Issue 62 Nov/DEC 2013 | £3.00

www.promobile.org.uk

£
IN THE

DJ Elevation

BLEAK MIDWINTER

RICH
DJ

£

£

POOR DJ

REVI...
REVIEWED
Proel V15A
Active
Speakers
By Stu McLaren
Recently I have been lucky enough to lay
my hands on a wide variety of ...
powered 12” equivalents or
taken the passive route to
achieve a professional sounding PA system. Finally, with the
V15As, ...
family on the back table can’t
hear the music properly! This is
down to the physics of how air
is moved and manipulated by...
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Proel V15A Review by Pro Mobile magazine

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Proel V15A Review by Pro Mobile magazine
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Proel V15A Review by Pro Mobile magazine

  1. 1. Issue 62 Nov/DEC 2013 | £3.00 www.promobile.org.uk £ IN THE DJ Elevation BLEAK MIDWINTER RICH DJ £ £ POOR DJ REVIEWED REVIEWED REVIEWED PIONEER XDJ-R1 PROEL V15A ACTIVE SPEAKER WIFLY BAR QA5 & RGBW8C
  2. 2. REVIEWED Proel V15A Active Speakers By Stu McLaren Recently I have been lucky enough to lay my hands on a wide variety of loudspeakers, both active and passive. I find it amazing how subtle differences, in both aesthetic design and included technology, can make one pair sound far superior to another, despite seeming almost identical at first glance. I think it is fair to say that Proel is not a brand that is usually associated with mobile DJ sound systems, in fact some readers may not even have heard of the company. However this Italian based operation has a rich heritage in professional audio. This has been used to create the new ‘V’ range, which are specifically targeted at the mobile DJ market. The 600W V15A powered speakers are the flagship of the V series, with lesser powered 10” and 12” versions also available. I was excited to take the V15As out for a test run for two specific reasons. Firstly, of course, so that I could compose this review and deliver informative information to you guys about Proel’s new product. But, secondly, because I am also in the market and personally looking to upgrade my current 12” 400w powered speakers. It may come as no surprise to readers who are also weighing up their options that I hadn’t even considered Proel previously. Ignorant perhaps, I had no idea what the company might have to offer in the loudspeaker domain so I was enthusiastic to find out what the V15As have to offer. 76 Pro Mobile V is for ‘Vicious’ ‘V for Value’ is Proel’s marketing slogan for the V range, but I’d suggest V is actually for ‘Vicious’ in this case. This is not a word often used to describe a speaker, let alone anything in the music realm other than a slang term for a dubstep bass line perhaps. However, with its distinctive Italian-designed shell, not too dissimilar to that of a stealth bomber, I think that ‘vicious’ is the perfect word for describing the V15A and its looks are just the beginning of its ferocity! Before I move on to the V15A’s performance I want to discuss the design a little further. I’m sure that many readers will agree with my assessment that generally 15” active speakers have been deemed too big and too heavy to be useful to a mobile DJ. Although all of us would go wobbly at the knees for the extra power and deeper bass response, many performers have settled for lower cont Proel V15A Active Speaker £350.00 SSP www.proel.co.uk proel v15a Active speakers
  3. 3. powered 12” equivalents or taken the passive route to achieve a professional sounding PA system. Finally, with the V15As, it seems technology has caught up with the size of my car boot and not only do they fit comfortably, with room to spare, but they are only a fraction larger than my current 12” cabs! The new SMPS (Switch Mode Power Supply) technology used in the V15As makes them miraculously lighter as well, a mere 18kg to be precise. As if this wasn’t enough to win you over already, Proel have incorporated no less that three handles into the Stealth Bomber style casing, which will keep even the most fashion conscious audience content with your new suave, Italian styled stage pieces. I also must emphasise how effective and well balanced the top ‘luggage’ handle is. So much so, that I easily managed to carry the pair of V15As up a narrow staircase for a recent gig. The handles on each side of the speaker also make the units very maneuverable, especially when wrestling them out of a tightly packed vehicle for example. 78 Pro Mobile Let’s return now to my ‘vicious’ description of the speakers, this time thinking in terms of performance. Sound engineers and audiophiles out there will most likely be wondering what I am talking about when I keep using the word ‘vicious’, so let me try to explain. The V15As perform very much like a Lamborghini, brute force and raw power with a sense of danger and excitement at the same time. It feels, and sounds, like every electric pulse travelling through every chip, on every circuit board is trying to squeeze every decibel of sonic power through the 2-way vented system. The sound is really quite impressive! The sound that escapes the V15A compares with high-end nightclub systems that I have heard in terms of boldness, while reminding me of highend recording studio monitors when it comes to clarity. They are phenomenally accurate across the full frequency range and have a sound which compliments modern electronic dance and pop music perfectly. A deep, gutsy, warm bass sound is emitted, which I wasn’t expecting after reading the spec sheet and finding that they only respond as low as 45Hz. The clarity and sharpness at the high end is also impressive and by far the best I have heard from any 15” point source loudspeaker. Speaking extremely critically, it may even be slightly too sharp. It may seem almost unnatural to hear the high-end frequencies so clearly and accurately for anyone who is not familiar with a recording studio environment. All this extraordinary performance may have something to do with the V15A’s analogue signal processing, which no doubt will spark the old ‘Analogue vs.Digital’ debate amongst audiophiles. In this case you can unquestionably hear the analogue warmth and crispness which drives the V15A well ahead of any of its competitors. It does, however, seem like the mid-range frequencies have been sacrificed marginally to achieve this exemplary sound which replicates music so exquisitely. Of course, speech is clearly audible through the V15As but there are much better options out there for vocally orientated performers. However, even if the V15As were used for such an application, they do feature 2-band EQ controls for high and low frequencies which should allow them to be tailored accordingly. It’s obvious that Proel has used design and sound engineering experts to create these speakers and the results are not just evident in the clarity and balance as the V15As also have a fantastic throw. They managed to maintain a high level of volume at a good 30m away from the stage when I used them in a large function hall. More impressive was the way in which the V15As disperse the sound. You have probably noticed that sometimes when doing a sound check certain areas of a room sound louder, quieter and generally different from others. If you haven’t noticed, the lady on the second table who keeps telling you to turn it down certainly has, even though the proel v15a active speakers
  4. 4. family on the back table can’t hear the music properly! This is down to the physics of how air is moved and manipulated by your loudspeakers; it’s also the reason why some companies can charge £1000s for speakers which appear on the outside to look the same as yours! This is where the V15A’s vicious stealth-like design becomes a work of scientific art! As previously mentioned, these speakers look like they could drop bombs and they do just that sonically on the dance-floor. But more importantly, for speeches and background music, the V15A’s outer shell design distributes sound beautifully across both the horizontal axis and the vertical axis. The overall sound is also isolated from surrounding areas due to the rubber feet on the speakers. This not only stops annoying vibration on the dance-floor or stage, but also protects the underside of your investment. One feature that I found particularly interesting was the inclusion of a front LED which displays when the speaker is clipping or at its limit. It can be turned off for mobile functions, however for a bar or club installation this could be very useful to prevent guest DJs from pushing the system too hard. Regardless of what input signal is delivered, the V15A’s internal circuitry has sophisticated electronic limiters which prevent it from releasing any distorted sound even at maximum volume. Each V15A has 4 x M10 flying points, as well as a standard speaker stand slot, which makes them ready for installation. They are also linkable via XLR and have a combination XLR/jack input making them very versatile. Due to the casing having two symmetrical wedge angles at the rear, the V15As can also be used for wedge monitors, although I don’t believe that they were primarily designed for this and there are wedges out there. Friendly Fire Physics suggests that with every action comes an equal and opposite reaction. This is often true when it comes to DJ equipment; where a product has strengths, these are usually also weaknesses. Therefore you are probably expecting me to list the negatives for the V15As however, truth be told, I’m struggling! As with every review I write, I endeavored to find something not quite perfect but when I heard how much the V15As cost, less than £700 for a pair, I was astonished! My only possible negative thought is that as they are ultra-lightweight and have polypropylene casings they may not soldier through a tough, busy mobile gigging career in the way a heavier, bulkier cab might. However, please do not think that I am in any way saying that the build quality isn’t up to scratch, because it most certainly is! The only competition that comes remotely close to how well the V15As perform as a DJ speaker would perhaps be the JBL EON range, which are double the price, or possibly the dB Technologies Opera series, which again are a lot more expensive. There are better wedge monitors out there and these are definitely not the best for pure vocal applications but if you are a mobile DJ I can honestly say look no further! I won’t be letting go of these test units without a fight, the V15As are by far the best 15” active loudspeakers I have experienced and had the pleasure of using for a long time. Proel is now a predatory name to look out for in the DJ loudspeaker market and the V15As are out now and equipped to drop dancefloor bombs! “The clue is in the name” Supplier of replacement mirrors and dichroics across the globe www.lightingmirrorman.com /lightingmirrorman

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