The Electro-Voice Company, a division of Telex communications, has always been a source of reliable products for the sound contractor. The first PA system for a football stadium, used by Knute Rockne to bark plays to the “Gipper” at Notre Dame, was designed by Electro-Voice. Every sound contractor that is over 40 years of age has probably run into the classic “Buchanan hammer” microphone at one time or another. EV Eliminator series enclosures were once a contractors’ staple. In recent years EV has enjoyed success with the S-40 speaker for distributed systems and the larger format SX series, the latter of which are weather resistant and have enclosures fabricated from ABS plastic.
Product PointsApplications: Distributed commercial or residential sound systems
Key Features: Unique ABS plastic enclosure, SAM mounting system, dual woofer design
Price: $340 per pair
Contact: Electro Voice at 877-863-4166, Web Site.
Enter the EVID series, which stands for EV Innovative Design. These enclosures are aimed for use in distributed sound systems, and are molded from the same ABS plastic as the SX series. They are a two-way design featuring dual weather-resistant treated woofers and a center-mounted tweeter with waveguide. The EVID series comes in three flavors: the 3.2 with 3.5-inch woofers, 4.2 with 4-inch woofers, and 6.2 with 6-inch woofers. All are available in black or white paintable finish with zinc-plated steel grille, video shielding and a multitap transformer option on the two larger models. Push terminal wire connectors are spaced to accept banana plugs.
A matching subwoofer, the 12.1, can be utilized with the units for extended bass response. And the EV-designed SAM (Strong Arm Mount) mounting system is found on all models, as well. The 8 ohm model that was reviewed was the 4.2, rated at 200W power handling with a claimed frequency response of 65 Hz to 20 kHz and sensitivity of 90 dB at 1W/1 M. Horizontal and vertical coverage is claimed at 120 and 80 degrees, respectively.
The first thing that strikes you when you see the EVID speaker is the physical shape. A radical departure from the typical box enclosure, the EVID is ellipsoidal, almost football-like. At first glance, from the face it reminds me of a pair of motocross goggles. EV’s literature points out the organic unobtrusive shape, and I am inclined to agree. It is very easy to look at and it would seem to blend in with modern architecture better than a box. But there are more than aesthetic intentions with this design. The rotation and positional ranges afforded by this shape and mounting system give the installer greater flexibility to achieve desired coverage. The SAM mounting arm system allows a 45 degree rotation range at the cabinet pivot point, and 100 degree sweep range at the mounting plate. As opposed to a ball-and-socket-type mount, which can be tricky to adjust and tighten, the cast alloy SAM mounting arm has a positive feel and a hexnut tightening system that is easy to access.
I was able to substitute the EVIDs for a pair of JBL Control 1s that were placed above a soffit in a local establishment. The system consisted of a Rane CP64 mixer and Samson Servo 550 amplifier, with the source being a Marantz PMD370 player and Shure 450-II Mic. While listening to varied program material from the new Norah Jones CD to paging I liked the solid response of the EVID midrange, and the neutral sound of the highs, not sparkly like the Control 1s. While the bass response was not overwhelming, it was good considering the size of the enclosure.
The coverage by the EVIDs was wide and even, filling the space in this zone (20 feet wide x 25 feet long x 8 feet high) easily.
Later with a New Frontier DSP 2010 RTA and test microphone, I made some close-microphone basic measurements of the EVID in a “flat” room with out any gain from boundaries, such as a corner. The two small 4-inch drivers enabled bass response down to 100 Hz and likely would have reached the claimed 65 Hz with corner placement and room gain.
While the sound quality of the EVID speaker is good, the most innovative aspect of these speakers beyond the unique look is the enclosure’s ability to be positioned in many ways via the SAM mounting system to achieve optimum coverage. The speakers are lightweight (8.5 lb.), weather-resistant, durable and easy to install. Considering the economical price ($340/pair) the EVID should soon be a popular candidate for distributed systems.