Floor monitors are a necessary evil, but I loathe spending much money on them as they are not what the audience hears. Then again, if I cheap out on them they are going to work like crap and the guys on stage are going to be chapped at me. Well, since I have made the switch to powered PA speakers, I have been trying out different powered floor monitors, and thought I would pass along my thoughts on the Peavey PV 15PM powered floor monitors.
Peavey has been around since 1965, and is one of the biggest manufacturers of amplifiers and speakers. My fist bass amplifier was a Peavey, and most every musician I know has owned or used Peavey equipment before.
The PV 15PM monitors are members of an endangered species. There are not really very many choices in the wedge-type floor monitor world, and even less choices in the powered wedge-type floor monitor world. This is because speaker manufacturers have figured out that if they build PA cabinets with angled sides that they can also be used as floor monitors too. But, there is nothing like the look of an old-school wedge monitor…
And these look the part, covered in carpet with heavy-duty steel handles and a steel grill. They measure about 26 inches wide by 19 inches deep, with a 40-degree upward angle. They are not lightweight, coming in at around 47 pounds each. No plastic in these bad boys.
They are loaded up with a 15-inch Peavey speaker with a 2-3/8-inch voice coil and a neodymium magnet and a 1.4” titanium diaphragm compression driver. Power is supplied by a pair of class D amplifier that are bi-amped to provide a total output of 200 watts (150 to the woofer and 50 to the tweeter). Peavey does not say if that is peak, but it seems to me like continuous power, just from how loud they are. And they are rated up to 120dB by Peavey, with a frequency response of 52 Hz to 21 kHz.
Everything is loaded on the face of the cabinet, which is something I appreciate as I hate fumbling around with wiring on the back of floor speakers. This includes a combo jack with ¼” TRS and female XLR microphone or line-level balanced input, two ¼” phone jacks for link-out/direct-in capability, the power switch, a level control, a ground lift and a pad switch.
And these Peavey floor monitors work great. They look nice and seem sturdy enough that they will last forever. They have decent lows and cut through on stage with a loud drummer. But they don’t do much of anything better than the Mackie Thump speakers I have been using for monitors, and that is a problem. The Mackies sound just as good, are much cheaper, have a higher power rating (400w), and weigh a lot less (under 30 pounds). Plus they can also be set on their sides for floor use or mounted normally on stands. New Mackie Thumps will run you about 300 bucks each, while the Peavey PV 15PM speakers have a street price of $400 (list price is $479).
Try them both out and do the math, and as nice as they are, you will probably not end up with the Peaveys.