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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => LAB Lounge => Topic started by: Richard Penrose on March 13, 2020, 04:18:52 pm

Title: FBT VN2000 or RCF HD10a + 702ASII?
Post by: Richard Penrose on March 13, 2020, 04:18:52 pm
Hi,

I heard a quick demo of the FBT VN2000 in a showroom today and have to say this tiny system really exceeded my expectations!
At the moment Iíve been just using a single pair of Yamaha DXR15ís which have been working out surprisingly well but I no longer want to be lifting speakers weighing nearly 23kg onto stands anymore.
I would like something that can at least match the output the DXR15ís but preferably go a fraction louder with greater depth of bass. I also want something much lighter to be lifting onto stands.
From what I briefly heard from the VN2000 today I would expect this system to tick all those boxes. However, Iíve also heard good things about the RCF HD10a/702ASII system and am pretty torn between the two. Unfortunately Iím not going to be able to do a side by side comparison of both systems so am pretty torn with what to do?
I can get an ex-demo VN2000 system for around £2400 or which is over £800 off new price. Or I can get the RCF HD10a/702asII system brand new for £2200.

I plan on using this system for live music to tun 4-5 vocals, keys, bass, guitar and a small amount of miked drums.

What are your thoughts/recommendations on the FBT VN2000 and the RCF HD10ía + 702asII?
Title: Re: FBT VN2000 or RCF HD10a + 702ASII?
Post by: Heath Eldridge on March 14, 2020, 06:14:19 am
You wonít regret the RCF system. Canít tell you anything about the FBT.
Title: Re: FBT VN2000 or RCF HD10a + 702ASII?
Post by: Richard Penrose on March 14, 2020, 03:13:29 pm
Thanks. Iíve spoken to a couple of people who own both and theyíve said the FBT VN2000 has a little more clarity and output. Also the RCF 702ASII sub has higher port noise than the FBT Subline 112a?
Title: Re: FBT VN2000 or RCF HD10a + 702ASII?
Post by: Sean Zurbrick on March 15, 2020, 01:05:45 pm
I own a pair of those subs and run them over RCF 310A's for the occasional small show. The setup does fine, but there is a significant consideration that may decide it for you. The RCF subs are so small and light that they do not make a very stable base for speakers of any significant size. I barely feel comfortable using the 310A's with my poles at the lowest pole setting, which isn't tall enough.

FBT subs are 7-8 lbs heavier and 3" wider at 17" vs the 14" width of the RCF. This makes the base more stable. I also noticed the voice coil of the FBT is 3" vs the 2.5" of the RCF. The FBT also has a higher published peak SPL by 4 dB.

As much as possible I center cluster my RCF 702AS-II subs. The good thing about being small is they can cluster easily, even when put on the floor on a non-raised performance area. When on their side, they are barely taller than the monitors. Which ever you go with, I'd center them as much as possible as it really does help the output and keeps the SPL more consistent throughout most venues than pole mounting.
Title: Re: FBT VN2000 or RCF HD10a + 702ASII?
Post by: Richard Penrose on March 16, 2020, 06:20:51 pm
Iíve been speaking to a few more people who have used both the FBT and RCF systems and they preferred the FBT VN2000. Similar experiences where they find the FBT has a little more output and vocal clarity.
Title: Re: FBT VN2000 or RCF HD10a + 702ASII?
Post by: Richard Penrose on April 13, 2020, 05:52:30 am
I own a pair of those subs and run them over RCF 310A's for the occasional small show. The setup does fine, but there is a significant consideration that may decide it for you. The RCF subs are so small and light that they do not make a very stable base for speakers of any significant size. I barely feel comfortable using the 310A's with my poles at the lowest pole setting, which isn't tall enough.

FBT subs are 7-8 lbs heavier and 3" wider at 17" vs the 14" width of the RCF. This makes the base more stable. I also noticed the voice coil of the FBT is 3" vs the 2.5" of the RCF. The FBT also has a higher published peak SPL by 4 dB.

As much as possible I center cluster my RCF 702AS-II subs. The good thing about being small is they can cluster easily, even when put on the floor on a non-raised performance area. When on their side, they are barely taller than the monitors. Which ever you go with, I'd center them as much as possible as it really does help the output and keeps the SPL more consistent throughout most venues than pole mounting.

This is a very good point. Those RCF subs do look quite thin and tall and very light. I think I would be quite nervous using those as the HD10a tops are as wide as the subs and could topple over if someone bumped into them!? Iíve added a photos below to show this. The FBT system does look more stable.

Has anyone else on here had any experience with these systems? Iím particularly keen to hear from anyone who has used the FBT VN2000 for live music?

Title: Re: FBT VN2000 or RCF HD10a + 702ASII?
Post by: Lev Raber on April 13, 2020, 11:00:16 am
Has anyone else on here had any experience with these systems? Iím particularly keen to hear from anyone who has used VNT VN2000 for live music?
[/quote]

I'm a long time RCF and FBT user, probably since the first time FBT appeared on US market.  I still think Maxx4a cabinet is the best sounding 12"+1" speaker I used to have in my inventory. Very good B&C drivers with excellent amps inside.
Same standard goes for everything else FBT produced later on.

Regarding VN2000, I had a chance to listen to the system (it's Ventis 206A top with 112SA sub) and to my taste it was a bit "lightweight". Probably good enough for not aggressive DJ material or acoustic trio.
On other hand, Vertus CLA 206a over 118SA sub was a areal winner with overall better power and SPL. A bit larger than VN2000 system, but Vertus Line is a beast in very low profile format. Of course, it's not cheap.

I'm not sure what kind of material you plan to use it for, but if it is a basic band with drums, gtrs, keys and vocals, VN2000 won't be sufficient.
Plan ahead for future use requiring more power with more coverage for more people. I always do. 
Title: Re: FBT VN2000 or RCF HD10a + 702ASII?
Post by: Richard Penrose on April 13, 2020, 12:27:09 pm
Has anyone else on here had any experience with these systems? Iím particularly keen to hear from anyone who has used VNT VN2000 for live music?


I'm a long time RCF and FBT user, probably since the first time FBT appeared on US market.  I still think Maxx4a cabinet is the best sounding 12"+1" speaker I used to have in my inventory. Very good B&C drivers with excellent amps inside.
Same standard goes for everything else FBT produced later on.

Regarding VN2000, I had a chance to listen to the system (it's Ventis 206A top with 112SA sub) and to my taste it was a bit "lightweight". Probably good enough for not aggressive DJ material or acoustic trio.
On other hand, Vertus CLA 206a over 118SA sub was a areal winner with overall better power and SPL. A bit larger than VN2000 system, but Vertus Line is a beast in very low profile format. Of course, it's not cheap.

I'm not sure what kind of material you plan to use it for, but if it is a basic band with drums, gtrs, keys and vocals, VN2000 won't be sufficient.
Plan ahead for future use requiring more power with more coverage for more people. I always do.

Thanks. Iíve been using a single pair of DXR15ís for this. Iím surprised to hear the VN2000 wonít be sufficient compared to the DXR15ís?
I already own a pair of QSC KW181 subs but havenít used them for almost a year and a half as Im scaling down the jobs Iím doing and Iím not intending to lug around 18Ē subs anymore.
Most of the time Iím just running vocals, bass, keys and kick drum through the system. There are a couple of occasions where I may run a fully miked kit as a bit of reinforcement an not to have a massive pumping drum sound for large crowds.
Title: Re: FBT VN2000 or RCF HD10a + 702ASII?
Post by: Scott Holtzman on April 13, 2020, 12:50:08 pm
Thanks. Iíve been using a single pair of DXR15ís for this. Iím surprised to hear the VN2000 wonít be sufficient compared to the DXR15ís?
I already own a pair of QSC KW181 subs but havenít used them for almost a year and a half as Im scaling down the jobs Iím doing and Iím not intending to lug around 18Ē subs anymore.
Most of the time Iím just running vocals, bass, keys and kick drum through the system. There are a couple of occasions where I may run a fully miked kit as a bit of reinforcement an not to have a massive pumping drum sound for large crowds.


Where are you Richard?   We are in CLE and can get you a demo of any of the FBT stuff.  Very familiar with the CLA, and it is sounds great at a price point similar to the DZR's.  The VN2000's I have not heard. 
Title: Re: FBT VN2000 or RCF HD10a + 702ASII?
Post by: Richard Penrose on April 13, 2020, 04:01:31 pm

Where are you Richard?   We are in CLE and can get you a demo of any of the FBT stuff.  Very familiar with the CLA, and it is sounds great at a price point similar to the DZR's.  The VN2000's I have not heard.

Hi Scott,

I'm in the UK. Thanks for the offer though!
Title: Re: FBT VN2000 or RCF HD10a + 702ASII?
Post by: Lev Raber on April 13, 2020, 04:33:03 pm
Hey Richard,
I feel your pain and wish people still pay for your (and mine) services without lifting speakers.
At some point in my life I also started to scale down the jobs. But for what you described (4-5 vocals, keys, bass, guitar and a small amount of miked drums) it is impossible to properly reinforce your band with VN2000 system, if you run everything through it (without any backline at least).
It's always a limit to how much you can afford to "scale down" your sound system.
At some point your client won't see it, then won't hear it and, as a result, won't pay for it.
Just a thought.
Title: Re: FBT VN2000 or RCF HD10a + 702ASII?
Post by: Richard Penrose on April 14, 2020, 03:32:38 am
Hey Richard,
I feel your pain and wish people still pay for your (and mine) services without lifting speakers.
At some point in my life I also started to scale down the jobs. But for what you described (4-5 vocals, keys, bass, guitar and a small amount of miked drums) it is impossible to properly reinforce your band with VN2000 system, if you run everything through it (without any backline at least).
It's always a limit to how much you can afford to "scale down" your sound system.
At some point your client won't see it, then won't hear it and, as a result, won't pay for it.
Just a thought.

Hi Lev. Thanks for the reply. Have you heard the Yamaha DXR15ís next to the VN2000 system? I guess Iím very surprised to hear a single pair of Yamaha DXR15ís will outperform the FBT VN2000?
Title: Re: FBT VN2000 or RCF HD10a + 702ASII?
Post by: Lev Raber on April 14, 2020, 01:09:54 pm
Hi Lev. Thanks for the reply. Have you heard the Yamaha DXR15ís next to the VN2000 system? I guess Iím very surprised to hear a single pair of Yamaha DXR15ís will outperform the FBT VN2000?

No, I never had a chance to hear DXR15 and VN2000 side by side. But even if I did, it wouldn't be a fair comparison, because of completely different design of speakers.   

If you simply want to save your back, here is an idea for you:
DXR15 - 48lb
VN2000 - 78lb total (27lb top plus 51lb sub)

DXR15 on stick will outperform Ventus 206a, because it has better SPL and coverage (forget about small reflex 112SA sub, it will be little help in crowded room with people standing close to your system).
I'm not a fan of 15" tops in general, but that's what you have, right?

Now, tell me what can you live with in regard of weight of the tops? Because it feels like we go in circles.
 
I always prefer system design with small, reasonably powerful top and sub against single top. Ventus 206a by itself is too weak to compete with DXR15, especially in full range. It's much better with sub, but by my account still not sufficient for what you try to achieve. 

I myself use RCF N24a tops over different subs (depends on the music material) in rooms with 100 to up to 250 people.
I used in the past dual FBT CLA 206a tops per side with subs for wide coverage and it was sufficient for wedding band in rooms with up to 400 people.
When I invested in my tops the weight against power and quality was a big consideration. Technology is changing all the time and good sounding and relatively light speakers are more and more available.

Here is a good and a bad news: when you decide to quit your business you won't have to lift your speakers anymore, you'll have more time attending to your garden, but still have to lift 2-gallon watering can!
Title: Re: FBT VN2000 or RCF HD10a + 702ASII?
Post by: Richard Penrose on April 15, 2020, 02:36:46 am
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Whilst the Yamaha DXR15 specs say max spl 133db vs the FBT Ventis 206a 131db on paper, from my experience real world performance can be very different. For example, a while back I got to use a KV2 EX system running a pair of EX6 single 6Ē tops and a single EX1.2 12Ē sub and this system way outperformed the DXR15ís in every respect! The specs for the KV2 EX6 tops say maximum peak SPL 120db. Also, the EX1.2 sub says a maximum SPL of 127db. However, this system goes much louder than a pair of DXR15ís!
I realise that the KV2 system is more high end but still it shows that you need to take published specs with a pinch of salt and actually judge them by hearing the systems.

Iíve found FBT and RCFís specs tend to be a little more modest compared to many other manufacturers at this level. Iíve had both FBT, RCF and speakers from other manufacturers (EV, JBL, Yamaha) and whilst on paper the specs look lower than the other companies, they were louder and went deeper in real world performance.

Regarding the weight of the FBT VN2000, the subs are the heaviest part but still only weigh the same as the DXR15ís. If I went with these, I would add castors to these so I really wouldnít have to carry them at all. This means I would only be carrying the Ventis 206a tops which are almost half the weight of the DXR15ís which will make a big difference to me.

Saying all that, I havenít been able to compare the FBT VN2000 to the DXR15ís myself due to many reasons (including covid19) so I have no idea how they will perform. I have heard a single FBT VN2000 briefly and was very impressed with the sound, output and depth of bass. It totally exceeded my expectations for a system of this size/price!