Today, we’re going to take a look at the personal monitoring system by StudioSpares, it’s called the PM150.
Now, what’s it for, you might ask?
Well, a personal monitoring system is a device that allows you to hear yourself clearly when you’re performing live on stage. This means that your vocal tuning will be better and your delivery will be easier. Essentially, it’s a speaker, an amplifier and a mixer all in one box.
First of all, plug the mains lead in the back, set all the controls to zero. Next, flip the main switch and turn it on, when you do that the blue light should come on.
Now, how do you plug in? Well, the instruction manuals are not too clear on this. I’ll explain why. Let’s suppose you have an acoustic guitar and a vocal and you want to hear both. You would plug your guitar into Channel one and select instrument. And that’s where the manual gets a little bit fuzzy. You can only select Instrument on Channel 1. So the guitar’s will have to be plugged in on channel 1. Not channel 2
Make sure you’ve turned up the level on your guitar. Then go to input one or level one and turn that up, and go along to input two and you can plug a microphone in there. As you can see, it has an XLR socket.
Next you have to decide if you want echo. If you do, by using the grey switch (MIC1/MIC2), you can send the echo either to input one or input two.
As a result, the echo is just one wish, you can send echo to channel 1 or channel 2 (not both at the same time). The yellow knob is the amount of echo that you apply to either of those inputs. Incidentally, the echo is a bit karaoke-ish, so keep it low and it’ll give you a flutter echo. Level three will give you control over the phono inputs or the jack inputs for CD or iPod using these controls, will give you a balance for the inputs..
Remember though, when you go to the turn controls, that’s the low, the mid and the high.
These controls will affect the whole sound of the PM 150. Now, let’s just turn this over for a moment, when we look on the back, you see the output which goes off to the P.A. system. That’s the left hand one, the one marked thru. Turning the unit back around, you’re now connected up,. If you turn up the master level control, that’s the top right hand corner, the one marked main level you’ll hear the sound come from the PM150.
Make your final balance on the front of the unit and then go over to the P.A. system and turn the channel up on the P.A. That will reflect the mix that you set up on the PM 150.
Great so now I’ve just described one way to wire the PM150 up.
PM150 Inputs and Control Settings
Let’s just turn the unit back over again and look at the sockets on the back.
You can see that the right hand socket is either Jack or Cannon. This is where you would plug in your monitor send from your PA amp. Furthermore, it gives you a completely different way to run this monitor and just use it as a powered monitor with your monitor mix coming from the main mixer. This switch in between the two sockets relates to the left hand output, and gives you either line or mic level.
Therefore, you’ve got to know your controls pretty well, because if you get this wrong, then it will either distort or you won’t be loud enough. So that little button is there for when it’s in mic level, and when it’s toggled out, it’s at line level. That’s where you connect your PA System if you wish to run it as a powered monitor, bypassing the rest of the controls. Back round to the front of the unit again, depending on whether you’re using it with all the inputs from the front or on a send from the desk, your monitor level is the red knob at the top right.
Changing EQ Settings
Now, of course, you can change the tone controls, but bear in mind that you will be changing the tone of the whole P.A. Whereas if you’re using it on a return from the amplifier, that’s the monitor out; then you have control over what just comes out of this individual speaker.
Moreover, bear in mind that if you put too much treble on, let’s say; it would probably make the whole system feedback. There’s two distinctly different ways of wiring the unit, but they have given you the option. Being such a small unit with a five inch driver, not a floor unit, it’s designed to be fairly close to you. So you would be listening to this speaker for probably about a metre away rather than to up to two metres away if it were on the floor.
If you’re on the floor, the PM150 really wouldn’t work too well. When it’s close to you, your proximity to the speaker gives the illusion of more bass. It has quite a powerful amplifier in it, StudioSpares have given you a 150 watt amp, and 125 watt speaker into 6 Ohm.
PM 150 Personal Monitoring System Conclusion
You’re going to want to mount this on the top of your microphone stand. They do give you a couple of extra little pieces. One is to mount on top of the mic stand. The other one is so you can mount a microphone boom on top of the unit. But I’m not even going to bother with that because it just looks really amateur and ridiculous. Although you might find if you were using this as a lectern amplifier, that that may suit you very well. But overall, that’s a no no for music performances. So it’s got one speaker, a five inch driver, as I just said, it’s 125 watts. Speaker power has the mounting for a microphone stand.
The unit has a switch mode power supply and can automatically detect the mains input voltage. If you were going to do a gig abroad, it would instantly switch to the power provided. Additionally the power consumption is 180 watts and it’s only 230 millimeters high. The width is 345 millimeters , the depth is 300mm.
Final Notes About the PM150
It weighs next to nothing at 2.8 kilograms. This means that as a personal monitor, it’s a great solution for singers and musicians who sometimes wouldn’t be able to take a unit around with them. If you’re in a band and you bought one of each, then you could daisy chain them together. And as I described earlier on, you would just link through each unit so that you get a feed from the main P.A. It could also be used to reinforce a speaker’s voice in a conference. Or if you’re presenting and the jack and the combination of XLR inputs and switches to give you line level signals coupled with its three band Parametric EQ and various photo inputs and jack inputs make it a good all rounder.
So thumbs up from me. I think it’s a great little unit, obviously, if you were doing Glastonbury, you wouldn’t be taking one of these. This is really for your club dates, or maybe you just want to have a karaoke party and plug a few things in. There is a switch for phantom power. If you have a powered microphone, this provides 48 volts. Choose a sturdy microphone, stand to support the monitor and screw this onto the top of the stand and of course, that goes in the base of the monitor.
StudioSpares PM150 Personal Monitoring Speaker Review
The unit is designed for sound reinforcement so you can hear yourself on stage. A 'must-have' for club, pub and small acts in a noisy environment and during pre-stage warm ups for dressing room jams.
Ease of Use
Reader Rating1 Vote
Has 3 Inputs for Mic, Guitar, Phono and StereoJack.
Powerful Amp for the size .
48V Phantom Power.
Basic 3 Band EQ.
Ridiculous Mic Boom arm connection, risk of falling over!