Hi y'all. Thank you in advance for any advice you can give me. I sing in a vocal group, SATB, with 3 voices to each part. We use piano, mostly, and sometimes bass and drums. We want to buy a sound system for us to use. We mostly sing in gyms, small auditoriums, little theatres, etc. We have decided to get the Mackie 1604 VLZ-Pro. My problem is in deciding whether to get powered speakers, or an amp and unpowered(?) speakers. Does a single amp power several speakers? My knowledge is very limited in the speaker and amp arena. What is a good setup? Any particular brands I should look at?
If you can give me any advice, insight, etc., I would appreciate it.
I think that for the venues that you're describing, just 2 powered speakers would be enough. Multiple speakers and multiple amps, with all their multiples of cables is a hassle to transport, set-up, etc. Whereas 2 powered speakers, you plug in, run two cables from the mixer, and you're on, and they sound much better as well because of customized cross-over circuitry and time-aligned drivers. If you have any other questions, feel free to call me
One factor that I would add for you to consider: how much variation is there in the sizes of the rooms in which your group tends to play?
The reason I ask is because one of the distinct advantages of having an outboard amplifier is the fact that you can switch the size of the speaker based upon the room size. Also, or gigs, many times the speakers can be the biggest hassle to transport, so if you have the option to make the whole setup more portable by choosing different speakers for various contexts of playing (ie, rehearsals, etc.) you may just save yourself a serious headache (and backache for that matter!)
As a guitarist, I can draw an analogy to using an amp head as opposed to a combo for the very same reasons. You can use a 1x12, 2x12, 4x10, 4x12, etc. size extension cabinet, and make both your sound and your portability much more to your liking.
Just something to consider-- I always like having options.