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View Full Version : Ukulele amp/P.A. system for under $100 bucks…



ricdoug
09-05-2011, 05:40 PM
About 3 months back, I was in Guitar Center checking out sound reinforcement gear. I came across a Kustom PA50 and intrigued by its size, specs and versatility:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/KustomPA501.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/KustomPA502.jpg

It shows a list price of $159 bucks, but they sell them for $99 bucks:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/KustomPA503.jpg

I searched the Guitar Center website, Musician’s Friend website and Kustom Amps website, but did not find any reference to this system. When I searched PowerWerks, I came up with:

http://powerwerks.com/pages/PA-Systems-8.aspx

http://powerwerks.com/ContentHandler.ashx?ID=87 Owners manual.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZk33_3GmE4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nL-RzN98VT0

http://www.youtube.com/user/GenoKreis?blend=5&ob=5#p/u/0/0xIY65YWEi0

The frontal shows the two 4.5” drivers and the high frequency horn:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/KustomPA504.jpg

You can also note the rugged construction and the protective steel speaker grill. In addition, each corner is protected.

ricdoug
09-05-2011, 05:41 PM
The rear view shows the three channels, controls, inputs and outputs. I was asked if the XLR and ¼” inputs could be used at the same time, so I plugged a microphone and instrument into both jacks on both channels. All can be used at the same time:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/KustomPA505.jpg

One of the long sides has a carrying handle and the other side has four rubber feet:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/KustomPA506.jpg

The bottom has a speaker stand adaptor and four rubber feet:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/KustomPA507.jpg

Here it is shown mounted on an OnStage speaker stand:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/medium/KustomPA508.jpg



I liked the first one enough to purchase a second one. I almost always have one loaned out. Hula halau’s like to use a microphone for announcing and an MPR/CD player for their music when musicians are not available. There are no effects onboard, but I generally prefer to use my systems “dry” - without effects.

If you stare at the hula dancer Kristine in this video long enough, two old ukulele and guitar players will appear in the background (optical illusion). Kristine’s dad, Jay on the left and myself on the right. The PW50 is mounted on a stand to the left of Jay. Also on the right is Kay Das (steel guitar first runner up at the Hawaiian Music Awards) and Keef on the gutbucket. My uke is not plugged in. I place the microphone between the ukulele and my vocals:

http://www.youtube.com/user/kristineegg#p/a/u/0/uvIvuZbUb5M

ricdoug
09-05-2011, 05:51 PM
Another optical illusion:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22XtXT9lBLo

lambchop
09-06-2011, 07:14 AM
It is an amazing value. I played through one at Guitar Center yesterday - they had it on sale for $79. I find it a bit thin in terms of sound for my ukulele (now, before people say, yeah, that's because of the small speakers, let me just say I was using a compact Peavey system with about the same size speakers and the sound was much less thin). I can't really use this to replace my loudbox mini (which costs 3 times as much), but I think it sounds just as good as the harbinger PA60 system, which costs twice as much and is four times as heavy as the Kustom. I don't like to be a naysayer, I almost never am, so I'll just say this is cool for what it is and great for the price. I agree it seems to be really, really well built, as well. I just wish it has a bit more umph. Enjoy it. Mike

Magoosan
09-06-2011, 09:53 AM
Looks similar in design to the Fishman Soloamp that I use. Fewer speakers, but they seem to be about the same size along with the tweeter, and far less expensive. The Soloamp is surprising full in sound considering the size of the speakers.

lambchop
09-06-2011, 10:22 AM
Looks similar in design to the Fishman Soloamp that I use. Fewer speakers, but they seem to be about the same size along with the tweeter, and far less expensive. The Soloamp is surprising full in sound considering the size of the speakers.

Yeah, looks like it, but it does not sound anywhere near what the solo does.

ricdoug
09-06-2011, 03:51 PM
Aloha, Mike.

When you listen to the two YouTube video links above, you'll definately hear the fullness of the sound. I use an LR Baggs Paracoustic DI whenever I plug in, because I've never played through any amp/PA where it does not sound thin. In those videos, I'm not plugged in. I'm using a Carvin microphone between the uke and vocals. Jay's playing his guitar and ukulele through a combo amp on the floor. The crowd numbered about 40. In a reply to your thread on the Loudbox Mini my comparison was between a Roland AC-33 and the Fishman Loudbox mini. Both of which I like. The Kustom PA50 is an alternative for those on a budget that still want quality sounding gear. I'm going to buy a couple more and use them mainly as loaners. The one in the video stays at Hulaville in San Clemente for kanikapila and performances. One interesting feature the PA50 has that neither the Loudbox Mini or AC-33 lack is onboard phantom power on both XLR channels for condensor microphones. It's also stand mountable. The PA50 does not have any effects, for those that like them. It's a budget system, but it's a workhorse. It's no Loudbox Solo, which is no Bose L1. Of course, none of the above systems are under $100 bucks. I own 7 PA systems, not including the PA50's. None of them are anywhere close to $100 bucks. Ric

ricdoug
09-17-2014, 11:19 AM
Now only $69 bucks through this Sunday:

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Kustom-PA50-Personal-PA-System-106388085-i1934071.gc?source=4TP4JFBA

bnolsen
09-25-2014, 04:46 PM
i'm upset i missed this deal. i wanted one, maybe 2 of these PAs.