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Bobcape
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Elite user
Rapid City, SD
470 Posts

Profile of Bobcape
I'm looking for some recommendations for a sound system (mikes/amp) for small to medium audiences, 30 to 100 people. I want a wireless microphone that can be used with a portable amp or with a local sound system. I'd also like to be able to add a stick microphone for a spectator.

I am trying to find one in the $750 or less range. I know some people will spend 10 to 20 times that, but right now Stage/Parlor is not a large part of my perfoming revenue. I've seen the real cheap units on ebay, but I want something better than the entry level models. Thanks for any recommendations.

Bob

P.S. - I hope this isn't a re-hash of previous posts.

magic@rushmore.com
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pyromagician
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Veteran user
Tennessee
312 Posts

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http://www.themagicwarehouse.com/supplies.html

"Amplifier $100.00

This is the one that started it all more than twenty-five years ago. The ultimate portable amplifier. This unit is compact but delivers enough power so you will be heard. Battery powered for ultimate portability. Just plug in your microphone (not included) and you are set to go. Weighs only 5 pounds. This unit will deliver years of reliable service. Comes with a 6 month manufacturers warranty."
P.S. this is what part of the alphabet would look like if "Q" and "R" were eleminated
Andy Leviss
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Inner circle
NYC
1179 Posts

Profile of Andy Leviss
Check out the Fender Passport series; they don't come with a built-in wireless mic, but I do believe they come with a handheld that you can use for the audience. If you get the smaller Passport and a Sennheiser Evolution 100 wireless for yourself, you can likely get it for under $100 (I'm not sure current street price on both, so it may be much lower, or not).

Also, for entirely self-contained (ie you can't use the mic with any other sound system because it's built in) check out the Anchor Liberty. This is available in both a built-in rechargeable battery operated and an AC powered version, and models are available with a built-in mic (you can also buy a mic separately and add it on, of course). These are actually better quality speakers for certain things than the Fender, although the Fender is perfectly fine for spoken word and prerecorded music (particularly the bigger one), and includes a built-in mixer so you can use more sources with it.

--Andy, resident sound engineer
Note: I have PMs turned off; if you want to reach me, please e-mail [email]Andy.MagicCafe@DucksEcho.com[/email]!
Michael Messing
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Inner circle
Knoxville, TN
1800 Posts

Profile of Michael Messing
I'm sure Andy meant under $1,000 for the Passport P-150 and Sennheiser Evolution 100 wireless mic. (Standard Passport P-150 runs about $425 [deluxe version is $625] and Sennheiser wireless 100 series runs $500.)

I have owned a Passport P-150, a Passport P-250 plus extension speakers for the P-250, as well as several other PA systems over the years. I sold them all earlier this year and replaced them with a pair of JBL Eon G2 10 powered speakers and a small mixer. They have incredible sound for a 10" speaker.

For your requirements, a single Eon G2 10 is more than ample. It has 175 watts of power. You would require a small mixer to use more than one mic with the speaker. (Behringer makes some terrific mixers that run under $100. Musiciansfriend.com has a special running right now on the Behringer mixers. For $79, you can get an 8 channel mixer (MX 802A.)

I have spent the last two years testing all types of sound systems, from the self-contained Anchor systems to really big PAs and I absolutely fell in love with the JBLs. They only weigh 23 lbs. and they sound way better than the Passports, especially if you want to run music through your system. For vocals alone, you won't find nearly as much of a difference.

The great part about it is if you need to add more power, you just buy another G2 10. The Eon G2 10 runs about $499, although you might be able to find a better deal on the net. The Eon G2s are really high end powered speakers.

If you want to know more about my thoughts, e-mail me or PM me and I'll tell you whatever I know.

Michael
Andy Leviss
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Inner circle
NYC
1179 Posts

Profile of Andy Leviss
Michael's right, both in that I meant $1000, not $100 (d'oh!) and that the Eon is also a terrific powered speaker. My recommendation for the Fender system was because it packs up into a nice compact single unit for transport, but yes, the Eon's are even nicer sounding if you don't mind carrying the separate mixer. In fact, as a sound engineer, I'd actually recommend this way as being optimal for various reasons (second only to a separate amp and speaker) if you're okay with transporting multiple pieces.

And yes, with the bigger speaker's, they're wayyyyyy better for music than the Fender Smile

I would strongly discourage you from purchasing ANY Behringer product, though, as they're all knockoffs of other products from other companies, and backed by the equivalent manufacturing cost cutting measures and customer service cuts that you'd expect for such a lower price.

If you want some good low budget mixers, check out some of the Peavey models (in fact, one or two of these are ones that some of Behringer's low end models are copied from). Mackie's are also popular, although personally I don't like them (can't get away from the suckers, though!).

If anybody's interested, I can get you in touch with a dealer or two whom I know that has other more reliable and ethical brands at really great prices (I have no stake in any of these dealers, but they are acquaintances and you are acquaintances, so I'm glad to hook you guys up Smile
Note: I have PMs turned off; if you want to reach me, please e-mail [email]Andy.MagicCafe@DucksEcho.com[/email]!
Bobcape
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Elite user
Rapid City, SD
470 Posts

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Thanks for all of the info. I looked at a Fender at a local dealer today. I do like the compactness of the system. They also had a Peavy Escort 2000. I liked it a little better than the Fender. Does anyone have any experience with the Escort?
Bob
Be Amazed! + Enjoy The Magic!
Michael Messing
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Inner circle
Knoxville, TN
1800 Posts

Profile of Michael Messing
Andy, Thanks for the tip on the Behringer products. I haven't had any problems with mine but the only thing I was able to find out about the quality of their products was one review I found on the Internet. (He was a sound engineer and was suitably impressed with the two models he tested.) Other than that, all I had to go with was the input from the music store I bought it from.

You're definitely correct about the convenience and compactness of the Passport P-150. At 23 lbs. for the whole system, it's really easy to transport! (Sometimes I miss that, but that goes away when I hear my music through the Eon.)

Bob, the only experience I have with the Peavey Escort 2000 was playing with it at a music store. I will say that it sounds pretty nice. I think the speakers sound better than the Passport P-150 speakers. (Only natural because of the bigger internal speakers - 10" woofer.) It really is intended to compete with the Passport's bigger brother the P-250.

I used a Peavey PA system for 20 years and it was a workhorse. Took everything I could do to it. My discussions with sound professionals indicate that Peavey makes some of the best economical sound system components around.

The only thing I really didn't like about the Escort 2000 is the speaker stands. They are really thin and I would be concerned about how easily the speakers can be knocked over. (I am very liability conscious.)

The Escort 2000 is considerably heavier than the Passport P-150 (70 lbs. vs. 23 lbs. For that matter, the Escort weighs more than the Passport P-250.)

You might want to check out one other system. It's the Kustom Profile system. I don't know anything about the reliability of the PA but it has a really nice sound for an inexpensive PA. They run about $350 with a padded carrying case.

Good luck on your search for the right system!
Davro
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Veteran user
UK
319 Posts

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I just bought a Peavey Escort & panic, panic the first gig was in a hall for 800 to 1000 people (my biggest yet) it handled it really well
Best Wishes, David
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<BR>Mid way this way of life we're bound upon, I woke to find myself in a dark wood, where the right road was wholly lost and gone.
Alan Munro
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Inner circle
Kentwood, Michigan, USA
5700 Posts

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I need sound reinforcement that doesn't take-up much space, considering the venues that I perform in. I use a Crate Limo amp, a nice speaker stand and a wired hyper-cardoid mike (a Sennheisser 845s, with a Gim-Crack holder or weighted mike stand). I like it because the entire set-up is powered by its internal battery and it has a 50W output.

Be sure to get a speaker stand with a pneumatic safety feature. It'll keep the amp from crashing down if a pin is pulled or a screw is turned.

I gave-up on wireless mikes because they became obsolete almost as soon as I bought them -- the channels had too much interference.

I got the amp for about $340, shipped, over a year and a half ago. Elderly.com had them.
Michael Messing
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Inner circle
Knoxville, TN
1800 Posts

Profile of Michael Messing
The Pignose is a classic but has several limitations. One, you only have one input, which means you can't set up a separate microphone for others to use and you can't have both music and a mic at the same time, without adding a mixer.

The Pignose unit is a practice amplifier for electric guitars so it won't have the same quality of sound for vocals that a true PA does. Also, if I remember correctly, you don't have any type of equalization to improve the sound.

This said, I know many people using a Pignose amp or the bigger units made by pignose.
Andy Leviss
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Inner circle
NYC
1179 Posts

Profile of Andy Leviss
I'll echo Michael's comments--guitar amps are horrible for miking vocals. Yeah, lots of street musicians do it, but it's far from ideal. They're made to reproduce a much more limited range of sound than the human voice covers, so things won't sound as clear or full. Take a small one like a Pignose, and it gets even worse. They're great for guitars, which is what they're designed for.
Note: I have PMs turned off; if you want to reach me, please e-mail [email]Andy.MagicCafe@DucksEcho.com[/email]!
magibrad
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Canada
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Profile of magibrad
I know that my old dealer used an amp-in-a-can. A good little system that is fairly powerful... I haven't used a sound system, since I don't exactly get huge gigs... being 15 doesn't help get bookings! But it is apparantly a good little system, and completely portable, you simply pick it up and go!

-Brad
Andy Leviss
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Inner circle
NYC
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Every time I've heard one of those "Amp in a Can" type deals, it's sounded really tinny, not strong enough, and just generally not good. I see a lot of street performers in Faneuil Hall here in Boston who have those or other small "sound systems", and overwhelmingly they all sound awful. It's just not physically possible to provide a decent amount of sound to a medium to large sized audience from a speaker and amp that small. Neither that size driver nor that weak an amp can produce that much sound, and when you try to get it out of them, it just distorts and puts more strain on the system.

Do yourself a favor and buy a system that's large enough to do the job properly; it makes you look that much more professional.
Note: I have PMs turned off; if you want to reach me, please e-mail [email]Andy.MagicCafe@DucksEcho.com[/email]!
davidpaul$
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Pittsburgh, Pa
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Does anyone have any experience with the Sekaku PAS767 portable Pa system. It is always advertized in Magic Magazine. Is this what you would call an "amp in a can"??
It is sold by Florida Magic for $389.00 including wireless mikes. What do you experts think of this?
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Andy Leviss
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NYC
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Profile of Andy Leviss
Not familiar with it, but considering that most mics I would consider using cost more than that alone, without a speaker or amp, my tendency would be to stay away from it. Also, if I'm remembering the ads correctly, it's a very small speaker, which won't do much for more than a small to medium crowd, and probably a very weak amp.

If anybody has more accurate firsthand knowlege, however, please correct me. I'll state it again for the record, I have not used or seen this system first hand, and am only offering my judgment based on the questionably low price and the small size.
Note: I have PMs turned off; if you want to reach me, please e-mail [email]Andy.MagicCafe@DucksEcho.com[/email]!
Alan Munro
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Kentwood, Michigan, USA
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Quote:
On 2002-09-06 22:32, davidpaul$ wrote:
Does anyone have any experience with the Sekaku PAS767 portable Pa system. It is always adverised in Magic Magazine. Is this what you would call an "amp in a can"??
It is sold by Florida Magic for $389.00 including wireless mikes. What do you experts think of this?


The wireless mike will probably have a lot of problems with radio jamming. If you use a wireless mike, get an expensive one. Some of my friends have used the Anchor Liberty with a built-in wireless receiver - they've had great luck with it.

I prefer really rugged, highly portable equipment. That's why I use what I use.
Shadow
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Regular user
Akron, OH
171 Posts

Profile of Shadow
I have been a part time sound tech and music producer for over 20 years. The best system I have ever seen for the money is from Carvin.
They call it the "Stage Mate"
costs about $400
4 channel mixer/amp built into a speaker cabinet. run on 115VAc-12VDC or self contained battery
Total with 1 wireless mic, 1 wired, 2 speakers, stands, cables, ect will be less than $1K
And it sounds GREAT with voice or music.
check it out at:
http://www.carvin.com

Shadow
guitarboy
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Profile of guitarboy
Hi Michael,

I am part of a start up rock band. I am looking for a pa that will seriously rock pub or a lecture hall. I do not have all that much dinero and I am looking for something that has a mixer and 2 speakers for around $400. Is it possible for me to find a system like that?

I am seriously looking into getting a fender passport 250 because it comes with everything. However, I am debating on whether or not I should get a passport 250 or the deluxe passport 250. All I really need to Mike is vocals and guitar. Will a passport 250 be effective?

I noticed you said that the jbl eon 10"s were amazing. Do you think I can get one of those and a mixer for $400.. or is that not possible? Any help will be much appreciated. Thanks

Brian
Kevin Ridgeway
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Indianapolis, IN & Phoenix, AZ
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Brian, You may try your Local Mars Music Store. They declared bankruptcy and are selling to the bare walls. However, you may be too late for any of the Passports as they sell quickly when discounted. The savings at Mars are now at 40-60% off.

Kevin
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Steve Hoffman
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Regular user
143 Posts

Profile of Steve Hoffman
Agree with MagicMikey about those JBL EON G2-10 speakers.

My primary work is as a mobile DJ (providing music for weddings, corporate events, etc. in the Washington DC-Baltimore area), so I have experience in various sound systems, and know what lots of professional DJs and other audio-minded folks use.

Although for most of my DJ gigs I use larger, more powerful speakers, those JBL EON G2 10's are good enough to provide the dance music at a small event! I own a pair and they are compact and light-weight, and durable, and will give you MUCH BETTER SOUND than those convenient but not-so-super-duper portable "PA system in a suitcase" kinds of units like the Passport.

The great thing about the G2 (the "second generation") of the JBL EON speakers is that they now have two inputs, each with their own volume control, so you don't even need a separate mixer! You simply plug a mic into one input and a CD player, minidisc player, or whatever into the other input, and set the volume for each during a sound-check.

Keep in mind these are "powered" speakers, i.e., the amplifier is built-in.

JBL, in my experience, is a solid company that knows what it's doing, and its EON series is very popular among DJs and musicians and cabarets.

The EON G2 "15" is larger and louder -- and much heavier -- than the "10". The 15's are more popular (some pro audio shops stock them but not the 10s) but the "10" should be fine for most magician purposes, and is much lighter in weight. Just get the one, and a tripod-based pole to mount it on, and you'll be in great shape.

If you're looking to save money by getting one used, make sure you're getting an EON G2 (not the original EON). The original EONs are not quite as powerful, and have only the one standard input (not the two inputs which make the EON G2 so versatile).

Packs small, plays big is a great notion for magicians. But some of these ultra-portable all-in-one PA systems are more like "pack small, plays TINNY". Why sound tinny and cheesy when you can sound half-way decent?

As you can see, I am a fan of the JBL EON G2 series!

By the way, the operating manual that comes with it (and that can be downloaded in .pdf from JBL's website) is quite good and explains everything very well.

Steve Hoffman
check out my DJ website at http://www.goodnote.com
mailto:steve@goodnote.com
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