Finding a Portable PA System

Outdoor gigging season is here. Are you ready?

After a long winter, the gigging season is finally here. With everything from festivals to busking on a street corner, there is one thing we can all agree on: you need a PA. For gigging musicians, it has to be portable, reliable, and loud enough to get the job done. So how do you select a PA? This is one of the most popular questions posed to our experienced staff of Sales Advisors this time of year. Here are a few helpful tips on finding the right portable PA for you:

The Basic Questions:
  • How many inputs do you need? - If youÕre a singer/songwriter, you probably only need two or three. But if you have a band with backup singers, that number starts to climb fast.
  • What kind of venues will you be playing? - Outdoor gigs tend to need a lot more power from your system in order for you to be heard. Gauge the size of the event and if you are background music or the star of the show.
  • What is your target budget? - The pricing of these systems often determines how loud it can get, the quality of that sound, and other features that you may want, like Bluetooth.

Once you have the answers to these questions, itÕs time to start looking at some gear. Your responses will really help narrow things down.

One of our resident PA experts, Ben Hohenstein, recommends the Yamaha STAGEPAS series for someone with smaller system requirements. ÒThe new BT (Bluetooth) models let you stream set-break music from your phone, which everyone will find handy. The simplified controls are accessible to musicians of any level.Ó

Portable PA1
Portable PA2

While youÕre shopping, always be sure to check out our bundles. Our team puts together packages that give you everything you need to be successful. These can include things like microphones, cables, carrying bags, and even mixers. There is nothing worse than showing up for a gig and being one cable short!

JBL and QSC are a few favorite brands from another member of our Sales crew, David Hall. For a good, simple, lightweight, and versatile system, check out the JBL EON series, especially the EON 610 powered speaker.

It is vital that you are able to hear yourself play or sing. ThatÕs why David also recommends bundles with a pair of QSC K12.2 powered speakers. "These flexible systems give you the ability to use one speaker as a monitor and the other as a main.Ó

At Kraft Music, we carry a large range of professional audio systems. With a staff of gigging musicians, weÕd love to help set you up with a system. We can also customize a bundle that will work for your needs and budget. Happy gigging!

Ben Hohenstein is a Sales Advisor at Kraft Music. Outside of Kraft, Ben has his own live sound and recording business. He can be reached at 800-783-3368 ext. 4052 or by email at

David Hall is a Sales Advisor at Kraft Music. In addition to his wedding DJ work, he plays trombone, trumpet, keyboards and sings. Feel free to contact him at 800-783-3368 ext. 4055 or by email at