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 Post subject: Portable PA systems
PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:42 pm 
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Location: Hampton Roads, VA
Some good models?
I don't really want to use 5 different mixing systems and lug around the fabled soundbox of doom- with all the problems with power lines crossing and buzzing and what not.

EDIT:
Intended purpose: portable sound set for crowds of 50-100 people that I can haul around the East Coast.

-Jesse

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Jesse (Los Angeles, CA/Hampton Roads, VA)


Last edited by tornredcarpet on Mon Jan 08, 2007 6:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 11:46 pm 
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Are you thinking of some PA systems like these?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 11:37 am 
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yes exactly those kinds.
I heard they have pretty good sound, are easy to carry around (just the set and the tripods, and require minimal other equipment to use.

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Jesse (Los Angeles, CA/Hampton Roads, VA)


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 9:16 pm 
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I use to use a system like this one for about a year.

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They are very handy systems, and easy to use.
As a general rule, at a standard event you need about 4 watts RMS for every person, so the above system (total 300watts RMS) would work up to about 75 people as long as the room acoustics are good, and the room is full with those 75 people. (If you are into of playing low-fi recordings I would change the above ratio to 5 watts RMS per person, so you would be talking about 60 people max).

That should accomidate most medium sized swing scenes for a regular event.
Working within the above requirments this system worked VERY well.
The weak points of these systems are.
As they are specilised they can lack some flexabality.
They are not as robust in comparision to other PA systems.

Persionally I would perfer something like the Behringer PMH880S 10-Channel Powered Mixer with FX (800 Watts). They will also work well as a PA system for nearly any Jazz band. However it may be over kill if you just want to DJ from them.

Brian :D

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 4:50 am 
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Is that dancers that take up more space like lindy hoppers or the more compact kind like bal dancers?
I've been looking at the Fender Passport Deluxe-250W for the better part of a year, but fortunately I've had no need for one.... yet.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 6:17 am 
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Swing Columbus and the Ohio State U swing clubs have both used the Fender Passport PD150 (i'm pretty sure from looking at pictures) for 4+ years for events ranging from small events to monthly dances in a gymnasium (50-100 people) always with good results. They're so easy to transport and since all the important parts are covered when they're snapped together, everything stays protected. Definitely a good buy. (and get the tripods if you want the system for larger events)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 9:47 am 
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Does anyone know the difference between the regular and the deluxe versions of the passport besides that extra driver (meaning hopefully more faithful sound reproduction)?

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 4:38 pm 
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Our university club has been using the Passport 150 (link - although I think we have the non-deluxe version) for about 5-6 years. It's served well as a workhorse all these years and even survived a fall down some stairs (although one of the latches broke from that). Our largest events draw maybe 200 people and the output seems just fine.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:39 pm 
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I've used the Passport 250 (non-deluxe) at U of S SDC events and wasn't too keen on the sound, it really didn't sound like with was built for music. Granted, that unit had been well used and abused by other student groups. Also, I found the controls on the passport kind of klunky so I ended up still using my mixer with it.

For small events (classes/practice sessions), I'd prefer a decent boom box. For larger events (>40 people), I'd prefer to go up to powered speakers. Mackie's sound nice if you are willing to spend the money on them. EV's are OK if you're on a budget, better than the passport but not as good as Mackie.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 6:48 pm 
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Toon Town Dave wrote:
For small events (classes/practice sessions), I'd prefer a decent boom box. For larger events (>40 people), I'd prefer to go up to powered speakers. Mackie's sound nice if you are willing to spend the money on them. EV's are OK if you're on a budget, better than the passport but not as good as Mackie.


Aren't Mackies a system you have to put together?
I must be missing something here- could you mention specific models in mind?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 8:09 pm 
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tornredcarpet wrote:
Toon Town Dave wrote:
For small events (classes/practice sessions), I'd prefer a decent boom box. For larger events (>40 people), I'd prefer to go up to powered speakers. Mackie's sound nice if you are willing to spend the money on them. EV's are OK if you're on a budget, better than the passport but not as good as Mackie.


Aren't Mackies a system you have to put together?
I must be missing something here- could you mention specific models in mind?


Yes they are.
I think Mackie powered speakers are far to expensive and large for what tornredcarpet may is thinking of.
Persionally I find powered speakers an extra hassel, in comparision to passive speakers.
I would never like to use a system that "Students" have used manytimes bofore. Know how they use them, I would be very sure the speakers would be damaged. So I wouldn't use a student used system as a referance.


tornredcarpet
What numbers and venue type are you thinking of using this system?

Brian

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 3:57 am 
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Bob, realizing that no one knows what I'm really looking for besides portable PA systems, I added some info up top as reference for future posters.

I need a speaker set I can carry with me around the east coast... so it needs to be relatively portable and fit in my car (I got a hatch back with this in mind so I have plenty of trunk room)
It needs to play for at least 50-100 people, mostly in smaller venues (I'm willing to bet that larger venues will already have sound systems set up) and sometimes outside (which reminds me, I probably need to get a new UPS, to which I haven't been paying much attention lately).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 7:01 am 
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Jesse, next time you come visit us here in Atlanta, I'll show you my setup. Those passport systems are great, but if you want something that scales at all, you can still create a pretty good customized system on a budget. The Passport type option will be your most cost effective approach, however.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 12:45 am 
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Toon Town Dave wrote:
I've used the Passport 250 (non-deluxe) at U of S SDC events and wasn't too keen on the sound, it really didn't sound like with was built for music.


Exactly. It isn't. It is designed for speechs, period, and has a very limited dynamic range (highs and lows). It works fine for vintage music, so perhaps the vintage DJs might not notice the awful sound quality; but if you ever play anything recorded after 1945, get a boombox or a portable stereo instead of a passport. Seriously, a decent portable stereo at Frys or Circuit City will work MUCH better than a Passport, and at half the price.

Several groups made the mistake of getting one of the many versions of the Passport, and it is awful. Please, please, please stop the proliferation of bad sound equipment and stop buying Passports systems just because other groups have already made that mistake.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 11:32 am 
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Funny you should describe it that way, my experience is the opposite. I'm not too keen on the Passports for pre-1945 music. Most modern recordings sounded good enough although still not as good as they could have been.

For our needs, a <$200 boom box with stereo Aux input purchased about 10 years ago sounded better than the passport 250 and provided adequate volume for a roughly 900sq ft dance space with power to spare.

While the passport theoretically has more power, Lawrence is right, the extra power is optimized for speech at voice frequencies. I'd rate the sound of the passport as good or better than a telephone (3kHz B/W) but not quite as good as a clear AM or FM radio signal (5kHz B/W). Music where the vocals are front and center sound okay but instrumentals with lots of horns (eg trumpet) tend to clip and sound like crap long before the volume is close to maxing out.


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