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Topic: Buying Fender PD-150, advice please!
Message: Posted by: jiayi (Aug 8, 2008 06:10PM)
Hi, everybody, I am a noob in the sound system world. Let's put it this way, I know I need a sound system and a wireless headset for my larger shows, and I have my eyes on Fender PD-150. Please take a look at this on eBay:


Does it look like a good buy? Can you recommend a good wireless headset for the Fender PD-150? And, do I need to buy anything else?

I am sorry if the questions sound stupid.

Thank you!

Message: Posted by: sethb (Aug 8, 2008 06:34PM)
Your questions are not stupid, and they are answered in great detail in the "sticky" topic at the top of this "F/X" section on the Café, called "Café' Topics on Sound Systems" by Dennis Michael.

Go there, and you will find a wealth of information about what to buy and why. SETH
Message: Posted by: jiayi (Aug 8, 2008 11:11PM)
Hi, Seth, thanks for the heads-up.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Aug 9, 2008 12:24AM)
The Fender Passport 150 is an excellent system; however, there are several versions of it. The one on eBay doesn't have a picture.

The newer one has better sound and comes with a CD player built into it.

Based on what is listed, "FENDER PD-150 PASSPORT DELUXE PA SYSTEM," it is the older version.

The newer version:

Fender PD150PLUS Passport Deluxe Portable PA with Built-In CD Player has the word Plus in it.

I sold the older version here on the Café for really half of what it was listed on eBay, and bought the Newer version.
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (Aug 9, 2008 11:41AM)
On a related note, I saw a performer the other day who had a Passport unit (I looked and that WAS the brand), but it was BATTERY operated and appeared to have a built-in wireless mic. The battery was not an additional unit or battery pack, but was contained within the system. Also, all the Passport systems I see are three-piece systems, but this was a self-contained unit...only one speaker unit that contained everything: amp, speaker, battery, and wireless. It was a large, rectangular unit, about 12" wide X 24" tall.

Does anyone know what this unit is? It was very nice for a sidewalk or grounds performer.
Message: Posted by: Michael J. Douglas (Aug 9, 2008 02:19PM)
Starrpower, take a gander [url=http://www.fender.com/products//search.php?section=fenderaudio&cat=passport&subcat=passportsystems]here[/url]. There's a Passport P10, a Passport P10W, and Passport P10WE.
Message: Posted by: Amazing Magic Co (Aug 9, 2008 02:34PM)
I have a PD-150 and love it. Great sound with enough power for most venues. Set up is easy, but depending on your needs, I might consider a battery operated system just to get in and out quickly. Then I could go with minimal set up, where you just switch on and go for birthdays. I have no plans to unload my PD-150.

Message: Posted by: Starrpower (Aug 9, 2008 05:12PM)
I checked that site, Michael. But the very specific elements I mentioned were what appealed to me, specifically battery powered and self-contained (all elements - battery, speaker, charger, amp - within one case.)

The performer I saw did NOT have to plug in, the sound was LOUD (even in the outdoor venue), and it was wireless. It was not one of those lunch box/bullhorn looking units like on the Fender site Michael linked, but rather a large boxy unit. He told me that the unit ALWAYS ran off the battery, even when plugged in (the AC power's only function was to recharge the battery.)

I really don't like the 3-piece units that Fender now seems to prefer. Now I wish I had paid closer attention! I still would love to hear from anyone who might know what model this unit was.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Aug 9, 2008 05:41PM)
Starrpower -

It sure sounds like you are describing an Anchor system (like Liberty or Explorer), which are not "Fender Passport" brands, though.

I know you are sure it was a Fender Passport system, but you might want to check out the Anchor systems just in case.

- Donald
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Aug 9, 2008 09:08PM)
Yes, the [i]older[/i] Fender Passport had the capability of using a battery, the newer one does not.

Email him and ask questions, get more information.
Message: Posted by: Regan (Aug 10, 2008 06:57AM)
Carvin makes a system that can run by battery power. It is also contained in a rectangular speaker/mixer enclosure. You can get a second, optional speaker, but the main unit is singular.
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (Aug 10, 2008 11:07AM)
I might gather my own materials together, build my own case, and simply MAKE what I want. I already have a couple of nice speaker/amp units and a Sure wireless mic, so the biggest expenses are already covered. I spoke with an electrical engineer friend who gave me all the math and garbage that I need to figure out the correct materials, but basically it's a 12V battery, an DC-AC converter, and a trickle charger. Build a case for the whole thing, and I'll have what I need ... and probably in a smaller package than what I saw!

The Anchor systems do look nice ... but I might just try it my way first and save $1,300!
Message: Posted by: jiayi (Aug 11, 2008 12:32AM)
On 2008-08-09 22:08, Dennis Michael wrote:
Yes, the [i]older[/i] Fender Passport had the capability of using a battery, the newer one does not.

Email him and ask questions, get more information.

Hi, Dennis, thanks for checking out the eBay page for me. Is this the new one that you mentioned?


This will be my 1st sound system. Do you recommend to get the new one?

Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Aug 11, 2008 09:58AM)
It appears to be the newer version, and this version isn't battery operated.
Message: Posted by: sethb (Aug 11, 2008 10:18AM)
Jiayi -- you need to figure out if you need battery capability or not.

If you will always have access to reliable AC power, then it doesn't make any sense to spend the extra money for a rechargeable AC/DC system. A cordless system will also weigh at least 5 pounds more because of the battery -- why lug around something that you don't really need? If you are doing indoor shows or outdoor shows in established venues, getting electricity should not be a problem. Just make sure you have a decent surge protector between your system and the AC outlet!

On the other hand, if you are working outdoors at street festivals, municipal fairs, carnivals, etc., or are busking, then a battery-operated system is almost a necessity. It can also be a convenience even where electric is available, but like any other convenience, you will pay extra for it! So figure out what you need and what you want, then go from there. SETH
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (Aug 11, 2008 10:44AM)
I respectfully disagree with Seth. I have been in this business for 20+ years, and I have never had a battery operated system. But if I were starting out today (or if I were to replace my existing system) I would get battery operated. All the things you say are correct, Seth, but I can think of countless times when even though electricity was available, I had to lug out additional extension cords, create cord octopi, deal with tripping hazards created by the cords, and so on. The presence of electricity does not mean it will be convenient to use. I have also, on more than one occasion, dealt with power outages, and it would have been nice to have battery sound.

I think that we, as magicians, are willing to spend on new tricks but not support equipment. If I can share any advice at all it's to buy the BEST you can afford, and I strongly encourage you to get a battery system if possible.
Message: Posted by: sethb (Aug 13, 2008 08:51AM)
Thanks, Starrpower, for your thoughts. Ironically, I do own a battery-powered system (the PASO ProCast50), and in fact have modified it to triple its battery capacity; click [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=211964&forum=11]HERE[/url] and [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/search_post.php?topic=267225&forum=11&post=5659439]HERE[/url] for more info.

I do an outdoor Svengali Pitch, and always work on the assumption that I will not have access to AC power, even if I specify that I need it or the show says that it is available, for all the reasons that you have given. Furthermore, some of the outdoor electrical setups I've seen look a little dicey to me, and I'm not sure I want to plug into a maze of frayed extension cords anyway!

Having never done stage-type shows, I was assuming that for those performers, electrical conditions would be easier and more reliable. But I guess that's not necessarily so, given Starrpower's experiences. So maybe battery backup is worth it after all, even if you have the luxury of a choice! SETH
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (Aug 20, 2008 04:03PM)
It sounds like you did some interesting things, Seth. Does the double-battery setup make things heavy?
Message: Posted by: sethb (Aug 20, 2008 06:33PM)
No, not at all -- as one of my linked posts noted, the extra battery only added about 6 pounds to the 12-pound unit, for a total of 18 pounds. The unit still fits into its original fitted carry case just fine.

At 18 pounds, it's certainly manageable, and it's been well worth it to me in terms of the additional working capacity. Now when I go out on a show, I don't have to worry about the unit conking out on me before the show is over. SETH
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Aug 21, 2008 10:28AM)
For battery systems check out the Carvin StageMate.

For a wireless system, I'm very pleased with my Sennheiser (sp?) wireless.
I already have a small earset microphone but opted to buy the optional cardiod headworn mic (madonna style) to go with it. That was a great decision as well. It was cheap and I was able to use it literally right in front of a huge PA system a couple weeks ago with no feedback whatsoever. NONE! Since the DJ was already set up, I just plugged my wireless into his setup and never needed to unload my PA at all.