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Power Mixers

Dynacord CMS 1000-3
Now with USB
€ 1,250.00
RRP*: € 1,565.00
To Product
Behringer PMP2000D Europower
14 channels, 2000 Watt Class D amplifier & effects
€ 298.00
To Product
Yamaha EMX 5
8 channel power mixer
€ 555.00
RRP*: € 719.00
To Product

Things to know about Power mixers

A PA system with a power mixer is ideal for the rehearsal room or smaller gigs. What do you need to know about mixers with built-in amplifiers? Here are the answers! 

1. Power mixers – compact and practical

There are situations in which an extensive PA system including a mixing console and separate power amplifier can be a bit too much of a good thing - at band rehearsals, for example, or at smaller concerts or events. Here, a power mixer can be the perfect solution: a portable mixer with multiple inputs in which the amplifier is already integrated. Just connect the appropriate passive speakers and you are ready to go. 

In addition, depending on the model, power mixers score points with other features that are always welcome on stage, such as an equaliser for sound shaping and other built-in effects.

Features and advantages of power mixers:

  • Mixer and amplifier in one unit
  • Particularly simple set-up
  • Available in many sizes
  • Integrated effects such as EQ, reverb or chorus
  • Often with attractive price/performance ratio
  • Passive speakers can be operated without their own power source

Many manufacturers offer such devices, including:

  • Yamaha
  • Behringer
  • Fame Audio
  • Dynacord
  • Mackie
  • Soundcraft
Behringer PMP2000D Europower Powermixer
Powermixer with 14 channels and 2000 Watt Class-D power amp: Behringer PMP2000D Europower

By the way: Power mixers are sometimes also referred to as mixing amplifiers, although the terminology is not always clear.

2. Design

With power mixers, you usually have a choice between two build or housing styles. Here they are:

Desktop

For all those who do not want to do without the classic feeling of a mixer. At first glance, these models hardly differ from normal mixers, but they are usually somewhat taller and heavier - after all, there must be room for an additional power amplifier in the housing. For this reason, fans are usually installed, because an amplifier produces heat during operation. 

  • Classic mixer shape
    Faders included for convenient level adjustment

Dynacord PowerMate 2200-3 Powermixer
Hardly distinguishable from a normal mixing console: Dynacord PowerMate 2200-3

Box 

A mixer in a box? This is not unusual for power mixers, and it certainly has its advantages: you can simply place the devices on a flat surface and easily make the necessary settings with the help of the knobs on the front. Meanwhile, a carrying handle facilitates transport and thanks to the angular shape, there is practically always a place for these power mixers in the boot - especially advantageous if you are on the road a lot.

  • Convenient to transport and store
  • Rotary control for adjusting volume and other parameters
  • Practical carrying handle
Fame Audio PM 400 Powermixer
Gut verstaubar und mit nützlichem Griff an der Oberseite: Fame Audio PM 400

3. Buying

Since a power mixer combines a mixing console and a power amplifier, you should pay just as much attention to the aspects that are important when buying these two separate devices. These include in particular:

  • Number of channels: How many instruments and vocal microphones should be amplified? Is an 8-channel power mixer enough, do you need more channels or perhaps a handful of them will do?

  • Type of inputs: You absolutely need stereo inputs, for example, to be able to connect your laptop to the PA system? Then the power mixer should offer the appropriate possibilities for this.

  • Power: Metal band rehearsal or moderate gala event? How many watts the amplifier should have depends largely on the planned place of use. For higher volumes, the wattage (RMS) should be in the mid three-digit range. In general: the more power, the better, because you can always turn down the volume, the upper limit, however, is reached at some point - then clipping (distortion) can occur, and nobody wants that, after all. 

  • Speakers: Speakers and power mixer should match each other, especially in terms of power or power handling. The power mixer may be a little more powerful than the speakers, but not significantly (just as it should not have significantly less power - this can also damage the speakers in the long run because the integrated power amplifier is overloaded, so to speak). 

  • Microphone preamps: Some power mixers offer particularly high-quality preamps or microphone inputs with 48V phantom power to operate condenser microphones. If one or the other is important to you, look for it when buying. 

  • Effects: Practically all power mixers offer integrated effects - but of course there are differences, for example in the number of effects. If you don't want to do without a chorus, for example, it should also be available.

  • Use as an audio interface: Yes, there is that too - power mixers with integrated USB audio interface. So apart from a separate mixer and amplifier, you can save on additional hardware.

Tip: If you don't have any PA equipment, you can also buy a power mixer set. In this case, additional speakers and sometimes even cables are included. 

Set mit Powermixer, passive PA-Boxen und Kabel
Everything you need: Set with power mixer, passive speaker pair, stands and cables.