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High quality, easy PA setup needed for small church


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G'day all!


We have a new, small church which has recently started here and have a nice little band and some old, borrowed sound gear (big old desk and speakers).


However, we've now got our own budget to buy a whole new set up, and I've been asked to source the gear! Basically the gear needs to be fairly portable for ease of setting up, but still give a high quality sound. It will be used in a medium sized hall for an audience of 50-100 people.


The band will need microphones for 4 vocalists, and also has a keyboard, acoustic and bass guitars (they have their own amp). Keyboard should come through sound desk.


I've been doing a lot of reading and talking to a few people, and have come up with a few different options for the components, but need some more specific advice from people who know or use the equipment elsewhere!


Budget is AU$4,000 - 5,000 for the following:


1 x Mackie DFX12 12 channel mixer OR 1 x Yamaha MG16/6FX 16 channel mixer

2 x powered speakers (Mackie SRM450 OR JBL EON15 G2 OR Yamaha MSR400)

2 x speaker stands

1 or 2 x powered foldback speakers (these can be any brand - any suggestions for cheaper ones which may be suitable - and is one enough or is it good to use 2?)

5 x quality mics (any suggestions for the best vocal mic @ $50-100 ea?)

1 x UHF wireless lapel mic (any suggestions for a quality, entry-level kit would be great!)

Microphone stands and leads

Multicore - another option


This won't be an installed system, and will be transported around to different places for band practices etc. That's why I thought we'd go for a smaller, lightweight desk with powered speakers. Also, thought the multicore would be good so we can have the desk at the back and run one main cable to the front and connect all mic leads to that down there... and with speakers like the JBL's, we can even use them by themselves for a small practice, with the built in mixer.


I'd particularly like to here your thoughts on the different options I've listed in terms of mixers and speakers. Thanks for any advice and/or suggestions!


Kind regards,




QLD, Australia

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For my money,

I'd choose the Yamaha mixer over the Mackie,personal preference mainly but I find those little Yamaha's really good for their price point.


I've used the Mackie's and Eons and must be one of the few people who doesnt have a strong view either way. I'm really interested to here other people's views on the Yamaha's.



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Another vote for the Yamaha desk, I have both the big brother (the 32/14FX) and the 12/4FX and love them both.

dont know what makes of radios you get over there, but the sennheiser freeport is a good budget mic, as is the Trantec S4.5, I would keep away from the AKG WMS30 series though, good price but not great range.

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A third vote for the Yamaha desk over the Mackie...I like the Yammy almost as much as I dislike the Wackie!


For the speakers, I'd personally choose the Mackies out of your two options. I find their sound more smooth and natural compared to the JBLs.


It's hard to advise on your monitor wedges because, for super economy, I'd likely be forced to use some stuff from European distributors that is unlikely to work for you in QLD!


For your mics, I'd probably suggest that you try to stretch your budget a bit and go for SM58s. I have a love/hate relationship with these but the ARE the "industry standard" and, being built like the proverbial brick dunny, will last your forever where some of the cheaper options might not. If your budget really can't stretch, then I'd have a look at the cheap end of the Sennheiser range. They have some that should fit your budget, though I've not personally used the budget end of their range so take what I say with a pinch of salt.


Similar advice on your radio mics...spend what you can for these as cheapies can cause you to go grey very fast. I'd try to stretch for Sennheiser EVO100 or maybe Trantec's entry range. However, for super cheap, a number of people on the BR have had good results with JTS mics. A board search on JTS radio mics will find you a number of threads and lots of opinions.


Personal note: where in QLD are you? I'm moving there in about a week's time (Brisbane initially until we find a permanent home in Toowoomba) and need to find some people I can talk sound with out your way!



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I have to agree about going for the Yamaha desk I have only ever had bad experienced with Mackie desks.


For the speakers out of the choice you have I would go for the Mackie's. If you can source them LD systems 12" powered tops are great we have a few of these and they work great and FOH and Monitors and aren't expensive. Also I don't know if there is a distributor near you but the B-52 Matrix 1000V2 is great we have toured for a month with 2 of these in churches and they have coped with everything we have chucked at them.


I would advise if you can at this stage get something like the B-52 with a 15" sub and 2 10" tops, because this will give you allot better full range sound for your keys, and also if you ever get a drummer with an electronic kit (which is now happening more often) you will need the sub.


As far as mics go I am not a fan of the SM58's but you can get a reasonable sound out of them.

But I would look at the sennheiser stuff I would much prefer a E845 to a SM58 and they about the same price.


I notice you have no outboard on the list, I would advise a graphic EQ even something like the behringer is ok. Because If you are using a Lapel it can be a pain and a Graphic EQ can help big time.

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Hi quite agree with the opinion about the Yamaha desk . I worked at a holiday camp with a Yamaha mixer and a pair of RCF / Mackie cabs. Excellent sound and ideal as a budget PA soloution. Both products performed un-faulted . They were used for a variety of applications , Disco use , visiting caberets , General PA use and performed excellently. A friend of mine who worked on a neighbouring site had a Mackie mixing desk and was not impressed with the sound and much prefered working with the yamaha.


As for monitor speakers I personally use a couple of powered wharfdale wedges. Cheap and cheerfull but sound excellent!


As for radio microphones I reckon you cant go far wrong with a Senhesisser EW 100 G2 system. Over yime iv used a variety of Radio mic systems and Id go for the EW 100`s because of the "Tank like" build quality. you can drop em , konck em and nearly hammer nails in with them and they still work perfectly . The batteries last for ages and transmission is bullet proof.



Oh yes and as for mics . any of shures PG series mics. Great quality mics at a very good price

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Thanks for the replies everyone!


Well it looks like we'll be going with the Yamaha desk. With special pricing at the moment, that actually saves us about AU$200 that we can put towards something else.


The best price I can find on the Mackie speakers is about $200 more each than the JBL's (both prices are well below RRP), but will see if I can get that lower when buying a package deal.


JakeCTG, would we get away without having a Graphic EQ? Trying to limit the amount of equipment to carry around and set up...


Thanks for that website niall! There's some great info on there.


If anyone else has any other comments or suggestions about the kit in the OP, feel free to post. Thanks :-)

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Yes you can get away without using a graphic eq. In fact in a small church setup I'd often advise against it. too many people have reasonable PA's wrecked by people who don't know what they're doing with a graphic eq. I also don't like the cheaper eq's out there due to the fact they are normally inaccurate and noisy. You should be able to achieve most of what you want with the eq on the individual channels.
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You could get away without a Graphic EQ but it dose help to get a better sound without feedback when using a lapel mic. You may find that with the sort of size of room you have, it isn't to much of a problem because you won't be needing alot of level from it, but it would definitely be something to consider and could be a later purchase if you get problems with the Lapel.


The Graphic EQ could help because of the speakers you are using. I find that the Mackie SRM450's can sound quite harsh and you can get rid of some of this with the EQ, it is important in a church setting to make sure the sound isn't harsh because it can tend to sound louder and people will complain.

Hope this helps.

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Hiya Just a Thought.


It sounds like a graphic Eq would be advisable because of your use of lapel Mic But there is the worry that inexperianced users could "fiddle" with Eq and mess up the sound system totally Right !


So Why Not opt for something like a Behringer DCx2496 Speaker Management Unit http://www.behringer.com/DCX2496/index.cfm?lang=eng


Its a Graphic EQ that can be programmed then locked to prevemt users making alterations.


Its also a Compressor / Limiter that can be set to prevent the sound system from being turned up too loud and damaged by inexperianced users. All settings are password prrotected and can be locked out.


The Behringher has many other facilities such as an active crossover that you could use in the future if you ever want to run a pair of Bass Bins/Subs with your system. It also has uses as a router so if u decided that you wanted to send an audio feed to another room or an speaker outside (for a large funneral wedding service etc) you could independently control the volume and eq etc.



I know some users may think this approach may be slighltly OTT for you at the moment but the cost of this unit is extremly low and a standalone Eq unit is a similar price. If you opt for DCX2496 you have future proofed your sound system .



The cost in UK Is £168.99


Australian RRP from website is 549.99 AUD ?? Hope this helps ,,, Good Look Mate




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