More PA advice please.

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thebreezethebreeze Frets: 833
I'm always on for a gig but I didn't think the others were too bothered (owing to other commitments, we're all dad's and work etc, etc).  Anyway, because of our "one-off" gig (better to call it occasional) we have had to start thinking about PA's.

Much to my surprise when we began talking about hiring a PA for the current gig the tenor quite quickly turned to "if we're going to be playing more gigs perhaps we should buy something".  I'm genuinely surprised and also genuinely pleased.  There is definitely an enthusiasm to take this "out there" and play gigs which I hadn't properly appreciated.  I think we are still going to hire for this gig owing to the time-frame but I think we will want to buy something so that we can play in different scenarios without paying out all the time and for ease etc.

So I would love and appreciate any of your advice and expertise please.  I have very little understanding of PA's I'm afraid but I think I get the gist.

We're currently a five piece;  2 guitars, bass, drums and congas.  There are two vocalists currently (they both sing at the same time and harmonise) but maybe going forward there may be more. 

I have a 5w amp and a 40w amp
other guitarist: 5w amp and 50w acoustic amp
bass: a terrible amp he's borrowing but will probably buy a decent'ish amp (don't know power)
vocals: going through the acoustic amp
drums: nowt

Have you any recommendations?  I think we're in the £500 ball park but if it was sensible and made a lot of difference I imagine people would be willing to invest £200 - so £1,000 max.

Thank you.
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  • HoofHoof Frets: 379
    Our rehearsal studio has this system installed and it sounds pretty good.
    https://www.andertons.co.uk/p/TX12-PABUNDLE/complete-pa-systems/alto-tx12-pa-system-bundle-with-zmx122fx-mixer

    There are better systems out there but for the money you want to spend and the amount of gigs you do this should see you right. In a couple of gigs it should have paid for itself and if you do get a bit more active or do bigger gigs you can start adding active monitors and subs. This will be nice and simple to use too.


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  • simonksimonk Frets: 1091
    What do you want to put through it, just vocals, or everything?
    For our smaller/vocals only through the PA gigs we use a pair of Yamaha DBR10's which are excellent. A pair of those would set you back just shy of £700. Add in a pair of stands, a bunch of cables and a mixer with a few XLR ins and you're knocking on the door of £1000. 
    Second hand PA gear can obviously be had for a lot cheaper, in my experience though it's usually battered, big, heavy, old and ugly.
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  • simonksimonk Frets: 1091
    Hoof said:
    Our rehearsal studio has this system installed and it sounds pretty good.
    https://www.andertons.co.uk/p/TX12-PABUNDLE/complete-pa-systems/alto-tx12-pa-system-bundle-with-zmx122fx-mixer

    There are better systems out there but for the money you want to spend and the amount of gigs you do this should see you right. In a couple of gigs it should have paid for itself and if you do get a bit more active or do bigger gigs you can start adding active monitors and subs. This will be nice and simple to use too.


    I was going to mention the Alto TX's too. They are very cheap and do sound pretty good. We have four Alto TX8's we use as monitors. They're built to a price point though and one of ours has gone wrong twice over the last 6 months.
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  • thebreezethebreeze Frets: 833
    Thanks both.

    I'm not sure what we want to put through it which is one of the problems.  Definitely vocals.  Then I think it would be nice to put the guitars through so we could have flexibility of which amps we use.  I think the hope is the bassist will buy a decent amp but maybe that would have to go through as well.

    It also depends on venue too I guess.  I imagine normally it will be small pub gigs but there'll be the odd party - outside, marquee etc and very occasionally a proper stage.

    Are monitors only necessary for big venues?  It sounds like @Hoof 's suggestion would be sufficient?
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  • simonk said:
    Hoof said:
    Our rehearsal studio has this system installed and it sounds pretty good.
    https://www.andertons.co.uk/p/TX12-PABUNDLE/complete-pa-systems/alto-tx12-pa-system-bundle-with-zmx122fx-mixer

    There are better systems out there but for the money you want to spend and the amount of gigs you do this should see you right. In a couple of gigs it should have paid for itself and if you do get a bit more active or do bigger gigs you can start adding active monitors and subs. This will be nice and simple to use too.


    I was going to mention the Alto TX's too. They are very cheap and do sound pretty good. We have four Alto TX8's we use as monitors. They're built to a price point though and one of ours has gone wrong twice over the last 6 months.
    Just be aware Andertons are mis representing the number of channels on this mixer its four mic inputs and two stereo.
    www.maltingsaudio.co.uk
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  • HoofHoof Frets: 379
    If you're not that loud then you can get away without monitors. With an active speaker system like this you can easily add them at a later date if your gigs get bigger. 

    We carry 2x floor monitors to all of our gigs but like the lighting gear, half of it gets left in the cars once we realise the tiny patch of floor we have to play in.
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  • simonksimonk Frets: 1091
    For small pubs I would just stick the vocals through, plus a bit of kick drum... maybe a bit of the guitars for spread. For such scenario the Alto rig above will be fine, the desk isn't going to support much more than that anyway.

    And, the bassist HAS to buy a decent amp!
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  • thebreezethebreeze Frets: 833
    Cool - that sounds about right.

    What's a decent bass amp?
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 6905
    If you start sticking everything through a small PA it will soon turn to mush. Whilst I know it isn't ideal the typical pub band set up is still acoustic drums, guitar/ bass amps and just vocals through the PA ( possibly keyboards and then acoustic instruments that might need reinforcement).

    We often don't use our monitors,sometimes they're there just to provide a barrier to the audience. Our singer, bassist and me are generally a front line and we can hear enough coming through the PA. However, we have a powered monitor for the keyboardist and drummer. 
    I feel the warm, healing, liquid presence of God’s genuine cold-filtered grace. 
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  • thebreezethebreeze Frets: 833
    Thank you Eric - it's probably pretty basic stuff this but that's very helpful and good to know.  I think we just need a simple thing for vocals don't we? and then we can add in as and when we start playing the Pyramid stage as Hoof suggests.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 31208
    edited June 2017
    thebreeze said:

    What's a decent bass amp?
    Anything that isn't an Ashdown.

    :)

    Trace Elliot, TC and Crate aren't great either.

    I can't think of anything else with noticeably above average failure rates off the top of my head...

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 6905
    ICBM said:
    thebreeze said:

    What's a decent bass amp?
    Anything that isn't an Ashdown.

    :)


    I was so close to writing that! 

    thebreeze said:
    Thank you Eric - it's probably pretty basic stuff this but that's very helpful and good to know.  I think we just need a simple thing for vocals don't we? and then we can add in as and when we start playing the Pyramid stage as Hoof suggests.
    PA questions are a bit subjective because it depends to some extent on the type of band, how loud, types of venues. Ideally everything goes through the PA and you can achieve a wonderful balanced sound but in practice pub level bands rarely do that or have the gear that would do it well. A lot of rock venues ( as opposed to pubs) have PA systems and for festivals again PA should be supplied. I know people on here have bands that play large corporate gigs and headline and supply PA for local festivals but that sounds like a big leap from where you are now. 
    I would suggest doing a dry run with whatever you get, hire a decent sized room and set up as for a gig so you know the best way to get a decent sound rather than hope it works on the night at a gig. You need someone who can listen from out front  - you might randomly know someone you can trust to do that but probably a member of the band with a wireless or even just a long cable who can stand out front during sound check.
    And go see bands playing your local live music places and see what they do and what is good/ bad about them. 
    I feel the warm, healing, liquid presence of God’s genuine cold-filtered grace. 
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  • Flanging_FredFlanging_Fred Frets: 1596
    Our singer recently bought an Alto PA package for our band and we've all been quite surprised at how good it sounds. I was quite sceptical at first but it out-performs the old (and very heavy) Peavey Hisys PA we were using before.   We're only a small pub band but so far the Alto stuff has performed above expectation.  How long it will last is really the issue and as it's reasonably new, I can't answer that yet.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 31208

    I was quite sceptical at first but it out-performs the old (and very heavy) Peavey Hisys PA we were using before.
    I just acquired a tatty old Hisys 2 for spare parts - the drivers both work, and are worth far more than the whole cabinet - and I'd forgotten just how heavy and awkward they are. Which of course is why they're now worth next to nothing...
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3555
    There's a lot of old Peavey stuff about that you can pick up for peanuts ... the boxes are heavy ish but the drivers tend to be rugged and the crossovers simple to repair when they go wrong. I know bands that have been giging 20 years on the same set of Peaveys .... not the most Hi Fi of sounds but close enough for rock n roll 

    When it comes to small pub PA you can do a lot worse than a set of 2nd hand set of Mackie SRM450's and a little Alto \ Peavey \ Mackie 6 mono channel and some stereo channels  mixer. That's all I use for a lot of pub gigs .... should cost no more than £500 all in 2nd hand 


    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • maltingsaudiomaltingsaudio Frets: 885
    edited June 2017
    www.maltingsaudio.co.uk
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 31208
    Danny1969 said:

    When it comes to small pub PA you can do a lot worse than a set of 2nd hand set of Mackie SRM450's
    True. Wharfedale "Pro" series are worse.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • John_AJohn_A Frets: 1268
    Buy used, as dan says, SRM450s, RCF 310 or 12's or maybe 710's would come in on budget and all sound great.  The Alto stuff, IMO is good for the money but definitely not as clear or powerful as the better stuff.  We have some RCF 710s and a pair of subs and they are amazing
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  • thebreezethebreeze Frets: 833
    Thanks everyone, that's all been very helpful and gives me plenty to look into.  I'll see what the deal is with this one we hire to get a sense of things too (although this has the added complication of being an outside gig).  Thanks again.
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  • djspecialistdjspecialist Frets: 358
    Does anyone have experience of the JBL Eon One?  
    Trading feedback
    FS: Dr Scientist The Cleanness  |   WTB: Nothing right now
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3555
    Ha ha, I couldn't see what it was then I realised it's a fan strapped to keep it cool :) In fairness many other brands like RCF and EV will thermally cut out if too hot 

    The first generation ones are actually very reliable if used within their capabilities    
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3555
    ICBM said:
    Danny1969 said:

    When it comes to small pub PA you can do a lot worse than a set of 2nd hand set of Mackie SRM450's
    True. Wharfedale "Pro" series are worse.
    Sadly what once was a proud name in quality passive loudspeakers is now just a moniker for any old OEM crap. Exactly the same story as Goodmans  ..... 
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • We went for the behringer Eurolive 112d pair and they are good but to be honest having separate power cables for 2 speakers and a monitor can be a pain in the arse. We don't even use the mixer we bought anymore. Just use the PA for vocals straight into the speakers. If I was to buy one again for pub gigs I'd buy a second hand power amp and mixer in one. Then a couple of passive PA speakers and a passive monitor. Something like this:
    https://m.thomann.de/gb/phonic_powerpod_1062r_bundle.htm?o=8&search=1500317849

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  • p90foolp90fool Frets: 8043
    Does anyone have experience of the JBL Eon One?  
    Sorry to bump an old thread but I've just ordered one of these, I'll let you know how I get on @djspecialist ;
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  • vizviz Frets: 4727
    edited December 2017
    simonk said:


    Second hand PA gear can obviously be had for a lot cheaper, in my experience though it's usually battered, big, heavy, old and ugly.
    Yeah we bought ours second hand to blend in with the band members. 
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  • p90fool said:
    Does anyone have experience of the JBL Eon One?  
    Sorry to bump an old thread but I've just ordered one of these, I'll let you know how I get on @djspecialist ;
    My band now has a pair of these, which we've used in two gigs so far: one in a very large marquee, and the other indoors in a large, high-glass-ceilinged room (whose acoustics as you can imagine are pretty awful).

    In both cases, the JBLs sounded really good - at least when I was out front listening to other bands.  I'd be interested to hear your opinion once you've given yours a spin.
    Trading feedback
    FS: Dr Scientist The Cleanness  |   WTB: Nothing right now
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  • NeillNeill Frets: 372
    FWIW we had a couple of Alto speakers from new and I recall one of them had to be replaced almost straight away, though I can't remember why.  The new one worked fine but the indicator light failed immediately we couldn't be bothered to send it back again.  It was a bad buy, I think you get what you pay for.  Previously we hired pro stuff and the difference was startling.
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  • p90foolp90fool Frets: 8043
    p90fool said:
    Does anyone have experience of the JBL Eon One?  
    Sorry to bump an old thread but I've just ordered one of these, I'll let you know how I get on @djspecialist ;
    My band now has a pair of these, which we've used in two gigs so far: one in a very large marquee, and the other indoors in a large, high-glass-ceilinged room (whose acoustics as you can imagine are pretty awful).

    In both cases, the JBLs sounded really good - at least when I was out front listening to other bands.  I'd be interested to hear your opinion once you've given yours a spin.
    It's just arrived, just bunged Message of Love by Jimi Hendrix through it briefly at home and it sounds fantastic.

    Of course that tells me precisely zero about how it will perform at a gig, but I'm sure my neighbours enjoyed it :)

    What's the lineup of your band? I bought this for my acoustic duo, but am wondering if just one of them will work with my laid-back 5-piece as a vocal only PA.
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  • andyozandyoz Frets: 659
    Yamaha gear at this price point is hard to beat.  Also, they have a 7 year warranty and actually honour it.
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  • JayGeeJayGee Frets: 445
    andyoz said:
    Yamaha gear at this price point is hard to beat.  Also, they have a 7 year warranty and actually honour it.
    We have a pair of Yamaha DXR12s and they’re really very nice indeed. Haven’t had cause to call on the warranty (and hopefully won’t!) but it’s nice to know it’s there... 
    Don't ask me, I just play the damned thing...
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