Having attracted a great deal of interest from the installation market over the latter half of this year since its launch at Frankfurt Prolight+Sound, Tannoy’s VQ Series loudspeaker range has started to raise some influential eyebrows in the live and touring sound market. Among them has been industry veteran Paul Nicholson, of MidasProSound, having decided to put VQ to the test over the last couple of months with a series of live shows in and around their native Salisbury
Having founded MidasProSound over two decades ago and after 10 years spent at L-Acoustics, it’s fair to say Nicholson, a mix engineer by trade, knows a thing or two when it comes to live sound. So his decision to get behind Tannoy’s new loudspeaker system is noted and bodes well for the ongoing development and success of the product so far.
Developed as a serious and credible alternative to installing line array systems, VQ delivers the inherent benefits of a point source cabinet while overcoming many of the perceived weaknesses. With unheralded pattern control and extremely high sensitivity, a single VQ cabinet can deliver better SPL coverage and clarity than an array comprising of 4 or 5 boxes. As an example, a VQ 60 will produce 115 dB for 1 Watt; and 138 dB (144 dB peak) for only 200 Watts of amplifier power, with a tightly controlled 60 dispersion pattern across the full frequency range.
Back at the helm of MidasProSound, Paul Nicholson has deployed VQ for a series of gigs at Salisbury Arts Centre and Salisbury City Hall, featuring a diverse and challenging range of bands. Among the acts were Los Angeles 6-piece, Dengue Fever, promoting their recent album ‘Venus On Earth’ (signed to Peter Gabriel’s Real World Records), Jazz sensations Adriano Adewale Group and 1970’s World Music godfathers Osibisa, not to mention burgeoning English folk band Bellowhead. The results it would seem have been universally acclaimed, as Nicholson explains:
“First impressions are always important and right from the start we were quite literally staggered by the power and clarity of the Dual Concentric transducers which provide a single coherent wavefront at the throat of the horn. We all agreed that it was the best we had ever heard. The design also provides excellent phase coherency and perfect time alignment between the horn and the 2 x 12” sections.”
Putting some perspective into claims by Tannoy that VQ is a serious alternative to line array, Paul went on to say “we usually install five cabinets per side at Salisbury City Hall, but with VQ we used just two and achieved a higher SPL with far better clarity and projection. Since we have been using the VQ, bands, venue staff, and audiences alike have all commented on the clarity and fidelity of the system.”
“I first saw the system at the ABTT exhibition in June this year. Tim Gray from Tannoy took me through the technical parameters and I was immediately convinced that on paper at least the VQ looked extremely promising. After further meetings at PLASA we decided to take the system out on a few of our autumn shows and get a feel for what the VQ could achieve under real world conditions.”
“Our most recent VQ show was at Salisbury Arts Centre with the Adriano Adewale Band where all the musicians took it in turn to listen to each others’ line checks and they were completely blown away by what the system reproduced. Members of the audience also commented that it was a real pleasure to attend a concert where you could hear all the instruments so clearly.”
It seems MidasProSound are pleased with the results and are keen to put their faith in VQ when it comes to developing some major production projects in 2009. Nicholson for one, is delighted to offer a stamp of approval for Tannoy’s latest innovation,
“As an engineer VQ gives me everything I need be it in small or large venues, and I believe that Tannoy have a truly great Pro Audio product on their hands”