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Alto TS112a vs EV ZLX 12p?

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Alto TS112a vs EV ZLX 12p?

Postby dickiefunk » Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:57 pm

Hi,

Has anyone been able to compare both of these speakers? What are your thoughts?
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Re: Alto TS112a vs EV ZLX 12p?

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:00 pm

I compared them last year Richard, along with a number of others but I didn't do a direct A/B between them as I dismissed the EV as being pretty ordinary compared with the DXR12 which was similar money. The TS112A was half the price of the DXR but way better than half the quality. If you can afford the ELX then I'd say buy the DXR If not, well IIRC, don't you already have an Alto TS115A? The TS112A is probably the best out there for the price.
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Re: Alto TS112a vs EV ZLX 12p?

Postby dickiefunk » Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:30 pm

Hi Sam.

The EV ZLX 12p's cost £50 more than the Alto TS112a. I have been very pleased with the TS112a but for an extra £50 I'm wondering if the EV ZLX12p would be an improvement in frequency range and output without sacrificing clarity (preferably improving clarity)?

I am only interested in these two speakers because I don't want to spend more than £300 ideally and end something with two inputs.
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Re: Alto TS112a vs EV ZLX 12p?

Postby N.icholas » Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:45 am

There is some discussion re the quality of the ZLX on prosound forums
Cosmetically they look nicer - at least in the pics!
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Re: Alto TS112a vs EV ZLX 12p?

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:12 pm

Sorry Richard, you're right, it was the ELX12 I listened to last year
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Re: Alto TS112a vs EV ZLX 12p?

Postby N.icholas » Sat Apr 19, 2014 7:30 am

The Milan M12 seems a steal at the moment - anyone tried them?
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Re: Alto TS112a vs EV ZLX 12p?

Postby dickiefunk » Sat Apr 19, 2014 8:03 am

N.icholas wrote:The Milan M12 seems a steal at the moment - anyone tried them?

Cheapest I've seen is £375 which is a good deal. I had both the Milan Mi5 and Yamaha DXR15's here a while back to try out. The Milan's had amazing bass extension for a two way speaker. The DXR15's had almost the same amount of bass output but more clarity. Also, when you cranked these speakers the Milan's limiter kicked in pretty early on and the sound started to break up whilst the DXR's just kept getting louder and louder without the limiter kicking in and sound breaking up.
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Re: Alto TS112a vs TS110a?

Postby dickiefunk » Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:58 pm

Out of curiosity, has anyone compared the Alto TS110a to the TS112a?

What I would like to do is build a smaller more portable system to my DXR15/EV ELX118p pa for small acoustic gigs.

So far the Alto TS112a I bought a year ago has been excellent and I feel offers outstanding value for money. I have been using it as a keyboard amp, pa wedge monitor and even FOH for some gigs! Eventually I would like a pair of small lightweight speakers and a pair of very small lightweight subs and am considering buying a second TS112a and a pair of TS-Sub12 subs.

Alternatively I could sell the TS112a and go for a pair of the TS110a's however, there are occasions where I have just been using a single TS112a for FOH and am concerned a single TS110a may struggle as according to its specs it has less output and naturally less bass extension?
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Re: Alto TS112a vs EV ZLX 12p?

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:58 pm

I had a TS112A briefly (sold it 'cos I decided to go all 110" cabs for FB to fit them in the car) I'd say the TS110A will keep up with the TS112A apart from the extra LF extension (which is probably where most of the extra max dBs go). However, given that the cheapest kit is always what you already have, I'd forget about the subs and just buy another TS112A, after all you do have that lovely DXR rig for the loud shows
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Re: Alto TS112a vs EV ZLX 12p?

Postby dickiefunk » Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:10 pm

Thanks Sam. Yes I have decided to get another TS112a. Should make a nice small, light and cheap solution for acoustic gigs where I need a small amount of FOH sound
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Re: Alto TS112a vs EV ZLX 12p?

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:23 pm

Yup, that'll be a great little rig for the money. I'm just about to buy another TS110A to bring my monitor count up to 5 (3 x DXR10s and 2 x TS110As). I have a little dry hire this weekend which will just suit a couple of TS110As and my Mackie 1202VLZ nicely leaving the rest of the rig for my Saturday night playing gig.
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Re: Alto TS112a vs EV ZLX 12p?

Postby dickiefunk » Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:47 pm

Yes I'm going to get a small mixer for these to use as a small secondary pa. I just missed out on a secondhand Soundcraft M8 yesterday that sold for £40!!!!

To be honest though I'd quite like something with some fx built in and a few more features. I quite fancy a mini digital mixer like the Behringer IX18 / Mackie DL806 / SM Pro UMix 16 but they all lack having some onboard hardware controls which makes me feel un easy. I'm always worried that the ipad might get damaged. Also, there are times when the hotels/clients would like to use the pa through the day for speeches and playing music from an iPod. It just wouldn't be practical or sensible to use a digital mixer without any hardware controls!!

I will probably end up getting a simple small analogue mixer.
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Re: Alto TS112a vs EV ZLX 12p?

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:17 pm

You can't go far wrong with a Mackie 1202 of some flavour (even the older VLZ ones), dead simple, brick outhouse construction and they just do what they say on the tin.

That M8 was a real bargain though wasn't it? I've been looking for a backup mixer as I really regretted selling my Soundcraft SX20. I'm confident that my DL1608 is reliable but, as it's the only thing in my rig I have only one of (given that the old 1202 won't cut it where the DL was up to capacity) having a spare 12+ channel mixer in the car for emergencies would allow me to sleep easier. OTOH I am thinking of buying an X32 (with the DL as the spare) and step down a level for the smaller Duo/Trio gigs where the 1202 would probably get me through if the DL failed (not that I have had a single glitch with the DL so far, I absolutely love it for the mostly pub/bar type gigs I do).
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Re: Alto TS112a vs EV ZLX 12p?

Postby OneEng » Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:25 am

I hardly ever disagree with Sam, but I am not a big fan of the 1202. I would much prefer an Allen&Heath ZED.
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Re: Alto TS112a vs EV ZLX 12p?

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:58 am

OneEng wrote:I hardly ever disagree with Sam, but I am not a big fan of the 1202. I would much prefer an Allen&Heath ZED.


I too like the A&H Zed series and would probably go their if I was buying new but the 1202 is a decent reliable workhorse and can be had very cheap used.
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Re: Alto TS112a vs EV ZLX 12p?

Postby Mike Stranks » Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:23 am

This has taken an interesting turn...

I've recently downgraded (drastically) from my Presonus 16.0.2 as it no longer met my needs - location recording has taken-off again!

In the end the balance of price and facilities led me to the Soundcraft MPM. Very pleased thus far although it's early days...

I've previously owned a Soundcraft EPM which I thought was good value. I've always liked the Yamaha desks too, but have never been a great fan of Mackie.

I've used/owned several Soundcraft F1s, but always found them somewhat flimsy - even if the sound-quality was OK. And as for that mains-unit connector... !!!

A&H ZED still leads the pack IMHO, but if you're on restricted budget or needing to buy second-hand then may still be out of reach compared to other mixers which are almost as good.
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Re: Alto TS112a vs EV ZLX 12p?

Postby dickiefunk » Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:27 pm

I am a big fan of Allen & Heath + Soundcraft mixers so will probably watch out for one of those. Saying that I have used the newer Behringer Xenyx QX series mixers (with the Klark Technik) fx and they are surprisingly useable!

I'll probably watch out for the second hand market for an Allen & Heath or Soundcraft unless one of the newer Behringer Xenyx QX mixers turns up at a ridiculously low price!
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Re: Alto TS112a vs EV ZLX 12p?

Postby dickiefunk » Wed Apr 23, 2014 5:50 pm

Just been looking at the following mixers :-

Allen & Heath ZED 10 fx :- £169 ( - only has 1 aux output for monitor)

Behringer Xenyx QX 1204 USB :- £155 ( - doesn't have sweepable mid, only 1 aux out, made by Behringer)

SM Pro Audio uMix :- £158 ( - only one aux out, limited hardware control, unknown quality/reliability)

Behringer Xenyx QX 1622 USB :- £175 ( - only has 1 aux for monitor, made by Behringer)

Mackie Pro FX 8 :- £208 ( - only has 1 aux, no sweepable mid on EQ though it does have a 7 band master EQ)

Soundcraft EFX8 :- £235 ( - only has 1 aux )

Soundcraft MFXi :- £340 ( - size, price )

The Mackie VLZ mixers are nice (particularly the VLZ3 and 4 versions) but they don't have built in reverb which is something I would need. The newer Behringer Xenyx QX mixers are actually ok though I think they lack a little clarity compared to some of the Allen & Heath and Soundcraft mixers I've used. I've also had a pretty bad track record with Behringer mixer's so far with all of them having channels stop working! The Soundcraft mixers look nice but I'm not sure how the EFX range compares to the MFX regarding audio quality? Also, the MFXi is getting closer to the price of the Mackie DL806!

I think the Allen & Heath ZED 10fx offers the best balance of quality/features/size/price. I think I'll keep an eye out for one of these



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Re: Alto TS112a vs EV ZLX 12p?

Postby dickiefunk » Fri Apr 25, 2014 7:06 am

Just picked up a second TS112a for £100 secondhand and in as new condition. My pair of TS112a's have cost less than a single EV ZLX12p and one of them was brand new! So next will be an Allen & Heath Zed 10fx to complete this small secondary pa

I may pick up a TS110a at some point down the line to use as a monitor with this smaller pa.
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Re: Alto TS112a vs EV ZLX 12p?

Postby dickiefunk » Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:28 pm

I used both the Alto TS112a's for an acoustic gig with 4 vocals, piano and upright bass. The sound was surprisingly good. However, in an ideal world I am still tempted to get something even smaller. I noticed that the EV ZLX12p's have dropped in price at Thomann and now cost £264 each which is a very good deal. I've also been tempted with the RCF710a's but these cost around £400 each.
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Re: Alto TS112a vs EV ZLX 12p?

Postby TheChorltonWheelie » Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:10 am

dickiefunk wrote:Just been looking at the following mixers :-

Before you snigger, don't forget the DDX3216 from Behringer! I still have one of these in my medium rig, and even now it still sounds great. Flexibility-wise it's as good as the X32 (which I also have) in terms of routing/bussing, and with the ADAT cards you can hook it up to most audio interfaces.

They can be a touch harsh at the top end (as most digital desks do), much in the same way that we talk about the DXR's when pushed, but I run an LA graphic across the mains and I only ever have to knock one or two of the top frequencies down a db or two to make it sound very nice indeed. I've done many a gig, where people have borrowed my back-line, and the initial snigger at the badge is soon wiped away when they hear it FOH.

With an ADAT card, expect to pay £150-£250, and at that price it's an absolute bloody steal!
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Re: Alto TS112a vs EV ZLX 12p?

Postby dickiefunk » Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:50 am

Yes I remember those desks well. I found them to be very un reliable unfortunately. Also, for the small acoustic gigs I do I want something very compact and small. The A&H ZED 10fx is the perfect size and so far sounds great! I'm also looking forward to using the ZED with Cubasis on my ipad.
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Re: Alto TS112a vs EV ZLX 12p?

Postby brucie » Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:45 am

Bah, I just brought the EV's after much deliberation, and they have just drop £50 each...bah! Such is life. I am very impressed after first gig out on Sunday.
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Re: Alto TS112a vs EV ZLX 12p?

Postby dickiefunk » Wed Jun 04, 2014 3:01 pm

I've spoken to a few dealers and users regarding the EV ZLX12p and RCF 710a and keep hearing pretty much the same responses. From the people I've spoken to, the EV ZLX12p and Alto TS112a are pretty much on a par audio quality wise with the EV perhaps offering a tiny bit more output and bass response. Some prefer the EV's and some prefer the Alto's! Also the EV ZLX12p's don't use EV drivers and have generic Chinese speakers??

With the RCF 710a's everyone without exception has said that it is a far superior speaker! It apparently has way more clarity and output and it's 10" driver at least matches the bass response of the TS112a if not outdo the Alto!

It doesn't seem worthwhile spending at least £250 extra on the EV ZLX12p's to what I paid for my TS112a's for marginal improvements if any!?

I now need to decide whether the RCF710a's are worth the extra £500 per pair for the 3kg per speaker I'll be saving!? Also I'm already getting lots of good comments on how good the Alto's sound which makes the decision quite harder!

My other option would be to get a couple of higher quality mics instead of changing speakers like the Sennheiser E945 which are the clearest sounding live dynamics I've heard along with the JZ HH1 and would further improve the sound I'm getting with the Altos AND my main Yamaha DXR15/EV ELX118p pa!?
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Re: Alto TS112a vs EV ZLX 12p?

Postby dickiefunk » Fri Jun 20, 2014 7:05 pm

Ok, thought I'd post a quick update as it may be useful for anyone else deciding between these two speakers. I bought the ZLX 12P's this week as the price briefly dropped to £248 each which is pretty much the same price as the Altos!
I took them to a 250 seater hall today to give them a good workout and did an a/b with the Alto TS112a's. I have both pairs plugged into the aux outs of my Allen and Heath QU16 so that I could change speakers at the push of a button for quick comparison.
First thing I noticed is the EV looks slicker and more suited to higher end venues etc where appearance does count. The full front grill looks very professional and the cabinet looks sharper all round. The EV's are also slightly smaller and lighter than the Alto's which is always welcome. The EV's only have one side handle but due to their smaller size and weight handling was extremely easy and pole mounting was painless. In terms of build quality, the cabinets of both seem to be of similar quality but the EV's had nicer smoother volume pots that were indented at 12 o'clock which is where they should ideally be set when using them for live music. Also the inputs had lockable XLR sockets which stops the leads being accidentally pulled out the back which is a useful feature.
Here are some pictures of both speakers side by side so you can get an idea of the small size difference for yourself :-

Image

Image

Image

The EV's feature set is far more comprehensive a 3 channel mixer, treble + bass eq controls, a wide variety of DSP settings and the option to either have the front LED light up only when the limiter starts to work or off completely!
Ok, now to sound. When I turned both pairs of speakers on I noticed that the EV's had less hiss than the Alto's. Whilst I wouldn't say the Alto's were noisy the EV's were even cleaner. I spent about two hours playing a wide variety of music and also tried vocals through the speakers. I instantly noticed the EV's sounded much brighter than the Alto's regardless of which DSP setting I had them on. At first I wasn't sure if I liked this as the difference was pretty big! Then I plugged in a Sennheiser E838 into the desk and tried a quick vocal through both speakers. The EV's sound way clearer than the Alto's for this and my voice sounded far more articulate and detailed. I can remember having to generally brighten up any vocals I've put through the Alto's in the past the this shows promise for the EV's! I then went back to playing different recorded tracks through both speakers and I started to notice the Alto's sounded a little boxy by comparison and lacked the detail of the EV's. For example, on one busy rock track I heard a small shaker part that when flipped back to the Alto's wasn't there at all!! As I moved through lots of different genres (Rock, Jazz, Classical, Orchestral of various sizes from solo performances to huge orchestrations) I generally noticed the EV's let me hear more detail of parts extra. Whilst I liked this on a LOT of stuff I didn't like the tone of acoustic piano's through the EV's as much. They seemed to lack the midrange body. In terms of bass frequency response both speakers were very impressive considering their small lightweight size and low price tag! I certainly did not find them lacking in this area though I very much doubt either could come close to my Yamaha DXR15's! The EV's have a Club setting which pumps out a huge amount of bass at the expense of headroom before the limiter kicks in.
In terms of output, I could only really comfortably stand either speaker turned up to around a third of the way up on the channels on the desk. I was amazed at how loud both of these speakers went and how they managed to fill the hall with sound! If anything I thought the Alto's started to lose coherency whilst the EV's still sound as clear as they did at lower volumes.

After having spending a whole morning comparing both these speakers I would have to say I am truly amazed at how good both of these speakers sound for less than £500 per pair! I would not be disappointed to have to stick with the Alto's as they have been extremely reliable and I've had great comments on the sound I've got with these. However, with all the extra features of the EV's plus better clarity I think these would get my vote. I just wish the tone of pianos would sounded as nice as it does with the Alto's.
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Re: Alto TS112a vs EV ZLX 12p?

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Jun 20, 2014 10:58 pm

Good info Richard, the EVs sound like another step up in value and, as you say, they do look great (definitely better than the Altos). I probably won't change just now as my TS110As do the business for me (I use my DXR10s until I need more than three monitors) and the cheapest kit is always what you already have.
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Re: Alto TS112a vs EV ZLX 12p?

Postby dickiefunk » Sat Jun 21, 2014 5:50 am

I'll probably get a pair of the TS110a's to use as monitors to use with the EV's. Saying that, for an extra £40 I could get another EV ZLX12p which would be more useful with all the DSP options. For small acoustic gigs, I use an Allen & Heath ZED10 fx and with small format mixers like this, the aux output doesn't have its own EQ.
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Re: Alto TS112a vs EV ZLX 12p?

Postby TheChorltonWheelie » Sat Jun 21, 2014 1:49 pm

dickiefunk wrote:If anything I thought the Alto's started to lose coherency whilst the EV's still sound as clear as they did at lower volumes.

To my ears, the EV's are more harsh on the top end, due to the larger horn and the emphasis on volume, whereas the mids and very lows aren't as good as the Alto.
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Re: Alto TS112a vs EV ZLX 12p?

Postby dickiefunk » Sat Jun 21, 2014 2:07 pm

TheChorltonWheelie wrote:
dickiefunk wrote:If anything I thought the Alto's started to lose coherency whilst the EV's still sound as clear as they did at lower volumes.

To my ears, the EV's are more harsh on the top end, due to the larger horn and the emphasis on volume, whereas the mids and very lows aren't as good as the Alto.

Interesting. You find both the top end harsher AND the mids and lows not as good with the EV's!?

I did find the EV's to be MUCH brighter wiith the larger horn but I also found they presented my detail. Some parts I could hear on the EV's simply weren't present on the Alto's. Cymbals, shakers, and ukulele plucking etc was all there with great clarity on the EV's whilst you couldn't hear them at all on the Alto's. However the mid range on the Altos suited acoustic pianos a lot more. Also, vocals seemed louder but less clear on pre recorded tracks through the Alto's. However, when I plugged a mic into the desk and did a speech test the EV's sounded way clearer than the Alto's.

The EV's do sound like the mid range is scooped compared to the flatter sound of the Altos but the Alto's sounded more boxy, and lacked both detail and clarity at higher volumes!
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Re: Alto TS112a vs EV ZLX 12p?

Postby TheChorltonWheelie » Sun Jun 22, 2014 6:29 am

dickiefunk wrote:The EV's do sound like the mid range is scooped compared to the flatter sound of the Altos but the Alto's sounded more boxy, and lacked both detail and clarity at higher volumes!


That's exactly the point, the Alto's have a far flatter response, the EV's have been wound up at the top end to suit vocals and to give the impression they're louder. You could probably argue that for 10's or 12's that's not a bad thing, but when I tried the EV's I couldn't escape the fact that I'd have to run a pair of 15's with them too, the lack of mid/low wasn't going to be good enough on their own.

If you ever try the RCF HD12's you can hear that you can get the best of all worlds, but obviously that's at a price.

I liked the EV's but again, I kept thinking that they'd be tiresome at high volumes, so much so that I rolled back a bit of the top end via the desk. It all comes down to price, for the money, they're great, but I didn't really need another pair of speakers to add to my collection, I needed a pair of 12's to do a job and the EV's weren't capable of that, or rather a pair of HD's or DXR's were (but at a higher price).
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