Published September 30, 2018 by Ben H.
QSC's K Series speakers have been a well-respected staple in the live-sound world for several years, and their newer K.2 Series speakers have been just as impressive. Building on this success, QSC recently expanded their options and selection with a brand new pair of speakers. We at Kraft are proud to present the brand-new CP12 and CP8 speakers. At a price approaching half that of their K.2 counterparts, the CPs are perfect for anyone that needs powerful, high-definition audio to fit a lower budget.
QSC was kind enough to send an early pair of CP12s and CP8s for our review, which we set up next to a pair of K12.2 speakers for comparison. Just like the familiar K Series, the CP speakers have plastic cabinets with a sturdy metal grille which gives them a professional look. Hoisting them onto speaker stands was easy thanks to their lightweight and compact design. True to form, QSC's build quality left no doubt in our minds that these speakers would stand up to regular use by gigging musicians.
Users familiar with the K12.2 will notice that the CP12's back panel has similar options: two XLR combo jack inputs plus a 3.5mm aux input (with fixed gain). There is also an XLR line-level mix output that allows the CP speakers to be daisy-chained together. Users can select from 6 EQ presets via a dedicated knob. We were pleased to see options for use with a subwoofer among the selections, since CP would be a perfect partner to a compact sub. Hopefully QSC will have a CP Series subwoofer in the works soon!
Unlike the K12.2, the CP12 does not have individual XLR outputs for each input channel, and there is no LCD screen or menu system. Even though the CP speakers don't have a built-in delay or selectable crossover points, most users will not miss these features. The uncomplicated input panel makes them very easy to use, and all settings can be seen at a glance.
Comparing the sound of the CPs with the K12.2s was rewarding. While the K12.2s are louder, we were able to add a little input gain on the CP12's back panel which allowed us to get similar volumes from each. At this level, the CP12s are powerful and clear with warm bass and pronounced treble.The K12.2s do have more lower extension, but the CP12s are not lacking in low end by any means. Similarly, we were impressed by the strength of the horn tweeter’s crisp, non-fatiguing highs, delivering that all-important clarity so vocalists are not just heard, but understood! In all of our testing, the CP Series speakers did not clip or distort.
The CP12 is definitely a solid choice for any budget-friendly sound system for a band or mobile DJ setup. Although the CP8 speakers produce slightly less volume and less bass due to their smaller size, they would still be a fantastic choice for announcements, background music, or acoustic performers at outdoor venues. The CP8s would also be well-suited to stage monitor use due to their compact size, crisp and clean high end, and hot output. It’s worth noting that both the CP12 and CP8 have angled cabinets for stage wedge placement. The CP8 cabinets could also be paired with a single powered subwoofer for a compact, full-range sound system.
All in all, we got the impression from the CP Series that QSC was able to use half the wattage to deliver 80% of the volume and sound compared to the K.2 speakers. The CP speakers will be a welcome addition to QSC's lineup and worth serious consideration for first time QSC customers.