Should Musicians Invest in Their Own PA System?

February 24, 2021

As a dedicated musician, you want to sound your best at every performance. Buying a PA system is a great way to ensure you can always provide clear, high-quality audio during your gigs. 

However, buying PA equipment is a big investment. You can expect to spend a couple hundred dollars on a small, portable PA system and $1,000 or more on a larger scale setup. 

Before you spend your hard-earned cash, you probably want to make sure investing in your own equipment will really pay off. Here are a few reasons why you should splash out on a PA system if you want to take your music career further. 

What is a PA System and Why Do I Need One? 

PA systems increase the volume of vocals, guitars, and other instruments so more people can hear them. They’re usually comprised of separate microphones, mixers, and speakers. Portable PA systems have all of the components in one compact housing, which makes them easy to transport by yourself. 

When you’re playing in a loud restaurant or a packed bar, it’s essential to have PA equipment so your voice or instrument doesn’t get drowned out by the noise. Most large venues have their own systems that you can plug into. But if you usually play small venues, they might not have one available.

Even the venues that do have PA equipment may be relying on old, outdated models that don’t perform well. This could hurt your sound quality and make your music sound off, which is the last thing you want when you’re playing for a crowd. 

So if you want to make sure your sound is always clear and consistent, it’s worth it to invest in your own PA system that you can bring with you to gigs. 

Portable vs. Traditional PA Systems 

If you’re a solo artist without bandmates, a portable PA system will usually provide enough inputs to suit your needs. It’s also lightweight enough for you to carry by yourself, which is a big plus. And best of all, portable systems are usually cheaper because you don’t have to buy all the components such as speakers and microphones separately. 

But if you regularly play large venues, a portable system may not provide enough power and amplification. In that case, it may be worth it to invest in a traditional PA system and deal with hauling around extra equipment. 

If you play in a band, a regular PA setup may also be the better option for you because it provides more inputs for all of your instruments. But it is more expensive and harder to store, which is something to consider. 

Should I Rent or Buy a PA System? 

Because renting costs so much, it usually makes more financial sense to buy a PA system outright. 

Renting PA equipment can cost up to $100 per weekend. If you purchase a portable model that costs a couple hundred dollars, you’ll only have to play a few gigs to come out ahead. 

Renting only makes sense if you’re playing at one event or can’t afford the upfront cost of purchasing an entire system. 

Wrapping Up 

Even if you only moonlight as a musician, it usually makes sense to purchase your own PA system. The venues you play at may have old equipment or none at all, which can really hurt your sound quality. 

If you want to build up a loyal fanbase that comes to all your shows, you need to ensure you have top-notch audio equipment that will allow your vocals to shine. Whether you’re looking to buy a portable PA system or create your own setup using speakers and subwoofers, has what you need. 

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