Recognizing the popularity of their XLT speakers, Community created the XLT500 series of enclosures that, with enhanced features and modest prices, are sure to attract a wider market base. The XLT500s feature lighter weight, higher sensitivity, greater power handling, and a lower price point than their XLT brethren. These design changes make these new cabinets attractive to a wide range of users in sound reinforcement and related fields.
Product PointsApplications: Live sound, installations
Key Features: Lightweight range of live sound mid/high cabinets and subwoofers; enhanced power handling; IntelliSense protection circuit and PowerMeter LEDs; 1/4-inch and Neutrik Speakon inputs.
Price: XLT500 (single 15-inch with horn/1- inch tweeter, $779); XLT525 (double 15-inch, three-way, $999); XLT509 (dual 15-inch sub, $999); XLT415 (quad 15-inch sub $1,400). Also available (not reviewed): XLT530 (single 15-inch, three-way $949), XLT505 (single 15-inch monitor with horn $789), XLT502 (single 12-inch multi-angle enclosure with horn).
Contact: Community at 610-876-3400 Web Site
+ Good sounding
The Score: Versatile lightweight speaker series at a reasonable price.
I received a total of eight cabinets for review: a pair each of XLT500 and XLT525 mid/high enclosures, and a pair each of XLT509 and XLT415 subwoofers. The XLT500 is a trapezoidal cabinet that is 26.9 inches high, 20.3 inches wide, 18.2 inches deep and weighs a mere 50 pounds. It features a 15-inch woofer and 90 x 40 degree horn attached to a 1-inch HF driver that has a non-metallic diaphragm. The system has an internal crossover (2 kHz) and a three-stage protection circuit.
Like all the enclosures in this series, this protection circuit features two three-color (red/yellow/ green) indicators located on the front and the rear of the cabinet. The XLT500 has a claimed frequency response of 70 Hz to 15 kHz (+/- 3.5 dB) and a power handling capability of 400 watts continuous (4 ohms). The enclosure has both Neutrik Speakon and 1/4-inch inputs.
The XLT525 is a three-way trapezoidal cabinet with two 15-inch woofers, a 6.5-inch Ferrofluid-cooled mid-frequency cone and a 90 X 40 degree horn. Obviously, the XLT525 needs a larger cabinet to accommodate the additional components. It measures 42 inches high, 20.3 inches wide and 18.2 inches deep, while weighing in at 80 pounds. The enclosure has crossover points of 500 Hz and 2.5 kHz with a frequency response of 60 Hz to 15 kHz (+/-5 dB) and a power handling capability of 600 watts continuous (4 ohms). It also has Speakon and 1/4-inch inputs.
The subwoofer cabinets I received were the XLT509 and the XLT415. The XLT415 is not really part of the 500 series, but it is often paired with the larger 500 series tops. The XLT415 has four horn-loaded 15-inch speakers in a cabinet that measures 33.9 inches high, 27 inches wide and 43 inches deep, while weighing 181 pounds. It has a published frequency response of 40 Hz to 250 Hz and a power handling capability of 600 watts continuous (4 ohms). The XLT509 has two front-loaded 15-inch speakers in its trapezoidal cabinet. The cabinet measures 34 inches high, 20.3 inches wide and 18.2 inches deep with a weight of 70 pounds. It has a stated frequency response of 40 Hz to 250 Hz and is claimed to handle 400 watts continuous (4 ohms).
I used the XLT509 (dual 15-inch sub, $999) and the XLT500 (single 15-inch with horn/1-inch tweeter, $779) together on a variety of jobs. These two cabinets work very well in tandem. They are lightweight and can be joined by a short pole that fits in the top of the sub. I found the XLT509 sub to be surprisingly robust considering its light weight. It had no problems generating chest pounding thump in rooms of small to moderate size. Steve Milner, one of my engineers, and I marveled at how much bottom emanates from this cabinet, which I could carry with one hand.
The XLT500 has a pleasing sonic signature. It has crisp highs and ample low/mid representation. It is a speaker that is not fatiguing to listen to for extended periods. This feature is a bit of a double-edged sword though. When mixing an eight-piece jazz group in the atrium of the National Air & Space Museum, I was very pleased with the pleasant, articulate sound of the 500/509 combination. Vocals and drum overheads were clean and crisp while the kick drum and the upright bass were well represented too.
However, at a different venue with a rock band, I found the 500s to sound a bit thin when it came to cutting through the din of a reverberant environment. This problem was somewhat mitigated by a little tweaking on the house EQ. Despite this difficulty, the 500/509 combo was a joy to use and handled everything that my overpowered amps could throw at them. In fact, I never saw the red LED in the IntelliSense PowerMeter display come on.
I had a chance to use the XLT525 (double 15-inch, three-way, $999) and the XLT415 sub ($1,400) in one of Washington D.C.’s larger ballrooms with a crowd of about 700 people. We placed the 415s on the floor next to the stage and were able to raise the 525s up to a reasonable height. Had we needed more height, the 525s are equipped with three rigging points for flying them. The event was for a group of lawyers from around the country and they had a rock band as the final fling of the evening. I must admit that I was somewhat skeptical about the ability of these cabinets to address such a large crowd. During the band’s sound check, my skepticism was laid to rest. The 415s, powered by robust QSC amps, delivered very impressive thump throughout the room. The 525s were surprising as well. Even when the crowd swelled later in the evening, things remained clear and intelligible at impressive distances.
The XLT 500 series speakers are a good choice for a wide variety sound reinforcement purposes, given their minimal weight and modest pricing. The XLT415 sub is particularly impressive. The 500 series speakers offer crisp, intelligible highs, robust lows and they weigh next to nothing…well, much less than other cabinets in this class. These speakers are a good bet for in house audio, installs, musicians and smaller sound companies.