By Chase Jewell
There are many choices out there for Mobile DJs when it comes to PA Speaker selection. These choices vary in terms of quality and price. I will go through some of the things to look for when trying to select a new set of PA Cabinets. Many factors go into this such as event size, acoustics, SPL, and type of event. Ultimately for the beginner to intermediate DJ, you will need to really look for something that works best for you.
The first thing I want to talk about is the price. You always want to find something that you can afford. Now what I am not saying is go out and buy the cheapest set of PA cabinets you can find but really study your options. There are some great entry level PA cabinets that sound great. The Mackie Thump Series is one of them. I personally use the EV ZLX series as I feel it is a good fit for me. At the lower price points, you want to find something that sounds good, is built to last and is from a reputable company. Be sure to research and find others who use the items before you buy to find out their experiences. Usually, if someone has had a bad experience they have posted it somewhere.
When looking for your next speaker cabinet you ALWAYS want to listen to them and see how they sound for yourself. From this, you can gauge how your event will sound and ultimately how well your guests will enjoy your music. There are many EQ presets in modern DSP Active cabinets so listen to all the settings at multiple volumes to get a feel for how they sound not only at low volume but also when they are being pushed. This will also determine the quality of the audio components within the cabinet.
The first thing I do when I am going to purchase anything is looking at how well it is built. I inspect the small details of it so I know exactly what I am getting into. Let me give you an example. Recently I traded my 94 Jeep Grand Cherokee for a 98 Durango. It was an even trade but when I did the trade I took the sellers word for it and did not inspect EVERYTHING before completing the purchase. Well, I ended up having to put a new engine into said Durango and spending more on it than what was expected. Why do I use this example? Because the same can be said about PA Speakers. When you are purchasing a set of PA Speakers look at the cabinet material, weight, design, build quality, and ultimately think about the fact these speakers are going to be moved around A LOT during their lifetime of use. You want to find something that will keep up with you and how much you gig.
As with anything I write about I want you to test for yourself and find what fits your style and business best. This is one of the most important selections for your mobile DJ business and it is up to you to make the best decision for that. If you have any questions feel free to reach out! Conventions and trade shows is a great place to compare products.