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6 Tips in Choosing your First PA System I

Jul 25,2023 | ProreckMurphy

While PA systems may not possess the same charm as guitar amps or evoke the same inspiration as vintage synthesizers, they play an indispensable role in enhancing the live music experience. They are just as essential as any other piece of equipment for performers.

In this guide, we aim to provide valuable insights into selecting the right PA system. We'll cover various aspects, such as different sizes and power ratings that are available, as well as additional factors to consider. By offering these practical tips, we hope to help you make an informed decision when choosing a PA system that suits your needs.

When you feel prepared, don't forget to refer to our best PA speakers guide for specific product recommendations that align with your preferences and requirements. We want to ensure that you have all the necessary information to embark on your journey of finding the perfect PA system.

1. Size Matters

Clearly identifying your needs before buying a set of PA system is crucial. After all, the requirements of a solo singer-songwriter performing a few songs at a local coffee shop differ greatly from those of a professional wedding band, so you should cut expenses accordingly. The first consideration is how much power you need. In this case, power primarily corresponds to volume, but choosing a PA system based solely on how loud it can get is not the most important factor.

The standard measurement of power in a PA system is in watts. Opting for a system with too little power may not meet your requirements adequately. On the other hand, choosing a system with excessively high power will add unnecessary costs and bulk to your equipment. In general, we always recommend going for (at least) more power than you think you need. The reason is quite simple: it's better to have more headroom for volume if you ever require it, rather than being limited when you need higher output.

For small to medium-sized venues, anything above 1000 watts should be sufficient to ensure everyone can hear. For solo performers with low-key gigs, a smaller system ranging from 100 to 300 watts should be enough. However, I must emphasize that additional power comes with extra size and weight, leading to transportation inconveniences. If you need to move the system from one gig to another frequently, having overly heavy equipment will bring unnecessary troubles.

2. Portability

As the size of the venues where you use the PA system becomes larger, the scale of the PA system you need also increases. This is where portability comes into play. For live performers who bring their own PA system to gigs, considering the system's mobility is crucial. This aspect is especially important for solo performers and street artists, as the PA system is one of their essential pieces of equipment that they need to carry with them. Fortunately, for performers in this category, there are some excellent portable PA speakers available, such as the Proreck Freedom 15, which is convenient to carry, has a rechargeable battery, and is of appropriate weight. It will become your reliable companion when performing solo gigs.

3. Cost

As mentioned above, purchasing your first PA system may not be as exciting as choosing a new guitar amplifier, but it remains a significant "milestone" purchase. Like anything else, your budget will determine certain aspects, especially the rated power of the system you choose, the number of connectivity options, and the overall sound quality. However, considering all factors, the PA system is the tool through which your audience hears you speak, so investing as much as possible to get a suitable one is worth it.

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