Road Test: Cerwin-Vega! P-Series Powered Loudspeaker-Subwoofer Combo

Checking out a portable system with onboard mixer and more

The recently introduced Cerwin-Vega! P-Series is comprised (so far) of two boxes, the P1500X full-range powered loudspeaker and the P1800SX powered subwoofer. The two can be utilized separately or together, and are designed for portable and installed applications.

The P1500X is a 2-way, bi-amped loudspeaker in a bass-reflex enclosure, incorporating a 1.75-inch-diaphragm (1-inch-exit) compression driver joined by a 15-inch woofer. The class D amplifier is rated as delivering 540 watts continuous and 1,500 watts dynamic.

Frequency response is stated as 55 Hz to 20.5 kHz (±3 dB), with a coverage pattern of 90 x 65 degrees.

The enclosure is made of a rugged polymer and has a heavy 18-gauge perforated steel grill. (The grill perforations are the shape of the logo, which is a nice touch.) It measures 27.5 x 17 x 13.5 inches and weighs 53 pounds.

The rear of the P1500X houses all controls and connectors, including a 3-input mixer. The first two channels offer 1/4-inch and XLR combination jacks that are switchable between mic and line. The third input channel offers up a pair of 1/4-inch unbalanced inputs that sum to mono.

All three channels have a volume knob, as well as signal/clip lights. Channels one and two each feature independent THRU outputs to an XLR connector and a MIX output is also available via an XLR.

Four additional switches reside to the right of the inputs. An enhanced EQ switch attenuates the mid-range frequencies, providing the option of an EQ curve in addition to running flat, while a Vega Bass Boost switch dynamically provides adjustment of low-frequency response based on volume settings.

There’s also an 80 Hz high-pass switch as well as an on/off switch for the limiter LED located behind the grill. An IEC power connector, on/off switch, power light, limit and protect lights, main volume knob,  and volume remote connector complete the rear panel. 

One side of the enclosure is angled 45 degrees for stage monitor applications. An adjustable pole cup located at the bottom of the cabinet allows the unit to sit level or tilt downward at 7.5 degrees. M10 rigging points are provided at the top and side, with two additional points for pull back on the rear.

Just The Facts
The P1800SX powered sub is loaded with a single 18-inch woofer in a bass reflex enclosure. The amplifier (also class D) is rated to deliver 725 watts continuous and 2,000 watts dynamic. Frequency response is listed as 38 Hz to 183 Hz (±3 dB). The cabinet is constructed of 18 mm reinforced wood, sporting a 35 mm pole mount. It measures 24.2 x 20 x 24.5 inches and weighs 84 pounds with casters and 77 pounds without.

The I/O, mix and switches on the back panels of both units. Also note the enclosure shape of the P1500X (at left) that also makes it suitable for use as a monitor. (click to enlarge)

The rear input panel offers two inputs with 1/4-inch and XLR combination jacks, as well as signal/clip lights and THRU output XLRs. An additional LINK output XLR combines the two inputs into a mono output. Switches offer polarity reversal, Vega Bass Boost, and front limiter light control.

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An additional switch labeled HPF Thru and LPF Sub attenuates frequencies above 80 Hz (low-pass filter) and engages an 80 Hz high-pass filter on the THRU outputs. An IEC power cord socket, power switch, power and limit lights, and main volume with remote volume remote connector complete the rear panel.

Both units offer the ability to remotely control the main volume with a user supplied 10 kOhm hard-wired remote potentiometer, very handy when they’re installed in a venue and access to the cabinet controls may be difficult to get to. Users can configure the remote volume to access individual cabinets or daisy chain the control across multiple loudspeakers.

Quick Setup
The first thing I noticed when unpacking the units were the rugged handles with rubber grips, followed by the weight of the top cabinet. At 53 pounds, placing a P1500X on the extended pole or a loudspeaker stand will probably require two people. Weighing in at 77 pounds, the P1800SX sub is easy to move via the casters or a hand truck.

Both models are attractive, with a rounded front and “wraparound” grill shape, and they’re built to survive anything that a road crew can throw at them. I was also provided with the optional CVPOLE-1A mounting poles that allow height adjustment from 30 to 46 inches. Using the poles affords a compact, attractive package.

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