It’s no real secret that EV and Dynacord have the same parent company in Bosch
Communications. The two have a lot in common really – they’re both pretty solid

From a personal perspective I’ve always seen Dynacord as the heavier duty
product, but with the release of the ETX range, that line seems to be a little more
blurry than it used to be.

ETX is a range of self-powered speakers. The whole family is built from 18mm 13
ply birch ply, and all the hardware is made by EV specifically. Handles, top-hats and
amp chassis are all die-cast aluminium rather than plastic. The full-range models
include eye-bolt mounting points as well as boundary compensation filters for floor,
pole, or flown configurations. The brains don’t end there either – dual limiters,
linear phase crossovers, and intelligent thermal management add to the appeal.
Using a pole to join a top box to a sub puts the front faces of the boxes out of
physical alignment with each other – I’m told that the boxes know how to
compensate for this, which is pretty cool.

The range encompasses a variety of models; 10-inch two way, 12-inch two way,
15-inch two way boxes all have nominal coverage of 90 x 60 degrees. The 15-inch
three-way is interesting if for no other reason than it’s a less common configuration
than a 15-inch and horn. It uses a 6.5-inch mid-bass and a 1.25-inch compression
driver as well as a 15-inch LF unit. Physically it’s a bit bigger than the others, and
appears to be designed for long throw applications with 60 x 40 degree nominal
coverage. The range also includes two subwoofers – a single 15-inch and a single
18-inch. The specs of the whole family are really well laid out in a table for
comparison on the EV website. Peak SPL across the range (pink noise at 1m) is
between 134 and 136dB, so they all match together nicely for output.

Having the luxury of finding the entire range at my disposal in the loading dock
(with multiples of some units), I naturally gravitated toward building the biggest
cohesive system possible with what I had. Two ETX-18SP subs with an ETX-35P
(that’s the three-way 15-inch) sitting on top. I won’t lie – getting it all into the
studio required me to enlist some help. Thoughtfully enough the subs have nice high
quality wheels on the back, so they were easy. The ETX-35P weighs 38.2kg, so
unless you’re feeling especially tough it’s worth getting a hand to lift it. Physically
it’s a big box, but feels well balanced enough that using it on the pole-mount
wouldn’t be unstable.

EV has perhaps borrowed from Dynacord for some of the DSP on the ETX range –
why wouldn’t they? There’s inbuilt delay, EQ, roll-offs and the aforementioned
boundary compensation. The sub also has polarity inversion and a cardioid mode I
was keen to try. Going on the literature, the cardioid thing is pretty simple – just
point the middle sub in the stack backward then engage cardioid. If you’re only
using two subs, spin the bottom one. It looks a little untidy, but there’s no real way
to avoid that with any speaker. I only point this out because otherwise the range
looks very neat and professional. Nice finishes, nice grilles, nice hardware. It feels
very much like classic EV product in that regard – good and solid. Warranty is three
years for the record.

The user interface on the ETX range is dead simple – a screen and a rotary encoder
/ button. Everything is controlled from the rotary, save for input on the ETX-35P
which is a pair of standard pots. You can feed line or mic level into the box, and
both it and the subs have a digital output level control on the display home screen.
The menu is all straightforward and required no reading of instructions to operate.
There are a couple of different “modes’ on the box – “music’ applies a bit of smiley
EQ, “live’ is flat, and “speech’ gears it toward exactly that. EV has long been big on
speech quality and ETX is no exception.

Running some content through the system I liked what I heard. Voicing on the ETX-
35P is consistent with my expectations of the brand, but it feels a bit more sparkly
up top. I think that’s a bit of a current fashion in some ways, but it worked for me.
The subs seem well up to task too, with claimed frequency response of 37 to 150Hz
(+/-3dB) seeming pretty believable. I noted some emphasis around the 50Hz region
and a little dip closer to 40, but my suspicion is that this was a room mode thing. It
would be unfair to judge it on this without first listening in a more appropriate
environment (maybe I should have just put the 10-inch on a stick and listened to
that instead?).

Anyhow, the point is that the configuration I tested yielded very pleasing results
indeed. There was bucket loads of level (I couldn’t even get close to hitting
limiters), and the pattern control on all the boxes seems pretty good (as much as I
could determine in a small environment). The thing I’m stuck on is how to
categorise the product. Is it MI or professional? Reality is that it has footing in each
camp, and solid footing at that. It’s packaged like MI gear, it’s friendly to use and
its performance would likely please most pro users.

Mark Malherbe, from Prosound, the local Electro-Voice distributor, had this to add:
“It’s nice to see that Electro-Voice have returned to a three way design in the ETX-
35P. Electro-Voice used to offer some excellent three way designs that were highly
regarded in the 1980s and 1990s.’

Brand: Electro-Voice
Models as tested: ETX-35P and 2x ETX-18SP
RRP: ETX-35P – R34,775.84 excl VAT. ETX-18SP – R34,775.84 excl VAT.
Price correct at time of print and subject to change.
Product Info:

Review syndicated from CX Magazine.