Yamaha MSR400 & MSR800W Powered Speakers

Much of the work in putting together a high-performance sound system involves amplifier and speaker selection and setup. Here are a pair of solutions that can take you directly to great sound without the usual complications. The MSR400 powered speaker can be used alone or in combination with the MSR800W powered subwoofer to assemble sound reinforcement systems from modest to massive.

They look great, too. So good, in fact, that they can be used as-is in many permanent installations without requiring any cosmetic cover-up. And, of course, they’re more than rugged enough for demanding tour applications as well.

The Case For Built-in Power

Whether for use on the road or in permanent installations, powered speakers offer numerous advantages over their separate counterparts. The most obvious is that you don’t need separate external amplifiers or the extra connections required – you can plug your mixer’s outputs directly into the speaker inputs.

In a modest-size system this alone can eliminate an entire rack of amplifiers. But there are sonic advantages as well. Optimum matching of amplifiers and speakers involves much more than simple impedance figures, and can be a formidable engineering task given the vast number of choices available. In the Yamaha MSR400 and MSR800W the internal amplifiers have been ideally mated to their respective speakers in every way possible, delivering reproduction quality that only such stringent matching can achieve.

In this system, the main house speakers are a pair of MSR400s with speaker stands and MSR800W subwoofer, driven directly from the mixer’s main stereo and mono outputs. The MSR400s feature punchy bass and exceptionally clear midrange that delivers vocals with outstanding quality. The MSR800W subwoofer takes care of the ultra-lows so the audience hears – and feels – the full impact of the music. A second pair of MSR400s is used for stage monitoring, connected via a graphic equalizer for feedback control.


The MSR400 is a bi-amplified 2-way system, featuring 400 watts maximum burst power that drives the 12″ cone woofer and 1.75″ V.C. compression driver. Frequency division is accomplished prior to the power amplifiers via a line-level electronic crossover. This eliminates the problems with loss, distortion, and phase that are virtually unavoidable in conventional passive crossover networks. Another advantage of this type of system is that power can be optimally assigned to the low-frequency and high-frequency units for optimum efficiency as well as smooth, natural balance across the entire audio spectrum.

Wide Input Range & EQ Control

The MSR400 accepts nominal input levels ranging from –36 dB to +4 dB, meaning that you can directly connect any source from microphones to professional line-level gear. Three parallel-connected connectors are provided – two balanced XLR-type connectors and one balanced phone jack – that can be used as either inputs or parallel outputs. The MSR400 also features an input level control for matching with the source signal. Low and high EQ controls can be used to adjust the respective bands over a plus-or-minus 3dB range.

Versatile Placement

Speaker placement is as much a performance issue as it is a convenience and aesthetic issue. Proper placement will give you optimum sound as well as coverage while being as unobtrusive as possible. Of course, the more options you have the better. The MSR400 can be stacked or pole-mounted (there’s even a pole-mount hole provided on the companion MSR800W Powered Woofer).

M S R 8 0 0 W

Sound You Can Feel

The MSR800W powered subwoofer is the perfect companion for the MSR400, extending the low end and completing the musical spectrum for maximum punch and impact. The high-quality birch plywood bass-reflex cabinet houses a 15” cone woofer powered by an ultra-efficient burst 800 watts amplifier, a configuration that can deliver the elusive 40 Hz through 120 Hz frequency range with precision and authority. Two balanced XLR connectors are provided for connection to the source, and that same signal can be directly passed on to the main speakers via a pair of XLR “THRU” outputs. Alternatively, the main speakers can be fed by the MSR800W’s dual “HIGH PASS” outputs, high-pass filtered at 80 Hz through100 Hz, depending on the setting of the cutoff frequency control, with a steep 18 dB/octave cutoff slope.

Visual Clip Indication

Both the MSR400 and MSR800W feature LED power indicators as well as clip indicators that warn of impending clipping. This allows the engineer to make appropriate adjustments to the source level.


MSR 400


— Type: biamp. 2-way powered speaker

— Crossover frequency: 1.6kHz

— Overall frequency response: 50Hz20kHz

— Maximum SPL: 121dB (1m)

— Dispersion: 90 degrees (H)/40 degrees (V)

— Dimension (W x H x D): 16 x 25-3/4 x 13-7/8 in. (406 x 652 x 351 mm)

— Weight: 50.7lbs (23kg)

Speaker section:

— Components: LF 12 in. cone, HF 1.75 in. V.C. Compression driver

— Enclosure material: bass-reflex type PP

Amp section:

— Output power: biamplified system; LF: 225W/ 4ohms; HF: 75W/16ohms; burst power: 400W total

— Input sensitivity/impedance: mic/line: -36dB/+4dB 10k

— Input/output connectors (all parallel): 1: XLR-3-31 balanced; 2: XLR-3-32 balanced; 3: phone balanced

— Controls: level control, EQ. low: (+/- 3dB at 55Hz), high: (+/- 3dB at HF), power switch (on/off)

— Indicators: Power on: green LED; clipping: red LED

— Power requirement: U/C: AC120V 60Hz

— Power consumption: 110W

Shipping Weight: 59.8 lbs

Shipping Dimensions: 29 x 18 x 18 in

MSR 800


— Type: powered subwoofer

— Overall frequency response: 40-120 Hz

— Maximum SPL: 122 dB (1 m)

— Dimension (W x H x D): 23-5/8 x 20-5/8 x 23-1/4 in. (600 x 521 x 590 mm)

— Weight: 45kg (99.1lbs)

Speaker section:

— Components: 15 in. cone

— Enclosure: bass-reflex type

— Material: birch plywood

— Finish: black sprayed

Amp section:

— Output power: 500W at 100Hz. THD =1%, RL = 8; burst power: 800W

— Input sensitivity/impedance: +4dB/30k

— Input connectors: XLR balanced (A&B)

— Output sensitivity/impedance: +4dB/150

— Output connectors: input (ch-A & B): XLR-3-31 (balanced); thru out (ch-A & B): XLR-3-32 (balanced); high pass out (ch-A & B): XLR-3-32 (balanced) (100Hz, 18dB/oct, +4dB)

— Controls: master level control, cutoff freq. control: 80-100Hz (variable), phase switch: (norm/rev), power switch: on/off

— Indicators

Power on: green LED, clipping: red LED

— Power requirement: U/C: AC120V 60Hz

— Power consumption: 200W

Shipping Weight: 117 lbs

Shipping Dimensions: 28 x 27 x 26 in

To read a personal review from Robert Lindquist of the Live 2 Play Network, CLICK HERE!


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