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Suggestions for powered mixer on the cheap

Discussion in 'Band Wagon' started by LGOberean, May 14, 2013.

  1. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    Need a new powered mixer. In a nutshell, here's what I'm looking for. 8 channels. Moderate power needs. Basic functions (can get by w/o multiple effects). Lightweight (< 30 lbs.). Prefer < $300, absolute max $500. Suggestions?

    Okay, now for background info. The applications for this mixer won't be terribly taxing.

    One band (5 piece) has a fiddle (not mic'ed), 2 acoustic guitars running straight into the mixer, and 3 (or up to 4) mics. No drummer.

    In another band (duo) it's just my guitar and 2 vocals. Again, no drums. A separate mic for those who might sit in (happens regularly).

    In most cases, we'll be playing to an audience 25-50, and in relatively quiet settings. We do retirement centers, coffee shops, business openings, private parties, etc. No bars.

    Our duo has a system, but the powered mixer (Yamaha EMX 860 ST) has been acting up for a while. Had it serviced in March, and it's still not right. For some of our duo gigs, we can get by with a smaller rig: guitar into a Pathfinder 15R, mics into a Crate TX50 "Limo" used as a mini PA.

    I want a system of my own that will serve as our 5-pc. band's PA, and can serve as backup for our duo. The current issues with our Yamaha mixer makes me leery of that brand, but I'm not absolutely closed to it. I've used Peavey gear the most.

    I've seen Peavey's PVi 8B mixer advertized, but have no hands on experience with it. I have seen its little brother, the PVi 4B, in action, at a wedding on the beach. Delivered the speaking voice well enough; music from an iPod or something was run through it, and that was okay. But I'd need more channels, so I'd be looking at the 8B version. Anybody have experience with this one?

    I am familiar with certain other brand names such as Behringer Mackie and Nady, and in my recent searches have come across the names Phonic and Gear One. I know nothing about these brands and the units they offer. Anyone?
     
  2. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Behringers Top-Boxes are pretty good for the coin.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. krisls

    krisls Tele-Holic

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    Well at the risk of being snubbed... I bought for my own use about a year ago a Yam EMX512sc and have not regretted it once. It gets used at least once a week and up to three. Before that my duo partner had an EMX 312sc and that was fine too, but lacked a little oomph now n then. For your uses I think it would be fine. Especially with efficient speakers. I was tossing up with a Peavey XR8600D but as I sorta knew the Yam I went that way. 15v Phantom rather than the Peavey 48v if that matters to you.

    I will admit to being somewhat Behringer phobic but a bunch of hire places I know and trust use the Europower mixers and are happy to do so. Mackie I used to love but have heard a bunch of reliability complaints over the last year or two. So I guess I'm no help at all...hah

    Kristina
     
  4. poiureza

    poiureza Tele-Holic

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    What speakers do you use ?
    I'm asking this because you are the perfect candidate for a neat all-in-one solution :
    You could sell any speakers you have and get a Fender Passport 150 for instance
    Or a Behringer EPA300
    Etc etc ...
    Handling and convenience of those is unbeatable

    In case you want to stick to your initial idea I would suggest a Behringer poweramp.
    I'm REALLY no friends with Behringer, most of their product lines are horribly unreliable.
    However their poweramps are their best product, proven workhorses and I can recommend them.

    Edit : oops sorry, I see you need a powered mixer, not a poweramp
    Stay clear from Behringer then, their mixers are the most unreliable product line, I've had several (attracted by cheap money ... :rolleyes: )

    Edit 2 : Mackie is no longer the reliable industry standard we used to know some 10-20 years ago. Most of their production lines are now in China and I read a lot of horror stories lately. Might as well buy any other generic chinese brand then (DAP, Phonic, Behringer etc ...)
    Yamaha is not cheap but I have yet to encounter a bad Yamaha product
     
  5. buckfuzzard

    buckfuzzard Tele-Meister

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  6. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    I have no intention of "snubbing" your reply recommending Yamaha. I said I wasn't "absolutely closed" to something with the Yamaha brand, but I am leery of it.

    Then you haven't encountered mine. There's a reason I said I was leery of another Yamaha powered mixer. And this particular unit may very well be the exception to the rule, but it has been and is giving us fits.

    This Yamaha EMX 860 ST was the mixer of a band my duo partner was in prior to joining me. They had problems with the mixer's channels. Potentially any channel could fail them at a gig. They took it in to have it serviced, but the problems persisted.

    When the group took an extended hiatus due to the illness of a key member, this mixer was given to my duo partner. Now we're having the same problems. We've also had a tech service it, no change. It is essentially unreliable. It's not that nothing ever works; it's that you never know what you're going to get when you plug into a channel. I've even had a channel that I plugged into that worked cut out on me later on in the gig.

    So if there are no other good options out there besides Yamaha, I'll give them a second look. But I freely admit to being, as I have said, "leery" of them.
     
  7. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    I relate to this. I wouldn't say I am "Behringer phobic," but again I'll choose the word "leery." I've heard mixed reviews. Local GC sales guy had good things to say about the Behringer Europower PMP line. But then again, it is his job to sell me something.

    Your wording of that phrase was a bit amusing to me, probably an Aussie-to-Texan miscommunication. Upon my first read through your post, it sounded to me like you were ill. :lol: I got what you meant, though. In my case, it would have gone the other way. I know the Peavey. The aforementioned band has reformed, my duo partner included, and the new mixer they have is the very same Peavey XR8600D you referenced, going out to a pair of Peavey PR12 speakers. Great sound they're totally happy with.

    The only condenser mic I own is a Shure SM94, which according to Shure "can be powered by any phantom power source." [Power requirements: 11 to 52 Vdc (1.2 mA) (phantom) or by an internal 1.5-volt AA battery.] So I should be good with pretty much any powered mixer.
     
  8. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    I have used Peavey in the past and currently use a Mackie 808S. I bought it used for around $400
     
  9. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    I have a pair of Peavey PR12s. Because I already have these, the "all-in-one" option is not appealing. Plus, thinking this through to write my posts, and considering all of the input I've received thus far (thanks, everyone), I am now inclined to adjust my parameters.

    Before, I was favoring the low end of my budget (< $300), which meant essentially accepting less in features and in power rating. That latter factor would work with a lot of the venues we play.

    But upon reflection, we've also played more medium-sized gigs (yacht clubs, political fundraisers, 4th of July parties, etc.), with audiences of 100-200+. Our current mixer may be unreliable on what channels will work, but it has enough power (two 200-watt amps for the mains) for the larger gigs that we do. In seeking a replacement, I don't need to go so cheap that I don't have enough power when I need it. So now I'm focusing on more watts, more features and therefore (sigh) more dollars. Still need to keep to $500 or under.

    So now the Peavey XR 8300, the little brother of that aforementioned XR 8600, is looking real good. The Carvin mixer featured in that link above is also attractive. I like the idea of buying MiA, and that Carvin also has the highest power rating I've seen at that price point.

    Thanks, Mike. Mackie is a name brand I've read mixed reviews on, but a lot of good. The 808S would have to be bought used, which I'm leery of (I do like that word, don't I? :oops:). As a general rule, I like to buy new. And the Yamaha mixer I'm looking to replace came to me used, so that experience has made me gun-shy. I'm looking for something with a warranty. Anything in the current Mackie line worthy of consideration?
     
  10. poiureza

    poiureza Tele-Holic

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    I would never buy a used mixer nor used speakers.
    And from unfortunate experience I also know that a broken/unreliable mixer should be dumped, not repaired. The repair didn't last both times I sent one back.

    Carvin is definitely a well noted brand.
    I'd take one over a similarly spec'ed & priced Mackie any day.

    Giving another shot at the "all-in-one" solution here :
    How about selling those PR12's ? They're definitely good speakers but the money could get you a NEW (read : trustful :D) rig
    On the other hand, now that you're talking stadium gigs, a Passport might fall a bit short anyway :D
     
  11. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    Your "unfortunate experience" seems to be our luck with this mixer as well. It's been in the shop twice that I know of without a lasting repair.

    As for selling the PR12s to help fund an all-in-one purchase, I don't think so. I wouldn't say we're playing "stadium gigs," but definitely bigger rooms (a conference room for a political rally, a church's fellowship hall for a 4th of July party with more than 200 in attendance, etc.) as well as our smaller venues.

    The band my duo partner is in has the Peavey XR 8600D powered mixer and 2 PR12s. They use that rig at a monthly coffee shop gig. We play the same venue on a monthly basis, and we've used our Yamaha mixer (problems notwithstanding) and the PR12s in there, and it's perfect.

    So at this point the front runners in my search are the Peavey XR 8300 and the Carvin XP1000L.
     
  12. krisls

    krisls Tele-Holic

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    Hah, word usage is ...interesting aint it. Tossing up, hmmm didn't occur to me as it's not used/thought of that way here. Could have said mulling it over but then I'd be in a different sort of 'trouble' or headspace maybe.

    It sounds as though your Yamaha is a victim of the old beer spill lurgy. Ongoing never quite identifiable problems with dodgy connections and shorts. Umm electrical shorts don't add the word cargo....... Arrgghh.

    Kris
     
  13. SamClemons

    SamClemons Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you shop and test carefully, there are a lot of good deals on used gear.
     
  14. TeleTim911

    TeleTim911 Friend of Leo's

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    Go to the GC website, search their used gear and pull up stuff from all over the USA. Their shipping rates are pretty fair.

    I've bought a lot of stuff that way, never disappointed. Sure, it might need cleaning, but what the heck, it's used. I've even called the stores where it's at and talked to the manager about items.

    I've found some great items on there dirt cheap...you have to be quick though, they'll go fast. If there's a problem with a purchase, you can return it to nearest store.
     
  15. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I had a TOA power mixer that worked great for years; might still be working for all I know. Had 8 channels and on board EQ. I say buy an inexpensive mixer and an inexpensive power amp. Same price and cheaper to replace whichever fails than an all in one unit. Splurge on speakers, there's where you will hear the big difference. Peavey and Carvin are probably best value proposition IMO.
     
  16. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    Well, as I said above, as a general rule, I like to buy new. I have bought some gear used in times past (an Ibanez electric guitar for $25, a $40 Vox Pathfinder 15R, etc.), so I'm not opposed to it on principle. At your suggestion, Tim, I did check out used gear on the GC site. Nothing in the ballpark. I might check back later on.

    Still, for this purchase of a key component of my live sound, I'm inclined toward the buying new approach.
     
  17. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    Update on my situation. I'm still seriously considering a Peavey powered mixer.

    One thing I'm hoping to get in this new mixer is lighter weight. The Yamaha EMX 860 ST I'm wanting to replace weighs 38 lbs. or so. I've had hands on with the Peavey XR 8600D, and it's light as a feather. Checked the specs online, and Peavey lists its weight at 25.13 lbs. (unpacked).

    Then I checked the specs on the XR 8300. Power rating 600 watts (2x300 RMS) is fine. Features are fine. The weight? 38 lbs.! Unpacked! :confused:

    I didn't expect the mixer with the lower power rating to be heavier than it's older brother. So I wrote Peavey, and here's the answer I got from a Peavey employee named Aubrey...

    So, straight from a Peavey source, case closed, right?

    Not so fast. I'd seen specs on other sites that listed it as lighter. Sweetwater lists its weight as 23.8 lbs. I wouldn't take that over info on Peavey's site and from an employee, but there is conflicting information from Peavey on this. Check this out...



    So I'm wondering if anyone here has recently purchased the Peavey XR 8300 powered mixer and if they can comment on this weight issue. Thanks.
     
  18. krisls

    krisls Tele-Holic

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    Ummm, well a couple of local places I trust list it at just under 20kg which is roughly 43lbs. I know when I was looking at the 8600d the D was stated as being very significant in the weight side of things. Same with the Yam. The older ones were a lot heavier.

    Also that is 300 a side into 4ohms and your speakers are 8, which means roughly 220 a side. Might be fine, but....

    Kris
     
  19. Big John Studd

    Big John Studd Friend of Leo's

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  20. mrboson

    mrboson Tele-Afflicted

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    That's today's Musicians Friend stupid deal of the day. I bet they sold out
     
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