PA System Suggestions for small venue / coffee house

Discussion in 'Live Sound' started by evhwanabe, Jan 16, 2007.

  1. evhwanabe

    evhwanabe Guest

    I am getting older and find myself leaving the bar/club scene, and leaving the full band behind. I have been doing more and more acoustic sets as of late and the old PA system has about had it!

    I am looking to upgrade everything starting with speakers first.
    I think powered is the way to go just for simplicity reasons, and have been leaning towards the Mackies or JBLs

    I have searched some past posts and everyone seems to have mixed feelings on both, but both seem like they would do the job well.

    I want something that has better sound quality as opposed to being super loud.

    Any advice on monitors? Powered or un powered?....... probably just two would suffice.

    Next would be mixers....

    Usually when we play out, we have two guitarists, and 3 vocalists. I figure any rack mount 8-16 channel mixer will do, and have been looking at anything from Ashley, to Mackie, AH, and Soundcraft. Any suggestions/thoughts with either?

    I realize this is a pretty general and open post, but I really am looking for suggestions and maybe some brands that I might have over looked. Also I would like to keep the whole system under 3000 grand. I already have mics, stands, effects, blah blah blah....... so I am strickly looking at mixers, speakers, and monitors.

  2. Boswell

    Boswell Distinguished Moderator Resource Member

    Apr 19, 2006
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    I went through a phase of using powered plastic main speakers (JBL Eon and Mackie SRM) for convenience, but couldn't get comfortable with the sound. I've gone back to unpowered solid wood cabinets and a selection of power amps chosen to suit the venue. It's more to lug around and cable up, and I have to get help to lift the speakers on to their stands, but the result just sounds better.

    Powered plastic cabs are probably a good choice for stage monitors, as the sound is not so important and they can take the kicking and the beer.

    For 3 Million Dollars you could almost get a Neve...

    Have you considered digital for this job? I wasn't a great fan of digital mixers until I started to use them for club work, when the ability to store every performer's settings at the sound check and recall each of them in entirety with one button press at the performance won out. Look at the Yamaha range.
  3. evhwanabe

    evhwanabe Guest

    lol yeah 3000 grand was a typo... 3 grand would be more like it.

    I didnt think about digital at all, but you are right......being able to recall settings would be a plus. I will look into them, although I would probably be looking at used ones to fit my price range.
  4. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Moderator

    Feb 23, 2005
    Digital mixers have come a long way, haven't they? They offer tons of flexibility, features, and those moving faders make the clients drool.
    I have a competitor who does live theater (Shakespeare-in-the-park). He couldn't wait to show his Yamaha 01 (version?) off to the live sound community. He taunted everyone in town with its portability (he could carry it under 1 arm) and power (he had all the scenes programmed-in so that he could take a smoke break while his assistant punched through the presets). How cool is that? I'll tell you...
    The first time an actor dropped his lav mic and the stage monitors started to SCREAM, it took a few seconds to page through to the right "level" to correct it. That was enough time to smoke every diaphragm in the house.
    It gave new meaning to the term, "smoke break".
    Now he has a MixWizard, along with a Sabine Graphi-Q he bought :)
    At least the Yamahas ARE a great value. And if you don't have the interaction of a live performance within a live room, I'd say go for it. BUT if you have to make QUICK adjustments on-the-fly, be forewarned.
  5. evhwanabe

    evhwanabe Guest

    You bring up a good point. I am trying to keep things simple, and although being able to recal settings per venue sounds great....... overall on the fly use would probably be more difficult.

    Anyone have experience with the MPM or EPM series mixers from Soundcraft?

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