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Best Stick PA
Old 30th October 2020
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Best Stick PA

Hi all. Inviting you to share your thoughts and experiences on stick PAs, sometimes referred to column PAs or mini line arrays. I’m currently using a Bose L1. I give it a 7/10. Loses points for sounding too honky tonky on keys, even after Eq is applied prior to the signal entering the Bose. Also has no blue tooth. Gains points for weight, portability and style.
Old 30th October 2020
  #2
Gear Head
All new Bose line just came out.
Has blue tooth/app control
Old 30th October 2020
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Yes new Bose line seems to incorporate more inputs and in built tone match features with the blue tooth. I assume they would have the same sound foot print though so I would still be looking elsewhere.
Old 31st October 2020
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
TomPaul's Avatar
No complaints for my Fishmann 220 but I wish I had the newer one with more inputs. I've been using it for several years now with no problems. It was a bit less expensive than the Bose as I recall. I have a duo and my my bandmate uses one as well. We tried linking them to share the sound across both units but had trouble making that work. It may have been operator error but we never really tried to sort it out.
Old 31st October 2020
  #5
Lives for gear
Fohhn LX series are IMO much much better than anything from Bose. You can put together a traditional passive system or use one of their active subs that can also drive the tops.
L-acoustics Syva is one of the best options available, but quite a bit more expensive.

None of the good ones comes with a bluetooth, though. Anyway, you can easily add a bluetooth receiver if you really need it.
Old 1st November 2020
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Over the past 15 years I have deployed two of my KV2 EX10 wedges on K & M stands: The sonic quality and dispersion of the EX10s are very well suited to the acoustic Americana genre where I work. I recently became a big fan of the Evox 12 system when I need more low end (below 80 HZ) punch. The top DB dynamic range requirements of the acoustic music we do fits perfectly with the sonic performance capabilities of the Evox 12 for gigs with seating limited to less than 300 seats. However if hot back line R&R DBs are in play I could not recommend either one of these systems. My KV2 ES system can blow 1,200 fannies out of their seats however that point source system is certainly not pole mounted: it is deployed with two sets of bucks and requires 20 clean amps for each stack + another 20 amps for the wedges to function well.
Hugh
Old 2nd November 2020 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hughshouse View Post
My KV2 ES system ... requires 20 clean amps for each stack + another 20 amps for the wedges to function well.
You had me for a while, thinking what kind of system would require that many amps stacked up. Then I realised you meant current...
Old 4th November 2020 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
mojo filters's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlecSp View Post
You had me for a while, thinking what kind of system would require that many amps stacked up. Then I realised you meant current...
I'm quite a fan of KV2, particularly the ES rig. I was curious as to what the hell Hugh had done that made his system require clean amps?!?

I've used both versions of the Epak power unit. They always seemed very solid and reliable. No one likes a dusty or dirty knob, but my experience was they'll still cope with such adversity just fine!

I know it's a bit nitpicky - but sentence construction, formatting and proofreading have always served me well in this industry. There are hire shops I work with who would happily line item both the supply and cleaning for a rider spec'd accordingly
Old 5th November 2020
  #9
Lives for gear
 

In 50 years I have not provided SR service outside of North America. With this in mind my "clean amp" remark is in reference to the problems associated with inserting a 100 amp breaker into a panel that is also delivering power to stage lighting dimming controls or a wide assortment of electronic devices that create "dirty circuit" problems. The SE system folks that spend a lot of time touring in the EU tell me these problems do not exit with the much newer power grids established post WW11. (Page 4 of 5 in the KV2 Epak 2500 specs clearly defines US line input power; 120VAC,60Hz & recommended amperage service needs to be 20 amps)
Ignorance pursuant to this particular issue is easily understandable when it comes from folks that do not work in North America or have not thoroughly examined the KV2 ES & EX10 power requirements for the US market. SR pros in the US know exactly what "20 clean amps" means. When my ES system trailer leaves the garage it includes an ETA systems EPD420VS power distro/sequencer fed by a 100 amp breaker and 135 ft of 4X4 (4 gauge wire) that delivers 4 clean 20 amp circuits sequenced to properly turn on and off the system preventing a bevy of possible stupid human mistakes.

Pursuant to the OP's question, a pair of Evox 12s and a center fill or monitor wedge will not require more than a total of "20 clean" amps. It requires a much smaller power draw.
Hugh
Old 5th November 2020
  #10
Gear Addict
 

Eats, Shoots and Leaves...
Old 6th November 2020
  #11
Here for the gear
 

Stick PA versus compact speaker and Sub

Can anyone offer any insight into what a stick Pa like EV evolve 30 or 50 would be like compared to an EV ZXA1 with sub or a QSC CP8 with sub? I know the stick PAs offer mixing options and settings for sound, which I don't think I really need as I can run my gear through my babyface pro and laptop and adjust EQ and effects with plugins in Logic. What would sound better purely from a speaker perspective without considering extra features?
Old 7th November 2020 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
mojo filters's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mins3008 View Post
Can anyone offer any insight into what a stick Pa like EV evolve 30 or 50 would be like compared to an EV ZXA1 with sub or a QSC CP8 with sub? I know the stick PAs offer mixing options and settings for sound, which I don't think I really need as I can run my gear through my babyface pro and laptop and adjust EQ and effects with plugins in Logic. What would sound better purely from a speaker perspective without considering extra features?
As far as I can recall I don't think I've used or heard any of the EV Evolve series. My experience of those type of systems is that nothing cheaper than the RCF Evox or DB Technologies ES series are the place to start, when looking at the combination of quality, functionality and value for money in that form factor.

Looking at the EV Evolve 50, it seems expensive compared to the comparable RCF Evox 8 and DB Tech's ES1203. All three have 12" subs, similar enough tops in terms of form factor and output, plus SPL ratings around 127-132dB. However the EV options may cost more because they sound better!

The ES1203 is slightly different, with a pair of 12" subs in one enclosure, which also houses all the electronics to drive the included pair of tops. There's potentially extra functionality by virtue of the options to run stereo by putting the other top on a tripod, or the integrated connection to stack the tops and run mono.

The latter also provides the capacity to use a second set in stereo, doubling the output with one set feeding the second in a master-slave configuration. This gives the future options of either upgrading to a more powerful rig should you need the extra output capability, or hiring in an extra system for occasions as and when that extra output might be needed for larger events.

From my perspective - unless slim form factor is of particular benefit, either for aesthetics or portability - you get better bang for your buck with a more conventional system.

The EV ZXA combo of 8" tops over 12" subs is still pretty compact, but offers better value (especially buying a bundle deal with poles and covers included) and increased modularity. For example if one powered box fails, you can limp home with three working speakers (or even better, re-purpose a monitor if available) rather than losing an entire stack.

I wouldn't worry about the varying capabilities of any built in mixer. There's plenty of choice in terms of small, inexpensive external analogue mixer options, which allow you to choose exactly what you'll need in terms of routing flexibility, input connectivity (mic or line level plus socket types to suit your instrument outputs) and channel count.

Whilst it sounds like you don't have a particularly heavy channel count now, there's plenty of choice of inexpensive but decent small mixing desks from respected brands such as Soundcraft, Allen & Heath etc. It's always good to have some spare inputs to allow for future growth and unanticipated situations.

Once you start gigging I'm sure you will appreciate the flexibility and convenience of a properly featured mixer, with more comprehensive connectivity, fully featured channel strips and so forth.

PA systems with on board mixing are inherently limited. The ability to place your desk where convenient whilst you perform is alone worth the extra expense, as a small proportion of the overall cost of the sound system you need to control.

If you are mixing yourself from the stage, you'll appreciate having control of whatever type of monitoring solution you intend to use. Even if mainly performing via a laptop, using the same computer to also mix both mains and monitors via an interface optimised for studio recording is risky.

Running all your instruments through a laptop via a recording interface may be technically possible. However when playing live gigs, a more modular, separate and tactile solution is much more practical.

In my experience you want each instrument separated out over individual channels as much as possible. This puts less stress and pressure on one component, which can become a critical single point of failure.

Assigning each source to a separate channel strip should actually make performing easier, especially if mixing yourself from stage. A mixing desk lets you address each individual instrument's level and EQ. It's also better practice for when you might play venues with in house PA, plus provides the most effective way to balance the mix in the room, tailoring your own monitor mix, plus better scope to control any effects you are using. It should improve both the overall sound quality for the audience, as well as improving your own performance experience.

As for choosing a PA system, ideally you want the opportunity to see, hear, use and test prospective purchases. Even trying out listening to the various options in a shop is not always ideal. If possible you want to try and recreate a gigging environment.

Hiring in equipment gives you the best idea of what will best suit your own specific requirements. I appreciate it can be hard in some places to find all the gear you are considering via rental, especially if you don't actually have any gigs lined up.

It's at least worth trying to hire in one of each type of system under consideration, to get an idea of the sound, alongside the logistical implications of being an owner and user. You may discover practical concerns and issues which you may have otherwise not considered.

Once you have a better handle on which type and design of PA rig is best suited to your needs, then if you can get to hear a wider range of products from manufacturers of interest - you should have a good reference in terms of what you are looking and listening for.

The best method is to have gigs lined up, then hire in as many different systems as you can access. Having a knowledgeable tech person to support each hire gives you access to their experience and expertise, providing a valuable opportunity to both ask lots of questions, as well as getting practical hands on experience of your own.

Hiring in equipment might seem like you are eating into the funds intended for your eventual purchase, but consider that you are investing in yourself, which should be money well spent - it will help better inform a much larger purchase, which you'll hopefully end up using, living with and enjoying for several years.
Old 7th November 2020
  #13
Gear Nut
 

Rcf and dB technologies

Thanks for your thoughts. The DB technologies and RCF options you mentioned are beyond my budget. I’m starting to wonder if I should just keep an eye out for some second hand compact 8 inch speakers that are well reviewed, however I do worry a little about purchasing secondhand electronic equipment.
Old 7th November 2020
  #14
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by min3008 View Post
Hi all. Inviting you to share your thoughts and experiences on stick PAs, sometimes referred to column PAs or mini line arrays. I’m currently using a Bose L1. I give it a 7/10. Loses points for sounding too honky tonky on keys, even after Eq is applied prior to the signal entering the Bose. Also has no blue tooth. Gains points for weight, portability and style.
It's not a stick PA but if you get a chance to audition the new RCF HD 10-A MK4 I can confirm they sound absolutely beautiful and would have no problem handling keyboards: https://www.guitarcenter.com/RCF/HD-...hoCjFQQAvD_BwE

Last edited by jazzgitter; 7th November 2020 at 07:33 PM..
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