I'm overwhelmed by the variety of options I'm faced with when buying a PA system. I've went to music stores, researched online, etc. However, I still can't seem to decide exactly what I want.

So I'm ideally looking for...
-A powered mixer (maybe digital if the price is right) with 16 or more channels.
-Two active speakers (with a respectable amount of watts for playing both outdoors and indoors.)

As for microphones (both for vocals and drums), cables, etc; I know what I'm after.

The PA system is for our hard rock/metal band, and our price range is not set, but its around $1000-$2000 (maybe more?)

So as you can see I'm really just after the basics, but in the future we'll probably consider getting a monitor system, a subwoofer, and really anything else to build on our PA system.

So I'm asking for some 'experienced' recommendations on mixers and speakers. However, please bare in mind that we are a young, inexperienced band and we are not made of money.

Thanks in advance.
If you have a powered mixer you don't need active speakers.
Basically, if you want something you can expand on the setup is:
Power amp

example: something like

would be a good setup for starters, just buy more speakers and upgrade the amp as necessary.

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Last edited by jthm_guitarist at Apr 12, 2012,
Well I know I don't need active speakers for a powered mixer. You see the thing is...

I went to three stores and got three completely different pieces of advice.
-The first place said we were best off with a 500watt powered mixer with two passive speakers that are 1200w each.
-The second place said we would probably want a total of 5000w-10000w of power. With a 24 channel mixer.
-The third place was going off about monitor systems, and things way out of our price range.

I'm still debating what I should go for. Ultimately, I want to get the most powerful and high quality system we can afford.

P.S. Thanks for the responses so far.
Buy Peavey equipment on craigslist or ebay. (better deals on Craigslist) peavey lasts forever

Mixer- try Peavey rq series. they're cheap, reliable, and sound very nice.
Amp- peavey PV series.
speakers- It depends on which amp you get, but if you go peavey, you can't loose haha

After about a month of searching I bought a peavey rq-2314 mixer, Peavey PV900, and a pair of peavey impulse 500's all for $600.

Don't be lazy about finding deals and you can end up with a really good set up for cheap.
Last edited by LeppHead at Apr 14, 2012,
Okay, another thing I want to put in perspective is that we want to put two (metal) guitars, a bass, and vocal mic(s) through the same mixer. (Oh, and some drum mics eventually.)

Its also best to have something that we can build on.

What do you guys think about this?

This mixer: http://www.samsontech.com/samson/products/powered-mixers/txm/txm16/
Two of these speakers: http://www.samsontech.com/samson/products/pa-cabinets/resound-hd/rs215hd/

We can probably get that for around $1000. Sound good?
Sorry, I should have picked this up earlier but PA questions don't have a proper home so they get lost.

I've written a series of articles for UG on PA start here http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/columns/gear_maintenance/a_guide_to_live_sound_speakers_and_amps.html and then go onto my profile to find the rest if you want.


active mixer-passive speakers is the simplest set up.
passive mixer-active speakers, nearly as simple and no matching problems between amp and speakers, it is likely to be more reliable and sound better as a result especially if you have DSP built in to the speakers
Passive mixer-amp-passive speakers is more flexible and the way to go if you expect to upgrade often. It takes more expertise though and is slower to set up at gigs.

Choose the speakers first then get an amp to match the speakers. Mixers are cheap enough nowadays that you can afford to get enough channels. You won't need to mic drums until you play 300+ venues but when you do you need to decide between a drum mixer which will allow the drummer to mix their own drums and send a single feed to the PA or mixing at the desk and having subgroups on the desk. Use the drum mixer if your drummer is fussy or if you are mixing your own sound, mix drums at the desk if you have a proper sound engineer all the time. In the UK Peavey have fairly recently updated their PA range. Their old speakers always made vocals rather dull sounding and uninspiring. They may have fixed this with the horns in their new ranges but I haven't heard any yet so you need to check this out. Thumbs up for reliability and value. The IPR1600 amp is a killer though, fantastic value and so so light, built in crossover too if you ever run subs. The mixers look good too.

I've not used the Samsons other than a Q7 mic over here they make budget stuff and it is probably better to go up market a bit. Yamaha, Mackie, JBL, Electrovoice etc.

You do need to think about monitors and budget for them though. With increasing volume and without monitors you will lose the vocals on stage and sing out of tune and miss cues. Its all in the articles.

Last edited by Phil Starr at Apr 16, 2012,