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Topic: Florida magic soundsystem question
Message: Posted by: brehan (Jun 5, 2008 07:00AM)
Hi guys could anyone that realy uses the floridamagic soundsystem tel me for what audiance size you comfterbly use it ?
and where to put the soundsystem on stage back of the room etc?
are there any of you to use it with music and is it any good??
many thanks brehan
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Jun 5, 2008 07:28AM)
I have one but I haven't tried using it yet in an actual gig...it's a back-up unit for my Peavey Escort.

Here are some pointers I got from Dan concerning the Florida Magic.

The unit has a high quality wireless mic system built in, so if you
are getting feedback, it is caused by one of these things:

Do not stand in front of the speaker. Never set the unit up behind
you. Personally, I position my system approximately 10 feet away from
me, to my left (although it could be to the right if that suits you..)
and slightly in front of me.

Turning the volume up too loud for the size room. If you are in a
small room and crank up the volume, the sound will bounce off the back
wall and come back to the system causing feedback. Because the unit is
so small, many people feel that you have to crank up the volume - not
true with this system - its very powerful!

A weak 9V battery in the beltpack. Replace with a brand new alkaline
battery for every 2-3 hours of talk time (every 2 shows..)

So, if you are getting feedback, just ask yourself, "where am I
standing?", "How high is the volume?", "When was the last time I changed
the battery?". The Shure mic is a less efficient mic which uses much
more of the units power, thus giving you less feedback, but not as much
volume. If the Shure mic works with the pas767 transmitter, and you
prefer it, then feel free to use the Shure mic. You certainly won't hurt
anything, although you probably won't get as much volume from the system.

Dan Christopher
Florida Magic
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Jun 5, 2008 08:27AM)
I found that system to be the most expensive, worst sounding, poorest quality system around. You can spend far less money and get far better sound.

You can spend the same amount of money and get something much much better.

Please read the threads in the F/X section which will answer all your questions.
Message: Posted by: TRUMPETMAN (Jun 5, 2008 09:20AM)
I bought mine used from another magician here who was upgrading his system, so I got mine at a really good deal.

It works great for small crowds, and teh baterry works great when power is not available.

Yes, it is not the best sounding system, but think about what you are buying.

Anyone who would expect high quality sound from a one speaker , small amp system doesn't understand live sound. The EQ quality on the Florida system is nil (non-adjustable), you get what they give you. However, it is perfect for small rooms of up to 100 people or so.

I use mine all the time for preschool shows, library shows, and mall shows where I am playing to small groups of spectators who gather around me. No one ever comes up and says "your show was great, but the sound was awful!". I recently used it for a job at a Hilton hotel, and was given many compliments after the show. Not one person complained about the sound. I even used my system once for a large elementary school anti drug rally show. I was told there would be small groups of kids, but instead, then sent the whole bunch of several hundred at once ! The system performed without a htich, and everyone heard every word.

The guy who runs the company Florida Sound is a magician, and uses his product on a daily basis. I have purchased the upgraded headset mic from him, and it works much better than the one that came with the system.

One point that is important is that you can't wander very far from the system and expect the mic to broadcast without interuption of the signal. It is not a strong transmitter or receiver.

Does it have drawbacks ? Yes, but like I said, I got mine used, so it was a great deal. I hope to upgrade to something more state of the art this next winter, and have been looking hard at PASO. I recently saw Tim Sonefelt perform, and his PASO system sounded AWESOME. It is expensive though, compared to something like the Florida Sound unit. Easily $1,000 more.

Hope all this helps.....

Mark Pettey
Naples, FL
Message: Posted by: TRUMPETMAN (Jun 5, 2008 09:24AM)
And no, I am NOT an employee or even friend of the owner of Florida Sound !

We just happen to live in the same state, about 200 miles from each other.

I don't endorse anything for anyone, well maybe except for Derrek Rutt, just because his effects are sooooo cool !

Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Jun 5, 2008 10:32AM)
I never tried it in an actual gig yet but I did try it in the park and it sounded quite well.

I will use this in a small school room next week...and I'm quite confident that it will sound well :)

Thanks :)
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Jun 5, 2008 11:16AM)
At first I raved about it and then I found better systems like the Roland CM30 for price, sound quality, and speaker design quality as well as numerous inputs for other devices.

A decent remote mic, will work well with the Roland and it most likely is of better quality.

At KIDabra, there are several Flordia systems which sell for less than $100. I sold mine for $100. I now have several remote microphone sets, and other more powerful systems. These systems and information on them is in the "Sticky" posts in the FX section.

Frank's post above of this system is the same as mine. Understand, I used this system for two years, and it is better than no system.

Before putting out any money, lots of excellent information on sound systems is in the FX section and many links to those posts are in the "Sticky post" section. It is worth reading so you can make an informed and sound decision before your purchase.

A serious consideration is weight. A lighter system means one less trip to the car.
Message: Posted by: todd75 (Jun 5, 2008 11:55AM)
What most people don't like about this system is the fact that it creates feedback and cuts out. Here is what you can do to eliminate that....

1. The thing has so much power that you hardly even have to turn the thing up. Most people think higher volume means more power. Not in this case!

2. To prevent drop outs all you have to do is pull the battery contacts up inside of the belt pack. Also, some 9 volt batteries are actually longer than others. Go to the store and compare brands. But the tallest battery as it makes the best connection.

I had an agency of different performers that I bought systems for to use when they did a gig for me. I have just stopped doing the whole agent thing and am selling my 2 Florida systems. Nothing wrong with either one. I just use an Anchor now which is a lot more expensive. Go to the LETS MAKE A DEAL SECTION for more information. I am selling them at almost half of what they sell for brand new!
Message: Posted by: Rodney Palmer (Jun 5, 2008 12:17PM)
Sorry, but I agree with Frank & Dennis the Florida Sound System is pure JUNK. I purchased one from Dan and sent it back a week later. DO NOT WASTE your money on this system. As Dennis stated buy a Roland CM-30 or something similar.

Message: Posted by: TRUMPETMAN (Jun 5, 2008 01:01PM)
Todd 75...Thanks so much for the tip on the battery size ! I never realized that. I will have to see if it fixes the drop outs.

I have worked as a professional musician for decades, and there really isn't any sound system under $1,000 that sounds decent. ALL of the small products (similar in size to the Florida system) under $500 sound thin & "tanky", a sound man's slang for very heavy mid-range EQ.

The only solution is to move up to larger speakers, cleaner amps, and better EQ, none of which are features on the myriad of tiny systems out there.

Message: Posted by: Scott O. (Jun 5, 2008 01:53PM)
I've had mine for about 5 years. It's been to hundreds of shows and still works like a champ. At the price it sells for new, though, I would look at other options. I was able to buy mine for $100-- and that seems about the right price for this.

As for running music through it. NO. Don't do it. A boom box will work better for that. And that's what I do. For small shows of 100 or less, this unit covers voice, and my boom box provides the music.

I have used the Sekaku (Floridamagics soundsystem) in large banquet rooms with 200-300 people. It certainly is loud enough, but the sound is not as clear as it should be at those levels. At smaller shows, though, I love it. It fits inside my lefler case, and is always at the ready.

As for the dropping out. Yeah, I've had that problem as well. I finally realized that a fresh battery after 2 shows will fix that--for me anyway.

It's a nice little unit. A bit pricey new, but it certainly has been a workhorse for me.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Jun 5, 2008 02:16PM)
The FL system can work but unless you're getting it for $100 as a starter system
there are several other systems that are far better at reasonable prices.
And even then...

roland is better and cheaper.
crate taxi is far better and cheaper also runs on battery.
carvin stagemate is far far far better and similarly priced. tons of extra features. all need a wireless mic however but you should have one anyway or do your show with a mic and a stand.
Fender PD150, blah, blah...
A NOS Fender P150 is bound to be dirt cheap these days

I got my crate taxi brand new from Guitar Center for $99.
With a descent Sennheiser (sp?) wireless cardiod headset ($350-ish) you'll have one helluva nice sounding loud enough system for about he price of a new FL system. And you can easily run the whole thing off battery.

No dropouts or feedback with that nice little setup.

Then as you move up the scale or use a house system you can still use your wireless if you wish.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Jun 5, 2008 07:36PM)
Michael Messing asked me about the Roland compared to the Crate Taxi.

Since he's been so helpful to me/us I thought the least I could do was test them side by site asap.

Well, I ran an MP3 player into both.
The Roland wins hands down. I was shocked. Michael originally suggested that to me because of the good sound. The sound was much much cleaner. The bass was tighter and bigger. Maybe a little too big theoretically but that ain't gonna hurt. That's for sure.

I will still use the Crate if I needed battery but I'll use the roland when I can.

So... that little Roland with a nice mic and an iPod has got to be a a good combo.

The roland can run 2 with an extension setup which would be a sweet little pair.
It also has a mic stand attachment on the bottom to get it up in the air.
Message: Posted by: Michael Messing (Jun 5, 2008 08:47PM)
Thanks, again, Frank for comparing those to me. (I'm on a never-ending search for the perfect sound system!)

Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Jun 5, 2008 11:16PM)
Wow...I wish I saw this thread before I got mine...:( I got mine at at a whopping price of ...too expensive to even mention :(

In any case, I'll just have to make the most out of it...
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Jun 6, 2008 06:10AM)
One needs only to compare speakers of these two systems. You automobile speaker is better than the Flordia PAS. Matching this 4" single voice cone with the multi-cone 8" speaker for voice and music in the Roland CM30, is like comparing a tricycle to a motocycle. That much difference. Both will get you to where you're going but one can do it better and it's much cheaper!

For a starter $100 system, it is OK, but not $500!
Message: Posted by: sethb (Jun 6, 2008 07:06AM)
I have never used the Florida system, but I see that by the time you get the basic $400 unit, the optional $99 battery pack and the upgraded $50 headset mic, you are darn close to the $600 price of say, a PASO, which has all of the above in one unit, a 6-1/2" speaker/tweeter, and 16 selectable wireless frequencies instead of just one. For about the same money, you could also get an Anchor AN-100, which is comparable to the PASO but does not have a rechargeable battery.

The Florida unit may be OK for what it is, but for another $50 or so, I think you could do a lot better. A good PA is an investment that should earn its cost many times over during its lifetime. So while it doesn't make sense to overbuy, this is one situation where it's not worth it to cut corners too closely. SETH
Message: Posted by: brehan (Jun 6, 2008 07:11AM)
Thanks for the answers guys is it safe to say sound is ok till 200 people and don't play music trough the system!?
Message: Posted by: TRUMPETMAN (Jun 6, 2008 10:00AM)
That is what I hvae been using mine for for the past two years. Voice only, crowds of less than 200. It has served me just fine, but I am upgrading soon. I was one of the lucky ones that got mine used for a good price.

Mark Pettey
Naples, FL
Message: Posted by: Scott O. (Jun 6, 2008 12:05PM)
As I said earlier, its a nice little unit. But the price is WAY to high for what it is. When I bought mine, I did some searching online and located the company that imports these and resells to FloridaMagic. I'm not certain who I talked to there, but after inquiring about other sources for these, he offered to sell me one for $100. At that price I made the purchase. And I've been pretty happy with it for small shows.

That did make me wonder how much markup is being put on this system though.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Jun 6, 2008 12:12PM)
On 2008-06-06 08:11, brehan wrote:
Thanks for the answers guys is it safe to say sound is ok till 200 people and don't play music trough the system!?

If you have not purchased one yet. Don't.

If you already have then you could try it. I would suggest:
Get it up HIGH.
Put it a bit out in the audience to one side and point it properly across the room.
That will keep it from sounding too loud for some and people in the back
will be able to hear it. Do a sound check.

200 is a descent amount of people. Using 2 speakers would be much nicer for them to sit and listen to. More sound without the blast of just one speaker.

Good luck with your choice.
Message: Posted by: Keith Raygor (Jun 7, 2008 03:32PM)
I agree with Frank. I found the sound to be terrible, and the feedback problem is partly because of the design of the box. For the same money you can get a Mipro 101. Great stuff.
Message: Posted by: sethb (Jun 7, 2008 05:00PM)
Keith, just curious, can you elaborate on how the Florida box design causes or increases feedback?

I'm always interested in anything I can do to reduce or eliminate feedback. SETH
Message: Posted by: Keith Raygor (Jun 7, 2008 07:52PM)
The box was a cheap plastic box that appeared to have no baffling and a rectangular shape behind the speaker. In my experience, I've found that rectangular shapes are great for home speaker systems; but in live situations where there is a microphone in front of the speaker, angles and curves, as well as baffling in the design help with the sound and the feedback. In the Florida Magic PA, the area in front of the speaker in which feedback would occur was very wide compared to any other system I've used (Fender 150 & 250, Peavey, Mipro, Numark & Yamaha). It was difficult to get the level of the voice high enough to be heard but not too high to feed back.

A thought just occurred to me as I'm writing this - the microphone may have also played an important part in the feedback. It could be they were using an omni instead of a cardioid mic, but there was no way for me to tell. I hope this helps - as I'm not an engineer, my conclusions are empirical based.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Jun 8, 2008 11:18PM)
Yes, it's an omni and not a good one. it's amazing to me how people will almost insist to find an excuse to buy something of poor quality when so many companies that work hard to make a good product go unnoticed.

p.s. if you don't mind me interjecting about home audio...:
DO NOT BUY BOSE!!! All they are is a marketing machine. The only people that like bose equipment are:
1. Bose
2. The people that have never compared

Message: Posted by: steven-gibson (Jun 9, 2008 09:10PM)
I saw a Harmen Carmen boom box for Ipod at the Apple store. It sounded GREAT lots of base and good volume. Came with a wireless remote and has inputs so I think it could take a wireless mike. I was thinking of this, it works on batteries, good sound, small, and only $400. Anyone try this?
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Jun 11, 2008 04:25PM)
You probably mean Harman Kardon ??

Lots of Bass (not base) does not mean good. You want accurate Bass. Not "lots".
You want a bass drum to sound like a bass drum. Not an atomic blast.
(However, some extended bass can help for an audience to create some energy in the room as long as it's not flabby and actually has a pitch to it). H/K makes good equipment when compared with the other mass production companies. Or at least they used to.

The mass produced products sell not by how good the sound is but almost always by the "technical specifications" and the "look".
There is a scientific way to reduce "total harmonic distortion" by using a negative feedback loop in the signal. You can lower it as much as you want. Companies were all putting out products that had numbers like ".0002% THD" which is almost zero. But the lower the number the WORSE the sound was due to other distortions being increased as a result. But nobody cared. All they cared about was one silly number. Not the sound. In reality, the stereo companies were all competing to create a stereo with BAD sound, on purpose. Why? Because it sold units.

When you go to buy, REALLY ask the experts. Not just the guy at the store with a name-tag on.

In comparison, my stereo has over 1% THD and it's the best I've ever heard.

That number is meaningless and often the smaller the number, the worse the sound.