Compact PA speaker for center cluster?


Well-Known Member
Okay, on to the next issue --

We have Mackie active speakers all around for our FOH ... two SRM450s for center cluster, one each SRM450 for left and right front wings, and one each SRM350 for left and right rear fills.

Due to unlucky uni-strut placement, our center cluster hanging frame is located about 10 feet back from the front edge of the stage. We have been planning to come up with a rig that would allow us to move the speakers several feet more downstage, but due to other tech work we have run out of time before our upcoming production to design and build a rig which will hold the 100lb pair of speakers in the middle of a 16 foot span.

So, as an alternative, would a smaller set of speakers work for the center cluster? Something like one of these active speakers:
- Mackie SRM150 (120db, not bad compared to 127db for the SRM450)
- Fostex SPA11
- FTB Jolly 5A or 8R

or a passive arrangement with a portable amp I can place on the catwalk near the speakers.

If I can find something that's compact and relatively light (15 lb or less) I can clamp them to nearby light poles pretty easily.

I also don't want to spend a fortune -- would like to stay under $500 for the pair (powered) if possible.

Any suggestions here?

Thanks. John


Well-Known Member
I'd go for a single Mackie S408 with appropriate amp run in bridged mode. We use that Fostex model in our booth as a monitor, I wouldn't trust it in a center cluster. Not even for a small 300 seat or so theater. I wouldn't trust the FBT or Mini-Mackie either. That 7db difference that you mentioned requires alot more power. Also, remember the inverse square law when deciding how much power you need!


Active Member
For weight, the passive models would probably be better for you. Have you considered looking at a passive model of the Mackies (or the passive eon's). They are about the lightest that you are going to find with decent output. The plywood boxes are usually heavier, not to mention that anything more powerful will have magnets that are much heavier. I know that they make a nice fly system for the eons and they are pretty easy to fly.

You really don't need to put the amp in the catwalk. Try it in the booth or backstage where you can get to it to turn it on and off easily, and keep it clean and cool. Just run an appropriate speaker cable to them, probably 12g depending on your run length.


Well-Known Member
Guys, I am looking for tiny speakers -- no larger or heavier than the SRM150. I already have two SRM450s hanging in the center cluster in the only location that we could hang them. I have no place to hang anything larger than an SRM150 in the location I need them.

So, while I'd love to be able to grab an S408 (I listened to these in the store a couple weeks ago -- they sounded really nice), it's not a compact speaker!

And I don't mind losing the low end right now. These speakers will still be accompanied by the SRM450 front wings and the SRM350 rear fill.

Thanks. John

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