[SCA-Dance] Powered speakers

Michael Bergman eclectic at mit.edu
Tue Aug 30 01:10:54 EDT 2011

I haven't seen the app GunDormr recommends -- and look forward to
checking it out.  One I *have* seen that is worth looking at is djay
by Algoriddim: http://www.algoriddim.com/djay-iphone

On the original subject of powered speakers, my current favorite is
the Mackie srm150, which has very good frequency response (i.e.
"sounds good") for it's size, a fair bit of power, a moderate (not
cheap!) price (around $250) and flexible built-in mixer (so you can
connect a stereo feed from an iPod and, if you need it, also a mic
(though you'll have to supply your own mic, unlike the Behringer kit
that Darius described).

Which powered speaker is right for you depends in part on how many
people you need to reach, and how large the room is, and whether you
have access to a band to play for your larger events.

Oh, and to address the question that came up about "keybord amps" --
technically, a keyboard amp, a guitar amp, a bass amp, a practice amp,
a powered monitor, a portable PA and a self-powered "main" speaker are
all the same thing -- an amplifier and a speaker contained in a single
box, with some sort of small mixer and possibly some tone controls
(and in rare cases, a battery).  The differences are in how they are
tweaked to certain activities, and how they are marketed.

Bass amps don't need to cover the full range of possible sounds, but
need a lot of punch in the "bass" range and can be large. Guitar amps
don't need as much bass, are usually smaller but still pretty big.
Keyboard amps are full-range, and usually at least "luggable" .

Practice amps don't usually have full range or full power, but are smaller.

Powered monitors come in various sizes, and may or may not have full
bass -- the Mackie srm150 fits in this category at the low end for
size and power; it doesn't have a lot of true bass, but has enough for
most of our purposes.

Portable PA speakers are usually tweaked to sound best in the spoken
word range of frequencies -- full range material (such as dance music)
played through them may not sound so good, but it depends on the
system (The Anchor systems and the Behringer APA40 fit in this
category) and some of them have built-in batteries or will run off an
external battery.

Self-powered "Main" speakers are usually too big for our purposes, or
too expensive (I know a very nice small one that costs over $1500:

I hope this is helpful.

--Harald Longfellow

More information about the Sca-dance mailing list