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Let’s face it – those 20-year-old speakers in your band’s rehearsal space are in need of an upgrade. It’s sad really, you should be ashamed. So, if you find yourself in the market for some new powered speakers, we think we’ve got just the thing. We were recently sent a pair of the QSC CP8’s for review, and man these things cook!
Out of the box, we were treated to some nice padded carrying bags with integrated handles and pouches for power cables (the bags are sold separately, but worth looking into) so transporting these units to and from gigs or jam sessions is a breeze. They’re also deceptively light – considering they pump 1000 watts we expected them to weight us down; thankfully this is not the case, in part due to the smart engineering and efficient Class D amps inside. With an 8-inch main driver and high-frequency driver just shy of 1.5”, the CP8’s are capable of pumping out crystal-clear audio during even the most demanding live scenarios.
Our first tests included some heavy-duty Moog bass, courtesy of our office Sub Phatty – specifically low-end triangle waves with a sub-octave square wave one octave down. We paired this with heavily-decayed 808-style kick drum beats from the Roland boutique TR-08 through a Soundcraft Signature 12 live mixer. Results were fantastic – we used the main outs of the mixer to pole-mount the CP8’s to test them in a traditional PA stereo setup, then switched over to an aux mix and re-positioned them to see how they fared as wedge monitors for a vocalist. We’re happy to report that the CP8’s passed every torture test we threw at them with flying colors.▼ Article continues below ▼
Deep bass was rich and uncolored, yet tight enough to not suffer from boominess and flab we’ve experienced from other models in this price range. Top end shines through, as well – we added some upper register synth pads and lead guitar into the live setup and really let the CP8’s crank. Overall balance was fantastic, with no shrill top end or muddied mid-range.
The nice things about the CP8’s is that not only do they offer a well-balanced sonic signature, with plenty of power to fill most small-to-medium sized rooms, but they’d make an all-in-one solution for the traveling singer/songwriter. You can run backing tracks through the aux input, and you get two mic/line combo jacks for running vocals and perhaps a DI’d acoustic. The other bonus is the built-in DSP that makes tuning the speakers to your situation a snap. There’s a simple rotary pot that enables you to optimize the performance for floor wedges, electronic music, speech and even use with a sub. To be honest, the default setting would work well for most scenarios, but for coffee shops that do live music and poetry readings, it’s great to be able to switch settings back and forth in a matter of seconds.
There’s not much more we can say, we are thoroughly impressed with the CP range from QSC – these would be ideal as permanently installed monitors or mains in a club, for your band’s rehearsal space, or even as dedicated synth speakers in your jam space. Highly recommended.
Lightweight enclosures, super rugged, great price, clean headroom and overall nice balance