View Full Version : sound equipment

Apr-10-2004, 9:49am
I've been assembling pieces as I can afford them. I have a Mackie DFX 12 mixing board. 1 AKG 3000 and 3 AKG 1000 microphones. Now I need some speakers and am leaning toward the Mackie SRM 450 powered units.
we have a 5 pc. band , banjo, guitar, mando, fiddle and bass. the base has her own amp.
Can anyone tell me if the 450's would be O.K. for a bluegass set up. Your advice would be very much apreciated.
Thanks for your time. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Apr-10-2004, 9:54am
This is just my advice but I will give it honestly. #First of all, we have a had a LOT of Mackie equipment coming back for repairs and I think Mackie is in financial trouble. #Second, I have some of the Mackie powered speakers in stock and I compared them side by side with Yamaha's new powered speakers and the Yamahas blew the Mackies away by far. #They were much cleaner and they are rated at 350 watts per speaker. #I would demo some units before buying.

Apr-10-2004, 10:07am
I haven't come across the Yamahas. I'm doing all my searching on the net. I live in a fairly remote area so listening and comparing is just about impossible. can you tell me the model # of the yamahas and I'll go and look them up.Can you tell me if the powered speaker is a good way to go or should a guy go amp and speakers?
Thanks again for your time.

Apr-10-2004, 4:03pm
The Yamahas are the MS300's. I personally prefer to go with an amp and speakers but that is just my opinion because you have many more options with speakers.

Apr-10-2004, 6:25pm
That's very interesting MandoJeremy. It's always good to have somebody on the "inside". When I used to work in a music store(way back) I steered people away from Sunn because of reliability probs, even though the store carried that junk. Mackie has been touted for quite a while and have really soared in price. I had seen the Mackie speakers going for basically list on ebay and wondered about them. My daughter was singing in the hi-school choir last spring and they hired a pro sound co. that had a set of Mackie(didn't see the #'s) powered speakers with a sub. Not a big looking system, outside. Sounded wonderful, but I always wonder about reliability. Around here there is nothing harder than trying to get electronics fixed so Mackie is off my list. We used to use a small Yamaha head and speakers and especially for their size they are wonderful. The band has been wanting to upgrade to larger mains but I've been trying to get through to the band just to get a sub. Bass is what kills most speakers but with a sub you can take that out of the mains and they can get real loud if they don't have to go down low. I also am a separate amp buy because over the years the thing that has most failed is amps. I guess because they take most of the abuse.

Apr-11-2004, 1:04am
thanks for your help.I am concerned about powered speakers failing, if the amp fails will the speakers continue to work?
If a guy goes the separate amp and speakers route and you had $1500 what would you recommend.

speaker route

Apr-11-2004, 1:05am
thanks for your help.I am concerned about powered speakers failing, if the amp fails will the speakers continue to work?
If a guy goes the separate amp and speakers route and you had $1500 what would you recommend.

Apr-11-2004, 8:58am
We got our Yamaha 8 channel amp and two 12 inch speakers with stands and cables for less than $1500. Sorry I dont have the model number specifics. It does the job for us.

Apr-11-2004, 2:38pm
I would definitely go with a QSC amp because we have a church that we installed 50 QSC amps into and not one of them has yet to fail and if it did it would email us and tell us which amp and what is going wrong! #I have found them to be very reliable. #Speakers are another game! #Let me do some research tomorrow and see what I can come up with for you in that price range. I know you would be looking at a 16 channel board in that price range, of course everyone is not as cheap as us. Yamaha has sort of revamped their whole pro audio line and I am very pleased with the results so far. I installed one of the 24 channel consoles at our church and it is excellent.

Apr-11-2004, 3:01pm
man I shure feel dumb, I don't know what a QSC amp is!!
Please recall that I have a mackie 12 channel mixer.

Apr-11-2004, 5:51pm

Jonathan Reinhardt
Apr-11-2004, 7:20pm
Sound gear is a kind of personal choice. The Yamaha speakers non-powered are a great buy. I have seen and heard the powered ones and was not impressed. Same with the Mackies. However, many use them, many love their convenience etc. If I could advise #you to buy used, that would be the best I have to offer. Sound gear is abundant and it lasts long enough so the used articles are very servicable - but nothing is forever, and if you are the responsible soundperson, you will learn and get a better budget down the road (hopefully!).
If you run from stage, a powered mixing board is fine. (Distance and damping factor.) I think you said you had a board. So the amp, eq, and #speakers used should run you around $1500 tops. Some folks like the old Peavey CS 800 amps. I'll check into this and see, as there was a change in these at some point. #Usually around used. Same with Peavey SP-5s. Great speaker, still manageable size, but 15", you can run the bass thru it with no need for a sub or a crosssover. I get many compliments from even Peavey haters. (It helps having a Spirit powered board driving them.) I find 12" speakers to be too wimpy to cover the whole show. Vocals, yes, but instruments need more. # The #Peavey SPs produce a very natural midrange, for stringed instruments and work wonders with vocals. #I got a pair in great shape for under $500.
The possibilities are practically endless. QSC has many excellent quality amps. The PLX comes to mind. You will have trouble finding a used one unless you make the rounds regularly. Whatever you end up with (old Crown, etc. - avoid Berringer)) Just make sure you match the amp to the speakers. You don't want to make the mistake of mismatch (watts) and adding complexity to sound duty. If you find some good used EVs or Bag Ends, fine, but this will cost more.
There is so much to pass on, but my point is - the most bang for the buck is to buy used and get good mic(s) right off the bat. Then upgrade as you go. If you need some advice, get in touch with me and I'll try to give you more info and get you in touch with folks who know more than I.
rasa - who can still haul the whole shebang in the Toyota

Apr-11-2004, 7:47pm
Well, to be honest I could sell NEW E/V speakers, stands, an EQ, and a QSC amp for less than $1500.00 and I never encourage people to buy used speakers because you don't know how much wattage has been pumped into them over their lifetime and how much abuse they have suffered, not to mention that they don't come with a warranty. I also don't recommend a used amp for reasons that are obvious when it comes to electronics, being that there is enough trouble with new stuff. And I must admit that Peavey is just plain old school and you get what you pay for. When a church or anyone else calls me with a problem and they say the word "Peavey", I am prepared for the challenge of making a low-end product sound better (which does require my magical sound wand!). Did I mention that I wasn't a fan of Peavey? I am not too fond of Crown either but that is just my opinion based on experience.

Apr-12-2004, 7:28pm
We have a 5 piece BG band, and we use the Mackie SRM 450's. I am pretty happy with them. The only thing I dont like is having to run a power cord to them to get the juice. I would probably go with passive speakers if I did it again.

Apr-12-2004, 7:50pm
Hey Tbone, how long have you had them? Have you had any problems with them? How large a venue do you think a guy could use them for? Do you also have a sub?

Jonathan Reinhardt
Apr-12-2004, 9:44pm
Well now mandoJeremy, I guess you put me in my place.
I wholeheartedly disagree. Even though you offer sound (no pun intended) advice, methinks you are a bit biased. (Shades of the NO PEAVEY clauses.)
I mentioned two Peavey products which have stood the test of time. I am not a Peavey fan either, but these are head and shoulders above the rest. I, and many of my (old school) musican friends, use them with good results. Was just used as an example, not a testimony.
piiman could do no better than talk to you if you can outfit for those $. My hat's off to you. Around here those prices aren't a reality.
I will say ALL EV and QSC gear is/are not the cat's pajamas. Just some, like any other companies equipment.
Used gear has served me well for as long as I can remember. I just make sure to check it out first. My current Peavey SP5Gs have five years of service on my watch, and still strong as the day they were made.
I bow out in chagrin that I even suggested such blasphemy.

piiman - go here for some advice from other musician/soundpersons.
rasa - who has been known to play in park gazebos with inferior sound systems - not even his own.

Dennis Schubert
Apr-12-2004, 10:23pm
We have used four of the unpowered version of the Mackie SRM 450 speakers (SRM 300, I think) since they first came out (five years ago?) and have not had any trouble with them in continuous "weekend warrior" use...indoors, outdoors, alternate use as floor monitors, etc. What sounds best is always somewhat subjective, but we've had no problems with reliablity. Don't know about the powered version of these speakers, but I'd rather have passive speakers and separate power amps for flexibility. Have played for 500+ outside, or in the loudest college town bars you can imagine, with these speakers.

Apr-12-2004, 11:18pm
Thanks for the link rasa, lots to learn there

Apr-15-2004, 7:06pm
your mileage may vary as they say..but I have a pair of the Mackie SRM450s that I use for my main stereo speakers and occasional stage use. I have never had any problems what so ever and to my ears they sound great.

Mandomedic uses 6 pairs of SRMs with a Mackie subwoofer for all of his live festival sound work along with a mackie board and he has never had any problems after two years useage. Don't know about Mackies financial problems but compared to everything else in that price category I am pleased with them.

I have done live sound work for 25 years including the gamut of large tri-amped setups and for most small groups two pair of the SRM450s (pair of mains, pair for monitors) would do any smaller indoor venue you can think of.

I currently use a Spirit SX board to play out and in combination with the SRM450s it sounds pretty good.


Apr-15-2004, 8:36pm
For the record, I am not saying the older Mackie stuff has been a problem for our store, it is the newer stuff they have been putting out that has had major problems. Of course, when we do a production we use all D&B mains, subs, and power amps but they cost around six grand a piece so they probably aren't for bluegrass bands plus we use a Midas console that dealer cost on is $111,000. I like a lot of Mackie's products for the money but I wouldn't buy their new stuff because the newer Yamaha stuff is just as good or better and a little cheaper in price.

Apr-17-2004, 7:47pm
I just heard some yorkville nx550p powered speakers. the vocals sounded awsome.
anybody know of any issues with these

Apr-18-2004, 8:21pm
QSC has an import RMX, and a domestic line, which weigh less.
they are 21# irregardless of output.
Its the powersupply that is the heavy part
my rmx850 is 30% heavier,but only$300 bux, VS $600 for same power output.
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Apr-18-2004, 10:48pm
We have SRM-450's and sub.
Also Mackie 1604 vlz-pro board.
We also use some
AKG mic's (414's) they are great if miking stringed instruments, recording, good all around mic's, can even be used for vocals. Also (C4000 B), very good vocal mic's
No problems, mackies built like tanks.
Sound of speakers are exceptional!
Very good clarity, smooth mids.
Board is good, but mic pres are over-rated.
Got a focusrite front end for pres.
Very good for playing out, or even using as recording monitors in a pinch, in our opinion.
We prefer to mic as many stringed instruments as we can.
Stand-up, fiddle, mando in particular.
Good luck....

Apr-19-2004, 1:07pm

I've had them just about 2 years, and we bought them used, when they were about 6 months old. No problems whatsoever!

Lets see....they can push some serious sound. I've used them outdoors for smallish weddings (100 people tops) with no problems. The biggest indoor venue I've used them in was maybe 200 people - and with the gain about 50%, we had plenty of power.

No subwoofer though. I wish we had one. they don't have quite enough bass response to get the serious booty-shakin goin on.

Apr-21-2004, 10:18pm
I just ordered some FBT Max2a powered speakers Thank you all for your advice:)