Reviewed: Alto Professional Uber FX Portable PA System

Electric Factory | elfa.com.au | Expect To Pay: $429

Alto is a company that consistently blows you away. Whether they come across my desk, or I read another writer’s praise for Alto, I’m always impressed. Not only do they produce great products for everyone from amateurs to working professionals, but every product constantly improves on the last product.

They’re an underdog company that provides great solutions for the very need of working professionals, as well as a solution for people with more specific needs, even outside music and audio use, i.e. a great speaker for social gatherings and/or making announcements. We’ve discussed some active loudspeakers from Alto before here at Mixdown, and the Uber FX simply improves on them even further. The 100 watt amplifier drives an 8” driver on this rechargeable loudspeaker with Bluetooth and onboard effects, mix knob to blend in wet effects to a dry signal, the Uber FX is designed to be ready for you in any situation.

 

The Alto Uber FX has up to four inputs, two of those being combo XLR/jack with independent three-band EQ and effect mix for each channel. Channel three is Bluetooth featuring a status light and channel four is an auxiliary input accessible via 3.5mm jack. This makes for an incredibly usable loudspeaker, even before deep diving into FX or the physical construction of the unit. The reverb options actually feature some pretty good sounding plates, as well as chorus, multiple delays and a cool rotary effect. Once you’ve dialled a sound for a few channels, you can stow away your smartphone and keys in the top panel storage tray, designed to keep your valuables safe while busking, or to keep a dedicated music player close to the unit so it doesn’t get lost or separated. The Uber FX could easily be used to amplify and acoustic or electric guitar and microphone, and both can be blended to taste to a reverb to sound out the sound. Whether busking or practising at home, the Uber FX can create a great environment to do your best work, and sounds can be dialled quickly to make the most of that inspiration when it strikes.

 

 

Investigating the specs sheet really reveals a well thought out and planned piece of kit. On paper, it’s a 100 watt rechargeable portable PA with Bluetooth and auxiliary inputs. It’s features two identical combo XLR/jack mic channels with Alesis FX onboard. Channels 3 & 4 are Bluetooth and aux respectively with their own volume, and the control panel is complete by a master volume and really clear battery indicator. The sound is delivered via an 8” driver and 3” tweeter that provide a frequency response from 60hz up to 20kHz. The unit weighs a robust 11kg, but features wheels and a telescope handle to move around easily.

 

Overall this loudspeaker is a no-brainer for anyone busking, but also for exceptional sound at social events, whether the mic channels are used or not (and you might as well make an announcement when you’ll sound as good as you will through the Alto Uber FX). It’s powerful, compact, functional and it’ll even keep your valuables safe, as well as easy to use and dial sounds for whichever of the four channels you’re using. A master effects makes for a more cohesive sound overall, whether that be a little blend to complete a sound or full-blown effected signal. Onboard effects, such as flangers, plate and room reverbs, delays, a rotary emulation, and multiple choruses will have you prepared for any situation or need you might encounter. Powerful drivers and independent, three-band EQ for mics or line, and volume for each mic channel and Bluetooth and auxiliary input channels make for a simple and handy unit.

Hits and Misses

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Independent channels with their own EQ and effects blend

Clear speaker sound

Good sounding effects

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A bigger speaker option/model would be nice

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