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Hands-On Review: Kustom KPC PA Speakers and Monitors

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Great sound at a great price!

By Casey Mandell

Kustom PA KPC15 15-Inch PA Speaker Cabinet

As a performing musician, I've learned the importance of a good PA system. The goal is to design a system that is adaptable to the different playing situations that your group will encounter. Different venues call for different setups, but for many musicians, financial restrictions make it impossible to have multiple sets of speakers and monitors. The Kustom KPC line of PA speakers and monitors is ideal for helping musicians make themselves heard without going broke.

Houston, are you ready to rock?!

It's the dream of practically every musician to shout that phrase to an arena full of Texans after the first song of the set. The reality for most of us is that until we reach that pinnacle, the majority of our performances will be in local and regional venues that hold less than 1,000 people. To get the most out of each performance, it's essential that both the audience and the band can hear what's happening.

The Kustom KPC series of monitors and PA speakers is the perfect way to get your band heard loud and clear on both sides of the stage without breaking your budget. The series consists of 10", 12", and 15" PA speakers and monitors. Each has a value-oriented price tag while incorporating professional construction and performance. The speakers and their monitor counterparts are essentially the same, except for the 30/60/90° design of the monitors that allows a performer to position the monitor to best suit his spot on the stage.

Kustom PA KPC10M 10-Inch Monitor Back Panel

Built to last

Before I had even hooked anything up, I noticed how well the cabinets were constructed and how slick their design was. The KPCs are a big step up from the prior KSC Series. They have more powerful speakers, and improved cabinet construction and reinforced corners for greater durability. The new front grille keeps the drivers safe, and looks great to boot.

The KPC10 speakers and KPC10M monitors are extremely punchy and crisp. The 10" woofer handles the low end quite well, while a 2" x 6" horn delivers the higher frequencies. Next up in the series are the KPC12s, boasting a 12" woofer and a 6" x 12" horn. The bass response is a bit deeper compared to the smaller cabs, so if your band tends to emphasize the bottom end, you'll want to consider these or the biggest brother in the family, the KPC15s. The latter have a 15" woofer that just rumbles, and a 5" x 15" horn for the highs. I'd recommend these if you're playing to larger crowds or if your music is really bass-heavy. DJs can use these to fill the dance floor as well.

I started off with the 10" speakers and a 10" monitor, and plugged my acoustic guitar directly into the PA. I couldn't help but think this would be the perfect setup for a group that does acoustic work in coffee houses or similar small venues. I seated a few friends and gave them an impromptu solo performance in our large rehearsal space. Everyone was impressed with the sound, noting that my baritone voice and sparkling guitar tone sounded great together. I always worry that one will overpower the other, but the KPCs really keep everything separate, thanks to the custom-voiced crossovers.

For the next portion of my "concert," I invited my other band mates on stage to do a few slightly pumped-up tunes to test the KPC12s. I stuck with my acoustic, our other guitarist plugged in his electric, and the bassist and drummer were mic'd and ready. The sound was sublime. Our drummer, who is always complaining about his monitor mix, commented on how much better he was able to focus on the beat, thanks to the mix from the KPC12M. The full-range sound that these speakers deliver is remarkable.

Kustom KPC12M 12-Inch Monitor Speaker Cabinets

The road test

Since we had a gig later in the week, I decided to play it using the KPCs. The venue we were playing held about 500 people, so I figured it would be the perfect place to really max out the KPC15s. Getting set up was a snap thanks to the pole mounts, which, incidentally, all the KPCs sport. Our drummer had the 15" monitors set up on each side of him at 60° angles, and the rest of the band made use of the 10" and 12" monitors. The lights went down, the crowd roared, and throughout the set they heard every note. We did on stage as well, thanks to the many monitors. The sound guy even asked me if I'd like to part with the KPCs, as he was looking to improve his own band's PA. I politely declined, but let him know that Musician's Friend could set him up with some and deliver them right to his door!

Overall, the KPC series from Kustom performed extremely well. Remember, not only is it important for the audience to hear the band, it's imperative that the band can hear itself as well. These great monitors and speakers are priced so that any band can beef up its PA system, making sure that the music comes through loud and clear—on stage and off. Hone that sound, and you'll be rocking Houston in no time.

Features & Specs

KPC10/KPC10M:

KPC12/KPC12M:

  • 10" woofer
  • 2" x 6" high frequency horn
  • 2 parallel input jacks
  • Rubber strap handle
  • 1-3/8" pole mount
  • 75W RMS, 100W peak handling
  • 30/60/90° design (KPC10M)
  • 14"W x 19"H x 9"D
  • 21 lbs.
  • 12" woofer
  • 6" x 12" high frequency horn
  • 2 parallel input jacks
  • Rubber strap handle
  • 1-3/8" pole mount
  • 100W RMS, 200W peak handling
  • 30/60/90° design (KPC12M)V
  • 17"W x 23"H x 13"D
  • 35 lbs.

KPC15/KPC15M:

  • 15" woofer
  • 5" x 15" high frequency horn
  • 2 parallel input jacks
  • Rubber strap handle
  • 1-3/8" pole mount
  • 30/60/90° design (KPC15M)
  • 125W RMS, 250W peak handling
  • 19"W x 26"H x 15"D
  • 47 lbs.

Tags: Monitors Speakers PA Systems

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