Any thoughts on a PA for home studio use?

I’m having a midlife crisis and getting through it by getting back into music. I’ve just bought a neat little looping pedal that pretty much lets me play as a band without stuffing around interacting with other people, perfect. The only thing is that I can only really play through headphones at the moment, this is ok but I do like to be free of the head-clamps every now and then. My other option for amplification is to run the output from this pedal to my home stereo but the home stereo isn’t really designed for this kind of thing and I’m concerned about its ability to handle the full musical range that my keyboard and guitars put out, it’s just a little 50W Marantz running through a sub-woofer/satellite speaker setup.

My guitar amp is about to be repaired and when it is I could use that but I like stereo sound for the keyboard and drums and the guitar amp won’t do that. What I’m thinking is to get a relatively cheap PA that I can run the output of the looping pedal to. It needs to have at least a two channel power amp and two speakers. It doesn’t need to be really loud or anything but it does need decent headroom to cope with the bass the keyboard can produce.

Ideally the whole thing would cost less than $1000 AUD.

Hi. This is my first post.

If this is just for your home studio (i.e. not to gig with) I’d say forget about the PA and get yourself a pair of powered monitors. There are a few different brands – Behringer Truth, Yamaha HS, Mackie, Carillon. The money you save on the PA you can spend on a descent interface/mixer so you can plug all your stuff in.

That’s the way I do it at home. I listen to everything through studio monitors. Also, if one thing leads to another and you want to start recording what you play, you’ll already have a head-start on a decent home recording studio.

I agree, you don’t really need a PA unless you’re playing out…and welcome to the boards, Kim o the Concrete Jungle.

Glad to be here.

Though I’m sure I meant to write “decent” rather than “descent”.

Thanks for the input and welcome to the boards.

I’m looking at getting the Behringer Truth B3031A monitors and then maybe a Behringer Xenyx 1002FX mixer. Any thoughts?

I’ve just mentally upgraded to the 1202FX mixer as the 1002 probably didn’t have enough mono inputs with a gain control.

I use a 1202 VLZ Mackie mixer for live work and also for practicing at home – works fine. It was about 150 USD used and is a tank – I’ve dropped it on it’s face during a soundcheck and absolutely nothing went wrong with it. I’m pretty sure the Behringer mixer is not going to be quite as durable, and I’m guessing it’s meant to be kind of a copy of the Mackie design anyway (if I’m wrong, then I admit it, but it’d be a good guess, right?)

I don’t use near-field monitors at home, so can’t help you there, just a big old JBL powered monitor and a tube guitar amp with a 15" in it for keys. Sounds real rough, though, not good enough for mixing anything.

HOWEVER – the newer JBL Eon and Mackie powered monitors (and all others I’ve seen) have a built in rudimentary mixer, with 3-bands of EQ and at least a couple inputs. I’d look into a little 12" one of those and call it good, unless you need stereo, in which case, use two. The bonus is you can use them as PAs or for self-monitoring on stage – which you might want to do at some point – without buying a whole new setup.

Should sound just about as good as low-end studio monitors, and probably more headroom in the amplifier section as well (more is always better in that case).

Oh, the other thing I don’t know, but I’ll ask – do those smaller powered studio monitors actually have enough power to drive all that keyboard stuff? The JBL Eon (1st gen) is like 300W, but I know a lot of people who play low-volume acoustic piano stuff who insist on 1000W power amps to drive their monitors. I don’t know much about technical details, but it’s just what I’ve been told or overheard.