Here's my situation: In our current band, there's only three of us. The drummer has a decent double-bass set, and bassist is using a 100w amp, and I'm using a 65w Fender amp. We also have a keyboard setup with a 60w amp, so currently, you can hear all of us.

We want to start adding vocals - somehow, extended blues and jazz improvisations just aren't cutting it anymore. We need a PA.

So, how big of a PA do we need? Would 200w be sufficient? Or 300w? I don't foresee us getting much bigger than we are now, in terms of equipment, but it would be nice if we were able to hear vocals over everything we've got, and maybe another guitar.

So, what are your suggestions?
PA, pssh. when u gig odds are there are PAs there (im assuming you guys play in clubs or something, maybe bars??). if you d practice at those places, maybe get a cheap amp and run a mic through there for practice that works. it all depends where u gig :-D
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Quote by The2abraxis
PA, pssh. when u gig odds are there are PAs there (im assuming you guys play in clubs or something, maybe bars??). if you d practice at those places, maybe get a cheap amp and run a mic through there for practice that works. it all depends where u gig :-D

i dunno man ive heard pretty bad stories bout house amps, id get a guitar amp with 2 inputs(like an old tube amp) and run vocals through that along with the guitar(mine does that)
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While there are places that provide a house PA (and I've yet to run into a "nightmare" experience), I'm thinking of getting one for setting up our own gigs, on our terms; and for places that don't have a house PA. Nothing too huge, as we've never played for more than 150 or 200 people.

Also, I can charge other bands a rental fee to use it, and a minimal "operator expense" to run the PA for them at gigs.

200ws should be fine
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200ws should be fine

for practice agreed, If you are going to have to supply yourown PA at a gig though (which hopefully you shouldn't) then double that at least so you can use mains and have monitors loud enough to hear.

After that get your bass player a real amp so he can be heard with clean headroom over the drums and guitar. 100w is not enough for a bass amp at even a small gig unless you want a muddy mess.
Quote by Mr.Cuddles
run vocals through that along with the guitar(mine does that)

be careful doing that....

the high and low ends of the frequencies have been known to make your amp go crackly by doing that
my band is exactly the same setup. We bought a second really cheap keyboard amp and ran the vocals into that. Whenever we gig we just plug into the places PA. Don't waste your money and time trying to buy/set up a PA. It's no fun
Quote by Freunleven
What would you recommend?

I recommend having your bass player, or yourself look in the bass forum for existing threads on this topic there are about a million of them about good amps to start gigging with.

A good rule is 3-4 times the wattage of the guitarists amps, first becaues it takes more energy to make bass frequencies sound as loud, and second because the bass amp needs more headroom. Remember that tube watts sound louder than ss watts. If you're gigging regularly and really enjoy it I'd have your bass player go ahead and invest in a half stack. Even if a guitar player uses a tube combo amp or 30 or 50w a bass player will probably need a seperate cab and amp to compete. Of course this all depends on how loud the guitar gets, which is in tern affected by whether or not the drums are miced or how loudly the drummer plays etc.

You can probably get a good idea reading the existing threads on this.
Ok, here's my advice. If you're just going to be doing small indoor gigs or parties for about 30-50 people, a 200 watt PA will probably be fine. 300 watts would be even better. 400+ would be awesome, probably even enough for larger outdoor gigs. My band (2 guitars, bass, drums) uses a small 100 watt PA for practice and small gigs of about 20-30 people. It's not quite loud enough to cut through everything clearly, but we're not going to spend a fortune so 20 people can hear vocals clearly. Serious gigs will have a house PA. I think it's more important to upgrade amps/guitars first. The PA is no good if your instrument amps are not loud enough.

As for the bass amp, my opinion is you don't need a half-stack. Especially with only 1 guitar. There are 200+ watt combos that sound great. My bassist's 200 watt combo is loud enough to drown out my 50 watt guitar combo, so they're plenty loud, even when unmicced. Start thinking about a half-stack after you have a 200 watt combo. Just stay away from Behringer. Fender and Peavey make decent bass combos.

If your gonna be doing gigs without a house PA to mic your amp, you'll want a louder guitar amp too. A tube combo would be the best option. If you want to go a little cheaper, a 100/120+ watt SS combo will give you that extra punch. The Vox Valvetronix amps are great tube/SS hybrid amps, but a 50 watter won't really be an upgrade from your current amp.

Basically, upgrade your amps, and don't spend a fortune on the PA.
Having a singer that doesn't practice on a PA sing a gig is like having a guitarist that's played electric unplugged all his life go up and perform. How your singer sounds is much, much more important than how your amps sound, how loud they are, how well you're mixed, etc. Whoever is singing needs practice with mic techniques, practice hearing himself through monitors, voice control, etc.

Get a small PA around 200-300 watts, and get monitor enclosures. You'll be able to hear your singer, and he'll be able to hear himself. You may also want to look at headphone distribution systems for better monitoring.

If you want to have the equipment to rent out, you're looking at spending several thousand dollars. In order to have equipment that people are interested in renting, you have to have things that are at a quality level above what most bands like yourself can afford. Most people are in your situation, and end up buying small PAs, and therefore aren't interested in renting out your piece of ****.
heheheheheh thats what she said..... wait.... huh.... whats this thread about?..... oh ok, i see

well, ideally i think 300 watts should be enough (more than enough actually) i would personally never rely on your gigs PA as some places have nothing more than sh!tty walkman looking speakers thumbtacked to the wall (and you really don't wanna have to try to sing through those do you?) a good PA in tandem with a good mix can take a decent sounding band and make them sound friggin wonderful (you'd be surprised what a little eq, some reverb and a half a$$ decent mix can do)