I first came across Alto Professional audio products more than a decade ago. What I found back then and what I continue to find to this day is that Alto do indeed deliver a product that meets the needs of those looking for something within a price point, but also a product that carries a mark of quality that sets it above what you would expect for the price. So, when I first got to test drive a couple of speakers form the Black Series of powered PA solutions some months back, I was initially impressed by what I heard, but the range goes further than just a couple of speakers, so this month I had a look at the full power of the Black Series by Alto professional.
This is one speaker that offers a lot of possibilities as it can take on a range of roles. It will be the obvious choice for a compact fold back monitor in a larger Black setup, and it can keep up with the front of house speakers that it has to contend with in this application. It also works a treat for mobile DJs and acoustic duos looking for a compact and portable powered speaker with plenty of headroom to cover a noisy room. Even used as a single speaker in a small venue this works a treat for an acoustic guitar and vocal when you don’t need to be too overpowering, but still need to have a solid presence.
The Black 12 is going to be the most popular model by default is you ask me. It’s easy to get around with as the cabinet is not too cumbersome and it offers plenty of volume for its size. You get and increased lower-mid range with this unit that is lacking in the Black 10 and with the larger speaker, you move more air too, so as a stereo pair, it simply sounds bigger and fuller without ramping up the volume.
The Black 15 is the speaker for those who want maximum punch and power in a single cabinet. It has the clarity and projection of the Black 12, but the 15 inch speaker really delivers that additional power that many users may be looking for. In the absence of a sub-woofer, these speakers work a treat as just a pair. They still manage to deliver a really powerful bottom end and are going to prove to be very popular with DJs who want a system that gives them the most amount of thump in the smallest amount of boxes. Two of these will sound like you are running a pair of 12s with a sub, yet they make load in and set up much simpler.
BLACK 15SUB & BLACK 18SUB
The two subs in the range are where the real fun starts. For those wanting to hot up the Black 12 speakers with more low end thump the Black 15SUB offers a compact option that still delivers a punchy sub-bass response that works nicely with smaller powered speakers. It even works well with a pair of the Black 10s if you want a compact system with real power. If it is bass you are searching for, then the Black 18SUB is what you need. I only got to drive one of these units with a pair of Black 15s, but that was more than enough for demonstrative purposes at home. This unit delivers a serious bottom end that you not only hear, but feel too. A pair of these will really bring some power to any system whist not making it too overbearing for transport. Whist the Black SUB15 is an easy option for a portable PA, the Black SUB18 just dominates when it comes to power and low end thump.
Across the entire range, the Black Series has plenty to offer all manner of musicians. If it’s portability or power that you need, there is something for you in these speakers and subs. The 2400 watt power amps in each model deliver the goods when they are called for and the wireless connectivity and control makes it easier to get them working the way you want them to in any space. They look mean, but they sound even meaner. Go and have a listen to a pair and see what you think. Every model might not suit your needs, but you will be sure to find something that does the job within the range.
For more information visit www.proaudiogroup.com.au
Hits and Misses
A solution for just about any sound reinforcement need
Lightweight and sturdy build
Plenty of volume in all models
Digital control over analogue power
Slight lacking in mid-range warmth with certain models
Power: 2400 Watts peak Class D power (1200 Watts continuous)
Built-in mixer: (2) Mic/Line inputs, volume control, XLR output
EQ controls: contour switch, Ground Lift switch, plus switch to turn off logo LED
Black 10: 32.8cm x 34.4cm x 55.5cm
Black 12: 36.3cm x 37.1cm x 60.5cm
Black 15: 41.6cm x 44.3cm x 68.1cm
Black 15 SUB: 51.3cm x 63.8cm x 45.3cm
Black 18 SUB: 52.3cm x 72.1cm x 62.7cm
Black 10: 19.2kg
Black 12: 23.1kg
Black 15: 27.8kg
Black 15 SUB: 37.8kg
Black 18 SUB: 43.3kg