Inexpensive Stage (band) monitors

jkowtko

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Jan 9, 2007
Location
Redwood City, CA
Our upcoming show includes a live 5 piece band and our intent is to (for the first time) give the band members some monitors (in the past the band leader has worn an ALD -- assisted listenening device -- which isn't really cutting it any more).

Our music director, also the drummer, has his own set of in-ear monitors. However I don't think any of the other band members do, so we'll need maybe two small powered monitors.

Since we don't run live band shows like this very often, I would also like to use whatever I buy for FX speakers as well.

Some options I've been looking at (order of street price from low to hi):
- Galaxy pa5x140
- Fender 1270p
- TC Helicon VSM200/300
- Mackie SRM350/450
- Yamaha msr100

I really need to get something for under $300/pr. In the above list the Galaxy and Fender seem to be the only two that I could get that cheaply.

Any other ideas?

Also, should I consider a portable PA system? I'd prefer not to, but if they work well as band monitors and as FX systems I'd be interested to know.

Thanks. John
 

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I have used the fenders before, and they work extremly well. Sound out of them is not top notch, but they sound decent enough for the price you pay. They also hold up extremely well and are pack a pretty good punch when needed. The fact that they are also active is great.
 

soundlight

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Go for the fenders. You'll be happy. Especially the powered ones - just plug 'n play, and you've got decent monitors. As mentioned, not the best quality sound, but it takes alot more money to get best quality sound.
 

museav

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Who are the monitors for? You may need more low end for a bassist or keyboardist.

Think about how you are going to place the speakers and the resulting coverage. Is the speaker able to be easily mounted on a stand or does it have side angles that let it sit on the floor and get the sound up where you need it? If the box is normally vertical and you'll be using it on its side, does the pattern make sense? For example, a 90x40 pattern box turned on its side makes for a tall vertical and very narrow horizontal coverage, which is typically not a good solution, especially if you're using it to serve more than one person. And since you want dual use, how will you likely mount the speaker for effects use and does that box work for that?

How are you feeding the monitors, will each monitor have a dedicated aux send or were you thinking of looping through them? If the latter, then supporting a loop through may be something to consider in the speaker selection.

Are you putting any EQ on the monitors? It can help with both the sound from the monitors and feedback. You always want to consider the placement of the monitors relative to the microphones, but some EQ can help.
 

avkid

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Out of the two I would go with Fender.

Whatever you do, never buy JBL Eons.
 

museav

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Some options I've been looking at (order of street price from low to hi):
- Galaxy pa5x140
- Fender 1270p
- TC Helicon VSM200/300
- Mackie SRM350/450
- Yamaha msr100
I really need to get something for under $300/pr. In the above list the Galaxy and Fender seem to be the only two that I could get that cheaply.
Any other ideas?
I just realized that you were looking at $300/pair, not $300 each. Monitor speakers are usually sold individually, not in pairs, and the models you listed are more like $250 an up each, not per pair. Unless you find some used ones or a great e-Bay deal, I offhand don't know of a pair of powered monitors that can be bought for $300. There is a $150 version of the Fender, but it is the unpowered 1270, not the powered 1270P.
 

SHARYNF

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Sep 3, 2006
For what you are trying to do, i would take a totally different tack, I would go for Headphones. With the variety of sound problems you have had in the past putting monitors which will blead back into the mics, etc etc, just go with a headphone amp and a series of headphones, will fit in you budget and reduce the likely hood of further problems

Sharyn
 

jkowtko

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Jan 9, 2007
Location
Redwood City, CA
Re: Inexpensive Stage (band) monitors / headphones

For what you are trying to do, i would take a totally different tack, I would go for Headphones. With the variety of sound problems you have had in the past putting monitors which will blead back into the mics, etc etc, just go with a headphone amp and a series of headphones, will fit in you budget and reduce the likely hood of further problems
Sharyn
Good idea Sharon, thanks for reminding me. We thought about it early on, but assuming the band members don't have their own headphones can we get by with relatively inexpensive (i.e. $12 Sony from Target) earbuds and one of those $50 headphone splitters? I kind of thought that wouldn't work here ... would it? If so, then you're right -- an easy way out and takes care of the potential vocal feedback problem as well. Or is there a minimum level of equipment quality that would be required? Also keep in mind that when the band is visible they would probably need to wear earbuds or something discrete rather than visible headphones.

Thanks. John
 

SHARYNF

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Sep 3, 2006
Here would be my suggestions
Get the behringer HA8000, not the greatest system in the world but reasonable quality, and gives you 8 individual headphone amps so you have a lot of flexibility and also expansion, they sell for about 139 dollars (you can get other head phone systems that are cheaper but these tend to work off the speaker level outputs or don't really have the gain control you need.

http://www.worldmusicsupply.com/mics/headphones/Behringer/HA8000.asp

The inexensive buds would work, not perfect, but I would guess that you will find that the musicians will opt to get their own, so you can provide the low cost solution, and then they can add their own.
This will not be as flexibile as a higher end system in that each user will not be able to do their own mix, but you will be able to have individual levels, and you can control the monitor mix from your mixer.

Sharyn
 

jkowtko

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Jan 9, 2007
Location
Redwood City, CA
Sharon, do you know anything about the AMP800 -- looks like a 4 channel version of the HA8000 and is styled for a "mini-rack" set of products ... but it's much cheaper, and if our drummer has his own amp then I can get by with only four headphone channels. The product literature claims this is on par with their high end headphone amp quality ... do you know anything about it vs. the HA8000?
Thanks. John
 

jkowtko

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Jan 9, 2007
Location
Redwood City, CA
Okay, point taken :| ... I'll stick with the HA8000 as a minimum quality amp.
Thanks. John
 

SHARYNF

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Joined
Sep 3, 2006
You can always go to GC or wherever and have you or one of the players try it out, The ear buds are going to have the most effect on you quality.

sharyn
 

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