RCF EVOX 8: Active Adventures
DVS and wireless DMX aside, the most important change in the mobile-DJing world over the past 15 or 20 years has been the continued innovations with active loudspeakers.
Of course, bigger shows like proms, corporate events and mega-weddings still require substantial sound reinforcement, but in the world of average events (150-person weddings and the like), the options for reasonably powerful, compact speakers has grown exponentially in recent years.
Unfortunately, as size and weight has declined, so has sound quality in some quarters, with very few smaller speakers being able to reproduce mids, highs and bass with any real accuracy and clarity.
Enter the audio experts at premiere Italian speaker manufacturer RCF to change the paradigm.
The EVOX series is RCF’s latest line of compact, portable PA speakers for users looking for a small footprint without sacrificing sound quality and power. Taking what might be described as the Bose L Series idea and making it even more compact and powerful, RCF has produced an amazing product here. I was provided with a pair of EVOX 8 speakers and, honestly, could not be more impressed.
The EVOX 8 is driven by a 700-watt RMS amplifier and is made up of a 12-inch subwoofer with a satellite module of eight two-inch, full-range compression drivers capable of achieving 128 dB max SPL. The EVOX array design features constant horizontal directive coverage of 120-degrees and a vertical array of 30-degrees, guaranteeing a correct listening environment and avoiding high-frequency beaming that’s typical of a straight array.
The system is also designed for easy transport and storage and the included three-piece pole allows the satellite to be positioned at varying heights, depending on your application.
Any discussion about the EVOX 8 has to begin with the fact that it is an amazingly compact system that’s completely self-contained and weighs in at just 51 pounds. There is a slot at the back of the speaker that accommodates the array section, an easily transportable 3-piece pole system (complete with clamps to keep your wires cleanly positioned behind the pole) and a super simple Speakon/Powercon system that is quick to set up and virtually foolproof. There is an available RCF bag for storing all the components and an optional trolley with wheels that makes the transport of this system incredibly easy.
But, none of this ease-of-transport means anything if a system struggles to move your dancefloor, and this is there the EVOX stands above all other compact line-array-type systems.
Having previously reviewed the mighty RCF HD32A, I am familiar with the virtues of RCF tweeters and found the mids and highs on the EVOX 8 to be every bit as pleasant as HD32A. Due to the decreased weight and the 8’s design, I was able to position the tops much higher than most other powered speakers, allowing the EVOX to truly cover the entire crowd from front to back, side to side.
The 12-inch sub is also formidable, with rich, punchy sound that handled everything I could throw at it from jazz to house music. It began to lose some of its punch when playing tracks with sub-bass (trap, dubstep, drum-n-bass), but that is more down to the physical limitations of a 12-inch speaker than anything the engineers at RCF missed.
In the end, I will be keeping my big-boy system for crowds of 200-plus or events where I need to push out 130+ SPL. But for all of the other events on my calendar (and 80-percent of them fall into this category), the EVOX 8 will become my system of choice.
Easy to carry, easy to set up, easy on the ears and eyes—the EVOX 8 is truly a major step forward for portable active PA systems. RCF has scored another victory here. Highly recommended.