An ideal result of precise market research is QSC’s GX7 addition to the GX Series of portable amplifiers, built specifically for those professional musicians and pro-audio types who frequently use passive, two-way speakers varying in size between 12- and 15-inch, woofer-equipped models (yes, built that specifically).
I most frequently paired the GX7 with two workhorse JBL MRX 512M stage monitors (passive, 12-inch, 400W rated) for nearly six months of various gigs.
Compared with the GX5 that I reviewed for PAR in 2008, the GX7 has significantly increased power output. QSC added an additional back-panel fan, though quiet, variable and virtually unnoticeable to the user. The GX7 is a featherweight 15.5 lbs. (though the GX3 and GX5 weigh in at an also respectably light 26 lbs.).
I/O includes two XLR, quarterinch TRS and phono/RCA inputs per channel; and two Speakon combo and binding post outputs. Also included is sub/satellite 100 Hz crossover control point, a switch that toggles between full-range operation and a Channel 1 LF passthru/ Channel 2 HF pass-thru.
At 8 ohms/1 kHz (both channels driven), the GX7 is spec’d at 725W of power (the GX3 and GX5 provide 300W and 500W at the same specification, respectively). QSC recommends 4- and 8-ohm speaker system use only for the GX7. Worth noting, QSC includes its Guard-Rail technology in the GX Series (essentially a combination of clip limiting and thermal limiting) for those of us who have a tendency to “set it and forget it.”
The GX7 did at least a dozen different gigs with me, JBL MRX 512M pair as both stage monitors for bigger club gigs and main monitors for smaller ones. I also used it in crossover mode when playing a venue with a passive house subwoofer. In every case, the experience was straightforward and more than pleasant. Even pushed to the near max, the GX7 provided plenty of headroom and stayed clean before the onset of any audible distortion. With each gig, I felt that I was getting full aural potential from my beloved MRX 512M pair.
According to QSC research, 90 percent of potential GX7 users need its exact feature set and specifications, and will need little more amp-wise. I fully believe that, as I regularly witness gig after gig in which the GX Series would provide the all of its clean, reliable power needed with no hassles.