In the same funny way guitarists have an urge to check out another player’s live rig at a show, I’ve been doing the same – albeit for portable PAs. With soundmen becoming increasingly scarce, many performers have had to rely on themselves to provide sound for their shows.
So, naturally, I’ve been paying a great deal of attention to what other players are using in this space. Granted, I’ve been focused on smaller line array PA systems, mostly because they’re easy to set up, portable and generally get the job done with decent encompassing sound.
Admittedly, compared to other brands, I wasn’t familiar with LD Systems’ vast amount of pro audio products for musicians and touring professionals, so when I was given the chance to review their battery-powered Maui 5 Go 100 all-in-one column PA system that can furnish “loud and clear” sound for up to 100 people, I couldn’t resist.
For singer-songwriting duos, solo acoustic/electric performers and buskers, the Maui 5 Go 100 will more than fit the bill for most live sound requirements and environments.
The system is adequately powerful having 200-watt RMS (800 watts peak) of class D amplification and arrives in four compact and lightweight pieces – an integrated electronics subwoofer base (with 8-inch subwoofer), column section with an integrated rechargeable lithium-ion battery (charger is built-in to subwoofer), column spacer (you can omit if you need to go smaller) and column section with four 3-inch speakers.
Its slim vertical line array configuration is unobtrusive and I really dug its eye-catching modern-barrel design – plus, the whole system sets up in a matter of seconds.
Key features include an integrated 4-channel mixer, Bluetooth stereo audio streaming and a lithium-ion battery that can provide up to 12 hours of continuous operation depending on how loud you drive the volume. If you spring for the spare battery column section (Maui 5 Go BC), you can prolong your performance, thanks to LD’s Quick-Swap Technology.
From the swift setup to plug-in and playing, I’m pretty knocked out by the Maui 5 Go 100 for its streamlined ease of use, clear and neutral sound and long battery life. While there isn’t any EQ tailoring for the Mic, Hi Z and Line Input channels, you can control the overall low end and treble frequencies by using the master Sub Level and Hi-Boost (high shelf filter) controls, respectively.
The baked-in LECC DSP combines a multi-band limiter, equalizer, compressor and crossover to do an admirable job of ensuring the clearest sound fidelity at any volume level. I found the system’s no-nonsense approach allowed me to get an excellent live sound with impressive clarity in the small to medium venues where I play.
My only nitpick is the omission of reverb for the unit, which could be a deal-breaker for some. However, I’d argue most of my performing peers (myself included) already use and bring their own vocal processors and mixers. But if you need that and more, LD offers the FX300 2-channel vocal effects pedal as an option to remedy that.
- STREET PRICE: $899.99; Maui 5 Go BC, $199.99; FX300, $199.99
- CONTACT: LD Systems (opens in new tab)