Sampson Expedition xp510i
I was in my local MI retail shop, Skip's Music yesterday and saw a PA system that might fit the needs of some people. The system was the Samson Expedition series.
I know Al Poulin has talked up the Samson Auro powered speakers. Well these are a little different from other systems I've seen and Samson seems to be a pretty good budget option.
Here's what I saw. At first glance, I thought these were simply powered speakers but instead the mixer section is actually a removable powered mixer with a cable going to each of the speakers. You can put the mixer on the back of either cabinet and there is a blank with a diagram on it, on the other speaker. So technically, they're passive speakers.
The mixer section is more robust than what you'll find on a K-Series powered speaker too, thus eliminating the need to buy a separate small format desk mixer like the pV6 to accommodate more than one microphone. It even has some FX.
I only listened to the largest unit, the xp510i with 10" woofers, briefly in the showroom and I could tell they weren't quite up to something like a K10 but they weren't bad really and they had some volume to them.
There's actually some variations within this Expedition line. Some models also have an iPod dock and when transporting the two speakers can lock together and be carried as a single unit.
I won't go so far as to say I recommend these, but I would say look into them if you need extra inputs and therefore would need an outboard mixer and you only have $700 to spend for speakers and mixer (xp510i). By the time one bought say a pair of ART310A and a PV6 mixer, you're looking at about $850 minimum if you can find them that low. Personally, I'd rather have the RCF/Peavey combo, but it is possible that calling a dealer could net a lower price on these units and if you don't have the cash for more, you don't have it. Obviously, you also need to find a sub to go with these unless you're doing senior home gigs or the like.
I'm not a big fan of the Expedition system. The couple of times I've heard one, it sounded almost all mids and highs, although it might have been the operator's fault. The Yamaha Stagepas sounds much better to me - although these systems are really meant for solo performers or signers and for use in coffee house type settings. Geberally not a good choice for DJ IMO. My favorite Samson produt for the price is the Auro D415A. I find these sound very nice right out of the box and are one of the most affordable powered speakers that are perfect for the beginner and will handle small to medium weddings pretty well. Not in the same league as the QSC Ks, mind you. I just find the price for performance ratio very good. I love my RCF 310As, but even these really need a sub to be used for DJ applications. A 10'' woofer can only move so much air. That's why I always recommend the 312As for those not using a sub.
Yeah, I wouldn't want to run one without a sub. It handled the low mids well but didn't have any real lows and like I said, I could tell it wasn't in K-series territory easily without doing an A/B. I don't know how pricing compares to the Auro and I guess it depends a lot on whether you need those extra input channels. The 10 inch version's mixer is a lot more than what finds on a true powered speaker. And of course the StagePas is quite a bit more $$$. I liked the sound quality from the 10" better than the Fender Passport 250.
To be honest, I think the real niche for the expedition products is for spoken word/background music types of things... presentation systems.
Originally Posted by fatcatdj
Oh, and welcome back Al. Glad to start seeing a few familiar "faces".
Originally Posted by fatcatdj