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Looking for suggestions PA System for Outdoor Events

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Tom Ruth:
As title suggests we are looking for a PA system for events with 200 people over a large area.  We have used a Fender Passport for the last 5 years but it is time to upgrade/replace.  We play music throughout the events but when announcements are made we really like that the fender will turn down the music automatically while the speaker talks utilizing their Vocal Input Priority (VIP) feature.  We also like the portability of the system as we take it to multiple venues throughout the year.  Is there anything out there similar with those two key features that anyone would recommend?

Mike Caldwell:
To step up from the Passport system I would be looking at a pair of powered speakers with good tripod stands and a small rack with a wireless mic, CD audio media player and rack mount
strip mixer.

Denon has a rack mount mixer without too many knobs and channel 1 on the mixer
will "duck" / turn down the other inputs when someone would use the mic connected
to channel 1.

When you say music I'm assuming audio playback in some form for background music.

The equipment rack could have a connection panel on the back for the audio and power
connections to the speakers.

What kind of budget are you looking at?

Are the same people setting up the system at each event or it is someone different each time?

Dave Garoutte:
Look at Yamaha DXR or QSC K2.
They have on-board control for their multiple inputs.  No external mixer require for a simple playback / announce system.
They do not have ducking, however.
+1 on the tripods.  Getting speakers up high makes a world of difference.

Brian Jojade:
What type of events, and what type of music?  A fender passport system outdoors with a crowd of 200 seems pretty undersized unless it's a relatively quiet event.

The passports are pretty awesome as all in one packages, with extremely simple controls. The were one of the first self contained packages of their type.  Today, you've got a variety of options to select from.

I've become a fan of the mini column array type speakers instead of the passport design, partly because they assemble together and then you don't need to carry speaker stands in your kit.

Something such as the JBL PRX one would outperform most passport systems. The onboard digital mixer gives you tons of flexibility, but the knobs onboard are minimalistic, making it not intimidating for everyone to be able to use.

Tom Ruth:
The system is definitely underpowered for what we need at this point.  What started as small community gathering has grown and we look to continue to grow in the future.  The audio is played back via computer, iPad or when we get really stuck through an iPhone.  Music is just really background noise.  We still want people to be able to talk and converse.  The budget is not limitless but looking for various options in a low, mid, and high price point.   We will need to update our wireless mic system as well so thoughts on a good wireless mic for said system would be great too.  Yes same core group would be setting up each week.


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