Mobile DJ – When Should You Buy New Speakers?

June 4, 2018 by Brian S. Redd

A question that people ask me a lot is when should I buy a new speaker system? And that’s a really good question. And there’s more than one answer to it. But I think the first thing you have to ask yourself is, how is your current system serving you and your clients? If there’s no problem, if everything sounds good, looks good, they’re serving you well, they’re serving your clients well, there’s probably no reason to buy a new speaker system.

Now, if your current system is not serving you or your clients well, yeah, you might want to think about upgrading. Now, why are some of the reasons you may do this? Too heavy to handle, transport, or too big to store. This happens a lot. Me, I had a stroke, I had to get a new speaker system, because my old system was too heavy for me. Now, storing it, this pretty much explains itself. It’s less of a footprint in your house, it gives you more room.

And transport is a big one too. Maybe you want to downgrade from a big van to a small van, or a small pickup or even a car, you would like to pick up a system that fits in that car, you no longer have to have this big van or truck anymore. If you do still have the big van or truck, it’s going to allow you more room in your vehicle to put other things if you want to. Maybe you want to add photo booth to your services. And to do that you would have to get a bigger vehicle or a trailer otherwise. Maybe a smaller system would help you out.

You also have things like build, feature, and sound quality upgrades. The build issues could be anything like, I don’t know, maybe you’re running an old passive system and you want to step into an active system, because it weighs less and it’s less to set up. And there’s always the sound quality upgrades. If you’ve got a set of speakers that’s okay, but you’d like to have a better sounding set of speakers, and you’re ready to make that purchase, yeah, maybe it’s time. Your current system may be ending its mechanical service life, which means that you’ve had it for a while and it’s giving you problems or it’s getting to the point where it might start giving you problems, so maybe it’s time to go ahead and upgrade.

And this is not an unusual thing. People do this. There are people who buy a new car every year because they like the peace of mind of a new car. It’s not that their current car is worthless; it’s just that they want a new one, and that’s cool too. I do this a lot with equipment, especially laptops. If I’ve got a laptop that’s two or three years old, I don’t want to rely on it anymore, I want to go ahead and have the peace of mind a brand new one. But I don’t necessarily get rid of my old one, it becomes the backup. So it’s not useless, it’s just not my main piece of equipment anymore that I got to depend on for my bread and butter.

Your system could also be either too big or too small for the type of events you’re doing. So let’s say that you used to do 800 kid school dances, but now most of your work is 150-person wedding receptions. Your ETX system is too big. You’re going to have to get something that fits the venue better. And I talk about this like shoe size, it’s kind of like this: let’s look at a size 9 shoe and a size 12 shoe. If I have a size 9 foot, a size 12 shoe is going to be too big. If I have a size 12 foot, a size 9 shoe is going to be too small. So the size depends on the foot.

Now, speaking of your system being too big or too small, it might not have to do with replacing your current speakers, it might have to do with adding an additional system to fit the other types of events that you’re doing. So if you have a system that’s working great for your 150-person wedding receptions, but it’s not working very well for your 500-kid school dances, maybe you need a system that works for the school dances, but you hang on to your system that works for your weddings. Especially if it’s serving you well.

And then, some people just like to own stuff. There are people out there like that. They want to have it, just to have it just in case. And that’s fine. Personally, the way I handle this is, I don’t pick anything up until I have a need for it. So if I’m doing all 150-person wedding receptions and I don’t do a lot of big school dances, and I don’t have any on the books, I might not buy that system for the big school dances until I have a need for it, until I get a call where somebody says, hey, we want you to come and do this giant school dance, or this festival, or this 500-person corporate event. Yeah. Then it might be time to go ahead and pick up that big system. But until then, I hold off on it. Because, you know, why have it now if you don’t need it?

But that’s just me. Some people want to have it immediately, just in case, and that’s completely up to them. So I try to have some empathy when I shoot these videos. I’m not just thinking about my situation. I’m trying to think about other people’s situations. Some of you may disagree with me; some of you may have other reasons. Whatever the case, you can go ahead and let me know in the comments section. Thanks for watching this Saturday afternoon video for you. Practice and enjoy.


Brian S. Redd Brian S. Redd (56 Posts)

Although he can be seen Djing in places like Los Angeles, Las Vegas, or even the UK & Europe, DJ Brian Redd is proud to call Milwaukee home. Brian specializes in mobile events such as wedding receptions, corporate events, quinceañeras, parties and special occasions. He has also been a resident DJ at several major Milwaukee night clubs and also performs at Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival. From the beginning Brian has had a passion for music. His talent emerged at the young age of 13 when he was asked to DJ at a local skating rink. After realizing his calling he progressed on to weddings and mobile gigs and by age 18 he was DJing regularly at nightclubs. He understands people & what motivates them music wise, which helps keep them on the dance floor. Brian has been recognized for his work in various DJ publications both domestic and abroad. He has made a name for himself in the DJ community where he is known and respected as an industry consultant. This recognition has led to his contributions as a writer for Disc Jockey News. A true international DJ, Brian travels worldwide to not only perform but to educate and share industry ideas and concepts with DJs everywhere. His career has gone to the next level working with industry leading manufactures bringing new products and services to his peers helping them become better DJs.

Filed Under: Sound Engineering for Mobile DJs