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All-in-one PA system: advice needed
All-in-one PA system: advice needed
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Old 7th October 2017, 09:04 PM   #1
Sorfak is offline Sorfak  Belgium
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Question All-in-one PA system: advice needed

Hello, I'm looking for some information and advice on building an all in one PA system.

My youth organisation used to have a big all-in one speaker system. "novanex professional power twin pl250". I can't find any information online, but it's a large box (about 120x100x50 cm, 70kg) with tweeters, woofers and an integrated amplifier. I think the model name implies it is 250Watt total. It was ideal for our needs.

We want to build a similar system. Requirements: to be used at small parties. (50 people max). Music will always be played from a 3.5mm jack (laptop/phone)
Durability is important. It will have to stand up against a lot of abuse as it will be moved around constantly and drinks will probably be spilled on it ocasionally. Another requirement is that it's fool-proof. It shouldn't be possible to damage the drivers by playing it too loud etc.
Sound quality isn't super important. We mainly need loud bass and decent highs at high volumes.

Some questions:
- Do you think it's possible to build something like this with a budget of around 500EUR/600USD?
- Is an 'all-in-one' system the right coice or should I consider other designs?
- Where can I find more resources on these kind of systems and where do I get started in the design process? Are there existing (DIY) designs available?
- Do you have any recommendations on what drivers/amplifier(s) I should consider?
- Should I consider using a seperate amplifier for the subwoofer(s)?

Thank you for your time.
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Old 8th October 2017, 02:19 AM   #2
conanski is online now conanski  Canada
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Join Date: Mar 2013
It is possible to DIY something like that with your budget but you probably won't save any money over just buying a brand name powered PA speaker. The big plus with a modern powered speakers is the built in protection, these things are as close as it gets to being bullet proof.. that alone is something you will have trouble achieving with the DIY effort. The other things you will also get are relatively light weight and a warranty.
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Old 10th October 2017, 12:29 AM   #3
Pano is online now Pano  United States
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Location: SW Florida
All-in-one PA system: advice needed
As much as I love DIY, I'm going to agree with conanski. Within that budget you should be looking at powered speakers in the music shops. JBL, QSC, Behringer, Electro-Voice etc. A 10 or 12" woofer should suit your needs. And they will also have a microphone input, which can come in handy.

It's something I use everyday, and would hate to have to build one.
Take the Speaker Voltage Test!
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Old 10th October 2017, 03:33 AM   #4
turk 182 is offline turk 182  Canada
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i'd be the third guy saying the same thing so just re-read the last two posts...
if you shop used you can certainly stay in budget.
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Old 10th October 2017, 09:55 AM   #5
00940 is offline 00940  Belgium
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And I'll be the fourth... powered speakers with a mini mixer section onboard are your best bet. Since you want "loud bass" and don't seem bothered by weight, I'd consider 2 15" speakers or a sub + a 10" or 8" on top. 2x 15" speakers will give you more placement options, the sub+10" will give you a livelier bass probably. A sub with a top might also be more stable than a heavy speaker on a stand... something to consider for parties.

Consider your budget, you'd have to go either used or with a not so good brand (alto or behringer). The TS line from alto could be good for you. For exemple a ts210 + a ts212sub . Even so, we're close to 700€ with cables and so on.

Or you could go with a single decent single 15". They will be more reliable and just as loud.

In your price range in Europe, I'd have a look at either the RCF ART315 or the EV ZLX15. The ART goes deeper (-3db @45hz against -3db@55hz for the EV) and sounds better ime but it's input section is very limited. I'd build a small external box with a passive summing and attenuation circuit.
All that is excessive is insignificant. Talleyrand
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Old 12th October 2017, 11:16 PM   #6
screamersusa is offline screamersusa  United States
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Location: Fort Collins Colorado
Default And Ill be the fifth

There are plenty of 15inch two way cabs with bluetooth and even battery powered well below the cost of DIY.
I'd keep it simple in a situation like yours.
The Ion and American Audio cabs are cheap enough for you to buy a pair and maybe even another pair in a few months.
I am a fan of quality stuff BUT, sometimes the consumer type stuff is better for the application.
Lets say you had 4 15" 2 way bluetooth ready cabs. Now you can put them around the room instead of
trying to blast only one pair. More cost effective, better coverage and best of all...easy to replace when broken/stolen etc and insurable.
You buy em, you use em, one less headache to deal with and anyone can set them up , when you are late
Just make sure you can link them together without cables.
Need to cover more area or another venue or space at the same time.....just go buy two more...easy peasy.
Need the whole mess louder for some reason, stack em all together or..... you could DIY a custom mount
to bolt 3 together on their side using thumb screws or bolts, and you have an instant line array!

Can we get a sixth??????

Last edited by screamersusa; 12th October 2017 at 11:29 PM.
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Old 13th October 2017, 06:24 AM   #7
simon7000 is offline simon7000  United States
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Location: Oakmont PA
The Electrovoice powered loudspeakers use Hypex modules. To me that puts them two steps ahead of the others.

A pair of the powered loudspeakers, stands and fabric covers are under $1,000.00.

I would use those or the Yamaha.

The Behringer, Mackie and JBL are all, as we used to say, "low cost imports."

I was a bit surprised to see the innards of the latest JBL version. No longer a cleaver combination of case, loudspeaker frame and heatsink. Instead a box with low cost drivers and a not very good but reasonably robust amplifier bits.
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