The Peavey RBN 112 loudspeaker and RBN 118 subwoofer set-up has excellent build quality and is well-priced. We were impressed with its crisp highs, tight mids and punchy low-end. It comes across as a jack-of-all-trades, not specialised to a particular style of music or performance, whether it be rock or EDM. It is certainly worth a look in for mobile DJs with a medium-sized budget.
First Impressions / Setting up
As we reviewed these speakers at BPM|Pro 2017, we can’t comment much on set up time and unboxing because they were already on display at the exhibition. This PA looks slick, yet at the same time nothing out of the ordinary. Something out of the ordinary though is that the RBN 112 has a ribbon tweeter (usually found in studio monitors, not loudspeakers) to reproduce smooth high-end detail. The blue lights that sit behind the grille in the RBN 112 loudspeakers are a nice touch and can be switched off.
The RBN 118 subwoofer is heavy and bulky (as with most powered subwoofers) and that could lead to some difficulty as regards transporting and storing the system.
Peavey RBN 112 Loudspeaker
The Peavey RBN 112 is a bi-amplified active loudspeaker with a 12″ woofer. It is housed in a moulded-polypropylene cabinet and has a Class-D amplifier onboard that’s capable of pushing out 1500w of continuous output. As you would expect, it has a pole mounting socket in the base and is internally braced to minimise resonance and includes both top and side handles for ease of handling. It is also conveniently shaped to allow it also to be used as a floor monitor (there is also a handy DSP EQ preset for that application). Weighing in at 17.7kg, the cabinets shouldn’t take up too much space in the back of a car.
Round the back, the RBN 112 comes with two balanced inputs (XLR/TRS combo sockets) and a 3.5mm mini-jack input to allow the connection of MP3 players and so on. The outputs comprise of XLR direct out and a processed subwoofer feed, and the direct out can be set to carry just input one or a mix of both inputs. A single rotary encoder with push-switch does all the navigation and selection work on the digital signal processor (DSP), with the LCD conveniently showing the necessary information.
A number of EQ presets are built-in for different applications and extra features include both direct / through and filtered sub outputs, DSP-powered compression / limiting and the option to add up to 150ms of delay (for large events where delay matching is necessary).
Peavey RBN 118 Subwoofer
The Peavey RBN 118 subwoofer has an 18″ woofer and a powerful 2000-watt amplifier for full, clean output down to 38Hz. The sturdy 18mm birch cabinet is built to withstand the wear and tear expected when transporting your gear from gig to gig. The RBN subwoofers feature two XLR combi inputs, a 3.5mm input, and a mic/line level select. Each input features digital high-pass filters, a nine-band graphic EQ and up to 150ms of delay. Each output features a compressor/limiter and fourth order high / low-pass filters for crossover output.
Onboard digital limiting keeps hot line level PA signals from damaging your components and the sub’s internal temperature monitoring and variable speed fan keep your system running cool. The RBN 118 can also be pole mounted, which saves floor space onstage.
We listened to a selection of demo tracks from different genres on this system and it performed well with each track it was given. The highs were tight, the mids came across well and the bass was thumpy. This system is designed to be loud. However, there was a tiny hint of distortion with one of the demo tracks but this might be down to the fact that they weren’t EQed properly for the demo area at the exhibition. That being said, this Peavey sound system can be seen as a “jack-of-all-trades” system, not specialised to a particular style of music or performance but gets the job done more than adequately, however asked.
We also had the opportunity to test the louspeaker with the Peavey H18 subwoofer and whilst that particular model also packs the necessary punch, we felt that having one Peavey RBN 118 would be just as good as two H18 subs. We think that while the Peavey RBN 118 is more expensive, getting one sub and then reinvesting your spare cash into other areas of your mobile set-up is a wiser investment – one Peavey RBN 118 subwoofer would more than suffice for almost any mobile DJ’s needs.
Overall, this Peavey loudspeaker and subwoofer system is excellent and when you consider the sound and build quality against the relatively low price, it could be considered a bargain. Performing well with a variety of genres, Peavey’s RBN system comes across as a sort of “jack-of-all-trades”, not specialised to a particular style of music or performance, whether it be jazz, rock or EDM. It is certainly worth a look in for mobile DJs with a medium-sized budget.
We think that two RBN 112 and a single RBN 118 would more than suffice for small to medium-sized mobile gigs. Taking performance, build-quality and price into consideration, this PA is an excellent option.