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Advices about live amplification of cittern
Old 1 week ago
Here for the gear

Advices about live amplification of cittern

Hello all!

We are a neomedieval band of east of France, and we play live at medieval parties: 3 medieval bagpipes, 2 heavy drums, 1 cittern (acoustic or rock or metal sounding). Until now, we used a Fishmann Loudbox, but the sound is.... not so natural. We tried with a Focal Alpha 80, and the sound was sooooo wonderful!! But unfortunately, there is not enough power margin... (the Focal clipped in a loud metal solo). As we must put the speaker in a wooden cart, we need to keep the weight low (<15kg ideally). The amp is used to amplify the cittern, and sometimes a bit of voice/sing.

So, maybe some of you would have a more experienced vision than us to advise something that would sound pristine and full like a Focal 80, but a bit more robust in loudness?!

Thank you!
Old 1 week ago
We tried with a Focal Alpha 80, and the sound was sooooo wonderful!! But unfortunately, there is not enough power margin.
Those are not for live sound reinforcement, they are used for monitoring recordings and mixes. You need PA speakers, not studio monitors. go to your local music store or internet store and find a pair that fit your needs (passive or active and weight) and budget
Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear

Focal Alpha 80 are studio monitors and should "never" be used for life music. Studio monitors are typically run at about 85dB which is about as loud as you'd listen to TV at home.

What you need are some PA speakers. The question then - do you want a powered or passive speaker system.
If you use passive speakers then you'll need either a powered PA head or a mixer and power amps to drive the speakers.
If you buy powered speakers, All you'll need is a mixer to drive the speakers.

Which might be better depends on how loud you need to be and how much gear you want to haul around.
Powered speakers have the power amps built in. You simply plug in power, and run a cable to the mixer. Plug your mics into the mixer and you're good to go.

You can also have a decent portable system using a power head with detachable speakers like a Fender Passport or similar mixer setup.

Size and wattage? If this was an electronic drum set giving you problems, you'd probably need at least a set of 15" speakers and several hundred watts of power to handle bass frequencies. Bass frequencies are what typically distort underpowered systems and often overheats the power amps and blows them. Instruments like vocals and guitar are mostly midrange and put a much smaller load on a system.

From what you describes it sounds like you may be using miced hand drums. Anything miced like that should do OK even with smaller systems, but you do want a decent amount of frequency response so you have instrument separation. I'd stay away from 10" speakers and go with at least 12" or better 15". This way your lows will be easily handles by the woofer and the mids and highs projected by the horns.

How much it might cost? Depends on what you can buy locally or on line. You might want to see what your local music shops sell, then compare prices on line. Don't rule out a good used system either. If you don't have the money available for what you need, renting a setup is a possibility too. Back when I used to tour the US, We hired a sound system and a man to run it. Cost us $150 for a 2000W system which came off the top of what we earned. Ee made less but we weren't having to hump all that gear, set it up and break it down 6 nights a week. heavy gear gets old real quick and you learn to do with less when you have to haul it yourself.
Old 1 week ago
Here for the gear

Thank you for the insight, especially about runing loudness level of monitor studio! (Unfortunately, where we live, the nearest physical shop that is seriously versed in musical amplification is at I rely on internet reviews) Ok, at least 12" speakers - I would prefer a powered speaker to keep things compact and simple (we use a car battery to power the speaker, and soon some Lithium battery, such Litionite Hangar), and if possible, an efficient amplification system. We tried a Yahama DXR15 - loudness was faaar enough, but the sound quality was a bit under the Focal Alpha 80, and the weight a bit too much (22kg, vs 12.5kg of the Focal). Mmmh, I suppose the concept of loud monitor speaker is a no sense lol?
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