advice for buying sound equipment

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JeffyCupcake
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#31 Post by JeffyCupcake » Mon Nov 21, 2005 10:06 pm

Has anyone here tried the Fender PD-250 (Passport Deluxe 250 Portable Sound System)? This site has it for about $630. It's supposed to sound a lot better than the PD-150. It seems to be about the same price as the Peavey Escort System and can supposedly handle large rooms decently. Some of the reviews said the Eq controls are very limited though.
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Toon Town Dave
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#32 Post by Toon Town Dave » Tue Nov 22, 2005 11:10 am

I haven't given it a listen but the place I usually shop for DJ gear usually has it in stock. From what I recall, the controls were basically the same as the regular (non-deluxe) 250 which is quite limited, even more than my entry level mixer.

I'm curious if the PD-250's sound better sound better than the P-250's which doesn't do a very good job with most of my music. The price is decent and I still want to get my own PA or Speakers.

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Lawrence
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#33 Post by Lawrence » Tue Nov 22, 2005 3:28 pm

JeffyCupcake wrote:Has anyone here tried the Fender PD-250 (Passport Deluxe 250 Portable Sound System)? This site has it for about $630. It's supposed to sound a lot better than the PD-150. It seems to be about the same price as the Peavey Escort System and can supposedly handle large rooms decently. Some of the reviews said the Eq controls are very limited though.
I HATE the Passports.

The Passports were popular in many Lindy scenes across the country about five-seven years ago due to their portability and easier set-up, but they were never designed for music and have awful sound quality for music. They are P.A. systems for speeches, not music systems. Even though this one claims it provides "high fidelity," I wouldn't trust it at all for music.

Of course, if you play mostly vintage stuff, it might be sufficient... or perhaps even better because its frequency range matches the vintage recordings better.
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Toon Town Dave
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#34 Post by Toon Town Dave » Tue Nov 22, 2005 7:10 pm

The P250 sucks for modern recordings. It sucks a$$ for vintage recordings. I'd never buy one. I also find the form factor awkward to carry, particulary through a maze of doors and stairways.

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#35 Post by PhilShapiro » Wed Nov 23, 2005 12:58 pm

There are at least two dances here in Boston that have been going on for a long time that use the P250 as their PA system, and as far as I can tell it works fine. It might "suck" for different kinds of recordings but noone here seems to mind much. It's also used for outdoor dances and it works well for those too.

If the P250 is so awful and awkward to carry, what do people recommend instead? The last time I looked the P250 was the only PA system on the market that was at all portable The only other system like it I've heard of was the Peavy Escort, which has a smaller frequence range, I believe.

Toon Town Dave
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#36 Post by Toon Town Dave » Wed Nov 23, 2005 2:08 pm

I've heard worse than a P250 but I've heard more gear that sounds better than a P250. I'd prefer some decent Mackie or similarly decent quality powered speakers.

I don't like the form factor for carrying. The tall-ish eliptical cylinder shape with a single handle is a awkward hauling up and down stairs. If the case had handles on the sides it might be a little easier. Until they change the case I'd still prefer to carry a pair or 10" or 12" powered speakers which I can carry sideways, one on each arm. I haven't seen the Escort up close and personal so I can't comment on its portability.

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#37 Post by ScottieK » Wed Nov 23, 2005 3:41 pm

Toon Town Dave wrote: I'd prefer some decent Mackie or similarly decent quality powered speakers.
I have a set of Mackie 450s and their bigger brother the 1521s. The 450s are great. They're easy to carry and mount on tripods with a single person and they provide incredible sound for their size.

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#38 Post by PhilShapiro » Sun Nov 27, 2005 9:43 pm

Well, I've heard the Mackie SRM450s and I agree that they sound good. But they also cost at least twice as much for the same setup as the P-250.

Regarding the equipment hauling aspect, I agree that the Passport shape and handle can be a hassle. But at least with the Passports you don't need to make an extra trip for the mixer.

So IMO it depends on your budget, and how much (perceived) lack of sound quality you're willing to put up with. I would bet that in a lot of cases the Passport would be a great starter setup, such as for a college swing club. And like I said before, the Passport can work well in an outdoor setup, when sound fidelity might not be all that important.

Toon Town Dave
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#39 Post by Toon Town Dave » Sun Nov 27, 2005 10:19 pm

Still need an extra trip for the CD player, I don't like using the Passport as a mixer ... I'm a bit of a baby and and prefer a regular DJ mixer.

The passport is nice for an outdoor setup with DC power. I've never used one that way but the available battery is nice ... something the Mackie's can't do.

Price is definitely a variable in the decision. Our university club can rent a passport for $10 a night so that's what we've been using except for really big events. For my own events, I usually rent a pair of Mackies. They're the next item on my to-buy list.

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