Most helpful positive review
66 of 70 people found the following review helpful
Hmmmm, this is a stumper box - hot, unique, and groovy!
on May 23, 2011
I'm a professional media specialist, with over 35 years experience and I've used literally hundreds of products, from computers and software to amplifiers, lighting, stage gear, wireless mics, stands, etc.
I had a need for a small portable P.A., for kids and senior citizens shows that I do. I was tired of lugging around a Fender Passport, or any other system with separate speakers and amp. A lot of my friends doing stand-up, magic and other kids shows for fairs, libraries and churches would show up with a variety of small (sometimes battery powered units) and I was always intrigued - but never impressed (even overlooking the fact they have no background in audio or gear).
On researching units, I decided to try the Pyle Pro 230 for several reasons. First, price! If you compare feature to others on the market, the Pyle has them hands down. Second, as much as reviewers suggest the mic works and then quits, it does comes with a wireless VHF mic. Maybe a bonus, we'll see. Third: size - and the fact it could be mounted on any standard or smaller speaker/lighting stand. Fourth: Battery operated option (included), for those unusual applications, or even every day ones where you just don't want to have to wire everything up. Fifth...the sucker comes with a handle and wheels. We don't even put those on high end, 150 lb amps most the time.
But EVEN MORE importantly, it was the POWER. Thankfully, Pyle was/is one of the remaining few to give their rating in Watts RMS, and for those who do not know, this is everything. True, with some of the new amp technology (like Behringer), the true meaning of Watts RMS has been terrible diluted, but it seemed to me that maybe Pyle was NOT doing that, that they were using old school ratings.
So, how does it fair:
1 - Construction: Interesting. Cheap knobs, connectors and grille, cheap amp mounting, but all recessed for protection. So that's good, and if you treat it respectfully, it should hold up or looks like it's easily fixed. Thin hardwall panels...and less than rounded casing materials, certainly NOT tolex or very durable, but again....respectable. This ain't no Fender, but treat it nicely and it will work. As for the extending handle and casters - standard to many suitcases. The handle could have been placed lower to get it out of the way during shows, but then it would not have had the right walking height - so this is also manageable. The top carrying handle? Excellent, well placed...just bulky - I was hoping to Velcro two wireless receivers to the top, so I'll have to make a small table to level the area first but again - not bad.
2 - Amplifier - Well, again, nothing to write home about. Input connectors are all ¼", and HOW they manage stereo to mono on the AUX input is up for grabs. No specs, no mids, no MAIN VOL, etc, etc. In fact, there's no clue as to the circuitry for the mic inputs versus guitar or line. I`m GUESSING, they're all the same, simple pre-amp busses heading into a wide open Main...meaning it runs full through the main buss all the time. This is not so bad...mind you, save for the notion one could/would/might and cannot avoid a variety of input mismatches, clipping and other issues without any knowledge or control, unless you understand are are careful.
As a comparison...I have a very unique and interesting Traynor solid state guitar amp, 35 Watts RMS, that KNOCKS your socks off. Side by side with the Pyle....well, the Pyle has more, but not much...and certainly not much worth using. Still, the Pyle's heavy duty 8" speaker and amp produce and incredibly rich, powerful, full range and remarkable sound. A mid range knob would help though, as clarity is lost in this range. Summarily - pretty kick ass. $1 per 1 Watt RMS like the old days. Pretty nifty.
3 - Wireless Mic: Ha ha! But, to be fair...come on. But....you get a free, wireless mic in the box, and it works. It's nearly a toy, but has a pretty rich range, reasonable output, and is hard to make feed back at any level or location not trying to be stupid with it. Will it last? Well, that remains to be seen. Respect it, don't drop it or give it out to Aunt Edna to spit in, and limited use might work.
4 - DC Power: Too soon to tell. I cringe over things like NiCad batteries, because over the years...for video cameras, belt paks, lighting gear and cell phones...they develop memory, get weak, suck and cost $$ to replace. But, if you charge them fully, exercise them (drain them fully on use), they can last a couple years. Cost to replace? Remains to be seen.
5 - Overall: WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow! I struck out to find the MOST true power I could, for the best price....Pyle DOES IT! Reasonably clean, lots of head room, a solid performer for kids and seniors shows. Solid, within limits...and can be mounted on a standard stand, sit on the floor, go with or without power, and IN A PINCH...provide it's own wireless mic!
I WOULD NOT recommend Pyle in larger more powerful versions, as I know there are some, because I worry that their "build" methodology does not grow with the power and size. The manual is a joke, half sentences, nothing really worthy, and the packing was "odd" in many ways. Good, but odd.
I'm not sure what these guys from Brooklyn NY are thinking...but this is a HUGE contender, if they'd shore up the input and specs, and wireless mic. If you compare this to straight amps in the same line, Roland and whomever, starting at $695 for 30 Watts (RMS or what?) on up to several thousand......THE PYLE WORKS!!!! Units sold for thousands to college, because they have an on-board CD player and SM58 competitor would have NO CHANCE of standing up to this kind of unit, if they offered an upgrade for serious users.
I like it! It's......groovy!