If you've followed what we've written for long enough, you've seen us switch gears and to offer new favorites of powered choir microphones, earset microphones, powered speakers, line arrays, video projectors and equipment in general. And we think that's okay. If we didn't have new favorites, that would mean that our suppliers were still turning out the same old stuff in new packages, and that's just not the case.
In September, we were invited by Electro-Voice to come out to one of its roadshows. Thankfully, it was here in Columbus, so we didn't have to travel very far, and they fed us lunch. That's always a plus.
For about two hours, we listened. We sat outside and got to hear most of the Electro-Voice product line at a full-sized outdoor stage. The picture above is not the Roadshow, but just a file photo.
At the Roadshow, we heard larger-format line arrays for festival-type use, line arrays for permanent installation right beside those larger arrays, new powered speakers on stands next to large-format conventional speakers with small format installation speakers close by, and more. Events like these are really rare, so we always try to get out to hear the lineup, especially when it's in a real-world setting.
All of it was pretty impressive, but one particular speaker group really stood out - the new ETX powered speaker family. Shown in the photo above.
We heard a 2-way 10". I like small loudspeakers, so I was immediately interested. One listener interrupted and asked "is the sub on?" It wasn't (we were all fooled). Amazing bass response. Then the demonstrator added the sub, switched it off and them fired up the 12", added the sub to that, fired up the 15", added the sub. Eventually, he moved to a 15" 3-way with two subs underneath. We heard $100,000 line arrays, we heard $500 smaller speakers, and people kept asking to listen to the ETX again. So we listened some more.
For the last several months, one of our clients and I had been talking about a new powered, portable speaker system. He had just moved to a new church and they needed something. We had gone through several brands, and he was trying out another option that we don't offer, and after hearing the new ETX, I decided that he needed to hear them. The problem was that over 10 years ago, he had a DDA mixing console catch fire. Who distributed DDA back then? Electro-Voice. At the time, he coined the phrase "EVil begins with EV" and he said that he'd never consider another EV product, but I decided that enough time had passed. So I called him and delicately offered to bring out a demo system for him to hear. He was hesitant, but interested. Maybe the offer of lunch helped, too.
As it turns out, we took all but a couple speakers in the ETX family and set them up. We started to listen and after just a few minutes, he quietly said, "I like that." And we listened some more.
That morning, we listened to every combination of the ETX-10P 10" 2-way, ETX-12P 12" 2-way, ETX-15P 15" 2-way, ETX-35P 15" 3-way, and ETX-18SP 18" sub, and in the end, he decided that evil no longer began with EV.
He chose a pair of 15" 3-way and a pair of 18" subwoofer to start out, and will likely add another pair of subs and either a pair of 10's or 15's for use in smaller setting, and/or for monitors.
At the EV Roadshow, we found out that a pair of ETX-35P's and two pairs of 18" ETX-18SP subs make an excellent outdoor rock and roll rig. We listened that grouping at around 100dB at about 90'. The energy was pretty amazing. I liked the combination of the ETX-15P and ETX18SP (one each per side) as what I called "a great portable system for a youth room" or small club. All of our listening with done with the onboard EQ circuits completely flat, and also completely flat on the console.
For this client, the ETX is for portable and back-up use. Pictured below is his "big room" so that you know that we're not talking about just anyone. He understands quality, he has high expectations, and he's a picky listener. He's a darned good audio mixer, too. It's one thing for a sales person to like something he sells, but it's great validation when pro users agree.
I could bore you with specs, but in the end, the speaker you choose comes down to how it sounds in your space. The ETX series features EV's FIR‑Drive which utilizes FIR filter technology to optimize sound quality, along with look-ahead peak limiting and thermal protection (so that you'd have to try really, really hard to blow them up). In a physical sense, the ETX is lightweight and features integral flypoints. Setup and use is very straightforward.
Want to use a speaker by itself with just a microphone and no mixer? Not a problem. Full range? With a subwoofer? Also, not a problem. The DSP settings allow all of that and also feature specific settings for music and speech applications.
What about power? 2000W of power to the full-range boxes and 1800W to the subwoofer. Each speaker draws about 3A, so you could plug most combinations into just one 20A electrical circuit. That's a big deal for portable use, especially in churches, schools, and other places where you're never sure whether you have truly dedicated electrical circuits.
As EV states, the ETX series is "Designed, engineered, tested, and assembled for ultimate reliability by Electro‑Voice in the USA." We like that, and we like the ETX. It's far and away our new favorite powered speaker group at this price point. Some of our other speaker suppliers might dispute that, but we'll be glad to compare anything anyone has and will report a new "favorite" as soon as we have one.
All in all, if you need a mid-priced powered speaker solution, call us to talk about ETX. From $1199-$1499 each. We also have limited quantities of factory-repacked speakers at additional savings.