It’s incredibly portable, but does this PA pack a big enough punch? -asks Chris Kennedy
Type: PA system
Item: MACKIE SRM 150
Price: $249 US, £249 UK
At a Glance: Mackie’s SRM-150 is a small speaker system which is designed to be used as either a personal monitor or as a PA system for small acoustic gigs. It features a 150 watt amplifier driving a 5.25 inch full-range speaker, a 3-channel mixer, and all with a footprint around the size of a standard piece of paper.
High Notes: The SRM-150 is extremely portable and is impressively loud for its size. Its 3-channel mixer features two XLR/ ¼ inch line inputs for connecting microphones or guitars as well as a stereo RCA input for connecting a CD or MP3 player. It can be used as either a PA system for small venues or as a stage monitor and mixer, with the option of sending the mix to a larger PA system directly from the unit. Due to its diminutive size and weight, Mackie have been able to allow the SRM-150 to be mounted on a standard microphone stand – this allows for greater flexibility on stage and a standard speaker stand would offer.
Off Pitch: Some users have experienced problems with the reliability of some units and have had to be sent replacements by Mackie under warranty. Its onboard EQ section is useful, however it only allows you to adjust the balance of the master output and not allow individual EQ changes on each input channel. Also, due to their size, the SRM-150’s speakers lack power in the low frequency range. This means if you are working with backing tracks and want the drums pack a punch, you’ll need to look at combining it with a larger speaker system.
A VoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: Most users seem to be generally pleased with the SRM-150 and are often quite amazed by how loud it is for such a small system (120db max @ 1m). The unit is well thought out, however I feel that Mackie have perhaps missed a trick by not including and on-board effects (reverb in particular), as most vocalists like to add a touch of reverb to their vocals and it is a shame to have such a portable system and then need to bring outboard effects along with you. Also, an option of powering it via batteries would be a useful addition for street performers. All in all, if you are a singer-songwriter or an acoustic duo and want an extremely portable system for practicing and playing small gigs, the SRM-150 is certainly worth checking out.
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