Ok… So another FREAKIN’ NAMM, and another year of me asking myself…
WHY, DUDE!?! WHY???????? And let’s be real here, next year I will FREAKIN’ GO AGAIN!
There was some notable coolness this year. Though I am sure it was a complete accident and will probably NEVER happen again.
Before we get to the good stuff, my Whirlwind trade show booth saga continues. This makes Show #4 that I was totally ignored. This year I stood dead center in their booth while smacking the cool power distro and picking up items displayed on a table and… nothing. Again.
In Whirlwind’s defense, there only seemed to be four guys working in the booth while I was there. Two were actually talking to NAMMERs, (go figure) while two sat in cool director’s chairs shooting the breeze.(Go figure. AGAIN!) So, I will continue my lovefest with CBI Cables and Motion Labs Distros. What can I say? I buy a lot of cable and my share of distros and I refuse to beg someone to take my money. Check back next year for the continuing saga. Maybe next year I will take all my clothes off in the booth or something
Onward to the good stuff!
Smaller Is Better?
VUE. VUE. VUE. WOW. WOW. WOW. I first got to see the Al4s and H-Class subs at my shootout late last year. That event was well-documented here over the last few months, so I won’t bore you with specs. What I will tell you is that VUE had 4 AL4s per side stacked on 2 H-Class subs per side outside on (I think it’s called) The Garden Stage. My guess is the area is about 7500 square feet, four concrete walls, no roof… CRAP sound, I don’t care who you are. The house dude—obviously tired of being told how to do his job by the roughly 1,200,000,000 other sound dudes there—was actually doing a pretty good job. I watched a 5- or 6-piece (Hell if I remember) country-ish band play during the day and DAMN. If I didn’t already know the box, I would never think that it was a double four and a compression diver.
Those 8 tops where effortlessly covering the venue with headroom to spare and it sounded like a box of double its caliber. I have heard them several times before, but this was the first time with a live band. This alone was worth the 4-hour drive and the dodging of 55-year-old mullet dudes still thinking they are big in Japan. The sub is—and has been since my shoot out last year—my favorite double 18 by far and maybe the best powered double 18… EVER. The amps have balls, I tell ya.
I can’t wait to buy some of these. On a side note VUE introduced some new product. One cab was a double 12 (cardioid-built) sub or… In my mind it’a FREAKIN’ awesome low-mid device designed to go with the Al4 for those who want a little more BAM from this small package. No. I don’t know what its called. I am sure it will be on the website soon enough, if it’s not there already.
But These Go To 11
Electro-Voice has released a new series of boxes basically to compete with the successful QSC K Series. If you can’t beat them… Anyway. EV ETX Series with boxes that include 10, 12, and 15-inch two-ways a 3-way, a 15-inch sub and an 18-inch sub. There are a few key features the ETX boxes have over the QSCs. (No disrespect to QSC, EV didn’t exactly reinvent the wheel here, just took a great idea and made it better)
1) These boxes are made of Birch, not plastic. I am told the plastic a lot of these manufactures are using is just as good as wood, but call me old fashiond. I be lovin’ on da birch. (Yes I do know about KWs which are wood buy I have only actually USED the plastic Ks.)
2) They all have a complete DSP controller with an LED window and a single knob on the back. This controls EQ and the limiter. The module also has metering, a master control and an input gain that, yes, GOES TO 11. No really it DOES. All of this and it’s road-coated for your abusive pleasure. Want specs? Look ‘em up. I am WAY too lazy for that, and you shouldn’t be as lazy as I am.
Other Cool Stuff
JBL released the VTX V20, a mid-sized version of the VTX, also known as the new versions of Vercrap that actually sound and look good. This will require more effort than I am willing to put into this little NAMM piece. And the new VTX deserves a few paragraphs on its own… So more on this later.
I know. Speakers, speakers and more speakers. But as has been noted elsewhere, I am a speaker whore. Here is a non-speaker thing. Midas released a new console…M32. Looks like a Yamaha CL5 and a Behringer X32 had mad sex. Jim Roese has more on this.
I am sure I am missing a few things I meant to tell ya about folks, but this is all I have for you as of now! So go do your homework!