Build your Pro Karaoke DJ System |Fender Passport 250 | Product Review
Fender Passport 250 PA System
Fender Passport 250 | Product Review
Whether you are a DJ, KJ, or Event Coordinator, the Fender Passport PA systems are a sure winner. I had occasion to use the PA 250 for hosting events, Karaoke, and Music Nights at the RecCenters, Military Outdoor Ceremonies, Sporting Events, Aerobic Classes and sound in the Gym on my FOBs in Iraq and this system proved itself time and time again as a quality, highly portable system. It is particularly good at small to medium size venues, (up to 8,000 sq ft) with the speakers provided, and with the addition of two more quality unpowered, or ‘cold’ speakers (like the JBL JRX112M) you have a surround capability or stage performance (think stage monitors) capabilities not normally found in a unit at this price point.
Note: Fender says the speaker design reduces feedback so you can set up the speakers behind the performers and not have feedback, I have found that may work in a small venue where the volume is low but I recommend monitors and a more conventional setup for things like Hip Hop, Karaoke, or live gigs.
The six input mixer is pretty basic, but still offers some significant features not found on very many PA’s. Like the Voice override on Channel one that has adjustable VIP sensitivity. You can set up for ceremonies or events, get the background music going, and all the MC or host has to do to override it is start talking. This is particularly useful for Military Ceremonies, Civic Events, and KJ’ing ( use this hookup for the KJ Mic). If you don’t need it then you can turn the sensitivity down and whala! You’ve got enough power and hookups for two performers with instruments.
I’ve had to operate these units in the ‘extreme’ conditions of Iraq, for outdoor ceremonies on 120 degree days (still not recommended) and in ambient dust levels that were the consistency of a London Pea Soup Fog. The sealed Amp and Speakers minimized the maintenance to occasionally blowing off the speakers and mixer board with canned air following the performance.
If it has a downside it’s that it weighs 55lbs. This was a little on the heavy side for my Female MWR Coordinators, but not unmanageable; given it’s durability it’s a worthwhile trade off. It has worldwide voltage capabilities though you have to set a switch on the back of the unit, not hard to do though and for most folks once it’s set its good to go (We had some sources at 110v and some at 240v in Iraq so we had to check it each time.). It also has a 12v DC capability that I never had the occasion to use but given the history of Fender and this unit in particular I would suspect there would be no issues.
The two RCA inputs allowed for hooking up everything from computers, to I Pods, to DJ Turntables and easily mix them into the live mix. This was particularly handy as we also allowed for ‘Open Mic’ nights during Karaoke, so if some one brought their guitar, or electric piano, we could easily hook them into the four mic/line inputs and run the Karaoke mics off the Karaoke Mixer which was hooked up via the RCA jacks.
The mics provided are adequate to most tasks but they are marginal for high quality musical performances, and I would recommend getting both longer mic and speaker cables for club venues, or outdoor ceremonies. 50 foot cables do not degrade performance in any noticeable way.
To sum it up this is a great system for mobile applications of all sorts, from DJ’ing to sporting events, to ceremonies, and more. It’s easy to use, setup and take down and exceptionally durable. All in all a winner. Below is a summary of its features and Fenders product description.
6 input mixer: 4 mic/line, 2 mono/stereo
Operates on AC or DC power
250 watts (125 per channel) stereo, with digital reverb
Proprietary DSA speaker design featuring 4 custom speaker drivers per cabinet
Docking connector for passport wireless receiver
Innovative deluxe speaker array design for superior sound in any application
Extraordinary feedback rejection allows the speakers to be placed behind the user, eliminating the need for separate monitor speakers
35mm (1-3/8 in.) stand adapters are provided
Two P-51 professional cardioid low impedance dynamic microphones, two 18 ft. microphone cables, two 20 ft. speaker cables, and a detachable power cable are provided and can be stored in the mic/cable storage compartment with latching lid
V.I.P. (Vocal Input Priority) Music is automatically lowered when someone speaks into the microphone
Unique "One-Touch" controls
Sophisticated "EQ Contour" control
About the Passport Series
Fender's innovative Passport Sound System is the definition of a truly portable PA system. Designed with simplicity, flexibility, versatility, reliability, ease-of-use, and efficiency in mind, each Passport system is ideal for working musicians, acoustic groups, club and lounge performers, school and day-care teachers, coaches, auctioneers, religious organizations, aerobics and fitness instructors, corporate educational presenters - anyone or any application that requires a portable audio sound system that sets up easily and quickly (in under 5 minutes!). The truly remarkable aspect of the Passport Audio System design is that for all its high-tech technology, you don't have to be a sound engineer to get professional quality sound.
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