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  #1  
Old 11-21-2019, 10:36 AM
s11lko s11lko is offline
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Default Which small PA?

Hi everyone,

I'm after buying a small, line-array PA system along the lines of the Bose L1's.

There are soooo many on the market nowadays I'm finding it quite confusing. I can only really envisage me using it for small solo gigs one mic / one semi-acoustic guitar; the feed for both perhaps coming via my TC-Helicon Play Acoustic for guitar & vocal effects.

Still recovering from my recent heart problems, and what with my not getting any younger, I'm looking for something small, lightweight, and easy to assemble/take apart for transport, but with the best sound possible as I need all the help I can get! lol

Any suggestions based on knowledge & experience would be really welcome, and once I've short listed a couple I can go out and try them myself.

Regards, Dave
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Old 11-21-2019, 11:49 AM
Puerto Player Puerto Player is offline
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LD Systems Maui 5. With a small mixer, they're just wonderful.
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Old 11-21-2019, 12:25 PM
leew3 leew3 is offline
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I'll repeat my perennial response to these threads and say that I still love the Loudbox Artist for virtually every venue we play. I know, not a line array, so if you insist on an array, the Bose S1. I own both and use them interchangeably depending on mood.
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Old 11-21-2019, 12:40 PM
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I use the LD Systems Maui 11 G2. Absolutely love it.
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  #5  
Old 11-21-2019, 03:01 PM
YamahaGuy YamahaGuy is offline
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I own a Bose L1C and though it does sound good, and has ample bass when in close proximity, I find it doesn't quite have the power I sometimes need. Also, I always use a small mixer with it, which kind of defeats the purpose.

I'm trying to sell the Bose to offset some of the cost of a Yamaha Stagepas 1K I will be buying. From what I hear, the bass is terrific and the unit has lots of power. Also, I'm familiar with Yamaha's effects and believe the onboard effects will meet my needs.

I guess the big thing that determines what will work best for you are:

How many inputs you need
Do you use/want/need of effects -- if so, do you want them onboard, from your pedalboard, small mixer, etc
Your budget

A good powered speaker and a small mixer offers the most flexibility and best sound for the buck, but there are more parts and pieces to carry and set up.

Most all in ones have few channels and no effects, but offer quick setup.

Good luck in your quest.
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  #6  
Old 11-21-2019, 03:45 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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I have an L1C and use a Play Acoustic with it, with a variety of guitars. That set up is fast, easy, and reasonably light weight. It also has a small footprint, and no speaker stands to carry. I also have a Bose S1 Pro, and it is an impressive smaller alternative... but, by the time you put it up on a speaker stand, you have negated the "small PA" advantage over the L1C.

For full disclosure, I also use the guitar and mic into the Play Acoustic, into the S1, and then a line out from that into the L1C. The S1 has a nice reverb, the L1C doesn't. But, using the Play Acoustic, you have a variety of reverbs to select from. If I'm looking for fast, easy, and light, for a small situation, the S1 handles it. Need more reach, the L1C. Need a bit more, or have a space that could benefit from sound going wider (or different directions) - use the two together.

I see Bose is running their "twice a year" price reduction on the L1C right now.

Some of the reviews on other line arrays compare themselves to the various Bose units - I prefer to stay with what works; been using the L1C for about 8 years now. Good luck with the decisions.
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Old 11-22-2019, 06:36 AM
Pnewsom Pnewsom is offline
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The Bose L1C is a well proven design that is attractive, sounds great, and comes with nice covers. It is perfect for a solo guy playing guitar and singing. The base unit weighs about 25lbs, and the extension tubes weigh about 5lbs.
I've been with gigging mine a lot for almost three years, with no trouble at all. I don't think you would be disappointed with one.
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  #8  
Old 11-29-2019, 10:18 AM
PistolPete44 PistolPete44 is offline
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Default LD Systems customer service

How good is LD Systems technical support via phone? Do they have a customer service department? If so, how good is it? What kind of follow up do they have when something goes wrong?
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  #9  
Old 11-29-2019, 11:39 AM
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While it's not the exact answer you're looking for I have compared similarly. I find the line-array systems to be far to limiting for for me. I had to move the array, then the bass module which is heavy. I usually use large powered speakers running off of my substantial pedal board and mixer. After you mentioned your earlier issues, I believe that if I were in your situation I would operate with one or two Fishman Loudbox Mini's run off a small mixer. They are great sounding, small, lightweight and for minimalism, they can be run without any mixer for guitar and mic/vocal use in a venue up to probably 1,000 sq. ft.

I agree with the below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by YamahaGuy View Post
...A good powered speaker and a small mixer offers the most flexibility and best sound for the buck, but there are more parts and pieces to carry and set up....
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Old 11-29-2019, 09:12 PM
lkingston lkingston is offline
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The mini line array of tiny speakers with a separate sub is a nice design, but it isnít the only one with good dispersion. I also really like the MTM (Mid, Tweeter, Mid) design dispersion, which also creates a sort of blanket of sound on a horizontal plane. That design is used in the Schertler Jam 400, Roy, and Acus for Strings AD. The dispersion on my Roy is great, and that is why.
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Old 11-30-2019, 10:00 AM
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Al Acuff Al Acuff is offline
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You may not need a tower for small acoustic gigs. Have you checked out the Bose S1?

I've heard folks gigging locally with the S1 and it's all you need for a restaurant or cafe. When you need more coverage you can add a small powered speaker.

I have not heard it but the new JBL mini PA is similar to the S1. Also, the venerable AER Compact 60 is quite capable of covering a small to medium room.

Another way to go is an HK Audio Nano system. They are portable and I prefer their sound to the Bose sound. YMMV.

When the doctors tell you not to lift anything heavy there are still quite a few options.
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Old 11-30-2019, 10:58 AM
slewis slewis is offline
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There are tons of good choices in this category these days but FYI, Bose has their holiday deal going on now where you can get a free backpack for it. Other brands likely have good deals going on too of course. Really happy with my S1, FWIW.
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Old 11-30-2019, 04:26 PM
woodenstrings woodenstrings is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slewis View Post
There are tons of good choices in this category these days but FYI, Bose has their holiday deal going on now where you can get a free backpack for it. Other brands likely have good deals going on too of course. Really happy with my S1, FWIW.
Thank Sean,
I've tried a borrowed S1 and enjoyed the heck out of it.
I've also had some anguish over recent posts between the new JBL Compact and the S1, your post mentioning the free backpack sold me on the S1.
I was able to dial a great HiFi sound on the borrowed S1.
The controls are simple to dial, my OCD would have me tweaking controls when I'd rather enjoy just plugging in and playing. Phantom power for a mic would be nice, but the S1 rings the bell for me.. I'm gonna keep it simple and go S1.
Thanks.
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Old 12-01-2019, 12:24 AM
slewis slewis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodenstrings View Post
Thank Sean,
I've tried a borrowed S1 and enjoyed the heck out of it.
I've also had some anguish over recent posts between the new JBL Compact and the S1, your post mentioning the free backpack sold me on the S1.
I was able to dial a great HiFi sound on the borrowed S1.
The controls are simple to dial, my OCD would have me tweaking controls when I'd rather enjoy just plugging in and playing. Phantom power for a mic would be nice, but the S1 rings the bell for me.. I'm gonna keep it simple and go S1.
Thanks.
Iím a BIG fan of ďsimple,Ē for sure. Good luck. That backpack is a nice bonus, too.
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  #15  
Old 12-01-2019, 03:24 PM
Puerto Player Puerto Player is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PistolPete44 View Post
How good is LD Systems technical support via phone? Do they have a customer service department? If so, how good is it? What kind of follow up do they have when something goes wrong?
I have the Maui 5 and one of their small mixers at our beach house in Mexico and a Maui 28 here at my house in the states. I've never needed to contact customer support so I don't know. I'll tell you though, everything electronic just turns to crap at our beach house since it's 85 and humid there every day, but I haven't had a single problem with any of the LD Systems stuff. I wish I could say the same for the TV, coffee maker, AC's, refrigerator, dishwasher and everything else electronic I've had to replace there.

The picture is where it sits. My wife uses the Bluetooth connectivity of the Maui 5 all day long to play Spotify through it too.

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