1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

ElectroVoice (EV) ZLX-12P

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by lakefx, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. lakefx

    lakefx Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2012
    I didn't see any threads on here about the EV ZLX series at all, so I'll share my recent experience with the ZLX-12P.

    First, a little of my relevant background. I spent a few years working in live sound for a fairly large and well respected sound company in the late 90s. So, I have had a lot of exposure to good, very good, and excellent gear, although it is slightly dated.

    Fast forward to this year. The keyboard player, who owns the PA and provider rehearsal space, left the band a couple months ago. As the only member with enough space to fit everyone in one room, my house became the new rehearsal space. The guitarist owns a crappy 80w squire PA that we suffered with for a couple of weeks. I got sick of trying to keep the volume low enough to rehearse with the squire PA and decided to help out, so I did my research and bought a single EV ZLX-12P

    The ZLX-12P is a powered PA cab with a 12 and a horn with integrated 1000w amp. It weights something like 32 pounds, less than my BG250. I bought it over the Alto TS112A without having heard either for two reasons. First, EV has been around a long time and it doesn't look like they're going anywhere. Second, the ZLX-12P has a built in DSP. The DSP allows for you to choose between a number of EQ presets based on usage and placement. You can select 4 different uses (music, live, speech, club) and three different positioning presets (pole mount, monitor, or installed). It also lets you set a high pass crossover point for use with a sub. It helps that they cost about the same and with the GC return policy, there was no risk if I didn't like it.

    We only use the PA for vocals and acoustic guitar. The drummer keeps volume reasonable, but not too quiet, and the guitarist is not a gui****. We are, however, an original rock/funk band, so not a quiet little jazz combo.

    So far I have been really impressed with the ZLX-12P. The sound quality is excellent, very clear without being harsh. A single speaker is plenty of volume for rehearsal, which really surprised me. I was fully expecting to need a second to provide adequate volume.

    We took the ZLX-12P to a gig for the first time over this past weekend. The gig was a low volume outdoor gig at a private party. There were probably 30 people there and we just used it for vocals and acoustic guitar. I was pushing it fairly hard, but not to the point of clipping (don't do that!). It sounded fantastic and easily kept up with the drums, bass, and electric guitar! We got compliments on the sound throughout the night. I ran everything into an old Ramsa board and out to the ZLX-12P. I didn't even have to touch the EQ on the board. No system EQ, everything run dry (with the house nearby we got some natural reverb) and it just kicked!

    I know this is a long write up, but since I couldn't find much on these before buying mine, I figured this would be useful to someone. Is this as good as the QSC equivalent? I don't know, because I never auditioned those, but at half the price I wouldn't expect a single QSC to be twice as good for my usage.

    TLDR; I'm impressed with the volume and clarity of my EV ZLX-12P

  2. Thanks for the write-up, lake! I’ve been using the ZL1, an 8-inch passive version of the one you have, for the past couple of years as a bass monitor. Gives just enough low end to hear my bass, but naturally rolls out the lows so that I don’t mess up the house mix. Works great, and sounds great - I’ve been very happy with it.

    Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Administrator, Pedulla Club #45
    Administrator, Tobias Club
    Big Cabs Club #23
    My Rig: Stage and FOH Friendly

  3. cocobass


    Aug 25, 2006

    Would these speakers work as a dedicated bass guitar speaker system with (hopefully) great results? Just curious.....thanks!
  4. lakefx

    lakefx Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2012
    Only at low volume. The drivers are pretty low excursion and don't handle a lot of low end. You would certainly get better bang for your buck out of a lot of the bass combos in the same price range. Two and half years of use later, I still love my ZLX-12P, but I use it primarily for vocals, acoustic guitar, and occasionally for keys or violin. I would never consider this for full band reinforcement, much less as a dedicated bass amp for anything other than low volume practice.
  5. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Demoed and found them to be not really impressive. Granted they aren't priced like the k series. Their performance would disqualify them from some of my gigs and we aren't very loud. In my bamd everything is in the pa, for example very gig. The only things that change are the number of mics on the drums and if we drag a sub off the truck or not.

    I did a pretty serious test ride of the old EV Live X series. The powered 15 cabs. They were pretty dang good and their price was sharp. For me they were colored in a way I didn't care for. Low end flab... I could have dialed it out with some eq'ing but that is not where I prefer to start. Still, they seemed to me the best option other than the K series.

    A pair of K12's in bags is a little over $1400 delivered. You get a 6 yr warranty. That doesn't seem like a huge hurdle for a working band.

    In my mind the K series stuff pretty much defines the category. It will be inter sting to see what is announced at Namm this year. The K series has been around quite a while now and it hasn't really changed. Maybe another player will step up with something that isn't just a cosmetic improvement. I personally would love to see some affordable line array gear... Not that I can afford it this year ...
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2016
  6. cocobass


    Aug 25, 2006
    Thank you!
  7. It doesn't surprise me that one speaker is enough. With even the most basic 12" vocal cabinet I would hope to get to a decent level by itself. Feedback should be an issue before you ever max out on volume.

    When I used to rehearse with a way too loud drummer and my sole aim was highest gain before feedback, the way I did it in rehearsals with supplied rubbish pa was by only running one speaker for the lead vocal. Less to worry about causing feedback and was always loud enough.