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Product Reviews

Review: Yamaha Stagepas 600BT Portable P.A. System

By Billy Davis. Stagepas has impressive sound quality and will be a valuable asset to any gigging musician or presenter who plays small, intimate venues.

Yamaha’s Stagepas 600BT all-in-one portable live sound system is built with the flexibility to fill smaller performance venues with quality sound.

With two lightweight speakers, a detachable powered mixer, two speaker cables and a power cord, the Stagepas 600BT portable P.A. can be set up quickly in nearly any environment. It’s easy enough to use that adjustments can be made while performing.

Yamaha’s Stagepas line has two Bluetooth-enabled models: the 600BT, reviewed here, which consists of a 680-watt portable P.A. with 10-channel mixer and two 10-inch speakers, and the 400BT, a 400-watt model with 8-channel mixer and two 8-inch speakers.

Users can stream stereo audio such as backing tracks, break music, loops or software instruments directly to the Stagepas system thanks to Bluetooth connectivity. Phantom power is available on channels 1 and 2, and Stagepas offers a sub output jack to feed powered subwoofers.

Review: Portable P.A.s Move Ahead, by Strother Bullins, Jan. 18, 2018

As a gigging musician, I put the Stagepas 600BT to the test in a variety of scenarios, including sound reinforcement for spoken-word presentations, a vocal-harmonizing acoustic guitar duo, and on vocals in a loud heavy metal band. Every test exceeded my expectations.

Portability is the pleasure of this product. The two speaker cabinets, which each weigh 24 pounds, are easily carried one in each hand. The lightweight powered mixer (8.4 pounds) snaps into the back of one speaker enclosure, which I found convenient for transport. The mixer can be operated from the back of the speaker if you’re short on space, though mounting the mixer on a microphone stand with the optional mic stand adapter would result in a more functional setup. The other speaker enclosure includes a rear compartment for storing speaker cables and AC power cord, with room to spare for a microphone or two.

Yamaha Debuts Stagepas 400BT/600BT Portable P.A. Systems, Feb. 21, 2018

There are four channels for mic/line input jacks, supporting both XLR and 1/4” jacks, and another three stereo channels for line-level devices—all with three-band EQ. EQ is managed by turning a single knob to optimize speech, musical performances (mid-range) or “bass boost,” making it a quick process to adjust the overall mix when using the system in different performance spaces.

Channels 1 through 4 are equipped with independent sends for the four reverb types (Hall, Plate, Room and Echo), which are derived from Yamaha’s SPX series of dedicated effects processors. The reverb can be turned on and off using an optional footswitch.

Each speaker unit consists of a 10-inch LF driver and 1.4-inch compression driver which together provide a loud and clear 680 watts. The feedback suppressor, configured with a seven-band notch filter, might be the real star of the show.

I evaluated Stagepas’ functionality with a vocal-harmonizing acoustic guitar duo, setting the speakers near the musicians because we weren’t using monitors. I kept the sound mix fairly loud; I expected feedback but was pleasantly surprised to find none. The overall sound was very clear.

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That said, I felt I’d really be putting the Stagepas 600BT to the test with the heavy metal band’s vocals during rehearsal in a hall the size of a small venue. I cranked the volume to hear the vocalist over a double bass drummer and two guitars playing though Marshall half-stacks. Again, no feedback, and audio was very clear even when I pushed the volume into its upper range; this particular test really won me over.

Lastly, I gave the portable P.A. a run-through at a panel discussion with four speakers who used handheld microphones while moving around a stage—again, no feedback, no doubt due to the onboard feedback suppressor.

When I played recorded music during the performance breaks, I noted the system’s exceptional dynamic range. Low end and bass response sometimes suffer in the trade-off for portability, but I thought the bass held up admirably.

The Evolution of Portable P.A., by Strother Bullins, Jan. 12, 2017

I enjoyed the flexibility of the Bluetooth wireless audio connectivity, allowing me to play audio—a band introduction, a backing track or even a mid-song sound effect—from a Bluetooth-paired device from up to 33 feet away. Using the feature, I was able to play intermission music right out of my pocket during breaks.

Stagepas is available for an affordable street price of $899, has impressive sound quality and will be a valuable asset to any gigging musician or presenter who plays small, intimate venues.

Yamaha •