This small PA rises above the competition -says Chris Kennedy
Type: Solo Performance PA
Item: Fishman SA220
Price: US $999, UK £820-899
Mic Scale: 4.5/5
At a Glance: The Fishman SA220 is a lightweight and portable PA system primarily aimed at singers and acoustic guitarists who perform their music in small bars and clubs. It features 220 watts of power, an on-board mixer, weighs less than 25lbs, and comes with a neat padded bag and stand that is fitted with wheels to make it easy to move to and from gigs.
High Notes: The sound of the system is optimised for voice and acoustic guitar and, as such, vocals are clearly projected and sonically well defined. Unlike many typical small PA systems, the SA220 has six low/mid-range speakers instead of the usual single woofer/tweeter combination. As well as keeping the size down, this also has the added advantage of helping the sound to project more evenly over a longer distance – meaning audience members in the back of the bar should still hear a well balanced mix. The on-board 2-channel mixer section has all of the typical connections for plugging in your mic and guitar, and also features reverb, EQ, phantom power and a useful anti-feedback function.
Off Pitch: If you want to use the device for anything more than just guitar and voice, then there are probably better options out there – particularly if you are planning to use any bass instruments. Some may also be a bit put off by the price which some will find quite high for a not particularly versatile PA system. However, considering the excellent sound quality this piece of gear is not overpriced.
A VoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: The Fishman SA220 is a very well thought out device that is targeted at a specific market and, as such, performs extremely well within these constraints. The sound quality is excellent and it is easily loud enough to fill a small gig setting. There is notable competition from similar systems such as HK Audio’s Sound Caddy One or Bose’s L1, however they both lack in some of the portability of the Fishman system (albeit with the advantage of having a greater bass reproduction). If you are a solo singer/guitarist performer wanting a portable quality PA system, the Fishman SA220 is hard to beat.
See Other Reviews
Review: Fishman's Portable PA,