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Whats a good Amp for Vocals?

Shelby21
October 25th, 2008, 08:30 PM
I really want a good amp for straight vocals something that can be heard in band practice any suggestions would help so much,
Thanks

Chris Leger
October 25th, 2008, 08:35 PM
You "really want" a good amp?

Or do you want a really good amp?

How much you want to spend? How many channels?

If it were me, and I were looking for an amp/mixer to use for nothing but "vocals" at "band practice," I'd just grab one of these:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Peavey-XR-600-B-Powered-Mixer_W0QQitemZ120309150159QQcmdZViewItem?_trksid= p3286.m20.l1116
http://cgi.ebay.com/Peavey-XR-600-C-Mixer-Amp-Series-400BH-Nice-Works-Good_W0QQitemZ180300252393QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item 180300252393&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=66%3A2%7C65%3A1%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318

Can't be beat for the price.

Shelby21
October 25th, 2008, 08:41 PM
You "really want" a good amp?

Or do you want a really good amp?

How much you want to spend? How many channels?

If it were me, and I were looking for an amp/mixer to use for nothing but "vocals" at "band practice," I'd just grab one of these:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Peavey-XR-600-B-Powered-Mixer_W0QQitemZ120309150159QQcmdZViewItem?_trksid= p3286.m20.l1116
http://cgi.ebay.com/Peavey-XR-600-C-Mixer-Amp-Series-400BH-Nice-Works-Good_W0QQitemZ180300252393QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item 180300252393&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=66%3A2%7C65%3A1%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318

Can't be beat for the price.

Yea I dont mind spending money on something that will last and have good quality, I also wanted to know what I should be looking for

HOBBSTER01
October 25th, 2008, 09:24 PM
Go with Mackie IMO.
The stuff I have has far out lasted the Peavey stuff I've had in the past.
Also I use a small Yamaha for my acoustic gigs with a Digitech Vocalist Live 4 and it's top drawer also.
A couple of questions first:
What type of music are you practicing and at what volume levels?
How many vocalists?
Are you needing a power amp with mixing board or an all in one unit.
What cabs are you using in your practice area?
How many monitors?

Nub
October 25th, 2008, 09:59 PM
I got rid of all my PA gear a year ago, since it was a huge pain to haul, and the places I play have their own systems. I recently picked up a Centaur Acoustic PA (I got model A1225LV) for rehearsals, jams, and the occasional coffee house gig; it's very portable & sounds fantastic for vocals (and acoustic guitar, too):

http://www.centauramp.com/acoustic2.html

BigDaddyblues57
October 25th, 2008, 10:22 PM
I used have a small sound company.

For good clean vocals it's all about 2 things power and more power.

To cover let's say a drummer, guitar with a 40 watt tube amp and a bass player with a pair of 15's and 300 watts you need about 800 watts.

The reason is simple, if you want the sound to be heard and clean then think about it.

What settings makes for a clean sound on your guitar amp....3......so out of the 40 watts or so how many can produce a purely clean sound good enough for vocals?

Next is feedback. Turn it up to get more power and because you added gain it feedbacks right. Gain causes feedback, more power let's you use less gain.

So the said vocal amp has to be able to cut through the mix of a complete band without having to turn it up so that it does not feedback and the sound is clean.

Another issue is this.....if you have speakers rated at 350 watts how many watts do you use to power it???????????

150 right...

Wrong.

At least double the wattage is needed to produce clean power. If your speakers are rated at 350 watts you need at least 500. So again you do not distort them which will blow the horn driver which do not like square waves.

Forget everything you think you know and anything for guitar amps does not apply.

I hate PV, overrated power and specs, same for Carvin.

For a simple system go with either Yorkville and/or Mackie. Dollar for Dollar the best stuff out there in the medium quality systems.

When it comes to wattage in a sound system more is MORE. Less is not good. It's easier to turn down a system then make it louder when it has maxed out it's ability to reproduce a clean signal. That's why it called sound reproduction.

Spend as much as you have and buy something simple. Stay away from something that has everything in it. If something doesn't work and needs to be fixed you can either borrow or rent a replacement. If everything is in it then you are out all those things like EQ, FX and such.

A simple Mackie board like a 1402, into a simple quality EQ and the EQ is important a cheap EQ will kill the system ashley and rane are good enough, then into a compressor like a DBX 166 and then into some powered speakers like the mackie's SRM 450. There are a lot of good FX units too. Also think about using one of those powered speakers as a monitor.

That system will be awesome and I used something like that for so many gigs and rentals. You can later add subs, more speakers and make the system bigger if you want to becuase it's modular.

Powered mixers are not that good. They have a lot of stuff but are always under powered and never sound good unless you use a lot of speakers to get the power amps at 4 ohms or 2 ohms to get full power.

Trust me I went all through this...........I'm talking from experience.

Buy some books about sound systems.
http://www.activemusician.com/Live-Sound-Books-and-Instruction--c2286

Learn about EQ and how to get enough AC from outlets and how not to electrocute yourself.

Chris Leger
October 26th, 2008, 01:00 AM
I think it might be about that time...

RomanS
October 26th, 2008, 12:33 PM
+1 for the Mackie SRM450, we use two of those with my band, best active cabs in this price range (and we've tried quite a few different brands before we settled on those...)
If you don't want to spend as much (or your band isn't as loud), check out the Tapco Thump, or the db Basic series cabs.

As for mixing desks, look at the smaller Soundcraft and Yamaha offerings; my personal experience with Mackie mixers is that they can sound a bit harsh (don't know the current models, though).

Oh, and while Peavey makes GREAT guitar and bass amps, cool guitars, and a lot of other nice stuff, their PA cabs aren't really on par with mid-level stuff like Mackie, Yamaha, db, or EV; never tried any of their mixers, though.

Chris Leger
October 26th, 2008, 12:45 PM
See? I'd have the said the exact opposite. I loathe Peavey's guitar stuff - all of it.

For a PA for rehearsal, I wouldn't have suggested active speakers & such. Go figure.

Garage PA is right where I would peg Peavey, myself. Those XR-600s are bullet-proof, cheap, and they'll power a pair of passive 15" 2-ways waaaay past deafening.

RomanS
October 26th, 2008, 01:36 PM
I personally prefer a non-powered mixer, and active cabs - with an powered mixer it's hard to expand your setup once you need more power - unless it's one of those where you can route the internal poweramp to the monitors, and use a non-powered out for FOH (entry level powered mixers usually can't do that).

With a regular (non-powered) mixer, you can hook up whatever kind & size of PA you like, and you can use always use those modern, wedge-shaped active speaker cabs as monitors, once they become too small for the gigs you're playing (though with the Mackie SRM450s that will take a while - I've played outdoor gigs with 100 people in the audience where the Mackies were sufficient...).

Sure, solely for rehearsals a small powered mixer will be sufficient - but frankly, I'd rather spend my money on something that will stay useful once you start gigging.

Oh, and one more thing: most of those modern powered cabs have microphone inputs and a simple EQ, so if you don't have the money for a nice mixer at the moment, you can start out by plugging your mike into one of those for rehearsals, and keep saving for a nice mixer.

Singin' Dave
October 26th, 2008, 03:23 PM
+1 for one or two powered speakers and passive mixer. With my money, I'd look at Yorkville and RCF prior to Mackies, which are more prone to go thermal when used as wedges or in the sun.

For a mixer, I'd think about how many channels you need and then double it. Trust me, if you think 6 will do you, you'll find pretty soon you need 12 or 16. Again, I'd look to Allen & Heath, Yamaha and even Peavey mixers prior to Mackie. I've had too many Mackie boards with ribbon issues over the years to recommend them.

When it comes to PA's, you actually save money in the long run by investing in a system to can grow with vs. little box mixers and cheap speakers which will be scrapped at a loss later as your needs expand. Buy once, cry once I always say.

jh45gun
October 27th, 2008, 12:27 AM
I have heard that you need twice the power ect before maybe in a perfect world but I have seen LOTS of 300 watt powered mixers or mixer/amps running a pair of speakers rated at 250 to 300 watts apiece and the systems sounded fine to me. Right now I have a 300 watt mono 6 channel Mix Pac head made by Biamp running a pair of ten inch Kustom speakers only the Kustom speakers I replaced with 250 watt Beta Eminence speakers so that is 500 watts for the pair. This system sounds fine and I have enough head room for my applications. Not saying that more is not good I am sure it is if ya can afford it but a LOT of folks use a sytem 300 to 500 watt system with the speakers adding up to more wattage then the head powering it.