I've been on tour for about 3 weeks now with a bunch of VTX boxes and would like to report back on them. At first, I thought they sounded nice, but after more and more shows they've really grown on me. I'm thoroughly impressed at the clarity of high end these boxes have. Because I'm powering them with I-Tech 12000s, I'm able to use the XLT preset not available when using the 3500s. They provide a bit further frequency extension at the top of the box's range considering the 12ks have the headroom to do so.
JBL touts that these boxes will now transport in carts rather than traditional Vertec style (on their face on dolly boards). We are touring with a cart system and it's my opinion that the rigging really doesn't play nicely when flying this rig that way. If JBL truly wanted this PA to fly out of carts, they should have taken the opportunity to completely redesign the rigging when they created this redesigned box. My techs have a decent time getting the PA out of the carts until the PA starts to curve beyond a couple degrees. Best conditions considered, I've put up many other "cart based" line arrays faster and easier than the VTX, and I've recommended we go back to dollyboards and caterpillar this PA up.
I'm controlling my rig via the new Performance Manager software. For gigs like this, it's truly a huge leap forward from System Architect. The software makes putting together a rig and managing it quick and easy. I'm able to make system-wide changes on the fly and monitor many aspects of the system quickly. One thing I've learned though is that it requires a pretty hefty computer to run well. The machine I brought out to run it is not up to spec and the software is quite sluggish. It still runs just fine but can be slow to respond to mouse clicks. Because my tour is short, I opted to not switch the computer out.
Bottom line, VTX is a great addition to the JBL family. It takes the recent advances they were making with Vertec to the next level. I'd be happy to see this box on any gig. Every show I do on the box I find something about it I like more and I think it definitely stands at the top of our industry. (And I still wish they would have redesigned the rigging...)
Here are a few pics of my setup. If anyone has any VTX questions, please feel free to leave a comment!