Review: Yamaha Stagepas 200 Portable PA system

Subscribe to Mixdown Magazine


Review: Yamaha Stagepas 200 Portable PA system

Words by Pablo Francois

Yamaha Music Australia | RRP: $1399

Out of all of the brands currently inhabiting the broader loudspeaker market, few have a CV as diverse and balanced as Yamaha’s.

From their historical dominance in home theatre and hi-fi, through to their highly respected Public Address systems (the brand’s Sound Reinforcement Handbook is still considered the bible on all things FOH) and of course, their recent successes in installed products and commercial systems, the brand has always enjoyed a stellar reputation in the professional space, irrespective of whichever branch of the Audio tree they are inhabiting.

Read more gear reviews here.

Rest assured, if it has drivers and involves a power amp of any kind, the sight of a Yamaha logo (three intersecting tuning forks to denote the brands commitment to music) comes as a welcome sigh of relief. They are the benchmark for utilitarian and unpretentious excellence in the field.

It’s this same spirit that inhabits the new Stagepas 200, the latest in Yamaha’s flagship Stagepas range of portable PA’s.

Featuring a 8″ LF coaxial speaker with a 1.4″ HF compression driver, nimbly driven by a 180W Class-D amplifier, the combination of these two drivers delivers both glassy clarity in the mid range with enough throw and dispersion to cover a surprising amount of real estate for a speaker of this size.

The low end reproduction in particular is likely to surprise, with the Stagepas 200 providing an impressive amount of reinforcement down there for a speaker of this size and wattage. This no doubt lends itself to social environments of all kinds, and as an all purpose listening speaker for entertaining or bluetooth streaming, the Stagepas 200 might be the most intuitive and user friendly option at present.

Weighing in at a diminutive 12kg, its portable enough to be carted around from event to event with little inconvenience or fatigue and the quality of its output is sure to keep the dance floor or barbecue pumping. 

The aftermarket STP200 carrying case is also of note, as it increases the portability of the Stagepas 200 into uncharted realms. Taking obvious inspiration from the world of DJ bags, the STP200 is about as stowable as carry-on luggage, with its retractable handle, stash pockets and high quality castors making for one of the best aftermarket cases out there for any product, anywhere. 

For the solo artist or small ensemble, the Stagepas 200 is a terrific portable option. With three combo inputs and a stereo/mono line input, there is more than enough front end flexibility for most small scale performance applications. The built in 5-channel digital mixer features three channels of mono microphone/line inputs and stereo inputs, with two of the mono input channels equipped with Hi-Z connectivity for direct injection of instruments like keyboards, acoustic guitar etc, making it a perfect choice for the small combo, mobile DJ or for small scale corporate AV applications.

While on the topic of flexibility, there is little denying that the flexibility of the onboard mixer is without doubt one of the Stagepas 200’s strong suits. 

Designed for simplicity and ease of use, the one knob EQ selects the frequencies you’d like to depress – cutting the low end for speeches or reducing the high-mids to make room for vocals in a band mix. ‘MODE’ selection toggles between three settings (Speech, Music and Club) to instantly dial in a multiband compressor with optimised settings for each application. Industry standard SPX reverb is available in four different types, each with an adjustable length to add essential atmosphere and character to your music. STAGEPAS Editor is a dedicated application that gives you remote control over levels and EQ to aid with setting up and fine tuning your sound and can also save settings to recall your optimum configurations.

The Stagepas Controller App (which allows users to adjust volume and EQ at a distance via Bluetooth during rehearsal or performance) is yet another nod to the world of large scale venue installs and touring PA, and provides a level of legitimacy seldom encountered in the world of Portable PA. The app itself allows for more adjustment in finer detail than the main unit’s interface, with access to parameters like EQ, Reverb, Compressor, Microphone simulators, Ducker, etc. to maximise the capabilities of your STAGEPAS 200. You can even save these settings in “scenes” stored on the app to be recalled any time for minimal set up time in the future. 

One particularly notable feature on the Stagepas 200 is the ability to angle the cabinet at varying degrees, to optimise the dispersion characteristics to a specific application. Buskers and street performers will be looking at the 60 degree gradient to project sound up to ear level (a welcome departure from directing your stage sound directly at the ankles of onlookers.) 

The 30 degree angle is ideal for performers on stage or anyone looking for a handy portable monitoring option, and the ability to link together multiple systems via the monitor out port, make for a speaker with an incredibly high ceiling, in terms of application and scalability.

Yamaha wrote the book on sound reinforcement (literally – the brands ‘Sound Reinforcement Handbook’ is considered to be the bible for all things PA and speaker design), so it comes as no surprise that the Stagepas 200 comes bursting at the seams with electro acoustic design nous and clever workflow tidbits.

Even the accessories (like the STP200) have the look and feel of a company with a long and storied history in the professional space. If you are serious about stage sound (even in the context of house parties and pop up shows), then the Stagepas 200 is for you.

For more information, head to Yamaha Music Australia.