Reviewed: QSC KS118 Subwoofer

Technical Audio Group | tag.com.au | Expect To Pay: $3,299

QSC have been slowly creeping into Australia’s live and musician market for years. They’re here to stay, and for good reason. Offering products from loudspeakers and subs to mixers and amplifiers, they cover a whole lot of ground.

QSC is shaking things up, not only metaphorically; the new QSC KS118 is a subwoofer ready to make the floor quake as part of a PA system reaching down to 41Hz. The KS118 is a robust, inconspicuous cube-shaped subwoofer that fulfills every need you could need from a sub, but also features some extra handy additions to assist in future-proofing your system and sound. The KS118 can be linked with other KS118s for a more complete and powerful array of low-end, as well as QSC’s “DEEP™” mode to assist in making the KS118 a perfect fit for almost any application.

 

In use, the KS118 is a breeze. It’s super powerful, featuring a 3600 watt amplifier module, so there’s no shortage of signal being powered into the audience and floor. This is a sub that really makes a performance an experience, and helps the signal be felt as well as heard. Speakers and signals that offer such rich low frequencies don’t usually provide much in the way of direction, however the KS118 can be linked with a second KS118 to provide a vast cardioid response from the speakers and PA. While a single KS118 will do a fine job and provide omni-directional (and omnipotent and omnipresent) sound, dual KS118s can be dialed in to provide a wider birth resulting in a cardio response, perfect for either side of a stage and aimed at the dancefloor or audience. To ensure your performance remains tight and consistent, the KS118 offers a handy crossover and delay control via the LED screen, which is also used for selecting the cardioid response, firmware and DEEP™ mode.

 

 

The KS118 is a superbly robust subwoofer, and so it should be while blasting low frequency out of its Class D amplifier module at up to 3600 watts. Constructed from 18mm birch which secures the 16-gauge Black Powder Coated Steel grille and speaker enclosure, the QSC KS118 won’t move, even when pushing serious air. The 18 inch radiating driver assist in keeping those low frequencies consistent and controlled, while the adjustable crossover delay can be toggled to fit into any existing or new system, and these settings can then be saved as scenes and recalled with the push of a button, e.g. during a souncheck or a venue could save a ‘safe’ scene to return to if all go awry (which is not usually a scenario that I associate with QSC). It can be mounted either vertically or horizontally (via the vertical pole mount if required), or alternatively sat on the floor and isolated with four low-noise, heavy-duty casters on the four corners of the KS118. The dual XLR/1/4 input and IEC cable plug both have locking systems, and the dual loop-through outputs make routing simple, as it should be.

 

All in all, the KS118 is not only a great solution for an existing system, but it can assist in future proofing your gear. Easily adding a second KS118 into the chain in the future cold very well save you from having to invest in two entirely new subs, or worse yet, an entire new PA system. While capable of handling serious volume and low frequency, the KS118 is equally at home at lower volumes and different systems, thanks to intuitive crossover and omni/cardiod signal settings. The crossover can be toggled up and down along the frequency spectrum, and the KS118 will keep proving consistent signal up to 98Hz, and handling it all with a solid enclosure, powerful amp, and robust casters to secure valuable low-end.

Hits and Misses

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Inconspicuous

Robustly constructed

Easy to manage crossover, delay and effect

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It’s pretty heavy!

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