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REVIEWED
SPONSORED BY
FBT VN2000
Bundling together a pair of Ventis 206A full range active cabinets with a pair of Subline 112SA compact active subs, FBT has designed the VN2000 package to be the ultimate mobile DJ system. So, when I was given the opportunity to take it out for a spin over the festive season I really couldn’t say no...

When I think about the speaker systems I’ve owned over the years, I’ve always been a fan of trying to squeeze as much sound out of the smallest boxes possible. Maybe this is down to laziness, but I’m certainly not keen on the idea of hoicking a 15” full-range speaker up on to a stand! I think it’s partly down to the parties I went to as a child, that classic disco look of two huge speakers on sticks just didn’t work for me. They always looked like they were about to tip over! If I think back to my first ever set of speakers, a pair of JBL TR-125s, I may also have been mentally scarred! At almost 30kg per box, you needed a few sessions down at the gym on a regular basis just to carry them around!

These days, speakers appear in all sorts of different shapes and sizes to satisfy the varying needs of different applications. Technological advances have also made speakers incredibly efficient, therefore for the average 120-person-party, big speakers are really not necessary anymore.

FBT first showcased the VN2000 at a dealer open day last year. The word on the street at the time was that a new range of Sublines were about to hit the market and FBT were looking to team them up with the new Ventis range to create some killer mobile systems, and that certainly turned out to be the case!

The VN2000 is built around four boxes: a pair of Ventis 206As and a pair of Subline 112SAs, bundled together with a pair of variable-height connecting poles. This makes for a powerful full-range mobile PA system that also offers quite a bit of flexibility to be broken down into smaller setups if that’s what a particular event or situation requires.

The Ventis 206A is an extraordinary active speaker featuring a pair of 6.5” low frequency woofers and a 1” B&C high frequency compression driver arranged in a vertical configuration. It’s a good, solid box made out of 15mm birch ply finished in a scratch-resistant paint and features a full-face grille. At just 12kg, it’s incredibly easy to move around using the integrated handle on the back. You also get a number of M10 suspension points, so it’s perfect for permanent installation, as well as a 35mm top-hat underneath for mounting on the included sub pole or a standalone tripod.

Around the back you’ll find the amp module that almost spans the entire width of the cabinet and offers 700W RMS of low frequency amplification and 200W RMS of high frequency. As with the rest of the Ventis range, the LF is Class D while the HF is Class H/AB.

Power is delivered by a powerCON TRUE1 connector and an AC loop out is also included so you can daisy-chain the power for another cabinet. I actually used this output socket to power an LED par can that I attached to the top of the speaker!

Input-wise, you get a single XLR / ¼-inch jack combi socket that can accept both a LINE or MIC level signal and a pair of RCA phono connections to allow, for example, an external MP3 player to be directly connected. Both inputs have a dedicated level control, which means that a mic and background music source can be connected and mixed without the need for a separate mixer. An XLR output socket is also provided to allow the audio signal to loop out to another cabinet.

The built-in DSP – accessed via a large backlit LCD display and corresponding turn-and-push control dial – allows you to fine-tune the sound to your own liking. It also allows you to dial-in a delay, which is useful for conference work, as well as active a Hi-Pass filter. This means that you can either run the box full-range, so it’s useful as a discreet cabinet for wedding ceremonies or speeches, or allow it to concentrate all of its power on the hi/mid frequencies when you have the sub connected.

Speaking of subs, the Subline 112SA active cabinet is the work of a genius! The band-pass design of its predecessor, the 12SA, has been updated to a more traditional bass-reflex configuration, resulting in a smaller and lighter cabinet. Some would argue that a front-firing box like this really needs to be a lot bigger, with chunky drivers, in order to get really low, but that’s certainly not the case with the 112SA.

The 112SA is built around a 12” woofer with a 2.5” coil, offering a huge amount of punch and high SPL from an incredibly compact design. The amp module offers 700W RMS and has a built-in DSP with eight different pre-sets. You also get an 8-step delay control and a Phase push button.

Two XLR input sockets (a stereo pair) are provided alongside corresponding outputs and a push button to activate or bypass the variable High Pass filter. This means that, for smaller gigs, you can run the VN2000 as a 3-box system with your mixer connected to a single sub feeding the two top boxes in stereo.

Looks wise, the sub matches the 206A perfectly, with its birch-ply cabinet finished in the same scratch-resistant paint and full-face grille. Two ergonomic handles on the side make it easy to lift and, at just 23kg, it really IS an easy lift!

Power comes in on a conventional IEC with no loop-out provided. This bugs me a little, because if it offered the same TRUE1 in and out as the Ventis top you could power both cabinets from a single mains supply. The only Subline in the range that does feature TRUE1 is the new Subline 118SA. To be honest though, this is a tiny negative when you consider how the unit excels in so many other areas.

On the road, I used the VN2000 system in a conventional-style with two boxes either side of my DJ booth. Sound-wise, the Ventis 206A and Subline 112SA really shine as a combo. The system provides plenty of power as well as good clarity and warmth. The 206A is certainly a remarkable box, although I did find that my ProMaxx 114A was a little bit brighter – although this is certainly nothing that an EQ tweak can’t fix.

The VN2000 really excelled, however, when I stacked the two Subline 112SAs on top of each other under my booth, taking full advantage of a trick known as bass-coupling. The amount of bottom end was staggering, way beyond more than I was expecting. This really confirmed to me that the VN2000 is clearly, without any reasonable doubt, an incredible system offering an amazing amount of flexibility to suit a number of different applications.

It’s perfect for quiz hosts, conference work, ceremonies, speeches and events from 0 to 200 people and that, for me, makes it a perfect mobile DJ system. I acknowledge that this is by no means a cheap option – and it may be outside the budget of some DJs – but I do believe that it offers good value considering what is included within this package.

I absolutely recommend you go to a dealer and check it out!
Pro Mobile equipment reviews are sponsored by insure4music.

The full review can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 88, Pages 78-80.
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