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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » Paso Procast50 -- Field test/report (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

sethb
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This past weekend was the first time I've been able to use my Paso sound system at an actual outdoor event. This was a Spring Festival, set up in a municipal park, and I was pitching Svengali Decks, Magic Worms and Money Paddles. There were about 50 other vendors, mostly crafters but also a few food concessions and a couple of carnival-type games as well. So there was a fair amount of ambient noise, plus some street noise from passing cars and trucks.

I'm pleased to say that the Paso did a very good job for me. For the first time in a long while, I did not have to shout to be heard, and I wasn't hoarse at the end of the day. I set the unit on its black tripod, at the front corner of my booth. The tripod enabled me to get the unit to "ear level" without being conspicuous. I used the lav. mike that came with the unit, clipping it to my collar and then running the cord under my collar, over my shoulder and down my back to the transmitter in my back pocket. The PASO unit was on my right side, slightly ahead of me, and I had no feedback problems all day.

When I set up, the temperature was in the mid-fifties and I was afraid the receiver wouldn't work because of the cold, as has been reported before on this board. But it fired up fine, so now I know that as long as I stay above 55 degrees, I shouldn't have that problem.

I ran the unit at 25%-40% power, and it provided just what I needed, which was sound reinforcement. I was not looking to cover an audience of more than about 25-30 people, because I did not want to irritate other nearby vendors. I just wanted to have control over my immediate area, and to be heard by my own patrons and those passing directly by. In my situation, the Paso worked like a charm, and did exactly what I hoped it would do -- do its job and be invisible in the process.

Maybe it was just psychological, but I also felt the Paso gave me greater control over my own performance and the crowd itself, because I could concentrate on what I was saying and doing, as opposed to worrying about and spending energy being heard. In other words, I guess the Paso helped me to project. I also think the Paso helped to draw in people and focus their attention on what I was doing as well. This was really the first time I have worked with amplification, and there's no question that having an electronic "helping hand" was very helpful.

I ran the unit continuously for about 5 hours (for the first 90 minutes, I worked without amplification because it was still early and pretty quiet), and I still had power left when I was done. It will be interesting to see exactly what the capacity of the unit is when I do longer shows and need it running all the time. And now that the season is in full swing, we'll see how the Paso is in the durability/reliability department.

But overall, I'm very pleased with my purchase, which I feel will help generate more income with its drawing power, as well as make life a lot easier for me. I believe that buying any sound system is a bit of a crap-shoot, because you really don't know how it will work out until you are in the thick of things. I was very hesitant to spend $500+ on something that I wasn't sure would do the job, but I'm glad that I did.

Finally, note that this is a qualified endorsement, based upon my own particular needs and situation. You will need to consider what your needs are and then judge accordingly. Also, if you can isolate what features are important to you and resist the temptation to get unnecessary bells and whistles, I think that will get you more than halfway there. In my case, I needed portability, cordless and wireless operation, and a limited amount of sonic "punch." The built-in rechargeable battery probably added at least $100 to the cost, but it was a necessary evil in my case. I felt I needed the 16-channel wireless receiver (as opposed to a single channel) as insurance against those rare situations where I might get interference from other PA's or other sources. I did not need stereo capability, music capability, MP3, CD players, multiple inputs and outputs, etc., and so passed on units with those amenities. If you can run with AC current and don't need a battery, you could put that money into other features, or just put it in your pocket!

But I thought my own experience with this unit might be helpful to others who are considering adding amplification to their shows, with a Paso or something else. Hope it helps. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
GWSchott
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Southeastern Michigan
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According to Joe Lefler the 'cold' problem is fairly uncommon, affecting something like one in every twenty or thirty units.
I'm glad to hear the Procast performed well for you outdoors in your particular venue. I just got mine in the mail last week and am still tinkering around with it. I'm particularly fond of the battery-power option in case you're someplace where an outlet's not readily available.
Yours In Magic,
Gordon
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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Thank You, the PASO sounds like a great system.
Dennis Michael
sethb
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Quote:
On 2007-05-07 01:49, GWSchott wrote: According to Joe Lefler the 'cold' problem is fairly uncommon, affecting something like one in every twenty or thirty units.

Gordon, I'll be interested to see what causes that "cold problem," if PASO is ever able to isolate and fix it. I bought my unit in spite of this apparent issue, because I work indoor shows in the Winter, and only work outdoors when it's warm enough. My only concern was those early morning 7 a.m. setups in the Spring and Fall, which can still be pretty chilly! But I didn't foresee a chronic temperature problem, most of my outdoor shows are in the 70's, 80's and 90's.

I should also mention that just for fun, I did rig up a music arrangement for the PASO, using a separate 4MG MP3 player and a Radio Shack 1/4"/mini-plug stereo/mono patch cord from Radio Shack that plugs into the AUX input. If I have enough juice left over, I can now set up and break down to music! But I have a feeling I'll be saving that battery capacity for the actual pitches. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Skip Way
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I had a folk singing peer show up at a festival we appeared at together Saturday without her accoustic guitar's amp. Blanked out and left it at home, I guess. I had my Fender Passport 250 set up for the main sound but neither of us had a cord long enough to reach the Fender backstage. I just happened to have my fully-charged PASO in the car. We plugged her guitar into the PASO's Aux switch, set it on the tripod beside her and the show went on beautifully.

The PASO is without question one of the most versatile fully-portable sound systems I've ever used. Worth every penny I paid for it.
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
GWSchott
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Southeastern Michigan
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Last night I put the Procast50 through it's paces, running a variety of music selections through it at various volumes just to see what sort of sound it would get. Passed with flying colors! I can't believe how loud that little thing can get and still sound clear! I really think that for $315 you can't go wrong with this unit, even with the 'cold' issue floating around out there.
Yours In Magic,
Gordon
sethb
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The Jersey Shore
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The $315 is a great price for the base unit, but don't forget that you will also need the wireless transmitter pack, which is $150 and is not included with the base unit.

If you want the optional tripod stand, which seems to be a good idea, that's another $50 or so, and the nylon carrying case is another $40. Still a very good deal for the money, in my opinion. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
GWSchott
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True...you're going to have around $600 invested if you get all the accompanying peripherals. And while you're at it, you'll probably want to get a better microphone than the one that comes with the speaker. I went with the Countryman E6i to the tune of $350. If you throw an MP3Tech into the mix you're going to end up with a bill close to $2,500, which is a lot of money no doubt, but I'll tell you what: Adding sound and music to my show was the best thing I ever did.
Yours In Magic,
Gordon
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