"I don't want to spend much"...

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Tyrone Blue

Member
This is probably the most common phrase I hear from new DJs starting out. While I understand the comment, and probably made it myself back in my starting days, I'd like to make a few comments...

If you're truly serious about being a quality DJ, then plan your spending so that you only have to do it once. What I mean by that is, spend your money wisely on equipment, so that you don't have to buy a cheap piece of junk first, then buy it again later.

I can't tell you the number of times I've purchased some gear, that failed right after the 90 day warranty, then I had to buy something else to replace it. Had I purchased a better quality piece of equipment in the first place, I'd be better off, and money ahead.

The worst place to skimp on equipment is your sound system. This is what provides you with your reputation. Should it fail during a performance, so will your reputation. Back in the day, there was very high quality speakers (well known brand name) made in Europe, which are now made in China. The difference is substantial, and noticeable. Be sure to "buy once" when it comes to speakers, mixers and amps.

Nothing irks me worse than asking for advice on the boards, then doing what you though of in the first place. You have hundreds of years worth of experience on all of the DJ boards, so use those who have gone before you... isn't that why you come here? I've read threads where some beginner asks about this or that piece of gear, then gets' s TON of comments. Then, the guy/gal goes out and buys the first piece of gear anyhow. What was the point? Yeah, I did it way back when... but there wasn't this sort of board back then to help me learn. So learn and listen!

[stepping down from the soap box]
 

hippydog

wuz here when it was Red.
I can't tell you the number of times I've purchased some gear, that failed right after the 90 day warranty, then I had to buy something else to replace it. Had I purchased a better quality piece of equipment in the first place, I'd be better off, and money ahead.
I'm of the firm belief that ANY equipment can fail (I agree that quality equipment has a way better chance of not failing)

What is even more important is BACKUP!
 

DJBusyB

Active Member
And the next place not to skimp is investing in training. Too many fresh DJs think "anyone can DJ" or "I can learn on the job". Ruining people's events is not the best way to learn! If you did that for an employer, you'd be out of a job quite often.

Buy Quality Gear!
Get Quality Training!

Trust me...if you don't get that new cool light, but get better training, you have a better chance of securing more bookings. I've never had anyone tell me they hired me because I had a neat lighting effect.

Brian
 

Bob Dietrich

Active Member
And the next place not to skimp is investing in training. Too many fresh DJs think "anyone can DJ" or "I can learn on the job". Ruining people's events is not the best way to learn! If you did that for an employer, you'd be out of a job quite often.

Buy Quality Gear!
Get Quality Training!

Trust me...if you don't get that new cool light, but get better training, you have a better chance of securing more bookings. I've never had anyone tell me they hired me because I had a neat lighting effect.

Brian

Brian,

Good advice to be sure...however, everone MUST have some equipment to start out with. I know the frustration that Tyrone is speaking of...it happens all the time unfortunately.

As for speakers...keep in mind, speakers has the biggest impact on your final sound...no other piece of equipment even comes close. You can have a fantastic top flight high end front end playing through poor speakers and the resulting sound will be poor at best. You can have all entry level equipment playing through good speakers and it will sound much better than the first system hands down everytime!

Be wise when buying...and listen to some of the "mature" folks who have been at this a very long time...guys like Tyrone, NickyB, and although I'm MUCH younger than those guys (LOL!!) myself and others...we've all been there, done that and seen the movie too...we speak from experience and from the money we've wasted over the years...don't repeat our mistakes!

And, as Brian notes...invest in yourself! It's the only way you'll get better and get ahead in this business.

Finally, I've found myself using this more lately, but it was written long ago and seemingly is more relevant today than when it was written...here it is again:

"It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money, that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought is incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot. It can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run. And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better. There is hardly anything in the world that someone can't make a little worse and sell a little cheaper - and people who consider price alone are this man's lawful prey." --John Ruskin (1819-1900)
 
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polarsounds

In Self-Imposed Exile
I've found this to be true. When I've skimped - be it on mixers, speakers, cordless mics, computers - I've found myself spending the money later to get it right.

On the flip side, I bought a quality pair of used speakers that sounded great and ran reliably for nearly a decade before I retired them. I bought a set of Martin scanners and a LeMaitre hazer in 2001 that continue to function well and impress crowds.

Sure beats the days of spending $60 on a one-trick pony light and throwing it out a few months later...
 

BillESC

Member
All sage advise.

Another point to take into consideration. All too often a person starting out simply doesn't have the capital on hand to make the correct purchases. When this is the case they usually skimp and go cheap only to spend more later for a replacement.

If you are serious about becoming a mobile entertainer and have created a business plan, you should see your local banker or contact a leasing company. Financing is available to those with good credit or a co-signer. The interest paid will be far cheaper than replacing sub-par gear or your reputation due to equipment failure.
 

LtSpoon06

New Member
When I started buying sound equipment a few years ago, I did pretty good for myself. I asked for some advice and for the most part, took it.

I decided after a few events to have a biamped system, and instead of going to the knowledge pool of the forum or my local music store, decided to go online and buy the cheapest amp that had the right wattage. I ended up with a Nady power amp that wasn't nearly powerful enough to drive my subs. We found this out the day before a dance and had to go out and drop more money, this time on a Crown CE2000.

Remembering this, when I went to buy my first wireless microphone, I spent quality money, and haven't looked back since.

Yes, it is important to get advice. Yes, it is important to get quality equipment. Yes, it is important to have backup equipment. And now that I have a good base for sound equipment, I'm working on improving myself and my business skills.

So thanks for all the help on here. I don't post as much as I could, but I try to be helpful where I can.
 
Off-topic a bit...

I've sold my services on my equipment, on my professionalism and on my talent. It all depends on the needs and desires of the clients to make the sale.

Back to the topic...

Newbies will look at the lowest price tag and forget that's cheaper to plan the purchases correctly like others have brought up. I'd like to add, you'll have refund money due to those malfunctions and your reputation will be less than desirable which could cost you even more!
 

DJ Biff

ProDJ Sponsor
I have said this 1000 times myself.. don't start with just a "budget". Find out what your needs are and what you want to accomplish... performance, quality, features, reliability, upgradeability etc....THEN figure out your budget BASED on that information... the calls and emails that I get mostly start with I want to spend "X" what do you have... not the best approach...

I am not saying there isn't decent inexpensive gear out there, nor that a start up (or anyone) needs to spend tons of money to accomplish your goal... everyone has to start somewhere.. I am saying don't make budget then try and figure what you want to buy. Figure out what you need... then make a budget you can accept and afford.

I would sooner have someone buy what they can afford in steps (when they can afford it) then try and buy EVERYTHING with what money they have in pocket today...

You don't need to buy 4 cheep lights today.. buy 1 or 2 better lights and when you can afford it buy 1 or 2 more.. If you can't afford the speaker and amp upgrade today, buy a good amp with head room..knowing you will upgrade the speakers after you do 5 more gigs... have a plan and stick to it...
 
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