#1
Hello,

I am starting playing after some years of not even touching my guitars.

I wanted to take advantage of some old equipment I have at home, and just know how to put together all these pieces to make a guitar and voice sound (without significant distortion but knowing I won't get a quality sound! It is just a start).

I think for some of you it will be easy with only a look saying if it is possible to make something out of this. I will post the connection panel pictures.

thanks for any advice!

My guitar amps are
- An old crate G80XL


- Blackstar ID Core stereo 10W:


An old HI-FI amp Marantz PM493:


Another old piece of junk: Vivanco MX700 Mixer


And of course guitar, mic and a pair of speakers from the HI-FI equipment.
#2
I'm thinking just use one of the amps for the guitar. I've heard good things about the Core 10, but don't know anything about the Crate.

It looks like the mixer might have some type of amp for mics built in. Try plugging in the mic to Mic 1, and connecting the AMP R/L out to the a pair of the Inputs on the HiFi amp. This should get you voice from the mics over the Hi-Fi Amp, but unless the mixer has some type of basic effects for your voice (to add a bit of reverb, for instance), it may not sound ideal.

You can probably connect the phones out on the Core 10 to one of the Line Ins on the mixer with the proper 1/8" TRS to Dual RCA cable to give you the ability to mix your guitar and vocals, but depending on the HiFi amp/speakers, it may not sound ideal. Likewise the Line outs on the Crate using a 1/4" TS to dual mono RCA cables.
Last edited by lmychajluk at Feb 29, 2016,
#3
Quote by lmychajluk

It looks like the mixer might have some type of amp for mics built in. Try plugging in the mic to Mic 1, and connecting the AMP R/L out to the a pair of the Inputs on the HiFi amp. This should get you voice from the mics over the Hi-Fi Amp, but unless the mixer has some type of basic effects for your voice (to add a bit of reverb, for instance), it may not sound ideal.


Thanks. I have tried this but there must be some link broken in the chain cause I dont get any sound. I think I tried all the inputs in the HI-FI amp and I would swear the speaker was ok.
Either the mixer and/or the amp are broken or perhaps this mixer doesn't have any kind of pre-amp for the mic.
I will try to check every part alone to see where the hole is .
#4
One thing to consider about using the Marantz as a PA (I had a similar Marantz years ago. It was a great stereo with Advent Speakers). Generally speaking quality stereo amps like this one are designed to reproduce consistent , controlled program material like pre-recorded music. They are not good at handling sudden loud peaks like microphone feedback or any spikes in the overall input. You can easily burn up the pre amp inputs, output transformers or other things that will turn the amp into a useless boat anchor. If you value the Marantz I would pass on this idea.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
#5
Quote by Rickholly74
One thing to consider about using the Marantz as a PA (I had a similar Marantz years ago. It was a great stereo with Advent Speakers). Generally speaking quality stereo amps like this one are designed to reproduce consistent , controlled program material like pre-recorded music. They are not good at handling sudden loud peaks like microphone feedback or any spikes in the overall input. You can easily burn up the pre amp inputs, output transformers or other things that will turn the amp into a useless boat anchor. If you value the Marantz I would pass on this idea.


Thanks for the advice. Sadly it seems that the Marantz amp is the piece of equipment not working in the line (I agree about its quality for HI-FI playback!).

Knowing this, Can I arrange some other connection with the 2 guitar amps and the mixer or should I buy something specific for the voice? Perhaps some inexpensive pre-amp or mixer combined with both guitar amps can work for the moment....?
#6
You can feed the Line Outs from the 'Amp' on the mixer to the MP3 / Line In jack on the Core 10 using a cable w/ a 1/8" jack on one end and 2 RCAs on the other (should be cheap and easy to find in any electronic store, GC, etc...). Then you'll have your vocals through the Core 10. Don't know what it'll sound like, though....
#7
The amp, if any, inside the mixer is minimum, so it is useless.
Finally, I have to connect the guitar into the ID Core 10W amp and the mic into the 80W amp, pumping up the ID Core amp to the maximum.
It's the only way to hear voice and guitar together because 10W is nothing for the voice.
In the next days, I will have to buy something specific for the voice or a combo for both voice and guitar.

Thanks for the input
#8
There won't be an Amp in the mixer. There may be a 'PreAmp' for the microphone (going by the fact that it has 'mic' inputs), but maybe not.

You're problem is not wattage, it's voltage. Read this - http://wolfcrow.com/blog/what-is-the-difference-between-line-level-and-mic-level/

Your mic has very low voltage. Your line level outputs are slightly higher (the pre-amp in the mixer should bring the mic level up to line level). Your guitar amps are looking for instrument-level impedance, which is even higher, and is not set up to accept the very low input signal of the mic, which is why you have to crank it to hear anything.

If you plug the mic into the mixer and the mixer into the MP3 port of the Core 10 like I previously suggested, what happens? Volume between your guitar and the mic should be in the same range, and the Core 10 should have no problem amplifying your mic provided it is actually getting a line level input, and not a microphone level input, at the MP3 jack. If it's not, you need a mic pre-amp (again, which may be in the mixer, but I can't find a manual to that model) to bring the mic level up to line level.

Before you go out and buy more equipment, what's your ultimate goal? Why do you have to plug the mike into the Crate? Is it to use a guitar cab for vocals (can be done, but won't sound great - try it w/ the Core 10 as I described above)? To just have one speaker to tote around for solo gigs (in which case, you probably want a PA-style speaker)? To control all your sources via a mixer?
#9
Quote by lmychajluk
There won't be an Amp in the mixer. There may be a 'PreAmp' for the microphone (going by the fact that it has 'mic' inputs), but maybe not.

You're problem is not wattage, it's voltage. Read this - http://wolfcrow.com/blog/what-is-the-difference-between-line-level-and-mic-level/

Your mic has very low voltage. Your line level outputs are slightly higher (the pre-amp in the mixer should bring the mic level up to line level). Your guitar amps are looking for instrument-level impedance, which is even higher, and is not set up to accept the very low input signal of the mic, which is why you have to crank it to hear anything.

If you plug the mic into the mixer and the mixer into the MP3 port of the Core 10 like I previously suggested, what happens? Volume between your guitar and the mic should be in the same range, and the Core 10 should have no problem amplifying your mic provided it is actually getting a line level input, and not a microphone level input, at the MP3 jack. If it's not, you need a mic pre-amp (again, which may be in the mixer, but I can't find a manual to that model) to bring the mic level up to line level.

Before you go out and buy more equipment, what's your ultimate goal? Why do you have to plug the mike into the Crate? Is it to use a guitar cab for vocals (can be done, but won't sound great - try it w/ the Core 10 as I described above)? To just have one speaker to tote around for solo gigs (in which case, you probably want a PA-style speaker)? To control all your sources via a mixer?


Hello,

- If I connect the mixer output to the Core 10 line input, the voice output is nearly zero. As you said, I guess it is because this old mixer doesn't have any pre-amp.

- If I plug the mic directly into the Core 10 jack input (the one for the guitar), the output is something higher but nothing close to a level where you can sing over drums and guitar playing together.

That's why I have to plug the mic into the 80W Crate jack input and use the 10W amp for the guitar, cranked up. This way, the 80W of the crate give me enough power for hearing the voice over the guitar.

- Would a pre-amp give enough power to connect the mic into the 10W Core and then the guitar directly to the 80W and hearing both guitar and drums and the voice? My guess in this case is I need an amp rather than a pre-amp, dont you think so?

Well, what we want for now is just being able to hear the voice and we are not envisioning gigs or something like that (but you never know...!). Just for fun, doing it as best as we can.

The requirements are these (if you can help me):

- The place is really tiny! (8-9 m2, 86-96 ft2; a small compartment the drummer arranged in his garage)
- I play many songs with overdrive or crunch distortion so I need the 80W for the guitar or the 10W Core cranked up (which I guess is not the best for the amp life...)
- Transportability would be a factor also (not having to set up too many and/or heavy pieces of equipment every time we meet...) but it is not the most important...
- Finally, I am on a budget. I don't discard to buy good equipment in the future but we are just starting (again) and totally amateur.

Thanks again!
#10
OK, I'm just going to keep going on the assumption that your ultimate goal is really just to amplify your vocals. To that end, leave the guitar connected directly to the Crate and let's leave it out of the conversation for now.

In your current setup, once you get the input voltage for the mic up to line level to feed the Core 10 (via the MP3 jack, don't use the guitar jack), the mic volume will be much better. That's basically what a pre-amp does - brings mic voltage up to line level, which is what the MP3 Input on the Core 10 needs to work properly. Once you get this right, you'll have usable volume. If you still want more volume at that point, then you'll need a more powerful amplifier.

What mic do you have (brand/model would help)? What kind of connector is on the end (1/4"/XLR/other)? It may require Phantom Power, which the pre-amp can also provide. If your end goal is just to get your voice amplified a bit at the lowest cost, I think all you need is a pre-amp to get that mic up to line level and feed it to the Core 10 via the MP3 input. An Art Tube MP (as an example) should get you what you need, and I've seen them used at GC for around $25. Other pre-amps can be found around the same price. Plus you'll need an XLR to 1/8" TRS cable to connect the pre-amp to the Core 10's MP3 input.
Art Tube MP http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/TubeMPps
or Behringer MIC100 http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MIC100
plus
Cable from preamp to Core 10 - http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/XVM105F

Alternatively, if you want to spend a bit more, you can get a small mixer with built-in pre-amps and FX (that you can apply to vocals) that can also be used for recording the entire session for around $100.
Ex - http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/QX1002USB

Once you have one of the options above set up, you can easily add a powered studio monitor or a powered PA speaker (which have built-in amplifiers) at whatever wattage you want in place of using your Core 10 in the future, and it will probably sound better. (Guitar amp speakers aren't meant to reproduce vocals, which is why what you're trying to do isn't ideal.)
#11
Quote by lmychajluk
OK, I'm just going to keep going on the assumption that your ultimate goal is really just to amplify your vocals. To that end, leave the guitar connected directly to the Crate and let's leave it out of the conversation for now.

In your current setup, once you get the input voltage for the mic up to line level to feed the Core 10 (via the MP3 jack, don't use the guitar jack), the mic volume will be much better. That's basically what a pre-amp does - brings mic voltage up to line level, which is what the MP3 Input on the Core 10 needs to work properly. Once you get this right, you'll have usable volume. If you still want more volume at that point, then you'll need a more powerful amplifier.

What mic do you have (brand/model would help)? What kind of connector is on the end (1/4"/XLR/other)? It may require Phantom Power, which the pre-amp can also provide. If your end goal is just to get your voice amplified a bit at the lowest cost, I think all you need is a pre-amp to get that mic up to line level and feed it to the Core 10 via the MP3 input. An Art Tube MP (as an example) should get you what you need, and I've seen them used at GC for around $25. Other pre-amps can be found around the same price. Plus you'll need an XLR to 1/8" TRS cable to connect the pre-amp to the Core 10's MP3 input.
Art Tube MP http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/TubeMPps
or Behringer MIC100 http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MIC100
plus
Cable from preamp to Core 10 - http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/XVM105F

Alternatively, if you want to spend a bit more, you can get a small mixer with built-in pre-amps and FX (that you can apply to vocals) that can also be used for recording the entire session for around $100.
Ex - http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/QX1002USB

Once you have one of the options above set up, you can easily add a powered studio monitor or a powered PA speaker (which have built-in amplifiers) at whatever wattage you want in place of using your Core 10 in the future, and it will probably sound better. (Guitar amp speakers aren't meant to reproduce vocals, which is why what you're trying to do isn't ideal.)


Really thanks for your advise and patience lmychajluk. I have no idea about how to amplify vocals and when you start to read on Internet, the amount of information and the variety of options are so big that you usually end up more confused than at the beginning.

I am in Europe so I was wondering if something like this would work for the voice (having in mind that we will sound the guitar through the 80W Crate):
This

http://www.thomann.de/gb/the_box_ma82cl.htm

Or this

http://www.thomann.de/es/the_box_ma100.htm

I liked the wedge shape of this amps (because as I told you the rehearsal room is tiny and the speaker tilted would radiate the sound directly to our ears); also they are quite cheap and I thought they make a versatile option thinking of using them for guitar or other instruments in the future if needed (they dont have a jack type input; does that mean they are intended mostly for voice... no guitar or bass?).

Also I suppose 70 or 100W are enough for the vocals knowing that the 10W ID Core cranked up with the guitar almost sounds good with the drums.
#12
100 watt for vocals might be okay, I prefer to have more power on my side just in case I need it, vocal is something that is kinda finicky in the mix and sometimes you'd need to crank it more.

I'd look for 150 watt powered wedge or speaker at least, just in case.
#13
If you look at the first option you posted, note that it only has a 'Line' in. If you were to use this for a mic, I think you'd still need a pre-amp (to bring the mic level up to Line level).

The second option, though it has an input labeled 'Mic', doesn't say anything about a pre-amp, so it seems to just be a second XLR (line) input, so again, you may still need a pre-amp, but even reading the manual it's not clear. They do sell it in a combo w/ a dynamic mic, so maybe it will work, but you may want to ask them before you buy.

For comparison, look at this one - http://www.thomann.de/gb/behringer_b_205d.htm
If you look closely under the inputs, it says 'Invisible Pre'. 'Pre' is short for Pre-amp, so it includes a pre-amp for mic signals. It also can provide Phantom Power if your mic is a condensor mic and needs it (you never answered the question of which mic you had or what the connection looked like....).
#14
Quote by diabolical
100 watt for vocals might be okay, I prefer to have more power on my side just in case I need it, vocal is something that is kinda finicky in the mix and sometimes you'd need to crank it more.

I'd look for 150 watt powered wedge or speaker at least, just in case.


Hello diabolical. I couldn't write before. Are you sure 100W for vocals won't suffice?
As I said before, the room is really tiny and at the moment (while I take a decision on the equipment we will buy) I am playing with my small ID Core (10w) for guitar and you can hear it with drums. It's true that the amp is cranked up and it's not working on optimum conditions but It makes me thinks that then 100W for vocals will be enough.
What do you think?
#15
Quote by lmychajluk
If you look at the first option you posted, note that it only has a 'Line' in. If you were to use this for a mic, I think you'd still need a pre-amp (to bring the mic level up to Line level).

The second option, though it has an input labeled 'Mic', doesn't say anything about a pre-amp, so it seems to just be a second XLR (line) input, so again, you may still need a pre-amp, but even reading the manual it's not clear. They do sell it in a combo w/ a dynamic mic, so maybe it will work, but you may want to ask them before you buy.

For comparison, look at this one - http://www.thomann.de/gb/behringer_b_205d.htm
If you look closely under the inputs, it says 'Invisible Pre'. 'Pre' is short for Pre-amp, so it includes a pre-amp for mic signals. It also can provide Phantom Power if your mic is a condensor mic and needs it (you never answered the question of which mic you had or what the connection looked like....).


Ok, thanks. I will ask about these details before buying it. At the moment we are using an AKG D5, no condensor I think.
#18
Hook the headphone out of the amp to the mixer. Plug the mic into the mixer. Plug the mixer into the HiFi amp. Works great. I do it all the time. No problems at all. I don't actually plug the amp into the mixer. Because I don't use an amp with a headphone out. I plug my multifx into the mixer and skip the amp.

In one room I use a Sony amp into JBL speakers. And in another room I use a PA amp into some really old school Pioneer speakers.
#19
Quote by frangs
...
Because of the wedge shape and considering the room is tiny I prefer the first one.


Given that you have concerns about the size of the room, you do realize the first one you posted is larger (w/ a 12" speaker vs. 8.5"), and the second one can be used on it's side as a wedge, right?
#20
Quote by lmychajluk
Given that you have concerns about the size of the room, you do realize the first one you posted is larger (w/ a 12" speaker vs. 8.5"), and the second one can be used on it's side as a wedge, right?


I didnt explain my self, I meant I preferred the one with the wedge shape because this way the sound would be radiated to the head and that was an advantage considering the small size of the room.
And yes, I wrote this was before I got to know that the behringer could be left on the floor on its side as you said.

I finally got this behringer B212D, which I found as b-stock here for less than the price of a lower model (B208D):
http://www.thomann.de/es/behringer_eurolive_b212d.htm

It has a pre-amp for the mic so I will avoid buying any separate device, and the specifications say:

Low-frequency range:
RMS power 280 W @ 8 Ohms
Peak power 450 W @ 8 Ohms

High-frequency range:
RMS power 65 W @ 8Ohms
Peak power 100 W @ 8Ohmns

Which I think will be more than enough for vocals for rehearsing.

thanks a lot for the help!