Distributed by: Technical Audio Group | Expect to pay: $799 - $1,039
The world of audio and musical equipment can be a tricky one to navigate at the best of times. With so many different products, conflicting opinions and confusing reviews, it’s hard to know what’s actually the best product for your needs.
Luckily, the team at Mixdown have put in the legwork for you, sifting through the spec-sheets and putting the products through their paces to bring you Mixdown’s Picks – a new series of expansive, category defining product guides across our digital channels. Anything that has made the cut has rated highly across the board with the Mixdown staff, garnering a unanimous tick of approval from our staunch critics.
As we all know, this upcoming holiday period is sure to be remembered as the summer where portable PA reigned supreme in backgrounds around the country, and it’s with this in mind that we are proud to present Mixdown’s Picks: Portable PA’s, showcasing all the best small scale PA, monitoring and portable sound reinforcement solutions on the market today.
QSC CP Series
Key Features: Straight outta Costa Mesa, California, QSC have been creating quality audio products and technology for over 50 years, with the brands iconic K’ series powered boxes being some of the most coveted and respected product lines in all of sound reinforcement.
With their reputation for rugged, bombproof durability, pristine audio quality and revolutionary design nous the brand has grown to become synonymous with quality and innovation, not just in regards to speakers, but also across the various small scale digital mixers and DSP/AoIP products that also bear the iconic acronym.
The new CP range of compact loudspeakers see the brand take all that experience and savviness that made the brand such an icon in the Pro Audio landscape, distilling it into a entry level speaker range that combines great sound quality and coverage with great value and ultra-compact portability, perfect for the civilian looking for the very best in sound quality (and without breaking the bank)
The new CP8 and CP12 models (named for their 8” and 12” LF drivers respectively) more than live up to the lofty reputation for power that made the brand famous, with both units running a Class D Peak of 1000w (split as 800 W for the LF Driver, 200 W at the tweeter.)
The CP8 delivers a 90 degree axisymmetric coverage, with a 124 dB max SPL, while the larger CP12 ups the ante, with a max SPL 126 db and an axisymmetric coverage of 75 degrees. The speakers are housed in moulded polypropylene cabinets with convenient top mounted handles, meaning they are as portable and lightweight as they are durable and road-ready.
Both units feature two locking XLR/F 1/4″ combo inputs as well as one 3.5 mm TRS stereo Input, with gain control ad well as a mic boost function. A contour knob offers EQ presents featuring default, dance, floor monitor and speech as well as two sub options allowing for the speakers to be optimised, in line with their chosen application. Both speakers in the CP range also offer an XLR/M port which functions as a mix output for easy daisy chaining for multiple speaker setups.
It’s important to mention the CP ranges exceptional versatility when it comes to set-up options with the choice of floor, pole & yoke mounting ensuring all kinds of positional options. Either installed or as a mobile solution, moving and installing the CP8 and CP12 is a one person job, and weighing 9.5 kg & 13.7 kg respectively, rest assured you don’t need to be hitting the gym ahead of bump in.
The balanced weight distribution, rubber feet and cab angle also makes the CP8 a particularly adept on-stage monitor.
Mixdown Says: Both of the CP series speakers deliver crisp top end and details mids at volumes that are sure to surprise, especially for their physical size. With their workhorse reliability, simple set-up and extremely lightweight enclosure and quality sound reproduction, they are a perfect choice for anyone looking for heightened sound quality at an accessible price point, perfect for community events/presentations, small scale install/ rehearsal spaces or for the gigging musician looking for the flexibility of a high quality portable rig.
For the DJ’s, the ‘Dance’ contour option will no doubt be your friend, providing some significant reinforcement in the low end and taking the CP series from quality powered box, to a bonafide floor filler (especially when paired with a nice QSC sub or two!)
Delivering on their reputation for quiet active speakers, these models also have the added bonus of being some of the quietest out there when it comes to background buzz or hiss, which can only be a good thing.
Overall: With the CP range, QSC have seemingly done the impossible-providing a high quality powered option that takes many of the characteristics of their iconic premium product lines, and repurposes these ideas for the beginner and budget conscious alike.
If fantastic value, awesome build/sound quality and easy transportation are your thing, then look no further.
Head to Technical Audio Group to find out more about the QSC range.