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Upgrading Sound System

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  • Upgrading Sound System

    Hey all,

    I am thinking of upgrading our speaker system. We just have 2 old Yamaha speakers now, that do well, but we want more. We are based in Pittsburgh, PA.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for someone I can get in contact with to check out our church and give me some suggestions?


  • #2
    Hello! My name is Adam, and I think I can help you. I own a company that specializes in Installation and Training for churches. Visit our website HERE.... if you think we can help, feel free to contact us!


    • #3
      Are you just wanting to upgrade speakers or the entire system? As for speakers, for those on a budget I highly recommend the Behringer xl series. They have them in both passive and active. I owned 2 of the passive ones that i ran through a 2500watt behringer amp. The theatre i work at has 10 of the powered 12" wedges, which are great as well. I would spend a little more on the board if that is another thing you are wanting to upgrade. I like Allen & Heath but there are plenty of other good boards out there.


      • #4
        There are a few people here that could give you some suggestions if you can provide some details about what you want to do.
        If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.


        • #5
          This is who we use. Love working with Bob because he really does go the extra mile. Plus, he has a big heart for churches and likes not only providing you with what you need but really builds a relationship with you. Visit him here: http://www.owensavdesign.com/


          • #6
            Thanks everyone for the tips! I posted this back in July, so since then we upgraded the board to and Allen & Heath, 2 new amps, 2 new EQs, rang out the church and ran new cables. Right now we want to upgrade just the speakers. We have 2 old 12" Yamaha's right now. We have 3 sections of seating and a balcony atop the left and right and the last 5 rows in the center. So we are thinking of updating the 2 mains and maybe adding in 2 supportings and a sub. Looking for suggestions on a cheaper budget!



            • #7
              Is something wrong with the old Yamahas, or you just want to upgrade? I'm asking because that old Yamaha stuff is usually pretty stout (included manufactured more robustly than a lot of modern stuff) and easy to fix if something is wrong with it. It's easy to get caught up in the 'new gear smell' and spend more than really necessary.

              Some ideas-

              You could move the Yamahas up to project to the balcony and add another pair down below.

              My 'work' band has the Yamaha Club series 12" we use for monitors and mains (for indoor stuff) and they sound good. They have some good depth without sounding like a bullhorn. I run my bass through those for small indoor gigs and it still fills out the low end without being real boomy and echoing around the room.

              Look at used gear- you can pick it up for ~60% of new retail and many places offer a good return policy.

              Don't go overkill on the subs- for indoor stuff, I'm a firm believer in 'less is more', especially the more sound techs I talk to and research I do. Look into using a nsinge (or maybe 2) 15" instead of a high-power 18". The goal is to sound full and hit firm, not make mud.

              For another idea, Carvin has some 3-way speakers with a 15", 6" and tweeter, with built in crossovers. A pair of those should carry the low end pretty good. They run about $300 a piece, and recommended for 400W to 1400W amps. If you already have an amp that will push them, they might be good to do what you want.

              If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.


              • #8
                Thanks for the tip. There is nothing wrong with the Yamahas. The other thing is, I am not trying to project up to the balcony, I am trying to project to the people sitting underneath the balconies. You get to the back of the church and the sound is all muffled and dead.

                The Carvins look good and a great price, but I can't seem to find any reviews. Do you have experience with them?


                • #9
                  I haven't used Carvin stuff very often to definitively swear by them, but I have yet to hear anything bad about their stuff. From everything I have heard, their customer service is excellent and their products have a good reputation. Lots of live sound for-hire guys use their stuff. At least the people I've dealt with that do live sound, most use Carvin and Crown gear.

                  Ok, I can see where under the balcony could be an issue. You might be able to use the Yamahas kind of like a side-field set up where you can set them up about 10 feet or so outside the balcony on the sides and angled toward the center. Or, if you have the headroom, maybe hang them horizontal (think floor wedge mounted to the ceiling). As long as they are out of reach for the taller people who are prone to smack whatever they can reach...

                  If you do the ceiling mount, you might get away with a couple smaller speakers like 10"

                  You could even try a few things- set speakers up on poles in different places and see how it sounds, etc.
                  If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.


                  • #10
                    I have used the Carvin 3 ways that Mike mentioned above, and can highly recommend them. In general, I'm a big fan of Carvin stuff - you'd be hard pressed to find better bang for the buck. That said, it sounds like that's not really what you need...

                    If you're looking to keep your existing Yamahas as mains and add a sub, I'd look at the Carvin LS1501 or LS1801 powered subs (we use the LS1801 at one of our campuses). Yamaha makes some great stuff too, and it would match your existing cabs, but again, the Carvins are a great deal.

                    As far as covering the area under your balcony, I would consider a couple of small speakers (maybe something like the Carvin PM5) on a delay line.
                    Eric Frisch


                    • #11
                      Thanks guys!

                      I'll have to figure out what we want more. The 3-ways don't sound bad, that way we would bypass needing a sub and just direct them more towards the center. I just don't feel like there is a good place for the sub in the church. For the price, those PM153s look good.