Clear and loud. These are probably two words that can best describe the way that these speakers perform and sound. Their compact enclosures belie their power, and I was so pleased because the entire system fit in the back of my van. I love this set-up, and I’d love to take it whenever I go out to gig at a bar that needs extra sound reinforcement. Highly recommended.
First Impressions / Setting up
The Cerwin-Vega P1000X and P1800X arrived in big cartons. I was expecting them to be heavy, but was surprised to find that the P1000Xs were quite manageable (they weigh around 37 pounds each). They’ve got rubber handles for a safer grip, and they can be stood on end like a normal speaker, or on their side if you want to use them as wedge monitors thanks to their trapezoid shape.
I needed help getting the P1800SX out of the box (84 pounds for this one), but the cool thing is it ships with a set of wheels that you screw to the bottom so you can roll it around.
There are optional speaker poles so you can attach one P1000X to the top of the P1800SX via the mounting holes for a more compact set-up instead of using a speaker stand, and I highly recommend that you get them if you plan on having two sets of loudspeakers and two subs.
The P1000X comes with an onboard mixer with three input channels, and the P1800SX with two, each having an XLR-TRS combo jack. They even ship with a pair of RCA to 1/4″ adapters, perfect for hooking up your DJ controller or mixer’s output to. You can cascade multiple P1000X speakers and P1800SX subs thanks to the Thru output in the back, as well as the Mix Output which combines all three inputs into one output jack.
I placed the P1000Xs in the studio on a desk and the P1800SXs on the floor, hooked up my DJ controller, and got to work.
Clear and loud. These are probably two words that can best describe the way that these speakers perform and sound. I’ve got a pretty small rectangular office (around 3m x 12m), and they had no problem pumping out bass heavy tunes, and easily filled the room even at a low level. Just to make it more interesting, I asked a couple of friends to come over to do some impromptu DJ sets, and they were just as impressed as I was.
My favourite sonic characteristic of the P1000X loudspeakers are their highs – crisp and airy without being harsh. I frequently mention my aversion to very bright speakers and headphones in my reviews, and these P1000Xs hit the sweet spot. We initially set them up as main speakers, but we also tried them out as booth monitors and they sounded great: The midrange was detailed, bringing out things like vocals and synths with clarity.
As you’d expect, there’s plenty of bass to be had in this system, thanks to the P1800SX. We had to turn the subs down a little bit because the windows were rattling (go figure!), so I decided to take the set-up on an actual gig. Taking them out on the road made me appreciate them even more.
These are made for mobile jocks. Their compact enclosures belie their power, and I was so pleased because the entire system fit in the back of my van. I was even more pleased by the fact that I was able to set everything up by myself at the venue (had a little help taking the subs down from my van, but that’s OK).
The party I played at was at a small, indoor bar, and the Cerwin-Vega system had absolutely no problem performing. As the night wore on, I tried cranking out a little bit more volume out of my mixer just to try it out, and while I did notice some distortion in the loudspeakers when I was running them really loud (not recommended), the onboard limiters for the loudspeakers and subs help protect the speakers from blowing out – a nice touch. I’d imagine that they’d be struggling at a larger venue, but one solution to that is adding another P1000X speaker or two by cascading them.
End of the night, I packed everything back in my van and headed home – no pulled muscles, no backaches, nothing. If this happened when I was still doing my mobile DJing as a teenager, I’d say that that’s one dream that finally came true.
I love this set-up, and I’d love to take it whenever I go out to gig at a bar that needs extra sound reinforcement or I DJ at a wedding that needs extra “oomph” for the dancefloor. The only deterrent here for DJs starting out is the price: At under US$700 for one P1000X speaker and US$999 for the P1800SX sub, you’re looking at a hefty spend for a 2x speaker and 2x sub stereo system.
If you were gigging professionally as a mobile or wedding DJ, you could recoup the cost after a handful of gigs, but it’s a bit out of reach for the bedroom hobbyist. That doesn’t mean a system like this isn’t something to aspire for – having your own sound system will broaden your opportunities for gigging as it did mine all those years back, and you’d be surprised at how many folks would want to book you for their next party just because you’re conveniently providing both the entertainment and the sound system. Highly recommended.