PA question - how to expand

Discussion in 'Live Sound' started by ThomasM, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. ThomasM

    ThomasM Guest

    Hello everyone. I've acquired a Dynacord Powermate 1000 Powermixer that my brother doesn't need anymore. It came with an older set of Peavey speakers which I don't know tis quite demandinghe name of.

    I am not totally satisfied with the speakers and I want to expand the setup further.
    I play in a live band where I would like to be able to play at a crowd of at least 500 people so I was thinking of two top speakers with two subs and two monitors to get myself started. Should I buy power amps for the monitors and will the PowerMate be powerful enough to drive the tops and subs?
    Would it be smarter to buy a regular mixer with power amps instead of?

    I'd like to be able to run an entire band through the PA (vocals, drums, bass, guitar and keys) which is quite a demanding task obviously. I hope you can help.

  2. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Distinguished Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    Possibly, you're mixing some things up...

    Subs are for low frequencies.
    Woofers are for midrange.
    Tweeters are for high frequencies.

    Tops could be a woofer+tweeter or who knows what else...

    You won't be able to run subs off the mixer, I doubt. Not at any serious volume.
  3. ThomasM

    ThomasM Guest

    I probably am. I'm from Denmark so I'm not too much into the terminology. With the tops I meant mains (Yams club v 12" for instance or the likes).

    If I were to buy, say:
    4x Yamaha Club V s112 speakers
    2x Yamaha Club V sw115v subwoofers
    2x Yamaha Club V sm15v monitors

    Then, if I want to incorporate my Powermate into the mix, what would I need to buy besides the speakers? And what would my mixer be able to run?

    Anything else I should consider?

    Thank you very much for answering
  4. Boswell

    Boswell Distinguished Moderator Resource Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    This situation illustrates nicely one of the problems of all-in-one boxes such as powered mixers. The Powermate 1000 is as good a powered mixer as you would want to get, but it has limitations. The main controls are configured expecting to drive the FOH loudspeakers from the powered outputs. You get 700w per channel into 4 Ohms from them - very respectable for this type of gear.

    What is difficult to configure is to use external power amps for FOH and the internal amps for foldback monitoring, which is what you really need for the mains/subs setup you talk about. However, there is a solution that involves the inserts on the main output.

    Use an external electronic crossover for the main/subs split. You will need separate power amps for the main tops and the subs on each channel. Use the Powermate amplifiers to drive your stage monitors. These would be 2 channels with several wedge loudspeakers per channel if necessary.

    Now here's the tricky bit. Feed the crossover inputs from the insert outputs of the Powermate. Also connect two of the Powermate Aux outputs back into the insert returns of the Powermate main channels. The outputs and returns are the tip and ring respectively of the main channel insert jacks. Now you have the main faders controlling the FOH mix as normal plus two separate monitoring mixes available via the aux sends but using the Powermate internal amps.

    I've not done this trick with a Powermate, but I did do it once with a Peavey powered mixer that had not got the power needed for the FOH in that venue. It worked just fine.
  5. ThomasM

    ThomasM Guest

    Great response! Thank you very much. Would I be better off in the long run by buying a regular mixer and then just keep adding amps? Will that skip the crossovers etc.? If not, which external crossover would you recommend that could get the job done nicely? And what amps should I be getting??

    I am strongly considering the JBL MRX series for all the speakers and Dynacord A12M monitors (these being the passive ones, necessarily) because I can get a couple of those really cheap.

    Hope to hear from you again.
  6. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2005
    Apparently the MRX subs are passive, not powered. Not having a crossover to direct the lows to those subs through their own amp will compromise them. The problem would be that the mains will either get too much bass, if not crossed-over, or the subs will not get enough to do their job...since both are receiving the same EQ'ed signal. You COULD theoretically split the output of the mixer to two graphic EQ channels, and run the lows to their amp and subs with the EQ curved to that, and run the mids/highs to the amps for the mains with the bottom curved out of them...but that is not a good recommendation...that's what an active crossover does, better.

    Some powered subs may have a built-in high-pass crossover that you could connect the mains to, and adjust levels independantly.

    Sending the same exact signal to both subs and mains will not work properly, without being crossed-over at some point. You want ONLY the low lows going to the subs, and everything above that going to the mains. Just putting a larger amp on the subs will not solve that. It also allows the mains to work more efficiently and cleanly, since they don't have to reproduce the lows, also.

    I'm thinking I'm missing something else, here..but I'm sure someone else will chime in.

  7. diablo

    diablo Guest

    Here's my cut on it:-

    Use the Dynacord powered mixer to run a pair of good full range cabinets with internal crossovers.

    Buy a cheap Behringer stereo graphic EQ, something like the FBQ1502 will do the trick (it has a sub out send with adjustable frequency setting on the back), run this across the main left and right inserts and set up the graphic to get your full range cabinets sounding sweet.

    Use the sub out send on the graphic into one channel of a decent sized powered stereo power amp and set the sub out send at say 150Hz. Adjust the power amp gain control to suit the amount of low frequency to match the full range cabinets. Use the other half of the power amp to run a couple of wedges for foldback. Job done! No need for crossovers to be bought or crazy patching to be done.
  8. sheet

    sheet Well-Known Member

    May 28, 2003
    Kansas City, KS
    Home Page:
    Never buy a cheap new EQ. Their filters are usually not close to the frequencies silkscreened on the panel. Their filters usually suck, and they cause more sonic harm than good. Buy a used PRO EQ with good filters that are what they say that they are.

    Try it sometime. Break out SMAART or some other program, look at what the boosting or cutting really is vs. what the panel says. Then look at all of the frequencies on either side of the filter being effected as well.
  9. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Moderator

    Feb 23, 2005
    Buying a cheap POS graphic EQ just to use the sub woofer output is ridiculous, anyway. More like shooting yourself in the foot. A simple electronic crossover of decent build quality (i.e., Rane, Ashly, dbx) can be found used on e-Bay for less than a new POS EQ that will degrade the audio. Better sound, less money... :cool:
  10. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2005

    I recommend the Crown XTi range. eg: an Xti 1000 for mids and tops plus a 2000 or 4000 for the subs.

    The big advantage of these (apart from the fact that they sound great) is the built-in DSP controllers, so you won't need a separate cross-over.
  11. ThomasM

    ThomasM Guest

    Thanks, I was thinking about the Crown Amps as well. They looked very interesting! My ideal set-up after what I've heard as of yet is:

    4x JBL Mrx mains 512M
    2x JBL Mrx subs/woofers 528S (2x18") - is this overkill?
    2x Crown XTI 1000 for mains
    1x Crown XTI 2000 for subs (is that enogh or should it be 4000?)
    Mackie Onyx 1640 Mixer

    And if I'm right then I won't need any cross overs of any kind?


  12. diablo

    diablo Guest

    My reply to the OP about using the likes of the Berry graphic was assuming that he was on a fairly tight budget (since it was suggested using Yamaha Club series enclosures!) It now seems he wants to buy a whole new set up from the desk upwards and a load of power amps to run it. I'll just duck out now (and for what it's worth, I don't run cheap EQ's myself, I use BSS, but realise that not everyone can afford to spend that much on EQ). Sometimes you get the impression on these forums that there area lot of gear snobs around. I've used the Behringer EQ's in the past, and while not the best, they are in fact useable.
  13. ThomasM

    ThomasM Guest

    Thanks for both your replies and, yes I now see my first question was a bit unclear with regards to the budget. I am not sure what I'm gonna go for, JBL would be my prefered option but everything is about 30-50% more expensive in Denmark in comparison to the US. So it's also about what's possible, but I certainly hope I can accumulate enough money for buying my dream set up.

  14. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Moderator Resource Member

    Dec 18, 2008
    Western Pennsylvania, USA

    You can't go wrong with JBL and Crown if you can afford them. You are correct, if you use Crown XTi amps you won't need a crossover. They have crossover capability built-in if you need it. While you're dreaming, a Soundcraft FX16 would be a nice upgrade from the Mackie 1640. Although both are nice mixers, the Soundcraft is more 'open' sounding.

    Best of luck!
  15. ThomasM

    ThomasM Guest

    Great to be reassured, thank you! Actually, I was wondering if I should buy the Allen & Heath GL2400 instead since it costs the same as the Onyx here in DK. Would the Soundcraft FX16 be an even better choice?


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