Canadian Musician - July/August 2017 - Page 23

ROAD TEST QSC K.2 Series Powered Loudspeakers By Trevor DeSouza    ’ve used QSC powered speakers and amplifiers almost daily for the past 10 years. The HPR, K, and KW series have been consistent workhorses in my rental inventory and I’ve toured across the country with them in almost every imaginable configuration and venue type. QSC has been a great brand to standardize on, and I have a fairly easy job fulfilling technical riders and performer expectations with them in virtually every application. When the opportunity came up to review the brand’s evolution of the K Series, the K.2s, I was eager to take them for a spin. I First Impressions The series includes the K12.2, K10.2, and K8.2 models with 12-in., 10-in., and 8-in. cone transducers, respectively. For starters, they look great. In the corporate market, you’ll never hear complaints about ugly speakers obstructing the audience’s lines of sight. They’re fairly compact and push a good amount of air for their weight. The obvious upgrades to this line would be the new 2,000 W amp module, which offers twice the power of the K Series and more head- room, and additional third channel of “mixing” onboard. The internal processing can be useful as well. I can’t personally see myself program- ming and saving EQ settings into my monitors every night as I typically opt for a digital console, but that will be an attractive feature to many users. The ability to delay this speaker remotely has proven to be quite handy, especially in time-aligning balcony or room fills at the source. The front styling has been tweaked a little as well with the addition of an internal cloth lining within the grille. In Use As a floor monitor or part of a main PA system, the new K.2 series does the job very effectively. Another notable addition to this line would be the ability to use the K8.2 series in a monitor configuration. This was a very useful feature reserved for the K10 and K12 models in the original K Series. Placing this speaker in front of a black drape line, it almost disappears – especially with the ability to turn off the front blue LED via a switch on the back. The new K8.2 also boasts an impressive bass response despite its small size, making it a great portable instrument amp. The K.2 models have done away with the old RCA inputs and instead W W W. C A N A D I A N M U S I C I A N . CO M opted for a 3.5 mm (1/8-in.) connection on a third input channel. The first channel accepts mic/line levels with combination XLR F or TRS F connectors. The second channel now boasts the ability to accept Hi-Z or line level inputs, giving you the ability to present a solo performer, with vocal and D.I., as well as background tunes between sets for when you run out of mixers on conference events or small performances. The output section gives you the ability to daisy chain easily with the XLR F connections as well as a post-mix-output if you have more than one input feeding the powered speaker. The optional lockout panel is a welcome piece of hardware to any user who doesn’t want their presets tampered with. The K12.2s felt pretty light. Weighing in at about 39 lbs., they’ve somehow dropped 2 lbs. from the previous K12s without feeling any less robust. Not being a huge fan of plastic wedges or mains myself, I was surprised with how warm and tight they sounded for an ABS enclosure. The plus side here is that after a hundred or so shows, these may still look much newer than your chipped up birch wood wedges, and all the while will have been easier on your back. On that note, the only question I would have with these new amp modules would be their ability to take a beating indoors and out. I have had my K10s in all kinds of nasty, wet, foggy weather and they’ve been rock solid. Most of the time, these speakers are transported in durable, but not bulletproof tote bags. My hope is that with the addition of the LCD display, we haven’t sacrificed durability for flexibility, but time will tell. There’s really only one change I’m not totally sold on. Having two holes for your speaker stand is great, and I get that it’s nice to have a downward angle sometimes, but after placing the speaker in the wrong hole, lifting, and repositioning on almost every gig, I could see how this could be frustrating. The older K Series models had a rotatable cup for adjusting the single hole to two different angles that I found to be more practical. Despite this minor inconvenience, the two holes offer an improved centre of gravity for pole mounting. As for the actual sound of the box, I was getting clean, clear, and powerful sound in pretty much every applica FG&VBFWFRFP&VGw&VBW&f&6RbFR6W&W2FV2B'VBBffW"ЦrW7B&B&R6&GB6FW72ख7V'FW6R7VW'2&Rw&VBFW6VVB&fW76FW( &PVBBFWF( B6VBƖR6V7F2&W&V@7F2"fǖrƖ6F2FRF&VFVBG2fRP6fW&VB^( &RBvrFW"&6Vvvr6bFW6RF@g&6w2WfW'vBFW6WVBBFGBR6V@V6ǒFW"F226F"&rFW&2b&rf"FR'V6422v2&VVג66RBFW6W'FǒfV( BWBW0FvvFFR'&BWr"6W&W2*G&Wf"FU6W6VbVvVW"vW"( 2w&VE4TB2wwrw&VG6VB6dVvVW"( 2FR7FfVG2GB26&7F'F2BR22( "#