Hands-On Review:Turbosound TXD-Series PA Speakers


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Turbosound TXD-Series PA Speakers

Rock royalty with a bourgeois attitude.

By Kelly Byrne


When it comes to live sound support, there aren't many names heavier than Turbosound. After years of being the system of choice for some of the biggest stars and venues on the planet, now everyone can get their hands on superior Turbosound via the new TXD Series, and I couldn't wait to be one of the first. Alas, while Musician's Friend couldn't supply me with a personal review set, they gave me the name of a local club with a fresh TXD-series install. I marked my calendar for a night when local modern rock dynamos Time Stood Still would be hitting the stage, anxious to hear what Turbosound would do for them.

 

A platinum reputation

You've heard Turbosound before, you just don't know it. As part of live sound's royalty they are favorites of premier system suppliers and audio logistics engineers such as Britannia Row. For years they have provided complete concert touring systems for artists such as Pink Floyd, Oasis, Randy Travis, Depeche Mode, Dire Straits, Foo Fighters, Iron Maiden, Duran Duran, Peter Gabriel, and The Chemical Brothers. Turbosound is the loudspeaker de rigueur for large outdoor festivals such as Glastonbury and Roskilde as well as legendary venues such as Madison Square Gardens. Their reputation for excellence in this field has given the company a desirable mystique and cult status.

 

Turbosound's unique, award-winning designs are developed using their experience in the large-scale touring market. State-of-the-art equipment and facilities are at the disposal of a highly-trained and creative engineering team-one of the best in the world. And Turbosound knows what it takes to stay at the top. They fund those crack engineering teams with a mountain of cash. Turbosound spends an industry-leading percentage of its sales revenue on R&D, resulting in year after year of innovative product releases.

 

Rocket-fueled sound
The TXD Series should be another notch on the belt of Turbosound. They are engineered to be successfully used in many different venues and applications, just like the rest of the Turbosound family. The optimally tuned enclosures are internally braced and feature interlocking, glued joints and choice placement of a few screws.

 

Ergonomic and comfortable handles make them easy to lift and carry, while the M10 threaded rigging points and polemount sockets make them easy to set up. The cabinets also receive a sexy (for PA cabinets, anyway) finish of durable, semi-matte, textured TurboBlue paint, a proven, roadworthy coating that looks cool. Powdercoated steel grilles provide protection during loading, travel, and unloading. The end result is a convenient, stylish, and light unit that's rigid and durable.

 

The two-way enclosures feature a reflex-loaded low-frequency driver and 1" high-frequency compression driver. The high-frequency driver and horn combo provide completely seamless sound coverage over a very wide area while the crossover provides bulletproof HF and LF distribution. The crossover also has a two-stage Thermal Overload Protection System (TOPS) to prevent driver damage while preserving a wide dynamic range. As a spike hits, a gradual and invisible compression manages the transient peak, preserving your sound and your speakers. Although TOPS is transparent at normal operating levels, it does a fantastic job in crunch time.

 

Turbosound hasn't left out the low-end, either. Their subwoofers give serious bass support to the two-way enclosures. Reflex-loaded LF drivers in tuned cabs move a lot of air and provide incredibly precise and devastating low-frequency reproduction. An internal low-pass crossover network combs out high frequency signals when used in conjunction with a TXD two-way enclosure, enabling a full-range system to be powered from just one amplifier channel without an external crossovers.

 

All the components used are designed and manufactured exclusively for Turbosound and are tested one by one prior to assembly. Once the units are together, Turbosound conducts a comprehensive computerized test of the speakers before they are listened to by a trained technician. The product you get is going to sound absolutely fantastic and all the testing and attention to detail means it will work the way it's supposed to day in and day out.

 

On the floor

With all this in mind, I slid past the bouncer and into the club. I was immediately impressed. Call me an easy sell or a pushover if you want, but the incredible precision and depth of sound emanating from that Turbosound setup spoke for itself. Deep, rich bass hit hard, but without the flat "thud" of most systems. Stacked on top were cascading layers of lush midrange frequencies that supplied expressiveness and sweetness. The high-frequencies rode this glorious mix like a king surveying his fiefdom, with an impressive airy quality that mingled beautifully amongst the other players on the soundstage.

 

The real deal-sealer though? I knew I was standing in the midst of sonic greatness when I could stand around the main floor and bar areas and have a decent conversation without screaming into the ear of the person next to me. Yes, it was loud. Yes, you could feel the floor thump in time to the kick. So how in the world is it possible to talk and hear in the midst of levels this loud? That's Turbosound. If you care about great sound, you owe it to yourself to check out the TXD series.

 

Features & Specifications

 

 

Series Specifications:
  • Birch plywood construction
  • Optimally-tuned enclosures
  • Ergonomic, flush-mounted handles
  • Polemount socket
  • M10 rigging points
  • Rubber feet
  • 2 Speakon connectors
  • Passive crossover
  • Steel metal grilles
  • Reflex-loaded drivers
TXD-121, TXD-151, and TXD-12M Specifications:TXD-115, TXD-118, and TXD-215 Specifications:
  • 70° x 40° dispersion horn
  • Passive 2-way, full-range loudspeaker
  • High-frequency speaker protection
  • 600W handling program
  • 128dB maximum SPL (TXD-151, 130dB)
  • Passive, front-loaded subwoofer
  • 600W handling (TXD-215, 1,200W)
  • 127dB maximum SPL (TXD-215, 129dB)
  • Internal low-pass crossover network