Hands-On Review:Nady Systems M-Cab and P-Cab Speakers
Nady Systems M-Cab and P-Cab Speakers
Performance and value come standard
By Jorge Cartero
When you think of Nady, the first word that probably pops into your head is "wireless." After all, Nady is known as the premier source of pro wireless systems for musicians and vocalists. Nady applies the same standards that have made their wireless systems legendary to all of their products—microphones, audio processors and effects, preamps, studio monitors, and PA components, just to name a few. When Musician's Friend offered me the opportunity to review Nady's MC and PCS series of PA speakers, I jumped at the chance, as I was eager to hear how Nady's commitment to quality and value comes across in its other products.
Built to last
The M-Cab and P-Cab speakers share the same solid construction and many of the same features. The former are passive, while the latter incorporate internal amplifiers that vary according to the speaker size. I'll get into those details later; for now, I'd like to focus on the construction since that was the first thing I noticed when I unpacked the speakers.
Having played in a working band for over 10 years now, I've seen my fair share of PA cabs. One thing I've learned is that you can often tell a lot about a speaker's overall performance level by the way it's built. Some speakers just don't feel solid. There might be stuff rolling around inside, or perhaps they crack at the slightest bump against a wall. Sometimes—due to shoddy internal wiring—they just don't work after the ride to the gig.
These Nady cabs are rock-solid and lightweight thanks to the molded, high-impact, mineral-loaded polypropylene construction. PA cabinets are among the most abused pieces of gear, and Nady designed these to resist the inevitable bumps and dings that will occur. Reinforced corners further prevent damage, and the built-in handles on the 12" and 15" models make them easy to move around.
The M-Cab speakers are available in three sizes. The MC-8s are ideal for small rooms, either as front of house speakers or monitors, and they would also work well as studio monitors. Each cabinet holds an 8" low-frequency driver and a 1-1/2" voice coil. The MC-12 and MC-15 speakers boast a 12" and 15" LF driver respectively, and a 2-1/2" voice coil. All of the MC speakers are passive, so they require external amplification.
I gave the MCs a run for their money during a recent gig. With a pair of each at my disposal, I used the MC-8s as stage monitors for myself and our guitarist. With their 150W peak handling and tiltable design, they worked perfectly in this setup. The MC-15s and MC-12s were hung in clusters as FOH mains. The built-in threaded brass inserts made this a piece of cake.
Onstage, the MC-8s sounded great. The mix was blended perfectly, and the speakers separated the highs and lows really well. All of the MC speakers have low impedance-compensated crossovers, and this was evident both for us onstage and for the crowd as well. One friend of mine that attends almost all our gigs noted that everything from cymbal crashes to the low bass notes really stood out clearly.
For our next gig, I decided to try out the MC's active counterparts, the PCS speakers. The obvious advantage to using active speakers is that there's no need for a bulky power amp and all the associated cables, etc., that go along with it. Plus, power amps can be expensive, so active speakers are a good compromise for those on a budget.
The PCS-12s and PCS-15s have internal 200W amplifiers for the LFDs and 50W amps for the horns. In spite of this, Nady has kept them relatively lightweight and easy to move around and set up. The PCS-8s deliver 35W RMS, making them perfect for use as monitors, FOH speakers in a small room, or as active monitors in a studio setting.
We set up the PCS cabs just as we did with the MCs at the previous gig—the 8" models were used as monitors, and the 12" and 15" cabs went up as FOH mains in a hanging cluster. The room we were playing this time around was a bit bigger, so we really gave the PCS speakers a workout.
As with the MC speakers, the PCS cabs delivered crystal-clear sound that distinctly separated the highs from the lows. It was nice having the level and tone controls handy onstage, as it allowed us to tweak the sound quickly and easily to our personal preferences. Although I haven't had much experience with active PA cabs, it's now apparent why they are becoming such a popular alternative to the traditional setup of a power amp and passive cabs. In fact, we were so pleased that we used them for a third gig later that week!
Choose your weapon
I was impressed with the performance of both the MC and PCS speakers from Nady. Normally I wouldn't expect such a high level of performance from speakers in their price range. If you already have a good power amp and are on a budget, then the MC speakers will serve you well. If you're building a PA from the ground up, the active PCS speakers are a great-sounding alternative to the typical power amp/passive cab setup. Whatever you choose, you're guaranteed solid Nady quality and great performance.
Features & Specs:
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