flying 20 feet up in the air!
    BTW, be very careful with "sound deadening materials"! That's the stuff that first caught fire at that horrific Great White concert a couple of years ago in Rhode Island. The cheap stuff isn't properly fire-rated, and the good stuff ain't cheap! It's all of those "little things" that will take a BIG bite outta that $10K !!! Good luck!
  5. tallrd

    tallrd Active Member

    Jul 11, 2006
    Madison, WI
    Home Page:
    Given your budget and application, I would recommend talking to someone real-time for a Q & A session. You can get a great system for a place that large for much less than $10K (maybe even less than $5K).

    I do agree on checking into a system integrator first who can visit your place on-site. They A) tend to be much more expensive by comparison to buying directly from dealers (price you pay for in-person guidance)m, and B) should have an established good reputation. Don't go with "Joe Start-up contracting" if you know what I mean.

    Otherwise, please feel free to call me if you want to go direct with a dealer and I will be happy to discuss this with you in further detail.
  6. Terr-orForm

    Terr-orForm Guest

    Re: $ .02

    The nice thing about self contained Mackies that JBL could not possibly live up to (without some major corporate overthrow) is - You won't need a seperate crossover or seperate amps. Also, you can count on Mackie, KVR, etc. to actually hit ALL of the notes at almost any volume without fear of distortion. Plus, with the new higher end z series Mackies you get the cabinet design of EAW company.

    I'm not going to bash JBL like some might bash Mackie but, I cannot ever play JBL's with what is called the "one note bass wonder." To get away from that, you need some other equipment (eq's, the right stereo crossover, etc) to get the notes not the noise to be heard. Mackies peak db on the z series is around 138 db's which is only a few below a jet engine. You can still hear all the notes!! The reason I'm saying this is, you can keep them low or, if you need, turn them up.

    Other companies make fine speakers. Of course EAW and KVR but, you need to think about the exact mission of your place. I was soooooooo sick of showing up to a club to play and seeing the typical "bose" or (and no offense) "jbl" set up that I just bought my own my PA. Keep in mind that everyone has different instruments and different styles of music. For my style bose and jbl will never ever meet my needs but, for others - Mackie isn't going to either.

    Also, a good soundman is your best ally. I have a good friend who does sound for Disneyland concerts. His job is to set up a show that is loud for the customers who paid to see the show but not bleed too much into the rest of the park. When bands like Aerosmith came in, you can imagine he had a difficult task in front of him. His advice was simple - The speakers make the sound and the rest is support for the speakers.

    The reason I qouted you dementedchord is because you were a perfect case in point. For you music, instruments or even DJ style, I'm sure your JBL's could blow anything out of the water. It works for you and what you do!! On the same token, I think Mackies and the real high end Peavey's (I believe the SRX series that can handle around 4800 watts for the bass) would fit the style my band plays. If we were to switch - there would be some serious heartache. This is the Chevy meets Ford competition of the live sound world.
  7. sheet

    sheet Well-Known Member

    May 28, 2003
    Kansas City, KS
    Home Page:
    We can't recommend crap, because we do not know your room. You can't possibly say that four speakers would work, or 240. You should get a local contractor to come measure your room, use a TEF or some other analyzer, and see what you need. Then you can look at how to spend that $10k. $10k may be enough, it may not.

    Now, if you came and said, "I have three bids, and they are all comparable systems, which is better JBL Vertecs, Martin Wavefronts or Meyer Milos?" then we would have a conversation.
  8. dementedchord

    dementedchord Well-Known Member

    May 11, 2006
    $ .02

    boy-o-boy... not wanting to trash JBL but consider them to be on a par with BOSE??? wow... i've owned many systems over the 40yrs i've been playin out...not all of them were small club systems... and needing crossover and/or separate amps is NOT a disadvantage but an ADVANTAGE... alowing you to tailor the response... your not the guy from another post that told me 450hz was the perfect crossover point for his yammi's are ya.....
    "This is the POLICE.... put down the bong and step away....."
  9. Terr-orForm

    Terr-orForm Guest

    Re: $ .02

    Naw, that wasn't me - that just sounds kind of dumb!! I agree with you, anything that can make the music better is certainly a must have. However, I like to stay as simple as possible. For me, Mackies have a great built in crossover and that makes life so much simpler when setting up for a show.

    Sorry, but I really am digging myself a hole here. I mean only the best!!!

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