I have been very happy with the quality of my Mackie PA system for my Disco Roadshow for the past 13 years or so, with my SRM 450 V1’s and a SRM 1550 Sub Bass cab. I tended to not need the sub bass for most weddings and functions as the 450’s were more than enough for most venues and for the larger venues or for gigs with audiences of over, say, 200 people, out came the sub bass.
Anyway, the time had come to re-look at my sound and to research all the new products and technological advances out there with a view to upgrading my PA. After looking around at all my options, it became apparent that I was only going to get what I paid for, as is a general rule in life anyway. Did I want top quality and stick with what I had, or was I able to improve on my system and the sound quality that I already had, and look for ‘awesome’, but keep the physical size reasonable? My decision ultimately came down to 2 options, the RCF Evox 8 or the FBT Vertus CS 1000? These are 2 superbly designed compact and elegant speaker systems with 12” subwoofers and a quirky looking vertical satellite array of full range drivers in a neat housing providing the mid-range and top end to complement the sub bass.
The design of both is awesome on both systems. With the FBT, the vertical array speaker, tilt adaptor and stand pole that is in 2 sections and screws apart, all fit neatly and locks inside the rear of the sub bass cab via a superb push button system. The RCF is a very similar neat and compact design with brilliant portability, but the adjustable pole packs in the outer of the transit bag and not the sub as with the FBT. No big deal and both equally brilliant in design. The power rating of the RCF’s are 750 watts each, whilst the FBT’s are rated at 1000 watts each, so, more power from the slightly larger sub bass cab of the FBT CS 1000 made from birch plywood. So, to the test and a trip to the DJKit showroom in Newbury, because the only way to decide and make the comparison was to get these side by side and play the same music source through both, as by simply listening to them individually, a decision could not be made and the quality of each system just could not be compared.
For me, RCF had the name and profile as a speaker company, but I was also aware of everyone in the mobile disco industry raving about FBT as a company and particularly about the Vertus CS 100’s. RCF for me initially had the edge as a company with more profile in the speaker world and because the cab was slightly smaller but still 12”. On listening to them together but spaced apart in the showroom, I felt that the top end of the sound produced by the RCF was slightly better than the FBT albeit only marginally and hardly noticeable. The FBT speaker has 8 pre-set equalisation options that are perfectly matched for the speaker and give a bit of versatility for options based on, perhaps the acoustics of the venue or individual needs and the RCF’s lacked this. These are, Original, Live, Vocal, Loudness, DJ, DJ Boost, Monitor and Wall. However, the rich clean sub bass produced by the FBT combined with the crisp clean full range satellite speaker absolutely blitzed the RCF and this, combined with the power output of 1000 watts compared to 750 watts, easily made up my mind for me. They absolutely blew me away and although parting with a large amount of money is never easy, for me, this was a no-brainer.
So, to my first function using this superb PA system, a wedding no less for around 100 guests in a medium sized venue. I couldn’t wait to crank these up and listen to different genres of music at different volumes to get a feel of what they could do. The first thing I noticed was the levels that I normally worked at through my Pioneer DDJ SX2 mixer controller did not need to be set so high, obvious really when you consider that I was now using a 2kilowatt PA system compared to my previous 900 watt Mackie system (without sub bass). However, my biggest observation was the fact that I was hearing sounds in the production of my music that I had never heard before. I was so used to what I had and what I thought was perfect, that I must admit I was flabbergasted to think that for all these years when I thought I had the perfect sound, advancements in technology and build quality would give me and my audience a much richer cleaner sound through the whole music spectrum which my new FBT Vertus CS 1000’s have now given me.
Setting up and packing away after the wedding was
simplicity and quickness itself due to the brilliantly engineered design and
although these are quite heavy for their size at just over 25 kilogrammes,
which is to be expected when you consider the weight of the birch plywood ply
cabinets and this material is key to the rich bass tone, they are perfectly
balanced to lift and carry easily with lovely strong and big handles that make these a doddle to carry a
distance or upstairs and because of the size and cuboid shape, they pack easily
into my vehicle and take minimal space for the power that they produce. Incredible
sound quality, these must be heard to be believed. Did I also tell you about
the fantastic 5 Year Warranty with these? Decent deal from FBT.