1968 was a year of seismic change across the globe. Fifty years ago, unrest was fueled by civil rights movements in the United States and protests and revolutions in Europe. Technological innovations included the introduction of the 747 jumbo jet and the first humans to orbit the moon, in Apollo 8. In music, as the Beatles sang ‘Hey Jude’ and the Rolling Stones rocked ‘Jumping Jack Flash’, the company known today as QSC was born as Quilter Sound Things in a small industrial building in Costa Mesa, California.
The original focus for QSC was hand-built guitar amplifiers; the company only later transforming and evolving to become a world-leading brand in power amplifiers. “Our early vision was to take over the world with high-powered, giant guitar amps, but we missed that boat and refocused our efforts on power amps,” says Pat Quilter, QSC Founder. “Since the beginning, QSC has always focused on staying close to our customers, which is the foundation for the company’s success.”
“Our story is one of constant innovation and forward transformation, always with the passion to serve our customers’ needs,” says Barry Andrews, QSC Founder. “When we decided to enter the loudspeaker category, for example, we listened carefully to our customer feedback to develop the acclaimed K Series – establishing an entirely new standard in powered loudspeakers, and rapidly elevating our brand to number one in the category. Our passion to serve our customers is the mission in every aspect of our business.”
QSC has also always been devoted to building a brand known for unmatched quality and reliability. “We have always strived to achieve operational excellence, by sharpening our focus and building a state of the art factory in Southern California utilizing computer-controlled precision assembly and rigorous testing and control to provide build-to-order flexibility,” says John Andrews, QSC Founder. “This has given QSC an unprecedented ability to respond to customer needs by building products on demand. From that first build-to-order manufacturing facility, we’ve continuously expanded to our modern manufacturing footprint and supply chain capabilities, which span multiple countries and serve millions of customers throughout the globe.”
An early pioneer in networked digital audio systems, QSC was the first licensee of CobraNet in 1996. CobraNet, widely regarded as the first commercially successful implementation of audio over Ethernet, enabled QSC to develop industry-first digital audio signal processing and networking solutions that brought new capabilities to demanding, large-scale commercial sound reinforcement applications. Today’s acclaimed Q-SYS integrated audio, video and control platform, installed in venues around the world, is the result of those early innovations.
“Looking forward, we will continue our commitment to be both a technology platform leader and a customer experience leader in the markets we serve,” says Joe Pham, QSC President and CEO. “The future at QSC is about continuing to innovate and deliver connected, integrated technology platforms that elevate customer experiences, create new opportunities for our employees, more value for our partners and new applications and capabilities in the markets we serve. In this world, everybody wins”.
The 50th anniversary of the company’s founding will be celebrated in 2018 with a number of events, activities and key product introductions that will take place during the year around the globe. More than a golden anniversary, QSC celebrates its “50 Years and Forward”, committed to continuing to offer innovations in its company and technologies, new opportunities for people, and solutions for customers across the globe.
During NAMM 2018, QSC founders Pat Quilter, John Andrews and Barry Andrews were honored with the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Milestone Award for 50 years of service in the music products industry. Presented by NAMM President and CEO Joe Lamond, the Milestone Award recognizes music businesses that have flourished through changing business environments to reach a noteworthy anniversary.
“Everyone at QSC is extremely grateful to Pat, Barry and John for their vision, leadership and management through many years of transformation at QSC,” says Joe Pham, QSC President and CEO. “We congratulate the company Founders on receiving the NAMM Milestone Award in 2018 as QSC celebrates 50 Years and Forward.”
“NAMM is honored to recognize Pat Quilter, Barry Andrews and John Andrews for their 50 years in business and service to both the music products industry and their community,” says Joe Lamond. “The founders of QSC have demonstrated the perseverance and passion to stand the test of time, inspire countless others and create a more musical world for the benefit of all.”
One Millionth K Family Loudspeakers
QSC also announced that the company has sold over one million units of K Family loudspeakers since the initial launch of the K Series in 2009. The hugely popular K Family of powered loudspeakers, subwoofers and line arrays, including the K Series, KW Series, KLA Series and the company’s newest generation K.2 Series and KS Series, are popular the world over.
Introduced in 2009, the K Series established a “New Standard” for the powered loudspeaker category with its first-in-class 1000-watt power module, elegant design and overall sonic performance. “When we first set our sights on the loudspeaker category, we knew that we had to deliver a product that was notably better than the typical offerings of the time,” says Ray van Straten, QSC Sr. Director of Marketing for the company’s Pro division. “We believed then as we do now that delivering a product that demonstrates real and tangible benefits to a user, and helps them get consistently great results in a professional application, reliably, and with minimal effort, is a winning formula. The K Family does that, as does our TouchMix Series of digital mixers, the Q-Sys platform for AV networking and control, and our entire range of AV solutions.”
Van Straten adds, “Reaching this million-sold milestone is also the result of a global network of dedicated QSC channel partners that supported us when we entered the loudspeaker business, and today, share in our success. We owe them, and the hundreds of thousands of passionate QSC users around the world, our most sincere gratitude.”
2018 will see the market introduction of two new K Family models, the first in the new KS Series of subwoofers; the KS212C powered cardioid subwoofer and the KS112 compact powered subwoofer. Uniquely, the KS212C is a first-in-class, single-box powered cardioid subwoofer equipped with a 3600-watt power module in a 6th order bandpass cabinet featuring dual 12-inch high-performance drivers and measuring a remarkable 15 dB more output at the front of the cabinet than at the rear.
At NAMM 2018, QSC introduced the newest K Family member, the ultra-compact KS112 powered subwoofer. Joining the previously-introduced KS212C cardioid powered subwoofer, the KS112 is the second model in the KS subwoofer series. With its innovative design, legendary QSC amplification and advanced DSP, the KS112 is the perfect choice for a variety of installation and entertainment applications for which high output, low frequency extension is needed from an ultra-compact and portable package.
The KS112 features a single 12-inch transducer in a 6th order bandpass premium birch cabinet. On-board DSP provides variable crossover, delay, and savable/recallable Scenes for commonly-used applications while advanced thermal and excursion processing further optimize system performance.
Two M20 threaded pole receptacles provide a positive, wobble-free connection to a threaded speaker pole in either vertical or horizontal deployment (pole not included). Rugged, low-noise casters are included, while a locking security cover and padded transport cover are available options.
“With the introduction of the KS112, QSC offers users the ability to choose the perfect subwoofer for their application in a way never before possible,” says Chris Brouelette, Product Manager, Pro PA Loudspeakers. “From the ultra-compact KS112 and directional KS212C cardioid sub, to the portable KSub, punchy and powerful KW181, and KLA181 for flown applications, the wide variety of options available, all as complementary members of the K Family, present extraordinary and compelling low-frequency solutions for sound reinforcement professionals and enthusiasts of all kinds.”
The KS112 also features the renowned QSC Global 6-year warranty with product registration, and is expected to be available in the late spring of 2018, with an estimated US street price of $999.