The Best PA systems for wedding bands and touring artists
If you’re a performing musician, touring solo artist or play as part of a function band playing weddings, parties or anything else, chances are you’ll either need a PA to practice with, tour with or provide as part of your service. Unless you’re in a gigging originals band i.e. on a venue tour, you’re likely to need your own PA and in some occasions provide your own sound engineer, so having your own PA and equipment is vital and often means the difference between someone booking you for a gig or taking on someone else instead. If you’re reading this you either already know this, or you’re looking for the best PA system to suit you. So without further delay, we’ll show you a few options and try to identify some of the best PA systems around, for professionals and those that need a highly portable option to gig, tour and busk with.
The Yamaha Stagepas is an industry standard PA system for those who want a highly portable and extremely reliable option for gigs, whether large or small. You have 400 watts of power to play with all pumped out through the high efficiency amplifier that comes with the built in advanced limiter circuits. These limiter circuits are extremely useful as they not only provide the high quality sound you need at any volume, but do so whilst extending the life of all the vital components making it a great touring rig – it’s going to last years and years! Straight out of the box you get a 400 watt (200W + 200W) system as well as a mixing console and two speakers both with LF:8 inch woofer/ HF:1 inch Voice coil compression driver. The detachable mixer is extremely useful for touring bands as it has 4 microphone inputs all with phantom power as well as 4 mono/2 stereo high-Z line inputs. The connectivity options don’t stop there either as you have Phono stereo mini-jack and iPod inputs too which means you can play music in between sets. You’ll also appreciate the range of on-board effects and the way they can be switched on and off via an optional pedal – you can essentially mix your own gig on the fly whilst the Stagepas does the hard work for you supressing unwanted feedback while you play. As far as best PA systems of wedding bands and touring bands – this is a great deal. If you need more power, it also comes as a 680 watt option too, called the Stagepas 600i.
For singer songwriters or solo performers, the Mackie FreePlay 300 Watt Stereo Personal Portable PA System is another great choice – especially if you don’t want to carry around huge amounts of gear. With this nifty (and highly portable piece of kit) you can enjoy the fact you won’t be busting your back or setting up for ages as it’s extremely lightweight at just 5kg and it’s basically a plug-in and go PA system! Packed with 30 watts of power – It’s a full range system with a dedicated 8-inch woofer and has a built-in 4-channel digital mixer with 2 XLR/TRS combination inputs which allow you to play instruments and sing at the same time. The feedback destroyer is aptly named and effectively destroys any unwanted feedback through your performances as it scans the signal at all times providing you with a gorgeous clean signal. Another great idea comes in the form of the FreePlay capability which allows you to make adjustments to your settings through your smartphone via Bluetooth connectivity. Just connect your iPhone or iPod touch and control EQ levels, input levels and add effects as you wish – perfect!
The Lucas Nano 600 took portable PA systems to a whole new level providing professionals with a reliable PA system, but the 608i takes it so much further thanks to HK Audio’s commitment to providing groups, artists and DJ’s the ultimate in high quality sound and connectivity options. The huge benefit for groups and artists here is not only the meaty 10 inch subwoofer, the two satellites with a 4.5 inch woofer and 1 inch tweeter and 5 Inputs, 3-Channel-Mixer, Mic In 1 with phantom power capability but the sheer control over your sound. The 608i comes complete with built-in Bluetooth technology that allows you to control your sound, stream backing tracks and mix to your needs via the REMOTE app for iPad. This means all you have to do is set up an iPad stand next to you and you can take control of the full frequency power and mix on the fly, whether it’s instruments, vocals, computers or any other audio source. Groups playing weddings will appreciate its lightweight construction – easily carried at 16kg and the unique multiCell transformer that provides optimum dispersion of sound, so the entire room can hear you. Who said PA systems had to be huge?!
So picture this: you’re on tour and you’ve got a down day that you really need to make use of rather than sit in a hotel room and try and decipher the TV in another language. Why not get out into the city and start exposing people to your music? This Alesis Transactive Wireless Portable Active PA Speaker System is a perfect companion on the road for singer songwriters as it is easily carried and wheeled around and features an XLR+1/4″ combo input, 1/4″ line/guitar input, 1/8″ Stereo aux input and the ability to play pretty much any sound source you can think of! This makes our best PA systems list as it can be mains or battery powered thanks to the rechargeable battery which offers up to 50 hours of cordless amplification, making it a great option for solo artists on the road, solo performers who need something for weddings and functions or even duets that play in function/hotel bands. You can even stream audio through any audio device too, so there’s no dead air whilst you take a break. A super portable and extremely powerful PA system that certainly won’t break the bank.
If you need a complete PA system in one easy to use format, the Alto Truesonic TS115W Active PA Speaker With Bluetooth is a fantastic choice. This PA system packs 800 watts of power through the built in efficient class D amplifier which also allows you to steam music from any Bluetooth equipped device. No matter where you’re playing, be it a function, wedding, bar or place of worship – you’ll be heard thanks the 2 Mic/Line Female XLR – 1/4” jack combo inputs and the independent gain controls. You have a lot of headroom to work with and superior control over what you’re micing up thanks to the built-in contour EQ switch. It’s built like a tank and the 15” LF driver and 1” HF driver are all protected behind a full metal grille so you don’t need to worry about damage when you’re touring with it. As far as best PA systems for wedding /function bands go, you’re going to find it hard to find better value for money here as it generates a huge amount of sound thanks to the use of a class D amplifier integrated into the cabinet.
View a complete range of PA systems over at the Dawsons website.