Anybody improvise a cheap PA that ended up being good?

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parry
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Anybody improvise a cheap PA that ended up being good?

Post by parry » Sun Jul 10, 2016 2:05 pm

I'm looking for a PA and don't want to spend a lot of money. When I was playing with my band, we had a Traynor 6400 with columns and it did the trick - but we stopped playing and I ended up selling it. Yeah... I probably should've known better :fp:

BUT anyway.
I'm looking for one again; and I'm cheap. And kind of looking for the same by default, because I know it...
but I know people have improvised using a powered mixer... bass amp head, etc. Maybe I'm missing something?
Our room is going to be pretty tiny again, and we can get loud; but it doesn't have to be a beast of a system.

What are youze guys using? ???
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Re: Anybody improvise a cheap PA that ended up being good?

Post by MechaBulletBill » Sun Jul 10, 2016 2:48 pm

Our most hassle-free setup was Peavy HiSys tops with some Peavy bass bins. They're pretty heavy, despite being passive BUT they always sounded fine, even if there were a few more bits to lug about. They also seem to come up for sale a lot, usually really cheap. Not the fanciest option out there but, as is the way with old Peavy stuff, it did the job and could take a beating.

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Re: Anybody improvise a cheap PA that ended up being good?

Post by andy_tchp » Tue Jul 12, 2016 2:26 am

Define 'cheap'?

These days I'd just go powered speakers and a mixer.
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Re: Anybody improvise a cheap PA that ended up being good?

Post by parry » Tue Jul 12, 2016 4:54 am

Sounds like your definition of cheap isn't too far off from mine ;)

Was looking the other way 'round, at powered mixers and passive speakers - but the other way 'round is something I hadn't considered. Thanks, Andy!
There seem to be some reasonably priced (used) all-in-1, wedged floor monitors that I'm thinking might also work. Our room is small and this thing we're doing isn't as loud/noisy as what we were doing before...

Thanks for the responses, so far. :)
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Re: Anybody improvise a cheap PA that ended up being good?

Post by Freddy Le Cragg » Tue Jul 12, 2016 9:15 am

I use a 5 channel Laney Theatre PA amp (around £50) into a Hartke 2x10XL cab. Two mikes and 3 inputs for guitars or what ever. Cheap, light and surprisingly nice sounding.
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Re: Anybody improvise a cheap PA that ended up being good?

Post by andy_tchp » Fri Jul 15, 2016 6:11 am

Well...decent powered speakers won't be as cheap as passives and an old powered mixer found on Craigslist, but my experiences with powered mixers running into cheap/ancient PA bins is finding that the system invariably ends up being an underpowered, poor sounding POS and me wishing I had something better to use.

Sorry I mightn't have been that helpful after all! :unsure:
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Re: Anybody improvise a cheap PA that ended up being good?

Post by parry » Fri Jul 15, 2016 6:36 am

It appears it's not that much cheaper, afterall, but you're right. Underpowered was the issue with our first. Even though it was a small room, we had terrible issues with feedback because it was too underpowered. We swapped up to a Traynor 6400 and it was perfect. I suspect it'd do the trick again - and they're usually plentiful and cheap... but I'm having difficulty rounding one up atm.

We get the space in a couple of weeks, so I think for now, we're going to try and get away using our drummer's unused bass amp. Pretty sure it'll do until we get something else happening.
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Re: Anybody improvise a cheap PA that ended up being good?

Post by marqueemoon » Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:19 pm

I've run a Mackie 1202 into my Vibro Champ a few times in a pinch for solo acoustic shows.

I think a 1202 is a great basis for a cheap PA if you're just using it for vocals. The cheapest I'm seeing is $75-$80 for a used one. Really versatile piece of gear.

It should not be too tough to scare up a serviceable power amp and some speakers.

Rackmount verbs and compressors are dirt cheap these days too.

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Re: Anybody improvise a cheap PA that ended up being good?

Post by balta » Sat Mar 25, 2017 2:17 pm

We use a passive Mackie mixer for voice and bass, thru a powered Pyle Pro something. It works
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