I recently started using the Fishman SA220 solo performance system for my small room gigs. At first I was apprehensive. I've been using a large powered mixer and two-unpowered 10" speakers for these gigs and I wasn't sure if this new small rig would 'get it done.'
The nice surprise is that not only was the SA220 far smaller and easier to schlep than my old system, but that it even sounded much better!
I found that by placing the system about four-feet behind me and about three-feet to one-side, I didn't need a monitor at all. What a bonus!
I typically play through a Digitech Vocalist 5 and send a single line to the amp. The SA220 has two-mic and two-line inputs on it's face. It's ideal for a solo-performance, but you can also use it with a duo. There's an auxiliary input on the back that must be used. It takes a little reading to figure it out, but it works great.
The real treat with the SA220 is the way it fills a bar or coffee house with incredible sound. The clarity is truly something that every performer will appreciate. The bass response was very good, given that I don't use a sub.
The portability of the system is something that really appeals to me. I'm a little tired of lugging 50lb. speakers around. Fishman has designed the SA220 to fit nicely into a provided gig-bag with wheels. A second bag comes with a speaker stand and that snaps to the top with large fasteners that should hold-up to 'the road.' The large pocket on the side of the bag provides enough storage for a mic and some cables. I frequently walk into a gig with a guitar in one-hand the Fishman SA220 in the other, ready to go!
This system provides the fastest setup ever. Simply pull-out the speaker stand and place the system on it. Plug in your power, mic, and instrument, and start playing in five-minutes.
I am thrilled with the SA220. It's the best rig for under $1,000. I recommend that you test-drive one for yourself at your local music dealer.