Tony Hystek is the Managing Director of Action Sound, a full service production company with 25 years’ experience based in Homebush, Sydney. Peter Meredith is a sound technician and project manager with Action Sound.
Action Sound have invested in three TGX20s, and we’re about to double that. We bought them primarily to power our Electro-Voice X2 line array and X2 X12-128 subwoofers.
Each TGX20 is designed to power a quarter of an X2 system running six top boxes and two subs a side, and are the manufacturer recommended amps for the system. The X12-128 subs in particular are very high powered, and there’s only a few amps on the market that can provide the power they can consume. While the TGX20s are perfectly capable of running at 2 ohms, we’re running at 4.
Previously, we ran our X2 on Dynacord H5000 amps, which they’ve since discontinued. While the price difference between the TGX20 and the H5000 is not that great, the TGX20’s power output and feature set is far superior.
The new SONICUE control and monitoring software is another step up – it’s very simple to use compared to EV’s IRIS-Net, which came with the H5000s, and much more user-friendly.
I’d say the other major improvement besides sonic quality is ability to run a totally digital signal chain from desk to amp, while implementing remote control, steering, processing, and monitoring through the same network.
We’re using Dante with Yamaha desks and I/O boxes, and SONICUE runs through the same network without having to set-up a VLAN. The noise floor of the X2 has dropped dramatically, to the point where we’re sometimes not sure if it’s turned on if we’re not passing signal!
I found setting up the TGX20s out of the box to be essentially plug-and-play. We assign Dante to manage the system word clock, and use Dante Controller to patch everything in. I really appreciate that we don’t have to segregate SONICUE on its own VLAN.
We set up the redundant Dante port, analogue, and AES failovers for testing in our warehouse before deployment, and they all work perfectly. I like the fact you can select failover priority, and define how long the system waits before it switches over. I
In practice, the switchover in case of failure is seamless. Our torture testing determined a gap of maybe half a millisecond that you could only just hear if you were listening for it.
I have found the new SONICUE software much more user friendly than IRIS-Net. Where I used to take an hour to build a show file in IRIS-Net, I find SONICUE has reduced that to around 15 minutes. Its skin, layout, and GUI just makes more sense. It’s also got the flexibility to build files offline then transfer to the devices, or download the current settings from the amps and open it in the software.
While the full functionality is available in SONICUE, we still use the TGX20’s front panel touch screen a fair bit. We typically do this to quickly load speaker presets for the different rigs we send out, so it’s handy not to have to use a laptop.
I also use it when we run the X2 with different components, such as elements with 90 degree horizontal dispersion instead of 120 degrees, or switching between cardioid and super cardioid subwoofer presets.
Sound and Build Quality
The TGX20s are sonically impressive. It’s an open sound; clean, but with lots of grunt. There’s a real sense of space and headroom. Compared to the H5000s, the TGX20s push out way more power while taking up the same 2RU of rack space. They’re robust, only slightly heavier than their predecessors, and one person can still pick them up.
Despite being so high powered, they handle their heat perfectly. We have never seen a temperature overload warning appear in SONICUE, and that’s running three in one rack with just a little bit of spacing. They run extremely efficiently, with a decent built-in fan that pushes air effectively.
In terms of support, distributor Bosch have been great. We had all of our questions answered promptly by both phone and email, and they were both patient and understanding of our ‘user issues’ as we were learning the TGX and SONICUE platform!
CX Magazine – Dec 2019 Entertainment technology news and issues for Australia and New Zealand – in print and free online www.cxnetwork.com.au
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