AED Rent has become the first company to make a substantial investment in the new JBL VTX loudspeaker system, reports Marc Maes. The huge order – over 300 cabinets plus nearly 200 Crown power amps – will ship to the dry-hire outfit in February.
“The size of this single order has never been seen before in Europe’s audio industry but it is essential to meet the needs of the professional production companies in a season with the London Olympics and other large events in Europe,” says Glenn Roggeman, CEO of AED Group. Beginning this month, AED Rent, which has subsidiaries in the UK, Germany, France and the Netherlands, will take charge of of 216 JBL VTX V25 line array top cabinets, 120 JBL VTX S28 double 18” subs and 192 new Crown I-Tech HD power amplifiers (3500HD and 12000HD models). Full systems will be available to rent in May. AED Rent already offers a substantial number of JBL Tec and VRX enclosures; the VTX order underlines the company’s commitment to the brand. The decision to invest followed a demo of the new VTX enclosures to AED Rent sound managers Koen Conaerts and Piet Verstraete (pictured here, left and right respectively, with Roggeman centre) at PLASA last September. “When we heard Paul Bauman [senior manager, Tour Sound, JBL Professional] and his team had designed the VTX we were immediately confident in the result: the right design, the right components, the right manufacturer,” explains Piet Verstraete. “We compared all the specs and details with other products and the VTX simply excelled at them all.” “Every technician in the world knows that in order to get 3dB SPL more output you need twice the number of speakers. The new D2430K compression driver – three per VTX cabinet – handles 200W RMS, while standard drivers rate at about 100W. Each driver consists of 2 diaphragms moving towards each other with a common exit, significantly reducing the distortion level,” enthuses Koen Conaerts. “Also the mid-range and low frequency speakers can handle extreme high power. In combination with the Crown I-Tech 3500HD, this system is more powerful than any of its competitors.” “The VTX S28 subs will be powered by the I-Tech 12000HDs delivering 4,500W (at 4 Ohms) per channel. “This means 2,250W per 18” speaker, compared to other systems which only give 1,000W per speaker. It will deliver amazing output,” says Koen Conaerts. “And each amplifier weighs no more than 13kg – which is remarkably low for amplifiers that powerful.” The PLASA-launched JBLHQnet Performance Manager software will manage, control and tune the system. “The integration of all these functions into one application makes it the perfect tool for system techs,” adds Piet Verstraete. Alain Boone, account manager live sound with (Benelux Harman distributor) Audio XL, says: “Each of AED Rent’s VTX systems will have the same configuration,” he explains. “Starting with the VTX concept, the system uses custom-built Crown VRack amplifier racks, with identical patchpanels and locked settings, delivering a consistent high-quality of sound wherever you are.” AED’s Glenn Roggeman comments further: “VTX is poised to become the reference speaker for touring systems. With our strong European rental network we want to promote the system, resulting in a win-win situation both for JBL/Crown and its users. “Clients wanting to invest in new sound reinforcement kit are watching us: buying the same lines that we supply allows them to sub-hire extra gear from us, and that’s crucial,” underlines Roggeman. “Rather than having to invest in 48 cabinets and worrying about their economic viability, clients can invest in 12/18/24/32 cabinets and hire the remainder with us, when necessary” JBL Professional’s Paul Baumann says: “As the first adopter of VTX V25 and a key strategic partner in the VTX Network, AED Rent’s support of this groundbreaking new system is appreciated and I have full confidence that their technical expertise will be highly-effective in helping us to introduce V25 to the market.” “With the VTX system, AED Rent provides sufficient inventory for the professional rental business throughout Europe,” agrees Peter De Fouw, CEO of Audio XL. “The line array systems will be used everywhere, from music festivals to sports events – in doing so, AED Rent is triggering interest from other companies, which is very interesting for us and JBL.” Although AED Rent is known as an “L-Acoustics driven company” – 380 L-Acoustics boxes were purchased last year alone – Roggeman and his team want to serve companies beyond the L-Acoustics owner network. “The AED group is a solution provider for all professional users in the sector,” he concludes. “And the decision to invest in JBL will not influence our relation with L-Acoustics.” www.aedrent.comwww.harman.comwww.jblpro.comwww.audioxl.be