The Peavey PR 15D is a Class D-powered, biamplified version of the company’s previously released two-way, 15-inch, woofer-anchored speaker system. The intention of Peavey’s PR line is to balance full sound with featherweight; at 37 pounds, this polypropylene, injection-molded loudspeaker manages to fill a room without having to pack a dolly.
Standing at 5’ 6” in shoes, I can find lugging speakers to be the most daunting part of a gig. But with the PR 15D — measuring 28.56 inches tall x 21.31 inches wide x 17 inches deep — I strode down the hall with a swagger, 200 total Watts and 120 dB peak SPL slung over my shoulder with ease. That 200 watts is split — 150 watts directed to the heavy-duty woofer with Neodymium magnet and 50 watts dedicated to the RX 14 1.4-inch titanium-diaphragm compression driver (thrown through a molded 90- by 40-degree horn).
Frequency response is stated as 47 Hz to 20 kHz. Peavey’s proprietary DDT speaker protection is active on both amps, included to eliminate audible amp clipping (aided by a built-in, heavy-duty crossover and an attenuator circuit to assure constant controlled loudness). A woofer servo aims to sense and remove back-EMF from the voice coil not a result of the drive signal, thus having the cone follow the drive waveform precisely.
Along with molded-in handgrips are multiple flying points, though these speakers seem most geared toward mobile DJs, musicians, and speakers who will polemount them. This is what I did when I auditioned a pair of these trapezoidal allies as sound reinforcement and an address system while DJing receptions held in your average-sized hotel ballroom.
For setup, Direct In (intended for stage monitoring set by an external mixer and amplifier) and Link Out jacks, allow the daisy-chaining of speakers. Main input is via the unmarked Channel 1 combo female XLR and 1/4-inch TRS jack. It also helps to know that the PAD status light is green when in line-level mode, and yellow when sensitivity is increased by 30 dB for mic-level signal.
The PR 15D delivered what it promised: clarity. Used to play a range of music including heavily compressed modern pop, golden-era hip-hop, bottomheavy funk, and even snare-riddled indie rock, the PR 15D never flagged in its ability to reproduce a smooth quality you could hear. It wasn’t, however, always something you could feel; despite the 15-inch woofer, I at times wished for more of a punch, not just a constant push. What was provided wasn’t unsubstantial, I just felt certain cluboriented tracks felt slightly underpowered, and I believe the impression of low-frequency roll-off could benefit from a dedicated sub (such as Peavey’s own SP Subcompact 18X).
Overall, though, the PR 15D manages to be both full-sounding and highly portable, ideal for most small- to mid-level live sound/monitoring situations, offering a favorable combination for a one-man show looking for a one-stop shop.
Tony Ware is a Washington, DC-based live DJ, audiophile, and journalist.