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Change My View: QSC K12s are the best PA speakers attainable by the average musician

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Wissen, Dec 14, 2018.

  1. Wissen


    Nov 11, 2007
    Central PA
    I've always been happy with them in a mobile church setup, and just tonight I am using them to run sound at a Legion gig for a 7-piece R&B band. Yamaha MG20xu mixer, nothing special. They just sound great no matter what you do with them.

    Does it get substantially better, even at twice the price? I say no.

    Change my view.
  2. thewildest


    May 25, 2011
    Someone’s view can be changed with optical devices or laser surgery.
    eliascalles, kcolyar and fokof like this.
  3. You could try standing on your head? Don’t do it too long tho - you will get yourself a wicked bad headache.
    Wissen likes this.
  4. Stevorebob

    Stevorebob Well... I Am Here, Aren't I? Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Maybe go to a different city.
    Wissen likes this.
  5. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    People slag on the K Series stuff. For me it just works. 2 153’s, 5 12’s ,2 10’s, 4 181’s that stuff just works all the time. Sounds good out of the box. Easy. My K12’s see quite a bit of rental use. They always come back intact...
  6. Barisaxman

    Barisaxman Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    QSC K's are good stuff, no doubt. But if you wanna play at double the price, the output and sound quality of a JBL SRX835P will make them look like toys. Or just for kicks, at just a few hundred bucks more an RCF ART745 with the bigger compression horn will also be noticeably better sounding :)
    fokof likes this.
  7. d&b auditechnik
    But bring money. LOTS of money.
    QSC K12s ROCK! Recently upgraded my K12s to K12.2s, so far only practice room use.
  8. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Kw153 to srx835 is a better comparison. I prefer the 153... the k12 is more or less the standard for $800 in a powered 12. The biggest knock is they sound ragged when they get deep into the limiter. I expect that is basically self preservation. QSC offers a 6 year warranty. So that protection level is baked in. They do still get loud as heck though.

    I did a direct compare with PRX 612m’s a few years back. Bought 6 of those on a deal. K12’s were similar money... and they just smoked the PRX’s. I turned the PRX’s after 1 season...
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018
  9. I'm kinda digging the Turbosound stuff..pound for pound they perform as good as any K series .. and cat5 cables all around via the X18..and they are less expensive.
    jimfist likes this.
  10. Paulabass

    Paulabass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2017
    I've got 11 k-12's. 4 on top, 2 center-fill, and 5 monitors. I love them. Something else would have to be a LOT better for me to think of changing. I also use 4 k-subs on the bottom. I can do over 100db all day at the back row (100 feet) without ever going to limiting.
    kcolyar likes this.
  11. Geri O

    Geri O Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    QSC all the way here. JBL can blow chunks. RCF is really good stuff, just a bit more pricey.

    D&B AudioTech is a whole 'nother category of audio gear. As good as it gets, but for a fee, of course. But what a bang for the buck it is.

    QSC has been the best of all the worlds for us at the performance level expected of speakers in that category. Great performance and sound, great price point, no magic tricks needed to make it sound good. And the one time we needed a piece repaired in all he years, it was warrantied with no hassles and took just under two weeks, including the shipping.
    LiquidMidnight likes this.
  12. Pat C.

    Pat C. Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2005
    Tuscaloosa, AL, USA
    I would assert that you have not even heard all the similar offerings at the K12 price point, let alone those at twice the price.

    I have not either.

    I have heard the K12's many, many times - in the audience, on stage as a musician and as a sound guy. Usually, they sound just fine. Not great, but good. But when pushed, they sound bad. Really bad.

    It's a pretty old model at this point. I'd bet there are dozens of active loudspeakers that objectively outperform the QSC k12 in the appropriate passband, at the same price and especially twice the price.

    For example (all in the ~$800-1600 street price range):

    QSC xx.2 series.
    Yamaha DXR series, DXR10, 12, 15, etc.
    Yamaha DSR12 and higher
    Yamaha DZR10 and higher
    Peavey RBN112
    JBL PRX812 and higher
    JBL SRX812 and higher
    EV ETX 10p and higher
    RCF HD32a
    RCF ART 735 and higher
    Yorkville NX750p2
    Turbosound Athens TCS122 and higher
    Turbosound NuQ122-AN and higher
    DB Technologies DVX, Ingenia, Sigma and Flexsys
    Presonus 328AI and higher


    That's not a comprehensive list, I just got bored looking them up.

    Don't believe me. Who wants to arrange a shootout?
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2018
  13. Paulabass

    Paulabass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2017
    ^ Those are all good speakers. One of the big reasons I'm running all QSC is that people who book bands into my venue know them and trust them. Without seeing the venue, they know it will sound good. Brand recognition...it works
    kcolyar and kittywithabanjo like this.
  14. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!" Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    It's cool that the venues where you perform care enough to concern themselves over such things. Around here, they don't care if you sh!t wooden nickels on stage, as long as people pay to see it and stay late.
    s0c9 and DWBass like this.
  15. Paulabass

    Paulabass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2017
    ^ I'm hiring top bands from the festival/large venue circuit who are sometimes reluctant to play a 220 seater that serves alcohol. We are not a bar, we are a rock room, but it's hard to convey that. I need all the ammo I can get to make them change their minds. Also, at $40 cover, the audience demands quality. We need 3/4 of a house to break even.
  16. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!" Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    There's a certain point where true, objective tech specs and subjective preference/opinion meet. In my experience, you can have speakers that spec out great but don't hold up in the field, and vice versa. You can also have speakers that sound phenomenal within their "safe" operating range, which may be far preferable depending on the gigs and venues, while other speakers always sound "pretty good" no matter how hard you hit them.

    Personally, I do think there are better sounding speakers out there in the $800-1600 price range. Many of the options have already been listed, and it's not hard to find info on speakers in this day of the internet. One wild card for money-making ventures is the track-record history of a product. But trying to talk someone into making a switch on a gear forum is a fruitless task. You need to listen with your own ears and give the speakers your own version of a real-world test in context before you can really tell for yourself. It's like asking someone to talk you out of chocolate being your favorite flavor of ice cream vs. vanilla, strawberry, etc.
    Medford Bassman likes this.
  17. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!" Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Well, I'd say you're in a pretty good position. Where I live, that would put you in some elite company, and wouldn't necessarily be the norm for the vast majority of gigging players. Good for you!
  18. Pat C.

    Pat C. Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2005
    Tuscaloosa, AL, USA
    Obviously we have very different experiences with this. But I'm definitely not going to argue with you about brand recognition, QSC is certainly well known. That doesn't mean that they are the best PA speakers in category.

    If a band member, booker, manager, sound guy, whoever - walks into a club and sees Yamaha DSR12's or a JBL SRX812 or an RCF ART 745 - and say's 'I'd rather have QSCk12's', or even worse 'I'm not playing here because you have these speakers that I don't recognize' then I'd seriously question the audio knowledge level and experience of that person.

    If that is the perception of those you do business with and if using that brand brings you more business, then by all means use it. But the K12 is most definitely not the best. They may be the best business decision for your situation, I'll grant that possibility.

    And TBH, if I walked into a 220cap rock club and saw a single QSC K12 hanging per side I'd seriously question whether there is going to be enough rig for the gig.
  19. pglaser01


    Mar 19, 2013
    St. Louis, MO
    If only I were that good....

    Want to hire us?????

    Wait, you said top bands? Large venue circuit?

    Never mind. My mistake......carry on
  20. Pat C.

    Pat C. Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2005
    Tuscaloosa, AL, USA
    OK, now I'm confused. Not sure what you mean by top bands, but if you're trying to meet riders then I don't see how K12's are gonna help. Sure, they have brand recognition, but at the top level that reputation is not a good one.
    BwanaDust likes this.

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