#1
I'm not sure if this is the right place to put this, but I didn't see a thread on live sound. So the deal is I need to start building a PA System for band practices. And I've done some research, but there are a still some things I find confusing. We already have a mixer, unpowered. So all we really need is an amp, and speakers. I'm considering getting the Behringer EUROPOWER EP2000. As far as ohms and watts go, I understand that less ohms mean more power, but does that sacrifice quality, and do ohms of the speaker have to match the amp? And as far as wiring speakers to the amp, can you only wire two speakers per amp? If I were to use an unpowered monitor, would I have to get another amp for the monitor? Or would it be smarter to get a powered monitor?

Please take into account that I'm a total noob at this stuff. And please keep in mind that this would probably only be used for rehersal and small gigs. Any help or tips you guys can give me would be great, Thanks!
#2
Quote by Tdevil333
I'm not sure if this is the right place to put this, but I didn't see a thread on live sound. So the deal is I need to start building a PA System for band practices. And I've done some research, but there are a still some things I find confusing. We already have a mixer, unpowered. So all we really need is an amp, and speakers. I'm considering getting the Behringer EUROPOWER EP2000. As far as ohms and watts go, I understand that less ohms mean more power, but does that sacrifice quality, and do ohms of the speaker have to match the amp? And as far as wiring speakers to the amp, can you only wire two speakers per amp? If I were to use an unpowered monitor, would I have to get another amp for the monitor? Or would it be smarter to get a powered monitor?

Please take into account that I'm a total noob at this stuff. And please keep in mind that this would probably only be used for rehersal and small gigs. Any help or tips you guys can give me would be great, Thanks!


There really aren't right and wrong answers regarding powered vs. unpowered. Powered speakers and stage monitors might be more flexible. They're faster to set up, too, but you do need to provide 110v power (or whatever the "mains" are where you live).

Generally Ohms matching is important, but there are some exceptions--one less issue if you use powered speakers.

Behringer can have reliability issues. And it's not always the best price, either. Check out Carvin; great quality and great value. Or call Sweetwater and ask for Ryan Sloan. He'll be able to answer all your questions and he'll shoot straight with you, even if it means he misses out on a sale.

BTW, I'm on my second Behringer keyboard amp (GC replaced it through the extended warranty), and still bought a small Behringer mixer after the first amp failed. So I'm not close-minded to them. A little looking into questions similar to yours quickly revealed better values than Behringer in all facets of PA systems.
#3
Quote by jetwash69
There really aren't right and wrong answers regarding powered vs. unpowered. Powered speakers and stage monitors might be more flexible. They're faster to set up, too, but you do need to provide 110v power (or whatever the "mains" are where you live).

Generally Ohms matching is important, but there are some exceptions--one less issue if you use powered speakers.

Behringer can have reliability issues. And it's not always the best price, either. Check out Carvin; great quality and great value. Or call Sweetwater and ask for Ryan Sloan. He'll be able to answer all your questions and he'll shoot straight with you, even if it means he misses out on a sale.

BTW, I'm on my second Behringer keyboard amp (GC replaced it through the extended warranty), and still bought a small Behringer mixer after the first amp failed. So I'm not close-minded to them. A little looking into questions similar to yours quickly revealed better values than Behringer in all facets of PA systems.



Thanks for the reply. Also, if I did get speakers that required power, would I be able to hook up two speakers to one amp chanell? Would that change the ohms, or would it just up the watts required? Because I plan on getting at least one floor monitor and two speakers.
#4
Quote by Tdevil333
Thanks for the reply. Also, if I did get speakers that required power, would I be able to hook up two speakers to one amp chanell? Would that change the ohms, or would it just up the watts required? Because I plan on getting at least one floor monitor and two speakers.


You're welcome.

I don't have experience with the unpowered (passive) speakers and seperate power amps. I think ohms would be a factor. Some power amps have multiple outputs for left and right channels. But you're probably better off getting a seperate power amp for each pair of speakers.

That's another advantage of the powered (active) speakers. Usually you can daisy chain the speakers together. That's part of what I meant by greater flexibility.

Also it allows you to hook up your stage monitors to a secondary bus on your mixer; allowing a different mix in your monitors. Or different mixes in different monitors if you run some of them from the regular left and/or right channels. Maybe you don't want drums in the monitors because the accoustic drums already overpower what you hear on stage. Or whatever--all sorts of possibilities that you'd need to spend a lot more on power amps to get the same results with passive speakers.

I don't know how serious y'all are about this stuff, or what kinds of gigging you're doing, or what you're playing. This might be good for the budget-minded:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/kustom-kpc215hp-powered-speaker-pair
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/kustom-kpc15mp-powered-speaker-pair/486181000000000

I got my monitor on sale for $169, so sometimes they might be cheaper individually. I haven't needed my own PA yet, and might not ever need one. Most places that would need it have a house PA. If we play a place small enough not to have one, then we can just use a keyboard amp and/or that wedge monitor for the drums and vocals. And my 100w half-stack is loud enough for any venue.
#5
Quote by jetwash69
You're welcome.

I don't have experience with the unpowered (passive) speakers and seperate power amps. I think ohms would be a factor. Some power amps have multiple outputs for left and right channels. But you're probably better off getting a seperate power amp for each pair of speakers.

That's another advantage of the powered (active) speakers. Usually you can daisy chain the speakers together. That's part of what I meant by greater flexibility.

Also it allows you to hook up your stage monitors to a secondary bus on your mixer; allowing a different mix in your monitors. Or different mixes in different monitors if you run some of them from the regular left and/or right channels. Maybe you don't want drums in the monitors because the accoustic drums already overpower what you hear on stage. Or whatever--all sorts of possibilities that you'd need to spend a lot more on power amps to get the same results with passive speakers.

I don't know how serious y'all are about this stuff, or what kinds of gigging you're doing, or what you're playing. This might be good for the budget-minded:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/kustom-kpc215hp-powered-speaker-pair
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/kustom-kpc15mp-powered-speaker-pair/486181000000000

I got my monitor on sale for $169, so sometimes they might be cheaper individually. I haven't needed my own PA yet, and might not ever need one. Most places that would need it have a house PA. If we play a place small enough not to have one, then we can just use a keyboard amp and/or that wedge monitor for the drums and vocals. And my 100w half-stack is loud enough for any venue.


We only need the PA right now for practice. I have a modeling amp, so when it I turn it up to high, it loses all of its tone. I was hoping to mic up my amp, and use the pa system for vocals during practice. That's about it, I don't plan on micing drums with it.
#6
Quote by Tdevil333
We only need the PA right now for practice. I have a modeling amp, so when it I turn it up to high, it loses all of its tone. I was hoping to mic up my amp, and use the pa system for vocals during practice. That's about it, I don't plan on micing drums with it.


Or would it be smarter to save up for a tube amp, and just get some monitors for vocals?
#8
Seismic is okay. I use their raw speakers and drivers, and I bought their 1x12 monitors, and they're pretty good for what they do. Birch construction, speakons, great for the price though.

I use Axe FX into PA, so this is my take on it:

Start with powered speakers. Why? They're easy to set up, extension cords are cheaper than speaker cable, AND they power other things. you spend for speaker cable, you better spend for good ones, but they are only speaker cables. XLR cable is also cheaper than speaker cable.

They are a no brainer when your starting.

However, the biggest advantage is that you can move to either bigger powered speakers, or passive speakers, you can keep the powered speakers as powered monitors. If you get to a bigger stage that has their own PA/better PA, you can use the powered speaker as your personal monitor.

Do NOT mic up the modeling amp. use the Line out to a DI box. Unless it has XLR outs.

Also it allows you to hook up your stage monitors to a secondary bus on your mixer; allowing a different mix in your monitors. Or different mixes in different monitors if you run some of them from the regular left and/or right channels. Maybe you don't want drums in the monitors because the accoustic drums already overpower what you hear on stage. Or whatever--all sorts of possibilities that you'd need to spend a lot more on power amps to get the same results with passive speakers.


Passive setups are superior, however, it depends on your needs. If you are just runnign vocals, no need for a big passive setup. However, I like being able to have backups. If the amp goes out in the powered speaker, you can't just buy another plate amp. With out setup, if one amp thermals, We just unplug the xlr and the speakon cable, and then plug into another amp. We don't have to go to the speaker and change anything.

You can daisy chain poweramps too... You can use a TRS/XLR cable to plug into a bus/aux out on the board to.
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#9
Quote by Reincaster
Seismic is okay. I use their raw speakers and drivers, and I bought their 1x12 monitors, and they're pretty good for what they do. Birch construction, speakons, great for the price though.

I use Axe FX into PA, so this is my take on it:

Start with powered speakers. Why? They're easy to set up, extension cords are cheaper than speaker cable, AND they power other things. you spend for speaker cable, you better spend for good ones, but they are only speaker cables. XLR cable is also cheaper than speaker cable.

They are a no brainer when your starting.

However, the biggest advantage is that you can move to either bigger powered speakers, or passive speakers, you can keep the powered speakers as powered monitors. If you get to a bigger stage that has their own PA/better PA, you can use the powered speaker as your personal monitor.

Do NOT mic up the modeling amp. use the Line out to a DI box. Unless it has XLR outs.


Passive setups are superior, however, it depends on your needs. If you are just runnign vocals, no need for a big passive setup. However, I like being able to have backups. If the amp goes out in the powered speaker, you can't just buy another plate amp. With out setup, if one amp thermals, We just unplug the xlr and the speakon cable, and then plug into another amp. We don't have to go to the speaker and change anything.

You can daisy chain poweramps too... You can use a TRS/XLR cable to plug into a bus/aux out on the board to.


Thank you for the reply! May I ask why I shouldn't mic a modeling amp, and what a DI box is?
#10
If you get a power amp Do Not! skimp on quality. Get a reputable brand Like Crown.

If you get a cheap one you will regret it..
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#11
Quote by Tdevil333
Thank you for the reply! May I ask why I shouldn't mic a modeling amp, and what a DI box is?


Modeling amps will have outputs to go direct to a PA somehow. There's no real gain in micing a modeling amp, since the outputs will already have cabinet simulation on it. The reason we mic tube amps is to get the roll off of the cabinet. If you've ever listened to a direct signal from an amp (any amp) when it's in the drive channel, it's very buzzy and harsh. You mic amp speakers to get the high end rolloff from the cabinet and speakers.

DI boxes change high impedance signals into low impedance signals for the mix board. It also allows you to use XLR's, which means you can run it as long as you want. Going high impedance into low impedance will create a mismatch and increase noise possible introduce hum.
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#12
Quote by Reincaster
Modeling amps will have outputs to go direct to a PA somehow. There's no real gain in micing a modeling amp, since the outputs will already have cabinet simulation on it. The reason we mic tube amps is to get the roll off of the cabinet. If you've ever listened to a direct signal from an amp (any amp) when it's in the drive channel, it's very buzzy and harsh. You mic amp speakers to get the high end rolloff from the cabinet and speakers.

DI boxes change high impedance signals into low impedance signals for the mix board. It also allows you to use XLR's, which means you can run it as long as you want. Going high impedance into low impedance will create a mismatch and increase noise possible introduce hum.


Thanks man, I really learned a lot from you guys. I think I will do what you said. I will get some powered speakers and run the line out from my modeling amp into a di box, then into the mixer.
#13
Quote by Tdevil333
Thanks man, I really learned a lot from you guys. I think I will do what you said. I will get some powered speakers and run the line out from my modeling amp into a di box, then into the mixer.


What modeling amp do you have?

If we're using our own drums, then I have to bring the trailer and might as well just use my half stack with the 4x12 cab. Then either mic it, or plug the XLR line out from the tube head to the PA. Not a huge difference in tone with the Marshall JVM-410h. The drums are digital, so we run them into a DI box, then out to the PA with XLR. The DI box has a pass-trhough so we can run that into a small mixer, and then out to our own stage monitor, when we need it. We also have a tube pre-amp connected to the little mixer and can plug the vocal mic into it. One output is XLR and goes to the house PA; the other is 1/4 unbalanced, and that goes into the mixer for the monitor. I can also mic the cab and plug that into the mixer to get it in the monitor it I want. Or run the XLR line out to it and have the mic'd cab going to the house PA. Lots of options.

If its just an open jam session, they tend to have drums and amps. I still bring my MFX pedal, but leave the rest at home. I plug the MFX XLR out to the house PA, or just run the 1/4" out right into their guitar amp (if it's not total crap). I used to bring the big Marshall and a small cab, or just the Marshall and run that to the house PA, but I did a test and it sounded good enough just with the MFX pedal, so I didn't need to keep lugging the amp head around for those events. Much quicker setup without that, too.

What you might want to do after you get your PA is just get a decent MFX pedal like a Line 6 HD500 or a the soon to be relaesed Mustang Floor.
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MustangFLR/ I use a GNX4, but it's hard to find a new one and they have a few issues. Definitely don't get anything less than those, becuase anything with less buttons/switches won't be controllable fast enough for live work.

You don't need a DI Box for any of those MFX pedals; all 3 have XLR out.
#14
You'd be surprised how little power you actually need to fill most venues. I've played some rather large places with a 200W per side powered mixer into 15" bins (with horns). I have bigger stuff too, (my foldback amp that lives in my keyboards rack is 2000W ) but it has to be a massive, massive place before I feel the need to drag out the W-bins and the big amps.
What you need are channels. You may think you don't need many because you're "only using it for rehearsal, vocals, yada yada" but trust me, you'll end up needing it for more. 8 channels is a bare minimum.
When gigging I always mike up the guitar. Half the time the drums are filling the space unaided so your amp at rehearsal volumes will be spot on - but, room dynamics change once the crowd arrives. If you're smart you'll have a mike in the kick drum and mics on the amps (or line out if modelling) every time you set up.
The volumes may be perfect at the start of the night but once the crowd gets there you will probably have to adjust shit to spread the mix evenly across the crowd all the way to the back. You PA bins will be a lot higher in the air than your guitar amps (unless you're a dumbass) so often a remarkably small amount fed into those will fix the mix at the back of the room. This is particularly true with the kick drum too.

As for impedance. As you add bins you are dropping the impedance according to:
1/Rt = 1/R1 + 1/R2 + 1/R3 + ............

Where Rt = total impedance
R1 = speaker bin 1
R2 = speaker bin2
etc.

A PA amp will have a minimum impedance listed. Just don't go under that with Rt. You're not so much trying to match impedance as staying above the minimum.
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#15
I'm going to vouch for Behringer's PA stuff. I've never had a problem with any of their PA product's I've personally used. Actually, I know a few guys in my area who have built pretty good systems using mostly Behringer stuff.

Some of their other products lines can be hit-or-miss quality-wise, but the PA gear seams pretty reliable.
Quote by Zeppelin71
Umm. . .uh. . .your mom touched sjones' dick. YOUR MOM TOUCHED OUR GUITARISTS GENITALS IN A CAMPER AT A BIKER FESTIVAL! truth.
#16
The only problem I hear when people bitch about Behringer PA's is the sliders on the mixers. They let too much crap through to the pots and they get filthy and fail.
I have a Behringer rack line mixer in my keyboards rack and it's been great - no sliders though, all rotary pots. That's why I felt safe buying it.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#17
Quote by Cathbard
What you need are channels. You may think you don't need many because you're "only using it for rehearsal, vocals, yada yada" but trust me, you'll end up needing it for more. 8 channels is a bare minimum.


This. Say you only need it for vocals and a guitar signal now. If you ever use this PA for more than band practice you'll want as many channels as you can get. It just makes life easier. And if you start running bass into the board you may eventually have to spring for a subwoofer, depending on how much juice your setup has.

I bought a 12 channel powered mixer from Carvin about a year ago, and the thing is a beast. Has 3 400W amps. One dedicated amp for L and R main, and a seperate dedicated amp for monitors. Wasn't exactly cheap, but compared to some of the other brands out there it was a pretty good price. If you live in the US definitely check hem out. They sell powered speakers as well. I was using a pair of the passive Seismic Audio 2X15" speaker towers for the mains, and that shit would get LOUD. Definitely able to keep up with a cranked Mesa mark IV, and a loud drummer.
Quote by tubetime86
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You finally made it home, draped in the flag that you fell for.
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#18
My Dream rig would be a couple of Bose 801's mated with a pair of these suckas:



So mated to a pair of:
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or four.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
Last edited by Cathbard at Feb 2, 2012,
#19
Sure, if I had $25,000 laying around I'd probably go with a full bose PA setup too

EDIT: Are those tubes tone launchers? How do you load them?
Quote by tubetime86
He's obviously pretty young, and I'd guess he's being raised by wolves, or at least humans with the intellectual capacity and compassion of wolves.


You finally made it home, draped in the flag that you fell for.
And so it goes
#20
They're called wavecannons iirc.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#21
Quote by Cathbard
The only problem I hear when people bitch about Behringer PA's is the sliders on the mixers. They let too much crap through to the pots and they get filthy and fail.
I have a Behringer rack line mixer in my keyboards rack and it's been great - no sliders though, all rotary pots. That's why I felt safe buying it.


I've heard a lot of that too.

Also that the effects units crap out.

What happened with my keyboard amp is after a while it started making popping noises when you had stuff plugged into the RCA jacks. Then it would make the popping noises all the time. I resoldered them to the board and the popping sound went away. But...now the effects unit is stuck on one effect--at least I can bypass the effect.

No problems with my 5-channel Behringer mixer yet--no sliders.
#22
I was recently in the same position as you. I ended up buying a small 8 channel mixer and 2x whalfdale active speakers. It a good clear sound and very portable. plus Whalfdale are a very good quality for price brand, unlike behringer which are cheaper and have poor quality.
Last edited by josephgriffiths at Feb 2, 2012,