I once worked with a camera guy who brought in four full range home stereo speakers to amplify the voices at an edu. seminar. They just didn't 'project' like actual PA speakers should, raising the volume did nothing but bring feedback. The next day I patched my mixer's aux send into the house system/ceiling speakers. No problems.
I concur with John.. just rent something and don't even bother trying the sound bar which is only designed to project sound about ten feet.
A PA speaker system for a musical duo should be adequate. Get a six-channel mixer, 4 or 5 cardioid mics. (SM58 for instance) w / table stands. For the projector's audio, I would highly recommend using a DI interface to the mixer.
We have a three day event. The hotel A/V guys want $85 a day for a 4 ch mixer and $85 a day per mic .. They are giving us one podium and mic for free -- but the amp for that is restricted to the one mic. My budget is only $250 ..
The A/V guy also said he thought our little 38" VIzio 2.0 soundbar would be "better" than his ceiling PA speakers. Doesn't make sense. The room is 2000 sq ft with a fairly high ceiling (15-20 feet maybe) .. -- but it may be all we can afford. He did say we can bring in our own system. So I'm trying to fit this into $250. Might be impossible -- we might be able to work the four person panel with two mics (two people sharing one mic) ...
Not sure where you're located but I'd check out DJ rental houses. Quick online search turned up several with SM58s for $14-15 day and powered speakers (i.e. Mackie or JBL EON) in the $50 range. If you have a local rental house you should be able to negotiate a 3 day rate that would be in your ballpark.
Inquire at your local music stores about renting a small PA.
For sure... 'hotel A/V is notoriously expensive' and despite the high price, most hotels' A/V staff aren't very sharp, at least from my experience recording legal seminars in Manhattan hotels and event venues for twenty years. I doubt the sound bar would be better than the house system. though I haven't been to the venue.
If the hotel is giving you a podium, get five mics. Four on the panel's table one on the pod.
If it's not a panel discussion, most folks will make their presentationions from the podium.
Your budget is very prohibitive, to say the least.. Your logical solution here is either rent or hire a local Dj who would more than likely have a fairly good sound system and maybe enough wireless mics to get you through this.. $250.00 for 4 hours of work is fair.. Not the best but fair..
A $250.00 PA system would be a dis service to your client with quality results being a very lofty expectation.
Do it right or give the job to someone who does it on a regular bases.
Don't use up your valuable closet space to store a $250.00 radio.
Venue is free. Goes with the package -- rooms -- catering for a three day event. Rooms and catering are their profit center. You have to hit a minimum to get the venues free. But, yes, A/V price list is ridiculous .. Likely I can get that negotiated .. Seems like there is plenty of room. If we used 4 mics x 85 = 340 per day x 3 days = $1020 for 4 mics ... WTF ??? They wanted $450 per day x 3 = $1350 for an XGA video projector ??? Yipes! XGA mind you ! .. How many XGA's can you buy for $1350 ... But --- the venue is free and includes, tripod screen 8' x 8', podium and mic and table and chair setup of our choice. Yippy ya YAH !!! I will find a solution -- perhaps a bit more money to work with .. we'll get this done -- somehow.
Phoenix is a production center for film and video. A quick Google search found several audio rental houses. Start making some calls. I suspect you'll find appropriate rental equipment plus expert advice for close to your budget.
I will follow up with Phoenix rental houses for the PA set up .. meanwhile I found this stuff .. Am I crazy or would this stuff do for 2000 sq ft room (about 40 x 50 ) .. I need 4 mics and a video projector going for at the same time.
Those prices are pretty astoundingly low. I would have expected about 4 to 5 times that much for the mixer, twice that for the mics, and 3 times that for the speakers. The only brand there i'm familiar with is Pyle, which is on the better side of lowball. Serviceable, works ok, just not the best out there. With that range of features though at that price you may just find a reason to hold on to it. The mics look like the SM48 rip-offs i got at Radio Shack years ago. Again serviceable, but can't handle high sound pressure. Should be fine for speaking. Those speakers must be very cheaply built. I'd worry that they aren't very rugged at all. Handle them carefully!
Speaker stands would be a good addition so that you get the speakers up over people's heads. I got a couple pairs on ebay for about $30 per pair. Don't forget speaker cables too! Chances are the speakers accept either 1/4" phone plugs (spit) or Speak-On. I always add 5-way binding posts to my speakers so they can handle bare wires and banana plugs.
Thanks Kelly. Good thoughts .. I'm going to get serious about rental quotes. As you say, I would need a bunch of cable and, indeed, speaker stands and table top mic stands .. My thought is that this cheap stuff may punk out at the worst moment. It's all a matter of money. We may have no choice but to buy and take the risks. We do have the podium and mic that comes with the venue (using their ceiling speakers). So we are good for much of the event that is just a single speaker. It's just the four person panels -- maybe two or three of them TOTAL over the 3 days that we need this stuff for.
Rather than rent, we bought the Video Projector. That will sell easily on E-bay and wind up with fairly low cost or I may keep that at home ... Can I edit Vegas on a 110" projected screen? But for the audio gear, if we can fit this into $100 a day I'm good .. we'll see how close we can get to that.
Just to wrap this thread up .. We rented .. everything we needed, out the door for $500. We checked with various rental house and came up with a $600 cost outside the hotel. WE informed them and the hotel came in with a $500 bid. .. Nice .. all worked well. Only issue was finding the right cable to hook up an iPhone to our video projector .. but they even tossed that into the deal .. Used the ceiling speakers ...Excellent.
Thanks for all the help here. When you start something like this .. it was nice to have that support. It helped.