Through several years of DJing and playing music I went through a lot of equipment trying out different things to see what works best for me. Not everything worked so good at first. I made a list of just some things that I started with and ended up with later. I wanted to share my experience with how the equipment I used worked out for me and how easy or difficult it was to set up. I will review my DJ equipment first then do a review on my music equipment.
My first set up was very small. I started out doing small home parties and BBQ and bonfires. I did it for free just because I love to do it and I had the stuff to do it. It was Just enough to make it a more enjoyable party. Then people asked me to do more and bigger events but, I just didn’t have the equipment to do anything bigger than what I was already doing. I just kept upgrading every year to make a very nice show without a lot of money all at once. It took 4 years of saving through the year and waiting till tax time each year before I could do any of my upgrades. But, each year I got bigger and better gigs to do. Before you know it your making all your money back for your upgrades!
Well, here is some of the equipment I have used.
A set of Nady PS115 15” 500W 2 Way Speakers
These speakers are grate for the money! They run about $325.00 for a pair of them. There about 55 lbs. each. So, not too heavy even for a 100 lb. female to pick up by her self. lol I used these for about 5 months and the sound was amazing and they thumped pretty hard too. Very nice clear sound. A set of these are good for small venues like Bar/lounge and small gatherings. The only problem I had with these are that; after the first 5 months of using them they all of a sudden start sounding like they were under water. Apparently this particular set had a problem with the crossovers that was put in them. So, I had to order new crossovers to put in them to get them up and running again. It was about $35.00 for the two. Nady does have upgraded crossovers for these but, if you buy these make sure the set you get has the upgraded crossovers in it already or you might as well order them with the speakers because, It won’t be long till you need to replace them. After there changed out, you’re good to go. When I upgraded to my next set of speakers I sold these to a family member that DJs and he’s still using them after 5 years. So, They are worth the money for as long as they have lasted so far.
This amp is very cool looking and has all kinds of vocal effects. I did a lot of karaoke gigs. So, I wanted my vocal mics sounding great when people would sing. This amp is the bomb for that. Not only did it look cool in the rack box but, It also has a vocal remover and It sounded amazing! So if I didn’t have a karaoke song that someone wanted to sing; I could play the actual song and remove the vocals right there and let’er rip! This is only a 4 track but, perfect for what I was doing at the time. If I didn’t need more wattage for my upgrade I definitely would have kept using this one. It worked great with the Nadys. It cost about $700.00 but, I really enjoyed this a lot!
Gemini G4V 4 Channel Midi Controller with Soundcard
This DJ mixer, I’m not going to lie, It had me a bit confused. I thought it would be nice if I could run one of these for my shows but unfortunately, It didn’t work out so good for me. “If” can sit down and read and learn everything about it and play around with it before you use it to play out with; I’m sure it would be a great piece of equipment. I could never figure it all out. I had better luck with a virtual DJ on my laptop. It kind of works the same way as the software does but hands on. I just decided to not use this at all. I will leave that up to the pros that knows what there doing with it. lol It does do a lot of things but, I really didn’t have the time to play around with it to learn how to run it properly. “If” can master this you’ll look pretty cool up there DJing with it. Some of my other DJ friends use turntables like this and love it for clubs and weddings. Its all a matter of what you prefer and the skills to use these. It just was’nt for me.
Shure BLX24/PG58 Wireless System with PG58 Microphone
Shure SM58 Mic Two Pack with Cables & Stands
I’ve had different Shure mics. But, The SM58s are my favorite. They sound great, can take a beating and last a really long time. The wireless is about $299.00 and has a good range on it too. I went as far as 60ft and still had good clear sound. The wired mic set is about $220.00. Both well worth the money for as long as they last especially having to deal with not so careful customers that have a tendency to drop things. I haven’t used a bad Shure mic ever! Yeah, they cost a little more but you get what you pay for. These were money well spent for me!
JBL JRX225 Dual 15 Two way Passive Loudspeaker with 2000W Peak Power
These are what I call OMG! awesome!! I just used a pair of these and about blew the doors out of the room! I used them at schools and big halls and you can still feel the bass thumping across the room with just the two of them! I LOVE LOVE LOVE these! They are a bit costly ($500.00 each but, with a 5-year warranty too!) You won’t need much more than what these babies can do! Unless you’re doing a concert outside for a band. Then I would say maybe a few more. “As” for as DJing there is plenty of boom right here! I built a pair of small boxes to raise them up about 2ft higher to get even more sound out of them. They also have the speakon connectors on the back that I really like too. You dont have to worry about the cables coming out of them, or someone tripping over the cable and pulling them out. The only downside to these big boys that I had, is that they are 98lbs. For a person that weighs just a couple pounds more than these and 5’3″ it’s a bit hard to lift and move around. The handles are a little high for a short person to lift up. I had to bear hug them to lift them up because, the handles were too high to lift up the 2ft, to put on the speaker boxes or load in the van. “If” your a bigger person that can lift from the handles these are great. But, if your short and small your going to have to have help to lift these or bear hug them like I had to. You can easily add another set of handles that you can reach better or even put caster wheels on them to move around better but, you will void out the warranties on the speakers. That’s why I never put any on them. Other than that: there Perfect!!! 5 stars from me!!
Peavey PV 12M 12″ Floor Monitor
I used 3 of these on stage. I had 2 in front and one for my singers. There very nice monitors. They cost about $200.00 each. Mine have had some pretty good road ware but, still play great! I never had a problem out of mine. Between JBL and Pevey I would use either one any day! Good solid quality. Honestly, “If” serous about making money DJJing Or playing in a band; Your best bet is to put your money in something that will last you a long time; Instead of buying cheap to get you through. All the money I wasted on buying things to get me through, I could’ve saved my money and bought much better instead of having to keep replacing the cheap stuff. You can get a nice cheaper set up to get started like I did at first and it could last for a while. My problem with that is in a short time period I was replacing and fixing things one right after another. I started saving the money for my new amp and speakers right off the bat. I knew I just didn’t have enough to do what I was wanting to do. So, Speakers and amps became my number one priority as of quality. If my sound sounds bad, Then so do I. Everything else is a lot easier and cheaper to replace. We all have to start somewhere and starting out small is a very good idea. I would just suggest in getting a good amp and speakers that you can add with your upgrades instead of having to replace them with new ones.
QSC GX5 Stereo Power Amplifier
QSC RMX2450a Power Amplifier
I used both of these with my setup. All I can say is Wow! Trading my 600 Watt amp out for a killer 2450 Watts is such a BIG difference! The Rmx2450a Stayed a lot cooler than the GX5. The GX5 got pretty warm at times but, never shut down on me. I just mounted a small fan in my PA box and it helped keep it cooler. I love both of these! There heavy-duty and have lots of power! More than I even need. The RMX2450a cost around $850.00 and the GX5 is $450.00 Awesome amps!
Mackie ProFX12v2 12-Channel Professional FX Mixer with USB
This Mackie Mixer Is my baby. lol You can’t go wrong with a Mackie! I not only used this for my DJing but, I also use it to play my guitar and key board through. It has really cool sound effects that go grate with both. I’ve had a small jam session all going through this at one time. It’s nice with everyone having their own Chanel settings to use with vocals and instruments. I originally got this for my Dj system but, when I got to playing with it I found out what all it was capable of doing, I used it for a lot of things! I will never use another mixer after using this baby! All I can say is I LOVE IT! This cost me about $280.00. Very well worth it and a really good price for all that it does. Oh! it also has a software program to put on your PC with all kinds of other features you can use with it as well. Very nice!
Vocopro CDR-1000PRO CD Recorder and Player Professional Single Rack
I bought this Burner to give out free CDs to my singers. It was a huge hit! What I liked about it was; As people came up to sing through the night, I would have them write there name on a CD after they sang. Each time they came up, I added there performance on there CD. When they were done singing for the night I finalized them and gave them the CD as a complimentary gift for coming and singing with me. People love the fact that they got a recording of their self singing. It brought a lot of singers to my shows. I also used it for my own singing and playing at home. I really like this as part of my equipment. It’s useful in all kinds of ways. It cost $539.00. I’ts a very nice thing to have and it brought me more business.