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Thread: Fishman SA220 (Fishman SoloAmp) report

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    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Fishman SA220 (Fishman SoloAmp) report

    Just a preliminary report as we got one of these recently to try out. Partly driven by experiencing so many 'issues' with monitoring over the years. First impressions are that the sound these things put out is very, very different from that of a 'normal' PA, not only for the performer, but also for the audience. It is (in my opinion) vastly more "immediate" and "present". We tried it outdoors, and the dispersion was frankly amazing. Gone was that "too loud up front - can't be heard at a distance" effect. You could hear every word and note clearly 50 meters away (165ft). In very reflective, difficult rooms, it also sounded excellent.. the "muddiness" from ceiling and floor reflections seemed much reduced. Despite the small size of the main drivers (4") it has no problems with the frequency range generated by a D-28 or vocals. We have not yet tried it with a bass... it sounded great with mandolin, both via a Baggs Radius and a KSM-44. There are some very nice touches... expandability for one. You can take an unprocessed individual DI out from either channel to feed to a desk or recorder, or a DI out of the processed mix. We tried that feeding into our existing pair of Yamaha MSR400 powered speakers. It worked very well, and if you need more raw power, it certainly delivers. That said, while the MSR-400's sound great by themselves, I actually thought that the Fishman tower sounded better, certainly in terms of coverage/dispersion, despite the 4" vs. 12" drivers. I also tried taking the "mix" feed and running that into my Hartke AC75 acoustic amp (the one with ribbon tweeters). That sounded excellent, and again presents another option. I then reversed that, feeding a guitar, then mandolin with pick-up first into the Hartke, then into the Fishman. Again, a good result and another option. I was quite happy with the sound from both permutations. Whether any of that might be needed is probably very dependent upon where you play, how, and what... but is it useful to know it works and to me at least, sounded very acceptable. There are two main input channels with 3-band EQ and 4 reverbs. You can, however, easily plug an external mixer into either the stereo "AUX" input (1/4" TRS jack - which is rendered to mono) or to the balanced XLR "Monitor In" socket. This is intended for people using two SA220's, but can also be used as a balanced line inject point. I tried this with a couple of mixers, a small Yamaha MC102C, and our superb Allen & Heath PA28. The latter is overkill for this speaker system, as no way would you want to pipe 28 channels through it! Both mixers in fact sounded fine and there were no problems at all. No ground loops, no distortion, just very clean and problem-free. Getting back to typical performing reality, we tried two guitars to the front panel XLR's via a pair of Fishman Aura DI's, one an OM-42 the other an HD-28V. The result was extremely natural sounding and again, the dispersion was remarkable. You could hear the mix on stage very, very clearly without any additional monitoring, and you could hear the same thing 30 metres away at the back of the room. I'd have to say that this is incredibly impressive. I've run a lot of systems over the years, but this was really different. We're going to try it on a number of gigs in the coming weeks to see how it performs in the real world, but so far, just on the basis of these tests, this is a very neat system indeed. I'd be interested to hear if anyone else is using it, and what their experiences are.

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    mandolin slinger Steve Ostrander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fishman SA220 (Fishman SoloAmp) report

    We've had a Solo Amp for about a year now. We run a 4-channel mixer into one of the main inputs on the front. Is there any advantage to running the mixer into the aux input on the back? The aux input channel is dry but the mixer has reverb, so that's not an issue.

    I don't think that you will be real happy with the bass response if you run a bass into the Solo Amp. They are not really built for that, it's really tuned for mid-rangey guitar, vocals and mando. Our bass player uses his Fender Bassman separately.

    Our last gig was outdoors on a patio and it really is amazing how well these things project. Eventually we would like to pick up a second Solo Amp for larger venues.
    Chronic MAS

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    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fishman SA220 (Fishman SoloAmp) report

    Also a very satisfied SoloAmp user; I've used a small sub-mixer (in my case a Behringer Euro-Rack) and amplified up to 3-4 musicians. Here's a vid of Jim Clare and me playing Folsom Prison Blues outdoors in Auburn NY, at the Seward House, July 1. We're using two MXL 990 mics, and the vid's shot with a tiny hand-held recorder, from a distance of about 40 feet. No idea what type of mic on the recorder... I'm playing harp, Jim guitar and vocals.




    You can see the Fishman stage right of us.
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    Default Re: Fishman SA220 (Fishman SoloAmp) report

    Interesting, Allen. I've continued experimenting... and a couple of things really stand out:

    1) Exceptional dispersion and clarity. No need to have very high levels to be adequately heard.
    2) Very 'natural', uncolored sound. You can really hear the quite subtle differences between various guitars and mandolins - something often totally lost on many regular PA's.
    3) It seems highly resistant to feedback... you have a couple of LD condensers there, with a wall at the back, the speaker behind the mics, and quite close. Normally a real problem, yet you were clearly getting very workable levels.

    The more I play with it, the more I like it. My back also likes it! I wish I'd had one of these a few years ago when we had a regular weekly gig up two (very long!) flights of stairs....

    I'm sure a pair of these could handle quite a large audience. It would be a big (though perfectly understandable) mistake to assume that because it is "only" 220W and "only" has 4" speakers it could not handle much more than a coffee-house type thing. The dispersion and overall fidelity of the result is really incredible.

    Nice job on FPB, by the way.

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    Default Re: Fishman SA220 (Fishman SoloAmp) report

    Quote Originally Posted by almeriastrings View Post
    2) Very 'natural', uncolored sound. You can really hear the quite subtle differences between various guitars and mandolins - something often totally lost on many regular PA's.
    Here's where I get myself into trouble.

    I think that qualifies as a straw man argument. What is a "regular PA?"

    Some of us have years of experience doing this, and have been through all kinds of PA systems, and are trying very hard to get the most out of the current technology. The SoloAmp has a definite market niche, but please don't lump cheap bar band systems with higher-end systems and call them all a "regular PA." You can do a heck of a lot with a conventional, modern compact PA system, and it doesn't have to weigh much more, or involve more trips to the car than a SoloAmp.

    3) It seems highly resistant to feedback... you have a couple of LD condensers there, with a wall at the back, the speaker behind the mics, and quite close. Normally a real problem, yet you were clearly getting very workable levels.
    The levels might have been okay, but the sound on that YouTube clip was awful.

    Sorry, but let's call a spade a spade here. The performance on Allen's FPB clip was great! But as a demonstration of the SoloAmp it's not good. I'm sure a big part of that is due to whatever cheap phone or minicam was used to record it, further trashed by YouTube compression. It's a reminder of how YouTube is both a blessing and a curse, when you're trying to make a point about something. Not everyone is paying attention to just the visuals.

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    Default Re: Fishman SA220 (Fishman SoloAmp) report

    The sound on the clip was from a low-end video-cam recorder. It is no way reflects the sonic results obtained from the SA220, as you go on to point out. I would have thought that was so self-evident as not to warrant even mentioning. The only thing obvious from it is that intelligibility was quite good at the stated distance, in other words, an indication of the levels only and an adequate demo that there was no feedback in that configuration.

    "Normal PA" means what it says. An average system comprising a pair of reflex cabinets containing a large diameter LF driver + HF horn/cone driver, with separate monitors, as found in a typical small-medium venue. I'm not referring to a high-end concert hall installation.


    Yes, some of us do have quite a bit of experience in this area. I've done festival, broadcast and concert sound for over 30 years. I'm very familiar with what can and cannot be done. I have used some very good systems, and some very bad ones. That in no way changes my view that the SA220 is an extremely impressive package capable of delivering quality results. I would actually like to know how you would specify a practical (that means easily transportable and relatively affordable) system that achieves similar results and in particular, that quality of dispersion, using typical components? To date, I have not found one.

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    Default Re: Fishman SA220 (Fishman SoloAmp) report

    Quote Originally Posted by almeriastrings View Post
    "Normal PA" means what it says. An average system comprising a pair of reflex cabinets containing a large diameter LF driver + HF horn/cone driver, with separate monitors, as found in a typical small-medium venue. I'm not referring to a high-end concert hall installation.
    I'm not referring to concert hall installations either; I'm referring to modern Class D bi-amped powered speakers with internal DSP, used with a compact passive mixer. Or a digital mixer, if you need the effects and recall.

    For example, QSC K10 or K12, Yamaha DSR 112, JBL 612M, RCF 310 or 312 A. Or if you have money to burn, RCF TT series, or powered Meyer, or many others, but it doesn't have to cost a fortune for good sound. What bothers me is the "one size fits all" hype with things like the SoloAmp, or the Bose L1.

    I would actually like to know how you would specify a practical (that means easily transportable and relatively affordable) system that achieves similar results and in particular, that quality of dispersion, using typical components? To date, I have not found one.
    Any of the powered speakers I mentioned above, used as a single speaker, with a good compact mixer from Soundcraft or Allen & Heath, and a speaker stand to get it off the ground. I just did a gig like that a couple of weeks ago, at a private party where we used just a single K10. "Dispersion" is overrated at this price point (IMO). None of these little towers are true line arrays, and they're not deployed the way you'd use a line array.

    That doesn't mean the SoloAmp can't work in some situations, but there are a lot of ways to skin this cat. There is no single best way to do this, just a bunch of trade-offs.

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    Default Re: Fishman SA220 (Fishman SoloAmp) report

    So let me tell you what I've been doing the A/B comparisons with.

    My standard system:

    Allen & Heath PA28 desk (excellent mic pres and EQ on this, which is clearly superior to the limited EQ options on the SA220)
    Yamaha MSR-400 12" bi-amped cabinets (also tried a pair of RCF 310A's belonging to a friend)
    DB Technologies FM10 active floor monitors (pair)

    Result (in my personal opinion): the SA220 weighs less (by far), costs less (a lot), and is exceptionally nice to use in terms of what you hear on stage, and the manner in which the performance is heard both indoors and out in the situations tried so far. Obviously, it is not a festival rig... but, in the kind of places we play, performing traditional acoustic music, it works very, very well indeed and I will be leaving the "main system" at home more often than not. The one thing I do miss with it is more extensive EQ, and some extra inputs, but as I mentioned, easily solved by using a small separate mixer. I'd like to find a small mixer that has EQ as good as the PA28 (4-band with sweep on each band), but so far.. no luck.

    The SA220 is not a "one size fits all" by any means, but for what we do on our regular gigs, it is more than acceptable. We still have the main system as backup when and where required.

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    Default Re: Fishman SA220 (Fishman SoloAmp) report

    Well.... we used this the other afternoon at a friend's birthday party, outdoors, on a large patio. There were about 120 guests so it was not a huge affair, but they were quite spread out around the garden. What was particularly interesting was that we used it right alongside another system comprising a pair of (quite old) Mackie SRM450's mounted on poles, fed by a rather creaky and equally well worn Behringer (!) mixer. I had used this before when we guested with other pickers... and was not especially keen to do so again, hence, we took the Fishman for an outing. This was a party with a lot of musicians present, from acoustic to rock in all kinds of styles.

    Playing through the Fishman was a delight. It was easy to achieve a good mix and there were no problems hearing each other. To me it sounded very natural and articulate. We had one guitar DI'd via a Fishman Aura Spectrum, and guitar and mandolin miked acoustically, plus one vocal mic. After, we had a lot of compliments on the sound from other musicians, who wanted to know more about the system. No-one had ever seen/heard one before, but some had read about them, and about the Bose system. A consistent remark was that it sounded "incredibly natural and clear without being too loud". I let a singer-songwriter friend use it while I wandered off... right down the street.. and even at a considerable distance, intelligibility was remarkable. Doing the same thing with the other system was equally interesting. It was much more "muddy" sounding... and the subtlety conveyed so well by the Fishman was gone. How much of that was down to the the mixer vs. the speakers is hard to say, but the fact is that the SA220 just plain sounded far better, to the performers and to the audience. I continue to be highly impressed by it.

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    Default Re: Fishman SA220 (Fishman SoloAmp) report

    I'm glad you're having such success with your new PA. Your comment about hearing your friend clearly from a distance is exactly what amazed me the first time our Bose L-1 was outdoors. My partner played a solo piece while I walked around the house and down the block. I heard him clearly from over a block away with a house between us. These new style PA systems like the Fishman and Bose will have their fans and detractors just like everything else, but for any job they can play within their power class, I'll stick with them.
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    Default Re: Fishman SA220 (Fishman SoloAmp) report

    A bit of a further update here, as I used this last night in a really, seriously challenging environment: an aircraft-hangar of an indoor sports hall type building with marble floors and hard surfaces everywhere. There was a 30ft wide stage erected up front, and a seated audience of about 400. They had their own (hired) PA ready to go, consisting of a couple of JBL VP series 15" integrated cabs + subs and 5X JBL Eon stage monitors. We were determined to do this acoustically, with no pickups and just relying 100% on 3 mics and the Fishman (it looked very puny compared to the mass of other gear set up there). We set it up and did a sound check in the hall (without audience present). Because this was a very difficult environment, and we were going to have to run it quite a lot louder than we normally do, I used three AKG D5 hypercardiod dynamic mics to maximise gain before feedback. I also like the way these sound, both on vocals and on instruments. There are only two mic channels on the Fishman, so I routed the third mic through a TC-Helicon Voicelive rack into the 'monitor' input. It only took about 10 minutes to dial in a pretty good sound. I then compensated for the (anticipated) audience damping factor by increasing the HF EQ a bit on all channels. We were already getting quite a lot of interest from the sound guys and the broadcast people...as there was a live radio feed of the show, we took that from the 'mix' DI out of the Fishman straight to the radio desk. Show time... it was clear from the get-go they were having horrible problems with the main PA. The stage monitors were buzzing like a swarm of bees. There was a lot of 'boom' and clarity (even of the MC's speech) was very poor. There were also significant outbreaks of feedback. Our turn. We had instructed them to kill the monitors, fortunately, as otherwise I think we would have been buried by hum. I kicked off with a Monroe tune and clarity for us on stage was excellent. I could also tell it was really getting around the venue... moving to vocals, again, our perception was that it was very clear and natural sounding with plenty of volume. We had zero feedback issues. I did a bit of guitar flatpicking, and I had no problem hearing the backup. The system handled my old D-28 really well. It sounded good to me up there.

    I know we were really pushing it with one SA-220 in a venue that size, but the fact is - it delivered, and did so without the nightmare a couple of other 'acoustic' performers experienced from the main PA. I could see that getting a second tower in would make sense if playing a lot of venues of that type. We had very positive comment from the audience on the sound, and especially from other musicians who were fascinated by how such a seemingly small, thin box could produce such a huge sound and carry it all over the venue without screaming feedback. One guy who played a set with his very nice Lowden, had a terrible time up there with the stage monitors... and later wanted to know where he could get one as quickly as possible.

    It was very impressive and after that, I think it is the best investment in our sound I've made in years. I wish I'd tried one sooner.

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    Default Re: Fishman SA220 (Fishman SoloAmp) report

    I've got one; have gigged with it for over a year and every time I use it, I think how smart I am for having gotten it. They are indeed an impressive system for the right applications, and a tremendous value. Light, quick set-up, great sound, lots of power... I wouldn't trade mine!

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    Default Re: Fishman SA220 (Fishman SoloAmp) report

    Hi,

    I am thinking of getting two of these to serve as both stage amps and monitor for a five piece accordion/fiddle cajun/polka/zydeco rock band, and wonder if anyone has an opinion on whether it would work well for our needs. We currently have a Mackie 8 channel powered mixer running two Yamaha 12 inch clubs for FOH. The band is short on amplification for individual instruments, however, so the according and fiddle run direct to the FOH, and my mandolin and guitars run through stage amps. The bassist also plays the chapman stick which he runs through his stage amp. We also run the kick drum through the FOH, and occasionally an overhead drum. So all told, we have the following in FOH: Three vocal lines, accordion, fiddle, kick, and sometimes an overhead drum. Everything else is stage amp. As you can imagine, this creates all sorts of mixing and monitoring headaches.

    My thinking is as follows. Bass and Electric guitar remain independent in stage amps. Chapman stick and accordion run to SA220 number one, and then out to the Mackie/FOH for FOH. Acoustic Guitar and fiddle run to SA220 number 2, then to mackie/FOH. Vocals and drums run direct to mackie/FOH. We then run a monitor line from the mackie to the aux inputs of the SA220s and use this line for vocal monitoring. The SA220s are placed at left and right rear of stage and angled a bit inward so all can hear.

    Does this seem a reasonable plan? It would seem to overcome two issues: 1) monitoring needs, and 2) our profound amplifier deficit.

    many thanks for any thoughts ....
    Last edited by jerber; Dec-02-2011 at 11:08am.

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    Default Re: Fishman SA220 (Fishman SoloAmp) report

    Quote Originally Posted by jerber View Post
    I am thinking of getting two of these to serve as both stage amps and monitor for a five piece accordion/fiddle cajun/polka/zydeco rock band, and wonder if anyone has an opinion on whether it would work well for our needs.
    With the band setup you describe, I don't think two SoloAmps will work for monitoring and substitute instrument amps. That's really a far cry from what they're designed for, which is basically light-duty amplification for a solo or duo act. You'll have the SoloAmps firing directly into the pickup pattern of the vocalist mics. Also, many musicians don't work well with all the "monitoring" sound coming from behind, on a loud stage.

    What you need, especially with a loud stage like that, is just a good conventional monitor system. Get some powered floor monitors like QSC K10's. Or EV ZXA-1's if you really want to go lightweight and small. Place them in the null of the mics at the front edge of the stage. Or spring for an in-ear monitor system, if you can afford it, and the band is amenable. With good monitoring, you can reduce or eliminate the need for separate amplifiers for many of the instruments. That keeps the stage quieter, and feedback easier to control.

    Only use instrument amps for the things where the amp has to be part of the sound, like electric guitar, or the bass player, if it's the kind of player that needs to feel the bass instead of just hear it through a monitor. The fewer instrument amps you have onstage, the cleaner your sound will be, both in monitors and out in FOH.

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    Default Re: Fishman SA220 (Fishman SoloAmp) report

    I use a Soloamp for my instruments in a Contra Band. One channel for a Shure Mic for the instruments without a p/u and the other channel for the p/u instruments - only one channel in play at a time. I'm still figuring out the the different controls...

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    Default Re: Fishman SA220 (Fishman SoloAmp) report

    Hi, Almeristrings:

    I have a question about what you said about plugging Helicon into Monitor input: I have connected my Voice live wich is basically the same thing into the XLR monitor input and it seems to be compressed vs connecting it to channel 2 as an ex. Did yo have the same issue? I need to have two mics and a guitar and I dont want to add a mixer, plus the small mixers are not XLR balanced and it affects sound and i tried one and seem to get more noise.

    Thanks in advance for your reply.

    zuma

    Quote Originally Posted by almeriastrings View Post
    A bit of a further update here, as I used this last night in a really, seriously challenging environment: an aircraft-hangar of an indoor sports hall type building with marble floors and hard surfaces everywhere. There was a 30ft wide stage erected up front, and a seated audience of about 400. They had their own (hired) PA ready to go, consisting of a couple of JBL VP series 15" integrated cabs + subs and 5X JBL Eon stage monitors. We were determined to do this acoustically, with no pickups and just relying 100% on 3 mics and the Fishman (it looked very puny compared to the mass of other gear set up there). We set it up and did a sound check in the hall (without audience present). Because this was a very difficult environment, and we were going to have to run it quite a lot louder than we normally do, I used three AKG D5 hypercardiod dynamic mics to maximise gain before feedback. I also like the way these sound, both on vocals and on instruments. There are only two mic channels on the Fishman, so I routed the third mic through a TC-Helicon Voicelive rack into the 'monitor' input. It only took about 10 minutes to dial in a pretty good sound. I then compensated for the (anticipated) audience damping factor by increasing the HF EQ a bit on all channels. We were already getting quite a lot of interest from the sound guys and the broadcast people...as there was a live radio feed of the show, we took that from the 'mix' DI out of the Fishman straight to the radio desk. Show time... it was clear from the get-go they were having horrible problems with the main PA. The stage monitors were buzzing like a swarm of bees. There was a lot of 'boom' and clarity (even of the MC's speech) was very poor. There were also significant outbreaks of feedback. Our turn. We had instructed them to kill the monitors, fortunately, as otherwise I think we would have been buried by hum. I kicked off with a Monroe tune and clarity for us on stage was excellent. I could also tell it was really getting around the venue... moving to vocals, again, our perception was that it was very clear and natural sounding with plenty of volume. We had zero feedback issues. I did a bit of guitar flatpicking, and I had no problem hearing the backup. The system handled my old D-28 really well. It sounded good to me up there.

    I know we were really pushing it with one SA-220 in a venue that size, but the fact is - it delivered, and did so without the nightmare a couple of other 'acoustic' performers experienced from the main PA. I could see that getting a second tower in would make sense if playing a lot of venues of that type. We had very positive comment from the audience on the sound, and especially from other musicians who were fascinated by how such a seemingly small, thin box could produce such a huge sound and carry it all over the venue without screaming feedback. One guy who played a set with his very nice Lowden, had a terrible time up there with the stage monitors... and later wanted to know where he could get one as quickly as possible.

    It was very impressive and after that, I think it is the best investment in our sound I've made in years. I wish I'd tried one sooner.

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    Default Re: Fishman SA220 (Fishman SoloAmp) report

    Foldedpath mentions "Place them in the null of the mics at the front edge of the stage." What do you mean by this? We seem to get alot of feedback from bringing up monitor volumes. I got that template from shure that supposedly shows the angle the mics should be in relation to the monitors, but using that template, the monitors would have to be on the ceiling! The fishman system in discussion here seems very good. I heard a jazz band recently using one and it sounded great. We used to use a bose L1 Model 1, the classic first issue and it worked great for us except when we had to crank it up and could not move the stack far enough away to minimize feedback. When we could put it out front to the side we could use full amp power, but behind us was a constant fight with feedback. I was impressed with it tho regarding the speaker stick. From what I understand when you are right in front of it you are only hearing the speakers at your ear level, but 50 feet away you are hearing all the speakers, all 24, and that is why the volume seems the same to the ear.

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    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fishman SA220 (Fishman SoloAmp) report

    Quote Originally Posted by zuma48 View Post
    Hi, Almeristrings:

    I have a question about what you said about plugging Helicon into Monitor input: I have connected my Voice live wich is basically the same thing into the XLR monitor input and it seems to be compressed vs connecting it to channel 2 as an ex. Did yo have the same issue? I need to have two mics and a guitar and I dont want to add a mixer, plus the small mixers are not XLR balanced and it affects sound and i tried one and seem to get more noise.

    Thanks in advance for your reply.

    zuma
    Is this a Voicelive (orignal) or the newer version? Note that the AUX input of the SA220 is unbalanced stereo on a TRS Jack. This is normally the route you would feed a mixer input using a basic "insert" type cable (two mono jacks feeding a 'stereo' jack), from the L and R channels of the mixer output... now, on the Voice Live 2 you have both XLR and 1/4" jack outputs. You would use the jack outputs via an "insert" type lead feeding L & R mono signals to the TRS (stereo) jack labelled 'AUX" on the back of your SA220. If you are using an XLR cable, from what I can see of the Voice Live, you may be feeding just one channel, not both. For a mono feed you should be using the LEFT channel, not the right. I would not bother with the XLR cable here, as it is a line-level signal and is only a short run.

    An unbalanced signal does not affect sound. Not in any way at all, certainly over short runs. It can cause problems over very long runs, 75-100 feet or more. Over short runs, 10-15 feet or so, unless you are in an extremely noisy (in the electrical sense) there is no difference. The key advantage of a balanced line is noise/interference rejection. This does only come into play on long cable runs, or in exceptionally 'noisy' environments (right next to electric motors, for example), with low level (mic, for example) signal levels.

    In fact, many, many small mixers will send a balanced signal out on both channels, but to save space, they do it via TRS jacks rather than XLR sockets. This does not affect the signal - just the connector used. XLR sockets are quite bulky - TRS jacks are very compact.

    Either way, if you get the gain structure set right, and use the right cables, you should be fine with a feed from either a Voice Live or from any decent small mixer.
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    Default Re: Fishman SA220 (Fishman SoloAmp) report

    Quote Originally Posted by Timmando View Post
    Foldedpath mentions "Place them in the null of the mics at the front edge of the stage." What do you mean by this? We seem to get alot of feedback from bringing up monitor volumes. I got that template from shure that supposedly shows the angle the mics should be in relation to the monitors, but using that template, the monitors would have to be on the ceiling!
    "Place monitors in the null of the mic" just means to be aware of what pattern of mic you're using, and place the monitor appropriately. If it's a cardioid like a Shure SM58, you place the monitor in a direction towards the rear of the mic body, because that's where the null is. If the mic is pointing slightly up at the singer, a monitor on the floor will be in the null, more or less (the null is rotationally symmetrical around the mic axis). The only way you'd have the ideal monitor location on the ceiling, would be if your singer's mic is pointing down at a 45 degree angle.

    A "feedback eliminator" can help get a little more gain before feedback, but mostly it's in correct placement of the monitors, having enough distance from mic to monitor, and controlling stage volume. There isn't much you can do (short of going to in-ear monitoring) if the stage volume is just out of control.

    I was impressed with it tho regarding the speaker stick. From what I understand when you are right in front of it you are only hearing the speakers at your ear level, but 50 feet away you are hearing all the speakers, all 24, and that is why the volume seems the same to the ear.
    That's not really how it works (Bose marketing aside). A large concert line array -- the kind of vertical stack you see suspended from the trusses at a major show -- is vertically angled in a curve, and it's actively phase-adjusted in a way that can fire sound over the heads of the people in the front rows to reach the rear of the coverage area. Each box in the array has its own "target" for reaching part of the audience, which makes for a nice even dispersion. The Bose L1 isn't arranged that way, and it's not deployed overhead in a way to make it possible.

    The only advantage the Bose L1 has in "even" coverage front-to-back in a room, is that it's typically placed behind the band, instead of at the front of the stage. Following the inverse square law of sound dispersion, that simply means that you have a little more even coverage from the front row of the audience to the rear, because the speakers start out further away. If you place the L1 tower at the front of the stage like a conventional PA setup, the inverse square law applies the same way as it would to a conventional horn-loaded PA speaker at the same location. Both systems would have roughly the same front-to-back coverage.

    If you're using conventional PA speakers at the front corners of the stage with a typical weekend warrior PA setup, you can get better front-to-back dispersion just by raising the speakers up high enough, so the horn is firing above the heads of the front rows to reach the rear. Many of the bands I see using their own compact PA systems just aren't getting the speakers up high enough, so they end up blasting the people in front. Of course sometimes you want that, if it's a dance floor and you want more volume up-front. It's all about choosing the right location, dispersion angle, and height for the job.

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    Default Re: Fishman SA220 (Fishman SoloAmp) report

    Not Foldedpath

    The "null of the mics" though is their zone of minimum sensitivity. With a typical cardiod or hyper-cardiod mic this is right behind them. With a figure-of-8 mic it is both sides, with both back and front having equal sensitivity.
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    Default Re: Fishman SA220 (Fishman SoloAmp) report

    Thanks guys...that helps. Our mics are usually positioned almost parallel to the ground, so the back of the mic is pointing at the audience. With the template shure gave me it places the monitors above the audiences head. If we point the mics down to the ground, more vertical, then the monitors will be in the right place, at our feet. I heard a joke once when a musician asked the audience after the first song "Can you hear us ok in the front?" and everyone says yes, then he asked "Can you all hear from the rear?" and the audience answered "YES!" and then he said "I know a doctor who can take care of that!"

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    Default Re: Fishman SA220 (Fishman SoloAmp) report

    Thanks guys...that helps. Our mics are usually positioned almost parallel to the ground, so the back of the mic is pointing at the audience. With the template shure gave me it places the monitors above the audiences head. If we point the mics down to the ground, more vertical, then the monitors will be in the right place, at our feet.
    Huh? If you point the mics down then the monitors might need to be up high, but no matter what Shure has on their template this is not really a workable situation. Monitors on the floor , angle up, and pointed at your face works and is not obstructing the audiences view of the performer. Mics in this situation also pointed slightly up again at your face or instrument. This allows the back of the mic ( null assuming cardioid pattern) to be toward the monitor making them most feedback resistent. I like the bose and the fishman mentioned and they do their job very well but if you place the mic where it pics up the main signal you will get feedback. Both the fishman and Bose are mor resistent to this than many , but it is inevitable if the volume gets loud enough. I'm sure some venues have the capabilies of ceiling mounted monitors but not most. If shure recomends that on their template than they need a reality check.
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    Default Re: Fishman SA220 (Fishman SoloAmp) report

    Ceiling mounted monitors, yup. We play one venue regularly where we can plug into the house sound which is a bunch of ceiling speakers throughout the restaurant. One of those is right over the stage and acts quite like a ceiling mounted monitor. It's awful. Controlling feedback from that thing is very difficult. We hate it when they ask us to plug into the house sound.
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    Default Re: Fishman SA220 (Fishman SoloAmp) report

    A recent update for SA-220 fans. I used a pair of these last night at a concert in a large, open, town square. A real variety of artists. I think I also got to play the first ever public performance of "Old Dangerfield" with an African drummer and Djembe's.... I just hope no-one posts it on Youtube!

    The system was really excellent, as usual. Plenty of volume. Stacks of clarity. What really stood out for me was the great transient response on percussion. Fast. Clean. Dynamic. NFI here, incidentally... I only wish there was...

    On singer-songwriter material, the vocals were clean, 'present' and generally, just nice. Our friend Sabrina Lloyd gave a fantastic performance weighted towards Gordon Lightfoot and Eric Clapton 'Unplugged' material. It was a somewhat 'toned down' event due to the terrible train disaster here in Spain. Performers reflected that with choice of material. A lot more thoughtful, reflective stuff. I used an AKG D-5 here and DI'd her guitar:

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    Two SA-220's either side, both fed from an A&H PA-28 desk.

    I also used the D-5's tight hypercardiod pattern, though normally termed a 'vocal' mic, to isolate traditional Spanish instruments during ensemble and dance performances, here on a bandurria.

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    Finally, the system really did a superb job on percussion, here with world-class djembe player (and maker) from Ghana, Louis Wonder:

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    Again, I used another D-5 on vocals, and a pair of Shure SM-94's as overheads. Louis was very, very happy with the sound and loved the SA-220's on his drums. Even I was impressed... I thought the Ellis F-5 special also sounded great through another SM-94 and the SA-220's too (obligatory mando content).
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    Default Re: Fishman SA220 (Fishman SoloAmp) report

    I bought one of these in 2009 and used it for a lot of small gigs, plus for rehearsals where things tended to get pretty loud. Never had anything but good luck out of mine. Its funny though, now that I don't do any jazz gigs, I don't need it, and found 0 interest here on the classifieds. I guess some folks thought that lugging around a PA was the better option, but that's not my experience. If you need a portable good-sounding device, the Fishman delivers. Love it, and used it a lot...

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