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If you can deal with a big, heavy system, watch the Bargain Finder for some old gear.

When I was putting together our PA, I bought:
- an old Traynor 12 channel 220(?) watt board, $300
- 2 E130 Lansings, $200
- 2 Altec Horns, $140
- 2 old Axe-style PA cabs w/crossovers, about $50

Works just great. And we do run with 9 or 10 channels mic'd.

The drawback to the old PAs, they are big and heavy and hard to move around. The new systems are way more efficient and smaller. But (I may be wrong here) I think they require a lot more wattage to punch as much air.
 
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