Does the amount of gear used make a difference?

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jwg

New Member
Karl:

When I first started my mobile business full-time 10 years ago (after working for a multi-op and finishing out my radio career) I thought I had to have a ton of equipment.

As times have changed and I have scaled back, I found I think sensibly.
No need anymore at a wedding for JBL 938s with 18" bottoms and huge 10x8 racks. Going digital was my most intelligent decision I ever made. Buying a pair of Mackie 450s years ago (I like them even though there are others that hate them) and most recently, a Yorkville 10" powered sub was great for my back and sounds great at a reception.

The brides that I contract care more about music selection and programming and the interactive level I create with them and their guests. After all, the client is #1 aren't they?
 

BBBuffalo

Active Member
All other things being equal, a better (not bigger, just better) sound system, and light show would be a better show.

As Mr. Smith mentioned just because you haven't gotten complaints doesn't mean you coudn't have pleased your clients more.

Its like going to a cook out and the host made really great tasting burgers. You compliment the host and tell them the burgers were great. You meant that, you are full, and very satisfied.

Some other time you go to another cook out in the same neighborhood, with the same guests, everything was the same, but it was a different host, and this host grilled filet mignon.

Only by having experienced both could you accurately compare the two. Most anyone would agree that the filets would be better than burgers.

But again, that doesn't make burgers bad.
 

diverdog

New Member
Without a doubt the quality of the entertainer is far more important than the quantity of the gear.

I believe many DJ's use gear as a security blanket to mask their lack of performance skills.

But having the correct gear & knowing how to use it can really enhance any show.

If you are an entertainer that is interactive, the proper system will insure good speech intelligibility to help you communicate.

If you need to rock the house at a teen event subs & a good light show are a must have in this neck of the woods (NJ NY Metro).

I high percentage of my parties are weddings & I alway bring a pair of 18"subs and custom line arrays powered by a pair of PLX 3402's. My clients enjoy even coverage, clear vocals & butt kickn' dance music.

If you want to do business with high end clients, every phase of your operation from the sale of the event to the follow up critique must be excellent.

The proper gear is a tool that helps your talent shine!
 

Cali

New Member
Chris Wagner said:
Cali said:
Would I have enjoyed those parties more if EAW subs and tops were used? You Bet!
Are you being serious? One of the best weddings I attended the DJ used a pair of sx300s for a crowd of 200 or so. I was a groomsman in the wedding and I never once thought to myself "gee, there should really be some subs in that DJ's setup."

Would subs provided a more complete sound. No doubt. But to say someone would have a better time because subs are being used (especially for a wedding) is plain silly.
This is where it's a matter of opinion Chris. I respect yours and would appreciate it if you would allow me to have my own opionon without putting me down for it (stated in a diplomatic tone- I'm not angry). Your opinion does not make you right any more than mine does. Polar sounds said exactly what I should have said. Listener fatigue is clearly more present at an event for 200 people when pushing a pair of SX300s than it would be if using an EAW rig complete with subs and just running it at 50%. Let's face it, a clean and full sound does excite the senses and if it didn't there would be no reason for anyone to ever spend the money or go through the effort of loading in such heavy equipment. It's all about taking things a step further. Same with lighting. I don't use it because of the AC factor but I think it's great if used with good taste.
 

rocklouder

New Member
eqipment

There is a time and place for an insane amount of equipment. I firmly believe that less is more. There are some occasions were I have brought an insane amount of Lights and Trussing not to mention my 4 favorite peavey DJS1800 subs and 4 SP5 tops using a couple of peavy amps. ON the other end I have a entertaind a room of 400+ in a large ballroom with only 2 JBL EONS (15's).
I will always bring 8 par cans four on each side and sometime a speacialty effect depedant on event.

YOUR MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF GEAR IS YOUR MICROPHONE
 

Johnny Dee

Website Design & Success Moderator
Staff member
There is something that everyone here is not considering.

Really...what's the difference if a DJ wants to bring equipment that is overkill. A problem would be if it was underkill...LOL.

Why do some people want to drive a Ferrari and others are happy with a
Chevy Nova. Just because someone brings a massive system in, doesn't mean that they are a poor DJ and are relying on a overkill system.. When we arrive at a "gig" (using that word since I am among my peers) we have a 20' double axle trailer with multiple systems. If it's a room we haven't worked before we pull out the system we need after looking at the room.
 

DJ dmm

New Member
A wise man once said, "It's not the size(the amount in this case) of the equipment it's knowing what to do with what you have"

I believe that good equipment is essential to a DJ's performance. I firmly believe that to be a great DJ your talent and experience would allow you to shine regardless of the equipment. Essentially, if you've got it, you should be able to entertain with a boombox or ipod.

We all have what we call our basic system and build from there. My wedding system is different from my school dance system, etc. How do I know what equipment to use? I consult with my client based upon my experience and expertise.

I do agree with the others who have said that the equipment you use for the event should be driven by discussing with the client exactly what they want based upon what you can provide. The a good line is: "from what you have told me about your event, may I suggest...?"

You become the expert on music, the equipment and everything else regarding the event. Then the last thing discussed is price after you've present the value. Not how much you got, i.e., the equipment but what you can give. The equipment can almost be incidental to the process. Do we care what kind of guitar Eric Clapton plays? No. Can he play it? Yes, he can!
 

Chris Wagner

School Dance Moderator
Cali said:
This is where it's a matter of opinion Chris. I respect yours and would appreciate it if you would allow me to have my own opionon without putting me down for it (stated in a diplomatic tone- I'm not angry). Your opinion does not make you right any more than mine does. Polar sounds said exactly what I should have said. Listener fatigue is clearly more present at an event for 200 people when pushing a pair of SX300s than it would be if using an EAW rig complete with subs and just running it at 50%. Let's face it, a clean and full sound does excite the senses and if it didn't there would be no reason for anyone to ever spend the money or go through the effort of loading in such heavy equipment. It's all about taking things a step further. Same with lighting. I don't use it because of the AC factor but I think it's great if used with good taste.
I'm sorry if it seemed like I didn't respect your opinion. That's not my style. I absolutely respect it, but I definitely disagree.

Not to beat a dead horse, but my senses seem to be more stimulated with a great time, good energy, and good music flow. I doubt that wedding I speak of would have been any more enjoyable with subs. I also think listener fatigue is grossly overstated in this industry. Some of us might notice, but I really doubt "Joe consumer" is really noticing. Only those few audiofiles would be so critical of a DJ's mobile application... which EAW or not, still wouldn't likely be as crisp or as tight as they true audiofile would desire.

Listener fatigue with the sx300s also doesn't answer why a bunch of 20 somethings... the more likely age group to be very discriminating, were all on the dancefloor until the last dance... DJs too!

I contend that many DJs like to just put on a big show... most speakers, most lights, most watts, etc. That's great if that's your marketing strategy, for sure!

I sell moments, I don't sell massive.
 

polarsounds

In Self-Imposed Exile
Actually, what I said is that I use 4 speaker sound for weddings, and the subs only when I need the extra oomph.

But let me tell ya, I'll keep using one pair of FR-159z and one pair of LA-460 for weddings of any size (even <100) because the quality of sound is butter smooth. I would feel like I wasn't giving my clients the quality of sound they deserve if I just brought a single pair of 2-way 15"s.
 

Cali

New Member
Chris Wagner said:
Cali said:
This is where it's a matter of opinion Chris. I respect yours and would appreciate it if you would allow me to have my own opionon without putting me down for it (stated in a diplomatic tone- I'm not angry). Your opinion does not make you right any more than mine does. Polar sounds said exactly what I should have said. Listener fatigue is clearly more present at an event for 200 people when pushing a pair of SX300s than it would be if using an EAW rig complete with subs and just running it at 50%. Let's face it, a clean and full sound does excite the senses and if it didn't there would be no reason for anyone to ever spend the money or go through the effort of loading in such heavy equipment. It's all about taking things a step further. Same with lighting. I don't use it because of the AC factor but I think it's great if used with good taste.
I'm sorry if it seemed like I didn't respect your opinion. That's not my style. I absolutely respect it, but I definitely disagree.

Not to beat a dead horse, but my senses seem to be more stimulated with a great time, good energy, and good music flow. I doubt that wedding I speak of would have been any more enjoyable with subs. I also think listener fatigue is grossly overstated in this industry. Some of us might notice, but I really doubt "Joe consumer" is really noticing. Only those few audiofiles would be so critical of a DJ's mobile application... which EAW or not, still wouldn't likely be as crisp or as tight as they true audiofile would desire.

Listener fatigue with the sx300s also doesn't answer why a bunch of 20 somethings... the more likely age group to be very discriminating, were all on the dancefloor until the last dance... DJs too!

I contend that many DJs like to just put on a big show... most speakers, most lights, most watts, etc. That's great if that's your marketing strategy, for sure!

I sell moments, I don't sell massive.
I respect your perogative to disagree and have read enough of your posts to know you're a respectful person. No worries. Like you I sell moments along with customer service and 14 years of experience. In essence I sell my ability to guide clients in planning their wedding (in person) and my ability to program music effectively so all age groups get the opportunity to be part of the celebration. I sell my ability to handle things behind the scenes so my clients can enjoy their celebration. I sell peace of mind...and I deliver.

The gear I use gets mentioned for about a total of 10 seconds during a sales presentation. It's also not brought in to try and impress anyone with it's presence. I'm a mature and confident 40 year old man that doesn't need "massive" to feel secure in what I do. Though I'm in pretty good shape for my age I could also do without the added weight of Birch speaker boxes. I use it primarily for it's ability to produce clean sound which in turn is actually easier on the ears at listening and dancing volume than what most DJs will use. If that extra effort on my part is being stupid in the eyes of most, than I will gladly be the village idiot (that makes more money than the smart people). I strongly feel most mobile DJs would love to use what I use. What they don't want (and will never admit) is the expense of buying it and the effort to set it up and tear it down.

Using the equipment I use is just one of the MANY ways I try and be better than my competition. For me it's about delivering better service in as many ways possible so I can set myself apart from the pack. There are many things I do that have been labled as "overkill" yet I continue to increase my bottom line while most are complaining about not enough work or being "beat out by lowballers". I'm glad I was never one to be swayed by the nay sayers.
 

len

New Member
The only time gear hurts you is when it's inappropriate for the job, either not enough, or too much.
 

Kacimlangford

Bose L1 Double B1 DJ
WOW

Halloween kept me busy so I couldn't check the board all afternoon and evening. I never expected this kind of responce.

Thanks to all who commented. Way too many to hit each one with a responce.

I think the main thing is, use the correct amount of gear for each show. Determine that by talking to your client and by seeing the venue first hand.
 
M

Mark Beecher

Guest
There is nothing that 2 quality speakers can do that 2 quality speakers and a matched sub can't do better.
 

bjojade

New Member
Mark Beecher said:
There is nothing that 2 quality speakers can do that 2 quality speakers and a matched sub can't do better.
Actually, for vocal clarity in a live speech environment, the system with subs would not do better. :)
 

Myoung1999

New Member
Best sound quality...very subtle but noticeable effect

I'll chime in...this is one of the few things I truly believe.
QUALITY of sound is the most important thing. No matter what speakers, amps, sources or music you're playing, if it sounds clear, is not distorted, and is pleasing to listen to, you'll have success. We all have been to an event or witnessed one where the sound was BAD..(either too loud, improperly EQed, distorted, not clear etc..)
What we all need to remember is that the Room that you are in has as much to do with the sound as all of the equipment you have. The better the equipment, the more it is able to deal with a variety of rooms.
That's why the BOSE stuff is so tempting for many, because it promises QUALITY sound in many different environments. Whether it delivers that quality is a matter of opinion, but that's what the BOSE folks promise.
So, to get back to the Original topic....I think the most important thing about the equipment you have is:

Know the equipment you have very well, and Know how to adjust it to make it sound good in different environments.

and...also...make sure you know its limitations...don't bring a small system to a large gymnasium...it will guarantee that the system sounds bad.
 

Valerie Hicks

New Member
There are many good points brought up in this thread. IMO,

--equipment does not make talent, but it can make the experience better.

--you need enough to successfully do the job; too little is always a problem, too much is only a problem if used inappropriately.

--All systems, large and small, have a volume knob that starts at zero. Whether you need to use it to 3 or 13 is a matter of circumstance.
 

DJSkinnyGuy

Active Member
vruste said:
--All systems, large and small, have a volume knob that starts at zero. Whether you need to use it to 3 or 13 is a matter of circumstance.

13?!?! where did you get this unit that goes to 13?!? i want one!! i NEED one!!!!

because sadly, mine only goes to 11 :(

:p
 

polarsounds

In Self-Imposed Exile
No. You don't understand... Thirteen is louder than eleven. So, while Spinal Tap is playing at eleven and barely being heard, we will playing at thirteen. See?
 
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