QSC Launches KW Series active loudspeakers

(Dave Molter | Posted 2010-04-05)

QSC Launches KW Series active loudspeakers

A year after the successful launch of their active K Series QSC has gone a step further with the introduction of the KW Series. Building on the same successful platform as the ABS-molded K Series (which it is designed to complement), the KW Series has been engineered to produce the same outstanding performance — but this time in a second generation wooden enclosure. Manufactured in QSC’s Costa Mesa, California factory, the form factor is consequently more compact and substantially lighter than previous birch enclosure designs.

The KW Series represents the next evolution in wood enclosure loudspeakers, incorporating all the groundbreaking electronic attributes of the K Series. Packaged into the new, second generation Baltic birch design will be the same incredible 1000W of Class D power modules (2 x 500W), 1.75-inch high output HF device (in the full-range models) and extensive DSP featured in the K Series, along with all QSC’s patented technologies designed to fully-optimize the system.

The KW Series comprises four models — the KW122 (12-inch, 2-way multipurpose loudspeaker), KW152 (15-inch, 2-way trapezoidal loudspeaker), KW153 (15-inch, 3-way trapezoidal loudspeaker) and KW181 (18-inch subwoofer).

The Range
In addition to the Class D amplification and DSP, the KW122 contains a 12-inch cone transducer and 1.75-inch diaphragm compression driver, with 50Hz-20kHz frequency range, maximum SPL (1 meter) of 131dB (peak) and nominal coverage of 75° axisymmetric; the KW152 contains a 15-inch cone transducer and 1.75-inch diaphragm compression driver, with 44Hz-20kHz frequency range, maximum SPL (1 meter) of 133dB (peak) and nominal coverage of 60° axisymmetric; KW153 3-way system contains a 15-inch cone transducer, 6.5-inch mid-range and 1.75-inch diaphragm compression driver, with 33Hz-20kHz frequency range, maximum SPL (1 meter) of 134dB (peak) and nominal coverage of 75° axisymmetric, and the KW181 18-inch subwoofer contains an 18-inch cone transducer, with 39Hz-145Hz frequency range and maximum SPL (1 meter) of 132dB (peak).

High Output
Like the K Series, each of the four KW Series models features a QSC-designed, 1000-watt continuous (2 x 500) Class D power module. And continuing in the K Series tradition, every model is fitted with the identical high-output 1.75-inch HF device (full-range models) and woofers of the same high quality design, regardless of speaker size.

Defined Coverage Area
Directivity Matched Transition (DMT™) provides for matched LF and HF coverage across the entire listening area, eliminating unnatural ‘dead’ or ‘hot’ frequency zones

Extensive signal processing is employed throughout, providing levels of sonic clarity and total output that defy all expectations for a product in this category. Intrinsic Correction™, first featured in QSC’s high-end line array products, maps 65-75 spatially-averaged measurements to IIR and FIR filters that actively adjust time, frequency and amplitude response to a maximally flat bandpass target. The result is a speaker that behaves equally well across the entire sound field. DEEP™ (and excursion limiting) allow for extended low-frequency response by actively managing low-frequency transients without degradation of the underlying signal or adjacent frequencies. GuardRail™ protects both the amplifier module (and performance) from unnatural and destructive clipping.

KW Series features a four-position mic/line gain switch that allows for connection of a wide variety of devices. Combo XLR and 1/4-inch TRS inputs accept both mic and line level input while a set of RCA phono inputs (except KW181) allow additional connectivity to portable MP3 players, CD players and line-level mixers. Up to three audio sources can be mixed internally and summed to a balanced output for ‘daisy-chaining’ of multiple units. Separate direct outputs are also provided on each channel for additional output flexibility.

On-board switches provide preset EQ settings. The HF setting (full-range models) can be set to VOCAL BOOST for additional presence in the critical mid-frequency area or FLAT for accurate reproduction of the incoming signal. The LF switch can be set to NORM, DEEP™ for additional bass extension, or EXT SUB (full-range models) for use with an external subwoofer. The rear panel LED switch can be set to POWER, illuminating the front-mounted LED when the unit is powered on, OFF for applications where it is not desirable to illuminate the front LED, or LIMIT which indicates to the system operator that the clip limiter circuit has been engaged during operation.

The KW122 and KW152 feature a unique Tilt-Direct™ pole cup mounting system. A simple turn of the dial engages a 7.5° downward tilt of the speaker allowing acoustic energy to be kept on the audience and off reflective surfaces for applications where maximum coverage from a high-positioned speaker is desired.

Remote Gain
Remote gain control capability is offered via a potentiometer (not included), connected to the on-board Phoenix style connector. In an installed application, multiple KW Series speakers can be ‘daisy-chained’ for total gain control from a single remote pot. Auto-standby mode is engaged after 5 minutes of inactivity.

Premium grade Materials
KW Series is designed to withstand the rigors of professional use. Advanced construction processes, premium grade Baltic birch cabinetry, ergonomic, cast aluminum handles, low-noise casters (KW181) and a highly protective steel grille provide for ease of transport and long term durability. Integrated M10 suspension points allow for flown applications with a KW M10 KIT (sold separately) and a threaded pole receptacle (KW181) providing for a positive, wobble free connection to a threaded speaker pole (included).

The new KW Series will begin shipping in the Summer of 2010.

From a QSC press release. for more information, visit www.qscaudio.com.

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