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-   -   Dave's compact PA system adventures... (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=460881)

martingitdave 02-22-2017 03:34 PM

Dave's compact PA system adventures...
 
Howdy fellow gearheads,

I'm always looking for the best options for amplification. It's one of my interests besides music in general. My needs are simple. I need a rehearsal system for simulating stage use, that can occasionally be put into action. Most places I play, including our club, have a PA system and sound person. As such, I don't want it to take a ton of space, be overly loud, or cost a fortune. But, I do need it to be rather full featured so I can tweak my setup.

I posted my review of the Carvin S600B and you've probably already read my review of the Line 6 L2t system. In summary, both are terrific units for what they do best. In the past few years, my sound reinforcement needs shifted wildly because I was getting involved in different groups with different needs. Solo, duo, rock band, string band, folk group, etc. Now I have two perfectly competent units at my disposal.

I wanted to post my review before I posted this thread so as not to give the wrong impression about my opinions of these systems. While both have obvious strengths, each has some limitations for me.

1. The Line 6 sounds great, and works for electric and acoustic. I highly recommend it. It's great if you have band mates who also own them. But, if I am going to keep only one personal PA system, I ultimately want it to be a line array for maximum flexibility. I'd also prefer not to have to keep a speaker pole setup in the studio to have the controls within reach.

2. Read my review of the Carvin S600 and you'll recognize that I have tremendous respect for the engineering of this unit, but I'm not the intended audience. I don't have enough people playing with me. I don't rehearse loud enough. And, I learned this week that the farmer's market gig this summer evidently IS providing power. So, now I don't even need the battery.

Since my immediate needs are for solo amplification, at rehearsal volume, I will likely keep the Line 6 L2t. It sounds warmer at low volumes. Should I opt to get a new system in the future, I would likely go with some sort of "box and stick" design that sounds good and warm at low rehearsal volume in my studio, as well as performance volume.

Cheers!

NotValid 02-26-2017 04:29 AM

Thanks for the S600 review, I see you have both the line 6 and Carvin up for sale. So whats next? I might get the LD Maui, not sure if I should get the 5 or 11G2. I think the 11 might be overkill for my needs considering many reviews say the 5 is loud enough and at that price two 5's and a small mixer for larger rooms. I wish someone would come out with one of these line array systems with a real mixer built in and batter powered. The Carvin looked perfect but it seems to want to start in second gear which is not good for home/small room gigs.

martingitdave 02-26-2017 07:37 AM

Dave's personal PA system decision...
 
I'm thinking either the JBL Eon One, Harbinger MLS800, or maybe splurge for the Bose L1S. I'm also considering turbosound, LD Maui with my Yamaha mixer. But that's more to carry.

Or, I really like the HK Lucas Nano 608i.

If I can get a good price on one of the first three, I'll probably go that way.

Good analogy for starting second gear.

I have my L2t on Craigslist pretty cheap. It's not so much the money as it is the space.


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SpruceTop 02-26-2017 08:04 AM

POSSIBLE PROBLEM WITH A LINE ARRAY SYSTEM: Something to be aware of is that "full-range" line-array systems have the woofer on the floor, which is great for most venue situations, but isn't so great when you have a packed house with an audience right on top of you, e.g., a St. Patrick's Day bar gig. Yes, of course, we all know about bass-coupling with a floor surface that increases bass response, and that bass frequencies are more omnidirectional than mid- and high-frequencies. However, with a wall of people a few feet away, something to be aware of is that with a bass speaker on the floor the crowd can both absorb bass- and lower-mid-range frequencies and reflect them back at the performer. Absorption of bass frequencies firing into the legs of the crowd reduces bass content for audience members farther away from the system. Reflection back at the performer of bass and lower mid-range frequencies can cause feedback as these reflected-back frequencies can both hit the performer's guitar and enter the vocal mic.

I've blown a 12-inch bass driver in a 3-way ElectroVoice stand-mounted speaker during a St. Patrick's Day gig. The speaker would howl with feedback whenever the close-in crowd would shift a bit one way or the other. This, mind you, with the speaker elevated to ear level, and the system turned-up quite loud to overcome the ambient noise level of the celebrants. With a line-array system, not only is there bass-frequency content being absorbed and reflected back but with the column of mid- and high-frequency drivers also firing into the bodies of the crowd, the potential, especially, for feedback may be increased with a line-array compared to a pole-mounted speaker system.

Speaker Systems I've owned,

1976 to 1984 (that I remember):
Peavey 2-way PA passive (pair)
Peavey 3-way PA passive (pair)
Whirlwind Lens Two-way passive (pair)
Bose 802 Panaray System (seven speakers)
ElectroVoice 3-way passive (pair)
JBL Cabaret passive (pair)

2006 to present:
Mackie SRM450 Active (pair)
Fishman SoloAmp
QSC K-10 Active (pair)
Bose L1 Compact
Bose L1 Model II with ToneMatch and two B1 Bass Modules
Line 6 L2t Active (one)


Bolded-in speakers are the best-sounding YMMV.

martingitdave 02-26-2017 10:05 AM

Dave's personal PA system decision...
 
Thanks Ken! Helpful as always! I had not considered the issue with large rowdy crowds. Especially when my fellow Irishmen imbibe. :-). I still contend that my Line 6 sounds excellent. It's just a little hard to use in the studio. For instance, when using effects, they are essentially inaudible when using the Line 6 at low volume. Any suggestions? Change the DPS on the speaker?

Should I just keep it and get a little practice amp? My assumption was that the line array would be better for quiet practice and stage volume.


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NotValid 02-26-2017 11:09 AM

Good info above. Like Dave I am looking for a good sounding, low volume home/gig solution. I live in Zurich where space costs money so I dont have the space to have an amp for this and an amp for that.
I think I may go with the LD Systems Maui. They have a really good reputation here in Europe, German engineering and all that. A few reviews in German tested the Maui against the Turbosound. The Maui was prefered as not only having superior sound but also a more rugged build quality over the Turbosound (Behringer). Many reviewers also stated that the Maui has a more natural and less processed sound than a Bose L1 unit. LD is less known in the States so it may be harder to come by. The Fender Expo is a rebadged LD unit so look for that. The JBL system is also on my radar but the LD is cheaper by about 250. Thats a good mixer or some other toy.

martingitdave 02-26-2017 12:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NotValid (Post 5246973)
Good info above. Like Dave I am looking for a good sounding, low volume home/gig solution. I live in Zurich where space costs money so I dont have the space to have an amp for this and an amp for that.

I think I may go with the LD Systems Maui. They have a really good reputation here in Europe, German engineering and all that. A few reviews in German tested the Maui against the Turbosound. The Maui was prefered as not only having superior sound but also a more rugged build quality over the Turbosound (Behringer). Many reviewers also stated that the Maui has a more natural and less processed sound than a Bose L1 unit. LD is less known in the States so it may be harder to come by. The Fender Expo is a rebadged LD unit so look for that. The JBL system is also on my radar but the LD is cheaper by about 250. Thats a good mixer or some other toy.



Very nice info. I hope it's "Valid". :-). I looked at the Maui 5. That's a nice unit for use with a mixer, maybe even a T1 from Bose. The onboard mixer is bare bones, but would also work with a TC Play Acoustic.


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martingitdave 02-26-2017 12:29 PM

Dave's personal PA system decision...
 
I setup the Line 6 in monitor position and used the acoustic guitar DSP. Seems like I should have been smart enough to try this first. It works better at low volume. I'll play around some more.


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SpruceTop 02-26-2017 12:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by martingitdave (Post 5246878)
Thanks Ken! Helpful as always! I had not considered the issue with large rowdy crowds. Especially when my fellow Irishmen imbibe. :-). I still contend that my Line 6 sounds excellent. It's just a little hard to use in the studio. For instance, when using effects, they are essentially inaudible when using the Line 6 at low volume. Any suggestions? Change the DPS on the speaker?

Should I just keep it and get a little practice amp? My assumption was that the line array would be better for quiet practice and stage volume.


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How about something passable like an Acoustic A20 or A40 acoustic amp for an on-sale price of about $120/$199? Fairly lightweight and decent sounding. Another suggestion would be an UltraSound AG15 or AG30 for similar prices?

Watch out for something I call the "Down the rabbit hole, chasing rainbows syndrome," which I've suffered from, and still suffer from. The Line 6 L2t, IMHO, is as good at it gets for an decently-priced, active PA speaker. Actually, any quality speaker should be good if you work with it. In the studio, adjust the effect strength (reverb, etc) of the Line 6 L2t so you can hear the effects better at lower volume or use a TC Helicon Play Acoustic or TC Helicon VoiceLive to add effects that are better than any onboard effects on any PA speaker.

Actually, I don't like effects, especially on an acoustic guitar, and especially when playing live because they just muddy-up the tone. A little reverb on the vocals is about all I've ever used but I've tried everything, including the MXR Pitch Transposer, circa 1979 or so. Get a load of this: This was a rack unit on which you setup presets, and then activated them with a multi-button footswitch, to turn-on/-off, in real time, the correct preset to activate the correct harmony interval for the series of vocal-melody notes you were singing. Talk about being a song-and-dance man!

My recent purchase of a new Deering Sierra 5-String Banjo is my way of breaking free of the "Down the rabbit hole, chasing rainbows syndrome." It's my way of saying to myself, "Over $200,000 worth of guitars and gear over the years means enough is enough!" It was a fun but expensive journey. YMMV, but you've already got some really good gear, that can and will work well for you.

Based on advice from a couple of fellow AGF members, AlohaChris and Sdelsolray, whose experience and opinions I highly respect, if I was starting all over, and wanted the best passive loudspeaker for solo or small-group performance, I'd buy a pair of Daedalus W-803 speakers, and the necessary quality amp and mixer for them.

Based on my own experience, if I wanted excellent modern, active speakers, within a reasonable price-range, I'd buy either a pair of Line 6 L2t Active Speakers or a Bose L1 Model II system.

SpruceTop 02-26-2017 12:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by martingitdave (Post 5247106)
I setup the Line 6 in monitor position and used the acoustic guitar DSP. Seems like I should have been smart enough to try this first. It works better at low volume. I'll play around some more.


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Excellent! You had it all, all the time, right in front of you!

NotValid 02-26-2017 01:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by martingitdave (Post 5247079)
Very nice info. I hope it's "Valid". :-). I looked at the Maui 5. That's a nice unit for use with a mixer, maybe even a T1 from Bose. The onboard mixer is bare bones, but would also work with a TC Play Acoustic.


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I read a thread in a European forum, can't remember if it was in English or German, where someone from LD was an active user. According to LD they did not add a mixer because they thought it compromised the sound and said they found the best results by using a small external mixer. According to LD, to build a mixer (to their standards) into the unit would raise the total price beyond their target. LD went on to say you will get much better results by using a small cheap mixer like the Zed 10. That's why they left it out. Knowing how German minds tick I can totally understand. They would rather leave it out than make something inferior. That said the new 11G2 and 28G2 has an updated mixer, although extremly basic. YOUz SHOOD UZE YOU OWN MIXXA! Says LD.
Still might get the 5 and a mixer. Loads of reviews saying the 5 can bump an 80-100 person party without the limiter lights ever blinking.

martingitdave 02-26-2017 01:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NotValid (Post 5247186)
I read a thread in a European forum, can't remember if it was in English or German, where someone from LD was an active user. According to LD they did not add a mixer because they thought it compromised the sound and said they found the best results by using a small external mixer. According to LD, to build a mixer (to their standards) into the unit would raise the total price beyond their target. LD went on to say you will get much better results by using a small cheap mixer like the Zed 10. That's why they left it out. Knowing how German minds tick I can totally understand. They would rather leave it out than make something inferior. That said the new 11G2 and 28G2 has an updated mixer, although extremly basic. YOUz SHOOD UZE YOU OWN MIXXA! Says LD.
Still might get the 5 and a mixer. Loads of reviews saying the 5 can bump an 80-100 person party without the limiter lights ever blinking.


That makes a ton of sense. Even Bose expects to sell you a $500 mixer to use their expensive systems at their fullest.


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NotValid 02-26-2017 01:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by martingitdave (Post 5247215)
That makes a ton of sense. Even Bose expects to sell you a $500 mixer to use their expensive systems at their fullest.


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Looking down rabbit holes chasing rainbows can be fun sometimes, but mostly it just costs a lot of money. Blowing money is fun too, I can think of worse addictions. Lol. I am currently looking over my shoulder at my wife thinking what's the best way to break this to her.......start with the Bose? Then go to the 11 before negotiating on the 5? Always start high.

Paultergeist 02-26-2017 07:22 PM

I have really enjoyed reading through this thread. Thanks to the OP for sharing his journey.

NotValid 02-27-2017 05:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paultergeist (Post 5247740)
I have really enjoyed reading through this thread. Thanks to the OP for sharing his journey.

The Adventures of GAS part III.

As soon as I wrote the message above my wife looked at me and said "Your not ordering anything are you? You just got a guitar thingy for 400 bucks"
Well ****, there went my strategy riiiight out the window.
Guess I'll have to wait a bit longer, back to the drawing board/ Wifejitsu gym.

To be continued........


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