The What: Harman Professional Solutions has announced its JBL VTX A8 dual 8-inch line array loudspeaker and companion B18 single 18-inch subwoofer, which bring JBL Professional’s flagship VTX A Series technology to compact solutions for small- to mid-size rental and installed applications.
The VTX A8 combines proprietary JBL transducers and latest-generation high-frequency waveguide acoustic design to provide efficiency and 110 degrees of horizontal coverage, while the companion VTX B18 is JBL Professional’s next-generation, compact, and lightweight subwoofer, designed to extend the low frequency response of full range JBL VTX systems below 30Hz.
The What Else: Harman says the VTX A8;s next-generation transducers and physical design refinements were custom-engineered by JBL to integrate more drivers into a smaller, lighter cabinet for a compact footprint, while still maintaining high output and sonic consistency with the VTX A-Series family.
The VTX A8’s 8-inch neodymium low-frequency woofer is based around JBL’s four-generation Differential Drive technology, featuring a dual-voice coil, dual-gap configuration that is designed to maximize excursion, power handling, and sensitivity. Midrange drivers are integrated into JBL’s patented Radiation Boundary Integrator (RBI) for a seamless transition across each band and maximum transducer density. And VTX A8 integrates two instances of the JBL 2423K 2-inch compression driver found in the larger VTX A12. The innovative JBL 2423K driver combines the compression drive, phasing plug and line array waveguide in a single part, which provides increased accuracy and sensitivity, along with lower distortion and lighter weight.
“We created the VTX A8 loudspeaker and B18 subwoofer to meet the diverse sound reinforcement needs of production companies, rental houses, theatres and houses of worship, and for anyone needing front fills, side arrays or other auxiliary support for large-scale VTX systems,” says George Georgallis, Solutions Manager, Tour Audio and Performing Arts, HARMAN Professional Solutions. “Both the VTX A8 and the B18 were engineered from the ground up to provide big-system JBL sound in flexible, compact components.”
The VTX B18 features JBL’s new 2288 single 18-inch woofer engineered for improved linearity and a wider dynamic range. The B18 incorporates JBL’s patented SlipStream double-flared exponential low-frequency port design to improve airflow and reduce audible turbulence even at maximum excursion.
The B18 shares the industrial design of the JBL’s VTX A-Series products and has the same width and suspension hardware as the VTX A8, allowing the two products to be used together in a variety of flown or ground-stacked configurations.
The Bottom Line: Both the VTX B18 and VTX A8 adopt the signature VTX A Series full-face powder- and zing-coated grille design, which protects components from extreme conditions and contributes to a high Ingress Protection rating (IP55); grilles can be finished in a variety of colors to suit fixed installations.
The VTX B18 and VTX A8, together with A12 and A12W loudspeakers, Crown i-Tech HD amplifiers, and JBL Performance Manager Software, give audio professionals a toolset for designing a sound system for any scale rental, performing arts, or fixed install application.
The JBL A8 and B18 will be available from Harman distributors worldwide in September, 2018.