Yorkville TX Four-Way Speaker System

When I reviewed the EF508 speaker, part of Yorkville Sound's Elite series (PAR, 11/99, p. 16), it impressed me. When Yorkville sent in the TX series - a level above the Elite, I looked forward to reviewing it.
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When I reviewed the EF508 speaker, part of Yorkville Sound's Elite series (PAR, 11/99, p. 16), it impressed me. When Yorkville sent in the TX series - a level above the Elite, I looked forward to reviewing it.
Product PointsApplications: Live sound

Key Features: Birch cabinets; flying hardware; proprietary processors and power amps

Price: TX9S Sub-bass speaker: $2,149; TX8 three-way speaker: $2,899; TX8P Stereo Processor/Crossover: $849

Contact: Yorkville Sound at 716-297-2920; Web Site: www.yorkville.com.
Features

The TX series I tested consisted of a three-way cabinet (the TX8; $2,899) and a sub-bass cabinet (the TX9S; $2,149). The three-way section of the array is comprised of two 15-inch B & C woofers, an 8-inch Audax cone midrange driver and a 2-inch B & C high-frequency driver.

The two 15-inch woofers are arranged in a manifold-style mount, at 90-degree angles to each other, and 45 degrees to the front baffle. The 8-inch Audax midrange speaker is coupled to a cabinet-integral horn, as is the 2-inch B & C high-frequency compression driver.

The cabinet is constructed of 13-layer, 3/4-inch Baltic birch plywood, well braced and supported. The TX8 cabinet has a heavy-gauge, black powder-coated, perforated metal grille. Behind the grille, black acoustic foam hides the components, making the TX8 suitable for dress applications.

The TX8 speakers have reinforced ATM Flytrack points that make it possible to hang a four-cabinet-high cluster from two points. Connectors for the TX8 are located on a panel on the rear of the speaker cabinet, which has two Neutrik NL8 connectors wired in parallel and a handy legend describing the pin assignment of the connectors.

The cabinet's four stout rubber feet prevent vibrational walking. Thanks to its rugged cabinet design, the TX8 is heavy, weighing in at 216 pounds - the optional wheelboard is a must. The cabinet has eight well-placed integral handles for handling and stacking.

The TX9S sub-bass cabinet is comprised of two front-mounted 18-inch B & C woofers coupled to a vented reflex chamber. The TX9S rectangular cabinet is also constructed of highly braced multilayer Baltic birch with the same matching grille and acoustic foam insert to hide the components. The TX9S sub cabinet has the integral handles as well as a 45-degree cutaway on the rear bottom edge where the wheels are permanently mounted, making it easy to handle and roll away. The connectors are located on a rear panel plate, having the same handy legend for pin assignments of the two parallel Neutrik NL4s.

The TX8P is a stereo processor/crossover. It is a single-rack-space black box with fixed crossover frequencies, individual frequency band mutes, individual frequency band rotary level controls and XLR inputs and outputs.

The TX8P processor also contains an amplifier output-sensing connection that connects at the processor with Neutrik NL4s and at the power amp with standard banana plugs. The processor monitors all voltages and currents emanating from the power amps and will protect each of the components in the speaker system by not allowing overpowering. It also electronically time-adjusts the various frequency groups, eliminating time/phase problems. Yorkville recommends (but does not require) using its AudioPro power amplifiers to complement the TX system, as they are designed to function with each other.

Here are some of the specs provided by Yorkville: TX9S power handling is 2,000 W RMS at 4 ohms; frequency range is 30 to 100 Hz. TX8 low frequency is 1,200 W RMS at 4 ohms at 100 Hz to 300 Hz, MF is 200 W RMS at 8 ohms at 300 Hz to 1,700 Hz, high frequency is 200 W at 8 ohms at 1,700 Hz and up.

In use

Yorkville provided me with four TX9S subs and four TX8 three-ways. The first show I used them for was a Phoenix Symphony outdoor event with about 8,000 people in attendance.

The subs were fed signal via a post-fader auxiliary send and composite signal fed to the three-ways from the stereo bus of a Yamaha M3000 mixing console. When I first fired up the system, it was necessary to calibrate the processor to the power amps provided by Yorkville. Depressing the Calibrate button twice emits a test tone from the processor for each group of frequencies as the processor measures the voltage and current output of each amp. Once the processor is calibrated, it is not necessary to calibrate again, long as you use the same power amplifiers.

The next step was to EQ the Yorkville TX rig. I analyzed the system with an Audio- Control one-third-octave spectrum analyzer with pink noise and the system was quite flat. Analyzers don't tell the full story about a speaker system's fidelity and quality - the proof is in the listening!

After 15 years of equipping and engineering the orchestra, I have the mix down pretty good, and Iam quite familiar with what to expect from my own speaker system. I could not believe the first notes I heard from the Yorkville system. I was instantly impressed with the clarity of the TX speaker system.

Live amplification of the orchestra had never been better or clearer. The double basses were exact through the TX9S subs, and the violins were smooth through the TX8s.

A nice feature of the TX8's cone-driven mids was the cleanliness of those frequencies at any distance from the speakers, from two feet to 200 feet, at off-axis angles of up to 45 degrees.

I took the entire rig to Phoenix Symphony Hall to put it through another test - a Symphony Pops show with Doc Severinson conducting and performing. The Yorkville system sounded equally at home indoors, exhibiting all the same full-range characteristics it had at the outdoor show.

I took the same rig to a Fourth of July concert featuring Freddy Fender performing at a local casino for about 2,000 people. At sound check one of the band members came out to the console. The first thing he remarked about was the clarity of the TX system's vocal range.

During the show, I measured the sound pressure level, and it was at about 105 dB, A-weighted scale, with the console outputs barely registering ö15 dB. The power amps barely showed signal present, so needless to say, I was quite impressed with the TX system's headroom.

The TX9S subs rocked solidly and sounded extremely natural in the lower extremities of kick drum and bass guitar, with the TX8s providing the remainder of the audio spectrum with great clarity.

Summary

I was quite impressed with the performance of the Yorkville TX speaker system. The TX8s exhibited excellent vocal and orchestral clarity. The subs were tight and never muddy. The minor amount of equalization required (three frequencies with no more that 3 dB of cut) was amazing.

The TX system provides incredible quality at a reasonable price. In my opinion, the Yorkville TX system is a "must have" for serious live audio professionals.