Slowly building a PA system would like some advice


Out Lobstering...
Oct 17, 2017
Hey everyone! I have been playing guitar for a while, but recently started getting into live sound. Im not planning on using any of this gear to make money, just for small events with family and friends 30-100 people.

Right now I have
Behringer XR12 mixer (really cool!)
1x ALTO TS212 550W RMS powered speaker (I just bought it yesterday off craigslist for $50!)
Behringer 40-watt keyboard amp (I have used in the past for vocals/eDrums for 30 or so people.)

Band would be anywhere from an Acoustic and a singer up to full band of eDrums, Electric Guitar, Bass, 3 vocals, Keys, Acoustic guitar. Bass and EG would most likeley have their own amps, but may also be run through FOH to give more mixing control.

So not being in a rush to build anything super serious, but with the goal of having a decent sounding system at some point I would like to have some help with strategizing!

Probably staying with used gear as well.
Would be nice to get a matching speaker for the ALTO, but most are 4x more than the one I bought!
Also would be nice to get a sub which would really help with the eDrums.
What happens if I get another powered speaker for the second main that doesnt match? I can set a different EQ using an AUX on the XR12 and probably make a pretty good match with the built in parametric EQ.
Keep an eye out for a matching pair of front speakers and use your alto as a monitor, as a short term goal.
Subs, try and also get a pair. One is often not enough to give real impact. Plus subs can make really neat speaker stands.

It gets crazy expensive building up a big PA to do a large band like you mentioned.
Not just speakers, but mics, stands, lights, cables ($$$!), Power, cases, transport... Time.
Depending how many of these gigs you do, you may be far better off hiring for those days.

(For reference, I use JBL SRX, 4* 18" subs, 3* 12" monitors, 2* 15" fronts. Scales really well from duo to several hundred people outdoors. Wasted lots of money with sub par gear to get here, but now hiring it out to local bands and getting a few dollars back)
Yes, buy a mate to that one you bought. I recommend the TS312 instead, which is the same cab and speakers but with better amp (2x power of the 212). If you want to DJ, get the matching 12” sub, which is really inexpensive, too. I have two Headrush FRFR 112s, which are private labeled Alto 312s, and love them! They’ve been vox PA for us, my personal monitors, and my guitar cabs with my Kemper for over a year now. Another guitar buddy had been using the Altos for several years and loved them, and highly recommended them. Now I’m doing the same.
I've been building my PA over the last 10 years, mine is built on an old Yamaha 650w portable mixer, I use it as a power amp these days with a Behringer X2222USB mixer. The Yamaha has been a dependable workhorse, and you can't beat the Behringer mixers for value. Even running mono it's nice to have enough speakers to fill the room. Powered speakers are the way to go, less complicated. Keep your eye on the Musicians Friend Stupid deal of the day, some great deals come up on powered speakers. Sweetwater also has some great deals, I caught a twofer sale on Sennheiser E825 mics, $79.00. Great mics, price you can't beat. Good luck with your PA, sounds like your on the right track
We had a set of Carvin powered speakers for several years. They were always not loud enough, and we'd get feedback as well because we had to crank the gain too high to get any sort of volume. I replaced them with a pair of yamaha 15" speakers with horns on CL for reasonably cheap. I bought a power amp to go with them (crown XLS1500). Power amps are relatively cheap, small, and light nowadays. Now we have plenty of volume and headroom.