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FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Anyone using one of those "Stick" style PAs?


Willoughby, OH , USA

I'm arrogant and a moron
Feb 28th, 2018 12:11 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thinking about getting Something like the Bose or Eon One, or the Fishman, if my solo gigs increase.
More than two usable channels would be nice.
Pros and cons anyone?

Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

Feb 28th, 2018 12:49 PM   Edit   Profile  

No Eon, but I regularly play through a Bose or a Fishman. My partner in the acoustic duo owns this stuff and it works well. Last night gig was the Fishman setup.

I prefer the Fishman along with a small Behringer powered sub he has. The Bose, he has 3 Bose systems, all have subs too.

We use Fishman acoustic amps in addition to the Fishman stick. Vocs and any backing tracks go through the PA and guitars are through individual amps. We get more separation this way and a much fuller sound. The sub is a must with these stick systems or you sound like tin IMO.

FWIW, he also just bought the new Bose compact powered speaker that will run on rechargeable batteries. We've done 4 hour gigs with the battery Bose and a Fishman Charge acoustic amp out in the boonies with no issues and still had battery left in both. I'm ordering a Fishman Charge for myself very soon.

Also note that the Fishman, if placed more out front has enough juice when cranked for our 3 piece electric band. Yes, we use a subwoofer with that setup as well. We typically use a Bose Mixer and a PreSonas with the trio and just the little Bose mixer for the duo.

Contributing Member

St. Louis

"Thumbpicks don't slide into soundholes"
Feb 28th, 2018 01:10 PM   Edit   Profile  

I'm using the Bose Compact. It's a great tool for clarity and a nice warm sound at the same time. I usually am using it solo or adding a smaller mixer to pipe in my Electric guitar playing buddy to use as a duo. It will handle Backing tracks as well. The line array of small speakers and the floor aimed Sub covers the room well with the sound remaining uniform throughout the venue. I have tried it with a small sub (10 inch 200 watts with it's own crossover) when a bass player is coming.That gets you a bit more bottom end but generally not needed.
In short you get clear sound in a pretty big room. The midrange/high speakers are over your head so feedback is practically non existent even though you don't really need monitors as you can hear the whole thing pretty well while playing. The built in sub does a good job but quits about 65 hz .

I tried the Fishman setup and not having the sub I felt limited it depending on your use. If you play a Bass through it I wouldn't expect a lot from it.

Harbinger makes a clone of the Bose compact that sounds decent for less money but a friend of mine bought one and the line array speakers have larger speakers in them which while sounding good moved the height of the speaker array down them column which put it closer to the mic height and I got a lot of feedback from it.
Mixer wise the Harbinger has more channels and Bluetooth if thats an issue. With the Bose unit I just bring a small footprint 4 channel mixer and that fixed me right up.

I've used my Bose compact for 4-5 years now and I'm sure the others out there have advanced but as for clean and warm with uniform coverage the Bose Compact has been great. Carrying it in with one hand ain't too shabby.

Tony Wright
Contributing Member

Stillwater, OK

I never met a calorie I didn't like.
Mar 1st, 2018 06:08 AM   Edit   Profile  

For a solo gig in smaller venues (say 200 and less) I think the "stick" systems are a very good option. I think the sub is probably the best accessory you could spend money on for the "stick" style system.

I had a friend who used multiple Bose sticks and sent the signal to them just like any other powered speaker, via a conventional multi channel PA mixer. I mentioned that to one local group who also found that worked well for their vocals and acoustic electric instruments. Bass played the house with a conventional bass amp and percussion was a small drum kit, acoustic/unmiced.

I have a similar success with a standard powered speaker on a tripod stand (or simply sitting on the floor parallel to my shoulder). The standard powered speakers come with a horn for vocal and high frequency enhancement...and a woofer for mid range and low frequencies.

I used that approach when providing sound for an "acoustic electric" concert series for a year at a local art gallery. I used two speakers on the floor (Yamaha DBR10...I own 4 but only took two). I used a Mackie ProFX16 mixer and was able to support the 4 musicians and all the variety of instruments they brought with them...upright bass, acoustic piano miced thru PA, dobro, harmonica, violin, mandolin and acoustic electric guitars as well as vocals.

I put the 2 speakers between musicians 1 and 2 and also between 3 and 4, parallel to their shoulder...NEVER got feedback. Granted, it was a low volume event for about 50 people.

My current ensemble (two piece is NOT a band, even when we add a hand percussion guy...cajon) uses just one of the speakers, unless the percussion guy shows up. Acoustic electric guitar and a P-Bass and 2 vocals...grudgingly micing the cajon at club gigs. We do mostly house parties and coffee shops and wine bars and nursing homes...but we did play a rowdy New Years gig at a local club.

My point is not to talk you into buying any of the gear I mentioned. My point is that if you are playing solo in a low volume venue, take your mixer and one powered speaker...I used to take a powered mixer and a single passive speaker. Again, parallel to the shoulder.

As long as you make sure that the microphones are not in the dispersion arc of the speaker, you will not get feedback until you reach volume that is not appropriate for a single speaker gig.

Yes, I put out more than one cabinet at many gigs, especially when there are multiple performers...we have grown accustomed to hearing ourselves with a close proximity monitor, and that is why I put a cabinet between every other performer.

One advantage to my approach is you do not have to spend money for a new system...you already have some kind of system that works for your "full band"...or for those "larger club gigs for your solo-duo-trio acoustic gig". Just pull the components you need for the "light load in" gigs.

Another advantage is the low frequency enhancement of acoustic electric guitars, pianos/keyboards, bass guitar, and some percussion.

Can you put the single speaker on a tripod stand? OF COURSE...I do that at venues where I need the unobstructed throw of sound to the back of a larger venue. And I often take a full set up in case I discover that the venue booked a full band and did not bother to tell me in advance.

Where the advantage of using the standard PA gear versus the "stick" style systems is ease of load in-out in congested areas.


Colorado, USA

"You play pretty good--for a girl"
Mar 1st, 2018 11:07 AM   Edit   Profile  

I've been using the Bose Compact/L1 for several years now and LOVE IT! I can use it several different ways. If I'm doing a jazz gig as a single, I can run the output of the laptop/backing tracks (Band-in-a-Box) through one channel, and my guitars through my Fender Deluxe-112/Plus. If I'm working my duo, with a singer, I can still put the laptop through one channel and the output of her wireless mic rig through the other channel, and with no distortion. It's enough output to cover rooms up to about 100-125 people.

If I need more channels, I just bring my separate mixer and take the output through the vocal channel.

Unless you're doing really loud material, I highly recommend it.

Fast Lane Pablo


Apr 4th, 2018 04:32 PM   Edit   Profile  

Use a Bose L1 with sub and small mixer (Soundcradt Ui 16) with a four piece band for Farmers Markets and other quieter gigs. Works great. Last time we used a single JBL 12" powered cab on a stand. Less stuff to carry, but I think the Bose works better. Less directional then the JBL.

Having anti-feedback filters in the Ui 16 makes it easy to stick a speaker behind us and not have microphone squeals. No monitors needed.

Contributing Member

American Patriot

About as ordinary as you can get.
Apr 6th, 2018 09:41 AM   Edit   Profile  

I like the Bose. One of the guys in our band has one and we have used it a couple times. Amazing how much sound you can get from that rig.

Contributing Member

Columbia, SC

Aug 16th, 2018 09:39 AM   Edit   Profile  

I finally broke down and bought an L1 model II about 18 months ago, after looking at them for years. I looked at all the others, but the Bose stands above them all IMO.

My bandmate has an older one, so we usually run them both from a Mackie mixer, with one column on either side of the stage, behind us. Sounds great!!!

I have often heard artists using them whose vocals sound muddy, but I think it's just operator error. Because there are no horns you have to boost the trebles a bit, but after that everything is crystal clear. We love this set up!

Thought I would never part with my old Mackie 808 and JBL 15" mains, but I sold everything about 2 months after getting the Bose. I knew I'd never drag that stuff out of the house again, and haven't regretted it.


Willoughby, OH , USA

I'm arrogant and a moron
Nov 8th, 2018 03:29 PM   Edit   Profile  

Bought the Fishman last August. Have used it a number of times since and am quite pleased. Works great for acoustic gigs in small and even large outdoor (drive-in theater) VENUES. Got the 4 channel expander so 6 in all, and the sub. Don't know how it would work for an amped up band.

Contributing Member

San Clemente, CA

Happy Sunsets, tahitijack
Dec 8th, 2018 06:39 PM   Edit   Profile  

A local acoustic showcase promoter, Lord Of The Strings, uses Carvin stick speakers with base modules. Well known players like Laurence Juber, Brent Mason and Richard Smith always comment favorably. The sound is amazing.

(This message was last edited by tahitijack at 08:42 PM, Dec 8th, 2018)

FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Anyone using one of those "Stick" style PAs?

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