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Thread: Which mixer and speakers?

  1. #1

    Which mixer and speakers?

    Hi, everyone:

    I just signed up yesterday!! If you don't mind, I would like your honest answers to a couple of questions!

    I want to buy a new mixer and 2 speakers for my gig as host of an open mic in a semi-noisy bar! So, almost everyone tells me that I need a PASSIVE mixer and ACTIVE SPEAKERS. I ABSOLUTELY am a nut over quality or clarity of sound. I like 15" speakers because the guitar's bass comes out great. And, I like to be able to really shpare the vocals with that 1960s "wet" echo/reverb!!!!

    SO:

    1) Can I phone someone at Behringer to ask an expert what he/she thinks? (I didn't see any numbers!!!)

    2) Can someone suggest a combo of mixer and speakers? Generally, there are no more than 3 vocalists and 3 guitarists at any one time at the bar

    3) I've been told that Behringer products are less expensive because the components are not as good and that they break down. Is there any truth in this? PLEASE be honest!!!

    Thank you!!!!

  2. #2
    Super User Paul Vannatto's Avatar
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    Hi Karl,

    Welcome to the forum. Here are a few suggestions to your questions

    1) You could call CARE at (1) 702-800-8290 for the US and Canada and (44) 1562 732290 in Europe.

    2. If you are really concerned about quality and clarity, I would strongly suggest considering purchasing one of the X32 mixers. They have been the best and fasted selling digital mixers in history (over 120,000 sold in just over a year and a half) and the quality and clarity is amazing. I have 2 X32 Racks that I use for small to medium size events and wouldn't do it any other way. Regarding active 15" speakers, Behringer does have a number of models to choose from, as well as the TurboSound line. It all depends on your budget. I can't comment on these much, since I use a different brand of speakers.

    3) There was a period over the 25 years Behringer has been producing equipment that the quality has been an issue. If you want to read about this, look at the "Our Story" on this site (http://www.behringer.com/EN/Our-Story/index.aspx). Uli explains briefly what happened. So far, at least from the X32 perspective, this question is a thing of the past.

    Paul

  3. #3
    3) I've been told that Behringer products are less expensive because the components are not as good and that they break down. Is there any truth in this? PLEASE be honest!!!
    I was led to believe this in the past. I've bought another brands and haven't been as happy with them as the hardware I own from Behringer. I heard of less issues and failures from Behringer than some of the others. IMO opinion I would buy another X32.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    You are looking for a 6+-channel mixer, 3 DI boxes for the guitars, and a pair of speakers. If you buy passive speakers, you need to get a power amplifier; these come in "light and digital" these days, so it's not as much of a weight issue as it used to be.

    I'd decide on the speaker setup based on the power availability: if you're using active monitors, you need to run both a signal cable (XLR) to them as well as wall power, so having wall poer available where the speaker is may be a factor.

    Behringer even offers wireless speaker systems; if you can use these, you only need to plug the speaker into a wall outlet. Depending on your venue, this could be a superior solution, though I generally prefer to send all audio by wire.

    Most mixers today come with at least one internal effect, and it usually provides decent echo/reverb. I'd recommend listening to it in the store, or finding reviews with audio samples (at the very least, look for some youtube videos with sound).

    I feel that 8" is often enough to get good guitar sound with the newer speakers (they use stonger magnets). If you want to have a rig that you can transport easily, there are portable solutions from various manufacturers; one such would be Behringer's EUROPORT EPA900. I've never used one of these, so I can't comment on the sound quality.

    To go the expense of a digital mixer over analog gear in a bar situation is justified by the ability to sit at a table and mix with the same sound the audience has. Usually in a bar setup, your mixer will be near the stage, and you can't really monitor the room sound well from that position. If that is the case, being able to control your mixer with an iPad or Android tablet from anywhere in the room is great.
    Unfortunately, the Behringer X18 isn't shipping yet, but quite a few other manufacturers (Mackie, Phonics, SM Pro Audio) offer similar mixers with 16, 8 or even less channels that can be controlled that way. (Behringer's X32 rack could be considered their "big brother".) If you go with one of these, you'll need a few days to get used to not having real knobs and faders, but setting up and mixing your gigs will become a lot more enjoyable.
    Think of this board as a Swiss Army Mixer. --Glenn Adams

  5. #5
    Junior Member
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    Karl,

    First off, don't be afraid to talk to local talent to get their take.

    You have left so many questions unanswered it is difficult to form an opinion.

    How big (sq ft) is the bar? How big is the stage (corner the bar gave you)? Do you also need monitors? How many patrons are expected, and how big a profile is this gig to you? Are you on long term or just a couple of weekends, i.e. (semi)permanent installation? Are you mixing from stage or did you score an engineer's position out front? How loud (or quiet) does the owner expect you to be? Is there any resale value to the rig if this doesn't pan out? AND the biggest question of all.... What is your budget???

    Here's a couple of my favorite sayings that might help.
    Bigger is almost always better, and better is almost always bigger. (me)
    Figure out what you need to spend, and add 10 to 20 percent. (some house renovation contractor, somewhere) Personally I say double it. (You never know what you will use this rig for when this gig ends)

    You say you are a fan of clarity. Clarity comes from headroom. You will want to be able to produce much more sound than you need to. You say you only need so many channels, I would rather run out of headroom than inputs. You can always tell the crowd that the bar didn't pay you extra so you could buy Metallica's PA from them. Also, (and this is important to clarity) you could have the best gear in the world and still make it sound like a wet fart. (I'm making an assumption based on the initial question, that you don't have the experience that Paul, Micheal, and I have in live sound. I can't speak to Kevin's experience as I haven't read many of his posts)

    Finally, you asked about reliability. Everything craps out eventually. I have low end gear that has stood the test of time, (I will still turn on my Atari computer or bring out my Radio Shack mic if the production calls for it.) and I have high end (Sennheiser, Peavey, Tascam, Roland, Digiflex, etc.) that wasn't worth the money I paid for it and ended up in the scrap (spare parts) bin. You pay your money, you take your chances.

    Don't buy anything built on a Friday or a Monday.




    I know this is not an answer to your question, but it is food for thought. Bon Apetite.
    If you have nothing to do, don't do it here.

  6. #6
    For what it's worth, I run sound at a medium venue on an X32 and believe it's the best thing under $5000 (with the exception of the M32 once it rolls out which is right at five grand). There are smaller, more affordable, X32 options as well

    As far as speakers go, I would take a serious look at Turbosound—that brand has been turning out world class sound since the mid 70s. You can get a couple of M15 powered speakers and subs for pretty cheap!

    Keep in mind, you're probably going to want a mixer that you can expand with over time. Speakers can always be added on later, but you want enough I/O for later on down the road.

  7. #7
    Hello Karl,

    For what it's worth... Part of a four piece band, we bought in 2007 a set of 2X B212D and 4x B215D from Behringer and used them for our gigs for 5 years (I then had to leave the band for work geography reasons). Played many, many gigs in the south of France, lots of salted-humid weather, rain, heat, etc. Sometime pretty near max power for 4 to 5 hours.
    Never had a single issue. Behringer speakers are not at the very top of efficiency in terms of dB/W, but they are reliable. As many reported, Behringer has made great efforts and progress towards building decent to good gear.

    -Patrick

  8. #8
    Just my ten cents worth,

    Get the back line right without needing to mic up and Di if you can, and you have won the battle already, if you are going to start di ing bass and running that through a pair of speakers on stands, you will run out of headroom soon and will not have room for the vocals or anything else.

    I would suggest you set a budget and then blow it on second hand quality gear. I wouldn't do that type of gig without either a pair of twin fifteen full range cabs with a quality horn, or 12 + horn sitting on top of some fifteen inch subs.

    If you are going to mess about with anything like silly active 8s, please bring your money over to my house and put it in my bin.

    I would suggest you visit as many bars who are doing what you do, and let your ears decide.

    Good luck

  9. #9
    Kev's right... for a loud rock band with everything going though the PA, you're going to want a pair of mains and subs for both sides. It's better to have more than you need than to not have enough. You don't want to push your system harder than it needs to be pushed. Yes, some systems will take it, but it will sound MUCH better if you bring enough gear

  10. #10
    Sorry about the comment re the active 8s,

    Good luck

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