Kustom Amplification

Kustom Profile System One Review

Gig Magazine; January 2002 by Jamie Rio

 Small PA's have become so popular lately that just about every manufacturer building sound gear is now offering its version of an all-in-one system. Getting "big sound" into a compact package seems to be a common goal out there and Kustom is no exception. Their latest offering is the Profile System One, which consists of one powered mixer and two speakers, plus speaker cables

The Profile One offers a powered five-channel mixer and two speaker boxes. The mixer produces 100 watts @ 4 ohms and features 24-bit digital effects and continuously present phantom power. Each channel is very basic and all controls are via rotary knobs. Channels one through four sport balanced XLR mic and 1/4" line inputs, a volume control, a single tone control and an effects level knob. Channel five offers the same controls but instead of a mic input there is a 1/4" instrument and 1/4" line input. The instrument input allow you to plug, say, an acoustic guitar right into the board without using a direct box. The patch section of the mixer gives you a 1/4" insert in/out, a 1/4" effects end/return, a footswitch jack and RCA left/right record and playback jacks. The master section offers bass(100HZ), mid(1kHz) and treble(10kHz) EQ, all at +/- 12dB. There is a playback level knob for the RCA (tape/cd) jacks, a large master volume knob, an effects selection knob and an effects level knob. Eight effects are available: four reverbs, chorus, chorus/reverb, slap back and echo.

The mixer is loaded into a cool-looking trapezoidal box with a durable coating, speaker jacks on the back and a built-in ergonomic handle. The box itself measures 13" high, 9" wide and 10 1/4" deep. It weighs about 20 lbs and can be mounted on an optional tripod.

Each Profile One line array speaker cabinet consists of two 6 1/2" wide range speakers and a 2" x 6" piezo horn mounted in another cool looking, coated trapezoidal box. Kustom says the speakers are uniquely designed to reach deeper into an audience and, for their small size (20" high x 9" wide x 10 1/4" deep and weighing in at only 18 lbs), they pack a lot of punch. A steel grille protects the speakers (although it dented pretty easily) and each box incorporates a rear port. These boxes can be mounted on an optional tripod and also have built-in ergonomic handles. The whole bundle can be transported in an optional suitcase-like bag with wheels and a telescoping handle. Kustom sent this case with the Profile PA and I have to say it made moving the system a piece of cake. That about wraps it for the gear so let's go on the road.

The Shows
Your are obviously not going to play a gig with your Pantera tribute band using the Profile System One but it is a smart choice for a solo, duo, or acoustic trio. Not to mention there are plenty of live speaking-only applications possible with this P.A.

At any rate, I had my first gig with the Kustom gear at a wedding reception. It was just me and a couple of acoustic guitars. I plugged a condenser mic into channel one and my guitars into a channels two and three. Phantom power is one place where some other manufacturers skimp when it comes to this kind of system. Hats off to Kustom for including it in the Profile. The best part of the gig was that my set-up time was about fifteen minutes.

As I said before, for their size the Profile speakers have a good quality sound and a surprising amount of bass output. I dialed in a nice full vocal and guitar tone in no time at all. The rotary EQ knob is a little weird to use however. It employs an EQ curve that covers bass, mids, and highs with one knob. It's the kind of thing that you have to actually do to completely "get" but I got a feel for it pretty quickly. As you can probably guess, at an acoustic wedding gig the audience is rather subdued, so just getting through the gig with good sound and no complaints is about all that I could expect and the Profile provided what I needed.

Lately I have been playing some acoustic duo gigs with a cellist friend of mine. My next event with the Profile One was with that cello player. We were hired for a dinner party in a very nice part of Los Angeles. Set-up was in a courtyard and again it took only a few minutes to get our mix together. I used channel one for the cello, two and three for vocals and four and five for my guitars. With the cello added I could really hear the bass end of the Profile speakers and it was amazingly rich. We had more than enough power to fill the area and reach the 50 or 60 people at the party. I expected another low-key gig but before the evening was over we had people up and dancing. I even had a tall, cool woman in black hitting on me. But that's a review for a different magazine.


The Gear:
Kustom Profile System One self-contained PA System with five-channel mixer and two speaker cabs.

The Gigs:
Wedding reception running acoustic guitars and vocals. Private party running vocals, guitar and cello.

Who It's For:
Solo, duo, and trio giggers with modest volume needs and not much room in the truck.

How Much:
$599 with bag/$499 without

Lightweight; Very easy to move and set-up; Good sound quality for a small system; No direct box required.

Speaker grills dented to easily

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