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The Basic PA System

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Date: Fri, 4 Jan 2013 Time: 11:31 PM

By Bill McRea

PA systems (aka live sound) range from those that put out just a few watts like those for addressing a large boardroom to the mega systems that put out tens of thousands of watts like those that are used for mega music events in stadia.

Whatever the PA system is, the basic need that it fills is that of getting sound out to a lot more people. This should be without altering or downgrading the quality of the original sound as much as possible.

We will not talk about mega PA systems. If you intend to use them, you probably would not be reading this now. You should already be a road and time-tested pro. So, I will stick with the basics that will benefit the newbie.

A basic PA system includes an amplification unit, a speaker unit and a microphone or some mics. This is what constitutes a basic PA system. As the need to expand or have more control arises, stuff like mixers, effect processors, splitter units and so on are added.

However, the basic purpose of the PA system is to amplify sound. All other stuff that are added are secondary. If a PA system does not deliver sound to the intended audience, it has not lived up to its expectation. Period!

Now, one very important point to bear in mind is that your PA system is as good as the weakest link in your set up. That is, if you have the best of everything apart from one unit in the chain, your output will be only as good as that one unit that is less than the best. It is therefore, a good idea to make sure you do not overspend on one unit to the detriment of others.

Having said that, the most important link in the PA system is the speaker unit. This is because it determines the final sound that gets heard. If you cut corners on this one, you've compromised your output quality.

A good speaker will bring out the best in any PA system. Yes, if other units are crap, it will not give anything more than crap. However, it will deliver the best possible experience from that crap.

About the Author

Bill McRea is the publisher of Guitar Warehouse the best place to Buy Guitar and learn Guitar Playing Techniques. Visit our site for over 60 Free Guitar Lessons and Information about playing Guitar.
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