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Electrovoice Sx200 Speaker System (part 3)


System controller

The Xp200 system controller comes in a 1U metal box which will rack up nicely
with the power amplifiers. What won’t rack up nicely is the wall wart power
supply which I certainly would not have expected to see on what is meant to
be a professional system. An additional insult is the fact that there is no
marking on the power supply to indicate that it is for the Xp200, and getting
your wall warts mixed up is a recipe for disaster when they come in all combinations
of voltage, AC or DC, and DC polarity. This will not do, Electrovoice. You should
take steps as soon as possible to put the transformer inside the controller
so it can plug directly into the mains. To balance this one negative feature,
EV have included a schematic diagram on the top panel which is something that
they could easily have chosen to omit. But many engineers, even with only a
little electronic knowledge, will appreciate this information being in exactly
the right place, as well as in the manual, so not only can you make connections
with absolute certainty that they are correct, but you can also clearly see
what is going on inside the unit. For any speaker that uses a controller combining
crossover, equaliser and possibly drive unit protection functions, you really
do need to understand how the controller functions to be able to get the best
out of the speaker and to use it within its capabilities. In keeping with the
scale of the system, the Xp200 controller is quite simple, and since there is
no form of drive unit protection, you will have to use your skill as a sound
engineer – in the old fashioned way – to avoid speaker damage.

The Xp200 has electronically balanced inputs and outputs on three pole jack
connectors. As far as the full range units go the controller is of course stereo,
but the subwoofers are mixed into mono. The controls include input level, low
frequency profile and subwoofer level. The power LED also serves as a clip warning
for the controller and turns from green to red if you are giving the unit too
much level, or applying too much LF boost. The controller is configured in such
a way that the full frequency range always goes to the full range Sx200 unit,
whether or not you are using subwoofers, so it wouldn’t be completely correct
to say that it functions as a crossover. The subwoofer provides additional beef
to the bottom end, in an amount specified by the subwoofer level control. Through
both main and sub outputs, the controller filters off frequencies below 37Hz
at a rate of 24dB/octave since there is no point in stressing the speakers with
frequencies they can’t properly reproduce. To get the best out of the whole
system you will set the low frequency profile control according to the requirements
of the sound source, auditorium, and audience’s expectations. Any small
speaker will be light in the bass end and the Sx200 system is no exception.
The low frequency profile isn’t a simple EQ section but is tailored to
the frequency response of the speakers, so that the low frequency boost applied
results in a satisfactory subjective effect. The curve of the low frequency
profile, shows a 12dB boost at 60Hz at its maximum setting, and oddly enough
a sharp 18dB dip at 400Hz. I don’t imaging this happened by accident, and
the Electrovoice designers must have done this to enhance the overall perception
of the sound produced. As with all such low frequency compensation systems,
you don’t get something for nothing and the extra low frequency energy
that comes out of the boxes is paid for by a reduction in potential maximum
undistorted output level. But I think that for the size of these speakers you
will be well satisfied with the amount of sound they produce, with or without
LF enhancement.

David Mellor

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David Mellor



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