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Field Report: Yamaha Stagepas 300

Field Report: Yamaha Stagepas 300

May 1, 2011 1:00 AM, By Gil T. Wilson

Radio station remote broadcasts seem like simple ideas, but at times they can be as difficult to figure out as quantum physics. The lonely remote broadcast engineer is always the first to arrive and the last to leave. In many cases the engineer isn’t a full time engineer, but maybe an intern rooked into setting up the broadcast, or even the promotions person who also takes care of everything else in the remote broadcast. Sometimes the difficulty level of a remote is unknown until the time of the broadcast. If you have the dedicated remote engineer advantage then you can solve all problems as they arise by some MacGyver-like workarounds.

Along with the remote connection to the studio, a sound system has to be set up. I’ve seen everything from a boom box to a huge PA with 3′ tall speakers being used in a remote. When it comes to a PA pumping to the locale, you don’t want overkill, but you don’t want to under do it. Here’s where the Yamaha Stagepas 300 PA system fits. This dynamic system is a great middle-of-the-road starter point. This system pumps out 150W per channel with crisp highs punchy mids and big, fat bass. The Stagepas 300 delivers a clear, powerful sound. Its rugged, durable construction and easy setup make for the perfect remote broadcast PA for any situation.

Performance at a glance150W per speaker output
20Hz-20kHz frequency response
70W power consumption
Speakers measure 10.8″ x 18.0″ x 10.0″
Mixer measures 11.4″ x 3.8″ x 6.3″
Total weight 39.7lbs

The right size

The Stagepas 300 can fill a noisy bar, a 300-person lecture hall, or the small conference room-type setting with ease. I even tested it outside and the sound filled the outdoors with nice distribution in an area equal to a little league baseball field. The entire unit (including the mixer) fits in the space of two speakers that measure 10.8″ W x 18″ H x 10″ D. This all-in-one system includes a pair of passive speakers, a detachable powered mixer, and a pair of speaker cables. The eight-channel powered mixer can be used either while installed in the speaker compartment or detached for easy positioning and access. So basically all that has to be carried for PA purposes are the two speakers. One speaker is storage for the mixer (removed with a simple locking screw) and the other has space for the power and speaker cables with room left for a microphone and cable.

Let’s look at the mixer setup. There are eight input channels with channels 5/6 and 7/8 blended together for stereo inputs. Channels 1-4 are mono inputs accepting either XLR or 1/4″ phone jacks. These channels have an equalizer section to adjust high and low frequencies with a range of �15dB (high and low each have their own pot). They also have a button to determine mic or line level input. These four channels also have the option for adding reverb.

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Field Report: Yamaha Stagepas 300

May 1, 2011 1:00 AM, By Gil T. Wilson

The next four channels are ganged in pairs to provide stereo line inputs and leave off the reverb effect button. Channels 5/6 have the choice of RCA or 1/4″ inputs. Channels 7/8 have RCA input only, which is ideal for an MP3 player, portable radio or other audio source.

There are three choices for outputs: Speaker L/R for the included speakers (1/4″ phone jack connection from mixer and into speakers), record out L/R (RCA jacks) and monitor out (dual 1/4″ phone jacks). Out of curiosity I connected the monitor out jacks to larger PA system and it worked perfectly: no hum, no loss.

On the record out, I would have liked to see a separate level control for added flexibility, but it is (like all the outputs) controlled by the master out level knob.

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All in all, I found this to be an ideal remote broadcast PA for medium-sized use. Anyone can operate it with very little training, it is powerful, portable and painless.

Wilson is an announcer, producer, webmaster and promotions guy at WAKO-AM/FM, Lawrenceville, IL.

Editor’s note: Field Reports are an exclusive Radio magazine feature for radio broadcasters. Each report is prepared by well-qualified staff at a radio station, production facility or consulting company.

These reports are performed by the industry, for the industry. Manufacturer support is limited to providing loan equipment and to aiding the author if requested.

It is the responsibility of Radio magazine to publish the results of any device tested, positive or negative. No report should be considered an endorsement or disapproval by Radio magazine.

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