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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a high school band director in a new school. I have a great room, but the sound system didn't make the final plans and the sound designers plans got lost somewhere, so I have to come up with my own ideas to create a system for the room. This year I've been extremely low grade, two 15 year old bookshelf speakers plugged into a 20 year old receiver with an input from a standard dell desktop headphone jack to rca cable. I've had to run all music and videos through the desktop. The room is trapezoid 60' at the front and 55' at the back by 55' deep with 25' ceilings.


Late Friday afternoon I was told that some money was available to purchase a sound system. I would use it to show movies for music appreciation classes (so surround would be a plus), but mostly for band and orchestra music. The video part of the movies are though a NEC projector with vga input, not the best, but it's what I have.


I was thinking of a Yamaha-RX-V465BL 5 Channel Theater Receiver as it looked like it might do the job. I have no good ideas for speakers or placement. I'm hoping to get a very good soundcard upgrade for the computer as I'm not able to get a cd player or dvd/bluray (suggestions welcome here too). Any help would be much appreciated. Unfortunately I'm also on a deadline. The way education money is right now, if you don't spend it fast, it won't be there. My principal wants to order it on Monday March 8th or Tuesday March 9th. My budget for everything is about $2500, but if I spend less, I might be able to use what's left for other things my music department needs.


Thanks for any ideas!
 

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Hello,

With a Room that large, I would be looking at the most powerful AVR you can find with Room Correction. I would definitely suggest the Onkyo TX-SR876 B-Stock from Accessories4less: http://www.accessories4less.com/make...Silver-/1.html

Very powerful and offers Audyssey's MultEQ XT Room EQ.


For Speakers, I would go with SVS's S Series Bookshelves with a PB12-NSD Subwoofer: http://www.svsound.com/products-sys-sbs_black.cfm


With the AVR costing 829 plus shipping and the Speaker and Subwoofer Package costing either 1200 or 1419 depending on whether you with 5 or 7 Speakers, this package would meet your goals and the Onkyo is quite powerful. Add the fact that the PB12-NSD is a very powerful Subwoofer and it might work. Again, this is a huge Room you are talking about, but this is all high quality gear.

Cheers,

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you might consider trying to find a pair of Altec Voice of Theater speakers,, many theaters have them behind the front screen and they can handle a large piece of real estate,, they are very efficient so a low power amp can drive them to insane levels very easy,, their large aluminum exponential horn really distributes the sound evenly,,


just google to find them to read about,, have seen a pair FS below $1k,,


Derry
 

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Hey bmtoney! Welcome to the forums. I'm a muisc ed student right now, aspiring to be a band director!


60' x 55' is pretty darn massive. You'll definitely want speakers with a high sensitivity, as well as a big and powerful amp. I don't know if normaly speakers will work in your application, but here are a two forum members I suggest giving a PM: afrogt and RonaldoCombs . They are both extremely helpful for getting new equipment and what will work and not.


In most band rooms that I've been to, the speaker system is usually wall mounted professional speakers such as JBL. These speakers typically have a sensitivity of 100db+, and extend to about 40hz at the low end. Outdoor speakers also have a very high sensitivity, and will be able to carry sound through the room.


Also, unless you're planning on spending $10k or more, a subwoofer would not be practical in that room.
 

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Since you are dealing in music mostly, I would just get a two channel system. Two heavy duty Klipsch speakers mounted high up, driven by a heavy duty amp ought to fill that room nicely, and come in under budget. I would mount them high up so you don't have a dumb student push in the dustcap or puncture the woofer with a pencil.


If you dilute your budget to get a 5.1 system, it will strain badly in that room to sound good at all. I would not bother with a subwoofer. I wouldn't bother with surrounds either. I'm not even sure I would bother with a center speaker. I would get just a good Crown or QSC AMP, not a receiver. You will need some very sensitive speakers- I would look at Klipsch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you all so much for the suggestions so far. I can see the logic in not going for surround. The room is quite large and to top that off, it's cinderblock with tile floor! It does have some sound absorption and "clouds" (what I've heard them called anyway) in it, but it definetely has some ring to it.


So if I'm out of surround, and going for a pair, what type of specs do I need to be looking for on the speaker and amp? I'm extremely ignorant in this regard, so I appreciate the patience in my asking to tell me something that some have probably already told me in a different, simpler way.


I though about the guitar center thing, but I was hesitant being that I'm really not dealing much at all with electric instruments, just ones you blow into and hit (brass, woodwinds, and percussion) in recordings. Perhaps I'm just stereotyping.


Blackzarg, keep at it. Someone has to come along and know all the stuff that us old people don't know. PM me if you have any questions, or want any old band stories. Hopefully you're getting out in the schools a great deal. Book knowledge, and being able to play are good to have, but dealing with students, parents, and the school culture really can only be learned through experiece and delt with through common sense and perspective.
 

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The reason for suggesting Guitar Center is that they and their competitors carry professional audio equipment. At least the one near me has competent staff, who could show you some options.


A lot of their speakers are amplified. If you decide on that approach you don't need the separate amp. If I were doing it, I think I'd use amplified speakers. You may also want a receiver with equalization. I'm no expert on this, but I have a feeling that a room like this will have bad room modes that you may need to kill.
 

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I'd suggest you try to get some advice from someone with experience in a room like that. For example, are you going to have students sitting a few feet from the speakers and others 40' plus from the speakers? If so, will just 2 speakers in the front work?
 

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bmtoney,


The space you are looking to fill with sound is almost 80,000 cubic feet. There are ZERO Home Theater speakers or receivers that will stand a chance of filling that space with sound. As m-fine and others have said, you need "professional" products. Here is an example of a system that could work:


Two of these across the front:
http://www.behringer.de/EN/Products/E1220A.aspx




Mated with a pair of these:

http://www.behringer.de/EN/Products/B1500D-PRO.aspx




The speakers and sub both have their amplifiers built-in. The speakers will produce 124 dB @ 1 meter, which should be enough to fill that room with sound.


Of course, this is just an example, and there are many other brands of pro audio, powered systems: Mackie, Cerwin-Vega, Meyer Sound, JBL Pro, dB Technologies, just to name a few. Go to a music store or a Pro Audio store to get good help and technical info. Here is a website with a lot of Pro Audio choices:
http://www.directproaudio.com/


Once you've selected the speakers and subs, walk down the the Shop Teacher's office. Enlist his aid in getting his students to build you some sound absorption panels. I will suggest you use acoustical cotton as the absorption material. It's made from re-cycled blue jeans, so your students can feel like they're going "green" in making the panels.

http://sensiblesoundsolutions.com/index.php?cPath=22


Good luck.


Craig
 

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Thanks Craig for filling in. I had to type that last post in a hurry and I just wanted to make sure the OP was steered toward something more appropriate than a home speaker and receiver.


There are tradeoffs in everything, and while you will not likely get audiophile quality sound out of professional PA speakers in a reasonable price range, you also wont fill a room like that with home audio speakers. Get the right tool for the job and you will be happier with the result.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Whew,


I got an extension until the 15th of March (Monday). My tech guy has been helpful in making sure we get something quality that will do the job. Also, I got updated and true specs on the room. I went with what I was told in my earlier post. I measured today and the room is really 44' at the front, 39' at the back by 39' with 19' ceilings. Sorry for the misinformation. Will that change things significantly?


This has been some great info and I'm so glad I'm able to learn from some knowledgeable people. Craig (I used to teach near Lancaster and did grad work at LVC), thanks for telling me about those products. Any more specific setups with the other brands? I'm not familiar with how to hook those up or what types of cables that they would need for sure. I suppose a pro audio person at a music store could help me with this. Would I need an powered mixer or what for a "hub"? I'm sure I'm using wrong terms, but hopefully it makes sense.


Thank you all for all the advise and your patience with my ignorance. Your knowledge is helping young people know and understand what music should sound like.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmtoney /forum/post/18289419


Whew,


I got an extension until the 15th of March (Monday). My tech guy has been helpful in making sure we get something quality that will do the job. Also, I got updated and true specs on the room. I went with what I was told in my earlier post. I measured today and the room is really 44' at the front, 39' at the back by 39' with 19' ceilings. Sorry for the misinformation. Will that change things significantly?

Well, that's less than half the size, but it's still about 31,000 cubic feet... and still too large for any Home Theater products. I also still think you are better off with a pair of stereo front speakers and subs than to try to integrate surround sound into the system, especially within your budget constraints.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmtoney /forum/post/18289419


This has been some great info and I'm so glad I'm able to learn from some knowledgeable people. Craig (I used to teach near Lancaster and did grad work at LVC), thanks for telling me about those products. Any more specific setups with the other brands? I'm not familiar with how to hook those up or what types of cables that they would need for sure. I suppose a pro audio person at a music store could help me with this. Would I need an powered mixer or what for a "hub"? I'm sure I'm using wrong terms, but hopefully it makes sense.


Thank you all for all the advise and your patience with my ignorance. Your knowledge is helping young people know and understand what music should sound like.

You only need a "mixer" if you want to... "mix". IOW, if your going to have multiple sources components and you want to mix sounds together, like DJ'ing for example. If you're just playing music and movies from a single source, you don't need a mixer. Connections will be dependent what components you get. If the Hitachi projector only takes a VGA input, that will limit you on source components. Your best bet is to talk to a pro at a music store or call the advisers at one of the pro audio websites, like the one I listed above. Tell them it is for a school, and they usually have discounts.


And don't forget to talk to the shop teacher about making those sound treatments!



Craig


PS. LVC is a beautiful school; very nice campus. Several of my kids' friends went there.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmtoney /forum/post/18289419


Whew,


I got an extension until the 15th of March (Monday). My tech guy has been helpful in making sure we get something quality that will do the job. Also, I got updated and true specs on the room. I went with what I was told in my earlier post. I measured today and the room is really 44' at the front, 39' at the back by 39' with 19' ceilings. Sorry for the misinformation. Will that change things significantly?


This has been some great info and I'm so glad I'm able to learn from some knowledgeable people. Craig (I used to teach near Lancaster and did grad work at LVC), thanks for telling me about those products. Any more specific setups with the other brands? I'm not familiar with how to hook those up or what types of cables that they would need for sure. I suppose a pro audio person at a music store could help me with this. Would I need an powered mixer or what for a "hub"? I'm sure I'm using wrong terms, but hopefully it makes sense.


Thank you all for all the advise and your patience with my ignorance. Your knowledge is helping young people know and understand what music should sound like.

Hi bmtoney,


Sound and music education in schools is something sorely lacking and something I've gotten involved with whenever my schedule allows (which isn't often enough...). My sister is a 1st grade teacher and I got a real kick out of the positive reactions when I helped her with a "sound for first graders" lesson with a few demonstrations. I think you've received some good input for the general concept of where you should be looking. To give further input, anyone helping you will need a bit more information. Here are a few details you might want to think about:


1) Will the speakers be permanent or do they have to be moved out of the way for other uses?

2) Related to #1... Might you want to have the speakers mounted to the wall/ceiling?

3) Can you further describe the setup of and around the screen where speakers can be placed and how student seating is set up? Is there a stage area? Pics are always great.

4) Is the size of the speakers a big issue? (likely dependent on where they get placed)

5) What do you or would you like to be able to playback or use the system for? (CD, ripped music, DVD, Blu-Ray, PowerPoint, etc?)


Answers to the above questions will help to narrow down the options.


You do have enough budget to consider a more permanent installation or mounting of speakers. It might help if you can tell us generally where you are in the country as well as this has an impact on what stores and resources might be available locally (certainly understood if you wish to not post specifics). If you want to mounting speakers in the air or on a wall, it is critical to find a professional sound contractor to do this as there are very specific guidelines on how this is to be done in public spaces. A good place to start such a search is with the NSCA Member Directory . Mounting, or "flying" speakers is not a huge task, but it does have to be done properly.


My recommendation would be to maximize the impact of the money spent. I would suggest that surround speakers should be of the lowest priority. Much more important are the front speakers, preferably left, center, and right, or simply a stereo left & right, and of course a reasonable subwoofer to fill in the bottom. Keeping everything internally powered keeps connections simple and less for curious hands to mess with. Aiming and placing speakers appropriately can be the difference of kids paying attention or falling asleep in class. No joke. Intelligibility is key.


I took a very quick look and noticed these powered Mackie's on Musician's Friend (which is basically Guitar Center online). Three of these with a powered subwoofer for maybe $400-800 would make a very nice little system. With a little searching you might find a very good deal on a subwoofer (especially if you went with a passive pro audio subwoofer). This should leave some money to get 5-7ch sound card for the computer as well as a Blu-Ray drive. If you need to mount the speakers you can then still find someone to properly secure them (don't let the building engineer do it on his own). Note the speakers above are designed to hang in the air, where many less expensive speakers are not.


If you contact any local sound contractors just be very clear up front that you have been looking at reasonable priced gear but want it to work properly, and would they be interested in helping within the budget you noted above by either installing the equipment you buy or offering an alternate package.


Come back to add more in a year or two after the system gets regular use and see what you really do with the system. You want to stay away from some of the cheaper, more DJ oriented products like Gemini, Cerwin-Vega, B-52, etc. I'd recommend trying to find alternates to Behringer, but they can fill a need.


I guess that was a bit more than my 2c worth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hello Again,


So it appears my "deadline" wasn't as solid as I was led to believe. I have a couple more days still. I've contacted different companies who have done school installs and some local vendors as suggested as well. What do you think about the following options? I have a Korg D888 digital recorder/mixer that I forgot to mention so I thought I'd probably try to use it and go with powered speakers. Is that a good idea? As far as the monitor suggestions, I was told that it would be the purest sound for the acoustical type of music I'd be listening to and playing back, despite the relatively low wattage. Please let me know if I'm being led astray on the speakers or anything else. I couldn't get some of your PM suggestions in under budget. Thanks again for any suggestions you can give me.


A. 2 JBL Eon 515


B. 2 JBL 4312D with an amplifier (as they aren't powered)


C. 2 KRK RP8G2 with a KRK RoKit 5 G2 sub


D. 2 JBL LSR 4328P (with room correction)


E. 2 Peavey PR15


F. 2 QSC K10
 
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