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Community SONUS-1296 12in 2-Way Speaker 200W +

The SONUS-1296 is a two-way, ruggedly built full-range loudspeaker system, suitable for both portable use and fixed installations. Compact, but extremely powerful, the SONUS-1296 handles applications ranging from clubs and AV presentations, to rock and roll performances. Its multi-angle design allows it to function equally well as a Stage Monitor or a Front of House system. As a stage monitor, the performer has a choice of 90 degree, 125 degree and 145 degree angles of inclination from the stage floor. When used as a FOH system, the enclosure may be flown from its M10 threaded rigging points, supported on a stand, or ground supported.

Utilizing advanced technologies normally found only in high priced touring systems, the SONUS-1296 provides extended high frequency response, low distortion output, and precise pattern control. Featuring carefully designed crossovers that provide flat acoustic power response throughout the critical midrange region, and Community's exclusive DYNA-TECHTM dynamic driver protection circuitry, the SONUS-1296 is a versatile performer well suited for use by professional audio rental companies, touring musicians, and others requiring high quality sound reinforcement at an affordable price.

  • DYNA-TECHTM Dynamic Protection
  • Switchable Bi-amp / Single-amp Operation
  • Switchable Music / Speech Voicing
  • Ferrofluid Treated, HF Driver for Improved Heat Transfer
  • Non-Resonant, Non-Metallic HF Diaphragm for Reduced Distortion
  • Carbon Ring Cone Technology Provides 30% More Piston Area with Increased Excursion Capability
  • Dual NL4 and Dual 1/4 inch Input / Output Connectors
  • Frequency Response: 100 Hz - 16 kHz (+/-4 dB)
  • Max Power Handling: 200W RMS, 500W Program / 990W Peak (passive mode)
  • Size: 23.9" (607mm) x 14.9" (378mm) x 13.4" (340mm)
  • Weight: 36 lbs / 16.3 kg

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by PowerReviews
Community SONUS-1296 12in 2-Way Speaker 200W +

(based on 1 review)

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Reviewed by 1 customer

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Real World Review of the Sonus-1296

By Bob "Too Tall" Carlson

from Rosamond, CA

About Me Audiophile, Chief Audio Engineer, Professional


  • Attractive Design
  • Cost Effective
  • Flexable
  • Great Sound Quality


  • Not Standard in Bi-amping

Best Uses

  • Sound Reinforcement
  • Stage Monitoring

Comments about Community SONUS-1296 12in 2-Way Speaker 200W +:

I have had some time to live with Community’s Sonus-1296 Loudspeaker for a little time now, but long enough to give some feedback on its operation and sound. In some ways it is the Swiss Army Knife of two-way 12” loudspeakers. With threaded rigging points, poll mount for stand use, and enclosure angles for stage monitoring; the designers at Community have addressed a large range of uses.

I’ll address a number of positives first. The S-1296 sounds good. So good in fact that you will not have to add very much equalization, if any at all, when used in a musician’s stage monitoring configuration. Its even frequency dispersion was very pleasing to hear, making it easy for the artist to wonder without significant changes in tonal quality. Add to that the flexibility of angling the enclosure at either 125° or 145° up toward the artist makes it an instant winner when used for stage monitoring.

The loudspeaker is efficient as advertised. It does not take loads of power to get it loud. I one time had to use a 150 watts per channel Urei 6250 to power a pair of the S-1296 in the role of stage monitoring. Because it was at an outdoor stage at the time (the reason for stealing the larger amplifiers for front of house use), I was worried about the clipping of the monitor’s audio signal in handling the high SPL of “rock” band. As it turned out, I still had 3 to 5 db of headroom left on the amp, and the band was more than happy the levels and sound quality.

I have used the Sonus-1296 on sticks also. Here, you will definitely need to couple them to a sub-woofer if you are handling music programming. Up in the air, out in free space, the bottom end drops off quickly below 100 to 110 Hz. For PA use (voice reinforcement) it will not mater much, but they lack the necessary low end for silo music reinforcement. Here again the loudspeaker, with its wide even frequency dispersion and good efficiency, handles the task well. There was no audible distortion, even at fairly high SPLs. The speakers seem comfortable playing at all volume settings.

I have not used the rigging points on the enclosure, so I cannot address how those come into play in field use. But looking at the eight threaded spots that you can tie into, it should be adequate for most needs that I can think of.

Now something different. This could be a positive or negative, depending on your use. The Community S-1296 is advertised as both a full-range single-amp operation and a switch able bi-amp operation. To most of us in the sound reinforcement world, this would mean that you use either the passive crossover network in the loudspeaker or an active crossover before the amplifiers. Not so with the Sonus-1296. The passive internal crossover is always in series with the signal path, even when switched to bi-amp mode. This means you can bi-wire the system (playing full-range audio to both the low frequency and high frequency drivers) with the same amplifier; or you can have two channels of amplifications going to the loudspeaker without the need for an active electronic crossover before them; both while have the speaker switched to bi-amp mode. Hmmmmmm, you say; what if you really want to run them bi-amped. Well, if you use a cheap electronic crossover (say a Behringer Super-X Pro) in line with your amplifiers and the S-1296, it just does not sound quite right. Moving the single crossover point up a little to 1.6 KHz or 1.7 KHz makes is sound better and very livable. Changing the phase of the high frequency driver at the crossover can help or hurt, depending on the crossover frequency you choose (1.5 KHz through 1.7 KHz). In short, I am not quite sure what is going on yet. But I suspect that horn driver is reversed in phase in respect to the 12” driver. Now, take a DSP like the DBX 260 or 480, and set the low frequency driver to band-pass at 3 KHz and below (24 or 48 db per octave) and set the high frequency driver to band-pass at 800 HZ and above (24 or 48 db per octave); all sounds just fine. Don’t touch the phase or delay, leave as is. Does it sound any better than having two amplifiers drive the S-1296 without an active crossover? Well, no! Maybe I need to play a little more with an active system or talk with the designer at Community. But one should know that running the Sonus-1296 bi-amped is not quite what you would think, and there are no guidelines to what might be used for settings in the Operation Manual.

In closing, have yet to take advantage or the Dyna-Tech dynamic driver protection circuitry. It is nice to know that it is there if someone gets a little out of control. I rarely let anyone else change the gain from my set-ups, and I don’t plan to get overly loud. But things happen on stage that I can’t even predict, and it always happens before I have had time to dial in the compressor/limiters. Therefore, someday the Dyna-Tech will save a driver or two.

It will be interesting to see if Community ever makes a powered version of Sonus line. I for one would be very interested in hearing want will come next from this very capable company.

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