Saturday, June 14, 2008

Powered mixer or powered speakers

I've been looking at live sound equipment for the church - something we can use outdoors under the pavilion, in the basement, and have as a backup unit for the sanctuary. I had originally been thinking that we would go with an 8-12 channel powered mixer and some passive 12 or 15" speakers, plus stands. I was hoping to spend around $1,000. I had heard that powered speakers WERE NOT a good way to go, because with your amp in the speaker cabinets, so to speak, you run a higher risk of jarring something loose from speaker movement. However, I just consulted a salesman at Sweetwater, and he recommends just the opposite. He said you get way better sound quality out of powered speakers, and it's better to have a mixer with no amp in case something goes wrong with either. So... I dunno.

I had been looking at a Yamaha EMX 312SC or 512SC 8-channel powered mixer, plus either the Peavey PR 12 NEO or 15 NEO speakers. My sales rep suggested the Mackie CFX12 mxII B-stock mixer, with a pair of TAPCO THUMP TH-15A powered speakers.

While the system he suggested would probably be better - it's also $1,500. I could probably subtract out the case and it would be down to about $1200. While what I had been looking at could be had for $900 to $1000. Ugh. I hate trying to decide on things like this.

Does anyone have any advice - powered mixer or powered speakers?