Need advise what outdoor soundsystem to get for small camp

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glorka
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Need advise what outdoor soundsystem to get for small camp

Post by glorka » Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:00 pm

Can some of experienced burners advise what setup /equipment we need to get in order to have some decent sound system in the camp of 25-30 people?

We will be probably playing music from Ipod,
the one we are thinking to get is this "PA system":

http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/pr ... sku=609803

Does anyone has an experience using anything similar to this on a playa?

Any advise will be very very appreciated!!!

Thank you!

shiznicks1
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Post by shiznicks1 » Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:58 am

wow that looks like a pretty sweet deal! this will be my first year with music but im on a tight budget. gonna get a used head unit off craigslist for $40 max, get a set of thrift store speakers $20 max and just run them off a car battery. but eventually id like something a lil more like your plan, just not as nice or new so when the playa destroys it i wont feel as bad
Interloper Camp 2010, come one, come all

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Token
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Post by Token » Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:57 am

25 people, $200, ... $8 per person ...

Not a bad deal.

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kman
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Post by kman » Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:58 am

What sort of power setup will you have? What sort of sound levels are you looking for? (ambient background tunes, or a thumping house party?)

I'm a fan of integrated systems like the JBL EON speakers. They soak up juice, but they have great sound and are nicely portable. The playa does soak up sound, though, so the more the better if you're really trying to crank the dance music.

Hard to beat the price on that rig you linked, though... as long as it's enough for what you need.

As long as you can return it if insufficient, try picking on up, and going to a large field, and see if the sound levels suffice in open air.

glorka
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Post by glorka » Tue Jul 13, 2010 12:16 pm

kman,
i think we'll have a generator capable of doing 2000W - to serve our light and sound needs,

we need it for chill out background music and something to dance for, but not too lound (no crazy parties)... we are more concerned with the quality of sound...

what are the integrated systems? where can I look it up? shall i search for JBL EON?

Yep, price is really good, but that's the question, is it gonna be enough power, considering outdoor space and loudness around?...

can you advise anything on generator as well? Thank you!!

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kman
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Post by kman » Tue Jul 13, 2010 12:28 pm

Price is a LOT higher for the JBLs, compared to that deal price on the lower system, but they're great rigs to have, off the playa and I'd assume on.

Fair disclosure, I've never used them on the playa, or anywhere outside of an indoor (or small backyard) venue. I've never run them on a generator, but looking at the basics, (580w peak), it seems reasonable that your 2k generator could push a pair.

Great sound quality. More is better on the playa, esp. if you want to dance. The open desert eats SPL's for lunch. Personally, I'd start at a pair with 15" woofers and hope it's enough. Probably is, but I can't promise.

http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/pr ... sku=501164



Advice on the generator? I thought you had one. If you're on the market, it's hard to go wrong with a Honda, especially the newer super-quiet models like the eu2000i. Don't get the cheap and cheesy ones, they're insanely loud.

Edit: Btw, if the JBL's are too much, I would at least look at the next system up from your Harbinger. The next level up is only $100 more, and you get quite a bit wattage going into 12" speakers.

http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/pr ... sku=423427

glorka
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Post by glorka » Tue Jul 13, 2010 1:05 pm

no, we don't have generator yet, we are trying to coordinate purchases of generator and sound system together

thanks for links to speakeres, they do look impressive and pricy..

what do you think of JBL EON305?

http://www.guitarcenter.com/JBL-EON305- ... 1433854.gc

it's less power and less expensive and we can buy it online, ship it to their Reno location and pick it up in the store in Reno..

we are also thinking to get Honeywell HW2000i generator. i was told it's as good as honda and it costs less money..

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kman
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Post by kman » Tue Jul 13, 2010 1:14 pm

glorka wrote:no, we don't have generator yet, we are trying to coordinate purchases of generator and sound system together

thanks for links to speakeres, they do look impressive and pricy..

what do you think of JBL EON305?

http://www.guitarcenter.com/JBL-EON305- ... 1433854.gc

it's less power and less expensive and we can buy it online, ship it to their Reno location and pick it up in the store in Reno..

we are also thinking to get Honeywell HW2000i generator. i was told it's as good as honda and it costs less money..
It's a good speaker, but it's just a speaker... no integrated amp. Tricky the way it's written, but look at the photos and it's clear.

I think I read about Honeywell making a new quiet genny that's similar to the Hondas, but I don't have any personal experience with it. Probably fine, if that's the case.

Edit: Read up on the Honeywell reviews at Amazon Looks iffy, tho it is certainly cheaper. Reading reviews around the net, I'm seeing more than a few reports of shoddy build quality, defective units, and "I should have bought the honda". Still, that price is certainly compelling... but Caveat emptor.

Honda is rated at 59db at 3 meters, at rated load, Honeywell is 62db at SEVEN meters, and 50% load. That's a LOT louder. Not saying it's not quieter than other, truly loud gennies, just don't kid yourself that it's the same as the Honda.

glorka
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Post by glorka » Tue Jul 13, 2010 1:47 pm

have you used honda on a playa?

and, you said you didnt use JBL EON speakers anywhere outside, do you have an experience using may be any other speaks on a playa?

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kman
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Post by kman » Tue Jul 13, 2010 1:57 pm

glorka wrote:have you used honda on a playa?

and, you said you didnt use JBL EON speakers anywhere outside, do you have an experience using may be any other speaks on a playa?
Read around the board. The honda is the highest-regarded genny on the playa for a reason (as long as it has enough oomphf for you, at least... groups that need 10k gennies have to deal with different issues). I'm saving my pennies for someday. :)

No, I don't bring my sound gear, although I've considered it. I've watched others deal with too many sound issues on the playa. I'd rather enjoy other people's music than worry about my own gear.

I'm sure there are others lurking out there who can give you more specific advice on recommended wattage to bring. I'm usually pretty amazed by the wattage people bring, though.

I still think you could do a simple test if you buy the $300 harbinger system, take it to an open field and see how well the sound does. It may be enough, or may not. That's a legit reason to return it if you ask me.

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ZenoBoy
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Post by ZenoBoy » Tue Jul 13, 2010 2:40 pm

An 80W system is going to get swallowed out on the playa unless you plan to camp out past G. Even small camps that are just providing music for camp mates tend to be pretty beefy.

Our DJ uses 2 - Behringer B212XL 12" 800W with a separate sub. I don't know what amp he uses though. That allowed us to have a small dance party of about 50 on a couple of nights. Most of the time we just used the system during the day for hanging out in camp and being able to listen to tunes without bleed over from other camps.

Our camp last year ran our sound system off the Honda EU2000i and it never failed us. That is one solid generator. We place it back behind one of our cargo vans and there was no possible way you could hear it over the music.

I think you may want to go with more wattage then 80W. That's a small radio out on the playa.

sambojones
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Post by sambojones » Tue Jul 13, 2010 3:25 pm

If ur gonna get a Honda knock off then I would get one from a place like SAMs club that has a 100% satisfaction guarantee and will give u a full refund regardless of purchase date as long as u keep the receipt so that if the cheaper generator does go to shit u don't lose ur money on it or if u use it and it doesn't measure up u can still return it SAMs has a couple of of Inverter gennies by etq that seem kinda decent.... Costco prolly has some gennies too and they also have a 100% satisfaction guarantee

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DiveDogFLL
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Post by DiveDogFLL » Tue Jul 13, 2010 4:09 pm

I spent some time looking at small gensets...

kipor -one chinesee knockoff, had good reviews from some sailing boards.
but poor parts availability, vs honda network swayed me to get the EU2000i

while it cost a little more, no one I've ever talked to that owned one regretted their decision.



http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Kipor-IG ... ccessories

glorka
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Post by glorka » Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:26 am

Guys, thank you so much for information about generators,

and back to speakers:

Has anyone had an experience of using M-Audio Studiophile BX8a Deluxe Active Monitors on a playa or any other outdoor place?

http://www.guitarcenter.com/M-Audio-Stu ... 1406021.gc

It looks more powerful than Harbinger HA80 and better quality i guess??

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Token
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Post by Token » Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:44 am

Portable PA systems and Studio Monitors have two completely orthogonal design goals.

A PA system system is designed for high volume and acceptable sound quality.

A Studio Monitor is designed for super linear flat response for clean audio at the expense of volume.

Even though the M-Audio system has more Watts it will not be louder.

The sensitivity of the speaker will determine how loud the system will be.

The monitors are 90dB

The PA is 96dB

Volume of sound doubles with every 3dB.

So one watt of power running through the PA will be 4 times as loud as the same running through the Monitors.

I'd go with Harbinger 120 as mentioned above. Cheap, integrated and complete looking kit. If you don't want to keep it for next year and want to upgrade, eBay or Craigslist are your friends.

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Token
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Post by Token » Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:58 am

If you have to split budget between generator and PA system, spend more on a quality Honda EU2000 and the rest on a PA.

This will save you allot of grief and money in the long run.

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Post by justfred » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:05 am

Just to be contrary:

We were a camp of 20 people or so, and only wanted iPod sound during the day. I got an old stereo and speakers from a thrift store and my Honday EU1000i, and we had fine sound in our shared structure/theme space. Not everyone in the neighborhood wants or needs to hear what your ipod has to say.

One of the speakers blew out Friday or so (because someone had left them outside in the dust storm, I think). The next year I covered them in garbage bags, and that worked well.

Total cost aside from the Genny was maybe $25.
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gyre
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Post by gyre » Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:00 am

Guitar Centers specs are wildly incomplete.
The 90 db rating is max spl at full power, not sensitivity/efficiency.
So not as loud as the others at one watt power.

It is possible to have high efficiency and studio quality, but not at the cheap end.
I use EV and the only difference in their studio and PA versions is often just a diaphragm change allowing slightly higher efficiency.
Many bands use the studio versions on stage.

Any power rating must have RMS wattage and distortion to be useful.

Ten watts of usable power may be 20 watts at 1% or 10% distortion.
Don't be fooled.

And there is no such thing as max or peak power.
Ignore these.

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gyre
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Post by gyre » Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:09 am

As suggested, sometimes good older speakers show up on craigslist, even PA speakers.
With efficient speakers, any small amp will be useful.

If you can get model numbers, the important specs can usually be found.

I drove my big cabinets with a portable radio once just to see if it would work.
Less than one watt and wrong impedance.
They worked loud enough, though no bass.
I am typically driving them with one watt.

Efficiency counts.

dansemacabre
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Post by dansemacabre » Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:58 am

You may also want to take into consideration that the system you originally posted has a mixer with an aux in for unbalanced line level (your ipod) If you chose to go with the JBL's your gonna need a DI and will probably want a mixer for volume control. For background music for a small camp the system you were originally looking at looks good. Another advantage is that you can keep your mixer/amp (all the electrical parts) in a dust free area and have only your speakers getting hit by the playa dust and wind.

I'll be bringing 2 srm450s, 2 HD1531, and a Yorkville ls700. all these are active so I'm gonna hafta be selective about when I bring them out.

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gyre
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Post by gyre » Fri Jul 16, 2010 7:11 pm

You can probably find a better deal where you are, but these just showed up on cl here.
http://memphis.craigslist.org/ele/1846890990.html

These are low efficiency, but very high quality speakers.
You could start out with a smaller amp and later step up.
These will never be extremely loud, but you won't find better sounding speakers for the money and size.
Great price for this model, might go cheaper.

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HotBox_brcu
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Sound suggestions

Post by HotBox_brcu » Mon Jul 19, 2010 5:43 pm

This is our camp's second year in existence so we decided to get a little more formal- buying a generator, and sound system.... I bought a Fender Passport 250 PA from a guy on Craigslist and it's a great system for what we need- We're not a HUGE camp- 50+ people- but this self contained unit came with it all, and has pretty darn good sound. One thing I think people don't take to mind enough is that COMMUNAL camp belongings have to be transported AND stored by somebody, so the simpler, and most efficient for space/power/weight is paramount.
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glorka
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Post by glorka » Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:41 am

HotBox_brcu, can you please send me the link to this PA system so i can see the specs?

i agree that it must be transported somehow, that's why we are thinking to buy it in online store and ship it to Reno location..

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illy dilly
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Post by illy dilly » Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:23 pm

So I have a few questions about you're whole over all set up.
Is this sound just to power a communal area for you camp, like the main kitchen and shade area? or is it to power the entire camp area?

What are you using for a shade area? A few car ports or similar type canopies next to each other or maybe a huge geo dome?

Are the speakers going to be inside some sort of structure? or they gonna be right out in the sun and wind?

If they're inside something can they be left up all the time? and what sort of mounting do you have for them? (PA/Monitor pole stands don't cost much)

If ya'll are just setting up a 20x30 shade structure with a kitchen an attached somewhere. The first Harbinger set you posted will work just fine. You're not going to through any parties with it, but if your just using it for day time lazin around camp music it will be fine- at night you'll be out in the city partying anyway. Now maybe if you're putting this out side and you're needing it to push sound into everyone's RV's while their hanging out being hermits, it wont do shit cause you wont even hear it over the wind.
There are a few too many questions about use and need for people to give you quality/accurate advice for your optimum sound system.
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glorka
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Post by glorka » Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:08 pm

illy dilly, yes, it is just to power our communal area, which consists of three (20' x 10') L-shape shade structures (kitchen and lounge area), 30' dome and 20'x25' outside space with the fire pit in the center.

so we want to cover with music total area of aprx. 50'x50'

and we would prefer to put the sound system under one of shade structures, keep it there all the time (cover system with garbage bags to prevent from dust and put it on pole stands)

we will not have RVs and we will not use it for loud crazy parties.

but we will need music for the day/early morning/early evening time just to have a background music in the camp.

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illy dilly
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Post by illy dilly » Tue Jul 20, 2010 2:15 pm

Well, I think the first one for $199 would work for the 3 10'x20' canopies. The problem lies in the fact that you'll have separations (even if they are just fabric or tarp) between the dome and the canopies. You'll loose you're high end frequency intelligence trying to throw through the tarps that separate the two areas.

You could think about putting one speaker in the canopies and one speaker in the dome. But if any of the music has any stereo you'll loose that.

At this point I would consider finding a used cheap shit mixer, a 4 channel amp and used speakers. All these can be found very easily at bigger pawn shops. Probably two speakers each in the canopies, the dome, and have to smaller light weight speakers you pull out to the fire pit as you use it. The speakers don't need to be the best ever, or the top of the line. Not all six even need to be the same model or brand, though it would be better if each pair were the same.
You're not going to have live concert quality sound, but doesn't sound like you're wanting to pay for concert quality sound. Personally for background noise I wouldn't waste money on quality sound.

Last year we had a camp of about 12 people, our DJ buddies brought their powered monitors, and it was more than enough sound for our 20'x30' canopy set up. We quickly found that it is very rare when everyone in camp wants to listen to the same type of music at the same time. Some folks are up wanting to party while other folks are sleeping. Maybe, consider different independent sound sources so you can have different vibes in different areas.
If you're gonna be running a generator anyway consider some of the cheaper stereo set ups that you can just run on an extension cord to your generator, have a stereo in each area, and let people play CDs or ipods.
If you aren't gonna have live sound, I'd have to K.I.S.S. this one.
Why don't ya stick your head in that hole and find out? ~piehole
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Zipper
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Post by Zipper » Tue Jul 20, 2010 6:54 pm

This will be the 5th year at Burning Man for my Honda eu300is generator. Of all the pricey things I'v bought for BM, this was the wisest of all of them. 100% reliable.

I have sound enclosure for it as well with a top cover to keep the sun off of it. The enclosure helps control the dust being sucked into it and running more efficiently. One side of the enclosure is open which I face to the back of my travel trailer. so hot exhaust does not build up. You do need to do a tear down on the case when you get home to vac out all the accumulated dust that gets everywhere inside otherwise certain metal parts will corrode just sitting in the garage unused.

It's come in quite handy at home during power failures. Clean power to run my home office and keep working. Also used it to power both my neighbors and my refridgerators during a different outage.

The 3000 is heavy but its powerful enough to run the AC unit in the trailer, which becomes a haven for camp mates during whiteouts.

I run a pair of QSC K12 plus a K-Sub with a a DJ deck, Sirius, or iPod. The sound is awesome, but really party oriented. I use them for other events too.

The Mackie SRM350 is a great small speaker and built like a tank. The JBL Eon might be a tad better sound but the price premium isn't worth it. Mackie also makes a very small 4 channel mixer that is cheap and super durable.

If you're from an urban area, it's easy to resell well known brands on Craigs List if you find you want to make a change later. i like the idea of separate components for that reason also. All in one solutions are harder to resell.

Guitar Center does price matching for just about anything you can find online plus gives you an easy place to go back to if you have a problem.

Protection. Garbage bags are good for overnight or storms, but I will be using black Spandex fabric covers that I sew myself for regular use during the day.

There is a ton dust in the air even when it's calm. The fabric is transparent enough acoustically and keeps most of the ambient dust out and they can be washed and air dried every day to stay effective.

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