Fast FactsApplications: Live sound
Key Features: Two-way; twin 4-inch woofers; 1-inch dome tweeter; 10-inch woofer on subwoofer; onboard 50W amp.
Contact: Fender at 480-596-9690; www.fenderaudio.com.
+ Easy to setup
+ Included wall mounts
+ Comes in black or silver
– 2.1 setup only
– Low level output
– Wall brackets have horizontal adjustment onlyFender, the maker of the Telecaster and Stratocaster guitars, now makes a full line of professional PA products in various price ranges.
This 2.1 PDP system is designed foraudio playback in a conference room presentation system. We often use the system to show training DVDs, do PowerPoint presentations and watch an occasional football game.
The PDP-125 speaker system, available in black or silver version, consists of three components; two powered full range tower speakers and a subwoofer, kind of like a larger version of the speaker systems you can buy for your computer. With a height of about 23 inches, and about four inches square the tower satellite speakers contain dual 4-inch drivers and a 1-inch dome tweeter. The crossover frequency is 3.5 kHz. The power output is 18 watts with a frequency response of 100 Hz to 20 kHz ±6 dB. The PDP-1 is a passive 8 ohm version of the PDP-125 for use with the power amplifier and subwoofer outputs. The tower speakers, housed in anodized brushed aluminum enclosures, come with yoke mounting brackets which make wall mounting convenient.
One of the speakers contains the power amplifier and all interface connections while the mate speaker is a passive unit. On the passive unit the interface is screw posts that are offset and kind of small and hard to get at. I was curious to know why they choose to have screw posts for the passive unit, but push terminals on the master speaker unit.
On the master unit you have the connection for the external power supply, and the power supply is an in line type. The master unit has provisions for a stereo unbalanced line level input, and a 3.5mm input, a volume control and a LED power indicator.
The subwoofer, housed in MDF painted cabinet, is about 16 inches high by 12 inches wide and 14 inches deep and weighs about 30 pounds. It contains a 10-inch low frequency driver and a 50 watt amplifier. The unit has stereo unbalanced line level inputs using phono connectors and a 3.5 mm high frequency (HF) output. This output gets connected to the tower speakers HF input via the supplied 6-foot cable with a 3.5 mm TRS connector. The subwoofer also has speaker level input and HF speaker level outputs on push connectors. The passive outputs are used when using the passive tower speakers and the subwoofer can be connected to speaker outputs of plasma displays and other such outputs.
Connecting the units together is pretty easy. Again, very similar to a computer speaker system. I connected them to a large display and proceeded to test them with various audio sources. Because there are no other adjustments available, setting them up is easy and quick.
I put some music through them and started setting the levels on the tower speakers and then the subwoofer. My first impression was that they had a smooth high end and midrange but the lower mids were not as prominent as I would have liked. Listening to a broadcast of a football game showed the speaker to have great intelligibility for voice.They seem to excel at low to mid level volumes. I cranked them up and they got a little distorted on the high end and a bit flabby on the bass. In a large room with a full crowd it may be difficult to get the level you need for the playback of some source material.
The system has an automatic standby mode that shuts the speakers down when no signal is present for an unspecified period of time. However, while I was listening to the system, the speakers went into the standby mode. I then unplugged the input cable, plugged it back in and they came back on. Strange? Because they reminded me so much of computer speakers (they even have the right inputs) I couldn’t help connecting them to my laptop output and watched a DVD. Awesome! They could be the ultimate computer speakers and they’re small enough to pack up and use for showroom or booth presentation systems.
The Fender PDP speaker system is a good choice for small and medium-sized presentation rooms.And they are very reasonably priced.The sudden muting was strange and hopefully a fluke with this set. It would be nice to have a 5.1 setup companion of this system as well.