Reader Dennis Boyle got in touch and said: "I'm looking to start DJing some house and indoor pool parties. What size speakers do you think I should get? I'm looking at the Mixtrack Pro when it comes out for a controller also a Korg Padkontrol for some looping stuff."
Digital DJ Tips says...
From his question, it's clear that Dennis is a musical guy with some good ambition. Adding a Midi controller for triggers and stuff on top of a simple (but excellent) DJ controller like the Mixtrack Pro shows this. However it is also clear that Dennis is probably just starting out and also doesn't have a massive amount of money to spend.
Anything but someone's hi-fi...
So our advice about speakers for indoor pool parties and house parties is really simple: Buy ANYTHING other than being tempted to use a hi-fi system. It doesn't matter how big, or powerful, or tempting it is to just plug in your home speakers (or someone else's) - simply don't. Why? Because the EQs on DJ equipment will quite simple shred those speakers. As the drink goes down and the volume goes up, it's curtains for domestic gear.
So what to go for? Well you can buy some cheap PA (it stands for "public address" and just means speakers with a heavy duty amp and inputs for microphones and other sound sourcnes, like DJ or band kit) systems with, say, 200W of output that would be fine for indoors.
There are some bargains with two speakers and a separate PA amp for $200 and upwards. At this level they ain't ever going to sound brilliant, so audition first and try secondhand too. Also at this level, brands aren't really worth worrying about as no top brand has equipment this cheap - just try what you can find. If you spend just a little bit more, you can get a powered PA (or "active speakers"), which means there's no separate amp.
Speakers like this are more convenient but will cost more - look at upwards of $300 minimum.
The bigger the cabinets, the better the bass
Remember that generally the bigger the cabinets, the better the bass. More powerful PAs often come with a third speaker, that only handles the bass, but I guess these are going to be out of your price range. Finally, think about getting speaker stands. They're usually tripods with telescopic poles, that'll stop your speakers being used to rest drinks on.
So our advice? Listen first. Try secondhand. Get stands. But don't, please don't, use anyone's home hi-fi for a house party, ever."
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