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Loud And Proud

M-Audio's GSR Loudspeakers won't just tear the roof off, but will also deliver some serious sounds

M-Audio have jumped into the sound reinforcement market with their all-new GSR range of PA speakers. There are essentially two models to choose from: the GSR10s or the GSR12s. Both speakers are a dual driver design and both have a tweeter and a mid/low driver, but as the name would hint the 10s are made up of a 10-inch bottom-end driver whilst the 12s have a 12-inch driver, as you might have guessed. As well as both of these, there is also the GSR18, a whopping 18-inch subwoofer that can be added to the mix to really take care of all the low-end frequencies of the set-up.

Back in the good old days of mobile DJing, a small team of dedicated professionals was needed to cart all the equipment around, and the unenviable task of lugging the speakers up a flight of stairs was most definitely a two- or three-man job — and these things didn’t even have built-in amps! M-Audio have come up with the answer to this nightmare scenario, as the GSR10s and 12s can be carried by just one person — and you don’t need to be built like Arnold Schwarzenegger to carry this out. The surprising thing is that these speakers are so light, and yet all of them have built-in amplification.

M-Audio’s GRS10s and 12s have a rather cool sleek design, with a very stylish, extremely efficient and tough construction. Each speaker features three integrated handles with deep hand wells for comfortable lifting, plus a heavy steel grill to protect the drivers. They also come with handy transportation bags that double-up as added protection. Whilst the 10s are very easy to throw into the boot of a decent-sized car, the 12s are more suited to a people carrier or small van. We managed to get the GSR12s, the GSR18, the stands and a load more equipment into a people carrier for a full set-up at a function, and this proved an easy task. Loading up took minutes and the fact that the weight wasn’t an issue was a bonus.

The GSR speakers are active and come with a built-in two-way amp, which means they can be directly set up to a mixer without the need for any additional amplification or equipment. Über-professional DJs may want to use limiters and EQs, but it’s really not needed at the basic level. Connection to a mixer is taken care of by the balanced XLR/TRS combo jack, another plus point as virtually any style of cables can be used to hook up the speakers. The built-in Class D amps within the speakers pack a mighty sonic punch — this is down to the 24dB/octave crossover that integrates with the high-frequency Titanium tweeter and the low-frequency driver. The sound is pretty damn good from the 10s and awesome from the 12s: to be honest, these alone would be enough for most PA duties but if DJs really want to push the boat out, connect up the GSR18 subwoofer and your crowd would be forgiven if they thought that they had a club system on their hands. The combination of the woofer and the speakers really does make for some hefty, serious sound and that’s not all — more than one set of satellites can be daisy-chained together to complete the ultimate wall of sound!
M-Audio have realised that whilst mobile DJs are going to get great use out of the GSR range, there are other uses such as at conferences and live gigs. With this in mind, they have provided four EQ presets that make it easy to dial in the right sound for every application from public address to live performances — not just disco-tastic events.

These speakers are ideal for any small to mid-size venue. As with the private function we road-tested them at, we set up the GSR12s with one GSR18 subwoofer in a medium-sized room for about 300 people and it was perfect to test-drive these audio beauties. After the initial quick set-up plugging in cables and sticking the speakers onto the stands, we played an all-night set with a range of tunes covering disco, 70s and 80s soul and funk — and boy, did the guitars and bass sound crisp. We threw in some urban and dance flavours to thoroughly test-drive the audio spectrum of the GSRs, and the vibrant mix of music sounded really good with the GSRs handling the different sound spectrums and frequencies with ease.

The Subwoofer really added the icing onto the cake. To be honest we could have done the gig without it, but for that added dynamic sound power it was great to add the boom-tastic GRS18 into the mix. The GSR18 is yet more versatile M-Audio technology. It has four small wheels (that are lockable) for added manoeuvrability, so that the GSR doesn’t take off down the road once the bass hits. It’s surprisingly light for what it does and the size of it, and for the complete sound loon more than one of these can be used as well.

Verdict

Price   £379.95, £759.95 (pair)
Contact   m-audio.com
Build Quality
  8.0
Ease of Use   8.0
Features   8.0
Value for Money   8.0
Sound Quality   8.0
Hype   A decent set of speakers with a variety of uses. They're really light and easy to carry.
Gripe   Adding the GSR18 subwoofer means these babies can be to loud--is that a problem?
Conclusion   M-audio have got themselves a great set of speakers that are very good on the price tip aswell, bearing in mind that once purchased, nothing else like extra amps or EQ is neededfor DJs to get going.
Overall Score   8/10
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