Fender. Passport PD150 PS system

A forum to share ideas and opinions on the equipment and technical aspects of film, video and AV making.
Post Reply
User avatar
Peter Stedman
Posts: 273
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 7:06 am
Location: Wiltshire

Fender. Passport PD150 PS system

Post by Peter Stedman » Sun Oct 28, 2007 5:43 pm

Has anyone any experience of the Fender. Passport PD150 PA system? Especially used in conjunction with presentations of video/slide shows in clubs. Many thanks.
Pete

User avatar
stingman
Posts: 442
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 10:37 am
Location: Isle of Wight
Contact:

Post by stingman » Sun Oct 28, 2007 6:40 pm

Just to be polite Peter. Sorry. I know abit about PA`s, amps and speakers, but not anything about brands and models.
Ian Gardner
Film Maker

User avatar
Peter Stedman
Posts: 273
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 7:06 am
Location: Wiltshire

Post by Peter Stedman » Sun Oct 28, 2007 9:46 pm

Thanks for you interest. Just a little of the background behind the question. My local club are (once again) considering upgrading their presentation equipment. (They seem to go through this phase every year!) Anyhow, they seem to have decided on projector etc. but it’s the amplification that seems to cause some discussion. i.e. argument.

I have my own experience of amplification as I’m an entertainer having worked with moderately sized gear and even now with much smaller portable gear. I will admit that my experience is with mono whilst, most likely correctly, some members seem insistent on stereo. Perhaps I’m just tone deaf, but I use my pro amplification gear – single speaker with film/slide shows with every satisfaction. Well to my satisfaction I should say.

Various combinations of domestic amps and various speakers have been tried and used but always the snags appear at the final moment when the connection of the masses of leads for the DVD player, tape decks, projector, CD player, mixer, etc. etc. lead to complications with its mind boggling complexity of connections and switches. As the equipment always has to be conveyed and set for each use, there is always a time wasting snag of about 20 minutes whilst these problems are resolved. To my mind simplification is the answer.

Therefore I looked into the matter on the web and noticed the equipment mentioned. To my mind, apart from not being battery powered if required, it seems ideal.

However, I asked my initial question to see if others had experience of the kit. Others may care to suggest what gear they use for sound in their own set up. Keeping in mind it has to be connected up for each use after being transported. Portability, weight, compactness and simplicity have to be kept firmly in mind. The cost varies but around the £450.00 is average. If anyone is interested, do look at the specs by going on line and looking at Fender. Passport PD150 PA system. It’s available at several outlets in this country. I haven't yet found an outlet in the West Country to get a demo - I will keep looking.
Perhaps this might open an interesting discussion.
Pete :roll:

User avatar
Dave Watterson
Posts: 1672
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 11:11 pm
Location: Bath, England
Contact:

Post by Dave Watterson » Mon Oct 29, 2007 12:23 am

This may be a silly question, Pete ("Magic Pete" to his admiring public in our part of the world) ...

Would a little mixer not do a lot to solve the wiring problems?

Working backwards:
  • Speakers beside (not behind) the screen and on stands so they are high enough for sound to go straight to the ears of everyone in the back row.
    Cable routed to the output of the amplifier at the control desk.
    Cable routed from amplifier input to mixer output.
    All other inputs from mics, VCRs, DVD players, MP3 players etc on separate leads into separate inputs of the mixer.
That last group of cables can be short and prettily colour-coded to speed-up connection.

The problem I usually hear on visits to various projection places is speakers that are far too small for the size of hall. Modern designs are wonderful, but to move a big quantity of air you need large loud-speakers. Ideally you also want a separate bass speaker ("woofer").

It is worth having a word with the good people at Richer Sounds in Bristol, Cheltenham or Reading ... or look at their website www.richersounds.com - they often have returned gear, end-of-lines and so on which can be good value for money.

I think your hope is to combine the functions of mixer and amp in a single unit but very few amps have enough inputs for the sort of mixed-media event that most "simple film shows" become in practice.

Going for "domestic" as opposed to "professional" gear will keep costs down but the kit may be less robust so investing in carrying cases might be worthwhile.

One other (expensive) suggestion ... get some of that heavy rubber cable channel sold for use in offices. Wires slip into a slot and the channel rests on the floor. People are far less likely to trip over that than over ordinary wires trailing around. You will need enough to get your mains cable to the control desk and your speaker cables to the screen.

Dave

User avatar
stingman
Posts: 442
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 10:37 am
Location: Isle of Wight
Contact:

Post by stingman » Tue Oct 30, 2007 9:18 am

A good reply David.
AS to what I would do......

PA systems remind me of the local country fair of the 70`s. Tinny and anways hearing feedback!

I myself would either have a mixer in the setup or not. This would add to the cost and complex of setting it up. Remember, most of the people in our clubs are quite old (no dissrespect!) but setting it up each time someone is bound to get there speaker wires crossed so one speaker is blowing and the other is sucking!

Without the mixer then just get a good quality Hifi amp with lots of inputs. A pair of Jamo or Walfdale speakers, then you will have a really good quality system. The sound will be subperb with an excellent frequency responce far better then a PA system.
Ian Gardner
Film Maker

User avatar
Peter Stedman
Posts: 273
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 7:06 am
Location: Wiltshire

Post by Peter Stedman » Tue Oct 30, 2007 11:54 am

Thank you Ian for a worth while contribution. I note your comment on having a good domestic HiFi amp rather that an PA amp system and I note your mention of makes of speakers.

Dare I ask, why then are PA systems used for events and not domestic kit? After all, PA kit is designed for use 'on the road' and can take the knocks. PA speakers are normally supplied with a bottom hole for mounting on a stand plus corner protections. Domestic speakers??? Have you any suggestions for a suitable HiFi amp? I know nothing of these.

I am not a connoisseur of HiFi sound and wonder if an average village hall, or even an aged club audience would appreciate such finness for our productions. Actually our club does have one such member who always remarks on the dredful sound from the club's aged 28in telly. He is certainly right there.

You comment . . .Remember, most of the people in our clubs are quite old (no dissrespect!) How right you are, and our club is mostly likely worse than most. That is another reason why I thought that a ready made compact system such as the Fender mentioned might be suitable for a small club and make setting up easier for arthritic fingers. The Fender also has a built in CD player.

Don't for one minute think I disagree with you, but I just like asking questions and getting sensible and constructive answers. It's called research I think!
More please.

Pete

User avatar
stingman
Posts: 442
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 10:37 am
Location: Isle of Wight
Contact:

Post by stingman » Wed Oct 31, 2007 9:21 am

Pa systems are built to be chuched in a back of the van! The speakers are made of gun metal (proberly!) I`m saying that they are well made and made to last. They are built like tanks. They can get damp and still work.If you were PA`ing in a field then I would say go for a PA. If it`s just for a Church Hall and the odd bigger room, then if you want a crystal clear sound then the HiFI is the way to go.
Hifi`s are a little more compact and Amps etc are easy to get. You could either go for a `Standard` Amp` like a Pioneer or even a an Amp that can handle Pro Logic or Dolby Ditital. If I want to I could edit into my films 5.1 Digital. PremPro can do this! What ever you do, also get yourselves a decent pair of speakers. Good ones start from £150.

The final desision is with you! Take our advice or not it doesn`t matter. Someone else on here may give a totally better reason to go for a PA! You know that happens!
Let us know the outcome.

Cheers.
Ian Gardner
Film Maker

User avatar
Peter Stedman
Posts: 273
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 7:06 am
Location: Wiltshire

Post by Peter Stedman » Wed Oct 31, 2007 9:49 am

Thanks again,
I do appreciate all what you say and all the advice is being passed to the 'Mafia' (Committee) who will, no doubt, decide on doing nothing as always. "Let's leave it till next year!" On the other hand they may well decide to actually do something this time.
You wont believe this but a member last night said "I don't think we need speaker stands, I have always managed with the speakers(s) on a chair on a table . . . " Well what can one say?
Pete

User avatar
stingman
Posts: 442
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 10:37 am
Location: Isle of Wight
Contact:

Post by stingman » Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:25 am

You don`t need speaker stands but it is best to do so....

We put our clubs speakers on chairs! I`m not in charge and don`t give them advice as they think i`m being bigheaded :shock: :lol: So I don`t bother! We once put the speakers on the floor and when there was Bass in the sound, they used to fart!

Speaker stands are good as they make the speakers look good. If you have a carpet then speaker stands with spikes in are good as they help transfer Bass through the floor. Bass travels better through objects. Treble travels better through the air.

The best speakers I ever heard were Wharfdale `Lasers`.
Ian Gardner
Film Maker

User avatar
Stu H
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 12:33 pm

Post by Stu H » Wed Nov 14, 2007 9:57 am

I just thought I'd pitch in. Our club here in Perth uses the fender system and it is indeed very sturdily built (though in plastic rather than gunmetal) The whole thing is self-contained, packing into a portable (or, more accurately, luggable) thing the size of a small suitcase. When in use the speakers detach from the sides of the mixer/amp unit which has a storage compartment for power and audio leads. Fender make versions with different powered outputs (75W 150W etc.) with varying prices. Think about the size of audience you are likely going to be screening to and work from there. The fender website is very useful in helping choose the most appropriate unit for your needs. It also ships with speaker stands, making it easy to meet Dave's speaker height suggetsion.

Oh, and it sounds pretty good too. So much so that a visitor to our club convinced his own club to buy one.

TTFN
"Nobody knows anything." - William Goldman

User avatar
Peter Stedman
Posts: 273
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 7:06 am
Location: Wiltshire

Post by Peter Stedman » Wed Nov 14, 2007 12:28 pm

Stu,
Thanks for that input. (I only knew you had replied because of the automated e-mail advice) You are the only person who has actually had 'hands on' experience of the gear.

I didn't think it actually came with speaker stands????? Would you care to tell us where you got it as I have found various prices on the web.
Cheers. Pete

User avatar
Stu H
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 12:33 pm

Where to buy passport

Post by Stu H » Wed Nov 14, 2007 2:08 pm

The Perth Club already had theirs when I joined, but I'll try and find out where the other club bought theirs from last year.
"Nobody knows anything." - William Goldman

Post Reply