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Al Kazam the Magic Man
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Hi James,

For that price I think you'll only get one of their smaller models. They don't have a lot of power, or at least the ones I've tried didn't. If you turn up the volume the feedback can be a problem with their mics. You'd be best to try it out first, IMO. Their larger ones like the MA_705 will take care of any outdoor shows, indoor parties, and OK-sized crowds.

JoJo

By the way, a MA_705 with two UHF headset mics, and built in CD player can be gotten for $900.
Al Kazam --> Magic guy in Perth Australia
JamesinLA
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Thanks, Jo Jo. I don't know the Mipro model number but I know that it only has 20 watts. The guy says it can handle a crowd of 150.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
Al Kazam the Magic Man
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I'm not an electrical expert James, but a crowd of 150 is quite a big crowd for busking. I'd be surprised if it could handle that big a crowd, and stay sounding clear while you tried to let everyone hear what you wanted to say. I'm imagining that you don't use music.

I have tried the one you mentioned and used it once in a small hospital show. Maybe it's just me, but I wouldn't use one of those myself. It doesn't really fit my style. I'm loud and have a lot of audience participation as well as having music blasting out.

The MA_705 is 50 watts.

JoJo
Al Kazam --> Magic guy in Perth Australia
glodmagic
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My first post on a forum!

I have owned/used all Anchor products: Minivox, Liberty, Explorer and SoundTech, Pignose, and Fender.

Observing many who perform I have to say this...I have stood in the back of a croud and can't tell you how may pro's who say they "project" can't be heard in the back. People, wind, street noise and more interfere with the "loud" entertainer. The result is so many say, "What did he say?"

I know that many "believe" they can be heard (and can in the front area) but if you want to draw a crowd, go with amplification. It also pulls them from down the street to see what's up.
Remember ANY of your posts here can be Googled by your customers and Clients. Just entering your name in Google can bring up your negative comments that stay for years!
Kondini
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Food for thought, use a Chiayo Radio unit (very expensive!). Working the streets there is no access to mains so it's battery useage only, using at medium volume in the cold air three shows on, the battery begins to drop...what now?

According to the supplier, eight hours useage should be possible, not accounted for was the use of aux fittings CDs, etc. plus volume output used during performance. So is there a unit out there that can be used for at least eight hours without requiring re-charge? Very few street workers would have use of mains power and who wants to strap a generator to their trolley.
Bill Palmer
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There are a couple of solutions to this problem. The one that comes to mind most quickly is to investigate the possibility of acquiring an extra battery. If there is no provision for an extra battery, see if there is an input for a cigarette lighter plug. If there is, then you can use a 12 volt gel cell (or several!!!) as an auxiliary power supply. This would be far less expensive than bringing along a generator.

If these solutions are not available to you, then you can get an inverter. This converts 12 volt DC to mains voltage. Using this with a couple of gel cells will extend your performance time.

Another possibility comes to mind. If you are working in an area where there are merchants such as shops, restaurants, etc., strike up a deal with one or more of them to plug their shops during your show in exchange for the use of either mains current or permission to recharge your batteries between shows.
"The Swatter"

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Danny Hustle
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Glodmagic makes a good point. If you want a big(ger) crowd you need a PA.

But. There, I said it and it felt good. Smile

A lot of guys do not want a big crowd, they do a doorway act. You don't want to work for more than 15 or 20 people at a whack.

If that is the case a PA can be more of a hassle than it's worth to the performer who travels light.

But if money is your goal bigger crowds = more cash but again only to a point.

Sometimes double the crowd means they will only give a buck each instead of two. So you make the same amount if you have 50 or 25.

The streets are strange.

Best,
Dan-
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Kondini
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Thanks for the info Bill, I tried inverters but life of them is short. Extra batteries are a good idea but weight on the streets is a problem, also have charged up from market stalls to my peril (power surges blew the rig).

Trip switches are also a pain when relying on other people's power supply. I now travel with a small generator in the van and recharge after each performance, not ideal, but seems to work for now. Due to the amount of work booked I have got to come up with a remedy soon (probably working to smaller crowds) Leaving the amp and hernia at home!! Live and learn.
Bill Palmer
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The trick on inverters is to get one that will take a really big load. They are quite expensive, though.

A friend of mine who did a lot of travelling with a travel trailer had an interesting way of supplying himself with extra voltage. He had a heavy-duty alternator on his van and connected a pair of storage batteries to it in parallel. That way he had an extra battery to recharge his rechargeables.

The small generator may be a better choice in the long run -- OR -- getting a smaller PA unit.

If you use other people's power, sometimes you need a line conditioner, like a juice goose.

Come to think of it, one of the big contributors to the problem with surges is that if you are working an outdoor venue and they have power that is fed to the booths from some central source, rather than "mains" power from a building, there is a much greater tendency to have voltage fluctuations than there is if you are sitting in a house.

I had a similar problem at the Globe Stage at the Texas Renaissance Festival, and it came back to bite me in the butt, big time. Even though they used very large gauge wiring to bring power to the Globe, we still had major voltage fluctuations, so much so, that it was often difficult to maintain a set volume level.

For one of my routines, I had a tape recording of a thunderclap as a sound effect. One morning, we had a power surge right as the thunderclap went off. It blew both of my speakers -- a pair of Ramsas. Fortunately, one of the other performers had an extra set of speakers in her car, and we were able to wire up for the next show.

When they built the Odeon, the voltage situation out there was much better. But I recommended to them before I retired from TRF that they get line conditioners for each place they had a PA installation.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Kondini
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A lot of interesting input here, still working the Streets seems to be becoming, lets carry our Cabaret + sound system + Lights (Where will it end?)

Working from my mobile stage unit (Sound / light rig enclosed with aggreco genny)Throughout the summer April-October is great, no problems, weight no problem. Set up and breakdown time no problem. It's the early winter pre-Christmas real street work which causes the ache.

This continues through to March, weather is ****, hats shrink along with the punters, so travel light is the thing but being heard is the problem. From these posts it seems that most grafters rely on their vocals, so maybe in this case to go back is the way forward. Unless of course someone out there knows of a small lightwieght high output rig which can run on full power for at least 6 hours at a time ?
JamesinLA
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Okay, I've got a sound system, which I am going to try next weekend for the first time (because it rained all day Sunday here in LA). It has a built in radio microphone.
My question is where is the best place to place the speaker in relation to me and the crowd. I am also sensitive to avoiding feedback. What causes feedback and how can placing the speaker in the best place avoid/minimize feedback?

Thanks to the experts.

Jim

PS: Bill, great to see your terrific picture!
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
Bill Palmer
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Jim:

The chief cause of feedback is placing the speaker in a position which allows the microphone to pick up the sounds that are coming out of it. When the mike picks up the sound coming out of the speaker, it amplifies that sound progressively and it turns into feedback

If you can mount the speaker on a stand so that it is up out of the way and it is somewhere in front of you, facing away from you, you will minimize your feedback.

Picture the shape of the sound coming out of the speaker. It will be basically some sort of a cone. Keep the microphone out of the cone.

Also, watch out for reflected sound. If your speaker faces directly into a wall which reflects the sound back to you, your mike may pick it up.

When the speaker is elevated, be sure to remember to turn it off between shows to conserve power. If it is hard to reach, you may unintentionally forget to turn it off. It is a good idea for the first few times that you use the speaker, that you write out a checklist of things you must do at each show.

(Thanks for the kind words about the picture.)
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
RiffRaff
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Mr. Palmer:
You look A LOT older in your current picture than the one in the Punx book. Smile
Bill Palmer
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I'm even older than that! Actually, both pictures were taken at the same session. I played Merlin as a kind of timeless character.

But both of those pictures go back a long time. Bobby Bernard said I need new pictures, but I'm thinking of just having my old picture surgically implanted to my present face!
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
magicsoup
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When buying an amp consider the weight of the thing. If it is battery powered then the bulk of the amp is likely the battery. Last summer when I saw a few street guys they seemed to be getting into the Crate amps.
JamesinLA
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Okay, I've used my little Mipro amp for a couple weekends and am happy to report that it works. I had about 150 or more people at one show and everyone could hear me fine. The thing only weighs 7 pounds. It has a built in wireless receiver. It comes with either a plug-in mike or a wireless mike, whichever you choose. I got mine with the wireless lapel mike. The sender is smaller than a pack of playing cards. It is 25 watts, it is a VHS transmitter, which is tuned by the seller of the product. Those two aspects are not supposed to be so great, ie: you should want more than 25 watts and you should get a UHF that you can tune yourself. However, the guy I bought it from (new) tuned it to work in my area (Los Angeles) so it doesn't get interference from the local TV, etc. I have not had any dropouts (yet) and the volume and the quality of the sound is great. Here's the best part: the whole thing cost me $300 new. I think it goes for 450 normally, but I found a guy on ebay who is selling them cheap. He also has bargains on the more powerful mipros.

Hope this helps someone. I will report any future problems with it but so far so good.

Jim

*******

I've got a question about recharging the batteries in these portable sound systems. The battery in my amp is a gel battery. My question is, is it okay to recharge these batteries before they are totally drained? I know with a laptop battery, you need to completely drain it before you recharge, because laptop batteries have a "memory effect," which reduces the effective time of the battery. Do these amp batteries have this same problem? Thanks.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
Kozmo
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Yes it is. I'm a broadcast engineer, so trust me. However, from time to time you might have to re-cycle them, that is running them down 'til there is nothing left in them and then recharging them. Don't worry about what everyone says. I'm RIGHT!

koz
JamesinLA
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So, Koz, you're saying it's okay to recharge before the battery is totally drained. But once in a while it's good to drain it totally. Thanks.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
The Wonder Company
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I can't speak higher of the crate Taxi and Limo. They sound so clear and loud. I borrowed the Limo from a colleague for a week long trade show gig. It was unique because I was being paid by the D.C. Auto Show and not by a specific comany to sell their product. The foot traffic in the convention center was insane and every different company was trying to draw attention. The result was me having to draw a crowd four times a day even though there were postings of my scheduled show times. Boys and girls, let me tell you, When I cranked that baby up and shot my juggling clubs 40 feet into the air, every head in the room turned. It was so loud I had to turn it down. Another great thing about the Limo is that it has TWO inputs. One for an XLR and one for a Mic jack. You can have a CD player running your music before or after the show, and then go right into it without any fussing. I think its $350. But well worth it. Why not get something louder than you need and then turn the sound down. This thing could play to 5 or 6 hundred people. EASY. Also in regards to the inputs. You could give a volunteer a microphone and have yourself micd @ the same time. I just think this thing is the best. could you tell yet?
-Max Darwin aka the wonder company
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