#1
Don't know if this is the right section but...

My band and I are ready to start gigging but we need a p.a. and we know close to nothing about it, that and we are all pretty broke..

I've been eyeing this and figure I might be able to get away with buying this package and then some monitors... http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/AudioChoice-by-SoundTech-C100-100W-Portable-PA-System-?sku=63013

Is there a better way to go? We'd like to spend under $500 if possible, we will be playing pretty small clubs and bars probably 50 heads most of the time.
#3
vocal PA you mean? look into the fender passport series, but then again you can probably get cheaper than those with a no-name brand, though i know nothing about the quality of no-namers...
"You are amazed that it is so easy to infect men with the war fever, and you surmise that man has in him an active instinct for hatred and destruction... I entirely agree with you."

--Sigmund Freud in a letter to Albert Einstein

#4
Most venues have P.A.... my band has a PA, but we only ever use it for practicing, and for the occasional gig not at a normal venue. Check out the places you plan on playing before spending any money, see if they already have sound. And if you do need a PA, an idea for something cheaper with a little bit of character is to get a guitar/bass/keyboard amp. Something big enough to match the volume of your guitar's amps. I've always wanted to do that, even at places with PA, to have myself an effects loop and distortion channel for my vocals.
I have an addiction...

Les Paul style DeArmond
Danelectro baritone
Rickenbacker 360/12
defretted Strat
lap steel
Yamaha CP-70
Yamaha P-90
Kay archtop
Kay Tenor Banjo
Oud
Sitar
Harmonium
Melodica
Cello

http://www.myspace.com/hi9
#6
As a start, yea. Now that I think about it, before we had a pa, we actually did use a spare guitar amp for vocals for a little while years and years ago. I'd almost forgotten about that. And we used these really really cheap purple plastic mics from kb toys. It was the cheapest little setup ever... but worked for practicing.

The amp we used was just a 112, though, I'd recomend you get something a bit bigger if you're gonna be using it live... at least a 212. When I was looking for a good vocal amp, I was looking a lot at old Fender Bassman's on ebay, those have a nice, even sound quality and good, clean volume.

And for a better mic than a toy mic, look on musician's friend, they usually have mic packages for pretty cheap. I remember we got a set of 3 nady starpowers with cables for about 60 bucks many years ago, and 2 of them still work today and we still use them, along side the Shure's we have now. Basically, even the cheap mics can be good if you find the right ones.

Also, if you don't have one, I'd invest in a soldering iron and some solder. That way, if your mic or cables ever get loose or broken connections in 'em, you can repare them yourself.
I have an addiction...

Les Paul style DeArmond
Danelectro baritone
Rickenbacker 360/12
defretted Strat
lap steel
Yamaha CP-70
Yamaha P-90
Kay archtop
Kay Tenor Banjo
Oud
Sitar
Harmonium
Melodica
Cello

http://www.myspace.com/hi9
#8
They don't really make vocal amps, no. So yea, look for a guitar amp. Or bass amp. Keyboard amp, acoustic amp, whatever. Just find something with a good volume, it can take a good bit to get vocals above guitar amp volume.
I have an addiction...

Les Paul style DeArmond
Danelectro baritone
Rickenbacker 360/12
defretted Strat
lap steel
Yamaha CP-70
Yamaha P-90
Kay archtop
Kay Tenor Banjo
Oud
Sitar
Harmonium
Melodica
Cello

http://www.myspace.com/hi9