Review: EAW RSX12M
By Jason Allen.
EAW’s Radius Series is a total connected PA solution. It includes a line array with flyable subs, and point source mains, fills and a sub. The whole range is powered, comes with Dante built-in, and is made to be designed, predicted, controlled and monitored wirelessly via EAWmosaic, a comprehensive iOS app. The RSX12M adds a monitor wedge to this line-up.
Radius is designed to be run as an integrated system, and as such, it’s unlikely though not inconceivable that you’d be using the RSX12M outside of the Radius environment. Radius is perfect for mid-sized installs in houses of worship, clubs, and education, and a package of the line array and monitoring could also find a good home in rental.
The RSX12M runs a 12” woofer with 2.5” voice coil, and a 1.77” compression driver through a 1×1” exit. It has 105 degree coverage in both the horizontal and vertical, and EAW quotes a response from 55Hz to 18kHz. It’s bi-amped, producing 500W peak. There’s EAW’s trade-marked DSP on-board, which includes their ‘Focusing’ processing that “corrects inherent acoustical anomalies to deliver immaculate impulse response”, and ‘DynO’, which “intelligently preserves a clean impulse response even at the highest output levels.” Let’s think of them both as combinations of dynamics and EQ processing.
At 16.3 kg, the RSX12M is easy enough to throw around a stage impatiently. It took me a minute to discover the cleverly hidden handle under the front of the wedge, but after that, I could easily carry two if I needed to. The connectivity is straight-forward and extremely useful – you can daisy chain both the PowerCon (up to five units) and Dante etherCON, and connect analogue XLR as either the primary input or fail-over. The comm port cables back to a switch, which you connect your WiFi to, and there’s your system control in place. If you don’t have an iPad to run EAWmosaic (it’s the only device the software supports as of printing), you can access the RX12Ms settings via a nice OLED screen and rotatable, pushable knob on the rear panel. In the menu, you’ll find practicalities like IP addressing (EAW recommends you run a DHCP server), but most importantly, level, tuning presets, delay, crossover and an incredibly thoughtful and useful pink noise generator that can check each driver individually.
There are four voicing presets built in; White, Grey, Blue, and Sapphire, plus one ‘User’ spot reserved. On paper, White is basically flat, Grey has a slight low boost and high-end rolloff, Blue has a slightly higher bass boost and high end rolloff than Grey, and Sapphire is like Blue but adds some 10kHz ‘air’. In reality, White is flat, Sapphire sounds a lot like White with more extreme top end, Grey is kind of dull and good for drum fill, and Blue sounded quite strange initially.
According to EAW, “Blue voicing provides a more significant 2 dB low-frequency boost, coupled with the same high-frequency roll-off as Grey, but with 2 dB more mid-frequency attenuation from 700 Hz to 8,000 Hz. This voicing is most suitable for high-SPL performances with significant upper-mid content.” When I ran this voicing at lower levels, it seemed to produce weird, pumping dynamic effects from 200Hz to 800Hz. I checked back with the documentation and, when cranked up to use as intended, it performed as it should.
Presets aside, when tuned to taste and tested extensively with vocals, the RSX12M produced honest, reliable results. I started with ‘White’ and adjusted from there. When driven hard, any limiting that might have been happening was not audibly intrusive or obvious. I had more than enough level to get over the instrument mix. I felt I needed to drive the range from around 1.6Khz to 3Khz a little harder to get the cut-through I need, but the RSX12M still produced a workable result with no undue feedback issues. The 105 degrees of both horizontal and vertical dispersion are appreciated, as the vocalist can wander about quite a bit with no issues.
When incorporated into a full Radius system on a Dante backbone, the RX12M would be one piece of a powerful solution that would save a lot of time, cabling, testing and tweaking.
Pricing: RRP $3,889 inc GST
Product Info: eaw.com