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The right active PA speakers for my scenario
Old 30th September 2016
  #1
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The right active PA speakers for my scenario

I have a small home studio, approximately 18' x 12', where my son (drums) and I (keys, guitar, horribly off-key singing) practice and jam just for fun. I'm looking for a set of PA speakers with enough power for my son to easily hear my playing even when he's really banging away on the drums. Currently, my only sound source are my studio monitors w/ 8" woofers, which, while great for mixing, are not loud enough in some situations for my son to hear across the room. Particularly on Zeppelin or Sabbath tunes where he's beating the kit to within an inch of it's life.

- I'd prefer active speakers, though I could use passive with a rackmount power amp, if I had to.

- The bigger issue for me is mounting. I have an 8' wide studio desk against one of the short walls in the room, and there is only about 2' clearance on one side and perhaps 6" on the other where a small corner closet (for the breaker box) takes up the difference. There isn't room to fit bulky stands in there. Further, the ceiling is a drop-ceiling with acoustic tiles, so no way to fly the speakers, either. Ideally, I'd like to pseudo-fly the speakers against the back wall, with the mounting brackets screwed horizontally into wall studs. Is that even a thing, "side-mounted" like that? If not, I reckon I could hang a couple sturdy shelves on the wall and sit the speakers on them.

- Budget is $500, so I get that I'm going to have to go "used". They need to sound decent, but I'm no DJ and never gig. They'll never leave my small studio. I'd like to steer clear of Pyle, Seismic, Rockville, etc.

So there it is. At least average-quality sound, with ample volume to overplay a full drum kit, not too large, wall-mountable if that's a thing, on the cheap. Suggestions welcome.
Old 30th September 2016
  #2
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Wyllys's Avatar
 

Buy your son a flute...or just wait till he gets a girlfriend and he won't have time for drum bashing.

Last edited by Wyllys; 30th September 2016 at 07:57 PM..
Old 30th September 2016
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyllys View Post
Buy your son a flute...or just wait till he gets a girlfriend and he won't have time for drum bashing.
In my experience drums lead to girlfriends, so I see potential conflict with your proposed strategy.
Old 30th September 2016
  #4
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OK, here's the deal.

This is a common request for help. Don't try to replicate a venue sound system in a small rehearsal space. Get him a floor wedge or IEM rig, get yourself something like a QSC K8 for your voice. Don't expect him to hear something coming from across the room.

In reality he should be able to hear the wedge fine and if you're lucky will learn to bash away at a level that is pleasantly physical while not over-powering the wedge. This leaves him a lot of room. If he can learn to control his playing and listen to a monitor and PLAY ALONG, he'll be set to do ensemble stuff.

Good luck.
Old 1st October 2016
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scadh View Post
I have a small home studio, approximately 18' x 12', where my son (drums) and I (keys, guitar, horribly off-key singing) practice and jam just for fun. I'm looking for a set of PA speakers with enough power for my son to easily hear my playing even when he's really banging away on the drums. Currently, my only sound source are my studio monitors w/ 8" woofers, which, while great for mixing, are not loud enough in some situations for my son to hear across the room. Particularly on Zeppelin or Sabbath tunes where he's beating the kit to within an inch of it's life.

- I'd prefer active speakers, though I could use passive with a rackmount power amp, if I had to.

- The bigger issue for me is mounting. I have an 8' wide studio desk against one of the short walls in the room, and there is only about 2' clearance on one side and perhaps 6" on the other where a small corner closet (for the breaker box) takes up the difference. There isn't room to fit bulky stands in there. Further, the ceiling is a drop-ceiling with acoustic tiles, so no way to fly the speakers, either. Ideally, I'd like to pseudo-fly the speakers against the back wall, with the mounting brackets screwed horizontally into wall studs. Is that even a thing, "side-mounted" like that? If not, I reckon I could hang a couple sturdy shelves on the wall and sit the speakers on them.

- Budget is $500, so I get that I'm going to have to go "used". They need to sound decent, but I'm no DJ and never gig. They'll never leave my small studio. I'd like to steer clear of Pyle, Seismic, Rockville, etc.

So there it is. At least average-quality sound, with ample volume to overplay a full drum kit, not too large, wall-mountable if that's a thing, on the cheap. Suggestions welcome.
This is what you need: http://www.guitarcenter.com/Used/Yamaha/HS8-Pair-Powered-Monitor-112538107.gc?cntry=us&source=4WWRWXGP&gclid=CjwKEAjwvb2_BRCb_s7Yo7_ZlHASJABz6L0jWGFLO-teQgDU_8TCpkZaOwCqdKK-qXETF7YtZ1CE8xoC32zw_wcB&kwid=productads-adid^66736785762-device^c-plaid^134293526202-sku^112538107@ADL4GC-adType^PLA
Old 2nd October 2016
  #6
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Thread Starter
Thank you both for your contribution to the thread. While it's appreciated, I'm afraid neither suggestion is what I am looking for.

@Wyllys His kit is on a small stage I built and there is no room for a wedge. And the QSC is well beyond my stated price range.

@OneEng I already have a set of near-field studio monitors with 8" woofers almost exactly like those Yamahas. They aren't loud enough to double as PA speakers over a full drum kit.

As mentioned, I'm hoping to find a pair of used powered PA speakers capable of at least 300 watts each that are either side-mountable (similar to home audio surround speakers) or small enough to sit on a shelf. I've got $500 to spend. I have done lots of searching myself without finding a perfect fit so I understand that's a tall order, which is why I turned to the community for recommendations.

Last edited by scadh; 2nd October 2016 at 04:00 PM..
Old 2nd October 2016
  #7
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There will be a way to get him a personal monitor and it IS the answer. Your idea of him being able to hear relatively distant speakers will work ONLY if he controls his playing and keeps his volume at a level where he can hear them.

Otherwise you're in a no-win situation.

Don't shoot the messenger.
Old 2nd October 2016
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scadh View Post
Thank you both for your contribution to the thread. While it's appreciated, I'm afraid neither suggestion is what I am looking for.

@Wyllys His kit is on a small stage I built and there is no room for a wedge. And the QSC is well beyond my stated price range.

@OneEng I already have a set of near-field studio monitors with 8" woofers almost exactly like those Yamahas. They aren't loud enough to double as PA speakers over a full drum kit.

As mentioned, I'm hoping to find a pair of used powered PA speakers capable of at least 300 watts each that are either side-mountable (similar to home audio surround speakers) or small enough to sit on a shelf. I've got $500 to spend. I have done lots of searching myself without finding a perfect fit so I understand that's a tall order, which is why I turned to the community for recommendations.
I somehow missed the "drums" part.

If all you need is vocals in the speakers, then a good 10" speaker would do the trick. The DXR10 would be my suggestion.

Another note ..... get the kid a drum shield. It would be better if you just taught him to meter his own playing, but since I haven't had great success with professional musicians in many cases with this, it isn't really reasonable to believe a kid is going to be able to do it
Old 2nd October 2016
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneEng View Post
I somehow missed the "drums" part.

If all you need is vocals in the speakers, then a good 10" speaker would do the trick. The DXR10 would be my suggestion.
While I use a pair of the DXR10's and I think they sound really nice ( I prefer them to the QSC stuff), I am not sure that they will be loud enough. They tend to get a little bright when pushed hard. I think the IEM is a good idea for both of you because it will actually save your hearing in the long run, well it should, unless you are like some people I know that think the IEM system should be rattling their crotch!

However, if you don't care for any of the suggestions so far, I would suggest you take a listen to some of the Alto powered spkrs. I A/B'd them when I was looking to build my little rig and the 12's actually sounded pretty well balanced and I think they can be layed on the ground like a wedge. Also, they are pretty budget friendly.

Good luck,

fb

Last edited by foamboy; 2nd October 2016 at 06:24 PM..
Old 2nd October 2016
  #10
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I picked up a pair of Mackie SRM-450 V2's last year for 400 used. Not the prettiest speakers but they last long and have decent headroom.
Old 2nd October 2016
  #11
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Thread Starter
@Wyllys Hah, no intent to shoot the messenger and I am in no way questioning your expertise, I promise! I'm an admitted novice when it comes to live sound and I'm grateful you've taken the time to post your thoughts.

@OneEng Those are a beautiful thing, for certain, but the wife would give me "the look" if I so much as floated the possibility of spending $1,200 on this project. She just doesn't seem to get the obvious logic in comments like, "yes, I *have* one of that works, but *this* one I want is so much better. Look, it's got one of those twisty things on it ...". I'm going to have to stay under $500 probably, so my options are likely to be limited by what's available on the used market.

@foamboy To further prove my inexperience in this area, I am surprised to hear your comment that the 700-watt DXR10's might not be loud enough. I went into this assuming 300 watts each would be plenty. The Eris E8 studio monitors I use are 140 watts each, and that's *almost* loud enough at 75% max volume. Take a look at the photos and comments below, if you have a moment, and see what you think.

First, I sold the room size a tiny bit short in the original post. Having measured more accurated, the actual dimensions are about 19' x 12.5'. The desk and kit are at opposite ends of the room on the long axis. So as I sit at the desk, the kit is behind me and to the right.

Here's the kit on the drum stage I built:



And here's the desk, which I also built but have not quite yet completed. Still need to get the drawer boxes built and installed on either side of the keyboard tray:



[EDIT] I tried embedding the images, but they weren't displaying correctly. Direct links below.

kit: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3...VdpYXl5S0xKNnM

desk: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3...HZHZ3JEbVNSdE0

As you can see, the only room on the stage for a wedge would completely block access to the kit, unless I could somehow mount it high up on the wall.

Looking at the desk, you can see the very limited space I have on either side, especially the left. I was hoping to wall-mount speakers or shelves on the back wall on either side of the guitar painting. The distance from the speakers to the listening position while playing the kit would be about 16 feet for the right speaker and 18 feet for the left speaker. I probably overstated how loudly he plays before. He's only 11 years old. If anything, I think he plays slightly less loud than most of the other kids he's playing with. Because I know you're all *dying* to see him performance, here's a clip of him playing Poison's "Nothing But a Good Time" at a show last month with the School of Rock Kansas City ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dtJ...ature=youtu.be ) You can see he's not abusing the kit like Keith Moon.

One final thing -- while my desire for more volume was born out of the need for him to hear me better when I plays keys or guitar, I'd be lying if I said i didn't also crave more volume when playing my guitar. I'm completely in-the-box with software amp sims, so those studio monitors are all I've got. They sound great, but only go to about 6 whereas I want to go to 11. This further explains my desire to not use a wedge or IEM solution.

With all that in mind, is it *truly* hopeless for me to expect a pair of 300-500 watt speakers to be loud enough for my son about 16 feet away?

Thanks so much again, everyone, for the time you've taken helping me find my way. Much appreciated.

Last edited by scadh; 2nd October 2016 at 07:39 PM..
Old 2nd October 2016
  #12
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The thing you have to carefully consider is what all this is going to do to the hearing of both of you.
Old 2nd October 2016
  #13
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Your son has some nice chops, your studio setup is quite nice.....all things considered, the DXR10's will get LOUD, it's just not a good kind of loud. I think that a speaker with a bigger woofer will give you a better sound at a louder volume, just me personally. Also, it seems to me that you might be getting to be a bit too per snikkity(?)....look at the gig your son did...he has ONE speaker pointed at him, why don't you do the same thing and figure out how to get the cabling right and just stick one speaker on a stick pointed at your boy and you can monitor through the monitors you already have. Of course if you want to create that rock feel, then get two spkrs on a stick and put one close to the drums and one close to you....THAT will be plenty loud, I am sure.

Good luck,

fb

oops, I stand corrected, the vocalist is standing in front of the other speaker. anyhow, my suggestion still stands.
Old 2nd October 2016
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scadh View Post
@Wyllys Hah, no intent to shoot the messenger and I am in no way questioning your expertise, I promise! I'm an admitted novice when it comes to live sound and I'm grateful you've taken the time to post your thoughts.

@OneEng Those are a beautiful thing, for certain, but the wife would give me "the look" if I so much as floated the possibility of spending $1,200 on this project. She just doesn't seem to get the obvious logic in comments like, "yes, I *have* one of that works, but *this* one I want is so much better. Look, it's got one of those twisty things on it ...". I'm going to have to stay under $500 probably, so my options are likely to be limited by what's available on the used market.

@foamboy To further prove my inexperience in this area, I am surprised to hear your comment that the 700-watt DXR10's might not be loud enough. I went into this assuming 300 watts each would be plenty. The Eris E8 studio monitors I use are 140 watts each, and that's *almost* loud enough at 75% max volume. Take a look at the photos and comments below, if you have a moment, and see what you think.

First, I sold the room size a tiny bit short in the original post. Having measured more accurated, the actual dimensions are about 19' x 12.5'. The desk and kit are at opposite ends of the room on the long axis. So as I sit at the desk, the kit is behind me and to the right.

Here's the kit on the drum stage I built:



And here's the desk, which I also built but have not quite yet completed. Still need to get the drawer boxes built and installed on either side of the keyboard tray:



[EDIT] I tried embedding the images, but they weren't displaying correctly. Direct links below.

kit: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3...VdpYXl5S0xKNnM

desk: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3...HZHZ3JEbVNSdE0

As you can see, the only room on the stage for a wedge would completely block access to the kit, unless I could somehow mount it high up on the wall.

Looking at the desk, you can see the very limited space I have on either side, especially the left. I was hoping to wall-mount speakers or shelves on the back wall on either side of the guitar painting. The distance from the speakers to the listening position while playing the kit would be about 16 feet for the right speaker and 18 feet for the left speaker. I probably overstated how loudly he plays before. He's only 11 years old. If anything, I think he plays slightly less loud than most of the other kids he's playing with. Because I know you're all *dying* to see him performance, here's a clip of him playing Poison's "Nothing But a Good Time" at a show last month with the School of Rock Kansas City ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dtJ...ature=youtu.be ) You can see he's not abusing the kit like Keith Moon.

One final thing -- while my desire for more volume was born out of the need for him to hear me better when I plays keys or guitar, I'd be lying if I said i didn't also crave more volume when playing my guitar. I'm completely in-the-box with software amp sims, so those studio monitors are all I've got. They sound great, but only go to about 6 whereas I want to go to 11. This further explains my desire to not use a wedge or IEM solution.

With all that in mind, is it *truly* hopeless for me to expect a pair of 300-500 watt speakers to be loud enough for my son about 16 feet away?

Thanks so much again, everyone, for the time you've taken helping me find my way. Much appreciated.
Very cool. Also, this is a nice thing to do with your kid.

From here: Yamaha DXR10 10" 2 Way Active PA Loudspeaker | eBay

I was suggesting a SINGLE DXR10. I would strongly suggest you get something worth having even if you only start with one of them. You can butter up your wife at a later date to get the 2nd one ..... I suggest flowers and a new piece of jewelry prior to bringing it up .... always works for me

A single GOOD speaker is always better than multiple crap ones. One good speaker fits into your budget.
Old 3rd October 2016
  #15
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What wyllys recommended in the qsc k8 is going to be the loudest as a single in the smallest package in your pricerange as far as I know (used). The yamaha dxr10 isn't quite as loud and a bit bigger, but also would be the other one I know of to do the job. The k8 can be wall mounted in the corner very easy with the $30 wall mounts found on ebay. The closer you can get it to him, the smaller and cheaper you can go. If you mount that k8 in the corner by the kit you will melt his face off. K8 sounds pretty good as well.

Powerwerks (not a typo) makes these tall extremely small powered speakers I have seen here and there. I've never put any through their paces, but they are cheap enough to buy 2 and are by far the smallest option. As I said though, I can't vouch for their sound quality or loudness, so you would have to find some locally or read lots of reviews.
https://www.amazon.com/PowerWerks-PW.../dp/B005JSGPOS
Old 3rd October 2016
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mintaka007 View Post
What wyllys recommended in the qsc k8 is going to be the loudest as a single in the smallest package in your pricerange as far as I know (used). The yamaha dxr10 isn't quite as loud and a bit bigger, but also would be the other one I know of to do the job. The k8 can be wall mounted in the corner very easy with the $30 wall mounts found on ebay. The closer you can get it to him, the smaller and cheaper you can go. If you mount that k8 in the corner by the kit you will melt his face off. K8 sounds pretty good as well.

Powerwerks (not a typo) makes these tall extremely small powered speakers I have seen here and there. I've never put any through their paces, but they are cheap enough to buy 2 and are by far the smallest option. As I said though, I can't vouch for their sound quality or loudness, so you would have to find some locally or read lots of reviews.
https://www.amazon.com/PowerWerks-PW.../dp/B005JSGPOS
QSC K8 is a good option. I didn't mention it since it lists MAP of $650.00. If the OP can get one under $500, then it would indeed be a great solution.
Old 3rd October 2016
  #17
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CraigsList is your friend. You can buy used locally and demo the goods pre-purchase.

Still, going for "louder than the drums" in an enclosed space will give rise to the next thread:

"HELP!!! Feedback!!!"
Old 3rd October 2016
  #18
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Thread Starter
@foamboy Thanks! The boy's pretty decent for an 11-year old. Learned everything he knows from his old man! Well, and perhaps his legendary, kick-ass drum instructor of the past 5 years: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdGLMsdL86U

@OneEng and @mintaka007 Thank you for your comments. I think I've been convinced to purchase a single high-quality speaker up front and put it on a stand near the kit, but in a place where it can be easily moved out of the way when not needed.

@Wyllys And finally, yes, you're absolutely correct. We have a pair of earmuffs (designed for shooting, I think) that we use when practicing fundamentals and nothing else is playing. We haven't been able to use them while practicing his SoR songs (usually by playing along with the song on YouTube) because he simply can't hear the music well enough with or without them on. If we ultimately go with a single speaker near the kit, this ought to allow him to hear both the music and his kit well even with the earmuffs on.

Again, many thanks to everyone for helping me through the learning curve. Truly excellent feedback all around.
Old 3rd October 2016
  #19
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Old 6th January 2017
  #20
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I'm reviving this dormant thread because I am, at last, ready to pull the trigger. Sadly, this close after Christmas my budget is less than it was when I started this thread in September! I've decided to start with a single powered speaker to mount on a stand near the drum set. This will allow my son to hear the mix without it being unnecessarily loud - and also let me crank up my guitar (unnecessarily loud) when I feel the need. I may add the second speaker someday later.

I normally avoid Guitar Center - the "Best Buy" of music stores, staffed with 17-year old headbangers who learned everything they know about home studio recording in the previous 72 hours -- but I wanted to A/B a bunch of options and GC is right down the street. In this thread and elsewhere I've researched online, many people speak of harsh highs, well-rounded bass, scooped-out mids, etc. But not having a frame of reference of my own, I feared I wouldn't be able to hear huge differences.

Holy smokes, was I wrong. I was stunned at how incredibly different they all sounded and how easy it was to tell good from bad. Because of my inexperience using PA speakers, I specifically wanted to listen to something considered really good alongside something considered really bad. So the first A/B I asked for was GC's house brand, a 12" Harbinger, next to the Electro-Voice ZLX-12P. I literally burst out laughing. The difference was akin to A/B'ing my singing after 2 bottles of wine vs. Otis Redding. I swear the Harbinger sounded like the woofer was made of broken glass. By comparison, the EV was like honey suckle chocolate dripping kisses full of love. I proceeded to listen to a JBL EON (very good), a Kustom something-or-other (awful), an Alto Truesonic TS212 (decent) and others. Lastly, I listened to the QSC K10 and my understanding of what audio can sound like has changed. Absolutely glorious, even compared to the excellent EV.

As mentioned, with my lesser budget and previous concern that I wouldn't be able to tell much difference, I had all but decided to choose something on the less expensive end of the spectrum rather than the Yamaha, QSC and EV options discussed in this thread. The Alto Truesonic series is getting some love as a "good value for the money" option. I thought the TS210 at $249 would be a good fit for me. After hearing it, I still think it would be okay... only I can't get past how good the better options sounded. The QSC is still going to be out of my range, but I can pick up the EON 610 or ZLX-12P on eBay for maybe $100 more. I'm going to ponder it a couple days, then swing by GC for one more A/B between those three. Then I'm going to buy one.

Except not from Guitar Center. The clown that was helping me yesterday was unintentionally hilarious. In the midst of listening to the speakers, he opined that "these are nice, but one option I love that you might not have considered are in-ear monitors". This conversation ensued:

Me: "Yes, I've thought out it, but they're expensive and don't meet all my needs. Plus I'm worried about RF interference, as my home wifi router is in my studio".

GC: "Oh. Well, these Shure 215 earbuds here are AMAZING, and they're only $100!"

Me: "Ah, yeah. That's not too bad. How much is the transmitter?"

(pause)

GC: "The what?"


[UPDATED] Over my lunch break today I went by a local shop that I trust much more than GC. I got to listen to a couple speakers that weren't available at GC. The Mackie Thump 12 sounded very muddy to me and lacked clear separation of the instruments. On the flip side, I *really* liked the new PreSonus Air 12's! Extremely clean and balanced. I A/B'd them alongside the QSC K12 and thought they held their own. Less bass than the K12, but crystal clear, articulate sound. It was stunning on a fingerpicked acoustic guitar solo.

Last edited by scadh; 6th January 2017 at 10:33 PM..
Old 7th January 2017
  #21
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mintaka007's Avatar
Make sure you read lots of reviews of the speakers you are close to buying. You are not necessarily looking for opinions on sound as you can make your own determination on that. What you are looking for are issues like amps going bad, speakers going out, hissing, etc. Many of these speakers, like the zlx, are able to hit their price points by putting in lesser components and less quality control at the factory.

I looked int the zlx's briefly but the reviews and stories of them failing were too frequent. I just ended up buying 6 k12's for monitors instead. More cost up front, but it is a quality product with and industry leading warranty.

Not telling you what to do, but in my opinion keep in mind how robust the build quality as well as resale value in your decision as well as the quality and spl of sound produced.
Old 7th January 2017
  #22
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Since you're in a small room in basically a studio situation, why don't you do what they do in the studio and just use wired headphones, both of you? All you need is a mixer with two AUX outs, four if you want stereo. If you're trying to teach your son to be able to play with other musicians you should probably not have your back to him as musicians use visual cues a lot.
Old 8th January 2017
  #23
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by mintaka007 View Post
Make sure you read lots of reviews of the speakers you are close to buying. You are not necessarily looking for opinions on sound as you can make your own determination on that. What you are looking for are issues like amps going bad, speakers going out, hissing, etc. Many of these speakers, like the zlx, are able to hit their price points by putting in lesser components and less quality control at the factory.

I looked int the zlx's briefly but the reviews and stories of them failing were too frequent. I just ended up buying 6 k12's for monitors instead. More cost up front, but it is a quality product with and industry leading warranty.

Not telling you what to do, but in my opinion keep in mind how robust the build quality as well as resale value in your decision as well as the quality and spl of sound produced.
I obsess for weeks on end over any purchase like this. I have a compulsion to KNOW I made the right choice, else I start having second thoughts or getting buyer's remorse. Plus, I just love reading about gear. I assure you, I've read more reviews than any man, woman or child alive today!

Six QSC K12's are precisely 16 times more money than I have to spend. I wish I could afford even one, but I can't. I'm going to have to stay around $300.

I've seen manufacturer refurbished ZLX-12P's w/ full warranty going for that. For my first pa speaker, I think it will fit my needs. As far as reliability goes, I'll have just to hope for the best (acknowledging that a refurb has already PROVEN itself to be defective at least once!). In my case, though, it will get very light usage, probably no more than 2-3 hours per week. And it will never travel anywhere outside of my studio.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blue439 View Post
Since you're in a small room in basically a studio situation, why don't you do what they do in the studio and just use wired headphones, both of you? All you need is a mixer with two AUX outs, four if you want stereo. If you're trying to teach your son to be able to play with other musicians you should probably not have your back to him as musicians use visual cues a lot.
Thanks for the suggestion, but I've got more cables running around here than I know what to do with already! Indeed, my next gear acquisition after this will be the Line 6 G10 wireless guitar rig. I do have a mixer with 2 AUX outs and 2 GRP outs (Soundcraft Signature 12 MTK); I am planning to run one of the groups to this new PA speaker.

Last edited by scadh; 9th January 2017 at 07:59 PM..
Old 11th January 2017
  #24
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Takes a lot of time, effort, and gear trial and error to set up a nice FOH system, especially in a smaller room.

Takes a pretty penny, and more of the above yet, to build a decent studio control room.

I'm not sure what it takes to set up the perfect live performance monitoring system, mostly cuz about all the feedback you get regarding them is if the negative variety.

We have a lot of time, money and thought in our studio's artist monitor system.

In our 13x18' live room, all four of those significantly different objectives...

...tend to merge together, much like you are trying to do.

Space is also at a premium here, too.

We have a pair of Carvin LM-153s flown and angled so as to drive the room...once...minimizing reflections. 3 ways, because of the infamous 1khz gap most two ways create.

Driven by a Crown X-4000, they can mix a balanced FOH with even the loudest drummers. We've measured 114.8 dB SPL, A, fast. Lots more there, but no need, so that's as far as we've pushed it.

Even so, a good FOH mix still leaves many drummers wanting. Its not a drummers monitor mix, it's not focused at the drummer's position, and the drummer has zero control over it.

Since this is a studio, we have a drummer's headphone mix, subsystem in place.

What we did was mult the output, of the drummer's headphone mixer, into a Peavey Bandit 60, for which we closed the cabinet rear, for better LF performance. We had room for that, but if we hadn't, I'd have flown it straight over his head pointing down.

This gives us the best of all four worlds.

Zero bleed tracking, everyone wearing cans.

House mains only, drummer lives w the house mix, or wears cans.

Flat out jams, drummer gets major help w mids and highs from his personal monitor mixer and capable monitor amp, and so far, that doesn't interfere (much) with our FOH mix.

Maybe more than you want to spend right now, but the point is:

1.Seperate, and precisely define all differing objectives.

2. Recognize that one acquisition may not satisfy item 1.

3. Plan your next upgrade to fill in the most obvious and detrimental shortcoming, while at the same time, fitting in with the grand plan, what items 1 and 2 decree for your long term solution.

Put another way.

Are you building FOH or drum monitors now? (CR mains?) Whichever you decide, will your solution integrate smoothly with the REST of the necessary solution, or...

Will you have to sell it at a loss later on, replan and repurchase something else, to replace this next purchase, and THEN, purchase the rest of the final solution?

If the primary objective today, is drum monitors, my first purchase would be a $50 SPL meter to see how loud he plays. Then I'd look at budget, enclosure and driver efficiency specs, and amp ratings to get an idea what you need of the system. Borrow or rent to test theory...in actual practice.

But before I did that, I'd get 8 signals to a small mixer near there, and a nice set of isolating cans, (Senn 280s), cuz this is a studio first.

Then FOH.

Then drummers aux monitors.

Next up here...we'll swap that $40 Peavey (used, w a five minutes to fix scratchy pot) for a full range enclosure. Then maybe a sub. And maybe not. We like to rock out, but tracking and mixing pays the bills.
Old 11th January 2017
  #25
Gear Maniac
 

Thread Starter
@JayTee4303

Thank you for the detailed comments. That's a lot to absorb and much of it beyond the scope of what I hope (or have the means) to accomplish. While I do refer to this space as my "studio", the truth is that there's a whole lot more practicing in there than there is recording. Probably at a ratio of 50-to-1. And it's a personal space, not commercial; the recording that does happen is just me, my son and on rare occasion, a friend or two. If the Stones want to come lay down a few tracks, I'd be happy to oblige them, but for now it's just family.

My main goal, as stated, is a drum monitor that will allow my son to hear the mix without having to turn my nearfield studio monitors up well beyond the volume at which they were designed to be heard. Toward that end, I have decided to get the ZLX-12P and mount it on a stand near the drum stage, perhaps 5 feet away from my son. That should allow him to hear while keeping the speaker at a reasonable volume. I can continue to use my main studio monitors to hear myself. Ultimately, the very first legitimate response in this thread, from @Wyllys, had the solution, but it's in my nature to unnecessarily complicate things.

Secondarily, I would also like to use the EV for myself when I'm just jamming alone and want to turn my guitar up to 11. I'm exclusively in-the-box for my tone and it sounds good out of my Eris E8's, but I just really need it to be *louder* sometimes. You understand.

There is no real FOH component to this. The only audience we ever have are grandparents and sometimes my son's friends, and they pretty much just stand "on stage" with us. For the record, grandma and the 5th-graders think we fu*king ROCK.

I get paid Friday. The EV will be on it's way shortly thereafter. I'll post my impressions here in the event that anyone is interested.
Old 11th January 2017
  #26
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JayTee4303's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by scadh View Post
@JayTee4303

Thank you for the detailed comments. That's a lot to absorb and much of it beyond the scope of what I hope (or have the means) to accomplish. While I do refer to this space as my "studio", the truth is that there's a whole lot more practicing in there than there is recording. Probably at a ratio of 50-to-1. And it's a personal space, not commercial; the recording that does happen is just me, my son and on rare occasion, a friend or two. If the Stones want to come lay down a few tracks, I'd be happy to oblige them, but for now it's just family.

My main goal, as stated, is a drum monitor that will allow my son to hear the mix without having to turn my nearfield studio monitors up well beyond the volume at which they were designed to be heard. Toward that end, I have decided to get the ZLX-12P and mount it on a stand near the drum stage, perhaps 5 feet away from my son. That should allow him to hear while keeping the speaker at a reasonable volume. I can continue to use my main studio monitors to hear myself. Ultimately, the very first legitimate response in this thread, from @Wyllys, had the solution, but it's in my nature to unnecessarily complicate things.

Secondarily, I would also like to use the EV for myself when I'm just jamming alone and want to turn my guitar up to 11. I'm exclusively in-the-box for my tone and it sounds good out of my Eris E8's, but I just really need it to be *louder* sometimes. You understand.

There is no real FOH component to this. The only audience we ever have are grandparents and sometimes my son's friends, and they pretty much just stand "on stage" with us. For the record, grandma and the 5th-graders think we fu*king ROCK.

I get paid Friday. The EV will be on it's way shortly thereafter. I'll post my impressions here in the event that anyone is interested.
You've got it. Best to design your systems with both the end goal, and discrete objectives in mind.

I used the FOH term to describe a room mix, and to differentiate between that, the studio monitor mix, and individual monitor mixes. We don't have audiences here, either, except on the far end of live streamed video, which doesn't apply to this subject.

The powered EV will, if ever the need arises, do what our drum monitor does, fed by the drummers headphone mixer, if you ever go that route, so you have the bases pretty much covered.

Interested to hear your take on the RVs suitability as both a drummer's, and guitarists monitor. The Peavey puts info where it needs to be, at useful SPLs. Tonewise...well, not so great.
Old 12th January 2017
  #27
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mintaka007's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by scadh View Post
@JayTee4303

Thank you for the detailed comments. That's a lot to absorb and much of it beyond the scope of what I hope (or have the means) to accomplish. While I do refer to this space as my "studio", the truth is that there's a whole lot more practicing in there than there is recording. Probably at a ratio of 50-to-1. And it's a personal space, not commercial; the recording that does happen is just me, my son and on rare occasion, a friend or two. If the Stones want to come lay down a few tracks, I'd be happy to oblige them, but for now it's just family.

My main goal, as stated, is a drum monitor that will allow my son to hear the mix without having to turn my nearfield studio monitors up well beyond the volume at which they were designed to be heard. Toward that end, I have decided to get the ZLX-12P and mount it on a stand near the drum stage, perhaps 5 feet away from my son. That should allow him to hear while keeping the speaker at a reasonable volume. I can continue to use my main studio monitors to hear myself. Ultimately, the very first legitimate response in this thread, from @Wyllys, had the solution, but it's in my nature to unnecessarily complicate things.

Secondarily, I would also like to use the EV for myself when I'm just jamming alone and want to turn my guitar up to 11. I'm exclusively in-the-box for my tone and it sounds good out of my Eris E8's, but I just really need it to be *louder* sometimes. You understand.

There is no real FOH component to this. The only audience we ever have are grandparents and sometimes my son's friends, and they pretty much just stand "on stage" with us. For the record, grandma and the 5th-graders think we fu*king ROCK.

I get paid Friday. The EV will be on it's way shortly thereafter. I'll post my impressions here in the event that anyone is interested.
I'm sure this will work fine for your usage. In a small practice room just being used as a monitor, you shouldn't need to overdrive it at all. If you do end up not liking it, you won't be out much as the low price point means resale will probably be within a hunderd bucks of purchase price.

If it does end up being too big (physical size wise), look for a qsc k8 used. Sounds much larger than it is.

Enjoy your new toy!
Old 12th January 2017
  #28
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by scadh View Post
Except not from Guitar Center. The clown that was helping me yesterday was unintentionally hilarious. In the midst of listening to the speakers, he opined that "these are nice, but one option I love that you might not have considered are in-ear monitors". This conversation ensued:

Me: "Yes, I've thought out it, but they're expensive and don't meet all my needs. Plus I'm worried about RF interference, as my home wifi router is in my studio".

GC: "Oh. Well, these Shure 215 earbuds here are AMAZING, and they're only $100!"

Me: "Ah, yeah. That's not too bad. How much is the transmitter?"

(pause)

GC: "The what?"
Don't be too quick to dismiss...This was actually damn good advise especially since it will not destroy your or your sons hearing like a 'louder-than-the-drum kit' loudspeaker in a small studio/practice room will, plus, you won't have feedback problems which you seem to have overlooked.

Small room, open microphones, louder than the source loudspeaker with very little directivity/pattern control...sounds like the right formula for both feedback and hearing damage to me.

His "The what?" question was also valid...considering that drummers don't need a transmitter and receiver because there is no need to for the autonomy of a wireless system...they're sitting down in one place when they play.

If I were you I'd either get headphones or a 'real' wedge...but hey.

Last edited by Samc; 12th January 2017 at 01:22 PM..
Old 12th January 2017
  #29
Gear Maniac
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
Don't be too quick to dismiss...This was actually damn good advise especially since it will not destroy your or your sons hearing like a 'louder-than-the-drum kit' loudspeaker in a small studio/practice room will, plus, you won't have feedback problems which you seem to have overlooked.

Small room, open microphones, louder than the source loudspeaker with very little directivity/pattern control...sounds like the right formula for both feedback and hearing damage to me.

His "The what?" question was also valid...considering that drummers don't need a transmitter and receiver because there is no need to for the autonomy of a wireless system...they're sitting down in one place when they play.

If I were you I'd either get headphones or a 'real' wedge...but hey.
- As mentioned, we intend to continue using his ear-protection headphones while playing.

- As mentioned, there is no room for a "real" wedge on the drum stage. I'd have to fly it in the back corner, which would make it of lesser value to me as an occasional guitar monitor. I know I'm trying to tack a single solution onto multiple problems, but I've got 4 kids and a huge-ass mortgage, and this is what the economics of the situation dictate.

- There's not usually an open mic while we play, but when there is it's an SM58 directionally opposite and on the far side of the room from the kit/monitor. The input is also steeply gated in software.

- The point was, the GC rep began the conversation talking about an in-ear wireless system, but then showed me regular ol' wired earbuds that he thought were wireless. Playing along just for fun, I asked him the price of the transmitter -- and he obviously didn't understand that a wireless receiver requires a wireless transmitter. I don't mean to be condescending because I'm far from an expert myself, but no one is walking into my place of business and counting on me to give good advice! My experience with GC reps mirrors that of what I get from the blue-shirts at Best Buy, and that's not a good thing.

- I know a drummer doesn't HAVE to have wireless, but the logistics of my studio are such that the mixer and the kit are at opposite corners of the room. We've run wired headphones a few times and the loooong cable bisects the room on a diagonal, directly where I'd usually stand to play guitar. That's a major pain in the ass. I guess I could get a REALLY long cable and run it through ceiling/walls and install a wall-mount jack, but that's a fair bit of work.
Old 12th January 2017
  #30
Lives for gear
 
mojo filters's Avatar
 

Why can't you just get a long cable and run it on the floor, out of the way alongside the skirting boards? Rather than fully plumb it in install-style, just use a few of those plastic & tack cable holding devices like you'd use when putting in phone lines, burgler alarms etc.

Wanting to use a monitor powerful enough to be heard over hearing protection seems like a far less elegant solution, compared with headphones or IEMs!

Your objection to long cables makes little sense. I've occasionally been forced to adapt XLR cable to provide 300' or longer runs for an unbalanced headphone feed, driven from the regular desk output, and I was surprised how little if any difference there was.

Given your restricted budget, headphones or similar seems like the obvious solution. Are there other reasons why you seem unwilling to consider that option?
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