First PA rig, advice needed

This old topic is closed. If you want to reopen this topic, contact a moderator using the "Report Post" button.
When you're getting into that sort of league, consider some higher-end amps with DSP built-in.

A Powersoft X8 would run the entire rig with a ton of headroom, although a pair of T604 would also do the job and be cheaper.
There's also Linea Research who do good stuff.

Best bet is to send some emails around - the pricing you'll get can be considerably less than the list prices.

Oh good for you paulys55....methinks thou wilst be quite pleased !

As for amps and processing...I'll just describe the road i've been down...and not trying to say my road is/was best....but I'm happy for reasons given...

I started with a pair 4 channel QSC PLD4.5's for the PM90s and a PL380 for subs.
Processing was a miniDSP openDRC DA-8.
PLD's are perhaps the most economical, quality 4-channel amps, and can be configured a number of ways. Both RMS and peak limiting, but very limited EQ's and no FIR. I have successfully used the limited EQs and the PM 90's for A-level regional, live sound. For playback, the DA-8 improved things. Only real problem with the DA-8 is the pita unbalanced RCA outputs.

Then, to better live sound, I got the Danley SC-48 processor (same as Linea SC-48 but much better resale in US). It's 4 in and 8 out. No custom FIR, but very nice IIR processing and easy to use linear phase LR4 xovers. Very good unit, but $$.

Today, i'm using used QSC q-sys processor and amps from off ebay. It is the most cost effective, most flexible, and most powerful processing and amp solution I know of...
I wrote about the Core110f a few posts time for the amps.

Two kinds work with q-sys.
The CXD-Q series, which are essentially PLDs where instead of processing occurring in the amp, it occurs in the Core110f. They require a Core to work.
And the CX series, which are QSC's long standing install series, and will work standalone. To work with q-sys, they need an I/O frame that has Type2 COP4 data output cards. A frame with 4 cards, which will handle 8 2-channel amps, typically goes for $300 or less, with a little ebay patience.
The cool things about CX amps is that they are robust and so many show up at good prices.
CX1102's, 2-channel amp for subs, 1100w per channel into 4 ohms, or 3400w into 4 bridged, show up around $300.
CX254's, 4-ch for PM90's, 250w watts per ch, 4 ohm. Bridge 2 of the channels for 900 w into 4ohms for the PM90's two 12"s, with a channel a piece for the coax CD.

So total approximate cost of my current route: Core110f $1250. I/O frame $300. 2 CX254 amps $600. 1 CX 1102 amp $300. (2 if you're going badass with subs)
$2450 total , and'll need a pretty good ethernet switch ($100-150)

I can't overemphasize the flexibity and power of q-sys designer . And since it's software based, compiled Linux on the Core processor, it's constantly evolving without needing hardware upgrades. Sure, someday The Cores will probably move to 96Khz from their current 48K, but at least I've only got $1250 into dsp, instead of a boatload of money into separate dsp in each amp i own. Plus, q-sys is a MUCH better dsp than in the amps, with regards to EQ and FIR.... imo.

Check out the training q-sys System Designer vids...can be kinda hokey at times, but they are very good Q-SYS Level 1 Training
PLD's are perhaps the most economical, quality 4-channel amps, and can be configured a number of ways.

I'm not sure what the pricing is like in the USA, but here in the UK I think a Powersoft T604 comes out better than a PLD4.5: better DSP, a little more power, half the rack space, and a bit cheaper.

Of course, there's always the budget-option Behringer NX series. In terms of just value for money, they're exceptional.

Hi Chris,

Yep. Where we are shopping can really matter, huh?

Here in the US, knowing where to shop can get a PLD4.5 shipped for under $1800.
(Which btw, shameless plug, I have two in excellent condition I'll sell for $1300 a piece plus shipping.)

You know, rethinking the Behringer NX's ....
with just a q-sys Core110f that might be the lowest cost solution of all.
The Core110f has 8 balanced outs, 8 balanced ins, and another 8 Flex channels that can be individually set to either output or input.
A guy could skip the QSC network amps or data-port amps with I/O frame,
and just go straight to the Beh amps
This old topic is closed. If you want to reopen this topic, contact a moderator using the "Report Post" button.