Can this lightweight PA system compete with larger systems?
Item: LD Systems MAUI 5, Compact PA System
Price: $599 (US), £460 (UK)
Mic Rating: 3.5/5
At A Glance: LD Systems’ MAUI 5 is a compact PA system with integrated mixing desk and Bluetooth connectivity. It weighs only 11kg, yet with its 800w (200w RMS) amplifier it is cable of reaching levels of up to 114dB. The system consists of an 8 inch subwoofer that houses the integrated mixer and the amplifiers that also power four 3-inch mid/high frequency speakers housed in a column. The MAUI does not require any speaker stands and can be set up in under a minute.
High Notes: The column part of the system splits into three easy to carry sections and can be used at two different heights, depending on the setup you are after. There are inputs for microphone, guitar, line and Bluetooth; and each input has its own level control – meaning you could potentially use the MAUI 5 without any additional mixing desk (there is also a 3.5mm aux in that shares its level control with the guitar input). The Sub level and Hi-Boost enable you to tune the overall tone of the system to suit the room and there is a limiter to protect it if you turn the level up too much.
Off Pitch: Although the bass frequencies are reasonable for a system of its size, the high frequencies produced are not quite as exciting to listen to as with systems with a separate tweeter. It would also be nice if the system also included some integrated effects such as reverb for the microphone and guitar inputs.
VoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: LD Systems have managed to produce an impressive performance out of such a lightweight system. I tested out a system at a small acoustic gig (around 40 people) and there was enough level to fill the room. That said, when compared to larger systems, the sound quality wasn’t quite as rich and it might be a bit too much of a stretch asking it to fill a much larger venue – especially if you are planning to put bass instruments into it. The biggest issue I found with the MAUI 5 is that, for not a great deal more money, you could alternatively purchase their MAUI 11 Mix PA system (read our review here). Which, although a little larger and heavier, is still reasonable portable and produces a far fuller sound and higher volume levels. Ultimately, if you need a small, low-cost, and lightweight system then the MAUI 5 it is a capable system that has a lot going for it, however if you have a little more to spend and you don’t mind a slightly larger system, there are possibly better alternatives.
Manufacturers Website: http://www.ld-systems.com/en/series/maui-series/
Chris Kennedy is the principle technology reviewer for voicecouncil.com. Chris is a musician in the United Kingdom – you can see more about this work at www.chriskennedymusic.co.uk You can also see more articles by Chris here.