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PA, Amps set up for live bands

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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 169
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Hi, I'm in a band thats me and my mate Jason have set up, i was just wondering where do we start to get the right sound set up? Amp levels, pa levels what to run through the pa system that sort of stuff, we have...
rhythm guitar - 30w valvetronix
Lead Guitar - 100w marsahll mg
Bass - 100w something??
Singer - uses 30w line6 spider amp.
We'll be on the look out for a pa system soon i would have thought.
We'll just be doing pub giggs that sort of thing.
I have no idea where to start with getting the right sound set up and don't want to look a numpty when we start trying to sort our right sound out, please help or point me in the right direction.

Thanks Mark 8)

A knock back is the beginning of a comeback!!!

Wes Inman
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5582


There's basically two types of PA systems, the powered mixer and a PA made of individual components. Both have their pros and cons.

Just starting out the powered mixer is very good for several reasons. In a powered mixer you have The mixer, eq, effects, and the power amplifier in one box. These are very easy to set up, just plug your mics and/or instruments in, add speakers and you are ready to go. These systems are usually far less expensive than a PA made of individual components.

The downside is that they usually aren't as powerful as individual components. But today there are many packages like this that have plenty of power and volume to play anywhere. Here is a good starter packaged PA system that would get you started.

Behringer PMP2000

Many prefer to build their own PA from individual components. So they will buy a mixer, seperate EQ and effects, and power amplifiers. The advantage is usually more power, plus you can pick your favorite brand of mixer, effects, etc...

The downside is that these systems are usually far more expensive, and a little more complicated to setup and run.

Playing small clubs you usually do not need to mic instruments, they are loud enough to be heard by themselves. So you are primarily concerned about having enough mic inputs for all your singers.

I would recommend getting a powered mixer or power amps with at least 200 watts per side at 4 ohms. Anything below that you probably would not have enough clean volume. You end up pushing the amps to max and everything distorts.

So, the more power your amp has, the more clean volume you will have. This is very important.

If you are only running vocals through the PA, then 12" speakers are fine. They will even work well for instruments too, but you will get more bass response through 15" speakers. So if you plan on mic'ing your guitars, bass, and drums, you will get a bigger sound with 15"s.

You really should spend a little time studying PA systems before you make a purchase. Scott's PA tutorial is excellent, they will show you step by step how to build a PA. Very nice Message Board with knowledgeable people who can answer all your questions too.

Scott's PA Tutorial

Go to Scott's and do some reading and it will become very clear. :D

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis