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Old 04-04-2019, 09:57 AM
JackB1 JackB1 is offline
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Default Best PA setup for solo acoustic act? Tower or Amp?

Now that the tower systems have been around for a while (Bise, Fishman SA330, etc) are they still the best for sound and ease of setup? How do the newer all-in-one amps compare, such as the Boss Acoustic Singer and the Fishman Loudbox Performer? What gives the best sound for small to medium size gigs? I like my Fishman SA220, which has great clarity, but sometimes long for something that sounds fuller and richer overall.
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Old 04-04-2019, 10:28 AM
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Methos1979 Methos1979 is offline
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Generally speaking, both do a fine job. The benefit of most tower type systems is the disperse a lot sound evenly to a wider range of people and also can be set up behind you and off to the side a little bit so you can hear exactly what your audience is hearing. They are relatively easy to transport and set up quickly but most need some type of mixer for EQ'ing, effects and whatnot.

All in one amps have most of the EQ and effects covered onboard and can play louder but don't have the dispersion that a tower system has. They can also be a bit hard to control feedback once you get them up in volume necessitating putting them out in front of you where you lose most of your ability to hear what you're playing.

I've used both types in many configurations and they all get the job done. Mostly just depends on your needs, the type of music you play, the type of venues you play, etc. These days I've split the difference and use a Bose S1 which is sort of a mid point between the two. Very lightweight and can be powered but battery but throws a lot of sound far and wide. But also needs a lot of preamping and EQ'ing external which we use a Boss VE-8 for.

I owned an SA220 for a couple years and it's a great system. It was one of most 'fuller and richer' systems I owned so not sure you'll do much better than that!
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Old 04-04-2019, 10:34 AM
Stringmaster Stringmaster is offline
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Your liable to get many different responses--I just went through the search process myself and read lots of threads, and everyone has their preferences. I chose to go with a Soundcraft EFX-8 and a powered QSC K10.2--I went that way as I liked the EQ section, preamp sound, and effects on the mixer, the ability to have phantom power for condenser mics or powering some preamps if needed, and the speaker provides a nice full range sound with more than enough power/headroom. I felt these features were important for getting the very best sound for vocals especially. I also liked the fact that it could be easily expanded to a band situation if needed. It's maybe a not the most portable and maybe a bit of overkill for a solo deal, but it's really only a couple of pieces to haul and it sounds great!
FWIW I also bought a Bose S1 and I love it too--I was going to demo both during my return period, but decided to keep it too. It doesn't offer the versatility of the aforementioned system, but it's super portable, battery operated, etc, and sounds good for a small system. It's also great for practicing at home. If I could only have one it would be the Soundcraft/QSC for the reasons I mentioned.
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Old 04-04-2019, 10:38 AM
Tahitijack Tahitijack is offline
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I take in an acoustic show one or two times a month. The best sound to my ears are supported by tower and bass module systems. Bose is amazing even outdoors. The Carvin product is also very good.
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Old 04-04-2019, 10:42 AM
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You should go and demo the new SA330 with subwoofer. If you like the system you have, you will probably love the new Fishman. It's great.

The Bose L1C is a great system if your guitar happens to agree with the built in tone match settings used in their preamp.

Bose S1 is a smaller battery powered system that sounds nice.

JBL One One Pro is a (battery capable) competitor to Bose L1C with 4 channels. Depending on your SPL needs, you might like that one too. I purchased one and have been enjoying it. The initial batch of these units had defective batteries which caused havoc in their use. So, buy new and check the date on the box.

The HK Nano 608i is one of the best options. It's also 4 channels, sounds amazing, but it is a little heavier to carry and costs more.
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Old 04-04-2019, 11:02 AM
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Buy a LD System Maui 5 and a QSC Touchmix8. Everything you need; full eq and sweeping of all frequencies not just mids, effects, compressor, presets acoustic models, saves each of your guitar and gig settings for next time, record your gig directly to an SSD drive. Tone is as good as it gets and more shapable than 99% of the stuff out there. You bring in and set-up in 5 minutes. With the Touchmix, you can also use a looper pedal then walk out in venue and shape your tone with your phone or tablet! So cool.
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Old 04-04-2019, 11:20 AM
JackB1 JackB1 is offline
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Can I also just add a sub to my existing SA220?


Quote:
Originally Posted by martingitdave View Post
You should go and demo the new SA330 with subwoofer. If you like the system you have, you will probably love the new Fishman. It's great.
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Old 04-04-2019, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackB1 View Post
Can I also just add a sub to my existing SA220?
You can. But it won't be tuned the same. You have to use a sub with a built in low pass filter and send the full output of your SA200 to it. Then you need to manually adjust the sub level to match. Not difficult. But, not as simple as the new system, which is designed to do it automatically.
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Old 04-04-2019, 07:21 PM
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My Schertler Roy is the best guitar and vocals amplification system I have ever heard! The low frequencies sound like you have a sub. The five preamps sound as good as high end external ones. I love the effects. The vocals sound completely natural. I absolutely love this amp!
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Old 04-04-2019, 08:29 PM
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I have never found any system that disperses the sound throughout a venue like my Bose L1 Model II... yes, its pricey, but I only cried when I bought it, and have loved it everytime since then.

I've heard a lot of very nice systems and amps (I own an AER Compact 60, which is wonderful), but I've not found anything close to the Bose rig. I like the "Fishsticks" okay, but they don't move the noise around like the Bose, not even close.

For what I do: primarily, 6 and 12 string acoustic guitars and voice, the Bose Model II is hands down the best thing I have played through in over 50 years of performing live; not just for the dispersion, but the "no monitor positioning" is a Godsend...

I use a T1 mixer and have ONE cord going from the Bose rig to it(sends signal and power for the T1), using only short cables from there to my mic stand... requires only one AC outlet for the whole thing! Very sanitary set-up. NEVER have I had any sort of vocal feedback, even leaving the mic channel "live" when I take breaks - I have had a few issues from that pesky 400 hz "bump" with my acoustic guitars, but easily fixed.
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Old 04-04-2019, 09:32 PM
lkingston lkingston is offline
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Default Best PA setup for solo acoustic act? Tower or Amp?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jseth View Post
I have never found any system that disperses the sound throughout a venue like my Bose L1 Model II... yes, its pricey, but I only cried when I bought it, and have loved it everytime since then.

I loved my Bose L1 model ii when I had it, but was also happy when I sold it.

Yes it sounded great and it could cover a big room. So can the Schertler Roy though and it is just one piece (vs 4 for the L1). No the dispersion isnít as even, but it isnít bad, and often the people who go a little further away from the stage donít want to hear it that loud anyway.

Last edited by lkingston; 04-05-2019 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 04-05-2019, 05:49 AM
Murphy Slaw Murphy Slaw is offline
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I prefer the separation and dispersion of the tower (L1-C). With 4 / 5 feet between the sub and the smaller speakers going different directions, it just fills an area better than the acoustics amps and other p.a.'s I've used over the decades.

Not needing to pull a trailer full of gear for a simple solo performance is icing on the cake.
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Old 04-05-2019, 07:15 AM
Puerto Player Puerto Player is offline
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The Maui 5 has a sub built in. Find a single review that doesn't rave about it.
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Old 04-05-2019, 09:26 AM
JackB1 JackB1 is offline
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does the bub make a difference with just vocals and acoustic guitar? Does the guitar produce low enough frequencies for it to really use the sub?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Puerto Player View Post
The Maui 5 has a sub built in. Find a single review that doesn't rave about it.
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Old 04-06-2019, 04:18 AM
Nama Ensou Nama Ensou is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackB1 View Post
does the sub make a difference with just vocals and acoustic guitar? Does the guitar produce low enough frequencies for it to really use the sub?
Absolutely so. If you get used to singing/playing through a system with a full bottom end you'll be unlikely to go back to a system that just covers the fundamentals.
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