Held at the Twin Cities’ largest live performance venue, the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, the annual KDWB Jingle Ball kicked of the holiday season with big name entertainment and big sound to match, delivered by Electro-Voice X-Line line arrays and other components deployed by local production company Eternal Systems, Inc.
The early-December event featured a host of top pop acts including Jordin Sparks, Pitbull, Colbie Caillat, Boys Like Girls, 3oh!3, Justin Bieber, Jay Sean, and local rising stars Owl City.
Eternal were among the first companies to take delivery of an X-line line array loudspeaker system when it was launched in 2000. In fact, they have the system used on the first major tour with X-Line – Diana Ross & the Supremes.
Eternal’s EV spec for the Jingle Ball included main arrays of 12x Xvls and 2x Xvlt per side; 4x Xvls per side (side fills, upper balcony); 4x XLC-127 per side (side fills, upper balcony); and 4x XLC-127 per side (front fills). The system was powered by EV P3000 amplifiers and processed via EV NetMax N8000-1500 with FIR-Drive
“This was the first show we have done at the Xcel Energy Center,” says Virgil Slinde of Eternal, “and the X-Line made a seamless transition from its stock-in-trade work for us at outdoor festivals and events to one of the area’s largest indoor venues.
“We’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of our X-Line system over the years, and adding NetMax with FIR filers to the mix has really given it a new lease on life. It always sounded really warm; now everything we liked about X-Line sonically has been enhanced, and all with an incredible level of versatility and control.”
Virgil estimates he’s gained about 3 dB output since adding NetMax with FIR-Drive to the equation: “I used the rig all summer long, with engineers pounding on our rig continuously, and there was no damage to any of the speakers.
“The other thing about NetMax is that our amps used to run pretty hot when we were pushing them hard, but now with they run cool the entire time. We don’t get anywhere near the heat buildup we used to. I think that plays a huge part in extending the life of your loudspeakers, not having all that excess heat.”
“The thing that surprised me was how loud the crowd was when Justin Bieber was performing,” he concludes. “I’m not kidding; it hurt my ears how loud those 18,000 kids were screaming. Even so, you could still hear him over the roar of the crowd. It cut through all of that. These are big, powerful boxes, but the fine-tuning FIR-Drive gives us is amazing.”