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Electrovoice Sx200 Speaker System (part 2)

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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.

David Mellor

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David Mellor