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rockwall
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Hi guys. Hope you can help me out here.

I haven’t used a sound system yet and have been trying to settle on a system and I’ve read a lot here about the different systems that people use and like.
I’m currently considering 3 different systems based on what others have said about them. I’m hoping that someone can point out the pros and cons between these 3 systems so I can be sure to make an informed choice. I’ll list them with what I see as the pros and cons and would like you to correct me or state your own opinion.

1. Icue2 Soundbox PA – Cost $1400 + Ipod
Pros - asically completely self contained with wireless mic, PA system, remote control, etc. except for the Ipod.
Cons – Some concern about customer service based on comments here on the boards although those that own it seem to really like it.

2. MP3 – Tech - Cost $995 + PA system + wireless mic
As I understand it, this is basically a digital item to store your music and access it through a remote but doesn’t include any PA system or wireless mic so the cost of those must be factored in.
Pros – People seem to really like it although I’m not completely clear on what it offers over an Ipod with a remote control? Maybe someone can help me out here.
Cons – Seems pricey for what it is and total cost for the sound system will be high.

3. PASO ProCast 50 or Mipro MA-101 - About $700 complete + Ipod + Ipod remote
Pros – Complete system with great audio and built in wireless but will need to add an Ipod and some type of Ipod remote control. Not having an Ipod remote control seems to be the biggest difference between these systems and the Icue2 or the MP3. Is getting a separate Ipod remote that difficult?
Cons – I guess that was the con. No Ipod remote. Also, some prefer building their system from separate components for even lower cost and the ability to replace defective pieces but I’ve decided that I’m more for convenience.

So, if you’ve anything to add, please chime in!
Thanks,
Mike
John Martin
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Mike,

I'd add another con to number one and that's the size of the speakers. From what I can gather, the speakers are about 5 inches. Hardly adaquate to produce big sound. The claim of up to 400 people is laughable. Will you be heard yes, will it sound good not really.

I previously had a MiniTech, which I just loved. I have just switched over to the MP3 Tech and am extremly happy so far. The nice thing with this system is that you can plug it into any size system. I've used it plugged into a small boombox for B-day parties and large theatre systems for bigger show with equal results.

All the best,

John
rockwall
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So John, what you are saying is that maybe the 'real' All in one solution would be the MP3 Tech combined with number 3?

Why is the MP3 Tech $1000 bucks for basically a solid state storage device with a wireless remote? That's the part that I don't understand about what it is about it that people like so much. What am I missing?
kenscott
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Hi Mike

I think I can talk about this and comment on Johns comments. I think he is dead on.

I bought my orginal showtech in the mid 90's for 1800.00 bucks. That was a lot of money then. But is was the best money I ever spent.

so 1000.00 bucks for the mp3 tech and it is IMO better than the showtech was is a great price.
SO WHY? comparing it to a remote with an IPOD is comparing apples and oranges. The remote is sure fire. I can pause it, Fast forward, rewind, control the volume up and down all on a small 4 button key fob.

I have used a remote like a airclick on my IPOD and it did not work all the time for me.
EX. I was working with another act at the magic castle and I was using my MP3 tech and it worked all week no problems. The other act was using his computer with a IPOD remote and it did not work I would say 50% of the time. I do a lot of shows and I need my music to be dead on. With the MP3 tech I have that.

as far as the sound you can plug this unit into anything. I use it on my PASO for birthdays and small library shows and I plug it into my PD 150 Fender.

I hope this helps. Like Steve T likes the VSM stuff he gets nothing out of it I get nothing out of talking about the mp3 tech. I like Kerry a lot and he is a great guy and a friend. I know Kerry is a performer first and when he makes something he makes it for the professinal in mind. If he is selling it that means he is using it.

hope this helps.
Ken
rockwall
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Thanks much for all the info Ken.

BTW, I own your DVD, Making the Birthday Dough and enjoyed it very much but I must say, I like you better now without the mustache! Smile
g0thike
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Rockwall,

If you insist on using an IPOD. Kerry Pollack can build a hybrid MP3Tech that can run sound from an SD card or an IPOD. When you Power Up the unit you can select Sd or IPOD.

Though the problem with the IPOD is that is can possibly freeze. Now imagine a top paying show and your IPOD freezes. That is the reason Kerry from Wireless Wizardry developed the Mp3Tech.

The MiniTech was the first product from W.W. that could control an IPOD.

Do a simple Google on "IPOD freeze".

G0THIKE
John Martin
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Mike,

I use the Peavy Escort system. It's a totally self contained system, amp, speaker, stands , mic, power cable, all in a hard case shell on wheels. One of the really neat features with the Escort is the two storage compartments on either side of the mixer. One holds the mic and the other holds the MP3Tech with all the remotes, wires etc. COOL!!! http://www.zzounds.com/item--PEVESCORT2000

I've used the Escort at fairs in forty foot tents and in a 400 seat auditoriums. The latter is probably the upper limit of where I would use it. Venues bigger than this would require a larger sound system.


John
rockwall
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John,

It doesn't include wireless does it? Do you plug in a seperate wireless unit or do you not use wireless?

Mike
John Martin
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Mike,

No it doesn't include wireless. I have a separate true diversity Shure wireless head set and lavalier mic. The real concern I have about an "all in one" sytem is what happens if one of the components cuts out on you. You'll be up a creek with nothing working. I also carry my original MiniDisc player with duplicate music JUST in case of an emergency. If my wireless cuts out I can always use the wired hand held that comes with the Escort.

Just some thoughts,

John
Bill Wilson
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Quote:
On 2008-06-18 23:26, John1964 wrote:
Mike,

I'd add another con to number one and that's the size of the speakers. From what I can gather, the speakers are about 5 inches. Hardly adaquate to produce big sound. The claim of up to 400 people is laughable. Will you be heard yes, will it sound good not really.

I previously had a MiniTech, which I just loved. I have just switched over to the MP3 Tech and am extremly happy so far. The nice thing with this system is that you can plug it into any size system. I've used it plugged into a small boombox for B-day parties and large theatre systems for bigger show with equal results.

All the best,

John


John is wrong on a couple of aspects concerning the iCue2 system. First the speakers are six inch, not five inch. Second, VSM does not claim it can cover an audience of 400 people. Two hundred, maybe two hundred and fifty is tops. I know this because I was curious as to what kind of range this new boom box could cover. I sent them an email and this is what I was told by a VSM rep.
Stevethomas
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Okay, I used a ShowTech for YEARS, and had problems with it getting out of sync OFTEN during performance. The problem was basically the fact that the track length was time-based, as compared with track-based. I don't think the newer products are like that.

Over a year ago, I got the iCue2, I've used it in THOUSANDS of shows, and NEVER had it freeze up. Ever. If you reset your iPod before using it, you probably won't. Takes 10 seconds before you hook it up.

Ordered my iCue2 Soundbox PA in November (11/4, matter of fact) and, due to the quality I knew would be forthcoming, I didn't mind the wait. Got it earlier this week, and have been putting it through its paces with 2-3 shows a day this week and will do it again next week. Library shows. Ranging from 30 kids to 200 kids this week. Small rooms to pretty large rooms. Next week, we'll see with the BIG library show. At this one particular city, 1n 2007, we had 476 children and parents for the show. Couldn't use any meeting room, conference room or auditorium there, we had to take over the entire main floor. If it'll cover that next Thursday, the Soundbox will do anything it promises. Also, if you think you'll have more than 200-250 folks, utilize the line out to another speaker. That's what I'll do in my Halloween mall shows this year. Line out to the house system..BOOM.

The Soundbox also has different settings for different size crowds, too. Set it on the highest, and the center speaker is on all the way, and WILL cover the people.

There...

Steve
John Martin
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Sorry Wandboy, got that info right off the VSM site.
Quote:
We built a portable self powered amplified sound system around the iCue2 and included a wireless microphone that covers up to 400 people.


And the size of the unit is "6 x 6 x 18". If you look at the image on the website you'll clearly see the speakers are well withing the casing making them at best 5 inches.

Hope this clears up any misunderstanding.

John
Stevethomas
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The updated photos of the VSM iCue2 Soundbox PA will be up there in about a week or so. That's what Kelly told me, since mine looks slightly different than the one in the pic. I did get the deluxe, high-powered model, too.

Steve
John Martin
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Incredible!
Stevethomas
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Heck, I can measure the speakers and cabinet if you'd like. And weigh it, too. Mine has the built-in wireless mic (16 channel) system, too. There's even a storage comparment in the back for a few small items.

Steve
Stevethomas
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Okay. Took the iCue2 Soundbox PA out in my big yard for a full-on, high-power output test. My gosh..this thing really DOES put out the sound that Kelly said it would. If you've ordered the high-power type...your center speaker will not be the round-type as in the current pic on the site. It looks more like a little horn without the grille over it. There's a switch that controls that speaker specifically. It's a 3-position switch labelled THRO. With the center speaker off, the unit would be fantastic for a birthday party. Center/on low position and it will cover a large room full of people (that's what I used in the libraries last week) and in the FULL ON position, the highs are very prominent, and you compensate for that by using the bass and treble control knobs. Take the treble down, and raise the bass slightly...my son could hear this thing down my street when I had music playing. That's not an exaggeration or a sales promo. That's real-world. It's equally as clear as it is loud, both on the voice (wireless headset..included..mic) and the music.

Hope that helps. I've only had this unit less than a week, it has not "frozen up" as some people claim the iPod would do, and I've started and stopped, fast forward, adjusted volume remotely, paused, auto-cue on and off...as many times as humanly possible. Not a missed cue or signal, no errors...nothing has gone wrong.

I'll be testing it out a bunch more this week in front of audiences, too. We'll see.

Steve
Bill Wilson
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STEVE,
Thanks for the post. My interest in the new iCue2 Sound System has been waning over the past few weeks. I'm still not completely satisfied with VSM's customer relationship, but things in that department are looking up. You have finally got what you ordered, which I belief was back in Nov. of 07. You are by the sounds of it thrilled with you have received. I am happy for you. Please keep us posted as to the goods and the bads you are experiencing with Kelly's new system. I am very interested in a system that is ALL IN ONE. I don't want to haul around back up systems as someone in an earlier posting mentioned. I want a system that simply works and I can trust and a P.A. System that can handle an audience of two hundred or maybe two-fifty in an average hotel banquet room and still sound good. The music cueing end of it already sounds much more to my likings then anything else I've heard about including Wireless Wizardry's MP3 system. Again Steve, keep us posted.
Magical Dimensions
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I have used this with good resuts. It is a dock that you sit your ipod in. Plug the dock into your PA and you are set. bestbuy
The only thing about this is that you have to push the button two times to let it do its function. For expample, to pause, you push the pause botton and you go to a window display that saids play/pause. It has not pause your music just yet, but is asking if this is the command that you really want. So you have to push it again to get the pause fuction. Samething for play, push twice and you are there.

Cheap and it works. You will have to get your own PA to go with it plus Ipod. If you are playing someplace that is using a DJ, then you just plug into their mixer and you are set.

Cheap, and it will get the job done. LOL
If anything, this would make for a cheap BACKUP! I have used a Show Tech at a club and at times the darn thing would skip tracks! This really screws with your act!
Stevethomas
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That's the problem I'd have with my ShowTech. Or, you'd play a track that should be 3:40, and it's track #4...but somehow, it set itself on track #5, and track 5 is 3:00. So the ShowTech would play 3:00 of a 3:40 track, throwing everything off. No way to reset it remotely, either.

There are several cheapo ways to get sound for a show going. None are really designed for the professional entertainer, though. Just like you could perform a cheap routine instead of using a prop designed for a magician. It would do the job, but would probably be more trouble than it's worth.

Steve
Stevethomas
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By the way...my battery pack for my iCue2 Soundbox PA came in today. Recharges in less than about 30 minutes, it's very small, attaches to the rear of the unit via a velcro strip. I have the larger one, and there's also a smaller one that will fit inside the storage compartment in the rear of the Soundbox, too. Kelly tells me that the larger battery will run the Soundbox full out for 4 hours or so. Little less for the smaller unit.

My LED display is on its way to me, and I should have that by the middle of next week. Looking forward to it.

If you've ordered or pre-ordered the iCue2 Soundbox...you're going to be overjoyed with what it can do.

Steve
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