To begin, please allow me to offer this disclaimer. I am a guy that uses gear, especially P.A gear. In fact, it is the tool of my trade. I set it up, I break it down and repeat the next day. I am not a guy that can tell you exactly what the wattage of something is, it's peak SPL, what it does at 8, 4, or 2 ohms, etc. I can only relate how something sounds to me, how easy it is to use, and how heavy it is at the load out. I am that kid in class learning about the industrial revolution who thinks to himself, "I like wearing jumpers, but I care not a monkey's how it's made."
As a young performer in New York many moons ago when Nirvana and Pearl Jam were break out acts, my band would alway demand EAW gear. It seemed the standard that any good sound engineer was using at the time. When I moved across the Pond, there was no EAW to demand. Sure, everyone heard of them, but no one had them so I was introduced to brands that came from France, Italy, the U.K, and Germany. I was, to say the least, incredulous that a good P.A system could come from any of these places, but to my surprise they did and still do make cracking P.A systems. In fact, for all my decade and a half in the U.K I have been a devotee of a particular French P.A manufacturer. Until now.
When a friend of mine was invited to a PROEL show in Birmingham I happened to clock that PROEL was distributing EAW and that they were unveiling their new Powered Range P.A gear toward conferences, small bands, or single Performers that need to sound like a band -like me. I was excited about this, as I am in the market for something new and active. Alas, my French system is magnifique', but there are too many bits and wires. However, I was not over enthused about EAW's offering because while I was sure it would sound great I thought the price of it would be something short of a new Audi.
My friend called me from the show to tell me that the REDLINE system really did sound terrific, but saving the best for last he told me that he would be bringing 2 demo systems down to Cornwall to introduce it to the area's sound engineers, local bands, holiday parks, and conference centres, but the best part was that they wanted me to demo the systems to show off what it does in a live application. That made me really happy.
My first impression of the REDLINES when they arrived was how austere they looked, but made very chic by the actual red lines - that are removable- on either side of the speakers. The other thing I noticed was that the wood seemed very thin and not the usual thick Baltic Birch used by the FRENCH and others. Further, the 18" bass cab is pretty big, maybe the size of 2 LS500's back to back. I was a bit gutted by this because it meant that something that big would be useless for a solo performer. However, Mike the PROEL rep who is less than half my size proceeded to pick up this subwoofer with ease and handed it over to me. It was incredibly light, as were the 15" and 12" Tops. The subwoofer seemed about the same weight as an LS500 if I had to guess.
While I knew they would be very good sounding cabs because they are EAW, I didn't expect just how good they actually sounded. They are simply the most musical powered small speaker system that I have ever heard. The sound reproduction was akin to boutique Near Fields, but having that something else for live. By themselves the 12" and the 15' inch to my ears sounded almost identical except that the 15"s handle quite a bit more low end, which is not the say AT ALL that the 12"s were lacking. I'm talking about pushing them to the wall in volume and bass in an empty unit to see where they fall apart and they didn't. Both speakers by themselves sounded amazing and only got louder. They didn't break up, burp, or creak. With the Subs added either pair are monsters, but very beautiful sounding monsters. However, at dinner/break volume levels the clarity and musicality of the REDLINES do not fade in the least. Further, the clever stacking system of the bass cabs eliminates bass completely from the stage and pushes it all out front. I had it explained to me and I nodded politely, but when it was demonstrated I was gobsmacked at how quiet the rear of the bins were and how the bass cranked out front.
Strapping on my guitar and cranking my tracks and mic I ran through much of my set playing everything from Wings, Pink Floyd, Oasis, Buddy Holly, and Prince. In every instance the REDLINES sparkled and quite frankly left me worried how I was ever going to play through my French system again. Club and Function bands will most certainly benefit from using the REDLINES. They will give the volume you need without driving the managers crazy with noise complaints.
Lastly, I know whomever is reading this is wondering what these cost and while I cannot give exact prices let's just say for what you would pay for a comparable L'acoustic's or Meyer system you will be getting a few thousand back buying the Redlines and buying a better system. As soon as I can I will own a REDLINE system of my own. L'acoustics, Meyer, D&B, and NEXO are about to have their bell rung because for the price, quality and ease of use (quite frankly Plug, Play and walk away) the EAW REDLINES will be giant slayers in the Pro Audio market..