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Andy Leviss
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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
Michael Messing
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Brian,

If you really want to rock the house, I don't think the Passport P-250 will do the job. The P-250 Deluxe might handle it, but they cost considerably more ($850.) The problem with the standard Passports is that they don't really "fill" the room. The volume is plenty loud but, because the speakers that make up the tower are small (6 1/2"), they don't have much bass. You need that bass to make the sound full, and I would think that a band would need that.

The P-250 Deluxe was designed to improve the feel of the sound. They got the speakers redesigned by Bose and they are much better now. I still think the JBL Eons are better, but you won't be able to buy a pair of G2 10s with a mixer for less than $900. A JBL G2-10 sells for about $499 on a regular basis, although I have seen them as low as $445 each. For a good deal on them, check out http://www.riksmusic.com
You have to e-mail or phone them for a price, but they gave me the best deal and they're right here in Knoxville. They also do free shipping.

The nice thing about the JBLs is that you can start out with one speaker and a mixer, then buy a second one later. The speakers are powered by 175 watts each, which is plenty powerful for amplifying mics. You start out with one powered speaker and when you can afford it, you add the second. (I often only use one speaker. It's rare that I really need both!)

In addition, JBL offers a Eon Subwoofer that can be used in conjunction with the G2 10s. If you're band gets big time and you really need the bass, you can add a pair of those. (They are 15" speakers so they are considerably bigger. The G2-10s sit on top of them.)

If you really have to stay at less than $400, see if you can look at the Kustom Profiles System One I mentioned above. It sounded surprisingly good to me when I checked them out. I don't know much about the Kustom brand, but it may be worth a try.

If you have additional questions, please feel free to send me a Personal Message.

Michael
Bobcape
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Wow, there's been a lot of renewed interest in this posting. I still haven't bought a system yet, however I have rented several systems for shows that I needed my own setup. I definitely like the Peavey Escort 2000.

I rented it this past weekend with a Samson UHF wireless mic that is completely self contained on the ear piece. There is no belt transmitter or wires to deal with! I loved it. I'm sure that this is the unit I will buy (besides, the company will credit me back all of the rent I've paid). I encourage you to check out the Samson Airlight wireless mic along with the Escort.
Bob
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Marshall Thornside
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P-150 rocks my socks off.
you will remember my name

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R2
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I too use the Fender Passport p-150 for it's compactness and ease of transport...

Yes the larger venues have adequate sound already in place.

I am quite happy with the p-150.
It does lack the bass punch however but, I don't blare the bass.
Andy Leviss
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Stay far away from Samson mics, they're unreliable, not good sound quality, etc. The only mics I recommend these days are the Sennheiser Evolution 100, 300, and 500 series (well, those and the higher end Sennheiser's of course). The Evo's are very inexpensive, sound great, and work great.

Do yourself a favor and steer clear of Samsons, there's a reason most pro sound guys go with Sennheiser (or Shure, but I prefer Sennheiser).

--Andy (Cafe's unofficial resident sound engineer)
Note: I have PMs turned off; if you want to reach me, please e-mail [email]Andy.MagicCafe@DucksEcho.com[/email]!
R2
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I have never had any real problems with the (Canadian Built) Shure Brothers Wireless Mics. Andy, except for the occasional feedback corrections.

I am always open to sound improvement..could you please tell me why you prefer Sennheiser?
Jimeuax
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Andy, do you know anything about the countryman mics? They look ultra small, I agree about the Sennheisers, I have 3 421's that I have been using in my home studio for 20 years and they are the greatest. I have some Shure 57 and 58's which are good for what I use them for but I really like the Sennheisers.

Thanks in advance!
Jimeuax

As far as battery powered amps I bet that Carvin would be the best Deal. I use JBL Eons and a little Mackie mixer. I bought 2 Carvin 2000 watt systems for schools that I work with and was amazed at the quality in construction and sound. Really top notch, they sell directly to the public, so you don't have the middle-man mark up.

As far as our uses as magicians I don't think you can beat the JBL's though.

Cheers!
Jimeuax

P.S. Also before you buy any of this stuff check out http://www.musiciansfriend.com
they usually have pretty good deals.... (I have no affliation with any of these guys, I am a Speech/Language Pathologist but I have played in Bands for years) Smile
Andy Leviss
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Why do I prefer Shures over Sennheisers? Honestly, a lot is just personal preference, I like the sound a little better, and I think the reception tends to be better, but it might be subjective. Lots of rock acts use Shure, lots use Sennheiser; almost every Broadway show uses Sennheiser.

The other big thing is that other than a stupid connector on the Sennheisers (which for our use isn't really a problem, and you can optionally get it with a dif. connector), they are much better built than the Shures. I've heard about Shures, especially handhelds, getting inadvertently shut off due to flaws in how the circuit board is held inside the transmitter (it's mounted in a way that can cause the buttons to be pressed when they shouldn't be, I'm told).

I also think you get more bang for your buck with the Evolutions, since they start in the $300-400 range for the 100s and are on par or better than the Shure systems.

That said, I would never turn away a good Shure system if that's what I got to use. They sound good and are really easy to set up, especially their newest line, which has an automatic scan for free frequencies built into the receiver. I would, however, turn away a Samson unless I was in a tight bind. My current personal mic, which is a few years old and from before I really started working as a sound engineer is a Samson, and as soon as I'm back performing regulary, it's getting replaced with a Sennheiser.

Sony's are good as far as the technology goes, but the sound is less than desirable, and they're expensive as all get out. I don't have much experience with the other brands, but if there are any specific questions, ask away and I can get answers from other engineers and designers I work with.

As for Countryman elements, I love 'em. The B3 is great, and small, and the B6 is miniscule (the mic itself is the size of most other mic's cables, but the cable is proportionally smaller and so is much more fragile). Depending on the singer and the need for size, I equally recommend the Sennheiser MKE-2/MKE-2 Gold, the DPA 4060, and the B3 and B6.

For spoken word, all are fairly comparable. The more subtle differences come with singers, and even there, they're fairly interchangeable and it's mostly a matter of a specific sound designer's personal tastes.
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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I agree about using a Sennheiser mike. Although I use a wired handheld (an Evolution 845s), it is the best mike I've ever used. The feedback rejection is excellent, although this was often a problem for other brands I've used.
Andy Leviss
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I should point out that my comments are only aimed at wireless mics, not wired. In fact, I usually do go Shure for my wired mics. Even when I spec a Sennheiser handheld mic, I try to get a Shure Beta 87 or 58 mic (for spoken word, the SM-58 should do fine). I just happen to be partial to those elements, which are sorta standard ones in the industry.

I actually haven't used a Sennheiser handheld element in a while, I'm sure they're pretty good, too, but for those I've always been a Shure boy Smile
Note: I have PMs turned off; if you want to reach me, please e-mail [email]Andy.MagicCafe@DucksEcho.com[/email]!
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