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LiveMusic 02-22-2019 05:05 AM

Conventional PA question
 
Several years ago, I bought two small powered speakers, brand is Podium, I think they are 12 inch (EDIT: they are 10") and they sound good. Several gigging friends got them and recommended them as great bang for buck. We got them real cheap at that time. I have several mixers. One is a Roland Edirol M-10DX. For small gigs, these work fine but what if I need more power due to adding more musicians to the mix? Sorry for lack of knowledge here but could I just add another speaker (any brand) and if so, how, and where would you put it? Not worried about cost, just function, size, weight and good sound.

lschwart 02-22-2019 06:27 AM

If you could be more specific about the sort of gigs you are looking to play, that would help us give more specific advice. What sort of music will you be playing with the larger ensemble? What will be the instrumentation? What sort of venues do you have in mind (size, type of audience, etc.)? Have you actually yet gotten to the point where the Podium speakers are hitting their limits (not getting loud enough without distorting)?

If the latter is the case or you expect that this will happen with what the new ensemble is going to do, the best blanket advice I could give you would be to invest in a better set of powered speakers. The Podiums are, as you know, cheap speakers. If they've been working for your modest needs so far, that's great, but if you need more robust sound reinforcement, you'll need to invest a little more in something more robust. What's the upper range of your budget? There are some good options at the next couple of price-points above those Podiums.

You don't want to be adding more speakers with the same limitations (that won't get you enough extra undistorted volume), and mixing different speakers for your mains is not a good idea. A couple of better powered speakers as you mains would be better, and you still might be able to use the Podiums as monitors.

Louis

MikeBmusic 02-22-2019 07:01 AM

Most powered speakers have a 'through' jack to plug another XLR cable in, and run it to another speaker.
Although mixing speaker brands/types can result in uneven sound, a lot depends on the room and how you set it up. Remember that putting 2 speakers next to each other is just going to be louder, not necessarily spread the sound better/further.

If you're happy with your speakers, great, but a quick internet search shows me that this 'Podium' brand is another Chinese relabeled thing, and looking at the minimal website info, I find it hard to believe their 10" powered speaker will do down to 28Hz (8" down to 30Hz). It also looks like, from the pictures, that it doesn't have real line-in XLR connections (the XLR inputs are labeled 'mic'), and the other inputs and 'link' are 1/4".

GmanJeff 02-22-2019 07:19 AM

To start with, you mention the potential of needing "more power" because you're adding additional musicians who will go through the PA.

In and of itself, more players does not mean you need different or more speakers, or more power. You may need more inputs on your mixer, depending on exactly how many channels of vocals and instruments, if any, are going through the PA.

Since you're happy with the sound from your speakers, you'd want to change them out only if you needed speakers which can get louder, or which reproduce a wider frequency range (typically if you need more bass response to accommodate drums, bass guitar or keyboards in the PA), or perhaps which disperse the sound more widely. In such instances, compare the current speakers' specifications to alternative choices to compare their relative maximum volumes, frequency response, and so on. Beyond specs, different brands and models of speaker of course sound different, and you're likely to find improved clarity and fidelity with the better-known and more expensive brands like EV, JBL, QSC, and others.

LiveMusic 02-22-2019 07:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lschwart (Post 5986959)
If you could be more specific about the sort of gigs you are looking to play, that would help us give more specific advice. What sort of music will you be playing with the larger ensemble? What will be the instrumentation? What sort of venues do you have in mind (size, type of audience, etc.)? Have you actually yet gotten to the point where the Podium speakers are hitting their limits (not getting loud enough without distorting)?

If the latter is the case or you expect that this will happen with what the new ensemble is going to do, the best blanket advice I could give you would be to invest in a better set of powered speakers. The Podiums are, as you know, cheap speakers. If they've been working for your modest needs so far, that's great, but if you need more robust sound reinforcement, you'll need to invest a little more in something more robust. What's the upper range of your budget? There are some good options at the next couple of price-points above those Podiums.

You don't want to be adding more speakers with the same limitations (that won't get you enough extra undistorted volume), and mixing different speakers for your mains is not a good idea. A couple of better powered speakers as you mains would be better, and you still might be able to use the Podiums as monitors.

Louis

NOTE: I found some papers indicating I bought these in 2009 and they are 10" speakers. That changes my thinking... no matter what, they probably aren't big enough for a small band.

The emboldened part above, why could I *not* be able to use them as monitors?

As for the gent who posted below your post... I do not have my speakers here and cannot look to see what kind of connections have, xlr or just what.

EDIT: I created this thread because a friend who does solo piano/vocal gigs wants to buy them but I was just thinking I might keep them if I could use them in small band gig situations. Now I know they're 10", maybe not worth keeping for that reason. Then again, all of my gigs are small. Some would be listening events, some could be cover song parties.

lschwart 02-22-2019 07:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LiveMusic (Post 5987040)
NOTE: I found some papers indicating I bought these in 2009 and they are 10" speakers. That changes my thinking... no matter what, they probably aren't big enough for a small band.

The emboldened part above, why could I *not* be able to use them as monitors?

As for the gent who posted below your post... I do not have my speakers here and cannot look to see what kind of connections have, xlr or just what.

It will depend on how loud things are on your stage and how good the speakers are at giving you a clear, undistorted sound that lets you hear what you need to hear when you're playing. It also depends on the cabinet design (if, for example, they have a wedge position angle).

The fact that they are 10" speakers might or might not mean anything. It depends on what sort of music we're talking about, how much space you need to cover, how loud you need to be, and how the speakers are designed. I use 10" powered speakers as both mains and monitors for my band (RCF 310a), and for most of our gigs they are more than enough. For the largest gigs we play with our own PA, I add a pair of small subs to handle the low-end and give us a little more power. Beyond that, the venue has to supply what's needed. But we're not playing rock and roll (it's semi acoustic ethnic folk music/dance music). That's why I asked you what sort of music you're playing.

Louis

varmonter 02-22-2019 08:19 AM

Yea two powered speakers are not louder than one.
All that gets you is more dispersion across the room.
If you need more power. Buy more powerful speakers.
Im a big fan of QSC. But there are lots out there.

GmanJeff 02-22-2019 08:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LiveMusic (Post 5987040)
NOTE: I found some papers indicating I bought these in 2009 and they are 10" speakers. That changes my thinking... no matter what, they probably aren't big enough for a small band.

The size of the speakers is not really what you want to focus on if your ambition is just to add more players to the PA. My rock band primarily uses EV ZxA1 speakers as mains and monitors with great results for most purposes, and those have 8" woofers! For us, they get loud enough and their sound quality is high. We only need physically larger speakers for some bigger outdoor gigs or in pretty large and noisy indoor venues. That said, we don't usually need to be concerned with running bass guitar or low frequency keyboard sounds through the PA; it is used to reproduce vocals and an electric guitar modeler, and it works well for that. If you plan to play at very high volumes and or expect to generate deep thumping bass note through your PA, you'd need a different solution, possibly even one which incorporates subwoofers.

roylor4 02-22-2019 08:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LiveMusic (Post 5987040)
NOTE: I found some papers indicating I bought these in 2009 and they are 10" speakers. That changes my thinking... no matter what, they probably aren't big enough for a small band.

The emboldened part above, why could I *not* be able to use them as monitors?

As for the gent who posted below your post... I do not have my speakers here and cannot look to see what kind of connections have, xlr or just what.

EDIT: I created this thread because a friend who does solo piano/vocal gigs wants to buy them but I was just thinking I might keep them if I could use them in small band gig situations. Now I know they're 10", maybe not worth keeping for that reason. Then again, all of my gigs are small. Some would be listening events, some could be cover song parties.

Speaker size is not an indicator of power. You can buy a 8"' powered speaker that is rated at 2000 watts. Speaker size can be an indication of how much bass they can deliver, but that's only when you compare apples to apples.

The range, speaker efficiency and db delivery tell you much more about what a speaker is capable of.

Replacing them is a matter of budget. You could drop $1500 into a pair of speakers real quick. If all your gigs are small, i'm not sure you need new speakers - that can depend on if you have a drummer (we had one that played like "Animal" from the Muppets) and if you have a guitarist(s) that have high powered amps and turn way up.

What do you consider a "small" gig?

We regularly play out with a 300 watt sampson pa, but then again, there is only 2-3 of us. Ous next step up will be to 2 CP8's or DBR10's and a Soundcraft mixer.

Two highly regarded mid-priced speakers are tha QSC CP8 and CP12 and the Yamaha DBR10.

I played in a band back in the old days (early 90's) and we had a wall of speakers. With the dependable and efficient gear available today that is no longer needed.

Do a test run at a few gigs with what you have before you pull the trigger on new ones. Two good 10" speakers can produce a lot of sound.

YamahaGuy 02-24-2019 05:25 AM

I have run a third, more powerful speaker, in conjunction with two less powerful speakers. I ran the most powerful one in the center with the other two facing out toward the side. Most people who want "loud" will sit directly in front of the band, while those who don't want to be blasted will sit off to the side.

My 2c.


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