by Bob Malkowski | 4,5 / 5,0 | Approximate reading time: 2 Minutes

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PreSonus’ CDL12P PA speaker system offers you a stripped-down, no-nonsense version of PreSonus’ flagship speaker. Can you live without Dante networking and fancy DSP? If so, we think this could be one of the speaker bargains of the year.


PreSonus CDL12P

When we first clapped eyes upon the new CDL12P PA loudspeaker, we were hit with a case of deja vu. You see, the “new” CDL12P isn’t all that new. It’s very heavily based upon an existing PreSonus loudspeaker, the CDL12. When PreSonus revealed the CDL12 to us a couple of years back, it represented a genuinely innovative approach to sound reinforcement loudspeaker design. A “constant directivity” loudspeaker (we’ll get to that in a moment), the CDL12 represented a real flagship product for PreSonus.

So what’s all that Constant Directivity stuff all about then? The idea is to combine line-array and point-source technology into a single, self-contained, full-range PA loudspeaker. Still confused? OK, we’ll try and distil things down a bit further for you! Point source loudspeakers go back to the 1940s (Tannoy’s original Monitor Black for example) and aim to create a single “point source” where all sound emanates from. Line-array speakers, like the BOSE L1, work by coupling lots of identical speaker drivers together for increased coverage and even frequency response.

Physics lesson over then, the original CDL12 combined a compact high-frequency line array made up of eight 2″ drivers, with a large 12″ woofer. The idea is to combine the best of both worlds into one, compact, high-performance loudspeaker system. It’s an interesting and genuinely innovative design.

Lighter, Simpler, More Affordable

So what’s the deal with new CDL12P then? Well, from looking over the specifications, PreSonus has managed to halve the cost of the CDL12P by getting back to basics. Gone is the Dante networking, and so too is the advanced DSP functionality. The heavy-duty (and heavyweight) plywood cabinets have been replaced by lighter polypropylene enclosures which are easier to transport. Importantly though, it looks to us as though the amplification and speaker drivers remains identical to that of the flagship CDL12.

At $999.95 per loudspeaker, these are still a premium product, but they’re now literally half the price of the CDL12. Theoretically, there should be no discernable difference in audio performance given a skilled operator. A bargain then? We’d love to hear a pair in person, but this is certainly a promising release from PreSonus!

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Image Sources:
  • The CDL12P by PreSonus: PreSonus
  • Peeking behind the grille: PreSonus
  • The PreSonus CDL12P as an array: PreSonus

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