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PA systems - choosing the right PA system

PA systems for small, mid-size & large venues

Testing, testing, one-two-three…

There are many options to choose from when selecting a PA system – portable systems vs. permanent installations, multi-channel vs. single channel, high-end vs. moderately priced speakers -- not to mention choices among accessories including microphones, stands, lecterns and headsets.

The size of your audience (and the configuration of your venue) determine not only how much to spend, but also what extras (if any) you need. The larger your audience the more you need to budget, as a rule of thumb. If you need a PA system for less than 50 people, shop in the $150-$500 range. Larger venues can approach $1000 and systems that will cover auditoriums or theaters will cost even more.

Representative PA Systems suitable to different Audience sizes:


Size of Audience

Budget

Anchor

Califone

Fender

10-250

$75-$250

30 Watt Megaphone

15 Watt Megaphone

Passport 10 Watt Hand Held PA

20-100

$150-$500

MiniVox 25 Watt Wireless PA

Basic Classroom System Package

Passport 10 Watt Wireless PA

50-200

$500-$700

AN-130 Basic PA Package

N/A

Passport 150 Watt PA

100-500

$700-$1000

Explorer PA-2500

N/A

Passport 250 Watt PA

200-750

$1000

Xtreme XTR-6000

N/A

N/A

400-999

$2000

Liberty Basic PA Package

N/A

N/A

1000-2000

$3000

Liberty Dual Deluxe PA Package

N/A

N/A


Next answer the question, “What are the requirements of my venue?”

Your venue will establish whether you need a self-contained system or a powered mixer with speakers.

Most PA systems that are available commercially are self-contained or 'portable', meaning that they are not meant to be permanently installed (although they certainly can be).

A self-contained PA system plugs into a wall outlet (AC powered), may operate from a rechargeable battery pack (DC powered), and includes an amplifier with a mixer and built-in speakers that will handle up to six channels.

A powered mixer system is a mixing amplifier which handles more than 6 channels and requires separate, sometimes multiple, speakers. This system is most often found in permanent installations.

For instance, if you were designing a conference facility you might consider a permanent installation. Though more expensive – especially as it can involve onsite construction -- a permanent installation does have a number of advantages:

  • More than six separate channels (as high as 256)Highly adjustable equalization controls (lows, mids and highs)Graphic EQualization, special effects and digital processing Varied program source inputs (Cassette, CD, DVD, PC, AM/FM, TV/VCR, Satellite, Telephone and Cable) Multiple and high-powered speaker arrangements (stereo and quadraphonic)Optimal speaker placementSophisticated recording capabilitiesTechnician training
  • Always ready to go with the flick of a switch

In many instances, our advice would be go with a high performance PA system that is not permanently installed. AudioLinks can advise you on both the best configuration for your room and assist you in your choice of equipment as part of our free consultation. Here are a few of our current specials if you are currently in the market for a solution to your presentation requirements.

PA systems - Choosing the right PA System
PA systems -
Portable PA Systems & PA Accessories
PA systems -
Handheld PA's & Megaphones
PA systems -
Small Portable PA Systems
PA systems -
Midsize PA Systems
PA systems -
Large Portable PA Systems
PA systems -
Wireless PA Systems

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