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Gear Roundup: Affordable PA

Gear Roundup: Affordable PA

A PA system is most certainly an investment; more than money it's an investment in the presentation of your performance. But it's understandable that not everyone has big dollars to spend on a PA, so can you sound good on a budget? It's a question we get a lot and because of that we thought we'd highlight a few PA speaker options that hopefully won't break the bank, but will still help you sound your best as well.

Alto Truesonic 3 Series

The Alto Truesonic range has been through a few iterations over the years and they remain an excellent choice in the low to mid price range. Aside from being a very reasonable 16.27kg (12" model), making them more than manageable for transport, the build is rugged and they offer quite a meaty output. With a Maximum SPL of 131 dB peak, 128 dB continuous (12" model) the Truesonic are some of the most powerful speakers in their class. They're designed and tuned in the USA and include a simple EQ contour switch for easy setup. You can also pair the top-boxes with the matching sub if you require extra bottom end. If you're looking for a powerful PA system, with good sound reproduction that comes in at the very reasonable end of the price scale then the Alto Truesonic range could well be worth your time. The Truesonic 3 Series is available in 8, 10, 12 and 15 inch models.

Alto Truesonic TS312
  • 12" model
  • Output power: 2000 W (1300 LF + 700 HF) 1000 W continuous RMS (650 LF + 350 HF)
  • Maximum SPL: 131 dB peak, 128 dB continuous (dB SPL @ 1 m)
  • Drivers: 12-inch (305 mm) LF driver, 1.4-inch (35 mm) neodymium magnet HF driver
  • Frequency Response: 53 Hz – 20 kHz (+/- 3 dB)
  • Frequency Range: 46 Hz – 22 kHz (-10 dB)
  • Weight: 16.3
  • Matching Sub: Truesonic Powered Subwoofer(s)
  • Ins: 2x XLR/TRS 1/4” combo ins
  • Outs: 1x XLR link out

Like the Alto, the JBL EON is another speaker we feel punches way above it's price point. The sound reproduction is some of the best in its price range and honestly, it's better than some more expensive units. The EON's have great bottom end response and because of that are a favourite of DJ's and those playing bass heavy music. They're also very lightweight, with the 12" model, in a full size cabinet, coming in at only 14.96kg! One of the features that makes the EON a great choice is the onboard DSP EQ parameters, accessible via Bluetooth. Meaning you can adjust the speakers frequency output based on the space the speaker will be placed in or the purpose you want it to serve and this can be accomplished via the JBL Connect app on smart devices. There's a range of presets for different uses or you can go in and manually change EQ frequency bands yourself. This functionality alone makes the EON incredibly versatile. Coupled with the great sound quality and a very reasonable price, it's fantastic PA option that doesn't cost a fortune. The JBL EON is available in a 10,12 and 15" model.

  • 12" model
  • Output power: 1000W Peak (700W LF + 300W HF), 500W Continuous (350W LF + 150W HF)
  • Maximum SPL: 126 dB
  • Drivers: 12-inch (380 mm) LF driver, 1-inch (25.4 mm) neodymium compression HF driver
  • Frequency Response: 57 Hz – 20 kHz (+/- 3 dB)
  • Frequency Range: 48 Hz – 22 kHz (-10 dB)
  • Weight: 14.96
  • Matching Sub: JBL EON618S 18" Subwoofer
  • Ins: 2 x Balanced XLR-1/4” combo ins
  • Outs: 1 x male XLR loop thru out

Released in late 2018, the CP series is the first time QSC has offered a range of speakers around this price point, and this high-end brand is a welcome addition to this end of the market. Getting the QSC sound signature in this price range is a main selling point here. QSC are market tested and extremely well respected. The smaller size of the CP series also makes them a great option for people prioritising portability or looking for something with a more discreet stage presence. Speaking engagements or a more subtle wall mounted option are just two scenarios that spring to mind here. Furthermore the CP series utilises QSC's DMT technology, which matches the coverage of the HF and LF devices at the crossover point. This is something that not all manufacturers do, and it means the frequency response is more uniform for better listening experience in regards to listener and speaker positioning. Finally, selectable DSP modes on the back offer specialised output responses based on certain usage scenarios. The CP series is available in 8 and 12" models.

  • 12" model
  • Output power: 1000W Peak
  • Maximum SPL: 126 dB
  • Drivers: 12-inch (305 mm) LF driver, 1.4-inch (35.6 mm) HF compression driver
  • Frequency Response: 49 - 20 kHz (- 6 dB)
  • Frequency Range: 47 Hz – 22 kHz (-10 dB)
  • Weight: 13.7
  • Ins: 2x locking XLR/F 1/4" combo (Line input and Mic/Line input) and 1 x 3.5mm TRS (Stereo Input)
  • Outs: 1 x XLR/M (Mix Output)

When it comes down to it, different people will require different things from their PA system and personal preference plays a big part in that decision. We hope we've helped highlight a few options that we consider very worth while. As always, if you have any questions give us a ring or come down to your nearest Store DJ location. We always have a huge range of PA on demo, so our friendly staff can guide you through a range of options and you can compare the sound and features yourself.

To check out the full range of PA available at Store DJ click here.

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