Wattage and Amplification FAQ
When shopping for a speaker system, you’re probably comparing different brands for size and wattage. However, one thing that will make a huge difference in your entertainment quality is checking out active PA speakers.
What Is An Active PA Speaker Anyway?
An active PA speaker system in the first place eliminates the nightmare of lugging around burdensome equipment, especially hulking amplifiers, huge coils of cables, and large speakers. With active PA speakers, heavy equipment is completely obsolete.
Moreover, with active PA speakers, you don’t need to worry about how to connect the power amp to the speaker, trying to figure out which power amp to connect with which speaker. Making a mistake with your connections can either ruin your sound quality or blow up your equipment. An active PA speaker has all the right connections built into the speaker cabinet.
Define Your Purpose
The type and quality of the system you buy is directly related to your purpose. It also depends on where you’ll be using the equipment. For example, if you’re a band looking to play in a nightclub, your criteria will be different from a solo vocalist in a huge hotel room.
How Much Power Do Your Really Need?
Again, this harks back to your purpose. Do you need high volume for vocals in a huge hall? Do you need something mellow for an intimate setting? The higher the watts, the more the volume, so choose the volume that complements your performance. A good frame of reference is about 300 watts for a small band in a small venue, up to 1000+ watts for an average band in a medium venue (say your average country bar). Anything past that, and you'll need some specialty equipment.
What Size Of Cabinets Are Best?
By figuring out the frequency of your musical instruments, you’ll be able to decide on the best cabinets for you. You’ll want cabinets whose drivers match the effects you’ll be trying to create with your instruments.
Do You Need Active Or Passive Cabinets?
Active speakers have the power amp built in and passive speakers don’t have power amps. Again, the best choice depends on your purpose.
What Are The Best Brands And Models?
The best brands are Mackie, Yamaha, and Peavey, and we recommend the Peavey’s PR 15P Neo, Mackie’s SRM450, or Yamaha’s MSR100. Peavey’s PR 15P is a large speaker with a mixer built in and a 15 inch driver. Mackie’s SRM450, smaller than the Peavey model with a 12 inch driver, is optimized for each transducer through a feedback loop, creating a closed circuit, with transducers in harmony with amplifiers. And Yamaha’s MSR100 is smaller than Mackie’s model, making it suitable for intimate settings as PA speakers and for big rooms as powered monitors.