Monday, April 26, 2010

Yamaha STAGEPAS 500 PA System

Everybody needs a PA system, right? Well, almost everybody I know needs one. Today I am writing about the Yamaha STAGEPAS 500 system, which is the PA that I own and am very happy with.

The STAGE PAS 500 system is slick. It includes a pair of passive speakers with a built-in powered mixer. The mixer fits into the back of one of the speakers, and can be easily removed if you want to set it up on a table with the rest of your equipment. The other speaker has a storage compartment in the back so you have a convenient place to store your speaker cables and the power cord for the mixer. By the way, speaker cables are included.

The mixer has two 250-watt class-D power amplifiers with plenty of power for medium-sized room or outdoor gigs. The amplifiers have been reliable thus far, and I have had no problems with overheating or cutting out.

There are 10 input channels: four mono microphone/line inputs (switchable for phantom power) and three stereo line inputs. For output, it has two main speaker jacks, as well as line outputs for additional powered speakers, RCA jacks for recording.

The STAGEPAS 500 mixer has 2-band equalizers for each channel, as well as REVERB switches on channels 1 through 4. A separate REVERB level control adjusts the reverb mix. Channels 1 and 2 have LIMIT/COMP switches. You will need the compression and limiters for those drunken karaoke folks.

The two speakers the system comes with are very rugged. They have 10" woofers and 1" tweeters. The speakers will fit standard 35mm speaker stand tubes.

How well does it work? Pretty darned good, if you’re asking me. I mostly use the STAGEPAS 500 for DJ and karaoke events, and as the bad mother of all garage stereo systems. I have run up to 3 microphones, a dual-deck CD player and my laptop music library through it with no trouble at all. Transporting and setting up the system is a breeze due to its relatively light weight and compact size. I went ahead and sprung for some wall mounts for the speakers to keep them up high and out of my way when they are not in use.

As a bassist, I would not recommend this system to a band that heavily relies on running the bass through the PA at high volume levels. It does not have enough headroom for that. Of course, additional powered speakers can be added to the system if necessary.

The MSRP for the Yamaha STAGEPAS 500 is $1249, and the street price is $899. I found it quite a bit cheaper from a music store that was clearing out all of their Yamaha equipment at blow-out prices.

If you are on more of a budget and don’t need as much presence, the STAGEPAS 300 can be had for a street price of around $600. Of course, it is cheaper so it has fewer channels (8), smaller speakers (8-inch woofers) and less power output (300 watts).

Either way, you cannot go wrong with the STAGEPAS systems. Yamaha has a well-justified reputation for providing reliable products that are an exceptional value.


  1. Which additional powered speakers would you recommend for base?

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  3. If I were looking for a subwoofer for this system, I would probably consider something from Yamaha DXS series. But, if you are at a gig where you need a sub, this PA system is really not your best choice to start with.