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#163075 - 06/28/12 11:35 AM [Off-Topic] Re: seeking recommendations for external speakers to make my laptop playback louder [Re: jazzmammal]
mkamoski Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/20/12
Posts: 82
Loc: Massachusetts, USA
*** UPDATE 2 TO THE ORIGINAL QUESTION ***

Thanks for all the great advice.

I think a good plan is to get a PA speaker to start, at least 100w, and then add a 2nd one ASAP.

I am trying to navigate through it all of the option and I am not sure about 2 points.

(1) Should I get a PA powered-speakers or non-powered-speakers?

(2) Should I get a PA with a built-in mixer or not?

(Note that I am trying to remain budget conscious here.)

(Note that I am trying to buy something that can be integrated into a larger system-- such as buy one speaker now and then daisy-chain more onto that later as budget permits.)

What do you think?

Please advise.

Thanks.

-- Mark Kamoski

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#163076 - 06/28/12 11:42 AM [Off-Topic] Re: seeking recommendations for external speakers to make my laptop playback louder [Re: mkamoski]
eddie1261 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 4389
I prefer components because if yoru powered speakers blow out, you have no amp and no speakers. If you have an amp and speakers, and your amp goes out, you still have speakers.

You can buy this stuff SO CHEAP if you look around. You can find a 16 channel Mackie mixer for $100 on eBay or Craigslist. Power amps and speakers, watch the used gear at Guitar Center. Enclosures can be found there for $50 used.

If you get powered speakers, you CAN'T EVER plug an amplified signal into them, thus the component approach.

Example: I needed rack ears for my Mackie. Nobody had ears for it. I found a mixer with the ears for $100. Bought it, removed the ears, mounted my mixer, sold the one I took the ears off for $100, so I got free ears.

Just shop around.
_________________________
I will continue to post in the songwriters forum but will be keeping my opinions to myself as far as the off topic forum goes.

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#163077 - 06/28/12 12:24 PM [Off-Topic] Re: seeking recommendations for external speakers to make my laptop playback louder [Re: eddie1261]
ROG Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/12/11
Posts: 2613
Loc: York, England
I agree with Eddie - keep everything separate and you're more flexible if anything goes down.

Also, I've never liked the idea of putting a circuit board into an enclosure which is eventually going to shake it to bits.

ROG.

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#163078 - 06/28/12 03:42 PM [Off-Topic] Re: seeking recommendations for external speakers to make my laptop playback louder [Re: eddie1261]
mkamoski Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/20/12
Posts: 82
Loc: Massachusetts, USA
Dear Eddie1261 and ROG --

Regarding this...

Quote:

I prefer components




...it sounds like a component-based approach is good.

Yes, I will shop for used gear.

(But I am going to link below to Amazon, in order to avoid dead links to CraigsList stuff that might sell.)

Here is my guess if I go the component-based route...

(1) I need at least 1 "unpowered PA speaker" something like this...

http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-EUROLIVE...rds=pa+speakers

...or this...

http://www.amazon.com/PYLE-PRO-PASC12-Tw...rds=pa+speakers

(2). I need a small "mixing board" something like this...

http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-XENYX-10...ds=mixing+board

...or this...

http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-802-Prem...mixer+amplifier

So aside from speakers and mixer, in simple terms, what else do I need?

Please advise.

(I know that I need to make a trip to the local music shop and talk to them but the feedback on this forum is so very good and helpful that I really want to see what you would recommend to a newbie.)

Thanks.

-- Mark Kamoski


Edited by mkamoski (06/28/12 04:06 PM)

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#163079 - 06/28/12 03:59 PM [Off-Topic] Re: seeking recommendations for external speakers to make my laptop playback louder [Re: J. Larry]
mkamoski Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/20/12
Posts: 82
Loc: Massachusetts, USA
Dear J. Larry --

Regarding this...

Quote:

I can't say enough good things about the Behringer EuroLive B205D monitor speakers. 150 watts at $150.00 each. I play dinner gigs constantly with them, running the BIAB tracks, a sax player, guitar, and two vocals through them at the same time. No distortion and plenty of volume. Quite often we're asked to turn down. These things only weigh 7 lbs. Most of time, I leave the larger EV speakers and the Bose Model II at home. They're overkill and too heavy to tote for most of the gigs we play.




...that sounds like it might be one good way to start.

Can they linked together, so that one can have 1 and then add another and another and etc?

That is, what if I had 1 of these and needed to "scale up"?

Please advise.

(I know a lot of folks here are advocating a component-based approach; but, this seems like it might be a quick and easy and inexpensive way to get up-and-running for rehearsals and at-home practice with Biab, etc.)

Thanks.

-- Mark Kamoski

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#163080 - 06/28/12 04:13 PM [Off-Topic] Re: seeking recommendations for external speakers to make my laptop playback louder [Re: mkamoski]
eddie1261 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 4389
First off I would never avoid Craigslist because in the past you may have found a dead link here and there. Just don't go back any more than a few days. Once again, go to www.guitarcenter.com and look at the used gear. There are MOUNTAINS of gold in there. And if you want something at another store, they will ship to your local store if you know how to ask. You have a local recycler newspaper near you? Your local news for sale ads? Garage sales? Take advantage of the awful economy when people are selling everything but their family members to buy food and pay rent. Here in Ohio the streets are jammed with parked cars every weeked from the garage sale hunters.

Now, once in a decade will you find a Les Paul or vintage Strat at a garage sale, but I have done well just by applying myself and spending some time shopping. I have 4 Guitar Center stores within a 45 minute drive from my house. At my corner is a local music store, and there are 4 more of those within 5 minutes. Most stores now do consignment so you will find used gear everywhere.

Also remember that what you need NOW may not be what you need in 2 years, so unless you want to go through this again in 2014, buy now for future expansion. A small 8 channel mixer might work today but in 2 years you may have added a drum machine, a vocoder, and another singer. Then what? ALWAYS buy more than you think you need. To move from an 8 channel mixer to a 16 will not double the cost. A 100w amp vs a 200w amp will not double the cost. Remember, don't be afraid to ask for deals. I bought an amp from someone for my live keyboard rig (100w per side) and he wanted $150. I told him for $150 he could keep it and to call me in a month because he will still have it if he is insisting on $150. I got it for $90. I went to $75, he went to $125. I went to $85, he went to $100. I went to $90 and we shook hands. You also need to read your seller. If the guy's place looks like he doesn't have money for luxuries like, you know, soap, he will take what you offer.

Around Christmas of 2010, I ended up with an Epiphone Dot Special, an Epiphone Les Paul, and a Squire Strat for $325. When I sold them individually last year I got $450 out of them. And one of them I gave a bargain on because it was a young kid.

Point being, take your time and explore every avenue, and remember, that $100 amp you find online is going to cost $40 to ship to you.
_________________________
I will continue to post in the songwriters forum but will be keeping my opinions to myself as far as the off topic forum goes.

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#163081 - 06/28/12 04:20 PM [Off-Topic] Re: seeking recommendations for external speakers to make my laptop playback louder [Re: mkamoski]
eddie1261 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 4389
Quote:

Can they linked together, so that one can have 1 and then add another and another and etc?





you use this term "LINKED TOGETHER" a lot. What do you mean "linked together"? Everying can be "linked together" somehow. If you mean run one speaker to the next and to the next and the next, no because you are changing the load (resistance measured in ohms) by daisy chaining. If your amp is not rated for loads down to 4 ohms, you are really going to stress the amp. Thus the component concept.

MIXER
-to-
CROSSOVER
-to-
HIGH AMP -> tweeters
MID AMP -> midranges
LOW AMP -> woofers

Now, all in one type speakers have the crossovers built in (Peavey 3020 is a great example if you have 3 men and 2 boys to move them) but you still need wattage to drive them. Like 400w per speaker.

Honestly, you simply can't cheap out on your PA. Your product will suffer, and your marketability will suffer with it. When people ask you to TURN IT UP, and you have no more UP to turn, you are done. Your only other place in the gain stage is to send a hotter signal, and then you are going to distort at the input stage.

You CAN always turn down. Buy more amp than you think you will need. Trust the experience here.
_________________________
I will continue to post in the songwriters forum but will be keeping my opinions to myself as far as the off topic forum goes.

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#163082 - 06/28/12 04:53 PM [Off-Topic] Re: seeking recommendations for external speakers to make my laptop playback louder [Re: eddie1261]
mkamoski Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/20/12
Posts: 82
Loc: Massachusetts, USA
Regarding this...

Quote:

First off I would never avoid Craigslist because in the past you may have found a dead link




...yes, you are quite right...

...I should have been more clear...

...what I was trying to say is "I will avoid posting links to CraigsList items here in this thread because when those items get sold the links start to die but I will check-out CraigsList when I am actually shopping, so I am just going to post some links to Amazon stuff so I can ask 'should I get something like this?' and then link to it for your kind review", etc.

Regardless, thanks for the great input and I will keep it all in-mind.

-- Mark Kamoski.

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#163083 - 09/27/12 09:10 PM [Off-Topic] Re: seeking recommendations for external speakers to make my laptop playback louder [Re: jazzmammal]
mkamoski Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/20/12
Posts: 82
Loc: Massachusetts, USA
All --

I just thought I would follow-up regarding my speaker search.

After 2 purchases and 2 returns (thanks for the no-hassle returns http://www.WalMart.com ) I finally settled on a pair of these...

Behringer B215D Eurolive Speaker Active 550-Watt 2-Way PA Speaker System with 15_inch Woofer and 1.35-Inch Compression Driver - Black

...at Amazon there are lots of reviews...

http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-B215D-Eu...+eurolive+b215d

...at WalMart I was able to order and ship-to-store for free, plus a truly no-hassle return policy...

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Behringer-Eurolive-Active-2-Way-PA-Speaker/17656029

...and these things are pretty nice and pretty loud.

Thanks for all the great advice. I ended up using a mix of the various bit of advice that I got here and elsewhere. I really think that I made the right overall choice for me.

(Now I need to pick out a simple mixer.)

Thanks again.

-- Mark Kamoski

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#163084 - 09/28/12 02:53 PM [Off-Topic] Re: seeking recommendations for external speakers to make my laptop playback louder [Re: mkamoski]
Shastastan Offline
Expert

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 1252
Loc: CA
MY netbook just doesn't have enough umph to drive the speaker input that I need into the monitor. I got a usb device Xonar by ASUS. I think it was areound $36 on amazon. Wow! Without it I had the gain up to 3/4 and with it at 1/4. The sound quality is also a big improvement. I think it's sold for headphones, but if you have powered speakers it works quite well, IMO

Stan
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