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Old 06-05-2018, 10:57 AM
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Methos1979 Methos1979 is offline
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Default NPSD: QSC k8.2 with Bose S1 Pro A/B comparison - Update, video demo added

Scroll down for update and video demo.

NPSD = New Powered Speaker Day! This will be a two-part review with today being initial thoughts on a first time run and then I'll update in the coming days with a video demo once the weather clears up outside.

As predicted/expected I ended up picking up a QSC k8.2 powered speaker. We've been playing out quite a bit with our Bose S1 Pro system coupled with a Boss VE-8 Acoustic Singer pedal and have been VERY happy with that as those whom have read/watched my reviews and many posts will know. But I also freely admitted that there would surely come a time when we would need more power. While that day has not come, it will very soon and I wanted to be ready with a system I had a full understanding of and real-world practice with well before that day rather than stress and struggle to get up to speed in short order. Performing is stressful enough without wondering/worrying about your equipment, right?

I ordered my QSC k8.2 from Sweetwater and got a $99 break on the price courtesy of the credit they gave me for the Bose S1 Pro battery fiasco. I also ordered the nice QSC case for it but that has not arrived yet due to being back ordered. Since there is no shortage of video reviews online for this system I'm not going to go over the basics like the look, build and operation other than to hit the broad strokes. The biggest difference physically between the two is the weight. The Bose is just over 15 lbs (with battery) while the QSC is just over 27 lbs. While I do love the uber-light weight of the Bose, I don't find the QSC to be burdensome at all.

Suffice to say the unit came well packed, the build-quality is obviously very good and I found the controls on the back simple and intuitive, including the menu system to access the various settings and configurations. So today is going to be all about the sound with direct comparison to the Bose S1 Pro. I set them both up side-by-side, recorded a simple loop of guitar and vocals and then set about switching back and forth between the two. I found some interesting things!

There are three channels on the QSC - A/B/C. A is mic/line, B is Hi-Z/line (both with combo XLR-1/4" inputs) and C is a 1/8" stereo input. There are XLR direct outs for A, B, and an A/B/C combo. I only experimented with the A and B inputs. I plugged the Boss VE-8 1/4" output straight into the QSC 1/4" inputs. The first thing I noticed was the QSC was NOT that loud! In fact, I had to turn the gains up to nearly full to get it as loud as the Bose!! But that's because both inputs come set to Line. More on that in a bit.

Turning the Bose up to the halfway point and the QSC to 3/4 plus I got even volume. The Bose sounded much better with the QSC's built-in modeling set to System which is the default. I then took the time to step through the several models. I'm not going to go through them all here but the Live Bright, Dance, Acoustic/Vox and Bass settings were the best. The Acoustic/Vox was probably my favorite which makes sense since that's what was playing on the looper. I will say that there are definite noticeable differences between all of the models. I think there is something there for everyone, no matter what your intended use.

Set up with the Acoustic/Vox model setting and just set to Line level (the default) this amp sounds pretty similar to the Bose. The Bose has a little more high end sizzle and slightly wider dispersion while the QSC has better low end is slightly less wide but only just so. Of the three QSC powered speakers, the k8.2 has the widest dispersion of the three at 105 degrees. I then went into the settings to look at the inputs. You can set channel A to mic or line and channel B to Hi-Z or line. I set channel B to Hi-Z and then slowly started to turn up the gain (thankfully!) - ah, THERE's the 2000 watts of volume!

I got it barely up to about 25% and it was rattling the windows of my small living room. Now it makes sense. The last thing I did was to run a 1/4" out from the Bose to the QSC as I wasn't sure if the gain of the Bose affected the QSC or if it was just a steady throughput. Turns out it does. This offered a neat use of the two speakers together. I'm leaving channel A set for line and channel B set for Hi-Z. In this configuration with the output of the Bose providing signal to the QSC you can run them as a single, two-speaker PA system in channel A or as a single monitor (Bose) and powerful single speaker PA in channel B.

In summary, I think the combination of these two speakers makes for a powerful system that covers an extremely wide variety of situations for the acoustic musician(s). The Bose S1 Pro alone is the ultimate in light weight portability (especially with battery power) that will cover you for almost any small to medium-sized gig. Need a little more with even wider dispersion - bring both and operate as a PA. Need a ton more FOH (front of house) with a monitor, bring both and set up as such.

One final note: I did do a straight into the QSC with my K&K guitar and as fully expected the tone was awful with my fingerstyle playing. You might do better if you strum with a pick but unlike the Bose that at least has some ToneMatch settings I need some pre-amp/EQ before direct in. It should also be noted that there are a lot of sub-menu settings which I did not play around with on the QSC such as EQ and delay and other settings. So there is further tone tweaking that can be done and you can create and save presets. But that will be for another day.

Stay tuned for a video update down the line but I wanted to get this out there as I know there's are least one guy on the fence about which of these units he should buy. I still say if you can afford it - get both! But if your budget says one or the other than it comes down to this: Need ultra-light weight and portability, battery and/or don't play large places or too loud ever? Bose S1 Pro. Don't need battery and/or do play or plan to one day play larger/louder venues? QSC k8.2.

Update:

I almost didn't post this update for a couple reasons. First, there didn't seem to be much in the way interest with only two posts in several days. I guess it's possible that the Bose S1 Pro reviews and demo have been beaten to death and the QSC is a known quantity to those that use them and not many are interested otherwise. Second reason is that the video demo is only so-so. Mostly I think because when using a cell phone to take videos (or record audio) the microphone automatically adjusts volume to a certain degree thus making the differences that are great in person seem less so on the recordings.

But in the end I figured I'd throw it up there anyway on the off chance that someone is watching and waiting for it. Here you go:


Last edited by Methos1979; 06-07-2018 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 06-05-2018, 11:36 AM
Stringmaster Stringmaster is offline
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Nice review--thanks. I look forward to the follow up.

Q:
Anyone have experience comparing the 8.2 and the 10.2? I see that the 8.2 has wider dispersion, but of course the 10.2 is bigger and should get more low end, and perhaps a fuller sound? The weight and price are not that different. Which would be a better choice for use with a condenser mic for primarily solo performance?
Thx
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Old 06-05-2018, 01:00 PM
zhunter zhunter is offline
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According to a spec sheet posted in an earlier thread, S1 dispersion (coverage) is 100 deg H, 40 deg V which less than the QSCs 105 deg conical. But numbers aren't everything I guess. And FWIW, I am not invested in the need for ultra dispersion anyway.

hunter
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Old 06-05-2018, 01:58 PM
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Methos1979 Methos1979 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stringmaster View Post
Nice review--thanks. I look forward to the follow up.

Q:
Anyone have experience comparing the 8.2 and the 10.2? I see that the 8.2 has wider dispersion, but of course the 10.2 is bigger and should get more low end, and perhaps a fuller sound? The weight and price are not that different. Which would be a better choice for use with a condenser mic for primarily solo performance?
Thx
The general consensus that I've read in the great amount of research I've done is that if you need more low end (such as if you use it for keyboards, percussion, bass or other low-end production instruments, or DJ'ing) then the k10.2 or k 12.2 is a better choice. For us with just one guitar and one vocalist the K8.2 with the wider dispersion was the best choice for us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zhunter View Post
According to a spec sheet posted in an earlier thread, S1 dispersion (coverage) is 100 deg H, 40 deg V which less than the QSCs 105 deg conical. But numbers aren't everything I guess. And FWIW, I am not invested in the need for ultra dispersion anyway.

hunter
On my outside video review of the Bose I did a test of the dispersion. I'll do the same with the k8.2 when I demo it outside. Just standing in my living room, the Bose with it's two tweeters that angle out seemed to have a wider dispersion of sound compared to the QSC. Wide dispersion, while generally a good thing, can be problematic in some cases. We've played places where we're tucked into a corner so tight and surrounded by hard surfaces that the wide dispersion becomes more of a hinderance than a help.
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Old 06-07-2018, 02:04 PM
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Methos1979 Methos1979 is offline
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Posted video update.
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Old 06-07-2018, 03:39 PM
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martingitdave martingitdave is offline
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Thanks for providing the information. I happen to think the K8.2 is a very good speaker and an excellent fit for the singer/songwriter. Your testimonial reinforces the notion that the Bose S1 is a good speaker, and possibility the best in the 15 lb weight category. But, it isn't a substitute for a proper powered speaker when one is needed.
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Old 06-07-2018, 03:54 PM
AeroUSA AeroUSA is offline
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I have the 8.2 and 10.2. I like them both but I use the 8.2 for the reduced weight and added dispersion and keep the 10.2’s for my band.
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Old 06-07-2018, 06:38 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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Hi Scott. Yeah, the cell phone makes automatic adjustments, but going by what you have there, it seemed to me that the S1 compared very well, especially in terms of "fullness," considering it is a smaller unit in size, speaker size, and power.

I think we all expect the QSC to get louder. As my Bose L1C taught me, louder isn't always the only answer to more coverage.

Thanks for taking the time to do the comparison.
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Old 06-07-2018, 06:44 PM
Chriscom Chriscom is offline
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Methos, thanks so much for this detailed description and video, really appreciate it. Minimalist setups are great, aren't they! Love my battery-powered VE-8, fun to see yours in action.
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Old 06-07-2018, 07:15 PM
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Methos1979 Methos1979 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Jim View Post
Hi Scott. Yeah, the cell phone makes automatic adjustments, but going by what you have there, it seemed to me that the S1 compared very well, especially in terms of "fullness," considering it is a smaller unit in size, speaker size, and power.

I think we all expect the QSC to get louder. As my Bose L1C taught me, louder isn't always the only answer to more coverage.

Thanks for taking the time to do the comparison.
Agreed on both accounts, Jim. The S1 really holds its own but it does require some sort of pre-amped signal to do so. Going straight in would never produce that much volume. But it's nice to know that with just a little help (which most people utilize with this unit anyway) you can get some really good volume, coverage and tone. It certainly is a LOT of fullness from such a small, light unit - no doubt why it's so well-liked by many.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriscom View Post
Methos, thanks so much for this detailed description and video, really appreciate it. Minimalist setups are great, aren't they! Love my battery-powered VE-8, fun to see yours in action.
Minimalist setups ARE great, for certain! Also, the more I play with and get used to the VE-8, the more I like it. It was kind of a gamble for me originally with the sometimes lukewarm reviews from people. But it really does cover our needs very well. We've even started to like and use the harmonizer more. Someday I hope take the time to add in a little looping to the act as well. I've started taking it with me to open mics (under battery power) and plugging my guitar into that and then the host 1/4" into the VE-8. Since I'm already set up EQ and signal wise it's just a matter of tweaking in the notch.

A couple more things I was going to mention in my update but I was running late for work when I posted this afternoon: I really loved having the Bose as my monitor with the QSC going out FOH (or FOY - front of yard!). Our recent 'regular' acoustic brunch gig has had us running the Bose up on a high bar chair direction behind us (like a foot or so away) with the volume up pretty loud (around halfway). This is quite loud for us but necessary to get enough coverage to the venue. It can be a little disconcerting at times but we're crammed in a corner and it's unavoidable. We've tried the S1 out front a little and you lose all the high end and just have muddy bass, not unlike playing most open mics!

Today having the QSC cranked but having the Bose as my monitor was a revelation! If I've got the room I think I would certainly favor this setup in the future. It would be a tight fit at the acoustic brunch but that gig is going on the back burner for a while anyway. But if I do have the room I might always try to set up the QSC. After all, just because I've got all that power, doesn't mean I have to use it. And in reality it only means carrying the stand, the QSC itself and a couple more cords. Hardly a burden.

Last edited by Methos1979; 06-07-2018 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 06-08-2018, 08:02 AM
varmonter varmonter is offline
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can't comment on the bose as i have not heard
one yet. Qsc on the other hand i've owned bothe the
10 an 12 inch models and think they are great.
I find myself comparing all similar sized speakers
to these QSC speakers and always find others lacking
to some extent. I recently purchased a sunburst gear
m6br8 (which is battery powered)and a yorkville Nx10c. These with a small
board have become my go to small venue setup.
The yorkville is 300 watts and is a coaxial speaker ( high tweet is in center of woofer)so it's small .the m6br8 is 30 watts.
The yorkville has a pole through the speaker mount
so both go on one pole and can point in two different
directions like an array. Sound quality is excellent
as long as it's a small quiet room. But my 10 in QSC is still
my main gigging speaker. Thanks for the great
review..

Last edited by varmonter; 06-09-2018 at 06:51 AM.
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Old 06-09-2018, 12:53 AM
Davis Webb Davis Webb is offline
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I swapped to the Bose recently for my battery rig, replacing a Traynore TVM50 and a Roland BA330...yeh, agree..BOSE RULES


I use the NX10C for powered gigs, its really loud.

Your results with that other model sound familiar, not so good sounding....the problem with all big battery PAs, they sound lousy....

The BOSE sounds awesome. Its line out lets you get a boost when you need it from another powered speaker is the way to go.

I love your reviews. Write tons of them. They are awesome.
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