Home-built "PA" suggestions

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BailyDread
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Home-built "PA" suggestions

Post by BailyDread » Wed Nov 27, 2019 2:04 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm looking to assemble a non-traditional "PA", and I would like feedback, comments or suggestions about it. Basically my plan is to use full-range guitar speakers with high wattage ratings such as the Jensen C12D and the Celestion F12-X200, and to power them with Fryette tube power amps, overdriving the power amp and cranking the whole thing to get a very unique tone. No tweeters or separate high freq drivers, for simplicity and also for the tone. This "PA" would exist as a modular system, expandable to include other amps and cabinets as the gig needs.

Primarily, the purpose is amplifying the drums in the room, so that the drummer doesn't have to play hard to keep up. I'm really into tight, subtle, funk pocket drumming but that kind of drumming gets drowned out by even like 30 watts, let alone the 150 watts my rig runs on. I'm hoping that my PA rig it will create a more distinctive overall sonic signature, and if my (as-yet-unformed) band plays at a traditional venue, they can just mic up the cabs for the "PA" just like my guitar cab.

For cabinets, I was planning on having some custom made, as I love the look of bare wood cabinets. I was thinking closed cabinet design. In my studio monitoring, I prefer closed cabinet, because there is more clarity in the midrange and it feels like the resolution is higher... I feel I am heading the speaker rather than the cab. I'm most looking for defined and dry midrange, with a lot of punch. I am less concerned with everything below like 90 hz, b/c the bass guitar will be filling that out anyway. Any suggestions of dimensions of closed cab?

Sorry for the novel of text! This is a pretty specialized section of the forum anyway so I figure why not be uber-specific.

Thanks!! :nana:
Last edited by BailyDread on Wed Nov 27, 2019 10:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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BailyDread
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Post by BailyDread » Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:17 pm

Maybe a Jensen bass punch speaker? That might suit my needs better, come to think of it, and be able to take more of a beating from the harsh transients of a drum kit.

Technologear?
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Post by Technologear? » Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:34 am

Hi BD
My instinct is that you may have conceptually slipped down the rabbit hole.

Full range speakers - have you heard what you're proposing in the flesh? If not maybe try building one and playing through it recorded drums with a really good mix that your familiar with, to get an idea of the character that the speaker and amp is adding. My hunch is they'll just sound muddy and muffled rather than cool and interesting. I'd much prefer to deal with a well designed powerful PA speaker, and use a custom eq setting and some overdrive, than deal with guitar speakers.

Amplifying drums - have you considered triggers? The technical metal guys use them (sshhhh). An electric kit? Mic-ing drums can be tough. The sweetest deal live is what the touring bands get: an early soundcheck where mic positioning and the drum mix is setup, and the kit left on stage not touched during the support bands. But that's heaps of work if you're the drummer and you don't have a sound guy. So much more gear too. Do you really want to mic your kit?

I'd force the guys in the band to turn their amps down to the 'drums still heard clearly' level. Convince them by offering to do some stereo miced recording for demos, where the amp levels of everyone need to be balanced (no multitracking).

I'd then save the bold tone shaping of the drums to recording.

Sorry for being a little down on the idea BD.

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BailyDread
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Post by BailyDread » Tue Dec 10, 2019 3:28 pm

my guy... def a case of rabbit hole :hihi: it only dawned on me in the past few days that this is a really shoddy idea... an insane amount of work for totally questionable results :despair:

lol! thanks. sometimes you swing and miss, ya know?

cheers everyone :tu:

Technologear?
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Post by Technologear? » Fri Dec 13, 2019 3:46 pm

You handled that well!
I do the same thing all the time.
I'm glad MW is a place we can play these ideas out and get feedback

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revmutt
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Re: Home-built "PA" suggestions

Post by revmutt » Sun Dec 29, 2019 6:42 pm

PA systems are a whole world onto themselves with their own learning curve.
I've been putting together a small PA and as an audio engineer and musician with a couple of decades under my belt I find it fascinating but not entirely simple.

If you decide to pursue this keep in mind that every type of speaker has a purpose and they are meant to work together AND tubesre going to add weight, heat and cost in a situation where their specific sonic qualities may not really shine.

I like the suggestion of triggers and I also would suggest trying something like contact mics (probably PZM types)

Tommy
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