The latest from the purveyors of power and punch at Cerwin-Vega! is a versatile pair of powered speakers, the P1500X full-range loudspeaker and the P1800SX subwoofer. Although each model is perfectly capable of performing its specific role (a stand-alone PA speaker or a subwoofer to expand any system’s low end), this pair of speakers is clearly presented as a matched set.
And not surprisingly, it is well matched. It’s easy to hook them together, and they have some some simple controls to help you adjust input and output combinations to suit your situation. On its own, the P1500X provides a solid, powerful, full-range option that can handle goodsized crowds and relatively large spaces; once connected, they provide a soundreinforcement solution that can take on much larger gigs.
The P15000X is two-way, full-range speaker unit, driven by a high-output Class D amplifier, which is rated as providing 1,500W peak/500W continuous power, and a maximum of 134dB SPL. Sound is projected by 1.75” high-frequency and 15” low frequency drivers. It weighs in at 53 lbs., housed in a heavy duty, polypropylene cabinet measuring 27.5” x 17” x 13.5”. For input and output, its back panel is equipped with dual Neutrik XLR/TRS combo jacks for two channels (both mic/ line switching), and dual 1/4” TS inputs for a third. The first two channels also feature dedicated Thru outputs, while beneath the third channel is a mono Mix Output jack for connecting to the subwoofer. (As a convenience for DJs, two 1/4” to RCA adaptors ship with every P1500X.)
The adaptability of the P1500X becomes clear when looking at the right top on the back panel, with its four switches for adjusting sound and signal output. Engaging the Enhanced EQ switch takes the mid-range down via a well-crafted curve to allow the bass to come to the fore and the high end to sparkle; this effect is specifically aimed at DJs. But if there’s still not enough low end, there’s a switch for Vega Bass Boost that does the obvious, also by utilizing a well-chosen frequency curve. With these two switches alone, I was able to tailor the sound to a variety of performance spaces. While other manufacturers have been expanding the EQ options on the back of their active speakers, the P1500X aims toward the minimal. Yet I found that these controls were all I needed to create a solid foundation upon which to build a more detailed mix.
More control is available, however. A high-pass filter switch provides attenuation below 80Hz, for when you connect the subwoofer, or for other applications where bass should be minimized (such as using the speaker as a stage monitor). One more switch enables or disables the speaker’s handy frontgrille “limiter engaged” light. I’ll mention here that although the connections to be made for a top+sub configuration are straightforward for non-manual-reading expert types, I did appreciate the clearly written and illustrated instructions in the manual for getting this speaker team hooked up and ready to rumble. The back of the manual also features some setup diagrams for various sound situations, which would be particularly helpful for the lessexperienced user. P1800SX
Speaking of rumble, the P1800SX subwoofer brings the bass with an 18” driver housed in a reinforced 18mm-thick wood cabinet, and weighs in at 77 lbs. It is driven by a Class D amp, rated at 2,000W peak and 650W continuous power, with 136dB max SPL.
The I/O section features two Neutrik XLR/TRS combo inputs, each again paired with discrete XLR thru connectors. An XLR “LINK OUTPUT” jack allows hooking up to either another sub or a full-range speaker. An “HPF THRU & LPF SUB” switch mirrors the top speaker’s high-pass filter and allows for the addition of a second filter, which attenuates the subwoofer frequencies above 80Hz. Thus, one can easily combine the P1500X and P1800SX with the signal going in either direction— from top to sub or sub to top—another helpful bit of versatility. The subwoofer also features Vega Bass Boost, guaranteeing a gut-thumping bass punch when you need it.
TESTING THE TEAM
I tried out the two speakers as a combo and separately in a number of different applications; they proved their flexibility by providing excellent sound in each situation. For an intimate gathering in a small hall with low ceilings, I used a single P1500X to cover the room. The speaker’s unadorned sound was perfect for dinner
music, and when the event kicked into higher gear, simply engaging the Enhanced EQ was enough to keep the beat
Filed Under: Issue #150, Performing, Sound
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