- by Frank Hammel
SAN DIEGO, CA — Sound engineer James “Jimbo” Neal recently chose a pair of VUE Audiotechnik h-15 active systems for the final leg of the Brian Setzer Orchestra’s Christmas Extravaganza tour. Neal’s objective was to augment the existing Sound Image stage monitors with a compact, high-output side fill system.
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“I’ve used many different configurations for side fills over the years, but have always struggled to achieve sufficient coverage and sound quality from a compact footprint,” said Neal. “My contact at Sound Image recommended that I check out VUE’s h-Class. VUE arranged a demo and I was instantly impressed with what I heard. The output of the h-15 was incredible for its size, and the high-end absolutely clear. I knew instantly they’d be a great fit for Brian.”
Two VUE h-15 active two-way systems were delivered in November and deployed as part of a complete monitoring rig that also included nine Sound Image MA-12 stage wedges. With both the MA-12 and VUE h-15s designed by VUE’s chief engineer Michael Adams, the match-up was perfect.
Dual Yamaha CL5 consoles handled FOH and monitors duties while power for the MA-12s came courtesy of seven Crown I-Tech 12000 HD amplifiers. The fully active VUE h-15s received signal directly from the monitor console.
“Once we added the VUE speakers the whole system really fell into place,” explained monitor engineer, Eric Scott. “The VUE speakers blended perfectly and required virtually no tweaking right out of the box. Most importantly, Brian’s voice and guitar sounded way more natural than anything we’ve ever achieved before. I was simply blown away.”
While the Christmas Extravaganza tour concluded in late December, Setzer is known for a strict and consistent tour schedule, so Neal and his team are already planning for their next big outing. When asked if the VUE speakers will be invited back, Neal didn’t hesitate. “I can’t see using anything but the VUE speakers in this role ever again. I’m sold.”