LD Systems MAUI 44 – a top performer – product review by Tastenwelt

The Maui 44 column PA system from LD Systems stands out from the other models in the manufacturer’s range due to its high 1,600 watt output alone. However, a practical test made it clear that this system can do far more than just be loud.

Column PA systems are now available in all performance classes:
The medium-sized systems were the first to arrive on the scene a few years ago, followed by the more compact small and mini PAs. Today, the market is demanding larger sound systems that enable bands to enjoy the benefits of the sleek line array systems in clubs, multi-purpose venues, beer gardens or village beer tents.

In launching the Maui 44, LD Systems now offers this target group a powerful solution with a 1,600 watt output (RMS) and the ability to generate a maximum sound pressure of 129 dB (according to the manufacturer). As such, the system should also be suitable for use in medium-sized clubs. We put this to the test.

The Maui 44 is essentially made up of three components: a subwoofer plus two column elements that are attached to this. There is no need to lay speaker cables as the column elements and the subwoofer have multi-pin connectors that automatically connect to each other when set up. Thanks to the integrated steel pins, all components fit together securely. To facilitate handling, handles have been attached to the back of each of the column sections.

The subwoofer has been equipped with LD Systems ‘Evolutive’ handles to make it easy to transport. A castor board can be optionally connected to the subwoofer via butterfly latches. Neodymium magnets in all speakers (exception: tweeter with iron magnets) help to keep the system weight below 60 kg.

The column PA seems stable.
The subwoofer itself is coated with a tough layer of plastic that easily absorbs minor knocks and prevents damage to the 15 mm birch plywood cabinet below this. The two 12-inch bass speakers are sufficiently protected by a standard metal perforated grille.

Made largely of aluminium, the column components house 16 full-range speakers and two tweeters, the dispersion of which is optimised by waveguides. All of these are again protected against external damage by a metal grille. The speakers in the column are divided into four frequency groups to help optimise the sound quality and the dispersion.

It is great being able to set up the PA system without speaker cables. Only the power cable with its PowerCon connector has to be connected to the system. Like all other ports, the socket can be found on the back of the subwoofer. Two combo sockets (XLR/jack) and two cinch sockets are provided as signal inputs. The signal can be looped through to another system via the two XLR outputs. Those who want to let rip even more in the low frequencies can connect an additional subwoofer.

Practical test
We kicked off the practical test by assessing the PA system’s basic sound with the aid of reference CDs. The main and sub levels are set on the back of the subwoofer. With both controls in the central position, a balanced bass level is created with a sufficient volume to get even a small club jumping.

The relationship between the column and the subwoofer can be adjusted depending on the style of music. DJs will want to give the whole thing a bit more oomph, whereas an acoustic duo will prefer a more subtle sound. Yet it was not only the high volume supplied by the Maui 44 that impressed us during the test, but also its sound quality.

In the medium-sized club where we conducted the practical test, two column PA systems sufficed to provide music to around 150 guests.

The PA was placed at the rear of the stage, meaning that no extra monitoring was required. Combined with the subwoofer, the columns’ four frequency groups create a dense sound. The dreaded void experienced with many satellite PA systems is nowhere to be found here. The LECC-DSP integrated into the subwoofer includes the crossover as well as the equalizer, compressor and limiter.

Further circuits protect the system against distortion, which could destroy the speakers, as well as from short-circuiting, overcurrent and overvoltage. If a threat exists, the system automatically mutes itself. LEDs on the back of the subwoofer provide information about the active protection circuits.

The practical test showed: the integrated DSP works brilliantly and produces an exclusive sound. The speakers emit both powerful bass and clear treble. And there are no restrictions in terms of music genres: classical, pop, rock and metal all sound great.

When playing heavier styles in particular, this column PA system has the edge over small satellite systems, which often reach their limits here. Those who want brute volume and more punch for their performance should consider the optional second subwoofer (LD Systems Maui 44 SE).

During the test, the column PA transmitted the sound of a blues rock band with flying colours. If you increase the volume, the compressor automatically reduces the bass to pleasantly round off the overall sound. This stops the bass from disrupting the rest of the sound at higher volumes. All instruments are clearly differentiated and sound great. The bass drum is crisp and the digital guitar amplifier directly connected to the mixer produces precisely the mids that the sound needs. Although it was not actually necessary to mike up the cymbals, these also delivered an excellent test result through the PA.

The next part of the test involved an unplugged set with the aim of transmitting two vocals and an acoustic guitar. A chance for the ears to relax and lots of work for the tweeters. Here, it all came down to that special little something.

The result was that the Maui 44 shone brightly at the highest frequencies: both the guitar and the vocals spread naturally and uniformly around the room.

The LD Systems Maui 44 meets all the requirements expected of a column PA. It scores full points in terms of sound and functionality and also hits the spot for anyone who prefers a more discreet design instead of huge speakers. It is ideal for small bands and DJs for whom a small satellite PA offers too few reserves. And on top of all that, it offers the controlled sound dispersion of a column PA.

Price: EUR 2,399
Frequency range: 40-20,000 Hz
Features: sub: 2 x 12-inch bass; column: 16 x 3.5 full-range speakers + 2 x 1-inch tweeters Output: 1,600 W (system)
Sound pressure: 129 dB max.
Connectors: 2 x line-in (combo-socket + cinch), 2 x line-out (XLR), SlaveSub-out (XLR) Dimensions/weight: sub: 62 x 61 x 41 cm, 41 kg; column: 181 x 14 x 12 cm, 17.6 kg

LD Systems MAUI 44 column PA system
+ outstanding sound
+ excellent value for money
+ no tangled cables thanks to connector system

Source: Tastenwelt magazine 6/2014: http://www.tastenwelt.de/index.php
Author: Gerrit Hoß

For more information on the LD Systems MAUI 44, please visit:

Leave a Comment