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#163070 - 06/17/12 02:14 PM [Off-Topic] Re: seeking recommendations for external speakers to make my laptop playback louder [Re: Pat Marr]
eddie1261 Offline
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Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 3890
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Just as an FYI, this is what I use to push 2 Yamaha speakers (connected in parallel to 2 JBL higher frequency range speakers).



That Peavey mixer is from like 1996 and was something like $150. 6 mic ins and 4 stereo channels that can also be used as 8 mono channels by panning L&R. Effects loop, tape in and out. Tracked down the last set of rack ears on the planet (that mixer is LONG out of production) from a warehouse in Mississippi for $30. (6 spaces)

That EQ I bought used for $40 on Guitar Center's used gear web page. (2 spaces)

The Alesis reverb I bought for $25 on Craigslist. (1 space)

The power amp is 450 per side (3 spaces), and it's an amazing story. I posted on Facebook that my power amp took a dump. Within TEN MINUTES there was a text message from a friend who said he had one he'd give me. I drove up to his house to pick it up, brought it home, took the cover off, blew the junk out, sprayed the pots with tuner cleaner, and it is in it's new home at the bottom of the band's practice PA rack. I gave him 2 tickets for him and his wife to attend our reunion show and we called it even.

The rack is a 12 space tabletop rack that costs $30 new from some company in that state up north. (Ohio State fans can't bring ourselves to name that state up north.)

So, to recap.

$150 for a mixer (and you can do better for used gear).
$30 for the rack ears (you may not even care to mount it).
$40 for a stereo 31 band EQ.
$25 for a digital reverb (and I have 4 of that model, all eBay or Craigslist finds).
$50 for 2 tickets in trade for a strong power amp.
$30 for a rack.

$325 for that whole rig.
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#163071 - 06/17/12 02:52 PM [Off-Topic] Re: seeking recommendations for external speakers to make my laptop playback louder [Re: eddie1261]
J. Larry Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 01/09/07
Posts: 481
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.

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#163072 - 06/17/12 03:00 PM [Off-Topic] Re: seeking recommendations for external speakers to make my laptop playback louder [Re: Pat Marr]
Brallan Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 01/18/07
Posts: 385
Loc: Los Angeles, CA.
Thinking along the same line as Pat, does anyone here own or use a Roland BA-330 portable amp?

Yes, they are pricey, but the reviews look great, the size, portability, and most of all, the enormous flexibility looks terrific for all sorts of uses and combinations, which sounds like what the OP is after. Wouldn't need a mixer, FX or much of anything else... and of course, for that big bass sound, it can always go out to a bigger amp or PA. It would certainly meet all the needs, present and future, of the OP... take a look: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/BA330/

Anyway, I am really asking for reviews for myself... Maybe I can be busking again on the Santa Monica Mall -- altho I may not be able to afford to pay off the cops.
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#163073 - 06/17/12 03:22 PM [Off-Topic] Re: seeking recommendations for external speakers to make my laptop playback louder [Re: Brallan]
90 dB Offline
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Registered: 04/20/10
Posts: 4508
Loc: Florida
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#163074 - 06/19/12 11:18 AM [Off-Topic] Re: seeking recommendations for external speakers to make my laptop playback louder [Re: 90 dB]
jazzmammal Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 6369
Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
Mark, don't forget what I said about bass. I don't know how good you are as a keyboard player but I do a lot of piano and organ. Both of those can be bass heavy even if I'm not playing left hand bass. One night at the local jazz club I work at we were doing Revelation by the Yellowjackets. That has a strong rocking left hand gospel thing going on in the same octave as the bass. We had a decent crowd, maybe 40 or so and they were talking so we were not rock & roll loud but fairly strong and I blew out the woofer in one of my EV's. My 12" EV's are 225 watts each. That sounds like a lot but not when you're punching some left hand piano like I was. Organ is even worse. A big two handed organ smear will kill weak speakers. What I'm talking about here are called transients. Your average power output may be only 50-75 watts but a peak like that can jump to 300 or so in an instant and that's enough to blow stuff up. In amp speak that's called headroom so your rig has to have the headroom to handle a split second transient even if the overall volume is fairly low. If I'm playing left hand bass those EV's definitely won't cut it even at that fairly quiet jazz place. I have to bring in the 15" JBl's. And yes, a keyboard rig is the same as a PA, it has to be because a keyboard can put out a full freq range.

Biab created backing tracks are already compressed so those transients are smoothed out that's why John's small rig using Kustom 10's is ok because he's one guy using backing tracks but playing a keyboard live is a whole other thing. I would blow those 10's out in a heartbeat unless I'm just playing piano at an acoustic volume level. One strong hit on my keyboard and I'm in the stratosphere as far as power is concerned because it's not compressed processed sound, it's live. It's the same problem people have with recording live drums. Drums are usually compressed at the input because otherwise you have to turn the input gain way down to allow for the occasional super hot rim shot.

Bob
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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
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Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 3890
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
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.
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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: 2422
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: 3890
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
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.
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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: 3890
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
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.
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If you say "I can't" ..... I'm pretty sure you won't.

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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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PG Music News
Band-in-a-Box® 2018 For Windows Build 509 Update Available!

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows customers can download this free patch update at http://www.pgmusic.com/support_windowsupdates.htm#509

Summary of changes:
Added: The drop station has MP3 and WMAL (lossless WMA) quadrants added.
Fixed: "Drag Audio as MP3" setting in the Plugin settings did not work when dragging a file to Windows Explorer.
Fixed: "Pause Play until MIDI or key received" setting did not work if using WAS audio drivers.
Fixed: Band-in-a-Box Server was unable to communicate with BB2018.
Fixed: Choosing a drum kit file in the MIDI/Audio Driver Setup dialog would fail with error "Unable to install patch/drum map for...".
Fixed: Disabling "Include 2 bar lead-in" setting in the Render Song to Audio File dialog would cause videos to be out of sync.
Fixed: It was not possible to type the # sharp character into the chord sheet if using a French keyboard.
Fixed: Some Amplitube TGS files and styles were missing in certain installations.
Fixed: Song would stop playing at bar 8 after rendering to an audio file.
Fixed: The Practice Window songs would not load with error "This directory does not exist...".
Fixed: The Tip of the Day dialog was not displaying any tips.
Fixed: The Tuner, MIDI Monitor, and Drum Kit window were always displaying in English instead of the user's language.

Today is the LAST DAY of our Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows Special!

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It's the LAST WEEKEND of our Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows Special!

Our Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows special ends on January 15th... it's your last weekend to order with some amazing upgrade pricing, Bonus PAKs, discounted Xtra Styles PAKs, and Video RealTracks bundles!

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows purchase options: http://www.pgmusic.com/bbwin.packages.htm
(learn more about the new features: http://www.pgmusic.com/bbwin.new.htm)

Bonus PAKs information: http://www.pgmusic.com/bbwin.bonuspaks_2018.htm

Video RealTracks offers: http://www.pgmusic.com/bbwin.videorealtracks.htm

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*The $49 Pro Upgrade does not include the Free Bonus PAK, any RealTracks, MIDI SuperTracks or other Add-ons.

Autumn Leaves Video Tutorial - Band-in-a-Box Backing Tracks!

Forum user Lot2Learn recently shared their Autumn Leaves - Jazz Piano Tutorial video to our I just heard Band-in-a-Box on YouTube forum, it's approaching 1.7 million views!

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Songwriting Feedback - "Why This Forum Matters"

Our Forum is a great resource when you're wanting to discuss Band-in-a-Box (or other PG Music Inc. programs), but it's so much more!

In addition to the different sections we have for our products (Band-in-a-Box, RealBand, PowerTracks, and Other PG Music Programs), there are also places on our Forum to share your songs, YouTube videos, ask for tech help for problems not related to our software, "off topic" discussions, and more!

Forum user David Snyder shared his thoughts on Why This Forum Matters in his recent Songwriting post, which has some great feedback, including:

It occurred to me this morning that it is the group effort that counts. That is, one kind word about another member's song, one piece of encouragement or generous suggestion, might cause that person to write the greatest song ever written, which might then go on to have a massive impact on some stranger's life, cause someone to fall in love, or turn their life around, and literally change the course of history. Because songs do that.

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But the point is, it is not about any one of us, it is about all of us, the group.

Read through the whole conversation (and join in!): http://www.pgmusic.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=447431

...and a big THANK YOU to David for sharing his thoughts!

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