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My son is an high school tenor/alto/soprano sax player and has been getting local solo and duet gigs in coffee houses for audiences up to 50 people. He currently uses the school's guitar amp and I need to buy him one of his own. Leaning toward the Roland BA-330 or the Bose S1 Pro. Any advice on a portable PA that would last him for years? Not sure if it matters, but he is using a Shure Beta 98/H/C mic. Thanks!
 

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I'm happy with my Bose S1 Pro - but have only had it for a couple months. Light weight, battery powered and blue tooth connectivity - super portable.
 

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If he is only going to play indoors, perhaps you don't need battery power. There are some wonderful products out there now - I have used (with a 5-piece band) a small PA that consists entirely of one or two small, light, self-powered speakers that are controlled with a phone app. You could use just one speaker and set it anywhere in the stage area or use a stand. You plug in a mic and set all the parameters with your phone. You can put the speaker behind the performer, a little off to the side, and he hears himself exactly as the audience does, so he can make corrections on the fly. These speakers usually have four inputs/channels so mixing in his music will be no problem - and you could add another instrument/vocalist too. With two speakers you get 8 inputs which is how we were able to use it with a group.
 

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The same rule applies to car engines as they do PA speakers, "There is no replacement for displacement".

a bunch of tiny 4" speakers are never going to sound as good or perform as well as a single 10" or 12" speaker.

Get a quality small powered speaker in the 10" or 12" range.

I'm a big fan of the QSC K series. The sound great, get loud, and have the inputs necessary to be flexible and expand later.
 

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Two things to consider are portability and fx. When you're playing with tracks, unless they're piano with no room/hall/etc. fx, then the dry sax sound can be incongruous with the recorded tracks. The Roland BA-330 and the Bose S1 both have fx built in. I have an Ion Audio Block Rocker Max (cheap...$150 w/wheels/handle, rechargeable battery powered, sounds pretty good) that's great for small/medium rooms but I have to have a mixer to add fx. One more unit that you might add to the list in a comparable price range is the Roland Cube Street EX. I'm not a fan of Bose home stuff but I REALLY like their pro stuff. My ideal travel kit would be two L1 Model II's w/B2 Bass Modules but that's way overkill for small venues.
 

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Definitely my choice would be QSC K series. If that's too $$$, then I'd go for a Roland Cube. I have one, and it's been very handy for a number of small applications.

No Bose. Look pretty, sound OK if you don't need very much volume, otherwise, I've found they distort vocals or horns or both.
 

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I'm happy with the JBL Eon One. Good sound, enough power, bluetooth, built in reverb ....The new pro version has a battery and phantom power, too.
 

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My son is an high school tenor/alto/soprano sax player and has been getting local solo and duet gigs in coffee houses for audiences up to 50 people. He currently uses the school's guitar amp and I need to buy him one of his own. Leaning toward the Roland BA-330 or the Bose S1 Pro. Any advice on a portable PA that would last him for years? Not sure if it matters, but he is using a Shure Beta 98/H/C mic. Thanks!
Great stuff about your son playing. I would recommend the Bose S1 Pro. Got mines from an audio store in NYC, came with battery, free shipping, and no sales taxes to Callie where I reside. It words great at home and at church. Bluetooth capable so he can play backing tracks and play thru the PA at the same time.
 

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I've used QSC K8's for years, not for busking but I put my sax and keyboard through them.

You really have to decide what you want to do in the future. Do you want to play to tracks? Do you want efx? Will you play outdoors? Do you need battery power? Is bluetooth necessary?

You really don't want to play through a guitar amp. You want a powered speaker/keyboard amp. But you need to look at all the features on the powered speaker to see if there is more than 1 input, EQ, other things that will do what you need. If battery power is required, that severely limits your options. If it's not required, then get a quality powered speaker.

There are always discussions about this on the Keyboard Corner forum. I think you can see forum threads without signing up. Here's one about powered speakers:
http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/3019005/1

And here are 3 about the Bose S1:
http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/3019522
http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/2906259/
http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/2946755
 

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Here's the most recent post in one of those Keyboard Corner threads about the Bose S1. It's fairly informative:

The new JBL Eon One Compact looks like a viable alternative for more volume and bass, and slightly less money. It also has phantom power and more mixer capabilities? But it's a traditional speaker, none of the line array configuration of multiple tweeters.

If you don't need the battery option, I'd also give a look at the Turbosound IP300, which goes for $500, less if you look around. It pushes more watts and has two 6.5" speakers, so the volume and bass are even better than the JBL. It stands tall at 28", so in some settings it wouldn't even need a stand. With the four 2" speakers splayed at different angles you get a sound that disperses well. The SW reviews have a lot of praise for it.

Battery power is not that hard to come by if you're using modest speakers like the IP300. I bought a 250WH (watt hour) lithium ion battery with a 300 watt sine wave inverter for under $200 off of Amazon. Was surprised to find it powered my keyboard with 66 watt on-board speakers AND a QSC K8.2 or K10 for about 3 hours at moderate to loud volume.
 

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But it's a traditional speaker, none of the line array configuration of multiple tweeters.
Hah Hah!

Bose is the LAST company that should be lecturing anyone on line array technology. Despite their marketing claims, they don't have a single product that uses line array technology.

Plus a line array anything is way over kill for the scope of gigs that we're talking about here.

I stand by my recommendation of the QSC K series, in whatever size fits your budget and volume requirements.

<<Currently touring with five line arrays of L-Acoustics Kara PA (50 cabinets total), which IS a real line array.
 

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I stand by my recommendation of the QSC K series, in whatever size fits your budget and volume requirements.
I agree with this recommendation.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I agree with this recommendation.
Been doing a lot of research and pricing and have believe I have something that will work for my son. Found a JBL EON612 for $300.00 and a Yamaha MG10XU 10 Input Stereo Mixer with a few XLR and 1/4 inch cables for $200.00. The JBL speaker and mixer are $100.00 less than the Bose S1 pro and $100.00 less than the QSC 10.2. Heard from trusted sax performers the JBL EON612 is great. Any thoughts? Really appreciate all of your help here! You guys are the best.
 

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I wuz gonna say a good powered speaker with a small mixer with EFX is the way to go, as long as you don't need battery power.
 

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Found a JBL EON612 for $300.00 and a Yamaha MG10XU 10 Input Stereo Mixer with a few XLR and 1/4 inch cables for $200.00.
I think you can get a small mixer with EFX for less. You don't need 10 inputs.
 

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One input each for: Soprano, Alto, tenor and baritone. A dirty channel for each. A vocal mic, a mono playback track. :twisted:
If you'e busking with a soprano, alto, tenor, and bari + vocal mic, in addition to the PA you need a roadie. :twisted:
 

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If by busking you mean playing on the street for passersby then I would recommend whatever amp you use be very small and camouflaged because in many cities, like the one I live in, amplification is prohibited and busking acoustically by itself is dicey. Perhaps a three-wheeled electric scooter with the amp and sax stand on the back so you can drive off the instant you spot the fuzz coming. Here they confiscate your instruments and make you pay an outrageous fine to get them back. Most who busk are doing it to make some money and can't afford the fine, so never are able to recuperate their axe. At the end of the year the city auctions them all off and there were over 1500 the last year I checked into it. Outrageous and unacceptable abuse of power by anti-music governmental morons.
 
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