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Looking to build a small PA systems for parties

CALCULATOR

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I settled on a class AB crown XLI 2500

And so far I have 2 bookshelves I was using from an old 6cd changer system. They're pretty decent.

But I'm looking for a few diamonds in the rough.

Cost is an object, but also it isn't.

Let's give it $2000-2500 for the speakers

And $2000 for the sub

Maximum 15" drivers

And maximum 18" sub

But size isn't a requirement to be maxed out, because it's for parties that aren't gigantic

I play a lot of techno on my DJ gear, and house music with, let's face it, some not so well polished kicks.

So here are my goals:

Passive is best, I want to be able to upgrade my gear, I hate active speakers with a passion.

-make it sound as close to the big festivals as possible, in quality

The highs are high, the mids are clear, the bass is free of crappy distortion

Now I understand these won't be Void or Funktion One, but I am a firm believer that a decent passive speaker paired with the right upstream gear can sound good with a class AB amp

So here are my questions:
What signal processor should feed the amp to the speakers that will sound as close to professional sound engineering as possible?

Powered sub? That's the only thing id be okay with having onboard power, but I'd rather go passive... I'm okay with buying more crown amps, even XLS

What speakers?
What sub?

I'm also willing to take any information on what brands and models the professionals use at the big stage setups as well, it doesn't have to be in my budget but a list of top notch gear would work

Currently I have an EV 12" sub that's powered, it's decent but it won't go too loud before it starts to sound like it's resonating itself to death. Could be that it's underpowered... Because of that I'm willing to get rid of it and upgrade it

Any information would help, any pro sound engineers - would love to pick your brain and learn more about the trade- from one (mechanical) engineer to another


Thank you!


PS: I'm but into home HiFi, but struggling to pick up information from the internet on what is good with PA gear, it's just tough to learn about. I have a couple of very solid dacs including the Topping D90, Gustard R26, and a few lower prices ones- but what should come between the TRAKTOR and the dac and the amps all the way to which speakers- I don't really know. Willing to hunt down even used gear- would love to learn of any hidden gems if they even exist but my hopes are low... Good stuff costs money as we know.
 

fpitas

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If you push home hi-fi speakers at high levels for extended periods, they may not last.
 

Chr1

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I have several pairs of Tannoy V12s which may be available second hand depending on where you are. They sound good and are very good value. Alternatively, JBL, Meyer, Mackie and EV also make good options. Down to your budget.
As previously mentioned, the size of room/space and volume kind of dictate what you will require...
 
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fpitas

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If you will have inebriated sorts wandering about, definitely get PA equipment. I guarantee the volume will creep upwards as the party progresses.
 

b7676

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EV TX line is what I see recommended for sound quality at this price, but that JBL is preferred by dj's for house / electronic.
 

Neddy

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Used JBL club gear is all over CList. I found a basically un-used 4645C (18" sub) for around $200. This class of stuff doesn't sell often, or well, b/c they are so huge.
Their other theatre gear (THX spec) should do the job, and lots of choices to pick from, too.
With so many movie theatres closing down in the last several years, there ought to be a lot to look at!
 

chronos1701

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You can consider QSC E112 speakers. They're pretty decent in terms of sound quality. Some active subs have a built in crossover so you won't need outboard processors for that.

How do you plan to connect your sources to the amp?

For a list of top-notch gear used at big festivals, I've seen Lacoustics used quite frequently. Nice smooth sound that defies the harsh sound reputation that pro PA seems to get.

Danley Sound Labs also have nice speakers with a unique design. They specialise in using powerful point sources instead of line arrays. They also have a smooth musical sound. Danley subs are also some of the most powerful I've encountered, especially their TH118.

Adamson and Meyer Sound are also top notch brands to consider but they're going to cost serious $$$.
 

dasdoing

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the trend for small untreated venues is towards column speakers because their restricted vertical coverage causes less problems
 

kipman725

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Are you willing to DIY? if you are the budget is pretty decent!
Also second hand could be a good option. Passive crossovers are uncommon in PA. Danley is the only manufacturer I know that do a lot of models with passive crossovers.
 

Phorize

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I settled on a class AB crown XLI 2500

And so far I have 2 bookshelves I was using from an old 6cd changer system. They're pretty decent.

But I'm looking for a few diamonds in the rough.

Cost is an object, but also it isn't.

Let's give it $2000-2500 for the speakers

And $2000 for the sub

Maximum 15" drivers

And maximum 18" sub

But size isn't a requirement to be maxed out, because it's for parties that aren't gigantic

I play a lot of techno on my DJ gear, and house music with, let's face it, some not so well polished kicks.

So here are my goals:

Passive is best, I want to be able to upgrade my gear, I hate active speakers with a passion.

-make it sound as close to the big festivals as possible, in quality

The highs are high, the mids are clear, the bass is free of crappy distortion

Now I understand these won't be Void or Funktion One, but I am a firm believer that a decent passive speaker paired with the right upstream gear can sound good with a class AB amp

So here are my questions:
What signal processor should feed the amp to the speakers that will sound as close to professional sound engineering as possible?

Powered sub? That's the only thing id be okay with having onboard power, but I'd rather go passive... I'm okay with buying more crown amps, even XLS

What speakers?
What sub?

I'm also willing to take any information on what brands and models the professionals use at the big stage setups as well, it doesn't have to be in my budget but a list of top notch gear would work

Currently I have an EV 12" sub that's powered, it's decent but it won't go too loud before it starts to sound like it's resonating itself to death. Could be that it's underpowered... Because of that I'm willing to get rid of it and upgrade it

Any information would help, any pro sound engineers - would love to pick your brain and learn more about the trade- from one (mechanical) engineer to another


Thank you!


PS: I'm but into home HiFi, but struggling to pick up information from the internet on what is good with PA gear, it's just tough to learn about. I have a couple of very solid dacs including the Topping D90, Gustard R26, and a few lower prices ones- but what should come between the TRAKTOR and the dac and the amps all the way to which speakers- I don't really know. Willing to hunt down even used gear- would love to learn of any hidden gems if they even exist but my hopes are low... Good stuff costs money as we know.
If you are in the states or can diy then pi 4s with may suit you. Efficient, high spl and uniform directivity:

 

ocinn

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Hi, Live sound guy here.

Passive is best, I want to be able to upgrade my gear, I hate active speakers with a passion.

-make it sound as close to the big festivals as possible, in quality

This is an oxymoron. Festivals are 99% active these days. L'Acoustics, D&B, and Meyer (the big 3 manufacturers for festival-level sound) have all been fully active for years. There are a handful of L'A and D&B products that are passive (stage monitors, small 8" installation fill speakers), where the huge plethora of benefits active would present make no sense to waste amplifier channels.

For the consumer/small rental house, it pretty much goes internally powered active speakers and then you upgrade to externally powered active speakers (bi-amp, with digital crossovers and processing). This is done for a million reasons, and with OEM processing presets applied they leave passive systems behind in the dust, as well as being far safer (remote monitoring, comp/lim for every box) and easier to integrate.

That being said, the only passive speaker on the market right now that is even remotely worth considering are the options from Danley Sound Labs. The issue is that you will struggle to find used ones in your price range, meanwhile, there are absolutely fantastic active options from Yamaha, QSC, JBL, Martin, etc...

Another huge benefit of going into a single active ecosystem, especially at the consumer end of the live PA world, is that many can be networked together to a router and you can have full control of EQ, crossovers, limiters, compression from a mobile device or laptop. Depending on the ecosystem, there is no need to invest in a processor and all the individual cabling to do so. In some ecosystems, you can just send one box your Left+Right and it will distribute all the audio and data over a single ethernet runt o the other boxes.

But yes, Danley or JBL CBT series are some of the only passive speakers that can compete. There are *some* DIY designs that can be made with a passive crossover but even if you to go the Diyaudio forum and look at the technically competent designs (PM90, Syntripp, all the synergy horn clones, B&C 215DCX, etc, etc...), you will notice that everyone builds them as actives with high-performance DSP boxes (many times multiple!).

You hate active because you like to upgrade, however, investing in everything you'd need to make a passive system work well would cost orders of magnitude more than any resale-losses you'd get from selling active boxes.
 

kipman725

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Its possible to build active amp racks at relatively low cost with considerable DSP capability and output power using used install DSPs such as the Biamp Tesira and Chinese amps such as those made by Admark and Gisen. Using two 4ch amps and a DSP you can make a rack with 8 multi thousand watt amplifier channels for ~1500usd . You then have everything you need to drive speakers such as the Syntripp and PM60/90 and subwoofers such as the TH-18 . Its a lot of work to build all this stuff but you would get a very capable and expandable system within your budget.
 

Ricardus

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The PA system I built for parties included a pair of powered Alesis nearfield monitors that I got for free, a CD player (or any RCA or 1/8th inch stereo output) and the "passive preamp" from JDS.


Then I made some RCA to TS interconnects for the speakers and Bob's your uncle.
 

Chr1

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Doubt that near field monitors can put out enough volume for parties surely?
 

Ricardus

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Doubt that near field monitors can put out enough volume for parties surely?
It's all relative.

I put this system together a few summers ago during lockdown. Friends would come over and hang out on my driveway. We all brought our own coolers, and we sat 15 ft. apart and talked and listened to tunes. The neighbors complained about noise, so it must have been pretty loud.

Would it be appropriate for a dance club? No. But it sure served every indoor and outdoor party I ever threw.
 

Chr1

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Indeed, but from what I can make out the OP was looking for advice on gear for parties a bit bigger.

PS. I have used a single KRK Rokit 10 G3 playing mono for an unplanned small group/party. Worked well, kinda like an old school boombox. Goes quite loud and deep... and it was cheap.
 
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