Aerial Enterprises invests in Electro-Voice X-Line Advance

January 22, 2017

  • Aerial Enterprises selects X-Line Advance X2-212 line-array loudspeaker system to serve music, industry and university events
  • Standout features for Aerial include Advanced PDH (Pin Diffraction Hydra) technology for consistent pattern control and linear frequency response
  • Owner Jim Lillie cites scalability and clear upgrade path for future growth as keys to successful investment

Located just north of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Aerial Enterprises is a regional sound reinforcement company that has been serving the area for several decades. Recently, the firm upgraded its rental stock with the purchase of an X-Line Advance X2-212 line-array loudspeaker system from Electro-Voice (EV).

“The closer we looked and listened, the more we were drawn to the X2.”

“We keep our systems in good shape, but for competitive reasons the time was right to look at investing in a new line array,” explains Jim Lillie, President and Operating Partner for Aerial. “We wanted to be sure we were tapped into the latest technology in terms of fidelity, efficiency and flexibility, so we took a good, long look at several brands before making a decision. And the closer we looked and listened, the more we were drawn to the X2.”

The X2-212’s Advanced PDH (Pin Diffraction Hydra) technology was something that immediately set it apart from the competition. “I was intrigued that this two-way system seemed to have better fidelity and cohesion than some of the bigger three-way boxes we were looking at,” says Lillie. “The way EV used a pin matrix to control dispersion of the horn and woofer is really clever. My initial impression was that the X2 arrays just sounded better, and having fewer crossovers is probably a big part of that. Then, when I heard how well it blended with our existing EV Xsub subwoofers, I was sold.”

Aerial bought 18 X2-212/90 (90-degree dispersion) loudspeakers for their initial purchase, along with six Electro-Voice TG7 amplifiers outfitted with RCM-28 network and DSP control modules. The entire system is networked via the Electro-Voice N8000 NetMax digital matrix controller using IRIS-Net software, enabling full remote monitoring and control of both the overall system and its individual components.

Another big plus for Aerial Enterprises is how easy the X2-212 arrays are to install. “Once the motor is in place, you can fly an array rapidly – way easier than any other systems I’ve used,” notes Jim Lillie. “All you have to do is pull it to face level, set the pins and throw another box on. Another nice thing is that you can ground-stack them very easily. The top of the dolly is the ground-stacking bottom, so when we work a venue like the Michigan Theater, where you’re not permitted to fly a PA, we can put up two six-box arrays in a heartbeat. It’s pretty impressive.”

With the success that Aerial Enterprise has experienced with the X2-212, Jim Lillie is planning to expand the system. “My next purchase will be more X2-212s, but with 120-degree dispersion. It’s nice to put a wide pattern on the bottom of an array, especially in wider venues,” he explains. “After that, we want to invest in the new dual-18-inch subwoofer, the X12-128. We’ve used them a few times as demos, and they are incredibly efficient.”

Having used the X2-212 for a wide range of events over the course of a year, Aerial Enterprises is more than satisfied. “In our world, fidelity matters. It’s what our clients expect, and the Electro-Voice system delivers,” says Jim Lillie. “We’ve used it with the New York Philharmonic. We’ve used it with Glen Hansard. We do musical theater shows with the University of Michigan. We couldn’t be happier with our investment.”

Detroit Auto Show

For the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Aerial Enterprises was the PA system provider for the main Atrium Stage in the Cobo Center. To provide both the musicality required for artists like the Beach Boys and easy intelligibility for keynote addresses, black tie events, and awards presentations, Aerial deployed a main system comprising two nine-box line arrays of X2-212/90 mains, supported by twin six-box clusters of X2-128 subwoofers, deployed in a cardioid arrangement for bass control within the cavernous space. The system was powered by TG7 amplifiers and networked via the NetMax N8000 digital matrix.

To augment the mains, Xi-1122 full-range loudspeakers were used, with four for front fill, six for deck fill, and six more as a delay system for the first balcony of the large three-story hall. These were powered by CP3000S amplifiers with Dx46 processors.

“The key to choosing X-Line Advance for the Detroit Auto Show was its ability to sound good for a wide array of event types, from voice only to major entertainers,” Lillie explains. “It was a great example of how versatile the X2 system is. Everybody was extremely pleased.”

Photos by Jamie Hurschman

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