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Whether you're simply speaking to a small crowd, or singing to millions of people, a PA system is a necessity. Also known as a public address system, PA systems come in all types of configurations and can be adapted to suit just about any performance situation.

History

For centuries, people have used devices to amplify their voice. First came the megaphone, also known as a bullhorn or speaking-trumpet, which dates back all the way to Ancient Greece. Then, in 1910, the Automatic Electric Company of Chicago, Illinois introduced a loudspeaker they named the Automatic Enunciator. After various public demonstrations, it wasn't long before these new loudspeakers could be found in hospitals, department stores, factories, railroad stations, and even the Comiskey Park baseball stadium.

Around the same time, Peter Jensen and Edwin Pridham of Magnavox were also working on a moving coil loudspeaker. After filing their first patent in 1911, and 4 years of trials, their first official demonstration was done in December 1915 at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, where a crowd of 100,000 were able to hear Christmas music and speeches clearly. They then developed their first 3-stage 25-watt amplifier in 1919.

Today, the most bare-bones version of a PA system is still a microphone, amplifier, and one or more loudspeakers. For live music, however, you are going to need a few more things. Fortunately, Sam Ash has you covered for all situations!

PA Packages

To make your life easier, feel free to look through our PA packages. From basic speaker packages, to all-in-one PA systems, Sam Ash offers a variety of listings that will allow you to either piece together your ideal PA system, or purchase one that already comes with everything you might need. Have an old mixer that a friend gave you? Try one of our active speaker packages that come with stands and cables. In an acoustic act playing small bars and coffee houses? Try a column PA system package that comes with stands and microphones. New to live sound and don't have anything? Go all in on one of our all-in-one PA packages that include everything you'll need to start performing live! Find packages featuring brands like Electro-Voice, Mackie, QSC, and Tascam.

Portable PA Systems

Portable PA systems are becoming much more commonplace so that musicians on the go can be heard without breaking their backs or finding the nearest outlet. But it's not just musicians that need portable systems. Teachers, presenters, and even fitness instructors have all benefitted from these smaller setups. Small, battery powered options are great for addressing a small crowd or playing outside, while column PA systems have become increasingly popular for playing coffee shops, libraries, or art galleries. If you're looking for a more traditional setup, there are systems that feature a more traditional dual speaker/mixer set up that pack away into a single, easy to transport unit. These mini powerhouses offer plenty of mixing options, and some even offer onboard effects and Bluetooth connectivity. Brands such as Samson, Yamaha, JBL, Fender, Bose, and more offer plenty of portable PA options to choose from.

Can't decide between a portable PA system or a full PA package? Give us a call at 1-800-472-6274, or chat with us online, to speak to real musicians who can help you determine exactly what you need. Our experts are standing by and would be happy to assist you.