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Yamaha DXR Series Speakers Review

Aug 14, 2012 4:31 PM, Reviewer: John McJunkin

PAs that deliver loudness and fidelity on a small budget.


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DSX15

Clearly, the DSR is the more powerful speaker in a more robust enclosure, but the DXR compensates for lesser power and a stronger box with a lighter, less backbreaking cabinet and more sophistication in the I/O. The DXR features the most extensively appointed rear panel I’ve ever seen in a speaker-on-a-stick, with two 1/4in. balanced/unbalanced, two RCA unbalanced, and a switchable XLR mic/line input, each with its own level control. Stereo inputs are summed to mono and mixed internally. A contour switch alters the spectral balance of the speaker’s output with a choice of three settings: monitor, cut low end and boosted high end; off, no alteration; and FOH/main – scooped-mids loudness setting. A HPF can be switched in, with a cutoff frequency of either 100Hz or 120Hz. LEDs indicate limiting, signal presence, protection circuit activation, and power status. A pushbutton toggles the LED on the front of the speaker on and off. Finally, an XLR output jack passes along a “link out” daisychain feed to additional speakers if necessary, either in dual mono or stereo mode.

The DXS subwoofer offers two XLR inputs with a single level knob for two-channel LF operation, along with two XLR passthrough outputs for 2.1 satellite configurations. The DXS features the same compliment of LED indicators and front LED disable switch as the DXR speaker, along with polarity and dynamic D-XSUB bass boost switches and an LPF with cutoff frequencies of 80Hz, 100Hz, and 120Hz. All signal processing in both types of speaker is digital and is accomplished with a sample rate of 48kHz and 24 bits of amplitude resolution.

Setup is easy. I mounted the DXRs on tripods, but the DXS also offers a pole socket so the full-range speaker can be placed on a pole directly above the subwoofer. Connection is also very simple, with signal passing through the subwoofer on to the full-range speakers. I fed the output of a mixer in a small performance venue to the full system, but I also fed a single DXR with an iPhone, a computer, and a portable CD player. The DXR speakers by themselves deliver a huge amount of SPL—the published 133dB is not an exaggeration. The published 132dB SPL over a range of 45Hz to 160Hz from the DXS is also no flight of fancy. For better or worse, there are clients who seek raw loudness, and these speakers deliver. They also deliver excellent fidelity, even at ridiculously high volume levels. I found the response smooth—linear phase FIR filters facilitate an even transition through the crossover point of 2.1kHz. Having heard the DSR speakers prior, the high end of the DXRs seems tamer, but in a good way.

With the contour switch in the FOH/main position (intended for applications lacking a subwoofer), the DXRs convey amazing low end. The addition of a sub in a 2.1 configuration facilitates applications like gymnasiums and other small to mid-size venues, particularly for DJs. Combos and larger bands may want to double up subwoofers to get more low end. For corporate and AV applications, these speakers deliver more SPL than will likely ever be necessary, but they’re also accurate, so they are a good choice for a contractor who needs to specify a speaker that offers both power and quality.

I was very pleased with the Yamaha DSR series speakers I’d worked with prior, so I was anxious to hear whether Yamaha would be able to deliver a less expensive speaker with powerful, high-quality reproduction like the DSR at a lower price point. The DXR represents exactly that. Consider them if you’re working with a smaller budget and need loudness and fidelity.

Product Summary

Pros: Breathtakingly loud and remarkably accurate

Cons: No major cons

Applications: Small to mid-size venues, DJs, solo musicians or small combos, PA, AV

Price: $1,199 MSRP/$799.99 street (DXR15); $1,199 MSRP/$799.99 street (DXS15)

Specifications:

DXR15

Frequency range (-10dB): 49Hz – 20kHz

Coverage angle: H90°∆ x V60°∆ Constant Directivity Horn

Crossover type: FIR-X tuning™ (Linear Phase FIR Filter)

Crossover frequency: 2.1kHz

Maximum SPL (peak) IEC noise@1m: 133dB SPL

Floor monitor angle: 50°∆ symmetrical

Dimensions (WxHxD, with rubber feet): 17.5"x27.5"x15"

Net weight: 22.5kg (49.6lbs)

Amplifier type: Class-D

Power rating: Dynamic: 1100W (LF: 950W, HF: 150W); Continuous: 700W (LF: 600W, HF: 100W)

AD/DA: 24-bit 48kHz sampling

Signal processing: 48-bit (Accumulator: 76-bit)

HPF/LPF: OFF, 100, 120Hz 24dB/oct HPF

Input impedance:

INPUT1 LIN: 12kΩ

MIC: 8kΩ

INPUT2, 3 L, R: 40kΩ

MONO: 20kΩ

Input sensitivity (level maximum):

INPUT1 LINE: +1dBu

MIC: -32dBu

Input sensitivity (level center):

INPUT1 LINE: +11dBu

MIC: -22dBu

INPUT2, 3: -3dBu

Maximum input level:

INPUT1 LINE: +24dBu

MIC: +20dBu

INPUT2, 3: +16dBu

DXS15

Frequency range (-10dB): 47Hz – 160Hz

Maximum SPL (peak) IEC noise@1m: 132dB SPL

Dimensions (WxHxD, with rubber feet): 18-7/8"x24-3/8"x24-1/2"

Net weight: 38.0kg (83.8lbs.)

Amplifier type: Class-D

Power rating: Dynamic: 950W; Continuous: 600W

AD/DA: 24-bit 48kHz sampling

Signal processing: 48-bit (Accumulator: 76-bit)

HPF/LPF: 80, 100, 120Hz 24dB/oct LPF

Input impedance:

INPUT1 LIN: 10kΩ

MIC: 8kΩ

INPUT2, 3 L, R: 40kΩ

MONO: 20kΩ

Input sensitivity (level maximum):

INPUT1 LINE: +1dBu

MIC: -32dBu

Input sensitivity (level center):

INPUT1 LINE: +11dBu

MIC: -22dBu

INPUT2, 3: -3dBu

Maximum input level:

INPUT1 LINE: +24dBu

MIC: +20dBu

INPUT2, 3: +16dBu

John McJunkin is the principal of Avalon Podcasting in Chandler, Ariz. He has consulted in the development of studios and installations and provides high-quality podcast production services.



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