Anybody Know Anything About Pro Audio?

Chuck C

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Next year, I'd like to get an affordable DJ system so we can rock our house (at college) next year. I'd like to get speakers that mount on tripods. As far as I can tell, one would also need amps (unless they're built in to the speakers), equalizer and a source.
I just want it to play loud and have some fun with CDs and maybe even MP3s.
So what's out there?
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Chuck
Chuckster's HT Site
The At-Home Home Theater (E.L.)
The Dorm Room Theater (E.L.)
 

Jeff Loughridge

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Have I got the system for you!!!

A killer powered subwoofer and speaker setup is at the Mackie Web Site .
This is their powered subwoofer. There is a link at the bottom of their page to the SRM450 powered PA speaker. They also sell a pole that inserts in the sub and supports the PA above it.
I just bought two of the subs and two of the PA speakers for one of our remote systems. I can't begin to tell you how incredible, LOUD, and CLEAN it is. It's worth every dime. The bass shakes pictures off the walls, literally.
For a less costly system, try their Passive Speakers and Powered Mixer .
It doesn't have the extended low end since there is no subwoofer, but it is just as loud and clean. I also bought this setup at the same time as the other, for smaller remotes.
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Jeff Loughridge
Director of Engineering
WPGC/WHFS
Infinity Broadcasting Corp
[email protected]
[Edited last by Jeff Loughridge on November 17, 2001 at 11:38 AM]
 

Vince Maskeeper

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Chuck,
I know a little bit

I'm in Kent- so Drop me an email. I'm a dealer for every major manufacturer- I'm sure I can set you up with a decent system that will tear things up.
-Vince
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Dan Hine

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Chuck,
My boss used to DJ at Studio 54 back in his day. He still dj's from time to time. I'll see if he has any input on some good dj mixers/cd players to suggest to you!
If you don't go with the "pole in subwoofer" approach the I would suggest Ultimate tripod stands. Rock solid stands with lifetime warranty which may come in handy if you have some rowdy college buddies.

Enjoy,
Dan Hine
 

Jeff Loughridge

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"So is that mixer (808s) the amp and equalizer/preamp in one nice package? And with some speakers, all I'd need is a CD player or something?"
Exactly. I was surprised to find it also has a built in compressor and digital effects (reverb, echo, flange, etc.)
It's not that heavy, and the rear makes a nice little space heater on cold nights.

In case you missed it on the Subwoofer pages, here is the page with a picture of the Pole in a sub
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Jeff Loughridge
Director of Engineering
WPGC/WHFS
Infinity Broadcasting Corp
[email protected]
 

Chuck C

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I rolled into Radio Shack yesterday, and they had an equalizer and amp in a rack awaiting setup. I tried to ask the guy about connections, but it went in one ear and out the other, plus I knew he was talkin out of his ass for the most part.
So here're some more questions:
How good is radio shack pro audio? How bout their optimus brand PA speakers?
How does one connect the source to the equalizer to the amp to the speaker?
What about Bob?
Okay, nevermind the last one...

------------------
Chuck
Chuckster's HT Site
The At-Home Home Theater (E.L.)
The Dorm Room Theater (E.L.)
 

Vince Maskeeper

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quote: How good is radio shack pro audio? How bout their optimus brand PA speakers?
Junk. Radio Shack isn't even on the semi-pro radar. I would rather hit myself in the head repeatedly then look at radio shack speakers/amps!
quote: How does one connect the source to the equalizer to the amp to the speaker?
Complicated question- depends on the source. One would probably need some sort of preamp device, such as a DJ mixer. Again- I'm a dealer for a dozen suppliers of DJ mixers- and have a half dozen older used ones laying around.
So CD would come out to a mixer (connected via unbalanced connection such as RCA connection)
Out of the mixer into an EQ or other processing device (I would suggest also possibly a compressor, to protect your gear). Cheap mixers will pass unbalanced RCA type connection, better ones will pass balanced XLR. Cheaper EQs will have unbalanced and possibly balanced 1/4 input- better ones will do XLR, same for compression.
Out of the processing into the amplifier- again cheaper will have 1/4inch either balanced or unbalanced... better will have XLR.
Out of the amplifier into speakers- either Speakon or speaker line 1/4.
Chuck, seriously dude, you should just email. I've done pro audio for over 10 years and would hook you up with whatever you need at cost. This is a somewhat complex question-- I'm 30 minutes from you and would be happy to help you get the most from your cash!
I would also personally avoid Mackie unless you're on a serious small budget- ask anyone in repair and you'll find majority of Mackie products from 5 years ago are sitting in repair locations around the country!
-Vince
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AIM: VinceMaskeeper
Do you want SOUTH PARK on DVD in order, rather than themed sets? Join our overwhelming majority !!
[Edited last by Vince Maskeeper on November 18, 2001 at 07:31 PM]
 

Jeff Ulmer

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I'll agree with Vince that you should avoid Radio Shack, it is junk, though I'll disagree with the Mackie comment, at least for low budget mixers. I would also clarify that if the goal is to protect your speakers, you want a limiter, not a compressor, though many compressors have limiters built in. For amplification you can't beat Bryston, though they aren't cheap.
 

Jeffrey Noel

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Here you go Vince, one of Radio Shack's (hee-hee) "best" PRO AUDIO (hee-hee) amplifiers:

So, does your head hurt yet?
 

Vince Maskeeper

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is said:
Bryston is more of a boutique product, and although I've used them in my lifetime- never for pro audio applications. I have never seen a company use them, and I've worked with over 150 different audio providers.
Most DJ systems are using budget entry amps from QSC, Crown or Mackie. Crown's CE sries are my personal faves in the cheapo amp range, QSC RMX coming in second and Mackie bringing up the rear. Although these amps aren't really suitable for Professional level audio in the concert realm, they seem to work well for DJ systems.
My anti-mackie comment is based on sveral experiences with their amplifiers, including one which burst into flames. A company I've worked with is a Mackie dealer, and ordered 200 1400i amplifiers when they became available. They had an entire pallet of bad amps- more than 30 amps that wouldn't even power up.
Mackie refused to take them back- and referred the DEALER to an authorized repair location. It took 5 phone calls before they finally got someone who knew what the hell they were doing.
Mackie is a bells and whistles company which specializes in cheap products usually marketed at musicians who seek "all in one solutions". Anyone who's a hobbiest of Home Theater should realize that "all in one" products are not the ideal- otherwise we'd all own Aiwa boomboxes rather than audio seperates.
I would suggest Peavey before I would recommend Mackie.
-Vince
 

Jeff Ulmer

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COmpression and limiting really shouldn't be treated as seperate processes, as one is simply a subset of the other-- much the same way that people treat Flange, Chorus and Delay as different effects- when they are essentially the same thing, just with different delay times.
Well, I'll disagree.

While compressors may be able to limit when their ratios are high enough, the difference is in the type of response to program peaks. A limiter is designed to deal with sharp transients, with an extremly fast attack time, where most compressors with pass the attack untouched, and work on what follows it. While a compressor is useful in achieving a higher average volume level (by compressing the dynamic range), it does not inherently limit transient peaks fast enough to protect speakers from overload, nor is the sound of a good limiter the same sound as a highly compressed signal. The knee makes a difference.
While flanging, chorusing and delay are all time based effects, they have very distinct characteristics (and origins), and it is therefore quite useful to call them what they are, as they have no similarities in their sound. They are as alike in practice as a VW bug, a minivan and a tractor trailer are for describing what type of vehicle you want. Gear that does a good job at one effect does not necessarily do as good a job at others.
Crown and QSC both make a good product. My recommendation for Bryston is one of great performance, long term reliability and their unbeatable 20 year no questions asked warranty. If you blow up a Bryston they will fix it. Period. Up here, they have been in service in clubs, studios and live rigs for decades.
 

Jeff Kleist

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What about Behringer? I saw this nice little mixer at Guitar Center that has XLR balanced inputs and everything. I'm looking to use it to control mics and other sources going into the computer for final mixdown, plus maybe some other tasks

Jeff Kleist
 

Chuck C

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This is off topic, but the last two Jeffs have alomst exactly the same amount of posts, and a great deal of them too! That are the chances!?
 

Jeff Ulmer

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What about Behringer?
Behringer are clone experts, and Mackie had a case against them and Sam Ash for rights infringment. Not sure how that one got settled. They basically steal the engineering ideas (down to cloning circuit boards) and market them as their own. I wouldn't support this practice myself, even if they are less expensive.
 

Vince Maskeeper

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As Jeff said (one of them), The Behringer mixer is an almost exact Mackie Clone.

Some of their stuff is decent however, Their composer Pro Compressor is good for the buck, composer Tube Pro is also good. The have a regular composer, which is a good budget comp. Their Gate units are acceptible for live use.

I'm not a fan of their EQ's or their consoles, but I do own a few items from their stock.

-Vince

PS: Jeff I have a few Drawmers myself, and in Hard knee mode at inf:1 it is, simply, a limiter. They provide Peak Level limiter in addition, but at hard knee inf:1 I'd challenge you to hear (or even measure) the difference.
 

Tony Meconiates

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Ok, I decided to bring this thread back from the dead with a few questions for Vince or whoever cares to answer them

1. What is a good pole-mountable, relatively light, 15 inche Pro Audio speaker? I guess I would appreciate both passive and active recommendations. I know someone mentioned the Machie SRM450... this speaker also caught my eye on their website:
http://www.mackie.com/Products/Active/sa1521/sa1521.asp
2. What is a good light weight amp that can pump 500W @ 8 ohms? I was thinking about the QSC Powerlight or PLX series, and even the Crown K2... any others?
Chuck, what did you end up getting?
 

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