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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » Fender P Series vs. PD (Deluxe) - Worth the price? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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jkvand
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Special user
Johnstown, PA
658 Posts

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Hi all,
I'm looking into getting a Fender Passport 150, and I'm not sure whether to go with the P150 or the PD150. The deluxe model (PD) seems to typically go for about $200 more than the regular model, which is a sizable amount and I wonder what the real difference is between the two? Anyone have an opinion on whether the PD is worth the extra money? I appreciate your feedback! Thanks!
Michael Messing
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Inner circle
Knoxville, TN
1801 Posts

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The PD series has a much better sound. The speakers were redesigned by Bose, although Fender never mentions them by name. (I was told it was Bose by a dealer who sells them.)

You will find that the sound is richer and fills a room better. The key questions to ask yourself in considering whether you should spend the extra money are: Do you use music in your performance? (the PD series will do a much better job with music) and How large a room do you typically perform in?

Personally, I would recommend that you go to a dealer that has both systems and try them out side by side so you'll know the difference.

I used to own a Passport P150 (not the PD) and it sounded pretty good but it didn't "fill" a room with sound. I've since switched to a Carvin StageMate with a second speaker because I wanted a battery-powered system for outdoor shows and I like the sound better out of the StageMate.

Michael
present
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Hi Michael,

I thought that the Fender could be battery operated.
jkvand
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Johnstown, PA
658 Posts

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Present,
Yes, the Fender can be battery operated if you purchase a converter kit. Thanks Michael for your input. Anyone else have experience with the P and the PD that could offer an opinion on the difference between the two? Thanks!
Michael Messing
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Inner circle
Knoxville, TN
1801 Posts

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Present,

You are correct, the Fenders can be battery operated but I thought the expense was too high. It was about $200 for the converter and the battery last I checked.
present
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Yes, jkvand

I have a PD 250, and I spent time comparing the 2 models, the P Vs PD, the PD was dramatically differnt, much more coverage and had very good base for a small speaker on a stick.
If someone is trying to sell you on the P version, then they are trying to clear them out becasue when the PD came out, it kills the P version, and I can only imagine that many of them are left with a lot of P versions to get rid of.
I love it, and use it occasiionally as a professional speaker, I don't always have the luxury of bringing it with me on the plane, I really wish I could more often.
That's my opinion,
David
RKappe
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Absolutely without question go with the PD. I used to use the stage mate with extra speaker. I use music throughout my act and the true stereo of the PD is great.
I still use the Stage Mate for big events outdoors and I link the two systems with a direct box. The best of both worlds. If you're performing indoors the PD 150 is fantastic. Don't forget to raise your speakers as high as possible. This is a must to project effectively. I do a lot of fairs and carnivals. I have picked the brains of many a professional sound engineer and they say this is probably on of the biggest mistakes. The second biggest mistake they've told me is trying to stand in front of the speakers. That doesn't work too well.
Fitz
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Phoenix, AZ
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I have tested these two systems next to each other at a trade show. I had to set up 14 PA systems for a hair show, and in some areas I would set up two different systems next to each other just to compair them. PD 250 is much much much better then the P250.

Also the Mackie SRM 450 speakers sound WAY better then the JBL eon1500.

Hope this helps,
Fitz
I have a daily web show all about magic at http://FitzMagic.info
RKappe
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I forgot to mention that I was at the Fender Factory in Corona California. I actually picked up my PD 150 in person there. Magicmikey is correct.A Bose engineer designed the speaker arrays for the PD series. When I first saw the size of the speaker cones, my first thought was they were too small. I took it home and never regretted it. You just have to hear it to believe it. At one time I had an Anchor Liberty. This was the dream of every magician. I felt it lacked a lot whem it came to music. The passport PD's are great. I don't believe you'll be disappointed. I would consider getting the PD 250 if you plan on doing larger gigs in the future. The battery kit can be expensive. You need the conveter and the battery. Buying them online will save you quit a bit. I'm using the battery pack at least once a week and it works well.
Bob Sanders
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Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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Over the years I have accumulated several PA systems for use in different show situations. Some were very expensive and some were less than a thousand dollars. Last fall I bought a MIPro from Joe Lefler at KIDAbra for about $600 with a good mic. Actually I got it to replace an older two-channel cordless PA system I have used for many years. The good news is that I have been very pleasantly surprised. It covers well for an audience up to around 200 and has many benefits not available on the Fender models. The most useful difference is that it will accomodate more inputs. To accomplish the same with the Fender units, it would take two complete Fender setups. I'm simply not looking for more to haul or to spend. It only comes with a great battery. There is a battery eliminator which I have never ever had to use. It will certainly last for eight hours of shows between chargings without a problem. And it recharges very quickly. It looks exactly like the Fender models and Joe tells me that is because they are both made by the same manufacturer.

I am certainly not anti Fender. I spent many good years in the music and recording industry using Fender equipment. I still (at the tender age of 58) use a Fender guitar amp, although I use four other brands of guitars. The Fender amps are good. However, it seems to me, that if what you get for your money matters, Joe's got the best deal for working magicians. It is certainly worth checking out.

Joe Lefler http://www.WeAreFun.com

Joe can frequently be seen in the Dealers' Room at larger magic conventions. Ask him the hard questions! It's your money! It's your show!

I wouldn't trade mine for two Fenders. And I like Fender. There is just a better deal to be had out there.

For a large PA system, the best deals I've found boil down to "don't own it."

Good Luck!

Bob
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com
chmara
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Tucson, AZ
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Only YOUR ears will tell. I waited to buy the PD 250 because the P series WAS tinny, and the PD150 could not give the coverage I need. That meant for three years I was hauling two 75 Lb. Renkus Heinz horns, stands, cables, mixer, EQ and 1000 watts of power.

Now -- the way I mount my PDs -- I can easily cover 250-300 people -- I use their wireless (and carry a traveling UHF spare in case) but have avoided dates that would require battery as my need is to also tech lights for every show..

Hooking the PD 250 up to my Showtech (along with my lightboard) means I only have to carry a small venue program and a large venue in the Showtech -- and only carry my big more cumbersome rig for much larger crowds and halls as a slave off the PD250.

I like the Mackie Stuff and have used their mixers for years -- their sound, however -- I do not feel handles voice as well as the PD 250 or multi horn Renkus Heinz stuff.

GC
Gregg (C. H. Mara) Chmara

Commercial Operations, LLC

Tucson, AZ



C. H. Mara Illusion & Psychic Entertainments
Michael Messing
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Knoxville, TN
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Bob,

I may be mistaken, but I think you've confused which Fender models were being discussed. The Mipro that I think you are referring to is the same as the Fender P-10w, which is a very small one speaker PA.

The Fender PD-150 has 3 mic/line inputs and a stereo/RCA input and has two reasonably small speakers. It is a 150 watt system. The PD-250 has 4 mic/line inputs and two stereo inputs and is 250 watts. The PD-250 speakers are much larger.

Michael
glodmagic
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USA
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Bob, you are comparing the very small Fender portable to your MIpro. This has nothing to do with the integrated mixer dual stereo speaker Passports that are being discussed here. There is a huge difference!

Yes the PD-250 is an awesome unit and actually is the only one that I know of (without a separate peripheral) that can be placed Behind you. The P series cannot. The PD (D for digital) has an incredible digital anti-feedback circuit that allows you to hear yourself as the audience does without having an additional monitor speaker. I have had all 4 models (P, PD, 150, 250) and keep a PD-150 and a PD-250 for different venues so can speak with experience that the PD is a giant improvement.
Remember ANY of your posts here can be Googled by your customers and Clients. Just entering your name in Google can bring up your negative comments that stay for years!
kenscott
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I have been using the 150 for many years now in my schools shows. I often do up to 500 kids at a time. I see some of the post saying it cannot cover over 300 people. and that is just not the case. The 150 clearly is ideal for crowds up to 600 people EASY. I plug my showtech into that and I use my Countryman E-6 mic. I have nver had to turn the volume all the way up yet. The fenders are workhorses. They take a beating and yet they always work great. The 250 was simply to big for what I am playing and whent he 150 is doing what I need why get the 250?

I had the p-10w and I sold it. I use alot of music in my act and that apeaker is not built for music to sound good. For my smaller shows I am using and anchor AN1000 75 watts built in amp speaker, very small but has alot of power.

Ken
jkvand
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Johnstown, PA
658 Posts

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I took your advice and bought a PD150. It came in the mail today, and it is AWESOME! Thank you all for your input - this forum is a wonderful resource made possible by contributions from all of you.
Bob Sanders
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Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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Michael,

You are absolutely right! The unit I am describing is a lot like the Fender single speaker model. It is twice the power and has more channels. I've had no problems with it in a gym-size room filled with people. It is not the best for music but probably good enough. (Remember that I worked my way through college in recording studios and playing guitar, so I like to bend the rafters too!)

Frankly, it has probably been twenty years since I played a stage that did not have a great sound system, if the audience was over 200 people. They are just normally provided by the house today. We do like to furnish our own mics. In my experience, a stage is more likely not to have good lights and curtains than not have a good sound system. Even churches, schools, malls, fairs and fraternal organizations have good sound systems today. We have a large wired system in storage and hope it stays there. It is one less major thing to haul and go wrong.

If I were looking for mid-sized equipment again, Fender would be considered. I still prefer them for guitar and bass amps. (I don't like hauling those either.)

But you are correct. And I apologize for any confusion I caused. We were not comparing "ducks and ducks". The PD150 and PD250 are much more powerful and in a different league from the one I described. Digital is a great improvement for portable sound systems.

Bob
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com
tommy k
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I have the Fender P 250. I bought it when they first came out several years ago. My question is this: can you just purchase the PD speakers and replace the P series speakers?

I am aware that they are different colors with the PD being black cases and the P series being gray but who cares, they will be on stands anyway. I can't imagine that the electronics in the power amp and mixer are any different. The concern that I have is that they won't "nest" or lock into the amp/mixer for transport.

Does anyone know for sure if they are compatible both electronically and structurally?
Regan
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U.S.A.
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I recommend the PD Series if you can afford it. I have the PD-250 and I have been very satisfied with it. I compared it with the P-250 when I bought it over a year ago. The PD series is worth the price difference IMO.

Tommy k, I don't believe that Fender sells the speakers seperately. You might contact them direct for an answer on this. I don't know if they would "fit" in the chassis of a P series or not either. Having said that, let me say this, there are differences in the PD series and the P series circuitry. The "D" is for "Digital". (Read Glodmagics post above) He owns all models so I bet he could tell you about the "fit".

Regan
Mister Mystery
tommy k
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Thanks Mister Mystery, I appreciate the information. I will most likely sell my system and purchase the PD series since I use so much music in my stage act.

I love these systems, they are small, lightweight and pack a whollop! What more can you ask for?
Fitz
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Phoenix, AZ
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I'm selling my Pd 250 with stands and some extra 30ft 1/4" cables in the Phoenix area for $700.00 PM me if anyone is interested. Its time for me to upgrade.

Fitz
info@onefreetrick.com
I have a daily web show all about magic at http://FitzMagic.info
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