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Tannoy VQ Net 60 and VNet 218DR

May 6, 2010 12:00 PM, By John McJunkin

A loudspeaker and subwoofer combination that yields a four-way system for sound-reinforcement applications.

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Having established that it’s plausible for a very small crew (even just two people) to transport and set up these loudspeakers, the remaining question is sound quality. For lack of a less hyperbolic term, they sound stunning. I listened to a broad array of sources, and I was frankly blown away with the quality of the reproduction. The low end was full but not tubby; it was also very tight. Mids were clean and not the least bit harsh. Highs were extremely realistic and airy, with no audible brittleness, even at high SPLs. I test-drove the system in a large parking lot, and deliberately evaluated the subjective quality of the output at low SPL. Every element of the mix was clear at low SPLs, even at substantial distances from the loudspeakers. One subjective test I like to leverage is to determine if the loudspeakers have the resolution to reveal the inadequacies of 128kbps MP3 resolution, which these loudspeakers easily accomplished. The digital artifacts of low-resolution MP3 compression were very much evident listening to these loudspeakers. The Analog Devices Sharc DSP operates at 96kHz/24-bit resolution, and it sounds great. The EQs and filters are useful, as is the delay. The internal D-class amplifiers are matched with the drivers, and they sound excellent. The response to my initial question as to whether Tannoy could possibly translate the quality of its studio monitors to sound-reinforcement loudspeakers is absolutely yes.

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I’ll go out on a limb and say that these are among the very best point-source sound-reinforcement loudspeakers I’ve ever heard. They’re easy to set up (if a little on the large and heavy side), and they feature useful network telemetry and DSP control. The bang for the buck is tremendous here. Any contractor who frequently needs high fidelity and high SPL on a portable basis should seriously consider the Tannoy VQ Net line.

John McJunkin is the principal of Avalon Podcasting in Chandler, Ariz. He has consulted in the development of studios and installations, and he provides high-quality podcast-production services.

Product Summary

  • Company: Tannoy
  • Product: VQ Net 60 and VNet 218DR
  • Pros: Exceptional fidelity, high SPL, clever transport and rigging, excellent pattern control.
  • Cons: No audio without network, not movable by one person.
  • Applications: Portable or install uses in small to mid-sized venues.
  • Price: $27,156 (system as evaluated); $7,583 (VQ Net 60, each); $5,995
  • (VNet 218 DR, each)


VQ Net 60

  • Frequency response: 115Hz-23kHz (-3dB)
  • Dispersion: 60 degrees conical (-6dB)
  • Maximum SPL: LF: 134dB avg. (140dB peak); MF/HF: 138dB avg. (144dB peak)
  • Damping factor: 120 (ref. 8Ω)
  • Distortion: <0.05% @ 1kHz, -3dB output
  • Input impedance: 5.6kΩ unbalanced, 11.2kΩ balanced
  • Amplifier output: LF: 800W; MF/HF: 800W (limited to 400W)
  • Dimensions: 36.42”x”24.41”x”19.76” (HxWxD)
  • Weight: 176lbs.

VNet 218 DR

  • Frequency response: 31Hz-600Hz
  • Maximum SPL: 137dB avg. (143dB peak)
  • Damping factor: 120 (ref. 8Ω)
  • Distortion: <0.05% @ 1kHz, -3dB output
  • Input impedance: 5.6kΩ unbalanced, 11.2kΩ balanced
  • Amplifier output: 2500W program
  • Enclosure volume: 130 gallons
  • Dimensions: 27.56”x41.34”x33.46” (HxWxD)
  • Weight: 232lbs.

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