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JGale

PA System for small acoustic group

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One in. One out.

My sister-in-law is part of a small (acoustic guitar, tablas, electric bass, female and male vocalists and tabla shakers, etc) band of gypsies.

She needs a compact, low to medium cost PA system that can take all their vocals, a couple acoustic guitars and some lower frequencies.

Venue size small, but outdoors with no reinforcement. Assume electric is available Interested in bang for the buck with scalability if possible.

TIA MFkrs.

Jim

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Those Bose stick things work really well and a used one may be within budget, otherwise they get pricey.

I'm using two EV SXA250 powered speakers that sound incredible (with a tiny Mackie board). Being 15s, they'll handle some lows and cover a fair size room. Again, new they are pricey but used around $500-$600/pair. They're also about 60 lbs each, which is less fun to grunt around than those stick things.

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The Bose column style speakers came to mind.  hamerhead beat me to it. 

I know someone who uses the Bose for speaking only, and it is adequate.  I have never heard how loud it can get.  There are different versions, a "cheap" one for around $1000 and the expensive one with a fancy compact digital mixer and a separate sub.  These are single columns. 

The cheaper one is definitely compact for loading and unloading.  What I like best is that there is no tripod under the speaker, and the footprint is small.  That means there is less for someone to trip over.  No matter how hard you try to set up a PA where it is out of the way, someone will run into it.  If I had to buy a PA today, it would be one with a sub on the floor with a pole mounted top speaker.  No more tripods. 

Compact tiny mixers can be cheap or expensive.  I have used them, but never compared them.  If they work, they work. 

JBL Eons are something that can double as a monitor or a top box.  They need tripods, though.  You want the horn/tweeter slightly above the audience's heads for people in the back to hear clearly. 

Peavey made some compact PA heads that have split power amps for mains and monitors.  Add whatever speakers you need.  That gets away from being compact, though. 

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56 minutes ago, Steve Haynie said:

I have never heard how loud it can get. 

We saw a 5-piece band using five of them in a fair-sized odd-shaped bar and they were LOUD. The cool/weird thing was the mix didn't change no matter where you stood in the room.

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Bose +1

I play with an acoustic quartet and we use one or two of them depending on the size of the venue. They are awesome. We use the LI II systems which run about $2600 a piece, but Bose makes smaller systems as well.

This is a shot from just this last Saturday. You can see them on the back corners.

 

KJU.jpg

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Your PA is behind the band.  Are there ever feedback problems? 

The Dawn Audio speaker systems from years ago did not feedback, so someone had both monitors and mains with those tiny speakers.  Their only drawback was a big scoop in the lower mids. 

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32 minutes ago, Steve Haynie said:

....PA is behind the band.....

That's the way they were for the band we saw. Loud, clear, and no feedback.

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Two to five columns or the particular version that Dutchman suggests get away from the "low to medium" cost that we are supposed to be suggesting. 

Some of the nicer acoustic guitar amps can double as a small PA.  They have mic inputs. 

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Whoops, I guess I didn’t see the price-point details but here’s one far less than new. We rented the one we used. You don’t get paid per say for playing around Nashville just tips. I don’t know what the rental cost was, but the tips covered it. I’m sure finding a used one would be far less than new.

https://reverb.com/item/27232178-bose-l1-model-1s-system-with-b2-bass

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My acoustic based band uses Fishman Loudbox minis for small to medium venues.  One instrument and one mic per Loudbox.  They get good volume and there are larger versions.  $350 new. Have DI out should you want to go to a larger system. Not sure how well it works for electric bass, there are lots of good options including Fender and  Ampeg bass amps.

Bose systems can get loud.  They are designed to sit behind you and also serve as a monitor.  For the number of inputs you need, get a lower cost mixer as the Bose add-on mixer is also expensive. There are some copy cat systems that are like Bose that cost less.

If you need to be louder than Loudbox, a Bose or typical PA is needed. I don’t have a cost compare between a powered speaker setup versus a powered board or separate amp, mixer, speakers. 

Sounds like 4 Loudboxes plus a bass amp are minimum, so $1400 plus bass amp plus mics, etc. No monitors, just listen

Bose plus mixer from around $1400 and up depending which system, close to $3K with extra board and mics

Powered speaker system about $1K plus mics, stands, AC cords.  Monitors extra if you want them ($400 for 2)

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Yeah, the Bose stuff is good.  Bose's original intention was that each musician went through their own L1 and if you couldn't hear the others sufficiently, it meant you needed to lower the volume on yours just a bit.   One or two would work great thoughWord of warning though, the idea is that the sound carries farther before dropping off, so you won't get the typical really loud right in front of it and not loud enough at the back of the venue, so if folks aren't used to that they may feel like it's not loud enough.   Also,  make sure no one plants themselves immediately in front of the tower,  you want to be a few feet in front of it at least.  

Other companies make similar things as well now, too.  If not going that route, QSC makes some good stuff that's not terribly priced.  Haven't heard or read about the new CP series, though the K series works really nicely.  

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We use something similar to the Bose but considerably less expensive. Turbosound IP 1000s. They're a similar layout. 1000 watts. 2 mic inputs or you can use a mixer. I've used them for the past two years with good results. Acoustic duo, three piece electric rock and a 7 piece blues band. Indoors, outdoors, very happy with them.

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My partner ownes a Bose, the small one w the 3 channel tonematch. It sounds good but only has 3 xlr inputs. For 1500 I think there is a little more for the money out there. Her dad bought it as a gift for her. One tge upsidevwhile she is no shrinking violet it is easy for her to move on gigs Im not on w her ( many she is a in demand local performer )

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We got a QSC setup: two CP8 powered speakers, a KS112 powered sub, and a little Mackie board. The CP8s are 1000 watts each, the sub is 200 watts. A bit more pricey than they may be considering, but we wanted to be sure the bottom end was taken care of, as if we happen to be playing where's there's no reinforcement that's where you can lose stuff. I will say that the CP8s alone are pretty amazing, so a pair of CR10s and a small mixer might be all they need. You can daisy chain them together if you want to expand, like any modern system.

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5 hours ago, polara said:

We got a QSC setup: two CP8 powered speakers, a KS112 powered sub, and a little Mackie board. The CP8s are 1000 watts each, the sub is 200 watts. A bit more pricey than they may be considering, but we wanted to be sure the bottom end was taken care of, as if we happen to be playing where's there's no reinforcement that's where you can lose stuff. I will say that the CP8s alone are pretty amazing, so a pair of CR10s and a small mixer might be all they need. You can daisy chain them together if you want to expand, like any modern system.

Glad to hear the CP8s are holding up the QSC banner well.  They were so low priced, I was unsure if they cut some corner somewhere to hit a price point.  

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