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My QSC KW-Series Review, KW153 Tops + KW181 Subs

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  • My QSC KW-Series Review, KW153 Tops + KW181 Subs

    Well, after much discussion and waiting, my new system is finally showing in pieces...Here is what I will have, when all is said and done..

    Presonus Studiolive 24.4.2 Digital board (already had)
    4 QSC KW153 15" three-way loudspeakers (new)
    4 QSC KW181 18" subwoofers (new)
    4 EV ELX112P 12" two-way loudspeakers (already had)
    2 EV ELX115P 15" two-way loudspeakers (already had)
    2 EV ELX118P 18" subwoofers (already had)
    5 Audix RAD360 wireless systems, with 5 OM3 handhelds (+1 OM7 capsule) and 5 lavaliers with various mics (new, bought used from my dealer)
    20 K&M mic stands (12 tall, 8 short)
    1 Audix DP7 drum mic kit + extra D2 (already had)
    6 Shure SM57 instrument mics (had + new)
    6 Radial DI boxes, 4 mono 2 stereo (coming soon 5/6)
    16 Blizzard Puck Fab5 RGBAW LED cans with Duratruss (coming soon 5/10)
    Audiopile cases + 150' 24x12 reel snake (coming soon 5/2)

    I got the speakers by Fedex Freight yesterday, two pallets dropshipped from Memphis, TN.  They should have been here Friday (and were, but not out for delivery...) due to an error from QSC they were shipped a day late...Anyways, unpacked them, got them home, and fired them up, and WOW.  I had already demoed them at Guitar Center a few weeks ago, and was thoroughly impressed, but this setup ROCKS.  I had the tops set up at normal on the mains, the subs on an aux send, and was playing some prerecorded music as well as a live show I recorded Saturday night, and the sound was phenominal.  Cranked it up to where my ears were hurting (not from bad quality either) and the limiter's still hadn't kicked in.  My first gig that will break everything out will be on the 18th for a cancer benefit up the river.  I will actually have two tops and two subs at a show this Saturday, but it's not a huge show that doesn't demand volume, so there won't be a lot to see/hear, but I'm going to give them a try.  Anyways, here are some pictures I've taken of the system plus a video while listening to them today.




    Excuse the mess, but here is how everying sits in my garage at the moment.  Cases are coming in Thursday for most of this stuff, so it will clean up, plus I have a 7x14 trailer in the works.


    Here's the video.  Taken with my iPhone 5, so don't judge the poor quality of the video, but you get an idea...the speakers are put up to full volume at the chorus.


    Attached Files

  • #2
    Nice new gear. Why did you go with four 153's? The 152's may array better if looking for wider coverage.


    • OneEng
      OneEng commented
      Editing a comment

      Excellent Rig!!!!

    • djiceman1575
      djiceman1575 commented
      Editing a comment

      @jlb, to have a little more coverage when using them outdoors. The comb filtering as they were in the video wasn't too bad, but they will be slightly splayed when in use.

      @OneEng, thanks. It sounds great!

      @Dookietwo, having two tops per side will help in volume a bit, just make sure you splay them. And the car is my old car, which is now my sister's car..my dad took one rim off to use on his temporarily because one of his was cracked...And yes, I will buy him one soon, lol.

      @Bobby1Note, You ain't kidding, this has been almost a year coming. I've thought of other options, but budget wasn't wanting to play nice. Plus the system is modular, two tops for a small indoors show, or all 8 speakers for a larger outdoor show. I feel comfortable using these up to 500 people outdoors for sure, but I plan on doubling subs after awhile...

      @Art Flood, they sit about 5.5' high on top of each other. If you want to get them higher, the subs come with a threaded pole for the KW181's that you can set the speakers on (definitely want to have two people to do so though.

      @Agedhorse, the tops are set to normal, with a slight shelf to the mains (tops) to roll off a bit of low end, but not too much like the "Ext Sub"...I also took out a hair of the woofiness around 100-125hz, but I doubt I'll need to do that. The subs are there more to produce the lower end stuff. I may just go all mains and use them as intended with the "Ext Sub" setup, but I've done AFS the past 4 or 5 shows, after learning from a friend, and it gives me a lot more control in a live setting. Reduces the boom and rumbles quite a bit.

      Also of note, although it's hard to tell in the clip, I think the Audix wireless mics sound a LOT better than the SM58's I've been using. They're a staple, but sound too harsh, thin and muddy IMHO.  The OM3 heads work great for most shows.

  • #3

    Nice rig! I had thought about having the 4 tops myself.

    Its too bad you can't afford a tire for the car now....... :manhappy:



    • Bobby1Note
      Bobby1Note commented
      Editing a comment

      Way to go DJIceman,,,, you've done your research,,,,,, you've got your gear,,,, and now the fun begins. Enjoy your new system. There's nothing like "new toys" to get your Mojo "a-recirculatin' 'round". (Long John Baldry/ It Ain't Easy)

  • #4
    Use a proper crossover set up for aux fed subs. The way you are doing it will introduce issues that are not beneficial. IMO, you would be better off dropping the aux fed sub than doing it the way you are now
    Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/FMIC/JAM Industries Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

    Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie


    • drumstix
      drumstix commented
      Editing a comment
      Very nice rig!

      Just out of curiosity, what are you going to do with the EV speakers?
      It would be nice to have at least a pair of small traps to place on poles over the subs for small gigs. But, who knows, maybe you don't have small gigs! LOL

      K122's or even K10's/12's.

    • dboomer
      dboomer commented
      Editing a comment

      agedhorse wrote:
      Use a proper crossover set up for aux fed subs. The way you are doing it will introduce issues that are not beneficial. IMO, you would be better off dropping the aux fed sub than doing it the way you are now

      I don't think that's necessarly so.  It would be a good idea to use a HP filter on the 153's to limit sending extreme lows  to the tops but not absolutely necessary if you can use the board's EQ feeding them.


      You just have to try it and see if you like how it works.  It's not so important how it "measures" if it "sounds" good to you.