Gigging keyboardists have been a huge reason for the success of a product that, with a few exceptions, hasn’t been marketed as a “keyboard thing.” That, of course, is the portable powered stage monitor. They tend to have much more power than keyboard combo amps, reproducing the full frequency range with no coloration and more than enough volume to stand between the drummer and guitar player. Unlike combo amps, they have minimal built-in mixing, but if you have a multi-keyboard rig, you probably own a small mixer, and you probably use it to send a stereo keyboard mix to the house P.A. and a pre-fader aux to your powered monitor. If you play just one keyboard and maybe sing, the monitor itself may have all the inputs you need. Thanks to advances such as Class-D power amp design, the latest stage speakers are dramatically lighter—woofer for woofer and watt for watt—than previous models of just a few years ago.
ALTO PROFESSIONAL TS115A
Though Alto’s TS115A looks and feels subjectively bulkier
than the JBL Eon 515XT (the other speaker in this roundup with a 15"
woofer), it’s manageable at 39 pounds, its three handles (on top and
each side) make it easy to maneuver, and the corner nubs facilitate
easy, stable stacking. It’s can work upright or as a floor monitor.
The 15" woofer made some of my synth sounds a bit tubby,
but as you might expect, pads, synth bass, and sampled acoustic bass had
a really nice depth. Acoustic pianos are the most demanding sounds to
reproduce naturally, and the TS115A wasn’t overly kind to those in my
Nord Stage 2—I couldn’t find a happy compromise between girth and punch.
Electric pianos and organs fared much better. Obviously, players
kicking left-hand bass will benefit from the larger speaker, and in
general, I hear more of a difference going from a 12" to a 15" woofer
than I from 10" to 12".
Remembering the rock bottom street price puts such criticisms in perspective. A pair
of TS115As runs less than $700, and is more than enough to serve as the
main P.A. and sole keyboard amp for, say, a trio or quartet in an
intimate setting. A single unit works well as a monitor, and can fill
the room with your keyboards in small bars, taking demand off the
underpowered P.A. often found in those kinds of venues. Keeping in mind
that the next price level upmarket is $600 to $700 per speaker, and the
next is four figures, the Altos offer plenty to feel good about. --Tony Orant
|| The Alto TS115A has two combo ins, each with enough gain for a mic,
but no hi-z guitar input. The XLR out sends a mono mix to the house P.A.
or other powered speaker. The contour switch boosts highs and lows. Big
props to Alto for understanding that anything that has an XLR output
should have a ground lift!
You won’t find the YesMon CCM112 among the usual
powered speaker suspects at garden variety retailers, and the company’s
website is replete with pictures of touring systems for DJs and installs
in nightclubs. Keyboardists are known for looking outside the box,
though, and that certainly describes the CCM112. This little wedge (it’s
also pole-mountable) drives 1,500 watts of Class-D power into a 12"
woofer with a coaxially mounted tweeter. The picture doesn’t do justice
to how tiny it is—just 14" x 15" x 12".
Unlike most “music store” powered speakers, there’s no
onboard mixing, mic input, or even any knobs. The single XLR input is
line-level, so you’ll need a compact mixer for routing and gain control. A Neutrik PowerCon connector (with the cord included) is used for connecting to AC power. This is much
more secure than the usual IEC type cord—and though it looks a lot like the Speakon speaker connector, the two aren't compatible, so there is no danger of plugging the AC line into some other speaker's audio input by accident.
Here’s the big deal. This thing is loud—for its size, the loudest speaker I think I’ve ever heard. You could be in a 2,000-seat theater with everything except
your keyboards going through the house line array, and the back row of
the balcony would be able to hear them just fine. Running a Korg Krome
and then a Yamaha Motif ES straight into the CCM112 (to keep the gain
chain simple), I couldn’t turn either keyboard’s volume up past a third
without literally becoming frightened of how loud it got. Not that the
speaker itself showed any hint of getting crispy—it remained clear as a
|| The YesMon CCM112 puts its connectors on the side, letting you make any
other surface the bottom when placing it as a floor wedge. Pole-mount it
atop the SSP115 subwoofer, and the side becomes the bottom with the
connections logically facing downward. Connections themselves are simply
XLR line in and thru, and that blue jack is actually for AC
The CCM112 does seem intended for use with a subwoofer.
The enclosure is sealed, not ported, and for that reason the bottom two
octaves of piano sounds—while still plenty loud—sounded a bit metallic
and boxy compared to the Line 6 speakers I also tested for this roundup. Bassmaxx
also sent us their SSP115 sub, which adds a number of DSP-based
crossover/EQ presets and turned my rig into something approaching a
one-keyboardist Ultra Music Festival. The sub is compact (about 22" on a
side) but a non-trivial carrying commitment at 89 pounds.
By weekend warrior standards, Bassmaxx gear is expensive,
though lower-powered versions of both the monitor and sub are somewhat
more affordable ($1,650 and $1,999, respectively), and honestly, more
than loud enough for any monitoring or filling-the-house keyboard
application. If having the most swagger of any keyboard player you know
is worth the price, Bassmaxx would be how you get it. --Stephen Fortner
I have been using a stereo pair of Electro-Voice ZXA1
speakers as keyboard monitors for over a month. Each weights in at just
19 pounds, and with a footprint of about 18" x 11" x 10", they fit
nicely on the floor beneath my Yamaha S90XS performance synthesizer.
I’m a freelance keyboardist who does around 100 gigs a
year, primarily in a five-piece, high-energy cover band. We perform lots
of country hits, dancey stuff from Lady Gaga and Pink, some ’80s hair
band music, and classic rock. Venues range from smaller corporate
parties, to medium to large clubs, to outdoor summer festivals, to the
occasional concert hall. The EVs are easily heard and I have lots of
headroom—I could run the ZXA1s much louder than I currently do.
I’m very impressed with clarity and smoothness with which
they reproduce piano patches. On complex multitimbral setups, the
speakers are very articulate and I can easily hear the various
individual sounds being used. The speaker also does a good job
reproducing my clonewheel organ when it’s impractical to bring a Leslie.
The eight-inch woofer might seem small, but the bass
response in the ZxA1 is optimal for my needs—keep in mind that a stereo
pair moves twice the air. A big reason I prefer the EVs over most other
powered speakers I’ve tried is that the pianos sound more natural in the
bass register in particular. In fact, since switching to the ZXA1s, I now run all my mixer EQ settings flat.
|| The ZXA1’s rear panel has two inputs: an XLR mic in with independent
gain control, and a XLR/TRS combo jack that’s line-level only. The XLR
master out sums the mic and line inputs. Toggling the 100Hz low cut (for
use with a subwoofer) requires a stylus such as a paper clip,
preventing accidental changing at the gig. There’s built-in overload
protection, but no EQ.
I almost always have the benefit of a good front-of-house
P.A. and so have used the ZXA1s mainly for monitoring. Judging them
based on current performances, though, I think you could easily fill
medium-sized clubs with a pair of these and no subwoofer. It would
certainly work well for jazz, blues, or any sort of piano-based gigs. I
currently perform pieces where the band’s bassist plays acoustic guitar
and I play the bass guitar parts on the S90XS. The sound coming out of
the ZXA1 pair thumps onstage. Genres
utilizing heavy synth bass or, say, sequenced kick drum parts, would
call for adding a single ZXA1 Sub (the subwoofer that’s marketed in
conjunction with the ZXA1 tops).
Though the lightweight ABS cabinet makes me wonder how
this speaker will hold up to prolonged road abuse, so far I’ve had no
problems. A slot on the top rear of the cabinet where you insert your
fingers serves as the only handle, but the light physical weight makes
this almost a non-issue.
All in all,
I’m extremely pleased with ZXA1 speakers, and they’re very well
priced—and by that I mean low—for the audio quality they provide. --Clarence Boyd
In 1995, JBL’s Eon series ushered in the idea of the powered stage speaker as personal
gear—as opposed to something clubs and sound contractors own. Since
then, we’ve them as standalone P.A. systems for trios and coffee houses.
We’ve known many a singer and horn player to keep one in the trunk so
they’ll never be without a monitor. Of course, keyboard players like
their full-range sound. When we tested the then-new Eon 515 in February
2011, one reviewer thought it didn’t get quite loud enough. Improvements
in today’s 515XT model include higher input sensitivity and a lower
noise floor, and we’re happy to report that when it comes to filling the
room, these pay off.
The Eon 515XTs are light and well balanced to carry from
any of the three handles. I first used a pair as my keyboard monitors in
a loud jam band playing in a biker roadhouse, alongside two guitars,
bass, and a terrific but hard-hitting drummer. My rig consists of a
Kurzweil PC3K and Hammond XK-3, the latter running running through a Neo
Instruments Ventilator rotary pedal. I ran the left outs of the
Kurzweil and Ventilator and into channels 1 and 2 of one Eon and their
right outs into the other. The line-level XLR out of the Eons fed the
house P.A., although most of the energy for my sound came from the Eons
The first thing I noticed was how open the piano sounded.
During sound check, I always run the “piano test” and over-exaggerate
the frequency range and dynamics via my playing. Since piano is such a
full-range instrument, this almost always reveals any issues with
frequency spikes or dips, and the Eons passed with flying colors. I was
pleasantly surprised by their flat voicing.
One thing I enjoy with my big-rig setup (Mackie 802VLZ3
mixer, QSC PLX-1804 power amp, and two JBL MRX512M passive speakers) is
control over input and output levels throughout the signal chain. By
design, powered speakers with integrated mixing are a closed system, but
with the Eons, I had no input sensitivity or gain staging issues.
On this gig, I
needed clean loudness, and the 515XTs performed quite well. They can’t
get as loud as my separate components, but the Eons had better fidelity
and are certainly loud enough. In fact, not only did my PC3K
piano sound more pleasing, open, and realistic, but the organ sounded
killer. The extended low end gave it additional balls, while the smooth
highs gave the Leslie grind some welcome “teeth.” With the 15" woofer
and plenty of power, there’s enough low end for left-hand bass gigs.
A few nights later I played at a jam at a small club. They
had a Nord Electro, and I decided to try a single 515XT as its stage
amp. Even the single speaker had plenty of punch to throw my solos to
the back wall. The Clav patches cut right through and the Rhodes and
Wurly were warm, punchy, and above all, very natural sounding at all
volume levels. Even when I cranked it up, there was no discernible
change in timbre. As with most powered speakers, JBL employs limiting to
protect the speakers from amp clipping, but even at high volumes, I
noticed none of the artifacts you might expect.
Lastly, I played a high-end corporate gig for 350 people
in a ballroom where a line array was the main P.A. I used a stereo pair
to fill our 20 by 30-foot stage. Again, they were plenty loud and
exhibited great fidelity. The guitarist on the opposite side of the
stage heard my keys just fine and even commented on how natural sounding
my rig was.
On the rear panel, the Eon 515XT includes two 1/4" inputs and an XLR combo jack that can
take mics or line, though there’s no hi-z input for guitar. Each 1/4"
input is TRS, so by using “Y” cables, you can run both sides of a
stereo keyboard into each input, though you’d be getting a mono sum.
The XLR output can pass just what’s in channel 3 (loop mode) or
everything (mix mode).
I must admit to expecting less than this level of
performance out of the Eon 515XTs. I expected them to be underpowered
and a little harsh. They were neither, and proved to be amazing keyboard
monitors. --Avi Hersh
LINE 6 STAGESOURCE L3t and L3m
At NAMM 2012, Line 6 unveiled a scalable “smart” P.A.
comprising the StageScape M20d—a digital mixer whose icon-based
touchscreen is a radical departure from the usual slab o’ faders—and
StageSource powered speakers. We’ve been testing a full system and will
report on it in a future issue (it’s blowing our minds), but the
StageSource speakers can also stand alone. What’s it like to use one of
these, or a stereo pair, as your keyboard amp onstage? Like bringing a
nuclear submarine to a fistfight.
You may have heard powered stage speakers praised for “sounding like studio monitors” before, but the StageSources sound like really high-end
studio monitors. That’s partly because they’re tri-amplified. There are
two 10" woofers; one picks up where the tweeter leaves off but the
other is strictly for lows from 250Hz on down, and both woofers go “all
the way down.” I first encountered this approach in a studio monitor, in fact: the vaunted Adam S3A. Here, the results are comparably accurate and detailed . . . only louder.
In use, I got all the bass I’d expect from an amply
powered 15" woofer, only with none of the flabby character that’s so
unflattering to keyboards. Pianos from Ivory sounded more natural than I
can remember hearing in a live situation. A Minimoog’s famously snappy
envelopes were snappier. Sparkly noodly bits popped out from “motion
synth” patches on a Korg Krome I’m trying. Even at loud gigs, my ears
could register moving one drawbar one notch on a clonewheel organ. I
could go on.
Did they get loud enough? On larger stages (e.g.,
wedding gigs in hotel ballrooms), I’d stand an L3t at either rear corner
of the stage, angled about 40 degrees inward. In small clubs, I’d
deploy the built-in kickstands to lay a single L3t behind my rig at an
inward-firing angle. In all cases, listeners verified they could hear my
keyboards clearly, and in all but two of these, the sound engineer
copped to not needing me in the mains. I could hear myself loud and
clear, and bandmates tended not to need me in their monitors but seldom
complained I was too loud. In other words, the StageSource throws without pummeling whoever’s standing next to it, and that’s no mean feat.
|| Both the L3m and L3t have an XLR combo input that wants a line-level
signal, as from a monitor send on your keyboard mixer. RCA jacks are for
whatever plays your break music (or maybe a Korg Kaossilator). L6 Link
is a proprietary digital connection that goes well beyond simple audio
Then there’s all the DSP mojo. The L3t and L3m have six
modes that tweak the crossover and EQ for different
sources. I preferred the “Reference/P.A.” mode to “Keyboards”—your taste
may vary. Placed on its side, the speaker goes into “Floor Monitor”
mode, which sums stereo signals to mono and rolls off the lows a bit;
you can override this. Upright, it knows if it’s on a pole and if not,
adjusts its response to create a better illusion of projecting sound
upward. I also tested the feedback suppression by approaching my L3t
pair with a live mic in hand, and it’s quick and effective.
When we review the StageScape M20d mixer, we’ll see just
how powerful Line 6’s digital audio networking, called L6 Link, can get.
It can do a few tricks without an M20d present, though. With two
StageSource speakers, anything plugged into the first is routed to the
second. Stereo signals (the RCA jacks on an L3m, and/or both channels of
an L3t’s built-in mixer when in stereo mode) will be split properly.
You can daisy chain up to nine speakers; even numbers of speakers divide
left and right channels equally and odd numbers add a mono sum to the
middle speaker in the chain.
Normally, you’d run L6 link in one direction, using a
single digital-grade XLR cable. Connecting my L3t pair bi-directionally,
though, didn’t confuse them: The L3t that had started out first in the
chain still knew it was the left side, and stereo splitting worked
flawlessly even when I filled every 1/4" and RCA input on both units. Since I only had two speakers, I didn’t test whether this behavior scaled up to larger chains.
At about 57 pounds each, the StageSources are the heaviest
in this roundup. That said, the tall-but-skinny form factor is
surprisingly manageable, and there’s a certain “monolith from 2001” presence onstage.
|| The L3t adds this “coffee house gig” mixer on the side. It takes mics or
guitars, and includes modeling to enhance acoustic guitars, as well as
reverb. Keyboardists will like stereo link mode, which can split a
stereo signal with a second L3t (or L3m) connected via L6 Link. You can
use all rear-panel inputs at the same time, with the RCA ins stereo
split in the same way.
Since the L3m
is identical to the L3t except for having no built-in mixer, it’s the
better choice if you already have a keyboard mixer and/or don’t need mic
and guitar ins—and saves you about $200 out the door. Likewise, the L2t and L2m offer mixer-equipped and mixerless options in an even more compact and affordable single-woofer format. Even if you just
need a single speaker and will never use the L6 Link or DSP features,
the combination of pristine audio quality and seemingly roofless
headroom justifies every penny of the price of any of these models, at least to my ears. If the
StageSource seems like overkill as a keyboard monitor, that’s only
until you get used to playing through one. --Stephen Fortner
Mackie’s DLM series looks like a conventional “box” P.A.
but offers several interesting twists. The DLM8 and DLM12 have 8" and
12" woofers, respectively, and each uses a Class-D amp that pushes 2,000
watts of peak power. The drivers are mounted coaxially (a design
originally made popular by Tannoy studio monitors) and vertically
aligned so that the sound from the tweeter and woofer come at you from
the same point—what Mackie calls “TruSource.”
The sound is clean, with plenty of reserve power for
transients—attacks do indeed attack. There also seems to be less
“falloff” at a distance (possibly TruSource at work), and enough level
to hit you hard if that’s what you want. The overall response is smooth,
with no midrange boxiness, and the highs have presence without being
screechy. Do a bass slide, and you won’t hear any response holes in the
Even the little DLM8 is plenty loud and balanced. It’s
also extremely compact (about 11" x 12" x 11.5") and light. For more low
end and punch, the DLM12 is a logical upgrade, but I don’t see you
needing the companion DLM12S subwoofer for keyboard monitoring, unless
you need to fill a large club with no help from the main P.A. The rugged
enclosures are made of ABS plastic, have a kickstand for angling as a
floor monitor, and with 20-gauge speaker grilles, if something falls on
the speaker while it’s angled back, the speaker will most likely survive
better than what falls on it.
Each of the DLM digital mixer’s two inputs has a level
control, three-band EQ, and send for one of the 16 onboard effects,
which cover reverb, chorus, and delay. The effects may be icing, but
they sound good—you might prefer the reverb to those in your keyboards.
Globally, there are six speaker voicing options, a multiband feedback
reducer (which helps with vocals), overload protection, three storable
presets, and a switchable 300ms delay for balcony placement.
Both Mackie DLM models include the same electronics. Of
the two inputs, one is a combo jack with a mic/line switch (no phantom
power), the other a combo jack for instrument or line—with both set to line, you can plug in a stereo keyboard.
While there’s an XLR thru jack, it carries either the
signal from input 1, or a mix of the two inputs, so you can’t send a
true stereo signal to the front-of-house—unless, of course, you use two
of them or put a compact mixer upstream.
The DLM series is all about portable power in a convenient
form factor, with clarity that adds a bit more of a hi-fi studio
monitor vibe. For my money, that’s what makes it ideal as a keyboard
The QSC K series are among the classiest looking
speakers, all presenting a stealthy appearance onstage and creating the
perfect angle to project sound directly at you. The eight- and ten-inch
models also weigh under 32 pounds, making for an easy schlep factor.
Many of our gigs—and yours, probably—involve bad weather, dark hallways,
late nights, and some kind of ramp or elevator only if we’re lucky, so
we appreciate this.
I play with a number of different bands. My
tribute band Pink Freud plays with much more “rock” volume, so it
demanded a higher-powered system; not surprisingly, this gig also
involves the most elaborate of my keyboard rigs. I alternately used the
QSC K10 and K12 (those model numbers correspond to woofer size), and
Yamaha’s DSR-112 (the model previous to the DXR series, which is also in
this roundup) here. I really loved the QSC K12. Its tight but big low
end, smooth highs, and well defined midrange make it one of the nicest
sounding amps I’ve ever had. My Hammond XK1 organ (run through a Neo
Instruments Ventilator rotary pedal) was mellow when needed and screamed
when necessary, and yet my S90ES piano sounded fantastic through the
same speaker, even at high volume when organ and piano were played
When I’d occasionally thump a Moog Taurus bass synth
sound, the K12 easily supported the low end for the whole band while our
bassist was picking the “tick-tock” at the beginning of Pink Floyd’s
“Time.” I eventually (and at first, reluctantly) tried QSC’s smaller K10
in its place—and was completely won over. All my patches sounded killer
through it, including my piano, and even the Taurus didn’t have that
familiar flatulent sound of asking a woofer for more bass than it has to
Though all three QSC models (K8, K10, and K12) have a
1,000-watt power rating and 1.75" compression tweeter in common, the K10
became the mainstay of my Pink Freud rig thanks to its smaller size and
nine-pound difference. It sits floor-monitor style atop a pair of
stacked SKB racks, and fills the whole stage—which hosts a drum kit,
bass rig, and vintage Marshall 50-watt half stack that the guitarist
leaves at 10—with keyboards. Minimoog and ARP String Ensemble emulations
sound fantastic, and even my thick pads and washes from Spectrasonics
Atmosphere are enormous . . . in mono, no less. After I switched
to the K10 for keyboards, my drummer and I bought a pair of QSC powered
subwoofers, and now use these along with the K12s as the band P.A. We do
some gigs without the subs, using only the K12s up front, and they hold
up amazingly well.
I also play with a variety rock band covering everything
from Tom Petty to Lady Gaga. That band runs only vocals through their
P.A., so my keyboard amp needs to fill the room. I take the supposed
runt of the QSC litter, the K8, running just one cable from my S90ES,
and I have plenty of power. Using a speaker stand, I elevate the K8 just
over my head so as not to blister my ears, and every once in a while,
I’ll be asked to turn down “a hair.” Like the K10 and 12, it boasts
1,000 watts, but I wouldn’t punish its 8" woofer with Taurus pedals at
high volume. Everything else, including my benchmark S90ES piano sound,
kills through it.
You’ll appreciate the K10’s light weight at the end of the
night. But if you need just a bit more brute power to punish a
guitarist or two, the K12 might be your weapon of choice. Either model
will do the job and do it right. --Tony Orant
Yamaha’s newest foray into the powered speaker market is
the DXR line. We chose the DXR10 and DXR12 (so named for their woofer
sizes) as the most likely models a keyboard player would carry, though
the family also includes 8" and 15" models.
Using my Nord Stage 2, I was impressed with the
reproduction of the pianos at high volume. Digital pianos can sound
artificial and unpleasant at rock-band volumes, but the DXRs actually
complemented the sound at those levels, imparting a strong low end with
even midrange response. The DXRs didn’t disappoint on electric pianos,
either. Whether going for clean Rhodes or grungy Wurly, the DXR10s
reproduced faithfully. With organ, my Hammond SK1 and Ventilator combo
sounded warm and up front.
One of my bands plays a lot of ’80s hair anthems,” and the
requisite layers of FM synths, virtual analog sounds, and pianos never
sounded compressed or brittle, even at high volumes. Sounds with sharper
attacks really cut through the guitars. One of my favorite setups
involves a synth bass drone with a white noise wind layer, an octave of
sitar, a string pad, and a grainy Mellotron lead line. The DXR10 really
did a great job of presenting all those sounds at once, without adding
compressing artifacts, as some drivers do when asked to do too much.
While I don’t play may gigs that require left-hand
keyboard bass, my ears say that if you supply the bass parts for jazz
from your clonewheel organ, or for synth pop or EDM from your analog
synth, I’d recommend stepping up to the DXR12. Do so, and I can’t
imagine you’d be left wanting. That said, I generally preferred the
DXR10, if mainly for portability and how nicely it stacked atop my gear
I typically work in medium to large clubs, plus outdoor
festivals in the summer. The ’80s band I play with has two guitarists
with Marshall half-stacks and a loud drummer, but with the
front-of-house P.A. handling the audience, a single DXR10 worked
extremely well as the onstage keyboard monitor for the whole band. I’ll
aim it across the stage and while the guitarists are happy, the drummer
will eventually want a little more. The DXR10 projects well enough that
rather than turn it up, I can just adjust the aim.
A keyboardist friend was at one of my shows, standing to
the side and about 12 feet away, and commented that my keys were
“rippin’ loud” at that distance but sounded great. The front-of-house
P.A. in that room is rather anemic, especially with 150 to 200 people
soaking up the sound, but my stage volume and tone were such that I
could be heard throughout the room. I trigger a couple of Moog Taurus
bass pedal sounds, and the DXR10 handled it at “drummer volume,” again
without sounding compressed or flatulent. I’ve been using the QSC K10
for some time, and while it tends to sound just a little smoother
timbre-wise, when pushed it gets crunchy more quickly than the DXR.
For multi-keyboard rigs, you’ll want to add a compact
mixer, but the DXR family does enough onboard mixing to work as a
standalone P.A. for a single keyboard, mic, and iPod (see Figure X). A
switch presets the EQ curve for use as a monitor (low end cut) or
front-of-house main (accented lows and highs), but I found that setting
it to off (flat) sounded best with my keyboards.
|| The DXR line’s rear panel has an XLR input with switchable mic/line
gain, a dedicated thru that passes only this input, left and right 1/4"
ins, and stereo RCA ins. You can set the Link out to send a mono sum of
all channels (as for a house P.A. wired in mono) or just the right
channel of connected gear (as for a second DXR).
The DXR10 has just one handle (on top) but is surprisingly
easy to throw around. The DXR12 has two side handles, and is well
balanced enough that you can carry it using one handle without it
thumping into your leg while walking. While I love my QSC K series
speakers, the DXRs’ shape makes them easier to stack atop one another,
pack in the car, and angle as a floor monitor. The DXRs also have two
pole sockets: one for straight firing and the other for a seven-degree
downward tilt. I gig with mine on its side atop my 12-space SKB rack.
When loading, I leave it on top of my rack but face the grill down, and
roll it to and from the car. Unlike my QSC, the DXR has never taken a
tumble, even when my cart hit an unexpected bump. --Tony Orant