Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups darrenriley.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Buying your first PA

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by ndcaster, Dec 7, 2018.

  1. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 14, 2013
    Indiana
    Any advice?

    I was about to pull the trigger on a Yamaha Stagepas 600i, but it doesn't have an FX send.
     
  2. ddewerd

    ddewerd Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    For what use? Solo act, bar band, stadium tour?

    Just curious ndcaster, does the nd stand for the place in Indiana with a golden dome? I'm a '82 grad :)

    Cheers,
    Doug
     
    RyCo1983 and Marc Morfei like this.
  3. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 14, 2013
    Indiana
    hey doug, the purpose would be small band, small bars

    nd stands for nondescript, but yes, I'm in northern Indiana, so as you prefer

    go Irish
     
  4. Dennyf

    Dennyf Tele-Holic

    955
    Feb 9, 2011
    Charlotte, NC
    The point of simple plug-n-play PAs like this and the Fender Passport is that they are simple. Outboard effects aren't in the wheelhouse. I note that it has onboard reverb and echo. The more experience I got running PA, the more I came to realize a decent reverb is all you need, and even that can turn your sound to mud if you're not paying attention to the natural reverb of your particular venue.

    I have no experience with the Stagepass, but I have had experience with other Yamaha PA gear, all of it good. The closest thing I've worked with in a similar form factor was a Fender Passport. Don't remember which model, but it was older, and small. Worked surprisingly well for just vocals in a small club in a loudish blooze-daddy band.
     
    nojazzhere likes this.
  5. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 14, 2013
    Indiana
    I'm looking at a Yamaha MG10XU mixer and would need powered speakers. 10" would be fine. There are a million choices at a bunch of different price points. Used gear would be fine, but I'm skittish. Stuff gets punished.
     
  6. Whatizitman

    Whatizitman Tele-Holic

    872
    Feb 18, 2018
    WV
    Powered speakers, and use whatever non-powered mixer you have on hand. Cheapest, easiest, and least heavy solution. My band gets away with one cheap powered speaker, as we don't have live drums. PA for vocals and/or plug-in acoustic, and drum tracks. If we're outside we add one other older powered PA thing, and use the newer D-class speaker for monitor.

    Once you add drums, it's a whole 'nuther game, though.
     
    Alamo likes this.
  7. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    I’m a big Yamaha fan.
    I like (but don’t own, yet) the EMX512 model box mixer.
    It meets all my criteria.
    Light, loud, versatile, great sounding, moderately priced, and dependable.
    The power and graphic EQ are the same for mains and monitors.
    They pop up for cheap on CL, too.
    I (surprise surprise) also like Yamaha speakers.
    I prefer their 1-12 and horn mains, and matching 1-12 and horn monitors.
    The 1-15 and horn mains are great, too.
    Mackie stuff is fine, too.
    Recent Peavey stuff does not seem to hold up as well as older MIA Peavey stuff.
    Many of my friends have the Yamaha, as do many venues I play.
    Great stuff!
     
  8. Whatizitman

    Whatizitman Tele-Holic

    872
    Feb 18, 2018
    WV

    Try to get 15s. There are cheap powered monitor/speaker in larger sizes to be had, cheap. GC/MF discount them heavily a couple times of year. Also look for used. On that note, lots of folks unloading older heavier gear. You can definitely get a good deal nowadays if you go used.
     
  9. Whatizitman

    Whatizitman Tele-Holic

    872
    Feb 18, 2018
    WV
    For a first PA, don't spend too much, and don't fret too much over specs, brands, extra outboard, digital this or that, etc... Get something simple and cheap. There is a lot to learn about running sound. Best to keep it simple and cheap, as you will eventually figure out what you really need the more you use it.
     
    nojazzhere likes this.
  10. ddewerd

    ddewerd Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    I've had good luck with Mackie. I've got an 8 channel powered head that I've been using regularly for about 10 years. Personally I would look for a 6 or 8 channel powered head, built in effects, and a dual amp (that can be run as stereo or mono main+monitor). You will always need more inputs than you think.

    Lot of choices here
    https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/mixer-buying-guide/

    Yamaha makes some pretty decent small (10" or 12") non-powered speakers. Get something that has an angled back to it can be dual purpose as main or monitor. I have the bigger 15" ones and they have served me well

    https://www.sweetwater.com/c450--Yamaha--Stage_Monitors

    Good luck.

    Cheers,
    Doug

    P.S. I would buy new if you can afford it. A lot of gear gets really beat up. Plus you have a warranty
     
  11. Dennyf

    Dennyf Tele-Holic

    955
    Feb 9, 2011
    Charlotte, NC
    I've still got the MG10/2 as the mixer for my home studio. The XU looks like it would do fine if the mixer section of the Stagepas would work for you.

    It's my opinion that audio is a pretty mature technology. It's just as easy to make something that sounds good as it is to make something that sounds like crap. Therefore, just about any MI-grade-on-up powered speakers are going to sound pretty good as long as 1). the soundguy has a clue and 2.) you don't try to exceed the capabilities of a given piece.

    Trade-off for cheaper-vs-expensive is durability, longevity and over-engineering (or the lack thereof). That's why QSC will cost more than . . . oh, I dunno, I'm out of touch on the cheap MI gear these days . . . Samson? Harbinger? Anyway, you take my point. I liked some of the Samson/Nady gear just fine, but I owned Yamaha, Peavey, QSC. All of it was still MI gear, but not the cheapest.
     
  12. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 14, 2013
    Indiana
    Thanks gents this is all really helpful

    A sound guy in a town near me told me that for small club classic country, he'd buy an old 35w Bogen PA unit like this (link below), and just balance drums and amp to it.

    I thought he was crazy. Is he crazy?

    https://tinyurl.com/yawp87nz
     
    brookdalebill likes this.
  13. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    Maybe not crazy, but perhaps ill advised.
    Old stuff is prone to all kinds of failures.
    Take it from me, I’m old stuff.
     
  14. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

    Age:
    67
    Jan 6, 2005
    Iowa USA
    Admin Post
    I solved that problem with s Shure Vocalmaster.

    (That's Conway Twitty, not me.)

    Screen Shot 2018-12-07 at 10.53.52 AM.png
     
  15. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    Those things sound(ed) shockingly good.
    When did they quit making them?
     
  16. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 14, 2013
    Indiana
    LOL

    state of the art, baby
     
    brookdalebill likes this.
  17. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 14, 2013
    Indiana
    love me some Conway

    Man, those Vocalmaster things are all over ebay. I bet they weigh a ton.
     
  18. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2003
    northwest
    The Vocal master was probably one of the best club PA's FOR VOCALS I've ever heard. The thing is, nothing else like a bass drum etc was sent through them. Then everyone started doing mic'ing of drums and instruments. I remember there were some groups in Seattle in the 70's that were doing tight harmonies like The Association and Mamas and Papas stuff and it sounded killer through the Shure.
     
  19. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2003
    northwest
    Just say "No" to Bogen. They are very dirty amps. My take on "First PA" is to go old school. Passive speakers and a Mackie, Peavey or Yamaha powered amp. Why? Simple and readily available. No power cord mess and stuff you have to route to the speakers etc. Will you have monitors? If so, and if you go powered mains, you will need powered mons also (due to non powered mixer) and now your power cords get real messy. You can set up a club passive PA system in 15 mins or less. I have had both, a couple times. Still prefer the passive for clubs. I have a powered setup for duo work though.
     
    dan1952 likes this.
  20. LGOberean

    LGOberean Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    65
    May 31, 2008
    Corpus Christi, Texas
    First PA I bought myself 5-6 years ago was a Peavey rig: XR8600D powered mixer; a pair of PR-12 passive speakers. The mixer was rated at 600 watts program/500 watts RMS into 4 ohms, and weighed about 24 lbs. It had 10 line inputs, and effects send on all channels. The XR8600D is discontinued now, and the PR-12s have gone up a little in price, but back when I bought it, the rig ran me about a grand. (The mixer was about $600 new, the PR-12s about $200 apiece.)

    If you can find a Peavey XR8600D used in good condition, I recommend it. Never had a problem with it, and it was used in duo, trio and a five-member band, outdoor gigs, yacht clubs, political fundraisers, coffee shops, etc. It should certainly cover your “small band, small bars” applications. The Peavey PR-12 speakers are still in production, as are the PR-10s, if loudspeakers with 10" woofers are your preference.

    Peavey XR8600D - front.jpg Peavey PR12 - front.jpg

    FWIW, the powered mixer I used prior to the Peavey (inherited from another band via one of the band members) was a Yamaha. That thing gave the other band fits, and it never worked right for me. One or more of the channels would always go out on us, never knew in advance which one would go. Since as I said it was an inherited mixer, I don’t know if it worked perfectly in its early days. Maybe it was “ridden hard and put away wet” back then, and in its later years became eccentric. Still, I’m leery of Yamaha electronics as a result. I’ve never had a problem with Peavey gear. Again, FWIW, YMMV, and all that.
     
    slinger likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.