I’m sure that some of our readers, especially many of the veteran DJs, are familiar with the Spanish loudspeaker manufacturer, D.A.S. Audio. Based in Valencia, D.A.S. launched nearly 45 years ago, ostensibly to supply sound to Spain’s burgeoning discotheque scene.
Of course, as late-night hotspots continue to dot the country, especially in massive tourist Meccas like Ibiza and Barcelona, the company is still going strong. Its visibility isn’t nearly as high in the American pro-audio marketplace, but its Miami-based operation is working on that.
Accordingly, with the vast mobile market in mind, D.A.S. offers solutions beyond the club, like the Vantec 12A. So this month, we’re testing this bi-amped, powered system.
With its 12-inch woofer and 90-x-50 coverage horn, the Vantec 12A can be used by mobile DJs as the main system in medium-sized venues, or as a very high-output DJ-booth monitor. Bigger brothers in the active version of the Vantec series include: the 15A 2-way with a 15-inch woofer; the 215A 3-way with double-15-inch woofers; and 18A with an 18-inch subwoofer.
The Unit: The internally braced dual-bass reflex port speaker enclosure is made from birch plywood with a tough ISO-flex protective coating and heavy-gauge protective, perforated steel frame. The 12-inch woofer has a beefy 3-inch diameter voice coil, a large, vented pole piece in the magnetic structure for cooling, healthy cast aluminum frame, and a heavy ferrite magnet.
High frequencies are handled by the M-28 compression driver with 1-inch exit, offering excellent performance. The ferrite-magnet compression driver has a 1-inch exit to the 90-x-50 pattern heroically ribbed plastic horn.
Power & Levels: The amplifier is rated at 1,500 watts peak power, but no serious power rating. The built-in amp boasts large-finned heat sinks (no fan is needed) with high-grade circuit boards. The maximum sound level the Vantec 12A can reach is 134 at 1 meter, which is serious enough.
Interface: For Input connectors, 2 x Female XLR; for Loop Thru: 1 x Male XLR; and for AUX: 1-x-3.5 mm (1/8-inch).
Weight & Dimensions: While the amp is a lightweight, bi-amp, Class D design with switch mode power supply (SMPS), the ferrite woofer brings the weight up to 46 pounds. Nonetheless, with its reasonable dimensions (24- x 15- x 14.8-inches), each unit remains manageable enough for one person to carry. Additionally, the enclosure is equipped with a pole-mount socket with dual angles, rigging points and two recessed carrying handles. It should also be noted that the unit’s padded cover is 20-mm thick, about four times the industry standard, according to D.A.S. Audio.
Processing & More: Then there is the user-definable DSP with LCD screen. Sophisticated digital Finite Impulse Response (FIR) filters are used in the signal processing. User-configurable presets, high-pass filter and EQ modes, and gain control are achieved by way of a rotary-knob interface and LCD screen on the rear of the cabinet. The onboard presets include Live, Dance, Vocals, Bass Boost and Monitor modes; but allow you to stack the 3-band EQ on top for even more flexibility.
The Vantec series also allows users to wirelessly stream music from any mobile device with a separate input level control for wireless operation. For normal stereo wireless operation, one Vantec 12A acts as the master and the second the slave (second channel), making it one of the only professional HD wireless speakers on the market to allow stereo configurations.
For setups where the speakers may be unevenly placed from the dancefloor or focus area, there is also an onboard delay allowing the user to delay one speaker back to the distance of the other for a more even coverage of the venue. Plus, the Standby feature helps save on electricity when audio is not preset for a set amount of time.
Listening: The bottom line here is that the Vantec 12A can belt out decent levels and, on acoustic program materials, you get clear, balanced sounds with excellent octave-to-octave balance. Whether you require such a system for mobile-DJ work or booth-monitor duty, the Vantec 12A ($999 MAP) will do the business for you.
If you have any questions for Sounding Off, please send them firstname.lastname@example.org.