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Advice on PA?

I am looking into purchasing a PA and I am wondering if anyone would be kind enough to give me a few suggestions?

-I need it to be loud enough for the vocals to be heard clearly over the rest of my band when we practice (two guitars, bass, drums, hard rock-room is about 15x15)

-While I need sheer volume for practice, I also need quality and clarity because I will be using it for solo shows (acoustic guitar and vocals only) at smaller venues

-Need at least 4 channels

-Need some sort of monitor for the solo shows

-Price range is probably around $700, but maybe this isn't possible for what I'm looking for, or on the other hand, maybe I don't need to spend that much?

I have a Korg D32XD digital recorder which I am thinking about using as a mixer, and then just buying a power amp... but I am not sure I want to lug that big (and expensive) of a thing to shows, so maybe I would be better off not using it. Anyone ever tried something similar? Any advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks!


moonbaby Mon, 10/16/2006 - 07:24
Do not rely on the Korg as a mixer. $700 will not buy you a decent quality PA by anyones standards. I would suggest that you look at a powered mixer driving a couple of stage wedges for the rehearsal thing, but even that is a tall order. Peavey, Mackie, and Yamaha all offer fairly reliable, inexpensive powered mixers with an output of around 200 watts into a 4-ohm load. That is the absolute minimum to even attempt to compete with a drummer and a couple of guitars in a practice room. Try to stay away from the Behringers, the Samsons, the Madisons, and all the other super-cheap stuff out there. They don't perform well and are poor reliablity headaches, as well. As for the speakers, start with a floor monitor with a 12" + a HF horn. This will do fine for vocals and will do double-duty for the house system when it's just you and a guitar in a coffeehouse-type scenario. And don't scrimp on a decent mic. Use a Shure SM58 for your vocals, and you'll discover that you'll get a better level out of it without as much feedback in rehearsals where things are "tight"... Good Luck!