What PA are you using?

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RolandRoland Frets: 1438
We’re currently using Mackie SRM450s and a sub, and wondering whether to replace with something lighter. My bass player likes the idea of linear array speakers.

What are you using for PA?

Does anyone have experience of linear array speakers, especially for a covers band where most of the volume comes from the PA.

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  • andyozandyoz Frets: 654
    edited January 4
    I think he means Line Array and I'd avoid in your case TBH.

    I never thought the SRM were that heavy. You'd be better just investing in higher quality 12" two way tops (Yamaha DXR12 are good vfm and a jump up in quality) as no point in 15" two ways with a sub.
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  • ash96ash96 Frets: 43
    I'm using the Bose F1 system, relatively pricey, but sounds awesome! Super easy set up too and not crazy heavy.
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  • John_PJohn_P Frets: 1453
    I hire out my PA as well as gigging so I know my rig isn’t typical (8 subs/4tops) but I’d be wary of going smaller than your current setup.   If you mean the newer column style rigs then the ones I’ve seen would struggle for band use without spending a fair amount of cash.   

    Something like the rcf evox I’ve seen do a great job with acoustic acts and solo singers with backing tracks but imo there isn’t any thump and no where near enough power to run a whole band through without backline.   Probably a step up from srm450 but I’d want to keep the sub for all but the tiniest of gigs. 
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  • andyozandyoz Frets: 654
    edited January 7
    Reading again I see what your mate is talking about...not the traditional line array but the smaller scale column jobbies with clever DSP...RCF Evox12 are decent but once you get two it does add up. Hire companies love them as they cover alot of bases. If you don't have transport issues best to stick with traditional tops and bass bins IMO.

    What subs have you got? In terms of tops I'd say look at Yamaha ones in my post above or the RCF Art series. If you move from 15" to 12" tops that are even similar weight they will still feel easier to handle because of the general bulk/size of a 12" vs 15"

    You can replace subs later (just learn the limits of ones you've got) but try to get the best tops you can afford first. There's a big jump in performance going from £300 SRM to something north of £500. It's easy to spend £1000 a box too but diminishing returns has kicked in by then.
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  • robinbowesrobinbowes Frets: 1484
    We currently hire in, and the guy we mostly use has an HK Audio Elements system - they're great. 

    http://hkaudio.com/products.php?sid=15

    R.
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3304
    Across the different bands and our hire company we have loads of different things from Bose L1 systems to big HK multi box systems. What PA you use is more dictated by the size of the venue rather than the type of music. 

    Bose L1 X 2 systems get used for acoustic gigs and Shadows backing tracks. This type of system is not much good for a typical rock band as it can't reproduce anything much below 80hz .......... when it comes to bass there is no substitute for size no matter what clever DSP

    Typical Pub club PA is 2 x bins and 2 tops with horns, normally HK  ... the top covers band I'm in use an HK Actor which is 4 bins and 2 tops but these systems are modular. If it's a small gig you just take the tops. If your gonna need a lot of kick and bass guitar then use all four bins as well. I would say the HK Actor is probably my favourite PA of this type that comes in at less than 5K

    For large indoor work and outside work like pub festivals we use a big HK Linear Pro with 4 x 18" bins, 2 X 15" tops with horns bi amped with HK processor and amps .... this was brought 2nd hand years ago for less that than 2K and it's paid for it's self may times over

    We also have the original MK1 SRM450 tops which I wouldn't consider heavy  as well as 2 x 18" bins.  For most cover band gigs a set of SRM's is fine, I don't think switching to an array type would help a great deal unless it was a steerable array like the newer dB stuff ....... That is very handy but it's expensive and you couldn't rig it at a normal pub \ wedding venue \ corp gig etc
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • robinbowesrobinbowes Frets: 1484
    One additional benefit of the Elements-type systems is their small visual footprint. This is perfect for smaller venues.

    R.
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  • We use a KV2 rig. 2 ex12 tops and 2 ex2.2 bins. It’s pricey stuff but it’s the best investment we’ve ever made as a band. 
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  • andyozandyoz Frets: 654
    edited January 4
    KV2 stuff is nice.  Another level price wise but built to last.
    We nearly bought some of their tops but they weigh a bit too much (29kg for the EX12).  They use Class A/B amps (not class D) for the horn which are still the best IMO but there's a weight penalty
    Opted for the RCF TT series
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  • andyoz said:
    KV2 stuff is nice.  Another level price wise but built to last.
    We nearly bought some of their tops but they weigh a bit too much (29kg for the EX12).  They use Class A/B amps (not class D) for the horn which are still the best IMO but there's a weight penalty
    Opted for the RCF TT series
    Yep they are lovely speakers that throw the sound to the back of a room like no other speaker I’ve heard. We’ve had them about 6 years now and they are still going strong. It’s very rare we ever get to use both bins at the same time, one bin kicks enough low end for most of the venues we play and that includes big marquees. 
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  • andyozandyoz Frets: 654
    edited January 4
    Friend bought around an older pair of QSC actives...plywood cabinets and Class AB amps for the horn and just sounded 'better' than the other latest model QSC's he had just bought..

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  • Same as @Danny1969 except smaller system is HZ Z500 and scored an Outline Kangaroo a couple of years ago which is truly stunning capable of doing everything from acoustic gigs to rock bands in village halls but hideously expensive new. Festival rig is Hk Contour desks are Allen and Heath Zed and Mix Wiz for smaller gigs QU and ILive for bigger ones. Cut and paste for whatever you I’m asked to do
    www.maltingsaudio.co.uk
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  • andyozandyoz Frets: 654
    edited January 6
    Outline Kanguro...

    That's actually pretty clever idea!

    http://www.jassc.com/img_p/img026_04.jpg

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  • CabicularCabicular Frets: 2099
    Line 6 l3s l3ts and ms
    l2ts an ms monitors for bigger gigs and stagesource m20 desk
    2 turbosound ip2000s and behringer x18 for smaller 
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  • exocetexocet Frets: 439
    Danny1969 said:
    Across the different bands and our hire company we have loads of different things from Bose L1 systems to big HK multi box systems. What PA you use is more dictated by the size of the venue rather than the type of music. 

    Bose L1 X 2 systems get used for acoustic gigs and Shadows backing tracks. This type of system is not much good for a typical rock band as it can't reproduce anything much below 80hz .......... when it comes to bass there is no substitute for size no matter what clever DSP

    Typical Pub club PA is 2 x bins and 2 tops with horns, normally HK  ... the top covers band I'm in use an HK Actor which is 4 bins and 2 tops but these systems are modular. If it's a small gig you just take the tops. If your gonna need a lot of kick and bass guitar then use all four bins as well. I would say the HK Actor is probably my favourite PA of this type that comes in at less than 5K

    For large indoor work and outside work like pub festivals we use a big HK Linear Pro with 4 x 18" bins, 2 X 15" tops with horns bi amped with HK processor and amps .... this was brought 2nd hand years ago for less that than 2K and it's paid for it's self may times over

    We also have the original MK1 SRM450 tops which I wouldn't consider heavy  as well as 2 x 18" bins.  For most cover band gigs a set of SRM's is fine, I don't think switching to an array type would help a great deal unless it was a steerable array like the newer dB stuff ....... That is very handy but it's expensive and you couldn't rig it at a normal pub \ wedding venue \ corp gig etc
    What’s your take on the Bose L1 - 11 system with B2 bass? The drummer in my band bought one and is a bit evangelical about it. He actually bought an additional B2 bass unit as well.
    We played a couple of gigs with it (just vocals and a bit of kick drum going through it) - I thought it sounded ok and it was a novelty not having fold back to hear the vocals but when playing pre gig music it sounded a bit one dimensional and a “point source” rather than a nice even spread.

    He wants to add a second Column and B2 but I’m far from convinced about this, a lot of money and I struggle to see the whole band playing through it at larger events. 
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3304
    @exocet ;

    We have 4 columns and 4 x B2  bass units plus the separate Bose pwr amp and passive bass bin.  So that's double of everything you see to the right of me in this pic plus the additional passive bin and power amp. 



    I'm not a fan of it except for using it indoors for acoustic gigs or reinforcement of anything 80Hz upwards. I like the spread, I like the fact you kind of hear what the audience hears. I find it does radiate out well and I like the size and ease of setup but when you consider how much money it cost there are definitely better options for bands.

    I have tried using it in a full on band context and I didn't like it at all
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • andyozandyoz Frets: 654
    Bose have massive marketing budgets...
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  • robinbowesrobinbowes Frets: 1484
    Danny1969 said:
    ...a big HK Linear Pro with 4 x 18" bins, 2 X 15" tops with horns bi amped with HK processor and amps .... this was brought 2nd hand years ago for less that than 2K 

    I wouldn't mind finding something at that price just now!

    Has anyone got any experience of the RCF MD-32A Mk4? A quick bit of googling seems to reveal people like it. Any idea what sub would go with that, should we need one?

    R.
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  • TeetonetalTeetonetal Frets: 5324
    The Bose KLine Array systems are not good value at all. You are paying a lot for the name 
    I have an LD systems Maui 28 G2 and it's fab. Mainly used for solo acoustic or backing track gigs. where it's ace. For a band you'd need a few of them depending on the size/style of band
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  • p90foolp90fool Frets: 6574
    Teetonetal said: po
    The Bose KLine Array systems are not good value at all. You are paying a lot for the name 

    I agree, they're expensive and have been overtaken by other brands. 

    I'm using a JBL Eon One for acoustic trio gigs, and some full band gigs in small venues and it sounds excellent, vocal intelligibility being particularly good.  

    It's not powerful enough for a full band though. 
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  • JalapenoJalapeno Frets: 3160
    For smaller gigs, oldskool Phonic mixer-amp, 375w per channel, into passive Collins (cheap) 12" + Tweeter cabs.  Use the same speakers for foldback.

    For bigger gigs we use the amp as a power amp only and have a 24 channnel Behringer mixer, IEM  etc

    I wouldn't describe our solution as robust or high performance/fidelity, so no (more) lectures please.

    If we were starting again I'd opt for powered (brand) speakers and a small mixer, and grow from there.
    Imagine something sharp and witty here ......

    Feedback
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  • robinbowesrobinbowes Frets: 1484
    I've made a decision and gone for an HK Audio L5 Power Pack. I got a really good price from Bax Shop and ordered it today.

    Looks like this:



    Hopefully should cover us for most gigs.

    R.
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  • John_PJohn_P Frets: 1453
    I've made a decision and gone for an HK Audio L5 Power Pack. I got a really good price from Bax Shop and ordered it today.

    Looks like this:



    Hopefully should cover us for most gigs.

    R.
    That’s a nice rig - should be easy and quick to set up and spend good.   I’ve got two HK systems and really rate them.  
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  • robinbowesrobinbowes Frets: 1484
    I already have a couple of the tops that I use with my Helix and I'm very impressed with them.

    Looking forward to cranking up the whole rig - 4.4KW, should be OK for the local pub :)

    R.
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  • andyozandyoz Frets: 654
    edited January 11
    I don't know much about HK but that Linear 5 rig looks good.

    The subs are interesting...using dual 12" drivers in band pass cabinet. It means the rig is not that wide so good for pubs.
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  • andyozandyoz Frets: 654
    edited January 12
    Interested to see how HK goes on the first gig..
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  • Jalapeno said:
    For smaller gigs, oldskool Phonic mixer-amp, 375w per channel, into passive Collins (cheap) 12" + Tweeter cabs.  Use the same speakers for foldback.


    I use a similar mixer-amp for pub gigs, paired with a pair of Peavey Pro 15s. Not exactly top spec stuff, but I put it together for around £150 and it does the job pretty well. Plenty loud and reasonable sound from it for a rock band. If I was playing out more often, I'd probably look in to better gear, but this stuff will do in the meantime.
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