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Mackie SRM150 or...?


Aidan

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My plan at the start of the year had been to upgrade my JBL EON10s to QSC K8s or 10s, keeping one of the JBLs for use as a foldback monitor for band gigs.

 

However, I've just sent the taxman several thousand pounds, work is light and money is tight, so I've decided to keep the JBLs in service for a bit longer. But because I sold my Mackie 450s at the end of last year, I do now need to make other arrangements for on-stage monitoring.

 

Because our PA itself is pretty lightweight and basic, and stage space is generally tight, I have been wondering about one of the little Mackie SRM150s for monitoring, either on the floor just in front of myself and the other singer, or perhaps mounted on a mic stand.

 

An alternative would be the TC Helicon Voice Solo, which is about the same money.

 

A third alternative is that there are a couple of shops selling the last of the old EON10G2s for about 250 quid, just a little more than the Mackie. This would take more stage space but might it be a better bet if we only want to bother with one on stage monitor?

 

Any thoughts and experiences welcome. FYI, we don't mic drums, the bassist has his own bass amp and so only keys and vocals go through the main PA. If we have a guitarist with us I will also add a little of a mic feed from his amp.

Studio: Yamaha P515 | Yamaha Tyros 5 | Yamaha HX1 | Moog Sub 37

Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

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My smallest and most portable monitor is a Roland CM30, 30 watts into a 6.5" speaker. It has a mic stand mount, so I can get it up to head height. I bought it used at a good price. If I had to pay full price for it, I would have gone with another EON 10G2.

I've tried to build a scalable system, so I have what is just right ranging from very tiny enviornments to monitors for places that are large and have their own FOH.

 

The 150 would no doubt be a considerably louder monitor than my little Roland. That said, if the price was similar, I'd still spring just a little extra for the JBL; especially since part of the plan is to use it on the floor for two people instead of just your own personal monitor. I'd rather have more power available than needed, turning down always works; trying to get more out of a minimal system than it will produce gives distortion and futility.

 

Howard Grand|Hamm SK1-73|Kurz PC2|PC2X|PC3|PC3X|PC361; QSC K10's

HP DAW|Epi Les Paul & LP 5-str bass|iPad mini2

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Jim

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Thanks guys. My gut reaction was to just buy another JBL, especially as it would then act as a back-up for my main two I use for solo gigs.

Studio: Yamaha P515 | Yamaha Tyros 5 | Yamaha HX1 | Moog Sub 37

Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

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Aidan,

 

I use an SRM150 regularly and am a big fan. Last night I played piano with a Dixieland band. Casio Privia going into the Mackie. Low volume gig at a restaurant.

 

At another restaurant, I set the SRM on a grand piano and sing through it. Again, low volume.

 

I've used the same Casio-SRM rig playing with a 17 piece big band. Medium-high volume.

 

So, what's good and what's bad:

 

The SRM is seven and half pounds and fits in a gym bag. It's loud, clear and projects well. It is really helpful as a monitor for singers since you can hear yourself better than the audience. It is also quite good for acoustic piano. Hard to believe but I get raves from bands about the piano sound of the Casio and SRM combo. Personally, I think of this as 'lo-fi', but most gigs I play really don't need or accommodate a photo-realistic piano tone. For concerts I have an alternate setup, but it's much heavier and time consuming to set up and take down.

 

What the SRM150 won't do it bass. Don't split the keyboard and play bass and keys. And at reasonable volume it lacks the low-mids that give punch to a thick Rhodes sound or a B3. If you input a bass-heavy signal you bring on nasty distortion at moderate sound levels.

 

I really like the SRM and think every singer ought to carry one in his/her car trunk. It's definitely one of the best investments I've made in gear in many years. But it's not for everyone. Hope this helps.

 

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I'll weigh in with my first post here to give props to the Traynor K1. I do own an SRM 150 and think it's a great little device. I've used it as an onstage near field monitor, on a mic stand, and it's a good functional solution for making sure you can hear yourself, a basic mixer, and a stereo-to-mono summing point (through the phono inputs). And you can't beat the portability. But the lack of bass response can be uninspiring.

 

I recently got the K1 and love it. 30ish pounds, 120 watts. Very good output for that wattage. Stereo link if you want to get 2 of them. I also own a Traynor K4, but don't want to haul it around when all I need is a stage monitor.

 

Adan

 

Adan

Gigging: Crumar Mojo 61, Hammond SKPro

Home: Vintage Vibe 64

 

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*Warning: the following post is from a guitar player. Caveat emptor. :D

 

I use an SRM150 as a personal monitor, along with an SRM450 as a main. The system works great for me. I keep the SRM150 mounted on the same stand as the mic for my acoustic guitar, off-axis so I don't run into feedback. But it works just like the old Hot Spot, but with better frequency reproduction and more punch. No, it won't have the same power or bass range as a large floor wedge, but for my type of gig (solo singer-songwriter guy in coffeehouses and so on), it's absolutely perfect.

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