Non-DJ Sound System Help Please

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New Member
Hi Everyone,

Well, it's ben awhile since I posted due to Medical/Family issues....Long Story for a cold beer or three. Not DJ/KJing too much these days, but working on that too. Lately I have been playing Bass in bands again. Mainly been here by way of the lurk, but I respect the knowledge an Tech advice given on the board.

OK, I need to put together a decent P.A. for the band for around $4,000. Not my money lol. Should cover the typical 100-250 size crowd at most. I went to a GC the other day to look......not my favorite store by any means.......What happend to 12ch mixers actually being 12 mic chs. like the old Peavey Mark IV's etc. Sheesh

This what I need:
1. At least 10 mic inputs on mixer-powered or unpowered
2. EFX Onboard or Outboard
3. Compressors for mics (can slide this for bit if needed I guess}
4. Power Amps for 100 - 250 people max. If unpowered board
5. 2 FOH and 3 Moniter speakers
6. 2 Speaker Stands
7. Quality cables with all the right connections for everything
8. Three Good quality Vocal mics (Dynamics to keep cost down)
(Senheiser 935's Shure Beta 58A's that price range)
9. Good round based mic stands with booms. (Maybe Atlas) Don't care for the tripod based ones.

Think this will get us going for now. I have some stuff in mind, but want some advice from the folks who know more than I before I spend other folks cash. Would like to get most if not all from vendors here if possible. Support the folks who support us.......OK, please let me know your thoughts and advice. Bob, Nickey, Ben, Bill, Ken the list goes on.

Thanks in advance for all the help.

Frank :cool:

Ken Heath

Super Moderator...da-ta-daaa!!!
Staff member
You might consider powered speakers to cut down on amp racks and least for your monitors. There's a new powered 12" stage monitor from Harbinger that I've had a chance to beat up on...really good speaker at it's price point, and maybe even a price point or two above!

I've hammered on Harbinger's entire new powered line for Guitar Center, and they held up quite well to hours of decidedly on-purpose mistreatment...amps got too hot to touch and still kept on makin' music.

I've also used my two B-52 Matrix-2000's as mains for bands...worked great!

Scott McKinney

Active Member
Ok, I'll give it a try.
Mixer - Yamaha MG series. I run an MG32/14 FX for general concert work. ( I have a 40 channel 8 buss Soundcraft Ghost for serious concerts but the price tag on that is around $8 Grand) Gives me 32 channels with 4 buss and 2 channels of effects. You can get a 12 channel fairly cheap.
Depending on what type of band...I run EV SX500's for FOH or Peavey SP1G's. If Stage is fairly high, I like the 10 degree downangle of the EV's tweeters. If staright out....then the Peavey's. If I want a little more kick....I add 18 inch subs. For the EV mains, I run a Crown CE2000. If I cross over for subs, I use a Crown powertech-3 for lows and SAE 2502 for for tops.
For moniters....I use Yamaha 12 inch wedges. 3 down front and 1 for drummer. All on seperate mixes. Power is supplied by Peavey V-1500's.
For mikes, popular choice is Shure SM-58's. (industry standard and nearly indestructible) I prefer EV 767's but that's just me.
For drumkit mikes....Audix drum kit set. D series. one on kick three across snare & toms and Audio Technica Pro-37's for hats and cymbals.
The only effects I put on mikes might be some light reverb and a limiter but I don't usually compress anything. I like dynamic range. Depending on location, I might drop in a feedback destroyer.
Bass, Keys and guitars get DI'ed. use HOSA DI's and have had very good luck with them. (Groovetube DI's seem too noisy for my liking) If I have to mike the cabinet, I use either an SM-57 or an Sennhiser evolution e609.
I use Atlas heavy base stands and Stagemate tripod stands. No real favorites here with the exception of my heavy, short kick drum boom mike stand.

That's my simple band rig. Some rigs have seen a mike on every drum in the kit. (Lynyrd Skynyrd for example) I think I put 12 mikes on that kit and used 6 seperate moniter channels. Fewest has drumkit mikes has been 3. 1 kick and an omni on snare (and close to highhat) and 1 omni on toms (close to cymbals) but the room has to be right otherwise the sound gets messy.


New Member
Thanks for all the suggestions so far. Mike, just vocals for now on stage. Kick and sometimes overheads in mains, somtimes use drummer's CAD drum mics if bigger venue. DI's out of amps if we put them in mains, again, only in a larger venue.........BBBuffalo, I'll look into those mics......Ken, used B-52's before too, it was fun. :) I have seen those speakers on line, just have not heard them yet...........Scott, I had forgotten you did concert sound. I do have my own 58. It has never failed me, but this is someone elses system, and for some reason, they don't care for Shure, don't know why, and decided not to ask. Also use the Hosa DI, built like a freakin' tank and quiet.

We are a three piece bar band doing mostly Classic Rock, a little older Country when we have to, and some Blues too.

Again, thanks for the suggestions, please keep em' coming. I like spending other peoples cash for a change.


Scott McKinney

Active Member
If they don't like Shure mikes look into the EV's. I've had great success with them.

If you're going to use your instrument amps for backline, you may still want to mike them for the monitors. Say you have the bass player on far stage right and your keyboard player far stage left. Unless you have some bass and some keys in the monitors...they may not hear each other and you don't want to rely on the drumkit as a metronome. :)


New Member
Not a huge fan of the Yamaha MG boards. They are, well, cheap. Nothing remotely close to their high end stuff except maybe the logo printed on it.

For lower cost quality analog boards, I've actually been fairly impressed with the A&H ZED boards.

Of course, another option is to pick up a used Yamaha digital board. That would solve your mixer and your compressor and your effects issue all at once. You can find them for under a grand if you look around.


New Member
Thanks guys.....had a chat last night with money provider.....not someone in the band BTW, LOL. They strongly reminded me I only have $4000 to spend, then started in on a long discussion about the old days when Peavey was king.

Now, I am not slamming Peavey at all, my first band mixer was a Peavey Mark IV....I miss that board. Anyway, the only reason I got involved in the gear side is since it is not my cash, I didn't want them buying garbage for me to have to try and mix on while playing bass. LOL

Thanks again for all your suggestions, please don't hold back now.

Have a great Sunday,


Gear and Equipment Moderator
Frank -

Having been a former bass player myself (I still have my '62 Fender Precision) and having played from '69 until '87 with the same show band, I designed their PA but it was way over $4K and for roughly 1200-1500 people.

Within your budget I'd seriously look at a pair of JBL PRX-515's for tops and the PRX-518 subs. These are Crown powered, fairly light weight for what they do. For a mixer look into a Mackie DFX-12 which will provide 12 channels with digital vocal effects like echo, reverb etc. built-in. Add whatever mics you need but I'd stay with the tried and proven Shure SM-57/58 line. For live work I'd also add a 31 band EQ and maybe even their limiter compressor although the powered JBL speakers have it built-in. This entire system should come in well under your budget. If you intend to mic all the instruments down the road, just add two more subs and you'll be go to go for way more than 250 people. For monitors pickup a couple powered 12" tops like the Mackie srm-450V2s or Tapco Thump sh-15's.

Just an FYI .... we used a Soundcraftsman 32 channel board, 3 DeltaLab 1024 delays, a DeltaLab Vocal Harmonizer, Rane 3 way stereo x-over, a Rane 31 band EQ, three BGW-750 amps. Speakers were two sets of triamped Klipsch MCM-1900' subs and four Klipsch LaScala tops.
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Scott McKinney

Active Member
I miss my LaScalas. :(
Anyway....The MG suggestion was based on his budget. We have had good luck with the one I use (better than any Behringer POS. :) ) as was stated...I also have a Soundcraft Ghost 40/8/2, but at 8 grand....not every garage band will run out and get one. :)
Also, and this is just MY experience....Mackie 450's go thermal when set on their sides as airflow will not go lower to upper across cooling fins as they are now sideways, but thats just problems "I've" had. I did run a pair of powered Samson DB500's as FOH mains as they had built in compressor and low freq. cut-off but got rid of them this spring.


ProDJ Sponsor
Just looking at the basic needs list you provided, here's what I would recommend. These are all quality pieces, and the package would run you $3900 delivered.

1 A&H ZED22 FX mixer.
3 Yorkville NX25P powered monitors.
2 EV SXA360 powered mains.
3 EV PL80a dynamic mic.
10 Rapco NJ-30 XLR cables.
2 Ultimate TS90B speaker stands.
3 Ultimate MC-05B mic stands.

Cases and bags are not included in the package.

If you want 4 channels of compression at a reasonable price, I'd add an ALTO ACL4 compressor and a Hosa STP-803-PRO insert snake. Alto is a bargain brand but the ACL4 has good reviews.
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New Member
Wow, thanks for the detailed lists guys......this is why I posted here. Still have some time before purchase is made and unfortunately, final decision is not up to me. :(

I am trying to put together the best system I can for two reasons...1. I will be running it while in the band, 2. I might try to buy it when I move on.

I was asked last night why I didn't price any Behringer gear.....this has me a bit scared. lol

Keep the suggestions coming, I may just put my own system together.


pS: been checking out all your suggestions, very nice gear choices. It is much appreciated.


MobileBeat Moderator
Staff member
Frank the Behringer mixers with wall warts are simpky notroad worthy. I personally know of tweo KJs doing 3 shows a week, and they have had to replace their euromixers 2 times due to board failure, and not too impressed with the speakers. the EXsxa360 are superb speakers, a cannot miss recommendation.

If you elect going powered, you will have a lighter setup than if you go passive, although NickyB's recommendation is also superb going that direction.


New Member
The response to why not pricing Behringer gear should be 'oh, I thought you wanted a quality reliable system. If all you want is crap, we can go even cheaper than Behringer if you want"

Another thing that will help you with a modest budget is USED gear. If you shop around, you can often find used equipment for about half of its original cost. A good 5 year old mixer that hasn't been abused will cost quite a bit less than a brand new unit of the same size. Speakers can be had for a fraction of the price of new. Just know what you're getting into and make sure you can check it out before committing to the purchase.


New Member
Bill, I have had nothing but BAD luck with Behringer gear, just didn't want to slam them in public forum. LOL

Brian, I agree about the quality, I just think money bags doesn't get it. LOL You know, if they hear audio, they think it's all good no matter how bad it sounds. Hey, it's my butt up there performing so I want it to sound as good as possible. I never thought about used, will check it out.

Thanks again all, please don't hold back now. :)

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New Member
Guys....Thanks again for all the suggestions. Not sure what in the heck they are thinking at this point but at least I gave em' something to think about.

Take Care
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