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Taylor

Taylor
May 29, 2014

Electro-Voice ETX Loudspeakers and Subwoofers Review


Eletro-Voice has a very long and interesting history. If you are audio gear aficionado, you might know that EV won the very first Academy Award for a music product back in 1963. The product that won was their legendary shotgun studio microphone, the 642 Cardiline. In the years that followed, EV began making lots of popular microphones, loudspeakers, and they also designed of the first commercial system for matrix four channel stereo. Fast forward to 2014 and EV have introduced the world to its new line of loudspeakers dubbed ETX.

There are four powered loudspeakers in the line: the ETX-10P, ETX-12p, ETX-15P, and ETX-35P. There are also two subwoofers in the line: the ETX-15SP and the ETX-18SP. In the video above we highlight the ETX-10P loudspeaker and the ETX-15SP subwoofer. All of the loudspeakers and subwoofers carry the same or similar technology, so let’s take a look at the features that stand out within the Electro-Voice ETX line.

FIR Drive and DSP

The two big features to note with the new ETX line are the Finite Impulse Response drive (FIR) and the digital signal processing (DSP). The FIR-Drive is the name given to the system designs that integrate advance signal processing for filtering, optimization, system protection, as well as the design process that goes into creating the algorithms and measuring the loudspeakers. Traditional loudspeakers with built in DSP, including things like a 3-Band EQ, utilize Infinite Impulse Response filter (IIR), which is used to emulate analog filters. With FIR you can create any filter type or shape to achieve proper optimization of the loudspeaker in the cabinet. The EQ is much more precise than with IIR where a boost or a cut on a particular frequency can effect other frequencies in the signal path. The takeaway here is the precision of control you can achieve from these ETX speakers with FIR drive. In addition to the frequency control, the FIR drive utilizes peak anticipation limiting which protects against mechanical failure. You also have a thermal limiter which protects against heat failures.

The FIR Drive is optimized for performance and customization.

The FIR Drive is optimized for performance and customization.

On the back of every ETX loudspeaker and subwoofer is a single-knob interface for controlling the internal DSP of the speaker. The knob rests next to a bright LCD screen which provides visual feedback for all of your internal signal processing selections. The setup for all of the functions on an ETX speaker are quick and easy. There are presets you can select depending on the location of your speaker and the application it is performing. For example there is a preset for when your speaker is on a tripod or stand as well as a preset for speech to best optimize the speaker for its location and application. In addition to presets, you also have full control over the 3-Band EQ, input level, master volume control, delay control, polarity adjustment, and multiple high-pass crossover points. Unique to the subwoofers is a DSP preset for true cardioid configuration. This setting works to correct phasing issues in addition to optimizing the low frequency fidelity depending on your particular application. Lastly there is a lockout mode which helps prevent other users from adjusting your finely tuned settings.

Construction/Design

The ETX loudspeakers have a unique waveguide design called Signal Synchronized Transducers (SST). Through advanced simulation software and proprietary algorithms, EV were able to develop a waveguide that helps to physically time-align the low frequency and high frequency transducers. This minimizes the need for latency correction as well as to give the speaker precise control and the lowest level of distortion.

The ETX line has some serious power under the hood.

The ETX line has some serious power under the hood.

The ETX line are built like tanks. The smallest loudspeaker in the line, the ETX-10P weighs nearly 45 lbs. and the smallest subwoofer, the ETX-15SP weighs nearly 92 lbs. This is great in terms of durability, but it should also be something to note if you are planning on doing a lot of your own setup and breakdown. The speaker’s cabinet is built with compact 18‑mm, 13‑ply birch plywood enclosures and finished with Electro-Voices own EVCoat. The loudspeakers have a total of 8 mounting or “fly” points that allow for ceiling and other permanent installation configurations.

The pole cups, handles, and hardware are all made of die-cast aluminum which does help cut back on weight while still providing resilient construction. The subwoofers have wheels installed on the bottom which are a great addition for this beefy subwoofer. If the wheels aren’t your thing, they can be easily removed. One great thing I found was that the subwoofers were designed with two sturdy bars in front of the speaker, but behind the grill. It seems like a great way to throw your loudspeakers on top of your subs grill when in transit, all while keeping your subwoofer looking pretty.

The wheels make it easy to carry around the ETX subs and loudspeakers.

The wheels make it easy to carry around the ETX subs and loudspeakers.

Review

These speakers sound great and can put out some serious volume, even with the smallest model in the ETX line. As you go up in size so does the maximum SPL which means more volume for your buck. It’s always difficult to be completely objective when it comes to a loudspeaker review as there are so many factors that can contribute to a speaker’s quality of sound whether that be good or bad.

While the price point might make you hesitant on grabbing an ETX package, I would encourage you to think of the money you will save when those bargain loudspeakers meet their maker. Think of the ETX line like an investment in your live sound. While it might be an initial big purchase, you can be assured that you wont need to upgrade anytime soon after buying an ETX package. Also these are incredibly durable loudspeakers and subwoofers. This makes them great for long term gigging and prolonged used for a band or even a permanent install in a club or house of worship. The ETX line from Electro-Voice bears the stamp of, “You Get What You Pay for.” You are paying for all the great construction and internal technology, as well as the peace of mind that these speakers will last well past anything with these specifications.

As mentioned earlier, these speakers are heavy. The smallest speaker, the ETX-10P, is 45lbs. You will obviously need two so now you are lugging around 90 lbs of loudspeaker, and these are the smallest in the line. The bright side to this is that these are built like tanks and can withstand even aggressive abuse from loading, placement, and any other hypothetical gig hazard. If you want a PA system with serious volume, great fidelity, strong construction, and you are willing to shell out the necessary bucks, there are few options that can compare to the Electro-Voice ETX line of loudspeakers and subwoofers.

Be sure to watch the video above to get a closer look at the Electro-Voice ETX line and let us know if you have any questions or comments below. If you are looking to grab some ETX loudspeakers and subwoofers for yourself, head on over to UniqueSquared.com

SLAM!!

Transcript

The ETX line is the latest in Powered Loudspeaker and subwoofer design from Electro-Voice. There are three different two-way models with 10, 12, and 15 inch subwoofers and for more Bass, EV provides a 15 inch and 18 inch powered subwoofer. We will be taking a look at the ETX-10P Loudspeaker and the ETX 15SP subwoofer. Every speaker and subwoofer in the line has the same technology installed. All of the loudspeakers in the ETX line have 2000 watts of class-D power. The real power of these speakers is in the Dynamic Range Output. Both the ETX-10P loudspeaker and the ETX-15SP have a 134 decibel peak sound pressure level or SPL. The ETX line has an advanced filter technology dubbed Finite Impulse Response or FIR for short. The FIR Drive is the name given to the advanced functions of filtering, optimization, and system protection. The FIR Drive optimizes transducer linearity while providing peak and thermal transducer protection. On the back of the loudspeakers, you have two XLR/TRS combo jacks, and one XLR link output. You also have knobs to control the level of each input. You have full control over the internal DSP with a single knob on the back of the ETX loudspeakers and subwoofers. Here you will find controls for EQ presets, limiter status, input level controls, master volume control, and an EQ for more precise configuration. The ETX loudspeakers have EQ presets that you can set up depending on the location and function of your ETX speakers. Lockout mode helps prevent casual users from changing your settings. One DSP feature unique to the Subwoofer is the cardioid preset. The Subwoofers can be setup on a cardioid array pattern which allows you to limit excessive amounts of bass in undesired locations. The speakers themselves are enclosed in a lightweight but durable birch plywood and finished with a rugged EVcoat. The subwoofers and the loudspeakers have rubber feet, and the ETX-10P also has rubber rails on the side when being used as a stage monitor. Both the Handles and the pole cups are a die-cast aluminum making them both durable and reliable. The loudspeakers have eight mounting points for permanent installations. For more information on the EV ETX line of speakers, including more technical information on the installed technology, visit the UniqueSquared blog linked below this video. To pick the ETX-10p and the ETX-15SP or any other speakers from Electro-Voice, click the links in the description below the video. You’re watching UniqueSquared.com.