Help with Microphone to Speakers setup

Hey guys, I work with this organization who plays music at retirement homes and they currently need a mic to speaker setup for singing. The setup also needs to be able to play music in the background (mp3s probably). Currently, I’m thinking a setup like this: mic → laptop (plays mp3s) → amp → speakers. I don’t know anything about this so I’m asking you guys. Could you guys recommend any mics, amps and speakers that could work? The organization’s budget is about 100 dollars (:S). Thanks!

you want to sing during mp3 playing from the laptop?

mikes about $30 for a “usable” one maybe $10 for “something”
check craigs list and ebay but make sure it really works else
buy a cheap new one

amplifer and speaker
maybe radio shack has one under $100
but can you plug in both the mike and the line out from the laptop?

how much power do you need?
how big a room must the sound fill?
is one speaker enough??

i think a budget of $100 is tough
unless you get lucky and find it all on craigs list

you really need to fully define your actual requirements correctly before you spend any money

As you are looking at playback (not recording) - avoid computer microphones or any set-up that requires plugging the microphone into the laptop. It is overly complicated to set up, has many potential problems for not working correctly, and if done on a tight budget is likely to sound very poor.

A much better and easier to use set-up would be:

Microphone ->Amplifier → Speakers
Laptop ------>Amplifier → Speakers


Microphone ->Powered Speaker(s)
Laptop ------>Powered Speaker(s)

As whomper has said, it’ll be tough to do this on $100.
The “classic” microphone for this type of application is the Shure SM58, but that will eat virtually your entire budget.
A cheaper microphone of a similar type is the Behringer XM8500 - they are not brilliant, but probably as good as anything you can get in the price range. Some similar looking, and similar priced microphones are terrible. The XM8500 is better than most in this price range.

A very good and versatile solution for amp/speaker, though slightly over your price range, would be something like this: the t.amp PA 4080 Package – Thomann UK
Closer, but still over budget is this “powered monitor”. It has 2 inputs - one for a microphone and one that you could connect the laptop to with a suitable lead (note that the cost of leads is extra). the box MA120 MKII – Thomann UK

Within your budget is the Behringer Europort EPA40
It is not very powerful, but it is portable (which may be useful) and has an on-line price that just creeps under your budget limit (including microphone).
I’ve never heard one of these devices, so you’ll need to check it out yourself.

you can get chinese copies of the sm58 for $30 from a california speaker repair company

Are they any good?

i have not yet ordered them
but i believe that they are as good as batteryshack’s version
could be identical for that matter
only a couple of chinese factories make all the mikes anyway

they got good reviews
but those could be phony
but i found out about them on a “reputable” bbs for home audio

for singing with old folks
whose hearing is probably not all that great
they should be adequate
to accompany mp3s

and for only $30 i would be willing to take the chance
been debating getting one xx57 and one xx58 to test
or just take a chance and buy the bulk pack

Wow, thanks a lot guys for the quick replies. I’ll have a look at it and get back to you.

how much power do you need?
how big a room must the sound fill?
is one speaker enough??

To all the questions, I can’t really tell. This is the first time I’ve had to set up something like this. The rooms they typically sing in are maybe 64 meters squared.

Also about the knock-offs, what company is this? Do they have a website?

yes but i dont recall it
i just google microphone speaker repair california and it pops up
that gets me this
and i navigated to here

Do yourself a favor and try one of our GLS Audio ES-58 or ES-57 Professional Microphones. They sound and perform EXACTLY like the Shure SM-58 & SM-57. We’re sure you’ll be back for more! Amazing mics - Amazing price!

have not tried them yet
but do plan to do it
waiting to bulk order mikes, cables, adapters, etc. all at once
to minimise shipping costs

if you are talking 25x25foot room then you dont need much power at all
one speaker with 30 watt amplifer could do it
two speakers would be a bit better
50-100 watt rating might be better even if you don’t use that power

if you are talking a 200x200foot auditorium
you will need a couple of kilowatts of power and at least 4 speakers

I would suggest a bit of caution about “knock-offs” (I presume that you mean “copies” :slight_smile: )
Not all imitation microphones are the same, some are pretty good but others are really bad and a waste of money. It could be worth going with a copy if you have a firm and trusted recommendation of a particular “brand”. For example, the T-Bone MB85 beta is excellent value for money (current price 37 Euro) and an excellent budget alternative to a Shure SM58, where as the T-Bone 85 is cheap at 23.60 Euro, but not good at all. (For live use I generally prefer the T-Bone MB85 beta to a genuine Shure SM58. The handling noise is very slightly higher and feedback rejection slightly less, but they are pleasantly brighter and excellent build quality).

That’ll be the same Chinese factories that make everything these days :smiley:
Fortunately manufacturing in the rest of the world is not dead quite yet.

my crystal ball says the tbone maker of 58s is the same one as speakerrepair’s as well as a lot of folks selling similar mikes

but more important may be shipping and guarantee
if i were in the colonies i would order from california
if i were in europe i would go tbone

No, looking closely at the picture and comparing it with the T-Bone MB85 beta here in my hand - it’s different.
Of course that does not mean the GLS Audio ES-58 isn’t any good (having never used one I don’t know if it’s good or not), but it is not the same as the T-bone MB 85 beta.

maybe not
a lot of the makers put a slightly different case on the same mike to help make them look different even though they are not

now it is possible that the tbone is a knockoff of another name mike
but that does not mean that all of them are not still the same inside

Ok, whatever you say.

that is a pleasant change
from everything i say is wrong