Producing a sequel is risky business, especially when the original was a hit. Expectations run high and the pressure to top the predecessor without abandoning the original concept can ruin a franchise's credibility faster than you can say The Phantom Menace. Luckily for us all, QSC decided to go more in the direction of 'The Empire Strikes Back' and wow us all with a sequel that far outshines the original with the new K.2 series. No using of The Force required.
The Hopeful Original
QSC's original K series speakers were a giant step forward for powered PA speakers and became an instant classic: tons of power for its size, great coverage range, flexible i/o, and sounded great straight out of the box. This made them the ideal choice for gigging musicians and DJs who didn't have the luxury of tuning their PA to whatever room they found themselves in that night. Not only that, but QSC chose to use the lighter weight ABS mold for their cabinets rather than the heavier wood cabinets of old. These speakers were so light and compact, you could throw them (literally) in the back of your compact sedan and set them up at your gig without all the grunting and subsequent chiropractor visits like back in the glory days.
The QSC Strikes Back
Leave it to QSC to not be satisfied with the status quo. The new K.2 series came rushing onto the scene with a gaggle of new features we didn't even know the K series needed. To start, they doubled their wattage from 1,000 to 2,000 watts, and matched their power modules to high-performance woofers and compression drivers. This, coupled with their Intrinsic Correction voicing make these speakers sound rich without losing any of the crisp, yet not at all harsh detail in the high frequencies that the original K series were so popular for. QSC then took it a step further by incorporating Directivity-Matched Transition technology, ensuring smooth coverage across the entire listening area. This means less off-axis attenuation in the high frequencies without sounding harsh when listening on-axis.
My first listening test came while demoing a K10.2 for an interested customer. I had no time beforehand to study the manual or even visit the QSC site for helpful information. Turns out, I wouldn't need it. The speaker was easy to set up with a brand new user-friendly digital display. Here I found helpful, application-specific presets to get the most out of the speaker. I plugged my phone into the 3.5mm jack, selected 'Floor Monitor' from the presets, hit play and stepped back. The very first thing I noticed was how great the projection to desired listening areas was, while minimizing bleed from behind. This is huge for a floor monitor, as you don't want your monitors to wash out your mains. Typically the first few rows at a venue get treated to an often puzzling mix as they're hearing the artist's mix rather than the mains as intended. QSC has taken huge steps to negate that issue with the new K.2 series.
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