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Electrovoice Sx200 Speaker System (part 2)

The Electrovoice Sx200, in its entirety, consists of seven items: two Sx200 full range loudspeakers, two similarly sized Sb120 bass modules (or Sb120a powered bass modules, not reviewed here), the Xp200 system controller and a couple of tripod stands...

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Configuration

The Electrovoice Sx200, in its entirety, consists of seven items: two Sx200 full range loudspeakers, two similarly sized Sb120 bass modules (or Sb120a powered bass modules, not reviewed here), the Xp200 system controller and a couple of tripod stands. The make the review complete I shoved all this into my aging Vauxhall Cavalier (three boxes on the back seat, one in the boot) and took it for a spin. The car survived, and the system is so light I came out pretty fresh too! The heaviest item, the Sx200 full range unit, weighs in at a mere 17.7kg and it is quite easy to put it on the tripod without strain. The handles are well designed and all the speaker units are very comfortable to carry. In the modern style, the cabinets are made from a plastic material rather than wood or particle board and I would expect that the ‘bashability’ of these speakers is excellent. Although I didn’t try to repeat the incident where I once punched a hole right through the side of a wooden bass bin, I suspect the System 200 units would have bounced right back into shape. Even though the casing the of units seems quite tough, I wouldn’t say the same for the grille which is metal and dentable. I didn’t have to test this because the proof was already apparent when the review samples arrived. It depends on your application whether a few dents matter. If you are going to install the speakers permanently out of reach then they won’t get dented (three M6 x 14mm hanging inserts are provided). Or you may be involved in work where the appearance of the speaker is of no importance. But if you want your EVs to remain looking in pristine condition I would recommend cases of some sort, preferably not full flight cases because then you would lose the advantage of their light weight. Still on the subject of appearance, am I the only person to object to the large and vulgar badges that PA speakers sport these days? Certainly in any theatrical application the last thing you want to do is draw attention to the speakers, and the audience has no interest in knowing whether you are using EV, JBL or whatever. Let’s have the badges if it keeps the manufacturers and dealers happy, but let’s have them easily removable for the benefit of many users.

Connection to the speakers is via Neutrik Speakon connectors, of which there are two wired in parallel on each unit (except the Sb120a powered bass unit which has a Neutrik combination jack/XLR). If you are unfamiliar with the Speakon connector, it is large, tough and easy to wire - just what you need for speakers in fact, and it has wiping contacts so that you are scraping clean a shiny bright metal surface each time you plug in. I wonder however how many times a junior operator has plugged a Speakon connector in and forgotten to twist it? It looks like it’s plugged, but the speaker doesn’t work. I wasn’t going to mention this at first because I thought I might be imagining a problem which doesn’t exist in practice, until two of my otherwise very capable trainees made exactly this mistake. Still, it’s a mistake you only make once, and the Speakon connector was the answer to many a sound engineer’s prayer when it came out.

By David Mellor Thursday January 1, 2004
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