LD Systems DAVE 8 Roadie – Test report from Okey Magazine

An affordable, compact speaker system that provides the power you need for performances, but is also suitable for living rooms – this is what many keyboard players always wanted. The DAVE 8 Roadie from LD Systems, an Adam Hall brand, addresses just this issue. We have tried it.

LD Systems DAVE 8 Roadie Dave 8 Roadie from LD Systems launches a compact satellite system that should make musicians just as happy on the stage as quality-conscious “home players”. The agenda of the developers apparently featured not only a pure sound quality and a compact design but also the greatest possible flexibility. The key characteristics of the DAVE 8 Roadie definitely look interesting: Thus, the satellite speakers, with a height of only 35 cm, are very compact. The woofer with a maximum edge length of 43 cm, is also quite easy to transport and may even completely vanish behind the sofa at home. And even the weight of 20 kg is alright, considering that the Class A/B amplifier electronics located inside the woofer, provides the little system with at least 350 watts of continuous power. The peak power is given at 700 watts.

Construction and Features The woofer is equipped with an 8″ bass drive, the two satellites include two 4″ midrange and a centrally located 1″ high frequency horn. The two satellites as well as the woofer are made from sturdy MDF and are coated with an impact resistant paint. All three components are equipped with carrying handles and also flanges for stands. At home, the two satellites fit well on the shelf given their compact dimensions. The connection between woofer and satellites is achieved via cables with stable Speakon connectors. However, these must be ordered separately, as they are not part of the system. But with an RRP of 495.00 €, which Adam Hall announces for the DAVE 8 Roadie, it should not be too hard to swallow. Available accessories: stands for the satellites and a set of transport bags.

On top of the bass driver, the subwoofer also houses the amplifier electronics (150 watts continuous power for the woofer and 100 watts for each satellite) and, moreover, a mixer section with a total of five inputs: microphone (XLR, balanced), instrument mono (e.g. for guitars), MP3 player, etc..(stereo mini-jack, only operated as an alternative to the instrument input; the choice is made with a slide switch), stereo line (jack/XLR), stereo RCA. For each input, there is a volume controller. In addition, the total volume of the system can be adjusted with a master controller; the woofer can be controlled separately in balance with the satellites. With these inputs, the DAVE 8 Roadie is well equipped for all sorts of purposes.

Whether connected to an keyboard/organ, or even as a party system for playing the MP3 collection: there is room for a wide scope of connections. The only unusual feature is the arrangement of the connector panel and the controls on the right side of the woofer: the cable connections in this case are a bit more visible than they would be in an arrangement on the rear panel. But ultimately, the woofer can also be turned around in case of need, and the connectors are then towards the back and gone from view. Of course, the arrangement on the wide side panel also has a practical reason: the large heat sink for the power amplifiers is there and well positioned.

The DAVE 8 Roadie is equipped with efficient protection circuits against overloading, etc.: short-circuit, overvoltage and overload are protected by appropriate circuits or a limiter. A Protect-LED indicates the intervention of the protection circuit. And even a phase reverse switch for the subwoofer has been added, how thoughtful! So really, nothing is missing.

Sound characteristics Shall we find out what to expect in terms of sound from such a compact PA for a set price of not even 500.00 €? Well, to make it short: quite a lot! We really liked the sound of the DAVE 8 Roadie. In the lower range, it creates a powerful foundation coming through the woofer with good contours. And in the mid and high range, the satellites emit a very pleasant neutral, and never intrusive sound. Even at high volumes, the system is well balanced and pleasing for the ears. Here it performs similarly to the larger MAUI systems from the same manufacturer, which previously also fared well in our tests. Fortunately, the purpose of this system is not just to make “sounds”, but to reproduce music in a clean, contoured and pleasantly rounded way, while also providing an amazing power. This sound system can achieve this in a way that we admittedly – would not necessarily have expected given the price range.

With these properties, the DAVE 8 Roadie is not only a good choice for smaller stage gigs, but displays its qualities optimally in a domestic setting as well. Such a system, connected to a keyboard or organ, can be used to drive most instruments to new heights, that you may never have expected when using the built-in speakers.

Claus Riepe The LD Systems DAVE 8 Roadie is an interesting addition in the compact and affordable PA Systems segment. Given the rock-solid craftsmanship, the very good sound quality and power reserves for such a price range, the superb features with flexible connectivity options, the price can only be described as a bargain, even though the connection cables to the satellites or the matching transport bags have to be purchased separately. If you don’t need to equip giant halls (for events up to 200 people, the DAVE 8 Roadie is amply sufficient) or are simply looking for a strong active sound system to get even more sound out of your instruments, then the DAVE 8 Roadie is recommended for you without hesitation.

For further information about the LD Systems Dave 8 Roadie, please visit:



Source: Okey Magazin, Germany, February 2014

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