Over the years, I have gotten into quite a few debates on the DJ forums about the use of subs at weddings. I’ve personally only ever used subs once at a wedding. That wedding had over 250 guests and was in a pretty large room. I never thought weddings needed to have chest-pounding bass and I’ve always been very happy with the bass from my full-range speakers.
From time-to-time, I have considered getting a sub or a pair of subs for weddings, but any that I looked at seemed like overkill for an average wedding with 125-150 guests. So, I was very intrigued when I heard about the ZXA1 sub from E-V.
While taking the subs out of their boxes, I couldn’t help but think that there was no way these little subs would have any sort of punch to them. They are super compact and very light, weighing in at 46 pounds a piece. It’s great for a sub to weigh 46 pounds, but it’s even more impressive for a powered sub to weigh in at 46 pounds.
EV describes sub’s outer covering as “textured paint” but it actually almost feels like it has been powder coated. I really like the texture and it seems like it would be very durable and withstand minor bumps; however I still think I would put a bag on it to keep it protected.
The ZXA1 is very easy to pick up with the handles on the side and isn’t overly wide or deep. So it isn’t awkward to pick up and move. The hole for the pole mount of the top is a nice touch too.
The connections and settings on the back include everything I expected—two inputs and two outputs, gain, and even a low end boost if you want to get a little extra thump.
Despite my skepticism on how good they would sound, I was still pretty excited about using them. After all, they are rated at 700 watts, so I kept thinking that they must be deceptively powerful despite their compact size. I was planning on using them at two weddings. The first wedding had close to 300 guests and was in a huge ballroom. The second wedding had about 150 guests and was in a smaller venue.
Following E-V’s recommendation, I ran XLR from my mixer to the subs and then from the subs to my tops. When plugging into my top speakers, I made sure to change them to their “with sub” setting. For this wedding, I ran the subs with two EV ELX112P speakers.
While doing my sound check, I couldn’t believe the difference. My system was pounding. It was nice, clean bass. While doing a walk around the room, I thought it sounded great. I played a few different types of music and thought everything sounded really good. I was getting truly excited for the guests to arrive and see what it sounded like with a room full of people.
Since I was using 12” top speakers, I put the ZXA1 subs under my table. They fit perfectly under a regular height six foot table and I still had some room on both sides of them for some additional storage.
As dancing got going and I cranked up the system, I saw just what these subs were capable of. I only had them turned up to about two o’clock but they sounded great. The dance floor was packed all night and the ZXA1 subs didn’t disappoint.
The next wedding I used them at had them paired with the ZXA1 tops. This was the wedding with about 150 guests and the venue was pretty small. The combination was perfect for this size wedding and this venue. I only had the subs set to about 12 o’clock and they filled the space well.
I was very impressed with the EV ZXA1 subs. After using them at the first wedding, it really got me thinking that I just might want to add a pair of these to my system. The best part about them is I feel like they match up well with both my 12” speakers as well as my 8” speakers. So whether I’m doing a small wedding or a large wedding, I have a complete system that would work well for either size wedding. Even though EV promotes these with the ZXA1 tops for a complete system, I think I actually prefer them with my EV ELX112P speakers.
Looking back at why I’ve never used subs at weddings in the past, I realized a major factor was that I have monster 18” subs that I used for school dances. I couldn’t hide them under the table like the ZXA1 subs. They also took up a ton more space in my truck—one of my subs is bigger than two of the ZXA1 subs! But the ZXA1 subs are compact, light, and sound great. So there isn’t any reason they can’t be used for even smaller events.
I think these subs would be perfect for DJs who provide their services for weddings, corporate events, private parties and other events. I even think they’d be ok for small school dances—maybe up to about 300-400 students. I love their portability, their weight and the amount of bass they put out, especially for their size. They will definitely be added to my gear wish list!
Filed Under: Issue #143, Sound, Weddings
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