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EV Evolve 50 vs. RCF Evox J8

13362 Views 10 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Saxhound
So after 15 years of faithful service, one of my Bose L1 towers died on a gig last week. It refuses to power on. I "may" be able to get it fixed locally, as Bose will not fix these any longer. Now I'm nervous that the other one will crap out soon. While I have been pretty happy with the Bose, the new ones are just too darn expensive. I have been looking at the competitors, and it seems like the Evolve 50 and the Evox J8 are both pretty highly rated, and more affordable. The Evolve is $1,599 and the Evox is $999, vs. the Bose which is over $2,000.

The application is as the main speakers for a 7 piece classic rock band with 3 horns. We are using the QSC Touchmix 30 mixer. I have always been impressed with Electrovoice stuff, so am leaning that way, but I'm curious if anyone has done a side by side comparison, especially in a live setting. I tried listening to them both at Guitar Center, but only with some music from my phone. Between all the background noise and the cardboard boxes piled six feet high everywhere, it was hard to tell the difference.
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I'm using these as main (front of house) speakers. For monitors I'm using a combination of two Mackie SRM 450 and three QSC CP8.
It's funny. When Bose first came out with these in the early 2000's, there was a lot of criticism and nay saying. Probably mostly because it was Bose (no highs, no lows, must be Bose, etc.). Now everybody and their brother has a competitive product. To be fair, the first model of the L1 lacked bass punch unless you bought a couple B1 bass bins and stacked them.

For me the big attraction these days is the light weight and ease of setup. My 63 year old body does not want to be carrying 75+ pound speakers and lifting them up onto tripod poles. It's the same reason I ditched my analog mixer and 12 space rack of effects for a digital mixer. From 150 pounds to 15 pounds in the blink of an eye. Well, there was also a wave of the wallet!
Well I decided to take the plunge. ProAudioStar has a package deal on the RCF Evox J8 where they include the rolling storage case for free (normally $199). If I don't like it I have 30 days to return it and then will try the EV unit. If I do like it, I will buy a second one - hopefully with the same bundle price.
*** UPS? I get my shipping notice that says delivery by end of day tomorrow (1/7). That's OK - about four business days from when I placed my order. I'm following the tracking and I see that my package arrived in Knoxville at 6 AM this morning. I'm about 15 miles from the UPS distribution center. I'm thinking - great, maybe I will get it today instead of tomorrow. So I go to check status a while ago and as of 9 AM it's on a truck to Nashville, which is 175 miles away!
I realized that I never followed up on this. We got to use these for one rehearsal and two gigs before the shutdown. I like them a lot. The 12" bass cabinet / amplifier has a lot of thump, and the line array on the pole has a very clear sound quality. I like that you can adjust it within a range from about five feet off the ground to six feet. I opted to keep it higher so it is not at ear level for most of the seated, older crowd.

I walked around with my dB meter to check various parts of the room. With a reading of 88 to 90 dB directly in front of the speaker, the reading at the back of the room (about 60 feet away) was 85 dB. Off axis to the sides about 30 feet back it was 84 dB. So overall, a nice sound fill everywhere without hurting anyone. We got a lot of compliments on the sound.

The rolling case was also a nice touch. Roll it to where you want it, lift the bottom speaker out and put it exactly where you want it. The line array speaker fits in a cavity on the back of the bottom unit, and there is a generous pocket on the side to hold cables and the two piece pole assembly.
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Man, that would have saved me almost $600. I see they are still bundling the rolling case for free. I guess most folks don't want to pay $299 for a glorified rolling suitcase.
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