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Thread: Active speakers

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    Active speakers

    Can anyone offer me some advice on a decent pair of active speakers? There's so many out there that I'm getting a little lost!

    It's for a hall big enough for around 80 to 100 people on a regular night and I've not got a huge budget, so value for money is (surprise, surprise) important.

    I'll need to plug a single mic and laptop into them and would prefer them to have the hat-top mounting for putting on the tripod stands. Other than that, not bothered about things like make, etc...

    Any help hugely appreciated. Thanks!

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    Re: Active speakers

    I used to own a pair of Warrior L300P speakers - did a good job for the money (about 200 from memory off of ebay)
    I'd suggest getting a mixer as well though - doesn't need to be fancy, but it makes life easier.
    you may need to investigate a gizmo for reducing earth hum, many halls wiring can introduce quite a buzz. Maplins used to do one for a tenner that worked well

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    todd (12th-January-2011)

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    Re: Active speakers

    We use Mackies - SRM350s. Wonderful, wonderful speakers - although possibly not as cheap as you like (brand new costs around 350 apiece) - you haven't quantified what you regard as a 'huge budget' though, so I thought then worth mentioning.

    If they are within your budget, they're worth every penny.

    A big to clevedonboy's suggestion about a mixer & ground loop isolator(s) (the latter are cheap, invaluable, and easily found on Amazon)

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    Re: Active speakers

    Really depends how much you're willing to spend. I use QSC K12s myself but they are at the dearer end of the scale. Nonetheless for the money they sound absolutely top notch and will easily sort you out in a room of 80-100 people!

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    Re: Active speakers

    As a dancer, on behalf of us down on the floor, can I appeal to you to spend as much as you can afford
    A good sound sound system will ensure your customers come back
    and should be a sound investment

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    JiveLad (15th-February-2011)

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    Re: Active speakers

    Quote Originally Posted by straycat View Post
    We use Mackies - SRM350s. Wonderful, wonderful speakers - although possibly not as cheap as you like (brand new costs around 350 apiece) - you haven't quantified what you regard as a 'huge budget' though, so I thought then worth mentioning.
    I've got one SRM350 that I use for infill. I've also got a pair of SRM450s. I think the larger speaker is better because it gives you more bass. But a pair of the smaller speakers would be fine in a smaller room.

    However, the Mackies don't really have a mixer built in. You can switch from mic input to line, but that's not the same as having a mixer as you can't do both at the same time.

    I've stubled on a real bargain at www.whybuynew.co.uk. They have some fantastically portable Samson XPL300 speakers for 205 each. I've got a pair of these speakers and they have always worked well for me - they give more bass than the SRM350 but not as much as the SRM450.

    The great thing about the Samson's is that they have a mixer built in to the back. You can plug in your mic and MP3/Laptop and have them both playing at the same time. You can even set them up to sound like a church or other halls if that's your thing. And they have built in wheels and an extending handle for easy transport - although the handle has snapped off on both of mine so you will need to take care who you let wheel your speaker!

    Here is the link http://www.whybuynew.co.uk/dj-equipm...ker-single.htm

    p.s. There is even the option of a battery pack with the Samson's so you can play it loud on the beach or at a busk.

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    Re: Active speakers

    My favourites are the JBL eon 15 G2. I prefer their sound quality to the Mackie, and they seem more solid. They will do all you want and more, but you'd have to go second hand to get a pair for around 400 - 450. (I've just had a quick look, and they now seem to be 560 new! So you might have to wait around for some time before you can pick up a bargain.) Some years ago I bought a spare in case of any problems, and I've never needed to use it.
    Although they do have a mixer built in, I'd recommend getting one for ease of use and versatility.

    Greg

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    Re: Active speakers

    Quote Originally Posted by philsmove View Post
    As a dancer, on behalf of us down on the floor, can I appeal to you to spend as much as you can afford
    A good sound sound system will ensure your customers come back
    and should be a sound investment
    Gotta agree there Phils! I made the stupid mistake some time ago of buying cheap - they were awful..! Luckily I was able to rectify the (very) poor sound quality before it caused any lasting damage.

    This time around I am naturally keen not to repeat the same mistake...

    Thanks to everyone for your suggestions.

    I didn't state what budget I'd be looking at as I'm still getting a feel I guess... But to get an idea, the "QSC K12s" are just way over for me! The "Mackie SRM-450" look like a very popular choice. At around the 800 mark for a pair of B Stock, it makes me think rather hard. The "JBL eon 15 G2" aren't much cheaper and these (like the Mackie's) need a separate mixer...

    One of the appeals of active speakers (at least, in my mind) is ease of set up and break down - plug in and play. Simples. So the "Samson Audio XPL300", suggested by Andy are looking pretty good to me. At 410, or so, for a pair of B Trade they are "do-able" budget wise.

    Does anyone else here have any experience of these speakers? Reliability, quality..?

    Thanks again everyone for your help

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    Re: Active speakers

    Quote Originally Posted by todd View Post
    One of the appeals of active speakers (at least, in my mind) is ease of set up and break down - plug in and play. Simples. So the "Samson Audio XPL300", suggested by Andy are looking pretty good to me. At 410, or so, for a pair of B Trade they are "do-able" budget wise.

    Does anyone else here have any experience of these speakers? Reliability, quality..?

    Thanks again everyone for your help
    I've got the earlier "Expedition" version of these speakers. I've got the EX30 with the mixer and an EX20 for the other side which is a simple powered version of the same speaker. Each of the channels has a gain, simple graphic eq and a reverb!

    I used to use them each week in a weekly class without any problems. They were the first powered speakers I owned. The only problem I had was helpful people pulling them up and down steps on their wheels and snapping the handles. I understand the wheels have been improved as the ones on mine are only suitable for smooth floors or carpet - I think the newer ones have wheels like roller blades which can work on bumpy drives or the corrugated non-slip slabs that you find outside venues - but you'd have to check this.

    The knobs on the mixer seem quite exposed but they are recessed and I've never had a problem. The plastic feels hard wearing and heavy duty and I've not had anything snap off or break except the handles.

    There is an overload cut-out which has kicked in once or twice on one speaker but it's come back on fairly quickly once I've turned it off and on. That wasn't a modern jive night but a disco night when I was over-powering the speakers to get more bass.

    I've kept them as a back up for a few years but have only used them once or twice recently as I've got so many other sound systems. They have never let me down and have always done a good job. They're not hi-fi like you'd expect from high end kit and as the woofers are 12" they don't give you as much bass as the 15" woofers in the JBLs, etc. But they aren't rubbish like the really cheap Chinese systems you see for sale for peanuts.

    If money was no object I'd have a Nexo sytem. My best sounding speakers are definitely my Hill Audio powered speakers and Martin Audio speakers but they are quite expensive and most people can't tell the difference. I'm quite happy with my JBLs, Mackie's, and Samson's which all do a good job. If was was starting again with a 1,000 budget I'd get the JBL Eons because they have better bass and are, to my ears, a little brighter at the top end than the Mackies or the Samsons. But I'd get the Samson's if I was trying to keep below 500.

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    todd (13th-January-2011)

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    Re: Active speakers

    Why not go on a mobile dj site and do a search.
    www.mobiledjforums.com would be a good place to start

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    Re: Active speakers

    Yamaha StagePAs are pretty good for the money - removable mixer, more portable, but you need to buy stand sockets separately. Different models have different features - download specs and manuals from yamaha site ? Oddly, cheaper models have 48v power for quality capacitor microphones.

    For even more portability there are active studio monitors, but they're not really designed to fill a hall or survive 'gigging' !
    ESI Near05
    M-Audio BX5 variants

    8" models also available from same manufacturers.
    Often prices are for one speaker - beware !
    Last edited by EricD; 15th-February-2011 at 05:05 PM. Reason: prices are for one

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    Re: Active speakers

    Hi All,

    Sorry for bringing this old thread back to life !

    I never did end up getting a set of active speakers back then. The subject has now re-surfaced for me and so I gone back over old ground and some new.

    Have had the QTX QRC15A (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/QTX-Sound-...ht_1443wt_1188) recommended to me as a best compromise between cost and performance.

    Has anyone here used these? Are they any good in terms of sound qaulity for a medium sized hall for up to around 100 people?

    Many thanks - Todd

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    Re: Active speakers

    Todd,go to www.mobiledjforums.com and do a search.Its a very good sight for any DJ related questions

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    Re: Active speakers

    Never heard the QTX speakers.

    We've been using JBL powered speakers for over years and can testify to their durability and quality of sound... We have 5 separate sets across Scotland.
    The newest models are also much lighter.
    Franck.

    There's an A.P.P. for that!

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    Re: Active speakers

    Thanks djtrev - will make use of that in the future !

    Franck - The JBL's do look like very nice speakers. They are in the next league of cost/perfermance and are defo on my short shopping list for the future.

    luckily for me our venues are not too large so don't need huge power.
    Unluckily for me our venues are not too large so buget is tight !

    Anyway. I decided to take the risk and go for the QTX QRC15A. Tried them last night and have to say that I was well impressed with the clarity and depth of sound. Bearing in mind that I only had the volume about a third up on both speakers as didn't need any more. I suspect that they'll loose some clarity if/when pushed harder and that's when the JBL's would take over I guess.

    Franck, am I allowed to mention on here where I bought them from? Only they really were extremely helpful and deserve a plug !

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    Re: Active speakers

    Quote Originally Posted by todd View Post
    Franck, am I allowed to mention on here where I bought them from? Only they really were extremely helpful and deserve a plug !
    Sounds like you got a bargain and pair of great speakers in the process...

    No problem mentioning where you bought them, if it helps other DJs finding good and affordable equipment, all the better!
    Franck.

    There's an A.P.P. for that!

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    Re: Active speakers

    Thanks Franck,

    Well the chaps name is: Allan Crane
    From: djs-only
    Email: sales@djs-only.co.uk

    He replied 2 days sooner than any other supplier and answered my questions rather than simply trying to sell me something else. He then went on to engage in a lengthy email conversation, answering lots of other stuff. I'll be going back to him next time without a doubt.

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